Wayne Williams

Microsoft: Windows 10 will keep you safe, and this is how

Secure Windows 10

The reason Microsoft has given for pushing Windows 10 so aggressively is it wants to get users to a "safe place". Very altruistic. Although there’s no excuse for forcing users to upgrade in the manner that it has.

Still, there’s no questioning that Windows 10 is Microsoft’s safest operating system to date and to help sell the security benefits, the software giant has put together a web page detailing how the OS can protect you from modern security threats.

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The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero back in stock shortly -- but you'll need to act fast

rpizero2

The Raspberry Pi Zero might be tiny, but it’s been a huge hit for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The $5 asking price has resulted in tremendous demand for the barebones microcomputer, resulting in near continuous sell-outs.

If you have yet to get your hands on one, there’s some good news. A fresh batch of Pi Zeros is set to be made available today, but you’ll need to act very quickly if you want to get your hands on one.

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Here's how to unlock (and play) Facebook Messenger's secret game

couple in bed with phones

Although there are lots of apps and services you can use for chatting to friends, Facebook Messenger is one of the better options because you can pretty much guarantee most people you know will have a Facebook account.

In addition to chatting with your friends you can now challenge them to play a game of chess, but only if you know the secret phrase to launch it, and the hotkeys used to pay the game.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Redstone Build 14257 arrives on the Fast ring

Windows 10

Last year Fast ring preview builds of Windows 10 arrived at a pretty sedate pace. This year they are coming thick and fast with a new build announced on a weekly basis.

The speed that new builds arrive does mean the differences between versions aren’t huge, but it’s all about preparing the ground work for future additions, like extensions.

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Extensions are coming to Microsoft Edge via the Windows Store, and Insiders will be able to try them 'soon'

microsoft_edge_icon

The kindest thing that can be said about Microsoft Edge is Windows 10's new browser has potential. It’s far from awful, it’s just rather unfinished. There’s little there to tempt users of Firefox or Chrome into switching.

Microsoft is working to change that though, and make the browser more appealing. Today it reveals a little more about its future plans, including how it will be handling extensions. It doesn’t announce exactly when the browser will receive this much-requested feature, but it does touch on how add-ons will be made available, and how you’ll be able to try out some early examples for yourself.

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How to uninstall the Windows 10 'Recommended' update and go back to Windows 7 or 8.1

relieved

Now that Microsoft is forcibly downloading Windows 10 onto unsuspecting Windows 7 and 8.1 users’ PCs there’s going to be a lot of unhappy customers faced with a new OS they never asked for nor wanted.

You can prevent this from happening by making sure the "Recommended Update" setting is unchecked on your PC, but if you fail to do this and accidentally allow the installation to go ahead (or maybe you tried Windows 10 and didn’t like it), the good news is it’s easy to roll things back to your original operating system.

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How to block the Windows 10 'recommended' update on Windows 7 and 8.1

no_thanks_windows_10

Microsoft has changed the Windows 10 update from "Optional" to "Recommended". And by "Recommended" it means "You’re getting it whether you want it or not".

If your Windows 7 or 8.1 PC is set to install recommended updates automatically (because -- more fool you -- you just wanted it to be up to date and safe) then Microsoft will cheerfully download the new OS and start the installation process for you. Don’t want that to happen? Here’s how to stop it.

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Microsoft forcing Windows 10 onto people is wrong

Angry PC user

Microsoft says it wants to get people to a "safer place" and that’s why it’s so aggressively pushing Windows 10. But it’s one thing to advertise the new OS on someone’s computer, and another thing entirely to force them to upgrade to it.

Microsoft Marketing Chief Chris Capossela, says a lot of people are putting off upgrading to Windows 10 ("constantly kick[ing] the can down the street" in his words), and so the software giant is taking steps to give them a "push" into taking action. But not with a gentle reminder, or even full on nagging, but by downloading and then starting the OS installation without permission, and that sucks.

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Just how successful is Windows 10?

Windows compare

As you’ll have seen earlier, according to figures from NetMarketShare, Windows 10 overtook Windows 8.1 in January, taking just six months to do so. StatCounter, which also measures operating system usage, shows Windows 10 achieving the same feat in that month, although its figures are slightly different.

To mark this achievement it seems only right to compare Windows 10’s growth with that of past Windows releases to see how the new OS is really doing.

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Microsoft's aggressive tactics pay off as Windows 10 overtakes Windows 8.1

Overtaking

A month ago, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was on over 200 million devices. It also claimed that Windows 10 adoption was accelerating, which seemed to be in clear contradiction of NetMarketShare’s monthly usage figures. The pattern there showed adoption of the new OS to be slowing month after month.

That wasn’t the case in January however, as the latest usage figures from NetMarketShare show Windows 10 starting the new year at a fair pace and finally doing something it’s been threatening to do for the past couple of months -- overtaking Windows 8.1.

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Act now! You only have this weekend to save your free OneDrive storage before Microsoft takes it away for good

Act now

Free online storage space is something many of us really appreciate. Quotas are usually so generous that’s there’s rarely a need to spend money on a paid subscription.

However, Microsoft recently announced plans to cut back on the amount of free storage offered to OneDrive users. As a recap, the base storage will drop from 15GB to 5GB, the 15 GB camera roll storage bonus is being discontinued, Office 365 Home, Personal, or University users will no longer get unlimited storage, and some paid tiers are going away also.

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Now it's Apple's turn to recall a potentially dangerous power adapter

Apple shock

Last week Microsoft issued a voluntary recall for AC power cords for its Surface slates, after reports they could overheat and potentially catch fire.

Today, Apple follows suit, issuing a voluntary recall for certain AC wall plug adapters which could break and potentially "create a risk of electrical shock if touched".

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This is Bill. He is cluttering up Facebook. Be smart. Block Bill.

Bill

The first half dozen times I encountered the Bill meme on Facebook, I found it amusing. But after a while, the sanctimonious stick man -- who explains how people should use the web, among other things -- began to grate.

And then everyone started to make their own versions, using their own names. At that point, it was clear, enough was enough. If you feel the same, be like me, and block Bill, and all of the other variations by following these steps.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14251 arrives on the Fast ring

Windows 10

For Windows Insiders, the Fast ring used to be something of a misnomer, with new Windows 10 preview builds trickling out on a rather infrequent basis. Microsoft promised to change that in the new year, and it’s already been as good as its word. Six days after the last new build, there’s already another available to install.

There’s a big jump in build numbers too. Last week’s release was Build 11102, and the new version is 14251. That might signify a major leap forward, with loads of changes and new features, but don’t get too excited.

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Safari on iOS crashing for you? You're not alone, but here's a workaround [Updated]

iPhone 6s finger

As an iPhone and iPad user, I spend a fair amount of time in Safari. Today, however, the browser has been crashing for me every time I carry out a search via the address bar.

I first thought it was a problem with my iPhone, but then I had the same problem with my iPad. It turns out to be a problem that's affecting a lot of users.

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