There are all sorts of reasons why you might need to locate your Windows product key. Perhaps you’re thinking of upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 (doing so is still free, despite what Microsoft has said), or you might want to perform a clean install.
In the past, tracking down the key usually involved finding your installation media, but the more modern approach is to simply pull it directly from your Windows installation.
While we don’t know what these will do this time around (Microsoft’s description is giving little away), in the past they triggered a snooping Windows task called DoScheduledTelemetryRun, and were linked to the infamous GWX (Get Windows 10) campaign that forced OS upgrades on unwilling Windows 7 and 8.1 users.
While Microsoft’s unconvincing numbers portray Windows 10 as an unstoppable operating system gobbling up market share, NetMarketShare’s monthly OS usage figures suggests things are going well for Windows 10, but that it will still be a long time before it starts to trouble Windows 7’s continuing dominance.
January proved to be a good month for the new OS, certainly better than December was at least.
Microsoft’s own Windows 10 share numbers have always seemed a little, well, generous. While NetMarketShare’s OS usage share figures show the new operating system doing fine, but lagging some distance behind Windows 7 (as you'd expect), Microsoft’s figures paint an entirely different picture.
Five months ago, the software giant showed Windows 10 hitting 50 percent in the US, and two months ago, it had the new OS overtaking Windows 7 globally. Today’s update though stretches the believability just a little too far.
At the end of last week, Microsoft Germany published a post waving an early goodbye to Windows 7, and stating that the aging OS can "no longer keep up with the increased security requirements", and sticking with it could prove costly for users and businesses.
The software giant’s solution for Windows 7 users worried about security was, naturally, to switch to Windows 10. But, having faced an inevitable backlash from Windows 7 users and security experts, the company has pulled the post.
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.