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  • Windows 11 Surfaces

    Posted on September 27th, 2021 at 02:41 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    MICROSOFT NEWS

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Microsoft’s September event showcased its updated Surface lineup and doubled down on the Duo 2.

    While Microsoft’s livestream presentation of September 2 was not tremendously exciting, it was a well-done description of the new Surface devices and was hosted by Panos Panay, in fine form.

    I won’t bore you with every detail, but here are some good sources of information.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.37.0 (2021-09-27).

  • Windows 11 announced

    Posted on June 28th, 2021 at 02:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.24 • 2021-06-28
    Watch for our special issue on July 5!

    MICROSOFT NEWS

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Why this? Why now? And what the heck is going on?

    On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 11. I have no idea why. It is surely not for the cobbled-together reasons the company gave during its rather brief briefing on Thursday.

    Windows 11 Bloom Visit our new Windows 11 section in the forums and these topics:
    Questions about Windows 11
    Hardware questions relating to Windows 11

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.24.0 (2021-06-28).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.24.F (2021-06-28).

  • Reminder: What’s next for Windows?

    Posted on June 22nd, 2021 at 11:50 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft’s live event entitled “What’s next for Windows” is set for Thursday, June 24 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch here. You can also visit that page to get a reminder.

  • The Next Windows

    Posted on June 7th, 2021 at 02:44 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    MICROSOFT NEWS

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    What is it? We don’t really know.

    By now, the news is out that Microsoft will host a livestream event on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The event does not have a title; the livestream page on Microsoft’s site just says, “Join us to see what’s next for Windows.”

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.21.0 (2021-06-07).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.21.F (2021-06-07).

  • Attention partners: Microsoft really is coming for your clients this time

    Posted on January 13th, 2021 at 13:34 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has made the mistake of going around its partners in the past. Isn’t buying direct the way to go? No, not really. When there’s a healthy marketplace of trained professionals supporting and consulting small businesses then they are able to get just the type of support they want and work with someone that understands thier business goals and can help them move the technology in the same direction that their business is going. When the market isn’t attractive to partners, then consumers of the product have less choice and fewer support options. What Microsoft is doing here is alarming and all should be concerned. From end user, partner to distributor.

    Repost from Third Tier: Microsoft really is coming for your clients this time – Ultimate Support for IT Pros – ThirdTier

    There’s been a lot of false claims in the past that Microsoft was coming for your clients. But in this new round of intrusion into the trusted CSP-Client relationship, Microsoft really is coming for your clients. All around forums, user groups and social media the emails are being circulated and they are scary. In one complaint that I read on a private MVP group, the CSP, well let’s just quote them, “We almost lost a 50k/month Azure WVD client as Microsoft offered their implementation for free. We kept the client onboard thankfully, thanks to value-added services”

    I understand that Microsoft has a problem with some resellers not providing depth nor breadth of services to clients and tying those clients up making it difficult for other more active and consultive CSP’s and MSP’s to expand, but Microsoft really needs a way to determine whether a partner is active with the client or whether they have sold, migrated and are done. Those of us working actively with our clients shouldn’t be subject to any competitor coming in and disrupting our business.

    Here are a couple of samples of the email that your clients are getting from Microsoft.

    On Azure:

    I hope this email finds you well! My name is Blake Wheeler,and I am reaching out on behalf of Microsoft’s Azure Team. I spoke to Lisa from (Edit: Client name) and she referred me to reach out to you. I was reaching out to Lisa about the opportunity to participate in a Complimentary Deep Dive Evaluation. This will help you and your team assess any Cyber Security Threats, overutilization and/or underutilization of your network and provide a complete network and hardware scan for (Edit: client name) with reports tailored the way you want them.

    The first step for this evaluation is scheduling a Teams meeting with our Evaluations Specialist where they will go over the process in more detail. Please let me know a good date/time that you had 15-30 minutes of availability next week and I will get everything set up. I have attached a short deck with information on the process as well.

    On 365:

    On 365:

    Happy New Years! My name is [MS-REPNAME] and I work directly for Microsoft to help businesses get the most out of their relationship with Microsoft and I was recently assigned to support you and your company. I assist with device procurement and discounting, end-user training, general IT questions, licensing, etc.

    Do you have time for a brief intro call this week so we can learn how to best advance your IT strategies moving forward?

    Thank you! We look forward to a great partnership!

     

    If those email copies don’t make you angry, as they do this Microsoft fan, then perhaps re-read them. I’m not the alarmist type but this intrusion into the relationship with my client has really taken me aback.

  • So why do you buy a Windows PC?

    Posted on November 28th, 2020 at 19:30 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Interesting post from the guy who knows more about Windows licensing than the Attorneys who work for Windows licensing know about Windows licensing…..

    So think back to your last Windows pc purchase.  Exactly why did you buy it?  What compelling application do you run on it?

    Welcome to the PC Malaise Era

  • Microsoft salaries

    Posted on September 3rd, 2020 at 05:15 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A real eye-opener.

