Finally, Windows allowing pausing of the updates from the creators update

Finally, Windows allowing pausing of the updates from the creators update

Windows 10 build 14997 was leaked some days ago as we discussed here, and it introduced a lot of new features. The new features continue to be found, and the next feature that we have found is something which all Windows users would like.
With windows 10, all updates are automatic and a normal PC whose settings are untouched or specially home version of the OS- The updates get automatically downloaded and in some cases, restarts are also automatic which led to losing of the users data.
As the time progressed, Microsoft understood that they need to do something with this as it was becoming a real pain for the users. So, there were some improvements with the November update and then with the Anniversary update(Introduction of Active hours etc.).
Now with the latest leaked update, Microsoft has reportedly changed some things- Now Windows updates can be paused for 35 days. This can be treated as a delay so that the people who want stability in the systems with the cumulative updates. However, security updates would continue to download.
The leaked build is enterprise edition of Windows, so the feature is expected to go live for both businesses and home users. The creator's update would go to production in March and this feature is expected to come out with that.

Cortana to be integrated with Windows Installer to Install Windows with Creator's update

With creator's update, Microsoft has promised a lot of things to be shipped with the update. As we most likely are almost half par the time since a stable build was released, we expect more features in the later half.
The new supposed rumor is the Integration of Cortana with the Windows Installer. For those who don't know(seriously?), Cortana is a digital assistant that ships with Windows 10 and makes things a lot easier. Cortana as of yet, reminds you about something you told her to remember and many other things. Now in continuation with this, Microsoft plans to integrate Cortana with Windows Installer- that would simplify the process of Installation. For example, saying next is a lot easier than clicking one.
A report from Windows Central says the same-that the latest builds of Windows 10 have a new OOBE i.e. Out of the box experience and by default listening to the user and awaiting voice commands. A sample screen that shows the new OOBE interface is as follows:

For the traditrional desktop users, keyboard and mouse are also supported as well, so you can either choose between Cortana/Keyboard.
The Insider program is on a holiday right now as due to holidays, but the program is expected to pace up in January. More to come.


Windows 10 build 14997 leaks onto Internet, introduces some new changes

Its been 3rd year and as usual, a new Insider build has been leaked on to the Internet which was just compiled before holidays. The build number is 14997 and interestingly it comes from a new branch as well.
This build was leaked on BetaArchive, and comes with some new features and several changes:

  • Improved Settings app
  • New Personalization menu
  • Edge now has Tab Expansion
  • Save tabs for later in Edge
  • Lower Blue Light mode

Blue Light mode

The new blue light mode allows you to adjust blue light settings. This makes it easier to see text on certain occasions-especially at night.This is more discussed here.
settings-blue-light
Thanks to Changewindows.org for the screenshot

Edge now has set aside tabs feature

In build 14997, Microsoft Edge now features the ability to set aside tabs for later viewing.Another small and neat feature introduced is previewing the tab which isn't open by default.

Windows defender 

Windows defender has got a new look as you can see here:

New cumulative update for Windows 10 on production branch and fast ring now available

New cumulative update for Windows 10 on production branch and fast ring now available

A new cumulative update for Windows 10 v1607 has recently been released by Microsoft. The only thing it addresses is according to the official KB page, a bug that was found in cumulative update KB3206632, which was rolled out by Microsoft on 13th December. 
“This update fixes an issue that was introduced in the December 13, 2016 release (KB3206632) in which virtualization-based security (VBS) does not start, and features that rely on VBS, such as Credential Guard and shielded virtual machines (VMs), stop functioning. Windows 10 and Windows Server 2106 updates are cumulative. Therefore, this package contains all previously released fixes,” Microsoft explains.

This new update pushes Windows 10 version to 14393.577.

Fast ring also getting update

Earlier this week, the software giant released an update for 14986. The build number jumps 14986.1001 although no changes are made public yet. 

Head over to Windows update to get more details.
Windows 10 themes arrive in Windows store

Windows 10 themes arrive in Windows store

Windows themes are a good way to customize the look and feel of Windows operating system. The themes contain Desktop background, colored themes and some of them even contain sounds. Previously, Windows themes can be downloaded from a dedicated page which is located here.

With the announcement of the creator's update to be released in early 2017, Microsoft announced that to download the themes for Windows 10, you now need to go to Windows store. This has been made live now-as many themes have been made available to Windows store.
The .themepack file would be downloaded in C:/Program Files/WindowsApps folder. Some of the themes that can be downloaded from there are:
Thanks to MS power user for the tip :)
No new builds till rest of the year

No new builds till rest of the year

Its been a while when 14986 was released for Fast ring Insiders and we could have expected a build before Christmas and New Year, but this isn't happening. The Internal canary builds of Microsoft aren't well passing the criteria, so the chief of Insider Program Dona Sarkar has said the following:
“No more builds this week. We don’t love the current options and don’t want to leave you in a bad state during the holidays,” Dona announced. “And this also means no more builds for 2016. We will release ISO for the Slow ring next week.”
This means ISO's would be up soon of 14986 on the Windows Insider preview ISO page this week. As Windows 10 creators update is due early 2017, expect more new features in the upcoming build next year.

[December Patch Tuesday] New cumulative updates for Windows 10 now available

[December Patch Tuesday] New cumulative updates for Windows 10 now available

This December's Microsoft Patch Tuesday as always has bring updates to all of the products. With Windows 10 on our radar, we would discuss the updates for all 3 versions of Windows.

