It has been an on and off situation over the last several weeks, but it appears Microsoft has made a final decision about the end of support for their classic Skype software. This one blog post from the Skype team was originally posted on July 16 and stated that the classic version of Skype, aka Skype Version 7, would shut down on September 1, 2018. Then, six weeks later, on August 31, 2018, they updated the blog post for the first time and stated they would keep classic Skype working for a limited time based on customer feedback. There were no specifics given beyond that vague time reference — for all we knew, “limited time” could include the few hours between August 31 and September 1. Last week, during Microsoft Ignite on September 27, 2018, they updated the blog post for the third time with the new end of life dates for classic Skype. Desktop versions will stop being supported on November 1, 2018, and mobile/tablet versions will see the end of support two weeks later on November 15, 2018. They do add a caveat that classic Skype (Version 7 and below) might continue to work past those dates but they … Read More
Earlier this week, I traveled up to New York City to attend Microsoft’s October event where, as expected, they revealed updated Surface hardware, the availability of the Windows 10 October Update, and even surprised everyone with a new Surface product line. This was not your typical product launch with a couple hundred media and analysts in attendance. Instead, it was a small group of 50 or so people, in what likely used to be a warehouse. The one-hour briefing was headlined by Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, the Corporate Vice President for Windows & Devices. However, the bulk of the session was presented by Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay. If you have watched a Surface hardware event or launch in the past, you know that he has a particular style of presentation, interleaving the development behind the Surface’s latest features with the end-user experience of those features. Windows 10 October 2018 Update The first piece of news from the event was that the latest feature update for Windows 10 has been released. The initial release will be for what Microsoft calls seekers. They are users who go looking for an update by manually checking Windows Update or using either the Update Assistant or … Read More
We update monthly on Patch Tuesday, install firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware, and always coach users to use complex, secure passwords. But apparently it is still not enough. A recent poll of 300 hackers conducted at Black Hat finds Windows OS is still a very hot target for attack. Those that answered the survey were a combination of white hat, gray hat and black hat hackers. Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed said they had compromised Windows-based systems more than any other within the past year. Most said they infiltrated Windows 10 most frequently, followed by Windows 8. Microsoft says Windows 10 has been deployed on 700 million devices since its launch in 2015. Microsoft has prioritized security in recent years, recently noting it will continue to invest over $1 billion a year on cybersecurity and research in order to further enhance the defenses of its products. But clearly, Windows is still seen as a sitting duck for hackers seeking a quick win. Why is that? “With more than 80 percent of the desktop OS market share, it is no surprise that Windows is a hot target for hackers,” said Michael Maltsev, a security researcher at Reason Software Company. “Microsoft is well aware of this, and … Read More
Cloud storage is often the backup storage, but what if that fails? Having a solid backup for your second option is a matter of convenience and security. You may wonder why you should have a plan for backing up your cloud storage — after all, your cloud storage often is our backup option for physical storage on computers, servers and physical hard disks. The options we used to use for file backup are often less convenient than cloud storage, which can make us overly reliant — and overly confident — in the security of the latter. “We all love the convince of cloud storage,” said Mike Vannelli, head producer of Envy Creative. “However, many people have a preconceived notion that storing your files on Dropbox or Google Drive is enough.” Spoiler alert: it isn’t. Cloud storage is at risk of failure and erasure, just as other types of storage are. For example, an Amazon cloud storage failure in February 2017 caused when Amazon Web Services had a breakdown in its U.S. east coast region lasted for hours and created problems for thousands of apps and services. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click … Read More
Greetings from Central Florida and the land of Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter, and just about any other entertainment venue/company you can imagine. This week I am in Orlando, Florida along with almost 30,000 IT professionals for the five-day Microsoft Ignite conference. Microsoft uses this annual megaconference to share a bevy of new features, products and services announcements with organizations that use and rely on Microsoft’s offerings. After Satya Nadella set the company’s vision for the near term in his keynote Monday morning, other members of the senior leadership of the company did technical keynotes to dive into the products and services that help drive the overall vision laid out by Nadella. Over the course of the conference’s five days, Satya Nadella set the company’s vision for the near term in his keynote Monday morning, then more than 1700 sessions were presented by experts from Microsoft. They range from short 20-minute theater sessions, 45-minute break-out sessions, and 75-minute deep dive sessions. Note: You can watch sessions on-demand and download the slide decks that were used in the presentation at the Microsoft Ignite website. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
