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  1. How to download and install Microsoft Edge on Windows 7 In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft has recreated Edge browser on Chromium for Windows 10, macOS and now Windows 7. Microsoft has just released the first preview build of Edge browser for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 Microsoft Edge for Windows 7 offers experience and features like its Windows 10 counterpart, including Internet Explorer mode, rounded corners, and more. The company has published the Microsoft Edge Canary Builds for Windows 7 and the more stable Edge Dev builds will be released soon. In this article, we walk you through the steps to download and install Microsoft Edge on Windows 7. Install Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge on Windows 7 Visit the Microsoft Edge Insider page from here. Click on ‘More platforms and channels’. Scroll down. Click on ‘Download’ located below Windows 7. Click on ‘Download for Windows 7’ under Canary. Run the installer and allow it to install. That’s it, you can now use Microsoft Edge on your Windows 7 machine like any other web browser. You can import your bookmarks, history, and more from Google Chrome or you can start from scratch. Unlike Chrome, Edge offers you to choose the look of the new page tabs and you can also try experimental features from the flags menu. The dark mode is not available as Windows 7 does not support it natively. You can also sign-in to your Microsoft account and sync your browsing history across Windows 10, macOS, Android and even iOS devices.
  2. KB4503277 and KB4503283 for Windows 7 and 8.1 released Microsoft released two update previews for the company's Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems on June 20, 2019. The updates are also available for Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 and can either be downloaded directly from the Microsoft Update Catalog website or as an optional update through Windows Update. Please note that the updates are considered previews; in other words, they should be considered beta releases. It is advised to stay clear of them until a device is affected by one of the fixed issues or if you want to take the updates for a test drive. Both updates are non-security updates. KB4503277 for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Support link: KB4503277 Microsoft Update Catalog Link: link Servicing Stack Update: link KB4503277 "includes improvements and fixes that were part of KB4503292" according to Microsoft's update description. The release notes list the following changes: Fixed an issue that prevented the Calculator application from following Gannen settings when enabled. Addressed an issue with the evaluation of the compatibility status of the Windows operating system. Fixed an issue that caused Internet Explorer 11 to stop working when Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) markers are opened or interacted with. Fixed the Event Viewer issue that caused custom views to throw an error message on Start. The only known issue listed is the incompatibility with certain McAfee Enterprise products that may slow down the system start or make the system unresponsive altogether. KB4503283 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Support link: KB4503283 Microsoft Update Catalog Link: link KB4503283 "includes improvements and fixes that were part of KB4503283" according to Microsoft's update description. The release notes list the following changes: All changes fixed by the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 update. Fixed an issue that caused the user interface to appear frozen during scroll operations (in windows with many child windows). Addressed a reliability issue in Windows (which Microsoft did not reveal anything about other than that it is a reliability issue) Microsoft confirms two known issues, both of which not new. The systems are affected by the same McAfee software issue as the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems are. The second issue is the longstanding issue on Cluster Shared Volumes that makes certain operations fail with the error "STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)". New Internet Explorer cumulative update as well Woody Leonhard notes that Microsoft released a new cumulative Internet Explorer update for the client operating systems Windows 7 and 8.1, and the Server operating systems Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 as well recently. Addressed an issue that caused Internet Explorer 11 to stop working when it opened or interacted with Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) markers, including Power BI line charts with markers. The cumulative update is available on Microsoft's Update Catalog website. Source: KB4503277 and KB4503283 for Windows 7 and 8.1 released (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  3. 1 Million Computers Still Vulnerable to Major Windows Security Exploit Microsoft advises all affected systems to update to the latest software. HIGHLIGHTS Microsoft recently discovered "wormable" vulnerability on Windows It affects all machines except the ones running Windows 8 and Windows 10 The vulnerability is believed to be remotely exploitable Microsoft has warned nearly one million computers globally are still at risk of a malware attack Microsoft has warned that nearly one million computers globally are still at risk of malware attack similar to WannaCry that spread worldwide in 2017 causing billions of dollars in damage. The software giant recently discovered "wormable" vulnerability in Remote Desktop Services for Windows that can automatically spread. The company has issued its second advisory, urging users to update their systems to prevent the "BlueKeep" malware attack, TechCrunch reported on Friday. "Microsoft is confident that an exploit exists for this vulnerability. It's been only two weeks since the fix was released and there has been no sign of a worm yet. This does not mean that we're out of the woods," warned Simon Pope, director of incident response at Microsoft's Security Response Center (MSRC). "Our recommendation remains the same. We strongly advise that all affected systems should be updated as soon as possible," said Microsoft. The bug is a "critical" vulnerability that affects computers running Windows XP, Windows 7 and server operating systems. These operating systems are widely being used especially in corporate environments. "The vulnerability can be used to run code at the system level, allowing full access to the computer -- including its data. "Worse, it is remotely exploitable, allowing anyone to attack a computer connected to the internet," reports TechCrunch. Only Windows 8 and Windows 10 are not vulnerable to the new bug. Source
  4. After the debacle last month, you’d think that McAfee and Sophos would’ve figured out a way to work with Microsoft’s monthly patches. Not so. Microsoft says that its May 14 Monthly Rollup, KB 4499164 and Security-only patch KB 4499175, are triggering problems anew: Microsoft and McAfee have identified an issue on devices with McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) Threat Prevention 10.x or McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention (Host IPS) 8.0 or McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (VSE) 8.8 installed. It may cause the system to have slow startup or become unresponsive at restart after installing this update. We are presently investigating this issue with McAfee. Guidance for McAfee customers can be found in the following McAfee support articles: McAfee Security (ENS) Threat Prevention 10.x McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention (Host IPS) 8.0 McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (VSE) 8.8 To be clear, this is in addition to the problems we all felt last month. The official Release Information status page says that this particular problem originated on April 9 and has been mitigated. McAfee disagrees: “May 16, 2019 Updated that this issue applies to Windows April 2019 update KBs or later Windows monthly updates.” You can choose which one you believe. Microsoft hasn’t yet admitted to the problems with Sophos, but I assure you they will. Here’s what Sophos says: We have had an increase in customers reporting that following on from the Microsoft Windows 14th May patches they are experiencing a hang on boot where the machines appear to get stuck on “Configuring 30%” Initial findings suggest that this relates to the below Microsoft Patches: May 14, 2019—KB4499164 (Monthly Rollup) May 14, 2019—KB4499165 KB4499175 (Security-only update) * We have currently only identified the issue on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s) Sophos Endpoint Security and Control Sophos Central Endpoint Standard/Advanced Why does this feel like deja vu all over again? Thx Kevin Beaumont @GossiTheDog. Source: For the second month in a row, McAfee and Sophos are having problems with the Win7/Server 2008 R2 Monthly Rollup and Security-only patches (AskWoody) * Poster's note: Sophos mentions KB4499165 above, but that's the security-only update for 8.1 and Server 2012 R2, not 7. They mean KB4499175 , the security-only update for 7 SP1 and Server 2008 SP1.
