Windows 10 v1809 released – again

In early October, we were able to download v1809. Then they found an issue. On some number of upgrades, it was not keeping some of the user folders. Their documents were lost. We didn’t find this issue. It didn’t occur every time. At lease two of our trials were fresh loads. So, it wasn’t an issue. 

Microsoft pulled the release and re-tested. Five weeks later, they are ready to try again. When you go to the download page for Windows 10 (here) and select the option to download the tool, you now get v1809. 

The blog post by Microsoft is here

Transport Layer Security (TLS) v1.0 and v1.1 are going away

Microsoft is discontinuing support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1. Version 1.2 will be the default standard as of October 31, 2018.

The TLS is used on the web browsers, Internet Explorer and Edge. It is used by many email programs including Office 365. 

You may get by with the older version of TLS in some programs. Just be aware if something quits working in a Microsoft program as of 1 November, you should look to see if this option is causing it. 

Windows 10 v1809 – on hold

Our office installs and updates Windows on a regular basis. Just a few days ago, we used the Media Creation Tool and it gave us v1809. Hmmm. Okay. 

I was surprised today (Saturday, Oct 7, 2018) to see that v1809 is now on hold. The best info that I have found is that some users running the upgrade are losing files in the documents folder. I haven’t found any other missing folders (photos, music, etc.).

We installed it on a couple of machines. One was a fresh load. The other an upgrade. Both worked fine. But now we will have to go back and do a closer review of the upgraded machine.

From Microsoft: 

If you don’t have a copy, you probably can’t get one. If you have a copy, it will continue to work but they say to wait. Waiting makes the most sense but making a backup of your PC (before the upgrade) is always a good idea.

Here’s a good article that I found. 

UPDATE – The fix has been release.

I found this yesterday on ZDNet.com.

Windows 10 v1809 available

Windows 10 v1803 was released in April 2018. V1809 came out this month, October 2018.

My PC has not notified me of the v1809 update BUT you can get it here. From this site, you can run an update or download the Microsoft Media Creation Tool. The program will allow you to update your system, create a thumb drive, or generate an ISO.

I haven’t run the update. Here is what I read:

  1. Your Android phone will share photos and SMS with your PC. 
  2. Tablets are getting an improved on-screen keyboard.
  3. Microsoft App will have a toggle to change the background from white to black. Better for nighttime usage.
  4. The clipboard will now save multiple versions in the cloud. You must be logged into a Microsoft account for this to work.

edgeLinux

A ‘free’ private cloud system that is in Beta. It looks like it could replace ESXi (VMware). A quick read does not indicate that the VMs are transferrable from Microsoft or VMware.

It can be installed on bare-metal (normal) or as a VM (not that helpful to me). I’m looking around my office for a machine that I can use for testing. They don’t say when it will be released. But it appears that antsle, Inc. has been selling this on their hardware for a couple of years.

As a comparison, VMware Essentials Kit isn’t that expensive, $495.00. The ‘Plus’ version is $4,495.00. VMware has a full set of add-on features that makes it the number one pick for small, medium, and large sites.

I should point out that Microsoft has their own version which is Hyper-V. I believe it comes included in both Windows and Server versions. There is a dedicated server version: Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016. 

From their website: “edgeLinux provides the ideal platform to run all the Virtual Servers you need, easily and efficiently. “

Get more info regarding the prelaunch here.

Skype v8

Skype started as a program for PCs that allowed for free ‘phone calls’ to other PCs. This was nice for multi-state and even better for multi-national calls. Over the years, a number of other programs have come out but Skype is still around and still be updated.

Skype is included as a service in Office 365 Home (Skype) and Business (Skype for Business).

On August 31, 2018, Microsoft issued a notice that they are retiring version 7. Here is the article. Version 8 has been released and continues to expand the feature set.

  1. Up to 24 users can share an HD video call.
  2. Messaging features have been added
  3. The Chat media gallery makes it easy to find items from previous calls
  4. Share files, photos, and videos up to 300 MB at a time.

If you have Windows 10, you already have Skype. If not, here is the link.

