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News

Windows 10 S is 100% safe of malware and ransomware

As you may know, the WannaCry (WannaCrypt) was the largest cyberattack in history, but despite this, third party developers and big companies have worked together to stop it.

According to Microsoft’s results, the WannaCry virus did not infect Windows 10, due to the fact that automatically updates cannot be turned off, meaning that the system got patched in time.

But the Windows version that is 100% immune to malware, ransomware and viruses is Windows 10 S, the hardened Windows 10 variant that permits the users to install apps only from the Windows Store, nothing outside Microsoft’s ecosystem.

To quote Microsoft on this subject, “No known ransomware works against Windows 10 S”.

While this is a very good news for computers used in the business environment, it is a big disability to have a system one which you can install a limited number of applications.

Due to its lack of features and apps, Windows 10 S is targeted at users in full time education.

Me and my colleague Daniel have put together this article, called 4 things to do to keep your business safe from WannaCry-like internet infections, where we provide tested security advice and tips to protect your business and data against another ransomware attack similar to WannaCry or even worse.

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Offers and promotions

Affinity Photo for iPads was just launched

Affinity Photo is a very powerful tool for photo editing for Mac (purchase and download) and / or Windows users (purchase and download). Until recent, the application was available only for this two specific platforms, but starting yesterday the app was launched on the AppStore for the following iPads: iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch.

Affinity Photo for iPad has been tailored to harness the explosive power of the iPad’s hardware and touch capabilities.

Each tool, panel and control has been completely redesigned and optimised for touch – either with fingertip or Apple Pencil, and all adjustments and effects have been fully hardware-accelerated.

Here’s just some of what you can look forward to:

  • Optimised for iPad capabilities: multi-touch UI, Metal accelerated, intuitive Apple Pencil support and full iCloud drive integration.
  • Complete retouching tools: including dodge, burn, clone, blemish, patch and red eye tools. You’ll also find an incredibly accurate inpainting brush along with full frequency separation capability.
  • Non-destructive adjustments: Correct and enhance images with Levels, Curves, Black and White, White Balance, HSL, Shadows and Highlights and over a dozen other adjustments that are previewed instantly and can be edited any time.
  • Super accurate selections: Affinity Photo’s selection refinement algorithm is one of the most advanced available, making selections—even down to individual strands of hair—easier than ever before.
  • Comprehensive Liquify Workspace: Push your images around with your fingertips or use brushes like turbulence, pinch, punch and twirl in a dedicated liquify persona. Alongside a real-time mesh warp tool, it’s perfect to reshape, sculpt and deform photos.
  • Real time effects: Affinity Photo comes with a huge range of high-end filters including lighting, blurs, distortions, tilt-shift, shadows, glows and many more. Full control is given over every aspect of a filter’s properties with incredibly precise controls—all the while seeing a real-time live preview of the result.
  • Comprehensive RAW editing: Develop camera RAW files in a dedicated built-in workspace with all the processing adjustments and corrections you need.
  • Unsurpassed file compatibility: Unrivalled PSD support plus all the standards including PNG, JPG, TIFF, EPS, PDF, and SVG.
  • Work in any colour space: RGB, CMYK, LAB, Greyscale. End-to-end CMYK workflow with ICC colour management, and 32-bit per channel editing

HDR Merge with tone mapping: allows you to merge multiple exposure brackets together into a single unbounded 32-bit image, with full tone mapping control for incredibly dramatic results.

The result is a genuinely unique, new way to interact with your images and your iPad, with performance you will find hard to believe.

Affinity Photo for iPad enables you to brush directly on screen for a more fluid retouching experience. Apply tools such as dodge, burn, clone, blemish, patch and red eye with even greater precision, using touch control or Apple Pencil. You’ll also find tasks like recolouring, inpainting and selection refinement can be more naturally controlled too.

Another revolutionary thing about Affinity Photo is the back-end for Windows, Mac and iOS is the same, meaning you can share files across all platforms seamlessly – even including the undo history.

And naturally that file compatibility is shared across Affinity apps, so you can just as easily switch from Affinity Photo to its partner app, Affinity Designer.

And in case you were wondering – work on Affinity Designer for iPad is well under way, too.

So whether you’re an Affinity Designer user who’s been considering adding the pixel power of Affinity Photo to your toolkit, or you’re still to discover the power and performance of the Affinity suite, now’s the perfect time to take the plunge.

The application can be purchased from the AppStore at the promotional price of $19,99 until 19th of June, so hurry up to get a great photo editing app at a lower price. Also the software for Mac and Windows has a promotional price of $39,99 instead of $49,99.

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Editorials and informational articles

Android overtakes Windows becoming the most popular operating system worldwide

According to the Global Stats for the OS Market Share Worldwide on StatCounter, Android overtakes Windows and becomes for the first time the most popular operating system worldwide in terms of internet usage.

Android software has taken the lead of the operating system market due to the the large mobile software that is used into browsing the internet, with a 37.93% in March. This means that there is only a small 0.02% gap between Android and Windows.

Aodhan Cullen, CEO at StartCounter commented that: “This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era“. He also said that the main drivers of the breakthrough were the growth of smartphones to access the internet, a decline in the sales of traditional PCs and also the impact that Asia had on the global market.

