windows 7 http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/3243/ en Don't Fret Over Microsoft Ending Mainstream Support for Windows 7 in January 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/dont_fret_over_microsoft_ending_mainstream_support_windows_7_january_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/Windows_7_Boxes.png" alt="Windows 7" title="Windows 7" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Microsoft updates end of support deadlines for various software</h3> <p>Now that we're well into July, Microsoft felt it was a good time to update its list of products reaching end of support in the next 6 months. One entry that's gaining a lot of media attention is Windows 7. According to the list, <strong>Mainstream Support for several versions of Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015</strong>, though that doesn't mean you need to rush out and grab a copy of Windows 8. Here's why.</p> <p>After "Mainstream Support" comes another cycle known as "Extended Support," which <a href="http://support.microsoft.com/gp/support-reaching-end-2nd" target="_blank">lasts 5 years</a> (January 14, 2020) and includes "security updates at no cost, and paid hotfix support." In other words, as the January 13, 2015 deadline comes and goes, it will be of little consequence to most home users.</p> <p>As for hotfixes, you'll receive those as well, as long as they're security related. It's only the non-security hotfixes that require an extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending. It's something for IT admins and businesses to consider, but again, nothing of relevance to home users.</p> <p>You can check out Microsoft's <a href="http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy" target="_blank">Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ</a> for more on the differences between Mainstream Support and Extended Support.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/dont_fret_over_microsoft_ending_mainstream_support_windows_7_january_2015#comments microsoft operating system OS Software support windows 7 News Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:41:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 28134 at http://www.maximumpc.com Why You Must Upgrade From Windows XP http://www.maximumpc.com/why_you_must_upgrade_windows_xp_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Make your Windows XP-using friends/family members read this important PSA</h3> <p>Microsoft has officially <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help" target="_blank">pulled the plug on support for Windows XP</a>. &nbsp;That’s it. &nbsp;Finite. &nbsp;Done. &nbsp;No more. &nbsp;Don’t expect to see any future patches, services packs, fixes, hotfixes, critical updates, anything — if you’re one of the <a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/one-week-before-its-end-of-life-28-percent-of-web-users-are-still-on-windows-xp/" target="_blank">one-fourth of desktop users</a> or so who are still running the antiquated operating system (yes, there’s that many of you), you’re about to enter the Wild Wild West of computing.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/windows_xp.jpg" alt="Windows XP broken" title="Windows XP broken" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP. Which means, "hello, hackers!"</strong></p> <p>So, what does that actually mean? &nbsp;Simple: You have to upgrade. &nbsp;There are no buts about it; staying on Windows XP is a bit like seeing a waterfall ahead on a river and opting to stay in the boat instead of safely paddling to shore. &nbsp;You might not know when you’re going to go over the precipice, but it’s likely that something quite bad is going to happen to you at some point in your future.</p> <p>We’re not just being overdramatic for the sake of it. &nbsp;Why do you think a number of businesses (<a href="http://consumerist.com/2014/03/14/only-a-third-of-bank-atms-using-windows-xp-have-upgraded-ahead-of-april-8-deadline/" target="_blank">banks, especially</a>) are spending a small fortune to get their systems upgraded as quickly as can be? &nbsp;Why do you think that a number of them are likely going to be paying Microsoft a princely sum for XP support after the fact, as they’ve simply been unable to upgrade important devices like, say, ATMs before the big cutoff date?</p> <p>If you’re still not convinced — or know those that need a little bit of extra convincing — we’re going to run through <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/22d0pf/why_is_xp_zero_day_so_over_hyped/" target="_blank">a few Windows XP scenarios</a> to show you that, yes, it’s time to kick this legacy OS to the curb for good.</p> <h4>Patch Tuesdays Could Break Windows XP</h4> <p>Patch Tuesday sounds like it’s a good thing, right? &nbsp;That tried-and-true time that comes around once a month, on the second Tuesday of each month, where Microsoft dishes out new security updates for its operating systems.&nbsp;</p> <p>Only, it’s not going to be doing that for Windows XP any more. &nbsp;And that doesn’t sound quite so bad until you realize just what this might mean for the legacy OS. &nbsp;Consider the following situation: Microsoft finds a security exploit in Windows Vista, 7, and 8 and decides to fix it up using a Patch Tuesday update. &nbsp;Since Windows XP isn’t being fixed anymore, an industrious hacker reverse-engineers Microsoft’s fix and heads on over to his or her Windows XP installation to see if the exploit exists there as well. If it does, he'll most likely exploit it, and then we could be in some serious trouble. &nbsp;</p> <p>In other words, Microsoft will now be feeding those interested in breaking Windows XP a constant stream of possible exploits to investigate. &nbsp;It’s like turning Patch Tuesday on its head.