Category Archives: WED Blog

Windows 11 Marketshare Q421

Reports have been popping up on the Internet like mushrooms after the rain. AdDuplex reports that the Windows 11 marketshare is 8.6%. (That’s the percentage of machines running Windows 11 as opposed to other versions.) Some sources report this as “closer to 10%,” others as “almost 9 %.” I say “Hogwash.” My best guess is something under 1%. Why do I put Windows 11 marketshare Q421 down low? I’m happy to explain.

The Truth About Windows 11 Marketshare Q421

Numerous other sites monitor OS marketshare stats. These include statista, netmarketshare and statcounter. For US Government website visitors also counts. None of them registers or reports on Windows 11 yet. Thus, it’s hard for me to justify my numbers vis-a-vis somebody else’s.

That said AdDuplex bases its ratios on its customers. That set of users is known to differ from the global Internet population. I think we need to regard its recent reports with healthy skepticism. I’m also happy to wait for other marketshare sites to include Windows 11 in their tracking. Then, we’ll see what comes out of that.

Another Tack on 11 Marketshare

Let’s come at this another way. The total number of PCs in use worldwide, according to Gartner, is 1.896B units. Let’s say it’s 2B to make it a nice round number. 8.6% of 2B is ~172M. There’s simply no way that the number of Windows 11 instances in use is anything close to that number. If it exceeds 100M I’ll be flabbergasted. If it’s over 50M I’ll be surprised.

MS still claims that around 1.5B instances of Windows 10 are in use. 8.6% of that number is 129M. I don’t think Windows 11 is there yet, either. Let’s wait and see what other sites say as additional data points become available. In the meantime, care to put a small wager on the AdDuplex numbers? I’ll give you 3 to 1 odds …



Update Fixes Nitro Pro OCR Issue

The old saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I was reminded yesterday that the converse is also sometimes true. I’d been struggling with an OCR issue in Nitro Pro v13. Each time I ran the process on a particular patent PDF (downloaded from the USPTO), the program would crash. Then I remembered that SUMo (Software Update Monitor) had reported a new NP13 update was available on my latest scan. “Hmmm,” I thought to myself, “maybe an update will help…” You could say I clutched at the hope that the update fixes Nitro Pro OCR issue. “Here goes nothing…,” i continued, as I started looking for the latest version download.

Indeed, Update Fixes Nitro Pro OCR Issue

I had to go and download a new version of the Nitro Pro exe. That version number was Because NP13 lacks a built-in update facility, one must download the exe and manually install it to perform an upgrade. I usually avoid that except in cases of difficulty. But this time, it did the trick. After the update, my next OCR attempt succeeded, as shown in the lead-in graphic.

There’s a “trick” to grabbing Nitro Pro updates. I’ll share it because it will help me remember what I  need to do for my next upgrade, too. You must scroll to the footer (bottom) of the web page, and access the “Downloads” link under the “Support” heading. Here’s what that looks like right now:

Update Fixes Nitro Pro OCR Issue.dl-page

The latest version always shows up at the top of the downloads page.

A link to the latest version always shows up on that page, but is nearly impossible to find otherwise.  I can’t  understand why it doesn’t come up first in a Google search for “Download Nitro Pro.”
It does not: Go figure!



Modern Windows Service Tweaking Is Counterproductive

I’m a regular at and I try to read all new threads there daily, but probably average two out of three over the long haul. This morning, I saw a post at ElevenForum entitled “Services to Disable Windows 11.” My immediate response was “Why bother?” These days, Windows is self-tuning and runs pretty lean — especially Windows 11. That’s why I assert “Modern Windows Service Tweaking Is Counterproductive.”

More on Why Modern Windows Service Tweaking Is Counterproductive

One especially interesting analysis in response to the original poster’s list of prospective services to disable is especially illuminating. It comes from long-time Guru-level user @Bree, who says:

If you open Resource Monitor, look at Services on the CPU tab and sort by Average CPU, then you’ll find that of your list SysMain has the highest CPU use – of less than 0.2%. In fact my total CPU use by all running services is just 2%.

The general point is that while it’s theoretically possible to trim down the default set of services and processes to lighten the Windows load, the gains are small. In addition, turning things off that Windows thinks should be turned on can occasionally cause stability problems (read the whole thread for more details).

