Windows 10 enterprise updating explained – branches, rings, and the OS as a service

win10 6

Are you an admin or power user who feels slightly confused by the detail underpinning Microsoft’s Windows 10 updating and patching plans? If so, that’s not surprising. Microsoft has at times been less than clear about the ins and outs of the new Windows 10 updating branches and ‘rings’ which is some respects are similar to the regime pre-dating Windows 10 but dressed up in a new and confusing terminology.

Here we try to piece together what’s what with updating and Windows 10. There are certainly some things to watch out for. What is clear is that this new world is more complex, necessarily so. Today, Windows 10 is still an operating system but at some point it will resemble more of a service. This is the fate for all ‘big’ operating systems.

The mental map to understanding what’s going in are the different updating ‘branches’ and, within each of those, the deployment ‘rings’. A second important issue is to understand the difference between ‘updates’ (additional feature and services) and patches/fixes (security updates). The first of these is described in detail below while the second will happen as and when they deigned necessary by Microsoft.

For a specific primer on Windows 10’s main Security features see Windows 10 – the top 7 enterprise security features

Windows 10 updating: Current Branch (CB) – Windows 10 Home

This is plainly just the old Windows Update (WU) that home users have grown used to since its appearance in 2003 with Patch Tuesday but there are some important subtleties. Instead of the current monthly patching cycle, some updates will be applied on an ongoing basis, including Defender updates and what would once have been called ‘out of band’ security patches. Bigger updates covering new features will happen every four months, nudging Windows evolution along more rapidly than in the past.

In short, security fixes might coincide with CB updates but are, at a deeper level, independent of them and can happen on any timescale Microsoft chooses.

[Source:- Techworld]

The Moly X1 with Windows 10 Mobile is just $179 via Indiegogo

Image result for The Moly X1 with Windows 10 Mobile is just $179 via Indiegogo

The Moly X1 is an attractive phone running Windows 10 Mobile. The phone came out earlier this year but cost around $300 at the time. Now, the company is evidently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds and get the phone in more hands for a lower price.

The campaign has the phone with either US/Canada or Europe/Australia 4G LTE variants starting at just $179. From there the price goes up to $190 with a case and all the way up to $229 when the lower tiers run out.

The Moly X1 is a decent, low-cost phone especially for $179. While the camera is lacking the rest of the phone has a very elegant design as noted in our unboxing.

Here are the rest of the phone’s details:

Coship Moly X1 specifications

  • 5.5-inch HD or Full HD display with Gorilla Glass
  • 4G LTE support
  • 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal storage with microSD expansion (14.5GB available)
  • micro-USB charging
  • 13MP rear camera with dual-LED flash
  • 5MP front camera
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 4.0 A2DP/HFP/OPP
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4/5.0GHz
  • Sensors: G-sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light sensor
  • Dimensions: 154.8 x 78.6 x 6.9mm
  • Weight 4.9 oz (139 grams)

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

The path to a Surface phone is clearer than ever with Windows 10 on ARM

Why does ARM on Windows 10 matter? What does it mean for a phone running Windows 10? Let’s break down Microsoft’s latest announcement to identify its implications.

Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 10 on ARM is a momentous occasion. Companies like Apple have been rumored since 2012 to be working on bringing macOS to ARM. Even just weeks before the MacBook Pro refresh rumors were swirling that Apple’s new laptops were ARM based. Yet it is Microsoft who is the first to do it for real (and not just for a Touch Bar).

To be clear, Windows 10 on ARM is about PCs and not phones. Nonetheless, the prospect that these two systems will come together is feasible. Here is how a Surface “phone” could happen, but first some background on why ARM even matters.

x86-64 versus ARM

ARM is the architecture used in modern smartphones. Whether it’s Apple’s A10 Fusion chip or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line, these processors are all based on the ARM architecture. ARM differs significantly from x86 and x64, which is what Intel chips like ATOM, Core M, and Core i are based, as well as AMD’s processors.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 on x86-64. They share OneCore and UWP, but there’s a yawning gulf between the architectures.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 for PC runs on x86-64. Both share OneCore and UWP as their center of overlap. The difference is also why you cannot run x86 Win32 apps on your phone. Architecture matters.

