John is getting phone calls about unusual activity on his computer. He was told it was from Microsoft. But Leo says it's a scam, and it's usually done by actual tech support people who moonlight with phishing scams through the Microsoft Event Viewer. The idea is to get you to see "red x's" that are normal events in the viewer. They fool you to give you the credit card, charge you the $300, and then they use the remote access to install malware on your system.
Dave wants to know more about Microsoft accessing user data in Windows 10. Leo says that Steve Gibson refuses to ever use Windows 10 because of the security features. But Leo has read the Microsoft EULA and it's no different than an ISP or any other online service. Microsoft is at least disclosing it. We have a 4th amendment right to privacy, but we also live in a dangerous time of terrorism and we have to make a provision for fighting it. There must be a balance and that's the debate that's raging.
Peggy wants to know where on her computer Windows 10 downloads to, and if it just downloads a file or if it installs immediately. Leo says it downloads to a special folder in the root directory of the C drive. She can leave it there if she wishes, and can wait until she wants to install it.
On July 29th, Microsoft launched Windows 10 (Threshold) and so far, Leo likes it, a lot. However, Leo says users shouldn't be in a rush to upgrade because it was launched early, and there will be another more polished version coming out in the Fall. So if you're not in a rush to upgrade, don't. Added features include a replacement for Internet Explorer called "Edge," and it's not really ready for prime time just yet, as some plugins like Last Pass don't work. So Microsoft also added Internet Explorer to continue to use. Ugh. Edge though, will be more done in the fall.
If you have Windows 7 or 8, you should see an icon in your system tray that prompts you to reserve a copy of Windows 10. This upgrade will be free for all Windows 7 and 8 users, and users of the insider program have stated that it fixes a lot of the frustrations people had with Windows 8. Microsoft will be releasing Windows 10 to the public on Wednesday, but there are a few things you should do before upgrading.
Pat is a watercolor artist, and is wondering what computer, printer, and DVD player she should get. Leo suggests getting something that would allow her to draw into the computer, though. For that, Leo would recommend the Microsoft Surface tablet, even though Pat has always had a Mac. He recommends that because of the stylus and the touch screen of it. To do a similar thing with a Mac, Pat would need to spend more to get a Wacom Cintiq, which is very expensive.
Calling it a "high threat to its computer security," Microsoft's antivirus software will now scan for and remove the ASK toolbar, should you get stuck with it. In other news, Yahoo has entered into an exclusive agreement with Oracle to make Yahoo the default browser for any computer that has Java installed. Leo calls that Malware since users are fooled into installing it. Even worse is that Java is a security flaw as well. Yahoo's CEO Melissa Meyer should know better.
Paul used to write his daughter messages from the tooth fairy in a cryptic, fairy-looking font on Windows XP. Then she would change the font to read the messages. Now he has a CD with these notes on it, but none of the documents can be read because he doesn't have a Windows XP computer with that font installed anymore. How can he find that font?
Jim is using Windows 8.1 and he's being asked to sign in with his Microsoft account. Leo says that both Windows and Apple are now doing that and he finds it annoying. He can set it up without it, but they'll bug him with it. Windows 10, however, will require it. How does that affect running as a standard user? Will he have to have multiple Microsoft accounts? Leo says he doesn't really know. But that's a good issue to bring up.
Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be available on July 29. It will be a free upgrade for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8. They've also announced that if you're in the free Windows Insider program, you will get a copy of Windows for free as well. You can still get into the program at insider.windows.com. The Windows Insider program is Microsoft's way of testing Windows 10 on the desktop and Windows Mobile 10 for the smartphone.