The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Friday, July 11, 2014

Microsoft warns of pending support deadlines for Windows 7, Office 2010 SP1, Windows Server 2003, and more

Summary: Microsoft officials are beginning to sound the support warning bell for customers running a number of its popular products, including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and more.

As the second half 2014 rolls in, Microsoft is stepping up its warnings for approaching support deadlines for some of its key products, including Windows 7.

A few definitions worth knowing: Mainstream support is the typically five-year period when Microsoft provides free patches and fixes, including but not limited to security updates, for its products. When a product exits the mainstream support phase, Microsoft continues to provide a period (also often five years) of extended support, which means users get free security fixes but other types of updates are paid and require specific licensing deals.

"End of support" means there will be no more fixes or patches -- paid or free, security or non-security -- coming for specific products. (There are some temporary workarounds, as Windows XP users have discovered, but as a general rule, end of support means, for most intents and purposes, the end.)



Anonymous said...

I guess it's time I got an Apple.

Anonymous said...

Good idea, that way you can spend a lot more up front and have an even shorter support time.

Anonymous said...

There is no need to replace Windows 7 until about 2020. Windows 7 will still get security patched until then.

To put in perspective Microsoft ended "Main Stream" Support in 2009 for Xp. Xp was still getting all the proper updates until April 2014.

Despite what a lot of arm chair Techs might think Windows 8 is a very solid operating system and is much faster than Windows 7.

The big issue is that its not very intuitive for those using it for the first time. Every person who I have shown how to use Windows 8 properly has found Windows 8 to be great.

One big myth is that Windows 8 does not work as well on desktops. In reality its great for desktops without touch screen. The new Metro Start screen is easy to navigate using your mouse wheel to slide back and fourth.

I will admit though that Windows 8 does not work well on a laptops tough pad so in those cases I suggest using a mouse on your laptop if you have Windows 8.

Anonymous said...

I have a perfectly good desktop with XP that can be upgraded to windows 7 but not windows 8.1. Now I am truly stuck. I refuse to trash a perfect good desktop! I will definitely consider Apple for my new computer.

Anonymous said...

You can still buy Windows 7 and Windows 7 will be supported until 2020.

Apple products have a much shorter life span. Apple is notorious for forcing you to buy a new product because they end support for their software much faster.

Just think the Ipad 2 was released in 2011 and is no longer supported by apple. You can't get updates for it and you can't even install the new IOS even if you wanted to because Apple will not allow the upgrade.

Also if you PC can run Windows 7 chances are it will run Windows 8 just fine. Microsoft never locks out a PC from an upgrade. The only way it would not work is if your hardware is to old to support the upgrade which would have nothing to do with Microsoft.

I have installed Windows 8 on PCs built in 2007 and they work fine.

If you look at the Windows XP logo sticker on your PC and it says "built for Windows Vista" you know it will run Windows 7 or 8 pretty good.

Like I said though this article does not mean Windows 7 if no longer supported. Fact is if you had Windows 7 and never read the article you would never know anything changed and you would be every bit as secure as you were from when Windows 7 was released in 2009 all the way to 2020.

Anonymous said...

Run a Windows 7 PC until 2020? That thing could be an antique by then!

Jack K Richards said...

If they would put out a decent one, it would not be too bad but all reports indicate that 8 sucks

Anonymous said...

Well I am not trying to sell it to anyone but from a lot of experience Windows 8 is a great OS.

One of the primary complaints to Windows 8 is that start screen. Thing is people don't like change but the start screen makes a lot of sense.

Here is a good example why the start screen is not such a bad idea.

You know how in Windows XP, Vista or 7 if you wanted to access some programs you have to click the start button in the lower left corner...then "All Programs"....then you click on the category which may have a little black arrow on it that expands out to the right...The you click on the selection which expands to another selection. If your mouse slips off the whole thing closes and you have to do it again.

(I hope I am being clear enough and you guys know what I am talking about as its hard to describe in text)

Microsoft saw that the start button and all its expanding links were getting messy and tricky to use. So you now have a start screen where you can put anything in the whole PC on the front screen for easy access.

The other problem is the PC manufacturers. HP for example loads so much junk into a new PC that when you take it out of the box and boot up your new Windows 8 PC that the start screen is loaded with tons tiles that clutter up the screen.

A good start screen should be mostly empty with the primary features you use setup on there.

People who by junk like HP get overwhelmed by the insane amount of crap programs that are mostly just 30 trials of crap that make the start screen so confusing.

Another cool part about Windows 8 is that I can log into any Windows 8 PC no matter where I am and my desktop and features will show up just the way I like it no matter what computer I am on.

