back to article Windows 7 and Server 2008 end of support: What will change on 14 January?

It is remarkable that Windows 7 is reaching end of support on January 14 2020 while maintaining something approaching 27 per cent market share among Windows users, according to Statcounter. This is down from 35 per cent in December 2018 but still substantial. Windows has a share among desktop users of around 77 per cent, so …

  1. ArrZarr Silver badge
    Happy

    We still need a name for this

    And I'm still saying that the W7 EOL name should be "The bowl of petunias".

    1. Locky

      Re: We still need a name for this

      Oh no, not again

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: We still need a name for this

        You are Stavromula Beta, and I claim my triganic pu.

        1. Ramis101

          Re: We still need a name for this

          Surely its "One whole juju-flop situation"

          1. richardcox13

            Re: We still need a name for this

            No. More a case of: Belgium!

            (And where's my Pan-galactic Gargle Blaster... for that sweet sweet lemon infused gold brick effect.)

  2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Microsoft - If you continue to run Windows 7 in your organisation after next week you are putting your company, its staff, and data at risk because there simply won't be any more security patches made available

    Customer - You mean that after two decades you still have not fixed the bugs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      after 2 decades we still have 2 control panels

      The migration of tools from the "Control Panel" to Settings was never completed. Instead, we have an incoherent mess where part of the tools were migrated, is some cases with limited functionality, and the rest have all the charm of "olde windows of yore".

      But don't worry, you can access 90% of those functions in powershell, using commands as long as a grade-schooler's end of year essay, with obscure and often contradictory documentation that is not stored on the machine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      W2K3

      What about one of my customers still running W2K3 and SQL 2000 on their back office EPoS Servers?? The EPoS network is ‘segmented off’.

      Many tills still on XP Embedded.

      A UK Tier One retailer.

  3. Elledan

    I still use Windows 7 (Ultimate) on my main desktop PC, but Windows 10 on my current laptop (because of the UEFI BIOS...).

    Without heavily modding and tweaking Windows 10, it's not an OS that I can comfortably use. During the time that I had to use it on a work laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad), it frustrated me with its flat UI, lack of customisation, forced reboots after forced updates (really fun during late-night work sessions, thanks MSFT) and a thousand other smaller issues. With the heavy modding (disabling WU, re-enabling the Win7-style rendering engine, etc.) things become palatable, but the stench of Windows 10 is still around.

    Combine this with MSFT's heavy-handed attempts to force Windows 10 on us Windows 7 users for years, using tactics that were probably not legal, and Windows 10 as a Windows OS has become so tainted that I'd essentially only use it under duress.

    Unless there's a realistic alternative to Windows 7 that comes up (Linux isn't it, sorry), it'll be me and likely the rest of this 27% singing it out for another few years until we gradually get forced into accepting the bleakness and broken UX patterns that is Windows 10.

    As a Windows user since Win95, I feel rather sad at this all.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Depending on what you do* simply running Win7 in a VM on something else is a reasonable approach.

      You can do web/email on the 'something else' that is patched and the VM never has hardware changes or similar to worry about activation. Also many advanced malware sees the OS in a VM and avoids running to thwart analysis, so you you get some small extra benefit on top of the ease of backing up the whole VM as you please.

      [*] Probably not gaming or other very heavy graphics applications.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        "Probably not gaming or other very heavy graphics applications."

        For that you could have an alternate boot with W7 and a doctored access to the Internet, i.e. everything but the game servers left out, and a heavily protected browser -e.g. NoScript + uBlock Origin-for those occasions where you need info about the game you're playing.

        With this and AV software -and a little bit of paranoid browsing- we should be safe for years!

        But eventually, new games specifically designed for Win 10 will slowly push us towards that crappy OS and it's cyberstalking business model.

        8^(

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Trollface

        You mean on Azure Windows Virtual Desktop?

    2. Test Man

      What forced reboot?

      Windows 10 doesn't force it if you change the options for it to bring up a notification and deselect the option that lets Windows restart based on your active schedule.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Holmes

        The plethora of downvotes probably gives it away, but you are wrong. Windows 10 will choose to ignore your settings at its whim and will inevitably choose to reboot in the two minutes it takes to go make yourself a cup of tea when finishing that major project late at night.

        Of course if you'd said "Windows 10 isn't supposed to..." rather than the "doesn't", you would've been right.

      2. D@v3

        Forced re-boot

        I have an option that says "Restart this device as soon as possible when a restart is required to install an update...." which is switched off. I still come into work once or twice a month to find my PC has restarted over night due to updates.

        You can set 'Active hours' during which "...we wont automatically restart..." but that can't be more than 18 hours. Funny that.

        (i guess maybe the answer is to set your active hours as between when you usually leave work, and usually arrive, in the hopes that while you are actually present and using it, it wont restart.....)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Forced re-boot

          The problem is they found people who never installed updates and rebooted so they decided to force reboots - it's a classic situation when two types of idiots fight against each other.

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Forced re-boot

          The forced reboot was originally a bug in the early version of Windows but instead of fixing it they decided to call it a feature and everyone copies this - it's a "feature!"

          It's possible to design operating systems that do not require a reboot but Microsoft isn't that good at designing operating systems, they started with a hack of Gary Kildall's system (no reboots needed) and just hacked more "features" onto it to keep IBM happy, it's all been downhill since then.

        3. BuckeyeB

          Re: Forced re-boot

          Mine forces a reboot when I come back from Sleep mode at least once a week.

      3. David Austin

        Group Polic

        Only surefire way I can stop Windows 10 from surprise rebooting on me is to set this group policy:

        Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Updates > Configure Automatic Updates

        To:

        2 - Notify for Download and Auto-Install

        That emulates the old Windows 7 "Check for Updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" setting - You kick off applying the updates whenever you're ready, and as long as you reboot yourself after application (IE: Don't leave the system in the update applied, awaiting restart state), The PC can't do it of it's own accord.

        As it's Group Policy, it's only officially supported in Pro and Enterprise, and it's a power user only setting, as you have to pro-actively grab updates (Ironically causing the very issue Microsoft was trying to solve)

        1. TheFirstChoice

          Re: Group Polic

          I've stopped my work PC from automatically updating at all by telling it my internet connection is metered. I can therefore choose when to let it download updates and subsequently reboot when it's convenient to me rather than Microsoft. The only application this seems to affect is Outlook and I can just click "Connect" on the warning banner about internet charges when I open it up (usually after an update reboot).

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Group Polic

            This often works, but 1) if it's portable you have to remember to set every network you connect to as metered; and 2) there's a Group Policy setting that overrides the "don't download updates over metered connections" setting, so if the machine is domain-connected your local BOFH can break this fix.

            I've also found other software that silently refuses to do downloads over metered connections, including one package my IT department uses. So I have to periodically un-meter my network settings, when it's convenient to have the machine update and reboot.

            1. stiine Silver badge

              Re: Group Polic

              If its on a work network, you're fighting the wrong problem.

        2. kmedcalf

          Re: Group Polic

          There are a whole huge crapload of GPOs to control the Windows update process, and there are several that change the abysmal "rebooting" behaviour. It is relatively easy to configure the GPOs to prevent automatic reboots.

          Local GPO policies are nothing more than registry entries and they are processed by Windows (even the home luser version). The only difference between the "home luser" version and the other versions is that some "features" are not installed (example, GPEDIT.MSC) and some services are disabled (such as NETLOGON).

          And the policies you want to enable are:

          Turn off auto-restart during active hours

          No auto-restart with logged on users ...

          and disable

          Always automatically restart at the scheduled time

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Group Polic

            It is relatively easy to configure the GPOs to prevent automatic reboots.

            And if you're on a domain, it's very easy for IT to turn it back on again.

            Turn off auto-restart during active hours

            Not good enough. Auto-restart is always disruptive for me, and I suspect for many other people here as well.

            No auto-restart with logged on users

            In theory, this ought to do the job; but my Win10 machine has had it enabled since Day One (one of the first things I do with a new Windows machine is go through all the group policies), and I still get unrequested overnight reboots, which the Windows Event Log confirms were triggered by Windows Update.

            Per MS docs, this setting is ignored if "Configure automatic updates" is enabled in GP; but it isn't, on the system in question.

            Always automatically restart at the scheduled time

            Per MS docs, and indeed the GPEDIT help, this is ignored if "No auto-restart with logged on users" is enabled. Also, the default behavior (if the policy is not configured) is the same as the disabled behavior, so unless you or someone else explicitly enabled it, disabling it has no effect anyway.

            Windows 10 updating is broken, by design. That's the fact of the matter.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Group Polic

          As it's Group Policy, it's only officially supported in Pro and Enterprise, and it's a power user only setting

          And if the machine is connected to a domain and you're not a domain admin, you're probably SOL, since your domain admins are likely to enforce automatic update installation.

      4. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        "active schedule"

        What happens when you are doing something critical OUTSIDE of your active schedule?

        When I'm home, my active schedule can be "any time I damn well chose at any moment on a whim".

      5. Updraft102 Silver badge

        That's great if you are a business open from 9-5 that has well-defined active and inactive hours, but what about those users for which there is never a "safe" time that the computer's guaranteed to be idle? (And, of course, a lot of people actually turn off their PCs when they're done using them. So I've heard.

        And, of course, Microsoft will override any of your settings if they want to. They've said they will override your settings, including the metered connection setting, if it's important enough-- and they're the sole arbiters of what's important enough. It really lets you know who is in charge-- and it ain't you, if you're the PC owner.

      6. SWCD

        "Windows 10 doesn't force it if you change the options..."

        Hee hee. Have you actually used Windows 10? This will stop your restarts, anyone who's had their machine reset through the night and lost a load of stuff :-(

        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU]

        "AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime"=dword:00000000

        "AUOptions"=dword:00000002

        "NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers"=dword:00000001

        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings]

        "UxOption"=dword:00000002

        AND!!

        Task Scheduler.. Task Scheduler Library.. Microsoft.. Windows.. UpdateOchestrator.. Disable the REBOOT task..To stop Windows re-enabling it, modify the security on...

