Your Windows 7 desktop has turned black? Microsoft has a fix on the way... and workarounds in the meantime [Updated]
Windows 7 is dead: you know this. There are no more Windows 7 updates for most people: you know this. And some believe Windows 7 should be made open source: yeah, right
Whatever the status of Windows 7, the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of people still using it, and the last update (KB4534310) caused a strange problem for some users, turning their desktops black. Microsoft has now acknowledged the issue, but says that it will only fix the bug for those who are willing to pay.
Windows 7 is dead to Microsoft -- unless, of course, you're willing to pay. It's now ten days since the operating system reached end of life, but many people, for various reasons, are choosing to stick with it rather than upgrading to Windows 10.
This means missing out on security updates, but the Free Software Foundation (FSF) thinks it has a solution. It suggests that Microsoft 'upcycles' Windows 7 and makes the operating system open source so that the community can "study and improve" it.
Internet Explorer may be a relic from the past, but it's still out there and used by surprising numbers of people. Not all versions of it are supported by Microsoft anymore, so when a critical bug was discovered in the Windows 7, 8.x, 10, Windows Server 2008 and 2012 versions of the browser, there were questions about who was going to be protected.
The bug was revealed just days after support ended for Windows 7, and it wasn't clear whether Microsoft would stick to its guns and leave those people still using this operating system out in the cold and unprotected. The company has now confirmed what's going to happen.
It can hardly have escaped your attention that Windows 7 has now reached end of life. For companies and enterprise customers unwilling to pay for Extended Security Updates, this means there will be no more updates. The average home user who has decided to stick with Windows 7 has been completely abandoned by Microsoft, leaving them with an operating system that could be found to contain an endless number of security vulnerabilities.
But, actually, there is another option for home users, and it does not involve paying any money to Microsoft. We're talking micropatches. Specifically, we're talking about micropatches from 0patch. We've covered the work of this company in the past, including its recent fix for the Internet Explorer vulnerability.
At the end of last week, a serious vulnerability was discovered in Internet Explorer, affecting all versions of Windows. Not only is the bug (CVE-2020-0674) being actively exploited, but for Windows 7 users the vulnerability was exposed right after their operating system reached the end of its life.
Even for users of newer versions of Windows, and despite the severity of the security flaw, Microsoft said it would not be releasing a patch until February. Stepping in to plug the gap comes 0patch with a free micropatch for all versions of Windows affected by the vulnerability.
Anyone who has decided to stick with Windows 7 now that the operating system has reached end of support has probably seen the full-screen warning advising them that it's time to upgrade to Windows 10. But while this warning was known about in advance, some Windows 7 hold-outs are now reporting something peculiar post January 14 -- a black desktop.
On the last day of support for Windows 7 Microsoft issued one final update, and it seems that this update has been causing problems with desktop wallpapers.
Windows 7 is officially dead now. Believe it or not, Microsoft has actually done a great job of alerting users of the now-unsupported operating system that it is time to upgrade. Whether or not users take the advice and move to Windows 10 is another story. The company is even displaying full-screen warnings that Windows 7 is unsupported -- a move I applaud. Is it annoying? Yes, but necessary. Staying on Windows 7 is foolish.
But now, Microsoft has effectively destroyed all of the positive work it had done with communicating the death of Windows 7. You see, today, the company releases the all-new Chromium-based Edge. This browser is available for Windows 10 and macOS as you'd expect, but shockingly, it is available for yet another operating system -- Windows 7. Wait, what?!
It can hardly have escaped your attention that yesterday was the day Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7.
To make sure anyone who was unaware is alerted to the fact that no more security updates will be available, full-screen warnings are now being displayed. Microsoft had previously advised Windows 7 users that this message would appear, and as of today the company is making good on its promise.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has discovered a major flaw in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 that could potentially expose users to "significant breaches or surveillance", according to the Washington Post.
