back to article Microsoft Windows 7 Pro: Halloween Horror for PC makers next year

Microsoft will stop all sales of Windows 7 Pro to PC makers on Halloween 2016. Satya Nadella’s firm has quietly let slip that October 31, 2016, will be the final day for PC makers to buy copies of the operating system for pre-install. Microsoft updated its product support lifecycle page, here, in October with the change …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Old news

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/03/food_water_batteries_medical_supplies_ammo_and_windows_7_pcs/

    1. elDog

      Re: Old news

      Much better link - good conversations. Also don't forget to check out this thread about MS shoving 10 down its "customer"'s throats:

      http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/28/microsoft-intensifies-data-collection-on-windows-7-and-8-systems/

  2. RoboticRabbit

    I'm pretty sure we know why MS is force-feeding us Win 10. Greed lust for power and lack of regard for users masquerading as bashful coquettish incompetence.

    1. dogged

      Not "supporting multiple OS's is expensive" then.

      Just evil.

      Okay. That makes absolute sense.

      1. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        Hm...

        It isn't at all like updating completely different branches. It would be understandable if it were XP or the Win9x branches, which were actually too different to the current Windows releases.

        Even Apple manages to release security updates to older releases, IIRC Mountain Lion (from 2012) is still getting updates. Oh scratch that, the latest security update is only for Mavericks and later. But still, Apple is perfectly OK with supporting at least two versions backwards ... which in the MS world, would be Win7 & 8.x, so there's that.

        And I'm guessing that businesses are going to avoid Windows 10 thanks to the "mandatory updates" feature. It's just a matter of time before an update bricks the OS, and no sane businesses want to suffer that.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Hm...

          There is a "Long Term Service Branch" option for business customers, which does pretty much what you'd expect.

          Anyway, any business could just use WSUS to test updates before they roll out to users, which has always been a good idea for Windows admins.

    2. trapper

      I grabbed a copy of GWX Control Panel, ran it on my Win7 Pro system, and the forced Win10 aggravations went away (for now, at least). Best of all, it's immediately reversible if you change your mind later.

  3. Mikel

    Cancel Christmas 2016 as well?

    And this year's decorations aren't even up yet.

    IBM was wise to exit the PC biz.

    1. SteveK

      Re: Cancel Christmas 2016 as well?

      And this year's decorations aren't even up yet.

      What do you mean? The lights here went up in the streets 3-4 weeks ago, and Debenhams has had a Christmas tree in its foyer for at least a fortnight.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Cancel Christmas 2016 as well?

        Around here, the stores started in early September, while it was still technically Summer, for crying out loud!

        (They all kept one aisle undecorated until October, so there'd be space for the Halloween stuff, though.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cancel Christmas 2016 as well?

      "IBM was wise to exit the PC biz."

      Ummm. After they started the whole MS crap infestation in the first place.

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Windows

    Where are the Gates and Balmers of yesteryear?

    I'm beginning to understand how ordinary people in a gangster run ex Eastern bloc state pine for the good old Soviet days.

    1. hplasm
      Meh

      Re: Where are the Gates and Balmers of yesteryear?

      Living it up on the loot of millions.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Where are the Gates and Balmers of yesteryear?

      Maybe that's the plan... they'll go back to the old ways in a year two and everyone will be happy to pay more money to them for their stuff.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Where are the Gates and Balmers of yesteryear?

        Like New Coke and Classic Coke all those years ago?

  5. Wiltshire

    In my business (200+ desktops), for people running WinXP and Win7, the recommended upgrade is Linux Mint.

    1. Timmy B

      Do you realise how much time and productivity you'll lose? Users like what they are used to and the vast majority of them use Windows at work and home. They may be tech savvy professionals I suppose but in the real world of real work that kind of jump is bonkers - having helped people move from Macs to Windows I've seen it first hand.

      1. Permidion

        isnt Linux Mint closer to Win7 than Win10 will ever be ?

