Microsoft has denied that it will be allowing those who pirate its new Windows 10 OS to get free updates
The dark satanic rumour mill had manufactured a hell on earth rumour which claimed that Microsoft was going to give away free Windows updates to those who had pirated its Windows 10 OS.
It was all based on the fact that in January, Microsoft announced it would offer free Windows 10 upgrades to those running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1.
Reports suggested the offer would extend to those who pirated their software although Microsoft did point out that the Windows licences would stay non-genuine and would be unsupported.
Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed the Windows 10 editions and that the free upgrades for genuine users were to Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 Home.
Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of operating systems confirmed that for genuine users, the free upgrade to Windows 10 means receiving “ongoing Windows innovation and security updates for free, for the supported lifetime of that device.
When Microsoft can’t verify that Windows is properly installed, licensed, and not tampered with, it creates a desktop watermark to notify the user. If you ever encounter this watermark on a new machine, I encourage you to return the device immediately to the retailer from whom you purchased it and request a Genuine Windows device, he said,
While its free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we’ve always done, it will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state, he said.
Myerson says Microsoft is planning “very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers” for older devices in a “non-genuine” state. These will be announced in conjunction with Microsoft’s OEM partners, but the company is leaving computer makers to share those specifics at a later date.
Redmond has ordered Windows 7 users to apply an April update so they can receive June’s patches for its Internet Exploder 11.
Writing in its security bog, Vole said that in order to receive June’s critical update (MS14-035) and all future IE 11 patches, users would need to speed up testing of April fix MS14-18, which addressed handling of objects in memory, KB2919355, or KB2929437.
Effectively Microsoft has stopped serving security updates to Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) on consumer and small business Windows 7 PCs unless the customer has successfully applied an April update for the browser.
The latest fix, released June 10, addressed 59 security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, the most severe of which could allow remote code execution when users pointed their browsers to specially crafted web sites.
“These vulnerabilities by themselves do not allow arbitrary code to be run. However, these vulnerabilities could be used in conjunction with another vulnerability (e.g., a remote code execution vulnerability) that could take advantage of the elevated privileges when running arbitrary code,” Microsoft said in a MS14-035 note.
“In addition, compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted content that could exploit these vulnerabilities.
“For example, an attacker could trick users into clicking a link that takes them to the attacker’s site.”
Users running IE 11 would miss out on browser fixes without update 2919355 for Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2, or update 2929437 for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1.
Microsoft has broadcast similar requirements for consumers and enterprises related to Windows 8.1. Any Windows 8.1 PC retrieving patches from Windows Update must have had Windows 8.1 Update installed to get June’s security patches; businesses have until August 12 to do the same.
Software king of the world, Microsoft is going out of its way to convince the world+dog that it is much better to upgrade to Windows 8.1.
A statement which has crossed our desk implies that while users might not actually like Windows 8.1 they are better off upgrading to it because it has much better security.
Even those who do not like Windows 8 should consider it for its superior security as opposed to older Microsoft operating systems, if nothing else, the company tells us.
As you might expect the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, seems to be targeted at Windows XP users which Vole is preparing to abandon.
Windows XP users are six times more likely to become infected than machines running Windows 8, the report says. The raw numbers are that 9.1 Windows XP machines need to be cleaned per 1000 versus 1.6 Windows 8 machines. In addition, Windows XP machines also encounter more malware than Windows 8 machines, with 16.3 percent of XP machines encountering it vs 12.4 percent of Windows 8 machines, the report says.
Windows XP machines also encounter more malware than Windows 8 machines, with 16.3 percent of XP machines encountering it vs 12.4 percent of Windows 8 machines, the report says.
However the report also attacks Windows 7 which is widely seen as a better alternative to XP and Windows 8.
Windows 7 computers have the highest encounter rate with malware with 19.1 percent and Windows 7 machines are more than three times more likely (5.5 per 1000) to become infected than Windows 8 machines.
It looks like Microsoft is attempting to convince the world that the main reason to upgrade to Windows 8.1 is security, part of which is supplied by Windows Defender anti-virus. What appears to be the problem is that many users of older operating systems do not use Defender or any third-party AV software.
Software giant Microsoft appears to have finally lost its rag over the large number of critics bashing its flagship Windows 8.
For those who came in late, Microsoft produced a version of its Windows operating system which had an interface designed for smartphones and was surprised that PC users found it inconvenient.