The Black Viper Perspective on Tweaked Services has been active on the Internet recommending such tweaks since the days of Windows 95/98. The last set of such tweaks for Windows 10 on his site is for version 1803 (as in March, 2018, almost four years ago). There are no such tweaks for Windows 11, period. To me, this says even a long-time, professional-grade tweaker no longer finds it worthwhile or rewarding to do this kind of thing with modern Windows versions. I couldn’t agree more, and stick by my title for this piece! ‘Nuff said.


When Security Stymies Update Remove and Reinstall

Here’s an interesting issue — and another reason why I’m abandoning Norton security after I get my new PC built. I just tried to update CrystalDiskInfo and I couldn’t make it work. Norton data protection prevented the installer from — of all things — deleting old .bmp files for icons and graphics, to replace them with new ones. Even after I turned everything in Norton off for which it provides controls, the &*%$$ program still got in the way. Then it occurred to me: when security stymies update remove and reinstall still works. So that’s what I did, and that’s how I got it to work. Sheesh!

When Security Stymies Update Remove and Reinstall for New Version

Because update operations wouldn’t proceed even after disabling the auto-protect, firewall, and AV functions (see lead-in graphic), I was faced with two alternatives. First, I could completely uninstall Norton and then update. Or second, I could uninstall the old CrystalDiskInfo version, and then cleanly install  the new one. Because it was so much less time and labor intensive to undertake the latter, that’s what I did.

But man! I *HATE* it when security software gets in the way of authorized, valid update behavior and I can’t make it stop. By itself, that’s enough to have pushed me to get rid of Norton. But I’d already planned to do that anyway. I still use the password manager (which is a pretty good one), but I have no use any longer for the rest of the suite.

It just goes to show you: when it comes to maintaining Windows PCs, there’s always something lurking in the background ready to strike. This time, I got stung just a little. But sometimes, workarounds are less obvious, or less easy to find and apply. This time, I got lucky…


Laughing Off Black Friday Deals

Yes, I could have waited, as it turns out. I bought an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X from Amazon in September. I paid around US$394. Today, Black Friday prices are out and it’s on sole for US$341. Difference: US$53. All in all I could’ve saved around US$200 on my whole basket of parts. Not bad for a $1,200 buy. But laughing off Black Friday deals is part of making a buy decision. That said, there are some pretty good deals happening right now. If you  are in the market for PCs or parts, it’s the best time of the year to buy.

Spending Earlier Means Laughing Off Black Friday Deals Now

But it also means I should look around and see what kinds of deals I can find right now. I’ve been lusting for a Caldigit Element Thunderbolt 4 hub (4x Thunderbolt 4/4x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 60W charging). But as you might expect with leading/bleeding edge technology items, it’s still at its MSRP of US$250.

OTOH, SSDs and HDDs are indeed showing up at bargain prices. Thus, for example I see a Hynix 1 TB NVMe for US$130 and a Seagate 5TB 2.5″ HDD for US$124 (5400 RPM). has a nifty story on Black Friday Deals that’s worth a look. You can expect other websites to offer Black Friday rundowns through the weekend. If you’re in the market — or just thinking about some tech buys — you won’t be sorry if you take some time to look around and see what kinds of deals you can find. Shop till you drop, dear Readers — this the season!

Note Added Nov 29 (Cyber Monday)

No deals on the Caldigit Element hub today, either. But I still might go ahead and spring for one. I’ve got three laptops with Thunderbolt 4 ports that I can’t yet fully exercise until I get some compatible peripherals. A perfect excuse for paying list price, yes?


ARM Windows 11 Ecosystem Should Explode Soon

When I reported last week that only Windows 11 would run x64 emulation on ARM processors, I didn’t realize that this space should indeed open up soon. According to Rich Woods at, (a) Qualcomm currently has  exclusive access to Windows for its SnapDragon chips, and (b) that exclusive arrangement will expire sometime “soon.” When that happens (no firm dates) the ARM Windows 11 ecosystem should explode with activity. At a minimum, it’s likely that ARM chip vendors Samsung and MediaTek will want to get in on this action. With ARM doors wide open, even Apple Mac silicon may be able to run Windows 11 more effectively…

What Does ARM Windows 11 Ecosystem Should Explode Mean?

Competition, in a word. Right now, ARM-based laptops remain pricey when it comes to price-performance comparisons with intel or AMD based hardware. I expect that more vendors entering this market will drive prices down. Hopefully, that means they’ll come down enough to make ARM-based computers an attractive proposition.

