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Saturday, May 09, 2015

Windows 10 to be the last version of Windows

Posted by David Bernstein



As we are sure you know there have been various versions of Windows each with their own unique name. Many of them coincide with the year they came out such as Windows 98 or in the case of Windows 8 it’s the next number after Windows 7. Next up for Microsoft will be Windows 10 which sort of combines the friendly interface of Windows 7 with the new features of Windows 8. And if you already have Windows 7 or Windows 8 then it will be a free upgrade for you as well.

Now Jerry Nixon from Microsoft is saying that Windows 10 will be the last version of the desktop operating system. This doesn’t mean that Windows will be going away any time soon but rather they will keep adding on or upgrading Windows 10 on an ongoing basis rather than coming out with a new version every few years. So if you were planning on waiting for Windows 11 before you upgraded then don’t hold your breath.

Part of the reason for doing this is because in the past Microsoft developers would sit down and start on a new operating system and then 3 years later it would be released. The main problem with this is that it would already be 3 years old and not include all the features and functionality that users would be expecting and already have on their other devices. So if this happens Microsoft will have to stay on top of things and keep adding features as the need arises in addition to the usual Windows updates that occur on a regular basis.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Spartan Browser to Replace Internet Explorer

Posted by David Bernstein

 If you have been following the news of the new upcoming Windows 8 replacement called Windows 10 (yay!) then you are probably aware of how it combines the functionality of Windows 7 with the look and feel of Windows 8. And we are hoping this will be a version of Windows we will want to use this time. You may also have heard that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 and should be out this summer.

For those of you who hate Internet Explorer (and there are many), Microsoft plans to introduce an entirely new web browser into Windows 10 codenamed Project Spartan. Since IE has been getting worse and worse over the years this will be a welcome change to Windows users who want to try something new or users who never install a different browser on their computer because they don’t want to or didn’t know that they could.

Spartan will have a whole new look and many new features, some of which are new to web browsers in general. One of the most talked about is the ability to make annotations on a web page with a stylus pen and then send those notes to other users via Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage. Then these users can view the changes and make their own notes and send them on to others. There will also be a digital assistant that helps you track things such as flights and deliveries all from a bar within the browser. One interesting feature will be the ability to group and categorize your open tabs so you don’t just have a long line of open web pages cluttering your browser window.

We assume Internet Explorer will also be included in Windows 10 for backwards compatibility and for applications that are made to run on IE that may not work on Spartan. We don’t even know if Spartan will be the official name but so far we kind of like it!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Spyware found in new Lenovo PCs

Posted by David Bernstein


It seems that nowadays the biggest threat to your computer is from spyware that you can get from just about anywhere. Whether it’s from downloading some free software or even visiting certain websites its way to easy to get infected these days. When you buy a new computer you expect it to be perfectly clean and free of spyware for the most part. Of course it will come with all the extra software you don’t really want or need but at least it shouldn’t be stealing your information.

A researcher in the financial services technology industry field named Peter Horne discovered that new Lenovo computers were being shipped with spyware called Superfish which is used to harvest data from a user’s computer via web browser. Horne noticed that data was being redirected from his computer to a website called best-deals-products.com. The point of this spyware is to collect information so it can place ads it thinks you will be interested in on webpages as you are browsing but can also compromise secure sites making it easier for hacker to do their thing with your data.

When confronted about the Superfish spyware Lenovo responded by saying its used “to help customers potentially discover interesting products while shopping.” But shortly after this finding went public in January Lenovo said they stopped including it on their new computer. So if you bought a Lenovo computer between September and December 2014 you most likely have Superfish installed on it.
 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Windows 7 and 8 users to get Windows 10 for free

Posted by David Bernstein

As we are sure you have noticed, Windows 8 has not been the big hit Microsoft was hoping it would be. Even the Windows 8.1 update didn’t seem to help things much. Most PC users like the interface of Windows 7 rather than the tablet interface of Windows 8.

For some reason Microsoft skipped Windows 9 for some reason and has released a preview version of Windows 10 that consumers can download and try out. So far Windows 10 appears to be a combination of Windows 7 and Windows 8 offering the Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8 look and feel and applications. It appears that Microsoft has listened to the complaints about Windows 8 and gone back to their roots at least somewhat.

