Monday, October 25, 2021

Hashtag Trending August 30 – Hashtag Trending August 30 – SSD downgrade; Windows 11 on older PCs; Microsoft ends Office app for Chromebooks

Storage maker downgrades popular SSD, Microsoft slightly quietly loosens Windows 11 installation requirements, and Microsoft is also ending Office suite for Chromebooks.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, August 30, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Western Digital, one of the largest PC storage makers in the world, was caught downgrading the flash memory chips for one of its popular SSDs. According to tech publication EXP Review (and subsequent reporting by Extreme Tech), the write performance for the Western Digital SN 550 is more than 30 per cent slower than the older version after it depletes its cache. Despite the swap, Western Digital continued to sell the drive under the same name and did not clearly signal the change to its customers. In a subsequent statement, the company said it had updated the product sheet when it made the change and has offered to replace customers who had unknowingly purchased the new version. Moreover, it said it will commit to introducing new model numbers going forward.

Microsoft has quietly loosened the system requirements for Windows 11. According to Tom’s Hardware, Microsoft will let users install Windows 11 on systems with older processors using a system image if it’s not eligible for the upgrade via Windows update. It has also re-introduced the PC Health Check app, which was initially pulled to reduce confusion. The rest of the system requirements still stand, however, which specifies at least 4GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and TPM 1.2. Note that if Windows 11 detects an out-of-spec processor, it will notify its users that it’s in an unsupported state.

And finally, Microsoft will discontinue its Office app for Chromebook on September 18. That doesn’t mean the suite is disappearing for good, however, as the company is now pushing the web version instead. Moreover, the company promises that the transition will bring additional premium features. After September 18, the Office apps will continue to work on Chromebooks, but no longer receive updates. Note that this change does not apply to the Android and iOS versions of the Office app.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
As an avid technology enthusiast, Tom loves to fix, break, and talk about electronics. Now he gets to write about them. Talk about a dream career.

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