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Windows XP - August 24, 2001 - April 8, 2014 R.I.P.

08 Apr 2014

Posted by anyweb in Windows News

Today (April 8th, 2014) marks the End of Life (EOL) of Windows XP, one of the most popular operating systems from Microsoft, however many people are probably still unaware of the fact (and there are probably many who simply don't care).

 

eol report.png

 

The operating system was released to manufacturing (RTM) on August 24, 2001, and generally released for retail sale on October 25, 2001.

 

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XP grew in popularity because it was easy to use and worked on most hardware. I bet most of you have a cousin or friend that is still running Windows XP on a computer at home, today.

 

smsadmin in xp.png

 

However, all was not roses with Windows XP, it gained notoriety by being labelled as insecure due to the many worms targeting the unpatched OS and gave Microsoft a bad reputation, so much so that Bill Gates told his employees to get serious about security.

 

In August 2003 the Blaster worm exploited a vulnerability present in every unpatched installation of Windows XP, and was capable of compromising a system even without user action. In May 2004 the Sasser worm spread by using a buffer overflow in a remote service present on every installation. I was onsite with a customer when they got infected and the result was spectacular, systems beeping and rebooting left right and center.

 

You've probably dealt with an infected or insecure XP desktop at one stage or another, and it's quite likely that Internet Explorer looked something like the screenshot below.

 

xp at it's best.png

 

Securing XP however was possible with some work but it's not that straightforward or easy and for that reason many people just couldn't be bothered. However, Bills memo made a dent in Windows as we know it, as security within Windows XP and especially later operating systems (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8) from Microsoft improved in leaps and bounds. Today however, is an important day as Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for Windows XP. The message is clear, you'll have heard it over and over, to move away from XP to a supported operating system such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.x, and there are many migrations tools available to help you with that such as this one from windows-noob.com. Microsoft themselves have of course provided many useful courses including this one Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 and an interactive Windows XP to Windows 8 Migration Guide.

 

Note: Existing Windows XP security updates, service packs, etc. will still be available for download after today (April 8th) however you won’t see any new updates for Windows XP on any subsequent patch Tuesday.

 

I do have a feeling however that the message below (recurring every 8th of the month) will be seen by many people over the coming ....dare I say it... days, months, years...

 

XP EOL.png

 

But still, I guess we'll miss it, XP, in all it's glory, it was a nice operating system wasn't it ?

425 Views · 0 Replies

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Microsoft's new strategy, a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

02 Apr 2014

Posted by anyweb in Windows News

Microsoft is pushing forward with it's plans to gain presence and dominate in the mobile and cloud space with the following email from Satya Nadel which makes clear that the new mission statement is all about a mobile-first, cloud-first world with flagship products like Office 365 (for viewing and producing content) and Onedrive (for storing your content) being key components of that evolving landscape.

 

satya webcast.png

 

After 22 years at Microsoft, Satya has commented that at the end of all exploring you arrive where you started and that Microsoft's customers want to know where the company is going, and the company is going mobile-first and cloud-first. With that some top leaders have left the company and others (Scott Guthrie, Phil Spencer and Stephen Elop once the Nokia deal goes through) have been promoted to top spots, this is a good thing as leadership change will hopefully refresh what we expect from Microsoft. As proof of the changing times, In the webcast we got a demo of Office 365 for the iPad, which is a great step forward for anyone who has tried to read Word documents on their iPad.

 

office for ipad.png

 

In addition we get to see the unique touch features added to Powerpoint that you can use for the iPad such as highlighting or laser pointer, anyone with an iPad can download Office 365 for free and read and present content. If they want to edit or create content then they'll need to subscribe to Office 365.

 

highlighting.png

 

"Office 365 subscribers have the full experience on all their devices"

 

That's the promise from Microsoft. And quite a statement it is too.

 

Hopefully with that comment we will see similar releases for Android and other platforms or did they just mean iOS and Windows 8.x devices ? that remains to be seen. Windows Intune was mentioned as the Mobile Device Management platform along with a demo of the company portal for Android but noticeably missing was Office 365 for Android. This is a new area for Microsoft and I hope they take the bull by the horns and continue to deliver an Office suite that covers all major players and not just versions for iOS and Windows. With Android share increasing (and iOS share decreasing) what we also need to see from Microsoft is Office 365 for Android. That step would certaintly confirm Satya's vision above and cement Microsoft's place as a key player in the mobile and cloud space.

 

You can see the entire webcast covering the above and more here

 

cheers

niall

309 Views · 0 Replies

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Windows 8.1 update leaks to the web, direct from Redmond

07 Mar 2014

Posted by anyweb in Windows News

The much-anticipated update to Windows 8.1, which is scheduled for release to the general public in early April, has leaked to the web early. And this time the leak comes from an unexpected source: Microsoft itself. After being released to manufacturing a couple days ago, the update was supposed to roll out on a carefully graduated schedule, first to “dogfooders” inside Microsoft, then to MSDN subscribers, and finally to the public via Windows Update.

 

But thanks to some accurate instructions on the MyDigitalLife forum, anyone can download the update files directly from Microsoft, using direct links or by tweaking the registry to enable the update to appear in Windows Update. The registry edit successfully enabled the updates on one test system, a Surface Pro running Windows 8.1 Pro. It didn’t work on a desktop system running Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition.

