Johnny is a Microsoft developer and he has noticed that his laptop battery has expanded, creating a bulge and warp. So he had to get it repaired. But Microsoft wants $600 to repair it!But there's a silver lining in that Microsoft replaced the laptop for free instead. But it took a few months. Leo says that's irresponsible because a laptop with a bulging battery is basically a bomb waiting to go off. Leo says it's stories like that which led Consumer Reports to ding Microsoft for its terrible long term reliability.
Consumer Reports has been seeing poor long term reliability in the data they are collecting from readers on Microsoft's Surface line of products. It's so bad that they've downgraded their recommendation to "Do Not Buy." Leo says that long term reliability is something that Consumer Reports goes to great expense to analyze and that they're probably on the money with their decision.
The Chinese government made using a Virtual Private Network a crime this week. Microsoft and Apple moved quickly to remove any VPN software from their Chinese App Store. These companies have to obey the law in China if they want to do business there. So both are supporting the censorship, whereas Google still leaves things wide open.
This week a lot of companies announced their quarterly profits and losses, and Microsoft had a very good quarter. Net income in 3 months of 6.5 billion. For the first time ever, Microsoft made more money with Microsoft Office subscriptions than off the shelf copies. This has become a common practice for software now.
Jim's computer slow down to a crawl at the top of the hour. Leo says it could be a time based issue in Windows. Leo recommends rebooting it in Safe Mode and see if it still happens. If it doesn't, then something is running in the background that's causing it. He could also try another browser and see if that fixes it.
Modern website design may look pretty, but it often comes at the cost of readability. Many websites have light colored text on a light background, such as light grey text on white. If you're frustrated by this new trend, there is something you can do about it on your end to make things easier. Microsoft Windows has a "high contrast" mode, and you can either turn it on permanently in the settings, or you can just toggle it on and off as needed.
Image: SecureList / AO Kaspersky Lab
Mary has an old XP computer and she's worried about getting the WannaCry virus. Can she get a patch to protect herself? Leo says that Microsoft has ended life for Windows XP, but did make a patch for it and she can go into Updates and get it. But according to Leo, 98% of infected computers with WannaCry are Windows 7 computers. So XP isn't even on the radar. It doesn't hurt to be safe, though.
Last weekend, the WannaCry Ransomware bit several hundred thousand computer systems, including sixteen hospitals in the UK. The ransomware infected the systems and encrypted all data. The reason this one was really bad is that it was a "worm," or a "network aware virus" that would spread out over the local area network to find other computers to infect, and bring the whole establishment to its knees.
Julie has a Samsung Galaxy S3. Leo says the S3 was a great phone, but it won't get past Android 4, so she's missing out on some important security protections. Now she can't get her email on her phone. Leo says that since Julie had been using Hotmail, it has been replaced by Outlook Mail, and the settings Julie uses have probably been discontinued.
Quarterly earnings came out this week and Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all posted record earnings in cloud services. Leo says that sadly, hardware earnings fell short for Microsoft whose tablets and laptops fell short. Leo says that's unfortunate because they make some nice hardware these days.
Leo also says that Google made a lot of money, up 49%, on their Pixel Android phone and their Google Home devices. Google's advertising revenue was also up 29% with nearly $2 billion a month in profit.