      2. CAPS LOCK

        Incorrect Timmy B, the user interface of mint XFCE we moved to is almost identical to Windows XP...

        ... which you cannot say for OSX

      3. raving angry loony

        It's a one-time hit vs the unending sequels of pain and suffering foisted upon users by Microsoft. And Linux Mint is closer to what users (as opposed to admins) are used to when they think "interacting with a Microsoft computer" than the latest set of unholy messes unleashed by Redmond. Not to mention the lack of invasive data collection "features" that Windows 10 so kindly includes as Redmond tries to close the gap with Google when it comes to gathering and selling personal info.

        1. Timmy B

          " the unending sequels of pain and suffering foisted upon users by Microsoft".... All I can say is that if your users are experiencing this then you are too inept or lazy to configure your computers properly. I have had no experience of this at all. And as for the "invasive data collection" I can say the same - flipping turn it off - or are you unable?

      4. fruitoftheloon
        Happy

        @Timmy B

        Timmy,

        blimey you guys work at the same place? Why didn't you make your counsel clearer BEFORE the decision was made...

        Also presumably the biggest hit to productivity will be when the users f'ing machines don't need rebooting after the smallest of tweaks or updates...

        Cheers!!

        1. Timmy B

          Re: @Timmy B

          Who says I didn't - ever had management override a sensible and well thought out argument?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's a load of bollocks. Apart from people that need to use certain software written ONLY for MS Windows (like CMM, CNC, Healthcare stuff (HAH!), I would guess 80% of people at work with access to a PC only use a word processor, spreadsheet, e-mail and a browser (Sales engineers?)

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "I would guess 80% of people at work with access to a PC only use a word processor, spreadsheet, e-mail and a browser"

          In another life I worked for a computer training business. I used to train Mac users of Word, Excel, FileMaker Pro and PageMaker on WfWG PCs 'cos the business owner was too stingy to purchase more than one Mac, never mind the software. Win 3.11 was way different to System 7, but that didn't phase the users. The OS is far less important than the application.

      6. keithpeter Silver badge
        Coat

        Devices for tasks...

        "They may be tech savvy professionals I suppose but in the real world of real work that kind of jump is bonkers - having helped people move from Macs to Windows I've seen it first hand."

        Younger people seem to jump between different GUIs on different devices fine. Android phone to iPad to Windows (7) desktop PC to MacOS laptop more or less fluidly in the case of a younger colleague. They seem to use a given device for one kind of work-flow, e.g. phone for messaging, so the cognitive switch cost isn't so high. Each task has its own device with a suitable GUI. 'The computer' isn't a single beige box in the corner now.

        Coat: I don't use Windows at home, and the Minty Penguins are out in force, so I'm off.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Devices for tasks...

          "Younger people seem to jump between different GUIs on different devices fine."

          I'm used to being referred to as an old fart. Suddenly I feel younger ;-)

        2. Timmy B

          Re: Devices for tasks...

          The use of the word "younger" is telling.... There are a lot of !younger (older) people out there very stuck in their ways.....

    2. IHateWearingATie

      Depends on your applications I guess - most of the very large corporates I work in would take a huge cost hit moving all their application cruft over to a non-Windows compatible environment. Custom spreadsheet macros that won't translate between Excel and OpenOffice (or other Linux compatible Office package of your choice) would be just the start of a long long painful process.

      Doubt the savings would ever add up in a lot of them. User retraining would be a drop in the cost ocean!

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        "Depends on your applications I guess..."

        I'm running Excel 2010 (32 bit) under Wine. What has Open Office to do with this? Dunno if complex macros run; I don't use them. But if I did and they were I'd run Excel in a VM. If your users need retraining to double-click an icon on the desktop and single click the Menu* button and choose from the flyout menus then they are already incapable of interacting with a Windows PC.

        * Mint's equivalent to the Start button. The button to its right displays the desktop.

