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News Windows 7 support is now officially over

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 14 Jan 2020 at 11:00.

  1. bit-tech

    bit-tech Supreme Overlord Staff Administrator

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    Read more
     
  2. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Given the countless improvements to stability, serviceability and functionality in Windows 10, I cannot fathom this being an issue to some people. I still get the odd customer who reports that they "hate Windows 10", which is fine - taste is taste. But some of them also assert that "Windows 10 is garbage, Windows 7 was loads better!" These are typically geriatric customers with no technical knowledge and one desktop PC, for whom Windows 7 was their first or second experience of computers.

    I internally dismiss their evaluations with prejudice, and externally begin, once again, my long, slow, careful prepared speech explaining why Windows 10 is actually better for them, even if the Minesweeper game does look different now.
     
  3. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You damn hippies. I bet you call programs 'apps' too.
    -Guy rockin' a windows 2000 laptop to run legacy hardware.
     
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  5. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    I generally quite like Windows 10. I dislike the six-monthly release cadence because they a) can't seem to actually hit their targets, b) make changes that aren't necessary, c) reset some personal changes every time (but Windows Updates do that sometimes too) and d) break stuff that was working (although I can't decide whether breaking "anti-cheat" and "copy protection" programs is really a positive or a negative) and I particularly dislike the amount of telemetry it contains - I found out just after Christmas that disabling some of the more intrusive bits of telemetry breaks Forza 7, which leaves me less than impressed. I dislike some of the shovelware that is included (why the Hell is Candy Crush [something] installed? Do I want it? No. Do I need it? No. Does it phone home? Yes. Then it is not a value-add; it may as well be malware.

    However, I do like the ease of install, I generally like the UI - Microsoft are good at this; I liked bits of Vista, then Win 7 made it better. I liked a few bits of Windows 8(.1), then most of my complaints were fixed with Win 10.

    I find Windows 10 "serviceability" an improvement only if your solution to Windows problems was reinstall the OS every time, which Windows 10 makes easier because it isn't a constant stream of install-reboot-installDriver-reboot-installWindowsUpdates-reboot-installMoreWindowsUpdates-reboot-installDriver-reboot-[repeat-until-heat-death-of-universe]. It is harder to get into the BIOS, the BSOD messages are just as useless as they always were (in fact, worse, because of that damned emoji). What worked fine in one version of Windows 10 fails gloriously in a different one (thinking of a specific Intel SATA controller/Sandisk SSD controller fight here when moving from 1611 to 1703, and also an Intel NIC moving from 1703 to 1709 where in the first I had instant internet at boot, in the second it would take about four minutes to negotiate).

    And yet, despite this, I still use it. I quite like it, when it works (haha, LG laptop deciding the Intel Chipset driver should be updated, but system BSODs every time it tries to update it).

    But I do maintain that if Microsoft released Office (even 365) for Linux... I would run a Windows system solely for gaming. Hey, if WINE or Proton didn't make every anti-cheat program freak out and insta-ban, I'd try very very hard to shift full-time to Linux and abandon Windows altogether.

    Running a no-longer-supported-OS is not an instant disaster, but running a network of them connected to the internet is. If internet access is critical, make sure the thing is supported (although Windows 7 will still get updates if Microsoft are paid, and I suspect that the more critical ones will still be released to normal consumers, or MS will face a storm of bad press)... if internet access is not critical and the system is still in use - clone the disk, archive it and airgap the thing! If someone does manage to infect it with something, restore the clone.
     
  6. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    With the news hysteria over end of support (not sure how it immediately becomes more vulnerable from day one) and the mini panic from the better half i'm wondering whether to spoil the surprise and give her that new W10 laptop now rather than hang on.

    That old security/surprise conundrum.
     
  7. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that when vulnerabilities are discovered by bad guys the knowledge about how to exploit them tends to spreads like wildfire, so the absence of patches can go from safe to dangerous very quickly even if the vulnerability has been around for years.
     
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  8. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    True, i'm more thinking will it be ok for a week or two for the sake of a spolied surprise.

    Perhaps i'll give her the laptop this weekend, save any worries.
     
  9. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I can't speak for the technical differences between 7 & 10 as i sort of lost interest in Microsoft when they went down the whole SaaS route but i know XP is technically better than 7, it may not have some of the more modern security mitigations and/or features and be more stable but IMO they obfuscated things so much that it's lost a lot along the way, the changes to the audio stack between XP & 7 is one example of that.

    I've been forced to have a copy of 10 on another drive because some stuff, mainly software from hardware vendors simply doesn't exist for Linux, and honestly it's not what I'd consider a nice experience, not only is it rather disjointed but trying to get technical things done can be a right pain, and then there's annoying little bugs like the one where your keyboard doesn't work on the startmenu/search unless you endtask on Cortana.

    I'm now going to spend the rest of the day hiding behind the sofa as i expect everyone will vociferously tell me how wrong i am now. ;)
     
  10. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    Well, it seems like Windows 10 has a vulnerability so severe the NSA revealed it. Yeah, Wired, so yes, a bit sensationalist.

    But even being on a "supported" OS isn't a panacea.
     
