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  • Surface Pro 4 customers complain about weird flicker – even post photos – but no response from Microsoft

    Posted on April 4th, 2017 at 13:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s starting to sound a lot like Surface Pro 3 batterygate, and the SP3’s second batterygate.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows.

  • A legitimate-looking lawsuit claiming damages for the Win10 coerced upgrade

    Posted on March 25th, 2017 at 13:13 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Many of you have posted here, and written to me privately, threatening to sue Microsoft for the pushy nature of the “Get Windows 10” campaign.

    It looks like one firm, the Chicago firm of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin LLC, has taken up the challenge. As reported in The Register (yes, in the UK) yesterday, reports on a filing in Chicago US District Court on Thursday, claiming MS

    failed to exercise reasonable care in designing, formulating, and manufacturing the Windows 10 upgrade and placing it into the stream of commerce… As a result of its failure to exercise reasonable care, [the company] distributed an operating system that was liable to cause loss of data or damage to hardware.

    You can read the complaint here.

    The attorneys are seeking class action status.

    Based on reports on the Edelman Combs web site (which I haven’t independently confirmed), the firm has experience in the field. Edelman declares:

    Areas of Practice:
    25% Consumer Law
    75% Class Actions
    Deceptive Trade Practices

    You might want to take advantage of the firm’s “Contact Us” box on any of its web pages to see if you qualify for joining the class.

  • Microsoft online services hit with another outage

    Posted on March 21st, 2017 at 13:51 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Brad Sams just posted this on Thurrott.com.

    Sounds like the events of two weeks ago, all over again:

    Microsoft Accounts are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

    I have a half-dozen Microsoft Accounts that I use regularly, so I decided to test.

    As of this moment – 1:45 pm Central US Daylight – Edge refuses to log on to login.live.com, at least for me.

    Downdetector reports all sorts of problems, starting about an hour ago.

    Günter Born confirms the problem from Germany.

    Office Portal says Outlook.com is down, but doesn’t say anything about Microsoft accounts in general.

    Is it down right now reports that the outlook.com site is up, and it was last down five minutes ago. I have a feeling that’s in error – although, hey, you never know. It could be up in Antarctica, too.

    Mary Jo has an update on her ZDNet blog. She reports that she believes the problems started about 12:30 pm Central Daylight.

    If Microsoft accounts can’t log in, expect to see side effects with OneNote and OneDrive, as well as Outlook.com. But note that if you log in to a Windows computer with a Microsoft Account, you won’t have any problems. When the Windows login program can’t get in touch with the mother ship, it will respond to your last entered password or PIN (or, I assume, photo).

    UPDATE: 3pm CDT (about 2.5 hours after it started) – https://twitter.com/maryjofoley/status/844277949734010882

    Tero Alhonen says the Office Portal reports it’s all fixed. Mary Jo says OneDrive isn’t working, and Tom Warren corroborates. Mary Jo also reports problems with Xbox Live.

  • Microsoft Accounts are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

    Posted on March 7th, 2017 at 07:54 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m seeing reports all over Twitter that Microsoft Accounts aren’t working right. Logging in to your MS Account online, via Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Skype – all appear to be broken.

    In my case, I have an old @hotmail.com account that opens in Win10 Mail. At one point I was getting repeated “ding!” toaster notifications that “Your Hotmail account settings are out of date.” Clicked on the toaster notification, went through the steps to enter my PIN. Got an Error 0x800704cf.

    Tried logging in using my password. Looked like that worked, but shortly afterward I started getting the toaster notifications again.

    At this moment, Win10 Mail shows a ! icon

    When I try to refresh mail, I get a yellow bar at the top of Mail that says “Your Hotmail 2 account settings are out-of-date” giving me the option to Fix account or Dismiss.

    I tried to log in to Hotmail and got this notification:

    Of course, I’ve been using that Hotmail account for a couple of decades.

    I think I need to write up how to avoid using Microsoft accounts… anybody want to add a tip or two?

