Archive for Microsoft

Microsoft Limits Cortana & Edge To Bing

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 29, 2016 by itnerd

Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss! – The Who

The above statement can also be attributed to Microsoft. As much as Satya Nadella would like you to believe that Microsoft is a different company, it seems to me that they are back to their old tricks. Case in point. Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s general manager of search and Cortana, said this in a Windows blog post:

“Unfortunately, as Windows 10 has grown in adoption and usage, we have seen some software programs circumvent the design of Windows 10 and redirect you to search providers that were not designed to work with Cortana. The result is a compromised experience that is less reliable and predictable. The continuity of these types of task completion scenarios is disrupted if Cortana can’t depend on Bing as the search provider and Microsoft Edge as the browser. The only way we can confidently deliver this personalized, end-to-end search experience is through the integration of Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Bing — all designed to do more for you.”
So in short, This server-side change that goes into effect today will mean that Cortana and bing will no longer be able to serve up results from third-party search providers, like Google or Yahoo, nor take you to a third-party browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

I get the technical reasons for wanting to do this. It’s a lot easier to provide consistent results if you control all the pieces of the puzzle. But a consistent experience is not why people use Windows. If that’s what people wanted, they’d already be using a Mac. IF Microsoft were smart, they’d instead propose an open framework to allow other search providers to work with Cortana and Bing. Or they’d just simply make other search providers work. But clearly that’s not their intent. Instead it’s to increase searches to Bing which is a search provider that Microsoft owns and nobody uses.

Microsoft, this is a dumb idea that I really think you’ll regret in short order when people simply turn off Cortana and use Chrome as their browser.

 

#Fail: Microsoft Windows 10 Upgrade Nagware Pwns Weather Forecast

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 28, 2016 by itnerd

I know that Microsoft is hyper aggressive about getting people to upgrade to Windows 10, but having one of their pop ups appear on a local weather forecast is really aggressive. KCCI 8 News Meteorologist Metinka Slater was just trying to tell us the weather in southwest Iowa, but a Windows 10 decided to try and get her to upgrade instead.

#Fail

Here’s video proof of that:

When something like this happens, it’s a clear sign that Microsoft really needs to back off from aggressively forcing people to upgrade to Windows 10.

GoDaddy Domain Names & SSL Certificates Now In Microsoft Azure App Service

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 20, 2016 by itnerd

GoDaddy has announced that the company is building on its existing partnership with Microsoft Corp, and is now offering GoDaddy domains and SSL certificates directly through the Microsoft Azure App Service platform.

With this new offering, Azure App Service users can seamlessly purchase and configure domain names right from the Azure App Service platform, without having to leave the Microsoft environment.  Additionally, customers will have access to Microsoft’s direct support, ensuring a one-stop shop for all their services.

GoDaddy’s domain and SSL availability within Microsoft Azure App Service is made possible through GoDaddy’s latest set of APIs and continued coordination with Microsoft.

To find out how GoDaddy can help you create your digital identity, visit www.GoDaddy.com.

Microsoft Sues Feds For The Right To Tell You When They Come For Your Data

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 15, 2016 by itnerd

Microsoft has sued [Warning: PDF] the US Department of Justice over the right to alert users when their personal data stored in any of Microsoft’s online products has been accessed by cops and Feds. Microsoft alleges that the DoJ is infringing on its First and Fourth Amendment rights by not allowing the company to post notifications to customers when a government agency has asked to view data hosted on Microsoft’s web services or cloud platforms. That is bad says the people in Redmond and must be fixed.

Now this is not a new behavior from them as Microsoft has been fighting the feds from getting access to cloud data that is hosted outside the USA for some time now. But this lawsuit takes things to a whole new level.

Another Nail In The Coffin Of Flash Courtesy Of Microsoft

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 11, 2016 by itnerd

The news is out that Microsoft will disable Adobe Flash based ads by default in new versions of its Edge browser which ships with Windows 10. This was announce on the Windows Blog with this rationale:

Flash has been an integral part of the web for decades, enabling rich content and animations in browsers since before HTML5 was introduced.  In modern browsers, web standards pioneered by Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Apple, Mozilla, and many others are now enabling sites to exceed those experiences without Flash and with improved performance and security.  This transition to modern web standards has benefited users and developers alike.  Users experience improved battery life when sites use efficient web standards, lowering both memory and CPU demands.  Developers benefit as they are able to create sites that work across all browsers and devices, including mobile devices where Flash may not be available.

