Windows 10 has been in the press a lot since its release earlier this year, and not all of it has been good news. We’ve been following the updates around Windows 10 since it was released on this blog, looking at its various security flaws and bugs, and now another announcement from Microsoft stands to make even more headlines for the new operating system.

Before it was released, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be offered as a free upgrade to users with compatible PCs running versions of Windows 7 and 8. This was greeted enthusiastically at the time, but after all the issues that have been identified with Windows 10, many people are now not choosing to use their free upgrade offer. So now, in order to encourage its customers to upgrade to the new operating system, Microsoft will be automatically downloading Windows 10 to the computers of users who are eligible for the upgrade but haven’t yet redeemed it. Let’s look at what this means for businesses across the United Kingdom.

Why is Microsoft doing this?

Microsoft has been trying to encourage its users to update since it released Windows 10, primarily by providing it as a free update. Now, as many people are resisting the update, they have announced that the new operating system will be included as a recommended update in a batch of Microsoft updates released in March 2016. This means your computer will automatically download Windows 10, and then installed if you proceed with the updates.

So what does this mean for businesses?

Businesses that are running any version of Windows 7 and 8 and have Windows 10 compatible machines should be concerned. If you haven’t yet updated to Windows 10 for security or other reasons, now is the time to begin preparing your network for the update. This means backing up your files and servers, checking that your software is compatible with Windows 10, and ensuring an upgrade plan is in place.

If your business is worried about this automatic update, and would like to know about our services related to computer support in London and elsewhere in the UK, call us at Bits and PCs today.

Windows 10 launched globally this year on 27th July, when it was rolled out to users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. The new operating system boasted a new browser called Microsoft Edge and nixed some of the least popular elements of the previous operating systems – namely the lack of a start menu.

It was provided free to users of the consumer editions of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 but those failing to upgrade in the first year have been warned that they will be charged up to £100 after 12 months have passed.

Although it was widely considered a success, the launch of Windows 10 did come with some teething problems, and next week Microsoft will seek to address some of those with a major update, which will take place automatically for people running the operating system.

It’s been dubbed Threshold 2 and new features will include a big change in the way that Windows 10 handles activations.

The change will give users who have upgraded to Windows 10 on their PC from a previous version the ability to to reinstall the operating system – in the past people who took advantage of a free upgrade have been unable to perform a clean install of Windows 10 on their machine because Windows 10 would not recognise product keys from the previous versions.

In other news Cortana – Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri virtual personal assistant – will also benefit from lots of new features, in addition to better local integration once Threshold 2 is rolled out worldwide.

Users will also be able to send texts from their desktops – another Apple innovation – and the new browser, Microsoft Edge, will be improved upon. Sadly the inability to run browser extensions, which is one of users’ main gripes, will not be rectified.

The upgrade will also see several visual changes made, which include updated icons and coloured title bars for apps.

Business IT support in London

If you need professional help to upgrade your business’ computers to Windows 10 or with any other element of PC or Mac maintenance, get in touch to find out how we could help.

On 21st October 2015, internationally renowned computer companies Dell Inc. and the Microsoft Corporation unveiled the Dell Hybrid Cloud System (DHCS) for Microsoft; a forward-thinking new program that will enable both small businesses and large corporations to utilise the Microsoft cloud platform.

This innovative new system will be built upon optimised Dell modular infrastructure with pre-configured Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS) software, including the tried and tested Microsoft software stack as well as numerous Azure services. In this manner, DHCS for Microsoft looks set to revolutionise hybrid cloud migration by enabling companies of all shapes and sizes to benefit from rapid and efficient cloud computing solutions without the complexities and expenditures often associated with hybrid cloud platforms. Speaking about the potential computer support for London and international organisations that this DHCS for Microsoft could provide, Michael Dell, CEO for Dell Inc. publicly stated that;

“Digital transformation is an imperative for business today, and we are making our customers’ journey easier and faster through adoption of hybrid cloud…Dell shares a vision with Microsoft that open architectures and simplified cloud management will benefit customers of all sizes, freeing them to focus on their businesses and not their technology”.

