back to article Windows 8.1 exams kept alive six more months, Win 7 tests immortal

Microsoft may be hustling the world onto Windows 10 just as fast as it can, but it seems there's residual demand out there for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. We make that suggestion because Microsoft has extended the life of certifications for its last-but-one desktop OS and has no plans to can all Windows 7 education. On the …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Real Reason

    The possible real reason is enterprise customers are nervous about the Slurp's spying and are staying with versions that do not include built in malware.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      It might not be built in

      But, let us not blindly assume that Windows 7 is somehow better then 10, just 'cause the Spyware is quietly tucked up inside some Update, usually marked as Important. The whole re-worked image of MicroSoft Updates needs to revert back to full disclosure again. It would also help if they could do something about the 2~3+ hour wait till the first (post install) Update hits. But, that falls back to updating the whole Windows/MicroSoft Update ecosystem again.

      Though I often find myself asking myself do I trust that unknown "Update", and what it's supposed to be updating? Again Win7 might seem nicer on the surface. But, I don't have much trust in it as I once had. The only thing going for Win7 is that I feel like Instill have some (if only less so now) control over it. Then those running Win10.

  2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Probably a necessity

    Probably a necessity. Linux, since there are POSIX standards to follow and so on, and old UNIX roots, in general info you know about a much older version of that distro applies to a newer one (and indeed other distros), and if you learned a newer one up and down you can apply a lot of that info to the older distro, it'll be missing some features compared to the newer one but similar enough for the newer distro knowledge to apply.

    Windows, Windows 7 and Windows 10 really are quite different, you could learn Windows 10 up and down and find Windows 7 is different enough to have some real difficulties. I think there'll be demand for these Windows 7 training and tests for a while.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Probably a necessity

      Not really. Red Hat has changed all this. Consider for a moment that minimal install of RHEL 7 doesn't even come with ifconfig! Starting and stopping services is completely different (fuck you sideways, with a rusty tractor, systemd!) and the names of many basic services have changed.

      It's not enough to know some basic POSIX stuff. A distribution of Linux is way more than just basic POSIX stuff. It's names, file locations, configurations of basic software and more.

      Editing a text file in Red Hat-based distributions is simple. You use vi. And all you really need to know is "i" for insert, ":q!" to quit if you screwed up, ":wq" to write and quit and you're good. There are, of course, other useful commands in vi, but you can administer a system with just those.

      Move over to Ubuntu and...wait...vi doesn't behave the same. it's configured differently and doesn't respond to commands the same. Well, shit.

      Now, we can go on and on about the whys and wherefores and even the how these things are made to occur. It doesn't matter. What matters is that the differences between Linux distribution versions can be (and often are) as big as the differences between any two Windows versions. What's more, different Linux distributions have drifted so far apart that they now represent a bigger real-world gap in administration than did the NT line to the 9.x line back in the day.

      Linux isn't unified. And what you know in one doesn't quite port to the other. That's bollocks.

      If II know Windows really well I can probably pick up $Linux_Distribution_1 as easily as if I knew $Linux_Distribution_2 really well. It has nothing to do with which OS you learn first. It has everything to do with understanding the fundamentals of how and operating system works, and why it works.

      But knowing the fundamentals won't stop you from having to study, and study hard. Because the UI - text based or GUI, it doesn't matter - changes all the fucking time in Linux. Just like it does in Windows.

      The difference in Linux is that you have choice. If you want to change the UI and set it up so that it behave as you expect and how it is burned into your muscle memory you can.

      Or could. You know, before Systemd.

      Fuck systemd.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Probably a necessity

        https://devuan.org/

        I'm sure you're aware of Devuan. I hope they succeed.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Probably a necessity

          I've bunged my protest money in their direction. I haven't seen anything like a practical product yet, however.

        2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: Probably a necessity

          If you're looking for non-systemd distros, there's also AntiX (if you want a Debian base) as well as Slackware and its derivatives, to name a few. There's always BSD, too...

          1. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: Probably a necessity

            I just thought that I would mention PCLinuxOS

            It too has avoided systemd and with all the Mandrake tools available is easily one of the best distros for newcomers to Linux.

