Windows by the numbers:

;widows: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;text-decoration-style: initial;text-decoration-color: initial;word-spacing:0px’>According to metrics vendor Net Applications, Windows 7’s user share in October was 46.6%, a decline of six-tenths of a percentage point. More notable during these times of migration, the operating system ran 51.4% of all Windows machines during the same stretch, a month-to-month drop of seventh-tenths of a point. (The second percentage is larger because Windows was detected on 90.8% of the world’s PCs, not 100%; the remainder ran macOS or a Linux flavor.)

October’s decline was only half that of September, but was still the third largest of 2017.

The continued weakening of Windows 7’s user share – five months of declines and counting – is a promising sign, as the operating systems faces a deadline: Microsoft has set Windows 7’s retirement for Jan. 14, 2020, now little more than 26 months away. The faster Windows 7 relinquishes its user share, the less the chance that businesses will find themselves running unpatched, and thus, vulnerable, machines. No one wants a repeat of the panicky last few months of Windows XP’s lifespan, when companies blew through IT budgets scrambling to purge the obsolete OS.

Yet Windows 7 remains behind the pace set by XP . With 26 months to go before its April 2014 retirement, XP accounted for 49.4% of all Windows PCs, or two points lower than Windows 7’s share in October. Things could be worse: In August, Windows 7 was three points behind XP’s tempo. But the lack of progress in matching XP’s slide toward irrelevance must be disheartening to Microsoft, which continues to sing Windows 10’s praises, and even assert that Windows 7 is not only old and tired, but simply not up to the tasks required of it.

Meanwhile, Windows 10 did see a bump in user share last month of two-tenths of a point, ending October at 29.3%. When only Windows systems are counted, its share of that pool was 32.8%, within shouting distance of the one-in-three milestone. Computerworld calculated that, with the 12-month trend in Net Applications’ data, Windows 10 should pass the 33.3% line during December.

But comparisons of today versus the past again went poorly for Microsoft when putting Windows 10 head-to-head against Windows 7. At the same post-launch point in Windows 7’s lifetime, that version had captured a 36.4% share of all PCs and a remarkable 39.5% of the devices running Windows. In other words, Windows 10 has lagged behind the adoption clip set by Windows 7.

Of the other Windows flavors tracked by Net Applications, Windows XP stood at 7.1% of Windows PCs (up slightly), Windows Vista at an almost-invisible 0.5% (stable) and the Windows 8/8.1 flop combination at 7% (down significantly).

Net Applications estimates share by detecting the agent strings of the browsers used to visit websites, then counting up the various operating systems listed in those strings. It then weights the results by the size of each country’s online population to account for regions where it lacks large numbers of analytics customers.

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3199373/windows-pcs/windows-by-the-numbers-windows-7-wont-shrink-fast-enough.html

Temporarily turn off Windows Automatic Update

Temporarily turn off Windows Automatic Update

With a crop of non-security Office updates due today, a big dose of security patches expected in a week, and a known bug in the KB 4041686 Win7 Preview, now’s a good time to make sure you have Automatic Update set so it won’t deal you a nasty surprise.

 

Last month we had no end of problems with Microsoft’s Windows and Office patches. If your machine was attached to a corporate Windows Update server and your admin approved Windows patches for immediate distribution, your PC may have joined a sea of blue screens. There were lots and lots of additional gotchas.

This month, we already know that KB 4041686, the 2017-10 Win7 Preview of a Monthly Rollup, has a retrograde bug in it that clobbers SFC scans. It’s not at all clear if Microsoft is going to fix that bug before the Preview becomes the for-real Monthly Rollup.

We also know that last Thursday’s attempt to fix a bug introduced in the October security patches failed miserably, with Microsoft surreptitiously pulling KB 4052233, 4052234 and 4052235 and erasing them from the KB list, the catalog, and even the update histories. Heaven only knows if the next iteration of that abomination will succumb to a similar fate.

Later today, we should see a dozen or more non-security patches for Office. You don’t need any of them right away. A week from now, the security fixes should roll out. As I’ve argued many times before, it just makes sense to hold off installing Windows and Office updates until the major first-round bugs get shaken out. Let the unpaid beta testers sacrifice their machines first.

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3236385/microsoft-windows/temporarily-turn-off-windows-automatic-update.html

FNB to give millions in data gigabytes free over festive season

Johannesburg – Financial services provider FNB will be giving away up to 160GB of data per customer free over the festive season.

