Category: Microsoft Tools

Microsoft Has Some Bad News For Windows 10 Haters

uncaptioned

Windows 10 users are plagued by ongoing problems with Windows 10 updates such as systems freezing, refusing to install if USB drives are present and even dramatic performance impacts on essential software. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that there is a large tranche of users who are refusing to make the move from Windows 7 to the Microsoft operating system flagship. According to the latest market share statistics the number of people still using Windows 7 has remained pretty static month on month. What may well surprise you is that while Windows 10 enjoyed a 44.1% share of the overall operating system market in April, Windows 7 still accounted for 36.43%. That figure hasn’t moved much at all from the 36.9% in December last year.

Microsoft obviously wants everyone to move to the latest generation of Windows and has a double-whammy of bad news for Windows 10 haters I’m afraid. Whammy number one is that Windows 7 will reach its end-of-life status on January 14 next year. Whammy number two is that it will cost you as much as $200 per year to get “extended security support” after that period. Assuming, that is, you are not a home user. I guess you could add a whammy number three in that home users will have absolutely zero options for security support post January 14, 2020.

There are plenty of very good reasons why people are reluctant to make the move to Windows 10: the hardware Windows 7 is running on might not be powerful enough or available storage could be problematical for example, but overwhelmingly it is likely to boil down to a simple dislike of Windows 10. In exactly the same way that Windows XP users steadfastly hung onto that obsolete operating system for years and refused to upgrade to Windows 7, I expect that the same will happen again as Windows 10 haters are “gonna hate” as the saying goes. Yet Windows 7 is fast approaching end of life status when free security support will come to an end. After January 14, 2020 it will cost as much as $200 per year, per PC, to upgrade to extended security support to keep it alive. And as I’ve already mentioned that’s for enterprise users only, there is no such option for home users.

The security question was widely dismissed as fake news by XP users for the longest time. I imagine a great many Windows 7 users will likewise insist it is far more secure than Windows 10. While there hasn’t been another WannaCry to highlight the problems of continuing to use unsupported operating systems, that doesn’t make Windows 7 a secure bet. Just last month Google was urging all Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 after the discovery of two zero-day vulnerabilities that could be used in tandem to take over host systems. Microsoft coughed up additional security updates for XP users in the wake of WannaCry, but Windows 7 users shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security by that.

I’m not going to explore all the security arguments for upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, not least as SentinelOne has done a great job of detailing 32 security reasons to move to Windows 10 over at the Security Boulevard blog. I do, however, urge all Windows 7 diehards to go read that article and ponder the potential consequences of sticking with it. In order to finish this bad news story with some potential good news, it is still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free if you are a Windows 7 user despite the original Get Windows 10 offer expired in 2016. It’s a little convoluted and involves the Microsoft media creation tool, a USB (or DVD) drive and a pinch of luck, but you can find the full instructions here.

Please follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find more of my stories at happygeek.com

I have been covering the information security beat for three decades and Contributing Editor at PC Pro Magazine since the first issue way back in 1994.

Source: Microsoft Has Some Bad News For Windows 10 Haters

Advertisements

Microsoft Confirms Change To Windows 10 Passwords That Nobody Saw Coming

uncaptioned

Ask a bunch of security professionals what makes a secure password and you’ll get a bunch of different answers. Some will argue that it’s all about length, others that randomness and complexity are king while everyone will agree that password reuse is never acceptable.

Some will still argue that giving passwords an expiry date, after which they must be changed, is an essential part of the business security policy picture. It would appear that, with the arrival of the Windows 10 May update, Microsoft is finally no longer going to be amongst that latter group. According to Aaron Margosis, a principal consultant with Microsoft, Windows 10 will no longer recommend “ancient and obsolete” periodic password expiration in the security baseline settings starting with the May update.

While being most welcome, it has to be said nobody I have spoken to in the information security business saw that coming. Not least as the arguments for password expiration have been comprehensively dismantled for some years now yet Microsoft has not shown any inclination to jump from this particular sinking security ship.

