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  • This month’s Win7 and 8.1 “security only” patches install and activate telemetry systems

    Posted on September 12th, 2019 at 10:31 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Back in July, we discovered that the Win7 security-only patch was installing and activating telemetry (read: snooping) subsystems.

    The August security-only patches didn’t include telemetry, and many of us breathed a sigh of relief.

    Now it looks like the September security-only patches have telemetry once again — and not just for Win7.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Is Microsoft dropping support for the Win 8.1 apps News, Sports, Money, Weather?

    Posted on May 8th, 2019 at 14:32 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Poster BobbyB had problems with his Win8.1 machine this morning:

    Seems the Writings already on the wall for UWP or Metro Apps on Windows 8.1, just for the News App, Weather, Sports, Money… This popped in yesterday when I fired it up.

    Money, Sport and Weather just all displayed the same message on fire up this morning.

    I’ve seen some announcements about the impeding demise of News and Weather. Martin Geuß on the German-language DrWindows.de site has details of a report from one of his readers, @Brawl345, that the announcements appeared in German last week (thx, Dan Thorp-Lancaster at Windows Central). It isn’t clear to me if the messages appeared on a Win8 or 8.1 system.

    Has anybody out there seen similar messages? Can you find an official announcement about the end of life? I sure can’t.

  • MS easing transition from Win7 to Win10 by bringing ATP to Win7

    Posted on February 26th, 2019 at 05:42 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It took ’em a while, but Microsoft is now making ATP ( = Advanced Threat Protection) available to Win7 and 8.1 machines in corporate networks.

    Per Gregg Keizer in Computerworld:

    Windows Defender ATP is a service that detects ongoing attacks on corporate networks, then follows up to investigate the attack or breach and provides response recommendations and attack remediation. Software baked into Windows 10 detects attacks, while a central management console allows IT administrators to monitor the status of covered devices and react if necessary. Adding the EDR client software to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs gives enterprise IT the same visibility into those machines as it has had into Windows 10 systems.

    Windows Defender ATP is a component within the most expensive Windows 10 licenses, such as those provided by the subscription-based Windows 10 Enterprise E5 or Microsoft 365 E5.

    The decision to add devices powered by those operating systems [Win7, 8.1] was first announced a year ago.

    Think of ATP on Win7 as a way to ease the migration from Win7 to Win10 in large enterprise networks. Most of you won’t be concerned.

  • Windows 8.1 is an excellent choice

    Posted on November 7th, 2018 at 09:13 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    More interesting mail this morning:

    My clients are frustrated with [unexpected and frequently destructive Win10 patches] and I don’t have a good answer other than one I have chosen myself. I moved my personal computers, except for one laptop back to Windows 8.1 as it seems to be clear of the update mess and it has update support for about 4 years. Do you recommend this as a solution to individuals who don’t care to know that Microsoft screwed up, they just don’t want their Windows 10 computer to have to be repaired again via a clean install of Windows and then manually reinstall all applications and user data? I don’t know anyway to protect them from unrequested updates that may then cause their machine to not boot. Telling them to backup is beyond the skill of most average computer users and even if so, how would you know when to do a backup as the updates happen in the background without warning.

    Excellent question.

    Windows 8.1 remains the most stable version of Windows — even more stable, of late, than Win7, and considerably more stable than any Win10 version. It has the fewest patches, the fewest bugs. You can block updates until you’re ready to install them (hopefully with an eye to the AskWoody MS-DEFCON setting). General usability ain’t much, but if you install a Start menu replacement like Start10 or Classic Shell (now open source), it’s fine.

    I’d say get ’em on Win 8.1, and gradually move them over to Chromebooks. Any dissenting opinions?