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  • Microsoft deleting – not moving – old Internet Explorer documentation

    Posted on November 9th, 2019 at 05:43 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A disturbing report from @VulturEMaN:

    My RSS feeds for MS documentation updates is showing a lot of IE8/9 documentation updates, but when I click those links all result in a 404. Likely these pages are being deleted. This just started over the last 2 days.

    Feed that doesn’t show the deletions: https://support.microsoft.com/app/content/api/content/feeds/sap/en-us/6a88efa5-712b-9e99-f1b9-368dc2d81f2e/rss

    And then they’re deleting the update from the RSS feed itself. The proof is in the RSS posts that my feeder.io account is showing for that feed, since RSS readers typically keep a copy of anything ever in the feed, even if it was added by mistake or removed.

    I have no kind words for people that delete documentation.Why aren’t they moving it to a site like archive.microsoft.com and then put a big banner at the top that it’s legacy? How many of these articles are relevant to later versions of IE, so we don’t repeat history?

    You can read a more detailed account – including a list of 74 links that have disappeared – on Reddit.

  • Surface Pro X review embargo just lapsed

    Posted on November 5th, 2019 at 03:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you look around, you’ll see a flood of reviews of the Surface Pro X, which apparently went off embargo around 10 pm Redmond time. That’s how the hardware review business works: Publications line up to get free first-run machines, promising to hold off on reviews until a specific date and time. Looks like the alarm just went off.

    Of course, Microsoft doesn’t send me review units. (You thought otherwise?) So I just read the reviews like anybody else. Of course, given the Surface support history and the fact that it’s an ARM-based machine with all the compatibility headaches that implies, I would never buy one. But still it’s cute seeing Microsoft’s response to the iPad.

    Part of a natural ARM progression: Windows RT was a joke. Surface RT died a horrible death. Windows 10 in S Mode was an embarrassment. Now Surface Pro X. The review practically writes itself — although Microsoft will assure you ten ways from Tuesday that the Surface Pro X is better and different because it’ll run Windows desktop apps.

    Yep. Pull the other finger.

    Dieter Born at The Verge: MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO X REVIEW: HEARTBREAKER

    Brad Sams at Petri: Surface Pro X Review: A Classic Look For The New Mobile Worker

    Cherlynn Low, Engadget: Surface Pro X review: Gorgeous hardware marred by buggy software

    Sam Rutherford for Gizmodo: Microsoft’s Surface Pro X Goes Full Batman

    Dan Ackerman at CNet: Surface Pro X review: A Surface evolution, but the software hasn’t caught up yet

    Jacob Krol, CNN: Microsoft’s Surface Pro X is for many, but not everyone yet

    And on and on…

    Just in case you were wondering, yes, absolutely, Microsoft vets their reviewers carefully. For example

     

  • Goodbye Technet, MSDN – welcome to Microsoft Q&A

    Posted on October 31st, 2019 at 06:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s too early to tell how this is going to turn out, but MS has committed to freezing Technet and the MSDN network, and replacing them with the latest, greatest Answers forum yet, Microsoft Q&A.

    MSDN and TechNet forums are outdated. To provide the set of capabilities that our customers need and want, we created a robust, scalable, and reliable new platform called Microsoft Q&A.

    It doesn’t replace the Microsoft Answers forum, which will continue its role as a neglected wasteland of officially neglected complaints. Sorry. Microsoft Q&A supports:

    Azure Active Directory
    Azure Active Directory Domain Services
    Azure Active Directory B2C
    Azure Information Protection
    Azure DevTest Labs
    Azure Lab Services
    Azure Virtual Machines
    Azure Web Apps
    Universal Windows Platform
    Partner Center API

    Which leads to such titillating questions as:

    What types of applications can I deploy with Service Fabric Mesh?

    Not likely to be one of your burning queries, eh? Microsoft explains:

    This integrated experience will allow us to better prioritize and answer questions, and give users clearer paths between documentation, learning content, and answers. Microsoft Q&A also offers a much better set of permissions that will equip our moderators with improved tools.

    Which all seems well and good for the technically plugged-in.

