Starting with OEMs – Phasing Out 32-Bit Windows 10 Support

Starting with OEMs - Phasing Out 32-Bit Windows 10 Support

Microsoft has recently announced they plan to phase out support for the 32-bit version of their Windows 10 operating system. This recent change will arrive in their May 2020 (version 2004) release. At least initially, this phase out is intended only for their OEM (original equipment manufacturer) devices.

Phasing out their 32-bit version is simply a sign of the continual progress and expansion that tech companies embrace as they seek to provide more capable and more powerful technology devices for their user base.

Their Statement

Microsoft’s official statement regarding the phase out advises that beginning with the 2004 version of the Windows 10 operating system, all builds will be required to only use their 64-bit version for OEM distribution. Microsoft goes on to pledge continued support for anyone who still uses the 32-bit version of their OS by continuing to release security and feature updates for the 32-bit devices.  

The Impact

Fortunately the impact of the phase out at least initially, is minimal. The 32-bit version of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system compromises only a very modest .20 percent of their overall customer base for this specific operating system. The overwhelming majority of Windows 10 users are already using the more robust 64-bit version of the OS. Of course, whenever a phase out occurs it is usually indicative of further reductions down the road. Eventually, Microsoft will likely phase out 32-bit versions altogether, although it remains to be seen how slowly or how quickly that may occur. 

Why the Change?

In terms of internal processing power, more is always better and there is simply an increased demand for 64-bit operating systems. Compared with the 32-bit version of Microsoft’s OS, the 64-bit version can handle more data at a time and it’s capable of storing more computational values, including memory addresses. With users demanding more and more service from their devices, 64-bit operating systems are easily more suited to keep up with demand. This increase in demand is also reflected in the software applications that developers create. A software app that takes advantage of the additional computational power associated with a 64-bit version of an OS delivers more value to their users.

Another reason why Microsoft decided to phase out their 32-bit version is that it’s always less complicated for operating system manufacturers and related parties to streamline the number of architectures they support at any one time. By streamlining OS versions, it allows those who develop Windows-based compatible software applications to avoid potential issues and development conflicts. Focusing on one architecture allows software application creators to target their efforts on adding real value to a single platform.

The Good News

For those users who want to embrace changes as technology moves ever onward, it is possible for those with the 32-bit version of Windows 10 to install the 64-bit version as long as their internal processor supports the transition. The benefits of doing so of course, will include a machine that is able to process information at a faster speed, thus increasing the responsiveness of the device. Any device that is more capable and runs faster is always a welcome improvement.

For those who have their reasons for wanting to remain with the 32-bit version, at least in the near future it is likely that manufacturers have at least some 32-bit versions remaining in stock. How fast that stock will become depleted is anyone’s guess. If you would like to know more about Microsoft’s phase out plan for their 32-bit version of Windows 10 or how to switch from their 32-bit to the 64-bit version, please contact us.

Internet Advocacy And The Constant Fight For Internet Rights

Internet Advocacy And The Constant Fight For Internet Rights
Internet Advocacy

The internet has been one of the greatest achievements in humanity, but it comes with scrutiny. Today, many online advocates are fighting for the rights of people that use the internet. The people that are fighting for our rights have began to make strides in the way businesses (especially those exclusively on the internet) can act. Let’s take a look at the advances that internet advocates have made to protect the rights of internet users around the world. 

The Online Advocacy Initiative 

Some people still believe that the internet is still new and doesn’t require the need for advocacy, but they are the ones that have had little interaction with unscrupulous online businesses or don’t feel concerned with their personal information being pillaged by unauthorized users. In fact, there are other internet concerns that online advocates have addressed including: 

  • Monetization consumer/visitor data 
  • Censorship 
  • Access to affordable internet services 
  • Net neutrality

Net Neutrality: The Advocates Perspective 

Net neutrality is at the forefront of online advocacy because it threatens internet freedom. According to the FCC (Federal Communication Commission), a 2015 law was passed that required online business transparency, consumer protection, protection against unnecessary regulations, and the promotion of broadband investments, but these laws were repelled in 2017. Advocates for the internet continue to fight for these initiatives to protect over 3.9 billion users that browse, make purchases, operate businesses and work online. Net neutrality continues to focus on healthy internet access for everyone. The goal is to ensure that large internet providers won’t try to maximize their profits off of the backs of those that use the web. 

Businesses of all kinds including government agencies tend to take autonomy over consumer information that’s passed over the internet and advocates are pushing for data privacy. These advocates are asking the question: “Why should Walmart, Google, or Facebook benefit from our personal information?” However, the way things stand, it may take time for the United States to get on board with privacy laws in comparison to other international regions like the European Union’s Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that protects European residents from “organizational tyranny.”

How Can AE Technology Group Protect Your Business Online 

At AE Technology Group, we understand your business and not just technology. We help our clients find the right managed IT services for their data security and more. Learn how our free onsite consultation can protect your business data and create effective project deployment. Our services include:

  • Managed services
  • Cloud computing 
  • Disaster recovery 
  • Cloud services
  • Online marketing 

and more… 

We’re prepared to help your business stand side by side with internet advocacy as a trusted online business resource. You’re invited to contact us at AE Technology Group to start your 90 free trial today. 

