Microsoft needs to stop blocking updates on Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft needs to stop blocking updates on Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs

Microsoft's decision to block security and non-security updates on customer PCs running Windows 7 or 8.1 (or the server variants) with "next-generation silicon" is as customer unfriendly as it gets.

What makes this all the more problematic is the fact that Microsoft's detection routines, those that identify the processor of a PC to determine whether updates will be blocked or allowed, is flawed.

We already talked about some "old generation" processors being caught in the crossfire before. Windows users reported that PCs with AMD Carrizo processors were blocked from installing updates even though that should not have happened according to Microsoft.

It was clear then that Microsoft screwed up the identification of processors. Now, a story on Infoworld highlights that AMD Carrizo systems are not the only ones caught in the crossfire.

Woody reports cases of Dutch computer users whose machines were updated-blocked by Microsoft.

The processors of these machines? A nearly decade old Intel Pentium Dual Core E5400 2.70GHz CPU, and a Celeron J1900 from 2013. There is even a report from another user who got updated-blocked by Microsoft after replacing a graphics card with an AMD Radeon RX480. If true, it would suggest that the detection cannot even get that right, or includes graphics cards as well in determining which customers to serve with updates, and which to block even though Microsoft did not mention that at all.

Microsoft lists only the following three processor generations when it comes to update-blocking:

  • Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
  • AMD Bristol Ridge
  • Qualcomm 8996

Customer unfriendly move

unsupported hardware

As time goes by, more and more Windows users will upgrade the processors in their machines. While the number of users who will upgrade the processor of a PC is relatively small when compared to users who purchase new PCs instead, it is still a sizeable number that will run into the update-blocking issue.

Microsoft's decision to block its customers from receiving updates on supported machines is as customer unfriendly as it gets especially since the block includes security updates and patches as well.

The situation is even more dire for users whose PCs are falsely flagged as next generation processors when they are clearly not. Without security patches, PCs remain vulnerable to vulnerabilities that could have been patched.

Who is responsible then for any damage done when attackers manage to exploit these already patched vulnerabilities on PCs that are update-blocked by Microsoft?

Customers are not informed by Microsoft, through Windows Update for instance, that installation of a particular patch will break updating on the PC deliberately. Microsoft should at least inform users about that prior to enabling the blocking on the PC.

Workarounds

Windows users who experience the issue -- that their PC won't receive any more patches despite its operating system being supported by Microsoft for years to come -- have two options right now to deal with the issue.

First, there is a bypass for Windows Updates being blocked which requires you to patch a system file. The method seems to work right now, but may require further patching when Microsoft alters files responsible for identifying processors, or adds more protection mechanisms to the whole process.

Second, Ask Woody lounge member Mr Brian highlights a manual option on how to install patches on blocked systems. This involves some uninstalling and installing of updates, and may take a bit of time and research on your part to get right.

Tip: read this to find out how to list all installed updates on Windows.

There is also the option to switch to another operating system, for instance a Linux flavor.

Closing Words

I think that Microsoft went too far with this, and should reconsider the whole approach. Considering that Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems are still supported by Microsoft, the company should honor this by providing patches to all customers on those systems for as long as the operating systems are supported.

Yes, this may require more testing and maybe some tweaks for some of the patches, but it is the right thing to do.

Now You: Should Microsoft reconsider, or can you understand the company's decision?

Summary
Microsoft needs to stop blocking updates on Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs
Article Name
Microsoft needs to stop blocking updates on Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs
Description
Microsoft's decision to block security and non-security updates on customer PCs running Windows 7 or 8.1 (or the server variants) with "next-generation silicon" is as customer unfriendly as it gets.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. David said on April 28, 2017 at 7:18 am
    Reply

    A subtle way to compel customers to migrate to Windows 10. Not a surprising move from Microsoft.

    1. DaveyK said on April 28, 2017 at 10:18 am
      Reply

      Problem is that in the past, Microsoft used the “Carrot” approach to enticing OS upgrades – lots of hyping of the new OS and how wonderful it was, what new stuff it supported and all that, plus a few “exclusive” games and whatnot.

      This time around, MS is using the stick approach – repeatedly hitting Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to try and get them to upgrade. Whether it’s malware updates, or just blocking them altogether. Whether you buy into it or not, it is causing an increasing amount of bad blood among Microsoft’s customers, and is making some of them (such as myself) dig in their heels even more.

