Archive for Microsoft

Microsoft To Hold Press Event To Announce Windows 9 In September?

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 21, 2014 by itnerd

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is going to start putting the nails in the coffin of Windows 8 by having a press event in September:

Microsoft is planning to unveil its Windows 8 successor next month at a special press event. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the software maker is tentatively planning its press event for September 30th to detail upcoming changes to Windows as part of a release codenamed “Threshold.” This date may change, but the Threshold version of Windows is currently in development and Microsoft plans to release a preview version of what will likely be named Windows 9 to developers on September 30th or shortly afterwards. The date follows recent reports from ZDNet that suggested Microsoft is planning to release a preview version of Windows 9 in late September or early October.

Let’s face it. Windows 8 has absolutely failed. And we’re talking Vista levels of failure. The only way it could be worse is if Apple ran commercials that made fun of it like they did with Vista. So clearly they want to move on as quickly as possible.

This should be fun to watch.

Windows 8.1 Update Causing Blue Screen Of Death Issues

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 18, 2014 by itnerd

Last Tuesday, “Update 2″ for Windows 8.1 rolled out and it seems that some users are suffering from the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death after installing it. Here’s what Hot Hardware had to say: 

Since the patch rollout, it’s been discovered that four individual updates are causing random BSoD issues for its users, with KB2982791, a kernel-mode related driver, being the biggest culprit. Because of the bug’s severity, Microsoft is recommending that anyone who updated go and uninstall a couple of the specific updates, or rollback using Windows Restore.

The updates that should be uninstalled are:

  • 2982791 MS14-045: Description of the security update for kernel-mode drivers: August 12, 2014
  • 2970228 Update to support the new currency symbol for the Russian ruble in Windows
  • 2975719 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • 2975331 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012

Lovely. Microsoft has posted another workaround for this issue at this link. But I think this highlights why you should never install updates right away. Instead, wait a week and see if there are any issues and then upgrade. That way you avoid any downtime. 

Microsoft To World: No More Major Updates To Windows 8.1

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 5, 2014 by itnerd

You read that correctly. If you’re expecting further tweaks to Windows 8.1, you can forget about it. A blog post from Microsoft is saying that it isn’t going to happen:

In April, we released a bigger, more comprehensive package of improvements to Windows 8.1 called the Windows 8.1 Update. We did the same for Server too, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Update. As we said at the time, our goal is to continue to deliver improvements to Windows through regular updates in order to respond more quickly to customer and partner feedback. After all, we already have a regular monthly update process that includes security and non-security updates.

With the above in mind, rather than waiting for months and bundling together a bunch of improvements into a larger update as we did for the Windows 8.1 Update, customers can expect that we’ll use our already existing monthly update process to deliver more frequent improvements along with the security updates normally provided as part of “Update Tuesday.” So despite rumors and speculation, we are not planning to deliver a Windows 8.1 “Update 2.”

But they did say this as well that these were coming via an update on the August “Patch Tuesday” (next week):

  • Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

Does that mean that Windows 9 is closer than we think?

Still Using Wndows XP…. Anti-Malware Support Ends In Less Than A Year

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on July 23, 2014 by itnerd

Windows XP may not be getting patches anymore. But it’s still getting Anti-Malware support from Microsoft. At least for now because that will run out in less than a year. Thus if you’re still on XP which 1 in 5 SMEs are still using XP, that will leave you more exposed than you are right now by not having security updates.

Now to drive the point home, 10ZiG has a countdown clock for this. When it reaches zero, you might want to be on another Microsoft OS to ensure that you’re safe.

A Tale Of Two Companies: Microsoft Misses… Apple Scores

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 22, 2014 by itnerd

I have been around long enough to remember when Apple’s earnings announcements were dwarfed by Microsoft’s earnings announcement. Now it’s flipped. Microsoft today posted revenues of $23.38 billion and operating profit of $6.48 billion for an earnings per share of $0.55. These numbers were dragged down by Nokia and that helped Microsoft miss what Wall Street was expecting. Which was $0.60 per share on revenue totalling $22.99 billion.

Contrast that with Apple who posted stunning numbers today. They posted $37.4 billion in revenue and a net profit of $7.7 billion (or $1.28 per share) for the quarter. That was largely in line with what Wall Street was expecting. If that wasn’t stunning enough, Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones, 13.3 million iPads, and 4.4 million Macs. I keep expecting Apple to tank at some point, but it doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

It’s amazing how times have changed.

 

BREAKING: Microsoft To Slash 18,000 Jobs

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 17, 2014 by itnerd

There have been rumors of this for the last couple of days and now it’s confirmed. Microsoft will get rid of 18,000 jobs. Most of this will come from Nokia which they recently purchased, but other operations will be affected. Microsoft take pretax charges of $1.1-billion to $1.6-billion for the costs of the layoffs over the next four quarters. The full details are in an announcement that is crossing the wires now. We’ll likely get a lot more detail on Microsoft’s earnings call on July 22nd. But I have to admit that I’m stunned by the scale of the layoffs at Microsoft.

 

MS Warns That Mainstream Support Will End Soon For Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 & More

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 9, 2014 by itnerd

If you run any of the following Microsoft operating systems, Microsoft has a message for you. Mainstream support is coming to an end. That in short means no free patches and fixes. That also includes but is not limited to security updates. Now once a product exits mainstream support, it enters an extended support phase that usually lasts five years and users get free security fixes. Other types of updates are paid and require specific licensing deals such as the ones that larger companies sign. Once that five years is up, support has ended and the product is basically dead. Windows XP is perhaps the best example of that.

Now here’s the operating systems that are exiting mainstream support:

  • All versions of Windows 7 end mainstream support on January 13, 2015
  • All versions of Windows Server 2008 end mainstream support on January 13, 2015
  • All versions of Windows Storage Server 2008 end mainstream support January 13, 2015

There are a number of other products who’s support statuses are about to change. That includes Office 2010 with Service Pack 1, SharePoint 2010 with SP1 to name two. Check out this document from Microsoft for more info. If you run a organization who relies on any of these products, you’ll need to look over that document so that you can make sure that you’re doing everything you can to ensure that fully supported going forward.

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