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  • Ready, set, block 1709!

    Posted on October 15th, 2017 at 07:26 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Unless you want to be part of the unpaid beta testing crew, now’s the time to block Win10 Fall Creators Update. There are plenty of guides to block it on the web – but this one has full details.

    Computerworld feature.

  • How to get the latest version of Win10 Fall Creators Update, version 1709, build 16299.19

    Posted on October 14th, 2017 at 07:01 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The terminology is daunting, but appears to be a step in the right direction.

    I’m facing a problem that many of you have asked about. I have two test machines. After nursing both of them through the Fall Creators Update testing process, version 1709, I want to leave one of them on 1709, and let the other take off with 1803.

    Microsoft first addressed the problem – forking of the RS3 and RS4 branches – by introducing a brand new Insider setting called “Skip Ahead.” We’d never had that before — somehow we got from 1607 to 1703 without skipping ahead, but I digress.

    If you jumped out of the Windows Insider program as soon as it became clear that build 16299 was due to become the “RTM” version of Win10 1709, you now need to jump back in, if you want to get the latest 1709 build, 16299.19.

    More than a year ago, I complained loudly about the terminology surrounding the beta testing process. There have been some changes – for the better, I think – and you need to come to grips with those changes if you want to keep your machines updated with beta builds.

    In the new order, beta testers (“Windows Insiders”) have two different choices to make. One is called “What kind of content would you like to receive?” and the  other is “What pace do you want to get new builds.” You get hit with those questions when you enter the beta program, or you can adjust them manually while inside the beta program by going to Start > Settings > Update & Security, then choosing Windows Insider Program on the left. Here’s a little translator.

    What kind of content would you like to receive? = Just fixes, apps, and drivers

    will get you new beta builds of the current beta version. (This option used to be called “Release Preview” but the new terminology is much more descriptive.) If you want your machine to go from 16299.15 to 16299.19, this is the choice you need.

    I’m not sure if it’s Microsoft’s plan – I haven’t seen anything definitive – but this would be an ideal setting to replace the confusing manual-install-only previews of cumulative updates, like this one. Windows 7 and 8.1 now have Previews of the non-security portions of monthly patches. I wonder if we’ll ever see a unified approach to this easily defined step – where customers are allowed to test a cumulative update before it’s released?

    What kind of content would you like to receive? = Active development of Windows

    with sub-options Fast and Slow put you on the delivery rings we used to know as Windows Insider Fast and Windows Insider Slow. That’s straightforward enough. We don’t yet know for sure what will happen when time comes to jump from 1709 to 1803, but it seems likely that either of the “Active development of Windows” options will keep you on the old version – in this case, early next year, you’ll stay on 1709. When that happens, heaven only knows if it’ll be different from being on the “Just fixes, apps and drivers” side.

    What kind of content would you like to receive? = Skip ahead to the next Windows release

    with the only option here being Fast. Although the intent of this setting is clear right now — you want to start working on version 1803, RS4, the next version of Win10 — the “Skip ahead” part won’t be very descriptive after 1709 drops, next week. It looks like you’ll revert to the Active development of Windows / Fast option, which is to say the Insider Fast ring.

    Anyway, as of this moment, if you want to get 16299.19, and update version 1709, you need Just fixes, apps, and drivers or you need Active development of Windows / Slow. If you want to charge ahead with 1803, currently at build 17017, you need either Skip ahead to the next Windows release or Active development of Windows / Fast.

    Confusing enough? (Thx to Günter Born.)

    Now toss this beta bug into the mix. If you’re running build 17017, RS4, the beta of 1803, and you choose Active development of Windows, the Windows Insider Program app tells you “This content is currently on an older release of Windows. If you select this, we will continue to send you content from your current release and will move you over as soon as possible.” Which, of course, is completely bogus. You’re running 17017, the latest bestest test version of Win10 ever.

    UPDATE: @PKCano posits an interesting question:

    I’m currently on Active development of Windows / Fast. If I try to change to Skip ahead to the next Windows release, I get this informative explanation:

    Skip Ahead is now closed. If you select this option going forward, you will have your Windows Insider Program settings reverted.