This is great for those people who have multiple computers at home. If I log into my Windows 8 laptop or my Windows 8 desktop I don't have to configure each PC to my preferences because its now tied to my Microsoft login.

Lets not also forget how much more secure Windows 8 is. its way more secure than Windows 7 and it really does perform better.

Anyway my main point is that Windows 8 is nothing to hide from. The PC hardware has changed allot and Windows 8 is built to better manage that hardware.

Microsoft did put out a stable product. They even put out a rock solid product with Windows 7. Both of these are good viable operating systems.

I work with computers everyday for a living and I can say for sure that almost 100% of the problems I deal with have nothing to do with Windows itself and is the result of some other issue.

People buy these new computers and are not sure how to use them. Then when they have a problem they blame Windows.

My best way to share how I see this is from this final example I will leave with you...

Lets say you just bought a new car. You get up in the morning the next day and find you have a flat tire on that new car. You get it fixed but yet the next day you have another flat tire. Now ask yourself "Is this new car a lemon ?" no you just have a nail in your drive way.

Often the issues you have with your new PC loaded with the latest Windows is more than likely user error as your getting to know this new machine or maybe an issue with a program your trying to use.

Don't blame the PC because you have a nail in your driveway. :)

Sorry for long post but us IT people can get very long winded.

Anonymous said...

I never understand people who say they will go to Apple instead.

Apple has a very short support life for their products. Also if you find learning Windows 8 might be a bit of a pain then why would you go to Apple and have to relearn using a computer all over again because its a completely different experience.

You also have to consider that here on the eastern shore the closest Apple support locations is Annapolis and northern DE.

Apple uses the same CPU's, RAM and motherboards and Windows PCs. yet they hard code them to only allow Apple software to be installed. You can take a Windows PC and install Linux, Windows or really anything else you want except for Apple because they have it all locked down.

Now despite the fact that Apple has the same hardware you will pay more than 4x the price than you would for a PC just because it's "Apple". You also have to consider that many of the programs designed do not work on Apple. The reason is that only about 11% of the computer users in the whole planet use Apple. About 85% percent use Windows and the rest or Linux people. If you wanted to write a program and sell it are you going to write it in a language to support a computer that only %11 of the computer users can use or are you going to write the program in the language that about 85% of the computer base can use ?

Now the same sadly is true about Viruses. The reason there are more viruses for Windows is that more people use Windows. If your a virus writer and you want to infect the most people then you write a virus for the most popular platform which is Windows.

Apple actually in many ways is less secure than Windows. They have many security holes but Apple will not let the public know about this because they do not want to harm the perception that their PC does not have viruses. (kinda like Toyota not having a recall on the Prius because they didn't want to harm their reputation as being reliable cars).

There are still plenty of viruses for Apple computers and what's worse is that a lot of Apple users do not even install an Antivirus because they believe in the myth that Apple does not get infected.

Also consider that not to long ago if you took your Apple computer in for repair Apple had their techs replace all the screws with a new proprietary screw head that they developed to prevent other people from working on their own computers. The worse part is they never informed the customer's

Apples over all belief is that you don't really own you Apple computer and they can pretty much do as they wish with it while limiting you from having that same freedom.

Speaking as a conservative I know that Bill Gates is a huge liberal that played a large part in bringing us Common Core but with a Windows PC it is mine and I can do what I want and I can choose the brand that gives me the best service. Apple you have no choice. You deal with Apple only.

I will take choice or being told how to use my computer.

Anonymous said...

I just got quite an education! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

4;13 PM, I wish you knew what you were talking about, instead of pretending to be an expert. You obviously are very opinionated and biased to the windows machines. Your opinion is filled with embellishments and exaggerations. It has
been several years now that Apple machines have had the capability to run alternate operating systems, Windows included. But no one in their right mind would ruin a Mac by putting a "virus and hacking magnet" operating system on their perfectly good Mac. And 4xs the cost, come on, get real. A Mac sells for maybe 30%-40% more than a top of the line Windows PC, that's it. I really hope readers of your comment don't take it seriously. You have obviously never purchased or used a Mac.

Anonymous said...

9:26 AM, If your machine says "built for Windows Vista" it was obsolete right out of the box. It has already been labeled the worst Windows operating system since Windows 98 (not win 98 2nd edition, it fixed what was wrong with 98). Vista had the shortest life cycle since Win 98 and resulted in its rapid replacement by Win 7, as Vista wasn't worth fixing with upgrades. No way would I try to take a Vista machine and try to take it to Win 8 or 8.1. Without a quad processor with at least 4-8 GB of Ram, you are just wasting money.