The complete package consists of six updates, the largest of which contains the Windows 8.1 Feature Pack. On an x64 test system, that download was approximately 761 MB in size.

 

windows-81-update-leaked-620x305.png

 

via ZDnet > http://www.zdnet.com...ond-7000027074/

467 Views · 0 Replies

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Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update 1: Rumored release target is March 11

27 Jan 2014

Posted by anyweb in Windows News

There's nothing like ending the week with a few fresh Windows rumors.First up, the target release date for Windows 8.1 Update 1 -- the relatively minor update coming to Windows 8.1 this spring -- is allegedly March 11, according to one of my accurate and trusted sources. Yes, that's a Patch Tuesday. Given that Microsoft will likely deliver Update 1 to Windows 8.1 users via Windows Update, this seems pretty believable to me.

 

win81update1rumors-121x124.png

 

Windows leaker WZor previously indicated that Windows 8.1 Update 1 would likely be released to manufacturing in March, but didn't provide a specific date. One more tidbit about Windows 8.1 Update 1 from my aforementioned source: Update 1 may feature some of the work that Microsoft has been doing behind the scenes to reduce further the memory and disk space requirements for Windows. This would allow Windows 8.1 Update 1 to run on cheaper small tablets.

 

Windows 8.1 Update 1, screen shots of which leaked earlier this week, is expected to allow users to pin Metro-style/Windows Store apps to their desktop task bars. Thumbnail previews of these Metro-style apps will be available from the Desktop task bar, according to additional screen shots. Windows 8.1 Update 1 also is expected to include close boxes for Metro-style apps. If Microsoft does hit the March 11 date with Windows 8.1 Update 1, that release will hit just a few weeks before the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system supposedly will. Rumors have indicated that Windows Phone 8.1 (a k a "Blue") will RTM just prior to the kick off of Microsoft's Build 2014 conference, which starts April 2. From what I've heard, Windows Phone 8.1 won't be available to consumers until later this April, at the earliest, though developers will likely have access to the bits sooner than that.

 

Even though the arrival dates for Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Phone 8.1 are relatively close, it's now sounding from my sources that there won't be application programming interface (API) changes made to Windows 8.1 Update 1 to bring it into closer alignment with Windows Phone 8.1. Instead, Windows 8.1 Update 1 will be focused primarily on making Windows 8.1 more useful to business users.

 

read the full story at ZDnet > http://www.zdnet.com...-11-7000025559/

560 Views · 1 Replies ( Last reply by kingbuzzo )

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"Threshold" to be Called Windows 9, Ship in April 2015

14 Jan 2014

Posted by anyweb in Windows News

At the BUILD developer conference in April 2014, Microsoft will discuss its vision for the future of Windows, including a year-off release codenamed "Threshold" that will most likely be called Windows 9. Here's what I know about the next major release of Windows. As a kind of recap, we know that Microsoft will update Windows 8.1 in 2014, first with a service pack/feature pack-type update called Update 1 (or GDR1 internally). I wrote a bit about this update recently in Windows 8.1 Update 1 (Very Early) Preview but the expectation is that it will ship in April 2014 alongside Windows Phone 8.1, the development of which Microsoft will soon complete.

 

threshold-thats-why-hero.jpg

 

Also in April, of course, is BUILD 2014. That show will hit just weeks after Microsoft completes its corporate reorganization and will surprisingly be very much focused on Windows Phone and Xbox, according to my sources. But I think Windows watchers will agree that the biggest news from the show will be an announcement about Microsoft's plans for the next major Windows version, codenamed "Threshold."

I previously wrote about Threshold in Microsoft to Take Windows to the "Threshold", Further Changes Coming in Windows "Threshold" and Big Changes Are Coming to Windows. This is the release my sources previously pegged as being the one that will see the return of the Start menu and the ability to run Metro-style apps on the desktop alongside desktop applications. 

 

But Threshold is more important than any specific updates. Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment. That's a disaster, and Threshold needs to strike a better balance between meeting the needs of over a billion traditional PC users while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on new types of personal computing devices. In short, it needs to be everything that Windows 8 is not.

Here's what I've learned about Threshold.

 

Windows 9. To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking.

 

BUILD vision announcement. In case it's not obvious that the Sinofsky era is over, Microsoft will use BUILD to provide its first major "vision" announcement for Windows since, yes, Longhorn in 2003. Don't expect anything that grandiose, but the Windows team believes it needs to hit a happy middle ground between the KGB-style secrecy of the Sinofsky camp and the freewheeling "we can do it all" days that preceded that. As important, the firm understands that customers need something to be excited about.

 

No bits at BUILD. Microsoft will not be providing developers with an early alpha release of "Threshold" at BUILD, and for a good reason: The product won't even begin development until later that month. Right now, Microsoft is firming up which features it intends to deliver in this release.

 

Metro 2.0. Maturing and fixing the "Metro" design language used by Windows will be a major focus area of Threshold. It's not clear what changes are coming, but it's safe to assume that a windowed mode that works on the desktop is part of that.

 

Three milestones. Microsoft expects to deliver three milestone releases of "Threshold" before its final release. It's unclear what these releases will be called (Beta, Release Candidate, etc.) or which if any will be provided to the public.

 

April 2015 release. Microsoft is currently targeting April 2015 for the release of Windows 9 "Threshold."

 

more via WinSuperSite.com > http://winsupersite....ship-april-2015

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