Version 1607

For Windows 10 1607, a cumulative update Kb3206632 is now available, that jumps the build number to 14393.576. Key changes include:
  • Improved reliability of Security Support Provider Interface.
  • Addressed a service crash in CDPSVC that in some situations could lead to the machine not being able to acquire an IP address.
  • Addressed issue where a Catalog-signed module installation does not work on Nano Server. 
  • Addressed issue with Devices left with Hello on for an excessive amount of time will not go into power savings mode. 
  • Addressed issue with gl_pointSize to not work properly when used with drawElements method in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue where Azure Active Directory-joined machines after upgrading to Windows 10 Version 1607 cannot sync with Exchange.
  • Addressed additional issues with app compatibility, updated time zone information, Internet Explorer.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Uniscribe, Common Log File System Driver. 

 The update is available via Windows update catalog and Windows update as well. Direct links can be gathered from the following page:Microsoft Update Catalog
Here are the links to the 64 bit and 32 bit patch as well:

64-bit (x64) -Download from here.

32-bit (x86) -Download from here.

Version 1511

For version 1511,KB3205386  has been made available that jumps the build number from 10586.713.
The following changes are noticeable after this update:
  • Addressed issue that causes the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) client to fail installation when a device is re-imaged using the SCCM task sequence.
  • Addressed issue with an error that occurs when the home page of the browser is set to an extremely long URL.
  • Addressed issue with search suggestions and suggested sites feature of the browser not working properly.
  • Addressed issue when changing the password for a local account with update KB3198585 installed, the computer will hang at "Changing Password".
  • Addressed additional issues with Internet Explorer and updates to time zone information.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Uniscribe, Microsoft Graphics Component, the Windows OS, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Windows Hyper-V, Windows kernel, and the kernel-mode driver.

 Microsoft Update Catalog is the best way to download this update.
KB3201845 for Windows10 v1607 now available for production ring

KB3201845 for Windows10 v1607 now available for production ring

Recently, Microsoft released a new cumulative update for Windows 10 release preview ring Insiders, which was discussed here. The KB number of the update is KB3201845 and the build number is 14393.479. We now have the changelog as well, which is discussed here:

  • Improved the reliability of mobile device management (MDM) disenrollment, Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), Peripheral Component Interface and PowerShell.
  • Addressed issue that causes excessive battery drain if you have a Chinese Input Method Editor installed and use Windows Hello to log in.
  • Addressed issue with OLE drag and drop that prevents users from downloading a SharePoint document library as a file.
  • Addressed issue with Super Floppy-formatted fixed media devices that are not recognized by Windows 10 Anniversary Update or accessible in Windows Explorer.
  • Addressed issue that causes the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) client to fail installation when a device is re-imaged using the SCCM task sequence.
  • Addressed issue that causes the loss of optional component (OC) state information, including all Hyper-V virtual machines, after upgrade.
  • Addressed issue that causes Windows Explorer to display information that’s inconsistent with what’s stored on the Floppy disk.
  • Addressed issue that, after connecting a shared CD/DVD-hosted drive with no media inserted, causes some of the commands, like DIR and NET USE, to hang.
  • Addressed issue where customers cannot use directory cache sizes greater than 64 KB.
  • Addressed issue where Windows Explorer sometimes does not prompt for credentials when a user logs on using a Microsoft account.
  • Addressed additional issues with application compatibility and Internet Explorer

Direct links:

As this update is for stable release, direct download links are also available:

Also see:
[Finally] Microsoft update catalog updated, now can be used on any browser
Microsoft pauses Windows 10 Insider preview builds for PC to prepare for Unified Update platform

Microsoft pauses Windows 10 Insider preview builds for PC to prepare for Unified Update platform

Last week, Windows 10 Insider build 14977 was released, but the build was only for mobile devices. Dona Sarkar, chief of Insider program didn't explained about the reason why Insider build for PC wasn't available, except a tweet which mentioned that a blocking bug resulted in delay of the PC build:
Currently it doesn't look like that this was the real reason, because yesterday, Microsoft updated the blog post to state that the builds for Fast and slow ring are paused until further notice:
 We are getting ready to start releasing PC builds to Insiders using UUP. To prepare for this, we are going to pause all PC builds for both the Fast and Slow rings starting this evening (Friday 12/2). We will begin flighting the latest builds via UUP starting with our internal rings first then to Insiders based on each ring’s promotion criteria. We’re excited to be able to release builds for PC to Insiders using UUP! Mobile builds are not impacted by this.
 Microsoft is preparing to release Windows 10 PC builds using UUP, that reduces the size of the updates. This feature is already live in Mobile builds and PC is expected to cover up soon.

Windows 10 and XP gain(yes, gain!) and Windows 7 looses share in November

As usual, this is first and Netmarket share is back with its stats. Let us discuss in detail about every OS:

Windows 10

After a stagnant decline from many months, Windows 10 has shown signs of revival. Windows 10 has increased its share from 22.59 to 23.72 percent. This is a pretty significant as a little percentage could mean million. This shows people have started adopting Windows 10, which could be a reason of fixing bugs with the Anniversary update.

Windows 7

For the first time in months, Windows 7 share has decreased with a significant margin.The share dropped from 48.38 to 47.17 percent. This could mean people  moving have moved from Windows 10.

Windows 8 and 8.1

Windows 8.1 is dropping sharply, and these new stats put the at 8.01 percent, while Windows 8 operating system stands at a mere 1.96 percent.

Windows XP

The almost 1 and half decade OS has increased its share strangely. The OS now stands at 8.63 percent, greater than Windows 8.1. FWIW, the OS started the year with 11 percent around and had a lots of downs and a little ups like these in the year. For those who are wondering, still Windows XP powers a lot of computers and the owners do not upgrade their systems either due to compatibility issues or finance. But still using XP poses a lot of risks, as the software giant has already stopped patching this OS.

Let us look at a graphical representation of the share of the OS:
More to come next month.

