Microsoft’s New Browser Is Called Edge

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edgelogoThe web browser update that was scheduled to be released with the upcoming Windows 10 release, which has been code-named “Spartan” is officially being named “Edge” according to recent information from Redmond.  Internet Explorer 11 will be retained for legacy corporate web application support, but the new Edge browser is supposed to be leaner and quicker than IE, and a worthy competitor to Google’s popular Chrome browser.

Internet Explorer has known issues with some websites that have been recoded in HTML5, and these issues do not appear to be improving with the usual Windows Updates fixes.  The new browser is being well-received by those people who are participating in the Window 10 Professional Preview program.

This article was posted earlier on my cybersecurity website

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Windows 10 Security Upgrades: Hello, Passport, FIDO

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Windows10HelloWindows 10 will be featuring a built in security feature called Hello, as well as Passport, for online security, and is supporting the FIDO Alliance as well.  Hello will use fingerprint, facial recognition or iris scanning to authenticate you to your computer, and from there, authenticate you to your domain or workgroup resources.  The facial recognition camera will use infrared to get around recognition issues that may be caused by the addition or subtraction of facial hair in men, or the presence or absence of make-up in women.  IR also overcomes problems with differing lighting levels.  This camera will be used for iris scanning as well.

Windows Hello will provide the Enterprise-grade security and privacy required by government, defense, financial, health care, and other highly regulated operations. Windows Hello is using asymmetric key cryptography to authenticate users, and is similar to the technology that powers security in SmartCards. So the security level will be very robust, and offered, as it is, built into the Windows operating system, will require little effort from users.

Windows Passport continues this encrypted level of authentication outward to the Internet, specifically to Microsoft sites such as Outlook.com, OneDrive, and other web accounts that Microsoft controls.  Once Windows Hello has verified identity, it will unlock your Microsoft Passport on this system and allow access to online sites and services that use your Microsoft account. Passport also eliminates the need for online sites to store your password online where they are at risk in a cyber-attack.  Only the public keys or half of your encryption key is stored online. The main encryption key is remains secured to your computer.

Their support of the FIDO Alliance extends this commitment to non-Microsoft sites and services in a meaningful way.  The fact that Microsoft is committed to an open source standard is a refreshing change of pace for a company that has leaned on forcing proprietary solutions onto customers that lack interoperability with non-Microsoft systems and software.

We have been warning about the problem with passwords and their immanent demise as a useful security method and are encouraged with these developments in Redmond.

This article was posted earlier on my cybersecurity website

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Windows 10 Wants You!

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Windows 10 invitationYou may have noticed (or maybe not) a little Window icon in the tool tray, next to the clock on your taskbar.  This is you invitation to participate in a FREE, totally free, really really free upgrade from the operating system you have now (Windows 7 or Windows 8.1) to the exciting new world of Windows 10.  This icon was delivered via Windows Update, so if you can’t find yours, try running your updates.  Windows 10 will be released on July 29th, 2015

I know I sounded a bit insincere in that first paragraph, but Microsoft is giving users of Windows 7 and 8 an opportunity to upgrade to the new Windows 10 operating system for free, zilch, nada, zip during the first year of it’s release.  After that you will just have to pay for it.  Vista and remaining XP users (just breath deeply and let go…), you are out of luck, you will need to buy a new PC or laptop.

For users of Windows 8 who have been laboring under the absence of the traditional Start menu, you will be glad to know that Microsoft has admitted that the colorfully tiled “Metro style” Start Screen just never caught on.  For Windows 8 users, Microsoft is making amends.  So my recommendation – take the upgrade!  Unless you are one of the 1.5% of Windows 8 users that actually like the new user experience, this will be an easy decision for you.

For Windows 7 users, perhaps not so much.  Windows 7 is truly my favorite operating system of all time, and yes that includes Linux distros and Apple OSX as well.  Many other Windows users feel the same way, and may be reluctant to upgrade, but my advice, tentatively for now, is to plan on upgrading as well.  You don’t want to leave yourself in the same dead-end box canyon of technology that some Windows XP users just finally left (for Win 8 unfortunately for them).

I have my invitation on Windows 7 Pro, Windows 7 Home, Win 8.1 and 8.1 Pro, so it looks to me like business users, at least those running simple workgroup style networks, will be able to take advantage of this offer as well.  I am not sure what the situation is for Windows 7 or 8 Pro users on Microsoft domain environments.  Microsoft has advised their Enterprise clients that “Enterprise customers with active Software Assurance subscription in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.”  So to me that says unless you have Software Assurance, it ain’t gonna be free.

However, I am advising my clients to wait on this until I have had a chance to go through the upgrade process and find out for myself just how easy and user friendly it really turns out to be.

Windows 10 PC CheckHere’s my advice:

  1. Click on the icon and register for the upgrade.  It will be delivered to you via Windows Updates.  You DO NOT have to install it immediately, and I would advise against it in any regard.
  2. See if your computer can run Windows 10.  When you register, click on the menu stack,and then Check your PC.  This should tell you if your computer can
  3. Wait to hear some early feedback.  You most assuredly will find that here, but it will be everywhere on the blogosphere, so do your research and due diligence.
  4. When you are ready to go, BACKUP YOUR PERSONAL FILES FIRST!  Sorry for the ALL CAPS shout out, but I cannot urge you enough to protect your digital goodies from any that may go wrong with your particular upgrade.  Get an nice external drive, go to C:\Users, find your user profile, and that of anyone else who users the computer, and just copy the whole thing to the external drive.
  5. Upgrade.  In an upgrade, one of the advantages is that you will not have to reinstall all of your applications over again, and your personal files, the ones we just collected, should all be there as well.

Here are a few other articles where you can get the dope on what Windows 10 is bringing that is new and/or compelling, like Cortana, the virtual personal girlfriend, or the new web browser, Edge, or just how the new menu is going to look and work.

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Accept No Substitutes – Insist on the original WyzGuys!!

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The-other-Wise-GuysComputer repair shops come and go, and only the best survive.  We recently saw that a couple of computer techs opened a shop on Highway 36 in Stillwater named Wise Guys Computer Repair LLC.  We visited them and wished them luck.  The similarities of our respective names is unfortunate, mostly for us, since they are new.  Just a note to my long time customers, this is not our shop, and we are not affiliated with these guys in any way.

We started the original WyzGuys in 2001, and grown the business through 2 recessions.  We have the expertise you are looking for, as prices you can afford.

Just continue east on Hwy 36 and turn right into Bayport.  You will still find us working at 355 Second Ave So.  We work out of our home, because that way we can control our costs better, and keep our rates lower.

Call us at 651-705-6360 to schedule an appointment, at our shop or your business or home.

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Computers Keep Getting Smaller

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intel-compute-stickEver thought it would be cool to hook a computer or laptop to your big screen TV so you could surf the web from your couch if you wanted to?  Maybe you have done it as I have.  Well there is a couple of new super tiny form factor computers out:  The Intel Compute Stick Windows BOXSTCK1A32WFCR
and the iView Mini PC Cyber PC.  If you want to read more about these super small computer devices there is an excellent article on Ars Tehnica

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