        C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot

        .That'll do the trick! :-)

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          I've tried this, too. Windows always eventually restores the tasks I've disabled or deleted from Task Scheduler, regardless of how I hack the ACLs. I don't know that I've tried restricting that path specifically, though; maybe I'll give that a go.

    3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      > Unless there's a realistic alternative to Windows 7 that comes up (Linux isn't it, sorry)

      Seriously what could you possibly have a problem with after all this time?

      I've been using Linux for at least a decade as my main home OS and in that time everything has become so easy I started to miss the days of editing configuration file. And I'm using Debian!

      The only thing you may miss is something that fully replaces Office (specifically outlook as Office is easily replaced), well thats nothing to do with Linux and everything to do with your workflow / work requirements. And for that you will have to stay with M$ unless you are determined enough to work around any little issues like that, like using Outlook via the browser.

      In fact most of everything works in a browser these days, so basically you need Linux to mount USB flash drives / USB HDD's, launch a decent browser like chrome or firefox and maybe play a few steam games.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "In fact most of everything works in a browser these days"

        No, there are a lot of applications that do not work in a browser and are not still available for Linux, and are not Office.

        If you're the "consumer" type of user probably a browser is all you need. If you're the kind of "producer" type you usually need many applications that are not (thank to heaven) browser based and may not be easily replaced by some Linux clone.

        There are still hardware support issues - i.e. many high-end photo printers aren't supported under Linux and user may not like to spend hundreds, often thousands to use them like matrix printers.

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: "In fact most of everything works in a browser these days"

          Not a Linux issue at all.

          Just because my car wont run on diesel does not mean I cant drive a car. I run it on what works.

          BTW the desktop encompasses more than just a few specific things like a photo printer or a mixing deck. I know plenty of people who USE windows and will be unable to make use of that. So I guess the need a mac?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Not a Linux issue at all."

            The fact that many applications and devices are not supported under Linux is a Linux issue - especially when there are user who complain even when a driver is available but is not open source.

            Some companies will simply avoid to give away their IP to cover less than 5% of the market - and probably in their segment even a far smaller percentage - given probably most Linux desktop users are developers, system administrators and other IT people. The fact that Linux business model is a failure on desktop system is a Linux issue.

            Desktop use encompasses a lot of specific things with many different types of applications and devices. It's a classic "one size does not fit all" situation - unlike web browsing and video/music streaming.

            The high-end photo printers is just an example I know very well - they are supported on Windows and macOS, the latter because a large percentage of Apple users are in this segment - thus if forced the migration path will be quite clear, despite Apple eye-watering prices for a desktop system.

            Anyway the cost will be lower than having to move to a system where the unknowns are too much and you have to fight your way across a lot of unsupported devices and features. Need to rework old files, lost customers, failed deadlines, more work hours are what any business wishes to avoid. And even when you're just an amateur, if your hobby is not IT and trying to make your OS do what you need, you will prefer a simpler way to enjoy your time.

            If your car won't run on diesel you'll keep on buying gasoline, you won't spend time trying to adapt it to run on diesel trying to build and install an open source fuel cracking system to turn diesel into gasoline when it runs - unless that's your very own hobby.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Linux

              Re: "Not a Linux issue at all."

              And even when you're just an amateur, if your hobby is not IT and trying to make your OS do what you need, you will prefer a simpler way to enjoy your time.

              I run Linux simply because I want my system to work. There's nothing more to it. When I was working with them, I got sick of spending all day working on broken windows crap and then having to come home only to be told I'd have to wait while updates were installed. And when it came to going to bed, couldn't turn the machine off as I'd have to wait ages for windows to finish updates (which weren't finished).

              Linux does that stuff in the background and is done with it in minutes.

              As to hardware support, well the number of times people have had issues with windows updates killing the network drivers and all sorts of other problems, or the huge number of devices that are no longer supported. Friends of mine use high-end printers, and we've been working to have them working with a secure system so that they don't have to spend thousands on replacing hardware that works well but that MS decided was not going to be supported any more.

              Today I swapped GPUs in a couple of machines. Total time to fix drivers? 0. In Windows? Well that's still sorting itself out, thank God I have a 2nd machine to work with.

              Anyway the cost will be lower than having to move to a system where the unknowns are too much and you have to fight your way across a lot of unsupported devices and features. Need to rework old files, lost customers, failed deadlines, more work hours are what any business wishes to avoid.

              Yes... All those times of waiting for updates to install, reboots when you have jobs running, updates that disable hardware or remove applications you use.. And the biggie I am still expecting to see very soon now - the lawsuits when it comes out that MS takes data from your machines... The cost of breaching various privacy laws can be quite high. Hoping it comes real soon now...

              Most people can use Linux with no problems. A few people have specific needs, but that's almost 0% of home users and only a few % of business users - and many of those won't be able to change away from 7 or earlier.

        2. Elledan

          Re: "In fact most of everything works in a browser these days"

          Me being stuck on Windows is decidedly to do with me not using it for 'consumer' tasks. Three workflows in particular got me firmly fixed on the MSFT side of the fence. These are image editing (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.), game asset development (3DS Max, Substance Painter, UE4 + a host of smaller tools) and finally hardware development tools, particularly FPGA tools. While the latter 'exist' for Linux, it's been an absolutely gruesome experience which I do not care to repeat.

          That's not to say that I do not use Linux a lot as well, both on x86/x64 and ARM. Unfortunately that's also why I'm painfully aware of it not being a replacement for anything but CLI-only and casual desktop use.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "In fact most of everything works in a browser these days"

          And there are a lot of browser based sites and applications that don't work right on a Linux hosted system. Because very few Devs can include testing for more than recent Android, Windows, and Mobile Safari. Testing for 30 obscure browser variant on a sub-single digit platform isn't happening, and won't happen anytime soon.

          So better amend that to something like "browser based" and "Buyer Beware"

          Windows 10 is still an ugly baby after all these years, but it a better fit for 99% of desktop and laptop users than desktop linux. Worse, despite all the hype and self-delusion, the gulf in functionality and user experience is getting wider not smaller. Worse, at the insistence of the Linux desktop community, the base os is bloating and fragmenting, impacting admins deploying current versions in the server and cloud roles where Linux shines, and is not only holding market share, but growing.

        4. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

          Re: "In fact most of everything works in a browser these days"

          "many high-end photo printers aren't supported under Linux "

          But most printers, and especially "high-end" ones will come with a USB that allows you to just plug in a thumb drive and print straight from it. Even the cheap Brother printer I got from a big box store can print from PDF, XPS, PS, and so on. Plus it gives me a backup of what I printed.

          I was printing like that long before I moved away from Windows because 99% of the time, the printer driver will come with all sorts of random crap along with the piddly single-megabyte .sys file I actually care about. The last printer driver I installed was a 250 MB download that also installed a buggy update service, a 'photo manager', some trialware image editor, and constant pop-ups telling me that my supplies were low and should buy at an inflated price from the manufacturer's online store.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "In fact most of everything works in a browser these days"

            I do so enjoy the masochism that comes with Linux-pushers.

            "My printer doesn't work"/"The software package (say, Photoshop) I want to use doesn't work"

            "Well just use print to a pdf, save it to a USB stick, transfer the USB stick to the printer, load the document, then print it"/"Why don't you just re-learn Gimp instead?"

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            " to just plug in a thumb drive and print straight from it. "

            ROTFL!

            Do you believe whoever buy a high-end photo printer is OK printing that way??? Some don't even have an USB port for that use. Nor using PictBridge, AirPrint or other services via wifi or the like changes the result much.

            Sure, some print store can use that to deliver simple prints to some unsophisticated customers - but that's not what they are built for, and it's just a low-quality and awkward hack.

            If you want to print high-quality photo, you need a color workflow where each device from capture to print play its role and each step is color profiled and calibrated, and proper mappings are applied. Often using large color spaces like ProPhoto RGB which may not be supported by simpler USB printing firmware.

            This is another world - unlike your cheap printer, high-end printers don't come with the usual bloated software to create origami and school projects, but they do come with the tools to get an high-end job done - drivers fully supporting the printer features (which could be very printer specific, mine for example has a chroma optimizer function which uses a special ink), specific photo papers settings (i.e baryta ones), calibration tools, paper and ink management tools for accounting and billing needs, plug-ins that integrate with image processing applications to allow for more advanced print features (i.e. specific B/W modes)

            It's this attitude that it's not leading Linux anywhere in these spaces - the idea it's the best system around and can do anything, so no changes are required, and if it can't do something, it's not its fault and even the most awkward hack is an acceptable solution.

            1. intrigid

              Re: " to just plug in a thumb drive and print straight from it. "

              That's been the Linux "comic book guy" mentality for as long as I can remember. It's not Linux's fault for lacking compatibility and features. It's the user's fault for having those bizarre needs in the first place.

      2. coderguy

        Almost everything just works, sadly the bits that don't seem to be the most notable. In my case, thats video conferencing with Webex. It simply does not play nice. For everything else, I can do my job just fine, but then I actually produce solutions instead of just talking about what 'could' be done.

        The fact that Outhouse, Powerpoint and Excel don't play nice should be viewed as an advantage.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "In fact most of everything works in a browser these days"

        Regrettably true. I've yet to find a browser based application that isn't rubbish (and unfortunately, I have to use a few at work).

      4. Dagg

        >Seriously what could you possibly have a problem with after all this time?

        Consumer applications that only only run on Windows such as retail POS, warehouse, pharmacy, doctors surgery management software etc.

        It might be possible to move these to the cloud, but the costs involved are high especially for specialist applications with a small installed user base such that it would not be currently economic.

      5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Unless there's a realistic alternative to Windows 7 that comes up (Linux isn't it, sorry)

        Ah, if you hadn't said "realistic" I would have suggested ReactOS <g>.

        ROS continues to be that option where businesses could have opted for a more sane MSWin alternative has they simply contributed some money, time and resources into advancing the project. But that would require many of these companies to NOT be cowardly little whiney-ass bitches.