New cumulative updates for Insiders on release preview ring now available

For December's patch Tuesday, Microsoft has already started testing Windows updates. Released yesterday, KB3201845 is now available for Windows 10 version 1607, that jumps build number to 14393.479
There is no changelog available yet, but it is expected to come up soon.


    The latest patch is KB3200970

The latest patch for Windows 10 is KB3200970 which fixed a lot of problems and brought stability to the OS, released Patch Tuesday in November.

I hope the changelog is available soon

Prevent Forced Restart After Installing Windows Updates In Windows

Windows 10 updates are automatic and a big pain with this is a restart, which sometimes results in loss of data when the user is working on the PC. This system started with Windows 8, but in the older OS there was a provision to disable the updates. With the Anniversary update, things have improved for example with Active hours, but still a large proportion of users believe that older options of Windows updates should be brought back.

But to overcome this, a group policy exists in Windows that prevents a forced restart or an automatic restart which can either be applied through group policy editor or registry editor for home users.

Group policy Edit

  1. Press Windows key+R to open Run dialog box and type in gpedit.msc . This opens Group policy editor.
  2. On the left hand side, Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components  -> Windows Update
  3. In the right list of polices, look for "No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installation". Double click it and modify:
  4. Set the policy to Enabled and that's it.To reset it in future, set it as Not configured.
Registry Edit
  1. Open Run dialog box using Windows key+R and type in regedit.
  2. On the left hand navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  3. Now right click Windows and select New>Key. Name this as Windowsupdate. Again Select Windowsupdate and select new key and Name that as AU. The final structure looks like this

  4. Again right click AU and select New>DWORD. Name it AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime. Press OK and again Right click it and select modify. Put value of it as 0.
  5. Click OK and you are done!!
With these edits, the system would not reboot at scheduled time, even after the time is outside active hours.

Quiet hours in Windows now updated, 3rd party apps can now send notifications

In windows 10, Microsoft provides a quite useful feature that quiets down the notifications when a switch is turned ON, called quite notifications.
Quiet hours in Windows 10

Currently, when the quiet hours is turned ON, the notifications are turned off from a 3rd party apps. Only apps like Microsoft Alarms and clock and Windows defender are allowed to send notifications.
But, this is about to change as Microsoft recently posted in User voice that due to popular feedback, 3rd Party apps would be allowed.
“We just enabled this in the next Insider fast-ring flight of the Creators Update! All third-party alarm apps will break through quiet hours now, just like the first-party alarm app!”
So this feature is now live in the Insider's release and would be subsequently available to production with the creator's update due 2017. You can read the post here.
Thanks to Winbeta for the information.
Windows 10 version 1607 is the most secure version of Windows 10, says Microsoft

Windows 10 version 1607 is the most secure version of Windows 10, says Microsoft

Ransomware is a new malware threat to the computers that not only does pose a threat to files, but also costs you if you want to recover from it.
With Windows 10, Microsoft promises a greater advanced security and as the editions like v1507 and 1511 are progressing, Windows 10

Microsoft has published a new white paper called Ransomware Protection in Windows 10 Anniversary Update that details how the latest Windows 10 version helps to protect all of its customers, from consumers to businesses. Also in a separate blog post, Microsoft details about the what they are doing and what are the preventive measures with version 1607 as far as ransom-ware security is concerned.

What is Microsoft doing 


  • Six of the top 10 ransomware threats use browser, or browser-plugin-related exploits, so they have made it harder for malware authors to exploit Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge.
  • Increased detection and blocking capability in the  email services, increasing the number of ransomware-related attachments being blocked.
  • Added new technology to Windows Defender to reduce detection time to seconds, increasing the ability to respond before the infection can occur.
  • Released Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection which can be combined with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection to make it easier for companies to investigate and respond to ransomware attacks.

Prevention and detection-What has been done


  • Browser hardening. Microsoft Edge runs Adobe Flash Player in an isolated container, and Edge exploits cannot execute other applications. “These improvements block malware from silently downloading and executing additional payloads on customers’ systems,” Microsoft says.
  • Windows Defender improvements. The Windows Defender signature delivery channel works faster than before so that the in-box anti-virus and antimalware solution can help block ransomware, both in the cloud and on the client. Additionally, Windows Defender responds to new threats faster using improved cloud protection and automatic sample submission features, plus improved behavioral heuristics aimed at detecting ransomware-related activities.
  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. This new service helps business customers respond to attacks by alerting the security team, identify any damage caused, and understand where it might be moving next. It can also work with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection to provide a more holistic view of what is attacking the enterprise.
To protect the customers from this new threat, the software giant advises updating to Windows 10 v1607 and follow a comprehensive backup strategy as mentioned here.

[November updates] New cumulative update for windows 10 available now

[November updates] New cumulative update for windows 10 available now

Its patch Tuesday of October and Microsoft has shipped number of patches to its products. As far as Windows 10 is concerned, the cumulative updates for all the 3 versions have been made available and more details are below:

Version 1607

For Windows 10 1607, a cumulative update Kb3200970 is now available, that jumps the build number to 14393.447. Key changes include:

  • Improved the reliability of multimedia audio, Remote Desktop, and Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue that prevents users from connecting to a virtual private network (VPN).
  • Addressed issue with a scheduled task that doesn’t run in Task Scheduler after reenabling.
  • Addressed issue to update the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Addressed issue with Japanese characters that are missing when converted by the Input Method Editor.
  • Addressed issue with the system tray showing no Wi-Fi connection even when Wi-Fi is present.
  • Addressed issue with Windows devices that disconnect from the Internet prematurely before users can complete their paid Wi-Fi purchase.
  • Addressed issue to update the new Belarusian ruble symbol to Br and the new ISO 4217 code to BYN.
  • Addressed additional issues with multimedia, Windows kernel, packaging release management, authentication, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Remote Desktop, Active Directory, wireless networking, Windows shell, graphics, enterprise security, and Microsoft HoloLens.
  • Security updates to Boot Manager, Windows operating system, kernel-mode drivers, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Virtual Hard Drive, Common Log File System driver, Microsoft Video Control, Common Log File System driver, Windows authentication methods, Windows File Manager, and the Microsoft Graphics Component.

