Microsoft Warns Windows 10 Has An Expensive Problem

Windows 10’s problems are growing. Despite the introduction of new monthly charges, the number of high-profile incidents with recent updates (including one that deletes users’ personal data) is off the charts. And now Microsoft MSFT +0.86% has warned there is another serious problem…

Update: November 10th – Microsoft has now officially confirmed the issue to me and stated it hopes to start rolling out a fix over the next 24 hours. 

Spotted by The Register, Microsoft’s activation servers have started accidentally downgrading expensive Windows 10 Pro systems into cheaper Windows 10 Home PCs, then invalidating their licences. Needless to say, that’s a nasty financial hit (Home is $119, Pro is $199), and affected users are furious.

“After updating to Insider Build 18277 my Windows 10 digital license became invalid. I don’t understand! … No hardware changes, nothing has changed. I don’t know what to do,” tweeted one affected user.

“One of our three-year-old Lenovo Yogas just decided to throw 0xC004C003 Windows activation error. Windows diagnostic tool says the machine has Windows 10 Home license … Dumbasses” tweeted another.

And it’s not just upgraders being affected. Problems with automated Windows 10 Home downgrades are being reported with fresh installs on different Windows Pro versions as well.

[“source=forbes”]

Microsoft Wants To Show You Ads In The Windows 10 Mail App

I may not be the world’s most passionate Windows 10 fan, but Microsoft’s built-in Mail app is actually quite decent. Unfortunately, Microsoft is planning to tarnish that reputation by introducing personalized ads into the operating system’s default email client, regardless of what email service you’ve plugged into it — including work accounts via Exchange Server and Exchange Online.

In a support page spotted by Thurrott.com, Microsoft justifies this with the following statement:

“Consistent with consumer email apps and services like Outlook.com, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail, advertising allows us to provide, support, and improve some of our products. We’re always experimenting with new features and experiences.”

When I read this borderline preposterous statement, I felt my jaw slip to the floor. It’s a flawed justification at best. See, Google’s Gmail is a free service. The browser we use to navigate to Gmail is free. Windows 10 Home now costs $139. Whether the cost is bundled into the PC you purchase or you buy a license key directly, you are still paying for it.

Adding insult to injury, Microsoft will remove the ads if you subscribe to Office 365.

The support page does explain that you can opt-out of personalized ads by turning off your Windows advertising ID, but not ads altogether. They’ll appear in both Focused Inbox mode (via the “Other” view) or the top of your inbox in the app’s standard view.

[“source=forbes”]

Microsoft Broke Windows 10 Again, Despite Warnings From Windows Insiders

Well folks, I’m running out of ways to cleverly introduce the fact that your current build of Windows 10 may have another nasty bug. While it’s not as severe as having your documents wiped out of existence, it can still be classified as very irritating for users. That’s because the bug in question breaks file associations, preventing certain file types from opening with the default programs you choose. For example, not being able to associate Adobe Photoshop with image files, Notepad++ with text files or VLC with .mp4 files.

[Related Windows 10 News: Win 10 Pro Licenses Are Being Downgraded To Win 10 Home]

This was brought to my attention courtesy of Chris Hoffman at How-To Geek, but after a bit of research it seems this issue has been lurking for quite some time. Check this out:

“This is a known bug and has almost certainly been reported in the Feedback Hub, so Microsoft should be aware and working on a fix. The next regular monthly cumulative update is expected on Tuesday 12 June, so I’d expect the fix then.” ~via TenForums, May 2018.

That forum post was from May 2018, and like other serious unzapped bugs, it has been reported in the Feedback Hub multiple times according to Bleeping Computer. But here we are in November, and the issue persists. In fact, it’s been around in various forms since 2015. Yes, 2015.

[“source=forbes”]

Windows 10 Pro Licenses Are Being Downgraded To Windows 10 Home

If you have a valid Windows 10 Pro license, you may be waking up to a puzzling notification asking you to activate your copy of Windows 10. That’s because there’s a strong chance it may have been accidentally downgraded to Windows 10 Home.

The report comes courtesy of WindowsLatest, and it’s a fairly fresh bug currently seeing a lot of activity on Reddit.

“All of a sudden after years of having this key which was from windows 8 pro then migrated to windows 10 for free, I got a notification saying my key is Windows 10 home version and that I need to install it.”

At time of publication, the Reddit post was published 7 hours ago and has 86 comments, comprised mostly of users echoing the complaint.

“Also got this de-activation of Pro tonight. I’ve always run Pro since the early insider days, this digital license copy of Pro (non-insider) has been activated for ages. Tonight, poof.”


“I am having the same problem. It’s even gone as far as my digital entitlement is gone from my Microsoft account and I have a Windows 10 home key now. Windows is deactivated because I went from Windows 10 Pro to home and it doesn’t match anymore.”


