I consider myself a patient person. After more than 25 years in the IT industry you sort of have to be. When I bought my first real hybrid 2-in-1 PC -- an HP Envy x2 -- I learned to put up with the many quirks of the then brand-new Windows 8. And when Windows 8.1 arrived, I tolerated several weeks of display artifacts and other graphical anomalies, confident that they would all get sorted out -- eventually.
Which they did. In fact, for each case a new round of device drivers -- specifically, for the Envy x2’s Atom Z2760 chipset and associated Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) video subsystem -- cured what ailed it. So it’s understandable that I would expect a similar scenario to play out with Windows 10. After all, Microsoft’s new OS is really just a retread of Windows 8 (which was itself a retread of Windows 7, etc.). And my trusty Envy x2 excels at running Windows 8.1.
In the modern workplace there’s increasing demand for people to be able to work remotely or bring their own devices into the office. That presents a problem for IT departments who need to deliver secure access to corporate data and ensure that everyone is using approved applications.
One way of allowing employees and contractors to use their own PCs but still ensure they’re running the approved corporate software is the IronKey Workspace. It’s a bootable USB stick that can be loaded with a corporate Windows image including applications, security controls and access policies. It will work on any reasonably modern PC and on some Macs too.
Just last week Microsoft managed to piss off a lot of people by secretly downloading the Windows 10 installation files to their computers without permission. The comments from BetaNews readers were plentiful, but divided. Some didn't see the problem, while others thought it to be invasive and presumptive.
But there was one question that popped up again and again -- just what the hell was Microsoft thinking? I decided to try to find out but found that the company was somewhat cagey with what it wanted to say on the matter. This is not on. People are more than a little annoyed, and they are demanding answers. They deserve them.
Microsoft has reportedly been downloading Windows 10 installation files on to computers running Windows 7 and 8.x, regardless of whether the users plan to upgrade to the new OS or not.
If you’re thinking of making the switch, and have requested an upgrade, that is fair enough. But if you’re more than happy to stick with your older OS for now, you might not be too happy about Microsoft cluttering up your hard drive with junk install files you don’t want. Fortunately, removing these files is easy enough.
Windows gadgets made their first appearance in Vista as a convenient way to install tiny desktop tools like clocks, system monitors or weather applets.
The technology was retired in 2012 due to security vulnerabilities, but these days any danger is minimal, and if you were a fan then 8GadgetPack provides an easy way to run more than 50 gadgets on Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 PCs.
Microsoft has teamed up with Laplink to try to encourage people to upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, offering a free copy of PCmover Express to anyone who wants it. Many people took the launch of Windows 10 as an excuse to buy a new computer with it pre-installed -- but then there is the problem of accessing the files stored on the old PC.
While it is possible to manually move files to your new computer, it's not something that everyone is comfortable with. Microsoft's solution to provide people with a data transfer tool for free is one that's likely to attract some attention, so here’s what you need to do to take advantage of this time-limited offer.
The last lot of desktop OS figures released by NetMarketShare showed that Windows 10 had doubled its usage shared in a matter of days, but it wasn’t exactly an exciting number. Upon release the new OS managed to go from 0.16 percent to 0.39 percent.
But now that Windows 10 has had a month to settle in, we can finally see exactly how well it’s doing. Microsoft has said that there have been over 75 million installs, but what does that equate to in terms of usage share? NetMarketShare’s figures for August always promised to be exciting, and they definitely don’t disappoint now that they’re here.
The comparisons were inevitable right from the start. When Microsoft releases a new operating system then people are going to look at it against the previous version, especially when the old one was a bit hated and unsuccessful. It really wasn't bad, but perception is everything, and the folks who heard it was bad steered clear of it.
But how do the two platforms stack up against one another in a performance test? The researchers at security firm AVG Labs decided to take a look.
There have been various numbers thrown around suggesting how many people have downloaded Windows 10 and how many have the operating system installed. Great debates have started about just how accurate these figures may be, but as any statistician will tell you, the more data you have to work with, the more likely it is to give an accurate picture.
Microsoft announced that there were 14 million downloads in the first 24 hours after launch, and it has been estimated that this figure now stands at anything from 50 million to 67 million. UK-based data analysis firm GoSquared has put together a tool that shows, in real time, Windows 10 adoption around the world by indicating its share of Windows traffic.
As Windows 10 is free, it's hard not to be tempted into upgrading. But just because the operating system is free, it does not mean it is necessarily right for you. You may have tried Windows 10 for a few weeks and come to the conclusion that you hate it. Perhaps you yearn to move back to the comfort of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
If you've decided that you simply do not like Windows 10, you can downgrade with ease. Of course, this is not possible if you have performed a clean installation of Windows 10, but it's an option that's available to you if you upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. So, are you ready to ditch Windows 10? Here's what you need to do.
Windows 10, just like its predecessor Windows 8.1, allows for the creation of child accounts that can have limitations imposed upon them. It's a feature that many parents take advantage of, but as more and more people start to upgrade to Windows 10, increasing numbers are complaining about the way in which Microsoft monitors account activity and sends out regular emails about that activity.
The account activity email is optional in Windows 10 -- just as it was in Windows 8.1 -- but it is switched on by default. While many parents like the idea of being able to place restrictions and limitation on a child's Windows account, the "creepy" email that many are seeing for the first time is viewed as a step too far.
We already knew that Windows 8.1 RT Update 3 is coming in September, but recent Windows news has been dominated by the release of Windows 10. The update will be pushed out to Microsoft's Surface and Surface 2 tablets as well as other RT devices, and Microsoft Window's 10 FAQ pages have been updated to explain some of the improvements that users can look forward to.
Nothing has changed with regard to Microsoft's position on Windows 10 for RT devices -- this is still not going to happen. Updates to Windows 8.1 RT is the best that users can hope for, and now the company is starting to advertise -- through Windows 10 -- what the update will bring.
Parents who are upgrading their computers to Windows 10 are warned that the move from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will obliterate the safety features used to protect children. You may have spent time putting restrictions in place in a bid to keep your offspring safe when using your computer, but Windows 10 will change these child-friendly accounts into standard accounts with no limitations whatsoever.
The upgrade process wipes out website restrictions, game and app age ratings, time limits, and other parental controls and monitoring options. Unless a parent goes to the trouble of reinstating each of these settings individually, their children will have unfettered computer access. The discovery, revealed by The Register, will come as a surprise to many, but the worry is that many parents will simply be unaware that their children are not protected. And this is far from being the first time Windows 10 has been criticized.
Windows 10 is now with us, and, whether you've made the move from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, there is a lot to love, but also a lot to hate. With this latest release, there is also one very big difference from previous versions of Windows: it is free of charge.
This is not only likely to encourage more people into making the move to Windows 10, but it also opens up a possibility that many people would simply not have considered before. If you decide that you don’t like Windows 10 (the OS is not without its fair share of problems, after all), you can downgrade to your previous version without ending up out of pocket. The question is, how many people will go -- or have gone -- down this route?
NetMarketShare has released its monthly desktop operating system usage share figures, showing the fluctuations of the various iterations of Windows. All versions of Microsoft’s operating system registered drops in July, except of course Windows 10 which was launched at the tail end of the month.
Only being available for a few days meant the new OS was never going to shift the needle significantly, but there were enough upgraders (Microsoft says 14 million in the first 24 hours) to double the operating system’s share.