New Build for Fast Ring Insiders for PC: 16291

A new build for Fast Ring Insiders on Windows 10: 16291. As we edge closer to the final release of the 1709 released, dubbed the Fall Creators Update, there will be less new features and more features and polishing of the current features. As usual, hit Windows Update for the latest update and check out the Feedback Tool if you have any issues!

What’s changed this build?

What’s new in Build 16291

Resume from phones to PC with Cortana: Cortana users can now resume articles, news from their iPhones and Android phones to PC from within the Cortana app. This exciting feature comes in addition to the existing features where users can sync reminders, notifications and SMS across their devices and stay connected on the go!

Resume articles, news from their iPhones and Android phones to PC with Cortana! Resume articles, news from their iPhones and Android phones to PC with Cortana!

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • We fixed an issue where sometimes after an upgrade Windows Update’s update history would be missing a listing for the feature update you’d just done.
  • We fixed an issue where scrolling with touch or precision touchpads wasn’t working with the F12 Developer Tools.
  • We fixed an issue where pin reset above lock (“I forgot my PIN”) would only work the first time the password was reset.
  • We fixed an issue where Microsoft Edge would crash if you added a Favorite to a Favorites folder and then immediately sorted that folder by name.
  • We fixed an issue with the indexer from recent flights that could result in Outlook 2016 search failing to index the body of messages.
  • We fixed a recent issue resulting in the Skype UWP app not being launched if it was minimized when you clicked an incoming call notification.
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CCleaner for Windows 32-bit Delivered Malware

For those that have recently downloaded or updated CCleaner for Windows on a 32-bit system, be sure to update immediately, as they unknowingly distributed malware for roughly a month. The VP from Piriform, the company that creates and distributes CCleaner, has released a blog post describing the incident.

Currently, they are not sure how the code appeared in the software, but they are conducting a thorough investigation.

Again, we would like to apologize for any inconvenience this incident could have caused to our clients; we are taking detailed steps internally so that this does not happen again, and to ensure your security while using any of our Piriform products. Users of our cloud version have received an automated update. For all other users, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to update your CCleaner software to version 5.34 or higher, the latest version is available for download here.

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Am I A Microsoft Fanboy? A post about Microsoft employees.

I’ve been called a Microsoft Fanboy, a shill, a Microsoft employee. I’m none of those, really. Except for maybe the first one. However, the more I learn about Microsoft, and not just their products, but their employees, their mission, their passion, the more I really love the company itself.

For example, take this post from Dona Sarkar, the head of the Windows Insider team: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-believe-mission-dona-sarkar/ (Do You Believe in the Mission?). She, along with many other employees are not just drones creating the next editions of the software that many people enjoy, more people use, and a few people despise. They are very caring, passionate, and great people that are putting their hearts and souls into their work. Their work that doesn’t just stop with creating the software.

I took the time to watch the Facebook Live presentation from Microsoft Careers this morning, and again: the passion and the love the employees had was very apparent. They weren’t just recruiting new employees to fill the voids of others. They were looking for people that were as passionate and talented as the others at Microsoft that would fit into the company’s goals and their mission: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

While I have not been a Microsoft employee, I have interacted with many of their employees in the past and currently. They are always professional, yet very friendly and interactive with users. The Windows Insider team interacts with users via their Mixer webcasts, reddit, Facebook, Microsoft Communities, the Feedback Tool within Windows 10, and other outlets. They aren’t doing this to bolster their image. They are doing this so they can listen to consumers and improve the product they love working on. They will go out of their way to address an issue you may be experiencing, or let you know they are working on it. All while wearing a taco hat with a Ninja Cat mascot.

The Xbox team is always working to make sure you have fun. Major Nelson is very receptive online to any issues people have and pops in on some forums quite often to say hello and answer some questions.

The Microsoft MVP team and MVP’s work together to help bridge the gap between users and the development teams. They share information, MVP’s help users understand Microsoft products better, and many share that same passion that Microsoft employees have.

Microsoft has many social and outreach programs to help make the planet a better place. From the #Insiders4Good program (http://windowsinsiders.azurewebsites.net/Home/FellowshipMain) to the record breaking charity contributions by their employees (https://www.geekwire.com/2014/microsoft-2013-employee-giving-program/), Microsoft is constantly helping others.

Microsoft used to have that stigma that I used to think of with IBM. Suits, suits, and more suits. It came off as a tight ship, creating products to sell at the highest profit via an assembly line. As of lately, this is definitely not the case.

Does this make me a Fanboy? Maybe. I think the praise Microsoft gets as a company itself is well deserved. Their individual products? How they handle some products and hardware? Well… I can’t say they have a great track record in doing things right. Great products got the axe, while some less than great products stuck around. I sure wish I had a Zune right about now, and I wouldn’t be writing about it using Yammer!

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New Fast Ring Build: 16288

The Windows Insider team has released a new build for Fast Ring. Also, some notes for what to expect with the upcoming builds leading up to the final release of this update.