But it seems that the mood at Vole is changing from hurt and surprised to hacked off.
Writing in the company blog, Frank X Shaw, vice president of corporate communications at Microsoft said that he was fed up with extreme knockers.
He said that these days everyone is a publisher and there is a trend to the extreme. The only way to stand out is to opt for sensationalism and hyperbole over nuanced analysis.
“In this world where page views are currency, heat is often more valued than light. Stark black-and-white caricatures are sometimes more valued than shades-of-gray reality,” he poetically pointed out.
Normally selling 100 million copies of a product is a good thing and listening to feedback and improving a product is even better.
But for some reason all that goodness has been ignored in favour of “extreme” criticism. Even the Financial Times said the upcoming changes to Windows 8 mark one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago, moaned Shaw.
That other tabloid, the Economist, attacked Microsoft when it said “restoring the Start button will not restore Microsoft to its former glory.”
At the heart of all this negative criticism is that Microsoft took away the Start button or boot up into desktop mode.
Shaw insists that Windows 8 is a good product and is getting better every day.
“A computer operating system offers different experiences to different customers to meet different needs, while still moving the entire industry toward an exciting future of touch, mobility, and seamless, cross-device experiences,” he wrote.
While the world and its dog does seem to be writing Windows 8 off with the same gusto that it did with Vista, it appears to be a fallacy.
Despite the fact that Microsoft did score an own goal by insisting on using tiles, the software is selling about as well as Windows 7.
According to figures released by Microsoft, it has has sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses in the six months since launch, roughly in line with the previous version.
These figures are more likely to be correct than Redmond’s earlier statements because pre-orders are now real orders and much of the software to channel partners has appeared in products.
Windows 8 is the first Microsoft operating system primarily designed for touch commands, but it has failed to capture consumers’ imaginations.
While Windows 8 has matched Windows 7 sales three years previously, it looks unlikely that the new system will see progressively rising demand, as Windows 7 did.
But Windows 7 was helped by the fact that it replaced the generally unpopular Windows Vista so it does not seem that things have gone that badly for Redmond, considering.
It is no secret that Windows 8 is off to a slow start and the latest market share data from Net Applications should raise a few eyebrows in Redmond.
Windows 8 is gaining traction, but growth remains painfully slow. In April its market share went from 3.31 percent to 3.84 percent. It gained 0.53 percent last month, but back in December it gained 0.66, so we appear to be seeing a negative trend. Windows 7, on the other hand, dipped just 0.01 percent, sitting at 44.72 percent share, reports TNW.
Given the horrific state of the PC market, the numbers come as no surprise, but they paint a bleak picture for both OEMs and Microsoft. Consumers seem content with Windows 7 and there is practically no incentive to upgrade to Windows 8.
The PC market is mature and the upgrade cycle is slowing down to a snail’s pace, while consumers are choosing to spend their upgrade money on smartphones and tablets. The fact that XP still commands a massive 38.31 percent share speaks for itself.
Microsoft lost a little ground in overall OS share last month. Its market share dipped 0.11 percent to 91.78 percent, while OS X and Linux gained 0.07 and 0.04 percent respectively.
PC sales fell 14 percent in the first three months of the year in what is the biggest decline in two decades.
Beancounters at IDC have blamed the fact that users are avoiding Microsoft’s Windows 8.
Total worldwide PC sales fell 14 percent to 76.3 million units in the first quarter, IDC said exceeding its forecast of a 7.7 per cent drop. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of declines.
It is also the lowest level since the middle of 2009, according to competing beancounters at Gartner, which published its own figures showing an 11 percent decline.
Gartner and IDC say that the sales drop has been caused by the death of netbooks which seem to have been replaced by tablets. Consumers are now more interested in buying smartphones than owning new PCs.
What has propped the PC market up is emerging markets, but even this has not been a strong growth area for PC vendors.
IDC claimed that Windows 8 deterred potential PC buyers, because people felt they could not afford touch screen models.
This was a mistake because the system runs equally well on standard PCs and laptops, but it looks like Microsoft cocked up by emphasing the use of touch in its designs and adverts, IDC said.
Jay Chou, senior research analyst with the IDC unit that tracks PC sales, said that new Microsoft operating systems usually boost PC sales, but the lukewarm reception for Windows 8 will likely mean an even greater drop in the market this year.
HP saw a 24 percent decline in sales in the quarter, but narrowly held on to its title of top global PC supplier, with 15.7 percent market share.