The update is available via Windows update catalog and Windows update as well. Direct links can be gathered from the following page:
Microsoft Update Catalog
Here are the links to the 64 bit and 32 bit patch as well:
64-bit (x64) - http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/...421b7fad5a.msu

32-bit (x86) - http://download.windowsupdate.com/c/...afbd91b82b.msu


Version 1511

For version 1511, the patch has a KB number of 3198586 and jumps the build number to 10586.679
  •  Improved the reliability of the Windows shell, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue with Japanese characters that are missing when converted by the Input Method Editor.
  • Addressed issue with systems that randomly stop applying UNC Hardening group policy, leaving systems vulnerable until restarted.
  • Addressed issue with proxy authentication that causes Windows Update downloads to fail.
  • Addressed issue that prevents users from accessing network resources after logon after they’ve installed KB3185614.
  • Addressed issue with point rendering in Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue where users can’t navigate to Internet sites when a network is configured to use Web Proxy Auto Discovery (WPAD).
  • Addressed issue where users can’t access Microsoft Store in an authenticated proxy environment.
  • Addressed additional issues with enterprise security, Internet Explorer 11, Remote Desktop, datacenter networking, Windows shell, filter driver, the Access Point Name (APN) database, and wireless networking.
  • Security updates to the Windows operating system, kernel-mode drivers, Microsoft Edge, Boot Manager, Internet Explorer 11, Common Log File System driver, Microsoft Virtual Hard Drive, Microsoft Video Control, Windows authentication methods, Windows File Manager, OpenType, and the Microsoft Graphics Component.
Microsoft Update Catalog provides direct download links to the update.

Version 1507

For Windows 10 v1507, the KB number of the update is KB3198585  and the build number jumps to 10240.17190. Key changes include:

  • Addressed issue to update the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Addressed issue with deadlocks occurring after a user password reset.
  • Addressed issue with point rendering in Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue with Japanese characters that are missing when converted by the Input Method Editor.
  • Addressed additional issues with filter drivers, enterprise security, Windows shell, and Internet Explorer 1.
  • Security updates to the Windows OS, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Windows File Manager, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows authentication methods, kernel-mode drivers, Microsoft Virtual Hard Drive, Microsoft Video Control, OpenType, and the Common Log File System driver.
You can use Windows update or Microsoft Update Catalog to download the update.

More information about the updates are on the update history page
With a new feature, Microsoft promises Windows updates to be more smaller than earlier

With a new feature, Microsoft promises Windows updates to be more smaller than earlier

From a very long ago, MS has been listening to feedback on windows updates in windows 10 and is promising action on that. Looks like the software giant is now acting on that which is proved by significant changes to Windows update model released yesterday.

With the release of Windows 10 mobile build 14959, Microsoft has introduced a new update delivery platform which it is calling Unified update platform. With UUP, the Windows update downloads only that part of the OS that has been changed.from the previous update. Contrast to earlier, with a new build the whole of the Installation media was downloaded and a virtual repair Install or an In-Place upgrade would be carried out.

This is expected to go live with the creator's update due early 2017 to the masses. The latest build 14959 for mobile is released with this delivery model and PC is expected to follow up soon.

UUP would only be available for PC and smartphones, not for Xbox as Microsoft doesn't roll updates through windows update.
The size of Windows updates can go down as much as 35 percent, the software giant explained in a blog post. Also, Microsoft is trying to make checking for updates more efficient by reducing the data sent to the client+ decreasing the processing at the client end.

As UUP has still debuted and is currently in beta, more changes and enhancements are expected before it goes live in 2017. A welcome change by Microsoft.

Windows 10 almost the same, Windows 8.1 displaces 3rd most used OS in October

Windows 10 almost the same, Windows 8.1 displaces 3rd most used OS in October

As the month starts, Netmarket share updates its OS stats. The October data is now updated. Last month, we saw drop for the first time in Windows 10 share. This time, Windows 10 has gained a bit-a mere 0.06 percent this month, standing at 22.59. This clearly signifies the rate at which Windows 10 was increasing during the free upgrade offer is not possible now. Still Windows 10 is down from the August numbers.
Capture-d’écran-2016-11-01-à-18.46.50 Windows 10 upgrades stagnate after free offer ends, market share down from August
Windows 7 is way ahead at 48.38 percent, while Windows XP has now been displaced as 3rd most used OS by Windows 8.1. The reason of 8.1 growth is due to OEM's generally shipping 8.1 rather than Windows 10 as their OS.
Still, 1 billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018 is almost impossible as said by Microsoft as well.
 

Microsoft working on a UWP version of Windows defender

Windows defender is an Antivirus that ships with Windows 8 and windows 10. Microsoft says that you do not need an antivirus if you use either of the OS. However, in earlier windows versions like 7 and 8, Windows defender acts as an Anti-malware, but not an Antivirus.
Personally I feel Windows defender is enough as an AV for home users, as it is lightweight and does not hog up any resources.
The UI of Windows defender is same from ages, it is same from ages or either when it was introduced. However, with the Anniversary update to Windows 10, Microsoft did add some most essential features in windows defender, like an Scanning even when a 3rd party AV is Installed, adding a context menu in files and folders etc.
Windows defender in windows 10

Now, as with UWP apps are more and more promoted by Microsoft, the software giant has started to revamp its traditional apps from desktop to UWP ones. Earlier, Paint was predicted to be overhauled,  and now thanks to an article from winbeta, the next one to update to UWP is windows defender.
A source Marvin, has confirmed the same, with the design being shown as clean and rightly filled into the system. The picture shows windows defender in light theme, with additional options put into hamburger options on the left which is a little lower.defender-1050x598 Microsoft working on a UWP version of Windows Defender
This overhaul probably would be coming with the creator's update due spring 2017.

