Stories by Woody Leonhard

Inside the new Windows 10 Technical Preview tools, SDK

Most of us were expecting a new Windows 10 SDK and assorted tools to arrive in time for Microsoft's Build Developer Conference next month. Instead, the company surprised by releasing an enormous SDK and Visual Studio Tools for Windows 10 package on Monday, five weeks ahead of the annual gathering of the Windows faithful. Microsoft clearly aims to give developers a head start on building Windows apps.

First look: Windows 10 preview for smartphones is off to a slow start

Last Thursday, Microsoft released its long-anticipated Windows 10 Technical Preview for smartphones. This first public release of Windows 10 for smartphones improves on many Windows Phone 8.1 features, but it offers few compelling new capabilities. Also, while Win10 TP for smartphones is supposed to run universal-style apps (the latest incarnation of what have been called Metro, Modern, and Windows Store apps), there's still little congruence between the new universal smartphone apps and their big-screen universal namesakes.

Satya Nadella at one year: Grading Microsoft's CEO

Make no mistake: A year after he succeeded Steve Ballmer in the job, CEO Satya Nadella firmly controls Microsoft's fate.

In Pictures: Secrets of Office for iPad masters

Tips, tricks, tweaks, and twerks for Office gurus looking to make the most of the iPad variant

10th time's the charm: Microsoft finally solves big problems with Surface Pro 3

Judging by many comments on the Microsoft Answers forum and elsewhere, Microsoft's Jan. 15 firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 has solved almost all outstanding issues with Wi-Fi connections, hibernating, Bluetooth connectivity, battery drain on standby, Hyper-V interference with Wi-Fi, and more.

Microsoft pulls Exchange Server 2010 SP3 update rollup 8, KB 2986475

Microsoft has just acknowledged a problem with Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 8, which I first saw described on the German language site heise.de. Apparently there have been many more reports of problems.

Review: 6 business-class Chromebooks test their mettle

I've spent the last three weeks taking six business-oriented Chromebooks through their paces. I started out as a skeptical Windows-rules-them-all kind of guy: I've been using Windows since the early days, and I've rarely strayed from the ghosts of my Windows masters. By the end of my Chromebook experiment, however, my old biases were shaken.

Microsoft cold-shoulders Server 2003 and XP users hit with Microsoft Update error 0x80248015

The causes of the problem remain cloudy, but the symptoms are quite clear. Starting on Nov. 18, some Server 2003, Windows Home Server 2003, and Windows XP SP3 machines suddenly refused to connect to Microsoft Update. As best I can tell, Microsoft has not responded to the problem, not documented a workaround, and is basically doing nothing visible to fix it.

Microsoft endorses workaround for botched Windows patch KB 3000061

This month's Black Tuesday crop of patches held more than a few surprises. True to form, my choice for the "most likely to splat," the KB 3000061 kernel mode driver patch, repeatedly fails to install on many machines. Although the Knowledge Base article hasn't been updated, Microsoft support engineer joscon confirmed a workaround for the problem on Thursday afternoon.

In Pictures: What you'll love and hate about Windows 10

Hated Windows 8? Good news: Many of the features in Windows 10 aren't nearly as annoying

Microsoft Security Essentials may be throwing false positives for Trojan:DOS/Alureon.J

It's looking more and more likely that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is warning about a Trojan:DOS/Alureon.J infection when none exists.

Surprise patch KB 3005628 bodes ill for Microsoft's patching strategy

Yesterday Microsoft released patch KB 3005628 for Windows 8, 8.1, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2. It's a trivial, non-security patch. The fact that it wasn't kept and issued in the normal cadence (patches usually arrive on Update Tuesday, which is next Tuesday) points to either an accidental release to the Automatic Update chute -- which we've seen before -- or an unwelcome switch in Microsoft's patching strategy. Either possibility is troubling.

Top 10 tips for Windows 10

If you've been using Windows 10 for more than a few days, it's time to reconnoiter a bit. If you haven't yet learned about tweaking the Start Menu, searching, snapping, or creating new desktops, Mark Hachman at PC World can take you on a whirlwind tour. That's beginner's stuff. But what about the things lurking under the covers?

What Windows 10 means for the enterprise

Microsoft rolled out the widely anticipated Windows Technical Preview yesterday morning, playing to a handpicked crowd of Microsoft reporters and analysts. Although Microsoft didn't have the technical will to broadcast the event live, you can see a recording of the 40-minute presentation on YouTube.

Microsoft mind games surround Windows Technical Preview

The power of Waggener-Edstrom, Microsoft's PR agency, never ceases to amaze me. Now it seems the PR folks have the entire Windows 9 press pack chasing its collective tail in pursuit of the Windows Technical Preview.