All posts by Ed Tittel

Full-time freelance writer, researcher and occasional expert witness, I specialize in Windows operating systems, information security, markup languages, and Web development tools and environments. I blog for numerous Websites, still write (or revise) the occasional book, and write lots of articles, white papers, tech briefs, and so forth.

Windows 10 Copilot Limitations

Dang! I’d have to call my desktop experience “a swing and a miss.” I jumped on the KB5023378 Preview update, expecting to get Copilot out of that amendment. Wrong! Among the first words in the afore-linked update Support note, key Windows 10 Copilot limitations emerge. This includes this scoping statment: “This [Copilot addition] only applies to devices that run Home or Pro editions…” (emphasis mine). As you can see from the lead-in graphic for reasons that are too long and tedious to explain, this PC is running Windows 10 Enterprise. Sigh.

Bitten By Windows 10 Copilot Limitations

Sigh. It just goes to show that my personal dark cloud hasn’t quit hovering in the vicinity. I’ve often observed that if MS slides an update out as a gradual release, my PCs are invariably in the rear guard. This is something of a spin on this all-too-familiar situation, but nontheless an amusing one.

Fortunately, my physical desktop is not the only Windows 10 image I can run. I just jumped over to the ThinkPad P16 Mobile Workstation where I have a couple of Win10 images from which to choose. My cleanest one (installed last week for an AskWoody column) is installing same right now. When it reboots, I expect to see a Copilot icon in the Taskbar. Here goes…

Overall, install time on a 4GB Gen2 VM was quick. The whole thing took under 3 minutes to download, install, then cycle through post-reboot update processing. Good stuff. But did I see Copilot on the Taskbar when it was all done? Nope.

I had to turn on and relaunch the VM to come back from the update reboot. And another reboot didn’t bring it up, either. Nor did a right-click in the Taskbar show a Copilot control. No Copilot item under Settings → Personalization, either. Very interesting. I’m obviously going to have to learn more to get Copilot working on my Windows 10 Pro VMs. Should be fun: stay tuned!

That Old Familiar Sensation

I see in the Windows Latest coverage (Mayank Pamar) that “Microsoft has also warned that the feature may not be available on devices with compatibility issues, including devices with an incompatible app.” Why do I get the feeling that includes either my ThinkPad P16 Mobile Workstation or its Hyper-V runtime environment for my 2 Windows 10 VMs on that machine?


Windows 11 MarketShare Jumps Quarter Mark

Well, well, well. Here’s an interesting Windows statistic for you. According to StatCounter, the global desktop OS marketshare for Windows 11 hit 26.17% at the end of October. That’s up by 2.53% from the previous month. And it’s the first time Windows 11 shows running on over 1 in every 4 PCs using the Internet. You can see some related numbers in the lead-in screencap.  Indeed, it claims Windows 11 marketshare jumps quarter mark vis-a-vis other versions.

What Windows 11 MarketShare Jumps Quarter Mark Means

I have some questions about the Statcounter image and numbers (see lead-in graphic), though. Across the top bar of the image you see Windows 10 at 68%, and 11 share at 26.66% and so forth. But if I mouseover the data points at the end of those counter lines, they report 69.31% for Windows 10 and 26.17% for 11. I don’t understand why there’s a discrepancy, but I’m taking the numbers from the charts rather than the top line stuff as “correct.”

By way of comparison, I also checked which keeps track of devices visiting US government websites (“5.33 billion sessions over the past 90 days,” so an appreciable data volume from which to draw statistics and inferences). It doesn’t report Windows 11 numbers per se. (I believe they’re included in its Windows 10 count because Windows 11 still uses a Windows 10 user agent ID in web browsers.) But it shows 98.37% of Windows visitors were running one or the other of those two OSes. (Add the 2 Statcounter numbers together and you get 95.48% — not horribly divergent.)

Alas, Copilot still quotes old Statista numbers (the company requires an annual subscription that costs US$1,788 for free, unfettered access to their latest stats). Thus, I can’t use them as an additional point of reference.

Looking at the Trend Lines

Whereas the Windows 11 line in the Statcounter chart is definitely trending upward, you can’t really say the Windows 10 line is visibly trending downward. It’s sort of meandering, with both ups and downs in the 12-month period on display there.

