Windows 10: The Great Privacy debate

My friend Whyves (not his real name – gotta protect the innocent 😉 ) has asked me a great question and I got some great answers at this live event so I interupt my regularly scheduled blog posts to bring you this breaking news:

Microsoft does not want your data

With the release of Windows 10 the amount of data (telemetry) being sent back to Microsoft (called “phoning home”) has increased.  This data is used to drive the update mechanisms: they will fix the parts of the OS/applications that are being used and not focus their efforts on the trailing edges.

There is one important distinction in that: telemetry is not personally identifiable data.  It is data on what features were used but not the data itself – none of your data is at risk: they just want to know how you use the OS/applications

Now, as always in the modern age there are other considerations:

  1. If you turn on (and I mean tracking features in) Cortana some of your data will be sent out to the cloud. If you ask Cortana to remind you of a meeting that data will be sent to the cloud (for storage) until the meeting and then deleted.
  2. Turning on tracking features in IE/Edge will allow some data to be tracked.  Again, you will have to turn on these features and if you asked to be tracked you will be
  3. The best way to avoid being tracked is to not asked to be tracked. Also, the more you remove store apps and apply security to your device the less telemetry will be sent back
  4. Google and Apple take more telemetry and data than Microsoft does.  Again:

Microsoft does not want your data (just look at the changes to OneDrive if you dont believe me 😉

Thanks Wjyves – keep your stick on the ice!

Windows 10: All you need to know (Part 4)

As I write this I am sitting in an Ask Us Anything session with some of my good friends at Microsoft.  We are going to be exploring all the new things coming down the pipe and explore Azure.  It seems fitting that we cover some exploration tools…. how about File Explorer?

Windows File Explorer

—As of Win 8/ Server 2012 Windows file explorer was renamed to File Explorer since Windows Explorer is part of the Win OS shell (Desktop, start screen/menu, taskbar and control panel)

—It has a jump list like Office applications.  If you are not familiar with Jump Lists they are the right click menus that started showing up in Windows 7.  You can pin applications to the list and the body of the Jump List will auto-populate with your recent documents


Share commands are in share tab.  There have been some changes to the share tab.  If you skipped Windows 8 (and lots have – sadly for them) then take a look at the tabs in general 🙂  but the share tab is going to be your new best friend

.share commands


—Tip: Copy path command : File Explorer -> Home tab -> “Copy Path” (useful for networked paths)

—Tip: show all folders (like older versions): File Explorer -> View -> Navigation Pane drop down -> “Show all folders”

—Tip: Change default view: Open a folder -> select detail view (example) -> the new view is “sticky” it keeps the change without needing to be saved

No Hidden Agenda: IE 11 is going to be around for a long time

Support issues for Internet browsers has always been fun. The amount of customization and personalization is astounding. I use IE as my default browser and I like it!  It does the job and I have not had any major issues with it.  However, twitterings abound since the release of Windows 10: there does seem to be some fear that IE 11 has gone away.

It has not.

It is in the default build of Windows 10 and, even though it is not as easy to find, it will be around for a while.  Microsoft has on their site stated that “Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.” (

So IE 11 will be supported in Windows 7 (and 8.1 for that matter)  for a long time to come (some sites say up until 2023).  As per the good folks at “Based on Windows 8.1’s records, this means that Internet Explorer 11 will reach the end of mainstream support on January 8, 2018 and extended support on January 10, 2023.”

If you want to make IE 11 your default browser your fix is below.  A big thanks to my good friend Rob Williams for bringing this to my attention as some people seem to be a bit worried: Thanks Rob!

The default is the new Edge browser but IE 11 is still installed
It can be found in the accessories menu: Start-> all Apps-> Accessories
Making IE the default browser should still be do-able via these steps:
Click the Tools button (Tools button) in the top right corner-> Programs tab-> click “Make default” -> Click “OK”
If not it can be changed by going to: Settings-> Default Apps->Change default “web browser” to IE
Note that to change back to Edge as default just do the same steps as above (settings-defaults->browser) and select Edge as the default

Windows 10: All you need to know (Part 3)

There has been some big hype around this new feature and it is quite impressive… and incredibly simple and …forgettable but in a good way 🙂


—Remove the keyboard (or fold away) and windows will act like a touch device (full screen apps, start screen
This —Can be done automatically on hybrid devices (ultrabooks, surface,…) but there should be a pop up
—To manually trigger the change:
Use Action Center – click the tablet mode iconnotification center screen shot

So this puts the cart before the horse a bit but leads wonderfully into the next portion

Action center

—Found on the taskbar and is a live icon
Notifications are shown from “Apps” and regular applications
Right click Action Center to turn on quiet hours
This is also another way to access “Settings” and One Note
Now, as a true IT Pro I like to tinker. If you want to remove the Action Center you have 2 choices (at least 😉 )

  1. Easy button: just go to settings -> system -> notifications and actions ->”turn system icons on or off”
  2. For the bold: Launch regedit.  BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY
    Browse to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
    Add a new 32-bit Dword called DisableNotificationCenter
    Set the Dword value to one