Posts Tagged ‘Windows 10’

Windows 10 May Update is Here

Posted on: May 28th, 2020 by jiml | No Comments

Microsoft releases a major release to Windows 10 twice per year. They patch monthly (or on demand for high priority security threats) but the major releases come in the spring and fall. As a reminder, Microsoft is not planning a Windows 11.  Windows 10 is the long-term release and Microsoft will be deprecating older versions on a schedule.  Microsoft was kind enough to extend the most recent deprecation due to COVID-19, allowing users more time to update to a supported version.  Click here to see the version levels and end of support dates.

So what is in this release of Windows 10? One important improvement that will be transparent to users but will likely have the most impact on your day-to-day work is memory usage improvement in Microsoft Edge.  Microsoft is decoupling updates to their new chromium-based Edge browser in general but Microsoft is touting a significant improvement in memory usage with this release.  That frees up more memory for other applications and is a welcome improvement.

Next, would you believe Microsoft has made improvement to Notepad?  Notepad has remained unchanged for nearly thirty years but this release will see some improvements.  Now you will see an asterisk in the title bar when you have unsaved changes, and they added a nice quick text zooming feature as well.

Cortana will also show some improvements in this release.  Upon upgrading to this May release, users will be able to type natural language in the Cortana search bar and receive answers in many cases.  Examples would be “Am I free at 3:00?” and Cortana will check your calendar. This can be a productivity gain for many.

Finally, you may read about the improved security by being able to go password-less and use a PIN or biometric authentication method.  There are a couple key points here.  This feature is dependent on having the appropriate hardware and also you must be using a Microsoft account for login, not a domain login like many businesses will have.

Want to hear more? Give Colden Company a call at (888) 600-4560 or email us at info@coldencompany.com and let our team assist.

The Windows 10 November Release is Coming

Posted on: October 25th, 2019 by jiml | No Comments

Microsoft releases two major updates to Windows 10 each year.  The second one for the calendar year 2019 is set for release. (version 1909) As with most releases you may notice your disk space fluctuate as Microsoft is pushing down the release in advance of deployment. Also, as with other Windows 10 releases you can defer them for a period of time.

This release contains many fixes and updates, most of which will not affect your day to day use of the computer. For example, Microsoft has made some underlying security improvements and made some power efficiency improvements for certain hardware. This update is expected to contain fewer updates than a typical semi-annual release and install more quickly consequently. 

One new feature is the ability to create reminders right from the Calendar flyout on the task bar (lower right corner). You can pick your date and time and location for reminders.  See figure 1 below for a visual:

The start menu will now show you expanded items if you hover over an icon in the menu. Previously you need to click on it to see the contents.

There are also several improvements to notifications. It is now more clear to discern action pane notifications and banner notifications.  You can disable sound for all notification rather than app by app.

Click here for a nice article that summarizes some of the key customer facing improvements in more detail.

NOTE:  As a reminder, if you are running Windows 7, that operating system will reach end of life on January 14, 2020. That means Microsoft will no longer support or patch the operating system.  This makes Windows 7 a security concern after the end of life date and we advise users to upgrade to Windows 10.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at (888) 600-4560 by phone, or info@coldencompany.com via email.


What is the Windows 10 Creators Update?

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by jiml | No Comments

You may have heard about a new Microsoft update to Windows 10 being released called “Creators Update”. This release is now in production and Microsoft will be automatically installing it on all Windows 10 computers in a staggered release. If you are running Windows 10, you will eventually get the Creators Update.

So, what is in this update and why is it called “Creators Update”? Microsoft is appealing to a target audience here with enhancements for those who use their computer for drawing, gaming, or other creative endeavors. Windows 10 Creators Update will have a new app called Paint 3D and be better able to render and work with 3D imaging. Paint 3D will allow users to take a two-dimensional object and render it as a 3D object. There are myriad of gaming updates which we will not discuss here in a business-focused blog.

Microsoft has also made improvements to its Edge browser. If you were an early adopter of Windows 10, you may not have had a great experience with the Edge browser. Microsoft released it, perhaps prematurely, before functionality like browser extensions were available. If you fall into this camp, I would encourage you to take another look at Edge. The Creators Update will offer many new extensions like RoboForm and others. Jump lists are supported now making it easier to open the window you want right from the task bar.

One new feature I am looking forward to is the “Night Light” feature which is another screen brightness setting that reduced the amount of blue light emitted from your computer for night-time reading.

For a more detailed article from Microsoft click here.

Not running Windows 10 yet? Want the Creators Update more quickly? Contact us today at (888) 600-4560, email us, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.







Microsoft Life Cycle Information

Posted on: January 28th, 2016 by jiml | No Comments

Out with the old and in with the new! That is the mantra of many software vendors who want to support a limited number of versions of their software- including Microsoft. Microsoft recently announced end of support for a few of its products. This means no further patching on these products and using these may result in a security risk for your organization.

