Friday, May 15, 2015

Windows 10 - Less Fog But Still A Questions

We have news about Windows 10. Microsoft just announced their plans for the release of Windows 10.

All users now running computers with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 (NO mention of Windows 8!) can via Windows Update download and install Windows 10 for free! Users still running Windows 8: You better update to 8.1 NOW!

Users now running Windows 7 or 8.1 Home Premium will upgrade to Windows 10 Home.
Users now running Windows 7 or 8.1 Professional will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

This blog is for my customers; all of them are home or small business users and that is why I will not talk about the "corporate" versions; only companies with "Volume License" contracts can get them anyway.

Quote from the original Microsoft blog post (emphasis from me):
"... once a qualified Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it up to date for the supported lifetime of the device, keeping it more secure, and introducing new features and functionality over time � for no additional charge."
That IMHO clears the "confusion" about pricing.
If you upgrade a Windows 7 system to Windows 10 you can use it until January 2020 when Microsoft will terminate support for Win 7.

If you upgrade a Windows 8.1 system to Windows 10 you can use it until January 2023 when Microsoft will terminate support for Win 8.1.

And what happens to an upgraded system after January 2020/2023? No mention and maybe Microsoft does not yet know themselves.

This IMHO is a true change in Microsoft's attitude and I welcome it. 

I will keep reporting once the first experiences with upgrades to Win 10 become know.

A recommendation for my customers: Don't rush it, wait a bit.

If your Win7 or 8.1 system is running great and smoothly there is IMHO no compelling reason to upgrade to Windows 10. For my "typical" home users Win 10 just does not contain technical advances that justify the potential risks of such major change to a computer system.

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2015-05-14 WBKV Talking Points (May 14th 2015)


All Win 7 & 8 users can upgrade to Win10 for free � for one year (only?).
Then licensing will kick in? Home user be careful! I assume MS goes to a subscription model, that is yearly licensing. Win7 is paid for and good until Jan, 2020, Win8 until Jan 2023.
2016 is free but you would have to
pay again for 2017, 18,19 (20, 21, 22).

New ways to infect computers:
�� emails ostensibly sent from legitimate companies with which we might or might not have had previous business. ... often includes a link requesting to update your account. The legitimate company has no idea it�s name is being abused. Anyone who is familiar with the company might click the link and immediately have their machine attacked.�
Even small company's names are now being used.

Most malware is directed at Windows, not Mac and a phenomenal rise in malware for Android phones; Android is an open system. When installing Android apps, you give permission for the app to use various system features. Nobody who installs Android (or Windows) software reads the EULAs and permission notices; we simply accept them with a click.�
Some outrageous statements and demands have been discovered in some EULAs by people who actually read them. A list of some of the funnier ones is here:
makeuseof.com.

Malicious advertising on the rise. My customers are safeif they use the computer as I recommend, that is Firefox browser with Adblock Plus extension enabled.

Windows Server 2003 will go out of support after July 14th. You have to update! Running an outdated server is hazardous to everyone connected to it!

If someone calls you and claims to be in any way affiliated with Microsoft IT IS A SCAM!

Download portals (cnet.com, download.com et al) are huge malware slingers.
Have your DNS settings been tampered with? Test here(but know what is correct�)


Upgrade to Windows 10?

Any time between June and September Microsoft will release Windows 10 ("this summer" is all we know).

Microsoft has officially said that users of Windows 7 and of Windows 8 and 8.1 will for one year be able to upgrade for free to Windows 10. There is a little bit of a disclaimer though: The footnote says "for the lifetime of the device".

Upgrade "for free"? That sounds (almost) too good to be true. Around Microsoft I have learned to be very cautious. Trying to find more information about this I found two very different interpretations:
  1. As long as it happens within one year after Win 10's official release you can upgrade to Win 10 for free "for the lifetime of the device".

    What if your well maintained Win 7 computer still runs great in January 2020 and you want to keep it running? Will you then have to pay for Windows 10? If yes how much? Upgrade or new license fee?
     
  2. As long as it happens within one year after Win 10's official release you can upgrade to Win 10 for free. After the first "free" year Microsoft will switch to a subscription model and you need to pay a monthly or yearly license fee to be allowed to use Windows 10.

    This would amount to a huge money grab. With your current system you have paid for the license to use the operating system; with Windows 7 until Jan. 2020, with Windows 8 until Jan. 2023. Microsoft wants to give you one year for free and then they will start to charge?

    Let's say you upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10; 2016 would be free but you would have to pay an additional license fee for three years (2017, 2018and 2019). For upgrades from Win 8 it would be six more years!
For my customers "the device" certainly is their computer. There is no better definition so I assume that "lifetime" is the time for which Microsoft supports the operating system of the computer. Win 7 support ends in January 2020, Win 8 support ends in January 2023.

The details of what really will happen are unknown. Currently my advice is
Do not upgrade right away, wait until the fog has cleared and we have answers to the questions above.
In another article in the near future I will outline the main "improvements" that will come with Windows 10.

Update 5-15-2015: My concerns about an eventual money grab were unfounded. Something up to now unimaginable has happened, you can read about it here.

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.
 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015-05-04 WTKM Talking Points (May 4th 2015)

All Win 7 & 8 users can upgrade to Win10 for free � for one year (only?).
Then licensing will kick in? Home user be careful! I assume MS goes to a subscription model, that is yearly licensing. Win7 is paid for and good until Jan, 2020, Win8 until Jan 2023.
2016 is free but you would have to
pay again for 2017, 18,19 (20, 21, 22).

Macro malware is making a comeback with one nineties nasty infecting half a million computers, Microsoft says. It's 2015 and half a million people still click on stuff we knew was bad in the '90s. Users should stick to MS's decade-old advice and avoid executing macros

Have an LG cell phone? Running LG's Monitor software? If Yes to both your PC is at risk! LG Monitor disables UAC (User Account Control)..

Dell System Detect: All versions older than 6.0.14 are easily hacked! DSD does notget automatically updated, even if Dell's updater is running!

Motorola's DOCSIS 3.0 SBG 6580 cable broadband modem is very easy to hack!Could open your computer to the Internet. Arris, a spin-off brand, has same problem.

Verizon's Risk Assessment Team says that 2 out of 3 times a computer gets hacked the reason was a weak password. Runner-ups are clicking on links in emails and opening attachments.

If someone calls you and claims to be in any wayaffiliated with Microsoft IT IS A SCAM! 

Download portals (cnet.com, download.com et al) are huge malware slingers.
 
Have your DNS settings been tampered with? Test here(but know what is correct�).

Hackers move away from Java and to Adobe Flash. Check version and update! Per 5-03-15 version 18.0.0.95is most current. Beware: Many false downloads!





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