The security baseline configuration has been part of the Windows staple diet for organizations wanting secure operating system settings out of the box for many years. It is actually a whole set of system policies that make good sense as a starting point for secure postures for many and as the default positioning for some. Things become problematic for organizations when they undergo an audit which uses the Microsoft security baseline and penalizes them for non-compliance if they have something other than the current 60 day Windows password expiration default maximum.

Yet, as Margosis writes “recent scientific research calls into question the value of many long-standing password-security practices such as password expiration policies, and points instead to better alternatives such as enforcing banned-password lists and multi-factor authentication.”

The United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has been recommending password expiration is dropped from security policy since 2016. Now it seems that Microsoft has finally caught up and will be dropping the requirement starting from Windows 10 (1903) and Windows Server (1903) onward. This makes perfect sense to me as someone who has been following information security trends for the best part of three decades.

Things have changed over those years, not least the technology that now enables threat actors to crack simplistic passwords in the blink of an eye. Forcing users to change passwords over relatively short timeframes inevitably leads to those users choosing the simplest, and therefore most memorable, passwords possible. Stand up everyone who has never seen incremental numbering of short passwords in a corporate environment. I’m guessing everyone is still sitting down.

The days of simplistic passwords changed often are long gone, replaced by longer and more complex ones which don’t expire but rather are reinforced with those banned password lists and multifactor authentication for example. “While we recommend these alternatives, they cannot be expressed or enforced with our recommended security configuration baselines,” Margosis says “which are built on Windows’ built-in Group Policy settings and cannot include customer-specific values.” What Microsoft isn’t doing is changing baseline requirements for minimum password length, history, or complexity.

It also isn’t stopping organizations from configuring password expiration if they must, for regulatory compliance reasons for example. “The password-expiration security option is still in Windows and will remain there,” Margosis says, adding “by removing it from our baseline rather than recommending a particular value or no expiration, organizations can choose whatever best suits their perceived needs without contradicting our guidance.”

Please follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find more of my stories at happygeek.com

I have been covering the information security beat for three decades and Contributing Editor at PC Pro Magazine since the first issue way back in 1994.

Source: Microsoft Confirms Change To Windows 10 Passwords That Nobody Saw Coming

Microsoft Launches Azure Blockchain as a Service (BAAS) in India – Richard Kastelein

1.jpg

Microsoft launched Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) in India last week. The platform provides a rapid, low-cost and low-risk platform for organizations to collaborate together by experimenting with new business processes, backed by a Cloud platform.

“In India, the availability of Microsoft Azure BaaS from local, hyper-scale datacentres will help enable blockchain adoption in regulated sectors like banking and financial services, insurance and healthcare as well as governments,” Peter Gartenberg, General Manager, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft, said in a statement

Blockchain is a data structure used to create a digital transaction ledger which, instead of resting with a single provider, is shared among a distributed network of computers.

The Azure marketplace has eight blockchain partner solutions enabled via single-click deployment. These include blockchain infrastructure, identity services and self-contained development environments.

Microsoft has been integrating the Solidity language into development tools such as Visual Studio to enable rapid development of next generation decentralized applications on blockchain, the company said.


Donate us if you like

Microsoft Releases Cloud-Based Azure Blockchain Development Kit – Ana Alexandre

1.jpg

American software corporation Microsoft has released a serverless blockchain-powered Azure development kit, according to an announcement published Nov. 15. The new product dubbed the “Azure Blockchain Development Kit” purportedly improves the capabilities of Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Workbench. It contains features like off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging application programming interfaces (API) in a format that can be used to develop blockchain-based apps. Per the blog post, the initial release will focus on three core objectives, such as “connecting interfaces, integrating data and systems, and deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks…………

Read more: https://cointelegraph.com/news/microsoft-releases-cloud-based-azure-blockchain-development-kit

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

Bill Gates Loves These 4 Learning Hacks – Zack Friedman

1.jpg

Bill Gates knows a thing or two about hacking. When it comes to learning hacks, in particular, here are a few of his favorites. Put simply, learning hacks are a quick way to get great information in a short amount of time. If you are – or want to be – a digital learner, there are multiple resources available online for you to increase your skill set and intellectual capital. Gates is a big proponent of coding – and thinks it’s worth your time to learn how to code (even if on a basic level)……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2018/09/06/bill-gates-learning-hacks/#6ff974fa6c0e

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

 

 

Microsoft Launches $22 Xbox Console Subscription Service

1.jpg

As reported last week (details below), Xbox All Access gives gamers access to an Xbox One console, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass in return for 24 monthly payments. However, the pricing is lower than expected and it’s set up in the same way as smartphone payment plans work.

