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Bad Windows Updates

By on Mar 17, 2017 in Blog, News |

Microsoft, Please Stop Breaking My PC With Windows 10’s Automatic Updates by Chris Hoffman on March 16th, 2017 Hey Microsoft, could you please stop breaking my PC? The latest WPD driver update released on March 8, 2017 is just the latest in a long string of bad updates. If Windows 10 is going to force these updates on my system, the least Microsoft could do is test them properly first. Don’t get us wrong: automatic updates are very important for security reasons, and we believe they are a good thing. The problem is that Microsoft isn’t just releasing security updates. They’re making major changes to Windows, and not testing the updates properly. They need to do better. Microsoft Just Released a Bad Driver Update, and I Have to Fix It The latest and most obnoxious update—at least for me, personally—was the “Microsoft – WPD – 2/22/2016 12:00:00 AM – 5.2.5326.4762” update released on March 8, 2017. Microsoft removed this update from Windows Update, but not until after my and other PCs installed it. As a Microsoft representative explained in a discussion post on Microsoft’s community forums: “An incorrect device driver was released for Windows 10, on March 8, 2017, that affected a small group of users with connected phones or portable devices.  After installation, these devices are not detected properly by Windows 10” That’s right: Microsoft released a bad driver update that broke the MTP drivers in Windows. MTP is used to access files on connected Android phones and tablets, media players, Windows phones, and some other types of portable devices. This update seems broken for everyone, so how did it get onto Windows Update in the first place? Driver updates are supposed to be tested through the Windows Hardware Quality Labs before they’re allowed onto Windows Update. Apparently that isn’t happening properly. Microsoft caught the problem, so that should be the end of the story, right? Nope. Microsoft isn’t going to release an automatic fix through Windows Update to correct the problem. It’s my job to fix what Microsoft broke on my PC, and it’s your job to fix it on your PC if Windows 10 automatically installed the same update for you. As this is a driver update, there’s no way to “uninstall”...

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Microsoft: more people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before

By on Dec 12, 2016 in Blog, News |

Microsoft has been targeting Mac users with its Surface commercials recently, and it appears they might be paying off. The software giant claims that November was the “best month ever for consumer Surface sales,” following a number of Black Friday deals on the Surface Pro 4. Microsoft still isn’t providing sales numbers, but the company claims “more people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before.” Microsoft cites “the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro” and its trade-in program for MacBooks for tempting people to switch to Surface. Again, Microsoft refuses to provide numbers but vaguely claims “our trade-in program for MacBooks was our best ever.” Alongside the Surface sales, Microsoft is also expanding on the availability of the new Surface Book with Performance Base. The most powerful Surface Book is now available in Australia and New Zealand, and will arrive in Austria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK early next quarter. Microsoft isn’t providing and sales guidance for its Surface Studio, or any news on when the all-in-one PC will be available outside the US. Source...

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First Look: This is Windows Holographic in Windows 10 – MSPoweruser

By on Dec 12, 2016 in Blog, News |

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is bringing the Windows Holographic Shell to Windows 10 PCs. With Windows Holographic, Windows 10 users will be able to use some of their apps and games in a VR environment via virtual reality headsets from companies like Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and Asus in 2017. Microsoft has already started including parts of Windows Holographic in the latest Insider builds of Windows 10. The company added a “Windows Holographic” app to Windows 10 with a recent Insider build — and with Windows 10 Build 14986 last week, Microsoft has updated the app. We’re able to try out Windows Holographic in a simulation mode in the latest Insider build of Windows 10 and get our first look at the feature. At the moment, there honestly isn’t anything to be excited about as we were only able to open up the Start Menu in Windows Holographic. Apart from that, we weren’t able to do anything else as there doesn’t seem to be any way of interacting with the system at the moment as this is just a simulation. Windows Holographic does, indeed, look very exciting. We’ll likely get a much better look in 2017 once Microsoft releases newer builds of Windows 10 to Insiders. However, for the most part, the Windows Holographic experience should be very similar to what we already have in the Microsoft HoloLens — so if you already own a HoloLens, this probably won’t be very exciting for you. Source: First Look: This is Windows Holographic in Windows 10 –...