  5. Windows 7 users are now receiving the end of support reminder notifications Image Courtesy: Microsoft Some users are reporting that Microsoft has begun sending notifications to Windows 7 machines to remind users when support for the OS ends. The users are supposed to upgrade to Windows 10 before support ends for the older OS in January 2020. By the looks of things, the notification first popped up in the morning of April 18, 2019. A Reddit thread also confirms that some Windows 7 users received the notification on April 18. In another Reddit discussion, users confirmed that the notification showed up when they booted the computer. The notification titled “After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing an end” reveals the date when support for Windows 7 ends. The notification popup features the ‘Learn more’ button on the right. If you click on the button, it opens Microsoft’s webpage in the browser to detail the end of support deadline and options available to the customers. As promised, there’s also a box ‘Do not remind me again’, which if clicked, is supposed to stop displaying this notification again. If you simply close the window, the notification would show up again in the near future. Microsoft says users can continue to use Windows 7, but the operating system will stop receiving software and security updates in 2020 and this will put the system at a greater risk for viruses and malware. “While you could continue to use your PC running Windows 7, without continued software and security updates, it will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10. And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended,” Microsoft explains. Source
  6. While most of Patch Tuesday seems to be going relatively smoothly, Win7, Win8.1, Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 machines are seeing multiple problems with this month’s patches, both Security-only updates and Monthly Rollups. Sophos has acknowledged that its products may be at the core of the reports. detsang (CC BY 2.0) Patch Tuesday seemed uneventful until loads of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 machines, as well as Win8.1 and Server 2012 R2 machines, rebooted overnight. Looks like we have another throat-clutching bad round of patches to contend with. Sophos Anti-Virus appears to be at the core of many reported bugs, but it’s still too early to tell if other software will get stung by the same changes. Yesterday, as is its wont, Microsoft released a big bunch of patches: 74 separately identified security holes; two of them actively exploited; with every version of Windows, Office, IE and Edge plugged. As of early this morning, the big news is the astounding gaggle of bugs being reported for the Win7 and Server 2008 R2 Monthly Rollup, KB 4493472, and the Win8.1 and Server 2012 R2 Monthly Rollup, KB 4493446. We’re still at the first-survivor’s round of complaints, but so far there have been reports on Spiceworks of: Login screen stuck on Welcome and taking up to an hour to logon. And then even if they can login they freeze up completely. Some of our 2008R2 servers were hanging at "applying computer settings". Including the domain controller. After booting into safe mode and removing the update, the problem was gone. All of our Windows 7 machines auto installed this update so we've spent since 8AM this morning going to each machine and removing it (having to boot into Safe mode). However the update simply will not remove from our HP ProDesk 400 G2 MINI's we've had to take them out of service as they continue to get stuck even after the removal. Over on the Sophos site: Sophos AntiVirus service was logging lots of error messages in event log. Event IDs : 7022 (service hang), 80, 81, 83, 85, 82, 566, 608, 592. The server became unresponsive, no rdp, no file share access, Ctrl Alt Delete not working. The people at Sophos just acknowledged the problem: After installing the following Microsoft Windows updates Sophos has received reports of computers failing to boot: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4493467/windows-8-1-update-kb4493467 https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4493472/windows-7-update-kb4493472 Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s) Sophos Endpoint Security and Control Sophos Central Endpoint Standard/Advanced There’s no apparent solution, other than uninstalling the Windows patch — and that’s pretty complicated because you have to bypass the Sophos Anti-Virus service. Details in the post. It’s not clear from Sophos’s mea culpa precisely which patches are implicated. They list two: KB 4493467 - the April Win8.1 Security-only patch KB 4493472 - the April Win7 Monthly Rollup From that, I would infer (but can’t yet confirm) that two additional patches are involved: KB 4493446 - the April Win8.1 Monthly Rollup KB 4493448 - the April Win7 Security-only patch Microsoft has yet to report on any of this. In particular, we don’t know if the patches only clobber Sophos Anti-Virus, or if there’s more collateral damage. We’re keeping a close eye on the AskWoody Lounge. Source: Widespread reports of freezing with yesterday’s Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups, KB 4493472 and KB 4493446 (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)
  7. Want to try Edge Insider on Windows 7 now? Here’s how to get it working Microsoft finally made its new Chromium-based Edge browser available for Windows 10 usersyesterday, and it’s currently possible to choose between two different channels, Dev and Canary. The company said that preview builds for the new browser would be coming soon for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and macOS, but it’s actually already possible to install the new browser on older version of Windows. As a matter of fact, the leaked Microsoft Edge build that was discovered last month already worked on Windows 7, and it looked pretty good with the Aero interface and built-in support for PWAs. As reported by Bleeping Computertoday, the Edge Dev and Canary installers do work on Windows 7, it’s just that the .exe files are hidden when you visit the new Microsoft Edge Insider website with a non-Windows 10 PC. Fortunately, you should be able to find the installers on this download page, even when you visit it on a non-Windows 10 PC. Bleeping Computer had no issue running the Edge Insider Dev build on a Windows 7 PC, though the report notes that watching videos on Netflix didn’t work, probably because of missing DRMs on the OS. We don’t have a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 PC around to test the new Edge browser on these versions of Windows, but it would be surprising if it didn’t work. If you have yet to try Microsoft’s Edge Insider web browser, we remind you that you can install the Dev and Canary versions side by side: The Dev version will get new builds every week, while the Canary version will be updated daily. There’s already a lot to like in these Insider builds, even though Microsoft is still in the process of removing or replacing some features available in the Chromium open source project. Source
  8. Windows 10 Increases Its Lead as Windows 7 Begins Going Down The rapidly approaching end of support for Windows 7 is just what Windows 10 needed to become a more widely-adopted operating system, as new data shows Microsoft’s latest OS version is finally improving its market share at a more aggressive pace. According to numbers provided by NetMarketShare for the month of March, Windows 10 increased its lead to 43.62%, up from no less than 40.30% in February. This means Windows 10 improved its market share by 3.32% in just a single month. At the same time, Windows 7, which has long been the number one desktop operating system, dropped from 38.41% to 36.52% during the same month. In other words, the gap between Windows 10 and Windows 7 has now reached 7.1%, and it’s very likely to continue increasing in the coming months.The Windows 7 EOLThis new data can only be good news for Microsoft, especially as the company struggles to convince users to give up on Windows 7 and upgrade to Windows 10. Launched in 2009, Windows 7 is projected to reach the end of support in January 2020, which means no security patches would be shipped after this date. With this milestone approaching fast, Microsoft is trying to make people aware of the risks of running outdated Windows by sending notifications to their devices, a tactic which the company hopes would also boost the adoption of Windows 10. Despite Windows 8.1 still getting updates as well, Windows 10 is Microsoft’s recommended choice for users looking to upgrade from Windows 7. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also giving the finishing touches to a new Windows 10 feature update (version 1903 and possibly called April 2019 Update), which itself could help boost the adoption of the operating system worldwide. Windows 10 version 1903 will introduce several significant improvements, including a new light theme on the desktop, Windows Sandbox for running apps in a secure environment, and further Windows Update refinements. Source
