Neverware, which develops CloudReady, announced in December 2020 that it will be soon be part of Google. CloudReady is an operating system based on the open-source Chromium OS that is free for home use.
Google’s Chrome OS is a secure choice for an operating system, but older devices may no longer be supported. When a Chrome device reaches its Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, automatic updates from Google will no longer be provided.
iXsystems announced in March 2020 that TrueNAS CORE is the new name for FreeNAS, the popular open source NAS (Network Attached Storage) operating system. This was done to unify branding with its TrueNAS Enterprise product. Additional features were added to the TrueNAS CORE product as well. Documentation for TrueNAS is available at www.truenas.com/docs/hub/.
Microsoft plans to end support for Windows 7 after January 14th 2020 and will no longer provide security updates. For volume license customers, Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available for a fee through January 2023. A future option may be Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) for Windows 7, which was announced in 2018 but not yet available in Preview mode.
Office 2010 will no longer be supported as of October 13th 2020. Microsoft is also ending support for Windows 10 Mobile OS for smartphones on December 10th 2019 and recommends that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device.
Support life cycle dates for Microsoft products can be found at support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search.
Microsoft announced the upcoming release of Windows SandBox, which allows you to run untrusted programs in a new isolated temporary desktop environment without setting up a virtual machine. Windows Sandbox builds upon Windows Containers and is currently only available as part of Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Insider Preview Build 18305.
Microsoft has announced that it will resume the release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809). This update was temporarily stopped because some users had lost files after the earlier version of update was installed. This issue should not occur with the newest update release.
Update: Microsoft paused the installation of update version 1809 temporarily while it investigated reports that some users have lost files after installing it. As of October 9th 2018, Microsoft stated that the prior issue was fixed and this update was now available to Windows Insiders.
Microsoft released the Windows 10 October 2018 update (version 1809 build 17763) on October 2nd 2018, and it will be automatically downloaded as part of regular Windows updates. One of the new features is better integration between smartphones and Windows 10 devices using the Your Phone app.
Windows 10 offers a recovery option to do a clean install. Warning: this option will remove installed applications and files. Do a backup of your PC before choosing this option.
This tool may be accessed by clicking Start button > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > “More recovery options” – “Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows”. This option can also be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10startfresh.
Windows 10 Fresh Start will perform a clean reinstallation and update of Windows while keeping user personal data and most Windows settings intact, but Fresh Start will remove installed apps and digital licenses and digital content associated with apps. Fresh Start can be run by selecting Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender > Device performance & Health. Under Fresh Start, select Additional info > Get Started. Update: in the Windows 10 May 2020 update (version 2004), this functionality has been moved to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Get Started.
Another option for reinstalling Windows is to create installation media. Instructions for this are available at support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088/windows-create-installation-media.
A list of Recovery options in Windows 10 is also at support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12415/windows-10-recovery-options.