So, here’s how it will work. The upcoming Anniversary Update to Windows 10 will introduce a switched-on setting that disables some Flash content, requiring users to specifically activate Adobe’s plugin. Flash-based ads and animations in the browser window will not load by default. Things like video in the center of the page will be loaded as usual, but peripheral stuff will be frozen by default. That puts users in control according to Microsoft. It’s an interesting idea and one that is sure to be another nail in the coffin of Adobe Flash.

 

Never 10: A Handy Way To Stop Microsoft From Forcing You To Windows 10

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 29, 2016 by itnerd

If you are running Windows 7 or 8.1, you may be perfectly happy with that OS and see no need to move to Windows 10. That’s why Microsoft’s more aggressive tactics to get you to move to Windows 10 are so infuriating.

Now there’s a few ways to stop Microsoft from forcing you to Windows 10. I have previously documented one way of doing so. But I’ve tripped over another way that is far more accessible to the average user. Steve Gibson who is well known for his useful utilities has come up with “Never 10” which will allow you to control if and when you upgrade and gets rid of Microsoft’s incessant nagging to upgrade. It’s really simple. You download it, run it and choose what you want to do. Done. This puts the power of when you upgrade back in your hands.

I encourage you to download “Never 10” so that you and not Microsoft control your PC. It’s highly recommended.

Windows 10: It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Vista

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 28, 2016 by itnerd

When I first got a hold of Windows 10, I wrote that it was the best effort at an operating system that Microsoft had made in a long time. I still think that. However, any goodwill that having an operating system that people may have actually liked is being squandered by some major mis-steps by Microsoft. Let me detail them below and illustrate why they’re potential nails in the coffin of Windows 10:

Forced Updates: If you’re a Windows 7 user, you’re being forced to update to this OS whether you want to or not. And while Microsoft is trying to spin that this isn’t going on. Trust me, it is. I say that because I am constantly getting calls from customers to have me stop these forced upgrades from taking place. All this is doing is taking a operating system that people might have wanted, and made it something to avoid. It’s also left such a bad taste in some people’s mouths that they have made a trip to the Apple Store rather than put up with this nonsense from Microsoft.

Forced Patching: One of the things that has changed with the consumer versions of Windows 10 is that your computer is going to get patched whether you wanted it patched or not. On the surface, that seems like a good idea as issues will get addressed and everyone is along for the ride when that happens. But I am aware of two occasions where this forced patching scheme has caused massive problems for users. Being the guy who is called in to clean up stuff like that, I have become less than impressed with this scheme and the same goes for users. Thus, Microsoft needs to put control of patching back into the hands of users. Which is where it belongs.

Privacy Issues: Now I don’t expect privacy in this day and age. But Windows 10 has taken the lack of privacy to a whole new low. This latest Microsoft OS phones home in so many ways, it is mind boggling. Not to mention that it could expose things like your WiFi network access to your friends if you’re not careful. Microsoft says that this is all for your own good, and they’ve tried to take the steam out of this argument by sharing the types of info that they collect. But one has to wonder if it is worth having an OS that is that invasive.

All of this has had a very negative effect on the Microsoft brand. And that is reflected in PC sales which are down. The only company that is beating this trend is Apple who’s shipments were up. Is that a coincidence? I don’t think so. I think it is proof that Windows 10 isn’t getting the traction that Microsoft had hope it would due to all of the above being broadcast on every tech website and blog in the universe. Can Microsoft turn it around? I think they can. But the only way they can do it is to address the above in a fulsome manner and show that Windows 10 is what I said it is, which is the best effort that Microsoft has made in terms of making an OS in some time. And they need to do it before it becomes known as the next Microsoft Vista. It certainly has that smell at the moment.

 

 

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