  9. One Small Detail Windows 7 Users Won’t Like As you probably know already if you’re still on Windows 7, Microsoft has started its Windows 10 upgrade offensive earlier this week as the 2009 operating system is approaching the end of support. While a lot has been said about the notifications that Microsoft now shows on the desktop in order to make people aware of the January 2020 Windows 7 end of life, few people actually noticed a smaller detail that Microsoft included in its upgrade brochure. The warning displayed on the desktop of Windows 7 devices includes a link that points users to this page whose purpose is to provide information for those who may decide to upgrade to Windows 10. Without a doubt, Microsoft recommending Windows 10 and not Windows 8.1, which is still supported, isn’t surprising by any means, but what’s a little bit unexpected is how the company says this upgrade should be performed. Basically, while the software giant says users should move from Windows 7 to Windows 10 as soon as possible before the January 2020 deadline, how they should do that is by purchasing a new computer. Microsoft says the following on the page linked above: “The best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended.” Without a doubt, this sounds odd for many users, especially because back in 2015 when Microsoft launched Windows 10, the new OS was offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 users. In other words, Windows 10 was supposed to run on the same hardware as Windows 7. And while the new features that Microsoft added to Windows 10 in the meantime may require new hardware, labeling the upgrade on the existing configuration as “not recommended” is certainly unexpected. Microsoft goes on to explain why you should purchase a new computer: “PCs originally built with Windows 7 are running 10-year-old technology. Windows 10 has many of the same features and capabilities from Windows 7 built into the experience. Once you move to a new PC, there will be many aspects of the experience that you will find familiar, but also with important innovations and capabilities that were not available ten years ago.” The company then highlights a series of Windows 10 features requiring new hardware, like touchscreen and pen support, the Photos app (?!), and security improvements. Oddly enough, the system requirements for Windows 10 are very similar to the ones for Windows 7: Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or System on a Chip (SoC) RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit Hard drive space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 32 GB for 64-bit OS Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver Convincing users to give up on Windows 7 and switch to Windows 10 will definitely be a difficult thing to do, and turning to recommendations like this one makes the whole mission even harder. And what’s worse is that it also causes more frustration among Windows 7 users, who have already criticized Microsoft’s approach several times already. Some don’t think Windows 10 is worth installing because of all the modern features like the Microsoft Store, while others blasted the company for its Windows 10 offensive, including the notifications that show up on the desktop. Right now, Microsoft’s biggest problem is that Windows 7 is so widely used all over the world. Windows 7 is still running on more than 35 percent of the desktop computers available globally, and Windows 10 needed around 4 years to finally take over the leading place. Source
  10. Unlike the infamous GWX debacle from when Win10 first arrived, this kinder, gentler nag can, in theory, be reliably disabled. It’s rolling out just now in an optional Windows 7 update, KB 4493132. Microsoft / IDG Those of you who discovered a new optional patch, KB 4493132, on your Windows 7 machines this morning can breathe a sigh of relief. Although Microsoft’s official documentation says the nagware “patch” (if you can call it that) should come through automatic update, in fact every report I’ve seen so far says that KB 4493132 is playing nice, sitting in the “Optional” list in Windows Update. The KB article itself has almost no information: After 10 years of servicing, January 14, 2020, is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates for computers running Windows 7 SP1. This update enables reminders about Windows 7 end of support. More information about Windows 7 end of support can be found here. This update is available through Windows Update. If automatic updates are enabled, this update will be downloaded and installed automatically. For more information about how to turn on automatic updating, see Windows Update: FAQ. That last paragraph seems to be, mercifully, incorrect — at least at this point. We’ve been promised that you can turn off the nag, and keep it off permanently. Given the experiences with the GWX program — which found a way to not only reappear, but to install Win10 without provocation — I find that very hard to believe. But I'd be very glad to be wrong. Of course you should make sure that automatic update is turned off. Thx, PKCano. We're following intently on the AskWoody Lounge. Seven Semper Fi! Source: The new 'Get Windows 10' announcement arrives for Win7 in KB 4493132 (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)
  11. Some Windows 7, 8.1 users reporting Security Essentials and Windows Defender problems Some Windows 7 and 8.1 users are noticing that their automatic anti-malware protection has been turned off and are seeing out-of-date virus definitions. A definition update fix may be coming shortly. A number of Windows 7 and 8.1 users are encountering problems with Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender. Users are seeing their automatic anti-malware protection turned off without their knowledge and are seeing out-of-date virus definitions. The problem is happening with some, but not all, users for the past several hours. Windows 10 users don't seem to be affected. I just tried running a manual Security Essentials scan on my Windows 7 SP1 desktop machine and got error message 0x800106ba. I, like others reporting the issue, received a warning that my PC couldn't be scanned and my ant-malware service had stopped. Microsoft Security Essentials provides a fuller range of protection against malicious software than Windows Defender. MSE is meant to protect against viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits, spyware and more. I have no idea how many users are affected, but saw early reports of this on AskWoody.com. There are more reports of the same issue on the Microsoft.com Answers site. Some System Center Endpoint Protection users also are reporting problems and have been guessing that a faulty virus definition could be the culprit. I'm hearing from sources that an definition update that will fix the issue should be out in the next hour or so (by 3 pm ET or so). And that the problem, introduced in signatures 1.289.1521.0 could be mitigated in signatures 1.289.1587 or newer. I've asked Microsoft for official comment. No word back so far. Yesterday, March 18, a number of IT administrators were reporting sync issues with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). That issue also may have had something to do with virus definitions. (Thanks to @d_vickery on Twitter for that reminder.) Source
  12. AMD Radeon Drivers Updated with DirectX 12 Support on Windows 7 AMD has just released new Radeon drivers that include support for DirectX 12 games on Windows 7. Version 19.3.2 comes with several improvements, like support for new games, including here Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. But the top highlight in this release is the support for DirectX 12 on Windows 7. “AMD is thrilled to help expand DirectX 12 adoption across a broader range of Windows operating systems with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 and onward, which enables consumers to experience exceptional levels of detail and performance in their games,” AMD explains in the release notes of this new driver. Microsoft announced earlier this month that it’d bring DirectX 12 support on Windows 7 in an attempt to provide gamers here with the same benefits as Windows 10. And while DirectX 12 can be considered just another reason to hold back from upgrading to Windows 10, the support for Windows 7 will end in January 2020, so switching to a newer release should be on the agenda for every user.Known issues in this releaseNeedless to say, the new Radeon drivers also include plenty of fixes and several known issues, and you can check out the full changelog in the box after the jump One particular bug, however, is worth highlighting because it causes the mouse cursor to disappear from the screen under certain circumstances. “Mouse cursors may disappear or move out of the boundary of the top of a display on AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics,” AMD explains. You can download the new drivers for Windows 7 and Windows 10 from Softpedia using this link. Please refer to the changelog in the box after the jump to check out all the known issues before installing the new software on your device. Source
