Michael Niehaus has a new blog post up that goes over a sensitive topic (and sometimes confusing) for many. When you install Windows 10, a set of applications are installed from the Windows Store. However, those apps are different based on a few things – the edition of Windows you are running and/or the type of account that you are using to log into the installation, and the region of the world that you are in.
So a quick summary: You’ll get games on Windows 10 Pro 1709 only when using local or MSA accounts; you’ll lever get games for AD or AAD users, or for anyone on Windows 10 Enterprise.
Also note that Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will soon have the same behavior as Windows 10 Enterprise, as described in the Windows Insider blog:
Productivity focused out of box applications: In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the out of box experience for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations draws from the Pro edition of Windows 10. One area where this is noticeable is the suite of applications installed out of the box visible as tiles in the start menu. In the next release for Windows, you will see for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations productivity and enterprise focused applications in place of consumer applications and games. This was one of the top feedback shared with us by our partners and users and we’re delivering this in our next update.
Also note that on Windows 10 Enterprise, you can turn off the installation of apps from the store altogether by configuring the “Turn off Microsoft consumer features” GPO or the equivalent MDM policy.
For those in the Windows 10 Fast Ring Insider group, Build 17120 has just been released. Again, no known issues (aside from a small Windows Mixed Reality issues). Again, not a whole lot of changes as we are approaching the release of the new update (which some are calling the Spring Creators Update, but aside from hints and mentions, no official word yet).
General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC
When a process in Task Manager is suspended, or has suspended child processes, you’ll now see an icon indicating as much in the Status column of the Processes tab.
We fixed an issue resulting in the UAC dialog potentially not rendering correctly in the last few flights.
We fixed an issue resulting in OneNote crashing when using touch to drag and drop elements in recent flights.
We fixed an issue resulting in the touch keyboard crashing when focus was moved to certain password fields.
We’ve improved the performance of Bluetooth mice when the system is under load.
We fixed an issue resulting in the Amharic keyboard not working in Win32 apps.
There are currently no known issues for this flight (beyond the Windows Mixed Reality issues mentioned above) however if any issues are discovered based off Insider feedback, we’ll add them here.
For some Windows Insiders, they may see some new privacy settings screens when installing the most recent build. There are several different versions. Microsoft seems to be more transparent with it’s use and ability to change some privacy settings. Of course, there is no “All off” when it comes to privacy in an OS like Windows 10, which does use a lot of data from online sources.
For our Windows Insiders who install today’s build, they’ll be able to experience this new set up for the first time. Not everyone will experience the same setup, however. For example, some will review their settings through a single screen set up where selections such as ‘Find My Device’ and’ Inking & typing’ are independent selections.
Build 17115 for Fast Ring Insiders on Windows 10 has been released. A lot of great fixes, but what I find exciting this round is the Known Issues part of the notes:
There are currently no known issues for this flight however if any issues are discovered based off Insider feedback, we’ll add them here.
This is great news as we head into the last part before it is finally released to everyone! Great work Windows Insider team and to all the Windows Insiders! As usual, the team isn’t resting on their laurels, they are continuing to kick butt and work on this release as well as the next release!
For those of you that are interested in information security, Kali Linux is now available in the Windows Store as part of the Windows Subsystem for Linux. While this isn’t as great as a native Kali installation, it still brings some great tools to Windows. I know this might interest some people, as well as students learning about Kali, but most infosec professionals will most likely stick with the native installation. This is still pretty cool and I will definitely be playing with it and comparing it to the dedicated install of Kali on a separate machine.
While running Kali on Windows has a few drawbacks to running it natively (such as the lack of raw socket support), it does bring in some very interesting possibilities, such as extending your security toolkit to include a whole bunch of command line tools that are present in Kali. While not officially supported by WSL yet, we’ve tested running a desktop manager such as XFCE on WSL’d Kali…and it seems to work quite well. We will update our blog with more news and updates regarding the development of this app as it’s released.
As we get closer to the final release of this new version, the builds come quicker and quicker. Up today, we have build 17112 for the Windows 10 Fast Ring Insider group. Definitely some things to check in the Known Issues section as it might affect you. Also, be aware of a critical Windows Mixed Reality bug if you have a WMR device.
IMPORTANT: The Microsoft Store may be completely broken or disappeared altogether after upgrading to this build. Please see this forum post for details including a workaround on how to get the Microsoft Store back.
If you try to open a file that is available online-only from OneDrive that hasn’t been previously downloaded to your PC (marked with a green checkmark in File Explorer), your PC could bugcheck (GSOD). You can work around this problem by right-clicking on these files and selecting “Always keep on this device.” Any file-on-demand from OneDrive that is already downloaded to the PC should open fine.
