• Patch Lady – Windows 7 FAQs

    This is a preview of the content in the next Patch Watch.

    Windows 7 is coming to the end of life.  What does that mean?  Here’s some “Patch Lady” answers:

    1.  If I rebuild my computer on January 15, will updates be available?  Yes, Windows 7 updates won’t go away, you just won’t get any new patches on that Windows 7 after next Tuesday. (The exception is for Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise versions if you are a small business.  Remember that for small businesses, Microsoft has made an exception and you can purchase Windows 7 extended support updates to be delivered via Windows update, WSUS or windows catalog.  If you need to know more, fill out this form and Amy and Ted will get back to you).
    2. I’ve heard from Comcast (or my ISP) that they will only allow Windows 10 on their network after next Tuesday, what does that mean?  No, Comcast is probably just letting you know that next Tuesday will be the last release of public patches for Windows 7.  Your computer will still work after next Tuesday.  However, you’ll want to be very careful and not do random surfing on any device that no longer receives patches.
    3. Will Microsoft release patches if there is some huge worm to unprotected machines?  Maybe.  Probably yes.  Historically speaking, Microsoft time and time again have showcased that when their customers are at risk they will do the right thing and release updates even when a platform is out of support.  Just this year they publicly released Windows XP patches when they thought a worm event might occur.  So historically, yes, when they think customers are at risk, they will release public patches.
    4. If I rebuild my computer after January 15, what’s the best way to get fully patched?  Remember that you will run into the slow scanning issue with Windows 7.  Follow this guidance and manually download certain patches first.
    5. Will AskWoody.com still cover the needed updates for Windows 7 so we know what we’re missing, or if I’m a small business and have purchased patches, I’ll know if it’s safe to install them?  Yes, I still plan to list all Windows updates and report on any side effects that may be seen.  I know that the rest of the AskWoody MVPs will still keep an eye out for side effects and issues as well.  Given that Microsoft plans to release the Windows 7 updates to all normal patching platforms, I fully anticipate being able to track the updates.  Furthermore I’ve purchased a single Windows 7 license in order to track issues myself.
    6. Can I surf and read email and do everything I need to do on my Windows 7 after January 14 as a home user?  I’m not comfortable at all saying that “oh sure, as long as you are paranoid you can be secure enough”.  On a daily basis I notice at the office that my firewall blocks phishing attempts from foreign countries, I see attempts to crack passwords, I see malicious banner ads in rotation on normal web sites that my firewall stops.  If you have an android phone, iphone, chromebook or some other operating system, I’d much rather you do general surfing on that device and limit your use of your beloved Windows 7 device for those applications that you know won’t work on a device or on Windows 10.

    ….stay tuned.  More FAQs to come