Office 365 Autosave

Office 365 AutoSave Function

If you are on Office 365, there is an update coming your way. AutoSave will be enabled by default. This is a mixed blessing.

If you are making changes and fail to hit the ‘save’ icon, then you risk losing your changes. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it’s painful. So painful that Microsoft has chosen to save automatically. 

On the other hand, if you are making changes and plan on saving the document with a new name then the AutoSave is going to overwrite your current copy. The solution is to open the document and save it with the new name before making changes. 

The change will be released in September. Since we are in late September now, you may already have this in effect. 

This is a better way to operate. There may be a way to turn the option “off” but I wouldn’t do that.

Windows 7 end of life

Microsoft has announced that they will formally end support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020.

In advance of that date, Microsoft will require all PC manufacturers to end further installation of Windows 7 — but on October 31, 2018. Up to that date, some manufacturers can sell you a PC with Windows 7 installed. In some cases, the PC would come with Windows 10 installed and an option to downgrade it to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. 

On November 1, 2018, all PCs sold must come with Windows 10 installed. No downgrade allowed. 

The exception is Microsoft Volume License Agreement (VLA). In looking at the news articles, it isn’t clear if you can buy the VLA after October 31 and still get the downgrade option. If it is critical for your business to stay on Windows 7 on new hardware, you need to address this issue.

On the other hand, there are very few good reasons to stay on Windows 7.  Farsight has dealt with software companies that were slow to upgrade to Windows 10 support. The customer had to ‘live with’ Windows 7. And in one case, the new version had issues. That isn’t that unusual. 

Although the official free upgrade to Windows 10 has passed, there is a way to upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost (but time). If you need help with that, let us know.

Phone systems – Key vs PBX

For small to medium businesses, there are two types of phone systems: Key systems and Private Branch Exchanges (PBXs). Large phone systems only use PBXs.

If you have a single incoming phone line or a few phone lines, you probably have a Key system. The most obvious characteristic about a Key system is that you have a ‘line’ button for each phone line. Many times, the phone number is listed on the button. Other times, the phone will be labeled ‘line 1’, ‘line 2’, etc. The phone company provides ‘roll over’, a feature that when the line is being used and another call comes in on that number, it ‘rolls over’ to the next line number. The Key system is very restricted. Most of the features are controlled by the phone company. The business pays a premium for ‘business’ phone lines. But some features (ex: call forwarding, voice mail) are now included in residential phone lines. 

One of main issues with Key systems is that most are proprietary. Even within a given manufacture, you can only buy the specific phones designed for that Key switch. Upgrading is a matter of removing all of the old system and replacing every piece with the new system.

The PBX moves many of those features to the local phone system. Call forwarding, ring pattern, phone line management are all handled locally. And there are some differences. The ‘line’ button does not tie you to a specific line. The phone lines are in a pool. When you make a call, it grabs the first available. Likewise, your phone number isn’t tied to a single line. It can handle a few or a bunch of concurrent calls.

The older PBXs are the same as Key systems. They can’t be upgraded and you are limited to specific phones and devices that will work with the PBX.

Over the years, the cost of technology has improved to the point that PBXs are more open (some more than others), affordable and feature rich. 

At Farsight VDS, we only support one PBX, 3CX phone systems.  Not the cheapest but far from the most expensive, 3CX supports numerous brands of phones and phone devices.  When you are ready to upgrade or install a new phone system, give us a call. We’ll be happy to visit with you.

“You’re about to get even more out of Office 365”

Below is the text from an email from Microsoft.

“We’re making an update to your subscription so you can share it with more people and they can use it on more devices.

With your current Office 365 Home subscription, up to five people can use Office on 10 devices total. Starting October 2, 2018, six people will be able to use the subscription instead of five. Each person will be able to install Office on all their devices and be signed into five at the same time. That means they can use Office no matter where they are or what device they’re on.
Each person will continue to get all the benefits, including premium versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage and more.


If you have any questions, you can find more info here and in our updated terms and conditions.

Your Office 365 Home subscription will automatically update in 30 days, so you don’t need to do anything. You’re agreeing to this update by continuing your subscription.

Thanks for being an Office 365 customer.