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Mon Aug 17, 2020, 08:51 PM

I have a question about Microsoft

My older friend got a new laptop last week. Her middle-aged son set it up for her. The fitness center we use has offered Silver Sneakers classes in person and online. For the online classes, we use Zoom. The instructors have been running the in-person meetings with Zoom on, so the class participants can do one or the other.

I have been doing the class online for several weeks. When my friend's daughter runs the class on her computer, none of us have trouble getting on Zoom. But my friend leads a class on the weekend and so far some of us who want to do the remote class can't get into the Zoom meeting. There have been different problems, but this last Sat. my friend couldn't get on the fitness center wi-fi with her new laptop, so none of us did the remote. She was able to get on the Zoom meeting from her house on her old laptop, but couldn't get on Zoom at the fitness center, so she got a new laptop. She didn't know she had all the instructions her daughter gave her with her on Sat. so she wasn't able to get on. I suggested that she take her laptop with her early to the fitness center and have someone walk her through. She went to the fitness center tonight and whoever helped her couldn't get her new laptop online either. I think she is either trying to use the wrong wi-fi, or maybe there's a firewall problem. I am not planning to go to the fitness center, so

So after that long story, here is what I'd like to know: Her son has muddied the waters. He told her Bill Gates is selling laptops and they are locked them so the new owner can only use MS products. He said Bill Gates was hauled in front of Congress and made to stop. The son set up Firefox and something else on this new laptop, so I don't think it is locked. I don't like the son, and I think he's an ass. I Googled this idea and I'm not seeing anything about new computers being locked, except for a virus scam. I'd like more information, but I don't know where to look or what I'm looking for. Any ideas? Many thanks!

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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 08:56 PM

1. Yup, that's total bullshit. Microsoft doesn't even make laptops for one thing ...

And they've never 'locked down' Windows to prevent you from using non-MS products.

About the worst thing they did was make it so you couldn't remove IE from your computer, but it didn't prevent you from using other browsers. They were sued by numerous entities for that, just because it gave IE an 'unfair advantage' in terms of adoption by users.

They'd NEVER try to pull what this kid is saying.

Some people ... really aren't that bright.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 09:10 PM

4. Microsoft actually does make a few laptops.

The Surface Book 3 is pretty amazing. It is a terrific laptop if you do visual work. It is what the MacBook Pro should have been.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 09:15 PM

5. My bad ... apparently they've started doing so ... funny I always thought a 'Surface' was like

an Ipad type of deal. Never really looked at them. I see now I was mistaken.

Anyways ... I have to imagine that even on a Surface ... they're not 'locking them down'. Let alone locking down Windows on non-MS machines (I know they don't do that).

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 09:17 PM

6. Nope. I run tons of non-MS apps on my Surface.

Photoshop, CAD apps, and lots more.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 09:21 PM

7. Not to mention the fact that not being able to get onto a particular WiFi network, like here ...

Has absolutely nothing to do with 'brands'

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 08:46 AM

11. Always been an apple girl but now looking for a change

 

I am using Macbook Pro from quite a long time. Got bored. Is surface book really worth buying?

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Response to aleesiazane (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 10:24 AM

12. Depends. Laptops are always a personal choice.

Some of the choice is what software you need to run, some of it is ergonomics, some of it is budget.

I do a lot of design work. I like Surface Books because they have good pen interfaces, allowing me to draw/paint in Photoshop. They also have dedicated graphics cards, making my 3D programs run smoother. In terms of quality, they're very well built.

Best Buy usually has Surface Books. Take a look at one and decide for yourself.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 25, 2020, 08:12 AM

13. Yes True

 

Thanks

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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 08:59 PM

2. He's probably talking about Windows 10 in S Mode.

https://www.howtogeek.com/354057/what-is-windows-10-in-s-mode/

You can turn it off if you want - it doesn't cost anything to disable it.

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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 09:06 PM

3. Bill Gates left Microsoft a loooong time ago.

He said Bill Gates was hauled in front of Congress and made to stop. The son set up Firefox and something else on this new laptop, so I don't think it is locked.


Gates stopped being CEO twenty years ago. He's not even on the board of directors anymore. He couldn't "make them stop" if he wanted.

And no, Microsoft products are not "locked". You can install pretty much whatever you want. The simple fact that the son installed Firefox is proof that non-Microsoft products can be installed.

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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Mon Aug 17, 2020, 10:21 PM

8. Thank you for the comments

When my husband was alive, he would try to help my friend with her computer troubles. He usually came back shaking his head. I feel the same way when I try to help her. I don't like her son, but I am relieved if he takes care of her computer for her.

I appreciate the information such as about Surface, about Bill Gates not being involved with MS, about S Mode. I'll bring that up with her another day.

She called me right after I posted, and was upset because the picture quality is horrible. I started out with the obvious, spending 5 minutes trying to explain to her how to find her camera lens on the laptop frame, to see if there was any packing material on the screen or on the lens. The next 10 minutes was talking about how bad the quality was then helping her find the camera in settings> (I bought a laptop that unfortunately doesn't have a camera, so I wasn't really able to refer to anything at this point) She found the camera, then found the settings. She got up and noticed when she was further away from the laptop, the picture was better, not as fuzzy. So I think it might be a resolution problem. It was a half hour call, ending when her phone battery was dying. I am exhausted. lol

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Response to Marthe48 (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:44 AM

9. The fuzzy image is a simple focus problem.

She just has to tell the camera what to focus on.
Sometimes you can do this manually.
Sometimes you can use the camera software to select the object to focus on.
If the system has a face-focus mode, give that a try.
By default, auto-focus systems prefer objects with straight lines, which often results in the back wall being in focus.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 10:22 AM

10. That is good to know

Thank you!

She is returning the HP laptop and getting an iPad. I haven't had much experience with them, so she'll have to have her daughter set it up

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