Industry News


April 2016

Apple drops support of QuickTime 

Apple recently decided to end its support of QuickTime. If you have QuickTime installed on your system, you should remove it as soon as possible as new vulnerabilities have been announced and Apple does not intend to supply any patches. For more information see these links:

 

Windows end of support

To review Microsoft's plans for end of support for Windows 7 and 8 please go to: Windows lifecycle fact sheet 

 

March 2016

Windows 10: Businesses are ready to upgrade ( an excerpt from techrepublic.com )

"While Windows 10 went on sale in summer last year, businesses tend to take a wait-and-see approach to new operating systems largely because of the upheaval and cost such upgrades can cause.

A further complication - businesses also have to wait for their other software vendors to get their software ready to work with new operating systems. As a result it is not uncommon for business customers to be years behind home users in adopting new software.

However, this time around it seems that businesses are moving faster than in the past. Analyst Gartner has predicted that half of all organisations will have commenced their Windows 10 rollout by January next year, which means it could be the most widely installed version of Windows ever - ahead of even Windows 7."

Read more...

 

January 2016

Have you been wondering about the status of Windows 10 and your business computer?

"...Microsoft has announced it will step up the intensity of its ‘Get Windows 10’ campaign for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users...."

“Small businesses and organizations will soon be able to receive notifications about the upgrade and then directly upgrade to Windows 10,” explained Matt Barlow, Microsoft’s general manager of business group marketing, in the blog post. Read more...

 

June 2015

Samsung cripples Windows Update to 'help your settings'

Do you own a Samsung personal computer? If yes, please read this:

Neowin (Neowin.net ) reports the 'If we were to tell you that your machine downloaded a file called “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe” you’d probably think we were talking about malware or viruses. But the file in question actually comes fromSamsung and is designed to “help your windows configuration settings”.

Yes, that’s right; Samsung, through its own bloatware, infects your device installs a program whose sole purpose is to disable Windows Update. This was discovered by a researcher and Microsoft MVP, when taking a look at SWUpdate, Samsung’s bloatware that comes with all their PCs" to read more...

Microsoft Windows 10

If you have any questions or concerns about the system requirements to upgrade to Windows 10, please call us @804-358-7889 to discuss. 

 Hello World: Windows 10 Available on July 29

 

Windows 10 will have new features and will lose some too.  To read more about the new features.

Feature Deprecation:

  • If you have Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Centre or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Centre and you install Windows 10, Windows Media Centre will be removed.
  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
  • Windows 7 desktop gadgets will be removed as part of installing Windows 10.
  • Windows 10 Home users will have updates from Windows Update automatically available.
  • Solitaire, Minesweeper and Hearts Games that come pre-installed on Windows 7 will be removed as part of installing the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has released our version of Solitaire and Minesweeper called the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” and “Microsoft Minesweeper”.
  • If you have a USB floppy drive, you will need to download the latest driver from Windows Update or from the manufacturer’s website.
  • If you have Windows Live Essentials installed on your system, the OneDrive application is removed and replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive.

Get Ready for Windows 10

On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favorite retailer. If you purchase a new Windows 8.1 device between now and then, the Windows 10 upgrade will be available to you and many retail stores will upgrade your new device for you.

The Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications*. We are hard at work to make this upgrade process a great experience. 

* Initial release will be for PC and tablets. See Windows.com/windows10upgrade for availability and other details.

 

 

Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) News

Browser Migration Guidance

Microsoft recommends enabling automatic updates to ensure an up-to-date computing experience—including the latest version of Internet Explorer—and most consumers use automatic updates today. Commercial customers are encouraged to test and accept updates quickly, especially security updates. Regular updates provide significant benefits, such as decreased security risk and increased reliability, and Windows Update can automatically install updates for Internet Explorer and Windows.

For customers not yet running the latest browser available for your operating system, we encourage you to upgrade and stay up-to-date for a faster, more secure browsing experience. Beginning January 12, 2016, the following operating systems and browser version combinations will be supported:

 

Windows Platform Internet Explorer Version
Windows Vista SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows 7 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2012 Internet Explorer 10
Windows Server 2012 R2 Internet Explorer 11

 

After January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates. For example, customers using Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, or Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 SP1 should migrate to Internet Explorer 11 to continue receiving security updates and technical support. For more details regarding support timelines on Windows and Windows Embedded, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle site.


February 2015

What Windows Server 2003 EOS means to your customers

The clock is ticking: end of support is almost here!

On July 14, 2015, Microsoft will completely end support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2, as a part of its normal support lifecycle policies. The clock is ticking. Encourage your Windows Server 2003 customers to immediately start their migration planning. Delaying migrations will present significant risks and complications that will only increase as the end of support date approaches.

Risks of continuing on Windows Server 2003

No updates
No complianceNo protection
Thirty-seven critical updates were released in 2013 for Windows Server 2003. Windows Server 2003 servers will not pass a compliance audit. Physical and virtualized instances will be vulnerable.
Support will be discontinued for many applications. Lack of compliance means suspension of certifications. Staying put will cost more in the long term.
Now is the time to act. Start planning your migration today!

