Tag: Windows 10

Microsoft boosts Windows 10 upgrade savings claims

Microsoft has boosted its claim of how much enterprises can save by deploying Windows 10 by 28 percent.

The revised estimate came from a Microsoft-commissioned analysis first done in mid-2016 by Forrester Research.

Forrester said the per-worker savings over a three-year stretch would be $404. To reach that number, the research firm interviewed four Microsoft customers that had begun moving to Windows 10, then modelled a hypothetical organization with 24,000 Windows devices, and a large number of mobile workers among the 20,000 employees.  It then divided that number by its shoe size and multiplied it by the cheque that Microsoft had given it.

Using that pretend company, Forrester forecast the difference between running Windows 10 and retaining Windows 7.

Late last year, Forrester interviewed another quartet of Windows early 10 adopters, then added that data to what it had originally.

The new per-employee savings: $515 over three years, a jump of almost a third. Forrester’s increase in the number of mobile workers — the total climbed by 460 employees — was the biggest factor in the changed estimate.

Forrester and Microsoft said that the migration to Windows 10 would pay for itself in 14 months.

The report says IT administrators “estimate a 20per cent improvement in management time, as Windows 10 requires less IT time to install, manage, and support with in-place deployment and more self-service functions”, while because of the OSs security software, security events requiring IT remediation are reduced or avoided by 33 percent.

Microsoft sued over Windows 10

Three people in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that its Windows 10 update destroyed their data and damaged their computers.

The complaint, filed in Chicago’s US District Court, claimed that Vole’s Windows 10’s installer was a defective product, and that its maker failed to provide adequate warning about the potential risks posed by Windows 10 installation.

The attorneys representing the trio are seeking to have the case certified as a class action that includes every person in the US who upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and suffered data loss or damage to software or hardware within 30 days of installation.

They claim there are hundreds or thousands of affected individuals.

Microsoft responded that they’d offered free customer service and other support options for “the upgrade experience,” adding “We believe the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit”.

The complaint argues Windows 10’s installer “does not check the condition of the PC and if the hard drive can withstand the stress of the Windows 10 installation”.

The lead plaintiff says her hard drive failed after Windows 10 installed without her express approval, and she had to buy a new computer.

Microsoft fixes huge Windows 10 bug

bugSoftware King of the World, Microsoft has fixed a rather juicy security flaw in its Windows 10 operating system, which it found only last week.

The security flaw itself allowed for attackers to take advantage of privilege settings which would allow them to potentially install and run applications. Apparently Russian hackers were already taking advantage of the situation. Vole said the security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows.

“The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to an affected system and runs a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerabilities and take control of an affected system. This security update is rated Important for all supported releases of Windows. The security update addresses the vulnerabilities by correcting how the Windows kernel-mode driver handles objects in memory.”

The security update should have already installed in the background on most Windows 10 devices. If not, an update can be force by opening up Settings, Update & security, and clicking on ‘Check for updates’.

Microsoft bins Windows 7 and 8.1

Windows 10Software King of the World Microsoft has consigned its Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to silicon heaven.

Vole stopped providing copies of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 licences to OEMs which means that you should not be able to find one in the shops.

Two years ago, Microsoft stopped selling Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Ultimate licenses to OEMs. With Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 out of the picture Windows 10 is the only remaining option.  Unless you want Linux.

The Windows Lifecycle chart for sales doesn’t have an end date for Windows 10, since that operating system doesn’t have a successor.

Mainstream Support for Windows 7 ended on January 13, 2015 while Mainstream Support for Windows 8.1 will end on January 9, 2018.  In theory Windows 10 will still get it until October 13, 2020.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update, released in August 2016 and a new version, the Windows 10 Creators Update, is slated to arrive in “early 2017”.

Windows 10 update is stuffed again

turkey_with_apples_-_croppedrszSoftware King of the World Microsoft has packed off another Windows 10 update which broke some users’ PCs.