</p> <h4>Disbelief</h4> <p>A number of novice users might feel that they’re protected from the effects of the Internet underground by running a box-copy virus or malware scanner on their system and calling it a day. &nbsp;While that’s certainly true in some cases, even the best malware scanner on the market isn’t going to protect a person from any raw exploits that can be found or abused within the base level of the operating system itself. It's really apples and oranges.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Tourists_swimming_at_Victoria_Falls.jpg" alt="dangerous waterfall" title="dangerous waterfall" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Using Windows XP today is like dangling over a dangerous waterfall. You wouldn't do that now, would you?</strong></p> <p>Malware might take advantage of core areas within the operating system, but running Avast, or Norton Antivirus, or what-have-you is only going to help a user out by scanning what he or she downloads from the Web (or plugs into his or her PC). &nbsp;If a weakness is discovered that’s core to Windows XP’s operation, and doesn’t need a software vector in order to affect one’s system, then a scanning app isn’t going to be able to do anything about it.</p> <h4>What to do?</h4> <p>If we’ve finally managed to convince you that it’s time to switch – or you’ve successfully convinced a friend or loved one that it’s time to move away from Windows XP for good — there are a few routes you can go. &nbsp;The first and most obvious solution is to upgrade, and we recommend that you jump to Windows 7 or Windows 8 when you do. &nbsp;You’ll have an easier time finding copies of the latter and, while it’s a bit of a learning curve for those accustom to the no-frills Windows XP UI experience, more changes coming as a result of Windows 8.1’s official “Update 1” patch will hopefully ease the learning curve ever so slightly.</p> <p>Before you do, however, make sure that you download, install, and run Microsoft’s official upgrade “advisors” for either <a title="Windows 7" href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20" target="_blank">Windows 7</a> or <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-assistant-download-online-faq" target="_blank">Windows 8</a>. &nbsp;They’ll tell you whether your system will work well with the new OS from a hardware and software perspective, and they’re valuable tools for getting a general sense of just how well your PC stacks up before you splurge money on an OS upgrade that might not work out that well for you.</p> <p><em>Read our Windows 8.1 review <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_81_review_2013">here</a>.</em></p> <p>If you’re stuck in that camp, those looking to use the death of Windows XP as an inspiration for a shopping trip can also benefit from some of the current promotions running as a result. &nbsp;Microsoft, for example, is offering <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/cat/categoryID.67770000" target="_blank">$100 off new PC purchases</a> for those who access its online store from a Windows XP machine — or, if you want to be truly awesome, for those who drag a Windows XP system into one of the company’s retail stores.</p> <p><em>Learn how to install Windows 7 from a USB key <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_install_windows_7_beta_a_usb_key" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>That said, some users will still face a bit of heartbreak when moving up to a new operating system. &nbsp;<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/compatcenter/home" target="_blank">Outlook Express</a>, for example, does not exist in Windows Vista or higher – if that’s your XP-using grandmother’s favorite email client, you might need to help her out in moving on up to something a bit more comprehensive… and supported.</p> <p>Learn how to install Windows 8 from a USB key <a title="windows 8 install usb" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/how_install_windows_8_flash_drive_31384" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>For what it’s worth, you can go back to <a title="windows xp virtualized" href="http://lifehacker.com/5965889/how-to-run-windows-xp-for-free-in-windows-8" target="_blank">running Windows XP in a secure, virtualized environment</a>. &nbsp;While we don’t recommend that you do anything super-secure in your virtual machine (Amazon shopping might be out), you can at least have access to legacy applications and/or anything else you need from good ol’ Windows XP. &nbsp;And, should this virtualized copy of XP get infected with (or exploited by) something horrible, it won’t affect the contents of your primary operating system – and deleting it / restoring up a new version of Windows XP is super easy.