      I will not be forced to “upgrade” to Windows 10 just because Microsoft wants to treat its customer base like dirt.

      1. shortchanged said on April 30, 2017 at 4:09 pm
        Reply

        Search for, ‘never 10’, to block win 10 nags.
        I bought my present PC with win7 home premium. in 2011, updates I turned off, but something happened to turn them back on again, I did not know untill the os went crazy. I did a restore and uninstalled the three updates that had sneaked in. So now after 6 years without updates my os runs well, the occasional hitch of course, but nothing compared to what lots of people have. I will keep running win7 untill well, whenever. You don’t need updates, use defender av, glary utilities, at least once a week and disk cleaners, all free by the way. Its not rocket science. Also why not run ddg as your browser, or tor. Snowdon does.

    2. AnorKnee Merce said on April 28, 2017 at 6:21 pm
      Reply

      Enterprises, not consumers, are where M$ make most of their money$ from sales of Windows licenses. This azz-hat move by M$ is to mainly push corporate Win 7/8.1 Enterprise Volume License(VL) buyers onto Win 10 = gotta pay money$ to M$ to buy new Win 10 Ent VL and Software Assurance/Insurance(SA). Some large corporations pay M$ US$millions for such.

      Since 2009, many corporations have bought Win 7/8.1 Ent VL and expected to use them on their computers for about 10 years until EOL in 2020/2023 = very cost-effective but less profits for M$. Today, some of them may need to buy new OEM computers as replacements or for business expansion. To do so, they have to first buy new OEM Win 10 Pro computers and then downgrade them to Win 7/8.1 Pro before converting them to Win 7/8.1 Ent VL.
      ……. By blocking Intel Kabylake and AMD Ryzen processors from receiving updates for Win 7/8.1, M$ are trying to push the affected corporations onto Win 10.

      Fyi, corporations who paid less upfront money to M$ to lease/rent/subscribe Win 7/8.1 Ent VL, eg start-ups, usually for a minimum 3 year term-lease, were required to also buy Software Assurance. Those who bought Win 7/8.1 Ent VL were not required to buy SA. But in 2014, even the buyers were required by M$ to buy the 3-year-term SA, at least once.
      ……. SA gives “free” OS upgrade within 3 years.
      _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      We know that each Win 10 Version has an EOL of about 2 years, except for the very expensive Win 10 Ent E5 VL LTSB(= more than double the cost of Win 10 Ent E3 VL) which is 10 years.
      ……. Corporations who buy new Win 10 Ent E3 VL will only be able to use them for only 2 years, instead of the previous 10 years for Win 7/8.1 Ent VL. After the 2 years is up, they will have to pay M$ again to buy new Win 10 Ent E3 VL.
      ……. Corporations who lease/rent/subscribe Win 10 Ent E3 or E5 VL will be able to use them perpetually since SA is required = “free” upgrades, like for Office 365 subscriptions.
      ……. So, in due time, many corporations will be “forced” to lease/rent/subscribe, instead of buy, Win 10 Ent VL.

      Fyi, only bought-up Win 10 Ent E5 VL can be converted to LTSB, eg for OS stability. Subscription-based Win 10 Ent E5(= costs minimum US$168 per year per user/employee) cannot be converted to LTSB since they can get perpetual upgrades.

    3. jern said on April 28, 2017 at 6:45 pm
      Reply

      I agree with David. MS is making money in the cloud and its product revenue is slowly declining. It doesn’t care about Windows customers any more. There are only two alternatives – either MS is trying to force users of older software/hardware to upgrade or they no longer give a shit about doing it right – and, maybe, a bit of both.

    4. Jack said on April 29, 2017 at 10:23 am
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      Pretty sure that this is non-compliant with EU consumer law, and EU likes giving tech companies big fines, here’s hoping

  2. zund said on April 28, 2017 at 9:35 am
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    “I think that Microsoft went to far with this…”

    I think that Microsoft went to far with nearly everything they’ve done within the last five years.

    1. ellisgl said on April 28, 2017 at 9:40 am
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      No shit right. They’ve added some nice things, but have been taking things away since the 9x builds. Also moving things & renaming things really messes with the experience. They are getting to the point where they are matching MacOS, making it harder than hell to do things/fixes things.