The next major update to Windows 10 is called Creators update, to be released in Spring 2017

The next major update to Windows 10 is called Creators update, to be released in Spring 2017

Microsoft is holding a windows 10 event in NYC, where they are telling about future products, and their roadmap for future for Windows, Surface, Xbox etc. Now, as the Anniversary update has been released, the focus now shifts to the next stable release. As predicted earlier, Microsoft plans to release that in 2017 and this has been made official now.
At the event yesterday, Microsoft announced the same, labelling the next update to Windows 10 as Windows 10 creators update, which would be free to all devices running windows 10, most probably releasing in 2017.
The name Creator's update suggests the update focuses on creativity. Some of the highlighted features in the blog post are:
Paint 3D:
A new Paint app would be available with the creators update, that is an improved version of Paint and allows creating and editing objects in 3D.
Virtual Reality experience:
The creator's update would allow an improved virtual reality experience that would be more powerful and affordable.
Windows MyPeople
The creators update would come with MyPeople app that would allow you to PIN your favourite contacts to windows taskbar and drag and drop to any document for easy sharing.
Improved Gaming experience:
Windows 10 Creators Update will allow users to create and enjoy live game streams and customized eSports tournaments on Xbox Live.

There would be many other features coming which aren't public yet.
New cumulative update for windows 10 on slow and release preview rings now available

New cumulative update for windows 10 on slow and release preview rings now available

Microsoft is testing cumulative update KB3197954, which is now available to slow and release preview rings. The update jumps the build number to 14393.351, and the update is focused at bug fixes and general improvements as always.
There is no changelog available yet and no information also, but is expected soon when it gets released to the production ring.

Download the update manually

The .CAB file is available at the catalog as well, but here are the direct links:
32-bit (x86):
 http://download.windowsupdate.com/c/...3f39bfd2c3.cab
64-bit (x64):
 http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/...de95a9dcc3.cab


We expect the update to be released before the patch Tuesday because it looks like far from now.
[Finally] Microsoft update catalog updated, now can be used on any browser

[Finally] Microsoft update catalog updated, now can be used on any browser

With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Edge with its OS and indirectly signalling no new feature upgrades to IE. Some of the Microsoft websites relied on Internet explorer for many years, and catalog is one of them.
Now, moving forward as Microsoft had promised, the update catalog now works with all the browsers. Earlier catalog used ActiveX control. which made the website only specific to IE. Microsoft has officially written a post on this, where you can get more information about it.
This announcement means that IT admins can finally use Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers to download and manage Windows updates. You can get more information about Windows update catalog here:
Download windows updates from catalog through any browser
A new update for Windows 10 version 1607 is available now

A new update for Windows 10 version 1607 is available now

Microsoft has dilevered another mystery update to Windows 10 systems running version 1607. The KB number is KB3199209 and as said, there is no information is available about it.
The update is labelled as update for Windows 10 version 1607 in Windows update and it does not require a restart.



This looks like more of under the hood changing update, as there is no change-log available yet.

Download KB3199209

The update is always available via Windows update and also on the catalog. If you want to download this via catalog here is a link:
Download KB3199209 through Windows update catalog
Here are the tutorials for downloading it through Microsoft catalog:
Download windows updates from catalog through any browser 
Install updates via Microsoft update catalog

Microsoft testing an improved Cortana UI in Redstone 2 builds

One of the powerful features of Windows 10 is Cortana, the personal digital assistant of windows 10. Cortana helps the user everywhere-from search to Edge.While Cortana is a very handy tool for users, Microsoft has always tried to improve it-Performance and feature wise so that the users can use it more efficiently.
The User Interface of Cortana has been improved greatly since build 10240, and the current one looks like this:
Now with the Anniversary update, the software giant introduced a new UI, that allowed you to shortlist your search within local files, web results and applications.
Now moving forward, a new UI of Cortana is being revolving around the Internet, that might be introduced with Redstone 2. According to MSPoweruser, the change is affecting only a small number of people and according to that the search bar is moved to the top. Other visible changes are also found pertaining to displaying elements along with a new major change.

picture1


 The text box, normally grey or matching the set accent color, can be set to correspond with a rather light theme – changing the background of the box to white.
cortanawhitesearchbox

A floating cortana might also be available, but we would look forward to upcoming windows 10 builds as Redstone 2 is around the corner.
Windows 10 Redstone 2 can have a version of 1703

Windows 10 Redstone 2 can have a version of 1703

After finishing of Threshold branch of Windows 10, Microsoft is moving forward with Redstone. Under redstone, Microsoft plans 3 feature upgrades in which one was released this August codenamed Redstone 1. Now the focus shifts to Redstone 2, which is now being developed and some builds have been released to Windows Insiders.
All of the Windows 10 builds released in production have a version. The TH1 build was called 1507(although not officially called), the TH2 being 1511 version which was the official name of the build and the last stable build aka Anniversary update has a label 1607. The version usually points to Year and then month.(Like 16 stands for 2016 and 07 stands for month, i.e. July)
Now, a new Information from walkingcat, a prominent Microsoft watcher says Microsoft is planning to label Redstone 2 production build as version 1703. This points that Restone 2 would be pushed to the masses in  March 2017. Here is the tweet by walking cat:

It was confirmed earlier by the software giant that Redstone 2 would be released around earlier 2017.