To push Windows 10 to the masses Microsoft will be offering it as a free upgrade to users of Windows 7 and 8 up to a year after it’s released. Once you upgraded it will be yours to use for the life of the device you install it on and this will include upgrades, patches and enhancements. Microsoft is calling this “Windows as a service”. It doesn’t appear that this free Windows 10 will be available as a download so you can do a fresh install but only as an upgrade. So if you want a clean installation you will most likely have to do a fresh install of Windows 7 or Windows 8 and then do the upgrade.
  

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Windows 9 may focus on the desktop

Posted by David Bernstein

As you may or may not know, some or should we say many Windows users are not happy with the new Windows 8 user interface. Originally called Metro it consists of grouped icons or tiles all on one screen rather than the typical start button and start menu. And thanks to this new interface Windows 8 sales have been suffering. For Windows 8.1 they brought back the start button but that was not enough to make the masses happy.

Now there is talk of a new Windows 9 that will focus on the desktop for users who prefer the desktop over the new start screen. The start screen will be disabled but users will be able to turn it back on if needed. There are even rumors of different versions being installed on devices based on what type of device they are. For example if its installed on a desktop then it would not have a start screen, 2 in 1 devices would have the option for either and tablets and smartphones would only have the start screen option. It’s doubtful that the start screen would actually completely disappear from desktops since there are those that like it.

There is also talk of a “mini” start menu coming back but that’s just rumor for now. Windows 8 Update 2 is expected to arrive in August to that may give us a taste of the upcoming Windows 9 changes. There is also rumors that Windows 9 will be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users and maybe even Windows 7 users.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Surface 3 manual gives away the existence of a Surface Mini

Posted by David Bernstein


Microsoft has been doing pretty well with its line of Surface tablet\PC combos even though their pure desktop Windows 8 sales are not going quite as well as they would like. The Surface Pro 3 is making its ways into consumers hands and along with it a reference manual that you can read on your computer to help you use the thing (if you are the manual reading type).

The downloadable PDF document can be obtained from Microsoft’s website but maybe not for long. If you search for Surface Mini it will come up with 4 hits referencing the device. Normally this would not be a big deal but Microsoft has not yet claimed that any such Surface Mini exists or will be coming out at all.

There have been rumors that the Surface Mini would come out alongside the Surface Pro 3 as a smaller 8 inch note taking type device with a stylus that runs Windows RT. A couple of sources say that Microsoft management decided to pull the Mini at the last minute because they didn’t think it would compete too well with the other mini tablets out on the market today. But there are still rumors that Microsoft is working on a smaller version of the Surface.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ebay hacked and asks users to change passwords

Posted by Jim Bernstein

Online shopping, buying and selling giant ebay has become the latest victim in the ongoing saga of cyber attackers. ebay is where millions of people buy and sell new and used products from coins to cars. They have reported that 145 million registered users may have been compromised since a database containing encrypted passwords and other information has been hacked.

The semi-good news is that it’s just passwords, email addresses, phone numbers and birth dates that have been compromised and not financial information and PayPal account details. Other good news is that the passwords were encrypted so the hackers will need to be able to decrypt them before being able to use them which can take some time or may not even be possible depending on their skills.

ebay says the breach occurred from late February to early March and was only discovered about two weeks ago. The breach came from within the company’s corporate network and carried out via employee computer systems by hacking login credentials.

So if you are an eBay user you should change your password and also your PayPal password if it’s the same just to be safe.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Newly discovered Internet Explorer security hole won’t be patched for Window XP

Posted by David Bernstein

As you may or may not know, Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows XP in regards to patches and other updates. So if you are still running Windows XP then you should be looking into upgrading for the sake of security along with the millions of other people still using Windows XP.

It was just a matter of time before there was a newly discovered security hole that would require fixing my Microsoft and that time has come. But since XP is not supported anymore those computers will not be getting patched. Security company FireEye said it has found a hole in the Internet Explorer web browser that can allow attacks which can let a computer run code which can collect personal data or send spam.

These vulnerabilities are not uncommon and usually get patched fairly quickly but since Microsoft won’t be patching Windows XP this will be a potential problem for a lot of people. But since this issue involves a web browser and not the operating system itself there are ways to protect yourself. You can switch to a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome which still has updated version available for Windows XP for now. You should also make sure your antivirus and firewall software are up to date to help protect your computer from malicious websites.

* UPDATE

Microsoft has now said that they will be patching Internet Explorer for Windows XP as well.