Understanding Telemetry in Windows 10

Windows 10 gets a lot of flak for it’s telemetry and information gathering. This Technet article outlines what is gathered and sent to Microsoft and how you can control it within an organization. This can differ from the home editions of Windows 10, though.

All telemetry data is encrypted using SSL and uses certificate pinning during transfer from the device to the Microsoft Data Management Service. With Windows 10, data is uploaded on a schedule that is sensitive to event priority, battery use, and network cost. Real-time events, such as Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, are always sent immediately. Normal events are not uploaded on metered networks, unless you are on a metered server connection. On a free network, normal events can be uploaded every 4 hours if on battery, or every 15 minutes if on A/C power. Diagnostic and crash data are only uploaded on A/C power and free networks.

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Microsoft Security Bulletin for May 2016

Microsoft has released the list of security bulletins for May 2016. If you’re an admin, take a look and patch your systems if you’re affected.

Several resources are available to help administrators deploy security updates.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) lets administrators scan local and remote systems for missing security updates and common security misconfigurations.

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server (SMS), and System Center Configuration Manager help administrators distribute security updates.

The Update Compatibility Evaluator components included with Application Compatibility Toolkit aid in streamlining the testing and validation of Windows updates against installed applications.

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Server 2016 Telemetry Insights

Administrators looking to update to Windows Server 2016 might want to take a look at this blog post and white paper from Microsoft if you have any concerns about what information Microsoft is going to collect from your OS installation. With as much backlash they have gotten with Windows 10, it’s nice to see some transparency here.

Yes, administrators can turn off or limit telemetry to fit your needs. Of course, Microsoft recommends against it. But, they give you the choice, which is great.

We understand that the privacy and security of our customers’ information is very important. We have taken a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to customer privacy and the protection of customer data. For example, data transmission is encrypted and access to the data is based on the principle of least privilege. Only Microsoft personnel with a valid business need are permitted access to the telemetry data.

Customers can customize their privacy settings, providing them with control over how much data they provide. We have provided details on how to set these controls, as well as full details on our telemetry process, in this whitepaper, which was just released today.

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New Surface Pro 4 Signature Type Cover

Microsoft is releasing a new Type Cover for the Surface Pro 4. The ‘Signature Type Cover’, covered in an exotic fabric. $159.99, no fingerprint scanner… Not for the average user, but a lot of people would still love to have a cover like this (I would, just wouldn’t pay for it!).

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Microsoft Updates Skylake Support for Windows 7/8.1

Microsoft had previously stated they would not support Intel’s Skylake processor with new updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 past 2017. However, due to the backlash, Microsoft has extended the support to July 17, 2018.

    1. To help provide greater flexibility for customers who have longer deployment timeframes to Windows 10, the support period for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices on Skylake systems will be extended by one year: from July 17, 2017 to July 17, 2018.
    2. Also, after July 2018, all critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for Skylake systems until extended support ends for Windows 7, January 14, 2020 and Windows 8.1 on January 10, 2023.
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Microsoft Edge gets Extensions

With the most recent Windows Insider build, Microsoft Edge now supports extensions. Starting with 3 preview extensions (Translator, Mouse Gestures, and the popular Reddit Enhancement Suite), it will eventually have AdBlock, AdBlock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, Evernote and more.

Extension support was a must-have for a lot of Windows users, and this was the number one complaint with Microsoft Edge. Now that it is remedied, is there anyone that is going to give it another try or have you just given up on Microsoft browsers altogether?

To ensure the highest quality experience for customers, and as we have done with Windows 10 since the beginning, we will introduce extensions first to our Windows Insiders and then roll them out more broadly to all Windows 10 users.  Initially our Insiders will download and then sideload extensions for testing purposes, but ultimately we will make extensions available to all of our customers via the Windows Store to ensure the quality of the end-to-end experience.

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Windows 10 Build 14279 Available

For those in the fast ring of the Insiders builds, there is a new build – 14279 available to try out this weekend. A few things new, and a few fixes.

Here’s what’s fixed for PC

  • We fixed an issue where Microsoft Edge and Cortana were crashing for users with roaming profiles.
  • We fixed an issue where Cortana would continue to show reminders that have been completed.
  • We fixed an issue where items copied/moved to the desktop would not display until the desktop is manually refreshed by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing “Refresh” or pressing F5.
  • We fixed an issue where downloading certain drivers from Windows Update was causing some PCs to bluescreen.
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Site issues

We are having some site issues, and there are dozens of posts missing as well as some front page issues. Please bear with us while we continue to work on the site visuals and find/repost the missing posts if we can. If not, hopefully there will be a lot content showing up as I rewrite and repost the content!

Thank you for your support!

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Forza Apex coming to Windows 10

Coming this Spring, Forza Apex for Windows 10 looks amazing. Using DirectX 12, and at resolutions of up to 4K, it should be great. It’s a Windows Store app, as well as being free. I think this is going to be a win for Microsoft.


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Older IE Support ends next week

On January 12th, 2016, Microsoft will drop support for Internet Explorer for versions 10 and under. Like Windows XP, some won’t care. But, with IE being targeted for exploits fairly often, it’s best to upgrade. IE11 is still supported for now.

It means you should take action. After January 12, 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware, helping to keep users and their data safer. Regular security updates help protect computers from malicious attacks, so upgrading and staying current is important.

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