back to article Microsoft has no plans for a second Windows 7 Service Pack

Waiting for a second Windows 7 Service Pack? Keep waiting – it doesn't sound like Microsoft will be releasing one. Sources close to Microsoft's sustained engineering team, which builds and releases service packs, have told The Register there are no plans for a second Windows 7 SP – breaking precedent on the normal cycle of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bully Boy

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Would you like to check those dates? MS don't have EOL on 7 until 2015.

      2013 would have people up in arms, and rightly so. 8 is shit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will now go to iOS.

    1. DJ Smiley

      Terrible troll

      iOS is the mobile version of the of Apple provides.

      So your going from a full featured desktop OS, to a mobile OS? lulz.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Learning from XP

    > there are no plans for a second Windows 7 SP – breaking precedent on the normal cycle of updating Windows

    Microsoft found to their cost that their biggest competitor for O/S's was .... themselves.

    The success of XP, which is still casting a long shadow over O/S releases has taught them to tighten up A LOT on the planned obsolescence of their products. W7 was undoubtedly a success and stood to to be the next "XP" (given that it only had to compete with Vista - not really much of a contest). However, it seems that MS have learned from the mistake of making an O/S too successful and are ensuring that W7 will die in a timely manner, such that it's continued support doesn't stop people from being forced into upgrading.

    If there was ever an opportunity for another O/S to find itself a unique selling proposition, long term support for (say) a 10 year lifespan would be a very tempting idea. Presuming the O/S in question wasn't so buggy it needed patching every month.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Learning from XP

      Ubuntu used to look like a good candidate. Not so much these days.

      It's certainly not going to be a thin browser-only OS.

    2. firefly

      Re: Learning from XP

      Looks like the Microsoft upgrade treadmill just started turning a bit faster.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Learning from XP

        Oh good.

        I can hardly wait till Microsoft Office becomes a mandatory annual expense and compulsory upgrade, with new yearly releases and total backwards incompatibility with all previous versions, and a self expiring, non renewable 12 month license.

    3. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Learning from XP

      >Microsoft found to their cost that their biggest competitor for O/S's was .... themselves.

      This reminds me of Vauxhall.

      Me: "I want a set of brake pads for a 2004 Astra please"

      Spares dept: "Sorry, we don't stock parts for cars over 5 years old"

      Me: "Why would I need parts for a car less than 5 years old?"

      1. hplasm

        Re: "Why would I need parts for a car less than 5 years old?"

        It's a Vauxhall?

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Learning from XP

        They don't stock them, because nobody in their right mind would pay their prices for parts on a car that's out of warranty and thus has no need of GM branded components.

        In your case, a set of perfectly good quality pads bought from your local factors will cost about half of what those ripoff merchants want.

      3. Chemist

        Re: Learning from XP

        Me: "I want a set of brake pads for a 2004 Astra please"

        I had a related experience many years ago

        "can I have a steering wheel bearing for a 1972 Viva" - " Sorry we don't stock them there's no demand, you'll need to order it, I said the same thing this morning to a guy that wanted one "

    4. Richard Lloyd

      Re: Learning from XP

      > If there was ever an opportunity for another O/S to find itself a unique selling proposition, long term support for (say) a 10 year lifespan would be a very tempting idea. Presuming the O/S in question wasn't so buggy it needed patching every month.

      CentOS 6 anyone? It's free (or you can go the RHEL 6 route for paid support), has updates for 10 years, point releases a few times a year (think service packs) and the occasional updates inbetween for critical security/bug fixes. In other words, much like Windows, except with more regular service packs.

      I use the same CentOS 6 ISO on both desktops and servers (no need for the desktop vs. server distinction Windows releases have) and it's a very stable platform to do serious stuff on. GNOME 2, GRUB 1 and Sys V Init make system admin and the desktop experience so much nicer than any other distro, IMHO.

    5. kb

      Re: Learning from XP ALREADY get 10 years from MSFT, the 2015 is just mainstream support where you get new features, which lets be honest MSFT never came through on the new features thing, just ask those that bought Win Vista Ultimate on that promise.

      The end date for Win 7 as far as security patches, which lets be honest is all anybody really cares about, is 2020. So you have more than enough time to just skip Win 8, the trainwreck franketstein baby of Windows and WinPhone, and stick with Win 7 which is nice. in fact so far I've managed to skip two MSFT OSes, I went from Win2K to WinXP X64 (which was really Win2K3 Workstation) thus skipping XP, and I went from XP X64 to Win 7 thus skipping Vista. It really isn't hard to do.

