Archive for Microsoft

Still Using Wndows XP…. Anti-Malware Support Ends In Less Than A Year

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on July 23, 2014 by itnerd

Windows XP may not be getting patches anymore. But it’s still getting Anti-Malware support from Microsoft. At least for now because that will run out in less than a year. Thus if you’re still on XP which 1 in 5 SMEs are still using XP, that will leave you more exposed than you are right now by not having security updates.

Now to drive the point home, 10ZiG has a countdown clock for this. When it reaches zero, you might want to be on another Microsoft OS to ensure that you’re safe.

A Tale Of Two Companies: Microsoft Misses… Apple Scores

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 22, 2014 by itnerd

I have been around long enough to remember when Apple’s earnings announcements were dwarfed by Microsoft’s earnings announcement. Now it’s flipped. Microsoft today posted revenues of $23.38 billion and operating profit of $6.48 billion for an earnings per share of $0.55. These numbers were dragged down by Nokia and that helped Microsoft miss what Wall Street was expecting. Which was $0.60 per share on revenue totalling $22.99 billion.

Contrast that with Apple who posted stunning numbers today. They posted $37.4 billion in revenue and a net profit of $7.7 billion (or $1.28 per share) for the quarter. That was largely in line with what Wall Street was expecting. If that wasn’t stunning enough, Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones, 13.3 million iPads, and 4.4 million Macs. I keep expecting Apple to tank at some point, but it doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

It’s amazing how times have changed.


BREAKING: Microsoft To Slash 18,000 Jobs

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 17, 2014 by itnerd

There have been rumors of this for the last couple of days and now it’s confirmed. Microsoft will get rid of 18,000 jobs. Most of this will come from Nokia which they recently purchased, but other operations will be affected. Microsoft take pretax charges of $1.1-billion to $1.6-billion for the costs of the layoffs over the next four quarters. The full details are in an announcement that is crossing the wires now. We’ll likely get a lot more detail on Microsoft’s earnings call on July 22nd. But I have to admit that I’m stunned by the scale of the layoffs at Microsoft.


MS Warns That Mainstream Support Will End Soon For Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 & More

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 9, 2014 by itnerd

If you run any of the following Microsoft operating systems, Microsoft has a message for you. Mainstream support is coming to an end. That in short means no free patches and fixes. That also includes but is not limited to security updates. Now once a product exits mainstream support, it enters an extended support phase that usually lasts five years and users get free security fixes. Other types of updates are paid and require specific licensing deals such as the ones that larger companies sign. Once that five years is up, support has ended and the product is basically dead. Windows XP is perhaps the best example of that.

Now here’s the operating systems that are exiting mainstream support:

  • All versions of Windows 7 end mainstream support on January 13, 2015
  • All versions of Windows Server 2008 end mainstream support on January 13, 2015
  • All versions of Windows Storage Server 2008 end mainstream support January 13, 2015

There are a number of other products who’s support statuses are about to change. That includes Office 2010 with Service Pack 1, SharePoint 2010 with SP1 to name two. Check out this document from Microsoft for more info. If you run a organization who relies on any of these products, you’ll need to look over that document so that you can make sure that you’re doing everything you can to ensure that fully supported going forward.

Microsoft Matches Increases OneDrive Storage To 15GB…. And More

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 23, 2014 by itnerd

Microsoft announced a bunch of changes to its OneDrive cloud storage options today. Starting with increasing the base storage amount for all users to 15GB. There’s more:

  • For Office 365 Home ($9.99/mo) you’ll get 1 TB per person (up to 5 people)
  • For Office 365 Personal ($6.99/mo)
  • For Office 365 University($79.99/4yr) you will get 1 TB per subscription.
  • Microsoft now has monthly rates of $1.99/100GB and $3.99/200GB. That’s less than Google or Dropbox.

This should garner a lot of interest from those who need cloud storage. At least until Apple rolls out their plan to charge $3.99 for 200GB of iCloud storage when iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite comes out.

