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  • Are you still running Win10 version 1803? Microsoft’s pushing hard to get you to 1903

    Posted on October 21st, 2019 at 07:35 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    But you don’t have to take it.

    If you’re running Win10 Pro (or Education), you can manually move to Win10 version 1809. It’s easy.

    Detailed instructions in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    Thx Terry!

  • Microsoft is enabling Win10 version 1903 “Tamper Protection”

    Posted on October 15th, 2019 at 07:50 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yesterday, Microsoft program manager Shweta Jha posted an announcement on the Microsoft Tech Community blog, saying that a feature called “Tamper protection” has reached general availability for Win10 version 1903. Permit me to parse that sentence:

    • Tamper protection is a switch that prevents programs from altering Defender security settings. (You may be surprised to know that programs can alter Defender settings.)
    • General availability in this case means that Microsoft will be turning on the switch on updated Win10 version 1903 machines. The precise mechanism for turning it on isn’t described, and we don’t explicitly know which build number will be required, but “We’re currently turning on the feature gradually; some customers will start seeing the setting on their devices.”

    To me, the rollout sounds a whole lot like the remote feature enabling we’ve been warned about in Win10 version 1909, which is due next month.

    At any rate, the feature sounds worthwhile (should I say “long overdue”?) and it’s easy to set manually if you’re so inclined.

    For details, Lawrence Abrams at BleepingComputer has a good rundown.

  • Dona Sarkar leaving Windows Insider program, moving to Dev Relations for “Power Platform and tech skilling”

    Posted on October 7th, 2019 at 11:17 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Update: Mary Jo Foley has some details on ZDNet.

    Paul Thurrott nails it:

    The Windows Insider Program plays an outsized role in how Microsoft enthusiasts interact with the company, but it has, unfortunately, had little positive impact on the quality of Windows 10.

    Hey, 17 million beta testers can’t all be wrong, can they? Or can they?

  • Surface Neo and Duo – coming a year from now

    Posted on October 2nd, 2019 at 10:46 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I just finished watching the Surface presentation. Most of it was ho-hum, well anticipated (thanks, Evan!), and kind of repetitive. The Surface Pro X (with an ARM chip) is moderately interesting. Mary Jo Foley has details, availability and pricing on ZDNet.

    But then the presentation ended with a bang. Microsoft is finally bringing out the almost-decade-old concept of a mobile machine with side-by-side screens, called Andromeda, er, Surface Neo. Along with Surface Neo, we’ll also get a tweaked version of Win10 called Windows 10 Lite, er, Windows Core OS, uh, Windows 10 X, that supports two interacting side-by-side screens with a hinge in the middle.

    Details are scarce, but Paul Thurrott has a speculative article about Win10X (paywalled). No, Win10X isn’t the son of Win10 in S Mode. (No, Windows 10 X does not run on Surface Pro X. What, you expected any different? UPDATE: The Surface Pro X also isn’t compatible with TypeCovers.)

    That’s kind of cool, albeit a year out. What’s really interesting is the Android phone that Microsoft’s going to deliver in about a year: the Surface Duo. Yes, that’s right: It’s an Android phone, er, device with two side-by-side, interacting and folding screens with a hinge in the middle. Details in Wired.

    As folks get their hands on working prototypes, we’ll have lots more coverage. For now, sit tight. We’ll have lots to discuss as the details hit the fan.

  • Win10’s usage share is up — but not by all that much

    Posted on October 1st, 2019 at 07:42 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Numbers are out for September usage of the various operating systems. Here’s the Netmarketshare analysis, showing Win7 still holds 35% a little under 30% usage share:

    Of course, my standard disclaimer applies: None of the measuring methods is very good. The only real conclusion you can reach by looking at the numbers is to compare how they change from month to month.

    Still, with four months left to go, Win7 is hanging in there pretty well, eh?

  • Three known bugs in the latest build of Win10 version 1903

    Posted on September 27th, 2019 at 11:26 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft is supposed to be keeping us informed of bugs in Win10 versions, and you’d think they’d be particularly on-the-spot about following up on bug reports in the newly christened “ready for broad deployment” version of their flagship product.


    I know of three bugs — all documented on this site — that bedevil both the current release of Win10 version 1903, build 18362.387, and its predecessor, the undistributed 18362.357:

    • The latest versions of Win10 1903 block installation of .NET 3.5. You may scoff that it’s an old version of .NET, but at least one large package — part of the ERP package known as SAP — requires .NET 3.5. Per Günter Born:

    [.NET 3.5] installation fails with the error:

    Microsoft-Windows-NetFx3-OnDemand-Package: 0x800f0954

    I installed the updated Sept 2019 Cumulative Update for Win10 x64 [1903] and it broke me printing to a network HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M180NW… What happens in my case is the screen will flash, I hear the printer start, but then nothing. And then Windows closes any open windows. Almost like Windows Explorer restart. Job is not being held in the queue, printer is not offline (but HP software monitor says it is), this is a network printer I am testing on.

    • The latest versions of Win10 1903 trigger black screens when running RDP. Per an anonymous poster:

    We have HP z2 g4 mini PCs – Windows 10 Pro 1903 – we have installed the updates above and we still get a black screen on remote desktop. We tried changing the systems we are remoting to to use the MS Basic Display Driver but that did not resolve the issue. Rebooting allows the system to work for an unknown amount of time before it stops working again until the next reboot.

    And confirmation, again anonymously:

    I installed KB4517211 (OS Build 18362.387) and still have the RDP black screen on HP EliteDesk 800 G5 SFF and HP 800 G3 Mini desktops. I ran HP SDM on both models to ensure all OEM drivers are current as of 9/27.

    Those last two may be driver problems — hard to say — but a “ready for broad distribution” build shouldn’t trigger new bugs in longstanding drivers, eh?

    In all cases, rolling back the latest updates fixes the problem.

  • Windows 10 version 1903 declared “ready for broad deployment”

    Posted on September 27th, 2019 at 06:39 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yes, you read that right.

    In spite of the horribly fumbled CVE-2019-1367 IE patch. In spite of the known bugs. Microsoft is recommending that businesses go ahead with the Win10 1903 rollout.

    The gods must be crazy.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Patch Lady – the optional 1903 that includes the IE patch is out

    Posted on September 26th, 2019 at 16:44 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    …and I’m not installing it.  Which is saying a lot since I’m an Enterprise Security MVP and normally understand why Microsoft does what they do to keep us safe even though I don’t agree with it all the time.

    Microsoft just released

    And released a servicing stack update

    For those keeping track this is the “D” week release, meaning it’s optional…. HOWEVER…. this INCLUDES the out of band IE update released on 9/23 which was not released on Windows update or WSUS and is only available on the catalog site.  There are two side effects that have been noted and reproduced by several on the patching community (can’t install .net 3.5, and early reports of printing issues).   Support cases are still in the process of being set up so it will take a bit of time to get these documented as known issues or at least better understood if there are interactions going on with something else.

    I still can’t figure out why the out of band update is NOT on Windows update or WSUS and if Microsoft is THAT worried about it being a risk for all of us, then I’d say they need to get their act together and fix WU and WSUS as deployment mechanisms.

    This time I do not understand why Microsoft is not doing what they should do if they truly think we are at risk.  All they have done is let the attackers get the ability to understand the vulnerability and have not done their part to keep the masses safe from this risk.  Given that I do not see evidence of anything but targeted specific attacks and not rank and file mass attacks, I’m recommending that you not install anything that includes these out of band IE updates at this time.

    In the meantime, I too am starting to sound more and more like … “hey… you there.. get off my lawn”