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Posted on Oct 27, 2014 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 17 – Microsoft says “Nein” to Nine, Windows 10 on the way!

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TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 17

Welcome to the October 2014 TWT Newsletter

Into the final quarter of 2014 already, the big news in the world of Windows this month is Microsoft have officially revealed the next version of Windows will be Windows 10. Also making headlines last month was another security bug called “Shell Shock”, that we’ll try and explain without all the techno babble. Of course our regular features are all present and correct too.

In this months issue:-

What’s new at
Windows 9? Nein! It’s Windows 10!
The net neutrality battle – Why it is important to us
Tip of the Month – Be a Google Image Search pro
Free Utility of the Month – Winmerge

Windows Store App of the Month –
Fresh Paint
What is Shellshock and does it affect you?

What’s new at

In September we added six new tutorials. The bulk of this content was for the yearly refresh of Acronis True Image. We’ve covered this update in-depth with five new tutorials, though we have to admit we were not overly impressed with the redesigned interface and lack of features in the latest version of this popular program.

picture Acronis True Image 2015 – 5 Tutorials

We take you through backing up, restoring and creating rescue media in our five tutorials for the latest version of this powerful backup software. Click here to go to the first tutorial.

picture WSUS Offline Update Tool

With the WSUS Offline Update tool you can download updates on a PC with a suitable internet connection and then save them for transportation to a bandwidth challenged PC you need to update. Great for updating PCs owned by friends or family members that are stuck on a dial up connection, for instance. Click here to see the tutorial.

Windows 9? Nein! It’s Windows 10!

In last months newsletter we talked at length about Windows 9, which was expected to be revealed on the 30th September at a special Microsoft held press conference. Well, the conference went ahead and Microsoft did reveal details about the next Windows, but it’s not Windows 9. Instead, Microsoft have decided to name it “Windows 10”. Apparently this is because Windows 10 is such a big jump from Windows 8 that it just wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9 (don’t you just love big corporate marketing talk?).

If you’ve not read our Windows 9 rumour round up in last months Newsletter, you might want to go and check that out now. The back issue is available on the web here if you can’t find it in your inbox.

So which of the rumours did Microsoft confirm? As expected, the Start Menu is set to return, and as predicted it will feature the live tiles that Windows 8 users are accustomed to. Users will be able to customise the tiles that appear as well as the size and position of the Start menu.

Microsoft also confirmed that tile or Windows Store applications will now be able to run in a window and also that the virtual desktops feature is official and will come with an improved task switcher that will work smoothly in tandem with it. Another cool little addition is the Task View button. On the Windows 10 taskbar there’s a button. When this button is clicked it will conveniently display all of your currently opened apps.

The picture on the left shows the new enhanced task switcher. Click here to see a bigger version.
Other features that are due an overhaul are the Command Prompt (which doesn’t appear to be being phased out in favour of Power Shell after all) and the Snap feature, which will now allow snapping four windows instead of just two (just like various Windows power toys allow you to do already).

Much of the speculation before the press conference revolved around what Microsoft would do regarding the touch-friendly aspects of the OS. Some believed that the Start screen and Charms bar would be removed entirely. This is definitely not the case however. These elements are likely to remain, though they may be hidden or inaccessible on machines that don’t have touch screens. Microsoft is definitely not giving up on Windows and touch and clearly believes there is a future in tablets and convertibles that can run Windows.

Interestingly, Microsoft went on to explain that Windows 10 would run across all devices, from tiny smartphones to gigantic, multi monitor PCs. This will allow developers to program an app and have it run on every device a user might typically use. The mobile versions of the OS would not feature the desktop in the same way as the PC versions do, but they would consist of the same operating system core. This has been Microsofts vision for some time, but despite efforts that date back to Windows XP and its niche “Tablet PC Edition” this vision has never turned into a reality that matches up to expectations. How can you write a program that both users on a tiny phone screen and a gigantic desktop will be happy with, without essentially writing two different user interfaces? These and other challenges are all things Microsoft will need to deal with before Windows 10 can ship.

Despite the challenges, we’re actually quietly excited about this new version of Windows. Technology continues to improve, the smart phone in your pocket has more computing power than the computer you ran on your desktop as little as ten years ago. Perhaps in the future many of us will simply own a smartphone that we dock into a keyboard and mouse when we want to get some work done. This kind of future would fit a super scalable and flexible version of Windows perfectly.