  13. Why the Windows 10 Upgrade Notifications on Windows 7 Are a Necessary Evil Windows 7 is rapidly approaching its end of support, so now that we’re in the last 12 months of updates, Microsoft needs to begin its typical struggle to make everyone aware of the risks of staying with an operating system that no longer receives patches. While in the case of Windows Vista, the latest operating system that reached the end of life, the efforts in this regard were more or less minimal, Microsoft needs to do better this time because of a simple reason. Windows 7 is currently the second most used desktop operating and until not a long time ago, it was the top choice for PC users. At this point, Windows 7 still has some 36 percent market share, while Windows 10, the new leader of the industry, is pretty close with approximately 39 percent. So Windows 7 remains an incredibly popular choice even almost ten years after its launch. So now that the Windows 7 support is coming to an end, Microsoft apparently has a more aggressive plan in mind in order to get people off this operating system. One of the ideas that are part of this strategy is a notification-based system that will be used for Windows 7 users. Basically, what Microsoft will start doing is displaying warnings on Windows 7 devices in order to let users know that the support is coming to an end. The same notifications will also include learn more links to help users find out more information about what’s happening in January 2020, but also a recommendation to upgrade to Windows 10, which is currently the operating system that Microsoft says offers the best available performance and security. This means that Microsoft would more or less display Windows 10 upgrade notifications on Windows 7 once again, and although the company says users would be able to block them, many are outraged that the software giant comes down to this approach once again. These notifications are more or less similar to the ones pushed as part of a company known as “Get Windows 10,” which included messages showing up on Windows 7 users an encouraging them to upgrade to Windows 10 in the first 12 months after its launch. However, while so many people don’t think this is the right approach for Microsoft, it actually is. And there’s a very good reason for this. A worrying number of users have no idea that Windows 7 is projected to reach the end of life in January 2020, so this is pretty much the easiest and most efficient way to let them know this is happening. And what’s worse, I met users that didn’t even know which version of Windows they were running, while others believed Windows 7 was the newest Microsoft operating system. While most people reading technology news are typically power or tech-savvy users, there are way too many other users out there who know little about computers, the end of support, Windows in general, and Windows 7 in particular. For all these, notifications displayed on their desktops is the most efficient way to ensure that once the end of life is reached, they just don’t become sitting bucks for hackers online. There’s no doubt that once these notifications start showing up on users’ devices, Microsoft would once again come under fire for its aggressive Windows 10 push, but this time, the company really has a good reason to highlight the benefits of an upgrade to its latest operating system. And despite all of these, not everyone would migrate off Windows 7 before the January 2020 deadline is reached. So what Microsoft must do is reduce this number as much as possible. Source
  14. How to replace Windows 7 with Linux Mint Windows 7 has less than a year of supported life left. If you really, really don't like Windows 10, it's time to consider running Linux Mint instead. Many of you are Windows 7 users. I get it. Windows 7 just works. But the clock is ticking for Windows 7. In less than a year, Windows 7's free support ends. Come that day, you'll have a choice: You can either run it without being certain you'll get vital security patches (that would be really stupid), or you can pay for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) on a per-device basis, with the price increasing each year. We don't know how much that will be, but I think we can safely assume it won't be cheap. Or, you can migrate to Windows 10. And, yes, for now, you can still update to Windows 10 for free from Windows 7. But Windows 10 came out in July 2015. If you haven't upgraded by now, I'm sure you don't want any part of Windows 10. I actually sort of, kind of like Windows 10. Yes. Really. Well, I did when it first came out. My affection for it waned with every Windows 10 failed update. Take the infamous Windows 10 October 2018 Update, aka version 1809. When it first came out it deleted user files, would sometime fail at unzipping compressed files, and could fail while opening files on networked drives. Quality assurance? What's that? It's only now, three months later, that Windows 10 October 2018 is finally being automatically rolled out to users. So, maybe Windows 10 isn't really what you want to "upgrade" to right now. In that case, I have another suggestion: Linux Mint. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF A LINUX DESKTOP But, wait, say you need Microsoft Office. Fine. Run Office Online. There you go. Welcome to 2019, when you don't have to be running Windows to run "Windows" programs. For all your other desktop software needs, there's usually a free open-source program that can do just as good a job. Gimp, for example, instead of Photoshop. Evolution instead of Outlook. Or LibreOffice for full-featured Microsoft Office. That said, there are some programs you can't replace on Linux. If I were making videos, for example, I'd be using Corel's Pinnacle Studio, which only runs on Windows. If you're locked into such a program, you'll need to move to Windows 10. On the other hand, desktop Linux tends to be far more secure than Windows. Oh, you can run into trouble, but it's not like Windows where having an antivirus program is a must. GETTING READY TO INSTALL MINT ON YOUR WINDOWS PC There are many good Linux desktops, and I've used many of them. I recommend Mint, but there are numerous others you can consider such as openSUSE, Manjaro, Debian, and Fedora. I have one big reason to think Mint is a good fit for Windows 7 users. Mint's default Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like Windows 7's Aero interface. Yes, there's a learning curve, but it's nothing like the one you'll face if you move to Windows 10 or macOS. Another advantage, which Mint share with other Linux distros, is it is rests lightly on your system. Mint can run on any of your Windows 7 PCs. All Linux Mint needs to run is an x86 processor, 1GB of RAM (albeit, you'll be happier with 2GB), 15GB of disk space, a graphics card that can handle 1024x768 resolution, and a CD/DVD drive or USB port. That's it. Mint, like the other Linux desktops, won't cost you a red penny. You also don't have to commit to it. You can try it first, and if you don't like it, just reboot back to Windows, and you're done. No fuss. No muss. Ready? Let's go. After downloading the ISO file, which takes up about 2GB, you must burn it to a USB stick or DVD. I recommend using a USB stick -- since that's makes it easier to give a trial run. Running it from a DVD can be quite slow. If you don't have an ISO burner program, download one. I recommend freeware programs ImgBurn (for optical drives) and Yumi for Windows (for USB sticks). Other good choices are LinuxLive USB Creator and UNetbootin. These are all free programs. Once you've installed the burner program and have the latest Linux Mint ISO file in hand, burn the ISO image to your disc or USB stick. If you're using a DVD -- Mint is too big to fit on a CD -- check your newly burned disc for errors. Over the years, I've had more problems with running Linux and installing Linux from bad discs than all other causes combined. It's better to use a USB stick with persistent storage. With this, you can store your programs and files on the stick. This way, you can carry Mint with you and use it as a walk-around operating system at a hotel, conference, and library PC. I've found this to be very handy, and there's always at least one Linux stick in my laptop bag. Next, reboot your system, but stop the boot-up process before Windows comes up, and get to your PC's UEFI or BIOS settings. How you do this varies according to your system. You should look for a message as the machine starts up that tells which key or keys you'll need to press in order to get to the BIOS or UEFI. You can also do a Google search for your specific PC or PC brand and "UEFI." Or, with older PCs, your computer brand and "BIOS." For example, with Dell PCs, you tap the F2 key to enter system setup; with HP, you tap on the escape key once a second; and on Lenovo systems, you tap (Fn+) F2 or (Fn+) F1 key 5 to 10 times after the power-on button is pressed to get to system setup. Once you get to the BIOS or UEFI, look for a menu choice labeled "Boot," "Boot Options," or "Boot Order." If you don't see anything with the word "boot" in it, check other menu choices, such as "Advanced Options," "Advanced BIOS Features," or "Other Options." Once you find it, set the boot order so that, instead of booting from the hard drive first, you boot from either the CD/DVD drive or from a USB drive. Once your PC is set to boot first from the alternative drive, insert your DVD or USB stick and reboot, then select "Start Linux Mint" from the first menu, and, in a minute or so, you'll be running Linux Mint. Now play with it for a while. Take a few days if you like. Windows is still there. Anytime you reboot without the drive or stick in, it will go right back to it. Like what you see of Mint? Then let's install Mint on your PC. HOW TO INSTALL LINUX MINT Like any serious upgrade, you'll start with making a complete backup of your Windows system. Installing Linux in the way I'm going to describe shouldn't hurt your Windows setup at all, but why take chances? It