    MS is making a clean break with its old MSDN and Technet forums. If you’ve earned “reputation” points in the older forums, they’re disappearing, at least for now:

    In the next few months, when a user searches for something that doesn’t appear when they’re browsing in Microsoft Q&A, we’ll use machine learning to display read-only questions and answers from MSDN and TechNet forums… Currently you can’t carry over your MSDN and TechNet reputation. However, in the future we’ll give you the opportunity to link Microsoft Q&A and MSDN and TechNet forums. When this is an option, your current badges and points from MSDN and TechNet forums will be displayed as part of your Microsoft Q&A profile.

    I wish them luck!

  • A short note on Microsoft earnings

    Posted on October 25th, 2019 at 10:53 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t dig into Microsoft earnings statements anymore. Paul Thurrott sums up the reason nicely:

    Microsoft is eager for investors to believe that it’s the equal of Amazon AWS in the cloud, so it engages in a little bit of semantic trickery by inventing a non-business called Commercial Cloud that includes a revolving cherry-picked selection of products and services that put its own efforts in a good light.

    That’s precisely what’s happened. You can no more compare “cloud revenue” (whatever that means) from year-to-year or quarter-to-quarter than you can compare the number of bugs on your windshield. Amy Hood once again demonstrates her considerable, enviable magic.

    Suffice it to say that Microsoft made a heap of money, that Office subscriptions are raking it in, that Azure is receiving the lion’s share of the publicity, AI (whatever that means) is everybody’s dahlin’, and that Windows is still a small lump of coal in an undifferentiated, increasingly forgotten corner.

  • Whittaker: Speak truth to power

    Posted on October 23rd, 2019 at 15:07 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I just finished reading James Whittaker’s post on Medium called Speaking Truth to Power: Reflections on My Career at Microsoft.

    Wow. If you want to see What’s Really Wrong with Windows (one of my favorite topics), you really need to read this.

    If Windows was the only refuge for recycled failures — the wannabe leaders who energetically and emphatically backed Gates’ and Ballmer’s strategy that whiffed on the web, cloud and mobile — Microsoft might be ok. But the residue of the past is thick in enough places that it is suffocating the culture of tomorrow.

    Is there hope? For Microsoft, yes, absolutely. For Windows… I’m not so sure.

  • Microsoft 365 health status

    Posted on October 18th, 2019 at 10:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yes, that’s copyright 2017

    https://status.office.com/

    Mary Jo Foley has details on ZDNet.

    Starting at approximately 13:42 UTC 18 Oct 2019, customers in North America are experiencing issues with Sign-in when Multi-Factor Authentication is enabled. Engineering team is currently investigating the issue and will send out an update as soon as possible.

    UPDATE: MS has modified the announcement:

    Title: Unable to access Microsoft 365 services with MFA

    User impact: Users may be unable to sign in to Microsoft 365 services when leveraging Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

    More info: Users may not receive authentication requests via phone call, SMS or within their authenticator app.

    Current status: We’ve confirmed via telemetry and reports from some of the affected customers that service has recovered for a majority of impacted users. We’re continuing to investigate log data to better understand what caused this issue and to validate which recovery measures we took restored service functionality. Additionally, our telemetry indicates that this issue was specific to users located in the North America region.

    Scope of impact: This issue could affect any of your users located in North America if they leverage MFA to access Microsoft 365 services.

    Start time: Friday, October 18, 2019, at 1:30 PM UTC Next update by: Friday, October 18, 2019, at 6:30 PM UTC

  • Office 365 ProPlus to get support on Windows 7 after January 14, 2020

    Posted on October 7th, 2019 at 17:25 joep517 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has decided to give Office 365 ProPlus users running Windows 7 some grace time after Windows 7 goes out of support on January 14, 2020. Office 365 ProPlus users will continue to get security updates for Office 365 ProPlus until January 2023. According to Microsoft this is to transition to a “support operating system”.

    See Windows 7 end of support and Office 365 ProPlus for details and more information.

  • Microsoft announces that US voting systems running Win7 will get free updates through the 2020 elections

    Posted on September 20th, 2019 at 14:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Per MS corporate VP Tom Burt:

    As we head into the 2020 elections, we know there is a relatively small but still significant number of certified voting machines in operation running on Windows 7. We also know that transitioning to machines running newer operating systems in time for the 2020 election may not be possible for a number of reasons, including the lengthy voting machine certification process

    Gotta wonder how small “relative” is, but it’s the right decision.