      6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Linux isn't great for developing Windows software. I mean, it's fine for writing code, because vim. But testing and debugging Windows software under Linux isn't ideal.

        I do a lot of Linux and UNIX development too, but the truth of the matter is that it's easier to use Linux/UNIX for remote development than it is to use Windows that way; and it's hard to get a Linux machine on the corporate VPN. And if I wanted to run my corporate developer Windows instance in a VM, I'd have to mess around with licensing and activation.

        So it's easier for me to keep the IT-installed Windows as the host OS on my laptops, and run Linux in VMs when I want it local, or use remote instances in the machine lab when that's more convenient for whatever I'm doing. Years ago I used to carry multiple swappable laptop drives, one Linux and one Windows; but these days I don't even bother dual-booting. It's just too much of a hassle to replace the host OS and put together a Windows VM with everything that I need under Windows.

        I'll probably switch my personal laptop over to Linux (OpenSUSE, maybe) one of these days, but that's not a priority, since I mostly use it for paying the bills and such. And even there I'd still need a Windows VM for the yearly TurboTax exercise.

    4. magicaces

      Its no different to moving to Android 9 from 4. Google and Apple and any paid OS vendor force updates like Microsoft does.

    5. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Do Try Linux

      If you want flexibility and customization, Linux is the way to go.

    6. martinusher Silver badge

      Upgrading isn't that simple

      We have two identical systems in our household, 'His' and 'Hers'. They're reasonably modern 64 bit systems with decent amounts of disk space that originally came with Windows 7 so should be prime candidates for upgrading. Its not that simple, though. His system was upgraded when Win10 came out and its been a roller coaster ride, not knowing what's going to stop working or maybe even start working from one update to the next. Her system just trundles along and will probably explode in a few days as Microsoft's support ends for it. Realistically, though, nothing will happen. Microsoft's updates aren't as important as keeping the web browser up to date and having decent A/V software -- most of the time she's working in a browser anyway so if the worst came to the worst we could just put Mint on it and she'd not notice the difference. (He has Mint as dual boot and she has used it without realising it was the Dreaded Linux -- which makes sense if you think about it.)

      So, bottom line is that the best route forward is Mint. It migth not be the best option for a Windows oriented workplace but for home use its stable, predictable, easy to use and well behaved. (...and yes, I've tried the Linux shell in Win10, a bit of a kludge if you ask me, and I've done the VM thing, again rather OTT, fun and definitely not for the casual user.)

      BTW -- I've been an off and on user and developer on Windows from the earliest days, back when the initial attempt used tiled graphics. The main thing to recommend it is that its common but the price you pay for that in terms of a disorganized architecture, unfixed design issues and so on is immense. It really is one giant workaround which is why I suspect that Microsoft is gradually edging towards a Linux future -- after all, if Apple can ditch their DiY Windows-like (actually Windows copied from them) GUI in favor of a BSD based system I'm sure that Microsoft would have no trouble at all. (They'd probably screw it up, though....)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Upgrading isn't that simple

        We've got two very similar (almost identical) Dell laptops in my house. One has windows 10, and one has Gentoo linux. The linux based laptop gets used for designing and slicing parts for 3D printing, as well as the usual web browsing and office use. The windows one only gets used for office software use and web browsing.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "if Apple can ditch their DiY Windows-like"

        Apple didn't ditch anything - it used part of the BSD code where it needed it to avoid high development effforts, but the GUI and many other parts, like the device drivers stack, are still fully Apple designed and Apple developed (and controlled).

        Anyway, just like Apple, Microsoft is letting *nix application run on Windows, not vice versa.... so you don't need to run another OS....

    7. Annihilator

      "With the heavy modding (disabling WU, re-enabling the Win7-style rendering engine, etc.) things become palatable,"

      Yep, same here, until you're forced to update, when all the modding you've done will be partially undone, then you spend 3 months tentatively discovering the bits that were undone.

      The other thing that's not really being made a deal of - Windows 10 has an even more aggressive support period. The "April 2018" build (1803) went EOL back in November last year.

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

      I can't see me sticking with Windows for much longer.

    8. Philippe

      W10 LTSC 2019

      LTSC has been my solution to this nonsense.

      No Store, no games, no tiles, no telemetry, no force reboots, no UI changes.

      You just get the critical updates and you choose when to install them.

      Total bliss.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the company is also using this as a marketing opportunity

    to which I have the usual reply: (...) you too, Microsoft!

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Although it is not unreasonable for Microsoft to stop updating a decade-old iteration of Windows"

    Why ? Is there something wrong with 7 ? Is its code beginning to leak ?

    I can understand dropping XP since 7 is much, much better. 7 runs fine and I can do everything I need with it. It has no telemetry and can be properly locked down without too much hassle. The code is not going stale, will not fade or rust, so as long as my hardware runs fine I don't see why Microsoft should not be updating the OS.

    Sure, it is a cost for Microsoft, but that is not a reason to stop updating 7.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: "Although it is not unreasonable ..."

      I did wonder whether there should be a requirement to release source code when commercial support ended, but I do rather wonder if this would exacerbate the situation by revealing hitherto hidden potential exploits.

      1. Annihilator

        Re: "Although it is not unreasonable ..."

        Yeah think the reason they were always reluctant to do this was a) people would see just how sh1t some of it is, b) a lot of it is still actively proprietary stuff - i.e. still used in Windows 10 (and carried over from NT4/2K in some cases).

        Also, the only way most people's machines are patched is through the WU servers - how you would feed patches to the general public through some sort of open source approach would be dubious and rely on the users either actively seeking it, or applying a patch to look to a different source (and then the obvious problem of who would host that source).

      2. Grinning Bandicoot

        Re: "Although it is not unreasonable ..."

        I've felt for a long and more so after Windows Virus [sic] that after a period of time that software that has been declared by the developer as unsupported be considered abandoned and open. It would serve those of us that use virtual meters for testing.

    2. Smooth Newt
      Windows

      Re: "not unreasonable for Microsoft to stop updating a decade-old iteration of Windows"

      It is obviously going to cause problems for your customers if you expose a quarter of them to a serious risk of fraud, hackers etc.

      Products should be supported for their likely service lifetime. Many people used to replace computers every two or three years for ones that were vastly faster or otherwise better, but the march of technological advancement has slowed so there aren't the step changes in performance to be had any more.

      1. thudandblunder

        Re: "not unreasonable for Microsoft to stop updating a decade-old iteration of Windows"

        Doesn't seem to bother mobile phone OS's.... "This 'Droid won't break speed records, but battery lasts ages and you've got 2 years of updates" https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/09/the_nokia_32/

    3. Dr. Vagmeister

      Re: "It has no telemetry and can be properly locked down without too much hassle."

      I thought that they back-ported telemetry to Windows 7 and 8 ?.

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/09/01/microsoft_backports_data_slurp_to_windows_78_via_patches/

      You can remove the specific updates, but it is still a risk if you don't keep up with the updates ???

    4. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: "Although it is not unreasonable for Microsoft ..."

      The purpose of Windows 10 is to make money off you after the first day; the purpose of Windows 7 is to make your life easier. Windows 7 has to go away so that Microsoft can have a steady revenue. It is no coincidence that the new start menu is illogical and hard to use but full of app store promotions. It is no coincidence that programs are now called apps. All these moves are designed to trick you into buying software through Microsoft's store.

    5. Terje

      Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

      Windows 10 run fine and do what I need it to, sure you have to black hole the telemetry if you don't want it, but aside from the schizophrenic control panel I find it significantly better then 7 (though I still feel that a bit of 3d would not harm anyone...).

      You can't keep supporting for eternity, you have to drop the support at some time otherwise we would still have people clinging to windows 3.11

      1. intrigid

        Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

        Windows 95 was a dramatic improvement over Windows 3.11, and users everywhere were thrilled by the upgrade.

        By the same token, Windows 10 was a dramatic downgrade from Windows 7, and users everywhere are desperately pining to go back to Windows 7. So your analogy doesn't hold.

        1. magicaces

          Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

          This is the thing in your opinion and in the minds of others win10 is a downgrade. However 60% or so dont agree and I am one of them. Win10 is a significant improvement in many ways over Win7 both in enterprise and at home.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

            Windows 10 has made huge improvements of the windows 7 code base. It just hides them under a thick layer of turd. Hundreds of skilled programmers spent years working on it. A handful of greedy execs and fools from the marketing department ruined it.

            A de-fanged minimum install of 10 is smaller then 7, runs faster, is more stable, more secure, and takes up less space and less memory. The problem is all of the crap shoveled on top of it. Telemetry, animated ads to sponsored crippleware, and a fractured user experience.

            Thankfully most of those issues can be fixed with a setup script, a few registry hacks and a copy of Classic Shell. That said, after all of this time, and how much the OS costs on an annual basis, that these would be fixed out of the box, at least for the top of the price list quadruple Palladium edition.

        2. Soruk
          Go

          Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

          My 72-year-old mum has finally migrated from Windows 7, to CentOS 8 with a desktop skinned like her other daily driver, an Acorn RiscPC. She's getting the hang of it pretty quickly, and made easier that she has always used Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice even under Windows so migrating that lot was a doddle.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

            >My 72-year-old mum has finally migrated from Windows 7, to CentOS 8...

            Have fun in the coming years...

            When my 88 year old mum was 72, XP was new and shiny (ie. pre-SP2)...

            It has been increasingly difficult to get her to change first to Win7 and now to W10. Personally, given the many UI issues with W10 for the elderly (think lose of dexterity, dimming eyesight, and poor retention of new stuff), I won't be upgrading her to W10 - Lubuntu with the XP theme is looking an attractive option...

            1. Dave K Silver badge

              Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

              My 71 year-old dad has been a Windows user since the days of Windows 3.0. He is IT literate (used to lecture in computing), and has also been through Windows 3.1, 95, 98, XP, 7 and now 10.