Because ARM was made to be efficient for small batteries and reduced thermal loads, it’s ideal for smartphones and slim tablets.

Historically, ARM chips were significantly less powerful than desktop-class x86 processors. That’s been changing in the last few years. Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, found in the iPhone 7, is often compared in performance to the 2013 MacBook Air — which sported a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor.

So, if ARM’s so fantastic, why not just put your desktop OS on it? The task requires a tremendous amount of engineering and work. Microsoft, evidently, has finished it. Apple is likely still working on something.

 

 

 

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer receive updates for Windows mobile devices

We received a tip earlier today that Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer be supported on Windows mobile devices.

Since receiving the tip, we have confirmed with sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans that Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer receive updates for Windows Phone 8.1 or 10 Mobile, but it will still be available in the store.

This will come as a considerable blow for Windows mobile fans of the game, but the amount of users spending time in Minecraft PE for Windows 8.1 and 10 Mobile is reportedly very low, making the development hours needed to keep it up to date is simply no longer economically viable.

At this point, I’d say it’s pretty clear that the future of Windows on mobile devices lies with full Windows 10 on ARM, recently announced for future handsets powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor. Microsoft demonstrated World of Tank Blitz running on a Snapdragon 820 with full Windows 10, which implies that the newer 835 would make short work of Minecraft for Windows 10, which already supports touch. I suspect this is where the bulk of Minecraft development will be spent moving forward.

You can still download and play Minecraft Pocket Edition on Windows Phone devices, at least for the time being, using the link below.

 

 

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

Kantar’s latest smartphone market share report sees Windows Phone dip below 1% in the U.S.

Kantar has released its monthly report on the smartphone market for the three months ending in November 2016, and things continue to look down for Windows Phone. Compared to the same period in 2015, Windows Phone’s share of the market decreased across the board. Perhaps most notably, Windows Phone’s share of the U.S. market in particular dipped below 1%, dropping to a 0.8% share from 2.3% during the same period the year prior.

Kantar reports that the biggest drops occurred in Great Britain and Italy, which saw declines of 7% and 5.2%, respectively. Meanwhile the 5 European countries tallied together ended up seeing an overall decrease of 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago.

Windows Phone has been on a steady decline for a while now, and that’s likely to continue as Microsoft winds down its Lumia production and switches focus to whatever the next big thing could be.

If you’re interested in more, you can check out Kantar’s full report, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

Don’t like Windows 10? Here’s how to uninstall it

With Windows 10, Microsoft has made some massive changes to the way its operating system works, and it’s managed to win over a lot of people (IT Pro included).

However, it’s not been a hit with everyone. Some don’t like the new Start menu, there have been reports of compatibility issues, and many just aren’t comfortable with it. If you’re one of the people that wish they hadn’t upgraded, fear not – you can still go back to your old version of Windows.

Be warned, though – you’ll need to act fast. Microsoft has built a feature into Windows 10 allowing users to roll back to their previous Windows version, but it’s only available for the first ten days after you install the new OS. It’s still possible to go back to an older version after this period elapses, but it’s more difficult and time-consuming.

How to uninstall Windows 10 from automatic install

Although Microsoft has denied it, a number of Windows 7 users have complained that Windows 10 has begun automatically installing on their systems (even one of IT Pro’s staff left their home computer running one evening and returned to find the installation process had started).

If you’ve returned to your PC to find that it has somehow upgraded itself to Windows 10 without your consent, this tutorial will also apply to you.

Previously, once you switched (or your computer switched) to Windows 10, you had 30 days in which to convert back to your previous OS. Once you’ve installed the Anniversary Update, that time falls from 30 days to only ten days. Microsoft has said the change was made following “user research” that revealed most users reverted within the first several days, and shortening the time to 10 days frees up the 3GB to 5GB of storage space that was holding onto the previous OS.

When your PC upgrades to Windows 10, the old operating system is kept on the hard drive for around a month; after the Anniversary Update, that falls to just 10 days. This means that you haven’t got long to decide whether or not you like the new OS.