</p> <p>The truly die-hard can also switch on up to a free Linux variant if they feel as if they’re done with Microsoft now that Windows XP has been put out to pasture. &nbsp;Newbies to Linux can give a <a title="live CD" href="http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html" target="_blank">Live CD</a> a try, which packs an entire, working operating system onto removable media – an operating system whose contents cannot be affected beyond the point at which you power down your PC for the day. &nbsp;If your sole interest in having a Windows XP machine is to have a simple way to browse the web and check email, this might be a great way to do that — on a legacy PC — without having to spend a penny post-XP.</p> <h4>Stop reading; start upgrading</h4> <p>We’ve covered some of the more general concerns and issues related to the imminent loss of Windows XP. &nbsp;There are plenty more scenarios as to why upgrading is in your best interest, and there are surely quite a few more ways to do it. &nbsp;What’s clear is that Windows XP support is over. &nbsp;Any additional days you spend chained to the legacy OS, you do so at your own risk. &nbsp;Upgrading is easy. &nbsp;Buying a new computer is easy. &nbsp;Setting up your new apps and migrating your data over is… <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-from-windows-vista-xp-tutorial" target="_blank">less easy</a>, but it’s better you spend the time doing that than, say, calling up your credit card companies because some industrious hacker connived their way into your Windows XP-based Web shopping, to name one example.</p> <p>If you’re on Windows XP, stop reading right now. &nbsp;Start upgrading. &nbsp;Stay safe.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/why_you_must_upgrade_windows_xp_2014#comments hack hacker important microsoft Patch Tuesday psa scam Should I upgrade upgrade virus Windows windows 7 windows 8 windows xp News Features Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:11:12 +0000 Dave Murphy 27633 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 7 is Growing Too Fast for Windows 8 to Catch Up http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_7_growing_too_fast_windows_8_catch_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_signs.jpg" alt="Windows 8 Signs" title="Windows 8 Signs" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Will Windows 7 become the next XP?</h3> <p>With yet another month's worth of data to digest, it's becoming increasingly clear that <strong>Windows 8 might never catch up to Windows 7</strong>. How you want to view that is up to you -- it could mean that Microsoft hit it out of the park with Windows 7, making it exceedingly difficult on itself to duplicate that kind of success, or that Windows 8 is a foul ball off of a broken bat. Let's look at some numbers.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=11&amp;qpcustomb=0&amp;qptimeframe=M&amp;qpsp=172&amp;qpnp=11" target="_blank">NetMarketShare's data</a>, Windows 7 gained more than a percentage point in March, increasing its share of the desktop OS market from 47.31 percent to 48.77 percent (+1.46 percent). Meanwhile, Windows 8 and 8.1 grew from 10.68 percent to 11.3 percent, representing a 0.62 percent gain. As for XP, it's share of the market fell from 29.53 percent to 26.69 percent, a drop of 2.84 percent. What this appears to indicate is that twice as many people jumping ship from XP are going to Windows 7 instead of Windows 8/8.1.</p> <p>If we zoom out, it becomes increasingly clear that Windows 7 is a tough act to follow. In March 2013, Windows 7 accounted for 44.73 percent of all desktops. Minus a few minor blips along the way, it's been gaining share ever since.</p> <p>The good news for Windows 8/8.1 is that its share is in double digits. And as far as competing platforms go, both Windows 8 (6.41 percent) and Windows 8.1 (4.89 percent) individually account for more desktops than Mac OS X 10.9 (3.75 percent).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_7_growing_too_fast_windows_8_catch_2014#comments microsoft operating system OS Software windows 7 windows 8. windows 8.1 windows xp News Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:29:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 27553 at http://www.maximumpc.com Puget Systems Offers Free Service on New PCs to Make Windows 8 Look and Feel Like Windows 7 http://www.maximumpc.com/puget_systems_offers_free_service_new_pcs_make_windows_8_look_and_feel_windows_7_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/classic_shell_start.jpg" alt="Classic Shell Windows 7" title="Classic Shell Windows 7" width="228" height="167" style="float: right;" />For when you want Windows 8, but not really</h3> <p>Here we are more than a year after the release of Windows 8 and it still remains a hot topic. The points of consternation among its critics are that Microsoft overhauled the user interface with a focus on touch computing, and then added insult to injury by removing the Start button and Start menu (the Start button has since returned, but without the handy menu). Nevertheless, it's a faster and more secure operating system than Windows 7. What's a user to do? Well, if you're buying a rig from boutique builder <strong>Puget Systems, you can have the company give Windows 8 a makeover so that it essentially feels like Windows 7</strong>.</p> <p>The new service is called "<a href="https://www.pugetsystems.com/parts/Software-Courtesy-Install/Windows-8-Makeover-Emulate-Windows-7-10219" target="_blank">Windows 8 Makeover: Emulate Windows 7</a>" and it's a free as a courtesy install on new system orders. It includes a handful of tweaks that you can apply yourself, but for less savvy users, this is a neat option that starts with installing Classic Shell, a utility that brings back the Start menu and prompts the system to boot directly into the desktop.