Q. Is Microsoft really blocking the install of Chrome and other browsers on Windows 10? A. The answer is a Yes & No situation, so let me explain. Earlier this week, Windows Insiders who are testing Skip Ahead builds for the next feature update of Windows 10 – codenamed 19H1 – saw a new pop-up alert when trying to install an alternative browser on their systems. Here is what that alert looked like: This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
We just wrapped up our multi-week walkthrough of features in the April 2018 Update for Windows 10, so naturally, it’s already time for the next feature update to arrive. This semi-annual Windows as a Service (WaaS) release cycle is relentless: As one cycle wraps up another begins, and you are at the next public update before you know it. This is exactly why, just last week, Microsoft extended the lifecycle support period from 18 months to 30 months for the feature updates they release moving from September forward. However, this change is only for Enterprise and Education customers. Consumers running Windows 10 Home or Pro — i.e. most of you reading this — will still be expected to adopt each new feature update shortly after they’re generally available. That means it is better to be prepared and aware of what is coming rather than just be surprised on the day your system installs the latest feature update. The best way to stay up to speed on what is coming in each new feature update for Windows 10 is through the Windows Insider Program. This early-access process allows you to install development builds of the next feature update for Windows 10, experience the … Read More
As data breaches and loss of user information becomes an unfortunate norm these days, more end users are starting to adopt the Two Factor Authentication (2FA) method to add an extra layer of security to their various online accounts that support 2FA. First, let’s do a quick review of 2FA and what it provides from a security perspective. When a new account is created at any website/service, you typically select a username and password to access that account in the future. You then validate that account through email with a unique link that validates your reception of that email. At this point the account is active and you can access it with your username and password. If the service supports it, you may be offered to set up 2FA once your account is ready or you may need to go into advanced security settings to begin the process of establishing 2FA on the account. 2FA is established when the second factor of authentication is validated and added to the account. The vast majority of services/websites utilize your wireless phone number and an SMS text message. In this test message, a code is sent to that phone and you then enter … Read More
No operating system is perfect — and one of the most persistent questions for any operating system may be, “Something is broken — how can I figure out what?” Windows has built-in troubleshooters — but the experience of using them in Windows 10 is much different than in prior operating systems. To understand how, let’s look at the way things worked in pre-Windows 10 operating systems. One of the things Microsoft included in the Control Panel of Windows 7 and its two successors is a collection of built-in troubleshooters. Troubleshooters in Windows 7 The idea behind these troubleshooting tools was to help end users solve basic problems with their systems. As you can see in the screenshot above, different categories helped users find the right tool. The various groups had some crossover because some items for troubleshooting involved both hardware and networking such as printers. In Windows 7 and 8.1, there were a total of 25 troubleshooters in the Control Panel’s Troubleshoot Computer Problems listing. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
I recently wrote about how to protect important folders using new features in the OneDrive sync client. That story prompted an email from one of our readers who asked me about the encryption of OneDrive files. There are two answers depending on your version of OneDrive. If you are a consumer OneDrive user, i.e. you have the free version of OneDrive and Office 365 Personal and Home subscribers, then your OneDrive files are only encrypted as they move between your system and Microsoft’s data center. They are also encrypted if that storage is moved between their data centers. In other words, anytime those files you place on OneDrive are transmitted or received, they are encrypted. This encryption occurs whether you are sending and receiving OneDrive files through your web browser, the sync client or the mobile OneDrive apps on iOS and Android. Once that file is stored in one of Microsoft’s data centers it is not encrypted any further. This is commonly referred to as data being encrypted at rest. If you are a commercial Office 365 customer, then your OneDrive data is also encrypted during its transit to and from your devices like it is for consumers. However, commercial … Read More
Hello everyone! I am taking a slightly different approach this week and not answering a question but talking about an event that happened this week — the introduction of the Microsoft Surface Go. The 10-inch tablet has a surprisingly low entry-level price of $399 – and that is before adding any accessories like a keyboard, pen and mouse. As a 10-inch tablet with full touch and inking support, it could be a very comfortable second screen for consumption, social media and light email, not unlike the capabilities inherent in the Apple iPad. Surface Go (Via Microsoft) This device is going to help grow the Surface brand because it is the first time Windows-oriented consumers can pick up a branded device at this price level. (Apple’s had a low-cost iPad since March 2018.) Even the high-end Surface Go, which based on its specs would be the performance buy, is listed at $549. For what it offers — and the ease with which it moves between light entertainment and serious productivity, thanks to the full Office 365 suite of software — that’s a great bargain. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Previously, I shared a process that allowed you to sync your Internet Explorer favorites using OneDrive. The premise behind the hack was to centrally store all your IE favorites in a single directory on OneDrive. Synching the favorite shortcuts this way tended to be much faster than depending on the built-in synching that IE itself performs. However, after writing that hack, I started to see an error on my bare metal test devices which were using that OneDrive sync method. OneDrive Folder Error Dialog This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Over the last year, Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service has gone through some significant changes. The first was the return of Files On-Demand, reviving end users’ ability to see their entire cloud storage file structure, then select whether files should be stored locally or in the cloud. The return of Files On-Demand also introduced a dynamic file management process that would adjust local storage of your cloud files based on how often you accessed those files on that system. Although OneDrive is deeply integrated into the Windows 10 operating system, the primary tool used to manage the syncing of your cloud storage is the OneDrive sync client. That piece of software is not tied to Microsoft’s semi-annual features updates for the OS, so the team can ship updates at any time to continue improving the service. Note: An additional benefit of the OneDrive sync client is that it is the only program needed to sync both consumer and OneDrive for Business files stored in the cloud service. This week Microsoft announced the initial rollout of a feature for OneDrive for Business users called Known Folder Move. This allows IT departments to redirect common user folders in Windows 10 such as Desktop, Documents, and … Read More
Q. I heard about Messages for Android on the Web this week – what is that all about? A. You did indeed hear correctly. Google confirmed that they have enabled the ability to send and receive text messages over the web. This new capability supports text (SMS) and image (MMS) based messages. It also provides the mobile-averse with another way to send and receive messages, so let’s review how you’d use this on your computer. Before we get started, there are a couple of caveats in order to use this capability. You must install the Android Messages app from the Play Store. After you have the app installed, you must to make it your default messaging app on your device. (Just open it up and follow the steps to easily make that change.) On your computer open a supported web browser (Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) and browse to https://messages.android.com This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.