      As for those that complain about not having patches rolled into a service pack? WSUS Offline is your friend, and is even easier than a MSFT SP since it will let you roll in .NET, MS Office, and MSE updates along with the OS patches if you so choose. Its "clicky clicky, go have a sammich" easy and frankly beats MSFT service packs by a country mile, i highly recommend.

  4. K


    Windows requires an update, 1000 updates to apply... click Here to proceed.. Time left, 15 days, 7 hours and 25 minutes!

    They honestly expect companies to ditch XP when they have essentially told the "Sys Admin's" who make the decisions to go f*ck themselves... FAIL!

    1. Bakunin

      Re: LOL...

      "Windows requires an update, 1000 updates to apply... click Here to proceed.. Time left, 15 days, 7 hours and 25 minutes!"

      Clearly a made up scenario. Fifteen days would never give you enough time for all the required reboots.

      "You have updated Notepad. Your system needs to be rebooted"

      1. lauri_hoefs

        Re: LOL...


        There's been only a handful of updates that require a reboot during the whole time Windows 7 has been out. And that would include the SP1.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: LOL...

          Utter bollocks. Every single update set requires at least two reboots... the first time it reboots it just goes to the blue screen '33% done applying updates' then reboots AGAIN, and picks up from the 33% mark. Plus it takes forever... how come 10 updates take five minutes to install when debian can install 50 updates in synaptic in less than a minute? The Windows update mechanism just plain SUCKS, even after decades of trying to get it right...

          1. W.O.Frobozz

            Re: LOL...

            You're assuming they're even trying to "get it right." Microsoft is the company that made people believe that it's perfectly natural to have to reboot your computer with great frequency.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: LOL...

        2 favourite things.

        1. Propera English Spellling - with S instead of American Bastardised Z.

        3. Bashing the management of Microsoft.

        5. Other people who heap shit on them and their practices as well.

        1. dajames

          Re: LOL...


          1. Propera [sic] English Spellling - with S instead of American Bastardised Z.

          H.W.Fowler, writing in 1926 in his A Dictionary of Modern English Usage noted that the 'z' sound in an -ize ending is voiced (that is, pronounced like "eyes" rather than like "ice"). He further noted that this method of forming a verb from a noun follows that of a Greek construction employing the letter Zeta, which is conventionally transliterated into English as a 'Z' (not an 'S') so -ize should be considered correct.

          He went on to say: "Most English printers follow the French practice of changing -ize to -ise; but the OED of the Oxford University Press, the Encyclopaedia Britannica of the Cambridge University Press, The Times, & American usage, in all of which -ize is the accepted form, carry authority enough to outweigh superior numbers."

          I don't know why so many of us Brits think that -ise is correct and that it is only the Yanks who write -ize, but this seems to be one area in which American spelling is definitely superior (though the Americans do tend to use 'z' in other words, such as "analyse" in which it has no place).

          1. Darryl

            Re: LOL...

            Plus, they call it a 'zee' instead of a proper 'zed'

            1. Euripides Pants

              Re: LOL...

              "Plus, they call it a 'zee' instead of a proper 'zed'"

              Zed's Dead baby, Zed's dead...


          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: LOL...

            I don't give a fuck - really, in being some 40 something years young, I have grown to hate Merriken spell chequers, telling me I am insane, and driving me insane, by constantly telling me I am spellink my spellink rong.

            It's not spelled rong, it's spelt rite.

            That and fucking imperial and imperial metric mixes.....

            23 Degrees Rankin feet-newton calorie watts of torque pounds.

            "Face Planting the Orbiter on Marrs - Dear Merriken?"

        2. Avatar of They

          Re: LOL...

          Actually the Z is olde english, it is indeed the UK that has changed the Z to S in more recent times. The Z that Americans use is in fact the correct version, as per Stephen Fry on QI.

          However they do mess with the 'u' in words.

          As to Windows, well openoffice and the little penguin do me fine with a yearly update, and I don't need to update as often, so I can do the same for windows by completely ignoring everything to do with win 8 and hoping 9 is as good as 7.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: LOL...

            who deploys fresh installs in enterprise anyway? Just image the systems and keep you gold image upto date (say every 3 months).

    2. Bod

      Re: LOL...

      1000 updates - that's more what I see when I occasionally boot into any of my linux distros. I maybe use them once or twice a month, and there are literrally hundreds if not thousands and it's a few hundred MB of updates to download. Half of them are critical security updates to many of the bazillion unecessary software packs bundled with the distribution that you have no idea if you need or not.