      1. Tom Hawack said on April 28, 2017 at 11:46 am
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        It’s called the carrot and stick approach. More of a stick when the company’s carrot isn’t even attractive. Whoever thinks Win10 is attractive is either blind or masochist.

        Of course Microsoft did some good things, nothing is binary (all good – all bad). Civilizations as businesses have disappeared even though they included the best at one time. The problem is they didn’t sustain that best when making decisions incompatible with that best, when deeply modifying their policies. And this is what is happening to many companies, be it Microsoft and Mozilla. It’s not that other majors are more ethical but only that their long-term life expectancy is greater because their approach is smarter. The devil made its way up to now not because it was good but because it was and remains smart. But life is longer than the longest long-terms. Anything which clashes with ethics is bound to disappear and the term depends on smartness.

      2. Anonymous said on December 15, 2017 at 12:49 am
        Reply

        MS, We made you what you are today, so keep the windows7 and vista updates coming. Whats the big hassle about keeping updates coming for several years to come. We paid for what we wanted to use not something we might not.

  3. Corky said on April 28, 2017 at 9:45 am
    Reply

    Maybe they think if they keep telling people that they take the security of their customer very seriously and that trust is very important to them that customers won’t notice how Microsoft’s actions betray their words.

  4. Yuliya said on April 28, 2017 at 10:16 am
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    Even when it desperately tries to be evil, Micro$oft comes out as incompetent nowadays. Lovely.

  5. Henk van Setten said on April 28, 2017 at 11:14 am
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    Right.

    Please allow me to remind you that according to Netmarketshare, the current (March 2017) “Desktop Operating System Market Share” (measured through all browsers) is 57.65% for Win 7 and 8x combined (49.42% for Win 7 only), and just a measly 25.36% for Win 10.

    The excessive attention here at Ghacks for every little new Win 10 update or feature does in fact fit in Microsoft’s own publicity offensive: in that it helps suggesting that Win 10 is the only OS that matters today. But in reality, Win 10 market share growth is stalling for quite some time now. The large majority of Windows users are not using Win 10, but Win 7. And they will most probably keep doing so for the near future.

    In accordance with the actual users’ situation, blogs like Ghacks should pay far more attention to informative posts that are useful for the majority (that is, relevant to Windows 7 users) and use far less space to flout every Microsoft publicity fart about their pitiful Windows 10.

    1. Corky said on April 28, 2017 at 2:07 pm
      Reply

      I can’t disagree with your sentiment towards Windows 10 however the reason so many sites, not just Ghacks, cover Windows 10 is because it’s the latest version of Windows and just like most new things they get talked about more because they’re, well, new.

      Most information about older versions of Windows has already been discovered, discussed, and written about.

    2. Gary D said on April 28, 2017 at 4:33 pm
      Reply

      Unlike some other sites, a lot of Martin’s blogs about Win 10 warn users to beware of installing flawed updates because of the borking ( is that a word ? ) effect they have on PCs / Laptops.

      His in depth explanations of the contents of these updates are well worth publishing and reading.

      Also, he spends a lot of time researching workarounds in order to avoid the pit falls of giving MS free rein with installations.

  6. city_zen said on April 28, 2017 at 11:44 am
    Reply

    Agree 100%

  7. SCBright said on April 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    Reply

    In some parts of the world this MS attitude is nothing short of illegal, there are many laws that protect consumers from predatory companies.

    This is nothing more than a unilateral breach of contract.

  8. BaliRob said on April 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm
    Reply

    So, after a CryptoLocker infection less than 18 months ago, and purchasing a NEW 8.1 and registering it
    with MS, ARE YOU TELLING ME I WASTED MY MONEY?

    1. Klaas Vaak said on April 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm
      Reply

      No, you did not. I bought a Win 8.1 PC 2½ years ago & have been very happy with it. But M$ broke my Windows Update tool in the Control Panel 2x 6 months ago, and even DISM could not fixed it. I stayed without updates until today I read on this site about WSUS. I ran it, and wow, it works like a dream !!!! What’s more, the latest version of WSUS let you choose if you only want to download & install security-only updates. I will never touch the CP tool again.

      1. ddk said on April 28, 2017 at 11:02 pm
        Reply

        Wow, no wonder then my Win 8 update panel continuously scrolls forever. I’m guessing you might have a 3rd party program through the CP. I don’t know but updates aren’t downloading on 8 anymore, all I’m getting is eternal “checking for updates” msgs plus my cpu is at 25% with win update services running.

