Reliance Jio Speed Slowest, Vodafone Roaming Incoming Free, Lyf F1, and More: Your 360 Daily

Reliance Jio Speed Slowest, Vodafone Roaming Incoming Free, Lyf F1, and More: Your 360 Daily

It was Reliance Jio’s day in the news – it started with a victory against the incumbents as Trai declared that free voice calls for life don’t constitute predatory pricing. But the regulator also forced Jio to cut down on the duration of the welcome offer, with seriously troubling reports about the speed of its network emerging later in the day.

Other news included Moto G4 and G4 Plus getting Android 7.0 Nougat; Vodafone making incoming calls free on roaming; and Google’s first real-world shop; as well as a couple of mobile launches. Let’s dive right in.

 [Source:-Gadgets 360]

Microsoft Opens Cybersecurity Engagement Centre in India

Microsoft Opens Cybersecurity Engagement Centre in India

At a time when governments the world over are struggling to tackle cyber-attacks and data breach, technology giant Microsoft India on Friday launched a full-scale Cybersecurity Engagement Centre (CSEC) in India.

After a successful year-long pilot – the centre is India’s first and Microsoft’s seventh Cybersecurity Centre globally – opened at a juncture when over three million debit cards of various banks are believed to be ‘tainted’ following a suspected security breach in the country.

“We believe security of critical information is imperative for our corporate customers, just as it is vital to ensure security and privacy of citizen data and transactions. Our first investment towards this was setting up our local data centres in India and the Cybersecurity Engagement Centre is the second,” Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India, told reporters in New Delhi.

Microsoft’s strategy is to provide protection across all end-points – from sensors to the data centre, detection of attack using targeted signals, behavioural monitoring and machine learning – and eventually closing the gap between discovery and action taken to neutralise the attack.

According to the leading software security group Kaspersky Lab, India is among the top five countries in the world to be attacked by ransomware – malware that forces its victims to pay a ransom through certain online payment methods to regain their data.

In the last 12 months, Microsoft’s cyber-security management team met with over 100 organisations in the country to understand what plagued them.

“The team observed three common IT issues plaguing them that include unmanaged and unregulated IT assets usage, procurement and maintenance, poor knowledge of cyber hygiene among users withing organisations and inability of companies to timely monitor, detect and remove cyber threats,” the company said.

The CSEC will bring together Microsoft and its partners to identify and respond to cyber threats in the country.

“As governments and enterprise embrace digital transformation and strive for resilience, a holistic and agile security platform is ever more critical. This is where Microsoft’s unique threat intelligence innovations and trusted cloud ecosystem offer them powerful protection against security threats,” added Madhu Khatri, Associate General Counsel of Microsoft India.
In addition to enabling and empowering enterprises to manage modern security threats effectively, the CSEC aims to expand Microsoft’s public-private partnerships in India.

“This will build on the momentum in the last few years, where the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) has fostered various partnerships with public sector and enforcement agencies globally. Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) seeks to build trust by fighting global malware, reducing digital risk and protecting vulnerable populations,” Microsoft said in a statement.

“The DCU does this by combining big data analytics, cutting-edge forensics and novel legal strategies. This includes strategic collaboration with Interpol in global malware botnet disruption operations and a PhotoDNA licensing collaboration to support Interpol’s efforts in preventing child sexual exploitation online, as well as cyber threat intelligence sharing partnerships with several Internet Service Providers in the region and government Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs),” the statement added.

The centre will also enable customers tap into a pool of resources such as security specialists and technologies at Microsoft.

As part of Microsoft Consultancy Services (MCS), a dedicated India-based response team will offer security consultancy services to enterprise customers. “The MCS team works closely with enterprises to understand their business goals, challenges and technical maturity to develop enterprise security strategies and empower them through their critical digital transformation,” Microsoft added.

Microsoft has also rolled out Microsoft Secure, a nationwide campaign to increase awareness on cyber-security to help organisations understand their security requirements better.

“Through its three-pronged approach of comprehensive platform, unique intelligence and partnerships, Microsoft is aiming to drive educational sessions and coaching sessions with enterprises in the country,” the statement added.

[Source:-Gadget 360]

Debit Cards Breach, All Things Reliance Jio, Samsung Galaxy On Nxt, and More Tech News This Week

Debit Cards Breach, All Things Reliance Jio, Samsung Galaxy On Nxt, and More Tech News This Week

Missed news from the world of tech this week? Don’t worry because we have all the highlights here for you. You can also check out our 360 daily news recaps from this week (and before), where you can also find short 2-minute video recaps if you’re running short on time.

One of the biggest developments of the week was that a huge security breach took place that potentially compromised the data of 3.2 million debit cards in India. SBI, HDFC, and ICICI are apparently the worst hit; Axis Bank however says there has been no loss to customers from the breach. SBI has also blocked 600,000 cards after the breach. It goes without saying that you should change your ATM PIN as a security measure.

As usual, there were plenty of phones launched during the week. The Lyf F1, which has a 16-megapixel camera, was launched for Rs. 13,399. The company is offering a free Bluetooth speaker worth Rs. 3,000 alongside, and announced a 10 percent cashback offer for Citibank cardholders. Buyers will also get a Reliance Retail gift voucher worth Rs. 15,000.

Intex launched its budget smartphone the Intex Cloud Scan FP, which comes with a fingerprint scanner, priced at Rs. 3,999. We also saw the launch of the Infocus Epic 1, which will go on sale from October 25. The Samsung Galaxy On Nxt launched at Rs. 18,490, exclusive to Flipkart.

Huawei launched the Honor 6X, which comes with a fingerprint sensor, VoLTE support, dual camera setup, and an octa-core processor. The company also launched a tablet and smartwatch, the Honor Pad 2 with 3GB of RAM, and the Honor Watch S1. ZTE also launched two phones this week; the ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini priced at Rs. 12,999, and the ZTE Nubia Z11 mini S, which was launched in China and is priced at CNY 1,499, or approximately Rs. 14,687. Despite the similar name, the two phones are quite different – the mini S is bigger and more powerful, and packs a 23-megapixel camera.

Other launches include the Gionee P7 Max 5.5-inch phone with 3GB RAM, the Panasonic Eluga Tapp, which has 4G VoLTE, and the Xolo Era 2, also with Reliance Jio support.

Beyond the launches, some pretty interesting developments have been taking place. The Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview is now available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C.

Speaking of India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI and Reliance Jio have both been in the news as well. Jio and other telcos have still been having issues over interconnection, and we’re starting to see some fallout from all this. TRAI has recommended a Rs. 3,050 fine on Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea for not providing enough interconnect points. The other big win for Jio is that TRAI has alsocleared Jio’s free voice calls for life.

It’s not all good for Jio though – TRAI’s speed test data showed this week that Jio is the slowest 4G network in India. The telco claims that this is because of the structure of its Welcome Offer, which is running till the end of the year. Under the Welcome Offer, every Jio subscriber has unlimited free Internet access, but there’s a 4GB daily limit on full speed access. After consuming 4GB, your speed is throttled – Jio is claiming that this has been affected the average speed as recorded by Trai.
Also – and you can probably thank Jio for this – Airtel has now rolled out a plan offering 10GB of data for Rs. 259; the plan was originally an exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy J-series smartphones, but has been expanded to all new 4G smartphones.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi also had a big week. For one thing, it’s claiming to have sold 1 million smartphones in India in just 18 days. CEO Lei Jun wrote an open letter to Xiaomi India employees, and there he also revealed that the company has sold 2.3 million Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 phones in six months. The company is also working to expand its presence.

Last month it announced its first offline-retail phone, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Plus; now it has partnered with rural retail provider StoreKing to build its offline presence in rural areas. Xiaomi also allegedly made its entry into the European market, though not in a way it would have wanted to – a Spanish phonemaker, Zetta, was reportedly selling rebranded Xiaomi phones under its own name. Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 it has no relationship with Zetta, or anyone else in Western Europe.

There were also reports that Xioami has succeeded in making a bendable smartphone. Flexible displays have been around since quite some time, however none have made it to the commercial market yet.