Benefits of upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2

By migrating, customers can take advantage of a modern server running Windows Server 2012 that’s better equipped to support modern business needs:

  • Latest technology, with energy-efficient hardware and cost-effective support for storage, disaster recovery, and remote access.
  • Full support for new hardware that is more secure and comes with warranties for available parts and service.
  • More powerful servers for improved processing and throughput for server hardware.
  • Reduced server footprint, thanks to virtualization, which enables you to get more from each server and eliminate server sprawl.
  • Simplified management, built on standards, helps streamline compute, storage, and networking.
  • Preinstalled for simplicity, so you can get systems set up faster.

For more information and to discuss your particular needs, please call us.


Office upgrade news

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Identify the right upgrade version such as Office Home & Business 2013 or Office Professional 2013. Both products offer improved and trusted applications and cloud services that connect customers to their documents and settings.

For more information and to discuss your particular needs, please call us.

 

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Microsoft Ending Support for Windows Server 2003 Operating System

Systems Affected

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system

Overview

Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Server 2003 operating system on July 14, 2015.[1](link is external) After this date, this product will no longer receive:

  • Security patches that help protect PCs from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software
  • Assisted technical support from Microsoft
  • Software and content updates

Description

All software products have a lifecycle. End of support refers to the date when Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance.[2](link is external) As of July 2014, there were 12 million physical servers worldwide still running Windows Server 2003.[3](link is external)

Impact

Computer systems running unsupported software are exposed to an elevated risk to cybersecurity dangers, such as malicious attacks or electronic data loss.

Users may also encounter problems with software and hardware compatibility since new software applications and hardware devices may not be built for Windows Server 2003.

Organizations that are governed by regulatory obligations may find they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements while running Windows Server 2003.

Solution

Computers running the Windows Server 2003 operating system will continue to work after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risks of viruses and other security threats. Negative consequences could include loss of confidentiality, integrity, and or availability of data, system resources and business assets.

The Microsoft "Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ" page offers additional details.[2](link is external)

Users have the option to upgrade to a currently supported operating system or other cloud-based services. There are software vendors and service providers in the marketplace who offer assistance in migrating from Windows Server 2003 to a currently supported operating system or SaaS (software as a service) / IaaS (infrastructure as a service) products and services.[4(link is external),5(link is external)] US-CERT does not endorse or support any particular product or vendor.

 

Thursday 11 September 2014

Microsoft Windows Annoucement - Gadgets have been discontinued

Gadgets are no longer available on our website because the Windows Sidebar platform in Windows 7 and Windows Vista has serious vulnerabilities. Microsoft has retired the feature in newer releases of Windows. Gadgets could be exploited to harm your computer, access your computer's files, show you objectionable content, or change their behavior at any time. An attacker could even use a gadget to take complete control of your PC. If you're concerned about the safety of gadgets you’ve downloaded, find out more about gadgets and steps you can take to protect your PC.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Microsoft Issues IE Security Patch, Includes XP Users

Microsoft announced it has released a patch for Internet Explorer to fix the recent zero-day flaw that was discovered which affected IE6 through IE11. 

Microsoft says the company says its update “is fully tested and ready for release for all affected versions of the browser,” and went live at 10 a.m. this morning.

While this normally means all “supported” versions Microsoft is issuing a security update for Windows XP users as well – even though Windows XP is no longer supported by the company, demonstrating just how serious this this security issue is for the company and users. For more information...

 

 

Tuesday 8 April 2014

After 12 years of XP, Microsoft support set to end today

...this is a final goodbye -- Windows XP will be officially dead on Tuesday.

Dead is perhaps a bit extreme, as computers that run XP will still work. However, Microsoft will no longer support the 12-year-old operating system, which mean no more updates and no more security patches for the already vulnerable OS. Read More...

 

13 February 2014

You have heard the news, now exactly what does it mean - the end of XP?

After 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014. To view Microsoft's 'countdown' and read more about the upcoming changes and the drop in XP support coming in April.... Read more here: Support for Windows XP ends 

Please note the following from Microsoft:

Potential risks of staying with Windows XP

Running Windows XP SP3 in your environment after April 8, 2104 may expose you to potential risks, such as:

Security:

Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported.

Compliance:

Businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA may find that they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements. More information on HHS’s view on the security requirements for information systems that contain electronic protected health information (e-PHI) can be found here (HHS HIPAA FAQ - Security Rule).

Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Support:

Many software vendors will no longer support their products running on Windows XP as they are unable to receive Windows XP updates. For example, the new Office takes advantage of the modern Windows and will not run on Windows XP.

Hardware Manufacturer support:

Most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on existing and new hardware. This will also mean that drivers required to run Windows XP on new hardware may not be available.

 

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer supported?

An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—new drivers for your hardware and more. For more information.... Read more here: end of support and what it means to me

What others are saying: 

What does it mean to you and your business if you are still using Windows XP after 8 April 2014? Read what Computer Weekly has to say about the end of XP support. USA today looks at the end of support and reviews your options.

Have you ever heard the saying 'bad things come in three's'?

Well, if you think Windows dropping support for XP is bad and you never stopped to think they would include others too, then we are sorry to be the ones to break the news to you. Windows is also dropping their support of Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 

Exchange Server 2003 End-of-life

After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, offer free or paid support options, or update online content such as KB articles for Exchange Server 2003. Online content may remain available as long as Exchange 2003 remains in the Self-Help online support phase.

Companies running Exchange 2003 after April 8, 2014 will be responsible for their own for support. More importantly, because Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, companies that choose to continue running Exchange 2003 accept the risk associated with that.

For more information about Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle, please visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle page. Microsoft provides their solution for you in this article.