I’ve looked at acquiring such a unit for nearly three years now. I saw my first ARM laptop early on at the MVP Summit in 2018. But each time I’ve looked at what an ARM-based system cost, I’ve steered clear because the cost just didn’t work for me. I’m curious but when it comes to spending my own money, curiosity only goes so far. A 14″ Lenovo Flex 5G costs $1,400 at Verizon right now, with 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM. For the same money, same vendor, I can get a more powerful CPU, 16 GB RAM and at least 512 GB SSD with Intel i5 or AMD equivalent processor. It’s not a compelling proposition — yet.

What Else Needs to Happen?

Lower prices. Better CPU parity. Stronger Windows support. It will still be a while before ARM can give either intel or AMD a run for Windows mind- and marketshare. But that will be an interesting race to watch. Hopefully, we all wind up winners when it’s been run. Stay tuned: I’ll keep you posted.


Exploring Lenovo Yoga7i Loaner

I’ve got a new toy to play with here at Chez Tittel — a Yoga 7 14ITL5. My First Look at this unit appeared a couple of days ago, and includes detailed specs and other initial impressions. Since then, I’ve been exploring Lenovo Yoga7i loaner as my schedule has allowed and have uncovered some surprising and interesting information and capabilities. Let me tell you more…

What I’m Learning from Exploring Lenovo Yoga7i Loaner

I speculated that Windows 11 was applied as an upgrade as part of the “first boot” behavior on this laptop. I was wrong about that. The update history shows no upgrade, and there’s no Windows.old folder on the machine. You can see its disk map, courtesy of WizTree, in the lead-in graphic for the story. It grabbed all of my OneDrive stuff when it established my MSA user account, but it’s all Windows 11, all the way.

Obviously, interesting things are possible by way of Windows 11 OEM deployment. The OOB/first boot experience is different from anything I’ve seen in previous versions of Windows, from 10 back as far as you’d like to go. It looks like everything hinges on the Microsoft Account (MSA) that users supply for the initial login, which seems to conclude with a complete OS install and setup.

The disk footprint is reasonably modest. Discounting OneDrive, there’s about 55 GB worth of files on the Yoga 7’s C: drive. I just ran Disk Cleanup (admin) and was able to bring that down by 2.02 GB. Running DriverStore Explorer found about 32 MB worth of obsolete (probably duplicate) device drivers, too.

But it’s a completely native Windows 11 installation. Examining Apps & Features in settings, I see some stuff I neither want nor need, including Alexa, Disney+, McAfee LiveSafe, and Spotify. But as crapware goes, that’s a pretty light load. Kudos to Lenovo for not loading their image down with all kinds of useless cruft.

My verdict on this US$850-950 PC as configured: pretty good value for the price. I wouldn’t use this PC as a daily driver, but it is a nice casual computing platform. It runs reasonably well, and looks and behaves nicely, too. Good stuff!



Macrium 8 Free Makes Normal Upgrade Appearance

OK, then: it’s finally making its way into the general Windows user population. I’m a zealous advocate of Paramount Software UK Ltd’s excellent Macrium Reflect Free backup/restore tool. Over the past 10 days or so, the company has now up-versioned that Free version from 7 to 8. This week, Macrium 8 Free makes normal upgrade appearance, via the tool’s built-in update facility. In fact, the lead-in graphic for this story shows a Notification that an 8-version update is available.

Good News for 7 Users: Macrium 8 Free Makes Normal Upgrade Appearance

A Macrium Reflect 8 Free download has been available for some time now through Softonic. It also showed up on the Macrium site a couple of weeks ago. But this development is nicer, because it means Reflect 7 users get an upgrade to Version 8 without requiring them to find, download and install the new version manually. Now, it’s simply part of the program’s own routine upgrade behavior.

For most users, the Free version is all they’ll ever need for home or small office use. Note: the commercial Free license limits the number of instances to 10 per location. Version 8 builds native Windows 11 rescue media, even though Win10 equivalents still work. I particularly like the program’s boot repair facility, its VSS repair and recovery, and its ability to boot backups as Hyper-V VMs.

Why Buy Reflect 8 Workstation?

Personally, when something as good and reliable as Macrium Reflect comes along, I believe in supporting its maker with an outright purchase. I have a 4-pack Reflect 8 Workstation license, and I run Reflect Free on the other 7 machines currently resident here at Chez Tittel. All are test/experimental machines I use for research and writing about Windows stuff.