Great news for gamers this week – the long rumoured Nintendo NX was officially unveiled this week. The NX is now officially the Nintendo Switch, and it will be on sale from March 2017. The price of the console has not been announced yet, but it is both a portable and home console as rumoured. The base station is a power supply that also connects the console to your TV, and when you want to take it with you on the go, the main “console” has a built in display.

We still don’t know too much about how powerful the console is except that it’s powered by Nvidia’s Tegra chipset, and Nintendo hasn’t revealed a full lineup of games. Skyrim was shown briefly on the clip Nintendo showed, and the new Beyond Good and Evil is reportedly going to be an exclusive to the new console, with a 2018 release date.

Another very exciting piece of news this week came from Tesla. The company announced that it will integrate self-driving technology in all its cars, not just the high-end models. It also stated that it will roll out an Uber-style ride services program.

The race towards self-driving cars is heating up – Chinese giant LeEco launched in the US with the smartphones Le Pro 3 and Le S3; the company also unveiled its self-driving car, the LeSee. We’re officially living in the future as companies get into a race to bring self-driving cars to the roads.These were the highlights of the week to us; let us know if there’s anything else you think should be mentioned, via the comments.

[Source:-Gadget 360]

Gap Closes Between Computational Science and Open Source Software

The Eclipse Science Working Group (SWG), a global community for individuals and organizations who collaborate on commercially-friendly open source software, today released five projects aimed at expediting scientific breakthroughs by simplifying and streamlining computational science workflows. While computational science has made a great impact across the scientific spectrum, from climate change to astrophysics to genomics, today’s data-centric simulation environments require enhanced analysis, visualization, and workflow management to further reduce time to solution and increase the frequency of research breakthroughs. Hence Eclipse’s software release. Continue reading this press release here.

[Source:-HTml ]

Opinion: The Pixel Camera Software Pushes Google Beyond Other OEMs

Google has finally outclassed other companies when it comes to cameras. This is a statement that some individuals might have thought they never would have heard. When it comes to the camera, Google’s line of hardware which up until now resided in the Nexus camp for smartphones, was never thought of as the best phone on the market for photos. Each passing year presented consumers with a new Nexus phone that ultimately had better pictures than the phone that was released the year before, but they have never actually had the best smartphone camera. That changed this year with the Pixel and the Pixel XL, which has helped push Google past other OEMs in the photo department. This isn’t just due to the sensor that Google has used inside of the phone, although that does factor in quite a bit, but rather a large part of it has to do with the camera software. This is the real magic behind the curtain.

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL have a handful of special little tweaks and perks that are part of the software side of things which are aimed at enhancing the smartphone experience for users, and while Google did pack special features in throughout the software in numerous areas, such as with the unlimited photo and video storage backups at full resolution, the special software used in the camera is a huge focus this year it seems, and that’s a good thing because it will help Google’s two new phones succeed more than they likely would have if their camera wasn’t rated the highest smartphone camera to date. On the specifics, a large portion of the camera software on the Pixel and Pixel XL are automatic and intelligent. When you pick up the Pixel and snap a photo, things happen quickly and rather effortlessly, the camera opens extremely fast and is ready to take a shot in pretty much no time at all. Now, speed of the camera is one very good aspect of what Google has done here with the camera software, but more of what makes this camera great should be attributed to the HDR+ mode that Google has switched on by default.

It’s HDR+ that is the real star of the show for the way the Pixel and Pixel XL handle images, and there are more than a few elements to this, but one important factor that boosts the camera up is the way HDR+ takes multiple image shots before the shutter button is pressed. This makes it so that capturing pictures is more of an instant affair and aside from giving a person more time to take more shots, it also better ensures that people are going to get the “right” shot, and that’s the key detail. Getting the right shot. While HDR+ is on by default and Google trusts it to give you the perfect photo every time (and it expects you to trust it as well), the reality is that it likely isn’t going to give you the perfect picture every single time you press the shutter button. That said, the likelihood of getting a great image that you can feel proud to show off to friends and family is much higher than on past Nexus devices, and probably much higher than on other top-end flagships from this year. You might be asking, if the pictures are already saved to the sensor (which is a state of the art Sony IMX378 sensor) before the shutter button is pressed, then what does the shutter button actually do? Well, you still have to press the shutter button to get the image and have it saved, it just isn’t taking the image at that time any more. It does however use the time you pressed the shutter button as a timestamp for the photo.

The other thing that HDR+ does differently than HDR modes on other devices is combining multiple images that are taken only in low exposure instead of mixing multiple images in high, medium, and low exposure levels. Google’s argument here is that using multiple low exposure shots helps them get a better set of low-light image results. In shorter terms, underexposing the images is key to what makes the camera on the pixel produce the shots that it can. Google’s software is great at denoising images (getting rid of most of the noise in images taken in low-light) which is a point we made in our full review of the Pixel and Pixel XL, and this leads to Google being able to keep colors saturated in those low exposure shots which makes for a vibrant and colorful picture with more depth and clarity than you would expect with less light. The Pixel’s software also keeps a little bit of the noise in images, as this allows the pictures to keep some of the texture that add to the overall quality of the shot. Of course, it’s important to note that you can switch HDR+ off if you want to, but as mentioned above it’s set to HDR+ Auto as the default setting, and even though HDR+ auto takes multiple images at low-exposure, you can easily adjust the exposure manually by simply dragging your finger up and down the screen to fine tune things to just the way you want them, with a range of +2.0 all the way down to -2.0.

While the Pixel and Pixel XL lack optical image stabilization, they do carry electronic image stabilization so there is still some stabilizing of photos going on, and OIS, according to Google, is actually not needed as much with HDR+, making for yet another way that the Pixel’s default camera mode helps to push the pictures on the device past those of its competitors. Because HDR+ is capable of taking multiple shots at low exposure and then blending those together for the end result, the image doesn’t really need to be stabilized in the way that OIS would provide, as OIS is typically meant for a photo at longer exposure times. This doesn’t mean that the Pixel camera will win out every single time against competing devices with similar hardware that do have OIS included, but it’s quickly becoming apparent that HDR+ was Google’s ace in the hole as far as the camera is concerned, as it seems to have allowed them to achieve a really great image quality in a number of ways. Having said that, HDR+ is not the only thing that makes this a great camera, as there are still options for other camera modes and there are a handful of other elements that you can adjust to make your pictures your own. As with past Google devices, those of which belonged to the Nexus line, panorama is a mode that has returned to allow you to grab wide frame shots by stitching together multiple images. Other modes like Photo Sphere, and Lens Blur have returned as well, and there’s even a Slow Motion mode which can grab imagery at either 120fps in 1080p resolution, or 240fps in 720p resolution. While the 720p resolution is lower quality, the 240fps is something that not many other high-end flagships have included in their smartphone cameras, giving the Pixel an edge here too. If this is a feature that you plan to use.

While relatively small compared to something like HDR+, other features in the software like a quick double tap on the power button to the open the camera (which works both while the screen is sleeping and while it’s awake) give the camera an extra boost. It is also worth noting that the Pixel is not the only phone which allows for such quick access to the camera, but when paired with everything else in the software it simply adds to appeal. So, while Google’s Pixel camera software may not have as many modes or scene effects that can be applied when taking pictures, HDR+, and the capability to snap photos extremely fast still helps it to achieve greatness beyond what other OEMs have done with their phone cameras so far. Of course, each person is different and other users will appreciate the unique features that their own device provides, but it’s still hard to argue against Google coming closer to perfecting the camera software on an Android device when they were able to grab the best rating for a smartphone so far. That said, it’s highly likely and very probable that Google as well as other OEMs will continue to improve their cameras and camera software as new devices are developed, so this is really a win for everyone.


Google’s Pixel Has a 2-Year Software Update Promise, and That’s Exactly Why It’s Not Going to Be My Next Smartphone [Poll]

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

This isn’t the first time Google is delivering a stock-Android running smartphone whose price starts at $649. The Nexus 6, just to refresh your memory came at the same price tag, and now we see a familiar price tag on a Pixel, with a completely unfamiliar face and design. Google has promised that software updates for both Pixel and Pixel XL will be rolled out for a period of two years, and that is exactly what is frustrating me at this point to know that despite being a fan of devices running pure Android, I will not be upgrading to one. While the price tag does offend me, it’s Google’s effort of what it does with our hard-earned money that’s really grinding my gears.