Windows won the desktop war but the battlefield moved on,” said Cullen. “It will be difficult for Microsoft to make inroads in mobile but the next paradigm shift might give it the opportunity to regain dominance. That could be in Augmented Reality, AI, Voice or Continuum (a product that aims to replace  a desktop and smartphone with a single Microsoft powered phone).

Android market might continue to rise in the next few months and we can’t wait to see the new statistics for the next trimester to see if Windows will continue the dominance of internet usage or it will fall again in statistics. For now Android topped Windows for the first time in the last past 5 years, so the battle is tight.

android overtakes windows - stat counter - global stats - march 2017

Categories
Editorials and informational articles

Windows 10 Creators Update now permits installing Windows vocal commands

As you may know, Microsoft has worked a lot lately at Windows 10 Creators Update, an update patch that will bring a bunch of interesting new features to Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Among others, the Redmond developers will introduce Cortana in the Windows installer, in order to permit the users to install the operating system by using vocal commands.

If you perform a fresh install of Windows 10 Creators Update, you will get the chance to configure a lot of systems settings with vocal commands. After the first system boot, Cortana will permit you to connect to Wi-Fi, login using a Microsoft account and will also permit the users to change the default security settings.

The introduction of Cortana to the Windows installer may help some users that are too lazy to use a mouse and a keyboard to configure the system, but will most likely annoy the power users that want to tweak the system with their own hands. For more information about this features, read this article from Windows Central.

Other worth mentioning features that will be included in Windows 10 Creators Update:

  • Gamer mode, for better gaming experience
  • Automatic cleanup of temporary files
  • Windows updates can be postponed
  • Automatic system lock when you are away from keyboard
  • Blue color reduction for a better computer experience at night
  • A more colored interface

I don’t use Cortana, with or without its Windows installer integration, but I will benefit from the Blue color reduction feature, the possibility to postpone updates and the automatic cleanup of temporary files.

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News

According to Avast, Windows XP has more users than Windows Vista and 8 combined

Despite Microsoft’s aggressive marketing strategy created to persuade users to upgrade to Windows 10, Windows 7 is still leading the market. The folks from Avast have published some stats about the global Windows usage for the first quarter of 2017 and revealed some interesting facts.

56 million computers use Avast on Windows 7, this representing 48.35% of the market share. Windows 7 is followed by Windows 10, which is installed on 35 million devices running Avast software and Windows 8.1, which is installed on 12.7 million systems running Avast, representing about 10.96% of the market.

The big surprise is Windows XP, which has a market popularity bigger than Windows Vista and Windows 8 combined. According to the same numbers, Windows XP is still running on 6.5 million computers using Avast software (about 5.64%), while Windows 8 is running only on 2.51% of the computers having Avast installd, and Vista running on 2.08%. Speaking of Vista, it will reach end of life (EOL) next month, so if you still have it on your system it is advised either upgrade or switch to Linux.

Windows XP is still used due to the fact that it ideal for computers with old hardware and can run specific programs built on old technology that are not compatible with newer Windows systems.

Categories
Editorials and informational articles

Microsoft ends support for Windows Vista next month

Windows Vista

Microsoft plans to end support for Windows Vista operating system next month, meaning that no further security updates will be released afterwards. According to Windows lifecycle fact sheet from the Microsofts’ website, we can notice that starting with 11th of April the support for Vista will be terminated.

Microsoft will launch security patches on the 11th of April, afterwards stopping to offer any support for the operating system. While companies and organizations may still pay Microsoft for extending the support deadline, all of the end-users or Home users will have to face a difficult decision at that point in time.

Some users may still continue to use the Windows Vista operating system on their working stations, but that does not come as an advice from the software producers because security vulnerabilities won’t be fixed anymore. That won’t be as bad as it sounds if you’re not connected to the internet, or you’re using the internet occasionally.

The good part about Windows Vista is the fact that it has no expiration date. This means that you can run it for years from now on without any issues.

If you still decide to change the operating system with the next of kin or even newer version… don’t forget to back-up all of your data and files. Also check for any software compatibility issues from Vista to the new operating system. What operating system are you guys using and what do you like the most of it?

Categories
News Security solutions and antivirus software

Symantec blocks Windows 10 build 15055 Update – Here’s how to fix this

As you may know, Microsoft has released Windows 10 build 15055 lately, but it gets blocked by some antivirus software. For example, Symantec does not permit the download process to finish and the error does not provide too much information.

Microsoft has been working with Symantec to fix this and the latest virus definitions should have fixed it already. So, if you have security software from Norton, you need to keep it up to date in order to be able to use Windows Updates and to download the modifications brought by build 15055.

In order to get the build 15055, it is mandatory for the Symantec users to have the latest virus definitions before the download process starts. If the download fails, the users should update the antivirus, restart the computer and try again the Microsoft download.

This is Dona Sarkar’s (the head of the Windows Insider program) annoucement:

“If you have Symantec/Norton anti-virus software installed on your PC, you should no longer get an 0x80070228 error when attempting to download this build. Symantec released updated anti-virus definitions last week that fixes this issue. Please make sure your Symantec/Norton anti-virus software has the most up-to-date anti-virus definitions BEFORE taking trying to install today’s build,”

Off-topic: We gave Norton Security 2017 a test drive and we really enjoyed the security software. If you want a free 90 days trial of this antivirus software, follow the instructions in this article.