used to be that installing Linux on Windows PCs with UEFI and Secure Boot was a major pain. It can still be annoying, but Ubuntu and Mint have made booting and installing with Secure Boot system a non-issue. All pre-built binaries intended to be loaded as part of the boot process, with the exception of the initrd image, are signed by Canonical's UEFI certificate, which is implicitly trusted by being embedded in the Microsoft signed shim loader. If, for some reason, you can't install Mint with Secure Boot running on your PC, you can always turn off Secure Boot. There are many ways to switch Secure Boot off. All involve going to the UEFI control panel during the boot process and switching it off. Now, let's get on with the actual installation. Make sure your PC is plugged in. The last thing you want is to run out of battery power during an operating system install! You'll also need an internet connection and about 8GB of free drive space. That done, reboot into Linux again. Once you have the Mint display up, one of your icon choices on the left will be to install Mint. Double-click it and you'll be on your way. Next, you must walk your way through several menu choices. Most of these decisions will be easy. For example, the language you want Mint to use and your time zone. The one critical choice will be how to partition your hard drive. Partitioning a hard drive can be a real pain, but it doesn't have to be for our purposes. We're going to set your PC up so you can dual-boot both Windows and Mint. To do this with the partition command, just pick the first option on the Installation Type menu: "Install Linux Mint alongside them." This procedure will install Linux Mint next to your existing Windows system and leave it totally untouched. When I do this, I usually give half my PC's remaining drive space to Mint. You'll be asked to choose which operating system you want to boot by default. No matter which one you pick, you'll get a few seconds to switch to the other operating system. You'll also be required to give your system a name; pick out a username for yourself, and come up with a password. You can also choose to encrypt your home directory to keep files relatively safe from prying eyes. However, an encrypted home directory slows systems down. It's faster, albeit counterintuitive, to encrypt the entire drive after you have Mint up and running. Mint 19.1's setup menu enables you to automatically run several processes. These are to set up a system snapshot with Timeshift. This way, if something goes wrong later, you can restore your system files and get back to a working system. I highly recommend. While you're at this, set up a regular Timeshift schedule. Next, you can have it check to see if your computer needs any additional drivers. You should do this, and after, you can install proprietary multimedia codecs such as drivers to watch DVDs. That's a good idea, as well. You should also set it to update your system to the latest software. Unlike Windows, when you update Mint, you're updating not just your operating system but all your other programs such as the web browser, office-suite, and any other programs you installed afterward from Mint's Software Manager. To do this manually, click on the shield icon in the menu bar. By default, you'll find this on the menu bar on the bottom part of the screen, and the icon will be on the right. Once clicked, it will prompt for your password and ask if you really want to update your system. Say yes, and you'll be ready to give your new Mint system a real try. The setup routine also offers to let you look at system settings and find new programs with the Software Manager, but since you're probably a new user, you can skip those for now. That's all there is to it. I've installed Linux hundreds of time, and it usually takes me about an hour from starting my download -- the blessings of a 400Mbps internet connection -- to moving from booting up to customizing my new Mint PC. If you've never done it before, allow yourself an afternoon or morning for the job. I think you may just find that, while you'll still miss Windows 7 at first, you'll appreciate how much Mint can do for you. Source
  15. Google: Abandon Windows 7 and Upgrade to Windows 10 Right Now Google recommends Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 if possible, as a kernel vulnerability allows for local privilege escalation on the operating system. Clement Lecigne, Threat Analysis Group, explains that in late February, Google discovered two different security vulnerabilities, one in Google Chrome browser and another one in Windows. The Chrome bug has already been patched with the release of update 72.0.3626.121, but the Windows 7 security flaw is yet to be fixed. Microsoft says the vulnerability resides in the Windows win32k.sys kernel driver and it can be used as a security sandbox escape. Windows 10 doesn’t seem to be affected, Google says, as this operating system version comes with additional mitigations that make it possible to block exploits. “We strongly believe this vulnerability may only be exploitable on Windows 7 due to recent exploit mitigations added in newer versions of Windows. To date, we have only observed active exploitation against Windows 7 32-bit systems,” Lecigne notes.Upgrade to Windows 10 ASAPThe Google security researcher says the bug was reported to Microsoft and the software giant is working on a fix already. “In compliance with our policy, we are publicly disclosing its existence, because it is a serious vulnerability in Windows that we know was being actively exploited in targeted attacks. The unpatched Windows vulnerability can still be used to elevate privileges or combined with another browser vulnerability to evade security sandboxes,” the advisory notes. Until Microsoft delivers a fix, the only way to stay secure is to upgrade to Windows 10, Google says. When patches become available, users should install them as soon as possible on Windows 7. Launched in 2009, Windows 7 is projected to reach the end of support in January 2020, so home users and enterprises alike are now urged to upgrade to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates. Source
  16. 'Extended Security Updates' will give enterprise customers more time to move off Windows 7 by providing security fixes for OS vulnerabilities after support ends in January 2020. Getty Images / Microsoft Microsoft plans to start selling its Windows 7 add-on support beginning April 1. Labeled "Extended Security Updates" (ESU), the post-retirement support will give enterprise customers more time to purge their environments of Windows 7. From Windows 7's Jan. 14, 2020 end of support, ESU will provide security fixes for uncovered or reported vulnerabilities in the OS. Patches will be issued only for bugs rated "Critical" or "Important" by Microsoft, the top two rankings in a four-step scoring system. ESU will be dealt out in one-year increments for up to three years and support will be sold on a per-device basis, rather than the per-user approach Microsoft has pushed for Windows 10 licensing. Costs for ESU will start out low - $25 or $50 per year per device - but will double each year, ending at $100 or $200 per device for the third and final year. (The less expensive prices will be for subscribers to Windows 10 Enterprise or Microsoft 365 Enterprise.) Windows 7 ESU also lets covered PCs run Office 365 ProPlus, the locally-installed applications - Outlook, Word, Excel and the like - bundled with Office 365. Microsoft had previously said that support for Windows 7 running Office 365 ProPlus would dry up when the former reached retirement in January. Another benefit to ESU is that Microsoft will keep patching Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) on eligible Windows 7 machines. In a March 1 post to a company blog, Bernardo Caldas, general manager of Windows commercial marketing, advised customers interested in ESU to contact their Microsoft account team or reselling partner for purchasing details. Source: Microsoft to start selling Windows 7 add-on support April 1 (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  17. 1. The only version that you can successfully install at first launch is .NET Framework 4.5.2 - this will work for you, guaranteed! 2. All other .NET Framework 4.x will fail in first attempt. On any next attempt you will have success, but don't hurry to enjoy, you still be unlucky (read at point 5 below). 3. If you want to install all other versions at first launch, you must install manually this certificate first. 4. If you are trying to install certificate from third part apps, for example from Inno Setup, you will be unlucky. (Already tried these two methods) 5. If you have already installed .NET Framework 4.7.2 which officially include all previous versions (4.0–4.7) you are not be able to install SDK (Software Development Kit) for Windows 7. You will get report that you are using Pre-Release of the required .NET Framework 4.0 and you must install at least RTM version. Otherwise you are not able to install all features and they will stay as inactive gray components unchecked without ability to check. 6. If you install .NET Framework 4.0 or .NET Framework 4.5.2 you are able to fully install SDK for Windows 7, it will be recognized now. In short - do not use any other version .NET Framework 4 except version 4.5.2 for Windows 7 OS. They are not optimized for using on any device, for example on Virtual Machines.