Update KB3194496, is not installing correctly and when it fails some machines are forced to restart, often multiple times. Apparently this is because  Windows 10 has problems getting rid of the failed update. Worse, after a restart, the file will attempt to install again resulting in the loop of failed install, reboot, re-install and failure again.

Oddly the cumulative update did install correctly on the second or third attempt while others have said that it fails every time.

What is also weird is that the bug was reported before the update was released, but for some reason Vole issued it anyway.  It does not bode well for Windows 10, which Vole sells on the basis that its updates are really important and all you every need to think about. Obviously if they tigger your system, you are going to be thinking about them for a long time.

Watchdog tells Microsoft to refund Windows 10 update victims

Watchdog-Lele1A UK watchdog Which?  has growled at the software giant Microsoft over the fact its update bricked some users PCs and told it to pay up to have them repaired.

For those who came in late, last year Vole rolled out a free Windows 10 update to all its customers. However Which? received hundreds of complaints about the software, including repeated pop-ups regarding updates, various problems regarding printers, Wi-Fi cards, working of speakers, files being lost and email accounts no longer syncing.

Many complained about being “nagged” by Microsoft to install the new update and despite declining notifications. Which? said there have also been complaints about poor customer service from Microsoft when users contacted the company about the problems they are having, the report said.

Alex Neill, Director of Campaigns and Policy said that of 2,500 people surveyed, who had upgraded to Windows 10, more than 12 percent said they ended up rolling back to their previous version of the operating system. More than half stated that this was because the upgrade had adversely affected their PC.

”We rely heavily on our computers to carry out daily activities so, when they stop working, it is frustrating and stressful,” A, was quoted as saying. ALSO READ: Microsoft’s Cortana to help refrigerators in ‘food management,” Neill said.

“Many people are having issues with Windows 10 and we believe Microsoft should be doing more to fix the problem. Which? is now calling on Microsoft to improve its customer service and compensate its customers where appropriate.

 

Why Kaby Lake and Zen is Windows 10 only

Windows 10Microsoft raised a few eyebrows when it announced that only Windows 10 will support Intel’s and AMD’s next-generation processor microarchitectures – codenamed Kaby Lake and Zen.

It appears that there are a few features on Kaby Lake and  Zen that require significant updates to Windows 10 to optimally function.

Kaby Lake uses Intel’s Speed Shift technology that make it possible to change power states more quickly than Skylake. Because Kaby Lake can make Speed Shift transitions faster, 7th Gen Core processors based on the architecture can increase and decrease clocks quickly. Speed Shift is hardware enabled but it uses the OS to function properly.

Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology 3.0  with Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology improves single-thread performance by identifying the fastest core on a particular processor die and prioritising critical workloads for that core. This pushes up the processor’s frequency when needed and  workloads are also directed to the fastest possible core available. Support for that technology needs to be in the operating system.

AMD’s Zen-based processors have fine-grained clock gating with multi-level regions throughout the chip. Zen will bring in newer Simultaneous Multi-Threading technology for AMD chips. Microsoft will  have to make updates to the Windows kernel and system scheduler, which is more involved than a driver update. Vole did something similar to add proper support for Bulldozer-based processors with Windows 7.

So as far as AMD, Microsoft and Intel are concerned getting rid of support for older systems makes perfect sense. You can’t lock these chips into something which was released seven years ago. Windows 8 is similar to Windows 10 but about as popular as the Boston Strangler it is just not worth trying to update.

While corporate customers might like to remain on Windows 7 and incorporate next-gen hardware into their infrastructure, there will not be many of them. Older versions of Windows and alternative operating systems will still install and run on Kaby Lake and Zen, but they just won’t do the cool stuff.

Windows 10 anniversary edition is coming your way

live_tv_windows_10Microsoft has released the Anniversary Update, just as you finally gave up and installed the old version.

The new Windows 10 Anniversary has things which users will notice and feature updates and tweaks to the user interface.

The Start menu has been tweaked and been made into three-columns with the All Apps list always on view. This saves a click but is still not as good as the simple Windows 7 Start menu.

There are a few changes to Cortana.  Firstly, it cannot be disabled in the normal user interface and you can use it from the lock screen. Notifications can sync across devices.