Before you do this, it is a good idea to make sure all data is backed up using either an external hard drive or a cloud-based backup service. You may also want to ensure your old Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key is to hand just to be doubly careful.

To roll back to your previous version of the OS, go to the Start menu and choose ‘Settings’, then ‘Update & security’. Choose ‘Recovery’ in the left-hand panel and, on the right, find ‘Go back to Windows 8.1′ or ‘Go back to Windows 7’. Click the ‘Get started’ button below that and follow instructions.

Once you have gone back to the old version of Windows, older programs may need to be installed.

Of course, this will only work if you still have the Windows.old folder (C:\Windows.old). If you can’t find it or you have deleted it, then you are out of luck.

A complete reinstall may be your only option if the rollback method described above is no longer available.

This can also have the effect of removing tons of bloatware that have clogged up your operating system, slowing it down.

A clean install is different from the Reset you PC option in Windows 8 and above. This can often re-install junkware that came from the manufacturer with the laptop.

This uses just the Windows media (CD or USB) and nothing else and should result in a faster PC as well. It is also a way of dealing with any malware-infected machines or those that have been riddled with ransomware and had data encrypted.

To perform a clean install, insert the Windows DVD into the disc drive or insert a USB containing the Windows installation media into a free USB port. Then turn on the computer (or restart it).

Look for Press any key to boot from CD or DVD or Press any key to boot from an external device. Pressing a key will force the computer to boot from either the Windows DVD or a flash drive with the Windows 8 installation files on it.

If you can’t find your old disc, as long as you have the product keys, you can download Windows installation media and burn the ISO file to a disc or copy it to a USB drive using Microsoft’s Windows USB/DVD download tool.

On a Windows 7 PC, look for a “certificate of authenticity” sticker with a key on it. It is normally on the underside of a laptop or at the back of a desktop PC. For Windows 8 PCs, the key can be embedded in your computer’s firmware. This means Windows 8.1 will automatically detect it and allow reinstallation of Windows 8.1 without even asking for a key.

 

 

[Source:- ITpro]

Alcatel seems to confirm plans to bring Idol 4s with Windows 10 to more markets

The Idol 4s with Windows 10 is one of the most most powerful Windows 10 Mobile handsets on the market right now, trailing behind the HP Elite x3. Alcatel have build an excellent device with the Idol 4s, bringing a premium design to Windows 10 Mobile along with VR support and more.

First spotted by WindowsBlogItalia (via Neowin), Alcatel France posted the following tweet confirming its plans to bring the Idol 4s to more markets, listing France as one of those markets.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft recently updated the Windows Device Recovery Tool with support for an Alcatel Idol 4s with Windows 10 for open-markets, furthing confirming plans to bring this device to more markets. This is great news for Windows phone fans across the globe who are still waiting for a good, consumer-friendly replacement to the Lumia 950.

[Source:- windowscentral]

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

SSD

One of the best ways of making your PC run faster is by installing a solid-state drive (SSD). However, moving Windows to an SSD is not an easy task.

The best way to move Windows 10 (or any other OS) onto an SSD is by using a cloning tool. This takes everything on the old drive and copies onto the new one. Of course, for a lot of people, this will be like trying to fit a pint in a half pint pot. With all your music, photos and videos, taking up a terabyte of space, you may find compromises will have to be made.

Before you move the Windows installation files to an SSD, you have to separate any other data (documents, pictures, music, videos) to another disc as these won’t be transferred to the SSD.

You will then clone the Windows OS onto the new SSD and move personal data onto the old disc. The great thing here is that you will get the benefit of running Windows from a faster drive while retaining the spacious hard drive for data.

If you are doing this with a desktop computer, then you will have little trouble fitting in both the new disc and the old disc as there should be space for both. Things get a little more difficult when it comes to laptops. At this point, you may have to remove the optical drive to fit in a second drive or spend more money on an SSD that can accommodate all the data present on the old disc.

What do you need?

As mentioned before, for this project you will need your current hard drive (or spinning platters of rust), which you will migrate data from; your new solid-state drive which data will be migrated to; and a backup of all your data, as you can only clone the system files.

