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  • From the oreally files: Elderly will remain at risk for Win7 infections

    Posted on January 29th, 2020 at 09:22 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I get such junk in my mail.

    This from a respected insurance company, apparently trying to sell its security advice:

    … there’s significant latent risk remaining from Windows 7 users. While some institutions have the resources to continue patch support and eventually upgrade; individuals, non-profits, and the elderly will remain at risk for the foreseeable future.

    Oh brother.

  • Want to fix that black Stretched wallpaper in Windows 7? Buy Extended Security Updates

    Posted on January 24th, 2020 at 14:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has acknowledged the bug we’ve been talking about for several days:

    After installing KB4534310, your desktop wallpaper might display as black when set to Stretch.

    MS offers a workaround that’s identical to the one presented by Lawrence Abrams in BleepingComputer a few days ago.

    What, you think that Microsoft should fix its bugs before kicking you off the update gravy train? Nope. Here’s the final word (as of today, anyway):

    We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release for organizations who have purchased Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU).

    Nice guys.

  • Will TurboTax 2019 work on Windows 7 machines?

    Posted on January 10th, 2020 at 07:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Interesting question from CP:

    I just saw that turbotax 2019 only supports win 8.0 and above. What option do us win 7 users have? Will it still work with win 7?

    The Intuit TurboTax support site includes this assertion:

    At Intuit, the security of our customers’ data is a top priority. To help customers safeguard their personal information, like their Social Security number and bank account information, we strongly recommend that TurboTax and QuickBooks desktop customers using Windows 7 upgrade their operating system before installing their product. Microsoft is recommending that Windows 7 users upgrade to Windows 10.

    TurboTax for tax year 2019 and QuickBooks 2020 will install on Windows 7 (Service Pack 1 or later) PCs. However, we strongly recommend upgrading your operating system before installing these products.

    TurboTax has come under a lot of fire lately. For example, see this article from ProPublica Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free and the follow-up IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax.

    The decision to drop Win7 support next year isn’t going to make them any friends.

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

    Posted on December 20th, 2019 at 09:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    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.

  • Win7 nag screens are up

    Posted on December 17th, 2019 at 06:28 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I logged on to my Seven Semper Fi machine this morning and saw this:

    Remarkably, in both the notice here and in the info linked to by the “Learn More” button, I don’t see any inaccuracies. Yes, Microsoft’s trying to get you to dump your Win7 machine and buy a new Win10 machine, but other than that obvious bias I don’t see anything worthy of a Susan Bradley Pinocchio nose. (OK, the description of Win10 in S mode is a bit overblown, but still.)

    As Fred Langa notes, exactly 28 days from today we’re going to get the last Win7 Monthly Rollup. Unless you figure out a way to pay for Extended Security Updates. (More about that in a while as Susan and Amy untie the Gordian knot.)

    A reminder…. if you’re seriously thinking about buying a new Win10 computer, almost everybody will be fine with Win10 Home. That’s because Microsoft finally gave Home users the ability to pause updates — so you can escape the trenches for a while every month as the inevitable bugs fly.

  • Win7 share declining slowly, Edge still in the doldrums

    Posted on November 1st, 2019 at 07:00 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    According to NetMarketShare, Win10 share usage is up from 52% in September to 54% in October. Win7 share went from 29% to 27%.

    Statcounter says that Chrome went from 62 to almost 63% usage share, while Edge went from 3.1 to 3.0%.

    All numbers subject to the usual disclaimers – based on flawed sampling, it ain’t gospel, more like reading tea leaves, and all that really matters is long-term trends.

  • Microsoft announces that US voting systems running Win7 will get free updates through the 2020 elections

    Posted on September 20th, 2019 at 14:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Per MS corporate VP Tom Burt:

    As we head into the 2020 elections, we know there is a relatively small but still significant number of certified voting machines in operation running on Windows 7. We also know that transitioning to machines running newer operating systems in time for the 2020 election may not be possible for a number of reasons, including the lengthy voting machine certification process

    Gotta wonder how small “relative” is, but it’s the right decision.

  • This month’s Win7 and 8.1 “security only” patches install and activate telemetry systems

    Posted on September 12th, 2019 at 10:31 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Back in July, we discovered that the Win7 security-only patch was installing and activating telemetry (read: snooping) subsystems.

    The August security-only patches didn’t include telemetry, and many of us breathed a sigh of relief.

    Now it looks like the September security-only patches have telemetry once again — and not just for Win7.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.