          2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Probably a necessity

            @Uncle Slacky

            I've been getting behind Slackware more and more recently, but honestly having trouble with BSD. BSD is just different enough that it's actually quite frustrating to use. It looks like Linux. It feels like Linux. But every time I go to use my decades of Red Hat muscle memory something doesn't quite work right or some command isn't there. BSD is something I learn in small doses in between a lot of cursing.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Probably a necessity

              " BSD is just different enough that it's actually quite frustrating to use. It looks like Linux. It feels like Linux."

              We're approaching things from a different point of view. Mine was that Linux looked like Unix, felt like Unix. Now it doesn't. It's maybe time to start referring to it as GNU/Linux as the purists insist and remember that Gnu's Not Unix.

              Nevertheless I agree that BSD can be frustrating but that's because it lacks the polishing that Linux has received over the last few years, the polish that turned it into a product in the sense that Brookes uses in TMMM.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Probably a necessity

          "I'm sure you're aware of Devuan. I hope they succeed."

          I doubt it. Everything upstream will simply be assuming systemd will be there & coding for it. Working round is going to be an ever increasing task. I just hope that doesn't affect BSD as well.

      2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Probably a necessity

        Editing a text file in Red Hat-based distributions is simple. You use vi. [...] Move over to Ubuntu and...wait...vi doesn't behave the same.

        In what way? I've used various flavours of *nix over the years, and whilst not a vi guru, I've never had a problem editing a file using the default installation of vi.

      3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Fuck systemd

        Thank you for that, Trevor.

        I will keep your post in my reference list for all those who incessantly spout off about how "easy" Linux is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck systemd

          >Pascal

          And how gloriously fucked up windows 10 is ?

          Even Redmond's number one arse kisser, Ed Bott is miffed:

          http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-yanks-latest-windows-10-release-from-its-download-server/

        2. hplasm
          Meh

          Re: Fuck systemd

          RINL

          RedHat Is Not Linux (Not any more...)

          Fuck systemd!

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Fuck systemd

            "RedHat Is Not Linux (Not any more...)"

            I think 6.x still is.

            Could there be a cunning plan at work?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck systemd

          Too hard for Windows users.

        4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Fuck systemd

          'I will keep your post in my reference list for all those who incessantly spout off about how "easy" Linux is.'

          I'm afraid that while "is" still applies to a few surviving long term support distros, Linux is becoming Windowsified. Free BSD looks encouraging but in some aspects is where Linux was about 10-12 years ago. I haven't tried OpenBSD yet.

        5. Vic

          Re: Fuck systemd

          I will keep your post in my reference list for all those who incessantly spout off about how "easy" Linux is.

          I wouldn't...

          I use vi on a daily basis[1] on many distributions[2]. And the only "gotcha" of which I'm aware is the fact that some terminal emulators do weird things with the arrow keys, meaning you have to use the h,j,k,l keys as per the manual.

          vim is pretty much interchangeable for vi.

          Vic.

          [1] vi is my editor of choice; I learnt it many years ago, and I like it. I'm not trying to convert anyone else to my line of thinking.

          [2] I even used to use it on Windows. My boss - a big UltraEdit fan - despaired.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Probably a necessity

        "Move over to Ubuntu and...wait...vi doesn't behave the same."

        I think I can see your problem. You're not really using vi, you're using vim which stands for "vi improved". And all those improvements allow distros to play silly buggers with config. Old vi has been available since V7, which included the code for ed became open source. Old vi is confusingly called new vi, nvi. Use that instead.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Probably a necessity

          @Doctor Syntax

          "I think I can see your problem. You're not really using vi, you're using vim which stands for "vi improved". And all those improvements allow distros to play silly buggers with config. Old vi has been available since V7, which included the code for ed became open source. Old vi is confusingly called new vi, nvi. Use that instead."

          Bingo. Except some distros map vi to vim and others don't. Some put vi under a new name, others don't. There's no consistency, and it requires learning who's done what that's different from the next guy. Which was sort of my point.

          Also: re Red Hat 6.x still being "real Linux"...I agree. Unfortunately, support won't last forever, and nobody has taken up forking it and continuing on with a great distribution.

          IMHO, Red Hat's arrogance has killed Linux. It's time now for all of us to learn BSD, for better or worse.

