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Neowin Mentioned on Security Now Episode 604

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+warwagon    13,103

Neowin mentioned on Security Now Episode 604

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Steve: So, okay. In the news this week has been something that we initially touched on some time ago that was - at the time it was controversial. Well, and actually it drove me to immediately purchase what would be my final Windows 7 laptop, and to build that monster machine that our listeners know that I built, what, maybe a year ago or so, using the last hardware that Microsoft promised to support all the way through the end of Windows 7 support, which is April of 2020. And that was the Haswell chipset. The succeeding chipset, which was Skylake, they said, well, we know that enterprises are slow to move. So we'll support Skylake through 2017, but not through 2020. But, so, okay, and so that at least gives companies some time to move themselves.

 

I, of course, am unwilling to ever leave Windows 7, which I think is the perfect operating system. So I purchased some hardware that would be able to get its updates from Microsoft through the end. So what started happening, and caught some people by surprise, was error messages that they began to get on later hardware. And Microsoft has a support page where the title of the support page is, which is quoting their message: "Your PC uses a processor that isn't supported on this version of Windows." That's the error you receive when you scan or download Windows updates.

And so on this page where Microsoft is diagnosing what they call the "symptom," it says: "When you try to scan or download updates through Windows Update, you receive the following error message: Unsupported Hardware. Your PC uses a processor that isn't supported on this version of Windows, and you won't receive updates."

 

And then they say: "Additionally, you may see an error message on the Windows Update window" - which is unfortunately unclear - that says: "Windows could not search for new updates. An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer." And then it's got an obscure error code, 80240037, Windows Update encountered an unknown error. Okay, well, it's not unknown, it's just unarticulated in this instance.

And so under the cause for this symptom their page says: "This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support. For example, Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations." And then they enumerate Intel 7th-generation processors, the AMD Bristol Ridge line, and Qualcomm's 8996 processors.

 

And they say: "Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update." And then for their resolution of this problem: "We recommend that you upgrade Windows 8.1-based and Window 7-based computers to Windows 10, if those computers have a processor that is from any of the following generations." And then they continue.

 

Now, of course, this was picked up by the news, who characterized it as - Forbes said: "Microsoft Admits Forcing More Users Onto Windows 10." HotHardware had two stories: "Microsoft Disables Windows Updates for Ryzen and Kaby Lake PCs running Windows 7 and 8.1," and also "Microsoft Apparently Ramping Up Heavy-Handed Tactics to Force Windows 10 Migrations." Neowin said: "Some new PCs running Windows 7 and 8.1 won't receive further updates." And the Hacker News: "Microsoft Started Blocking Windows 7 and 8.1 Updates for PCs Running New Processors." So, you know.

 

And we talked about this. This is expected, actually. But certainly maybe to those who didn't know or people who are going to be disappointed that they were deliberately wanting to run an older Microsoft OS on newer hardware. And it's difficult to regard this as something other than deliberate because Microsoft is continuing to support Windows 7 and 8.1 on the hardware of those OS generations. Meaning Haswell, the hardware that I deliberately bought for this reason, will get support all the way out through 2020. Now, and I'm not in a position to be able to definitively say how much effort this saves on Microsoft's part. Maybe Paul and Mary Jo can shed some light on it.

 

 
 

 

 

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Draconian Guppy    13,037

I have no idea what security now is, but awesome!

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