  18. Killing Off Windows 7 Won’t Be Easy, New Data Shows Windows 7 is projected to be retired in January 2020, but all the data seems to indicate that doing this won’t be easy for Microsoft. Last month, for example, instead of going down, Windows 7 actually increased its market share, getting closer to leader Windows 10, which still struggles nearly four years after launch. January 2019 numbers provided by NetMarketShare indicate that Windows 10 remained the number one desktop operating system last month with a share of 40.30%, while Windows 7 was the runner-up with 38.41%. While at first glance this is good news for Windows 10, it actually isn’t, as it dropped from 40.90% in January, while Windows 7 improved from 37.19%.The Windows 10 struggleBy the looks of things, customers aren’t very keen on leaving Windows 7 behind, and the next 12 months will be critical for Microsoft. The bigger problem for the software giant isn’t necessarily the fact that people refuse to upgrade from Windows 7, but that the latest Windows 10 updates do little to convince them to switch sides. The October 2018 Update, also known as version 1809, became Microsoft’s buggiest release in a long time, with the company itself pulling the update shortly after the original release due to a bug potentially causing the removal of user files. With such buggy releases, it’s pretty clear that some users, including here both consumers and enterprise, delay the migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10 as much as possible in order to avoid having to deal with any critical issues. Microsoft, however, has already started the offensive, and the company claims that enterprises should have little to worry about when it comes to the transition to Windows 10. Most apps on Windows 7 should run without any issue on Windows 10 as well, and Microsoft is offering tech assistance to companies that might come across compatibility struggles when upgrading their devices. Source
  19. Large businesses not ready to migrate off Windows 7 as of January 2020 and which opt for paid security updates should expect Microsoft's update pricing to double each year. Microsoft said last Fall that it would offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates on a per-device basis for big customers willing to pay for them after the company ends Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020. Microsoft officials wouldn't talk about how much those updates would cost, beyond saying they'd get more expensive over time. However, Microsoft has briefed some of its partners and salespeople about the cost of these Extended Support Updates (ESUs). And, as you'd expect, they're not cheap, especially for customers who may want to apply them on multiple PCs. They're even more expensive for customers using the Pro version of Windows than the Enterprise one. Last Fall, Microsoft officials said they would provide Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for three years, meaning through January 2023. These will be security patches/fixes like the ones Microsoft is currently providing for free for Windows 7 users, as Windows 7 is still in "Extended" Support through January 14, 2020. For Windows 10 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 customers, Microsoft will provide Windows 7 ESUs as an "add-on," according to information Microsoft seemingly shared with partners and its field sales people. Year one (January 2020 to 2021), that add-on will cost $25 per device for that set of users. Year two (January 2021 to 2022) that price goes up to $50 per device. And Year three (January 2022 to January 2023) it goes up to $100 per device. To qualify for this pricing tier, customers can be running Pro as long as they are considered "active customers" of Windows Enterprise in volume licensing. For users who decide to stick with Windows 10 Pro rather than Windows 10 Enterprise, those ESU prices are significantly higher. Year one, Windows 7 ESUs will cost those Windows 7 Pro customers $50 per device; Year 2, $100 per device; and Year 3, $200 per device, according to information Microsoft seemingly shared with its partners and field sales people. I asked Microsoft officials if they'd verify this pricing information. I also asked if there would be volume discounts on these prices available to customers with a large volume of Windows 7 devices needed ESUs, which I'm thinking could be the case. No word back so far. These prices ensure customers they will receive cumulative security updates for Windows 7 over the course of a year. If customers decide to purchase ESUs in Year 2 or 3, they will need to pay for prior years. There's no minimum purchase required, according to the documentation I've seen (and a piece of which I've embedded in this post, above). As Microsoft officials said previously, the ESUs are for larger business and education customers only. They will be available to any Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users with volume-licensing agreements. Office 365 ProPlus will continue to work on devices with Windows 7 Extended Security Updates through January 2023. Microsoft has offered extended security updates in the past for no-longer-supported versions of Windows via Custom Support Agreements costing millions of dollars. A Microsoft spokesperson would only point back to the original Microsoft September blog about the ESU plans, and not comment further. That person added: "Customers would need to work with their Microsoft account team for details on pricing," which, again, makes me think that these listed ESU prices are possibly negotiable based on volume. Source: How much will staying patched on Windows 7 cost you? Here's the price list (ZDNet - Mary Jo Foley)
  20. Windows 7: What is your company's exit strategy? If your business is still running on Windows 7, it's time to get serious about how you're going to handle the January 14, 2020 end of support. Here are your four options. If your business is still running on Windows 7, you have some important decisions to make, and not a lot of time remaining. Windows 7 support officially ends in less than a year, on January 14, 2020. After that date, Microsoft will stop delivering security updates automatically, and by then most third-party vendors will have dropped support as well. Most businesses completed their planning for migration to Windows 10 long ago and are in the final stages of implementing that plan. If you're still procrastinating, it's time to get serious. You have, by my calculation, four options. Which one you choose depends on why your organization is still clinging to Windows 7. If the main reason is inertia, you'll need to find something to motivate yourself. You could, for example, calculate the costs of cleaning up after a successful ransomware attack that spreads over your network, including the loss of business while you scramble to recover. If you're in a regulated industry, you might want to find out whether running an unsupported operating system puts you at compliance risks, which can result in hefty fines and a loss of business when customers find out. The other possible deployment blocker is a compatibility problem. For most Windows 7 apps, compatibility shouldn't be an issue. If your business depends on specialized hardware or line-of-business software that absolutely will not run on Windows 10, you might be able to make a case for paying to extend the support deadline. But that just delays the inevitable by a year or two, or at most three. Your search for a replacement should be well under way by now. So, what are your options? Because I know that at least a dozen people will offer one particular suggestion in the comments to this post, let me bring it up right at the top of the list. OPTION 1: SWITCH TO LINUX. Something tells me that most businesses that have stuck with Windows 7 until nearly the bitter end have already considered and rejected this option. That's especially the case for those businesses that are constrained by compatibility issues related to a mission-critical Windows app. How to replace Windows 7 with Linux Mint But sure, if you're willing to completely replace your desktop infrastructure and switch out every productivity app you use, that's a preferable alternative to the next option on the list. OPTION 2: DO NOTHING. On January 25, 2020, Windows 7 won't stop working. In fact, you're unlikely to notice any changes. If you feel lucky, this is certainly an option. You might even consider the lack of monthly updates a welcome feature. Spoiler alert: This is a very bad idea, one that exposes you to all manner of possible bad outcomes. If you absolutely must keep one or more Windows 7 PCs in operation, perhaps because they're running a critical app or controlling a piece of old but essential hardware, the best advice I can offer is to completely disconnect that machine from the network and lock it down so that it only runs that one irreplaceable app. OPTION 3: PAY FOR EXTENDED SUPPORT. When Windows XP support ended in April 2014, Microsoft offered to continue delivering patches for XP devices owned by large organizations that paid for Custom Support Agreements. But those contracts didn't come cheap. Only very large enterprise customers could even qualify for one, and then the cost was literally millions of dollars, as my colleague Mary Jo Foley discovered. For Windows 7, the extended support option is far more democratic. In September 2018, Microsoft announced its plan to offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs). You won't need megabucks, either: Although Microsoft has yet to publish a price list, an insider tells me that the annual cost for an ESU contract will be $50 per device, with that price tag going up to $100 in year two and $200 in year three. That escalating price schedule is intended to serve as a disincentive to Windows 7 users who might otherwise be tempted to kick the can a little further down the road. Customers who have paid for Windows Software Assurance contracts or who have Windows 10 Enterprise or Education subscriptions will get a discount but will still be subject to significant price hikes in years 2 and 3. You can eliminate