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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Microsoft downloading Windows 10 setup files to computers

 Posted by David Bernstein

Most of you who use Windows know what Automatic Updates are and how they work. If you don’t then it’s a process where Microsoft will download security and other updates to your computer and install them as needed. Of course there are settings where you can choose to just have the files downloaded and you can install them when you are ready or you can simply be notified of new updates and then download and install them when you want to.

If you are running Windows 7 or 8 you are eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade which will be installed via Windows Update. When your computer is ready for its turn you will see a Windows icon in your system tray by your clock telling you that you can reserve your free copy of Windows 10 and then eventually you will be able to do the upgrade. Now this is fine and dandy if you want to actually upgrade but what if you don’t?

It turns out Microsoft is automatically downloading the installation file to end users computers to stage the upgrade so the files won’t have to be downloaded at the time of installation. The problem is many users don’t want to do the upgrade now if ever and are getting these large files (3GB to 6GB) dumped on to their hard drives without them knowing which can be filling up valuable storage space. Plus if you have an internet plan that allows only a certain amount of data to be downloaded (who still has that?) then you might be at risk of going over your limit and incurring some extra charges on your next bill.

There is a way to remove these files and that’s by finding the hidden folder called $Windows.~BT in the root of your C drive. But the problem is that it will keep coming back when it checks for updates. In that case you will need to uninstall Windows update KB3035583 from Programs and Features. Keep in mind if you decide to upgrade you may need this update back.

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 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.