      5. Teiwaz

        Re: Probably a necessity

        > "Move over to Ubuntu and...wait...vi doesn't behave the same. it's configured differently and doesn't respond to commands the same. Well, shit."

        Whether vi or vim, all the 'basic' commands you mention in the previous paragraph work as expected in Ubuntu. Maybe you are thinking of more complex settings differences.

        And how did an article on 'Windows exams' get turned into a tirade about systemd on linux? You are just giving linuxers a bad name.

        You are sounding like users on linux forums complaining distro X should have X, X and X installed as default because 'that's what they want to use'.

        If there was enough popular support and will for a definitive alternative to systemd, there would be alternatives, just as Mate and Cinnamon sprang up as alternative to Gnome3 and Unity. There are alternatives to systemd (and distros that offer them). There are more important things to rail against.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Probably a necessity

          Oh, I disagree, sir. You are the living embodiment of those individuals which give Linux a bad name.

          I, a Linux user for nearly two decades, bring up the fact that Linux is an inconsistent user experience across distributions (and it is a fact,) and you reply essentially saying "but that's irrelevant!" You are concerned about the perception of Linux, wanting to downplay any potential issues with arguments about semantics and an ever shifting goalpost of relevance such that any complaints can ultimately be dismissed.

          This is why Linux has never managed to gain any traction on the desktop and why Android occupies the compltely-shit end of the mobile market.

          This whole "the user experience doesn't matter" attitude is fucking poisonous. It is the very real problem at the core of all things Linux, from the pathetic attempts at desktop implementations to building and maintaining a server OS that's worth a damn.

          Completely irrelevant minor distributions with no enterprise support and no hope of ever achieving anything like it do not constitute "alternatives" to anything except hobbyist level pissantry, self inflicted foot-oriented gunshot wounds and an interesting series of methods to get one's self into a world of commercial legal liability problems.

          In the real world there is Red Hat, SuSe, sort of Ubuntu and fuck all else. When Red Hat farts, 10,000 tiny distros choke to death on the fumes. When Red Hat rolls over, the entire Linux ecosystem falls out of bed.

          This isn't about "what I want". This is about stability and consistency. The discussion was about the stability and consistency of the Windows OSes. The comment was made that Linux is somehow better. It is not.

          For all that Linux is good and has some excellent aspects, it is in no way more stable, consistent and certainly not more easy to use than Windows. It is as inconsistent across versions of the same distribution as Windows is, and as inconsistent across distributions as Windows is across it's own major versions.

          Now, if you feel the need to take the speaking of truths in this matter and somehow see that as an attack on Linux, you need professional help. It's not. But you've clearly associated your self identity with Linux to such an extent that pointing out areas where work needs to be done feels to you like a personal attack.

          Get help. Get over it. And maybe, just maybe, come back and we can all work towards making Linux a more stable, consistent experience that will benefit the entire industry.

          1. Teiwaz

            Re: Probably a necessity

            Yes. There are areas of Linux that need work.

            People like you, who just harp on about distro decisions, do nothing and add nothing. You talk of 'truths' but the only truth you will ever acknowledge is your own point of view.

            'almost' twenty years as a linux user, yet you complain like a newbie over commercially backed distros slowly moving apart like stellar drift, or replacing an old subsystem with something entirely unfamiliar. This was inevitable with commercial distros, the LSB has been pretty much dead for a while now, and Gnome and KDE are so far apart now, for a 'consistent' user experience you pretty much have to use Gnome in totality or not at all.

            Chances of linux ever becoming more consistent across distributions are increasingly unlikely, far more likely is that the divergence will increase in the next ten years, what with the Systemd/other init systems, Gnome and KDE talking the ui in different directions, increasing number of distros based on DE concept alone and Canonical rewriting entire parts of the s/w stack when they don't like the look of the alterntive (and even they did not have issue enough with Systemd to stick with their own when debian switched).