        Computer here is 6 years old with an intel sandybridge 2120 3.30 ghz, don’t think that’s on the blacklist.

        Will try WSUS.

  9. LD said on April 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    Reply

    So Microsoft has a list of processors that are designated W10 only and there are mistakes in that list. I find it strange that software engineers who handle highly technical software maintenance can not properly create a mere list. This is not a complex task. As the list was incorporated in the April monthly rollups and security-only update bundles for W7/8, hopefully the mistakes will be addressed in the May updates – both bundles and not just the non-security side. Assuming the users could back out the April updates, they should receive the May updates. Let’s see if MS engineers can handle this with some degree of expertise. Their reputations are at stake.

    1. Corky said on April 28, 2017 at 6:23 pm
      Reply

      The problem is how are people who’ve mistakenly been blocked going to download the fix now they’ve had Windows update disabled, that’s a rhetorical question BTW as i know there’s ways around it. :-)

  10. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm
    Reply

    I have Windows 10 on my PC by my own choice. But I sympathize with Win 7/8 users.

    MS’s approach is not unique by any means.

    I liken this to the partnership between gasoline suppliers and automobile manufacturers working to cause people to buy newer vehicles by providing a fuel which is not friendly to the older automobiles. The addition of ethanol to gasoline many years ago was a significant cost savings for gasoline suppliers and it wreaked havoc on some older automobiles. I’m sure they will deny, deny, deny. But, this is not the end of that type of game.

    MS is purposely putting owners of newer hardware and legally licensed Win 7/8 in danger by not allowing them to have the updates they deserve. They are doing this because Windows 10 has not been as widely accepted as they predicted. Of course they will deny, deny, deny.

  11. kalmly said on April 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm
    Reply

    “Should Microsoft reconsider, or can you understand the company’s decision?”

    Microsoft should reconsider many of the decisions and designs of the last few years. But yes. I understand very well. Microsoft will have you move to Windows 10. They will not accept no for an answer. Laggers will be punished. They wouldn’t be having such a hard time getting people there if they gave us something we want, but they don’t.

    Dear Microsoft: I don’t want Windows as a service. I don’t want ugly. I don’t want something I can’t customize to my own taste. I don’t want you puttering around in my system and changing things. I don’t want you uninstalling applications. I don’t want you watching everything I do. I don’t want a store. I don’t want ads.

    Go back to XP and start over from there, because after Win 7, you went berserk. I will gladly give you $200 for a customizable, customer-centric OS.

    Hey! Are you listening? Are you? Anyone out there?

    No. Of course not.

  12. Clairvaux said on April 28, 2017 at 3:08 pm
    Reply

    Clearly, quality control has gone out of the window at Microsoft. And I’m not even trying to be funny.

    Being callous towards faithful customers + botching the job in a way that would have been unimaginable a few years ago = market failure of epic proportions coming up, even if possibly in slow motion.

  13. P said on April 28, 2017 at 3:56 pm
    Reply

    I think m$ should go back to the old and FRIENDLY policy of enticing customers into their OS with features, options and services rather than the new HOSTILE approach of dictating to people how, when and in what way they are allowed to use their OS, like linux.

  14. Happy said on April 28, 2017 at 4:08 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft’s business model seems to be to create an OS, patch it over the years until it is nearly perfect, then force its customers to move to its newest and latest buggy OS, and repeat.

    1. Clairvaux said on April 28, 2017 at 10:47 pm
      Reply

      Nice. And true.

  15. Norm said on April 28, 2017 at 4:29 pm
    Reply

    We need all the information we can get about what MS is up to and that includes Windows 10. Martin Brinkmann has a crucial role in this. I sometimes feel like David Crockett at the Windows 7 Alamo and ghacks.net is the cavalry.

    p.s. Yes yes, I know it’s “Davy”, but he preferred “David”.

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 28, 2017 at 6:51 pm
      Reply

      Thumbs up Norm.

      If anyone disagrees with the efort Martin is putting into this site, then don’t come here.

  16. Helena said on April 28, 2017 at 4:58 pm
    Reply

    Corporations want to dictate and not to cooperate. The problem with companies like MS is that they know people have to use their products and that there may be very little alternatives for the disgruntled consumer.