              Up until now, he's never really had much interest in Linux. Windows just worked, it ran all of his programs and he knew how to use and configure it to his needs. However since getting a Windows 10 computer a couple of years back, he's experienced forced reboots, inconvenient "feature" upgrades when he just wanted to quickly check his e-mails, a temporarily bricked computer (botched feature update), a messy and inconsistent UI he dislikes, unease about the telemetry and a general feeling that he's no longer in control of his own PC.

              I set up Linux on an old laptop for him last year (just plain old Ubuntu) and he's really taken to it. At Christmas he's told me that his next plan is to back up all the data from his Win10 PC, test out a Live disk with Ubuntu to ensure there's no driver issues before nuking Windows 10 and putting Ubuntu on the machine instead. Yep, after 30 years of running Windows, he's had enough.

              And I should point out, I'm not some big Linux-proponent myself and I've not pushed him in this direction, it's a decision he's made by himself.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

          "Windows 98SE was a dramatic improvement over Windows 3.11"

          FTFY. 95 was an enormous pain in the plug-n-play balls. 98SE ironed-out some of that.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

        "I find it significantly better then 7"

        I find the opposite. Windows 7 remains the best version Microsoft has produced.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

          7 is perfectly usable, but 2k was the "best" version MS put out, imho. At least as far as the GUI is concerned.

          1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

            Ah but will that be true if you enable classic theme in win 7, thus getting the same UI?

            I had many people thinking I was STILL on windows 98 when I was on 7. Even with XP I used the classic theme.

            1. Blazde

              Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

              I really miss the old days when you could hate on a new version of Windows just because of the blue-green rolling hills UI with oversized title bars, and then turn it off 3 seconds after installing. We had it so good back then and we didn't know it.

          2. intrigid

            Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

            2000 was stable, intuitive, and incredibly fast, but software and hardware compatibility was bad. Then XP came along which hit the sweet spot perfectly, and (glossing over Vista), Win 7 took everything great about XP and made it better. And that was the final chapter of the glory days of Windows.

      3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

        Windows 3.11 is a lot better to use than 10.

        On linux I love to use Window Maker much of the time.

        Anyway. Windows 10 has 2 control panels. It has dropped anything that gets you close to theming the desktop. I cant even chose what colours I want for window title bars in the foreground vs background. The differences between such windows is subtle and I find I frequently lose track of what window has focus. Btw I am colourblind, if I have an issue with a colour that I want to resolve I expect to be able to change the colour of practically anything I see in the UI. Like in all versions of windows I have used since win 3.11 when I was a child.

        There are several types of scrollbar, one of which annoyingly hides itself till you go looking for it. You need pixel perfect skills to find and activate it! IF you are lucky enough your scroll wheel will scroll, without you finding and clicking on the scrollbar first.

        Focus is all over the place. If I enter my password incorrectly on the login screen I must grab the mouse and move my pointer to click on the "Ok" button to dismiss the "password incorrect" message. Why cant I just press enter? Thats how its supposed to work! THE OK BUTTON IS THE ONLY UI ELEMENT THAT I CAN INTERACT WITH AT THIS POINT THUS IT SHOULD HAVE FOCUS!!!

        Some dialogs end up stealing focus and they REMAIN below the parent window. You have to alt-tab to find them. If you dont know to do that you call IT and have me go over to your machine to find out why the application is unresponsive. Sometimes alt-tab wont bring it to the front, out comes task manager.

        Oh yes, launching task manager as a normal user requires you to enter your password. This was true since win 8.1 but now if an admin wants to run something in a users session you are asked to enter the USERS NON ADMIN PASWWORD even though that user clearly is NOT AN ADMIN. So I must find the hidden scrollbar on the password prompt, click on it because the scroll wheel wont work till I do, to scroll down to the "other user" button thing that does not look like it can be clicked, click that to then be able to enter my admin details.

        Again, there are several different types of password prompt!

        The flat UI elements are totally confusing. Is this clickable? Click click click... Must I click it in the corner? No its just text, but according to the KB article its supposed to be clickable... Oh it can only be clicked in certain circumstances but does not grey out like a button used to.

        The thumbnail previews on the task bar, although cool, just stop working and get replaced with a picture of a spinny thing that doesnt spin. The IT guy, which is me then tries to TURN THEM OFF with the OFFICIALLY RECOMMENDED process from microsoft which involves digging deep to launch the original control panel and unticking a tick box only for THE SETTING TO DO JACK SHIT! Then IT guy must grab the users laptop to fiddle around randomly trying all sorts of things including reinstalling the graphics drivers and refreshing windows to HAVE THE PROBLEM HAPPEN AGAIN A WEEK LATER EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN TURNED OFF.

        I use multiple screens and multiple desktops. Moving windows between them is an annoyance. Moving between the desktops sometimes kills explorer.

        The search bar searches the internet BEFORE searching my local machine. If I type "calc" to launch calculator too soon after booting I end up searching the web. WTF

        Also the search bar DOES NOT find what I know to be there. One day it sees a program I want to launch only for it to show something in the app store the next day. I then have to open the start menu to try and locate it.

        Notifications pop up covering the UI of system tray apps that I am interacting with. The notifications think I'm interacting with them and stay there. The close button of the notification is almost invisible to me as I cant see it because I'm colourblind and CANT change the F'ING colours of MY computer and MY UX (user experience).

        Uninstalling the Xbox stuff from company laptops is a fruitless exercise as it installs itself again the next day. Yes there probably is a GPO to handle it, but I uninstalled it. IT SHOULD BE GONE.

        Dont get me started on the ribbon interface of O365.

        Dont talk to me about Onedrive.

        and FFS CAN I PLEASE HAVE AN ERROR MESSAGE THAT DOES NOT JUST SAY "SOMETHING WENT WRONG" LIKE I'M AN IDIOT WHO NEEDS CUDDLING. AND WHEN I DO GET AN ERROR CODE HAVE SOME F'ING DOCUMENTATION ABOUT IT MICROSOFT!!!!!!!!!!

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Btw I am colourblind"

          There's now a colorblind mode, but I don't know how much it improves things.

        2. intrigid

          Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

          "Windows 3.11 is a lot better to use than 10."

          You deserve an upvote for the edginess of this comment alone.

    6. coderguy

      It is not unreasonable for Microsoft to stop updating a decade-old Windows

      Bull.

      If people are willing to pay, fill your boots.

      The enforced deathmarch to desktop as a service, that MS seems to be so keen on, needs to die. In the end the computer is just a tool that I use to get stuff done (tm).

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think cost is the reason Microsoft is dropping Win7. I think it's more about consolidating users.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Windows

        I don't think cost is the reason Microsoft is dropping Win7. I think it's more about consolidating users.

        Cost? Maybe not, but it is financial. W7 had virtually no advertising within it (I think maybe during the install there were some ads for other MS products), whereas 10 is saturated with annoying distracting adverts. (yes, even just one on the start menu is 'saturation' and 'annoying' when it comes to an OS)

  6. Roger Greenwood
    Happy

    Does this mean....

    ... that it finally stops nagging me to install silverlight?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Does this mean....

      If you miss the nagging you can always find one of the lower-rent porn sites promoting plenty of opportunities to upgrade Flash 'for a better video experience'.

  7. Andy Livingstone

    What Happens?

    My old laptop gets binned and I might be happy never to buy any MS products again. Deep Joy!!!!

  8. Kevin Johnston

    Sadly

    I had to upgrade my home desktop to Win10 as the drivers for some new parts were not available as a Win7 version (I did try running the Win10 ones just in case but no joy). Even more sadly there is stuff I do where there is only a Windows version available so while I may go more Linux it still needs a fairly chunky VM for the Windows-specific bits.

    Maybe I should just retire and look after deckchairs on the beach, those that know me will be aware I have the required physical attributes for the Santa gig to cover the winter period too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sadly

      And I take it it won't run in WINE or some other compatibility layer?

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: Sadly

        Alas, no. WINE and friends are great for a lot of packages but what I need is just a bit too esoteric. This is probably why it has never been made available on other platforms as developing upgrades for cross-platform can get very messy very quickly when you start from a purely proprietary base code.

  9. Warm Braw Silver badge

    You are putting your company, its staff, and data at risk

    By running any IT system - or indeed any piece of heavy machinery, or using source of power, or employing flawed human beings - you are running a risk. There's an argument that you might put a bit more effort into understanding and mitigating the potential risk when you're not relying on some other party to do the hard thinking for you.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: You are putting your company, its staff, and data at risk

      MS don't see the irony in adding telemetry by default to Win10 and they saying the earlier systems now put your data at risk.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: You are putting your company, its staff, and data at risk

        MS don't see the irony in adding telemetry by default to Win10 and they saying the earlier systems now put your data at risk.

        Of course they don't. With Windows 10, it's now their data.

      2. keith_w

        Re: You are putting your company, its staff, and data at risk

        Since Windows telemetry only reports limited Windows data, I don't see how it puts YOUR data at risk.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Since Windows telemetry only reports limited Windows data"

          Depends on the telemetry level - at higher level it does report a lot of data, and if they didn't disabled it already because fear of the GDPR or the like, it can even let MS people run "diagnostic" software on your machine or lift files that caused crashes for further analysis...

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: You are putting your company, its staff, and data at risk

          Since Windows telemetry only reports limited Windows data, I don't see how it puts YOUR data at risk.

          You are correct. It's only limited Windows data and it's not at all YOUR data.

          The issue is, the limit is "limited to what is stored on the system" and "YOUR data? If you wanted it to be yours you should never have let it near our machines. Didn't you read the EULA?"

          In all seriousness though - that data is 'limited' to the contents of ram, "suspect" files etc etc etc etc. Any file on the computer is fair game. Any data.

          Read the EULA. Better yet, get someone versed in legalese to explain it to you.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: You are putting your company, its staff, and data at risk

            >Read the EULA. Better yet, get someone versed in legalese to explain it to you.

            Then for safe measure read the EULA for your cloud-supported security suite - remember this is what fundamentally upset the US gov about Kaspersky being used on US government computers...

  10. Mr Dogshit

    God, hasn't Graham Clueless retired yet?