            You seem to have a desire for a 'pure unix flavour of linux', yet dismiss the only distros likely to reliably deliver such a thing as 'hobbyist level pissantry with no hope of enterprise support'. Guess what? the world isn't perfect, and commercial based distros don't give a rat's ass for Linux or Unix purism, they will implement anything that they think is a good idea, increases sales, support contracts (or reduces actual support effort) and throwing your rattle out of the pram in a tantrum everytime the topic comes up is not going to change that.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Probably a necessity

            I love Linux but I have to give Trev Pott a round of applause for this very acute observation and hilarious bit of prose:

            "Completely irrelevant minor distributions with no enterprise support and no hope of ever achieving anything like it do not constitute "alternatives" to anything except hobbyist level pissantry, self inflicted foot-oriented gunshot wounds and an interesting series of methods to get one's self into a world of commercial legal liability problems.

            In the real world there is Red Hat, SuSe, sort of Ubuntu and fuck all else."

            1. Teiwaz

              Re: Blinkered and inaccurate

              "In the real world there is Red Hat, SuSe, sort of Ubuntu and fuck all else."

              Left out 'Debian'....'unless that's what 'sort of ubuntu' referred to.

              1. John Sanders
                Holmes

                Re: Blinkered and inaccurate

                I'm sure SystemRescueCD, PFSense(BSD), and many other small specialized distros deserve some love too.

      6. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: Probably a necessity

        Sir,

        SystemV has been always regarded as a blunder by people in the know, so much of a blunder that RH6 used Upstart from canonical before deciding on Systemd.

        Systemd while not perfect allows one to write a service init script or custom action in minutes rather than hours. So far it has proven to work perfectly, while with Upstart I always had services that would not start on boot nothing like that has happened to me with systemd so far.

        I used to be quite the sceptic about Systemd, but once I saw what it really was (other than the stupid tirade some people write all the time) and more importantly how it works I'm surprised no one came with something similar before.

        As for VI, VI does not exist anymore, it is VIM, the difference between VIM in RH and VIM in Debian is that they come with different configurations, in RH it comes in compatibility mode by default (Masochist mode) and in Debian it comes in VIM mode.

        If you run "vi -v" "vim -v" you will always have the same behaviour on every single distribution.

        """It has nothing to do with which OS you learn first. It has everything to do with understanding the fundamentals of how and operating system works, and why it works."""

        Something that can not be said about you clearly.

        1. John Sanders
          Facepalm

          Re: Probably a necessity

          Hmm my memory is not what it used to be... :-/

          To use VIM in compatible mode one has to start it and then in command mode type:

          "set compatible"

          1. Vic

            Re: Probably a necessity

            To use VIM in compatible mode one has to start it and then in command mode type:

            "set compatible"

            Or you can give it the -C switch on the command line. Not that I would.

            Vic.

        2. Vic

          Re: Probably a necessity

          Systemd while not perfect allows one to write a service init script or custom action in minutes rather than hours.

          I have never spent more than a couple of minutes writing init scripts. From what you're telling me, systemd solves a problem that doesn't exist...

          Vic.

          1. John Sanders
            Linux

            Re: Probably a necessity

            Once the service is written any process started by the service is tied to a cgroup, that makes tracking the daemon status easy peasey, as well as tightening the security by stating on which directories it can or can not read or write.

            You can specify that once the service stops some other service has to stop too, or the other way around, do not start the service until something else is already running.

            You can do all that and much more without having to spend hours.

            If you wrote all your scripts in 5 mins you haven't written many or very simple ones.

            In the past, in order to restart dead services one had to resort to things like write a guard dog script in cron, or hack around an init script, now it is a simple directive within the unit definition.

            Please take the time to learn how to use it, I do not doubt it may have defects (like all software) but so far the experience has proven very positive.

            As mentioned earlier, I was quite the sceptic myself but since I started using it in production via Debian 8 and CentOS 7.x I'm scratching my head as to why people insist it is the worst thing ever, it is not, it works fairly well and makes one's life easier.

            1. Vic

              Re: Probably a necessity

              If you wrote all your scripts in 5 mins you haven't written many or very simple ones.

              That's sorta the point - init scripts are simple. If you're trying to do complexity in init scripts, I would suggest you're putting the work into the wrong thing...

              I'm scratching my head as to why people insist it is the worst thing ever

              Because it keeps putting its tendrils into things it shouldn't. If all it did was to replace the SysV init system, no-one would really care too much - although I think systemd is clunky, I would get used to it. But when Poettering keeps insisting everyone else change their ways of working to allow him to do what he wants, you'll get push-back. And that is what is happening.