For Its Asking Price, Google Should Have Promised at Least 5-Years’ Worth of Software Updates for Its Pixel Smartphones

Pixel is available in the 32GB and 128GB capacity models and is available for the following prices:

  • Pixel 32GB: $649
  • Pixel 128GB: $749
  • Pixel XL 32GB: $769
  • Pixel XL 128GB: $869

If you are unable to see the price similarities with another company’s smartphone lineup, then allow us to break it down for you. Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are available for the exact same prices listed above and for the exact same storage models, and despite appreciating the clean look of stock Android, perhaps the only reason why I will probably switch to an iPhone is because, for the same price tag and internal storage, I will be guaranteed software updates for a much longer period. Just to remind you, it’s been reported that Apple’s iPhone 4 is now being placed on the obsolete list later this month.

Google Rumored To Be Shipping Out First Non-Nexus Device This year

Even now, if you visit the company’s website, iOS 10 will be listed as being compatible with iPhone 5, a handset that was announced way back in 2012, and if I do purchase a Pixel, I will only be guaranteed software updates till 2018? That’s completely unfair; when you purchase a smartphone, you just don’t do it for the powerful hardware and impressively designed look, you’re also paying a portion of that retail price for that refined software experience, which Google is only guaranteeing us for a period of 48 months, show the level of dedication to its users on the mobile platform. When you invest this much in the flagship, you expect it to work for a long period. No extra hurdles to cross configuring its software, no flashing, no nothing.

With all the money that consumers will end up paying the company, it becomes Google’s responsibility, but it appears that the tech giant seriously needs to think about whether its Pixel phones have been announced as a cash cow for the company, or as an upgraded software experience for the user. Some readers might argue that in the future, factory images of these phones could be announced, allowing you to flash the software on your Pixel devices. While I completely agree that this alternative exists, am I really paying $649 just so I can go through a tedious process of updating the software on my Android devices?

No, I am not. Instead, it should be Google’s turn to continue providing timely OTA updates for the price that we’ve paid for these phones. Either that or drastically reduce their pricing since that will be a huge weight off our shoulders.


macOS Sierra UK release date, price, features: macOS Sierra now generally available

Apple unveiled its latest desktop operating system, Sierra, at WWDC in June 2016, surprising some by ditching the OS X naming convention in favour of a return to Mac OS, or, rather macOS as it is now.

While Sierra was first shown to the world back in the summer, Apple said the software won’t be generally available until autumn. With no firm date given, it has been widely speculated that 7 September – the date of the company’s annual hardware launch event – will be Sierra’s launch date, or at the very least a firm launch date will be announced.

Here you can find out everything you need to know about the new operating system ahead of its official launch.

Quick Links

  • macOS Sierra: latest news
  • macOS Sierra: name
  • macOS Sierra: features
  • macOS Sierra: price
  • macOS Sierra: release date


macOS Sierra: latest news

21/09/2016: MacOS Sierra is finally available to Mac users via the Mac App Store.

The update brings with it a slew of iOS-like features. Among the highlights are Auto Unlock with Apple Watch, Universal Clipboard, Desktop and Documents Sync, Picture in Picture mode, a customised version of Siri (voice assistant) for Mac and many others.

The update also brings Apple Pay to the Mac. You will still need an iPhone or iPad with Touch ID to complete a transaction but it now means that websites can offer the payment method for online shopping via the Safari browser.

The Photos app also gets new search and highlights options to match updates in iOS 10. iMessage on the Mac also gets larger emojis and web page previews.

The latest version of Apple’s desktop operating system is the firm’s first rebrand of operating system since Mac OS 9.

The following Macs will be able to download and install MacOS Sierra: MacBook (late 2009 and later), iMac (late 2009 and later), MacBook Air (2010 and later), MacBook Pro (2010 and later), Mac Mini (2010 and later) and Mac Pro (2010 and later).

The update is available from the Mac App Store.

09/09/2016: Apple has made available the golden master version of macOS Sierra, the newest operating system for the Mac.

The release comes just two weeks after the seventh Sierra public beta and a day after the golden master was made available to developers.

The GM final version will pretty much be the same as the version that gets released to the general public on 20 September.

To get the update, users have to sign up to Apple’s beta testing program. Once this is done, the GM can be downloaded through the Software Update app on MacOS.

The update brings Siri to the Mac, a new continuity feature that features an Auto Unlock option for unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch. There is also a Universal Clipboard for copying and pasting across multiple devices.

07/09/2016: macOS Sierra could be with us as early at 8pm tonight. Apple is hosting its annual “special event” at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco tonight, which starts at 6.00pm UK, where it is expected to launch the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch 2 and perhaps some new desktop and laptop computers as well. It is also at these events where the latest versions of Apple’s operating systems, including iOS, watchOS and (historically) OS X have gone on general release or have at least had that release date announced.

Stay tuned to find out when macOS Sierra will finally be available to download and follow our coverage of the event live from 5.30pm BST.

30/08/2016: macOS Sierra could finally be ready for general release in just over a week’s time.

Apple has announced its autumn Special Event 2016 will be taking place on 7 September. The iPhone 7 and Apple Watch2 are expected to be the main flagship products at the launch, but a new iMac or MacBook (or both) is still on the cards too, which would probably run macOS out of the box. Apple has always indicated that the production version of macOS Sierra would be available this autumn, so a tie in with the 7 September event seems likely.

In related news, Apple has also just seeded the eighth beta version of the new desktop operating system to developers. As with the past several updates, it consists of bug fixes and performance upgrades, rather than any new featues, to the extent that some developers and public beta testers, who received their seventh release at the same time, have said there are no visible changes at all.

10/08/2016: The fifth Developer Beta of macOS Sierra ahead of its anticipated launch in September.

Developer Beta 5 is a stack of updates across Apple’s whole OS suite, including iOS 10, WatchOS 3 and tvOS 10. In macOS Sierra, the update is mainly restricted to bug fixes and “improvements” according to the release notes. However, as spotted by Neowin, there are also instructions on how to set up the new Auto Unlock feature, which it turns out requires two-factor authentication.

Public Beta 4 was also released alongside Developer Beta 5, both of which were released earlier than expected. Apple normally leaves 14 days between Beta releases, but on this occasion only left a week. The release of the finished version of macOS Sierra is expected within the next six weeks at Apple’s 2016 Special Event.

macOS Sierra: name

It was widely rumoured beforehand, and those rumours proved accurate – Apple has changed the naming convention of its desktop operating system. Ditching the ‘OS X’ label, the company has instead reverted back to the name used in its first products: macOS.

This brings the desktop software back into line with the rest of Apple’s ‘xOS’ family, such as iOS, tvOS and watchOS. However, Apple is still naming the different iterations after areas of California, with the first edition of the new macOS labelled ‘macOS Sierra’.


macOS Sierra: features

MacOS Sierra introduces a raft of new features for desktop users, including the highly-rumoured inclusion of Siri support. Apple’s virtual assistant now lives in an icon in the app dock and can also be launched via keyboard shortcut.

As expected, Siri can perform all the functions available to iOS users, such as web searching and messaging. This will also include any functionality introduced by developers making use of the new open Siri SDK.

In addition, users can take advantage of Siri to perform complex file queries, including multiple criteria, all using conversational language.

There are also numerous productivity features introduced in macOS Sierra too. Macs now support automatic unlocking, using your Apple Watch to verify your identity and unlock your Mac.

The Universal Clipboard function is cross-device compatible, meaning that users can access data they’ve copied on any of their Apple devices. iCloud Drive also lets users access all their files from any of their Mac devices, including files stored on the desktop.

Optimised storage allows users to free up space on a hard drive by moving older or less used files to iCloud.

Apple Pay comes to the Mac. This is added via Safari. But with Apple Pay buttons will appear on supported sites and will prompt you to authorise purchases by scanning your fingerprint on your iPhone.

There is also a picture-in-picture mode that will display a small window running a video that stays on top of the screen and is open at all times. Picture-in-picture works with web vide and Apple will provide an API to developers to make this feature available to visitors.

