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.
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
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
Now that ransomware is on the brain, a few crooks posing as tech support are tailoring their skills to work the system. A lock screen appears on your PC and claims that a users Windows license has expired and to simply call the tech support number provided in order to quickly and effortlessly solve the problem. A fake Microsoft technician answers the line and is more than happy to help, if you are willing to pay the price.
Users will see a lock screen appear on their machine that truly resembles a genuine Microsoft program. After the program installs it waits patiently for the user to restart the PC. After the restart the program activates and sequentially takes over the desktop and displays a highly sophisticated Windows Update screen. Unrecognizable to the naked eye that this is in fact ransomware.
After the program activation, the infected PC will display a screen that tells the user the desktop has been made effectively disabled because of an expired license key, with the computer name being taken from the victims actual PC. Now that the PC is locked, the user thinks they are doing the right thing by calling the number provided and talking to who they think is a tech support working for Microsoft.
Malwarebytes called the number, and a fake Microsoft technician revealed a hidden functionality. Hitting Ctrl+Shift+T would bring up a built-in installer for TeamViewer. The tech support scammer on the other end of the call refused to give much more information without the $250 to unlock the PC, which of course, Malwarebytes did not pay.
If a user refused to pay the fee requested, they would have little resources to fix the machine on their own. Fortunately, security researchers have found a small loop hole. Discovered by @TheWack0lian, Ctrl+Shift+S will allow users to kill the winlocker without touching the contents of their machine. The hardcoded values “h7c9-7c67-jb” or “g6r-qrp6-h2” or “yt-mq-6w” can be entered as the product key. These may work to unlock the machine, but is not a fix across the board as they will not work for all versions of the lockers.
If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Ransomware-like tech support scam locks screen, labels Windows product key as invalid
It appears Microsoft is trying to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 by finally pulling the plug on Windows 7 and 8.1. Well. Sorta.
The painstaking process of adapting older operating systems to Intel’s revolutionary architecture lead to the initial decision to withdraw support for 7 and 8.1 in 2017. Users have until July 17,2017 to upgrade. If the upgrade is not made, users will only receive security fixes deemed as most critical. After this date only users working with Windows 10 will receive the most recent updates, patches, tweaks, and fixes. As you can imagine this irked consumers wishing to stay with older operating systems. This is the first time Microsoft has somewhat become demanding of its customers when it comes to making the switch to Windows 10.
Jeremy Korst, general manager of Windows marketing, reveals the shortened life span is “designed to help consumers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage migrations to Windows 10” . This makes sense considering upgrading to Windows 10 on Skylake devices ensures users are able to access the latest and greatest in terms of modern hardware and software.
Korst also explains in a blog post the obvious advantage of running Skylake on Windows 10, “Compared to Windows 7 PC’s, Skylake when combined with Windows 10, enables up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life.”
The end of life date for Windows 7 is January 14, 2020 and January 10, 2023 for Windows 8. The delayed deadline should hopefully make the transition smoother for customers. Another year will be allowed for Skylake to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 while still receiving all major windows updates. Microsoft is also enhancing its overall policy to promise more security updates, in case the deadline alone doesn’t convince users to make the switch to Windows 10.
If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:
BVA looks at several notebooks and Ultrabooks in the technology market and there is a new one that I felt we should take note of. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Laptop is light weight, comes in different colors, and come with many different options of resources and disk space. All come with the 4th generation Intel chip with I5 and I7 as options. All come with Microsoft Windows 8.1 with a 13 inch display and solid state drives from 256GB to 512GB.
There was a recent comment on ExtremeTech’s website that indicates researches at the university of Washington are able to turn and LCD screen into a touchscreen using a cheap $5 sensor. It apparently is rather efficient as well, detecting multi touch. This is a big deal considering the recent Windows 8 touch screen push by Microsoft. It could make the new touch screen items much more practical so you don’t have to buy a new computer or screen.
My husband who is a programmer recently asked me how he could remote into his desktop pc when he was sitting in bed working on his laptop. This is a common utility I use whenever I’m working at home on my laptop and use my desktop to store most of my media. Here are the simple steps to do this when your at home and need to reach another pc on your home network:
1 – Enable Remote Desktop: to do this you simply right click on the COMPUTER icon found either on your desktop on from the Start Menu and select Properties.
2 – A window will open, from there click on Advanced System Settings
3 – Click on the Remote tab and under Remote Desktop select the second radio button… All connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)
4 – Select users
5 – Make sure your username is listed and give yourself full access
Now go to the computer you will be using the Remote Desktop Connection client on…
6 – Open up Remote Desktop connection and enter the computer you want to connect to IP address or name.
7 – Enter your username and password. If you not on the same workgroup, please enter the computer name followed by the backslash (geinadgeina where geinad was the computer name and geina was the username).
Toshiba Satellite U925T-S2300 Ultrabook™ Convertible
A client recently asked me for a laptop that was light weight, easy to travel with, and fast. She also asked if an iPad could replace the work she did on a laptop. My answer to this question is generally no. There are just some things iPads can’t do, get over it and move on. I consider what she wanted to do and with the introduction of Windows 8 and touch screen laptops, I found what I thought was the perfect solution for her.
The Toshiba Satellite U925T-S2300 Ultrabook™ Convertible. This is 12.5″ laptop, that converts into a tablet. It has an i5 processor, 128GB SSD, and 4gb of RAM. The machine is quite fast. The touchscreen is ultra responsive, and my client loves it!!! She’s able to do the presentations she wants, she can carry it on the go, and much more. I wasn’t worried about the screen size as she generally hooks up to the 24″ external monitor to work on anyway so she was good to go!.
Windows 8 – Easy Reinstall
Reinstalling Windows used to be a pain because you had to find all your cd’s, dvd’s, product keys and whatever backups you have of your software and or data. Simply re-installing and getting operational again could easily take you more than a day. Windows 8 has streamlined the whole process, making it much easier for you, in less time as well.
First go to the Change PC Settings link from the Settings page. Under the General Tab, you’ll find you can “Refresh your PC” or “Remove everything.” Select the first option to restore Windows to its factory setting while leaving your personal documents, files and personalizations intact. If Windows is running sluggishly, or there’s a problem with the OS settings, or something has gone wrong with your hardware/software setup, then this is the choice to go for.
Using the second option performs a full reinstall, clearing out all your files and wiping the hard drive (so you’ll need to make sure you have everything backed up). Use this when you have a serious problem with Windows (such as a virus or a ton of spyware) and want to go back to square one.