Newsletter Archives

  • MS-DEFCON 2: Copilot for Christmas

    alert banner

    ISSUE 20.49.1 • 2023-12-07


    By Susan Bradley

    The upcoming December updates will begin Microsoft’s process of dribbling out Windows Copilot.

    No question here — I’m raising the MS-DEFCON level to 2.

    I’m not sure I understand why Copilot needed to be so deeply embedded in Windows, at least right now. It’s obvious that putting the guts of AI support into the operating system is inevitable, because Microsoft’s apps are rapidly evolving to include Copilot.

    However, Microsoft’s icon for Copilot still includes the “PRE” badge, which in effect signals that we’re all still beta testers for a Copilot preview. Besides, with your Microsoft account and Edge, you can play around with Copilot at low risk. Even that generates some uncertainty, because I’ve seen Copilot in Bing deliver wrong answers.

    Maybe the bugs should be worked out before Copilot is welded permanently to Windows.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.49.1, 2023-12-07).

  • No fireworks, closing out 2019 updating


    By Susan Bradley

    The past year of Windows and Office patching sure had its ups and downs, false alarms, and true debacles.

    Fortunately, we seem to be ending the year on a relatively positive note.

    The new decade starts off with the official end of Windows 7 support — for most users. As regular readers know, we’ve come up with a process for acquiring extended security updates. It’s not free, but the cost is relatively low for any small business that can’t easily upgrade to a newer OS. (See my article “Hunting for an elusive Win7 ESU license” in the 2019-12-23 AskWoody Plus Newsletter.)

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.1.0 (2020-01-06).

  • Questions about Win7 Extended Support Updates? We have answers

    Susan Bradley just started a thread that deals with ESU questions – and we have many. She and Amy Babinchak are blasting through the bafflegab, with the intent of making official Win7 security patches available to normal people.

    Questions, answers, and a look forward here:

    Got Questions about ESU patches? We got answers

    This one blew me away. Totally unexpected: @abbodi86 says it’s possible MS will continue with both Monthly Rollups and Security Only patches.

  • Microsoft says it’ll sell Win7 Extended Security Updates to Ultimate users

    Sort of.

    Microsoft’s Joe Lurie posted on the Tech Community forum yesterday:

    • We have been communicating ESU since last May with constant blogs, announcements at events, tweets, etc. The media has been reporting on them as well; I apologize if it seems last minute. The EOL date of Windows 7 was announced long before the ESU announcements, so even without ESU the EOL of Windows 7 has been looming. That said, Microsoft announced ESU in early 2019 and have been making changes to the program as necessary ever since. One change was allowing for CSP which was not in the original plans. This is why this was announced in October – it was an add-on program based on customer request;
    • Most of us at Microsoft, and specifically in the ESU PG, are not at home over the holidays, we are still working to provide ESU for the customers that need it. As I mentioned in the above point, we only announced CSP recently, and have CSP partners ready to help;
    • ESU is available for Windows 7 Ultimate edition, and has been since ESU was first being sold. We may have failed in that communication, and I apologize for that. Most of our enterprise customers aren’t using Ultimate edition, so we didn’t have Ultimate documented. Once we started selling ESU via CSP channel, the CSP partners were made aware of which versions are eligible for ESU.

    Wading through the alphabet soup, Lurie’s saying that normal people (and small companies) will have to get Extended Security updates through the recently-announced Cloud Service Provider companies. It appears that Microsoft forgot that there are Win7 users who want security updates, but aren’t tied to volume licenses. Those unwashed masses (like, oh, me) have to go through a CSP.

    The announcement about Extended Security Update availability for Win7 Ultimate is brand new, at least to me. There’s been a lot of speculation in recent months (much of it here on AskWoody) as to whether Ultimate customers will be able to buy the patches.

    Patch Lady Susan Bradley is spearheading the drive to bring Win7 Extended Security Updates to the masses. Stay tuned – much more to come.

  • Bott: Want to pay for Win7 Extended Support? Good luck.

    Ed’s headline didn’t quite put it that way, but he’s run up against the same roadblock we’ve been hitting. From his new article in ZDNet So you want to keep running Windows 7? Good luck with that, small businesses:

     I went in search of Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (the promised $50-for-the-first-year security patches), figuring it would be a simple task, and I could share the step-by-step procedure here. I discovered that unless you already have a relationship with a friendly Cloud Service Provider, the process is far more difficult than it should be… Microsoft doesn’t seem particularly interested in taking your money if your business is too small.

    Susan Bradley, in this morning’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter (Plus membership required), echoes the same lament:

    At this point, purchasing an ESU license isn’t easy. Microsoft recommends searching for a CSP through its online database. But most of those vendors are probably not interested in handling one or a few Win7 ESU purchases. They’re typically geared toward large businesses.

    For example, the local CSP I use currently doesn’t offer any licenses. The closest vendors I could find were six hours away. Amy Babinchak and I are looking for the best way for small businesses and individuals to obtain an ESU license. We’ll tell you about the process once we figure it out.

    I’ve been talking with Susan and Amy about the roadblocks they’ve encountered. I figured that some smart anointed Cloud Service Provider should be anxious to sell $50 patching licenses — they should sell like hotcakes. After all, with 200 million or so Win7 machines still huffing and puffing, signing up even a small percentage of those folks should at least pay for the effort, shouldn’t it?

    Or should it? Apparently CSPs can only look forward to $5 or so per license — and given the amount of tech support, paperwork and overhead involved, it looks more like a briar patch than a yellow brick road.

    We’ll keep you posted, but the situation for small businesses (and individuals) doesn’t look good.