Today we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16288 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring only(not Skip Ahead). As we mentioned previously, we are now at the point of the development cycle for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update where our focus is now on stabilization for release to the world. This means that we are releasing new builds to Insiders more quickly and that these builds will include mostly bug fixes. You’ll notice that this build continues to include a bunch of good bug fixes Insiders will enjoy.

On Build 16288, you will notice that the watermark at the lower right-hand corner of the desktop has disappeared. You will also see that the OS now reports as “Version 1709” which is the official version number for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release. However, this is NOT the final build as we’re not done yet. We’re just now beginning the phase of checking in final code to prepare for the final release. So we will have more builds to release to Windows Insiders between now and then. And the desktop watermark may re-appear in these builds.

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Build 16273 Available for Fast Ring Insiders

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The Windows Insider team has released a new build for Fast Ring and Skip Ahead folks. Also, some notes for what to expect with the upcoming builds leading up to the final release of this update.

As explained when we introduced Skip Ahead, we have “forked” the release into its own branch we call “RS3_RELEASE”. Many Windows Insiders will recall we did the same thing for the Windows 10 Creators Update when we started flighting builds from the “RS2_RELEASE” branch. Insiders in the Fast ring have been getting new builds from this branch over the last few weeks now. We are now at the point of the development cycle for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update where our focus is now on stabilization for release to the world. This means that we intend to release these builds to Insiders more quickly to both the Fast and Slow rings as these builds we include mostly bug fixes.

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Age of Empires livestream

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While millions of people across the US are staring up towards the sky as the sun is covered by the moon, Microsoft will be having a livestream of the new Age of Empires Definitive Edition. Age of Empires has been a favorite of mine since it was first released. I’m glad it’s coming back in a great new way. I’m not saying it’s bad timing for this livestream….. but, it’s bad timing. Smile 

20 years after its launch on PC in 1997, we announced at E3 2017 that Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is coming exclusively to Windows 10, with a closed beta available for registration now. Created as an homage to fans of the series and PC gamers everywhere, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will bring back the original Age of Empires and its Rise of Rome expansion with 16 civilizations to explore, all the while including beautifully enhanced graphics, entirely re-orchestrated soundtrack, brand-new narrative, major gameplay improvements, Xbox Live support for multiplayer, and more.

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Windows 10 Pro for Workstations

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Microsoft has announced a new edition of Windows 10, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. This is targeted for the higher end workstations that can include multiple server grade CPU’s, large amounts of RAM, and multiple HDD’s in a RAID configuration. So, naturally, it includes some home hobbyists!  This is great news for those in various industries that require an OS that can take advantage of the much higher powered systems they are required to use. The new edition of Windows is expected to be released as part of the Fall Creators Update this fall.

Performance is a very important requirement in this new world of fast paced innovation and we will continue to invest on Windows 10 Pro for Workstations to enable Windows power users to maximize every aspect of their high-performance device. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations utilizes significant investments, that Windows has made in recent releases, for scaling up across a high number of logical processors and large amounts of memory. Our architectural changes in the Windows kernel take full advantage of high-end processors families, such as Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron, that package a high number of cores in single or multi-processor configurations.

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Microsoft Responds to Consumer Reports Survey

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A recent Consumer Reports report has slammed the Microsoft Surface line and removed them from their recommended devices and putting them into the “not recommended” list, stating upwards of a 25% failure rate. Panos Panay has responded with Microsoft’s own statistics and disagreement with Consumer Reports.

This will be an interesting story to follow, seeing both companies bring data to back up each others claims. While I am a Microsoft fan, if something has problems – it has problems. Being a fan of Microsoft, if reliability is a concern, it needs to be called out so it can be remedied and the next model be a higher quality. In the past, Panos has been very receptive to criticism and eager to fix the issues, typically with great results.

This is why today’s Consumer Reports survey is disappointing. While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings. Surface has had quite a journey over the last few years, and we’ve learned a lot. In the Surface team we track quality constantly, using metrics that include failure and return rates – both our predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25%. Additionally, we track other indicators of quality such as incidents per unit (IPU), which have improved from generation to generation and are now at record lows of well below 1%.

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday fixes 27 Remote Code Execution Flaws

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Yesterday was Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday. This time, they come with fixes for 48 vulnerabilities, with 27 that could result in remote code execution exploits. The problems exist within Windows, IE, Edge, Sharepoint, SQL Server, Hyper-V, the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and the Windows Kernel itself.

Experts are recommending prioritizing CVE-2017-8620, which is a vulnerability within Windows Search.

Make sure to get your systems patched and update and stay safe out there!

“This is by far the most critical bug for this month,” says Dustin Childs at the Zero Day Initiative, which reports CVE-2017-8620 is “under active attack.” A previous Search flaw also allowed a malicious SMB request to execute code on target machines.

“As with the previous Search flaw, within an enterprise, an attacker could remotely trigger the vulnerability through an SMB connection and then take control of a target computer,” he adds. “That’s pretty close to wormable and just the sort of thing malware writers look for in a bug.”

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