the extra cost of Windows 7 Extended Security Updates completely if you move your workloads to virtual machines in Microsoft's Azure cloud. That option will be available using the new Windows Virtual Desktop option, which should be available as a preview soon. For businesses that only need to virtualize individual line-of-business applications, this could be a cost-effective option. OPTION 4: BITE THE BULLET AND UPGRADE. If you don't have any compatibility issues that need to be addressed first, the simplest and most straightforward route is to put together a deployment plan and begin executing it. But the details of tha plan matter, especially if you want to avoid the headaches of the "Windows as a service" model. As always, of course, the easiest upgrade path is via hardware replacement. Any device that's five years old or more is an obvious candidate for recycling. Devices that were designed for Windows 10 and then downgraded to Windows 7 should be excellent candidates for in-place upgrades, after first making sure that the systems have the most recent BIOS/UEFI firmware updates. One not-so-obvious factor to consider is which Windows 10 edition to deploy. The obvious choice for most businesses is Windows 10 Pro, but I strongly suggest considering an additional upgrade to the Enterprise (or Education) edition. Yes, machines running Windows 10 Pro allow your admins to defer feature updates, but the support schedule for Enterprise/Education is significantly longer: a full 30 months, as opposed to 18 months for Pro (For a description of the new support schedule, including a chart that explains how the new schedule works, see "Windows 10 Enterprise customers will now get Linux-like support.") The other advantage of moving to the Enterprise/Education editions is the availability of a new support offering called Desktop App Assure. If you encounter a compatibility issue during the upgrade, you file a support ticket and get engineering support to resolve the issue. For most businesses, the Windows Enterprise E3 and E5 subscription options are probably the easiest and most cost-effective here. Whichever option you choose, though, now's the time to get to work. That ticking sound is only going to get louder as January 2020 approaches. Source
  21. Microsoft is making changes to Windows Media Player on Windows 7 Windows Media Player is no longer an essential addition to Windows and there are quality third-party alternatives, such as VLC Media Player. Microsoft’s offers the Films & TV app in Windows 10 as an alternative to Windows Media Player, but the legacy player remains the default player on Windows 7 devices. Today, we spotted a new support documentwhich was quietly published yesterday and it has revealed that Microsoft is retiring a feature that is being used in Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player. According to the support document dated January 26, 2019, Microsoft is retiring the ability to view information (metadata) in Windows Media Player on Windows 7 PCs and Windows Media Center on Windows 7, 8.1 and 8 PCs. Windows Media Player remains unaffected from this changes on Windows 10 devices. Microsoft says that you can no longer view information (metadata) such as the title, genre, and artist for songs for movies in Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player. Microsoft is discontinuing this service after analyzing the feedback from consumers and the usage data. “This means that new metadata won’t be updated on media players that are installed on your Windows device,” Microsoft explains. However, for some reasons, the feature appears to be still available on PCs running Windows 10. It’s important to note that any information that has already been download won’t be removed and this change apparently doesn’t affect any key features such as playback, media streaming. Source
  22. Windows 10 ALERT: Millions at risk by not following this very simple advice MICROSOFT Windows 10 and Windows 7 users are being warned that not updating their PCs to the latest software could put them at risk from vulnerabilities and other significant security issues. Windows users who are using older versions of the software could be putting themselves at risk. That's the news from the latest report from security firm Avast, who say that more than half of PC applications installed worldwide are out-of-date. In fact, Avast’s PC Trends Report 2019 found that users are making themselves vulnerable to hackers by not implementing security patches and keeping outdated versions of popular applications on their PCs. Along with applications being not being kept updated, the report also found that many Microsoft users aren't keeping on top of upgrades to their Windows operating systems. According to Avast, almost one in six of all Windows 7 users and one in ten of all Windows 10 users worldwide are running older and no longer supported versions of their product. Speaking about the report, Ondrej Vlcek, President, Avast said: “Most of us replace our smartphone regularly, but the same cannot be said for our PCs. "With the average age of a PC now reaching six years old, we need to be doing more to ensure our devices are not putting us at unnecessary risk. “With the right amount of care, such as cleaning our hardware’s insides using cleaners, optimisation and security products, PCs will be safe and reliable for even longer. The applications where updates are most frequently neglected include Adobe Shockwave (96%), VLC Media Player (94%) and Skype (94%). The report, which uses anonymised and aggregated data from 163 million devices across the globe, also found that Windows 10 is now installed on 40 per cent of all PCs globally, which is fast approaching the 43 per cent share held by Windows 7. This news comes as Microsoft has just announced an update on its Windows Phone products. The US company has just confirmed that it won't be supporting the platform from the end of the year meaning those owning a Windows-powered phone will no longer receive security updates or new features. In post on its blog, Microsoft confirmed: "As of December 10, 2019, Windows 10 Mobile users are no longer eligible to receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft for free. "Third parties or paid support programs may provide ongoing support, but it is important to recognise that Microsoft support will not publicly provide updates or patches for Windows 10 Mobile." With Microsoft now ditching all updates for good there's good news for Android and Apple as the Redmond firm is recommending users switch to these platforms. "With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device," Microsoft said. Source
  23. It's now less than a year until Windows 7 goes out of mainstream support; after January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7 -- unless you want to pay extra, of course. This is a big issue for many companies: while Windows 7 is long in the tooth (it went on sale back in October 2009), it's much loved -- at least, as much as a PC operating system can be loved -- and is still widely used. Indeed, even though Windows 10 has been around since late 2015, it's only in the last month or so that general usage of Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7. According to Microsoft there are 1.5 billion devices running Windows, with more than 700 million running Windows 10. But that means there are hundreds of millions of devices running Windows 7, with that support deadline looming. Microsoft is certainly keen for businesses to upgrade, touting the security of Windows 10 over Windows 7 as a good reason to make the move. It's also keen to get as many users onto Windows 10 as possible because that will help it build momentum behind Windows-as-a-Service, which means regular feature updates rather than massive upgrade projects every few years. But enterprises, which are often cautious about new technology, will have noted Microsoft's buggy recent Windows 10 upgrades and will worry about the impact on their infrastructure. So what happens now? Andrew Hewitt, a tech analyst at Forrester Research, says the past two years has already seen a massive migration and push towards Windows 10. According to Forrester's survey of infrastructure decision-makers, 56 percent of company-issued PCs are currently running Windows 10 -- up eight percent from last year, and 18 percent from the year before. "This shift is happening at a quick rate, but as you can see, there's still quite a ways to go before everyone is shifted over to Windows 10," says Hewitt. So why hasn't everyone updated yet? One reason is that businesses have legacy apps that aren't compatible with Windows 10 and they don't know what to do about it, or they have not yet done their application compatibility testing -- a key migration milestone. Some are concerned about the frequency of Windows updates and don't have the processes in place to adequately respond, and some are concerned about cost. "All these things work together to keep organizations on Windows 7," Hewitt says. Hewitt predicts that even by the 2020 date, we won't be seeing full Windows 10 adoption, as some organisations are comfortable waiting longer before they make these changes. There are also some non-standard devices, like ruggedized devices, that will run Windows 7 for quite some time, he says. "I'm optimistic about the vast majority of organizations making the move by 2020, but it certainly won't be 100 percent. Some will consider other alternatives -- like ChromeOS, for example -- which we've seen increasingly adopted in enterprise use cases," says Hewitt. A few years ago, getting customers to shift to the newest version of Windows might have been a make-or-break project for Microsoft, but it's no longer just the Windows company these days. In its quarterly company results, Windows is now unceremoniously lumped in with Surface, gaming and search revenue under More Personal Computing. For Microsoft, the priority is its other two revenue baskets -- Productivity and Business Processes (which includes Dynamics and Office 365) and Intelligent Cloud -- both of which, while slightly smaller by revenue, are growing faster than the group that includes Windows. That's probably just as well; PC shipments have been in decline for seven -- yes, seven -- years now. Consumers are buying fewer PCs (40 percent of them, down from 49 percent just five years ago), which means that PCs -- and Windows -- are increasingly mainly a business tool. As Microsoft largely missed the boat on smartphones, tablets and wearables, aiming at productivity and the cloud is a wise choice. That's not to say the PC isn't still important: it's the gateway to many other products like Office 365, and to a lesser extent to Microsoft's cloud offerings. And despite claims that Windows would give way to Chromebooks (or, even further into the distant past, Linux on the desktop), Microsoft's OS has proved remarkably resilient. Deciding what to do about the demise of Windows 7 will be a headache and create plenty of work for IT, but the reality is that Windows is not as vital as it once was, thanks to the rise of the browser, the cloud and new device types, all of which mean that the desktop is no longer the only option for productivity. SOURCE