This week, with the release of Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17763 to Fast Ring Insiders, it seems Microsoft is very close to their final build for the October 2018 Update. That update is expected to become available sometime in October and if form follows history – that will likely be the week after the October Patch Tuesday updates which happen on October 9th. Over the last couple of newsletters, we have covered what new features and enhancements are expected in this sixth feature update for Windows 10. In addition, we talked about what we would like to see added to Windows 10 in a future update and summarized what features have been removed over the last three feature updates. The October 2018 Update is no different than its predecessors, and so there is a documented list of features that are being deprecated from this latest update. Note: Microsoft sifts these items into two categories. Removed – feature has been removed from the OS. Some of these have been replaced by other functionality while others are dropped because they are no longer actively used/supported. Some of these items may have previously been listed under the deprecated category and are finally being removed from … Read More
Here are several ways to dig up more space from a hard drive running on empty. You keep running low on hard disk space. You may have already taken actions to try to free up storage, such as clearing out your Recycle Bin or uninstalling applications you no longer need. But there are other steps you can take to create more space, especially in Windows 10. Here are the steps we’ll go through: You can see how much space each category of data is using and remove certain content. If your PC has more than one disk drive, you can move your profile and other folders from your main drive to your secondary drive. You can change where new documents, apps, and other content are saved by default. You can turn on Storage Sense to continually free up space. And if you use OneDrive, you can use the Files On-Demand feature to move folders and files from your computer to your online storage site. Before you go through the effort of freeing up space, what are your options? Well, disk space is cheap. You can always add a second hard drive to your computer, or move certain files to an … Read More
Q. Microsoft Edge keeps appearing when I select a URL. Any ideas on a fix so that my default browser setting works the way I think it should? A. This week’s question comes from a reader after they saw last week’s newsletter about Microsoft testing out a pop-up when users install an alternative browser on Windows 10. They shared that this system is running the production release of Windows 10 Home and not participating in Windows Insider early build/app releases. I have no doubt our reader knows about setting defaults in Windows 10 but for posterity, I am going to go ahead and document that process here to get us started with the discussion about this error. Note: Your choice of web browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, must already be installed before you begin this process. Step 1 This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
There’s more to OneDrive than meets the eye. Here’s how to tap into its best features. You use OneDrive to save and sync your documents, photos, and other files in the cloud via OneDrive. You may use the basic features of OneDrive. But Microsoft has continually updated and enhanced the service. OneDrive may now offer benefits that you don’t know about or just haven’t set up. You can use OneDrive to not only save and sync your files online but also share them with other people. You can fetch files from other computers. You can use a Files on-Demand feature to save space on your computer. And you can opt to back up important folders, such as your desktop, documents, and pictures. For this story, I’m running OneDrive from Windows 10. The service works in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 as well, but it’s more robust and feature-filled in Windows 10. I’ll assume you’ve already set up OneDrive and that you’re using it to at least back up certain folders and files. View Your OneDrive Files Locally and Online To easily see your OneDrive folders and files, right-click on the OneDrive icon in your System Tray. Select the option to … Read More
We’ve already looked at how IFTTT can be used to automate your life, so let’s look at another web application that has impressive powers of automation, these ones generally more suited to workplace functions — including email. I’m talking about Zapier. Zapier describes itself as a glue that holds more than 1,000 different web applications together. The service creates zaps, which are workflows that connect your apps and allow for the background automation of different tasks. Overall, Zapier also allows for more fine-tuning, really allowing you to automate things in the ways that work best for you, your professional needs, and your workflow. “Zapier is a really incredible app. It helps you easily connect up the apps you use without needing to write a single line of code,” said Siobhan O’Rorke, marketing manager at Zenkit. About a thousand apps are currently supported by Zapier, including popular ones like Gmail, MailChimp, and Outlook 365. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.