Software giant Microsoft has warned the world that its Windows 7 software is the chocolate teapot of software and is advising people to upgrade to Windows 10.
Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 back in January 2015 and stopped OEMs from selling PCs with Windows 7 and 8.1 near the end of 2016.
A spokesVole said that Windows 7 will approach its end of extended support in less than three years, and warned enterprise customers and other users to upgrade to Windows 10.
While January 14, 2020 might seem a long way away it does take organisations rather a long time to do a roll out. But Vole warned that Windows 7 really was not an option anymore and not fit for the purpose for most corporates.
In a new blog post, the company says that continued usage of Windows 7 increases maintenance and operating costs for businesses. Similarly, time is needlessly wasted on combating malware attacks that could have been avoided by upgrading to Windows 10. Microsoft also says that many hardware manufacturers do not provide drivers for Windows 7 any longer, and many developers and companies refrain from releasing programs on the outdated operating system.
Markus Nitschke, Head of Windows at Microsoft Germany said that the Operating system did not meet the requirements of modern technology, nor the high security requirements of IT departments.
Companies should take early steps to avoid future risks or costs, he said.
Microsoft further pointed out that its obsolete operating system is based on “long-outdated security architectures”. It also cautioned that companies and businesses who still use it are more susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Software King of the World Microsoft has consigned its Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to silicon heaven.
Vole stopped providing copies of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 licences to OEMs which means that you should not be able to find one in the shops.
Two years ago, Microsoft stopped selling Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Ultimate licenses to OEMs. With Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 out of the picture Windows 10 is the only remaining option. Unless you want Linux.
The Windows Lifecycle chart for sales doesn’t have an end date for Windows 10, since that operating system doesn’t have a successor.
Mainstream Support for Windows 7 ended on January 13, 2015 while Mainstream Support for Windows 8.1 will end on January 9, 2018. In theory Windows 10 will still get it until October 13, 2020.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update, released in August 2016 and a new version, the Windows 10 Creators Update, is slated to arrive in “early 2017”.
Software King of the World Microsoft is ending mainstream support for its Windows 8 operating system.
Vole killed off support for Windows 7 at this time last year and now Windows 8’s security updates will be coming to an end on the 12th of January, 2016.
This might seem a little strange as Windows 8 was only released in 2012, and Vole normally gives you a decade of support before killing it off. But this is more to do with the fact that Windows 8.1 is such a different beastie from Windows 8 that Microsoft is seeing them as different operating systems.
Given that Windows 8 was pretty pants, most users will have given up on it and upgraded anyway. Those who have not will not get support. If users upgrade to Windows 8.1 or even Windows 10, that support will be extended to 2023.
In addition to ending security updates for Windows 8, just last week Microsoft also announced that they will be ending support for older builds of Internet Explorer, namely versions 8, 9, and 10 which all come to an end also on the 12 January.
Software king of the world Microsoft appears to have taken an interest in how much time you are using its Windows 10 operating system.
With its latest Threshold 2 Update Microsoft is also monitoring how long people are using the operating system and sending the data to Redmond.
It is a strange thing to want to do, but it seems that Vole can use the information for marketing. It can safely say that more than 11 billion hours were logged in December. But it could also be a way for a future Microsoft to set up a licence fee for higher and lower users.
The difficulty is getting Vole to admit that it has even started collecting the data. Microsoft spokespeople are getting rather cagey about references to the data it collects.
SpokesVoles are referring people to a bog which does not really answer anyone’s concerns.
It is also surprisingly silly of Microsoft. One of the problems people are having adopting the Operating System is the amount of data that it is collecting on users. It is only a matter of time before that attracts the attention of Euro watchdogs.
The real question is what Microsoft’s long term plan is for Windows? It is starting to look like the free Windows is a research gathering exercise for a bigger cunning plan. This would explain why Microsoft is doing its best to encourage users to upgrade even to the point of spreading FUD about its own products.
Market research company Gartner said today it thinks migration to Microsoft’s Windows 10 will be the fastest ever.
Gartner believes that 50 percent of enterprises will start Windows 10 deployments by January 2017.
The free upgrade to people with Windows 8 and Windows 7 means that tens of millions of people will be familiar with Windows 10 by the end of this year.
Enterprises will take the plunge because they’re aware that Windows 7 will end its days in 2020.
Steve Kleynhams, a research VP at Gartner, said that his company expects implementation will be “significantly more rapid” than that seen with Windows 7 six years ago.
