If you’re still running a machine that runs Windows XP… well, you should really, really, really think about upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8 soon. However, if you’re determined to gut it out with Windows XP through at least 2014, Microsoft has thrown you a tiny little piece of a lifeline. Per The Next Web, Microsoft is extending its support for its Windows XP security products through July 14th of 2015, which gives you around a year-and-a-half to dump Windows XP before getting completely swamped with malware. That said, Microsoft is still warning that “the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited,” so now is definitely the time to either upgrade your Windows XP machines or buy new computers all together.
Windows XP is now more than 12 years old but according to data from Net Applications, it is still used on more than 31% of desktop and laptop computers around the world. Those tens of millions of PC users could be in for a very rude awakening next year once Microsoft cuts off support for the aged operating system. Microsoft itself even warned users of the imminent tsunami of viruses and other malware that will inevitably wash over XP stragglers once it stops issuing updates and fixes for the OS. Now, a recently discovered critical zero-day flaw has been acknowledged in a Microsoft support document that could cause serious problems for XP users. More →
It’s been a good run, but stragglers might consider finally making the jump to a more recent Windows operating system after reading this report. Tim Rains, Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, reminded Windows users last week on a TechNet blog post that Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP after April 8th, 2014, effectively ending any security updates to the dying OS. Microsoft has already stopped supporting Windows XP Service Pack 2, and within two years “its malware infection rate was 66 percent higher than Windows XP Service Pack 3.” More →
Now might be a good time to become accustomed with Windows 8 if you’re still a holdover Windows XP user. Computerworld reports that hackers have started storing up any fresh Windows XP exploits they find and are preparing to unleash them on unsuspecting XP users as soon as Microsoft stops supporting the operating system next year. Microsoft security expert Jason Fossen tells Computerworld that hackers who discover new exploits over the next few months may be able to charge twice what they’re charging now if they sell them after Windows XP support ends. More →
Windows 7 for the first time ever has captured more than half of the global operating system market, according to data compiled by Web analytics firm StatCounter. The desktop OS had a 50.2% market share in June, leading the nearly 11-year old Windows XP OS, which controlled 29.9% of the market. Windows 7 was launched almost three years ago in October 2009, and while it received rave reviews, the operating system has seen a slower adoption rate than Windows XP, only surpassing the older version last fall. Windows 7′s milestone was achieved only months before Microsoft is set to release its latest operating system, Windows 8. More →
Microsoft products fit into two different life cycle stages — mainstream support and extended support. With mainstream support, users receive free security updates, stability improvements, bug fixes and occasional new features. In the extended support phase, security updates are available for free but other fixes require paid support. Microsoft reminded Windows XP users earlier this week that XP is now in the extended phase, and it said support for the operating system and Office 2003 will be officially discontinued by April 2014. Mainstream support for Windows Vista has also officially ended as of Tuesday, along with support for Office 2007. Both Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in the extended support phase from now until April 2017. Microsoft recommends that users with PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003 should migrate to Windows 7 and Office 2010 before support is completely cut off and systems are left vulnerable to new forms of malware. More →
Android users who are looking to sell their old devices should be wary of the possible consequences. McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano warned that personal data from Android devices is not completely removed after a user activates the built-in wipe option, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there,” Siciliano said. If you have a BlackBerry or Apple device, Siciliano said your data can be fully deleted by following the manufacturer’s directions. As for smartphones running the Android operating system and computers running Windows XP, Siciliano recommends that people don’t bother with selling them at all. “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.” To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 smartphones and computers from Craigslist. The researcher was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own hacking efforts and the help of a forensic expert. The data obtained included bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins. More →
Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against Comet Group, LLC. for creating and selling more than 94,000 counterfeit recovery discs for Windows Vista and Windows XP. Microsoft said Wednesday that the discs were sold the customers who purchased new laptops. “As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom,” said Microsoft’s associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting David Finn said. “Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too.” Microsoft believes Comet Group created the counterfeit discs in its factory and then sold them in its retail stores. Microsoft’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Windows 7 has surpassed XP as the most widely used operating system in the world according to new data from StatCounter. The operating system now has a 40.21% usage share of the global desktop OS market, compared to Windows XP, which has a 38.64% market share. Windows XP is trailed by Mac OS X and Linux. Microsoft first released Windows 7 in October of 2009, and its versatility and ability to run on everything from low-powered netbooks that were typically powered by Windows XP, to high-powered desktops and business machines has no doubt contributed to its success. Microsoft will release its next operating system, currently dubbed Windows 8, in late 2012. More →
Microsoft announced on Monday that it has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses to date, but that hasn’t stopped the tech giant’s share of the global operating system market from sliding. According to market watcher Net Applications’ data for June 2011, Microsoft’s global operating system market share slid to 88.29% as it continued on its slow but steady decline. The second most popular OS in the world was Apple’s OS X, which was up a nominal amount to 5.37% of the global OS market, followed by iOS with 2.63%, Java ME with 1.12% and Linux with 0.95%. Though Android devices continue to sell rapidly, Net Applications placed the OS in the No. 6 spot in June with 0.72% of the global market. Since January of this year, Apple’s OS X and iOS market shares have risen steadily while Windows continues to slide. According to Net Applications’ revised data, Windows’ OS share dropped below 90% in January of this year for the first time since it climbed above the threshold. It had been reported earlier that the OS slid under 90% last November, but Net Applications has since updated its figures to show that Windows held a 90.81% share in November 2010 and a 90.29% share in December. Two charts showcasing Net Applications’ June data follow below. More →
In the world of computing, no two companies have more history than Microsoft and Apple. In fact, the companys’ history is 10,124 pixels tall. From modest beginnings to IPOs, and later to global domination, Microsoft and Apple are largely responsible for computers as we know them today. Microsoft concentrated on software early and now owns the lion’s share of the global PC market, and more recently, Apple looked to mobile computing to revitalize its business and its market cap. Of course from an investor’s perspective, the stock chart at the bottom says it all, but as is remarkably evident in looking over the meandering paths these two tech titans have taken, no one knows what the future might hold. The full, extremely large infographic can be found after the break.
This infographic has been updated by its creator and the updated version is now found below. More →
When it comes to Twitter, we’re just as addicted as every other poor soul who got sucked in. We’re constantly connected on our phones and computers, always checking our timelines, and we crouch in a corner and cry every time the fail whale rears its ugly head. As addictive as the service is though, Twitter is often asleep at the wheel when it comes to features. Luckily, that’s where third-party developers come into play and when it comes to Twitter apps, there are now thousands of choices across every platform imaginable. Even once you’ve found your Twitter apps of choice, however, one of the most annoying things about being addicted to Twitter is constantly seeing the same tweets as you move back and forth between your phone, PC tablet and other devices. What’s more, when you make changes to your mobile client — say, adding a new list column — you have to make the same changes all over again in your other clients. But what if there was a better way? More →
Microsoft seems to be in a bit of a pickle – it has a fancy, schmancy OS in Windows 7 but a majority of its prized business customers are still clinging onto the now nine years old Windows XP operating system. On Monday at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, Tammi Reller, the CVP of Microsoft Windows, dropped the bomb that 74% of business PCs are still running Windows XP. The reason for this slow adoption was not provided but presumably it has to do with the poor reputation that has plagued Windows Vista and possibly its successor Windows 7, which, thought its not being adopted, has fared better than its counterpart in the reputation department. Economics may also play a part as businesses have apparently been slow to upgrade hardware with the average business computer boasting of 4.4 years of faithful service. Rather than take a pessimistic view, Microsoft is putting a positive spin on this circumstance and viewing it as an opportunity to compel businesses to jump into the latest generation hardware and software. Microsoft is pretty upbeat- according to CEO Steve Ballmer, the software giant expects to sell 350 million Windows 7 licenses in 2010 alone. More →