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Excel macros should be scrapped as a serious security breach waiting happen. I doubt most are much more than amateur hack jobs. Otherwise, transitioning away from Windows may be cheaper than one might think. If most of the applications are browser based using a framework such as Rails, Nodejs, or Django using a proper database most users would not care. It would be very easy to deploy and overall probably easier to maintain and inherently cross platform.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "Excel macros should be scrapped as a serious security breach waiting happen"

          I have a farmer friend who has an Excel sheet where he inputs the crops to be grown in each paddock and the macros, using past fertiliser records, knowledge of paddock area etc calculate how much fertilser to purchase, when to apply, ditto for irrigation based on continuous input of rainfall and evapotranspiration... But they are fucking farmers ferchrissake. We can't have this. Let 'em use pencils and paper (or perhaps styli and wax tablets). Or am I missing something?

  6. alain williams Silver badge

    So what about the Windows 10 data slurp ?

    Especially since the EU court has said that safe harbour agreements are no longer safe with data going to the USA

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what about the Windows 10 data slurp ?

      MS don't care a jot.

      Our company has just sold itself to the Devil and signed us up to Office 365. MS is hosting it all on Azure.

      Now we have staff in at least 100 countries so whats the betting that the 'cloud' is somewhere in Redmond.

      We all have to login using a microsoft url.

      Everything we do will be slurped by MS and forwarded to the NSA in an instant.

      Apparently our Sharepoint archive is also mocing to Azure (and by implication to the NSA).

      So much for keeping Data on EU citizens in the EU eh?

      I'm (perversely) happy that I'm getting made redundant in April. I shall be able to leave that part of my life behind for good.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: So what about the Windows 10 data slurp ?

        That's all ok... NSA will pass along all that data to your closest TLA/FLA for them to take of you and all the children. And the NSA won't even peek at it.... </sarc>

    2. dogged

      Re: So what about the Windows 10 data slurp ?

      Corporates who aren't switching off all telemetry are not worthy of the name.

      If you're an admin and you leave all that userland stuff running, you should be fired. If you don't know how because "ew Windows 10 oh noez I'm never installing it the Register said it would steal my bank account details" then you're incompetent and you should be fired and sued.

  7. Ilsa Loving

    Oh FFS

    Now I'll have to go around and make sure everyone's machines have recommended updates disabled.

    I guess Microsoft has gone from the drug dealer model ("First one's free") to the overbearing father model ("This is my house, you will do what I say, and you will LIKE it!")

    1. dogged

      Re: Oh FFS

      Win10 Enterprise does not have mandatory upgrades.

      1. dogged

        Re: Oh FFS

        > Win10 Enterprise does not have mandatory upgrades.

        There, now you can downvote a simple statement of fact again, fanboy.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Oh FFS

        "Win10 Enterprise does not have mandatory upgrades."

        It's my understanding that you can delay upgrades, but not forever on the grounds that if the latter was to occur then different installs of the OS would become too far out of step with each other.

        [not a fanboi]

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Oh FFS

        >Win10 Enterprise does not have mandatory upgrades.

        Depends on whether you go with the CBB or LTSB service branch. Certainly I expect many with volume license agreements will go with LTSB. The irritation will be that this will most probably be the cheapest branch for MS to maintain, but will be the most expensive to licence...

        What is going to be interesting to see is whether they do similar service branches for Office 2016...

    2. nkuk

      Re: Oh FFS

      Its seems to me that Windows 10 will be the "first ones free" model as well. I think that's why they are trying to eradicate all the perpetual licences and move people off older versions as 'persuasively' and as fast as they can. Its obvious they're eager to monetize the Win 10 users as fast as they possibly can.

      I'm pretty certain once they've got a critical mass that have given up their Win XP/7/8Vista licences that they could use as long as they wanted the charges will come, whether is via holding user data to ransom via Azure and charging for it, or charging an Office 365 type subscription, its bound to come. It's blatantly obvious the "cloud first, Windows as a service" model is intended to generate a regular income from their userbase, Windows 10 isn't being given away as a charitable donation.