Though plans can always change, but I hope that it is around the specified month.
Thanks to winbeta as well.
New cumulative update for Windows 10 available now

New cumulative update for Windows 10 available now

Its patch Tuesday of October and Microsoft has shipped number of patches to its products. As far as Windows 10 is concerned, the cumulative updates for all the 3 versions have been made available and more details are below.

Version 1607

For Windows 10 1607, a cumulative update Kb319478 is now available, that jumps the build number to 14393.321. Key changes include

  • Improved reliability of Bluetooth and storage file system.
  • Addressed issue causing printer drivers to not install correctly after installing security update KB317005.
  • Addressed issue causing sign-in errors if a password is entered incorrectly or a new password doesn’t meet password complexity requirements after installing security update KB3167679.
  • Addressed issue that required users to log out and log back in before using the application they installed using the Windows installer (MSI).
  • Improved support for networks by adding new entries to the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Addressed issue that was causing excessive battery drain on Windows 10 Mobile when connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Addressed issue in which setting up both fingerprint and iris recognition sometimes causes the sign-in to fail on Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue that was causing high CPU usage on Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed additional issues with multimedia playback, revised daylight saving time, authentication, Internet Explorer 11, and Windows Shell.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Windows registry, and diagnostics hub.

The update is available via Windows update and catalog. The direct links are available as well:


Version 1511

For version 1511, the cumulative update has a KB number of 3192441 and jumps the build number to 10586.633. Key changes include:
  • Improved reliability of Internet Explorer 11, kernel mode drivers, downloading apps from the Store, and Windows graphics device interface (GDI).
  • Addressed issue causing printer drivers to not install correctly after installing security update KB317005.
  • Addressed issue causing sign-in errors if a password is entered incorrectly or a new password doesn’t meet password complexity requirements after installing security update KB3167679.
  • Addressed issue that causes Internet Explorer 11 to fail sometimes when using a user-defined style sheet.
  • Addressed issue where scrollbar position is reset after display property is set to none in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue where a script in a nested frameset may not run correctly in Microsoft Edge.
  • Improved support for websites by updating the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) preload list.
  • Improved the upload of telemetry and download of telemetry settings in an authenticated proxy environment and support for Azure Active Directory (AAD).
  • Addressed additional issues with revised daylight saving time, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, and WebDAV.
  • Security updates to kernel-mode drivers, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows registry, and diagnostic hub.

 The update is available via catalog and windows update. As of now, no direct links are available, so you can download it manually via any browser:
Download Windows updates from catalog through any browser

Version 1507

For version 1507, the KB number is 3192440.The build number jumps to 10240.17146 and update introduces the following changes:

  • Improved reliability of Internet Explorer 11, .NET Framework, and Windows Kernel.
  • Addressed issue causing print jobs to not complete, when printing multiple documents in succession.
  • Addressed issue where recovery of encryption certificates for a virtual smartcard doesn’t work.
  • Addressed issue preventing many built-in groups (such as Hyper-V administrators) from being created during setup of new devices using Windows 10 Enterprise.
  • Improved support for the Group Policy setting for signing in using a PIN.
  • Addressed issue causing links to webpages to display blank pages when Enhanced Protected Mode is enabled in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue causing “Print all linked documents” to not work in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Improved support for networks by adding new entries to the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Removed the Copy Protection option when ripping CDs in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format from Windows Media Player.
  • Addressed additional issues with Internet Explorer 11, Windows Installer, Shell, Windows Media Player, revised daylight saving time, and Windows Update for Business.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Windows kernel, OLE automation, Windows lock screen, Windows Secure Kernel Mode, Windows SMB Server v1.0, Microsoft Graphics Component, and PDF.

The update is available via catalog and windows update. As of now, no direct links are available, so you can download it manually via any browser:
Download Windows updates from catalog through any browser 
Microsoft is updating Paint app soon

Microsoft is updating Paint app soon

In Microsoft Windows, paint app is one of the app which is nearly old as old as windows is. It had a minor update in Windows 7 era, but no new features were introduced(it was nearly the same as it was before.). But now thanks to a leaked video, Microsoft is giving paint app an overhaul and updating it majorly first time in history.

 As you can see in this video, Microsoft is making paint as a UWP app although it is not confirmed using the bridge that converts win32 apps into a modern app.
The new interface looks more touch friendly. New features have also been introduced with keeping all of the traditional features.
There is no ETA when the app would be released, but looks like that it would be the part of next major update called Redstone 2 to be released next year.
Windows 7 and cumulative update patches starting from this month, Microsoft explains more

Windows 7 and cumulative update patches starting from this month, Microsoft explains more

Some moths ago, Microsoft announced cumulative update model for Windows 7 and Windows 8 OS. a cumulative update model means a single update that includes all of the updates since a major update/upgrade to OS was released.
However, with Windows 8 and windows 7, the security updates of IE wouldn't be shipped together though. Now, as the Patch Tuesday is today, Microsoft has explained more about the cumulative update model. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 computers will get a security-only quality update every month, and this will be published as “Security Update” with a unique KB number.
Additionally, there’ll be a security monthly quality rollup which is more of a monthly rollup containing all security fixes needed to bring a computer fully up to date.

The update would simultaneously be available to Microsoft update catalog as well for offline Installation. You can get more details here:
Install updates via Microsoft update catalog

Fixes to be released on third Tuesday of each month

The third update, which would be released on third week of every month, which would contain non secrity fixes would be released. Microsoft said the following about this:
“An additional monthly rollup containing a preview of new non-security fixes that will be included in the next monthly rollup, as well as fixes from all previous monthly rollup.  This can also be called the ‘preview rollup,’”
Thanks to Softpedia as well. 

