Although Microsoft claims that Windows 10 is now more popular than Windows 7, analyst firm NetMarkShare’s monthly usage figures paint a very different picture. In December, for example, Windows 10 hit 24.36 percent globally, but it's dwarfed by Windows 7's 48.34 percent share.
It’s clear that Windows 7 is going to remain the number one desktop operating system for some time to come -- globally at least -- but Microsoft is desperate for those users to switch to Windows 10 and warns that Windows 7 support is coming to an end, and that the OS has outdated security and can’t keep up with today’s security needs.
Happy New Year! 2016 was certainly an interesting one for Microsoft and Windows 10. The software giant hit more than a few low points during the year, and while the new operating system managed to gain decent market share off the back of an incredibly aggressive push, its growth came shuddering to a stop once the free upgrade period ended.
December should have been a great month for Windows 10, with people buying new PCs for the holidays, but actually it was a pretty lackluster month in which the new OS’s gains were minimal, and way less than those enjoyed by the aging Windows 7.
A day after introducing iOS 10.2, Apple releases macOS Sierra 10.12.2. The update promises to resolve the graphics problems affecting the 2016 MacBook Pro line, adds some improvements, and fixes lots of bugs.
Another highlight of macOS Sierra 10.12.2 is that it now supports new installations of Windows 7 and Windows 8 in Boot Camp. The previous version limited users to Windows 10, but the older versions of Windows are still very popular -- and in high demand, apparently with Mac users.
In direct contrast to Microsoft's assertion that Windows 10 is its most secure operating system ever, the US-CERT Coordination Center says that Windows 7 with EMET offers greater protection. With EMET due to be killed off, security experts are concerned.
A vulnerability analyst from CERT, Will Dormann, advises Microsoft to continue the development of EMET. Microsoft says 'many' of EMET's features have been integrated into Windows 10, but the concern is that key components are missing, and others have been implemented in such a way that reduces their security.
Microsoft has kept its promise and delivered a vulnerability patch for its Windows operating system, for a flaw, revealed by Google, which allowed attackers to gain full control of a targeted system.
Releasing the details in a security bulletin, Microsoft says the flaw in the Windows kernel "could allow elevation of privilege if an attack logs onto an affected system and runs a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerabilities".
When Windows 7 checks for updates, the process can take an age. Often you might find yourself staring at the screen while nothing much seems to happen.
Finding the list of updates for you to install should only ever take a few minutes at worst, but for many people that isn’t the case. Thankfully there’s a quick fix to try.
According to a new report 65 percent of Windows systems are still running Windows 7, and a small percentage of devices are still running Windows XP.
The survey from trusted access specialist Duo Security analyzed more than two million endpoints and found 63 percent of them running Microsoft operating systems. Yet only 24 percent are running Windows 10. Windows 7 remains the most popular despite there being over 600 vulnerabilities affecting unpatched versions.
15 months ago, in an effort to make it as easy as possible to upgrade to its new operating system, Microsoft introduced a Get Windows 10 app for Windows 7 and 8.1 that allowed users to reserve their upgrade.
While this tool was innocuous enough to start with, it soon turned into something much more akin to malware, becoming harder and harder to kill, and employing all manner of scummy methods in an effort to trick users into installing Windows 10 against their wishes.
Increasing concern over Windows "spying" technologies has brought a host of free tools claiming to disable them, but are they safe to use? It’s often hard to tell, as developers don’t clearly explain what they’re doing.
Ancile is easier to evaluate, at least for experienced users, because it’s just a Windows script -- open the files in your text editor of choice and it’s all there.
Windows' User Account Control (UAC) feature was designed to help keep computers safe from malicious software installations, but there are already at least a couple of ways to bypass it. A new technique for circumventing UAC not only makes it possible to execute commands on a computer, but to do so without leaving a single trace.
Security researchers Matt Nelson and Matt Graeber discovered the vulnerability and developed a proof-of-concept exploit. The pair tested the exploit on Windows 7 and Windows 10, but say that the technique can be used to bypass security on any version of Windows that uses UAC.
In May, Microsoft introduced a Convenience Rollup for Windows 7 SP1 that brought the operating system fully up to date. The company also announced that it would be issuing monthly update rollups for Windows 7 and 8.1, as well as Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
Those rollups only contained non-security updates, so you could still choose which security patches to apply, which to avoid, and when to apply them. Not anymore.
In an attempt to get more users to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft announced early this year that it would drop support for Intel Skylake processors on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 after July 17, 2017. The controversial policy was short lived though, as a few months later the software giant gave its customers a one-year reprieve, pushing the deadline to July 18, 2018.
But, as you can see, that is not the end of the story, as Microsoft has changed its mind once again. Today, it announces that Intel's sixth-generation processors will actually be supported for an even longer period of time on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices. That is good news for those who are not planning on upgrading to Windows 10 in the foreseeable future.
June and July are big months for Windows 10 upgrades as this should be when users who have yet to switch to the new OS scramble to do so before the free offer comes to an end on July 29.
The last minute rush, combined with Microsoft’s aggressive push -- including, of course, tricking unwitting users into upgrading -- should have made June a particularly bumper month for Windows 10 growth, but actually it dropped off a little compared with May.
NetMarketShare is set to release its monthly desktop operating system usage share figures for June in one week’s time, and given how aggressively Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 in the run up to the launch of the Anniversary Update, and the end of the free promotion period, it should make for interesting reading.
Microsoft has just updated its own Windows market share figures, covering April 2016, and as you might expect they show Windows 10 making big gains. Huge gains, in fact.
Since the launch of Microsoft Edge, numerous changes and updates have been made to Microsoft's latest web browser. The arrival of ad-blocking was a real crowd-pleaser, but Microsoft is mindful of the fact that many enterprise users are going to be sticking with Internet Explorer for some time yet.
Today the company announces that some of the enterprise-specific enhancements and tweaks made to the Windows 10 version of IE11 will also be making their way to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In fact, the improvements are rolling out to more Windows 10 users as well. Changes made to Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10 version 1511 are also coming to version 1507 as part of the cumulative updates released today.