Windows 7 to be retired
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Only Windows 10 from the middle of next year

Windows 7 to be retiredThis will not please a lot of my customers, but it had to happen sooner or later.

Microsoft have given notice to its OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) partners that they must no longer sell PC’s or Laptops with an Operating System older than Windows 10 from the middle of next year.

According to Microsoft’s Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet, Windows 8 sales must also end as of 1st July next year, and Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 will no longer be allowed to be pre-installed on new PC’s and Laptops from 1st November 2016, .

The Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 were retired by Microsoft on 1st November last year. 

Windows 7 launched in October 2009, and Microsoft has permitted it to continue to be sold substantially longer than Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 which both arrived in 2013.

So I guess the salient point here is that if you want a new PC or Laptop with Windows 7, you will need to purchase it within the next 7 or 8 months.

Windows 7 Recovery Medi
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Create a Windows 7 installation disk using the Microsoft Software Recovery website

Windows 7 Recovery MediWell here is a handy website to know about.

I don’t know how many times a customer has come to us, either wanting their Windows 7 PC or Laptop wiped and reinstalled, or it has needed repairing using Recovery Media, but they do not have their Recovery Media or a Windows 7 Disk.

Now this isn’t a particularly big problem for us because we have access to Windows OEM Disks, but for the End User, not having the Recovery Media is a huge problem that means they have no other choice but to pay someone to do it for them.

What to do if you don’t have Windows 7 Recovery Media

Help is at hand. By visiting the Microsoft Software Recovery website, the End User can download the ISO file required to burn their own Recovery Media disk. The size of the disk will be somewhere between 2GB and 3.5GB, so if you are on a limited Internet Plan or a Mobile Internet Plan, just be careful you do not exceed your download limit.

Microsoft even provide a link for software to burn a DVD from an ISO file if you don’t have suitable software installed to do that yourself. Once you have the software and a valid Product Key, you’re off and running.

The website also allows you to create a bootable USB drive with a copy of Windows 7 on it.

All-in-all, a very handy thing to know if you never had a disk, or you have damaged your disk. As we all know, it is impossible to reinstall or even undertake some really easy repairs without a Recovery Disk or Windows 7 Media.

Of course there will be some End Users that will still have difficulties installing Windows 7 even if they do have the disk. For example, you will still need to download the Windows Drivers from the appropriate hardware manufacturers websites. But if that is the case, Spotty Dog Computer Services can certainly do that for you 😉

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One year before XP’s forced retirement

windows-xp-deadDid you know that in less than a years time, Microsoft will cease to support Windows XP with Security Updates and patches?

Yep that’s right, on the 8th April 2014, if you are still using Windows XP, your PC will be at grave risk of malicious attacks and viral infections.

Mind you, that’s pretty much the case now as XP is not as secure as Windows 7 and 8 anyway.

In an effort to convince PC Users to migrate to Windows 8, Microsoft has today begun offering 15% off a Windows 8, Office 2013 combo package.

Microsoft has stated on a promotional website, that Small and Medium sized businesses that still operate with Windows XP and Office 2003 (Office 2003 will be also retired in 12 months), can purchase licences for Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 Standard at a 15% discount.

However Caveats apply:

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  • Customers must be running XP Professional
  • the Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 Standard licences must be purchased as a package via Microsoft’s Open Licence program
  • and the deal is capped at 100 licences for each

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The discount is valid through to 30th June.

Microsoft has pointed customers to a list of partners (in US) who will offer the Open Licence discounts.

Microsoft (US) has quoted $188 for each Windows 8 Pro licence, and $373 for each Office 2013 Standard licence, for a total of $561. The 15% discount would lower each Windows-Office combo by $84 to $477.

So you have been warned, after the 8th April 2014, Microsoft will not supply security patches for Windows XP, placing all PCs still running it at risk from attack.

The only exception: Enterprises which have purchased custom support plans.

However, Microsoft has boosted prices of those plans, and some businesses have been quoted $1 million for the first year of after-retirement support for the estimated 5,000 XP systems still out there, $2 million for the second year and $5 million for the third!!!

Nice little earner Microsoft!!

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Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7

Internet-explorer-10-for-windows-7Microsoft has just officially released Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7.

Previously you needed Windows 8 to experience the new Browser.

The new version brings enormous changes to the Browser, and mostly for the better.

Internet Explorer 10 is not only faster and more stable than the current IE for Windows 7 (version 9), it’s also far more standards-compliant.

Internet Explorer 10 is 20 percent faster on Windows 7 than IE 9, and it supports HTML5 and CSS3.

Microsoft say it is 60 percent more standards-compliant than IE 9. For example, it now supports CSS Text Shadow,CSS 3D Transforms, CSS3 Transitions and Animations, CSS3 Gradient, SVG Filter Effects, HTML5 Forms, HTML5 Sandboxing, and there are many other improvements.

In short, modern HTML5 sites that run smoothly in IE 10 on Windows 8, or the latest browsers from Chrome and Firefox, will now work properly in Internet Explorer 10 on a Windows 7 PC.

Will it work on XP?

Unfortunately, older OS versions are not supported and it will only work on Windows Vista or above.  So if you still have Windows XP, you are out of luck.

Download Internet Explorer 10 by clicking the link.