      Windows - about 15 on average, usually every second Tuesday of the month. If you ignore the more frequent one that just updates some definition files and doesn't need a reboot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        1000 updates

        It's not a thousand, more like a hundred or few hundred, but that quantity STILL manages to update the OS far quicker than the 15 MS ones, and mostly without needing a reboot!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If they think that by doing so, they will Force/tempt people into buying windows 8, thats the death knell of MS monopoly over OS. SHooting own foot by annoying loyal consumers.

    Guess thats what happens to large arrogant corporations. Taking too much for granted. They have unwittingly given a boost to Linux OS.

    Hey Linux, here they come.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hey Linux, here they come.

      If you could hold your breath while you wait that'd be awesome...

    2. Hardcastle the ancient

      Re: Wankers

      I am now running Mint Debian rolling updated, and have tried several desktops. I am still fond of Enlightenment. Hardcaste the skirtwearer perferes LXFE, so it all works for us.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wankers

      Most people buy a new PC with an OS and won't be arsed which version it is, they'll use it.

      Companies will wait till the Hardware replacement cycle and upgrade then.

      Exactly who, apart from the "hacked copies" and borrowed serial number brigade is worried?

      My company only adds patches when necessary, our firewall and securty teams keep the nasties out, we still use a mix of XP Pro SP2 and Win 7 Ultimate, adding Win8 pc's to the mix will not alter much.

      1. Spoonsinger

        Re: Most people buy a new PC with an OS and won't be arsed which version it is, they'll use it.

        Actually it's usually worse than that :-

        Q) What operating system are you using.

        A) We use office.


  6. robert 15

    not just the updates.. what about the hotfixes

    I have had to install a number of hotfixes to resolve various issues which our environment experiences and there are hotfixes for. As far as I am aware hotfixes arent available via the normal WSUS and have to be downloaded / deployed manually.

    I was hoping for an SP2 to roll all these into one, along with the updates..

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: not just the updates.. what about the hotfixes

      I expect someone will produce a tool to build a virtual service pack. Remember AutoPatcher? MS killed it, although it was just an online aggregator of available downloads, but something run locally rather than on the web shouldn't attract unwanted attention.

  7. Thought About IT

    End of life

    "Microsoft will keep updating Windows 7 using patches released each month until support for Windows 7 comes to an end. That date is currently slated for 24 months after the most current SP – that’s SP1, which was released in February 2011 – and would put end of life at February 2013."

    Not according to Microsoft. XP will be supported until April 2014, and Windows 7 until January 2020.

    1. Miek

      Re: End of life

      Yeah, Support ending in February 2013 just seems to be Comment-Bait

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: End of life

        The date the article mentions seems to be an entry referring to the support for service packs. However if you read their support policy for service packs:

        "When support for a product ends, support of all the service packs for that product will also end. The product’s support lifecycle supersedes the service pack support policy"

        So the standard and extended support dates still stand.

        OS Mainstream Support Extended Support

        Windows 7 January 12, 2015 January 14, 2020

        1. Miek

          Re: End of life

          "The date the article mentions seems to be an entry referring to the support for service packs. However if you read their support policy for service packs:" -- Yeah, that was mentioned in the post I was replying to.

      2. Ian McNee

        Re: End of life - comment bait or...

        ...Gavin didn't read the note properly on the M$ website that he included a link to:

        "Support ends 24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first."

        As there is not (yet...) a next Win7 SP then it's the same as the Mainstream/Extended Support End Dates for Win7 generally (2015 and 2020 respectively).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Short notice

    Well, three months is fairly short notice. But I guess it is finally time to make the break. I shall go over to OpenSuSE Linux as my main OS, and either run Windows 7 in a VM, or use Crossover to run whatever apps aren't satisfactorily ported to Linux. It's a pity, as Windows 7 is quite good for a Microsoft product. Maybe because they got over themselves and concentrated on making something that worked after the fiasco of Vista, rather than trying to do anything new and clever.

    Mind you, I'm disappointed that The Reg can't tell us whether the world's most widely used OS has three months or eight years of supported life left.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Short notice

      According to the MS support site, 2013 is the end of SP support. Mainstream support ends in 2015 and Extended support ends in 2020. So no need to rush unless the lack of SPs is a serious pain.

  9. Bakunin

    You mean nothing to me know I have you.

    "Service packs are a pain for Microsoft, because they divert engineers’ time and budget from building new versions of Windows."

    Yea, nothing worse than having to support all those people that bought a product from us. I mean, they've already given us the money, can't they just go away?

    1. Darryl

      Re: You mean nothing to me know I have you.

      No, they're not supposed to go away, they're supposed to come back and buy more of our stuff. The manufacturing world's business practice of Planned Obsolescence is finally making it into the software world.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course there will be no SP2.....

    Until not having an SP2 becomes a threat to MSFT's credibility. Then there will be an SP2.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Of course there will be no SP2.....