    The only solution is changing the system which may be impossible for the majority of users for various reasons. Seems Microsoftonians, as unpleasant as it may be, will be able to play their games for quite a while. But…., as much as I realize, nothing lasts for ever. Still a grim outlook for other surprises to come from this perfidious institution.

  17. kevin said on April 28, 2017 at 5:20 pm
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    This story makes me so happy that I use an OS whose developers don’t fight me and/or try to force an unwanted agenda upon me. (hello GWX!)

    I feel sorry for the innocent users who are being denied critical security updates because of Microsoft’s pigheadedness, but I must simultaneously laugh at Microsoft’s incompetence for blocking people who weren’t supposed to be blocked! (Besides, no one should be blocked)

    And maybe, if one of these consumers who are being denied updates suffers a breach, they can sue Microsoft. That would be awesome!

  18. Jack said on April 28, 2017 at 5:51 pm
    Reply

    Thank you Martin for bringing this to everyones attention.

    But personally I think it is being forced onto us for all areas of technology. Look at mobiles, I understand that as far as Android is concerned, only the latest two OS are still supported, yet shops like Amazon still sell unsupported OS phones, I heard recently that a feature on IOS is not supported on anything older than iPhone 5.

    Going back to the Windows OS, so many times when I have learned of changes I don’t agree with, my immediate reaction is to go to Linux. There was the issue of automatic downloads, even forced on those with a capped internet service, Windows didn’t seem to care about this, the public outcry got it changed, but now they have changed their minds again, and redstone 3 later in the year is going to be forced on everyone.

    I am still thinking about jumping onto Linux, as I only use my PC for internet stuff like RSS feeds from the excellent gHacks.

    Don’t get me wrong I am all for having the latest updates, but when the consumer is not given any consideration I think it is totally wrong. I understand the S9 is already been rumoured about when the S8 is just coming out. The businesses need to consider their consumers; if someone has used their hardware for x years, they should get discounts from the hardware makers to encourage them to go for the latest hardware.

    NB: Idea 2 the global players get together and say you have the business market you have the mobile you have the personal PC market. What do we think ?

  19. chris said on April 28, 2017 at 10:45 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft has become such a shady company under the “leadership” of Satya Nadella that I’m starting to miss Bill Gates, and even Steve Ballmer.

    1. ddk said on April 29, 2017 at 12:13 am
      Reply

      I wonder how much influence Gates & Ballmer still have there. Both are primary owners of MS, they might be using Nadella as a prop while steering the company down the rat hole.

      1. Wayfarer said on April 29, 2017 at 2:25 pm
        Reply

        I too wonder about this stuff. Over the years, I’ve worked/been associated with several organisations, private and public, that failed due to little more than middle-management cowardice in the face of a CEO who lived in an ivory tower.
        ‘Positivity’ – i.e. people who agreed with him/her – was rewarded. ‘Negativity’ – people with sufficient ‘lack of loyalty’ to caution against reckless decisions – was ignored and often punished.
        The result being that the most outlandish and ill-advised ideas could find easy passage from boardroom isolation to shop floor implemementation. Often ideas that only made sense when couched in NewSpeak.
        “Oh what a great idea sir! Wish I’d thought of that sir! Have we decided yet who will take the blame if it doesn’t work sir?!”
        So it’s not just MS – it’s how half our businesses and public enterprises fail. Or to be more exact it’s how customers and shareholders fail – top management usually moves on unscathed.

  20. LD said on April 28, 2017 at 11:15 pm
    Reply

    Can the impacted users back out the April updates or not – anybody know for sure?

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on April 29, 2017 at 6:19 am
      Reply

      @ LD

      Yes, impacted users can back out of the April updates but future monthly updates will still contain the processor-blocking feature.

  21. iotas said on April 28, 2017 at 11:46 pm
    Reply

    I run three computers (One PC, two laptops) I have already removed Win 7 software from one laptop and installed Linux with full satisfaction.
    I will next remove Win10 from the other laptop and install Linux there as well.
    I will next remove Windows 7 Pro from my PC and let Satya Nadella dance alone on the decaying corpse of Steve Ballmer’s defanged predatory corporation.
    Rapidly developing far advanced Technology will bury Microsoft within five years.
    Good riddance!