  8. fruitoftheloon
    Stop

    110m downloads - my derriere...

    Now perhaps my cynicism is on overdrive today, but does that enormo number also factor in when a given box has 'downloaded' whine 10 more than once?

    Or is it 'licences acquired' - note NOT purchased

    Nor factoring in downgrade rights etc.

    Hey I could be wrong (again)...

  9. Erik4872

    There's always Windows 10 Enterprise/LTSB

    If your company is willing to spend a little extra (OK, a lot extra) on Software Assurance, they get access to the Long Term Servicing Branch in Windows 10 Enterprise. This is about as close to the traditional RTM --> Security Patches --> Service Pack model that Microsoft is going to let people have now.

    The only problem I see is this -- LTSB gets security updates, but not "feature updates." Where do bug fixes lie in this spectrum? Example: if someone demonstrates a true bug in IE 11, as shipped in LTSB, are they going to force them to upgrade to whatever IE 11 revision is current at that time and force a "feature upgrade" as well?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: There's always Windows 10 Enterprise/LTSB

      According to all the reports I've seen LTSB will get bug fixes.

      My concern is where a new technology comes out or Standard is agreed, such WiFi WPA2-Enterprise using PKI and AES that really requires an OS level change. With XP MS did show some flexibility and released a WiFi client update, but it was a manual download.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting boring now

    Yes, we get. MSFT is Satan incarnate. Blah, blah, installed Linux Mint cont. p94.

    1. Whistlerspa

      Re: Getting boring now

      So true !

  11. Tubs

    Windows versions for developers

    I hadn't thought of this until now, but won't the future versions of WIndows 10 make software development/maintenance a nightmare?

    Currently, if I have an application that runs on Win 7 and not 10, I can tell that to my customers. If all future incarnations of Windows are Win 10 (and that includes the multitudes of changes MS will apply at any time in the future), how do I inform users (or even how do I know) whether their version of Win 10 is compatible or not? Are all users expected to know their build numbers?

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Windows versions for developers

      Microsoft believe the reverse of your problem is true because everybody will be running W10. OR ELSE! And they will all be at similar service level, corporates and home users. This is the message I'm getting. Devs will no longer code for earlier versions of Windows.

      1. Tubs

        Re: Windows versions for developers

        Ah, yes - I'd forgotten about the forced updates.

        The software will break on everyone's machine simultaneously. :(

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Windows versions for developers

      >I hadn't thought of this until now, but won't the future versions of WIndows 10 make software development/maintenance a nightmare?

      Not really, you develop for LTSB, you do testing against the periodic CBB releases and you may add optional functionality to take advantage of CBB releases. I'd ignore the CB releases unless users report things breaking...

      The nightmare will be avoiding the issues associated with .NET applications. Remember with Office 2007 it would work with .NET 2 but if you had previously installed a later version it would enable more functionality, however, if you updated .NET after installing Office you only got the new functionailty by reinstalling Office.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Windows versions for developers

      You will find out when it breaks. Given the secrecy Slurp has with updates and that you must take them even if they kill you at some point there will be many bricked systems and much unusable software.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    They missed a trick

    MS should have used a mascot to help sell the whole Windows 10 update thing.

    Maybe Clippy

    "I see you are still attempting to retain a semblance of privacy by using an old version of Windows..."

  13. Zolko Bronze badge
    Linux

    geeeeeze, I didn't even know people were still using Windows

    ... apart in a VM, when necessary.

    My only Windows machine (7 pro) is not connected to the Internet, and the latest install I did at work (on another machine) was WinXP, because of old driver issues.

    Apart from that, people around here only use Linux or Mac. And Android or iOS. The discussions turn more around Debian -vs- Ubuntu -vs- SuSE -vs- others.

  14. Anonymous Git

    MS is just getting desperate now....

    MS is just getting desperate now....

    this morning welcome gift / laugh

    http://i66.tinypic.com/w8q17b.png

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