“This just happened to me. 100% legit pro key that was upgraded when windows 10 released. My second PC with windows 10 home is unaffected. A reboot got rid of the water mark on the desktop but system info still says windows is not activated.”


“Same issue on Dell computers running Windows 10 Pro 1803 that we just bought. Need to deploy to clients but they wont activate. Office activated fine but Windows nope.”

The deactivation and downgrade issue seems to be occurring in several countries including the US, UK, Japan and Korea. There are dozens more of these comments rolling in across social media and forums, but the common thread seems to be that these users had prior Windows 7 or Windows 8 Professional keys before upgrading to Windows 10.

[“source=forbes”]

Webflow Integrates Code-Free E-Commerce Tools Into Its Web Design Suite

E-commerce product page at WebflowWebflow

If you have purchased anything from an online store lately that wasn’t Amazon or Walmart or any other major retailer (except some major retailers), chances are you were using a Shopify e-commerce store. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a boring thing. Shopify is a billion dollar company that pumps out e-commerce sites like a dump truck full of animal carcasses drenched in motor oil driving over thousands of tubes of toothpaste. Sure, you can brush your teeth, but do you want to? Webflow, an all-in-one visual web development platform, could be about to disrupt the e-commerce landscape.

The disruption is Webflow mixing its simple, yet powerful, web development suite with creating e-commerce sites at not only an affordable cost (its business plan is $30 a month) but also with complete autonomous customization. With Webflow you can already build interactive and responsive websites without coding a single line. Webflow has built-in complex interactions and animations and a simple-to-use, fully integrated CMS. It’s like if WordPress and Photoshop had a baby, and loved that baby and nurtured the hell out of it and it grew up and both parents are very proud.

[“source=forbes”]

Five Web Design Trends To Kick Off 2018

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A website is still the crown jewel of a company’s online marketing initiative. How many times a day do you say, “Just check our website” or “We want to drive people to the website.” It’s natural because that’s the place where your story is. Your past, your future. Your products, your e-commerce. Plus, your website is always open and represents you when you can’t be physically present yourself.

But is your website doing what you had hoped it would? Is it tired? Is it functional? Is it converting visitors? Maybe it just needs a refresh for the new year. I’ve identified five web design trends to kick off 2018 to make sure your site says you’re more than ready for business.

Animation 

For 2018, animation is very much in. Animation brings a brand’s story to life quickly and is especially effective when drawing visitors to the home page. It can communicate complex messages easily and in ways that viewers can grasp right away. Animation can also help portray a brand as digital savvy because it shares its story in a dynamic way.

Specific animation tactics that will show up in 2018 are animated logos and GIFs. Animating a logo helps a brand bring even more life to its persona and can be powerful and engaging when executed properly. The proliferation of design tools with simplified interfaces opens up the execution of animation to greater audiences and more companies.

Typography

While some brands will ramp up their animation, others will make typography their tool for garnering attention and pulling visitors in. Typography has always been present on websites, but we’re talking about fonts with more personality that take more visual presence on a page. Typography will also be ramped up in size, taking on the role of other graphics and visuals, essentially becoming a visual entity on its own. Some brands are already experimenting with typography and using only one font throughout the whole site. This varies from former style guidelines, which encouraged at least two or three different fonts, but some like the minimalism and simplicity that using only one font portrays.

Bold Colors

2018 will be the year of disruption. Using bold, contrasting colors will symbolize what’s going on. The trend for putting together two or more colors that don’t seem compatible will strengthen as the year extends. New design tools like Khroma are helping designers experiment and take risks they might have shied away from in the past. They’re sharing bold representations for brands and showing the world that colors have incredible emotional impact and are vital in telling a brand story and capturing its persona.

Asymmetrical Layouts

For years, websites were designed on grids to create visually balanced and pleasing layouts. But disruption is the name of the game in 2018 and pages will now be designed to be asymmetrical with all the rules for grids tossed aside. How well this trend is embraced will depend on the brand and the persona it is trying to convey. Financial institutions may be more hesitant to look jumbled and off-center while some retail brands could wear it beautifully.

Mobile Elegance

Web designers have been working on mobile-friendly designs for a few years but 2018 will see even more focus on mobile. Mobile browsing surpassed desktop in 2017, which means that brands will start to prioritize mobile in their design and usability efforts. Given that new focus, designers will be able to design more fluid and intuitive experiences, leading to more sophisticated and elegant solutions. And because simple intuitive experiences convert better, more brands will opt for this movement toward improved mobile design. Designers will continue to evolve their work to incorporate great user experiences while maintaining brand integrity.

Just when we think there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to website design, we’re greeted by new ways of looking at this valuable tool in the online marketing toolbox. Websites are workhorses, but they’re working smarter. It will be interesting to see how these web trends extend in 2018. I anticipate a nice blend of graphics and usability in these trends. Disruption and innovation just for the sake of being different have no place in the world of online marketing, but when it’s working toward brand goals to move the needle on sales, I’m all for it.