The latest Insider build of Windows 10 allows you to uninstall system apps

With windows 8 (or windows 10), Microsoft introduced modern apps which were a replacement for the traditional win32 apps. With Windows 10, some of the modern apps were introduced as a revamped version of Windows 8 ones:


  • Mail and calendar
  • Camera
  • Feedback hub
  • Groove music
  • Films and TV etc.
These modern apps, in Windows 10 cannot be uninstalled without using power-shell commands as you can see here:

But, the latest Insider build of Windows 10, released last week now allows you to uninstall system apps. The uninstall button isn't greyed out as you can see below + right clicking the app and selecting Uninstall also works. It was noted by Onenote central on twitter:

This is clearly a good news for some people specially for those who want to uninstall these apps and have somewhat less space in C: drive. But remember, this feature would be available to general users around 2017, when redstone 2 would release.

[Now available]Microsoft preparing with a clean-up script to clear failed 14393.222 Installs

[Now available]Microsoft preparing with a clean-up script to clear failed 14393.222 Installs

Microsoft released a cumulative update last week for Windows Insiders and production ring. The update jumped the build number from 14393.187 to 14393.222. For many people, the update is failing either at Installation or at download, the most common problem being undoing changes at the restart.
Microsoft community forums and other forums are full of these kind of issues. Thankfully, Microsoft acknowledged the issue last week and said they were working on a fix. Although the users found a fix themselves for this update(a registry edit corrected this issue for most of them) but yesterday, Microsoft representative Jason posted on same thread the following:
Hello Insiders!                We’ve been working diligently on this issue and are finalizing a clean-up script that will fix the underlying issue preventing the install of  KB3194496 (Cumulative Update 14393.222) for affected users.  Your patience during our research and subsequent work is greatly appreciated.Thank you as always and stay tuned!
This means, for those users the update is failing, a script would prevent the Installation of the update. The later update, which is expected on patch Tuesday would resolve out this issue.

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Update: The script is now available, here.

Windows 10 growth drops for the first time, Windows 7 gains a bit

Windows 10 growth drops for the first time, Windows 7 gains a bit

It is October 3 and new statistics by Netmarket share are available. With the free upgrade offer ending in late July, Windows 10 isn't free for the masses which means people would have to pay for the upgrades.
In the time of free OS, Windows 10 is the only OS that isn't free. An interesting article on Zdnet describes the same, but we will discuss it some other day.
Windows 10 share in October has seen a drop for the first time in history, the share being dropped from 22.99 percent to 22.53 percent. One of the biggest reason of it being, the ending of the free upgrade offer. That said, seeing the share of the market it could be a big setback for Microsoft's goal of attaining one billion devices by 2018.

Forced upgrades?

A new question that arises here as well is, Was the forced upgrade a reason for Windows 10's steady growth during the free offer?
 The answer would be cleared later on, but let us first have a look at the share:


 There can be plenty of reasons for share drop. One of the reasons which might be a cause of it was  people downgraded/factory restored to Windows 7/8.1 when they saw Anniversary update being a bit buggy.

Windows 7 

As far as Windows 7 is concerned, It continues to be number one surviving the free upgrade offer and got a little increase in share in November.Windows 7 improved last month from 47.25 percent to 48.27 percent.The next months statistics would be quite interesting to see.
New cumulative update for Windows 10 v1607 now available

New cumulative update for Windows 10 v1607 now available

After releasing a new cumulative update for slow and release preview rings some days ago,  the same update is now available to Windows 10 stable build. The knowledge base number is same, as well as the build number(14393.222). This is the change-log posted on the update history page:
  • Improved reliability of the Windows Update Agent, shared drives, virtual private network (VPN), clustering, HTTP downloads, Internet Explorer 11, Hyper-V platform, multimedia playback, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Improved performance of push and local notifications, Hyper-V platform, and some social media websites using Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue where mapping a drive from an elevated command prompt doesn’t work with administrator credentials.
  • Addressed issue causing movies that were ripped using the transport stream (.ts) format to play without sound in Windows Media Player and the Xbox One Media Player app.
  • Addressed issue causing the Movies & TV app on the Xbox to stop working when attempting to play content that was just purchased from the Store.
  • Addressed issue where ActiveX can't be installed using the ActiveX Installer Service (AXIS) in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue causing “Print all linked documents” to not work in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Improved reliability of downloading and updating games.
  • Addressed issue preventing some users from changing the default download location in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue causing unnecessary notifications about fixing Microsoft account in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed additional issues with multimedia, Windows kernel, Windows shell, enterprise security, storage file system, Remote Desktop, core platform, Hyper-V platform, Windows Update for Business, display kernel, near field communication (NFC), input and composition, Bluetooth, Microsoft Lync 2010 compatibility, Windows Storage API, app registration, Trusted Platform Module, Group Policy, Internet Explorer 11, virtual private network (VPN), BitLocker, wireless networking, datacenter networking, Cortana, PowerShell, Active Directory, connection manager and data usage, Access Point Name (APN) database, Microsoft Edge, Windows Recovery Environment, file clustering, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, audio playback settings, DShow Bridge, app compatibility, licensing, cloud infrastructure, domain name system (DNS) server, network controller, USB barcode reader, and Adobe Flash Player.
There is no MSU i.e. offline package available at this time, but I expect it soon.
New cumulative updates for Insiders on slow and release preview rings now available

New cumulative updates for Insiders on slow and release preview rings now available

