Microsoft

Wed
31
Mar
John Lister's picture

Optional Windows Update Fixes Host Of Problems

Microsoft has released an optional update for Windows 10. It's arguably only worth installing for users who've suffered the specific glitches it fixes. The update, KB5000842, is available for Windows 10 versions 2004 and 20H2, meaning any machine ... that received either of the two major feature updates from last year. It's an optional update as it contains fixes which will then roll out in next month's automatic update. That means there's still a degree of testing with these fixes, which makes for a bit of a gamble given how often a Microsoft fix for one problem appears to cause another problem ... (view more)

Mon
08
Mar
John Lister's picture

MS to Fix Broken Windows Update with New Rollout

Microsoft is trying a new method for releasing and managing Windows 10 updates. The aim is to reduce the number of bugs where an update doesn't install properly. The plan involves combining two types of updates: cumulative and servicing stack ... updates, which were previously released separately. The cumulative update contains new content and fixes for Windows. Cumulative refers to the way the updates are designed to be downloaded and installed in order, meaning each individual update can be a relatively small file size. Unfortunately, the cumulative updates are also part of the reason Windows ... (view more)

Tue
02
Feb
John Lister's picture

Hotmail, Outlook Email Limits Force $70/yr Fee

Long-time Hotmail and Outlook users may face a choice between seeing old messages deleted or paying $70 a year. Microsoft is legitimately enforcing storage limits but critics say it didn't do enough to remind users they were approaching those ... limits. The policy affects users of Outlook.com, with those most likely to be affected being Hotmail users that migrated over back in 2013 when Hotmail closed. As part of the move, users could keep their old Hotmail address, but were subject to a 15GB storage limit as with all other Outlook users. That includes both sent and received messages and file ... (view more)

Tue
12
Jan
John Lister's picture

100M Users Still Using Windows 7

As many as 100 million PCs could still be running Windows 7 according to a newly-published estimate. That's despite Microsoft withdrawing support for the 11-year old system last year. The estimate comes from Ed Bott of ZDNet and is based on data ... published at analytics.usa.gov. That brings together site visitor data from most US government agencies. It means the figures will primarily represent visitors from the United States. (Source: zdnet.com ) Bott notes that across the agencies, 8.5 per cent of visitors in the past 90 days were running Windows 7 and 3.4 percent running Windows 8 or 8.1. ... (view more)

Thu
31
Dec
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Free Upgrade 'Still Available'

A free Microsoft offer to upgrade to Windows 10 was supposed to expire in 2016. However, it appears the upgrade still works, with claims the deadline was simply a marketing ploy. With Windows 10 released in the middle of 2015, the free upgrade offer ... was advertised as running for a year. It was available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, with most getting an upgrade to the Windows 10 Home edition. Those running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 8.1 Pro could upgrade to the Windows 10 Pro edition. As most people either upgraded in the first year or decided to give Windows 10 a ... (view more)

Wed
23
Dec
John Lister's picture

New Win10 Patch Causes Blue Screen of Death

A Windows 10 update causing problems is no surprise, but the two latest glitches will be familiar to long-time users. Both can lead to the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death," indicating a significant problem. The first problem affects users who run the ... built-in CHKDSK utility, which scans hard drives to look for errors. It appears that running "chkdsk /f" via command line (after the new KB4592438 patch has been applied) can cause the file system to corrupt, which then might result in Windows not able to boot at all. Microsoft says a fix has already been rolled out through an automatic ... (view more)

Wed
09
Dec
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Updates Update Strategy

Microsoft is rethinking the way it releases new features through Windows Update. New "Feature Experience Packs" will come out separately to the two major updates each year. The idea is to use the packs to release features and updates for tools that ... fall into a gray area where they aren't an integral part of the Windows 10 operating system itself, but aren't really applications in their own right. The packs will be released as and when they are ready. That opens up the possibility that these "unscheduled" updates could also be used for improvements and fixes to Windows itself without having to ... (view more)

Thu
03
Dec
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Rethinks 'Employer Snooping' Feature

Microsoft is rewriting a "Productivity Score" feature that businesses could have used to monitor staff performance. The data will now be only available in aggregated form. The feature is designed for IT and network administrators in businesses that ... use Microsoft 365, the subscription version of what was once known as the Office suite. The idea is that the administrators can get a better idea of which features are being used most, which would show where IT administrators might need to focus support. Individual User Data Revealed The problem was that the feature showed these figures on an ... (view more)

Wed
18
Nov
John Lister's picture

MS Pushes Edge with Full Screen Ads in Win10

Microsoft is reportedly testing full-screen "ads" to try to persuade Windows 10 users to run the Edge browser. There may be no easy way to stop them appearing. The messages are being displayed to some users after the most recent Windows 10 updates. ... They appear to be part of an A/B test in which two groups of users are shown different versions of an ad or message to see how the response differs. (Source: techradar.com ) Ad Appears After Update The ads will reportedly appear on machines with Chrome or Firefox as the default browser in three circumstances: When a user sets up a new Windows ... (view more)

Tue
17
Nov
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Tackles Video Call Background Noise

Microsoft is releasing a tool that uses artificial intelligence to block out background noise during video calls. The Microsoft Teams tool aims to distinguish between human speech and other sources of sound. The need for such a tool will have grown ... for many users this year given the increase in those working from home. Previously, videoconferencing was more commonly associated with business settings where staff could make calls in ideal settings such as dedicated meeting rooms with no sources of unwanted sounds. Now, many people are using the same videoconferencing software in conditions ... (view more)

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