I strongly recommend Macrium Reflect, in either free for for-a-fee versions. It’s the only backup tool I’ve ever used — and I’ve used many of them over the years — that’s never failed to restore and repair my Windows PC when they encounter difficulties. I blush to confess that many of those issues are self-inflicted, but this tool gives me the courage to try crazy stuff with Windows, knowing that I can fix it if it breaks on me.


x64 ARM Emulation Only for Windows 11

Organizations and users pondering Windows 11 adoption just got another reason. In  a November 16 story, Windows maven Paul Thurrot reports an interesting development. He quotes a spokesperson: “Microsoft wants to share an update that x64 emulation for Windows is only generally available in Windows 11. For those interested in experiencing x64 emulation, a PC running Windows 11 on ARM is required.” That means: x64 ARM emulation only for Windows 11, not Windows 10.

Why Does x64 ARM Emulation Only for Windows 11 Matter?

x64 emulation supports modern applications/apps, of which many aren’t available in 32-bit form. According to at least one source, “x64 apps brought not only improved compatibility but significant performance uplifts as well” (WinAero). Even though Windows 10 Insider Previews announced x64 emulation in December, 2020, things have changed. MS amended that post to include this notice:

Updated 11/16/2021: x64 emulation for Windows is now generally available in Windows 11. For those interested in experiencing this, a PC running Windows 11 on Arm is required.

It’s not just for Insiders anymore. But it is just for those running  Windows 11.

That said, BusinessWire reported last month (October 13)  about ARM PC sales. Together, Qualcomm and MediaTek account for just over 20% of that market. Revenues are forecast at $949M for 2021. Thus, native Windows devices account for at most $190M of that total. Figuring a ballpark price of $2K per unit, that’s around 95K units. Compare that with the 300M or so units that firms like Statista show for the last four quarters (Q4’20 thru Q3’21). From that viewpoint, ARM PCs represent well under 1% marketshare.

Is This Big News, Then?

It is, and it isn’t. ARM PCs don’t represent a big chunk of the PC market right now. It is significant that MS delivers advanced features only in its current OS. IMO, the ARM portion of the PC market has noplace to go but up. Consider also that such processors totally rule smartphones, with annual unit volumes over 1B.

I think it’s significant MS decided to forgo x64 emulation on ARM in Windows 10. I think they’re betting on the impetus to “buy new” (and get the latest OS) for those considering future ARM PC purchases. Whether or not this accelerates the usual 18-24 month lag between a new Windows version and noticeable business OS migration efforts is anybody’s guess. Methinks it won’t make much, if any, difference.


Bringing Offline Printers Back Online

Something odd is still fiddling with my local switch domain. Fortunately, it only affects my office here at Chez Tittel. The usual symptom is that my LAN-attached Samsung ML-2850 shows up in Devices and Printers. But it is grayed out and shows status as offline (see lead-in graphic, middle right and bottom). When that happens bringing offline printers back online requires a specific drill.

How-to: Bringing Offline Printers Back Online

I use Nir Sofer’s great little NetBScanner tool to confirm or establish the IPv4 address the Samsung uses. (Lately, it uses192.168.1.133.) I right-click the offline printer (labeled Samsung ML-2850 in the lead-in graphic). Then I select “Remove device” from the resulting pop-up menu. After that, I must confirm that removal by responding “Yes” to a prompt window that reads “Are you sure you want to remove this device.” Done!

Next, what has been removed gets reinstated. This means clicking “Add a printer” from the top-line menu, then clicking “The printer that I want isn’t listed” when the automated search fails to find the Samsung ML-2850. Next, I click the radio button next to “Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname.” Then I double-check NetBScanner to confirm that the ML-2850’s IP address remains unchanged (aha! It’s moved to …134, so that’s what I enter).

I leave the default “use currently installed driver” option selected and click “Next” again. Then I shorten the printer name  to SamML-2850. Because the printer is network-attached, there’s no need to share it (this is required only for USB or other purely device-specific printer connections).

And when I print a test page, Presto! The printer is once again back online. Good stuff!

Bringing Offline Printers Back Online.restored

After removing and re-installing (after double-checking IP address) the Samsung networked printer is back online. Goody!
[Click image for full-sized view]