      Yes. Wasn't Vista originally touted as the release that was going to be so reliable that it would never need a Service Pack?

      I don't recall that one working out well for them either.

      1. Darryl

        Re: Of course there will be no SP2.....

        I think I recall MS being guilted into releasing XP SP3 after never planning to as well.

  11. Shonko Kid

    It's egg-on-face time again!

    Clearly they are looking down the barrel of poor uptake for W8, and want to avoid looking bad, but I can't see how this can end well for them. If we accept that W8 will not be a sell-out success, then what?

    Users stick with W7 until eventually moving away from a Windows PC - quite likely for home users

    They cave in and do a SP2, admitting that W8 wasn't what the market wanted

    Do a W8 SP, or W9 that is more in line with a W7 upgrade - they could at least spin this as being a version aimed at power-users,ie people who need a real pc, rather than a media tablet.

    1. AndyC

      Re: It's egg-on-face time again! - not

      Unless home users give up on Windows altogether and go with a tablet that isn't Surface or Surface Pro, what else is there in your local PC World that isn't Windows?

      What people on here seem to forget, is that the great mass of people out there, who use computers, couldn't give a flying wotsit about whether their computer runs Windows or not. All they care about is being able to connect to Facebook, check emails, do IM and play their games.

      We may be moving away from the tower system towards laptops and tablets, but the vast majority of people in the world couldn't even tell you what an operating system is, let alone that Windows is the OS they use. They will just see Windows 8 and think that it is automatically better than Windows 7 and use it.

      Here's a simple challenge for you. Find 20 people (maybe your less computer savvy work colleagues) and ask them what browser they use to connect to the internet. I bet over half would say "Windows".

      I rest my case m'lud.

      1. Darryl

        Re: It's egg-on-face time again! - not

        Actually, most of the people I've asked that question in the past respond with "Google." And they're not talking about the Chrome browser, either.

      2. Shonko Kid

        Re: It's egg-on-face time again! - not

        That's my point (in a way). Of that demographic, most of the PC-owners are still happily using XP Home, blissfully unaware of Vista, Win7 or even 8! And those PCs are gradually seeing less use for the common tasks (surfing, email, solitaire) as they've bought iPads or Galaxy Tabs thinking that THEY HAVE upgraded their PC.

        Think about it, of the 100 million people who've bought an iPad, how many of them do you think didn't own a PC beforehand? Close to 0 I'd guess, that's 100 million PCs that aren't going to be upgraded any time soon, Microsoft has lost those users.

        And PC Whirled be damned, no one goes in their anymore; you can buy a computer/tablet at Tesco. And Tesco don't treat you like a shoplifter the moment you step through the door, or trawl your harddrive for pr0n.

  12. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Because they never extended Win Xp's life, did they...?

    Win 8 will not cut it on PCs because most PC users don't need the touchscreen bits, they will want Win 7 instead. Personally, I can't see how M$ can avoid committing longterm to Win 7 and more SPs until they make a version of the next gen WIndows OS without touchscreen capability.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Because they never extended Win Xp's life, did they...?

      "...until they make a version of the next gen WIndows OS without touchscreen capability."

      I'll add another thing to that.

      Yes MS. I realise that crappy tablets haven't got the horsepower for it, but my machine has a couple of highly puissant GPUs and the odd CPU core or two twiddling their thumbs while running anything less demanding than Crysis, so I'd like the option of the clever bits and the eyecandy back in the UI please.

      You can keep your blocks of flat colour for the cheapshit[1] ARM / Atom stuff thanks.

      [1] Ok overpriced cheapshit.

  13. tkioz

    Yeah... trying to force people like me onto that stupid tablet OS is going to end well for them... I was very unenthused by 8 already... this news just means I'll be even less likely to upgrade to their Apple clone (seriously, App store? crappy interface?)

    Unfortunately there is no real competition for desktop users who *gasp* WANT A DESKTOP OS. I wouldn't buy an Apple for all the tea in China, and don't even me that Linux bollocks, I want something that works, I don't want to be screwing around with Linux (tried it before)

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      >Unfortunately there is no real competition for desktop users who *gasp* WANT A DESKTOP OS.

      This is a terrible condemnation of companies like HP, really. They've known for over a year that W8 was going to be a turkey, and 18 months ago HP was going to be supplying WinOS on every machine they shipped. if they'd had some guts, and were not being run by witless beancounters, there would be a real pre-installed alternative by now.

      I think that Linux and OSX are decent alternatives personally, but 90% of customers want a 300 quid PC that works out of the the box. And the box shifters have wasted a year in which they could have been planning to break the monopoly that sees M$ designing their products for them.