Microsoft has released a cumulative update for Windows Insiders on release preview ring and slow ring  that jumps the build number from 14393.187 to 14393.222. The Knowledge base number of the update is KB3194496.
The following change-log was posted on Feedback hub:

  • Improved reliability of the Windows Update Agent, shared drives, virtual private network (VPN), clustering, HTTP downloads, Internet Explorer 11, Hyper-V platform, multimedia playback, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Improved performance of push and local notifications, Hyper-V platform, and some social media websites using Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue where mapping a drive from an elevated command prompt doesn't work with administrator credentials.
  • Addressed issue causing movies that were ripped using the transport stream (.ts) format to play without sound in Windows Media Player and the Xbox One Media Player app.
  • Addressed issue causing the Movies & TV app on the Xbox to stop working when attempting to play content that was just purchased from the Store.
  • Improved support for networks by adding new entries to the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Addressed issue causing "Print all linked documents" to not work in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue preventing some users from changing the default download location in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue causing unnecessary notifications about fixing Microsoft account in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed additional issues with multimedia, Windows kernel, Windows shell, enterprise security, storage file system, Remote Desktop, core platform, Hyper-V platform, Windows Update for Business, display kernel, near field communication (NFC), input and composition, Bluetooth, Microsoft Lync 2010 compatibility, Windows Storage API, app registration, Trusted Platform Module, Group Policy, Internet Explorer 11, virtual private network (VPN), BitLocker, wireless networking, datacenter networking, Cortana, PowerShell, Active Directory, connection manager and data usage, Microsoft Edge, Windows Recovery Environment, file clustering, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, audio playback settings, DShow Bridge, app compatibility, licensing, cloud infrastructure, domain name system (DNS) server, network controller, USB barcode reader, and Adobe Flash Player.

 The only way to get this is through Windows update as the update is also not available at Microsoft catalog until now. More to come soon.

Windows 10 now running on 400 million devices

Windows 10 is now running on 400 million active devices, the software giant said Yesterday in the Ignite conference being held at Atlanta. The previous milestone, aka 300 million in May and 350 million being in June.
By active devices, Microsoft counts a PC that is active at least once in 28 days.This figure includes not only PCs, Mobiles and Hololens as well. Also, it has been widely claimed by Microsoft that the adoption rate is ~110 percent more than Windows 7. I except the adoption to be slower day by day as the free upgrade offer has expired on July 29th.
Reviews of windows 10 are mostly postive

Microsoft had targeted that 1 billion devices would run Windows 10 by 2018, but later on they conceded that this target wouldn't be achievable by 2018.
At the Ignite conference, Microsoft teased a feature that would be coming soon for Microsoft edge.Firstly for redstone 2 insider builds, called Windows defender application guard would run Microsoft edge in a light virtual machine called the container that would prevent spreading of malicious code to the host computer and the computers on the network. This would be a very useful feature, specially for the Enterprises.
For those who want to test it, Microsoft would allow them to test this feature as soon as early next year.

[turn off the lights available now]New extensions on the way for Microsoft Edge

With the release of Anniversary update to Windows 10, Microsoft Edge includes extensions support. For those who don't know, extensions provide more support and usability to the browser. When the Anniversary update was released, only some of the extensions were available as the software giant made the extensions development program a very closed one. The number of extensions that were available to public were very less, I suppose 5.

Ad-block plus was one of the first extensions to Edge

Things are almost the same now, but the program is expanding slowly. Microsoft is working on some more extensions, informed by Microsoft Edge development team on Twitter.


So that means 3 more extensions are on the way and more to come soon. The extensions would first roll out to Windows Insiders and then to Anniversary update build.We should expect them anytime soon as I hint the development at last stage.I expect more extensions to come soon though Microsoft hasn't made the extensions program public yet so that everyone can develop the extensions.


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Update: Turn off the lights extension is now available through store now. Head over to this link to get it!
[Updated]Microsoft releases KB3193494 that replaces KB3189866 and fixes issues as well

[Updated]Microsoft releases KB3193494 that replaces KB3189866 and fixes issues as well

A new cumulative update for Windows 10 v1607 was released Yesterday with the knowledge base number of 3193494. The build number however remains the same- as well as the change-log which was posted for KB3189866:
  • Improved reliability of Windows Shell, map apps, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue causing push-button reset to not work correctly and roll back on devices with language set to any of the Unicode languages.
  • Addressed issue causing devices to crash after disconnecting an e-reader that was attached to the device.
  • Addressed issue causing devices to not recognize a Secure Digital (SD) card if it is inserted and removed multiple times.
  • Addressed issue causing some apps to not respond to the commands in the app bar in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue that sometimes blocks alarm notifications in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Improved support for using the camera app in Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.
  • Addressed additional issues with rendering 4K resolution, missing Start menu tiles when running on battery, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, Bluetooth compatibility, graphics, display rotation, app compatibility, Wi-Fi, Feedback Hub, Miracast, Windows Shell, revised daylight saving time, and USB.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel, and Adobe Flash Player.
The reason of re-issuing the update being the issues the users were facing as the update got stuck on 45 percent or 95 percent. This issue was widely reported on community forums as well. The only solution in this case was to manually download the update and make it work. Now the newly released update acknowledges this issue and the following is written against about this update:
We encountered a network transmission issue that affected update 3189866, published on September 13, 2016. The quickest way to address this issue was to reissue the update to all Content Delivery Networks. This new update package, KB3193494, includes the same set of fixes as KB3189866. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. 
For more information, you can go here. The update is available via Windows update and if you want to manually download this one, you can always do using the following article:
Download windows updates from catalog through any browser

Update

For 64 bit systems update MSU is here and 32 bit systems can be found here. Just run the file as soon as it downloads.