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Windows 10’s Defender Hub app shows up on the Windows Store – MSPoweruser

By on Nov 20, 2016 in Blog, News |

  Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 app on the Windows Store. The company’s latest app, Windows Defender Hub, is a simple app that provides the latest news regarding Windows Defender and security on Windows 10. The app pulls articles from Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center website and users can read 6 of the latest articles on the app. If you want to read more articles, you’ll have to open the Malware Protection Center. Help protect your device with the antimalware protection built in to Windows 10. It’s already on your device! There’s nothing to buy, no subscriptions, and no nagware. Windows Defender Hub gives you access to Windows Defender, so you can easily check your protection status or scan your device. Windows Defender Hub also brings you articles from Microsoft about malware and viruses and the latest security trends, even if you use another antivirus program. This new app is likely for the Windows 10 Creators Update which is also expected to introduce a new Windows Defender app with a modern experience. If you are interested in trying out the Defender Hub, you can download it from the Windows Store: Source: Windows 10’s Defender Hub app shows up on the Windows Store – MSPoweruser...

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Everything you need to know about Windows 10 recovery drives | PCWorld

By on Nov 14, 2016 in Blog, News |

We take a look at the recovery drive, one of the most useful troubleshooting tools included with Windows 10. Source: Everything you need to know about Windows 10 recovery drives | PCWorld   You never know when you’ll need a Windows recovery drive, so the time to make one is now—and it’s very easy to do. A recovery drive is similar to the media you’d receive if you bought a pre-built system. Back in the day, PCs would ship with a CD or DVD that included an image of the system as it left the factory. If your PC’s OS went sideways, you could easily revert to the way things were on day one (though you’d lose all of your subsequently created data and applications, obviously). Nowadays manufacturers usually just put an image of the system as it left the factory on a hidden partition of your main drive. A Windows recovery disk builds on this idea. In addition to letting you reinstall Windows, it includes several troubleshooting tools, which can be a lifesaver if your system won’t boot. Some of these tools used to be part of the OS. If your PC failed to boot you were presented with a menu allowing you to try and boot into Safe Mode, or use “last known good configuration.” That’s no longer the case with Windows 10. Now you need these tools to reside on a separate, bootable USB key, and every person running Windows should keep one in a safe place with the label “in case of emergency.” You can easily create a recovery drive using Windows 10’s built-in tool. Here’s how you create one and what it can do for you. First, obtain an 8GB to 16GB USB key. Next, go into Windows’ Control panel (right-clicking the Windows icon is the easiest way) and type create a recovery drive into the search bar. The manual method would be to go to System & Security > Security & Maintenance > Recovery. You may need to enter your admin password to go further. In the resulting dialog box, check the box labeled Back up system files to the recovery drive. With your recovery drive created, you’ll have to boot from it in order to use it. How your PC boots...

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Turn your computer into a touchscreen with AirBar

By on Nov 13, 2016 in Blog, News |

You won’t be made a fool when you tap your computer screen — so long as you have an AirBar. This new accessory instantly turns your PC into a touchscreen. Source: Turn your computer into a touchscreen with AirBar We’ve all been there — tapping the laptop screen with a finger after forgetting that it’s not a tablet and doesn’t have touchscreen capabilities. But now, you won’t be made a fool of when you tap your computer screen … if you have an AirBar, that is. This new accessory turns your PC into a touchscreen device, because sometimes, using a trackpad or a mouse is just too hard. The flagship device from Swedish company Neonode, the AirBar is now officially available for pre-order in the U.S. It’s compatible with most Chromebook notebooks and PCs running Windows 8.1 or 10, and allows users to “promptly and seamlessly activate touch functionalities on their laptops.” Sleek and lightweight, the thin, matte black bar attaches magnetically to the bottom of your laptop for what just might be the easiest installation of all time. Don’t worry — you won’t have to download any software to get the device to work. Simply connect the AirBar via USB and start touchscreening. The device makes use of Neonode’s patented zForce Air technology, which emits an invisible light field atop your laptop screen capable of sensing touch from fingers (even if they’re gloved), as well as paintbrushes. That means you could scroll down that recipe even as you’re cooking with an oven mitt, or turn your computer screen into a digital canvas. More: Nikon adds Bluetooth, enhanced touchscreen to new D5600 DSLR “We developed this product knowing there is really nothing else like it on the market,” said Remo Behdasht, senior vice president of AirBar Devices at Neonode. “People want touchscreen capabilities, but until now their options were very limited by brand and cost. Our successful pre-order phase was further confirmation of the massive appeal and demand for this device.” You can turn your laptop into a touchscreen laptop with AirBar for $69, and choose from 13.3-inch, 14-inch, and 15.6-inch size options. The device is currently available here, and will also be sold on Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and...

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