The 2.53% September-to-October jump for Windows 11 is pretty interesting, though. That’s a 10.7% jump in a single month, which is massive. It’s significantly higher than preceding month-to-month changes. All of those are positive in slope, but none comes close to even half that value.

Recently, I’ve commented that business hasn’t yet gotten serious about migrating from Windows 10 to 11. This spike could be evidence that my comment is based on outdated tracking and stats. We’ll get a much better idea if things are truly picking up, or if this is a short-lived spike, as data for the next few months gets reported.

This has, however, piqued my interest pretty sharply. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know which way the worm turns next. It could be that the tide is finally turning… The numbers may not lie, exactly, but they don’t always slap us in the face with what’s going on, either.

Is a Leapfrog Release Coming? (Added Dec 4)

Fascinating follow-up from a Martin Brinkmann story over at Ghacks this morning. It’s entitled Windows 11 24H2 and Windows 12 Expected in 2024. It puts forward two fairly credible sources for info that MS may ship an entirely new Windows version next year. This would put “Windows 12” (stalking horse name, since MS is of course mum on this topic) out before Windows 10 goes EOL. That would indicate a jump from 10 to 12 would be in the offing, leapfrogging over 11 entirely. Now there’s a twist I didn’t see coming. This should be fun to watch.



Canary 26002 Gets Energy Saver

Once upon a time, if one wanted to manage laptop batteries intelligently, one needed the OEM to provide a utility. No more. With the latest Insider Preview, Canary 26002 gets Energy Saver capability built in.

You can see this on display in the lead-in screen shot. It shows the notification area expanded to include a new “Energy Saver” entry (right). What’s more. if you right-click that item, it will open Settings for you. There you can easily get to the Power & Battery display (left) that shows Energy saver is turned on and always running.

Why Canary 26002 Gets Energy Saver Is Good News

Many, many years ago — I think it was in the early 2000s — I translated an article for Toms Hardware from German into English. It dealt with the issues involved in keeping batteries alive as long as possible. This could be a problem for units whose chargers remain plugged-in more than running off battery.

Indeed, it had long been the case that laptop makers had to furnish a special utility that would monitor battery charge levels, usage patterns, min/max for charge and discharge (and more) to keep track of things. You can see evidence of this even in my 2021 vintage Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 6 Mobile Workstation. Here are its Battery Details (from Lenovo Commercial Vantage):

Canary 26002 Gets Energy Saver.battery-details

Lenovo tracks all kinds of battery levels and stats.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

With this latest addition, the OS can keep track of this kind of thing for any and all battery-powered PCs. It can also manage charge levels and energy consumption to ensure long batter life while also minimizing actual energy consumption. This is a great step forward, and a good thing for laptops, users and the environment. I approve!


Learning to Hurdle Terminal Chat Gotchas

When I was a kid we lived in Kendall Park, NJ in 1962 and 1963. The barbershop where my Mom took me for haircuts was interesting. It was long and narrow and lined with mirrors on both sides. That created what I have forever since called “the hall of mirrors” effect. There a poor man’s infinity is born as those parallel mirrors reflect each other forever and ever. I remembered that hall as I read the MS November 17 Windows Command Line blog Terminal Chat in Windows Terminal Canary. Since it came out, I’ve been figuring out how to hurdle Terminal Chat gotchas in similar wise. Let me explain…

Pre-reqs Precede Hurdle Terminal Chat Gotchas

If you look at the lead-in graphic (it comes from the afore-linked Command Line blog, a personal fave) it shows a “Welcome to Terminal Chat” message inside a PowerShell/Windows Terminal session. I’ve been trying to get to the point where I can bring that message up myself on a test or production PC, but I’ve yet to surmount the hurdles in my way. Let me enumerate them:

1. In Windows Terminal team lead Chris Nguyen’s words “Terminal Chat only supports Azure OpenAI Service for now.” That means one needs an Azure OpenAI Service endpoint and key.

2. To obtain said endpoint and key, one must create and deploy an Azure OpenAI service resource.

3. To create and deploy an Azure OpenAI service resource, one needs an Azure OPen AI Service enabled Azure account. This requires setting up monthly billling for consumption of Azure resources with an OpenAI rider added. (For pricing info, start with Plan to manage costs for Azure OpenAI Service for the OpenAI piece, then check out Understand Cost Management Data for the underlying Azure piece). It’s daunting!

