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Windows 10 Mobile – EOL set for DEC 10th 2019

Windows 10 Mobile O/S is set to end support on December 10, 2019 as documented below

https://redmondmag.com/articles/2019/01/18/windows-10-mobile-ending-in-december.aspx

Microsoft will end support for the Windows 10 Mobile operating system on Dec. 10, 2019, according to an announcement.   It really will be the end for Microsoft’s flagship mobile OS, which first got released back in November of 2015 but never gained a strong market foothold. Individuals and organizations still using Windows Phone devices running Windows 10 Mobile are being advised by Microsoft to switch to devices running Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android mobile OSes instead.

Microsoft is planning to put its future mobile app development efforts behind the iOS and Android platforms, going forward. That notion is described in Microsoft’s end-of-support FAQ document:

With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device. Microsoft’s mission statement to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, compels us to support our Mobile apps on those platforms and devices.

Microsoft’s end-of-support announcement is actually dated Dec. 21, 2018, but it’s just now getting publicized, it seems

CES 2019 – New physical and computer security products

CES 2019 show introduced new security products for the coming year

Security – US CERT warns of DNS Hijacking attacks JAN-2019

US CERT sharing following new warning for DNS Hijacking attacks  

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2019/01/10/DNS-Infrastructure-Hijacking-Campaign

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), part of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), is aware of a global Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure hijacking campaign. Using compromised credentials, an attacker can modify the location to which an organization’s domain name resources resolve. This enables the attacker to redirect user traffic to attacker-controlled infrastructure and obtain valid encryption certificates for an organization’s domain names, enabling man-in-the-middle attacks.

NCCIC encourages administrators to review the FireEyeand Cisco Talos Intelligence blogs on global DNS infrastructure hijacking for more information. Additionally, NCCIC recommends the following best practices to help safeguard networks against this threat:

  • Implement multifactor authentication on domain registrar accounts, or on other systems used to modify DNS records.

  • Verify that DNS infrastructure (second-level domains, sub-domains, and related resource records) points to the correct Internet Protocol addresses or hostnames.

  • Search for encryption certificates related to domains and revoke any fraudulently requested certificates

Windows 10 – v1903 introduces new 7GB Reserved Storage area

Future WIN10 installs may use a new Restored Storage 7GB reserved area in future — to better hold & manage installation objects in a more controlled manner than current processing.  The 7GB can be reduced slightly according to user experiences & amount of software installed.

https://redmondmag.com/articles/2019/01/11/microsoft-reserved-storage-for-windows-10.aspx

Microsoft wants about 7GB of your PC’s storage space to keep Windows 10 up to date and reliable.  The 7GB space allocation will take effect with a new “Reserved Storage” feature that’s coming in Windows 10 version 1903, according to a Microsoft announcement this week. Windows 10 version 1903 will be Microsoft’s spring “semiannual channel” release. It’s a new operating system release that perhaps will be arriving in April of this year.

However, the Reserved Storage feature is available for testing now. It can be found in the latest Windows Insider Program test release of Windows 10, which was announced on Wednesday.

Availability of Reserved Storage Feature Current Windows 10 users will only get the Reserved Storage feature if their systems get “clean installed” to Windows 10 version 1903. Here’s how Microsoft’s announcement described it:

Reserved storage will be introduced automatically on devices that come with version 1903 pre-installed or those where 1903 was clean installed. You don’t need to set anything up — this process will automatically run in the background.

CES 2019 – Key Technology highlights

U-Tube has some excellent summaries of CES 2019 … it is noted as “the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies”

Windows 7 – HOTFIX for JAN-2019 update for network issues

During JAN-2019 security updates, some corporate users were impacted & Microsoft released a HOTFIX patch to address this, until republishing the original cumulative release occurs. 

https://redmondmag.com/articles/2019/01/10/windows-7-problems-january-patch.aspx

Windows 7 was a notable victim of this month’s update Tuesday security patch releases by Microsoft, according to various accounts.  Some Windows 7 environments had network sharing issues after applying the new January patches. Others reported getting their Windows 7 installations labeled as “not genuine” due to a Key Management Server (KMS) issue. The problems were chronicled in posts by Born’s Tech and Windows World, a blog series focused on patch and security issues, although it’s not clear how extensively Windows 7 systems were affected by these issues.

The main culprit associated with the problems appears to be January patch KB4480970, a monthly rollup patch for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 systems. This patch was designed to address a PowerShell-remoting security flaw, as well as a speculative execution processor flaw.

Admins reported getting problems connecting to SQL Server and file shares after installing KB4480970, as well as remote access connection problems, according to this Born’s Tech post. Microsoft’s Knowledge Base article for KB4480970 currently includes an acknowledgment that there is an issue with network interface controllers, which may stop working after this patch is applied for Windows 7 systems. There’s a workaround described for the network interface controller issue.

 

BACKGROUND INFO on WIN7 issues with JAN-2019 updates

Many corporate users (esp. with local ADMIN authority) are reporting issues with the JAN-2019 Microsoft security updates.

https://www.askwoody.com/2019/january-patches-for-win7-kb-44080970-and-kb-4480960-break-networking/

https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-killer-windows-7-patch-breaks-networking-bricks-legit-not-genuine-pcs/

If you install the January 2019 cumulative update on your Windows 7 device which is on a network that uses SMBv2, you will experience unexpected network connectivity issues. 

