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An interesting story has floated to the surface of the Internet over the weekend, where Microsoft has announced it will not support older operating systems on new platforms, in the very near future.
The company wrote: "Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends. After July 2017, the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices".
Considering Intel's Skylake architecture isn't that old at all, it's concerning that Microsoft will drop support for Skylake processors in Windows 7/8.1 next July. The Redmond-based OS giant has added that operating systems like Windows 7 were never designed for the latest and greatest technological advances we have on PC.
Microsoft added: "Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7's expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for Wi-Fi, graphics, security, and more. As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing".
The research firm IDC conducted a survey about Windows 10 and has just now published the results of that survey. And the data they have seems to suggest that Windows 10 is quite the success. People actually enjoy it. And they're liking it far more than they did upgrading to previous releases.
Satisfaction is abnormally high for Windows 10. That is, 60% of those that said they have Windows 10 picked a "favorable" or "very favorable" rating when asked how they saw the OS. But not everyone enjoys the new OS, with 1 in 10 having chosen an "unfavorable" rating or lower. But the positive responses still outweighed the negative, indicating that it was at least generally a better and more smooth launch than 8 or 8.1.
The survey was given to 1,000 adults who owned PC's in the US and was carried out in September of last year. But with the survey being conducted so soon after the July 2015 launch of Windows 10, it might be that the responses were slightly colored with the relative "newness" of the new OS. If you weren't part of the preview program, it was different enough from 8.1 to feel better overall, despite issues that seemed to crop up later. Regardless, the Steam hardware survey shows that Windows 10 64 bit has a 31.25% share of all machines running Steam, which is up 2.44% over last November. That isn't insignificant.
A heap of new features are coming to version 9.3 of iOS. Once it launches, you'll be able to sleep better, read better, exercise better, teach better, and basically just be an all around amazing human being.
One of the key additions is "Night Shift". If you've used f.lux before, you know the drill: warmer colours on your display in the evening. This restores melatonin production in your brain to normal levels, allowing you to sleep easier. That's the gist of it, anyway.
Usually OS's get supported for at least 10 years from the date their released, and sometimes even longer if certain sectors take a unique liking to them. But in the case of vanilla Windows 8, support and security updates ends today, January 12th 2016. So upgrade unless you want to be vulnerable.
It seems that because Microsoft released Windows 8.1 as a separate operating system, support for the previous OS will end. If you upgrade to 8.1, then you'll extend your OS support until January 10th 2023. Downgrading (or upgrading, depending on your point of view) to Windows 7 gives you security updates until January 14th 2020, and of course Windows 10 is available and quite the nice OS thus far.
Windows 8 is perhaps one of the finest mistakes that Microsoft has ever made. They were shooting for something nearly completely different that missed the mark while helping to drive the innovation necessary to reach Windows 10 and the more fluid update system that's been implemented.
Earlier this week we reported Windows 10 had -- according to anonymous sources -- been installed on over 200 million devices. Now a new report by research firm Net Applications gives us something more concrete: a PC usage increase from 9% in November to 9.96% in December, meaning Windows 10 is now installed on about 1 in every 10 PCs.
Current rankings have Windows 7 dominating as usual with 56.55% usage, Windows XP in second with 10.93%, Windows 8.1 in third with 10.30%, and then Windows 10 in fourth.
Windows 10 is now apparently installed on nearly 200 million devices and represents a total of 28.85% of the operating systems reported by Steam's Hardware Survey. That's some astounding growth, nearly being adopted faster than Windows 7 was.
Back in October Microsoft said that Windows 10 had already been installed on 110 million devices world-wide. That figure alone is fantastic, but now Microsoft is reporting, via Winbeta, that in two months Windows 10 has has another 90 million installs.
The holidays and the free-upgrade tactics that they aggressively marketed towards users of Windows 7 and above are likely factors in the huge adoption. But that figure doesn't separate installations and activations on new devices. Granted, those running Windows 8 and 8.1 have been very satisfied with the switch, though those on Windows 7 haven't always seemed to see the switch as an "upgrade" by all metrics.
Released as 10.11.2 for OS X El Capitan and iOS 9.2, Apple's new update sets out to squash some bugs and make some decent performance improvements. Set for download through the 'Software Update' section in the App store, this update sees a myriad of changes which will be mentioned below.
While claiming to improve the reliability of Wi-Fi on OS X El Capitan, this patch also fixes Bluetooth disconnection problems, improves iCloud photo sharing for live videos and has fixed photo importing issues when moving images from an iPhone to a Mac via USB.
As for iOS 9.2 changes, the log simply states that Apple has worked on improvements for Apple Music playlists and offline song saving, they've added a 'New Top Stories' section in News and posted improvements in Mail Drop for large attachments.
Windows 10 has been offered as a limited time free upgrade since its launch in July, but it isn't doing much to move Windows 7 users over to the new operating system, according to a report by analytics company Net Applications.
The report states Windows 7 usage was about 61% in July, dipping only to 57.7% in August (September saw 56.5%, October 55.7%, and November 56.1%). Suddenly Microsoft's aggressive approach makes more sense.
Microsoft pulled the Windows 10 November update downloads over the weekend. Asked whether or not this was due to reported technical issues, a company spokesperson told us, "We look into any issues our customers report and appreciate their feedback. We don't have any further information to share today."
Despite then declaring no more manual downloads the new policy, they have now been restored, so if you want to upgrade cleanly or manually as opposed to through Windows Update, you can.
While Sony had already warned users about waiting to upgrade to Windows 10 due to possible issues, it has now officially announced the upgrade limitations over its complete lineup.
With VAIO desktops and laptops being largely crossed off the upgrade list, Sony reportedly tested its products that were released in 2011 and beyond. While many of the tests have just been preliminary 'upgrade and click around' tests, Sony has begun further testing with many of its product range, while trying to pinpoint and fix exact issues with all of its latest products.
Issues with Windows 10 on Sony VAIO systems range from Blue Screen of Death errors due to switchable internal video cards, AMD video carded systems having limited camera support and the non-complete functionality of many Sony exclusive apps.