Articles about Windows

Ribbon changes in Office 2016

My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Sysadmin blog Microsoft Office remains one of the most important software products available, despite some rather nasty flaws. For me, Microsoft Office and video games anchor me to Windows. While video games seem set to remain largely Windows-only for the foreseeable future, Office is losing its grip. For a long time, I used Office because …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jul 2016

Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Comment As your humble HPC correspondent for The Register, I should probably be running Linux on the array of systems here at the home office suite. But I don't. I've been a Microsoft guy since I bought my first computer way back in 1984. You, dear readers, can rip me for being a MStard, but it works worked well for my business and …
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Microsoft buries the bad Windows Phone news: Mobile sales collapse

Microsoft has revealed how badly its Windows phone business has crashed via paperwork filed with America's financial regulator, the SEC. Nokia was shipping 7.3 million Lumias per quarter when the deal to acquire its phone unit was announced in September 2013. Nokia was shipping over 90 per cent of Windows Phones sold. But in …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jul 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

Group Policy changes in Windows 10 Anniversary Update, set for release shortly, mean that users of the Pro edition can no longer disable some of the more intrusive aspects of the operating system. Group Policy is a mechanism by which system administrators can configure Windows settings centrally, for PCs joined to a Windows …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2016

Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

Vid Microsoft is laying off a further 2,850 smartphone and sales staffers on top of the 1,850 workers it axed in May. The job cuts were revealed in paperwork filed on Thursday with US financial watchdog the SEC. The doomed staff will leave the business by the end of next June. They all work in Microsoft's sales teams and its …
Macbook 2015. Pic: Apple

Ditch your Macs, Dell tells EMC staff

Exclusive Staff at EMC who go out into the world to meet customers have been told their Apple Macs aren't allowed to come with them. Amid Dell's looming takeover of EMC, an edict has been issued insisting that Dell customers must only ever see Dell laptops during meetings and consulting engagements, EMC insiders have told The Register …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
Speed

IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

Accessing websites via IPv6 is not only comparable in speed to IPv4, but is actually faster when visiting one in five of the world's most popular sites, according to German researchers. In a new paper, Vaibhav Bajpai and Jürgen Schönwälder from the University of Bremen looked at the response times for the internet's top 10,000 …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2016
Type arms of an old typewriter

Malware ads' steganography

A malicious online advertising campaign dubbed AdGholas threw malware at up to a million netizens a day, and infected thousands of Windows machines, for over a year, we're told. AdGholas picked out normal users to attack, as opposed to security researchers investigating the code in virtual machines, by studying their language …
John Leyden, 28 Jul 2016

Hybrid Cloud: The new IT service platform?

So. Hybrid cloud. Let's start with a quick definition, courtesy in this case of TechTarget which describes it as: “a cloud computing environment which uses a mixture of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms”. I like this particular definition as it sums it …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Jul 2016
cortana_cropped_648

Cortana expelled from Windows 10's new school editions

Microsoft has announced two new cuts of Windows 10, for schools. “Windows 10 Pro Education” and “Windows 10 Education” have been “designed for the unique needs of K-12 institutions.” That means Microsoft's voice assistant, Cortana, has been expelled. Kids will therefore be spared the brave new world of context-aware search and …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016

Remix chomps Marshmallow, updates its Android for PCs

An imminent update to Jide’s Remix OS, for Android, is the first to be based on Marshmallow 6.0 and a bunch of UI enhancements. Remix OS brings what the industry euphemistically calls “desktop productivity” to Android: in other words, multitasking, overlapping windows, true keyboard and mouse support, and file management. …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016
Handshake

Microsoft dangles code candy in front of iOS devs

Microsoft is pressing ahead with its desire to sweep iOS devs into its embrace, this time offering them a code-testing tool to help them use its Windows Bridge for iOS. The bridge first landed as a preview in August 2015, and got a leg-up from Intel in April with a slab of Chipzilla-contributed code. Microsoft had hoped for …

Microsoft offers admins free Win 10 upgrade lube

Microsoft has offered free lubricant to ease the insertion of Windows 10 across PC fleets. Redmond's preferred wheel-greaser is called the Upgrade Analytics tool will help admins evaluate system readiness for Windows 10 in a bid to ease driver drama and kernel panics. The ointment provides admins with a panel showing the …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jul 2016
shutterstock_225964027-pizz

