Category : WIndows 10

Microsoft Office 365 User for Azure – Upgrade to Windows10

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So as of May of this year Microsoft is allowing all Office365 (O365) business users to upgrade their local desktop/notebook machines to Windows 10.  This initiative is due to all the features that Windows10 provides and how they integrate to O365.  Windows7 will not be supported post January 22nd, 2020 and this is a great step Microsoft is moving people off a legacy operating system.   If you have Windows devices running Windows 7 Pro, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1 Pro, your Microsoft 365 Business subscription entitles you to a Windows 10 upgrade.  This only applies if you are using AD Business Azure but this is becoming very popular these days for security and authentication.  This cost is $2/user and allows for Microsoft to manage AD through their services platform.

For more information on how to upgrade Windows devices to Windows 10 Pro Creators Update, follow the steps in this topic: Upgrade Windows devices to Windows Pro Creators Update.

 

WaaS! What Windows as a Service means for IT professionals

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Windows as a service means less control for IT professionals. Faster upgrade cycles, single rollup patching, and no more service packs.

Aggressive upgrade cycles means that you can no longer deploy a version of windows and stick with it for 5 or 7 years. The upgrade cycle has shortened dramatically to about 18 months. Now feature updates can be deferred but only for a certain amount of time, and never refused entirely.

Windows 10 Pro was released in February 2016, six months later the Anniversary update (version 1607) was released to the Current Branch (CB) and in November 2016 to the Current Branch for Business (CBB). Business versions are able to defer updates for eight months. Therefore, not even a year and a half later in July 2017, you will be forced to upgrade to version 1607 or later.

The version 1607 tightens the group policy timeline down from eight months to 180 days, with a 60 day grace period at the end. It is expected that businesses will have to upgrade each PC in their organization once a year, which can be difficult for those small business without IT staff, since upgrades often break the functionality with third party applications.

It use to be that patches could be selected, rather than with the new upgrade model that rolls all patches into one. This essentially is forcing the PC to the same base configuration as needed for the new rollup. IT professionals can no longer pick and choose, and uninstall problematic updates. The only option is to delay the update a number of weeks until the next rollup. But this also means delaying critical security fixes as well.

No more service packs means that rolling back an OEM device to factory configuration entails getting it to the latest feature update then installing another large update to get it to current.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post, or to view the original content please visit: www.zdnet.com

Faster Updates Promised for Windows 10 – Creators Update

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Microsoft is already promising big things for the Creators Update. Introducing Unified Update Platform (UUP), Microsoft’s answer to user feedback concerning slowness and drained battery life with Windows 10 updates. The UUP process allows for delivery of smaller files and could reduce the size of the update by 35 percent. The differential download packages ensures that your computer or mobile will only download the changes that have been made since your most recent update, rather than a full Windows build. It is also anticipated that more of the update processing will be moved to the cloud. This should make updating faster for not as powerful mobile devices.

These changes stem from users that wish to see improved battery life, faster updates, control over timings of the updates, less local processing, and reduction of download sizes.

The more streamlined updates through UUP is currently rolling out to developers in the Windows Insider preview program. The rest of us will have to wait till the Windows 10 Creators Update, in 2017.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.pcmag.com

 

Windows 10 Vulnerability – Edge Browser users Safe

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The vulnerability is called Strontium, found in Windows code. Google stumbled across the flaw, and wrote a blog post in late October stating the affects on Adobe’s Flash media player. Google’s policy concerning such critical vulnerabilities is to publish them actively seven days after Google has reported them to the software’s creator.

According to Google, the flaw exists in the Windows kernel and can be used as a “security sandbox escape”. Sandboxes are use in software in order to stop malicious or malfunctioning programs from reaching or otherwise damaging other parts of the machine.

Microsoft has acknowledged the flaw, but also criticized Google for releasing it before a fix was available, stating to a member of VentureBeat,

“We believe in coordinated vulnerability disclosure, and today’s disclosure by Google puts customers at potential risk,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.  “Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible.”

Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson, explained the vulnerability in more detail in his blog post on Tuesday. In order for the computer to be affected with the malware, it must first infiltrate Adobe;s Flash to gain control of the web browser. After which privileges are elevated in order to escape the browser’s sandbox. Finally the malware would be able to install a backdoor to provide access to the victim’s computer.

Those that are using Microsoft Edge browser are protected, as the browser prevents the installing of the backdoor. Everyone else is left to wait for the next available patch to solve the issue, which should be November 8th.

 


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.pcmag.com 

 

Windows 10 PC/Tablets get Instagram app..but with limits

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A little late but none the less, Instagram is available for Windows 10 PCs and tablets! Almost all the features are there, the live feed, stories, notifications, and direct messaging. The biggest feature of all is the ability to view stories and post and edit photos and videos. Not even the web version allows for such features! Sadly, the editing feature is only available on touchscreen PCs and tablets with rear cameras…seriously?

In addition, the formatting of the application is made for such PC/tablets, so when utilized on widescreens the resolution is less than perfect and the wasted space is frustrating.

Odd that an application made for sharing photos and videos would be so limiting on different platforms.


If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.mashable.com 

 

Take Back Privacy with Windows 10

maxresdefault-4Windows 10 offers an option to help protect third parties from tracking your movements based on your connections to Wi-Fi networks. Under Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, turn on the Use random hardware addresses setting. This will keep third parties from matching your Wi-Fi adapter’s hardware address with your personal information, and therefore much more difficult to track your location.

The internet is full of third party ad networks and analytics companies that use cookies and tracking technology to record web movements. This information is usually used to correlate online actions and movements to the things you do away from the internet. Sometimes this can be as harmless as the ads on the bottom of a webpage being that of the product you just googled, or the implications can be be used to discover your offline identity. Regardless, one should be cautious of where all these internet movements lead. Third-party anti-tracking software such as Abine’s Blur will limit the amount of information that such ads can gather. Ad-blocking software can limit such information as well in addition to its purpose of blocking unnecessary ads. Although many advise against leaning on ad-blocking alone, due to the usual close ties between some ad-blocking third-parties and the ads they block. Employ an ad-in to limit your digital footprint however is better than running free range around the internet. Even if it is just a chrome plug in.

Windows 10 Operating System houses information that can be easily used to discover your location. Within Settings > Privacy > Location you will find access to preferences concerning location information. You can use the master toggle at the top of the screen to turn off all location features for all users of the machine. I personally would clear the location history that is saved within this window, if nothing else.

Windows 10 will log a small amount of your information to provide Cortana with a solid knowledge of your preferences so that she may generate suggestions. If you rather take care of yourself without Cortana studying you, you can easily turn her off completely. or navigate her settings.

Under Settings > Privacy > General, click Info about how I write and turn it off so that your typos aren’t used to improve things like the built-in spell checker.

Under Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing, under the Getting to know you heading, click Stop getting to know me to turn off personalization.

Lastly, Settings > Privacy > General. Advertising ID controls whether Microsoft serves personalized ads to ad-supported apps. If you turn this option off, you still get ads, but they’re not personalized. In any case, your information is not shared with advertisers.

A few tricks to give you more of your privacy back.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.zdnet.com

Latest Windows 10 Update Breaks PowerShell

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The latest Microsoft cumulative patch for the Anniversary update had unexpected consequences for PowerShell, the command line shell and scripting language. Notes accompanying the release suggest that this was not unexpected for Microsoft, as the company appears to have known of the implications for PowerShell features when pushing the update. The Windows 10 upgrade has brought a few issues to users, such as frozen screens and broken USB-connected webcams. These two issues have not yet been solved in the KB3176934 (OS Build 14393.82) –for Windows 10 version 1607, also known as the Anniversary Update. However this PowerShell break proves to be the most relevant and recent issues to emerge.

