Microsoft's latest communication snafu dominated the news last week.
Windows 10 November Update (version 1511) goes missing
What happened to the big Windows 10 Microsoft released on November 12? It's supposed to be the first in a continuous series of new feature releases. But if you tried to update over the weekend, you were out of luck. The Windows Update servers appear to have stopped delivering the update package, and the manual tool has also been downgraded to the original release.
Another by-product is that anyone upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 today has no choice but to accept a 3 GB upgrade to build 10240, followed a month later by an equally large second upgrade to version 1511.
And to add insult to those injuries, the sudden removal of the build 10586 ISO files means that the newly added capability to do a clean install using a Windows 7 or Windows 8.x product key is now unavailable to the general public unless they were fast enough to download and save an ISO file before the change.
Microsoft's official statements on the matter are almost incoherent, and I'm told that the real reason is "complicated." Maybe we'll get some real answers next week.
Amazon adds two-factor authentication
It's about time. The best write-up I saw was at Wired, which has straightforward instructions:
Full instructions are below, but know that the option to turn on two-factor authentication is little bit hard to find: It's tucked at the bottom of the "Change Account Settings" page. You'll need to use a desktop browser or trick your phone into loading the desktop version of Amazon's site; the option to set up two-factor verification doesn't appear on the mobile version of Amazon.com.
If you're curious about this security feature, see my older article, "Make your cloud safer: How to enable two-factor authentication for the most popular cloud services."
Oh, and if you were put off by the sudden sale of LastPass a few weeks ago and are looking for an alternative password manager, I recommend RoboForm. Coincidentally, the company just beefed up its two-factor authentication as well, offering an SMS option in addition to email to receive authentication codes.
Lukewarm Lumia 950 reviews
Microsoft released its Lumia 950 smartphone this week, the first of two flagship phones that will show off the Windows 10 Mobile operating system.
The reviews were not kind, in general
- Peter Bright, Ars Technica: "Camera is great and Continuum is cool, but Windows Phone likely blew its last big chance"
- Joanna Stern, WSJ: "Can a Smartphone Be Your PC?" (Spoiler: Probably not.)
- Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet has a less-than-enthusiastic first look, with a more detailed report coming later.
One common impression: The first-of-its-kind Windows Hello feature, based on iris-scanning technology, is flawed, especially for anyone who wears glasses.
Windows turns 30
Windows 1.0 was launched 30 years ago, on November 20, 1985. In honor of the occasion, I put together a historical retrospective of some milestones in Windows history.