</p> <p>Beyond the installation of Classic Shell, Puget Systems will configure desktop programs to be the default over Windows 8 apps where possible (Windows Photo Viewer, Windows Media Player, etc.). And finally, the Charms bar is disabled, as Puget Systems says it's an unnecessary feature with the added functionality of the Classi Shell Start menu.</p> <p>Is a service like this even necessary? Puget Systems says the adoption of Windows 8 from its customers is "very weak" and even slower than it was with Vista. At the same time, the boutique builder recognizes there are some distinct advantages to running Windows 8, one of them being a longer support windows from Microsoft.</p> <p>You can read more of the company's reasoning in a <a href="http://www.pugetsystems.com/blog/2014/03/25/What-Our-Customers-Have-to-Say-About-Windows-8-549/" target="_blank">blog post</a> by its founder, Jon Bach.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/puget_systems_offers_free_service_new_pcs_make_windows_8_look_and_feel_windows_7_2014#comments Classic Shell OEM Puget Systems rigs Software windows 7 windows 8 News Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:00:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 27506 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Pushing Users To Adopt Windows 8 Over Windows 7 http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_pushing_users_adopt_windows_8_over_windows_7_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/windows8_0.jpg" width="250" height="141" style="float: right;" />Windows 7 support is being phased out</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft </strong>has set a firm date of October 31st for final sale of consumer Windows 7 machines, but business machines are another story. The official website has been updated as such to reflect this, with Microsoft noting that October 31, 2014 is the new end-of-sale date for Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate PCs. Home Premium takes the cake when it comes to sales, but now Microsoft is pushing for Windows 8 to take over as reigning champ, per <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/2098425/microsoft-nudges-us-more-firmly-toward-windows-8.html">PC World</a>. </p> <p>Last year, Microsoft gave the same date for the halting of sale of all Windows 7 PCs, but then redacted that same announcement. It's standard practice to give a year's notice before pulling the plug on support, and this is projected to be the case with business machines, but it's possible this will change over the course of the year. Are you still using Windows 7 or have you updated? What about any business computers at the office?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_pushing_users_adopt_windows_8_over_windows_7_2014#comments microsoft news Windows windows 7 windows 8 News Mon, 17 Feb 2014 07:18:29 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27273 at http://www.maximumpc.com HP Explains Decision Bring Back Windows 7 PCs http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_explains_decision_bring_back_windows_7_pcs2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_laptop_desktop.jpg" alt="HP Laptop and Desktop" title="HP Laptop and Desktop" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Selling Windows 7 in a Windows 8 world</h3> <p>In case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard (HP) last week <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_cites_popular_demand_bringing_windows_7_back2014">began advertising</a> the return of Windows 7 desktops. The OEM said its decision to sell Windows 7 systems in a Windows 8 world was influenced by "popular demand," but what we found interesting is how aggressively the world's second largest PC maker promoted its Windows 7 machines. Was there more than meets the eye? <strong>HP today posted a blog further explaining its reasoning for bringing back Windows 7</strong>.</p> <p>"The answer is dead simple: Choice. We like giving our customers the option to get the computer that's right for them," <a href="http://h20435.www2.hp.com/t5/The-Next-Bench-Blog/Why-is-HP-selling-Windows-7-PCs-right-now/ba-p/86999#.UuKeDRAo6Ul" target="_blank">HP explains</a>. "For some folks, that's Android. We've got everything from 2-in-1 detachables like the SlateBook x2 to the giant-sized Slate 21 All-in-One."</p> <p>HP reiterated that it still offers Windows 8.1 systems and emphatically stated in all caps that it has no plans whatsoever of dropping the touch-friendly OS from its lineup. However, "some people still want to run Windows 7 on their computers," hence why the last generation OS is still an option.