Only when you have all the pieces in place, and then create and deploy a valid Azure OpenAI service resource, can you install and use Terminal Chat. I’m not there yet. In fact, I’m thinking hard whether or not minimum monthly charges of at least US$50-150 are commensurate with the joy of using Terminal Chat.

Enough … or Too Much?

This subtitle comes courtesy of William Blake’s Proverbs of Heaven and Hell. I’m inclined to bow more to the infernal side of that dichotomy when it comes to putting all the pieces in place. All I wanted to do, really, was to see what kind of advice Terminal Chat could dispense at the command line. I’ve already got Copilot ready to advise me on PowerShell and Command Prompt input with some basic ability to plop it onto a command line.

Why so many hoops and hurdles? I’m sure there’s an answer. I’m reaching out to the author of the blog post to see what I can learn. Should be interesting… Stay tuned!


Folding Back Windows 11 Into 10

Here’s an interesting phenomenon I’ve been noticing lately. Seems that despite its “no new features updates” stance for Windows 10, MS has been folding back Windows 11 into 10 where some features and functions are concerned. Let’s start with the Photos app (just wrote about that for AskWoody recently, look for it on December 4). Then there has been motion on the update policies front (like the WU setting to “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available”). And of course, MS has made much of the back-port for Copilot into Windows 10 as well.

Is there a pattern emerging? Looks like it. So I have to ask: “What does this mean?” Let me speculate…

What Folding Back Windows 11 Into 10 Means

As I think back on the transitions from XP to Vista to 7 to 10, there’s a certain shape to the timeline for big-time business migrations that emerges. It seems like it takes a year or two beyond EOL before the migration hump really tilts toward the newest edition. And with EOL for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025, that means there’s still some time to pass before that boundary starts to press.

Shoot! I just used a date calculator and from today (11/28/2023) it is 1 year 11 months and 4 weeks before EOL rolls around. 2 years, give or take. Indeed, the same calculator says that October 14, 2027 — two years after EOL — is still 3 years, 10 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days away. That’s pretty close to 4 years in the offing.

Methinks businesses are really just now starting to note it might be time to consider Windows migration — after New Year’s 2024, maybe. There’s still not much urgency here…

What Else Might Fold In?

This is where things get a bit hazier. For grins, I asked Copilot “What can Windows 11 do that Windows 10 cannot?” Its answers included:

  • The new “more modern and elegant” UI. Not much impetus for business there…
  • Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Snap Assist. Ho hum… Nerdophilic stuff in this category for sure!
  • Voice typing: this could persuade some business users to take a second look. People would rather talk than type for all kinds of content and text.
  • DirectStorage: Improves load time for games, and is  thus something from which business will steer clear. Enough distractions already…
  • Android Apps “allow… you to run Android apps on your PC” courtesy of the Amazon Appstore. What did I use this for? Wordle…. ummm… yeah. Plus, it’s still in beta (and if you ask Copilot which Android apps are hot on Windows the list is not business-centric: Instagram, Disney+, TikTok, Candy Crush Saga and Kindle come out on top). Sigh.

I’m surprised they didn’t mention Phone Link, and Dev Home. But maybe this does make more sense than it has for MS than in days of yore. Still thinking about this…what’s your take? I need to do some more research, but would love some reader comments, please.


PowerShell Install Method Changes

When a new version of PowerShell comes along, it’s always interesting to see whether or not winget can field that update correctly. This time around — with version 7.4.0 — it reports a “different install technology” as you can see in the lead-in graphic. When the PowerShell install method changes, winget won’t handle the update without an uninstall/reinstall maneuver. So I CTRL-clicked the link shown above the WT pane (from the GitHub link that’s helpfully provided) and used the MSI file to update PowerShell instead.

When PowerShell Install Method Changes, Use GitHub

That Microsoft Installer File is under 65MB in size. On my test PC, that takes less than 10 seconds to download. That opens the “SuperHero” PS installer (see next screencap), after which install takes half-a-dozen mouse-clicks to configure as I like it. Another minute or so, and the job is done. MS is doing better at getting new versions of PowerShell to circulate. I like it!

PowerShell Install Method Changes.installer

The only time you actually see the PS superhero avatar is when the installer runs.

