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  • Windows 7 “not dead yet”

    Posted on December 30th, 2020 at 17:34 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Nearly a year after Win7’s EOL, Ed Bott has been diving into how many might still be using the OS. He hints it’s a big number.

    …as December 2020 draws to a close, the proportion of PCs running Windows 10 has gone up 12%, to 87.8%; the Windows 7 count has dropped by more than 10 points, to 8.5%, and the population of Windows 8.x holdouts has shrunk even further, to a minuscule 3.4%

    If my calculations a year ago were on the mark, that means more than 100 million Windows PC were retired, recycled, or upgraded in the past 12 months.

    It is somewhat reassuring to hear that WinXP is now in the region of a “fraction of a rounding error”. And of course, that doesn’t quantify how many of those Win7 machines are or aren’t enrolled in the ESU program.

    You can read Ed’s write-up on Zdnet here.

  • SolarWinds impact getting a bit larger

    Posted on December 17th, 2020 at 17:01 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As someone just said… 2020 is turning out to be lovely….  I’ll post more tonight

    Statement from Microsoft….  “Our investigations, which are ongoing, have found absolutely no indications that our systems were used to attack others”


    So first off…. what does this mean?  SolarWinds is an enterprise monitoring tool that is used by Government systems and by a who’s who of businesses.  Assuming this post is right, you’ll see quite a few names on this list of clients that you recognize.  A piece of code with an intentional backdoor was inserted into the development of this monitoring software.   This monitoring software was then installed on networks.  So that – in theory – as the bits and bytes flew by this attacker could see everything on the network.   As the CISA document spells out, someone was hiding inside the networks of major companies for many months.

    Does it mean they are in your computer – that they’ve compromised EVERYONE’s computer?  No.  And most of the big a/v vendors have put in detection for this backdoor code, so if you did have it in your system you’d be getting a strange notification from your antivirus.  But it is disturbing to say the least that an attacker (theorized to be Russia at this time) had potential access for months into many key systems and we are only finding out about it now.  More as we know more….

     

  • Is Firefox in danger?

    Posted on December 12th, 2020 at 18:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    From Zdnet: 

    After looking at the numbers, I really don’t know how long Mozilla can make it. Oh, the revenue stream is there for now, but with fewer and fewer Firefox users can Mozilla count on it tomorrow? The company also had, at the end of 2019,  $785 million in cash and investments. But, with its ever-shrinking market share and vastly smaller development teams, you have to wonder how long Mozilla can keep going with its current leadership and plans.

    Cuts alone of infrastructure and its best developers won’t save Mozilla. And, with Firefox’s ever-shrinking market share, it won’t be able to count on future hundred-million-dollar annual advertising deals to save it. For Mozilla to continue to matter it needs new management and a new strategic plan.

    Ouch.

    So?  What browser do you use?  Do you think Firefox is near death?

  • Edge and Trend Micro are fighting one another

    Posted on December 2nd, 2020 at 20:39 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    https://borncity.com/win/2020/12/02/edge-87-0-664-52/ 

    Günter Born shares that Trend Micro is having issues with Edge.

    There are other users there who have the problem that the Chromium Edge 87.0.664.52 will not start. In the course of the thread it turns out that affected users have installed Trend Micro OfficeScan, which blocks the start of the browser. Addition: Trend Micro is aware of the problem, by the way, because they answered the following to a user who opened a ticket there:

  • It’s official 20H2 is now out

    Posted on October 20th, 2020 at 12:03 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

  • Microsoft experiments with pushing Office progressive web apps onto Win10 machines – without your permission

    Posted on October 14th, 2020 at 19:12 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I like PWAs, but this is no way to get the ball rolling. (There’s a good discussion of Progressive Web Apps on Wikipedia.)

    Microsoft has PWA versions of five apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. You can manually install the PWA versions of those apps on your Win10 machine by using Edge (navigate to the app in the Windows Store, click Settings, Apps, Install this site as an app). You end up with Start menu entries for each. Click on one of the Start entries, and the web-based version of the app appears, inside a minimal browser shell.

    Mayank Parmar over on Windows Latest noticed:

    Microsoft now appears to be experimenting with a new feature that will add [the PWA version of] Office apps to your Windows 10 device without your permission.

    The rollout isn’t happening on all machines. Says Parmar:

    Over the weekend, Microsoft updated the Chromium Edge (Stable) for Windows 10 to quietly install four Office web apps on some devices. This ‘feature’ appears to be rolling out to select testers in the Windows Insider program, but it could also show up on non-Insider machines.

    Günter Born calls them “Windows 10 behavior as a malware?” He’s got a good point – although, to be fair, it looks like the only machines being targeted right now are actively in the Insider Program.

    Lawrence Abrams at BleepingComputer says:

    Those who do not wish to have these PWAs installed can uninstall them directly in Microsoft Edge through the edge://apps URL or via the Programs and Features Settings page [in Windows 10].