  11. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    A bunch of people sitting on their zero-days unused, waiting for 7 to exit the patching cycle:
    Day-1 = you use your exploit and potentially it still gets patched, your exploit becomes valueless in one day.
    Day+1 = you use your exploit and it will remain effective for almost the entire Win 7 population (barring the handful paying out the nose for extended support, and the miniscule fraction grabbing and twiddling those Extended Support updates to apply to regular installs) effectively forever.
     
  12. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Although today on January 15th Windows 7 received a security update. Not that it's supported. But it is. But it's not.
     
  13. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    So, are you suggesting that I connect my air gapped Win 7 application PC one last time today to get that potentially 'final' patch?
     
  14. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    :happy:

    Looks like it's patched dated 14th Jan so technically it was still in before the end. Just came up as I was readying my other rig for W10.
     
  15. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    This is basically half my job, so I'm a huge Windows 10 evangelist. The fact it gets almost all drivers on current hardware right out of the box, including printers and the like, is a big fat layer of tasty icing on the cake, and the fact that anyone can download and create a Windows 10 install USB containing the latest build version rolled in is the cherry on top. Also activation being automatic in most cases (hardware entitlements and BIOS keys). What used to take about 4-8 hours now takes 45 minutes. I can literally reload Windows, start to finish, in 45 minutes. That's insane.

    I agree with the objections about the build updates. It's a nice idea, and I like it in principle, but in practise it's not much good if they regularly fail to install or brick things going in. I also have mixed feelings about not being able to disable the update services; while I got very annoyed with Windows 7 users leaving their updates turned off for years (and inhaling every virus in the known universe as a result), as a technician I'd really like to leave updates off and push them in on review in certain situations.[/quote]

    I don't give much credit to individual bug complaints, because every version of Windows has been riddled with one-off bugs and odd little issues, many of which never got fixed (Windows 7's update client is still partially broken out of the box, to name one out of approximately a billion). It's an operating system. Expect random bugs.

    (If I sound like an arse, apologies and don't read too much into it, I'm just at the end of a long day. I don't take Windows comparisons as seriously as it will perhaps seem.)

    Speaking of that, though - I do wonder why every version of Windows has contained so many mistakes, and why Microsoft, as a programmer culture, seem so bad a quality control.
     
  16. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Not at all, i was honestly expecting to get flamed to death simply for mentioning that i didn't like 10, not specifically from you just in general. :)

    I can understand why some people like 10 as it does some things better than previous versions of windows and if those are the sort of things that are important to you then it will be an improvement, for me personally though it's not what i look for in an OS...i think I'm a bit weird though as i get the impression most people don't find the idea of fiddling around with software/hardware fun and aren't as bad a control freak as i am.
     
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  17. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    With the cloud reset stuff coming that could potentially come down further.
     
  18. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    Oh, don't get me wrong - Windows installs going from basically a full working day to "install, log into MS account, install latest nVidia driver/CUDA, done" has made my life a ton easier as well.

    I've just got sick and tired of acting as an unpaid alpha tester - that's what it feels like, when major, major issues that hit fairly common hardware/software setups (EasyAntiCheat, BattleEye, PunkBuster, SecuROM, etc... or Intel NIC issues, which had hundreds of posts in the relevant testing report) appear like MS didn't do any testing. It's particularly galling when you can see that they knew about the issues months previously from Insider testing/reports... and ignored them.

    The real kicker for me on updates is the "deferring" of updates. You mean, until Windows decides to just reset that manually selected toggle, then install an update silently in the background and reboot during something critical without so much as a by-your-leave? Urgh. Makes me wonder why people use Windows to run kit that they know is going to require days and/or weeks of consistent uptime...

    Possibly, but only for those locations with high-speed internet. Otherwise, a USB stick will still be faster. ;)
     
  19. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Have to agree with all of this. On a technical level, Windows 10 is fine. And in theory, Microsoft's idea of continually updating and improving things is also fine. The fly in the ointment is that Microsoft are terrible at coding updates and at taking and using customer feedback.

    I hope these things improve with time. But the way they structure things has always shown a lack of internal logic, and still does. For example: the 1607, 1803 and 1809 updates were huge. Really, really big files. I still regularly encounter machines that are out of date by several build revisions, because the computers are never turned on long enough to do the massive background download. Why design things such that users have to leave their computers on for several hours, continuously, to get the update? The answer's simple: they didn't think it through. They never do.

    If Microsoft could just start thinking things through a little more intelligently, everything would be fine.
     
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  20. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    Haha, if anything Microsoft will get worse.

    And yes, I too have personal experience of people who are running horribly out of date builds of 10. I now phone my mum up when a big release has happened (and I've tested it properly for a few days) to tell her to stay online long enough for the thing to download. She's normally online long enough to check e-mail, and that's it. She writes replies offline and sends 'em next time she connects. I estimate her laptop sees the internet for maybe five minutes a day, even if she's using it for several hours. :D Probably less than that. To be fair, it's not really bad practice to stay offline if internet is not needed. It's just that every company now seems to assume 24/7/365 high speed internet for anything and everything.
     
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