You will also need a cloning tool. In this instance, we will use EaseUS Todo Backup Free. Mainly because it is free and also because it is easy enough for most people to use. Also, the tool is good at cloning data from a large disc to a much smaller disc

Defrag your disk and back up your data 

As we are cloning a disc, it is a good idea to defrag the file system before we start anything. Click on the Start menu and type in defrag, when you see the option for Disk Defragmenter, click on its and run the tool to tidy up the disc.

Next thing to do is the back up ALL your data. An external drive is a good start or an online service such as CrashPlan is a good alternative, but the latter will take a lot longer to complete, even with a good internet connection.

Put your old hard drive on a diet

If you are making the move to a smaller SSD drive, you will need to delete a few files off of it to make sure the process completes. If you have a 256GB SSD, you will need to ensure you delete enough files off of the old one to fit on that.

A good place to start is by looking in folders such as My Videos (often has lots of very large files within), then My Music (loads of music collected over the years), then My Documents.

Once your backup has completed and you have verified the data is properly backed up, then delete the data within these folders but not the folders themselves, as you may need them later.

It is important to note that we don’t want to delete applications in the Program Files folder. This is because we also want them to benefit from the speed boost that an SSD has.

Send in the clones 

Once the old disc has slimmed down enough, you can then begin the process of transferring this data to the new SSD. Open EaseUS Todo backup and select “Clone” from the left-hand sidebar.

Select your old disc as the clone source and select the SSD as the target location. Before anything else, tick the box next to “Optimize for SSD”. This is so the partition is correctly aligned for SSDs (this ensures the best performance of the new disc).

The cloning tool will begin copying data over. If you tick the “Shut down the computer when the operation completed” box, the process will shut your system down when completed.

At this point, if you get an error message alerting you that the source disc is too big, you will have to go back to the step before and delete more data from the old disc. This can happen when you haven’t formatted the SSD to find out the true capacity of the new drive.

Delete your old drive

Once complete, switch the PC back on and boot from the SSD. You may have to go into the boot menu and select the SSD as the drive to boot from.

You should notice that Windows now starts a lot quicker than before. But we are not finished yet. You can then open up Windows Explorer and wipe the old drive (make sure it isn’t the backup!!!) Right click on this old drive and select format.

Get your old data back from the backup

We can now move data from the backup onto your old disc, which is now extra storage for your system. You can create a new folder to store all your user folders. Then click on C:\users\username (replace username here!) and you should see your (now empty) user folders. Right-click on each one, select Properties, and go to the Location Tab. Click on Move, and select the newly created user folder as the destination.

To restore your personal data from your backup, simple click and drag documents, music, pictures, videos, and other files back into your My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and other user folders that you have just moved.

 

 

[Source:- ITpro]

Best Windows 10 tips and tricks

Here’s some of the best hacks for Microsoft’s flagship operating system

Windows 10 has come in for its fair share of flak since it launched in July last year, with many naysayers citing installation problems, leaky privacy settings and compulsory updates among the reasons why they’re sticking with Windows 7 or 8.1.

But, as we’ve shown in previous features, these problems can usually be overcome with a little patience and the odd settings tweak. Follow our advice and you should be left with a secure, modern operating system (OS) that will be supported by Microsoft for years to come and offers many tangible benefits over previous versions of Windows.

‘Cast’ photos and videos to your TV

If you own a Miracast-enabled TV or set-top box, then you can use Windows 10 to send media – including music, photos and videos – from your PC to your TV. It’s true that Windows 8.1 can do something similar, but Windows 10 adds the ability to cast media directly from the Edge browser.

Launch Edge and navigate to the page you want – this could be, for example, a photo slideshow, YouTube video, or even files you’ve stored in Dropbox or OneDrive. Next, click the menu button (three dots at the top right) and select ‘Cast media to device’. A small window will pop up listing available screens and receivers – click your TV to cast the media to it.

If you don’t see your TV (or other preferred device) listed, make sure your PC and the device you want to cast to are both connected to the same network and the receiving device is turned on. This tip will work for BBC iPlayer, though annoyingly other TV-streaming services, such as Netflix, don’t support Edge casting.

