Just like you're supposed to do when dealing with the undead, Microsoft aimed for the head when it cut off support for Windows XP last month, the legacy operating system that's proving impossibly difficult to kill. Despite the risk of unpatched vulnerabilities (a pretty big deal) and no more tech support (largely a non-issue for consumers, but important for some businesses), Windows XP is installed on more PCs than Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Vista combined.
Microsoft has made many successful products over the years, but unfortunately they’ve also made a lot of mistakes as well. With Windows 8.1 coming out on the horizon, we’ve decided to compile a list of the company's five biggest successes and blunders.
It's taken some time, but Windows 8 is now officially more popular than Windows Vista, according to the latest market share data. Furthermore, it doesn't even matter if you put more stock into StatCounter's accounting method or prefer NetApplicaton's approach to tallying market share, both firms are in agreement that Windows 8 is ahead of Vista in usage, if ever so slightly.
At a special event in San Francisco earlier today, Microsoft raised the curtain on the 15th version of its Office productivity suite, which has historically been a huge cash cow for the company. Speaking at the said press event, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer the new Office “will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.” Well, turns out there really aren’t an awful lot of things out there beyond Windows 8 that can fire up the new Office, for Office 2013’s pyrotechnics are reserved for Windows 8 and Windows 7 only and users with older operating systems will need to upgrade in order to get in on the action.
At the time of the Windows 8 Release Preview’s release last month, Microsoft spilled the beans on a special upgrade offer for those who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. It did not reveal anything regarding the upgrade path for existing Windows users, though. But you may no longer have to wait until an official announcement from Redmond to know where you stand on the road to Windows 8, as a veteran Microsoft watcher claims to have the scoop on Microsoft’s Windows 8 upgrade plans.
Over the weekend, Microsoft began a two-year countdown to the extinction of Windows XP (end of Extended Support), encouraging XP holdouts to move to Windows 7. Now it’s the turn of Vista holdouts to seriously contemplate upgrading to Windows 7, for today (April 10, 2012) is the last day of the hugely unpopular XP successor’s mainstream support phase. Hit the jump for more.
As it does on the second Tuesday of each month, Microsoft today delivered this month’s installment of security updates. June’s edition of Patch Tuesday only includes four security bulletins, which is significantly less compared to last month’s consignment of 16 security bulletins. Between them, the security bulletins released today address 22 vulnerabilities.
We knew that Windows XP was holding back Microsoft’s ability to innovate on the security of its operating systems, but just how much? Well according to new data released in the company’s annual Security Intelligence Report, infection rates for Windows 7 are five times lower than a fully patched machine running Windows XP SP3. Windows Vista faired significantly better, however infection rates were still almost double that of a comparable Windows 7 based PC.
Check out the differences between 32 and 64 bit versions after the jump.
Internet Explorer 9 made the somewhat controversial decision to leave Windows XP users behind, and IE10 is getting ready to extend the legacy OS snub to Vista users now as well. Microsoft confirmed the rumor this week during its annual MIX conference where a preview version of IE10 was made available, and the company made no apologizes for not supporting Vista.