Gartner also believes that by 2018 a third of all notebooks will have touchscreens, with prices dropping in the second half of 2017.
Not happy with putting in “features” into Windows 10 which many fear might be spying on them, Microsoft has been quietly retro-fitting similar software into Windows 7 and 8.
In April, Microsoft released a non-security update for both Windows 7 and 8. This update, 3022345, created a new Windows service called the Diagnostics Tracking service.
Microsoft told us that it increased the amount of diagnostic data that the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) can collect to better diagnose problems. It also collected data for third party applications that use the Application Insights service. Application Insights allows app developers to track performance issues, crashes, and other problems of their applications. The Diagnostics Tracking service collects this data and sends it to Redmond.
Since then Microsoft has updated the service twice. Updates 3068708 and 3080149 installed automatically with the normal Windows Update settings. While another update, 3075249, enhanced the User Account Control (UAC) feature to enable it to collect more information from the elevation prompts.
It is all very Windows 10. Users don’t know what’s being sent, and it can’t be readily controlled. There is little chance of interception as the traffic is encrypted. Windows Firewall can blocking the traffic and disabling the service is also possible.
However it is unlikely that many will know or do so. It is not clear why Microsoft is suddenly becoming all obsessive about collecting user data.
Yusuf Mehdi, who is in charge of marketing for Windows and devices said today there are over 75 million devices running its Windows 10 operating system.
In his blog, he said that Windows 10 is running in 192 countries across the world.
Even ancient devices from remote times – 2007 – have been upgraded to Windows 10, he said.
We don’t know what Windows 10’s personal assistant Cortana is like, but Mehdi claims it’s told over half a million jokes since launch.
Windows Store for Windows 10 has seen six times more app downloads per device than Windows 8 – we have no problem believing that.
Microsoft introduced a free upgrade for people with Windows 8 and Windows 7 machines. Windows 10 is yet unproved, and most pundits agree Windows 8 was a shocker.
Windows 7 is regarded as stable but there’s no doubt large enterprises will take a long hard look at Windows 10 before going the whole hog.
Notebook vendors who have the nerve to sell machines using high end hardware specs are going to have to pay Microsoft for the privilege.
According to a report in Taiwanese wire Digitimes, this is not making the vendors – such as HP, Dell, Acer, and Asustek very happy.
The notebook market is currently faltering as people move to smartphones and to tablets, and margins are already tight for the manufacturers.
But with Windows 10 due out at the end of July, the additional licensing fees that Microsoft will levy will leave the vendors between a rock and a hard place.
Prices are already at rock bottom for many models of Windows based notebooks and the only way the vendors can sell high end models is if they take the hit, as the world+dog won’t way to pay more than they need to for an already expensive machine.
Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 10 for people using Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in a bid to move minds and hearts of a somewhat disillusioned user base.
The free upgrade will expire after a year, and Microsoft hasn’t yet indicated what it will charge people then.
While Microsoft has now confirmed that PC versions of Windows 10 will ship at the end of July, and versions for other machines later, there is considerable confusion in the market about how the firm will price up its offerings.
Windows 10 is being offered free to users of Windows 7 and the benighted Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 – but reports suggest that the picture is far from clear on how Microsoft will tackle the OEM end of the market.
According to a report in Taiwanese wire Digitimes, Microsoft has muddied the waters by offering discounts in a failed bit to compete with Google Chromebooks.
The report suggests that Microsoft is now offering discounts depending on the specifications of the hardware with the cheapest charge being $15.
And that’s discouraging some vendors of high end machines.
Nevertheless, it’s believed that Microsoft will encourage vendors like Acer and Lenovo to supply Windows 10 notebooks costing no more than $250.
These are supposed to compete with Chromebooks but it could be the move is too little, too late.
The UK government has decided not to renew a service agreement with Microsoft for continuing support of Windows XP computers and that means thousands of machines will be vulnerable to hacking.
According to the Guardian, last year the government paid £5.5 million to continue supporting Windows XP computers and its own digital unit said XP machines will now be exploitable.
While the government stumped up for extended support last year, each department is now expected to make its own deal with Microsoft for patches and the like.
The government has pledged to upgrade its Windows machines but some have made slow progress and there may be an understandable reluctance to move to Windows 8.1, given that Windows 10 will arrive this year.
Despite the fact that the situation is patchy, the Guardian report said that departments have been sternly told not to use unsupported software.