back to article Sudden Windows 10 licence downgrades to forced Xcode upgrades: The week at Microsoft

Aside from the hoo-ha around Windows 10 licences suddenly being downgraded amid an Insider build update, last week brought Row-Level Security to Azure warehouses, Alexa's tanks rolled onto Cortana's lawn and Microsoft prepared to drop support for old versions of Xcode. Row-Level Security in Azure SQL Data Warehouse DBAs might …

  1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory


    Seriously, does the world need yet another WhatsApp contender? Does Microsoft? I mean, they already have Skype, Skype for Business, Yammer and Teams - surely one of these apps would be a better fit as a WhatsApp-For-Business, surely?

    You have to question who's making the decisions here, because in a sane and sensible company Kaizala would have been made into a USP for one of the existing platforms rather than competing for users against them and ensuring neither one of them gets any traction.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Kaizala?

      They saw Google did something similar (Duo) and had to copy them. That's about as far as the creative process and market research went.

      And Google had to copy WhatsApp for the same reasons.

    2. Stuart Castle

      Re: Kaizala?

      It sounds like Kaizala does exactly what teams does, just with the ability to do it in groups of up to one million.

      I doubt anyone will need to communicate with one million people.

      I work for a company where we are required to use Skype and Yammer. Skype is handy for video conferencing, but beyond that, I don't have any company owned portable devices, so only have it on my company owned desktop. As such, for day to day use, it doesn't do anything that my desk phone can't do. We even switched to IP based switchboard a few years ago, so I doubt Skype would even save them money. If my company want me to use Skype on portable devices, they can buy those portable devices for me.

      I think this system is going to be loved by Management and employees will be forced to use it, but I think for employees, it's going to go the same way that Yammer and Teams seem to have in most companies, and become yet *another* system they have to remember to check for messages on.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Kaizala? @Stuart Castle

        I think you've probably hit on the real target audience for Microsoft and Google's annual new chat platform: middle-managers in HR departments, trying to be seen to be doing something.

        They're not all independently missteps — my current employer is presently extricating itself from Facebook Workplace, which can only be a good thing — but the churn is tiresome.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Kaizala? @Stuart Castle

          Facebook Workplace

          Had to read that a second time to be sure of what I was seeing. I've never heard of it, but those two words don't really seem to belong together, surely nobody can ever have thought that was a good idea?

  2. Dwarf Silver badge


    Just because its a dumb idea doesn't mean that MS won't push it and push it and push it.

    The only difference between nature and MS is that nature learns by its mistakes.

    1. shawnfromnh

      MS like all of silicon valley doubles down on their mistakes and call it a feature.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Since when was Redmond in Sillycon Valley?

        There was I thinking it was two states to the north in one named after POTUS No 1?

        I must have been dreaming when I drove past it a couple of years back...

        Still, you learn things every day here don't you /s

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        When there is a lot of money available, a company can just try a lot of different stuff and hope a couple of them catch on.

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Just because its a dumb idea doesn't mean that MS won't push it and push it and push it.

      ... and just as it starts to gain a little acceptance they'll drop it like a hot potato and replace it with something even less useful.

      At least, that's what their past form suggests.

  3. jelabarre59 Silver badge


    Yeah, just what I want, yet *another* nosy snooping app on my system. I have no need for Siri, Alexa, Cortana, OKGoogle, or whatever else. Searching is what Keyboards were invented for (well, not exactly *invented* for it, but certainly what is the proper way to initiate search).

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Searching is what Everything does better than anything else.

      Uninstall Windows Search, install Everything and find out what Microsoft has never, ever understood.

      1. John Young 1

        I couldn't live without Everything nowadays, sooo much easier to locate documents and other long-ago used items that I don't quite recall the full filename to. And, it's quick :D

  4. Howard Hanek Bronze badge


    To show my solidarity with Microsoft this week I'm using only lowercase letters not having a proper license to use capitals.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Solidarity

      you used four capital letters though. expect to be billed for those shortly. not counting the four in the icon hover text, el reg gets billed for those.

      1. Howard Hanek Bronze badge

        Re: Solidarity

        Right after I posted this Microsoft granted me a Capital letter license in appreciation.......It expires in one week and the renewal fee is $1500 annually......

