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  • Microsoft Casual: It ain’t all fun ’n’ games

    Posted on May 3rd, 2021 at 01:04 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    New shoot-’em-up and twitch videogames get all the attention, but lots of people still like good ol’ strategy games, such as Solitaire and Minesweeper.

    Microsoft removed its games from Windows 8, but they’re just lightly hidden in Windows 10. In addition, the whole Microsoft Casual Games package is downloadable — and boy, are people having problems.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.16.0 (2021-05-03).

  • How to control the privacy of your Microsoft account

    Posted on May 3rd, 2021 at 01:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    You can review and manage a host of privacy settings and collected data for your Microsoft account via a dedicated account website.

    I know that some Windows users shy away from creating a Microsoft account because they’re concerned about the software giant siphoning up too much information about them. That’s certainly a valid concern. Like other tech companies, Microsoft will track many of your activities to “customize your experience” but also, sadly, to serve you targeted ads and other content.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.16.0 (2021-05-03).

  • New PC? Lost your Microsoft account password?

    Posted on April 26th, 2021 at 01:10 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.15 • 2021-04-26


    Ben Myers

    By Ben Myers

    If your dog ate your Microsoft account credentials, Microsoft will welcome you to the tenth circle of hell.

    You probably don’t want to hear this, because you’ve been nagged this way before; but make sure you have a safe record of your user credentials for every online account you maintain. Just do it.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.15.0 (2021-04-26).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.15.F (2021-04-26).

  • 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.

  • Microsoft security’s unseemly jab at Google

    Posted on October 19th, 2017 at 08:29 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    In yesterday’s Windows Security blog post Browser security beyond sandboxing, Microsoft’s Jordan Rabet (part of the “Microsoft Offensive Security Research team” – no, I didn’t make that up) took aim at Google. There’s a whole lot of technical discussion about the superiority of Edge in that article. There’s also a deep dig at Google.

    Catalin Cimpanu at Bleepingcomputer boils it down:

    The problem that Rabet pointed out was that the fix for the bug they reported was pushed to the V8 GitHub repository, allowing attackers to potentially reverse engineer the patch and discover the source of the vulnerability.

    It didn’t help that it took Google three more days to push the fix to the Chromium project and the Chrome browser, time in which an attacker could have exploited the flaw.

    Taking into account that this happened in mid-September, Microsoft had no reason to detail a bug in a Chrome version that’s not even current. Chrome 62 is the latest Chrome version.

    Paul Thurrott has a great article, turning Microsoft’s old words against itself.

    What Microsoft should have done is take the high ground. Do the right thing for your shared customers and just shut up about it. But it didn’t.

    It’s time for both sides to grow up and work together. Take potshots at each other, sure. But not over security.

    If you’re interested in browser security, I suggest you read it.

  • Important information about end of service

    Posted on June 10th, 2017 at 04:31 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Several weeks ago, had a search trawling issue which caused some concern.

    Microsoft have now announced their decision to shut, with six months’ notice that all content will be deleted.

    Microsoft’s service to be discontinued

    Microsoft is retiring the service on Friday, December 15, 2017 and we are hereby advising all users to move their existing content to other file storage and sharing platforms as soon as possible, as will no longer be available after this date.

    Martin Brinkmann has posted an article on
    Microsoft to shut down on December 15, 2017

  • Microsoft offers $8.5 B for What?

    Posted on May 10th, 2011 at 22:42 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m still shaking my head.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch.

  • AOL and Yahoo making Googlie eyes

    Posted on October 14th, 2010 at 22:11 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As you read this, Yahoo’s stock may be soaring. Or maybe not. Wait ten minutes and check again.

    Recent activity seems to reflect a Wall Street Journal report that AOL (remember the company that makes almost half of its US revenue by selling dial-up internet access?) and a bunch of high power venture vult… er, private equity firms “are exploring making an offer to buy Yahoo.”

    Yahoo stock’s meteoric rise appears to have started before that report hit the stands, fueled no doubt by insider tea leaf reading and ESP. Or something else.

    When I saw the headlines, I first remembered Microsoft’s failed attempt to take over Yahoo, back in December 2008. Microsoft offered more than $45 billion. Yahoo fought back, successfully shunned Microsoft’s advances and, under a new CEO, ultimately saw its market capitalization fall to less than $20 billion. As Kara Swisher reports in her BoomTown blog, three top Yahoo execs recently left for greener pastures, and CEO Carol Bartz is feeling the pressure.

    To make things more interesting, AOL – remember, they’re the big fish swallowing $20 billion Yahoo – has a market cap of less than $3 billion.

    Yahoo’s more than a dial-up internet portal, though, and its investments make a potential takeover a prickly proposition.

    Start with business affiliations. The enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend camp at Microsoft has forged an alliance with Yahoo in which Microsoft’s Bing drives Yahoo’s search. As a unified force, under a ten-year contract, Yahoo and Microsoft are taking on Google for search engine market share. (Details in my post earlier today.)

    AOL’s search engine, though, is tied to Google, with a five year contract that started just last month.

    Here’s where it gets complicated.

    Yahoo owns 35% or so of Yahoo Japan. The majority shareholder of Yahoo Japan is SoftBank. (If you’ve been in the business for a while, you may recall that Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank, once owned all of US magazine publisher Ziff-Davis.) That’s a bit, uh, touchy because Yahoo Japan recently joined with Google to corner Japan’s search advertising market place. Microsoft’s suing Yahoo Japan over the snub.

    Contrariwise, Yahoo owns 40% of China’s Alibaba, the pre-eminent Asian online business-to-business site. Yesterday, Microsoft and Alibaba announced a grand plan to take over China’s number-one search engine Baidu, launching a new “shopping search engine” called Etao. You may recall that Google and the Chinese government had something of a, shall we say, falling out, which left Baidu with more than 70% of the search engine market in the Middle Kingdom.

    Alibaba tried to buy back its 40% stake, but Yahoo wouldn’t sell, and relationships between the two are said to be sour. That’s the polite way to put it.

    So Google-affiliated AOL’s rumored to be going after nine-times-larger Microsoft-affiliated Yahoo, which owns 35% of a Japanese company being sued by Microsoft and 40% of a possibly-alienated Chinese company that just started a new venture with Microsoft.

    To make it more complicated, many people believe that Yahoo’s most significant assets (some would say “only” significant long-term assets) are its stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba.

    Keep that in mind as you follow the machinations of the stock market this week.

  • Microsoft plus Adobe: do the math

    Posted on October 14th, 2010 at 20:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I have a fun post on Infoworld Tech Watch, for those of you gullible enough to fall for the Microsoft + Adobe rumors.

  • Microsoft plus Adobe: Do the math

    Posted on October 8th, 2010 at 21:49 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Will Microsoft swallow Adobe? There are some efficiencies of scale.

    Strap on your hip boots and mosey over to my Infoworld Tech Watch blog.

  • Yahoo gets Binged

    Posted on July 29th, 2009 at 21:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As expected, Microsoft and Yahoo just issued a joint announcement that explains how Microsoft will provide the search engine and Yahoo will sell the ads in the brave new world of second place search.

    Details here.

  • Microsoft too big to fail – asks for $20 Billion

    Posted on April 2nd, 2009 at 09:27 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    OK. I couldn’t resist.

    Check out the InfoWorld article, and be sure you make note of the filing date.