Archive for Microsoft

RIP: MSN Messenger

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 31, 2014 by itnerd

After more than 15 years of being live, Microsoft is putting MSN Messenger out to pasture on October 31st. Now most users were flipped over to Skype a while ago. But that didn’t include China as there is still a substantial market for MSN Messenger apparently.

Who knew?

Those users will now be flipped over to Skype as well. As recently as 2010, Windows Live Messenger had about 300 million active users, ranking it as the number one instant messenger platform in the world at the time, according to Microsoft’s blog. But it’s usage plummeted as other services came online.

Do you have any fond memories of MSN Messenger? Post a comment and share them with your fellow readers.

Microsoft Ignores US Order To Release Data Held Overseas

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 31, 2014 by itnerd

You might recall that I posted a story about the US Government wanting data from Microsoft servers located in Ireland. Apparently, Microsoft has said to use a Glee reference “hell to the no:”

“Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal,” a Microsoft statement notes. “Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen.”

This is good because I was always under the impression that you cannot serve warrants to search property in other countries. But I am a computer nerd and not a lawyer. Thus I will be watching with interest as to what the outcome of this case is as it has far reaching implications.


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.



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