Refined OS or chocolate teapot?
With the number of patches that Windows 7 has received over the years, has it become more refined and secure, or is it just a chocolate teapot that will never be fit for purpose?
It may be 2004 within the bowels of Redmond, but the eyes of Windows 7 users are nervously fixed on 2020 as the end of support nears. Freebie year for some on old-hat OS Like a tot excitedly fumbling with the second window of their advent calendar, Microsoft flung open the doors to customers hoping to keep security updates …
I agree but there are some things I like in Windows 10 that Windows 7 misses. Native ISO support is one of them. I know you can get imgburn etc for Windows 7 but just having it built into Windows 10 makes it easier.
Hating Click to Run Office solutions though. When there is an update you have no control, can't control it with WSUS. So it's update or don't update. And if MS role out a broken Click to Run update then you're fucked and have to wait for enough people to moan for them to role out a patch. A patch you can't afford as it's not part of WSUS.
I am currently on W10 since my old laptop transcended to brick status, my new rig came with W10 installed.
It feels like some things are missing with a view to you buying them later and other things ( a lot of them) are installed for no good reason that you will be charged for later if you don't get rid of them.
Overall, it's like buying a house with an IoT fitted kitchen but no glazing.
W7 was really a resurrection of XP just to fill in until Wasaservice could be foisted on the Windows world. I'm waiting for a service pack I have to pay for, that will be Linux time.
"installed with no good reason"
Just did a Win10 instal (refresh effectively) on a PC upgrade today... Win10 automatically downloaded the "audio radar" driver for the soundcard, and activated it, and plastered a surround sound radar map over the display for us to know where the sound was coming from.
Great feature Microsoft, these automatic driver installs and downloads for features we don't/am not using. So then we have the lovely 10 mins to find and deactivate it all (because we really want a radar when watching Youtube :P ).
I am currently on W10 since my old laptop transcended to brick status... I'm waiting for a service pack I have to pay for, that will be Linux time.
GF just moved in and asked me to look at her laptop because it wasn't working well. She said there was a problem with its wireless card not being able to connect to the wifi. It had.... Vista! It's long, long past time for Linux on that system.
I would pay a reasonable amount of money for a REASONABLE service pack for Win 7 with any reasonable extension of support, but NOT "a subscription" nor if it contains GWX-like things, or spyware...
"up"grades are HIGHLY overrated. Win7 is 'fit for purpose' for anything _I_ need to do. It's a LOT more "fit" than Win-10-nic, THAT's for sure!
if I can't keep using 7, I'll get a MAC
WinXP, from a pure user point of view, was indeed the last truly user-friendly Windows, where you could find and configure/tweak everything easily (small stuff was always in right-click Proprieties, serious stuff always in the corresponding section of the Control Panel).
Win7 (Pro) already started to hide some stuff, make other stuff very difficult to find, and foist things on people they hadn't asked for and couldn't remove (Example: I don't want "libraries" or "favorites" cluttering my Windows (file) Explorer!). The Control Panel started swapping its quick access settings menus for convoluted "we know what you're looking for" wizards which, at least in my case, invariably completely missed the point, doing things I don't need and never the simple stuff I do need.
Win8 and Win10 are why, after having been a Microsoft user from DOS 2 on, I switched everything to Linux, just to find again that reassuring "I'm the sole master on board" feeling...
Nowadays I just kept a VM with Win7 for those legacy programs that don't drink Wine, and a Win98 VM for old DOS Extender times games (yes, I said "old"). None is connected to Internet, so they hopefully will keep running till my demise, making the "cold dead hands" saying true...
RIP Windows, we hardly knew you.
(sorry for the rant)
When the subject of XP going EOL came up, I said that if there wasn't something better than XP out when I *HAD* to upgrade, I'd switch to Linux. A year after XP went EOL, I finally moved to Ubuntu. Should have done it years ago.
Win98 VM works well for old Windows games, but DOSBox with DBGL (DOSBox Game Launcher) is fantastic for anything DOS-based. Even handles serial ports!
wizards which, at least in my case, invariably completely missed the point, doing things I don't need and never the simple stuff I do need.
