Sorry readers, this weekly Windows news recap is running a little behind schedule. Kari had some personal matters to attend to this weekend and I got distracted by family matters yesterday, even though I agreed to take this up on his behalf. Again: our apologies to make you wait. Here’s last week’s recap!
New Insider Preview Fast Ring + Skip Ahead Build 18941 (July 18)
The Insider Team pushed out another 20H1 release last Thursday, to mixed reactions and reviews. Some installers reported cycling around “getting ready” — “downloading” — and “installing” that ultimately led to installation success. A small number of others reported a scant handful of obstacles that stymied success. Nearly everyone — including me and my two test machines — reported installs taking somewhat longer than expected to complete. For more details and information, find the announcement in thread 1 of the TenForums.com coverage, followed by an interesting sequence of user reports.
1903 CU for Insider Preview Release Ring KB4505903 (July 19)
The Insider Preview Release ring provides CUs and other updates for Insider testing to see if (and when) they might show up in the regular release schedule for Windows 10 1903. Interestingly the same KB item (4505903) showed up first on July 17 as a Servicing Stack update on the 1903 Insider Preview Release ring two days before the same KB labeled the July 19 CU. Check both links for TenForums.com coverage of those two KB items with the same number, but different labels and descriptions. Neither caused any issues on my Surface Pro 3 Insider Preview Release ring test machine, though some thread respondents did report installation difficulties.
Tightly Targeted Insider Preview Slow Ring Build 19H2 18632.1006 Hits Small User Subset (July 17)
Only two days after releasing Build 18362.1005 to the Insider Preview Slow ring, MS followed up with a limited-scope release of 18362.1006. Subsequent analysis of the differences showed only some minor additions to the 1005 in the 1006, mostly concentrated on advanced inking capabilities for those who work with Korean ideograms/ideographs and their keyboard representations.For more info, check out the MS announcement link for 1005 (first link in preceding sentence) or TF coverage of 1006 (second link ditto). Our best guess is that the 1006 stuff may show up in some future release cycle for 19H2 if it makes the grade with the selected subset of users that received it (which presumably included those who use Koreanic character sets, or have Korean language packs loaded).
Microsoft Edge Dev Build 188.8.131.52 Pushes Chromium-based Implementation Envelope (July 20)
On July 18, Kari wrote a story here that laid out the new Enterprise Roadmap for the Chromium-based version of MS’s Edge browser. Windows tracking site Windows Latest dug into more of those details on July 20 in a story entitled “Microsoft tests new improvements for Chromium on Windows 10.” It explains how changes to style handling in HTML and default styling via FormsControlsRefresh gets handled as this new Edge version renders HTML documents. New UIs for slider controls, button types, select-in-page controls, and a so-called “modern color picker” are also explained and explored. Very interesting.
The Chromium version of Edge overlays the string “DEV” over a standard Edge logo’s center.
MS Publishes Positive Q4FY19 Financials on July 18
At the end of its final quarter for Fiscal year 2019 (ends on June 30 each calendar year) MS rocked markets and investors with more-or-less positive results across the board. On Friday, July 19, investors responded by trading heavily in the company’s stock. At a closing price of US$136.42 per share on Friday, MS is trading very close to its 52-week high of US$140.65 at the moment. Because of continued high growth in its Azure Cloud services offerings, analysts remain bullish on Microsoft stock despite its near-record pricing. See these items for more info: Marketwatch.com and Windows Enterprise Desktop.
MS Announced Major AT&T Cloud Partnership on July 17
In a deal worth US$2B to Microsoft, MS is forming a multi-year partnership with the giant telecommunications and services company AT&T. MS will provide the cloud end of AT&T’s public cloud-first transformation. Thus, AT&T will offer services to its customers based on Azure going forward. At the same time, AT&T is migrating its non-networked infrastructure applications to Azure, and moving its own workforce to Microsoft 365 (that increasingly potent and attractive combination of current subscriptions to Windows 10, Office 365 Professional, and more). In the longer term, MS hope to leverage AT&T emerging 5G network and its edge-computing capabilities to further extend the reach and capability of its cloud-based platforms and services. This could get interesting, especially if both parties do their jobs right. See this Thurrott.com story for more details and info.
MS to 1803 Users: 1903 Is Coming Soon via WU
Ed blogged about this revelation on July 17, which comes straight from information added to the head of the Windows 10 1903 Known Issues list that Microsoft keeps constantly up-to-date. Bottom line: end-users and small companies that get Win10 updates from Microsoft’s Windows Updates who are runin g 1803 should expect to see 1903 upgrade offers in WU soon (1803 hits EOL between November 10 and 12, 2019, depending on edition type). Companies that run their own update servers to deliver scheduled updates to users should also start testing 1903 immediately to get ready for planning deployments in the relatively near future.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.