The Windows 10 November 2019 Update has been released!

The Windows 10 November 2019 Update has been released!

Windows 10 November 2019 Update

Microsoft has just released the newest feature update to Windows 10, known as the November 2019 Update or as 1909, which includes the latest features and security updates.

The Windows 10 November 2019 Update introduces some modest new features include:

  • being able to create a calendar entry directly from the Taskbar
  • integrating Windows Search to as part of File Explorer to include of OneDrive content
  • the ability for third-party digital assistants to be used when the device is locked
  • various general improvements to the user interface

For a full list of new features, please see Microsoft’s website, What’s new in Windows 10, version 1909 (link opens in new window).

The most significant improvement is that it is a very fast update to install for those already running Windows 10 May 2019 Update, as Microsoft is using a new way to deliver the update similar to the monthly updates are issued.

To check if you are able to install this update now, you can open Windows Update and click Check for Updates. It is available for your device, you can select to download and install this. It requires a restart and the update shouldn’t take too long to complete. Depending on your type of your device, it may not be available just yet as Microsoft works through compatibility issues. If you are running a Windows 10 Home or Pro device currently on the Windows 10 May 2018 Update, you will likely receive an automatic update to this.

As part of our computer maintenance service for our contracted clients, we will be implementing this update in the next few months. If you have any questions or would like assistance to perform this update for you, please contact us.

Three months to go until end of extended support for Windows 7

Windows 7

In less than three months’ time, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7. As noted in our earlier blog articles, Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft on 14 January 2020 and as a result no further software and security updates or technical support will be made available.

Once Microsoft ends support for Windows 7, it is possible that security risks will arise from the continued use of this outdated operating system. Furthermore, software and hardware manufacturers in turn will likely no longer support this.

We strongly recommend you review computers running Windows 7 to determine if they are suitable to upgrade to Windows 10. If you are looking at replacing any of the computers, then they will come with Windows 10 automatically.

Due to the short time period and being that it shortly after Christmas, we strongly believe all organisations should make it a priority to upgrade as soon as possible to avoid any complications.

For further details, please contact us for more information.

Are you ready for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update?

Are you ready for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update?

Are you ready for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update?

It’s been a while coming, but the Windows 10 May 2019 Update is finally on its way to computers around the world.

Microsoft has announced that as the Home and Pro editions of Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) will reach end of service on 12 November 2019 they will begin updating devices running this as well as earlier versions of Windows 10 to ensure that they can continue to service these devices and provide the latest updates, security updates and improvements.

Every year, Microsoft releases two majority updates for Windows 10, being generally in April and October, however, the latest one, Windows 10 May 2019 update has arrived later than expected.

As per the Windows Experience blog (link opens in new window) article, for those Windows 10 devices “that are at, or within several months of reaching end of service, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update; keeping those devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health”.

Some of the new features introduced in Windows 10 May 2019 Update include:

  • Windows Update itself: Windows will seek your permission before installing the major updates (ie. the next October 2019 Update) and Home users can pause updates for up to 35 days (in seven-day periods up to five times). Microsoft provides greater control as to when you wish to install the update and will no longer do so without your permission. You will have approximately 18 months until it will eventually force the update.
  • Troubleshooters: Windows 10 has increased further troubleshooting options for this update. It will provide recommended troubleshooting guidance if required, as well as assistance when you are in trouble. Of course, we are always happy to help with that! In addition, Windows Security is also improving but we would still recommend internet security software for your computer.
  • Passwordless login: One interesting announcement as part of this update is Microsoft’s promise to remove passwords, by replacing them with a PIN or prompt on your mobile phone.
  • Dark mode (light mode): One popular enhancement we are seeing across many apps and websites these days is to introduce a “dark mode” to darken how the interface appears. This includes the start menu, task bar, Action Centre, notifications as well as other areas. In addition, there is also a “light theme” also.
  • Start menu: Microsoft has also reduced the number of programs appearing on the Start menu, making it easier to remove out-of-box apps which you may not use (such as Candy Crush, Xbox Console and Groove Music). This will allow you to also have a smaller start menu, down to a single column. There are changes to separate Cortana and search also.

Usually in the subsequent months, we receive calls from our clients who advise they have seen a particular change or looks different to what they are familiar with. If you are considering updating to the Windows 10 May Update, you may wish to review the new Windows release health dashboard (link opens in new window) which as advises on known and resolved issues

You will generally receive a notification when your device is ready to upgrade to the latest Windows 10 update, however we suggest waiting until at least a few weeks afterwards to iron out any issues.

If you need assistance to upgrading to this update, or would like consulting, support and training, we are happy to provide for this to small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and individuals. Please contact us for more information.

This article is also featured on the CyberGuru Blog.

Ask CyberGuru: Do I need to upgrade to Windows 10?

Ask CyberGuru: Do I need to upgrade to Windows 10?

Ask CyberGuru

In this month’s Ask CyberGuru, we are asked, “I am running Windows 7 and I have received a notification that Microsoft is ending updates and technical support for it. Is this legitimate and do I need to do this?”.

Yes, this is a legitimate notification which has been delivered as part of Windows Update recently. The message would look similar to this:

Windows 7 End of Life notification

As noted in the support notification, after 10 years of service, Microsoft will no longer offer security updates for computers running Windows 7 from 14 January 2020. As part of Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle, only its Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 operating systems will be supported from this date. Any computers running Windows 7 after this date will pose a significant security risk.

Given Windows 7 is used in a significant number of computers today, Microsoft is providing early notification to users to ensure that appropriate measures are undertaken to upgrade to a later operating system. Windows 10 has been on the market for almost four years and become an increasingly secure and stable operating system, making it the ideal replacement for Windows 7.

It is strongly recommended that you upgrade as soon as possible to ensure you are provided with the necessary security updates and technical support from Microsoft as required.

Depending on the age and type of computer, you may be able to upgrade to Windows 10 successfully without issues. If the computer is three or less years old, it is likely it will be able to be updated to Windows 10. Some older or custom-build computers, however, may need to be upgraded or replaced.

Unfortunately, the free upgrade offer which was available when Windows 10 was introduced is no longer available, with Windows 10 Upgrade media costing between $225 to $339 depending on the edition.

CyberGuru can assist through our Consulting solution by reviewing your computer equipment to provide the best advice for your needs, as well as providing any necessary training and support to assist you and your organisation make the change.

For more details, please see this Microsoft Support article (link opens in new window) or feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.