    Could somebody translate that into plain English? Why is the option not grayed out, if it isn’t available. And what in the blue blazes is “reverted”? Sounds like some sort of Brexit terminology to this beleaguered Yank. Does it mean you’ll get kicked out of the program and won’t be able to come back? And… for the cynics among you… is that a good thing?

  • Where Windows for businesses is headed: Details about “Win10 Enterprise in S Mode”

    Posted on October 13th, 2017 at 09:42 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yep, Win10S Enterprise will lock it down, give admins Group Policy control, and limit your users to Windows Store apps. For just $10/month. Coming this spring.

    Gregg Keizer has a good overview on Computerworld.

    I wonder what Chromebooks will be available by then?

  • 10 key considerations for rolling out Windows 10

    Posted on October 10th, 2017 at 09:33 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    These are the top problems I think Chief Info Officers need to address, before jumping to Win10.

    CIO column.

    Any other problems to report, for those running at 30,000 feet?

  • If you’re running the Fall Creators Update, and want to continue running FCU, you need to jump

    Posted on October 9th, 2017 at 15:06 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Paul Thurrott has details.

    If you’re in the Windows Insider program, you have about 12 hours to make a decision – either stick with the Fall Creators Update (version 1709), or start receiving builds for the next version of Windows, presumably 1803 or Spring Ahead Fall Back Creators Update.

    Paul calls it the “magic window.” I call it the “witching hour.”

  • IE + Edge are now less than 20% of desktop market share

    Posted on October 4th, 2017 at 16:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Good rundown from Gregg Keizer at Computerworld:

    Top web browsers 2017: Microsoft takes another thrashing

    Nor has Edge taken up enough of the slack as IE’s share has plunged. Last month, Edge ran on a record-low 17.7% of Windows 10 personal computers. Edge’s share has diminished since Windows 10’s debut — it accounted for 39% of all Windows 10 in mid-2015 — even as the operating system’s share has grown dramatically.

  • Report: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update has hit RTM

    Posted on October 3rd, 2017 at 07:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yeah, it’s full of bugs. But according to a report from Zac Bowden at Windows Central (who has an uncanny reputation for getting this stuff right), the build of Win10 version 1709 that Microsoft released yesterday – 16299.15 – is “the” build that manufacturers will put on new PCs.

    In traditional parlance, it hit RTM.

    The version that’ll be released on October 17 – the official release date – will be quite different from 16299.15. As we’ve seen in the past, MS will issue one or two or three more cumulative updates for 16299.15 before the official release date. Thus, the version folks outside the beta program will see will be 16299.something, where something > 15.

    In the next few weeks, those of you beta testing (in the Windows Insider program) will given instructions for either jumping out of the beta cycle with version 1709, or continuing to the “Skip Ahead” (gawd, what a lousy name) beta builds of Redstone 4, version 1803.

    At least, it’ll be known as 1803, assuming Microsoft continues both its release pace and its naming scheme.

  • Usage share: Win10 up, Chrome mixed, Edge still an also-also ran

    Posted on October 2nd, 2017 at 08:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The September numbers are in and the results are…. (drum roll, maestro):


    NetMarketshare (all desktop OSs) – Win7 has hovered between 46 and 49% for the past year, now at its lowest, 46.22%, down measurably from August. Win10 is at its highest share in the past year, up just a bit at 28.65%. XP and 8.1 continue slow, steady declines, now at 5.5% for XP, 5.8% for 8.1. Big winner this month is “Other,” which now holds 10% market share, its highest in a year.

    StatCounter (Windows by version) – Big drop for Win7, from 45% to 44% in the past month. Big boost for Win10, from 37.9 to 39.3%. In the past year, Win10 has gone from 30% to almost 40%.

    Desktop Browsers

    NetMarketshare – Chrome has been hovering between 56 and 60% in the past year, now at 58.5%, down about one point in September vs August. Edge at its lowest point in the past year, down more than half a point in the past month to 5%. IE continues its well-established slide, ending at 13.8%. Good news for Firefox, now at its highest point in the past year, 12.7%.

    StatCounter – Chrome is up a half point, to 64%. Firefox holding steady around 14%. Edge up from 4 to 4.3%

    Gregg Keizer will have a detailed analysis in Computerworld later today.