    David Gershgorn on OneZero reports on a fascinating self-reported collection of salary statistics for Microsoft. Based on 310 entries submitted in the past year (again, I emphasize, this is self-reported):

    Based on this year’s respondents, the average entry-level engineer or program manager will have a total compensation of $125,665. A vast majority (87%) of that will come from an average base salary of $111,096, with an average cash award of $10,701 and stock award of $3,867.

    The numbers go up rapidly.

    At level 64, which includes only 11 of the respondents, salary counted for only 72% of an average total compensation of $234,249.

    Shoulda woulda coulda.

  • Panos Panay gets more of the Windows pie

    Posted on August 6th, 2020 at 11:11 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Report just in from Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet:

    Microsoft is moving part of the Core OS and Intelligent Edge (COSINE) team under Panay in order to create more of an end-to-end servicing and shipping experience… Some parts of COSINE engineering, specifically around the Windows core, are staying with Executive Vice President of Azure Jason Zander.

    Microsoft has long separated Windows “core” and Windows “what the customer sees” efforts into separate teams. Now, it seems, Panay is absorbing all but the base plumbing of the kitchen sink.

    I keep hoping that these restructurings will help Microsoft stabilize Windows 10.

  • Microsoft and TikTok – a match made in Clippy heaven

    Posted on August 3rd, 2020 at 09:29 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t have any particular words of wisdom to add to the ongoing debacle, except to say that Microsoft is very, very good at killing its acquisitions. Tell me when I can sign up for TikTokTeams.

    Tom Warren at The Verge has an interesting spin on the acquisition:

    The key part of any TikTok deal will be the data and users Microsoft gains access to… Microsoft has all the data it needs on business usage of software, but it hasn’t been successful with pure consumer services in recent years, which has left the company with a gap of insight into consumer behaviors.

    So Tom sees the acquisition as an acquihire-like bid to get even more data. An acquisnoop.

    Wonder if they’ll call it TikTokTelemetry?

  • Microsoft Closes Retail Stores

    Posted on June 26th, 2020 at 11:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has announced it is closing almost all of its retail Stores (and the few that won’t close won’t be selling products and will be turned into Microsoft Experience Centers). https://news.microsoft.com/2020/06/26/microsoft-store-announces-new-approach-to-retail/

    This is a devastating blow to existing Microsoft Surface users looking for decent support and it certainly won’t do much to help with sales of new Surface devices.

    One counterbalance to the poor online and phone support for Surface products was that if you were fortunate to live within traveling distance to a Microsoft Store, most consumers could get better results for hardware issues than using online support. And then there was the instant exchange, as opposed to sending in your broken device and waiting, sometimes up to two or more weeks for a replacement. And then getting a bad replacement. At the Stores, the replacement process was usually instant and customers could examine the replacement product (reject if needed), etc. For many with bulging batteries in Surface Book and SP4 devices, going to a MS Store was the only solution to avoid a $600 out of warranty charge (Microsoft cut off free replacements after 3 years from date of Purchase). The Store staff “got it”. The Apple Stores right next store to most of the MS Stores replaced batteries and devices all day long. And took care of swollen batteries in Macbook Pros.

    The closest store to me was one mile from the Massachusetts border. That Store had a robust small business sales and support business. When in the Store, I often saw pickups of multiple new Surface devices. And they handled software and hardware issues for these customers easily. There were actually smiles on the faces of those folks waiting for the techs to work on their devices. This speaks to the top level skills of these MS Store technicians.

    As Amy Babinchak stated in the Third Tier Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thirdtier/ “This is a sucky development. The Microsoft store was a valuable partner to my MSP. They hand delivered orders directly to clients, managed warranty and repair issues like pros I’ve never seen before. The existence of the store legitimatized the Surface line of products. This is a sad event “

     

  • C’mon, Microsoft. Cancel the Build conference sooner rather than later.

    Posted on March 3rd, 2020 at 10:34 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has cancelled the MVP Summit, slated for the week-after-next in Seattle.

    Now we’re looking at the next big MS conference, Build, on May 19 in Seattle. Sorry, but there’s no way on our big blue planet that it’ll be safe to have a large conference in Seattle in May.

    Microsoft’s official Build page now says:

    In light of the global health concerns due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Microsoft is monitoring public health guidance in relation to in-person events. At this time, global health authorities have not issued guidance to avoid travel to this location. We are looking carefully at our event calendar as well as our presence at industry events in the coming months. We are not taking decisions lightly, but the health and well-being of our employees, partners, customers and other guests remain our ultimate priority.

    We will continue to monitor and make any necessary changes as the situation evolves.

    March 2, 2020

    Which sure sounds like a CYA to me.

    Why can’t Microsoft, of all organizations, just shift to online conferences? Why make people wait and wonder if they’re going to need (or cancel) plane reservations, hotels, meeting plans? And in the future, why have conferences at all? Sure they make Microsoft a lot of money – but it’s only a roundoff error in the corporate income statement.

    We’re better than this. Microsoft should’ve led the way years ago with online conferences.

  • Microsoft deleting – not moving – old Internet Explorer documentation

    Posted on November 9th, 2019 at 05:43 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.