    2. theunregistered

      Re: Solidarity


      1. PeteA

        Re: Solidarity

        Most Valued Capitali[sz]er...

  5. John 104


    The rush for consumers to PAY to be data mined is truly alarming. Alexa, Cortana, Google Home, whatever the new facebook one is, Siri. Are consumers really this blind to what is going on? Are the "Shiny neatness cool gadget" thrills that appealing or necessary that consumers are so willing to completely throw away any last semblance of privacy?

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: Insanity


    2. shawnfromnh

      Re: Insanity

      That's why I love Antergos so much and the updates take a couple of minutes vs 20 minutes+ for a small MS update. I do not miss windows in the least or viruses or long bootup times since mine now is like 10 seconds.

      1. theunregistered

        Re: Insanity

        win 10 on toshiba r930, 8 second boot, 7 seconds shut down...ssd of course

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: Insanity

          7 seconds ? Yeah, had that also, then after a few spring/fall interations, back to about 45 seconds ... yes, even with an SSD. I am talking "cold to desktop", time includes bootup to wallpaper (25-35 seconds), me clicking and waiting for windows to display the password field (there is only one user on here) this second tat alone takes longer than it takes Linux to boot, then once I have entered my password, I need to wait anywhere between 10 and 20 seconds for the "start menu" to be openable - showing an unusable desktop does not count as logging on ... I hit the magic key on the keyboard as soon as I see the "start menu button" and wait for the start menu to pop up - that is when I call Windows actually doing something and even then, windows is still busy doing shit Bohr knows what and the computer is barely usable.

          I do have SQL Database, PostgreSQL, and Office installed (doubt Firefox and Chrome affect boot time). HP Elitebook 850, i5, 16Gb RAM, Dual SSD.

          Linux, on the other hand, been through several updates as well, 3 seconds cold to desktop (WITHOUT systemD!), I type my password fast ... but that holds for both.

          I do have db2, PostreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle database and LibreOffice installed on Linux ;-).

        2. PeteA

          Re: Insanity

          You mean suspend/resume, I think

        3. RancidOrange

          Re: Insanity

          Shutdown no longer does a shutdown by default:

  6. onefang Silver badge

    'Admittedly, the level of Windows 10 integration is far deeper for Cortana. However, for PCs with "compatible hands-free" access, Alexa can be woken with a keyword and will then behave just as if your PC had turned into, er, an Echo.'

    Easily fixed. Teach Cortana to recognise the voice of Alexa, then order Alexa to boss Cortana around.

  7. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    truth in advertising

    "Amazon does, however, say that functions aimed at PC users will added in 2019"

    Personally I would prefer to have functions for PC users, but in the great IT wars, the opposing sides are not the various brands against each other but rather all the brands together versus the consumer.

  8. theunregistered

    My win 10 pro downgraded last week and become non genuine. originally i had home installed and upgraded via a popular online site for "E" licences, cheap, cheerful and ok, till last week. contacting the seller got no results as did nothing else. It;s a complete re install as win 10 will not self downgrade as we all know. A workaround by chance appeared. I simply re signed into my microsoft account on said device and re checked for updates and voila activated once again, now i have signed out again. I never keep a machine signed into msoft, no matter how much i am promised. Thank the lord for smaller than small mercies as i had scraped all my data from said computer and was about to re install via flash drive a home edition...which probably would have just over installed pro once again after the pre install sign in process i suppose.

  9. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Cool that Amazon and Microsoft support LGBT

    We now know Cortana and Alexa are gay, how sweet!

    Can you have them chat ?

    1. Colonel Mad

      Re: Cool that Amazon and Microsoft support LGBT

      Try asking them " Hey Girls, whats cooking" and see where you get.

    2. el_oscuro

      Re: Cool that Amazon and Microsoft support LGBT

      Maybe train each to respond to the other, then insert ${NSFW} terms into the conversation, break out popcorn.

  10. jamm13dodger

    "available to all Windows 10 users this week"

    not if you manage the windows 10 store within your organisation.

  11. arctic_haze Silver badge


    Now two corporations will get all my data at once!

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