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.
When Windows 10 was first offered to users of Windows 7 and 8.1 it was via a pleasant upgrade tool that allowed users to 'reserve' their copy of the new OS. However, as time has gone by, Microsoft has employed more and more insidious methods to get people to upgrade, including tricking them into doing so.
The sneaky behavior has gotten so bad, that growing numbers of users of the older operating systems have taken to disabling critical updates in order to completely avoid Windows 10.
Microsoft brings Windows 7 fully up-to-date with new convenience rollup package, simplifies future updates for Win 7 and 8.1
The software giant today announces it has created a convenience rollup package for Windows 7 that will bring that operating system up to the newest patched version without users having to install all previous updates one by one. It’s also making monthly update rollups available for that OS and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2).
Never 10 is a new freeware tool which aims to prevent Windows 7 and Windows 8.x systems from automatically updating to Windows 10. Sounds like a host of other recent update-blockers, we thought -- but no. It’s more interesting than that.
First up, it’s written by veteran developer Steve Gibson, the man behind SpinRite, ShieldsUp! and assorted early Windows freeware, and someone who knows what he’s doing. If you need more reassurance, the 81KB download size tells you there’s no adware here, no extra payload.
Microsoft has decided to reverse its position regarding support of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on systems using Intel’s Skylake platform.
In January, the company said that it would only guarantee full extended support for Skylake systems running Windows 7 and 8.1 until 17 July 2017. Microsoft now plans to offer full extended support for these systems for one more year, until 17 July 2018.
Whatever version of Windows you're running, the time will probably come when you want to reinstall. You might be lucky and can have recovery media on hand, or your recovery partition may be intact. If not, what can you do? You can download ISOs for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 direct from Microsoft.
It's always best to be prepared, so rather than waiting until you find yourself in desperate need, why not spend a few minutes grabbing the ISO (or ISOs) you need in readiness. There's no need to head off to a torrent site to download an illicit copy of Windows along with a crack, everything is available from Microsoft. Here's what you need to do.
Windows 10 is doing great. Despite various problems, security and privacy issues people have had with its virtual assistant Cortana, the adoption rate of Microsoft’s latest operating system has been quite impressive.
According to the latest studies done by Spiceworks, 18 percent of businesses are currently using Windows 10. The predictions are saying that 40 percent of businesses are expected to upgrade by July this year, when Windows 10 celebrates its first birthday. The operating system seems to be on good course, as the penetration has increased seven percent since October last year.
Now that Microsoft is forcibly downloading Windows 10 onto unsuspecting Windows 7 and 8.1 users’ PCs there’s going to be a lot of unhappy customers faced with a new OS they never asked for nor wanted.
You can prevent this from happening by making sure the "Recommended Update" setting is unchecked on your PC, but if you fail to do this and accidentally allow the installation to go ahead (or maybe you tried Windows 10 and didn’t like it), the good news is it’s easy to roll things back to your original operating system.
If your Windows 7 or 8.1 PC is set to install recommended updates automatically (because -- more fool you -- you just wanted it to be up to date and safe) then Microsoft will cheerfully download the new OS and start the installation process for you. Don’t want that to happen? Here’s how to stop it.
As you’ll have seen earlier, according to figures from NetMarketShare, Windows 10 overtook Windows 8.1 in January, taking just six months to do so. StatCounter, which also measures operating system usage, shows Windows 10 achieving the same feat in that month, although its figures are slightly different.
To mark this achievement it seems only right to compare Windows 10’s growth with that of past Windows releases to see how the new OS is really doing.
Microsoft managed to piss off a lot of people with Windows 10. Some people love it, but certainly nowhere near 100 percent of the install base (whatever size Microsoft claims this may be). It's possible for any operating system to be disappointing, but what Microsoft has managed to get wrong with Windows 10 -- time and time and time again -- is the way upgrades have been delivered.
We've had stories of installation files being downloaded without permission. There are the privacy concerns. There is the confusing installation process that has misled some into upgrading to Windows 10. But even after weeks and months of complaints, the forced Windows 10 upgrades are still happening. If anything, the problem is getting worse. Microsoft is making it harder and harder for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to avoid Windows 10. A coerced user is not a happy user, yet Microsoft continues to force Windows 10 down people's throats in a number of ways. WT actual F?
Microsoft really, really wants people to upgrade to Windows 10. Even though the new OS is free, users of Windows 7 and 8.1 are proving a bit reluctant to switch, so the software giant has rolled out some new updates for the older operating systems which promise to make the upgrade much smoother for those who do decide to take the plunge.
There are two updates available now, one for Windows 7 and one for Windows 8.1, both of which make improvements to the Windows Update Client.
I consider myself a patient person. After more than 25 years in the IT industry you sort of have to be. When I bought my first real hybrid 2-in-1 PC -- an HP Envy x2 -- I learned to put up with the many quirks of the then brand-new Windows 8. And when Windows 8.1 arrived, I tolerated several weeks of display artifacts and other graphical anomalies, confident that they would all get sorted out -- eventually.
Which they did. In fact, for each case a new round of device drivers -- specifically, for the Envy x2’s Atom Z2760 chipset and associated Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) video subsystem -- cured what ailed it. So it’s understandable that I would expect a similar scenario to play out with Windows 10. After all, Microsoft’s new OS is really just a retread of Windows 8 (which was itself a retread of Windows 7, etc.). And my trusty Envy x2 excels at running Windows 8.1.