If you want an Xbox One S, Microsoft will charge $22 per month for 24 months. That’s cheaper than buying an Xbox One S outright and subscribing to Live Gold and Game Pass separately. At the end of the 24 months, you can keep paying for access to the services, but you then own the console. If you want an Xbox One X instead, the price rises to $35 per month. If you end the contract early, you pay Microsoft the outstanding monthly payments owed in order to keep your Xbox.

— Read on straylitemedia.com/2018/08/31/microsoft-launches-22-xbox-console-subscription-service/

Your kindly donations would be a great help in order to increase our future research

http://paypal.me/ahamidian

Microsoft Reportedly Working on Amazon Go-Like Cashier-Less Technology – Taylor Soper

1.jpg

Amazon isn’t the only Seattle-area tech giant that wants to change how we pay for items at the grocery store. Microsoft’s business AI team is developing automated technology that tracks what shoppers put in their cart, according to a report from Reuters, which said that the company is in talks with retailers including Walmart about implementing the software.

When contacted by GeekWire, a Microsoft spokesperson said “Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation.” The cashier-less system would be a direct competitor to Amazon Go, Amazon’s own attempt to reinvent the physical store with the same mindset that brought one-click shopping to the internet.

Amazon debuted the first Amazon Go location at its headquarters in Seattle in December 2016; it opened to the public in January of this year. The company is opening additional Amazon Go locations in Chicago and San Francisco.

At Amazon Go, shoppers check in by scanning their unique QR code while overhead cameras work with weight sensors in the shelves to precisely track which items they pick up and take with them. When they leave, they just leave. Amazon Go’s systems automatically debit their accounts for the items they take, sending the receipt to the app.

Amazon Go is part of a broader push by Amazon into physical retail, including its acquisition of Whole Foods, its Amazon Books stores, and AmazonFresh Pickup locations.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has also been thinking about building technology that improves how customers shop at a physical store. In 2009 it opened its Retail Experience Center at the company’s Redmond, Wash. headquarters.

“The Retail Experience Center features in-store displays of Microsoft consumer products and showcases powerful ways to cut costs, create efficiencies, streamline operations, and promote and sell goods — within the aisles, in the employee break room, at receiving and shipping, at checkout, across the Web, and even at home or on the go,” a press release noted.

Reuters reported that Microsoft is working with six partners that are building cashier-less related technology using the company’s Azure cloud service. The company has also hired a computer vision specialist who worked on Amazon Go.

If everyone who reads our articles and like it , that would be favorable if you send us your donations…THANK YOU

Microsoft gains competitive edge over AWS in cloud computing market | Future of Cloud Computing, IoT and Software Market

According to research from KeyBanc analysts, Microsoft outperformed Amazon Web Services in the fourth quarter of 2017, increasing its cloud market share from 16

Source: Microsoft gains competitive edge over AWS in cloud computing market | Future of Cloud Computing, IoT and Software Market

Windows Store rebranded to Microsoft Store in Windows 10

Microsoft is rebranding its Windows Store to the Microsoft Store today. The software maker is rolling out a new Store update to Windows 10 testers on the Release Preview ring that includes the name and logo change. While the store won’t change much apart from by name, Windows 10 users will notice that the taskbar […]

via Windows Store rebranded to Microsoft Store in Windows 10 — Sound Books

Microsoft catching up with Salesforce in SaaS revenues, argues research — Patrick Bouillaud Blog , L’univers du Cloud et du Digital

Microsoft has Salesforce in its sights as the leading cloudy software as a service (SaaS) vendor, according to the latest note from analyst house Synergy Research. Sourced through Scoop.it from: http://www.cloudcomputing-news.net See on Scoop.it – L’Univers du Cloud Computing dans le Monde et Ailleurs

via Microsoft catching up with Salesforce in SaaS revenues, argues research — Patrick Bouillaud Blog , L’univers du Cloud et du Digital