  24. The delayed delivery of Windows 10 October 2018 Update could put the pinch on companies looking to upgrade from Windows 7 before support for the aging OS ends next January. pan xiaozhen modified by IDG Comm. / Microsoft (CC0) Microsoft's months-long delay in getting the latest Windows 10 feature upgrade to customers could not have come at a worse time. The slow delivery of Windows 10 October 2018 Update, also known as 1809 in Microsoft's nicknaming yymm nomenclature, may pinch enterprises' migration from Windows 7, impact the expected shift to longer-supported versions of Windows 10 and temporarily stymie businesses from skipping multiple upgrades. Windows 10 1809 only began a phased roll-out to customers - almost entirely consumers at the start - a week ago, even though the upgrade was initially released Oct. 2, 2018. The roll-out should have started to show up on eligible PCs no later than the middle of October. But a bug that deleted users' files - a flaw reported prior to release by some participants of the Windows Insider beta program - forced Microsoft to withdraw the upgrade from all release channels, apply a fix to the flaw and then return 1809 to Insider for additional testing. Because of the three-month delay, customers running unmanaged PCs - all those powered by Windows 10 Home and many of the Windows 10 Pro devices - will probably run 1809 for just half as long as normal, three months rather than six, before they're required to upgrade to this year's 1903. But the delay could also disrupt migration and upgrade plans for enterprises, which not only are allowed to defer the twice-a-year refreshes but are allotted 30 months of support for each version, a full year longer than what is given to Home and Pro users. Hamper Windows 7 to Windows 10 migrations Due to a confluence of various deadlines, the three-month delay of 1809 may go down as an unforced error that punishes enterprises trying to oust Windows 7 from their networks. The most important of those deadlines is Jan. 14, 2020, when Microsoft ends free security support for Windows 7, making the OS a risk to run after that date. Businesses with Windows 7-powered systems, then, have until Jan. 14 - 356 days from today - to upgrade those PCs to Windows 10. The problem is that 1809 is not yet ready for enterprise deployment, so each day of delay is another day companies cannot migrate machines. There are older versions of Windows 10 that have been approved for business, but each has unwanted characteristics that make them poor alternatives. The problem with the older Windows 10 feature upgrades is that they will exit support either before Windows 7's retirement or within a few months after its expiration, forcing enterprises to upgrade again. (Contrary to Microsoft, which at least publicly believes many customers will continue to upgrade twice annually, Computerworld assumes that the goal of enterprise IT will be to do the fewest possible upgrades by running each Windows 10 refresh for the longest possible period.) Windows 10 Enterprise 1703's support will dry up in October, three months before Windows 7's retirement. Windows 10 Enterprise 1709 and Windows 10 Enterprise 1803 drop out of support April 14, 2020, and Nov. 10, 2020, respectively, or three and 10 months after Windows 7 support goes dark. That means, if a company decided to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10 now and took eight months to complete the upgrade - four for piloting the build, another four for deployment: Windows 10 1703 is out, because its support dries up before the end of this year, forcing the firm to upgrade from 1703 as soon as it wrapped up the job. (And the company could only do an upgrade to 1703 if it simultaneously worked two upgrades on separate testing/piloting/deploying tracks. While it deployed 1703 on one track, for instance, it would have to pilot its successor on another.) Windows 10 1709 is little better; its support runs out in 15 months, giving the company only seven months on this version after the upgrade. The two upgrades - from Windows 7 to Windows 10 1709, then from 1709 to a successor - would have to overlap to some degree. But as Figure 1 shows, as soon as the organization finished installing 1709 it would have to begin installing a follow-up, such as 1803 or as shown, 1809. Even then, 1709 would make it onto the business's machines just four months before Windows 7 hit its sold-by date (Windows 7's retirement is marked by the blue vertical bar). Figure 1 Gregg Keizer/IDG Windows 10 1803 is immediately available and tested, but its end-of-support date presents a problem. That date - Nov. 10, 2020 - is far enough in the future and the migration could be wrapped up before Windows 7's support lapses. But as Figure 2 illustrates, the natural successor, this year's 1903, would be a mistake because even for Windows 10 Enterprise customers, it will get only 18 months of support. That means holding out for 1909, which will receive 30 months of support. Trouble is, the company won't have much of an upgrade cushion from 1803 to 1909; the upgrade will have to begin as soon as the latter is declared enterprise-ready and even then, the cushion will be a short four months. Figure 2 Gregg Keizer/IDG Windows 10 1809 should have been the perfect upgrade from Windows 7. It's almost certain that Microsoft intended it to be, what with some of the steps it took before it was to launch (prime example: the 30-month extension of support for the feature upgrades designated xx09. But it didn't work out, as Figure 3 shows. Figure 3 Gregg Keizer/IDG If Microsoft had not had to yank 1809 and push back its roll-out by three months, enterprises would have spent October through January piloting and testing the build. Then, when Microsoft certified 1809 as corporate-ready - by the end of January at the latest (more likely in the first half of December) - enterprises could start deploying Windows 10 as Windows 7's replacement. Deployment would presumably finish in May, giving organizations a seven-month-and-more cushion before Windows 7 slid out of support. Instead, the file deletion bug pushed the schedule back by four months. Microsoft will probably use extreme caution and not certify 1809 as enterprise-ready until May. Deployment, then, would occupy the company's IT through October; assuming the migration encounters no showstoppers, it should be completed with three months to spare. That's cutting it close. Source: Windows 10 1809 fiasco may hinder enterprise migrations from Windows 7 (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  25. The last twelve months of official unpaid support for Windows 7 have started; Microsoft's, still very popular, operating system will receive the last batch of updates in early January 2020. Extended support ends in January 2020 and while organizations may pay Microsoft to get an additional three years of security updates, no such option exists for Home customers. It won't be possible, likely, to extend the end of support, like on Windows XP or Vista systems, by installing compatible Server patches as Windows Server 2008 R2 support ends in January 2020 as well. Tip: check out our overview of Windows versions and support end here. Microsoft wants that Windows 7 customers and organizations upgrade their devices to the company's Windows 10 operating system. While it is theoretically possible to upgrade to Windows 8.1, it would extend the end of support issue by just three years. Microsoft guaranteed to support Windows 10, the last version of Windows according to Microsoft officials, until at least 2025. It is unclear what is going to happen in 2025 though. Microsoft broke with the "a new operating system every three years" rule when it released Windows 10. The company did not release Windows 11 in 2018 which it would support until 2028. While there is a chance for a major refresh in 2025, all of that is pure speculation at this point in time. Windows 10 software compatibility Software compatibility should not keep companies and users from making the switch according to Microsoft. The company created a special program, called Desktop App Assure, in which it analyzed 41,000 applications for Windows 10 compatibility. 7000 out of those 41,000 applications had the potential for compatibility concerns according to the Desktop App Assure team; only 49 of those, however, had compatibility issues. Microsoft fixed compatibility issues for "many" of these applications. The company failed to provide the list of programs that are not compatible with Windows 10. Organizations may contact Microsoft's Desktop App Assure team to resolve compatibility issues with software on Windows 10. Details on how to contact the team have been published on the Microsoft 365 blog. The company published a video in October 2018 entitled "What is Desktop App Assure and Manage Win32 apps with Intune". Source: Windows 10 can run all your Windows 7 apps, says Microsoft (except a few) (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
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