back to article Band banned, Tarka arrives on Windows 10 and Visual Studio hits RC status

Windows 10 19H1 has joined 20H1 in being Otterly (Ouch – Ed) fabulous while the Microsoft Health Dashboard puts a brave face on things in this week's roundup of the Redmond news you might have missed. Band on the run refund While the unveiling of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 at last week's MWC shindig delighted many, the firm also …

  1. Ryan 7

    Band 2

    I already got my full £200 refund when they discontinued them. By then I was on my fourth replacement because the straps had a fatal flaw — right where the battery wires ran through. Anyone who needed another replacement from then was given a refund instead.

    It's a shame since I absolutely loved that device. What I wouldn't do for a fully functional replacement with no strap flaw... :'(

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Band 2

      My Band 1 had a similar issue - apparently something in suntan lotion rotted the plastics and it fell apart....

      My biggest gripe (apart from the above!) was that it wasn't waterproof (or showerproof IIRC)

    2. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Band 2

      I had 5 bands over a 3 year period. Full refunds on all of them when they stopped charging or the band split.

      It is a shame - version 1 was was uncomfortable, but the 2nd fixed most of the problems except for longevity.

      Sad to think that the original version was supposed to just encourage other manufacturers to design their own variants. Sadly, all the manufacturers went Android instead.

  2. WonkoTheSane

    Avoiding "Green Screen of Death" is simples

    1: Install your favourite Linux distro

    2: Add WINE front ends Proton & Lutris

    3: Play your games on Linux instead.

    1. Jim Mitchell

      Re: Avoiding "Green Screen of Death" is simples

      Microsoft seems to avoid saying that the GSOD are probably actually due to the "anti-cheat" code doing things that resemble malware, and that the tighter security in the update leads to the crashes. aka, this is a good thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avoiding "Green Screen of Death" is simples

      @Wonko - Yeah, coz Anti-Cheat code is only written badly on Windows10.

      I am sure the really badly written hacky anti-cheat code is written much better for Linux users, oh wait, you mentioned WINE frontends, those will also suffer at the hands of this poorly written malware masquerading as software.

      But you know, despite this problem being nothing to do with MS, and 100% due to scummy games publishers and their malware code, you still have to attack MS.

      Is being so pathetic a requirement to be penguin?

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    What does Microsoft actually DO these days?

    We've had years of them introducing new products and then dropping them - sure, you may think that you own a nice Surface laptop today but it will be gone in a few years, replaced by the next "new" thing. Windows 10 is hanging in there but it's still not reliable (except at slurping your data) and it's widely hated - most users would upgrade to Windows 7 if they had a chance, Visual Studio get an "upgrade" every 18 months but all it does is shuffle the deck, add a few cards and leave a few in the trash can.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: What does Microsoft actually DO these days?

      you may think that you own a nice Surface laptop today but it will be gone in a few years, replaced by the next "new" thing.

      MS have a history of bricking old Surfaces using Windows Update, you know, a bit like Apple with their code to slow down old devices/deplete the battery in no time.

      if (device.version < current.version - 2 )




      else if (device.version == current.version - 1 )






      //noop; already has the latest shiny


      MS is worse, they actually corrupt firmware when your surface is considered "too old" ... thinking: since YOU were dumb enough to buy MS hardware once, chances are high you will buy again, and the new model just got an all new price tag, up there in Apple fantasy land.

      * Went to an Apple store yesterday, saw the price tag of a barely usable mac book pro, with a dual core i7 (ok, I call that an i3) and a price tag which exceeds the dumb level by at least $1500, as in, even if they knocked off $1500, the thing would be priced at the max limit an idiot would be willing to pay for it. I don't know who buys them, but their customers must be totally mad. Yes, I know, macOS, but still ... the OS is not worth $1000, come on! The base model came with a 128Gb SSD, it is 2019, and a computer manufacturer dares to list a 128Gb SSD model computer with an i3 CPU and 8Gb non-replaceable RAM above $350? Non-replaceable is already a brains filter.

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: What does Microsoft actually DO these days?

      Slurp data

      Pull the plug on stuff

      Disappoint end users

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What does Microsoft actually DO these days?

        So, basically proudly screwing over customers for 30+ years then.