So when will Windows 10 be launched? Well, Microsoft didn’t say. How much will it cost? Again, Microsoft were tight lipped. We do know that a preview build should be out by the time you read this. Microsoft have promised to release more preview builds to IT pros and listen to more customer feedback than ever before. On the surface this seems like a great idea, but we hope that it won’t be a case of trying to please all the people all the time. Naturally we’ll be downloading the preview build and will have some more insights in next months newsletter.

The Net Neutrality Battle – Why it is important to us

We just wanted to take a moment to thank the great folks over at Fight For the Future for their ceaseless efforts in campaigning for new network neutrality rules over in the United States. While we’re a UK based company, obviously many of our readers are state-side so any legislation passed there could affect us.

Just what does “Net Neutrality” mean? Basically its to do with how internet traffic is treated. On an internet protected with neutrality legislation, traffic from all sites is treated equally. Imagine an internet where big corporations could pay for their websites and services to be prioritised over other sites and services. Smaller sites like ours could be squeezed out and relegated to a slow lane, fundamentally transforming the internet from a network where everyone has a voice to one where the rich get to shout louder than everyone else. If that sounds like something you want to avoid, visit Battle For the Net today and add your voice!

Tip of the Month – Be a Google Image Search pro

Many of you will have noticed that when you perform a search on Google, you’re now given the option, at the top of the page, to search images too. Clicking on this will typically bring back photos or pictures related to the search term you entered. That’s not all that Google image search can do however.

If you’re considering buying a second hand item online, here’s a little tip that you can use to help avoid fraud. When you see a picture of the item for sale, right click on it and choose “Copy Image URL” or “Copy Image Location”. Now, go back to Google and paste this information into the search box and press Enter. You’re unlikely to get many results just yet, but at the top there should now be a link that says “For matching images, try search by image”. Click on this, then look for the link that says “Visually similar images”.

How does this help you avoid a scam? If you see the same photograph on another items description, you should certainly proceed with extreme caution. Sometimes fraudsters offer the same desirable items up for sale on several different websites. Duplicated photographs are a sure sign of some fishy behaviour.

Free Utility of the Month – Winmerge

While this application might not be useful for all our readers, if you’ve ever done any programming, web development or similar work, this program can be absolutely invaluable. Winmerge is a tool for comparing the contents of files. If you need to find out what has changed in a text file between revisions, this program will show you instantly. You can also use it to compare the contents of two folders, to see if any files are changed or corrupted for instance. For Windows power users everywhere, Winmerge is an essential download. Find out more about the program here.

Windows Store App of the Month – Fresh Paint

If you’re lucky enough to have a Windows PC with a touch screen, then why not get creative with this neat little paint package that’s optimised for Windows touch? You can play with oil, watercolours and pencils all without smearing up your screen. Children will love the intuitive user interface while expert artists will enjoy the advanced image editing features. Unleash your inner Picaso and check out Fresh Paint here.

What is Shellshock and does it affect you?

Another month, another security vulnerability! Wrapping your head around the media coverage and hype surrounding any technology story can often be difficult, so we wouldn’t blame you if you feel somewhat confused about this latest security threat, or indeed if you haven’t really noticed it at all.

So what is “Shellshock” exactly? The term refers to several bugs in the “Shell” or command line interface of both Linux and Macintosh computers. The command line is used typically by more advanced users to type commands to the computer. Windows has a command line too of course, you can load it by searching for “Command Prompt” on the Start menu or Start screen.

The Windows command line is different to the one used by Linux and OSX (Macintosh) computers and isn’t affected by Shellshock. Those of you who have Macintosh or Linux computers in your homes too should be sure to apply the latest security patches. You might think that would be the end of it, but as with the Heartbleed bug that was discovered a few months earlier, a lot of embedded hardware such as network attached printers, storage boxes and routers also runs software that can be affected by this bug. Hardware in your home that connects only to your local network and NOT to the external internet is likely to be low risk, but if you have a router or ADSL modem it is worth checking with the manufacturer or your ISP to see if there is a security patch available.

Shellshock isn’t likely to be the last major security vulnerability that comes to light in this super connected digital age we live in. As we explained last month, it really pays to be careful just what information you entrust to the cloud. When all is said and done the cloud is just a buzz word for a bunch of computers on the internet whose resources you can tap into. When you do this of course, you entrust the security and safety of your data entirely to a third party. If you can’t trust a stranger with your data, don’t give them your data.

That concludes our newsletter for October. On behalf of the team here at TWT, I’d like to say thank you to all our readers, new and old for your continued support. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th November 2014 and will bring you more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. We hope that you found this newsletter informative and useful. If you did not then please let us know why, you can contact us by visiting this page. If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends and family, or better still encourage them to sign up for their own copy. Until next month, keep checking and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!

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