Did Microsoft Make Windows 7 Too Good???

February 26, 2019 at 9:27 pm

I asked my followers – what is your all time favorite Windows Client OS? Here are the results!

Microsoft Windows

It is so amazing how many are still holding onto Windows 7 as the desktop OS! There is still an estimated 35% of desktops running that old OS. Amazing.

If you did not get a chance to participate in the poll – let me know your all time favorite client OS in the comments below!

User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 10

February 23, 2019 at 5:31 pm

User Account Control

This post serves as a supplement to my MD-100 training at CBT Nuggets! Enjoy!

I remember a friend at CBT Nuggets telling me quite boldly – “Windows was ruined for me when UAC hit!”

My guess is, it was probably around the poorly received Windows Vista when my friend formulated this opinion. Suddenly for him, Windows would interrupt his workflow with noise, some visual fanfare, and a question if he was really sure he wanted to do what he was trying to do.

In fairness to Microsoft, other Operating Systems take a similar approach – and this is a key element to truly securing the client.

Regardless of what you think about UAC, this post is meant to ensure that you completely understand it and that you can completely control it! For those of you studying Windows Server 2016 (or later), please understand that this post also applies!

Microsoft’s UAC helps prevent malware from damaging a PC. With UAC, apps and tasks always run in the security context of a non-administrator account, unless an administrator specifically authorizes administrator-level access to the system. Because of this security context, UAC can block the automatic installation of unauthorized apps and prevent inadvertent changes to system settings.

UAC allows all users to log on to their computers using a standard user account. Processes launched using a standard user token may perform tasks using access rights granted to a standard user. For instance, Windows Explorer automatically inherits standard user level permissions. Additionally, any apps that are started using Windows Explorer (for example, by double-clicking a shortcut) also run with the standard set of user permissions. Many apps, including those that are included with the operating system itself, are designed to work properly in this way.

Other apps, especially those that were not specifically designed with security settings in mind, often require additional permissions to run successfully. These types of apps are referred to as legacy apps. Additionally, actions such as installing new software and making configuration changes to the Windows Firewall, require more permissions than what is available to a standard user account.

When an app needs to run with more than standard user rights, UAC can restore additional user groups to the token. This enables the user to have explicit control of apps that are making system-level changes to their computer or device.

But what about controlling the interruptions of your workflow? Well, the amount of “permissions granting” you must do is configurable with four basic levels. Keep in mind you can also make changes to UAC with various Group Policy settings that exist.

Here are the four levels of control that we should know. To set the level is easy, just search for UAC and click the option to change the UAC settings.

UAC has a slider to select from four levels of notification:

  • Always notify will:
    • Notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
    • Notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
    • Freeze other tasks until you respond.

    Recommended if you often install new software or visit unfamiliar websites.

  • Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer will:
    • Notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
    • Not notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
    • Freeze other tasks until you respond.

    Recommended if you do not often install apps or visit unfamiliar websites.

  • Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop) will:
    • Notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
    • Not notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
    • Not freeze other tasks until you respond.

    Not recommended. Choose this only if it takes a long time to dim the desktop on your computer.

  • Never notify (Disable UAC prompts) will:
    • Not notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
    • Not notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
    • Not freeze other tasks until you respond.

    Not recommended due to security concerns.

So, it is worth noting, an expert user that knows how to avoid invalid Web sites and bogus applications can never be bothered with UAC alerts and confirimations. But please note, they better be truly expert at avoiding such potential problems!

For more information on the new Windows 10 exams – check out:

Finally! New Windows 10 Exams in Beta!

Jumpstart Your Windows 10 Training with MD-100

February 20, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Your first module of MD-100 is waiting for you!

Here are the four modules that will make up MD-100 at CBT Nuggets. The second module – Managing Devices will land on the site next week!

Here is a look at the first module and the Nuggets inside it!

  • Microsoft Windows 10: Deploying Devices
    • Windows 10 Editions and Versions
    • Perform a Clean Installation
    • Windows 10 Upgrade Paths
    • Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)
    • Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
    • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)
    • Configure Language Packs
    • Migrate User Data
    • Troubleshoot Activation Issues
    • Configuring the Edge Browser
    • Configuring Internet Explorer
    • Configure Mobility Settings
    • Configure Sign-in Options
    • Customize the Windows Desktop

These Nuggets are unmatched in their efficiency and enthusiasm for the content. They also stand apart in that you have a Hands-On Lab environment to follow along with me as you master these concepts.

If you are interested in learning more about MD-100 – here is the official link. Here is a post I did for you on both new exams.

I WILL SEE YOU IN CLASS!

MD-100 Windows 10 Coming to CBT Nuggets!

February 6, 2019 at 6:34 pm

MD-100

You heard it here first! I will be releasing 4 modules for this new exam. The first module will release next week!

Here are the four modules:

  • Microsoft Windows 10: Deploying Devices
  • Microsoft Windows 10: Managing Devices
  • Microsoft Windows 10: Connecting Devices
  • Microsoft Windows 10: Maintaining Devices

Here is a look at the first module and the Nuggets inside it!

  • Microsoft Windows 10: Deploying Devices
    • Windows 10 Editions and Versions
    • Experimenting with Windows 10 Editions
    • Perform a Clean Installation
    • Windows 10 Upgrade Paths
    • Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)
    • Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
    • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)
    • Configure Language Packs
    • Migrate User Data
    • Troubleshoot Activation Issues
    • Configuring the Edge Browser
    • Configuring Internet Explorer
    • Configure Mobility Settings
    • Configure Sign-in Options
    • Customize the Windows Desktop

These Nuggets are unmatched in their efficiency and enthusiasm for the content. They also stand apart in that you have a Hands-On Lab environment to follow along with me as you master these concepts.

If you are interested in learning more about MD-100 – here is the official link. Here is a post I did for you on both new exams.

I WILL SEE YOU IN CLASS!

The Microsoft Edge Browser Going Chromium

January 20, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Microsoft Edge BrowserMicrosoft is revamping the Edge browser dramatically in 2019. Initially built with their own technology, Microsoft will not replace the guts of the default browser in Windows 10 with the open-source technology of Chromium. How much like the Edge browser be like Chrome after this modification? Well, considering that it will run Chrome extensions, I would say the end result means it will be very much like Chrome.

This change is not the only one planned for the Edge browser in 2019. It will also break free of Windows 10. This means that the Edge browser can finally appear in Windows clients such as Windows 7 and 8.1. There will also be a MacOS version. Wow. Times sure have changed. We could not have even imagined seeing a Microsoft Internet Explorer logo on the MacOS desktop of year’s past. Now we already have the Edge browser in Android and iOS and soon our Macs should we desire it.

It will be very interesting to see if these changes help the Edge browser gain market share. It has taken a beating so far in this area since its release. It trails Chrome, Opera, FireFox, and just about any other browser you can find out there. This move from Microsoft should certainly help, since the reason it is often abandoned is its poor compatibility with some sites out there. Improving the compatibility should make it a consideration in Windows 10 at least since it is proven to better on battery life with these devices and also performs very well.