Microsoft explains that the update breaks PowerShell due to a missing MOF file in the build package, and therefore breaks PowerShell Desired State Configuration, a feature used by IT admins to manage enterprise environments.

“All DSC operations will result in an ‘Invalid Property’ error,” Microsoft said. “In addition, due to a missing binary in the build package the update breaks PowerShell implicit remoting. Implicit remoting is a PowerShell feature where PowerShell commands work on a remote session instead of locally. Specifically, importing a remote session no longer works.”  www.zdnet.com 

Microsoft open sourced PowerShell and brought it to Mac OS and Linux distributions just a week ago.

Microsoft expects the PowerShell issues to be resolved with the next update release, today August 30th.


 

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the material presented in this blog post please visit : www.zdnet.com 

Monthly patch rollups for Windows 7, 8.1 start October 2016

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Monthly patch rollups for the Windows 7, 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 operating systems will commence in October 2016. Microsoft will also move the same monthly rollup model for the .NET Framework in October as well.

A rollup is multiple patches, “rolled up” into a single update, replacing individual patches for operating systems. Previous individual patches allowed users and administrators to select the patches they wished to apply, but Microsoft officials say this has led to fragmentation, with different PCs having different sets of updates installed.

“The new rollup model gives you fewer updates to manage, greater predictability, and higher quality updates. The outcome increases Windows operating system reliability, by eliminating update fragmentation and providing more proactive patches for known issues. Getting and staying current will also be easier with only one rollup update required. Rollups enable you to bring your systems up to date with fewer updates, and will minimize administrative overhead to install a large number of updates.” –  Microsoft said in a statement

Security and reliability patches will be included in the rollups, yet Servicing Stack and Adobe Flash updates will not. Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and the Microsoft Update Catalog will have the monthly updates published.

Microsoft’s goal is for the monthly rollups to be fully cumulative, happening as the team adds patches previously released, so users can install the latest single rollup and be up to date.

Windows will release a single Security-only update, including new security patches for each month with individual patches no longer available. The Security update will not be available on Windows Update, but will be available from WSUS, SCCM, and the Microsoft Update Catalog.

 

 

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented int his blog post, please visit : www.zdnet.com

The Last Operating System – Windows 10 Support Till 2026

Win10-Logo-6-780x445Microsoft is moving forward with it’s plans to support Windows 10 as its last operating system by extending the Windows 10 support lifetime to 2026. Microsoft refreshed the Windows support lifecycle database to signal a one-year extension to Windows 10 Enterprise after the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This was designated as an LTSB build, which Microsoft has set to periodically label new upgrades as LTSB so that corporations can update as they wish, with the Anniversary update being supported for 10 years from its release.

Consumer and small business versions such as Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro will remain in support until October 2025 despite being refreshed when the Enterprise was with the Anniversary Update, otherwise known as 1607.

“The addition of a year to Windows 10 Enterprise’s lifetime validated a prediction made more than a year ago by Steve Kleynhans, a Gartner analyst who focuses on Microsoft and its operating system. “At some point [Microsoft] will have to reset the clock to start another 10 years [of support] and mark some kind of stake in the ground,” Kleynhans said in a July 2015 interview.” – Gregg Keizer for Network World

Those who adopted the original LTSB will receive security updates until October 2025. Patches however will have to be obtained with this year’s 1607 rather than the LTSB 1507.

Customers who adopted the original LTSB will receive security updates until October 2025. To obtain patches for the additional year, IT staffers will have to replace LTSB 1507 with this year’s 1607.

“Extending Windows 10 support to 2026 gives credence to Microsoft’s touting the OS as “the last version of Windows,” a phrase that, while perhaps not technically true, was meant to emphasize the software-as-a-service pivot.” – Gregg Keizer for Network World

More information on Windows 10’s support lifecycle can be found on Microsoft’s website, including dates when various versions exit “mainstream” support and when they drop off the support list.

 

 

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.networkworld.com