Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft releases Windows 10 20H1 Build 18932 with notification improvements

When it’s not crowing about the cutting edge abilities of Windows 1.0, Microsoft is busy working on the next big feature update for Windows 10, due out next year.

Today it rolls out Build 18932 which introduces some eye control improvements, and refined notification settings, among other changes.

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Microsoft launches Threat and Vulnerability Management for enterprises

Microsoft building logo

Scheduled vulnerability scanning can leave blind spots between scans leaving organizations vulnerable.

In response to this problem, Microsoft has partnered with a number of enterprise customers to create a new Threat and Vulnerability Management solution as a built-in feature of Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

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Microsoft announces Windows 1.0

The new season of Stranger Things starts on Netflix this Thursday -- July 4th -- and is being described by reviewers as a return to form, great news for anyone who felt a bit let down by season 2.

The new season is set in 1985, a year which gave us the Live Aid concerts, New Coke, Calvin and Hobbes, Back to the Future, and the first version of Microsoft Windows.

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YAWN! Windows 10 19H2 is shaping up to be a dull release

Bored kid

It is looking as though the next "feature update" for Windows 10 -- known as 19H2 to Insiders -- will be a little light on, er, features. In really, it seems as though Microsoft is treating the next big update very much like a service pack release.

The news comes from Microsoft as the company sets out its plans for "evolving Windows 10 servicing and quality". In short, if you were looking forward to exciting new things to try out later this year, it might be a good idea to recalibrate your expectations.

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Windows 10 is not creating registry backups -- and is lying about it

Windows 10 boxes

Towards the latter end of last year, it was noticed that Windows 10 was no longer creating backups of the registry. It was assumed to be a bug as the scheduled task that was used to create the backup still existed, and it was also indicated that the task had been a success.

This was a lie. No registry backup was created, meaning potentially millions of users were left without a reliable way of rolling back the registry to an earlier time. Now Microsoft has explained what's going on, and says that the lack of registry backups is intentional.

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Windows XP pops Cherry at Glasto

When you’re performing live at one of the biggest music festivals in the world, it’s probably not advisable to trust your background visuals to an old laptop running Windows XP.

This is a lesson that Neneh Cherry learned to her cost at this weekend’s Glastonbury when the laptop generating images on the rear video screen decided to reboot unexpectedly during a performance of her hit 7 Seconds.

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Only a tiny fraction of Windows 10 users are running the May 2019 Update

The latest Windows 10 feature release, the May 2019 Update, is slowly making its way to users, but after the mess that was the October 2018 Update, Microsoft is keeping a close eye on proceedings.

As a result, it means the rollout is happening at an incredibly glacial pace. In fact, it's occurring at roughly the same rate as its predecessor, which isn't good news.

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Warning: In just a few days, the ebooks you've purchased from Microsoft will vanish

ARGH!

It's a little while since Microsoft announced that is dropping the Books category from the Microsoft Store, but a serious deadline is now looming.

If you have bought books or downloaded free books from the Store, you only have a few more days to read them -- so if there are any you haven't finished, you'd better start reading quickly! While no specific date has been announced, Microsoft warns that you'll only be able to read your books "until early July 2019".

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Microsoft notifies users whose systems are 'not quite ready' for Windows 10 May 2019 Update

Timeout

The Windows 10 May 2019 Update (that is, Windows 10 version 1903) has caused problems for a number of people, and there are various issues that stand in the way of getting hold of the upgrade.

Rather than pushing out a problematic update to systems that it knows will not have a great experience, Microsoft has made a couple of decisions. Not only is the company blocking updates for computers with known compatibility issues, it is also starting to notify users that this is what's happening.

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Millions of Microsoft Excel users vulnerable to remote DDE attack as new exploit is discovered

Security researchers from Mimecast Threat Center have discovered an Excel exploit that could leave 120 million users vulnerable to attack.

The security flaw means that it is possible to use Excel's Power Query tool to dynamically launch a remote Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) attack on a spreadsheet and actively control the payload. The researchers also found that Power Query could be used to embed malicious code in a data source and spread malware.

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Windows 10 bug could slow shutdown by over a minute

Snail

It's usually the speed of a computer when using it that is of interest, but it's also important to factor in startup and shutdown times. Microsoft just confirmed a new bug in Windows 10 -- specifically Windows 10 October 2018 Update (1809) -- that could dramatically slow down shutdown and sleep times in some circumstances.

The problem relates to USB Type-C devices, and while it has been fixed in Windows 10 version 1903, anyone using version 1809 remains affected and needs to be aware of the issue.

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Microsoft OneDrive Personal Vault makes it easy to secure files in the cloud

Long gone are the days where consumers were expected to backup data to clunky external hard drives to prevent losing files to a hardware failure (something many never bothered to do). These days, many of their documents and photos are saved in the cloud. Cloud storage is hardly perfect from a security and privacy standpoint, but for many consumers, it is an essential way to backup and access files. I'd rather consumers trust the cloud as opposed to not backing up at all and transferring files with non-encrypted USB flash drives. As they say, "don't let perfect get in the way of better" -- the cloud is better.

And today, OneDrive is getting better too. You see, Microsoft will soon be launching a new feature called "OneDrive Personal Vault" which will allow users to better secure their sensitive files in the cloud. Its brilliance is seemingly in its simplicity -- it is a OneDrive folder with a bank vault icon that requires additional authentication, such as SMS, biometrics, a pin, or the Microsoft Authenticator app. Visually, it should be easy for consumers to understand, which is essential. You can even "scan" documents directly to this special folder using your smartphone camera. Best of all, access to the Personal Vault is restricted after a period of inactivity, forcing a new authentication.

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The majority of enterprises fear they will not complete Windows 10 migration on time: Here's what to do

Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015. Anxious to deploy its enhanced security features, some organizations completed migration to the new OS well in advance of the January 14, 2020 deadline for end of support of Windows 7. As such, their IT teams have worked through the inevitable issues that come with the massive deployment. But, despite all of the discussions around management and updates, these enterprise teams are in a significant minority.

According to a recent survey, only 15 percent of enterprises have completed migration, and approximately a quarter of respondents anticipate that they will not fully convert before Windows 7 support ends. There are numerous reasons for this -- lack of time, lack of resources, and fears about greater management responsibilities are among the biggest culprits. With so many organizations unprepared for a migration deadline that is only a few short months away and Microsoft showing no signs of shifting the end-of-support timeline, companies are asking what they should do. Here are some options.

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Firefox embraces Microsoft BITS to install updates

Firefox logo 2019

Starting with Firefox 68, Mozilla's web browser began to use Microsoft BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) to deliver updates -- the same technique that is used by Windows Update.

With the arrival of Firefox 70, BITS will be utilized with a dedicated update agent in place as a proxy rather than simply being part of the browser itself, allowing updates to be more easily installed.

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Windows Terminal preview now available to download

Windows Terminal

At its Build 2019 developer conference earlier this year, Microsoft revealed the Linux-inspired Windows Terminal, which gives access to the Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) in one place.

The code has been available to download and compile for a little while, but now Microsoft has released a ready-made Windows Terminal app for anyone to try out.

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