Will the U.S. Consider Data Privacy Regulation in the Future?

Will the U.S. Consider Data Privacy Regulation in the Future?
Consider Data Privacy

It certainly is understandable that consumers are very concerned about data privacy, whether they provide personal information online, or whether they use other mechanisms to provide personal information to companies and organizations with which they interact. One need only to read a few horror stories about the difficulties that arise out of identity theft or a data breach scenario, to understand why consumers want protection.

Privacy Challenges

Most companies want to protect the private information their customers provide to them because they understand it’s simply a part of maintaining a good reputation with the public. If a company neglects protecting customer privacy, they won’t remain in business for long. The problem that seems to be occurring more and more, is that all the protections businesses routinely use, don’t seem to fully resolve privacy issues.

Government to the Rescue?

In May of 2018, the European Union enacted the General Data Protection Regulation which states that all companies who collect data on Union residents are responsible for protecting such data. Of course, large companies will likely have an easier time following such a regulation due to their extensive resources. For small businesses however, these types of regulations and their associated price tags, may very well represent a real challenge to their ability to remain profitable. 

In the U.S. there has been some effort to enact laws to ensure data privacy, although none so comprehensive as the European Union’s, GDPR legislation.

Small Business Challenges 

If more comprehensive legislation is passed here in the U.S., some of the challenges small to medium-sized businesses may face include: impeded growth or the inability to even start a business due to excessive regulation, the absorption of higher technology costs passed down from large companies, multiple ramifications stemming from a potential mandatory business overhaul, along with the simple inability to incorporate additional privacy costs into an already lean budget.

If you would like to know more about the potential for data privacy regulations here in the U.S., please contact us.

Microsoft Increases Protection From Junk Email in Office 365

Junk Email

Considering the extent to which many businesses rely on email, it is not surprising that the growing number of phishing and spoofing emails making it into people’s inboxes has become more of a problem than a nuisance.

Considering Microsoft is one of the largest email providers for commercial users, with over 120 million business users subscribing to Office 365, Microsoft saw an opportunity to provide an additional service to its customer base by enhancing email screening for its Office 365 users.

Here is a quick overview of what users need to know about this latest update.    

The Phishing Dilemma

In a recent blog post, Microsoft explained that phishing scammers who try to obtain sensitive information through email falsification has become a rampant problem.

They claim that businesses are particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks as only 9% of companies in the Fortune 500 have strong email authentication policies, which can leave the majority of businesses vulnerable to having their sensitive information hacked by phishers.

Unless a company’s email filter is able to detect scam email, phishing emails will be delivered to the end user potentially deceiving them.

Microsoft’s Solution

Considering the severity of the threat that phishing attacks can pose to commercial users of Office 365, Microsoft decided that it was time to improve Office 365’s email authentication as they determined that the risk of allowing dangerous emails through was greater than the risk of potentially losing legitimate emails to spam filters.

Previously, this anti-spoofing technology was only available to those organizations that had an Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription or to those who had purchased an Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) add-on for their Office 365 subscription.

However, as of October 2018, Microsoft has extended this protection to a wider range of Office 365 subscribers who can now benefit from more secure email screenings.

Contact us to learn more about this change to Office 365 as well as to find out about additional steps your business can take to protect itself from phishing attacks.

A New iPhone Bug Allows Anyone Access to Private Photos

iPhone Bug
iPhone Bug

If you downloaded Apple’s latest iOS to fix last month’s passcode vulnerability for the iPhone, you’ll be dismayed to learn that another security flaw has recently been discovered in the latest iOS version, 12.0.1. 

Read on to learn more about this latest vulnerability, whether or not a solution has been issued by Apple, and what you can do in the meantime.

The New iPhone Vulnerability

If you have a current iPhone, including iPhone X and XS models, and you are running either iOS 12 or iOS 12.0.1, your phone could be vulnerable to exploitation of your private photo library.  It was recently discovered that anyone with physical access to your iPhone, even if it is locked, can gain access to your photo album. 

The exploitation occurs through the use of Siri and your VoiceOver screen reader — potentially allowing hackers to gain access to private photos, allowing them to select the ones they desire, and then sending the photos to anyone who uses Apple Messages.

The vulnerability does require a hacker to follow certain steps in order to gain access.  Initially they call you and then reply to their phone by way of a text message from your phone.  They then ask Siri to enable VoiceOver.  Employing the use of your phone’s camera, Siri and VoiceOver, the hacker eventually reaches your photo library. 

Using VoiceOver to describe the various photos, the hacker can select specific photos and send them through your phone’s text feature to any phone number they desire.  For a complete list of steps, click here

Solutions

Given the very recent discovery of this exposure, Apple has yet to provide a security patch for iPhone users.  Currently they are recommending that users disable Siri, thus preventing any private photos from becoming exploited.

If you would like to know more about recent iPhone security vulnerabilities, please contact us.