Create PDFs in almost any program

Converting documents, maps and other content to PDF files can make it easier to share them over email. Until now, you had to install a third-party PDF tool to carry out these conversions, but many, such as CutePDF, come crammed with adware, toolbars and other unwanted junk.

Sensibly, Microsoft has built PDF creation into Windows 10. Better still, the feature has been incorporated as a print option, meaning that any program or app that allows you to print will also allow you to create or convert your files to PDF.

Let’s say you want to save a web page as a PDF. Simply click your browser’s menu button (usually in the top-right corner) and select Print. Then choose ‘Microsoft Print to PDF’ from the list of available printers. Change any other settings as needed, then click Print. You’ll be prompted to give your PDF file a name and choose a location to save it in. Do so and your PDF will be created.

Copy and paste in the Command Prompt

Many advanced PC fixes require you to enter specific commands into the Windows Command Prompt tool (CMD) – “shutdown /r /o”, for example, will restart your PC and bring up the Advanced Start Options menu, from where you can launch Safe Mode.

Typing complicated commands can produce errors, which is why it’s great that Windows 10’s revamped CMD tool finally lets users copy and paste directly using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V keyboard shortcuts. It’s astonishing that Microsoft seemingly hadn’t thought of this until now.

To enable this, right-click Start and select Command Prompt. When it opens, right-click the header bar at the top of the program window and select Properties. On the Options tab under Edit Options, tick the box next to ‘Enable Ctrl key shortcuts’. While you’re here, you can enable some of Windows 10’s other unique new features too.

QuickEdit mode’ lets you click and drag to select text in the Command Prompt window; ‘Filter clipboard contents on paste’ automatically removes unnecessary characters from commands you copy; ‘Enable line wrapping selection’ lets you select and copy multiple lines of text; and ‘Extended text selection keys’ provides support for even more keyboard shortcuts (such as Ctrl+A to select all text). Click OK when you’ve finished ticking these.

Set reminders via your voice

Most Windows 10 users will probably agree that Cortana – the operating system’s much-vaunted personal assistant – is nowhere near as impressive as Microsoft would have us believe. That said, there are times when Cortana’s skills can actually come in very handy – for instance, when you want a quick way to set reminders.

Let’s say there’s something important that you need to do at a certain time of day – take some medication, perhaps. Just click the microphone icon in the taskbar and say ‘set a reminder’. Cortana will ask you what it is you need to remember and when you need the reminder to pop up.

You can even set up recurring reminders by saying ‘every day at four o’clock,’ for example. Double-check that all the details displayed in Cortana’s panel are correct, adjust them if necessary, then say ‘yes’ or click Remind. Bear in mind, however, that this will only work if your device has a microphone.

Download offline maps

Windows 8.1 has a map app, but Windows 10’s version goes one better by letting you download maps to your PC, so you can view them without an internet connection. Open the Maps app, click the Settings (cog) icon, then click ‘Download or update maps’.

You’ll be taken to the ‘Offline maps’ page of the Settings app. Click ‘Download or update maps’, select your continent (Europe, for example), followed by your country, then your region. Close the Maps app and your map will begin downloading.

 

[Source:- ITpro]

 

Windows 10 release date, features, devices and free upgrade: Windows 10 Creators Update ‘scheduled for April’

Windows 10 at-a-glance

Windows 10 launched globally on 29 July 2015 and touted as “the last version of Windows”, marking the end of decades of occasional heavy duty OS updates in favour of a more incremental approach. Available as a free upgrade for a year after launch, Windows 10 became full price on 30 July 2016. Here’s our round-up of everything you need to know about Windows 10.

  • Windows 10 started rolling out on 29 July 2015 as a free upgrade
  • Windows 10 free upgrade ended 29 July 2016 and Anniversary Update launched on 2 August
  • Read our full review of Windows 10 here
  • Enterprise users can manage company-wide rollouts for Windows 10 updates
  • Microsoft Edge replaces Internet Explorer as Windows 10’s default browser
  • Android and iOS apps will run on the new OS

 

[Source:- ITpro]