[shudder] Yes, I remember those 'wizards'. Pretty graphics, pretty crap at anything else.
My favourite still is the MS 'Firewall repair tool' I downloaded from their site after a customer's machine was having real issues with the MS 'firewall'[cough].
Firewall couldn't turn off, too much invested in the system for a re-install and rebuild to be a decent option (at least worth spending some time trying to sort out the firewall), and I thought this 'tool' would be worth a try.
But no. The 'firewall repair tool' stopped with a task-ending complaint : "No internet connection".
Come on MS. Why would someone be downloading such a tool for use on a home version of 'doze if the firewall was working enough to allow the internet connection to work? Very few home users (less than .001% I'd wager) would notice anything off with the firewall so long as their pussy vids loaded.
Bad times indeed.
I now support 1 windows user. He and I were talking today about his migration from W7. If I still have a spare working HDD it'll get a Zorin install this weekend and slapped in his machine for a week's trial. If he likes it, then I will not ever need to touch windows for another person again, and the only windows machines I'll 'support' will be me own - and they will remain W7, sitting behind a nice firewall with whatever is the best AV that I can find, and perhaps (if I get worried enough) losing their NIC drivers.
At least for as long as I can keep the hardware alive - and I have no trouble doing that considering my main machine is a D630 laptop (main by hours of use, when I have more gruntwork to do I use something gruntier)
> installed Linux to escape Windows updates
Nonsense. It's "installed Linux to reclaim control over your computer", period. I know, I'm one of those.
Unlike what modern Microsoft seems to think, an "Operating System" is just a foundation to run productivity software on, not an independent entity which decides and acts in total disregard for your needs and wishes, and you have to obey and conform to. I want things my way, period, so I'm bound to do what any customers does when a given product doesn't suit them anymore: Walk away.
I get Linux updates every few days. But they hardly ever cause any disruption, or force a reboot. Only, as a rule, when there's a new kernel.
Even then, I find that Opensuse LEAP comes up very quickly and restores my apps just as they were before the restart. Something Windows has never done.
And Linux keeps track of virtually all the software you have installed, applying updates for them too (not just the OS). And making sure that all the many different versions are compatible with one another.
my wife had a chance to try this new (!) wonderful W10 system the other day, at work. I'd warned her what to expect, so she was, kind of... expecting. But it is, she said, MUCH WORSE - and I got to be blamed for not telling her in advance, and being so stoic about it. Which is, kind of, peculiar, because I generally froth visibly, whenever I have to use W10 (which is not very often, fortunately).
NHS has until Jan 2021 from what I gather to move to Windows 10, our own NHS body has already done so without issues.
We looked into moving to Linux but sadly clinical systems are rarely developed for it and we can't take the risks of running untested clinical systems on Linux for legal reasons. When approached devs who actually could do the development wanted a huge pile of cash to do so - wiping out any savings from not moving to Windows for us in one go. There were several who simply stated they wouldn't develop a linux client.
More and more they become browser based front ends so perhaps in 10 years..
We looked into moving to Linux but sadly clinical systems are rarely developed for it and we can't take the risks of running untested clinical systems on Linux for legal reasons.
Serious question - what about the legal issues of MS siphoning off your patient's information? What can be done in W10 to prevent that, and to guarantee that MS will not get their grubby greedy mits on it?
I recall a VR demonstration at SIGGRAPH 1989. It wasn't thrilling 30 years ago, and it's not thrilling now.
It's hardly a "new technology" (it's improved, true, but clearly not enough to make much of a difference in the consumer market), and if Microsoft is going to "miss out" on any big VR opportunity, it won't be soon.
We already have a perfectly cromulent phrase for "mixed reality" -- Augmented Reality. As in what you perceive is being augmented by additional elements added to your senses in order to give additional information. We don't need to call it mixed reality, reality is already mixed enough as it is, so just keep calling it Augmented Reality (AR & VR).
MS' acronym would then be "Windows Augmented Reality" & there's a song about it -- WAR! (ungh) What is it good for? (Absolutely nothing!) Say it again now! (ungh)
Which would be fine if it ever worked correctly but like every other version of windows it was buggy and insecure
Behind me are stacked dusty old retail boxes from all the other dead OS pversions that were the latest windows and have since been abandoned, still broken.