MS warns of ..WSF file worm

Microsoft has pulled apart a current malware campaign, and is warning against e-mails with a double-dotted script file attached. The Nemucod malware isn't new, but what Redmond discusses in this Technet post is a wrinkle designed to trap unwary eyes: a Windows Script File (wsf) attachment with an extra dot in the file …
Dell e-commerce site

Revealed: How Dell can afford $67bn for EMC – by selling $650k laptops

World exclusive Dell's ingenious strategy for financing its audacious $67bn acquisition of EMC is a secret no more. Dell is already facing a staggering debt mountain to fund the takeover. Now a crack Reg investigative team can reveal that the Round Rock computing giant has an ambitious plan in place to raise the cash necessary for the deal …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016
Yodas

Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

A never-released Microsoft phone has surfaced, providing a glimpse of how Redmond's designers proposed to evolve touch-based user interfaces. The "McLaren" phone, which was cancelled just months before its scheduled launch in 2014, responded to 3D "Jedi"-like gestures, which subsequently surfaced in the "Mix View" patent …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jul 2016
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer runs out this Friday, 29 July 2016, one year after the initial release, and a few days before the Anniversary Update. "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – …
Tim Anderson, 22 Jul 2016
Woman looking sceptical. photo by shutterstock

They kept that quiet. PC sales via distributors DID rise in Q2

It is a Friday and El Reg is pleased to be able to answer the burning question on the lips of readers across the land - just how did PC sales via distribution do in the second quarter? They went well. Though retailers and wholesalers bought in stock conservatively, as recorded by Gartner and IDC, channel analyst Context …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016

She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Give it to me pleeeese!” she begs, staring longingly into my eyes. “I’m desperate and will do anything.” It’s 5:30am and we are the only people in the office. I stutter that I’m not at liberty to satisfy her demands right there and then. It’s too early for me. Could she wait a while? She takes a step towards me and begins …
Alistair Dabbs, 22 Jul 2016

GOP delegates suckered into connecting to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots

A Wi-Fi hack experiment conducted at various locations at or near the Republican National Convention site in Cleveland, US, underlines how risky it can be to connect to public Wi-Fi without protection from a VPN. The exercise, carried out by security researchers at Avast, an anti-virus firm, revealed that more than 1,000 …
John Leyden, 21 Jul 2016
Facebook app for Windows Phone

Facebook's billion sheeple

Facebook says one billion people now use its Messenger service each month. To thank that herd of sheeple, it's created a floating balloon emoji it says will “add a touch of whimsy and delight to any conversation.” Maybe even conversations about your chats being turned into ads? ® Facebook app for Windows Phone
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2016

Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

In the same month Microsoft announced its alpha WebRTC-based Skype for Linux client, Redmond has put that native app and the native OS X Skype client on an end-of-life list. This is because Skype is being rebuilt to replace its peer-to-peer architecture with cloud-centric code that supports Windows, iOS, Android and web …

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Updated A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security. The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

SpectraLogic sits in the Cyberducking stool

Spectra has entered the Cyberduck universe; data stored in SpectraLogic's disk, tape and public cloud repositories can be transferred to/from other on-premises storage and public clouds with a BlackPearl Cyberduck plug-in. Cyberduck is an open source software tool that provides a near-universal file/object transfer facility …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2016
Acronis_Red_Bull_950

Acronis 12 is fastest backup product out there

French data protection supplier Acronis is making a big move into enterprise data protection with a comprehensive new software release, Acronis 12, a beefed-up marketing team, and a profile-raising one race-only sponsorship deal with the Toro Rosso Formula 1 Grands Prix team. The new SW "takes 35.6 minutes to backup a 180GB …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2016
Welders wearing protective clothing fixing welding and grinding industrial construction oil and gas or water and sewerage plumbing pipeline outside on site. Photo by Andrea Slatter/Shutterstock

Electric Cloud offers cautious corporates Canary choice

Electric Cloud has promised a raft of new deployment options in the latest release of its application deployment platform as it looks to bring the joy of DevOps to even the most crusty and sprawling customers. The San Jose-based firm is one of the most vocal standard bearers for DevOps and Continuous Delivery, and having …
Joe Fay, 20 Jul 2016
Transport Control Protocol