The bank’s virtual mobile network, FNB Connect, will "give away millions of gigabytes of data to reward customers who use the bank’s integrated digital and telco ecosystem".

The incentive will run from November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018.

Dr Christoph Nieuwoudt, CEO of FNB Consumer said: “The festive season offer is a first of its kind in South Africa as no other bank or telco can provide such a customer centric incentive through an integrated digital experience.

"There’s no doubt that FNB customers get maximum value when using FNB Connect, which is incorporated in the bank’s ecosystem.”

READ: FNB launches two new branded smartphones

The incentive is part of what FNB says is its ongoing focus on customer centricity.

The data rewards are focused on encouraging FNB customers to utilise digital channels and the right banking products.

FNB said that a monthly reward of 1GB will be given to any customer that makes a financial transaction on the FNB App. 

Large data rewards would be given for taking up any of the newly launched FNB ConeXis smartphone deals or taking up qualifying FNB banking products.

Each FNB customer can get up to 160GB of data. 

FNB Connect, which runs atop Cell C’s network as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), recently bolstered its smartphone line-up with the launch of two new devices in its own stable – the ConeXis X2 and A2.

 

Vodacom to trial SA’s first 5G service with Nokia

Johannesburg – Vodacom [JSE:VOD] agreed to a partnership with Nokia Oyj that will see the mobile-network operator trial the country’s first high-speed 5G internet service.

The two companies will work together to see how the mobile broadband can be best used in the economy, where the government has delayed a proposed auction of new spectrum. They will also examine how 5G can be used to boost industries that are important to the economy, including manufacturing, mining, and health care.

"Africa is in the middle of a mobile connectivity boom, and as such, 5G will help us to deliver faster internet speeds to our almost 70 million customers," Vodacom chief technology officer Andries Delport said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mobile-phone companies including Johannesburg-based Vodacom are investing in improving networks and data services to offset a declining market for voice calls. They have been frustrated by the government and main telecommunications regulator, which last year disagreed on how to best roll out new spectrum.

Vodacom had 39.4 million customers in South Africa at the end of June, leading MTN’s[JSE:MTN] 30.9 million by end September.

Nokia and main rivals Huawei and Ericsson are currently testing 5G equipment in dozens of locations worldwide, with a view to start large-scale commercial deployments in 2020.

The service is fast enough to download a feature film in less than a second, and the network operators have shown how it can be used to drive autonomous cars and stream patient X-rays to emergency rooms as ambulances race toward hospitals.

Vodacom shares declined 0.8% to R151.16 as of 14:10 p.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R260bn.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa held a two-day meeting in Johannesburg last week to discuss 5G with representatives of industry, government, education and research institutions.

Nokia Oyj: https://www.bloomberg.com/profiles/companies/NOKIA:FH-nokia-oyj

Source: https://www.fin24.com/Tech/Companies/vodacom-to-trial-sas-first-5g-service-with-nokia-20171107

5 apps you can use when WhatsApp goes down

;widows: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;text-decoration-style: initial;text-decoration-color: initial;word-spacing:0px’>Like WhatsApp, you can create a group chat and make voice and video calls using data – which makes it an excellent alternative.

 

BBM
  
Remember the good old days of Blackberry Messenger (BBM)? Well you can still go back – even if you don’t have a Blackberry.

BBM can be downloaded via the iTunes Store and Google Play, so it’ll work on iOS and Android phones.  These days, the app can even make voice and video calls, so you won’t be missing out on anything.

 

WeChat


Although WhatsApp is the number one messaging app in SA according to Business Tech, WeChat has millions more users worldwide than WhatsApp does.

The Chinese messaging app has over 650 million users around the world, according to Tech in Asia– and it’s not hard to understand why.

You can create group voice and video calls, and even make outgoing calls to mobile numbers and landlines anywhere in the world.

Twitter
Although Twitter’s messaging function isn’t as advanced as all the others mentioned above, it has all the basics – plus, since it’s built into the Twitter app, all the people you want to chat to probably already have it installed.

You can DM (Direct Message) your friends without the 140 character cap and share pictures and videos, while keeping up to date with what’s trending in the country.

 

Instagram

According to Web Africa, in 2016 Instagram had close to 3 million users in SA – which means that if you’re reading this, there is a good chance that you use the photo-sharing app.

Like WhatsApp, Instagram has a private messaging function. Another pro: you can use all the Stories features and filters in images you send via DM. #Blessed!

Sources: MetroWeb AfricaTech in AsiaBusiness TechGoogle play store