Finally, third-party apps and programs will now support browser-style tabs, allowing you to group multiple instances of the same program into one window.


macOS Sierra: price

For the past several years, the latest version of Mac OS X has been available as a free upgrade to users of the previous version of the operating system and the latest macOS release isn’t any different. The software update will be freely available for all Mac users when it launches to the general public in the Autumn.


macOS Sierra: release date

MacOS Sierra arrives to Apple users on 20 September 2016. Prior to this, Apple released a public beta available to anyone on 7 July. The golden master version for developers – approximately the same OS that is released on 20 September, was released on 9 September. This brings Siri to the Mac and an Auto Unlock option that lets people unlock their Mac with their Apple Watch.

[Source:-It Pro]

Lenovo and Microsoft deny banning Linux from Yoga laptops

Lenovo has denied it is blocking the installation of Linux on its laptops under orders from Microsoft.

The PC maker was accused of blocking alternative operating systems on specific versions of its Yoga 900, 900S and 710S laptops in a thread on Reddit, with users pinning the problem on the SSD being locked into a proprietary RAID mode that Linux doesn’t support.

The thread claims a “Lenovo product expert” commented on a BestBuy forum to say that the laptop was locked down because it runs a “Signature Edition” of Windows 10, suggesting that such devices are blocked from alternative OSes “per our agreement with Microsoft”.

Microsoft and Lenovo both denied that, with the former saying that “recent claims about software installation issues related to Microsoft Signature are inaccurate.”

Lenovo further explained the issue in a statement on its website, saying that it doesn’t specifically block Linux but the OS is essentially unusable on the devices because of driver issues.

“Our Yoga design requires very specific, complex and unique drivers that require even greater amounts of testing, to ensure class-leading performance with Windows 10,” the statement from Lenovo said. “To support our Yoga products and our industry-leading 360-hinge design in the best way possible we have used a storage controller mode that is unfortunately not supported by Linux and as a result, does not allow Linux to be installed.

“Beyond the controller setup limitation, other advanced capabilities of the Yoga design would likely not work with current Linux offerings.”

The company added: “Lenovo does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems such as Linux on Yoga or any of its devices and is fully committed to providing Linux certifications and installation guidance on a wide range of suitable products.”

It later added: “Unsupported models will rely on Linux operating system vendors releasing new kernel and drivers to support features such as RAID on SSD.”

That answer wasn’t good enough for the Reddit user who started the thread, however. “There is no real issue with Linux not supporting these laptops other than the one Lenovo created,” he wrote. “They need to make a BIOS patch that users can install, like other Ultrabook PC makers did, not more excuses.”

[Source:-IT pro]

Windows 10 release date, features, devices and free upgrade: Next Windows 10 update ‘due in March 2017’

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

Jump to:

  • Windows 10: latest news
  • Windows 10: release date
  • Windows 10: different versions
  • Windows 10: specs and features
  • Windows 10: security and privacy
  • Windows 10: price
  • Windows 10: the last version of Windows?
  • Windows 10: how to download and install


Windows 10 latest news

17/10/2016: Windows 10’s next major update will come in March 2017, according to Microsoft observer Mary Jo Foley.

Redmond’s own ship target for the update, dubbed Redstone 2, was first revealed on Twitter by Tero Alhonen, who spotted a reference to a new Windows 10 version, ‘1703’, in a Microsoft security setting (the numbers refer to the year and month of the update).

Foley, who confirmed the date with her Microsoft contacts, pointed out on ZDNet that the expected release date doesn’t always line up with actual release date, though, so Redstone 2 could land a little later than that.

Little is known about the expected features contained within the upcoming version of Windows 10, but Microsoft may reveal some of them at its upcoming event in New York on 26 October, where it is expected to discuss the operating system and some of its hardware projects.

12/10/2016: Windows 10 users are once again running into errors following a cumulative update released yesterday.

The monthly maintenance update, with the support number KB3194798, seems to have broken Windows 10 for many users, mere days after Microsoft fixed a buggy Anniversary Update issue.

The cumulative update build 14393.321 for PC and mobiles brought a swathe of behind-the-scenes fixes for security and performance, but also broke the OS for some.

Many users have encountered a “Failed to complete installing updates! Undoing changes” error since the patch released. This appears every time they try to install the update, followed by a reboot and a system restore to the previous build.

On the Microsoft community forums one user says: “I’ve tried to process this update a few times through Windows Update, but it fails each time, uninstalls, and puts things back where they were. Any thoughts?”

One theory was that Nvidia registry entries may be conflicting with the update, however other users have reported this is not the case.

Another user said: “Cumulative update for Windows 10 failed to install on 10/11/2016. Six times yesterday. Current attempt stuck at 62% for the past hour and a half.”

IT Pro has approached Microsoft for comment but has yet to receive a reply.

07/10/2016: Microsoft has resolved an issue with the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview update that, in some cases, led to an infinite loop during the installation process.

In a statement, Microsoft said: “We became aware of an issue with the recent Windows 10 cumulative update that impacted a small number of customers in the Windows Insider Program that were running a previous build of the OS. We have created a solution to resolve this issue, which is now live and can be accessed here.”

05/10/2016: Microsoft is now working on a fix for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which has been causing issues for some of its users ever since it was rolled out earlier this month.

The latest version of the update (Build 14393.222) has been infuriating some users, particularly due to a glitch in its installation process that drags the system into a loop of failed attempts.

Some users have expressed their disdain on social media, and Microsoft addressed the issue in a post in its support forum.

Its post reads: “We’ve been working diligently on this issue and are finalising a clean-up script that will fix the underlying issue preventing the install of KB3194496 (Cumulative Update 14393.222) for affected users. Your patience during our research and subsequent work is greatly appreciated.”

Although some developers had already been spotted these issues when Microsoft delivered the update to its Insiders beta testers, it was released to the public regardless, causing even greater outrage in some of the affected users.

This installation loop glitch was not the only problem that users reported, though, as some also had issues with the system freezing during login or generally as users were working on their computers. Microsoft solved some of these freezing issues last month.

Since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has also issued several patches that tackled security bugs in the system and in some of its new features, including problems with Microsoft Edge, Explorer, Office, Exchange, and Adobe Flash Player.

27/09/2016: More than 400 million devices now run Windows 10.

Microsoft announced the milestone at its Ignite conference yesterday, just three months after reaching 350 million devices in June.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of the Windows and Devices Group, claimed it was evidence of more enterprises adopting the operating system.

He said: “With more than 400 million monthly active devices now running Windows 10, enterprises are moving faster than ever to the most secure Windows.”

New corporate customers include Land O’Lakes and Expedia, whose director of IT, Armand Campo, said: “We chose Windows 10 because of the myriad of enhancements; from faster boot & login times, security offerings, and mobile friendly enrichments.

“Modern technologies such as BitLocker, Credential Guard, and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection offer end-to-end security features that promote mobility while reducing worry.”

Windows 10 reached the vast majority of its users as a free upgrade, which stopped in July, and Netmarketshare statistics show the operating system remains less widespread than one of its predecessors, Windows 7.

While Windows 10 was installed on 23% of desktops in August, up from 21% in July, while 47% of desktops run Windows 7 — remaining constant over July and August.

Despite reaching 400 million devices in 14 months since its release, Microsoft has abandoned its aim to reach 1 billion devices in 2017.

14/09/2016: Microsoft may be waiting until November to push the Windows 10 Anniversary Update out to some customers, reports have claimed.

An email from Microsoft included a footnote revealing that, starting from the Anniversary Update’s initial launch on 2 August, the upgrade could take up to three months to complete its rollout, according to ZDNet.

The report claims that Microsoft is staggering the release of the update in order to keep a handle on how the update is performing and keep track of any reported bugs. This would appear to be a smart move, as the Anniversary Update has introduced compatibility issues for many applications, including security software.

07/09/2016: Windows 10 managed to swell its userbase figures in August despite Microsoft ending free upgrades to the operating system.

According to figures released by Netmarketshare, the OS accounted for 22.99% of the desktop market in August, up from 21.13% the previous month.