 

HOTFIX SOLUTION —  This weekend MSFT sent out a special HOTFIX patch for these issues,

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4487345/update-for-windows-7-sp1-and-windows-server-2008-r2

http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4487345

Windows 7 – End of Product support by Microsoft in one year

SANS ISC shares a friendly reminder, Microsoft will end Windows 7 support during JAN-2020

https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Still+Running+Windows+7+Time+to+think+about+that+upgrade+project/24526/

Not such a big deal if you have 1 or 2 machines at home to manage, but if you are an enterprise with hundreds or thousands of Windows 7 machines, it’s really time to start that migration project.  If you’re still running Windows XP, you’re in even deeper trouble!  If you’ve got business apps keeping you at W7 (or XP for that matter), it’s past time to consider an update or migration to better applications!  The difference I’m seeing between companies that run Windows 10 / Office 2016, and companies that run Windows 7 and older versions of office is a significant difference in rates of malware infection.

For folks still running Windows 7, Microsoft has it scheduled for End of Life in exactly 1 year

https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

Data Base Administration – 2019 Best practices

Redmond magazine offers 5 excellent best practices for DBA professionals

https://redmondmag.com/articles/2019/01/04/5-database-resolutions-for-2019.aspx

While maintaining your database servers is an important part of your job, professional development is equally as important to your career. With these thoughts in mind, let’s walk through some resolutions.

1. Attend a Local User Group Meeting — Networking is a great way to find your next job, or the next DBA or developer you need to hire. And there’s no better or easier place to network with other database professionals than your local user group.

2. Learn New Skills — As a DBA or developer, we are permanently busy in our roles. Whether it’s planning meetings or being on-call, IT support is a very demanding job. Recommendations for skills to focus on in 2019, include: Kubernetes, containers, and cloud computing

3. Test Your Backups — All my customers should validate their backups via testing. It is not enough to just ensure yor backups are running successfully; you need to make sure that you can restore those backups. Wwe ran into a case where a customer had what they thought were good backups, but they were unable to restore them due to some corruption in the file.

4. Patch Your Databases —  A recent outage may have caused been by customer running a release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version of SQL Server 2016. While we think of SQL Server 2016 as a modern release of the platform, Microsoft has already released two service packs, as well as a couple of cumulative updates to SP2. That is a lot of improvements, bug fixes and added features that can cause outages in the worst cases, but can hopefully make your job managing SQL Server easier.

5. Check Your Databases — Consistency checks (a.k.a. DBCC CHECKDB) is a critical part of your data protection strategy. You should be running consistency checks at least as frequently as your backup retention policy. If you keep your backups for seven days, you should have a consistency check frequency of every six days. SQL Server will happily back up a corrupt database, so you could be backing up the corruption problem you have.

Microsoft – Top 10 stories of 2018 from Redmond Magazine

Below are the top 10 Microsoft story links for 2018 highlighted by Redmond Magazine

https://redmondmag.com/articles/2018/12/20/top-10-microsoft-headlines-of-2018.aspx

10. Microsoft Pulls July .NET Framework Patches Following App Failures

9. Microsoft Signals the End for OneNote Desktop Application

8. Skype for Business Server 2019 Will Have a Standard Edition

7. Microsoft Admits July 10 Patches Caused Skype and Exchange Server Problems

6. Windows Server 2019 Product Scheduled To Arrive This Year

5. Microsoft Teams To Get Expanded Guest Access for External Users

4. Windows Server 2019 Now Commercially Available, But Hardware Lags

3. Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Version 1809

2. Gates Still Working Behind the Scenes at Microsoft

1. How To Get Windows 10 April Update Version 1803

Windows 10 – the last forever version of Windows

With WIN10, Microsoft changed the Windows product model to become a “forever O/S” as shared below.  IOW – we will likely not see a Windows 11 in the future.  Instead, new innovation will be placed in the semi-annual releases, rather than need to physically purchase & upgrade to a new O/S.  There are still a huge # of WIN7 PCs that must be migrated to WIN10 in one year (as 01/11/2020 will be last security update offered)

https://redmondmag.com/blogs/scott-bekker/2019/01/windows-10-microsofts-forever-os.aspx

What may be most important about this latest desktop share milestone, though, is that it could be the last shift of this type. Windows OS migrations have been a staple project in the IT industry for decades — Windows 95 to Windows 98, Windows 98 to Windows 2000, Windows 98 to Windows XP, and on and on and on. The project has come up like clockwork every three or four years. Windows 10 was famously called “the last version of Windows” by Microsoft developer evangelist Jerry Nixon. A better way to think of it may be as the “forever version of Windows.”

A relic, thankfully, is the industry-wide, all-hands-on-deck situations of the old Windows update cycle with ISVs and OEMs all creating new versions of their PCs, applications and drivers, and partners and IT departments testing them all out at once and trying to get them fixed in the first service pack. Another upside could be a more secure Internet, where aging security flaws can’t continuously be exploited because connected consumer machines are automatically updated for free, reducing everyone’s risk.

For the 39.22 percent or so of users at home and in organizations who have migrated to the forever OS, congratulations. All of that migration drama is behind you. If you’re in the process of a migration project or planning one, take heart — this should be the last of its kind.