Not one was ever patched to the point where it actually worked correctly/securely and yet even now most government and busines systems are still "running" windows. Somehow our leaders keep spending cash to buy the same broken code in a new wrapper that MS will again drop before the hardware it was running upon.
To my mind MS should continue to patch until they actually provide what was paid for i.e a secure working operating system. Perhaps they have forgotten what one looks like
To my mind MS should continue to patch until they actually provide what was paid for i.e a secure working operating system. Perhaps they have forgotten what one looks like
In order to have "forgotten", they'd have to have known at some point what one actually looks like.
Yeah, luckily for me I get to decide what I'll use at work too. Hint: It's not Win10.
(Note, I have no grudge or religious beliefs concerning OSes, but I'm definitely the one responsible for productivity and cost, so the solution seemed kind of obvious, despite the (smallish) learning curve required. Tool for the task and all that.)
Microsoft flipped the switch on its Outlook.com Progressive Web App (PWA) last week, allowing the web application to be installed on supported operating systems (Windows, macOS etc.) via a Chromium-based browser.
Ah, so if I have to run it under MSIE6-revisited (AKA GoogleChrome) I guess I wouldn't be running it even if I had the unlikely desire to do so.
for that Win 7 pro key found but never got around to using then! :D
However, no, VR is not the focus. Had another go today on some nice kit. Some games really really had "janky" guis (Valves in house software is nice, so I know it's not the fault of VR), but even the nice games were rather set piece and gimmicky, not long term... with the exception of beat sabre... so I stayed away from it knowing I'd not be here to post comments if I had (I'd still be swinging away :P).
I asked if it was ok if run as a virtual machine. No, absolutely not, completely forbidden. I'm torn between telling IT that they can be the ones to tell the plant manager why production is down (not allowed to run the support software that ONLY runs under XP), or simply keeping quiet. You know, what he doesn't know won't hurt us. (Already disabled networking in the VM.)
Anon for VERY obvious reasons.
Have you tried running the support software in compatibility mode?
Under Win10, I assume. Can't. Don't have the install disk, and vendor has declared the software (and hardware) EOL so won't sell us one. Hardware's probably 15 years old and still working fine. Working on replacing the hardware with something that doesn't require vendor software to maintain, i.e. from another vendor...
We have similar pieces of equipment that have been in constant use for 25+ years. Stability and long life are key here - if it was first produced less than 5 years ago, no thank you, we want stuff with the bugs worked out.
We've got some CNC machines running XP still, plus a load of others running Windows 95. And they're networked too!
Don't get me wrong, they're on a separate VLAN and are firewalled to within an inch of their lives (allowed access to one specific share on one server only for downloading new CAD drawings). Thing is, because this was a properly designed solution that was implemented, it was done properly and there hasn't been any issues with them for years. Far better to implement a proper and secure solution when the odd legacy machine is required than implement a zero-tolerance solution and have people running these systems unofficially and possibly in a risky/insecure manner.
Clearly the software issue is the least of the problems your company has. Deciding what to do in such a situation is obviously a critical decision, which should be made by senior management on the basis of full information.
If managers are afraid to confront the truth - let alone present it to their bosses - the organisation is not long for this world.
No one said that you can't run Windows 7 after January 2020. Microsoft just said that they aren't releasing any more updates to the general public after that date. You can keep using Windows 7 for as long as you like; however, you have to accept all risks for lingering vulnerabilities in that 10-year-old operating system.
One persons view on doing just that and his answer to the telemetry issues -
Thanks very much for that!
Will pass it on and will use it to make myself some images as well (just in case I'm ever tempted to reinstall W7)
Just did a Win7 install using a downloaded ISO from MS.
I had naively assumed that the latest ISO would include all the latest updates as a single package.
Now, I may have been doing it wrong, But initially I was unable to install since the Win7 install did not recognise USB3.0 mouse/keyboard and, for some reason, it would not recognise the USB 2.0 on my late model MB either.
I worked through it OK in the end (And was quite pleased with myself since I am NOT a "Tech Guy" really. I had to DL the appropriate update from MS Updates and patch it onto the Install ISO using various command line tools!)