  11. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Linux

    Took the Windows 7 EOL as an opportunity

    ... to upgrade my work laptop to Linux (Fedora to be precise). There are some rough edges in working with it inside a megacorp, but fewer than there used to be. And I have been doing almost all of my work in Linux anyway for years (VM and on a server). Paradoxically, Office 365 makes this easier: The web interface is pretty good these days. When someone sends me a Microsoft format attachment, I now seldom bother to download it to see if LibreOffice can make sense of it. Instead, I just view it in the webmail interface.

  12. Ralph76

    using windows 7 you are at risk?

    based on this advice, can we also "retire" the 8th layer of my network (see OSI model), as it is certainly the most vulnerable and provides the biggest security issues...

  13. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Moving, not breaking speed records

    Most of the estate is off of 2008r2, just one lowly server left. Working on it, also have to finish configuring Win10 for the Win7 users... I just might be ready, but will the users ever be ready for Win10??

  14. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    I'm looking forward to this

    Finally Windows 7 will be reliable and not require a reboot twice a month!

    Sure, there's a risk if you use Windows 7 on the internet but that can be mitigated by living behind a decent firewall (not Microsoft's marshmallow firewall) and using the system for work, not browsing. My Vista systems work great and XP too ... I support our users around the world with older systems, many of whom have science applications that only run on XP and were never rewritten for newer versions of Windows.

    It used to be that Operating Systems were written to work, but that doesn't happen any anymore. Regular updates indicate that the OS was written by idiots if the updates are actually required to fix serious bugs, not add "new features" (with new bugs). I never had any issues or virus infections while running and using CP/M, RSX11M or RTS every day for years.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: I'm looking forward to this

      I never had any issues or virus infections while running and using CP/M, RSX11M or RTS every day for years.

      Same here, but that's because the machines were pretty much islands back in those days. I can't vouch for RSX and RSTS, but CP/M was definitely written in C and probably had unchecked buffers and use after free vulnerabilities if anyone could have been bothered to find them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        Actually it was written in PL/M. Software was more reliable back then simply because there was less of it. In a fit of enthusiasm I once disassembled the whole of CP/M back to assembler to the point I could reassemble it and make changes to it. It took me a while to realise some of the weird programming constructs I was encountering were because the code was generated by a compiler and not hand crafted assembler. It was a long time ago.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP/M

      2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: I'm looking forward to this

        CP/M was actually written in PL/M and was released only a year or so after K&R released their first development of C ...

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: I'm looking forward to this

          CP/M was actually written in PL/M

          Up through version 3. CP/M 2 and 3 are also available in 8080 / Z80 assembler, which was disassembled from the binaries and then cleaned up and annotated with comments.

          CP/M-68K, CP/M-8000, etc were written mostly in C, with some assembler. Source available at the same site. The code is an entertaining mix of K&R C and classic "I don't like C's syntax so I'm going to macro the hell out of it" C:

          ........If minus then BEGIN

          ............If plain then zappas();

          ............else BLOCK

          ................for (jp = 0; jp LT HMPPTS; jp++)

          ..................If pkawnt[jp] and plocus[jp] EQ nupt then begin

          ....................pkawnt[jp] = 0;

          ....................minus = 0;

          ..................end

          ................If minus then goto chide;

          ............UNBLOCK

          ........END

          ........otherwise BEGIN

          and so on. (Dots to the left are to stop the Reg's sadly-lacking post formatter from killing leading spaces. Will 2020 be the year we get a properly-behaving PRE element?) I particularly like the mix of initial and block capitalization, the inexplicable distinction between BEGIN/END and BLOCK/UNBLOCK, the mix of "else" and "otherwise", and so forth.

          Haven't found any buffer overflows yet, mostly because the code is fairly strict about truncating or discarding anything that's longer than it expects. (For example, _toasc in XMAIN.C, which formats filenames for command-line globbing, fixes the length of the filename; it doesn't assume the input is well-formed.) But there certainly could be some, and I haven't bothered to chase some code paths.

          1. MacroRodent Silver badge

            Re: I'm looking forward to this

            Wow. Looks like the work of someone who has tried to make C look like PL/M.

            > Haven't found any buffer overflows yet,

            That elevates it above most old C code, despite the odd coding style.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: I'm looking forward to this

      we have one XPsp3 running only a few days a year, some US gubbermint reporting program, hasn't been updated since its release. We've been told that a web version is coming, like 8 years ago... not holding my breath on that one...

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: I'm looking forward to this

        A recent photograph showed Putin sitting in front of an XP system ... it's one of the safest systems available these days because all of today's hacks fail in a 16-bit environment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm looking forward to this

          Picture or it didnt happen... ?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm looking forward to this

      The Microsoft firewall (XPSP2 and upwards) is fine if you set it to block all outgoing traffic by default, and then whitelist what you need.

      ie, it's the same as the firewall on every other OS, it requires setting up before it's useful.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I'm looking forward to this

        >The Microsoft firewall (XPSP2 and upwards) is fine if you set it to block all outgoing traffic by default, and then whitelist what you need.

        I found the easiest way to do this was to install a decent third-party firewall...

  15. Cronus
    Linux

    Like so many others it seems, I decided not to 'upgrade' to Windows 10 and have been doing just fine running Debian as my home desktop OS for some months now. A few games flatly refuse to run but it's a small sacrifice to make IMO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm a peasant pheasent...

      so I only run Linux Mint (debian?) flavour, for simplicity. Bit my 10 partition only gets booted when it's software/hardware that requires it. I'm basically retired from PC new/AA gaming until a more seamless emulation/I bother with 7 in a VM/Vulcan etc is more adopted. As no, no shiny shiny will tempt me to 10!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A repeat of XP?

    There must be some of the "XP forever!" crowd still running that platform after it went EOL. It would be interesting to hear if any of those guys ran into problems, or if they are still happily using it?

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: A repeat of XP?

      Still got 2 XP in the mix of about 20 desktop machines, one 14 years old, one 12. When they break they will be replaced. No problems but also not used for general web browsing so relatively low risk. One never changed because inertia, the other is "cold dead hands" kind of reason/person. It may well come to that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A repeat of XP?

      I spent the christmas holidays migrating "from my cold dead hands" 12 year old XP laptop to Windows 10. It's been my main fling-it-about and mobile workhorse for all of those 12 years without any issues. It does plenty of web surfing but not on any dodgy sites and never on public wi-fi (normally tethered to my phone). Over the last year or 2 though more and more websites have started to object to the last Firefox for XP as a browser.

      The migration has not been without it's pain - some old unsupported software does not run under 10, but it has introduced me to the wonderful world of VM's. Also, 10 stubbornly refuses to connect to one of my NAS drives (it can see it, but says it is not accessible), despite both NAS drives being of the same make/model. It probably took the best part of 2-3 weeks of evenings and sometimes full days to get to this stage.

      I have several Win7 and other XP machines around the house but have always hated 7 compared to XP. Once I've mastered 10 on the laptop I'll have to work on migrating those - or moving the whole lot over to Mint.

    3. Blackjack

      Re: A repeat of XP?

      I run Virtual XP on Windows 7 for a few programs that won't run on Dosbox or Windows 7.

      The main problem with a Virtual Windows is that if you run more than one program or two it slows down a lot.

      So no, Virtual Windows 7 is not the same as running Windows 7 directly.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: A repeat of XP?

        Using Windows 7 in a VM was slow for me, as if I gave it more than one CPU, it complained about licencing. There's probably some fix, but I only need it so infrequently, that dual booting is an option.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: A repeat of XP?

          >Using Windows 7 in a VM ...more than one CPU, it complained about licencing.

          Win7 Pro/Ent/Ult all support two CPU's; Win Starter/Home are limited to a single CPU.

          All 32-bit versions can support a maximum of 32 cores and all 64-bit versions 256 cores.

          > There's probably some fix

          Depending on what your VM Mgmt software permits, juggle how the physical host CPUs and cores appear to the VM as vCPUs and vCores to fit within the licencing constraint...

          The speed issue is reduced by using faster CPUs on the host and lots of memory (and SSDs).

          Basically, if you've been used to running W7 and business applications on a 5+ year old typical business laptop, it shouldn't be that much slower running in a VM on current hardware.with VT support.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: A repeat of XP?

            Basically, if you've been used to running W7 and business applications on a 5+ year old typical business laptop, it shouldn't be that much slower running in a VM on current hardware.with VT support.

            Hell, this old Dell D620 used to hapily do a 7 VM though not under much load (a couple of business apps and IIRC one disk scanning tool). Used to even run it in "seamless" mode on Virtualbox under Mint/Mate. One time really upset my Linux-hating boss by having 7 AND XP running concurrently, and a simple ^-ALT-> letting me switch between task bars. Dunno how the hell the machine managed it then but I think I kept the loads very low for the demonstration :) Of course, 7 could run with 1G and XP could go happily with 1/2.

            If you really really really really really need "real" Office, and cannot/will not install it under WINE (has worked fine every time I tried but the last time was before 2015) then a VM will let you run it quite well on even basic modern hardware. So long as the OS isn't too resource-intensive, and most of them are getting pretty fat these days.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: A repeat of XP?

              >Of course, 7 could run with 1G and XP could go happily with 1/2.

              Definitely, "light loads" to get away with those settings, I doubt you could open Word with those constraints and Outlook would definitely cause performance problems.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: A repeat of XP?

                >Of course, 7 could run with 1G and XP could go happily with 1/2.

                Definitely, "light loads" to get away with those settings, I doubt you could open Word with those constraints and Outlook would definitely cause performance problems.

                Word? Outlook? On MY computers? How dare you accuse me of such horrific crimes!

                Actually they performed OK IIRC, though I was careful that only one was really active at a time even if both appeared to be running. I think I had Office 97 installed on them (only office install disk I had to hand at the time). It was built at a time when mem specs were lower so doesn't expect so much.

                Not certain, but I may still be using the same laptop today (had a few of that model), but today it runs Devuan with a small 7 VM for the very rare times I need to fire up my old printer (colour laser I got for free some years back as it was nearly out of toner - still 'nearly out' but suits my needs).