When we get it installed we will see if Microsoft has fixed its biggest problem with Windows 10, namely the ability to find a file on your PC without Cortina opening Bing to find it on the web. Windows 10 search capability on cloud files is pretty good, but it has difficulty finding files on the hard-drive.  Opening Bing is just annoying.

Microsoft has also spruced up its Edge Browser. Firstly it finally gets JavaScript-based Extensions, using a similar model to that in Google Chrome.

Extensions are installed from the Windows Store, and there is AdBlock, Translator, LastPass, Evernote Web Clipper, and Office Online.

Edge also has a tree view for Favourites, a warning if you try to exit the browser when a download is in progress, default save location, tab pins to the top bar of the Edge window and new APIs including Web Notifications, Beacon interface (for asynchronous data upload), Canvas Path2D, WOFF 2 fonts, and more.

This version now scores 460 out of 555 when it comes to handling HTML 5, putting it ahead of Firefox 47 at 456 but behind Chrome which is 492.

 

Microsoft pays out over Windows 10 update fiasco

live_tv_windows_10Software giant Microsoft has paid out $10,000 to a woman for its aggressive Windows 10 update campaign.

Teri Goldstein’s computer started trying to download and install the new operating system when she didn’t want it and it crashed. She said it caused her travel-agency business to slow to a crawl. It would crash, she says, and be unusable for days at a time.

When outreach to Microsoft’s customer support didn’t fix the issue, Goldstein took the software giant to court, seeking compensation for lost wages and the cost of a new computer.

She won. Last month, Microsoft dropped an appeal and Goldstein collected a $10,000 judgment from the company.

Vole denies wrongdoing, and a spokeswoman said Microsoft halted its appeal to avoid the expense of further litigation. However, the case shows the level of anger users have about the forced update programme.

Forced update screens were seen on bill-boards and television news, driving users to despair and making Microsoft appear like an autocratic paternalist father who insists on getting his own way.

“We’re continuing to listen to customer feedback and evolve the upgrade experience based on their feedback,” Microsoft said in a statement. But clearly it didn’t.

The outfit was slammed for not offering users a transparent or easy choice in the matter. Absent from Microsoft’s series of upgrade prompts was a basic “no thanks” or “never update” button.

It is pretty clear that Microsoft’s game plan was to centralise users onto one operating system so it did not have to waste time patching old versions systems. Vole wanted to have a  billion devices running the software by mid-2018. There were 300 million at last count. All that Microsoft seems to have done with its campaign is hack off the other 700 million.

 

Microsoft gets into the payments racket

Microsoft campusSoftware king of the world Microsoft is getting into the mobile payments racket just as soon as it gets out a few phones with its mobile OS on board.

Microsoft has introduced an NFC payment feature for users of Windows 10 Mobile devices in the US through its Microsoft Wallet app. Vole claims the move comes “in response to feedback” from its customers and with support from both MasterCard and Visa.

It is up and running on Microsoft Insiders, a group of early adopter customers who volunteer to preview new features, and general availability of NFC payments is promised for later this summer.

Vole has got the Bank of America, BECU, Chase, First Tech, Fifth Third Bank, People’s United Bank, US Bank and Virginia Credit Union . The launch date for each bank will be “posted when available,” according to Microsoft.

“Microsoft Wallet is a cloud-based payment technology that will make mobile payments simple and more secure for Windows 10 Mobile devices, starting in the US with our Lumia 950, 950 XL and 650,” the company says. “With Microsoft Wallet, you simply tap your phone on a contactless payment terminal and your default credit or debit card is charged.

“Store as many credit and debit cards as you want in your Microsoft Wallet so it’s easy to make purchases with the card of your choice. Switching takes just a tap of your finger. When you tap to pay, Microsoft Wallet sends a single-use transaction number and an encrypted security code that won’t work for any other purchase, person or device. This, plus the device PIN you use to unlock your phone, makes paying with Microsoft Wallet more secure than using the actual card alone.”