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  • Microsoft Surface reliability problem: It’s more than hardware and software

    Posted on August 10th, 2017 at 10:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Consumer Reports yanked the “Recommended” imprimatur for Surface devices — but Microsoft’s Surface service should be sent to the woodshed, too.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Surface Pro Type Cover suddenly stops working

    Posted on August 10th, 2017 at 06:34 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m seeing more and more reports of borked SP3 and SP4 Type Cover keyboards, likely linked to last month’s firmware/driver updates

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    UPDATE: According to Reuters, Consumer Reports has just removed the “recommended” designation for all Surface products.

    The non-profit publication surveyed 90,000 tablet and laptop owners and found that an estimated 25 percent of those with Microsoft Surface devices would be presented with “problems by the end of the second year of ownership,” according to a study published on Thursday.

    Why does that not surprise me?

  • Windows as a Service in a nutshell, explained

    Posted on August 10th, 2017 at 05:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft just posted a succinct, accurate description of the new “Semi-Annual Channel” terminology, but there are a few important loose ends

    Computerworld Woody on Windows

    UPDATE: @teroalhonen, on Twitter, just published the group policy settings for the Windows Update policy in the Fall Creators Update version 1709/1710.

  • 10 tricks to get Win10 Creators Update buttoned up and locked down

    Posted on August 9th, 2017 at 06:49 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    General advice for taking control of Win10 version 1703.

    Computerworld feature.

  • A progress report on Win7 “Service Pack 2”

    Posted on August 9th, 2017 at 05:53 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A year ago, Microsoft promised that it would roll all of its Windows 7 post-SP1 updates together and release them along with the monthly Win7 cumulative rollups. It’s effectively a “Service Pack 2” released in stages.

    Microsoft’s ill-fated KB 3125574, released fourteen months ago, tried but failed to bring together all of the older patches.

    I had a chance to go through the catalog entries for the past few Win7 cumulative rollups, and it looks like Microsoft’s making some progress — although the pace has stalled.

    The catalog entry for this month’s Win7 cumulative rollup, KB 4034664, says it replaces 76 updates, some of which go back years. That’s far from a slam-dunk of all post-SP1 patches, but it’s a decent start — especially if the updates work without stomping all over each other.

    If you’re curious, here’s a copy of the two latest “replaces” lists, in a spreadsheet.

  • Lots and lots of patches

    Posted on August 8th, 2017 at 13:31 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Martin Brinkmann at gHacks just posted his usual comprehensive list:

    • Windows 7:  9 vulnerabilities of which 2 are rated critical, 7 important
    • Windows 8.1: 11 vulnerabilities of which 4 are rated critical, 7 important
    • Windows 10 version 1703: 14 vulnerabilities of which 5 are rated critical, 9 important
    • Internet Explorer 11: 8  vulnerabilities, 7 critical, 1 important
    • Microsoft Edge: 28 vulnerabilities, 21 critical,  7 important, 1 moderate
    • And a new Security Advisory 4038556 regarding the WebBrowser Control

    The Security Portal lists 130 separate security patches issued between August 4 and 8.

    Win10 version 1703 Creators Update KB 4034674 goes up to build 15063.540. Five bug patches and a big bunch of security updates.

    Win10 version 1607 Anniversary Update KB 4034658 goes up to build 14393.1593. One bug fix, one fix to a bug introduced in the June update, and the security patches.

    Nine June 13 patches for Edge were re-released on August 4. This one, for example. No idea why.

    16 new Office patches. Haven’t yet had a chance to double-check the new list of August 1 patches with our old list (which had to be modified because the original list from Microsoft was wrong).

    As usual, I recommend that you sit and wait until the complaints start rolling in.

    UPDATE: There’s a slightly more usable aggregation of the security bulletins by Johannes Ullrich on the SANS Internet Storm Center.

    Also worth noting: There are no known exploits for any of the security patches.

  • Search engine market share – Bing and Yahoo neck-and-neck

    Posted on August 8th, 2017 at 08:02 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Add this to the long list of things I didn’t know.

    A tweet from @teroalhonnen led me to poke around the usage statistics for web search engines. Of course, Google’s far out in front. But I didn’t realize that Bing and Yahoo are neck-and-neck. Yahoo, for heaven’s sake.

    Statcounter says in July, Google ran 92% of market share, Bing was 2.55% and Yahoo 2.23%.

    The big Chinese search engine Baidu (which is probably underrepresented in the results) came in at 1.44% and Russian giant Yandex (also likely underrepresented) was 0.89%. Remember that Statcounter only tallies hits on web sites that it monitors, and, unlike Netmarketshare, doesn’t try to jiggle the figures for parts of the world that it doesn’t cover so well.

    Bing’s been on a downhill spiral for the past five years. In July 2012, its share stood at 2.96%. In July 2014, it ran all the way up to 3.84%. Last month’s 2.55% was the lowest score ever.

    This in spite of the fact that Bing’s the default search engine — and bloody difficult to change — on Edge in particular, and all versions of Windows 10 in general.

  • Patch Tuesday cumulative update for Win10 1607 has arrived early

    Posted on August 8th, 2017 at 06:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’re really chomping at the bit, the Microsoft Update catalog now contains:

    2017-08 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x86-based Systems (KB4038220)

    2017-08 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems (KB4038220)

    both of which, per WZor, knock the version number up to 14393.1537.

    Prahmad Singh on the Sihmar blog says:

    The new update will fix multiple issues including an issue in the Mobile Device Manager Enterprise feature to allow headsets to work correctly. The new patch will also fix a reliability issue when playing specific types of spatial sound content.

    No other details at this point.

    Thx to Günter Born.