      Greed, short-termism, lost opportunity.

    2. DiBosco

      Ah, the old "tried it before" bullshit.

      Linux, hands-down, works a lot better and more smoothly than Windows and has done for some time now. If you really had tried Linux more recently than five years ago you would know this. So many people tried it ten years back, probably with Slackware or Debian or something else hard for a newb and dissed it as unusable.

      We've had our own [free] app-store for years before it was a twinkle in Appl€'s bank balance, let alone Micro$oft's typical oh-we'd-better-get-in-on-the-act-after-everyone-else's effort; we don't have to use pathetic anti-virus programs that grind the machine to a halt; we have mature, journaling file systems that negate necessity for disk defrag and are much more robust in terms of hardware problems; the whole system runs way faster (it amuses me watching poor saps running Windows and all the waiting they have to do while Windows grinds away); we aren't at the mercy of a bunch of bullies who want to charge you more for their latest, unnecessary fix.

      The "screwing-around" with Linux is practically non-existent with a modern, user-friendly distribution such as Mageia, SuSE or Mint to name but three. You cannot say the same of Windows. On top of this you have complete freedom to do as YOU want, WHEN you want and it costs you absolutely nothing.

      You can legitimately point at Linux having fewer mainstream applications than Windows, but if you're willing to use different apps, you can certainly run a company using nothing but Linux desktops. I know, because I do and I have a lot less stress because of it.

      1. Steven Roper


        The gag so old it's new again!

        1. dajames
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Micro$oft"

          The gag so old it's new again!

          And has so many new variations:





          etc. ...

        2. Bod

          Re: "Micro$oft"

          Appl€, Micro$osft, $amsung... all not true these days. It's Lawyer$ and U$PTO.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge
        Meh can certainly run a company using nothing but Linux desktops.

        Chalk and cheese. There's a world of difference between the corporate world of a fixed, known desktop application set with everything configured by skilled staff and the user world of anything and everything looked after by the clueless.

        You could run a company's PCs very reliably using Win2K on the desktop, which was of absolutely sod-all use for private purposes, being horribly prone to cruft and having terrible compatibility issues.

        You must also be talking small company here. When you get into the tens of thousands of seats, the costs of migrating, redefining the app base, recompiling / recertifying existing code, porting all those Access databases / Excel macros and so on piss all over the potential savings.

        1. dajames

          No, seriously ...


          There's a world of difference between the corporate world of a fixed, known desktop application set with everything configured by skilled staff and the user world of anything and everything looked after by the clueless.

          Quite. In the corporate world there is an IT department, with skills and training, who look after the network of PCs and ensure that everything runs smoothly. As long as the IT department have the right skills it doesn't much matter what software the network runs -- the end used doesn't have to know how to maintain it because it's all done for him.

          It's at home, where there is no onsite IT support department -- and where the most-used applications are likely to be PC games -- that Windows is an obvious choice, and Linux is riskier.

          ... Win2K on the desktop, which was of absolutely sod-all use for private purposes, being horribly prone to cruft and having terrible compatibility issues.

          I liked Win2k. It was nicer than XP in some ways. Yes, there were a few Win98 applications that wouldn't run on it (Quicken was the only one I encountered) but those didn't run because the vendors had not followed Microsoft's development guidelines ... which is a fair indication that they didn't understand what they were doing and that the applications were worth avoiding anyway.

          You must also be talking small company here. When you get into the tens of thousands of seats, the costs of migrating, redefining the app base, recompiling / recertifying existing code, porting all those Access databases / Excel macros and so on piss all over the potential savings.

          Yes, there's always a cost involved in changing to a new system -- even to upgrading to a new Microsoft release -- if you're a corporate with tens of thousands of seats Microsoft will offer insanely large discounts to keep your business, and will help you with migration of your own software to help you bear those costs. They don't offer that sort of incentive to smaller customers, so they have less incentive not to upgrade outside the Microsoft ecosphere.

          For a new business (of any size) with its own support department and no legacy of macros and templates to convert Linux is a reasonable proposition.

        2. DiBosco

          Ah, the old and fallacious porting apps/retraining argument comes out again. Another old favourite of those scared of change.

          Porting/retraining is a one-off cost. Savings gained not being tied in to expensive, proprietary software, ongoing and far outweigh those one-off costs. It's being shown again and again by BIG users such as French police, city of Munich etc etc. All full of non-techy users. It is an utter fallacy to say Linux is harder to use than Windows. It quite simply is not. If you started out with one person using Linux and one using Windows who have never touched a computer before you would have no difference in how long it took them to get going.