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_explains_decision_bring_back_windows_7_pcs2014#comments Hardware hewlett-packard hp OEM rigs Software windows 7 windows 8 News Fri, 24 Jan 2014 17:26:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 27134 at http://www.maximumpc.com HP Cites "Popular Demand" for Bringing Windows 7 Back http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_cites_popular_demand_bringing_windows_7_back2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_desktop.jpg" alt="HP Desktop" title="HP Desktop" width="228" height="137" style="float: right;" />It's what the people want</h3> <p>Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's second largest PC maker by volume, is giving potential customers the ability to configure systems with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The <strong>OEM is advertising that Windows 7 is "back by popular demand,"</strong> and as a bonus, customers can save up to $150 instantly. Based on the available systems, that's a savings of anywhere from 13 percent to 20 percent off the normal price.</p> <p>You can still purchase Windows 8/8.1 PCs from HP, but what's interesting here is how aggressive the OEM is pitching the return of Windows 7 as a default option. If you head over to the <a href="http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Desktops/Desktops" target="_blank">Desktops &amp; All-in-Ones section</a> of HP's Home &amp; Home Office Store, Windows 7 machines are the only ones displayed, located prominently above a Windows 8.1 section with a "Learn More" link.</p> <p>There's no sugarcoating the fact that this is a condemnation of sorts against Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8 OS. This is the world's second largest OEM, after all, and it's openly advertising a previous generation OS for no other reason than that's what its customers are demanding.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/hp_pcs.jpg" alt="HP PCs" title="HP PCs" width="620" height="314" /></p> <p>As far as we know, HP is the only major OEM promoting Windows 7 in such a fashion. It will be interesting to see if its competitors do the same thing.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_cites_popular_demand_bringing_windows_7_back2014#comments Hardware hewlett-packard hp microsoft OEM rigs Software windows 7 News Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:02:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 27101 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Removes Retailer Deadline to Stop Selling Windows 7 PCs http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_removes_retailer_deadline_stop_selling_windows_7_pcs2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_7_pc.jpg" alt="Windows 7 PC" title="Windows 7 PC" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />The new sales deadline is to be determined</h3> <p>Microsoft last week made it be known that system retailers would not be allowed to sell <strong>Windows 7 PCs</strong> past October 2014. The deadline is known as the "End of sales" date, which refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or OEMs, as well as the last day partners are allowed to peddle the OS. After listing October 30, 2014 as the end of sales date for Windows 7, Microsoft pulled a 180 and is now leaving it up in the air.</p> <p>The revised end of sales for PCs running Windows 7 is <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/lifecycle" target="_blank">now listed</a> as "To be determined," the same as listed for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. So, what happened?</p> <p>"We have yet to determine the end of sales date for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled. The October 30, 2014 date that posted to the Windows Lifecycle page globally last week was done so in error," Microsoft said in a statement. "We have since updated the website to note the correct information; however, some non-English language pages may take longer to revert to correctly reflect that the end of sales date is 'to be determined.' We apologize for any confusion this may have caused our customers. We’ll have more details to share about the Windows 7 lifecycle once they become available."</p> <p>What's interesting about this is that Microsoft typically stops selling a version of an OS one year after the next version launches, and stops delivery of the prior edition to OEMs two years after the new one ships. For reference, Windows 8 came out in October 2012, so October 2014 would be the proper date to halt Windows 7 PC sales based on past policy.</p> <p>If Microsoft extends the deadline past October 2014, it would be the first time since initiating the policy in 2010.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_removes_retailer_deadline_stop_selling_windows_7_pcs2013#comments Hardware microsoft Software Systems windows 7 News Tue, 10 Dec 2013 21:31:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 26857 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 8.1 Still Not Enough to Convert Windows 7 Users http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_81_still_not_enough_convert_windows_7_users <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_cupcake_0.jpg" alt="Windows 8 Cupcake" title="Windows 8 Cupcake" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />Windows 7 gains share in November</h3> <p>There wasn't a ton of movement in Windows market share last month, but what little there was, Microsoft has reason to be both encouraged and perplexed. Starting with the former, Microsoft can feel somewhat encouraged that <strong>Windows 8 continues to gain ground</strong>, at least if you factor in Windows 8.1. By itself, Windows 8 dropped from 7.53 percent in October to 6.66 percent in November, but once you throw Windows 8.1's 2.64 percent share into the mix, the tally comes to 9.3 percent.