In the past, the NSA might have simply weaponized the vulnerability, as it did by creating hacking tool EternalBlue, but this time around the organization instead chose to report the flaw to Microsoft, and a fix is expected to be issued as part of today’s Patch Tuesday updates.
After a decade of service, Windows 7 is, effectively no more. Microsoft no longer supports the operating system for those unwilling to pay for extended service leaving millions of machines vulnerable. Now that Windows 7 is dead, Microsoft may prefer you to invest in a new Surface, but it is cheaper -- much cheaper -- to upgrade to Windows 10.
Microsoft initially made quite a fuss about that fact that while it was possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, it was a time-limited offer. Many people rushed to upgrade because they felt the deadline was hanging over them like the sword of Damocles… but it seems that the deadline was not as pressing as Microsoft made out. You might be surprised to learn that more than five years after the launch of Windows 10, it is still possible to upgrade for free. Here's what you need to know.
It may feel as though this date has been a very long time coming, but Windows 7 end of life is finally here. Unless you're a business or enterprise customer willing to pay, there will be no more updates and no more support.
Enterprise content delivery network firm Kollective held a funeral for the elderly operating system. Its research shows that in the US 40 percent of business are still using Windows 7, while in the UK the figure stands at 66 percent. Kollective warns that sticking with Windows 7 is dangerous, and outlines what the hold-outs need to consider.
Windows 10 is a very good operating system, but despite Microsoft initially offering it as a free upgrade, many users were reluctant to switch from Windows 7, and it’s easy to understand why. A lot of Windows 10’s big changes -- the Microsoft Store, bundled third-party apps, live tiles in the Start menu, Cortana, Bing integration, and so on -- simply weren't that appealing to users of previous versions of Windows.
Windows 7 still offers everything that most people would want from an OS, but over a decade on from its debut it now looks and feels quite dated compared to its successor, and of course tomorrow it reaches its end of life as well, leaving people little option but to switch. However, if the aging OS had a modern makeover, could it win back many of those people who have moved on to Windows 10 or a Linux alternative? I suspect so. Take a look at this superb modern re-imagining of Windows 7 and make up your own mind.
Tomorrow is the day that Windows 7 reaches end of life, and it seems that everyone has different advice about what to do. Take Microsoft, for instance. The company believes that the best course of action someone with a Windows 7 computer can take is to buy a new Surface device, rather than upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10.
This is the advice Microsoft is giving to anyone visiting its Surface business pages, where it says that splashing some cash on a new Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro with LTE Advanced, Surface Book 2 or even a Surface Go is better option than upgrading an existing system from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
The end of Microsoft's support for Windows 7 is now just hours away. It should not come as any sort of surprise, as coverage of the end of life for the operating system has been widespread, but there are still plenty of people and businesses using the decade-old OS.
Some are put off by the hassle of upgrading (although it's easy), while others are discouraged by cost (although you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free). But the ramifications of sticking with Windows 7 could be serious -- so much so that the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a stark warning not to use the operating system for email or banking.
Windows 7 is dead. Well, technically it will meet its demise tomorrow. On January 14th, the wildly popular operating system reaches "End of Life" status. This means Microsoft will stop supporting it. The company obviously hopes all remaining Windows 7 users will upgrade to Windows 10, but not everyone plans to do that. While Windows 10 is actually a very good operating system, many folks are put off by the overwhelming number of updates and aggressive telemetry. Understandably, some people feel that Microsoft's data collection is tantamount to spying.
Ultimately, using Windows 7 after tomorrow is foolish. Look, you should never use an unsupported operating system -- it is simply bad practice. If you refuse to upgrade to Windows 10, your best bet is to opt for a Linux-based operating system. There are many of those from which to choose, such as Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora to name a few. There is one such Linux distribution, however, that is designed to run on older hardware and is focused on providing a welcoming experience to Windows 7 switchers. Called "Linux Lite," it has a user interface that will feel familiar to Windows 7 users. Today, Linux Lite 4.8 is released.