Windows 10 starts to auto-block unwanted apps (PUAs)

Microsoft introduced the ‘potentially unwanted app’ (PUA) blocking setting in Windows security with the introduction of the Windows 10 May 2020 update. Starting this month, the security feature, enforced by Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Edge, will be turned on by default. A support bulletin published by Microsoft earlier this week, spotted by Bleeping Computer, discusses the change, framing it as a move to increase security and system reliability.

Above you can see the dialogue box which will have its defaults changed. You can find this dialogue now by opening up Windows Security, clicking on App and browser control on the left, and then clicking on Reputation-based protection. I noticed my settings were already toggled on, but don’t remember visiting this part of the control panel previously. However, the Microsoft support bulletin indicates that the change would be instigated by them “in early August” and I did OK some Windows updates yesterday.

Microsoft wants to make it clear that PUAs aren’t malware but that they “can cause your device to run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other software which may be more harmful or annoying”. Bleeping Computer indicates that PUA categories include; advertising, torrent, cryptomining, bundling, marketing, and evasion software – as well as software with a “poor industry reputation”.

Windows 365 product pages remove free trial options

HEXUS reported on Windows 365 becoming available to business and enterprise customers at the start of the week. For the different configurations of vCPU/RAM/storage you could pick, pricing varied widely – from US$20 to 162 per month. However, some ‘signature configurations’ – namely the Basic, Standard, and Premium plans – offered a free, two-month trial period.

If you visit the various Windows 365 pages now, you won’t be offered a free trial period. Apparently, after just a single day of the offer being available, Microsoft has no more room at the inn. “Following significant demand, we have reached capacity for Windows 365 trials,” writes Microsoft under the header image of its Windows 365 Business product page “Sign up to receive a notification when trials resume or buy today”.

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