Lenovo kept sales flat and is now just behind HP with a 15.3 percent global share.
Dell, along with rivals Acer and Asustek, all saw double-digit declines in PC sales. Apple’s PC sales fell 7.5 percent in the quarter.
News that Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP in a year from now is bound to cause some dismay for quite a few people.
The estimate is that some 37 percent of people are happy with using what turned out to be a very stable operating system. In my own case, I own a Sony Vaio which came installed with Vista but with the operating to “downgrade” to Windows XP. That, I duly did.
After reading about the Redmond plans this morning, I decided to see just how compatible my rather reliable Viao is with Windows 7. Needless to say, it’s not very compatible at all – and re-installing four or five years of valuable software doesn’t exactly fill my mind with glee. So that makes the decision to carry on using XP as long as my notebook lasts an easy one.
In the old days, we found ourselves more or less blackmailed by the Wintel axis powers into upgrading our machines. But these days, I can see very little compelling reason to do so. I have another machine that has Windows 7 installed and while that OS is pretty stable,
I can see no reason on earth to spend an awful lot of money on an Ultrabook – especially considering the fact that I’ve every reason to suspect the Intel platform isn’t particularly good. I asked Intel if I could have a look at a machine some months ago – the answer was “no”. It’s almost as if Intel doesn’t want tech people to review Ultrabooks.
And like many other people, these days I spend a great deal of time using my Samsung Galaxy III and my Apple iPad 3 doing the fun things in life. It’s only when I need to use a proper keyboard that I’m forced back onto the X86 platform.
I’ll be damned if I spend goodness knows how much money just to have a modern version of Office and an operating system that offers little additional functionality over Windows XP. Instead, I will maintain and protect my old Vaio XP jalopy to the best of my ability.
Incidentally, you have only to boot up ancient versions of software you might have hanging around on your shelves to see that new is not necessarily good. Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0 was a good version of the word processor – it really zings along on Intel platforms several generations ahead of it.
I suspect many of the 37 percent who still use Windows XP will do the same thing I’m doing. Both Microsoft and Intel are, I believe, slowly realising that their gravy train is hitting the buffers. This year and next year are crunch times for both the corporations.
Windows XP is being retired from Microsoft’s support roster this time next year and now Redmond is offering discounts to XP users who choose to upgrade.
Since it did such a wonderful job with Vista, Win 7 and Win 8, Microsoft is practically paying people to upgrade, and it does not seem to be finding many takers. SMBs still stuck on XP and Office 2003 can get a 15 percent discount for Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 purchases, reports Computerworld.
Since Microsoft’s Open License website lists Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 for a total of $561, the 15 percent discount translates to about $84. It might not sound like much, but it helps, especially if SMBs are in the market for multiple licences.
However, the offer only stands for customers running XP Professional and consumers must buy the licences via Microsoft’s Open License programme. Furthermore, the discount is limited to 100 licences per client and it will last until 30 June.
Another problem is hardware and software compatibility. XP is 12 years old and it is used on antiquated boxes. Although many of them can be upgraded to cope with Windows 8, some bits of hardware can’t. The same goes for specialised software developed ten or more years ago.
Microsoft is kindly asking users of Windows XP to upgrade to something a bit less ancient, again. XP has been around for a decade and it is still used on 15 to 20 percent of PCs, depending on who you ask.
Redmond plans to cut off support for the venerable operating system on 8 April 2014, which means users have a year to upgrade, or face more vulnerabilities and security risks. However, XP still remains surprisingly popular, especially among SMBs and some home users. They feel it gets the job done and see no point in upgrading to a new Windows 7 box, but then again Windows XP is older than iOS, Android, Facebook and YouTube.
It is also worth noting that Microsoft sold millions of XP licences for first generation nettops and netbooks, based on Atom processors, years after XP stopped shipping on regular desktops and lappies. Upgrading these systems to Windows 7 probably isn’t an option for most users.
Microsoft insists the only way to stay safe is to upgrade to a new OS, and since the cutoff date is just a year from now, time is slowly running out. Then again, users of ancient XP PCs might very well choose to upgrade to something else, like Linux or in some cases even Chrome and Android.
With millions of XP boxes out there, it is more than likely that quite a few users won’t heed Redmond’s warnings. Microsoft’s decision to ditch XP could also create more opportunities for peddlers of alternative low cost systems based on free operating systems.