          In fact, when these companies and organisations change to Linux there is a notable drop in how many support calls IT gets because fewer things go wrong.

          The Win2k argument is bizarre; no-one is saying stick with something old, we're saying go with something modern that doesn't leave you at the behest of proprietary companies that want to lock you into their ever more locked-down and expensive systems.

  14. Robert E A Harvey

    What about corporate customers?

    The big corporations are just about moving to W7. They are going to expect proper support for half a decade at least. They won't be at all pleased about this.

    And who can blame them?

  15. The BigYin

    If Citrix...

    ...had a GoTo Meeting client for GNU/Linux, I'd switch tomorrow. Everything else I can do native, in WINE or under virtualisation, but I need GoTo Meeting on the main box and there is simply no GNU/Linux client.

    Which sux big, fat, hairy, donkey balls.

    If anyone would want this, please let Citirx know.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: If Citrix...

      I let them know.

      1. Hardcastle the ancient

        Re: I let them know.

        Me too

        1. The BigYin

          Re: I let them know.

          Thanks folks - this is Citrix after all, hardly a Mickey Mouse operation.

  16. AndrueC Silver badge

    Bloody hell. They are are desperate aren't they? What next - public flogging for those still on XP?

    Clearly someone at Microsoft really, really wants us to move to Win8.


    1. Darryl

      Try this on your Win7 PC... Right-click on the desktop and choose 'Gadgets'. Then click on 'Get more gadgets online'...

      "Because we want to focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows, the Windows website no longer hosts the gadget gallery. "

  17. Dan 55 Silver badge


    They'll release 'Platform Update for Windows 7' instead. They released 'Platform Update for Windows Vista' after Window 7's release instead of calling it SP3 thereby striking a happy balance between saving face and placating pissed-off customers.

  18. nsfb
    Thumb Down

    With XP Microsoft seemed to move to a much more mature model of software with longer periods between major releases, rather than expecting users to constantly update to get the latest features (and loose compatibility with other software.) Obviously that looses the regular upgrade sales, but I suspect it more than makes up by building customer loyalty. I was hoping with Windows 7 they'd continue that (whilst burying vista.) Sadly that policy (whether deliberate or accidental) seems to have gone, which is making Linux etc. look increasingly appealing.

    1. Chris Collins 1


      One thing consumers dont like, especially those who work and not play (so not kids who get excited with tablets but people who do work on their machines) is a constant changing UI and especially having to change their hardware or operating system. In the corporate world sysadmins are calling out for SP2 because they integrate hotfixes onto reinstalls and these reinstalls get cluttered fast. eg. My laptop now MSE just scanned it, 288k files scanned because its a SP1 image with all hotfixes integrated, that leaves tons of dormant files on the disk. SP2 would be far smaller and cleaner.

      What microsoft are doing is essentially copying google and apple (n my opinion poor) business practices, both those companiues have a trend of rapid releases especially google, kiddies love this as they get over excited on new versions but for me its a nightmare, I want a stable platform that I can use for several years, I wait a year after a OS release (at minimal) before I use it usually and then I expect to use it for at least 4 years. If I then upgrade I then expect the upgraded version to keep the same fundamental UI design with only enhancements not a rehaul.

      Now here is what I think is going on at microsoft now.

      They are clearly panicing because they not a major player in the mobile market, they have also discovered how profiteable a online app store is for companies like google and apple. So I can understand why this is been released for touch devices.

      However their mistake is in forcing this down user's throats on the desktop and radically forcing a touchscreen UI on the desktop, usually when they release a new version of windows they dont do it with such brunt force, but they acting so desperate they going all out to make windows 7 less and less attractive to keep like xbox music windows 8 only and no more service packs. But the message they sending out to me is this.

      1 - any future software I buy of them will have a short life before its treated as obselete, it may get security updates but will lose 3rd party support quicker due to fast progression of replacement products and lose quality focus because of rapid replacement products.

      2 - any future UI changes I have to learn again and even when learned are less efficient may only last 2-3 years before microsoft panic again making more radical changes, microsoft gained my lotalty because the UI was stable all the way from 95 up to windows vista (taskbar changed too much in win7 to be called stable), but now I know microsoft dont care about that they will sell their soul to get mobile market share, mark my words if windows 8 fails in the mobile market, metro will be considered obselete and trashed by microsoft and a win9 will be pushed out quickly to try again.

      Before I wasnt even considering a new OS, now I am evaluating various distros and freebsd as future desktop OS's for my use. Until then I will use windows 7, windows 8 is just for me to toy with in a VM as thats what it is a toy.

  19. Ninetailed

    Wait a minute...

    Does this mean that Microsoft are actually end-of-lifing Windows 7 before Windows XP?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Wait a minute...