However, the share for Windows 7 also increased to 47.25%, an increase of 0.25%. Even Windows 8.1 managed to grow its share to 7.92%, up 0.12%. Windows 8 dropped to a 1.82% market share.

Windows XP still managed to feature in the market, with 9.36% of all PCs running the ancient operating system.

25/08/2016: Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update does not introduce any new features but does address various quality issues in the operating system.

Build 14393.82 improves the reliability of Windows 10’s Network Controller, DNS Server, PowerShell and printer pairing.

It also fixes a series of bugs, starting with a flaw that stopped external media from playing on the Xbox One when using the ‘Cast to Device’ option. Other Xbox One problems it solves include the device being unable to launch Netflix via the DIAL protocol, and video stopping while audio plays on a TV app.

The latest build also ensures 3G and 4G options appear correctly on Windows 10 Mobile settings now and fixes some minor problems in Internet Explorer 11.

However, running the update will cause some problems in PowerShell – namely, you’ll lose the functionality to import a module, and PowerShell Desired State Configuration will stop working. Fixes for these new bugs will come in a fresh update on 30 August.

22/08/2016: The Windows 10 Anniversary Update has caused webcams to stop working, potentially affecting millions of users across the globe.

The problem stems from Microsoft disabling both USB-connected cameras and those using the same network from using certain MJPEG and H.264-encoded streams in an effort to allow multiple programs to access the webcam simultaneously.

Unfortunately, the change freezes the devices when running programs such as Skype instead, according to Paul Thurrott.

Many general and enterprise customers have taken to Microsoft’s support Dev Centre forum to complain, where an engineer from the Windows camera team has said a patch should be engineered by the end of September.

“We worked with partners to make sure their applications continued to function throughout this change, but we have done a poor job communicating this change out to you guys. We dropped the ball on that front, so I’d like to offer my apologies to you all,” he wrote.

18/08/2016: Windows 10 faces fresh privacy concerns after security experts found the software sends some form of metadata back to Microsoft every five minutes, no matter what users disable in order to prevent it.

The discovery was made by Mike Patterson, founder and CEO of security analytics company Plixer. Despite turning off every possible feature to stop the data transfer, the operating system still transmitted information back to Microsoft’s servers.

Microsoft could have sent the unencrypted data over an encrypted connection if it was concerned about eavesdroppers, Patterson said, but pointed out that the company instead encrypted the data itself and transmitted it over an unencrypted HTTP connection.

“This extra effort to encrypt indicates that Microsoft not only didn’t want non-authorized users of the machine from accessing the data,” he said; “they also didn’t want the end-user knowing what was being sent.”

Furthermore, while group policies governing telemetry data are available, telemetry cannot be entirely disabled without an Enterprise Edition of Windows 10.

Patterson also found that McAffee’s antivirus software and Plantronics’ telephony equipment was also regularly transmitting encrypted information back to off-site servers.

“This is actually a widespread problem; not only with software we install, but with many free web application as well,” said Andy Green, senior technical specialist at security firm Varonis. “Far too many treat your data in the same way as Plantronics and McAfee.”

“The core issue is the Terms of Service that we robotically click on. Since few of us read the Terms of Service, we as consumers are essentially signing a contract that allows the company to access behavioural and personal data.”

IT Pro contacted Microsoft for comment but had not received a response by the time of publication.

15/08/2016: Microsoft has admitted that its Anniversary Update to Windows 10 has caused some systems to freeze up after installing.

In a blog post, the firm said that it had received a small number of reports from users over the issue. It said the problem was down to installing the update on a solid-state drive (SSD) when apps and data are stored on a separate drive. It added that the problem didn’t happen when starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

The company told users that installation of the Anniversary Update does include the ability to “go back” or return to the previous version of Windows within 10 days of the update.

Microsoft said that users experiencing problems can either boot into the Recovery Console to go back to the previous build or use the Settings App from Safe Mode.

“We ask for your patience while we continue our investigation and please check back on this thread for an update,” it said. More details can be found on the blog.

12/08/2016: Microsoft has reinstated support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on Intel’s Skylake processors after a pushback from enterprise customers.

Originally, the firm said it would only support downgrades from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1 until January 2023 and to Windows 7 until January 2020, but then changed its mind and shortened the timeframe to next year.

But this has changed once again with Microsoft’s director of Windows business planning, Shad Larsen saying the company had now backtracked on that idea following an outcry from its enterprise customers.

“At the same time we recognise that, in some instances, customers have a few systems that require longer deployment timeframes. We listened to this feedback and today are sharing an update to our 6th-gen Intel Core (Skylake) support policy,” Larsen said in a blog post.

The latest move means the original 2020 and 2023 dates have been reinstated. There is also an updated support policy for Microsoft customers.

Larsen added that Intel’s Kaby Lake and AMD’s Bristol Ridge processors would only be supported on Windows 10. “All future silicon releases will require the latest release of Windows 10,” he added.

08/08/2016: The Windows 10 Anniversary Update (effectively a service pack update to the new OS) has caused considerable problems to some users, including locking up PCs.

The issue surfaced after a thread on Reddit described how a user noticed that their PC froze after applying the upgrade. According to user SoloWingX, they had only just updated their system when things started to go wrong.

“After logging in everything works for like 20 secs. After that if I only mouse over the Start area, taskbar, the black part simply, it freezes and I get a message that Microsoft Windows is not responding,” they said.

“After a couple of ninja startups and restarts, I disabled every third party program starting with windows. So it’s not that. I am hopeless and can’t afford to format this PC.”

Many other users also reported similar problems and have been unable to fix the issue. Suggestions for fixes from other users included using the Media Creation Tool to reinstall the OS, several programs, registry modifications, and changing the BIOS.

The problem also doesn’t appear to be tied to any particular hardware of configurations.

A post on Microsoft’s support site suggests that users run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter to fix the fault or start up in Safe Mode.

05/08/2016: The Anniversary Update only landed this week, but Microsoft is already talking about the next major updates for the Windows 10 operating system.

In a blog post detailing the enterprise features of the Anniversary Update, Microsoft revealed the roadmap for its  next major feature updates.

The next feature updates won’t come until next year, the company said. “Based on feedback from organisations moving to Windows 10, this will be our last feature update for 2016, with two additional feature updates expected in 2017,” the company said in a blog post.

Microsoft didn’t reveal any details of what to expect in next years’ updates, but it is believed to be the release codenamed “Redstone 2”, after this week’s Anniversary Update, which was originally dubbed “Redstone 1″.

Alongside the line about the update schedule, Microsoft also laid out details of versions of Windows 10 for education, Windows 10 Pro Education and Windows 10 Education. ” These editions provide education-specific default settings for the evolving landscape in K-12 education IT environments.”

03/08/2016:Microsoft only released the Windows 10 Anniversary Update yesterday, but users are already complaining about bugs.

Reports have popped up about installation failures accompanied by indecipherable error messages. The cases do not appear to be widespread, but if you do see the same, affected users have said switching to the Media Creation Tool rather than Windows Update appears to fix the problem.

Others have reported the Cortana app disappears after the upgrade, with no explanation. Microsoft has said it is working to fix the issue.

And over on Reddit, some are reporting that after installing the update some apps – including Twitter, Netflix, and Reddit itself – crash and fail to restart with no error message.

02/08/2016: Microsoft has released Windows 10 Anniversary Update today and plans to roll it out to users over the coming weeks.

Introducing a series of new features and tweaking existing ones to make them more useable, the Anniversary Update arrives just four days after free upgrades to Windows 10 expired.

More than 350 million devices now run Windows 10, following a controversial campaign in which Microsoft was accused of tricking users into upgrading, with notifications that scheduled in upgrades when users clicked to close them.

Nevertheless, Redmond’s tactics were effective – now the operating system has 20% market share, according to Net Applications, which recorded a flurry of upgrades before the free offer expired on 29 July.

However, Microsoft has stated it will not hit its target of one billion devices running Windows 10 by mid-2018, mainly due to the failure of its smartphone strategy.

But for those who have upgraded, the Anniversary Update will make a few strategic changes to their new OS.

