Over the weekend we spotted that the Windows 10 November Update (aka Threshold 2) had been removed from the Media Creation Tool (MCT), and had seemingly disappeared from Windows Update too. We asked Microsoft why this was, and the software giant responded by saying it had decided to remove the November Update from the MCT (giving no actual reason for the decision) but that the update was still available through Windows Update.
This didn’t ring entirely true -- the November Update seemed more like Schrödinger's Update: both simultaneously mandatory, and not available -- but Microsoft had no further comment to make. Today, however, the company admitted to us that there was a problem with the update, and that was the real reason for its disappearance.
Windows 10 is a decent operating system, but it’s very much a work in progress, and one that’s definitely not without problems. It has some very rough edges (which are slowly being addressed), various annoying bugs (ditto), and of course, it spies on users.
The November Update (aka Threshold 2) fixed some issues (if you were able to get it) but also caused some new problems too. We reported previously how it had reset privacy settings and default apps for some users, but worse than that it appears the update has been uninstalling some third party desktop programs without asking.
Shopping for presents for the holidays, or for bargains for yourself during Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a nightmare. A lot of people opt to shop purely online in order to avoid the hassle of fighting their way through crowded stores.
You can get the items you buy on the web delivered to various locations, including home and work, but if that’s still not convenient enough for you, how about having the deliveries made directly to your car instead?
Windows 10’s growth might have slowed quite dramatically in recent months, but never underestimate the power of free.
According to the latest prediction from Gartner, the new operating system is set to enjoy not only the fastest growth of any version of Windows, but is poised to become the most widely installed Microsoft OS ever, quickly overtaking both XP and Windows 7.
Here’s an interesting story for the weekend -- it seems as if Microsoft has pulled the recently released November Update (aka Threshold 2) from both the Media Creation Tool and Windows Update.
That means if you don’t currently have the update on your Windows 10 device, you won’t be able to download it directly now.
Because I have a super-fast PC with a large SSD as the system drive, Windows 10 boots up really quickly for me. The days of waiting 5 minutes or so for Windows to get to a usable state -- as was sometimes the case in the past -- are long gone, thankfully.
But if you find Windows 10 is taking too long to boot up for you, there’s a setting you can apply which can speed things up significantly. Even if you have no complaints with how quickly Windows 10 loads, it’s still worth applying this (if it isn't on already) because it will make a difference.
Happy 30th birthday Windows! What's your earliest memory of Microsoft's revolutionary operating system?
I first started using Windows back in 1992, shortly after the release of Windows 3.1, and I’ve used every iteration since, including both the good (Windows XP, Windows 7) and the bad (Vista, Windows 8). Every time a new version was released, I upgraded pretty much immediately. I might own various Apple devices, and dip into Linux products from time to time, but for me there will only ever be one desktop operating system of worth, and that’s Windows.
Today is a huge milestone for the operating system that popularized home computing, and changed the world in so many ways. Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released on 20th November 1985, two years after it was first announced, and for the first time PC owners were able to control things using a mouse, rather than just typing in commands in DOS.
Free up 24GB+ of hard drive space in Windows 10 by cleaning up after the November Update (Threshold 2)
Microsoft released its first major Windows 10 update last week, and this comes with lots of shiny new features and general improvements including cosmetic changes, Edge enhancements, and new (and better) apps. As all Windows 10 updates are mandatory, if you’re using the new OS you’ll likely have the update installed and be running the latest build (10586) already.
The November Update (Threshold 2 as it was codenamed) is pretty sizable and takes a while to download and install. Once the installation process has completed you might reasonably expect the new OS to clean up after itself and delete old files, but actually it doesn’t, meaning you can free up a large chunk of hard drive space by running a manual clean up yourself. And when I say a "large chunk" I mean it. Cleaning up after the November Update will give you back at least 24GB of hard drive space, so it’s well worth doing.
One of the best ways to protect your online accounts is by using two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible. With this activated, logging into a site requires the use of both a password, and a code sent to your mobile phone. Since most of us have our smartphones within easy reach 24/7, this isn’t as much of a chore as it could be, and it certainly delivers a useful layer of additional security.
Not all sites offer this feature however, Amazon being a prime example (pun intended). However, from today that all changes, as the retail giant has quietly introduced the option to set up two-factor authentication on your Amazon account. This means that even if your password falls into the wrong hands, no one will be able to get into your account and go shopping at your expense. This is what you need to do:
I keep the magnetic charger for my Apple Watch next to the charging dock for the iPhone on my bedside table, and power up both devices overnight. But while the Apple dock I use to charge my iPhone looks quite nice, the supplied charging connector for the Apple Watch is a bit rubbish. It does the job, and lets me balance the wearable on its side (so I can make use of the new Nightstand mode), but a proper dock would be preferable.
Thankfully, Apple today has launched an official dock which charges the Watch in either a flat position, or on its side, and it looks quite nice. Like a small saucer.
With tablets it’s usually true that you get what you pay for. The more you can afford to spend on a device, the better the product you’ll end up with. That said, there are some decent, very affordable tablets available. Take the new Amazon Fire, for example, which is a pretty good 7-inch tablet for just $49.99.
The Hisense Sero 8 Pro is a little more expensive -- £108 from Ebuyer -- but for that you get a larger screen, 7.85-inches, with "Retina" graphics (2,048x1,536), that offers excellent color, contrast and detail and is hard to fault. The tablet also packs a quad core ARM Rockchip processor running at 1.61GHz, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. There’s a microSD slot so you can boost capacity by 32GB should you require more space.
Running commands and launching built-in Windows tools is very straightforward in Microsoft’s new operating system. Just click on the Start button and type whatever you’re looking for, then select the item to launch it.
There is another way to do this though, and that’s through File Explorer. This can actually prove really useful. If, as an example, you’re browsing your hard drive and suddenly decide to defragment it, you can take action without having to switch your focus.
As you might have seen on other news sites over the past few days, hacktivist collective Anonymous has declared war against Islamic State following the massacre in Paris last Friday. The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones has an interesting interview with one of the members which is worth reading here.
While Operation Paris -- which has the aim of tracking down members of IS -- is a new venture, Anonymous has actually been engaged in a cyberwar with the terrorist organization since February through its continuing #OpISIS campaign. A new video, posted today by the group behind that operation, Anonymous Red Cult, reiterates its aims, and reveals how you can join the fight.
Microsoft pushed out its first major Windows 10 update earlier today, but if you’re not currently seeing it, be patient. These things take a while to make their way to all users.
If you’ve been holding off upgrading a Windows 7 or 8.x PC, waiting for the November Update (aka Threshold 2) to arrive, now is the time to take action. The easiest way to upgrade is by using Microsoft’s free media creation tool which now offers Build 10586 (which is the current version you’ll get after installing the November Update).
Windows 10 users have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Threshold 2, or the November Update to give it its official name, for a while. Well, today that wait is over. Windows Insiders on the Fast and Slow rings received the update previously in the form of Build 10586, but now it's automatically being pushed to everyone.
This is a huge update, packed with new features, improvements and of course bug fixes. If updates weren't already mandatory I'd be telling you to go update your copy of Windows 10 right now (you can of course hurry things along by going to Settings > Update & Security and clicking/tapping on Check for updates.) With so much to cover, I'll keep the intro here to a minimum and crack on with talking about all the cool new stuff.