The Four Web Design Trends Businesses Should Actually Care About

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In business, first impressions matter, and I’m not talking about your elevator pitch.

It only takes a person 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) to form an opinion about your website. For some, this first impression of your website is the only impression they’ll ever form about your business.

So, how do you make a good first impression — and make it last? Understand and, more importantly, employ the web design trends that are shown to impress potential customers and make your business stand out.

“But do web visitors even care about web design?” Yes, they do. In fact, 75% of the people who visit your website will rate your credibility based on web design. Staying on top of web design trends is important — albeit it’s easier said than done, especially when you’re running a business.

That’s why I’ve narrowed the web design trends of 2018, as projected by Webflow’s team of design experts, to the four that will make visitors fall in love with your business … at first site. Because first impressions matter, and we’re all too busy.

10 Marketing, Web Design & Branding Statistics To Help You Prioritize Business Growth Initiatives

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In the digital age, business growth tactics are constantly evolving. But when algorithms, platforms and effective initiatives change rapidly, how can you know what to focus on in order to formulate a successful strategy?

It turns out, the answer is in the numbers.

One of the best benefits of a shift towards digital everything is that consumer behavior is easily trackable.

For example, brands can’t specifically analyze exactly how many consumers purchased a product because of a specific billboard advertisement. However, they can track exactly how many people clicked on a retargeting ad, where they came from, how long they stayed on the site, and the content they engaged with.

What’s better, the business world is always analyzing online behavior and determining how those actions can affect business growth down the road.

I rounded up some of the most telling statistics in marketing, website design and branding – plus the takeaways we can learn from them – to help you grow your business online quickly and efficiently.

Plus, DesignRush ranks the best global and local agencies in digital marketing, web design and beyond. Explore their comprehensive Agency Listing section to find the top professional partners to bring your business growth initiatives to fruition.

New Folding Galaxy Smartphone’s Details Confirmed By Samsung

Following the sneak peak of the presumptively named Samsung Galaxy F at its recent developer’s conference in San Francisco, the South Korean company is gearing up for a worldwide release of the folding smartphone in March 2019.

DJ Koh, president of mobile communications at Samsung Electronics Co., speaks at the Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

Samsung Mobile’s CEO DJ Koh has indicated that there will be a production run of one million units of the innovative design, and rather than being restricted to South Korea, this will be a worldwide release to test the market’s appetite for a new form factor.

Although this March release looks to clash with the flagship Galaxy S10’s launch (which many expect to see in February 2019, slightly faster than 2018’s schedule), the Galaxy F is expected to command a substantial premium with a sticker price of $1700 not beyond the realm of possibility. That’s ridiculously expensive for a regular smartphone (even if you can pick up some variants of the iPhone XS Max in the $1500 range), but the Galaxy F is not going to be a regular smartphone.

It’s a strange mix of a technology demonstrator, bleeding edge features, and a statement of intent.

Will it damage sales of the Galaxy S10? Probably the opposite. The Galaxy F will showcases Samsung’s extreme technology for early adopters, while the Galaxy S10 will be packed with new features for everyday life. If the Galaxy F does take off, then the production lines will crank up as the folding phone becomes the hit of the summer. If it doesn’t, then the focus remains on the Galaxy S10 family.

It looks like an each-way win for Samsung as it be able to show off new technology in both the S10 and the F during the first half of 2019.

Now read how Samsung is boosting sales of the Galaxy Note 9…

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on and communication will have on the public conscious and existing businesses.

[“source=forbes”]

New Galaxy Images Reveal Samsung’s Radical Folding Feature

Even with a glance at a bright screen in a dark room, Samsung’s folding smartphone – the presumptively named Galaxy F – has caught the attention of the smartphone ecosystem. As well as the tantalising shots from the stage, enough details and descriptions of the technology are around to put together the look of the tablet/smartphone hybrid.

Samsung Galaxy F 3rd Party Render (Lets Go Digital)

With all this information, the team at Lets Go Digital has put together a digital render of what they believe the Galaxy F will look like:

Samsung has already revealed that the foldable smartphone will have two screens, which are significantly thinner than before. At the front, the phone has a 4.6-inch display with a resolution of 840 × 1960 pixels. If you open the phone, a 7.3-inch flexible AMOLED display with QXGA + resolution (1536 × 2152 pixels) unfolds.

Unfolded, the phone gets a real tablet function thanks to its large flexible screen. Three active apps can be run next to each other without any problems. The cover window, which is placed above the display, will not be made of glass, but of transparent plastic.

There are still questions around the exact construction of the hinge that Samsung will end up using. The renders above are based on an existing Samsung patent for a hinged screen.

Samsung is expected to release around one million Galaxy F handsets in March 2019.