First of all, the Microsoft Edge browser won’t drain your battery so much, and Redmond’s voice assistant, Cortana, powers any and all searches performed on the operating system, giving it a much bigger role on your device than previously.

Windows Ink lets you pick up a stylus (including third-party ones) to doodle and make notes on your device’s display, while the update also bumps up Windows 10’s security credentials, letting you use Windows Hello – Microsoft’s biometric and facial recognition technology –  to log into websites and apps.

To download Windows 10 Anniversary Update, download ‘Media Creation Tools’ from Microsoft, and once the tool is launched by double-clicking the MediaCreationTool.exe link, select the option that reads ‘Upgrade This PC Now’, click Next, and once the download completes, agree the terms by clicking Accept.

29/07/2016: Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update, due for release on 2 August, will support third-party styluses using its new feature, Windows Ink, Microsoft has confirmed.

Speaking to IT Pro, Microsoft’s UK Windows marketing lead Rob Epstein said the new feature – which arrives as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on 2 August – would not just be restricted to the Surface Pen, which comes bundled with Microsoft’s premium Surface devices.

Instead, the new features work with “other vendors who have got active pens,” he said, including HP, Dell and Lenovo. “We’re working closely with the OEMs, and we expect to see more pen-compatible devices out there.”

“There are a number of devices already in-market that will support the addition of pen, so it’s feasible to add pen as an accessory later. We’ve defined a with Windows Ink a series of standards – the actual pen click [that opens OneNote] is just Bluetooth, but now built to a core part of the OS.”

“Hopefully, you’ll see, by the end of this year, a number of different pens, and you can just walk into your favourite IT store and buy a pen that’s going to work with your machine, knowing that as long as it’s Windows Ink supported, they should be compatible.”

The new ‘Ink Workspace’ is based on extending Windows 10’s handwriting functionality, and includes tools like virtual sticky notes, annotatable screenshots and sketchpads. Microsoft also provides a list within the Windows Store of Windows 10 apps that support Windows Ink features, and is expected that list to grow substantially as developers start working with the feature.

21/07/2016: Microsoft has been ordered by French data protection authorities to cease its “excessive” collection of Windows 10 users’ data and to stop monitoring their internet activity without consent.

The country’s National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) published aformal notice on its website outlining Windows 10’s “many failures” of privacy and security, and giving the company three months to fix them. If it doesn’t, the CNIL may appoint an internal investigator to issue sanctions against it.

“The purpose of the notice is not to prohibit any advertising on the company’s services,” the posting read, “but, rather, to enable users to make their choice freely, having been properly informed of their rights.”

Officials specifically highlighted “the seriousness of the breaches and the number of individuals concerned,” with the CNIL noting that it affected more than 10 million Windows 10 users on French soil.

Among the reported issues were concerns over the security of Windows 10’s PIN login option. Users have unlimited attempts to enter a four-digit character, the notice pointed out, “which means that user data is not secure or confidential”.

It also cited a lack of user choice and consent regarding Microsoft’s advertising practices. The advertising options which allow browsing to be monitored are active by default, and users are not informed about cookies or able to block them.

Furthermore, the commission also discovered that Microsoft was still transferring French citizens’ data outside the EU based on the now-invalid ‘safe harbor agreement, which was struck down by the European Court of Justice in October 2015.

The investigation was launched following reports of Microsoft’s high levels of data collection, which came to light when Windows 10 was released. It was conducted jointly with other European data protection regulators, who are “continuing their investigations within their respective national procedures”.

20/07/2016: Almost 40 per cent of companies in EMEA are using Windows 10, with security a key factor in the decision to upgrade systems, Spiceworks has revealed.

In fact, double the number of EMEA respondents cited security as a reason to make the move compared to those in the US. The overall number surveyed was 866 across the US and EMEA.

“We know security is often the most important IT initiative in organisations across EMEA so it’s not surprising to see that the enhanced security offered by Windows 10 is one of the biggest adoption drivers,” said John Webb, general manager of EMEA at Spiceworks.

Spiceworks said the majority of customers who have upgraded computers and other devices to Windows 10 are satisfied, although Windows 7 still holds the highest levels of satisfaction among the companies questioned.

Those most likely to upgrade said they had at least 250 employees, demonstrating it’s an attractive operating system for medium and large enterprises.

This is probably driven by the number of companies taking advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade initiative (valid until 29 July), although it would seem smaller companies are happier to wait until the end of life for their devices before upgrading.

Other reasons organisations haven’t chosen to make the jump to Windows 10 include that it’s incompatible with current systems and 38 per cent said they were unhappy about the lack of control over Windows updates or they were concerned with bugs in early releases.

“Despite the new features and functionality in Windows 10, some organisations are satisfied with their current operating system and may wait to upgrade until its end of life,” Webb added.

18/07/2016: Microsoft will not hit its goal of one billion Windows 10 downloads by July 2018, it has admitted one year after the operating system was released.

While the OS now runs on 350 million devices, Microsoft has written off its goal with two years still to go because of its troubled smartphone strategy.

A Microsoft spokesman said in a statement: “Windows 10 is off to the hottest start in history with over 350M monthly active devices, with record customer satisfaction and engagement.

“We’re pleased with our progress to date, but due to the focusing of our phone hardware business, it will take longer than FY18 for us to reach our goal of 1 billion monthly active devices.”

Revenue for Microsoft’s phone division fell 46 per cent year-on-year in the three months ending March, and its Windows Phone-running hardware sold just 2.3 million units, a 73 per cent drop.

Instead, Redmond plans to focus on growing the number of devices running Windows 10 by focusing on enterprise contracts and making the well-received OS more useful to users.

The spokesman said: “In the year ahead, we are excited about usage growth coming from commercial deployments and new devices – and increasing customer delight with Windows.”

15/07/2016: Microsoft will roll out its forthcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update in waves, starting from 2 August.

Dona Sarkar, the new chief of the Windows Insider programme, toldWindows Weekly (via Digital Trends) that Microsoft is looking into different ways of delivering updates.

Currently, when fresh Windows 10 builds are dispatched to Windows Insiders, they request a full re-installation, but leave files and programs untouched.

“There are many ways to do it,” said Sarker, responding to a question about releasing incremental Insider updates instead of full installs.

“So we’re trying a lot of different things in-house to see what makes sense for PC versus phone, what makes sense for Fast Ring versus Slow Ring. In terms of what we were working on last week, it was a little bit of that, but also we don’t ship a build unless we know we can upgrade from that build to the next build without any issues.”

From there, Sarker explained that Windows Anniversary Update will be handled in waves next month.

“It’s going take some time,” she said. “We’ll start with PC and phone, and it’s going to be a global rollout… it’s going to take a little while to roll out to everybody. Xbox and HoloLens… those come at different times since the end device is just separate.”

14/07/2016: Windows 10 can save businesses $404 per user, according to an independent analysis of the benefits of deploying Microsoft’s new operating systems.

Analyst house Forrester drew up a scenario for a hypothetical business deploying the OS for 20,000 employees (based on four real firms it looked at that are doing so), calculating the costs and savings over a three-year period.

Forrester assumed the hypothetical organisation was not spending money on licenses, because they would be covered under a volume licensing agreement, giving the business a spend of $4.3 million on deploying Windows 10.

Over three years, Windows 10 would save the company $12.4 million, giving an overall saving of $8.1 million, according to the analyst house, a 188 per cent return on investment.

Those savings were sourced in several ways, but mainly through improved end user productivity – saving between $982,800 and $3.12 million per year.

Forrester said: “Employees, especially mobile workers, estimate they can take advantage of 25% of time previously unavailable for work, enabling them to get more done more quickly wherever they may be.”

Costs were evenly split between planning and implementation (up to $1,646,190 per year) and later rollouts (up to $1,507,013 per year), with a small amount spent on ongoing task management.

You can read the full study here.

13/07/2016: Microsoft has announced pricing for a new tier of Windows 10 aimed at making the operating system more affordable for enterprise customers.

Windows 10 Enterprise E3 with be priced at $7 (approximately £5.30) per seat, per month.