Watching Out for Certain Winget Shenanigans

So, I’m learning to be wary of three specific installs when using winget inside Windows Terminal and PowerShell — namely:

  • winget itself: if the tool doing the updating gets updated, interesting things can — and do — sometimes happen. This is another case when I’ve sometimes seen the “Cancelled” error message that really reports a loss of interaction with the updater (the update actually succeeds, but can’t report success).
  • Windows Terminal: same principal as before, write large when the entire Windows Terminal runtime has to change. When this occurs, WT usually writes a message into the active terminal window to say “Restart the window/session to run the changed version.” Good -oh!
  • PowerShell: and again, if PowerShell is updating itself it must be ready to handle those changes. As we see in this particular case, something has changed that requires an uninstall/reinstall. My preference: using the GitHub installer instead. Easy-peasey.

And that, dear Readers, is how I often keep myself entertained, here in Windows-World. Great fun…


Learning About UpdateStar

With the shutdown of the SUMo database on November 1, I’ve been casting about for a new update scanner that covers my bases. I had been considering UpdateHub, UCheck and UpdateStar. Based on the number of items that each program finds, and the ease of working with them (free versions only), I’ve now pretty much settled on UpdateStar freeware (make sure you can down to the button that reads “Download” under the Free of charge heading). It’s not without its foibles, though…mostly, that learning about UpdateStar involves completely do-it-yourself updates.

Learning About UpdateStar Means DIY  Updates

Unless you want to pay US$34.95 (first year)/$19.95 (subsequent upgrades, with discounts for 3 PC packages), working with UpdateStar means it scans only for what’s out of date. It doesn’t help you find or install new stuff. It will, however, uninstall specific versions of software, which can be helpful when updates aren’t smart enough to uninstall their predecessors. That happens pretty regularly.

Most of the time searching for “update splat” where splat is the name of the program you wish to update will tell you what you need to do. It mostly works for me, anyway. And many of the odd and interesting tricks I’ve learned while working with SUMo transfer over to UpdateStar reasonably well, too.

The Current UpdateStar Situation

Right now,  on my production Windows 10 PC (it’s the with the most apps and applications installed: 113 in all) I’m getting reasonable results from the program. It shows me 9 programs in need of updates and I was able to take care of all of them. For 8 of them, that meant finding and installing the necessary updates (2 of them left old versions behind and UpdateStart uninstalled them for me quite happily). For 1 of them, I decided an uninstall was a good idea, because I have a better tool (Micosoft Update Health Check, to which I greatly prefer Brink @’s Reset_Reregister
_Windows_Update_Components.bat script).

That said, UpdateStar did produce some false positives. These were current programs that were indeed up-to-date, but for which the program incorrectly claimed newer updates were available (Revo Uninstaller and Snagit 2024). Easily checked and ignored, however.

By and large this program works pretty well. I’m still figuring things out, so will probably learn and report more over time. For the moment, I give it “one thumb up” (a positive, but not ringing, endorsement). Let’s see what happens next… I’m still on the upward slope of that learning curve!



Another Great UUPDump.Net Use Case

Monday-Wednesday I was working on an article for the AskWoody newsletter. Among a variety of tasks, one that I found interesting hinged on working with and taking screenshots of a Windows 10 app around a certain date (late July 2022). This makes for another great use case. Let me explain…

What Makes For Another Great UUPDump.Net Use Case?

It took me a while to figure out the right date before which I had to stand up Windows 10. And because a Microsoft Store app was involved, I also had make sure the VM didn’t have Internet access. Otherwise, because the Store does auto-updates it would have replaced that point in time’s version of the app with something else. Because I was interested in seeing that specific version (or something older) at work, updates were a no-no.

Another ingredient was also key to my research: An MS Support note entitled “Windows 10 update history.” This handy document lets one see all Windows 10 releases and their dates of issue. Because I knew what date I had to hit, I wanted something as close to but still prior to it to show me what I needed. Ultimately, that worked!

Getting Past a Few Little Details

Setting up the VM also posed a handful of minor challenges. Because I set up a Type 2 VM I had to use the Restart button in the Hyper-V window to forcibly get the ISO I built for my test image to boot. I also had to remember to turn off enhanced mode to login via RDP (a known issue). And finally, I had to do some creative rooting around my file system to find a usable Windows 10 key (I persevered, and succeeded). Other than that, things went off just as I’d hoped.

