Microsoft

Can I protect my Windows XP computer from WannaCry?

WannaCry

Episode 1393

Lynn from Thousand Oaks, CA

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.

WannaCry Ransomware Mostly Affected Windows 7

WannaCry

Episode 1388

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.

Tech Companies Report Quarterly Earnings

Earnings

Episode 1384

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.

Windows 10 Creators Update Rolls Out to Users

Episode 1379

Microsoft is going to start rolling out the Creators Update to Windows 10 starting April 11. This won't be a massive change in terms of how it looks, but there will be a considerable amount of new features. While last year's Anniversary Update was a problem for some people, Microsoft has fixed those bugs over time. Leo's not counting on it being quite reliable, but it is still good advice that if you get offered the Creator's Update on April 11, you may want to wait. You should be able to defer the update for as long as you can.

Microsoft To Defer HoloLens to 2019

Microsoft Hololens

Episode 1366

In the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made with rushing a product out to market, Microsoft has announced that development of their mixed reality HoloLens device will be deferred to at least 2019. The hope is that they can avoid any similar mistakes that made the launch of the Kinect camera so problematic. Meanwhile, people can still get the current developer edition for $3500.

Read more at theverge.com.

How can I open XLS files?

Enable Trusted Documents

Episode 1365

Stan from Irvine, CA

Stan is having problems opening XLS files due to an error message from the "Trust Center." It'll open the file, but he can't write back to it or save it to his hard drive. Leo says that is Microsoft's security center for excel spreadsheets because it's possible for bad actors to embed commands into an Excel file. There is a workaround for this. Stan can enable all content in the Excel Trust Center settings. But that can be risky if he's unsure of the content in the file he's opening. If he's sure about it, then he'll be OK.