The service is essentially the existing Windows 10 Enterprise, with its security and management capabilities, delivered through Microsoft’s Cloud Service Provider (CSP) infrastructure.

“In most instances, organisations are moving quickly to Windows 10 due to the heightened security risks they face and the industry-leading security features in Windows 10 that can help protect them. Companies of all sizes face real security threats from sophisticated hackers and cyber-terrorists, costing an average of $12 million an incident,” explained Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the Windows and devices group at Microsoft.

“CSP partners will be able to provide a subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise Edition as part of a managed service offering, which is ideal for businesses who do not have dedicated IT resources or limited IT staff, and want their licensing and IT needs managed by a trusted and experienced partner.”

Microsoft will also be offering an enhanced subscription to businesses via CSP, in the form of Windows 10 Enterprise E5. This service will supply more features, including Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Pricing for this tier has not yet been revealed, but it will be more costly than the E3 service.

As well as offering Windows 10 to businesses in its new cloud packages, Microsoft will also be giving its partners the options to supply Surface devices to businesses. Registered Cloud Solution Providers, who are also Surface Authorized Distributors, can offer Surface devices through a managed service offering to resellers and customers. Microsoft said this will gives businesses access to the latest Surface devices to used alongside their current versions of Windows and Office.

More on these announcements, which coincide with Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference, can be found here.

12/07/2016: Microsoft’s decision to end free Windows 10 upgrades on 29 July might boost falling sales of PCs, it is believed.

The market has been in decline for years, though analyst house IDC spotted that sales in the second quarter of 2016 fell three per cent less than expected.

Instead of dropping 7.4 per cent as predicted compared to the same period last year, PC unit sales declined just 4.5 per cent to 62.4 million units.

The better-than-expected results might improve in the second half of 2016 thanks to Microsoft starting to charge £99 and £130 for Windows 10 upgrades from 29 July, too.

“The expiration of free Windows 10 upgrades may transition some users into buying new systems rather than updating older ones,” IDC explained. “Commercial evaluations of Windows 10 remain healthy and a near-term driver that could also be contributing to the relative strength in U.S. shipments.

However, that doesn’t mean PCs will recover completely from the advent of smartphones and tablets eating into its market share.

IDC’s VP of worldwide PC trackers, Loren Loverde, said: “It’s not dramatic growth, but it could push the market into positive territory slightly ahead of our forecast for 2018.”

07/07/2016: Microsoft is planning to strong-arm businesses into upgrading to Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, by gating off access to forthcoming client-side virtualization tools.

The company announced earlier this week that users will no longer have to separately download and deploy instances of Application Virtualisation (App-V) and User Environment Virtualisation (UE-V).

Instead, they will be included with Windows 10 following the Anniversary Update, and will require no additional deployment or maintenance outside of the regular Windows update procedure.

However, they will only be available in licensed Enterprise or Education Edition deployments. Anyone currently running a Windows 10 Professional deployment or earlier will need to upgrade.

“Direct upgrades to the Pro SKU will result in App-V and UE-V binaries to be removed during the OS migration process,” the Tech Net blog post read.

Comprising two of the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack’s key components, App-V and UE-V are used respectively to stream applications to systems without requiring local installation, and to allow users to move between endpoints whilst retaining the same OS image and settings.

The announcement comes just ahead of the 29 July cut-off date for the free Windows 10 upgrade and the attendant nagging pop-ups.

Microsoft will presumably want to get as many people upgraded as possible before this happens, and the upgrade becomes more difficult to sell.

04/07/2016: People who have not yet upgraded to Windows 10 are now being greeted with a full-screen pop-up reminder in Microsoft’s final push before the free update period comes to an end, the Telegraphreports.

This is Microsoft’s latest move to get people to install the new version of Windows on their PC, with many complaining that previous reminders are annoying, misleading or that Windows 10 is being installed automatically in some cases.

It comes after Redmond promised to change the way it presents upgrade notifications, after listing it as a ‘recommended’ upgrade, something normally reserved for critical security updates, and scheduling in upgrade times for users who dismissed the notifications by clicking the ‘x’ in the right-hand corner.

The free update period ends on 29 July, and it seems that users still resisting the update will continue to see the full-screen message until the end of the month unless they select the “Do not notify me again” option in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

29/06/2016: With one month to go before the end of Windows 10 free upgrade, Microsoft has promised to change its upgrade notifications after many complaints that they are confusing.

As Redmond tries to spur adoption of its new operating system, it recently changed how it presents the upgrade to users, calling it a ‘Recommended Update’, a status usually only given to important security updates.

If people clicked on the ‘x’ in the right-hand corner, they would exit the notification, but the action would also schedule an update to Windows 10 for a later date.

A travel agent whose computer slowed to a standstill when the update automatically downloaded onto her computer won against Microsoft in court, claiming she had lost business as a result of the upgrade, receiving a payment of $10,000.

Now, Microsoft plans to offer people clearer upgrade notifications starting this week, according to its executive VP of Windows and Devices, Terry Myerson.

In a statement published by ZDNet, he said: “The new experience has clearer options to upgrade now, choose a time, or decline the free offer. If the red-x is selected on this new dialog, it will dismiss the dialog box and we will notify the device again in a few days.

“We continue to recommend all of our customers upgrade to Windows 10 before the free upgrade offer expires on July 29. Thousands of engineers have been working on making Windows 10 the most secure version of Windows, helping to protect people from viruses, phishing, identity theft and more. We’d like our customers to upgrade and improve their experience with Windows and Microsoft.”

28/06/2016: A travel agent has successfully sued Microsoft for $10,000 after an unauthorised Windows 10 update left her PC useless.

Teri Goldstein from Sausalito, California, sued Microsoft saying she did not give the go-ahead for Microsoft to upgrade her computer, but it mysteriously appeared and made the machine slow to a crawl, while other days it did not work at all.

Although the upgrade happened before Microsoft started using forceful tactics to try to encourage users to upgrade their computer, Goldstein insists she did not give permission.

“I had never heard of Windows 10,” Goldstein said. “Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update.”

After she started having problems with her computer’s speed, she contacted Microsoft’s support services, which also failed to rectify the issue.

She then decided to pursue the company in court, claiming she lost business because her computer was inactive. She also insisted Microsoft bought her a new PC.

However, Microsoft denied wrongdoing, although it decided not to appeal just in case it was told to pay even more than the agreed $10,000.

“We’re continuing to listen to customer feedback and evolve the upgrade experience based on their feedback,” Microsoft said in a statement.

07/06/2016: Microsoft has defended its insistent Windows 10 upgrade tactics following renewed uproar and petitions condemning the company alleged “forced” automatic update.

Microsoft had previously been accused of not giving users consent over whether to upgrade to Windows 10 in March when users took to Twitter and Reddit to complain about their system’s allegedly automatically updating. Then users complained that Microsoft “hide” the decline option behind further information on their upgrade pop-up window.

Last month, stories about further aggressive tactics surfaced. Users reported that they had the ‘x’ button to decline the update, only for the update to begin soon after. This apparent refusal to allow users of Windows 7 or 8.1 to decline the update has been described as “forceful” and “malicious”.

Microsoft has fought back against allegations about its Windows 10 upgrade approach.

Microsoft said: “The Windows 10 upgrade is a choice – designed to help people take advantage of the most secure, and most productive Windows. People receive multiple notifications to accept the upgrade, and can reschedule or cancel the upgrade if they wish.”

Addressing the issue of the dud cancellation buttons, Microsoft also toldZDNet that that upgrade reminder only appears when a user has accepted the initial Windows 10 upgrade offer. Still, ways to step back from the upgrade track if a user changes their mind are still not straightforward.

Disgruntled Windows users, displeased by Microsoft’s approach to Windows 10, has started a petition for the company to be investigated on, which had gained 1,800 signatures at the time of publishing.

Microsoft is due to release its Redstone update for Window 10 month, so it will be considering how best to continue its upgrade strategy in its bid to reach a 300 million install base for its latest OS.

25/05/2016: Microsoft has performed a U-turn on its controversial Windows 10 upgrade notifications that were tricking people into downloading the operating system.

The tech giant has now decided to change its policy following customer feedback, with one critic describing the ploy to garner more Windows 10 users as a “nasty trick”.