                These days, running Waterfox, Clementine, Mega, Nextcloud, Skype (must migrate my one remaining skype friend to Viber or something else) and Thunderbird uses 4g of ram, have to shut down WF to fire up the VM. One day might get round to working out why. (Desktop is Mate).

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: A repeat of XP?

      >It would be interesting to hear if any of those guys ran into problems...

      The biggest problems have been web security interop related.

      The first has been the expiry of certificates - no longer being updated by Windows Update, whilst you can manually download the relevant files from MS and import, it's not a particularly satisfactory solution. Much of this problem can be circumvented by installing Firefox which runs its own certificate store, however, Firefox on XP is also no longer supported/updated...

      Secondly, there has been a massive upgrade in security protocols and retirement of protocols now considered insecure (think SSL2.0/3.0 and TLS 1.n), currently Firefox works fine but for how much longer...

      Printers, if installing new and thus the vendor is no longer providing XP drivers, simply purchase one that supports either PCL5 or PS and uses LPD.

      The only area where I have problems is in the reporting of problems to support organisations. I use an XP laptop to set up networking equipment, which causes problems when reporting management interface issues, as then I have to replicate the issue on an up-todate W7/W10 box running IE/Chrome/Firefox.

    5. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: A repeat of XP?

      Still have one XP VM, and a 2003 VM. We won't talk about the 2003 VM, but the XP VM runs old crusty software that's (you guessed it) crucial to the business but nobody knows how to migrate or replace easily. So it just sits there, running, laughing, beckoning, and will probably run as long as VMWare can give it virtual hardware that it likes.

    6. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: A repeat of XP?

      I am still running two machines with XP, my desktop with XP64 Professional and my laptop with XP32 Home. The only problem I have is that my HP Photosmart C6180 printer has failed, and my Canon Bubblejet BJC85 will not run on a 64 bit driver, so I have to keep the laptop connected on my LAN to act as a print server. Rather than upgrade either of the two computers, I will buy another HP printer/scanner that will run on an XP64 driver. I recently dug out an old HP Deskjet 690C printer and downloaded the XP64 driver for it, but I was forced to also download the Installer for it, and, guess what?, that doesn't run under XP64, so I can't install the driver that does. Hmmmm!

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: A repeat of XP?

        There are good chances the installer is some kind of compressed file from which you can extract driver files and install them manually.

  17. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Anyone here still running RHEL4? Because that's just gone out of support. RHEL5 goes out of support 2021. RHEL8 is current.

    Ubuntu 17 anyone? 19 is current.

    Fedora 29? 31 is current.

    Operating systems have a life cycle. Who knew.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We're just getting rid of our last Ubuntu 12.04 machines at work this year.

      Then we can get started on moving the 14.04 boxes (EOL April last year).

    2. Roger Greenwood

      Just logged into my Ubuntu 2010 machine, last time was 9 months ago. Uptime 618 days. Used as an email server for an obscure email address, gets traffic every day. If it aint broke.....

    3. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      I upgraded away from RHEL to Debian. Red Hat has become a flaming pile of trash, especially now that they've thoroughly drunk of Poettering's Kool-Aide. I can only imaging getting worse now that the Big Blue Whale has swallowed them up.

      Although, really, for the most part, most of my systems aren't a distro at all and produced using Buildroot. On most of my systems, I have apt installed to grab packages from the Debian mirrors, but most of my machines are single-purpose (DNS, DHCP, httpd, etc) and I just go without a package manager on those systems. Hell, most of my systems aren't much more than a kernel + busybox...

      But then, I am an old grey beard, I've switched to Linux when the lawsuits against 4.2 BSD started flying. I've used Windows periodically since then on work computers and "gaming" machines since then, but never as my primary system.

      1. aghasee

        Poettering's Kool-Aid

        D*mn... Is there even more Poettering in RHEL compared to Debian? (Running Debian 9 here at home)

        1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

          Re: Poettering's Kool-Aid

          A lot more. Lennart Poettering is an employee of Red Hat. Aside from that, there is a lot of his design philosophy floating about in the company. NetworkManager came from Red Hat... They also produce a bunch of other minor, but equally problematic utilities that try to do a bunch of stuff at many different layers of the OS simultaneously, but just make a mess of everything.

          The root problem is that Red Hat is a for-profit organization that lives on selling licenses and support contracts. Which presents two huge temptations: One, to make something flashy and impressive sounding so that users don't go elsewhere, even if the big splashy thing they make is barely functional and badly designed. And, two, to make something that requires support to get it running and working smoothly. Not saying they are doing those things, just that there is a very strong temptation to do them.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upgraded W7 to W10 via MS's continuing free offer last month

    World didn't end.

    Everything just works.

    Unless you have some crotchety legacy systems, just upgrade.

    Down votes here: --->

    1. intrigid

      Re: Upgraded W7 to W10 via MS's continuing free offer last month

      The problem with the "world didn't end" mentality is that there's no upper limit, literally nothing that can't be magically justified by uttering those three little words. So yes, downvoted.

    2. keith_w

      Re: Upgraded W7 to W10 via MS's continuing free offer last month

      did 4,000+ hospital machines over 3 months oct-dec. there were a few machines left running W7 due to legacy software (still searching for a replacement) and 1 XP machine - same issue.

      1. Blackjack

        Re: Upgraded W7 to W10 via MS's continuing free offer last month

        Windows 7 can run Virtual XP for free on Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise.

        Works okay as long as you don't run more than one or two programs at the same time.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Upgraded W7 to W10 via MS's continuing free offer last month

          >Windows 7 can run Virtual XP for free on Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise.

          Wow! Just checked Windows XP Mode is still available for download from MS.

          Mind you, I would follow the advice - to be found on other websites - and repurpose the XP Mode system image to run under a third-party VM manager such as Virtualbox. then you can host it on Linux, W10...

    3. Dougal 2

      Re: Upgraded W7 to W10 via MS's continuing free offer last month

      Does anyone know if this (using a Win 7 COA to activate Win 10) will end tomorrow too?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Upgraded W7 to W10 via MS's continuing free offer last month

        >Does anyone know if this (using a Win 7 COA to activate Win 10) will end tomorrow too?

        Don't know, but I'll be finding out on Friday! :)

  19. LDS Silver badge

    It is remarkable that Windows 7 [...] while maintaining [...] 27 per cent market share

    No, it isn't. It's a clear symptom that Windows 10 failed utterly to attract uses, and some are delaying "dumbgrading" until there's no other option.

    We have upgraded our system last December and that is the first Windows upgrade when you have to fight against the system disabling all the luser-oriented features, data slurping (where possible), have to adapt to a dumbed-down ugly UI which makes most applications look ugly like under Linux, and chase the same feature settings across different applications - sometimes just to find they just disappeared. The number of clicks you need to access some features has increased, less useful info are displayed (or the poor Millennials could be overwhelmed by the need to understand something useful) while some commands are scattered around without much logic. Even if you use a desktop with an UPS, it believes that's a notebook and configures accordingly.

    Some of the new apps like the Mail client are incredibly bad and dumb - the mail client can't even report why it can't download mails, but has a photo background. You wonder who could have designed and signed of such crap. Then you start to uninstall all the useless apps it installs.

    My thoughts are Microsoft greatly cut Windows development costs - not testers ones only - dumbing down things let it employ fewer and less skilled developers. Maybe those working on the kernel side are still the good one, but on the user/UI side it looks a bunch of amateurs which just discovered computing looking at a bad website.

    Ironically, the only unsupported device we found is a Microsoft mouse.

    MS may think the future is Azure, but once it has lost the desktop dominance, Azure will become just a cloud service like another...

    1. Blackjack

      Re: It is remarkable that Windows 7 [...] while maintaining [...] 27 per cent market share

      I am sick of people saying Linux is ugly when there is over a dozen Linux distros made to look pretty.

      Anything with KDE tends to look fantastic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is remarkable that Windows 7 [...] while maintaining [...] 27 per cent market share

        KDE looks nice indeed, but it leans very heavy on the h/w imho.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: It is remarkable that Windows 7 [...] while maintaining [...] 27 per cent market share

          No, not really. I use KDE (Neon) on my 4GB RAM (non-upgradeable) cheap laptop, with its Intel Atom-derived Pentium CPU (probably the hundredth iteration to receive that name by now), and it runs great-- I use it every day as my grab-n-go laptop.

          KDE used to be a lot heavier on resources than it now is. Things have changed, bugs have been fixed. It's a whole lot better than it was a year or two ago.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: It is remarkable that Windows 7 [...] while maintaining [...] 27 per cent market share

      "Even if you use a desktop with an UPS, it believes that's a notebook and configures accordingly."

      I agree with your rant but this is actually a feature I like. If you're on battery power the computer sips less juice, idle screens turned off sooner etc. Of course, all this can be turned off if necessary.

      How does this bug you?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: It is remarkable that Windows 7 [...] while maintaining [...] 27 per cent market share

        When the PC small UPS kicks in, there's usually the time to save what I'm working on and shut down the system - and I need to do it quickly.

        Moreover It has set the PC to turn of disks after a while even when connected to power. So sometimes it takes time to speed them up again - and I also prefer to avoid this kind of start/stop of the multi-terabyte mirror. I don't think these disks are designed for that. The other two disks are SSDs so there's no need to stop them.

        Even the "balanced" mode slow downs the CPU too much, and I can see a visible lag before it returns to full speed. For example, while working in Lightroom I could be inspecting the image to understand where and what change apply. The CPU slow downs. Then when I start to apply brush strokes, which are processor intensive, the first couple of strokes are a pain until the CPU speeds up.

        Settings can be changed, sure, but the default ones are unacceptable for a workstation - and it can be daunting for non-technical users, as the settings are quite low-level.

        If it can't detect the system type itself, the setup should ask what configuration it is, and apply sensible defaults.

  20. MrKrotos

    Why are so many old versions of Windows still in use?