      You may already (since posting this) have caught up with the replies to previous posts, but just in case you haven't:

      No it doesn't. Support for Win7-with-SP1 ends either two years after SP2 comes out (it may not) or with the end of the product lifecycle, whichever is the sooner. For Win7, the product lifecycle has mainstream support going through to 2015 and extended support to 2020. Using past performance (ie, XP) to interpret those statements that means MS will continue supporting Win7 in Windows Update until 2020 as long as you have whatever is the latest service pack by then.

      Ergo, any corporate currently in the middle of an XP-to-7 transition has 8 years to enjoy the benefits. They probably will, too, since MS are looking increasingly *unwilling* to deliver a viable desktop platform to replace it. People *talk* about waiting for Win9, but no such product is on the drawing board and when it does appear we might find that it is another phone OS.

  20. ici.chacal

    Hurry up Valve..!!!!

    As soon as I get my Steam games on Linux, Windoze is gone forever...

    1. deive

      Re: Hurry up Valve..!!!!


  21. Simon Davidson

    PCI Compliance

    What does this mean for PCI Compliance. My understanding is that you can't use software that is no longer patched or supported so next year I'm going to have to upgrade to Windows 8 on my payment machines!

    1. Simon Davidson

      Re: PCI Compliance

      Sorry to reply to my own post, but Microsoft states "Main Stream Support" ends in 13/01/2015. So does that mean they will still release monthly updates till then?

      1. El Andy

        Re: PCI Compliance

        Yes. And security fixes till the end of Extended Support, in 2020. So there's nothing to worry about here.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: PCI Compliance

      Why don't they just ban the use of buggy software? Wouldn't that be simpler?

  22. El Andy

    Service Packs stopped making sense years ago

    Monolithic bundled up Service Packs made sense back in the NT4 days, when you could "get away" without applying intermediate patches and the lack of controlled deployment tools for OS patches meant that deploying and testing minor fixes was a major hassle.

    These days the security landscape has changed and with an ever increasing number of zero-day vulnerabilities it's no longer worth the risk to hold back on patching. And with free tools like WSUS to manage the process in larger environments, as well as Automatic Updates for standalone machine, there really is little point in bundling updates into a single big bulky patch as opposed to just letting the system update itself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Service Packs stopped making sense years ago

      I think you and (OP) were talking crossed purposes.

      You say that WSUS can update everything... and you're correct, in time.

      OP said (in effect) having to use WSUS to push N+ patches with an unknown (the first time) number of reboots is a pain, and having a point update, for example, Windows 7 SP2, would make life for medium-sized shops easier, since the large shops use Norton Ghost or some other application to clone standard images onto new machines.

      1. El Andy

        Re: Service Packs stopped making sense years ago

        Except that WSUS has been capable of differential patching and combining updates into a single reboot where possible anyway, so you end up with pretty much the same result as rolling out a Service Pack without having to actually re-test another update (heck even when it does roll out SPs, it only actually applies a diff between what you already have installed and what is in the SP anyway). And doing it that way is *much* easier than re-ghosting machines with a completely new OS image (especially since you'd need to maintain a WSUS or similar setup anyway).

        "Service Packs" are just a relic of old-school thinking. I'm pretty sure the only reason there is an SP1 at all is simply to placate those stuck in the "wait for the first service pack" mentality, which is equally flawed/

        1. Epobirs

          Re: Service Packs stopped making sense years ago

          No, Service Packs also result in new version for OEMs to install. If you buy a machine today with Windows 7, it's going to be the SP1 release. This makes a new machine a bit less vulnerable when first fired up and getting the latest update installed. It also means a lot less to download and install for the updater.

          Enterprises don't care about this because they roll their own images. They can add updates to the image on whatever schedule makes sense to them. They also have infrastructure for handling new updates better than individual consumers.

          Where the Service Packs save a lot of time is for someone like me who does work on individual consumer and small business systems. If they've screwed up the machine so badly the most practical course is wiping and restoring the lot, and if it is a big brand OEM system, I'm not going to install the older version the machine shipped with and install a massive amount of updates and SPs. I'm going to install from the OEM most recent version of the OS for that machine. Those versions recognize their brand signature in the firmware, so there is no issue with activation.

          So, if someone brings me a thoroughly infest Dell that shipped with XP SP1, I'm going to rebuild it with XP SP3 and save a bit of time. It's a convenience to people working at my level but the lack of a Win7 SP2 is not going to be a major problem. For starters, machines needing to be completely rebuilt has come up a LOT less in the post-XP era. This means less income for me but I'd rather make my money helping people set up and understand new stuff for their business than do repairs. An SP4 for XP might have been nice to have but I'm not the one footing the bill at Redmond.