  22. Tim said on April 29, 2017 at 4:40 am
    Reply

    At the risk of fully exposing my Luddite status, I find I am quite happy with my Windows XP system running on my antique Intel E8400 dual core. I have avoided the update hassle since Ms decided to bury this operating system and I have never received any unwanted code from MS. Unlike later versions of Windows, I can block internet access of svchost.exe at the firewall level which does cut back on the ability of the system to phone home without my knowledge. My unsupported and dangerous system has had no viral infections nor any ransomware or trojans since the end of updates. Internet explorer is still at the original version 6 and has no ability to escape the local subnet.

    I have a faster quad core machine as well, ready to go as a fully operational backup system, but I find the E8400 is adequate for everything except par file checks on some of the larger usenet binaries,.

    I read what MS is doing to the current user base with a mixture of bemusement and horror and I am really grateful that I never bothered to obtain a newer system. When this setup becomes completely obsolete, I will consider the upgrade to Windows 11 or 12 because i think 10 will turn out to be a colossal flop and MS will go into full panic mode once the desktop monopoly starts to slip badly.

    And of course I could be all wrong on my predictions, but that won’t worry me too much.

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on April 29, 2017 at 6:46 am
      Reply

      @ Tim

      M$’s Windows has a market-monopoly of about 80%-90% since the 2000s. Most corporations/businesses have already been locked into the Windows ecosystem and their purchase or lease of Windows Enterprise Volume Licenses are the Big money-earners for M$, not consumers. IOW, M$ will not be going into panic mode because the desktop monopoly won’t start to slip badly.
      ……. Come 2020/2023, most corporations/businesses will have little choice but to upgrade/transition to Win 10 Ent from Win 7/8.1 Ent. So, very likely, there will be no Win 11 or 12.

      If you wanna avoid Win 10, the likely options left for you will be …….
      #1. Buy a Win 8.1 license for use until EOL/2023 or after.
      #2. Buy a new MacOS computer.
      #3. Install Linux.
      .

      P S – Google and Facebook have to hire many Linux experts to run their huge Linux-based Data-servers/centers and websites. IOW, for a corporation/business to leave the Windows ecosystem, they have to hire at least a few Linux experts. Most SMB cannot afford to do that.
      ……. Linux is like a DIY desktop OS.

      1. jern said on April 29, 2017 at 5:13 pm
        Reply

        @AnorKnee

        You write…
        IOW, M$ will not be going into panic mode because the desktop monopoly won’t start to slip badly.

        PC sales have been declining for 5 years (though Mac sales rose in Q1-17). Having a monopoly in that market would put me into panic mode. If MS is going to survive it has to develop its SAS model in the cloud.

      2. Corky said on April 29, 2017 at 7:36 pm
        Reply

        IDK what IOW is as when i searched Google all i get it the Isle of Wight, but that’s besides the point i want to make. :)

        It’s true PC sales have been in decline but the picture is so much more complicated, for starters PC shipment still totaled 270 million units, that’s nothing to be sniffed at and only smartphones outstripped PC shipment with 1.5 billion units shipped, tablet shipment don’t even come close and are declining.

        Secondly while PC shipments from OEM’s are showing a decline PC hardware revenue, the sale of pre-built and custom-made gaming rigs, upgrades like new cards, CPU’s, and accessories increased to $30 billion worldwide in 2016, up approximately $6 billion from last year.

        If anything the wildly reported decline in PC sales probably says more about how awful OEM PC’s.

      3. jern said on April 29, 2017 at 9:28 pm
        Reply

        @Corky
        IOW = in other words
        I expect to see custom computers increase. It’s a reflection of growing sophistication among users who need PC’s. However, as you note, the market for smartphones is growing at the PC’s expense. Most people don’t need a PC – their needs are met by smartphones. Market numbers verify that claim. MS’s latest financials show revenue growth in services (cloud) and revenue decline in products. The only way MS survives is to offer its products as a service in the cloud. It can’t depend on a desktop monopoly and it failed at smartphones.

      4. Anonymous said on May 1, 2017 at 3:19 am
        Reply

        @ AnorKnee

        You write:
        “IOW, for a corporation/business to leave the Windows ecosystem, they have to hire at least a few Linux experts. Most SMB cannot afford to do that.
        ……. Linux is like a DIY desktop OS.”