    Surprise!

  • Patch Lady – issues with consumer support?

    Posted on October 7th, 2020 at 18:20 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just the other day some of my fellow geeks were asking where people went to ask questions.  We lamented that it was getting harder and harder to find good locations for IT pro support.

    For some unknown reasons the answers.microsoft.com support venue is showing a bar at the top indicating that “due to high volumes…” and I can’t think of why they would have high volumes right now.  20H2 isn’t out.

    But clearly something is up…

    “I’ve have been trying to speak”

    “I got disconnected”

    “Chat not working’

    Edit:  I just opened up a business support case and they are saying the same thing…

  • Dear Microsoft, could you make Edge a little more obnoxious?

    Posted on September 25th, 2020 at 14:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So I’m sitting here plunking away on one of my production Win10 version 1909 machines, when a new update appears.

    2020-08 Microsoft Edge Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems (KB4576754)

    I needed to reboot the system – it had been running for almost two days without a reboot (sarcasm alert) – and when Windows came back up for air, Edge appeared full-screen. I tried clicking lots of things, but it wouldn’t disengage. In the end I navigated through a four-screen “tutorial” that, by default, wanted me to log Edge in to my Microsoft Account and oh-so-helpfully retain Edge surfing information to, you know, make my shopping experiences more tailored.

    When I finally got through unchecking all of the snoop settings, and closed Edge, it showed this on my Taskbar:

    And that didn’t go away until I clicked the “X” in the upper right corner.

    It’s entirely possible that Edge is the greatest browser ever – that it’ll make me brighter, more productive and definitely debonair. But it really twists my gizzard when an app takes over my machine and forces me through a series of privacy search-and-destroy questions.

    I’ve been playing with Edge. I think I’ll give it a pass for a while.

    UPDATE: I see that Shawn Brink on Tenforums has a registry hack to keep Windows Update from installing Chredge. Far as I’m concerned, MS can install it — after all, it is their machine (cough) — but I’m not going to use it for a while.

  • No good deed goes unpunished: Windows XP source code apparently leaked

    Posted on September 25th, 2020 at 03:22 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve heard rumors about this for years, but it looks like the Real McCoy just hit 4chan.

    Dan Thorp-Lancaster at Windows Central has the story:

    Alleged source code for Windows XP leaked online this week. The leak was spread in a thread on the anonymous forum 4chan, which linked to archives of both the alleged Windows XP source code along with source code for other Microsoft products. Notably, the archive includes the Windows NT 3.5 and original Xbox source code dumps that appeared online in May.

    There’s no official confirmation, of course — and lots of reason to be skeptical. Still, folks who know XP at the bit level are impressed.

    Lawrence Abrams at BleepingComputer points to tweets by @RoninDay, who claims:

    I slept at 4 AM yesterday and got up at 8:30 AM. Now its about to be 2 AM and I just discovered a dump. Life comes to you fast, this amazing healthy lifestyle.

    The main concern is that legacy XP code that has found its way into Win7, 8.1 or 10 may be compromised. That seems pretty far-fetched, but still… the sins of the father visited upon the son, and all that.

  • Microsoft is pushing the Chromium-based version of Edge

    Posted on September 15th, 2020 at 07:28 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.

    Lawrence Abrams at BleepingComputer talks about KB 4576754, the “Update for the new Microsoft Edge for Windows 10, version 1809, 1903, 1909, and 2004: August 31, 2020.” Abrams credits Venkat on Techdows. Venkat says that the patch appears as “2020-08 Microsoft Edge Update for Windows 10 version 2004 (KB4576754)” in the Update history list.

    As @abbodi86 notes:

    It’s a normal update, can be hidden or postponed with group policy or a metered connection. And it was announced two months ago:

    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/articles/upgrading-to-the-new-microsoft-edge-through-windows-update/m-p/1499724

    As I’ve said before, go ahead and install Chredge. Use Brave or Firefox (or Chrome)… and give Chredge a try when you have some time. It’s OK, but it won’t supplant any of the others for me anytime soon.

  • Windows 95 retail availability 25 years ago today

    Posted on August 24th, 2020 at 07:35 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    August 24, 1995.

  • Moving your kid’s schoolwork from a Chromebook to a Windows PC

    Posted on August 23rd, 2020 at 20:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Chromebooks have a lot of advantages, but the Chromebooks that most school districts hand out tend to be wimpy – little screens (no touch!), tinny sound, cramped keyboards.

    If your student already has a Windows PC, they may fare much better if you can move them from the Chromebook to the PC.

    My fifth grade son and I made the transition over the weekend. So far we haven’t hit any burps. We have full details in Monday’s AskWoody Newsletters (both Plus and Free).

    Have a different setup? Need some help? Here’s where to ask.

    (NOTE: The discussion has been moved here.)