The first is one that everyone uses or is aware of- Internet Explorer. If you are using Internet Explorer 10 or lower, it will not be supported in most cases after January 12, 2016. This is an important consideration as Internet Explorer is outward facing, meaning it is used to access the Internet. Please see the link here for details.

.Net Framework is a software package that most computers have but you may not be aware of it. It works in conjunction with other software and resides on most PCs. .Net Framework Version 4.5.1 and lower will no longer be receiving patches or hot fixes after January 12, 2016. The upgrade process here should be carefully considered. Often software vendors will couple .Net Framework with their software or rely on a certain version for their software to work as designed. Blindly upgrading may affect existing third party applications.

Finally, SQL Server 2005 is going off extended support on April 12, 2016. This is a database engine that powers certain applications. The upgrade process here is more involved but is recommended as there have been many improvements in the SQL engine since the 2005 version in areas such as security and performance.

If you are unsure if this affects you, please reach out to us and we can help you plan a migration onto newer, supported platforms for your applications.

On the “new” side of the equation is Windows 10. We informed our readers in a past blog post that although Microsoft dropped mainstream support for Windows 7 in 2015, it will remain under extended support (patched) through 2020. Microsoft is heavily committed to Windows 10 and is aggressively pushing it out to their customer base. According to a December 2015 study by NetmarketShare.com, Windows 10 has already matched Windows 8 and Windows XP in market share. Windows 7 remains the predominant operating system but Windows 10 is rapidly gaining momentum as Microsoft pushes it out (for free for a limited time).

There have been two recent announcements regarding Windows 10 that caught our eye here at Colden Company.

1) Resellers like Dell, HP and Lenovo will not be able to sell anything BUT Windows 10 after October 31, 2016. This means your business needs to be prepared; test your critical applications on Windows 10 before that date or you may find yourself in a situation where you need a new PC/laptop and only have Windows 10 as an option.

2) Microsoft announced that some new processors will only work with Windows 10.

It is clear that Microsoft is making a heavy investment into getting its user base onto Windows 10 as fast as possible.

Is your business still running insecure versions of Internet Explorer? Are all of your mission critical applications tested to run on Windows 10?

Call us at (888) 600-4560, email us, or see us on Facebook or Twitter and let our experts help your business.






Upgrade Your Windows

Posted on: June 30th, 2015 by jiml | No Comments

Microsoft will no longer be supporting or patching Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015. If you are a current Colden Company customer and are reading this, you are no doubt aware and have already migrated to a supported platform. If you are not a current Colden Company customer and are running Windows Server 2003 in your environment, we strongly encourage you to plan for an upgrade. The security risk of staying on any unsupported platform is a compelling reason to consider an upgrade, especially given the climate surrounding hacking and viruses in today’s electronic world. There are many options available for an upgrade path that can benefit your organization. At a minimum, you will benefit from faster performance with new in-office server hardware and the latest Microsoft operating systems, but options like cloud-based infrastructure may increase your company’s security and access to data while reducing the capital expenditure. There is an old proverb that says the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. If you are still running Windows Server 2003, while it is very late in the game, planning your migration is better done now if not already done over the last year.

In other news, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be released to customers on July 29, 2015 as part of a free upgrade offer. The method of delivery for the free upgrade is via a Get Windows 10 app/notification that has been appearing on PCs for several weeks. Note that this notification does not appear if your PCs are part of a corporate Windows domain. If you or your employees reserve the upgrade, Windows 10 will be downloaded automatically to the PC when it becomes available.

While Windows 10 offers many interesting new features and enhancement as we discussed in detail in previous blog postings, Colden Company does not recommend that your business PCs be upgraded to Windows 10 on release day. Colden Company has been testing Windows 10 since test versions were made available, but your key business software has not been tested for compatibility. Evaluating compatibility, training needs, etc. should be done prior to your business considering the upgrade.

If you’re using a Windows 7- or Windows 8.1-based PC that is not on a corporate Windows domain, you should notice a Windows flag icon in your system tray. This is the Get Windows 10 reservation launcher.

windows flag

Clicking the Windows Flag icon will launch the reservation wizard. If you do not want employees initiating the upgrade process, please make your employees aware of this and ask that they not click on “Reserve your free upgrade.” Again, if an employee reserves the upgrade, it will download to their PC on the release date. While it will not install automatically, it will download 3+ GB to each and every PC that has reserved the upgrade.

If an employee notifies you that they reserved the upgrade, please let us know and we can cancel the reservation. While there are many benefits to Windows 10, like any upgrade, it should be planned and coordinated to best benefit your business.

Does your business have a plan for the Windows 10 rollout? Are you still running Windows Server 2003 and need help migrating to a supported and secure operating system? Colden Company is ready to help you with these issues and many more. Call us at (888) 600-4560 or email us at info@coldencompany.com, or see us on Facebook or Twitter to plant a tree for your business.