WW 713: Pot-Bellied Mastodons

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

This is not the first time you guys have talked about how you don’t understand why anybody would want on-prem servers or use a non-subscription version of Windows or Office. What you guys never (or rarely) mention is government use. There are many government systems that are not connected to the Internet at all. Also, even the ones that do connect, get their updates from internal servers, not directly from the MS. I know MS has tools to let companies manage the updates that are delivered to their users, but it’s been a while since I’ve worked with those and those were for Windows and local applications only, not cloud apps like Office365. The government (including the military) has millions of users. While I’m sure many of them could (and some probably do) use Office365 (or other subscription apps), many of the do not or cannot. So while it is probably not a large percentage of all Office users, there are still quite a large number of people that need a non-subscription copy of Office as well as on-prem versions of Exchange and other servers. I’ve seen mentions recently of Microsoft providing separate “clouds” to governments and I seem to remember seeing something about the US government having or getting a separate Microsoft cloud (presumably to host Office365 and maybe other services), I’m just not sure how far along that is and just have much of the US goverment can actually use something like that.
I just thought I would share my thoughts on this since it seems the WW folks always downplay the possible needs for a perpetual license to Office or other MS products.


Great show!
I checked my settings screen and mine looks like Leo’s. I have a Surface Pro 7 still on OS 1909.

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Not just governments. Many of our contracts have clauses in them that data cannot be stored in the cloud, also data protection stops us using US based clouds. It is company policy. We have Microsoft 365 for Office 365 and some additional licenses, but all cloud functionality is disabled and for normal users, the AzureAD is anonymised - a 2 digit site number (for caculating how many users from a site use the service for billing purposes) plus a 5 digit random number.

The German and Netherlands governments have both declared that Microsoft 365 and Office 365 do not conform to European data protection laws and therefore should not used for government or business purposes - although one state in Germany did defy this and switched to using M365 and Teams this year for home schooling.

Microsoft did make an attempt to make Office 365 compliant with EU law last year, but I haven’t heard the results of that. Basically the telemetry that Windows and Office use are illegal on 2 points, 1) it has to be completely disabled by default (not set to minimum, OFF) and 2) the information that is being sent back has to be clearly documented.


I’m confused. What did Mary Jo’s screen look like? I don’t think it was shown on screen? My settings screen looks like Leo’s

Mine looks like this:

Both on my work PC and my home PC (which is using a Microsoft account).

Edit: I’m using Windows Pro on all my machines. Is it possible that @Leo is using Windows 10 and @MaryJo is using Windows 10 Pro?

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I believe Mary Jo said she had Home. I am on Pro 20H2 and have the banner.

Privacy settings? I have everything disabled / deactivated (Cortana, advertising trackers, location etc.).

Just tried switching off all the toggles on the privacy screen. Cortana already disabled. Rebooted and still have the banner. Didn’t the banner disappear on Paul’s machine?

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It is probably “typical Microsoft” then, in my case. English = you get it, rest of the world = tough cheese.

Although why it disappeared on Paul’s screen and wasn’t shown on Mary Jo’s is another question.


Hi. Definitely a good point. I mentioned there are business users who can’t use the subscription version, but military use is also another area where this makes sense.

The Microsoft government clouds are very far along. They are being used by all kinds of U.S. government customers already and they continue to add more levels of security and functionality to these locked-down environments regularly. MJ


Yes. I am not using Pro. I am using Win 10 Home version 20H2.
I have put in a formal request for comment to Microsoft about this. I asked what makes the different Settings screens show up. So far, no word back. Hopefully, we can close the loop on this during the show next Wed. Thanks. MJ


I took a risk and opened Windows Update. Luckily, nothing auto-updated (19042.804 / 20H2 latest stable).

Definitely confusing why there are three types of optional updates, two of which are Previews which sound like a big no-no on a Stable channel device.

  1. A Cumulative Update Preview for .NET
  2. A Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 10
  3. Driver updates

Why are they feeding us Previews? :frowning: I believed it was supposed to be Release Channel Insiders that previewed CU updates early. Should normal users on the Stable Channel really be presented with Preview Windows Updates?

Not to mention the UI difference where these optional updates are given high priority placed at the front of Windows Update with a big, normal, ordinary looking “Download” button that you’d get with any normal stable update.

A bit of a sausage-making story: for typical bugs, it can take at least 90 days from fix development → shipping to Windows 10 stable devices.

For anyone on Windows 10 20H2 + Chrome or Edge Chromium with a Precision Touchpad laptop, there was a known bug for ~4 months that using keyboard shortcuts (like CTRL+W) would disable two-finger scrolling within a tab. A little perplexed how two-finger scrolling bugs still happen in 2021 with the newest touchpads & newest browsers, but c’est la vie.

This bug seemingly arose from a bad change in the DirectManipulation API (from 20H2?), from sahir…@microsoft.com’s post on the Chromium bug tracker:

We have found that this occurs due to a bug in the Windows DirectManipulation API, and affects devices that use a Precision touchpad. An OS fix has been issued and will be public in the Jan/Feb timeframe. We believe that no changes need to be made in Chromium, so no need for the bisect :slight_smile:

That was December 11, 2020, and it was patched two weeks ago in the February 9, 2021 monthly cumulative update. I’ll say seemingly that update as I’ve not had the bug recently.

It does make me wonder that maybe these “small” Feature Updates like 20H2 and 20H1 (aka Cumulative Updates) are, well, as buggy as Cumulative Updates can be. I’m beginning to wonder whether I should pause even Cumulative Updates for a few months, as this was unfortunately a pretty in-your-face bug. :frowning:

What part of the word Optional is confusing you? :wink:

Average users do not go into the settings unless they are about to actually change a setting. Any user who goes to the updates and actively selects to download something marked optional should know what they are getting into.

Totally forgot to check this after listening! Not seeing the “banner” on my main desktop, 20H2 build 19042.804. I’ve absolutely seen the banner before however, and I’m like 85% sure it’s been on this desktop. So strange. Will be very interested if MS decides to comment or not.


They usually aren’t optional. If you “seek” updates towards the end of the month, you automatically get the Previews pushed at you.

@ikjadoon these aren’t preview-channel previews. These are specifically there for professionals to preview what is in next months updates. It is supposed to be there for them to test, before releasing them for general consumption by their fleet of PCs.

This works fine for those running a WSUS server, but they are pretty much forced on anybody who happens to search for updates. I have a test group of PCs at work who get the preview updates, the updates aren’t applied to the general PC population.

Home users and small businesses without a patch management system “just get them”, if they ask for updates.

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This is not the case for me. If I seek updates, they are listed as “Optional”. If I don’t click to request them, then they remain optional while any non-optional ones install as always.

I’m seeing this as well, currently have a Cumulative Update Preview listed as an optional update. Wouldn’t put it past MS to automatically install it at some point though.