</p> <p>That's a net gain compared to October, but it's not as though users of olders versions of Windows are all that anxious to upgrade. Windows Vista saw only a small decline, dropping from 3.63 percent in October to 3.57 percent in November, while Windows XP users saw an even smaller dip, going from 31.24 percent to 31.22 percent during the same time period. Between the two, those figures add up to a .08 percent combined drop in share.</p> <p>Likewise, Windows 7 barely moved the needle, though what little movement there was went in the opposite direction. Rather than losing market share, Windows 7 increased its presence from 46.42 percent in October to 46.64 percent in November, a gain of 0.22 percent.</p> <p>All of these figures are based on data from <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=11&amp;qpcustomb=0&amp;qpsp=155&amp;qpnp=25&amp;qptimeframe=M" target="_blank">Net Applications</a>, though StatCounter's global statistics <a href="http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201211-201311" target="_blank">paint a similar overall picture</a> of the Windows landscape.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (Jon Fingas)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_81_still_not_enough_convert_windows_7_users#comments microsoft operating system OS Software windows 7 windows 8 windows 8.1 News Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:25:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 26799 at http://www.maximumpc.com Internet Explorer 11 Now Available to Download on Windows 7 http://www.maximumpc.com/internet_explorer_11_now_available_download_windows_7 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ie11_1.jpg" alt="IE11" title="IE11" width="228" height="137" style="float: right;" />Now Windows 7 users can enjoy the final version of IE11</h3> <p>Microsoft on Thursday <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2013/11/07/ie11-for-windows-7-globally-available-for-consumers-and-businesses.aspx" target="_blank">announced</a> that <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/ie11"><strong>Internet Explorer 11</strong></a> (IE11) is available to download on Windows 7 systems worldwide in 95 languages. The final version of IE11 was first released to Windows 8.1 on October 17, though a Preview version has been available to download from Microsoft since back in June. The final build that's now available to Windows 7 users offers the same improved performance, security, privacy, and reliability that consumers enjoy on Windows 8.1, Microsoft says.</p> <p>Some of the performance benefits on Windows 7 include faster page loading, faster interactivity, and faster JavaScript performance, along with reduced CPU usage and improved battery life (on mobile devices). If you want to test out the browser's hardware accelerated rendering performance, one place to do that is on Microsoft's <a href="http://www.ietestdrive.com/" target="_blank">IE Test Drive site</a>.</p> <p>On Windows 7, Microsoft claims IE11 is 9 percent faster than IE10 in JavaScript performance, which itself is "nearly 30 percent faster than the nearst competitive browser."</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7aZjtb1F73I" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>If you're anxious to make the jump, you can <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/ie" target="_blank">download IE11 manually</a>. Otherwise, Microsoft said it will begin automatically updating Windows 7 customers to IE11 in the weeks ahead, starting today with customers running IE11 Developer and Release Previews.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/internet_explorer_11_now_available_download_windows_7#comments browser ie11 internet explorer 11 microsoft online Software windows 7 News Thu, 07 Nov 2013 17:38:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 26653 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 8 Continues to Make Gains as XP's Share Erodes http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_continues_make_gains_xps_share_erodes2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_david.png" alt="Windows 8" title="Windows 8" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />Is Windows 7 the next Windows XP?</h3> <p>Now that another month is in the books, we have yet another opportunity to gauge <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/windows_8"><strong>Windows 8's</strong></a> ability to penetrate the market and make some predictions. One of those predictions is that despite Microsoft's best efforts to the contrary, Windows 7 could become the next Windows XP, meaning the last generation operating system could become one that users cling to for years to come.</p> <p>First things first. Windows 8 continues to climb in market share and is now installed on just over 8 percent of desktops around the world, <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/" target="_blank">according to data by <em>NetMarketShare</em></a>. That's up from 7.41 percent a month ago and 5.4 percent in July. Granted, almost every new PC ships with Windows 8, so you would expect its market share to rise, though that doesn't necessarily explain why it made such a comparatively big jump from July to August.