    Because Windows 10 is shit

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why are so many old versions of Windows still in use?

      I enjoy concise messages. +1

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    365 E5

    So if my employer have O365 will (..can) I somehow use that to get that year promotion for my personal Win7? I've the office suite activated on it as they allow us to use it on any 5 of our devices.

    1. keb

      Re: 365 E5

      I wish the article had included a paragraph that cut through the sales channel BS and just told us whether regular users could get the updates and how much it would cost.

      It sounds like those with an Office 365 subscription from Microsoft arent eligible while those who bought one from a reseller such as GoDaddy are eligible...? IOW wtf is a CSP and how to contact one?

      Will the updates be available via 3rd party tools such as WSUS-Offline Update?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: 365 E5

        >I wish the article had included a paragraph that cut through the sales channel BS

        Just follow the link labelled "here":

        "Windows 7 ESU is free for a year to customers who subscribe to Windows E5 or Microsoft 365 E5. Details are here"

        Basically only the VL licenses from a non-EDU Windows or Microsoft E5 subscription qualify.

  22. codejunky Silver badge

    So

    I either run my unsupported win7 system (which exists just for gaming) or ditch windows for my ubuntu gaming system. Of course I can VM for single player games requiring windows (not many).

    At the moment I am putting off reinstalling windows after it updated and borked its boot sequence. Even recovery cant fix the issue. Will have to see if I care enough.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: So

      @codejunky

      I get where you are coming from, as I also am having to deal with a bunch of borked W7 & 8 systems.

      My approach is to reinstall "as shipped" for those systems I have been able to obtain recovery media, the others will be getting a Linux distribution, on the basis that installing anything is likely to require seeking out compatible drivers.

      Personally, I would thus stick with reinstalling W7 on your win7 gaming system because you most probably have all the recovery media and you know your games are fully compatible with that platform - so no additional headaches and costs...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 still hasn't sorted out the schizophrenic behaviour of system settings and control panel, it's still an ergonomic mess and shovels in all sorts of stuff I'll never use.

    RIP W7, we'll miss you just as we said RIP XP we'll miss you.

  24. magicaces

    Boy people really do not like change do they? I've been using Win10 since release and it by far surpasses Win7 both in performance and UI along with so many other things.

    Overall Microsoft don't make this stuff for free and cannot continue supporting ageing software forever. Other vendors do the same Google, Apple etc they push and force upgrades in fact even more heavily than Microsoft yet Microsoft get slammed for it. 10 years Win7 has been supported and that is a good amount of time for an OS that you may have purchased through OEM or separately back then.

    I loved Win7 too in its day but its had its time and it's time to let go as change is inevitable in tech as in life.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      >Overall Microsoft don't make this stuff for free and cannot continue supporting ageing software forever.

      I think few are actually complaining that the term of the paid for up front support has come to an end.

      They are however complaining of MS's strong arm upgrade tactics and intransigence over continued support. It would be interesting to see the take up of new W7 licences if MS provided ESU licences at over-the-counter at prices in line with W10 pricing (ie. £15 for an ESU licence and activation key with 5~10 years of support including feature and security updates).

      Remember the decision to terminate W7 and XP before it is purely business driven, if MS were in Hollywood, they would be welcoming the revenues to be gained from the sequels...

      >Other vendors do the same Google, Apple

      They aren't really in the same marketplace; you really need to be comparing MS with SAP, Oracle, etc.

    2. David Lawton

      Have you ever used Windows 7?

      Windows 10 UI surpasses Windows 7's? Have you even used both OS's? Just 1 example off the top of my head is Windows 7 Control Panel interface is VASTLY superior to Windows 10 stupid dumbed down Settings. Windows 7 lets you have more than 1 control panel at a time open, Windows 10 settings does not. You can find countless steps backwards all over Windows 10 like this, and that is just 1 of the many gripes I have with Windows 10. When you add the shit Windows 8 added I'm glad I moved to MacOS as my main OS last decade, yeah the devices are not cheap but if you seriously want off this crazy Windows ride it is a viable alternative , its interface is at least clean, clear and consistent. How I would love Windows 2000 again, that was near perfect UI wise....

      Its also very easy and justifiable to slam Microsoft and not Apple, if you compare say MacOS over the last 20 years most things are still where they were 20 years ago in the interface and have remained there for 15 versions of the OS nice and consistent. Microsoft have moved things around so much in the 2000 to XP to Vista to Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 I'm dizzy and there was no need for it (and that does not include all the sub versions of Windows 10, how many are there now 11?)

      Ultimately Windows has gone backwards not forwards since Windows 7, and my love and excitement for Windows died with it too, I actively avoid an OS I use to enjoy toying with and that shows how sad it has become.

    3. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Windows 10 surpasses Windows 7 in UI?

      No... just no.

  25. Milton Silver badge

    "ways to keep old stuff patched"

    "There is a degree of artificiality about this key "end of support" date and ways to keep old stuff patched, but the security risks are real"

    For those of us still incredulous that Microsoft followed the excellent Win7 UI with the reeking mess that is Win8/10, it would be nice to know more about those "ways to keep old stuff patched".

    That said, I've used Linux servers forever and don't expect to choke too badly when I migrate to a decent desktop version. The transition from the nice UI of Paint.Net to the unpleasantness of GIMP will be harder, and that's the only thing holding me back from the final transition.

    One thing I have never done, though, is run a Windows desktop in a VM ... ah well, always good to learn new things ...

  26. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Users who spend most of their time in, say, Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, and some custom internal applications, may find the benefits of upgrading to Windows 10 hard to see"

    These are the ones which would be easiest to migrate to 10. There are suitable applications waiting for them. Those who find the benefits really hard to see are those dependant on applications which weren't ported to 10, maybe using H/W for which there are no drivers later than 7.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Remember the story of the programmable lathe that needed an XP machine to run it because it ran on a custom interface attached to the ISA bus (support for ISA was dropped with Vista and custom hardware cant be virtualized)?

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Welcome

        to my world.

        Where people invest 250 000 pounds in a SINGLE machine tool*, complete with a windows XP computer driving it.

        The payback time is a minimum of 5 yrs, with the profits being earned for the next 10... then the scrapyard looms**

        This is why the 'forced' "upgrades" as such a pain in the butt, because the drivers for the hardware may not work with the next version of windows... god knows what would have happened if we'd had a win7 installation with internet access.... hello you've upgraded to windows 1.0 sorry unknown hardware installed... unable to access machine... would you like help searching the app store?

        One day I'll 'upgrade ' my home machine to windows 1.0 but only when the steam client is updated so it doesnt work on win7***

        *thats a mid range tool... some of the kit we've looked at has been close to the million mark

        **or its kept on

        ***valve did that for winxp recently... 5 yrs after EOL

        1. Mike 125

          Re: Welcome

          Spending that sort of cash on a machine tool, (or a warship), I'd need to know it was not controlled by *anything* Microsoft. There are high quality kernels out there designed for that kind of job.

          Windows has always been at best a machine for light office data processing. Early versions (pre NTFS) were nowhere near mission-ready, even for that. It was *never* envisaged as a control system.

          Somewhere down the line, people got lazy specifying what they thought they knew best, and Windows ended up in a 1000 places it had absolutely no right to be.

          That's not really Microsoft's fault. It got rich. That was its sole purpose, and it did it very well. And now, it's doing the same, but in the Cloud. It couldn't care less about the desktop. (American translation: it could care less.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For a while I did migration for hospitals. It was never pretty when I had to tell that them that their multi-million dollar MRI machine can't be used anymore because Microsoft discontinued support. The manufacturer of the machine will of course offer an 'upgrade' kit, but those aren't exactly cheap either. Either way its money to deal with a piece of equipment that was working perfectly fine before; especially since its money that the hospital would rather spend on keeping the lights on, hiring more staff to make up for shortages, or upgrading some actually outdated equipment.

  27. Totally not a Cylon

    Pot meet Kettle

    I wonder how many of you lot complaining about 'Windows Telemetry' also have android phones?

    You know; the phones which send everything to Google.......

    I still have the install disks for OS/2 perhaps that is better?

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: Pot meet Kettle

      I have a phone that came with Android, but swapped the OS out for AOSP and Lineage, since I have that option. There is no such thing as Windows without telemetry.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Pot meet Kettle

        How are you ablt to do that on a modern Android phone that has hash checking in the bootloader and so on (dm-verity and all that)?

        1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

          Re: Pot meet Kettle

          You can turn those functions off, or you can replace the bootloader. Even stock android doesn't require that functionality. Apparently some apps do, but I've never encountered them, even security-related apps don't seem to care that the bootloader isn't checking. From what I've heard is that the only apps that care are those that are exclusive to a manufacturer / carrier and are trying to pull private keys embedded into the device. The only affect I've noticed is that when the device boots, a screen flashes up saying my boot loader is unlocked and points me to a website that tells me that it could be a security risk, especially if I wasn't expecting it.

          I run LineageOS on a Pixel 3 and AOSP on Galaxy S10 (a work phone). Doesn't get much more 'modern' than them (Well, other than the version that came out in the last few months).

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Pot meet Kettle

            That's not a real solution, then, as there's the boot nag AND the problem of increasing numbers of root- and boot-aware apps (thanks to SafetyNet and the like). You may not have encountered them, but I see them all the time: mostly to do with banking, secure communications, app stores, and so on.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Pot meet Kettle

      I have a dumb slider phone from the 'ougts personally. Wouldn't touch anything Google, hell no.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Pot meet Kettle

        I've seen Facebook on DUMB phones myself. Don't assume they're safe, either.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Pot meet Kettle

          I've seen Facebook on DUMB phones myself. Don't assume they're safe, either.

          Facebook still needs a data connection, and if the hardware or plan doesn't support that...

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Pot meet Kettle

            If Facebook is on a dumb phone, the phone supports is. As for plans, most of the plans out there provide a daily allowance just for Facebook (you can see where this is going).

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Pot meet Kettle

              If Facebook is on a dumb phone, the phone supports is. As for plans, most of the plans out there provide a daily allowance just for Facebook (you can see where this is going).