Post-install at the first user-prompted reboot or shutdown, a small number of devices have experienced a scenario wherein the OS fails to load properly and may enter a reboot loop state. For affected PCs, turning off fast boot may bypass the issue. If not, it is necessary to create a bootable ISO on a USB drive, boot into recovery mode, and this this will allow bypass.
When Movies & TV user denies access to its videos library (through the “Let Movies & TV access your videos library?” popup window or through Windows privacy settings), Movies & TV crashes when the user navigates to the “Personal” tab.
For those in the Fast Ring of the Windows 10 Insider group, you can now update to build 17110. Some cool new things included in this one for enterprise users. As usual, check the known issues. As we are edging close to the final release, they are minimal but still might be impactful to you.
What’s new in Build 17110
Improvements for Enterprise Customers in RS4
Enterprises can now run custom actions during feature update: In RS4, we are adding a new feature that will enable your enterprise to run your own custom actions/scripts synchronously with setup. Setup will execute custom actions during two update phases controlled by using preinstall.cmd or precommit.cmd:
Pre-install: This would be just before all the system and device compatibility scans run.
Pre-commit: This would be just before the system reboots into the offline phase.
For those Windows 10 Fast Ring Insiders, a new build has been unleashed – Build 17093. A lot of new things in this build, as well as a lot of fixes. As usual, check the known issues for anything that might be a show stopper for you. For some, it may be best to stay on the slow or release preview ring. I’ve noticed a few posts in various forums complaining about the various bugs (and many are in the known issues) and other things. The Insider program releases are guaranteed to have bugs during most of the development. They are not meant for critical production machines. They are to try out the latest and greatest and provide feedback, including telling them of those bugs, so that they can create a much better product. You are a beta tester and feedback producer. If you’re good with that, like many are, the Insider builds are excellent and fun. If you have something to lose on your PC, try a VM or wait for the final release to consumers.
Also, the Bug Bash continues until the 11th, so do some quests and throw the Insider team some good feedback to help make this release a great one!
We have observed seeing longer-than-normal delays during install at the 88% mark. Some delays are as long as 90 minutes before moving forward. Please be patient as the install will complete successfully.
Some PCs will fail to resume from hibernate requiring a hard reboot to recover.
If you install a font product from the Microsoft Store, then later install a new build (feature update), the Store package will remain installed, but the fonts within the package are not installed. Until this is fixed, the temporary workaround is to uninstall the product from the Apps page in Settings, then re-acquire the product from the Store.
If an East Asian keyboard is the only input method on your system the touch keyboard will show an English layout with no IME on/off key. Until this is fixed, the workaround is to add a second keyboard language from the Region & Language Settings page, or to use the IME mode button in the taskbar.
We’re investigating an issue where the Japanese IME sometimes can’t turn on in UWP apps. If you encounter this issue switch to a Win32 application (e.g. Notepad), turn the IME on there, then switch back to the UWP app.
We’re investigating reports that 3 and 4 finger gestures on the touchpad have become unresponsive starting with the previous flight.
Windows Hello will fail to work on Surface Laptops with this build.
Plugging in an external optical drive (DVD) will cause an Explorer.exe crash.
Settings will crash if you open the Themes Settings page.
According to some metrics, Windows 10 has surpassed Windows 7 in usage. While there have been some indications of this in the past (Steam surveys), it is now becoming more widespread with other analytic firms. This time it’s Statcounter which claims a 42.78% market share for Windows 10. While I tend to take these individual firms claims with a grain of salt (due to the various analytic methodologies), it seems more and more of them are coming out with similar results. The original linked article mentioned similar issues with the various methodologies as well.
This is because there are various differences in the methodologies that these organizations use to collect and process their statistics, not to mention the fact that Netmarketshare covers all desktop operating systems – i.e. macOS and Linux as well as Windows. Whereas Statcounter just focuses purely on Windows versions, although the latter holds the vast majority of the overall market anyway, at around 90%.
This is mostly for the IT professionals out there. Microsoft has changed a few things with Office and Windows servicing and support. For some of the older versions of Windows 10, Microsoft has extended support for Education and Enterprise editions an extra six months.
As far as Office 2019, it will be supported on Windows 10 and LTSC of Windows Server. Starting in 2020, Office 365 Professional Plus will no longer be supported on Windows 8.1 or older. This does not include the stand alone Office products, only the Office 365 products.
Delivering a secure and productive modern workplace is a top priority for many of our commercial customers, and we’re committed to help. Last July, we took a big step forward in this journey with the introduction of Microsoft 365, a new product suite that brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Many customers are in the process of moving to one or more of these products, and they’ve asked us to clarify a few key points to help them with their upgrades. Today – two years before the end of extended support for Windows 7 and Office 2010 (January and October 2020, respectively) – we’re announcing servicing extensions for Windows 10, changes to the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements, and new details on the next perpetual release of Office and Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release of Windows.