Indeed, as Satya Nadella, CEO for the Microsoft Corporation advocates;

“A core part of our mission to empower every organisation on the planet requires us to build world-class platforms and forge deeper partnerships that help businesses of all sizes transform with digital technology…By expanding our longstanding partnership with Dell to offer a truly integrated hybrid cloud, we will make the cloud more accessible to organisations of all sizes with the choice and flexibility to best meet their needs”.

After all, one of the main issues with hybrid cloud migration in recent years has been the amount of downtime that companies must dedicate to application integration and patch management while they migrate to a cloud computing system. However, the new DHCS system resolves this issue by equipping businesses with a co-engineered hybrid solution that can be deployed within just three hours.

Moreover, Dell have also facilitated a Service Level Agreement (SLA) service which provides a singular point of contact. This will actively help companies to streamline problem resolution processes and accountability. Ultimately, this high level of professional computer support for London and internationally based organisations could have a significant impact on the amount of small businesses and large corporations that migrate their existing systems to the cloud in the coming years.

Since its release, Windows 10 has caused many issues for its users, despite being a significant upgrade from the operating systems that came before it. And now, Microsoft has revealed that yet another issue has been discovered, a Windows 10 flaw relating to security when browsing the web using Internet Explorer.

What is this security threat?

This new security flaw relates specifically to Internet Explorer. Essentially, this flaw would allow an attacker to gain access to your computer using what is called ‘remote code’. When you’re browsing online, an attacker would encourage you to visit a fake website, usually offering discounts or deals on popular products like computers or iPads. Once you are on the site, they would then be able to execute some remote code which would allow them access to your computer, without your knowledge. This means they could get access to all of your online accounts, as well as your email, and the documents and pictures stored on your hard drive.

How might you be affected by this Windows 10 flaw?

As a Windows 10 user using Internet Explorer to browse the internet, you will be affected by this security flaw. However, Microsoft have urged that customers using Microsoft Edge, the new internet browser designed specifically for Windows 10, are not affected. Thus far Microsoft have said that there have been no similar security flaws in its new flagship browser. They are also using this as another example of why Windows 10 users should leave Internet Explorer behind, and instead migrate to using Microsoft Edge.

What should you do?

If your business is running Windows 10 and is using Internet Explorer to browse the internet, and you are worried about what the ramifications of this security flaw might be, it’s best to talk to a business IT support company, like us at Bits & PCs. We can run a full check on your systems and install the relevant update patches for you, so that you can keep running your business without worrying about your IT security.

For more information about the services we offer for business IT support in London, contact us today on 0207 22 11 355.

We’ve already seen how PC power is being made redundant as services migrate to the cloud (Mac vs PC matters less as business moves to the cloud), and as a communications tool, the smartphone or phablet is far superior.

That has led Microsoft to launch a new campaign along with hardware vendors HP, Dell and Lenovo to promote their new sleek, powerful notebooks and executive curved screen desktop models like the new HP Envy. Hopefully other vendors will also benefit from the campaign, which has been created to promote all the new high-end models that most vendors are launching on the back of the Windows 10 release, Intel’s new Skylake CPU processors, and faster, more efficient motherboards, memory and additional features.

With Microsoft’s Surface Book shaking up the industry with a highly capable two-in-one device, we’ll expect a rapid response from Apple, who may eventually decide that they can offer a comparable machine that’s an iPad when in tablet mode and an OS X Mac when in docked mode.

Titled “PC Does What”, the campaign aims to remind the world what it is that these new PCs can do for users and try to limit the rise among home and business users of tablets and phones as their go-to devices.

Focused on the US and Chinese markets, the largest buyers of PC systems in the world, it will resonate around the globe purely thanks to the power of the internet and the size of the companies involved. The big question is, will this $70 million (£45 million) promotion help drive PC sales and get people buying the more interesting models, rather than the general low-cost ones that dominate retail stores?

We can provide computer support in London and advice for small businesses with any PC or Mac set-up when they are looking to upgrade their office systems. We can set up companies to use the latest cloud services to save money, and ensure you have secure backups and disaster recovery in place to help keep your business working whatever happens. If you have system troubles, we also provide Apple Mac repairs and can fix hard drives, screens, battery issues and other problems to get your business critical systems back up and running.