Microsoft tweaks TCP stack in Windows Server and Windows 10

Microsoft has announced it will add five new features – some experimental - to the TCP stack it will ship in Windows Server 2016 and the Anniversary Update to Windows 10. Redmond says the following five features will make it into its new TCP stack: TCP Fast Open (TFO) for zero RTT TCP connection setup. IETF RFC 7413 Initial …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2016

Flaws found in security products from AVG, Symantec and McAfee

Updated Hundreds of security products may not be up to the job, researchers say, thanks to flawed uses of code hooking. The research is the handiwork of EnSilo duo Udi Yavo and Tommer Bitton, who disclosed the bugs in anti-virus and Windows security tools ahead of their presentation at the Black Hat Las Vegas conference next month. …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Tin can phone

Apple kills eavesdrop bug in FaceTime

Apple has released a bundle of patches to fix security holes in OS X, iOS, iTunes and Safari. The bevy of updates also includes fixes for a number of issues in Apple's iCloud and iTunes for Windows software. Among the most startling vulnerabilities addressed in the updates is a man-in-the-middle flaw discovered in FaceTime by …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2016
China will see you on the dark side of the moon

Maxthon web browser blabs about your PC all the way back to Beijing

A web browser developed by Chinese company Maxthon has allegedly been collecting telemetry about its users. Polish security consultancy Exatel warns [PDF] that Maxthon is phoning home information such as the computer's operating system and version number, the screen resolution, the CPU type and speed, the amount of memory …
John Leyden, 19 Jul 2016

Reader needs Aircon help

Reg reader "PG" has mailed looking for advice on "a suitable air conditioning unit for a small office/data centre." PG says the facility has "no windows, only a door to the outside world" and is approximately "6m (l) x 3m (w) & 2.8m (h)." "It's over 33c in here today and a few of the non-critical servers have shut down (rack …
Team Register, 19 Jul 2016
Data breach

World-Check terror suspect DB hits the web at just US$6750

The World-Check database that lists "heightened risk individuals and organizations" is reportedly up for sale on the dark web. The database is a commercial product offered by Thomson Reuters, which bills it as a useful tool for those fighting money laundering, "organized crime, sanctions, Countering the Financing of Terrorism …
Darren Pauli, 19 Jul 2016
Ruby slippers from wizard of Oz

We ain't in 1996 anymore, Dorothy: SQL Server 2016 proves it

Microsoft has had a database since 1989, initially working with Ashton-Tate and Sybase to create a variant of Sybase SQL Server for IBM’s OS/2. But it wasn’t until 1995 that Microsoft really got serious with SQL Server 6 for Microsoft’s rock-solid server operating system Windows NT. Back then, however, engines like SQL Server …
Mark Whitehorn, 18 Jul 2016
Chain expressing freedom (Stepph / Wikimedia)

VMware's past holds the key to the future of Microsoft's Azure Stack

By most accounts VMware's first stab at hyperconvergence, the EVO:RAIL software-defined Nutanix clone, was a decent set of software. But it failed, quickly, and has been quietly removed from the frontline. The reason why is simple: in its first incarnation VMware insisted that EVO:RAIL buyers acquire new vSphere licences. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
Confused/annoyed looking man looks irritated during outage. Photo via Shutterstock

Since you love Flash so much, Adobe now has TWO versions for you

Adobe says a buggy installer is the reason some people have two different versions of Flash Player on their Windows PCs. The software house told The Register it had to create an additional build of the browser plugin specifically for Microsoft's Internet Explorer after the version made for other browsers – such as Mozilla's …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016
Upset man in suit and drinking liquor. Photo by Shutterstock

One in five consumers upgraded to Win10 for free instead of buying a PC

Microsoft’s free upgrade of Windows 10 hit PC makers where it hurt though the extent of this was apparently a surprise to the software giant, data druids at Gartner have claimed. According to a survey by the holders of the Magic Quadrant, one in five consumers that upgraded to the free version of the OS decided they didn’t …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jul 2016
Smiling man wears VR headset against backdrop of city. Photo by Shutterstock

BOFH: I found a flying Dragonite on a Windows 2003 domain

Episode 9 Hell hath no fury like a Boss who has taken umbrage - and in this case he happened to hear the PFY discussing how he'd "upgraded" the Boss's Pokémon Go to a full augmented-reality app with a "feature" that made large moving vehicles invisible - just before giving him a virtual reality headset and suggesting that there were …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Jul 2016

Microsoft silently kills dev backdoor that boots Linux on locked-down Windows RT slabs

Microsoft has quietly killed a vulnerability that can be exploited to unlock ARM-powered Windows RT tablets and boot non-Redmond-approved operating systems. The Register has learned that one of the security holes addressed this week in the July edition of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday closes a backdoor left in Windows RT by its …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016
VMware nutella

Virtual mirror on the wall, what will happen at VMware's ball?