</p> <p>In any event, some of that share is coming at the expense of Windows XP, which is now down to 31.41 percent. That's still a significant number of PCs, however it's definitely on a downward trend. When Windows 8 launched in October of last year, Windows XP held a 40.66 percent share of the market.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Windows 7 is quietly gaining ground. After holding steady at around 44.5 percent for several months, Windows 7 climbed to 45.63 percent in August and ended up with a 46.43 percent share of the desktop market at the end of September. While most XP users seem to be making the jump to Windows 8, at least some are leaping to Windows 7 instead.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/113266473617484509826?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_continues_make_gains_xps_share_erodes2013#comments microsoft operating system OS Software windows 7 windows 8 windows xp News Tue, 01 Oct 2013 17:20:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 26411 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft's 5 Greatest Successes and Failures http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_5_greatest_successes_and_failures_2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Microsoft: The good, the bad, and the ugly</h3> <p><a title="microsoft" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/Microsoft" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> has made many successful products over the years, but unfortunately they’ve also made a lot of mistakes as well. With <a title="Windows 8.1" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/windows_810_everything_you_need_know" target="_blank">Windows 8.1</a> coming out on the horizon, we’ve decided to compile a list of the company's five biggest successes and blunders.</p> <p>The chronological list starts off with Microsoft's five greatest successes and is followed by its worst failings. How many of the products below have you used? Let us know in the comments!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_5_greatest_successes_and_failures_2013#comments failures games for windows live microsoft successes Windows windows 7 windows 8 Windows Vista windows xp News Features Fri, 05 Jul 2013 20:30:10 +0000 Chris Zele 25858 at http://www.maximumpc.com Internet Explorer 11 Will Eventually Land on Windows 7 http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/internet_explorer_11_will_eventually_land_windows_7 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ie11.jpg" alt="Internet Explorer 11 Side-by-Side" title="Internet Explorer 11 Side-by-Side" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Faster browser for everyone</h3> <p>One of the major benefits of upgrading to <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/windows_810_revealed"><strong>Windows 8.1</strong></a> when it becomes available is the inclusion of Internet Explorer 11. The touch-friendly browser represents a pretty significant update to IE's code base, with support being offered for WebGL and Google's SPDY protocol, as well as improved HTML5 support. While the new browser is shipping with Windows 8.1, Microsoft is planning to port it over to Windows 7.</p> <p>That tidbit comes courtesy of <em>Engadget</em>, which <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/26/microsoft-internet-explorer-11/" target="_blank">claims</a> "Microsoft opened up about" plans to deliver IE11 to Windows 7 users, though the Redmond software giant hasn't released an official statement (that we know of) or offered up any kind of time frame.</p> <p><a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2013/06/26/introducing-ie11-the-best-way-to-experience-the-web-on-modern-touch-devices.aspx" target="_blank">According to Microsoft</a>, IE11 offers better touch performance, faster page load times, a continuous browsing experience across Windows devices, and completely rebuilt F12 developer tools. It's also supposed to be more battery efficient, in part by offloading image decoding to the GPU.</p> <p>For you power surfers out there, IE11 supports up to 100 tabs per window, with independent tab suspension for efficient use of memory and battery, and faster switching between tabs. It also supports side-by-side browsing, a handy feature for, say, comparison shopping between two sites.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/113266473617484509826?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/internet_explorer_11_will_eventually_land_windows_7#comments browser ie11 Internet internet explorer 11 microsoft Software windows 7 windows 8.1 News Thu, 27 Jun 2013 15:28:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 25810 at http://www.maximumpc.com Were Xbox One E3 Demos Powered by Windows 7 and Nvidia Graphics? http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/xbox_one_e3_demos_were_powered_windows_7_and_nvidia_graphics2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_one_windows_7.jpg" alt="Xbox One on Windows 7" title="Xbox One on Windows 7" width="228" height="203" style="float: right;" />Things that make you go hmmm.</h3> <p>Microsoft made a splash at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last week by <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_xbox_one_available_november_499"><strong>showing off</strong></a> a number of fantastic looking games for its upcoming Xbox One console. It was hard not to get excited by some of the titles, including Dead Rising 3 and Forza Motorsport 5, but as it turns out, the game demos we saw might have actually been running on Hewlett-Packard PCs running Windows 7.