Using my approach, I was able to run and screencap the target app. Luckily for me the date I picked still had the right (older) version installed. Once I brought it up, it told and showed me what I was looking for.

Great fun — and like the title says — it really is a great use case for, thanks to its complete historical record of Windows 10 and 11 release, including Insider Previews. Glad my heretofore unsubstantiated theory about using historical versus current Windows versions worked out.


Winget WT Update Workaround Needed

In going through update maneuvers yesterday, I observed there was a winget WT update workaround needed. That is, my attempt to upgrade Windows Terminal (WT) using winget failed. You can see what happened in the lead-in screencap. It shows that an initial attempt to install a dependency for WT — namely Microsoft.UI.Xaml — failed because a higher-numbered version is already installed. Whoa!

What Is the Winget WT Update Workaround Needed?

What to do? Fortunately, there are always multiple ways to update or upgrade in Windows-World. This time around, I went to the WT GitHub page and checked the version number on the latest release. As you can see in the next screencap, it’s the very same version that winget tried, but failed, to install as shown in the lead-in graphic.

Winget WT Update Workaround Needed.github

Funny thing: latest version matches winget’s target. That means there’s another way…

Given that GitHub has the same version, there should be some kind of Windows installer amidst its list of downloads. When I see it’s named Microsoft.WindowsTerminal…msixbundle, realize it’s targeting a Store version of WT. So off I go to check updates in the Store first. Nothing there, so I download and install the afore-mentioned msixbundle file. It works, as you can see in the About info from WT on that PC.

Winget WT Update Workaround Needed.about

Click the down-caret in the title bar in WT, then select “About” in the drop-down menu. Here ’tis!

As shown, the manual update using the msixbundle file did the trick. I could have waited, and the Store would have (eventually) handled the update automatically. But if I could have waited, I probably wouldn’t be the rabid Windows Insider I’ve always been, since day 2 of that program’s launch. LOL!

Feedback Followup…

I’m pretty sure winget should be smart enough to keep going if it finds a higher-numbered version of a dependency already in place on a target update PC. I’m going to share this blog post with the nice folks on the winget team. I bet they’ll fix this muy pronto! TIA, people…

Just Checked In … And It’s Fixed

I sent feedback to the team yesterday and got a reply that the dependency check should be a “min version check.” That is check to see that version is “greater than or equal to” versus “equal to.” And indeed, it now seems to be fixed. Thanks, guys: hope you all have a marvelous holiday break.


Windows 11 Canary Grants Wi-Fi List Refresh

Here’s a good, if subtle, addition to Windows 11’s bag of networking tricks. In Build 29997, Windows11 grants Wi-Fi list refresh capabilities. Let me explain, starting in pictorial form.  Take a look at the lead-in graphic. There’s a refresh button (a circular arrow) at the lower right (cursor is perforce parked on it; you’ll need to right-click the image and show it in its own tab so see what I’m talking about). But the “Refresh network list” button is the real key. That means the Wi-Fi interface is forcibly scanning its locale to rebuild a current list of available Wi-Fi resources. Very handy, to get this right from the Taskbar.

When Windows 11 Canary Grants Wi-Fi List Refresh, What Then?

This is always a good thing to do when searching for networks. MajorGeeks does a good job of explaining the “old regime” — namely: “How to Reset Network Settings In Windows 10 & 11.

That means clicking through the following sequence: Start → Settings; → Network & Internet (Win10) or Advanced network settings (Win11) → Scroll down, then select “Network reset.” I count 5 mouse clicks required.

The new ways take 3 clicks if you’re using wired Ethernet, 2 if already using Wi-Fi. For wired Ethernet, that’s Select Network icon in taskbar → Select Caret to left of Wi-Fi “Available” button in network pop-up → Click on “Refresh list” button at lower left of network list pop-up. For those using Wi-Fi, clicking the Wi-Fi icon on the taskbar skips the first wired step. Easy-peasey.

Does This Change Matter?

To those who switch Wi-Fi networks regularly, it is a nice little touch. For everybody else, it’s mostly nugatory. But hey, improving Windows is most definitely a matter of “little by little, step by step.” FWIW, I really like this change and think it makes Wi-Fi networking more usable on Windows 11. What’s your take?

Here’s a shout-out to Sergey Tkachenko at WinAero. His November 16 story brought this nice but subtle change to my attention. Spacibo, Sergey!