VMware saves its biggest announcements of the year for its late August VMworld conference. The company of course keeps its cards close to its chest, but the content catalog for the conference generally offers some clues about what we can expect. The Register's virtualisation desk has long predicted that the current vSphere …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2016

Congrats, Linux users – you're finally officially alpha males... on Skype

Microsoft-owned Skype today released a new Linux client that hopes to address some of the complaints users have had with the chat app for months. The VoIP giant says the new alpha build of the Skype-for-Linux software can make and receive Skype calls from people running the latest OS X and Windows Skype clients and the alpha …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016

Exploit kit miscreants rush to plug gap in cyber-crime marketplace

Cybercrooks behind the Sundown Exploit Kit are rapidly updating the hacking tool in a bid to exploit a gap in the market created by the demise of the Angler and Nuclear exploit kits. While RIG and Neutrino have been the primary protagonists in the void left by Angler and Nuclear, Sundown is also vying for an increased share in …
John Leyden, 13 Jul 2016
Mark Holt Trainline

Trainline.com dumps Oracle and Microsoft, gulps AWS Kool-Aid

Interview Mark Holt, CTO at TheTrainline.com, is an unashamed AWS believer. He is dumping all of its legacy tech in a complete migration to the cloud, with the US cloud firm now being its sole supplier. "Now we have an Oracle Exadata Database Machine that we are about to throw in the river,” he says. That move has had tangible results …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2016
Office Space

It's 2016 and Windows lets crims poison your printer drivers

Among the Microsoft messes addressed in latest round of Patch Tuesday updates is a real doozy that allows remote attackers to compromise Windows machines thanks to a critical security vulnerability affecting printer drivers. The flaw is found in all desktop Windows since Vista and Windows Server since 2008 and means …
Darren Pauli, 13 Jul 2016
Microsoft Windows Server 2016: launch and pricing details have been announced

Windows Server-as-a-service: Microsoft lays out Server 2016's future

Microsoft has released details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, and as with Windows 10 it includes a "Windows as a service" model of frequent operating system updates. Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the company's Ignite conference, which runs from September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia. As …
Tim Anderson, 12 Jul 2016
Cthulu emerges from a printer. Image created by illustrator Andy Davies. Copyright: The Register

Webpages, Word files, print servers menacing Windows PCs – yup, it's Patch Tuesday

Microsoft will fix critical holes in Internet Explorer, Edge, Office and Windows with this month's Patch Tuesday security bundle. Meanwhile, Adobe has patched dozens of exploitable vulnerabilities in its Flash player. Redmond's July release includes 11 sets of patches, six rated as "critical" and five classified as "important …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2016
Partnership

IBM caps '20 years' of deep MS love with Surface deal

IBM has become the latest sometime hardware giant to agree to push software giant Microsoft’s client hardware - years after selling off its own client devices business. MS device marketing general manager Brian Hall said in a blog post that IBM had joined the Surface Enterprise Initiative along with consultancy and contracting …
Joe Fay, 12 Jul 2016
Windows 10 waterdrops, photo by Anton Watman via Shutterstock

You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

WPC 2016 Microsoft is moving into new as-a-service pricing and bundling territory with the full-fat version of Windows 10 Enterprise. Today Redmond announced it is releasing Windows 10 Enterprise E3, which would normally be reserved for big operations and sold via Microsoft's volume-purchase programs, at a price of $7 per seat per …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jul 2016
The Desktop App Converter makes Appx packages for existing desktop applications

Hands On with Project Centennial: A better app installer for Windows

Hands On Even those who do not care about Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) might have some interest in Project Centennial, also known as the Desktop App Converter, which lets you convert desktop applications to the Appx format used by Windows Store apps. The ability to have Appx packages install desktop applications is a …
Tim Anderson, 12 Jul 2016