    UPDATE: 30 minutes later, and I can directly log in to hotmail.com, but the verification in Win10 Mail still shows Error 0x800704cf

    UPDATE 2: Mary Jo Foley reports that she’s back in but, as of 12:00 eastern US time, “I am still hearing from some who cannot sign into Outlook.”

  • So… was Bryan Roper laid off at Microsoft?

    Posted on January 25th, 2017 at 15:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A discussion on the TWiT TV live taping today – broadcast tomorrow – made me go back and see if Bryan Roper was laid off, or if he jumped. Or even if he’s still working for Microsoft, for that matter.

    (I still say Bryan’s the best Microsoft presenter I’ve ever seen – certainly the most entertaining. JoeB’s right up there, too, but he’s been out of the limelight for the past 18 months, and Joe’s an engineer, not a pitchman. Actually, a little of both. Nevermind.)

    Anyway, looking back, I see that Roper’s original tweet said:

    As one of the Microsoft folks impacted by layoffs today, my heart, ears, and network go out to anyone else impacted

    Which, in retrospect, doesn’t exactly say “I got da boot.”

    There are reports everywhere that he was laid off – dozens of news items, from all around the world. But none of them quote The Man himself.

    Anybody know the whole story?


  • Bryan Roper just laid off

    Posted on January 23rd, 2017 at 16:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I can’t believe it. Microsoft’s very best presenter – and one of the best “you won’t beleeeeeeeeive this feature” guys (whether the feature’s worth a cluck or not) – was just laid off.



  • Have the Surface RT and Surface 2 been put out to pasture?

    Posted on January 9th, 2017 at 08:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you got suckered into buying a Windows RT machine from Microsoft, you’re basically up the ol’ creek, the next time you try to reset it.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    UPDATE: Evan Forrest has published detailed instructions for installing Update 3 on an RT machine. https://surfacetip.com/install-windows-rt-8-1-update-3-2017/  Amazing! There are still lots of problems – and Microsoft should be thrashed for tossing its RT customers under the bus – but it’s a very worthwhile fix. Thanks, Evan!

  • New $3,000 + Surface Studio in the real world

    Posted on December 1st, 2016 at 12:42 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’re thinking about buying one of the just-shipped $3,000+ Surface Studios, it’d be worth your while to see what “real” people are saying about it.

    I don’t own one. I can think of better ways to spend several thousand dollars – and Microsoft isn’t likely to send one to me for evaluation.

    Engadget’s hands-on “Mini” review is out, and their take is decidedly lukewarm:

    Innovative, but not for everyone…

    If you’re curious about the innards, iFixIt has detailed teardowns of the Surface Studio and its circuitous sidekick the Surface Dial.

    You can run into a Microsoft Store and take a look yourself, but before you do, you should see what new owners are saying.

    My first exposure to the Surface Studio came on this week’s live recording of Windows Weekly. Leo Laporte received his new Studio on Monday, and the way he’s working with it is telling. Some of the foibles got cut in the mix, but the machine has many good features – gorgeous screen, interesting peripheral – and several significant problems – it’s slow (with a mobile GPU) and the drive’s a hybrid. If you look at the way Leo uses it and compare it to the way you work, you might not be impressed. “It’s like a giant iPad.” Think hard about where you’d put your keyboard.

    Then I bumped into this comment on the Microsoft Answers forum. Poster Damon S says:

    Dissapointing performance and hard drive for $4100… I love the idea of the machine but do i now want to go find a way to replace the HD with an SSD and then spend a day reinstalling windows and all the other drivers needed and spend another $500 on a $4k plus computer is daunting.

    Photographer Scott Bourne on Photofocus says the reflections on the screen are so bad “it’s a simple deal breaker for me. As much as I like EVERYTHING else about this machine (okay well maybe not the price) I can’t see myself using one until / unless Microsoft offers one with a matte display.”

    The Surface Studio ships with a tech support phone number, which appears to be unique for Studio support – see Brad Sams post on Thurrott.com – although some wags posit that the number’s answered by Microsoft’s usual support center.

    Watch out for Acer- and Dell- manufactured Studio wannabes in the near future.