              Yes. It's going into weird charleyboy fantasyland where what he says goes and reality is long gone.

              Lots of dumb phones don't have FB, built in or not. There are providers who still do non-data plans, though some of them are the more obscure smaller companies like Vodafone - they're so tiny you probably never heard of them though. (I am assuming their plans in NZ are like plans elsewhere).

              Data can be turned off on phones as well, although I wouldn't exactly trust Google to honour that (even less so Apple) - hence why if using a smart phone I'd have data blocked at the provider level.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Pot meet Kettle

                "Yes. It's going into weird charleyboy fantasyland where what he says goes and reality is long gone."

                aka Southeast Asia. You see, I speak from firsthand experience. Don't believe your own two eyes? Then it's time to "Stop the world! I wanna get off!"

                1. Kiwi Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Pot meet Kettle

                  I speak from firsthand experience

                  I seriosly doubt it. When you're telling us that corporations have greater military might than the US, when you tell us that someone in the UK cannot obey UK/EU privacy laws around UK citizens because of laws from other countries.. Well, why would we believe you elsewhere?

                  I do speak from actual first hand experience though. My plan doesn't have one drop of data, and my phone has no FB or anything else built in - it literally has NO data capability. Perhaps some telcos don't advertise such plans widely, but I'd hazard a guess that if that's what a paying customer wants that's what the paying customer can get. I mean if little ol NZ telcos can do it...

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Pot meet Kettle

                    Emphasis on LITTLE. I suggest you try a place with a significant larger population...like the Philippines...

                    PS. It's not military might where trans-national megacorps get countries: it's political clout (aka bribing politicians), maneuverability, (jumping jurisdictions), and public image (who cares what the likes of us do when we're grossly outnumbered by sheeple--it's like with Trump's rabid Republican--aka white nationalist--base--forget OK Boomer, perhaps it's time to use OK Nazi).

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fond memories of my last XP. some Dell machine, indestructible. It travelled the world with me without any problems, ever. And it was the last "corporate" Windows-vnnn that was Fast, Responsive, Reliable.

    (now using a macbook air, much better, and everything is in some cloud somewhere, the need for portable power is gone).

  29. cb7

    Bizarrely Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 reaches end of support in four days time too, not next year as release date + 10 years might suggest.

  30. Mike Lewis

    Sticking with Windows 7

    I decided to stick with Windows 7 as I figure the chances of its being infected by malware are fewer than the chances of Windows 10 being disrupted by Microsoft's "ready or not, here I come" delivery of buggy updates. Also, Microsoft wants £120 for it in Australia which is a bit much.

  31. Mike 137 Bronze badge

    Not necessarily

    "... presenting opportunities galore for criminals to take advantage of poorly secured systems..." security professional Graham Cluley told The Register.

    There are many legitimate reasons for using an "out of support" OS (i.e. one for which the vendor has stopped fixing its innumerable silly mistakes), such as retention of expensive hardware for which later drivers aren't available. A classic case was a jobbing engineer with about £2M locked up in CNC tooling for which drivers stopped being released after Win XP (on which it performed perfectly well).

    But using one does not necessarily render you more vulnerable, if for no other reason that the new OS contains bugs we don't know about yet. And to equate "not supported" with "poorly secured systems" is to suggest that Windows security is the totality of security, which is just silly. Too many organisations rely on Windows to "secure" unsegregated flat networks, and they pay the penalty in data breaches.

    Apart from which, why would I trust any vendor that has never stopped issuing security patches for the entire life of every product (and that's pretty much every vendor) to instruct me about or control my security? They can't even get their products secure.

    Unfortunately the entire IT industry is party to an emergent conspiracy of obsolescence in order to keep the revenue stream going. When we remember that there are mainframe computer installed in the '70s still in operation, the micro IT market shows up as driven not by user need but by enforced consumerism, primarily for the benefit of vendors.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Not necessarily

      Thing is, computers became both more powerful and more connected as time passes. For many, especially at home, Internet access has become a necessity, yet most home users are not versed enough to know about the necessary safeguards. You might as well be talking shop to them (like auto shop--who repairs their own cars, for example). Thing is, once a product becomes unsupported, there's the increased risk of a "game over" exploit going wild that gets a WONTFIX, and as Mirai showed us, there are far too many machines that'll never get protected to let something like that slide. Pretty soon, your only option for those who can't afford it is to throw up their hands and cry, "Stop the Internet! I wanna get off!"

  32. Annihilator

    "It is remarkable that Windows 7 is reaching end of support on January 14 2020 while maintaining something approaching 27 per cent market share among Windows users,"

    It would be remarkable if it weren't so predictable with a healthy dose of deja vu. The same thing happened (probably with a larger percentage) at the end of NT4 and XP. Tellingly, I don't remember anyone giving a hoot when Vista went EOL...

  33. DougS Silver badge

    How can Windows have a desktop share of ONLY 77%?

    What's the other 23%? I disbelieve that Mac, Linux and ChromeOS are nearly one out of every four desktops!

    Or did these stats come from a company that considers tablets to be "PCs" and thus we need to add iPads to the number above?

  34. DropBear Silver badge
    Devil

    Oh do get real

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My W7 never ever saw any updates from day one, and I am willing to assert that I actually am competent enough to say I'm reasonably sure I'm still free of any malware all those many years later. Name your test, I'm happy to run it. Guess what, you don't need to be air-gapped from the internet (or particularly careful about what you visit...) to stay clean - as long as you do use an ad-blocker and you don't give in to every ridiculously transparent attempt to make you click on something you definitely should not. Which kinda makes the whole point of "OMG, no more updates" moot, for those of us who realised long ago that there are only two kinds of computers: those that are not perfectly secure, and those that don't yet know they are definitely not perfectly secure. That said, I know full well this is straight against the prevailing Reg doctrine so feel free to downvote full tilt - sadly I suppose, that won't make me any less secure, but it might make you feel a lot more secure than you actually are.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh do get real

      Then you're probably pwned and don't even know it. You probably got hit by a drive-by attack attached to a first-party element in one of the sites you frequent.

      IOW, DTA isn't paranoia anymore. It's SOP.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Oh do get real

        Then you're probably pwned and don't even know it.

        I'll bet ya dollars to doughnuts that DB knows plenty about how not to get hit. A firewall as basic as Zone Alarm would prevent a drive-by, as would most script blocking (a hacked site with a bad 1st party script could be an issue) and most ad blockers.

        Of course, not running MSIE would also avoid the majority of attacks. Basic AV, tools like Bit Defender's 'Traffic Light' or McAffee's 'Site Adviser' would help - lots of simple ideas that any one with a shred of knowledge about IT security has been doing for years that prevent all but the worst attacks. And for those, there's regular offline backups.

        No wonder you posted AC....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh do get real

          "I'll bet ya dollars to doughnuts that DB knows plenty about how not to get hit."

          I'll take your bet. These same firms know there are ways to get around everything. If they want you bad enough, there's a way for them. Like you said, drive-bys using mandatory first-party scripts are one way (recall, these hit mainstream sites). AND they're spreading faster than the mitigations. Thus reports from right here at El Reg of exploits working even on fully-patched-and-up-to-date software...that uses the Internet as part of its SOP. It's like with privacy in general. The global village is here, and there are simply too many traces of you to hide, and there are people out there (the village gossips) who get off on putting them together.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Oh do get real

            "I'll bet ya dollars to doughnuts that DB knows plenty about how not to get hit."

            I'll take your bet. These same firms know there are ways to get around everything. If they want you bad enough, there's a way for them. Like you said, drive-bys using mandatory first-party scripts are one way (recall, these hit mainstream sites).

            Except that there's no such thing as "mandatory first-party scripts" and in the days of drive bys I cannot think of any sites that used JS for their main content, not even sure they could.

            DB would have to answer to confirm but I suspect such sites would've been avoided.

            Tell me how such scripts get past a decent basic firewall though?

            AND they're spreading faster than the mitigations.

            [citation needed] though I still doubt you'll give one. Would be a change from your normal posts...

            Thus reports from right here at El Reg of exploits working even on fully-patched-and-up-to-date software...

            Oh, you know an exploit that works against software patched for that exploit? Do provide some proof.

            It's like with privacy in general. The global village is here, and there are simply too many traces of you to hide, and there are people out there (the village gossips) who get off on putting them together.

            Oh, actually there's lots of me hidden all over and ain't none of these sites got the real me pinned. They don't know where I live, what my bank details are, who I normally associate with. what I eat, where I shop etc etc.

            Doesn't take much effort to keep yourself hidden. In fact it's pretty much the default action. Just don't give people this stuff out. No one on the internet needs my address, bank number, DOB etc, and very very very small few have ever had my real name. 10minutemail.com saves giving out real email addresses.

            I realise you believe I have to give this out because if not some corporation will reduce the USA to ashes if they don't force me to obey, but it's just not like that in reality.

  35. hermit

    Am I the last one running DOS apps?

    I'm welded to Win-7 for its ability to run my stable of DOS-based custom database applications.

    I see no references to the fact that 32-bit Win-7 is the last MS-windows product able to run DOS-based applications. Am I really the last person left using DOS applications? Is there a DOS emulator that will run under Windoze 10 when Win-7 becomes totally unviable?

    Or will I have to bring out my big 5-1/4" 3.3 floppy?

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Am I the last one running DOS apps?

      Am I really the last person left using DOS applications? Is there a DOS emulator that will run under Windoze 10 when Win-7 becomes totally unviable?

      I still run some stuff. I use Dosbox for it, though I don't know if there's a W10 version.

      Virtual machines should also be able to still handle DOS if you set them up for such (Virtualbox at least lets you select DOS as the OS to be installed, and although it's been some years I was able to convince VMware player to run DOS-based stuff (cloned someone's ancient DOS machine into a VMware virtual disk that could be run through the VMware platyer - and backups/snapshots were easy as just copying the virtual disk file!).

      I will still run DOS for some time to come. And while I still like certain games, that will be for some time.

      HTH

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