Redmond had revamped its Windows 10 upgrade notifications so that, when users clicked on the ‘x’ in the corner of the pop-up to dismiss it, it also sent a message to the company that the user had requested a software download, and would schedule one in.

PC World called out Microsoft for employing the tactic, saying it was a cynical attempt to add to the 300 million devices now running Windows 10.

A Microsoft spokesperson told the BBC: “We’ve added another notification that confirms the time of the scheduled upgrade and provides the customer [with] an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade.

“If the customer wishes to continue with their upgrade at the designated time, they can click ‘OK’ or close the notifications with no further action needed.”

24/05/2016: Microsoft is tricking people into upgrading to Windows 10 with its pop-up notifications, it is claimed.

For months, Redmond has been pushing users into downloading its new operating system via a barrage of notifications, which users could dismiss by clicking the ‘x’ in the corner of the box.

It has seen success with this strategy, recently boasting that Windows 10 is running on 300 million devices.

However, Microsoft now wants to employ dirtier tactics to increase its user base even further, according to PC World.

When people click ‘x’ to dismiss the new Windows 10 upgrade notifications, it actually sends a message to Microsoft that they want to install the operating system – and the users are not even notified about it.

12/05/2016: Microsoft is killing off Windows 10’s ability to share Wi-Fi passwords.

Its Anniversary Update will do away with Wi-Fi Sense this summer after Redmond pulled the feature from Insider previews, claiming not enough people use it.

Gabe Aul, corporate VP of the engineering systems team at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post that it was a simple cost vs demand decision.

“We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts,” he said.

“The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment. Wi-Fi Sense, if enabled, will continue to get you connected to open Wi-Fi hotspots that it knows about through crowdsourcing.”

29/04/2016: In a blog post, Microsoft has announced Cortana will no longer have to option to use Google Chrome and Google search engine capabilities to complete its tasks.

The only search engine that will be used by Cortana will be Bing and the only browser that will be used is Edge, both of which are Microsoft products, which are integrated into Windows 10.

“Cortana was designed to work with Microsoft Edge and is powered by Bing,” Microsoft’s blog states.

Microsoft has claimed that this change of policy is to improve the experience for its users. As other search engines and browsers are not optimised to use Cortana properly.

“This includes scenarios like searching ‘get tickets to Rihanna show’ in the Cortana box, where Microsoft Edge opens to Bing, and Cortana finds the best tickets for your preferences and offers to purchase them on your behalf.”

Although it is still possible to change the settings of the default search engine and browser on Windows 10, Microsoft claims this update will create a better overall experience for the user.

“Our promise to you is that Windows 10 will provide you with great search results and a personalised, reliable search experience through Cortana and Microsoft Edge.”

14/04/2016: Microsoft has revealed a collection of new educational features coming to Windows 10 in its Anniversary Update at its annual Build conference.

For IT administrators and teachers, these include faster and simpler set-up for Windows 10 Education, the ability to schedule updates for specific times when computers will not be in use, secure assessment tools and an “education ready” Windows Store.

Students, on the other hand, will experience faster login times, a more tailored Cortana experience and Windows Ink, which allows students to draw on their devices or digital whiteboards, and create sticky notes.

Explaining the integration of Ink, in particular, Microsoft said in a blog post: “Windows Ink enables students to … merge their analog thoughts with their digital device.”

“Many studies indicate students learn better by writing – for example, diagramming before solving a science problem can lead to 36 per cent higher scores. With Windows Ink, students can do mathematical equations, compose music, and keep their notes organised – all in Windows,” the company said.

Additionally, the company will be launching an early access program forMinecraft: Education Edition in June. More information on the programme can be found here.

14/04/2016: Microsoft has launched a virtual version of Windows to show off the operating system’s features to users in an interactive environment.

This virtual version of the OS, which Microsoft is calling a Windows 10 ‘emulator’, exists as a new web portal containing information about its features, apps, and video presentations.

There are 11 topics on the site, which include an introduction to Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana, how to personalise your Windows 10 desktop and how the new OS can help keep you organised.

The site also offers details about the Windows 10 experience on tablets and mobiles.

Microsoft is currently directing visitors to the demo via the main Windows homepage.

12/04/16: Microsoft plans to add a whole bunch of new features to Windows 10 that will enhance its usability in the workplace.

Microsoft Passport – Will allow users to unlock their computers via Android phone, Windows Phone or Windows Band. This will be available to use in place of Windows Hello’s facial and fingerprint scanning qualities.

Continuum – Creates a feature that will give the Windows Phone the ability to act as a substitute computer. Keyboards, monitors, and projectors will be able to be used with the phone.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection- Is an update that will be used as an upgrade to Microsoft’s currently available security system.

PC to PC casting – Which will create the ability to share from one Windows 10 device to another seamlessly, which is aimed at being used for meetings.

Additionally a new website titled “Windows Roadmap” has been created by Microsoft to display beta versions of several of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 features.

In upcoming versions of Windows 10, such as the Anniversary edition which is to be released this summer, Windows Hello and Windows Ink will be free features that will be packaged along with the operating system.

Windows Hello – Will enable users to use facial recognition or fingerprint recognition as a replacement for passwords.

Windows Ink – Will allow users to write notes on touch-screen devices with the use of a special electronic pen, Windows 10 will be able to recognize and react to certain elements of the writing.

It is also rumored that Microsoft is adding more features to Cortana with the goal of making her more interactive.

11/04/2016: Windows 9, Microsoft’s operating system that never was, has cropped up in a recently published documentation.

Microsoft has never explained why it chosen to skip from Windows 8.1 straight to Windows 10, but a new patent filing, first spotted by Twitter user @h0x0d, suggests a reason behind the move.

Windows 9 – once known as ‘Threshold’, according to the filing – was originally set to be the version that launched last year, while this year’s coming Redstone update – due to be rolled out in July – was tipped to be Windows 10.

An excerpt from the patent, mentioning Windows 9, reads: “Some discussion herein is derived from some Windows 9 ‘Threshold’ documentation. Windows 9 is software implemented by Microsoft Corporation, and along ‘Threshold’ refers generally to marketing or other materials (from third parties as well as Microsoft) to a version of the Microsoft Windows software (marks of Microsoft Corporation).”

There are still no clues to why Microsoft chose to drop its plans for Windows 9 – or, at the very least, marketing last year’s version of Windows as such.

21/03/2016: Many PCs running on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 have begun automatically upgrading to Windows 10 without the user’s consent, according to reports from individual consumers and businesses alike.

Many affected users have taken to Twitter or Reddit to voice their complaints, with one user (bnned) writing: “Yep, afk and saw this and saw this message box that said something like ‘Your update is ready! Restarting and installing in 13 minutes.’ If I made myself a meal or watched tv, I would have had Windows 10.

“Oh, and the best part is how they hid the ‘Decline’ button in the more info button.”

After an initial notification some days in advance, users are given another alert 60 minutes before the scheduled upgrade time and, if they do not manually reschedule or cancel, the upgrade will begin.

A company blog post published last year stated: “Customers continue to be fully in control of their devices, and can choose to not install the Windows 10 upgrade or remove the upgrade from Windows Update (WU) by changing the WU settings.”

Back in February, Microsoft decided to switch the Windows 10 update from optional to recommended for security reasons, after which users were informed that updates would be applied automatically. They were, however, also assured that they would be asked for permission.

15/03/2016: Microsoft has been forced to deny that Windows 10 is installing on users’ computers without permission.

Users have taken to social media to complain that the OS upgrade has been forced on them. One Reddit thread has had over 3,000 comments about the update.

In a statement, Microsoft said: “As we shared in late October on the Windows Blog, we are committed to making it easy for our Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers to upgrade to Windows 10. As stated in that post, we have updated the upgrade experience to make it easier for customers to schedule a time for their upgrade to take place.

“Customers continue to be fully in control of their devices, and can choose to not install the Windows 10 upgrade or remove the upgrade from Windows Update by changing the Windows Update settings.”

It added that reports that Windows 10 was being forced on users were “not accurate”.

[Source:-It Pro]

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to 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:-It pro]