It’s official, Windows 10 v1703 out on April 11th

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 Creator Edition [a.k.a. v1703, a.k.a. build 15063, a.k.a. Redstone 2] has been released and will be available through windows Update on April 11th.

Links to create ISOs or force installation will be available soon.

Microsoft already released a small update – already at build 15063.2.

 

Windows 10 v1703 goes RTM?

According to some reports, Windows 10 [a.k.a. v1703 (not v1704), a.k.a. Redstone 2, a.k.a. Creators Update] may have been RTMed [“release to manufacturing”] this past week with a rumored/leaked release date of April 11th – the same day the dreaded Vista gets its last updates and goes unsupported. Build number is 15063.

There are probably good indications of both as there hasn’t been any builds since 15063 was released over a week ago and Microsoft has started to release builds for “Redstone 3” [due on November].

In addition, “RTM” was mentioned in various XML files as part of the 15063 build.

As for the actual release date, Microsoft tends to prefer Patch Tuesdays. In addition a leaked and later pulled file mentioned April 11th.

Those part of the windows Insiders program [or have connections!] should be able to get the bits. Others will wait until they get notified sometime on or after April 11th.

Note that any systems upgraded to v1607 build within the past 30 days will not get the upgrade notice at least until after the 30 days are up.

Of course domain and enterprise level systems will not get the upgrade until the administrators approve.

 

Privacy in technology

Even as we close in on 2 years of Windows 10, we still see so-called “journalists” [or bloggers] who continue to fan the flames when it comes to privacy/telemetry settings in Windows. zdnet.com had one this week.

Microsoft has tweaked the way the settings are over the 2 upgrades in Windows 10 plus they tweaked it again earlier this year [if you bought a new laptop and it had the update].

Even with the tweaking, there has been many third-party tools [such as Safer Networking] that can be used to disable some of this – aside from what Microsoft provides. Some inventive people even wrote scripts to remove some of it.

Note: Some tweaks can actually cause problems as well if you modify them.

And yet, these so-called “journalists” continue to write what is considered mostly a dead issue.

If you are still whining about this privacy/telemetry issue, then I’m not sure if you belong in IT [if you are in that field]. Whining does nothing.

Everything you touch has some privacy/telemetry issues. Your ISP tracks your Internet access. Your carrier tracks your cell usage. If you use a search engine, it’s tracked. You are using an operating system? No matter which one, they are all tracking you.

Question is that do you know how much tracking Google, Apple or others are doing?

Remember when Siri from Apple first came out? Apple stored what you asked [voice recording] plus all your metadata [Apple ID, date, time, IP, etc.] for at least 6 months. After 6 months, they still kept your voice sample [and probably a subset of the metadata] for another 2 years. Apple claimed it was because they needed sample voices to improve Siri’s understanding. You are still being tracked with Siri.

When you visit a web site [that you are registered on], ever get an Email following a visit asking you if you are still interest in what you were looking at or something similar?  Staples and Best Buy are among the numerous sites that do that.

So the first thing you do when buying something with an OS is to go into the setting thoroughly – every section – and disabled or modify what you don’t want. You then research to see what else can be disabled or modified.

The same goes for web sites that you visit. Go in and turn off or modify what you don’t need.

The other alternative is to dump anything that connects yourself to the internet, the Cloud, etc. [Not even a dumb cell phone.]

 

How to reset Microsoft Edge in Windows 10

This blog page will show you how to reset Microsoft Edge to its defaults. Unlike Internet Explorer, Edge does not use Internet options in the Control Panel.

If you can access Edge while open:

  1. Press on the three dots near the upper right corner of Edge [I wish they would use the “hamburger” symbol, but I digress].
  2. Under “Clear browsing data”, select “Choose what to clear” and then select “Show more.” You are better off clearing everything if the issue is major. Click on them all and click “Clear.”
  3. Restart your computer and re-open Edge and everything should be as if you opened it for the first time.

If you can’t access Edge [i.e. got hit with malware and you believe it is just affecting Edge and nothing else], opening it won’t help:

You need to use an administrative tool called PowerShell.

Note: It is recommended that you create a System Restore point before continuing.

First, go to the following location and delete everything inside [replace myloginname with your actual login name]

C:\Users\myloginname\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Note: Don’t delete Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe, just the contents inside.

Right-click on the Start menu and choose “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”. If you can’t find it, it should be in the menu `as well.

Copy and paste the following at the prompt [on one line]:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}

You should see three lines in yellow with the third line saying something like “VERBOSE: Operation completed”.

 

Some more information on what to expect with Windows 10

[The information below based on Insider Preview build 15042.]

As Microsoft works out the kinks in Windows 10 Creator Update [a.k.a. Redstone 2, a.k.a. v1704] in time for an expected April release [I am guessing somewhere around April 25th], Microsoft continues to test the Unified Update Platform [UUP].

UUP is similar to the windows update technology that is used for the current cumulative updates [where while the size of the update is (say) 1GB, it only download what it needs]. The same will apply for installing the Creator update from an earlier update. Instead of downloading 2.5GB to 3.5GB of binaries [many which haven’t changed since your current release], it will only download the installer portion plus what has changed. Microsoft estimates that it should be about one third of a full installation. So if you are updating a 64-bit Windows 10, it will need to grab maybe 1.2GB instead of 3.5GB.

Those who upgrade to the Creator Update get the technology immediately. Obviously if you buy a new computer with the Creator Update, it will be included for the next update [Redstone 3 or v1711].

Of course you can still download the ISO file to upgrade if you wish.

Microsoft has also made the Windows 10 installing experience a bit less business orientated and more casual. In addition to a voice guiding you through [which you can mute if you get annoyed], the way things are described on the screen are more like everyday usage.

Such as if you want to create a local account instead of a Microsoft account [which seems easier to find now], it asks you to “create a super memorable password” in big letters and a warning that there is no way to retrieve the password if lost [hah!].

Or during updates during the installation it will say “Don’t turn off your device, please! It will mess things up.”

Patch updating as changed. For “home” users, you can install and reboot right away, schedule a time within the next 3 days or snooze the alert for 3 days [you can’t snooze again]. Pro users as well as those on a domain will have other options. The “quiet” time for no updating has also increased from 12 hours to 18 hours.

Ed

PS – At this time, if you are running Windows 10 in VMware Workstation 11, it may crash after installing VMware Tools. So don’t. Windows 10 actually picks up sufficient drivers. The same for older version. No idea about VMware Workstation 12 or later.

 

Microsoft delays February patches until March

Microsoft has decided to delay the February patches until March – even though there is a possible critical vulnerability not addressed.

While not officially disclosed, some believe it is the “build” mechanism for the patching that is an issue and not a patch itself.

[Updated 2017/02/21:] Word went out that Microsoft would release the Flash Player update but as of “press” time, it hasn’t. The Malicious Software Removal Tool has been released though.

For those who want to at least be slightly more secure, Microsoft did release an interim update late January for v1607 which you can find it here [manual download and install]. There were no updates for the other editions of Windows 10 or older versions of Windows.

 

Microsoft’s updates for February delayed a bit

Microsoft has delayed releasing the February patches due to a last minute issue found:

“Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems. This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.”