Windows Vista [support] is dead…

Miss it yet?

For anyone still using it, there will be no further support. No updates. whatever is in Microsoft’s web site will be come static.

Most if not all software developers and those supporting peripherals [such as printers] have probably already stopped supporting Vista long ago.

If you still have it, good luck!

[Windows Server 2008 support ends in January 2020.]

 

Microsoft denies Update 2 on Tuesday for Windows 8.1 and some rumors

This is starting to remind me of the days when the iPhone was “king”. You would hear all kinds of rumors about the next iPhone or maybe the next iOS. [I think somewhere in my blog I list rumors of what was to be in an iPhone a couple of years back].

Now, it seems Microsoft is taking a cue from Apple as rumors continue to fly about Windows 8.1 updates. Strange, since Windows 8.1 still isn’t that popular.

Well, a Microsoft official has stated there will be no Update 2 for Windows 8.1. He doesn’t know where all this started from. Maybe that’s why the first update was called Update and not Update 1. I do find it odd that only days before Patch Tuesday did the official deny the rumors.

OK. So instead of the dead/rumored Update 2, expect the same monthly updates that have been coming out since Windows 8 was released.

In addition, more rumors that Office 2015 will be released next year. This is probably more likely since whenever a computer OS release comes out, an Office release comes out about the same time or shortly after.

The most interesting rumor – but this has been flying around for a while – is that Microsoft may give out Windows 9 free of charge to Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users.

OK. I can see this for Windows XP users but if you take a look at some of the older machines, few of them have the resources [i.e. meet or barely meet the minimum requirements for Windows 9 – assuming similar to Windows 8]. Even if they did meet the minimum requirements, they will be sluggish.

If Windows 9 requirements don’t change much from Windows 8, then technically all Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems will be able to upgrade – although those cheap models would still be an issue.

Finally the rumored Start menu coming back [or a variation of] still persists. Who knows.

Important Windows and Office dates

Here are a few dates you have to think about on the Windows platform:

  • Windows Vista is already in extended support – which will end in April 2017. Service pack 2 required.
  • Windows 7 mainstream support ends in January 2015. Service pack 1 required.
  • Windows 7 extended support ends in January 2020.
  • Windows 8.1 must be installed by November 2015. After that, there will be no Windows 8 updates.
  • Windows 8.1 Update [a.k.a. Update 1] must be installed by June 2014. After that date, there will be no more updates unless you have this Update installed. So technically by June 2014 you need both Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update to continue to get updates.
  • Windows 8.x mainstream support ends in January 2018.
  • Windows 8.x extended support ends in January 2023.
  • Windows Server 2003 is already in extended support – which will end in July 2015.
  • Windows Server 2008 mainstream support ends in January 2015.
  • Windows Server 2008 extended support ends in January 2020.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 mainstream support ends in January 2015. Service pack 1 required.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 extended support ends in January 2020.
  • Windows Server 2012 mainstream support ends in January 2018.
  • Windows Server 2012 extended support ends in January 2023.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 mainstream support ends in January 2018.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 extended support ends in January 2023.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Update [a.k.a. Update 1] must be installed by July 2014. After that date, there will be no more updates unless you have this Update installed.

Here are a few dates you have to think about for Office:

  • Office 2007 is already in extended support – which will end in October 2017. Service pack 3 required.
  • Office 2010 with Service Pack 1 support ends in October 2014.
  • Office 2010 with Service Pack 2 mainstream support ends in October 2015.
  • Office 2010 with Service Pack 2 extended support ends in October 2020.
  • Office 2013 RTM support ends in April 2015.
  • Office 2013 with Service Pack 1 mainstream support ends in April 2018.
  • Office 2013 with Service Pack 1 extended support ends in April 2023.

Notes:

  • These end of support falls on the second Tuesday of the month mentioned.
  • Dates are subject to change. For the latest dates go here [if you can figure things out there!].
  • Changes will occur on the end dates if a service pack or major update is released.
  • Expect possibly a further major update in the fall for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Goodbye Windows XP

Well, today is the end of Windows XP [some originally gave it a nickname of Windows 2002].

I won’t go over again what I said before about what will happen because I have mentioned the implications before.