        Fwiw, from what I’ve seen over the years, most businesses–of virtually any size and regardless of the technology used–have some way of providing technical services and support (i.e., the “IT” function)…
        If, by your reasoning, having linux folks available (on staff or on call) to support a linux environment makes linux “like a DIY desktop OS”, then wouldn’t having windows folks available to support a windows environment also make windows “like a DIY desktop OS”?

      5. AnorKnee Merce said on May 1, 2017 at 9:03 am
        Reply

        @ Anonymous

        There is a reason why most SMB prefer to use Windows and not Linux, even though Windows licenses cost a lot more.

        It is common knowledge that Windows has been adapted by M$ to be easily used by computer dummies while Linux is mostly for computer-techies, esp for advanced usage.

        So, for SMB to use Linux, they will have to conduct extensive training for their employees to learn how to use Linux and hire a very capable Linux expert(= hard to find and expensive to hire) to be their System Admin of the IT department. These are a waste of time and money.
        ……. In comparison, if the SMB use Windows, they only have to conduct basic training for their employees and only need to hire an experienced Windows System Admin. The SMB owner may even double up as the Windows System Admin bc Windows is quite easy to use and administer.

  23. RJ Curtis said on April 29, 2017 at 5:46 am
    Reply

    Microsoft is no longer a home consumer friendly comany as they were in the past. Killing home server, media center, hotmail, etc. How much do you need to see this? They are going where the money is, strictly enterprise and cloud. They could care less about us enthusiasts

  24. KoO said on April 29, 2017 at 7:09 am
    Reply

    For home users if you do not plays games then you do not need money hungry windows .Have a look at MX-16 linux..

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on April 29, 2017 at 9:11 am
      Reply

      @ KoO

      I think the lightweight MX-16 Linux does not have a Software Manager, ie it requires some tech knowledge or CLI/Terminal commands to install 3rd-party programs.

      For non-techies, Linux Mint or Ubuntu is a better choice, esp to do basic computer stuffs like web-surfing, emailing, Skyping, streaming Youtube videos and online shopping.

  25. Richard Allen said on April 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm
    Reply

    For the last year MS has been seriously raining on my parade and making life difficult. Early last year my previous desktop was the victim of a vicious assault. Local transformer hit by lighting. Friendly warning, if you are using an older than dirt power strip/surge protector, rethink that. I now use a UPS.
    Anyway, last May I was looking at and lusting after a new Dell which had a Skylake Core i-7 and all the options I wanted like discreet graphics, lots of ram, Win7 Pro. Of course right about that time MS starts talking about ending support in 2018 for Skylake on Win7. W…T…H? Should I or shouldn’t I? I Like Win7 and just don’t care for Win 10, so I was a coward, gave MS a one finger salute and Memorial Day weekend I bought a Dell mini tower with a Haswell Core i-5 4460 that was on clearance and very inexpensive, $540 US. Right away I bumped up the 8GB DDR3L to 16GB, cloned the Seagate hdd onto a Sandisk Extreme Pro ssd, installed my 1-2 yr old WD Black hdd to use as a data drive, put the Seagate into an enclosure to use for backups, replaced the oem GTX 745 with a GTX 750 Ti SC, added a case fan and attached an 80mm fan to the drive cage with 3M automotive tape. Running Win7 Pro and have a Win 10 Pro license that I don’t know if I will ever use. Total investment of $800 US. Surprisingly very good performance and it runs cool. To top off my whole experience, since then, MS gave Me a one finger salute and backed off their Skylake update plans. Geez!!!!!!!!

    Haven’t decided yet what I will do in 2020 but since last summer I’ve had VirtualBox installed and have, to a small degree, been playing with Linux Mint.

  26. Anonymous said on April 29, 2017 at 6:20 pm
    Reply

    I’M GOING BACK TO MY PC-JUNIOR SYSTEM.
    ,

  27. me said on April 29, 2017 at 7:31 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft blocking their own user is a good thing. More will convert to linux !

    Join us, discover freedom.

  28. 100daysofprattling said on April 29, 2017 at 9:11 pm
    Reply

    Why is M$ pulling this crap ?

    1. A41202813GMAIL said on April 29, 2017 at 11:20 pm
      Reply

      Because They Are A pos Company.

      XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

  29. MazTerGee said on April 30, 2017 at 11:52 am
    Reply

    I haven’t updated my Windows 7 Computing since Service Pack 1,, everything runs smoothly..