</p> <p>Before we go any further, let's be clear that it's not all that unusual for game developers to use PC hardware to show off future titles, so that in and of itself isn't reason to rake Microsoft over the coals. However, it's at least a little bit interesting that these tech demos were being run on Windows 7 rather than Windows 8, which the Xbox One's OS is partly based on.</p> <p>Secondly, it was discovered that the HP PCs were equipped with Nvidia GeForce GTX 700 Series graphics cards. Given the risk of exposure, it would have made more sense to use machines running AMD graphics cards since the GPU in the Xbox One is an AMD part that's comparable to a mid-range Radeon HD 7790.</p> <p>All of this came to light when Julian Rignail from U.S. Gamers posted to Twitter a message saying, "I just played an Xbox One game using an Xbox One controller that crashed... to a Windows 7, Hewlett Packard-branded desktop. Magic!" The Internet demanded pics, and lo and behold, there are a couple shots of Windows 7 PCs tucked inside Xbox One cabinets.</p> <p>Again, using PCs to show off console games isn't unusual, but the choice of OS and GPU certainly raise an inquisitive eyebrow. And according to <em>Cinema Blend</em>, which first <a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Xbox-One-Games-E3-We%C2%ADre-Running-Windows-7-With-Nvid%C2%ADia-GTX-Cards-56737.html" target="_blank">broke the story</a>, developers have <a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/games/PS4-Games-E3-Ran-PS4-Dev-Hardware-High-End-PCs-56752.html" target="_blank">confirmed</a> that PlayStation 4 game demos shown off at E3 were running on PS4 Dev kits, not PC hardware.</p> <p>File this under "T" for "Things that make you go hmmm."</p> <h3>Update 12:30 PM</h3> <p>Or maybe not. A developer for Twisted Pixel's LocoCycle <a href="http://www.forzacentral.com/forum/threads/xbox-one-games-did-not-run-on-high-end-pcs-at-e3.39428/" target="_blank">claims</a> that his game was the only one of the bunch running on a PC, and that the choice of hardware was "solely [Twisted Pixel's] decision," not Microsoft's. That would certainly explain a few things, and hopefully blunt those pitchforks and douse the torches.</p> <p>Kudos to "dracx619" for the update in our comments section.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/113266473617484509826?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/xbox_one_e3_demos_were_powered_windows_7_and_nvidia_graphics2013#comments console E3 electronic entertainment expo games Hardware microsoft Software video games windows 7 windows 8 xbox one News Mon, 17 Jun 2013 15:36:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 25750 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Force Feeds Service Pack 1 to Windows 7 Users http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_force_feeds_service_pack_1_windows_7_users2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_sp1.jpg" alt="Windows Service Pack 1" title="Windows Service Pack 1" width="228" height="166" style="float: right;" />SP1 for Windows 7 delivers critical security updates and improves performance.</h3> <p>For those of you rocking <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/windows_7"><strong>Windows 7</strong></a> -- likely the majority reading this -- Microsoft wants you running Service Pack 1 (SP1), so beginning today it will roll out automatically on Windows Update, the software giant announced in a blog post. You can avoid SP1 by disabling automatic updates, but unless you have a very specific reason to do so, you might as well upgrade, if you haven't already. SP1 contains several security patches, bug fixes, and performance tweaks to keep Windows 7 operating at peak form.</p> <p>One thing to keep in, however, is how much storage space you have on your system, especially if you're running a small capacity solid state drive (SSD).</p> <p>"To ensure Service Pack 1 is installed without issue, customers should check for sufficient free disk space and that AC power is present on a laptop," <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/03/18/windows-7-sp1-to-start-rolling-out-on-windows-update.aspx" target="_blank">Microsoft advises</a>. "If additional space needs to be created, we recommend using the Disk Cleanup tool to delete some files so that the service pack will install. If the service pack installation is interrupted, it will reattempt to install automatically after the next restart."</p> <p>SP1 delivered via Windows Update requires 750MB of free disk space on a x86-based system running 32-bit copy of Windows 7, and just over a gigabyte (1,050MB) for 64-bit. If downloading SP1 from Microsoft's website or installing with a DVD, 4,100MB (32-bit) or 7,400MB (64-bit) is required.</p> <p>Why the sudden push? Microsoft is planning to end support for Windows 7 without SP1 next month. With SP1 installed, Microsoft will support the OS through January 2020.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/113266473617484509826?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_force_feeds_service_pack_1_windows_7_users2013#comments microsoft operating system OS service pack 1 Software SP1 Windows windows 7 Windows Update News Tue, 19 Mar 2013 15:07:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 25206 at http://www.maximumpc.com