What I will say is that it was at one point the best-selling as well as most widely used operating systems over.

It was a huge leap compared to its predecessor, Windows 2000 [although Windows 2000 wasn’t so bad on its own].

I had actually waited a half a year to install Windows XP even though I had a promo copy lying around [don’t remember how I got it – must have been some seminar].

At work, we were using Windows 2000. So there was no rush to switch to Windows XP. [The company at the time was just finally migrating to Windows 2000 from Windows NT 4.0. Good riddance on the latter.]

But when I switched, I was a happy camper. Initially I used the “classic” Start menu [i.e. what you saw in Windows 2000 and the Windows 9x versions prior] and only switched to the Windows XP menu maybe a year later.

I was a regular Windows XP user for maybe 6-7 years. I had then jumped to Windows Vista [ya, I know] in 2009 but dual booting with Windows XP for 9 months.

After the 9 months I had dual booted between Windows 7 and Windows XP on a new system. About 3 months ago, when I built my current system, Windows XP was dropped, except in a virtual machine.

Through the four years of dual booting Windows 7 and Windows XP, I spent more time updating the system once a month than anything else. No point in continuing to have it, especially when the end is near.

Anyways, Windows XP, it was nice knowing you. Have a good time in retirement in Florida where you can retire in the sun and talk about the old days with Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 and the others – and even Windows Me.

Microsoft caves in and allows updates to security applications

With the end of Windows XP support in about 9 weeks, Microsoft has decided to follow others and will now extend the support for anti-virus definitions for Microsoft Security Essentials [MSE] as well as the monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool [MSRT] until July 2015.

It is interesting to note that the same 32-bit version of MSRT is also used for 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. So what is to stop someone to run MSRT after July 2015 that was intended not for Windows XP? Will Microsoft place something inside the executable to block MSRT from running?

How about the anti-virus definitions for MSE? You can download the definitions manually here.

As well, it is said that MSE won’t be available for downloading from Microsoft’s sites. So what about third-party sites? Will Microsoft “force” them to remove the application? If you have already downloaded MSE, will Microsoft somehow stop the installation?

Too many questions and so far too few answers.

 

Google extend Chrome’s support for Windows XP

In another sign that Google likes to go against or bend the rules, Google has announced that their Chrome browser [and I will assume their other products] will continue to be supported for Windows XP at least until April 2015.

This will mean, Google will support one of the very few products after Microsoft will pull the life support of Windows XP.

It is sort of a tradition for any discontinued operating system [or even a major update such as a service pack] that once the developer stops supporting the operating system, so does the third party developers. So for example, in April we expect to see Adobe drop support for Windows XP completely for Flash player, Adobe Reader [any version], etc. Same for Oracle’s Java plugin for Windows XP [good riddance!], iTunes with Windows XP support, etc.

[This doesn’t mean that the applications won’t work as of April 2014. Just that good luck if you have a problem or there is a security issue. In fact, some may still install after April 2014 with newer versions. In some cases, tinkering in compatibility mode may work.]

I am wondering in a few years when Vista dies will Google extend support for Chrome on Vista.

Windows 8.1 upgrade options and some pricing

Microsoft announced that the Windows 8.1 media could be used for a full installation or an upgrade. Obviously the right license is required. Upgrades from XP and Vista are no longer supported. A clean installation is required for them.

Windows 7 customers should expect to re-install all of their applications after upgrading using the Windows 8.1 retail media as only their files will be preserved.

Pricing hasn’t changed for upgrades or full copies from the Windows 8 pricing.

Windows Media Center will also still be available as a $9.99 upgrade for Windows 8.1 Pro. The Windows 8.1 Pro Pack DVD is available for $99.99. It can be used to upgrade a PC that came preinstalled with Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro with Windows Media Center.

If you wish, as a workaround, you can buy Windows 8, which will give you more options to preserve Windows 7 and Windows Vista settings and applications, and then upgrade to windows 8.1 free of charge.

Windows 8.1 will be pushed out as a free upgrade to all Windows 8 PCs beginning on October 18.

If you want to see the difference between the four versions of windows 8.1, you can view a chart here.