  30. Jeff said on May 1, 2017 at 8:18 am
    Reply

    People need to stop using Windows 10 and ignore it until it is completely abandoned due to failure of adoption.

  31. Mystique said on May 2, 2017 at 1:28 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft has been going too far ages now, they just stepped it up considerably with the foistware known as Windows 10. Its abundantly clear that Microsoft has an agenda when it comes to windows 10 and its most likely to monetize your entire experience by controlling everything you do, this is just another example of that. Windows was once an open system of sorts but it is quickly becoming a walled garden of weeds.

    If this isn’t more evidence of that I don’t know what is!

    I hope Microsoft learns the harsh lesson that you can only push so far in the PC world, this is not a console, this is not a tablet and this hardware is not your product. PC users are savvy and also fiercely vocal and protective of what they have, their pc is their fort, its their world and not the property of any one company.

    The biggest problem right now is that those voices and that talent is not being focused on a direct goal that can really put the hurt on Microsoft but it can and may happen eventually.

  32. Forrest said on May 3, 2017 at 7:01 am
    Reply

    Well, I apparently am in the same boat, although I’m running with a Sandy-Bridge i5-2500K. I tried a complete reinstall of the OS and hoped that it was maybe something that went wrong during the update. No dice.

  33. Bill said on May 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    Reply

    What does Windows 10 and the new CPU’s have integrated into their cores that requires them to operate together exclusively? Why can’t Windows 7 and 8.x be supported? The telemetry integrated into the core of Windows 10 coupled with the new hardware are the foundation of the Government spy complex that the NSA, FBI, CIA want to better perform mass surveillance on U.S citizens. The NSA and FBI illegal hacking into Corporate data centers and Internet backbones, the creation of malware that is undetectable and irremovable in hard-drives and BIOS’s. Plus the continued mass collection of phone records of the NSA which was supposed to stop last year AND the secret list of U.S citizens under surveillance that even Congress is not allowed to see. Something seriously evil is going on within the Government that is supposed to be “by the people, for the people.”!!

  34. Bill said on May 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm
    Reply

    What does Windows 10 and the new CPU’s have integrated into their cores that requires them to operate together exclusively? Why can’t Windows 7 and 8.x be supported? The telemetry integrated into the core of Windows 10 coupled with the new hardware are the foundation of the Government spy complex that the NSA, FBI, CIA want to better perform mass surveillance on U.S citizens. The NSA and FBI illegal hacking into Corporate data centers and Internet backbones, the creation of malware that is undetectable and irremovable in hard-drives and BIOS’s. Plus the continued mass collection of phone records by the NSA which was supposed to stop last year AND the secret list of U.S citizens under surveillance that even Congress is not allowed to see. Something seriously evil is going on within the Government. This is NOT about preventing another terrorist attack, this is a terrorist attack against our rights and way of life!!

    I don’t believe even Linux will spare you from this.

    1. Clairvaux said on May 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm
      Reply

      This might come to you as a shock, but what the CIA and NSA do is mainly spy against foreign enemies of the United States, and do I have to mention that it’s a good thing ?

      I’m just as privacy-conscious as any other guy (in fact, many times more), but I’m sick and tired of this unilateral America-bashing by stooges of Russian interests who should know best. And before you mention Edward Snowden, let me remind you that Snowden is a traitor and a Russian spy, which should prevent anyone from taking at face value whatever moral posturing he might be inclined to do.

      Anyone that has a modicum of knowledge about online privacy, infosec, espionage, Russia and djihadism knows that the NSA, CIA and a few added non-American spy agencies are what protects us against a) being killed in all manners of unpleasant ways, b) the good things in life we take for granted being permanently abolished.

      I’m not about to engage in a political debate here, because I know how easily it derails pleasant and useful technical discussions, but that’s not a reason to let leftist bullshit being broadcast unchecked all the time.

      1. Still pissed off said on May 16, 2017 at 11:41 pm
        Reply

        And in order to “spy against foreign enemies” we must listen to everything in any form that crosses our borders, i.e. the phone calls of every American citizen. You know, in case one of them is talking to a foreigner…who might be a terrorist.
        I guess the NSA doesn’t have the sophistication to just listen to calls over the border, it’s just easier to listen to them all internally then flay the suckers after the fact. Giant data center for eternal storage. Your govt. at work.

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