Microsoft simultaneously issues some good news and some deceit

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I’m not sure what to think about Microsoft lately. They’re sending good and bad messages. Recently, they issued some really good news about Internet Explorer, but they also made some statements about Windows 7 that seem to be designed to deceive.

microsoft

 

The good news:

Internet Explorer, the web browser that we love to hate, will only be supported if you have the most recent version (which is Internet Explorer 11). Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 will no longer be supported – so if your computer still has an old version, you need to update it. You need to do this even if you don’t usually use Internet Explorer.

Why is this good news? Because the older versions are full of security problems and are a constant source of headaches for people that make a living creating websites. Not to mention the risk to the people who actually still use those outdated versions of IE.

To check what version you have, open Internet Explorer and click on the gear-shaped icon in the top right, then click on “About Internet Explorer”. If you see this, you’re good to go:

Internet Explorer 11

 

Note: this change of support goes into effect Tuesday, January 12, 2015 – that’s Patch Tuesday, the day Microsoft sends out all Windows Updates for the month. So you should check this and make any necessary changes right away. Unfortunately, there are lots of people – millions probably – that still use outdated versions of IE and won’t bother to get the update. That’s what keeps computer repair shops in business.

 

The deceit:

Microsoft is so laser-focused on getting every computer worldwide on Windows 10, they are now starting to look really desperate. And usually desperation means you start to do stupid things, like making statements that are pretty misleading.

In a recent episode of Windows Weekly (podcast), there were some comments made by Chris Capossela, the Marketing Chief of Microsoft. He said that Windows users that continue to use Windows 7, do so “at your own risk, at your own peril“.

He went on to say, “We do worry when people are running an operating system that’s 10 years old that the next printer they buy isn’t going to work very well, or they buy a new game, they buy Fallout 4, a very popular game, and it doesn’t work on a bunch of older machines.”

That is just irresponsible, fearmongering nonsense.

The printer issue: If you were a printer manufacturer, would you build printers that are incompatible with over half of the computers currently in use? Currently, 55% of computers worldwide are running Windows 7. Virtually any printer you buy today (or next year, or the year after) will be compatible with Windows 7. Nothing to worry about.

Here’s the irony in this statement – many people have “upgraded” to Windows 10, only to find out that they can no longer use their printer. That’s because the printer was designed to be compatible with Windows 7. When their printer was built, Windows 10 didn’t exist so there are no Windows 10 drivers for that printer. So if you like your printer and you want to keep using it, better think twice before moving to Windows 10.

The game issue: This statement is just as ridiculous. First, just do a Google search for “Fallout 4 minimum requirements” and you’ll see that the game is compatible with Windows 7, 8 or 10. If a game doesn’t work on a particular computer, it’s not usually because of the version of Windows (and obviously that wouldn’t be an issue with Windows 7 and Fallout 4). The problem is most often hardware-related – meaning there’s not enough video memory, or the processor isn’t fast enough, that kind of thing. Clearly, this guy – a software company executive – knows this already. This really amounts to nothing more than deliberate misinformation.

Oh, and the line about “an operating system that’s 10 years old“? Windows 7 was released to the public in July of 2009. So it’s not yet even 7 years old. Sounds like Mr. Capossela might be better suited for a career in used car sales or politics.

Windows 7 is stable, secure, and will be fully supported through January 14, 2020. I’m not upgrading yet, and I don’t think you should either.

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Ken C
January 12th, 2016

Hi Scott,

Been listening for a few years now. Thanks. I have only stopped by the website a few times and didn’t know you had such detailed show notes. Nice.

Thanks for pointing out the BS from the MS guy.

The question I have been meaning to ask you is if you have any plans to migrate customers away from Windows to Linux or Mac. Windows is only going to get more privacy invasive. Check out LinuxMint. It is now based on the Ubuntu Long Term Support edition. Rock solid.

Windows 10 is incredibly privacy invasive and they are forcing it on people.

Michael Solenberger
January 12th, 2016

Thanks Scott!!

Scott Johnson
January 12th, 2016

Hi Ken – probably not. I use Ubuntu fairly often and if I were to make a recommendation for someone asking about Linux, I would probably lead them toward Mint. But since the majority of computer users still use Windows, and it will probably be that way well into the future, I will probably stick with that format for the blog and podcast. But I agree, Microsoft is getting worse all the time about privacy issues. Kind of like another large organization, based in DC 🙂

Glad you’re enjoying the podcast!

Mike H
January 12th, 2016

I switched from Windows to Linux about 2 years back. The ease of changing to Mint and using it to dual boot between Linux and Windows made the switch very easy. I have 2 programs that I need to run under Windows, but 95% of the time I remain in Mint. Mint offers a wide range of pre-tested and approved packaged programs. All are FREE.

Patrick S
January 12th, 2016

Hi Scott.

Thank you for keeping us up to date on MS’s ‘good and bad messages.’ Your post are always informative and useful. I am currently using Chrome OS 90% of the time, and Windows 7 on my desktop for my print jobs, Sketchup, Skype, or when I want to use dual screens.

Keep up the great work!

Pat