          I expect there will still be things like roll-ups that combine a bunch of updates. If you look at the history of any OS, you'll see the patches tend to be focused on a small critical set of files. Installing 100 updates on an old version of XP can mean the same file gets overwritten with a slightly newer version may times, until finally arriving at the most current version. (At least until some obsessive figures out a way to break it that has been there for ten years but was never discovered before.) So why not just cut to the chase with a rollup that is essentially a mini-SP focused on a single portion of the system?

          Updating isn't the same process it was during XP's reign. It used to be common to be brought machines that hadn't been updated in over a year. That just doesn't happen much with the post-XP versions of Windows.

  23. Winkypop Silver badge

    "Microsoft has no plans for a second Windows 7 Service Pack"

    That's OK

    Winkypop has no plans for Windows 8, Service Pack or not.

  24. steve 124

    Windows 9 announced for early Q4

    It took me until last year to adopt Windows 7 at home and we are only just now discussing moving the 300+ PC/laptop fleet in my network in late 2013 or early 2014. This announcement makes no sense to me. Everything I've read about Win8 makes me think it's a complete turd and there's no way I'm subjecting my users to completely relearning an OS (not to mention none of our current equipment will leverage any of the "features" that make W8 even slightly appealing). M$ doesn't seem to understand that the success of XP is what made them the OS leader. It's BECAUSE we were able to keep using XP for a decade that made it the standard and there's no way I'm going to convert our computers to W7, W8 or any future flavor if I'm going to have to turn around and repurchase the "next" version 2 or 3 years later. M$ needs to understand, the OS isn't the goal, it's the vehicle. Their strategy should be making the OS as safe and stable as possible so everyone uses it, then they make their real money off the applications (office, exchange, ISA, etc.)

    This is the stupidest move M$ has made since pushing our ME to appease OEM manufacturers concerned about the Y2K bug.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will be sticking with

    my Ubuntu/win 7 dual boot. I know a lot of people don't like Ubuntu but serves my limited needs perfectly. :)

  26. Ron Christian

    I have a theory.

    I think the only guy who knew how to build service packs left the company.

  27. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Autopatcher or the like?


    a) rolling a bunch of seperate patches into a single service pack SHOULD NOT take away loads of time Microsoft wants to use on Windows 8. The patches are already there.

    b) I don't use Windows anyway so I don't give a toss. You shouldn't either.

    b.5) This isn't going to push anybody into using Windows 8, if Microsoft actually thinks it is going to they are delusional.

    c) WSUS may work for patching EXISTING systems, but this doesn't make up for the lack of a service pack's ability to install a bunch of updates at once to a "fresh" install. Autopatcher, however, does... stick all the patches and autopatcher into some directory (usually on a USB stick) and it'll install them for you, problem solved.

    1. Epobirs

      Re: Autopatcher or the like?

      It hasn't anything to do with Windows 8. Anyone who believes that is delusional.

      But anyone who thinks creating a Service Pack is a trivial undertaking is also delusional. At best you hope to get the number of systems with weird setups that don't work right after the SP to a minimum. The range of machines within the PC standard just makes it impossible. There is always going to be something not covered by your testing regime that turns out to have thousand of users who are not pleased when their machine breaks.

      Recall the incident a few years ago when Microsoft discovered the hard way that many OEMs were creating images that were used to prep both Intel and AMD based machines. Each processor family needs its own version of the HAL, which is selected and installed when the OS is installed. A system normally shouldn't have both HALs on the boot volume. So somebody at Microsoft thought it was useful to check the HAL to know which versions to use of some files the Service Pack updated. The problem was that the installer would see the AMD file first, even if it was an Intel machine. DOR (Dead on Reboot.)

      It was an innocent mistake. Both HALs should not exist on the same machine. At least not in the directory in question. But it was convenient to the OEMs to do it that way and the result was a lot of machine needing attention.

      The Service Pack worked fine on the great majority of systems. But when you're talking about the Windows installed base it only takes a couple percent to make for millions of broken PCs. So, putting together a Service Pack is not trivial or cheap.

  28. Mark Dowling

    More rollups then

    In the Exchange world there are SPs and rollups. Microsoft hasn't done much about rollups on the OS side, and they should. XP SP3 was basically SP2 with a rollup.

    I think the more concerning point is that given the common codebase that means no more SPs for Server 2008R2, right?

    I'm not saying Microsoft should issue 6 SPs like the NT days, or even 4 like Windows 2000 but not even 2 is a bit chintzy, especially since Win8 is likely to be as popular in corporate shops as Vista was.

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