So yes, while it is still do-able, installing Win7 on a modern MB can be a bit of a faff (I only did it because I had some old software that I wished to continue to use that will not run under Win 10)
Useful article, however, you can short circuit much of the work by simply downloading the Microsoft Windows ISO Download Tool and use this to download from MS the "Windows 7 (August 2018) ISO.
Also I note the other tool missing from the article and comments was:
Using the above, effectively only leaves you with having to manually download updates for the non-core Office programmes ie. Visio and Project.
Though a Linux user myself, Debian my brand, I know many people who can't seem to do without Windows. My recommendation is a "non-conforming"
version of Windows, Windows Enterprise LTSC 2019. It is part of a series of Win 10 releases designed for medical equipment or other devices that need
an operating system without all the bloat MS is so enamoured of. Released reluctantly it is hemmed in with all kinds of restrictions. No Edge, no Office 365, no Microsoft Store...boo hoo - but also limited update/upgrade options. That said it does not have all those tiles on the start menu and seems to run quite smartly on older equipment. MS has made it very difficult to obtain legally. How you get it, install & activate it is your business. I run it on one of my computers to keep a toe in the Microsoft universe. Did I pay for it. Hell no....
Not sure off hand how many of the planets PC's still run Win7, but I imagine that the proportion is still quite high. Over a third, perhaps even nearly half, would not surprise me at all.
Now, like my comment regarding patents, copyright and planned obsolescence.
Corporations enjoy certain legal protections, and in return they are expected to have certain legal obligations.
OS software isn't just any old consumer product like shoes, it is part of the industrial and commercial, and indeed societal infrastructure. For Good or Ill, for all practical purposes, and for the overwhelming majority of consumers. Private individuals and SME's (Who make up 99% of all businesses) alike. MS is essentially the sole provider of PC OS and software (Most software, if not written by MS is written to operate under MS Windows)
MS should not be under a legal obligation to support old software indefinitely. But they should be (As part of their legal deal of protections and obligations) be required to support it for as long as it continues to be used by a significant proportion of users (Actual percentages are a matter of debate)
It wouldn't be so bad had MS maintained their original policy of backward compatibility regarding new OSs and old hardware/software, but currently there must be, literally, billions of dollars worth (Or even tens of Billions!) of PC's and PC based specialised equipment (EG Industrial/Medical) which while currently working just fine under older OS's, is simply not capable of operation under Win10.
It really is not reasonable to expect people to have to replace all this perfectly satisfactory hardware, at enormous expense, simply because of a whim of a private corporation that happens to have an effective monopoly on its products.
(Maybe, one day, the US Government might do a "Standard Oil" on MS's Ass!)
Any measurement of usage is going to be inexact at best. If there were a standard for legally mandated support, it'd have to be based on the last date the software was available for purchase(and probably should match the legally required warranty period). Given that Windows 7 sales ended completely in 2016, this probably wouldn't affect their plans much.
I would have thought that the combination of the windows activation database and windows update database would know between them "Exactly" how many copies of Win7 are still in regular use??
Well... I have heard rumours about there being somewhat illegitimate versions of W7 that are "pre-activated" or "OEM-activated" that don't need to talk to the activation server - even if they never existed for the hardware they're later installed on.
--> Not that I'd know anything about them.
As to Win's update servers, they may not be exactly the safest thing to talk to. Not since MS decided they had the right to start breaking in to people's computers and changing the installed software at will. How they got away with so many instances of what is actually a crime in many countries I don't know.
Some years ago, around the time Windows 8 was pinched off, Sperry Bridgemaster navigation radars ran XP. In all likelihood doing to was some combination of bespoke drivers and stability. Their excellent application software meant the user never had to interact with the OS anyways, and I'm sure the OS had been stripped to the bare minimum.
I was a guest on a ship's bridge and got to see a Sperry tech interact with a Win 8 bigot who had his laptop and demanded to know why the radar still ran such an ancient OS. Tech points towards the harbor and asks, "Would you rather see shit?". Points towards laptop and asks, "Or see... Shit.?"
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