        It amuses me greatly that every. single. time. they try and copy any other successful business they fall flat on their face. They are literally unable to venture away from server and desktop software without making a mess of it, and, in my opinion, their software isn't that brilliant either. The amount of resources required to keep their server software running gives you a lot more bang for the buck if used for other platforms, and their office software has been a break on productivity since they came up with this ribbon idea.

        Add to that their renewed enthusiasm for stealing personal data via Windows 10 and their collaboration in making the Cloud Act 2018 happen, and I really wonder if it isn't time to re-evaluate their use in business. I wish someone made a viable, open standards compliant clone of Outlook - to me, that is their single greatest hold on the desktop now. The rest is pretty much replaceable.

    3. J J Carter Silver badge

      Re: What does Microsoft actually DO these days?

      Just odds and ends that bring in $100B of revenue per annum

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: What does Microsoft actually DO these days?

        Fools and money ...

  4. Mage Silver badge

    although the Emoji 12.0 character set

    Oh wow!

    What about themes that are more than colour ways?

    What about fixing Explorer, inconsistent locations to change stuff, apps & programs in one classic start menu (hint, users only care what they do, not the build tech), make flat and monochrome only options. Make stupid vanishing scroll bars be options. Stupid buttons that look like text look clearly like buttons or something. Make the stupid "back" instead of overlaping modal windows be an option. In short fix bugs and ditch all the GUI "innovation" over the last 15 years.

    Oh and not only do you not have a wearable platform you have no small form factor/phone platform. Make the default be for laptops & desktops. That's your market. Do a Tablet edition for um, surface, (but not like XP tablet edition) stop destroying a desktop OS. A windows tablet is a niche and almost all business applications need keyboard & mouse and horrid with touch. You know if you DON'T properly support such applications, and the older ones, people might as well use Linux or Mac OS for laptops and iOS or Android for touch or tablet applications?

    This release is more proof MS has lost the plot. Lost sight of what their market is. Also don't sacrifice Desktop to the Cloud. It should be an arms-length separate division with ZERO MS Windows integration. Because the point of the cloud is just to use the browser or an app, on ANY OS.

    1. jonathan keith

      Re: although the Emoji 12.0 character set

      In Settings > Ease Of Access > Display (obviously) there's a option called "Automatically hide scroll bars in Windows" which is - of course - on by default. Switch it off and presto! no more disappearing scroll bars.

      (I'm wilfully ignoring everything else for the sake of my blood pressure.)

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: although the Emoji 12.0 character set


        I'm sure I looked there once before and didn't see that. Though I've seen settings change after an upgrade. Copying Android?

        Oh and how hard is for people to download character sets / fonts?

  5. Dave 15

    Band or desktop windows is getting unusable

    Too slow, too processor hungry, unresponsive even when it is working and blue screen of death far too frequently. Frankly a crock and getting worse with every downgrade imposed by Microsoft.

    1. Robert Heffernan

      Re: Band or desktop windows is getting unusable

      Either you have old hardware that is having intermittent electrical faults, or you're running some REALLY dodgy software.

      I have Windows 10 that I keep patched, I keep my software updated, My drivers are up-to-date, and I know my hardware doesn't have any faults. As such, I have literally not seen a BSOD in about 2 years.

      My streak lasted until about 3 weeks ago when my older mechanical hard disk blew its spindle bearing and died, which Windows was not a fan of so much. Replaced the disk, has run 24/7 since without an issue.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Band or desktop windows is getting unusable

        Either you have old hardware that is having intermittent electrical faults, or you're running some REALLY dodgy software.

        BS, EliteBook 850, Windows 10 1809, fully patched, latest drivers from HP and, every now and then when I wake it from sleep, it complains about the wifi driver ->BSOD ... IT have replaced countless EliteBooks with the same problem.

        Absolutely zarro problems on GNU/Linux.

        Unless that is old hardware for you, I dunno ...

  6. lukewarmdog

    So no "band on the run" then?...

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Yes. Listen to what the man said. If you have one you should be Letting Go.

      With A Little Luck, they’ll do the same to Windows 10.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge

      No, but fool on the hill.

  7. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    " will take a bow at the 2 April launch."

    so they cant even get aprils fools day right

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