Windows 8 Adoption Still Lags

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 4, 2014 by itnerd

Microsoft still has a Windows 8 adoption problem. The Next Web has posted numbers that show some good news for Microsoft:

Windows 8.1 continues to grow slowly while Windows 8 remains largely flat, allowing the former to finally pass the latter in market share.

Each of those operating systems have found its way on just over 6% of the computers out there. Now the bad news:

At the same time, Windows 7 has managed to climb back over the 50 percent mark, while Windows XP still has more than 25 percent of the pie, despite support for the ancient OS finally ending in April.

When a retired OS and your last generation OS is still installed on the majority of computers out there, you have a problem. I have to admit that I am helping that problem along. I’m actively telling customers switching from Windows XP to go with Windows 7 rather than Windows 8 due to the fact that the Windows 7 user interface is one they are familiar with and the transition will be smooth. After all, I don’t want to give my customers advice that causes problems. Thus it looks like Microsoft has a lot of work to do to fix their Windows 8 problem.

Hey IT Nerd! Should I Hack My XP Computer To Get Security Updates

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 3, 2014 by itnerd

A really good question popped into my inbox a few minutes ago that I’d like to share:

Good day. I’ve been hearing about a hack that allows me to install security updates on my Windows XP computer. Seeing as I don’t want to replace it yet, is it a good idea to use this hack? 


Thank you for the question. The hack that you can get info on here basically makes your Windows XP computer appear to be a Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 computer. Thus it takes an XP computer that no longer gets updates from Microsoft, and allows it to get updates….. At least until 2019. But I would not use this hack if I were you. The updates that get installed via this hack are not tested against Windows XP. So you might get all sorts of problems that you didn’t bargain for. Such as system instability for example. Not to mention that they may not fully protect your XP system from security issues as they were not designed for XP. So in my mind, it’s better to stay away from this and make plans to migrate to a newer Microsoft OS.

New Unpatched Bug In IE 8 Disclosed

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 21, 2014 by itnerd

If you are still running Internet Explorer 8 for whatever reason, there’s an unlatched bug that exists that allows an attacker to run arbitrary code on vulnerable machines via drive-by downloads or malicious attachments in email messages. Here’s the scary part. Microsoft knew about this in October of last year, but there is no patch for this as of yet. So HP disclosed this today via their Zero Day Initiative. So, one has to wonder why Microsoft has failed to patch this. That’s a very interesting question that as I type this has no answer.

My advice? Run some other browser such as Firefox or Chrome until this is fixed. Hopefully, this is fixed quickly.

Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 3

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 20, 2014 by itnerd

Microsoft today announced a new Surface Pro to try and be relevant appeal to a broader suite of tablet users. Dubbed the Surface Pro 3, it comes to the table with the following:

  • It is 9.1mm thick weighing 800 grams
  • It is powered by the Intel Core i7 processor. There are also i3 and i5 variants available.
  • 12-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio 2160 x 1440 resolution
  • The kickstand or ‘friction hinge’ in Microsoft speak has also been redesigned and can bend up to 150-degree angle
  • New Type covers to fit the new larger Surface Pro 3 that come in black, purple, cyan, and red being a Microsoft exclusive. The Type cover also has a 68% larger trackpad.

One of the things that Microsoft hammered home is the fact that it’s supposed to replace your current laptop. Based on these specs, that’s not too much of a stretch. Canadian pre-orders start tomorrow at $799 (USD) for a Core i3 processor, $999 for the i5, and $1,549 for the i7. June 20th is the date that you should be able to get one in your local computer store or the Microsoft Store  in Canada.

In case you missed it, here’s a video related to today’s announcement:

Microsoft Fixes Critical IE Hole For Everyone

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2014 by itnerd

The title seems a bit weird. But let me explain. If you run Windows from XP to Windows 8, you need to go to Microsoft Update right now because a patch for that nasty Internet Explorer hole that I told you about has been released according to this blog post. You’ll note that I included Windows XP in that last sentence. Those users are included in this fix despite the fact that the software giant said that support had ended for XP. So please make sure that you download this update ASAP. Or if you feel skittish, you can use another browser. But at least as of today you have a choice.


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