              Vic.

              1. John Sanders
                Linux

                Re: Probably a necessity

                Vic, I agree with you on the point that perhaps it is trying to do too much, this was why originally I was wary of it.

                What I do not agree on is on init scripts being simple:

                wc -l /etc/init.d/httpd

                418 /etc/init.d/httpd

                28 Lines are comments that are active part of the script in the sense that they provide descriptive functionality to the init system!

                wc -l /usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service

                20 /usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service

                5 lines on the unit definition are mere comments.

                418 non-standarized code vs 20 standard definition lines 99% common across all distros is quite some gains in my opinion.

                I for one do not use firewalld, disabled it for traditional plain IPTables.

                The rest of the stuff is exactly the same, you are not forced to use anything in Systemd that you do not want to, case in point the journal, while I do not dislike it and find some of the filtering it can do handy I still like to tinker with the usual text files.

                1. Vic

                  Re: Probably a necessity

                  What I do not agree on is on init scripts being simple:

                  wc -l /etc/init.d/httpd

                  Well, I don't know which distro you're using, because on my machine :-

                  [vic@perridge ~]$ wc -l /etc/init.d/httpd

                  124 /etc/init.d/httpd

                  And it's a really simple script. 37 lines in mine are whole-line comments. This is a very simple thing.

                  wc -l /usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service

                  20 /usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service

                  So you think fewer LoC means simpler? I despair of such attitudes.

                  But when we add in /etc/sysconfig/httpd - which is where the config bits have gone to from the init file, there's another 38 lines.

                  But - and here's the rub - what happens when something goes wrong? You've got your minimalist httpd.service, and it just doesn't start the daemon - what do you do? With an init script, you can run each command and see what the hell happens - because that is exactly the context in which the script will usually be run. If your systemd getup fails for any reason, you have some work on your hands.

                  The rest of the stuff is exactly the same, you are not forced to use anything in Systemd that you do not want to

                  If that were true, there would be far less aggro. In pont of fact, you now have more and more things in the G/L system that require systemd, even if they're not trying to run daemons. If this were not so, then efforts like devuan would be trivial.

                  So that is why some of us do not want systemd - and it had nothing to do with its capabilities as a startup system. That much notwithstanding, the "benefits" of systemd you have listed above really don't qualify as such in my world. And whoever wrote your /etc/init.d/httpd seems to have issues...

                  Vic.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Probably a necessity

                    So this works in Windows?

                    or is this now a Linux comments story?

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Probably a necessity

          "SystemV has been always regarded as a blunder by people in the know"

          I take it that you think the folks in Bell Labs weren't in the know. Hmmm.

          "Systemd while not perfect allows one to write a service init script or custom action in minutes rather than hours."

          One of my worries about systemd is not that it doesn't allow the use of init scripts but that that use could disappear at whim.

          1. John Sanders
            Holmes

            Re: Probably a necessity

            SystemV as it was originally conceived has nothing to do with the modern implementations of init.

            There is plenty of stuff that the init system has to take care of and that wasn't there 30 years ago, the variety of devices and interactions that we have today is huge in comparison with the relatively simple computers of the time.

            Also the majority of commercial Unixes got rid of SystemV as it was originaly understood, known, case in point: Solaris and SMF (From where some of the inspiration of systemd comes from)

            There are things that never change like the sunrise, or the green colour, but computing, computing changes. Clinging to the solutions of yesteryear for the sake of purity is as wrong as MS replacing the Windows classic interface for something largely inappropriate.

            My opinion is that there is little to be gained from writing init scripts.

            For a start, the majority of what one does to create a modern integrated init script is use the foundation functions that the distro provides you with, so a good part of it was taken care in a way similar to systemd but much, much prone to making mistakes.

            If you look at some of the scripts many are very complicated, hundreds of lines, only advanced users really understand what's going on, (heck I struggle sometimes, I do not spend 8 hours a day writing scripts to known absolutely everything to heart) some have hundreds of lines and change from version to version of the distribution.

            I know some people feel in control tampering with the init scripts, but I guarantee you that trying to write init scripts for things like nodejs applications is not funny, it is a waste of time.

            And upstart was such a bad joke that I do not want to write about it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is all about the Money silly

    The bottom line of the Certification Division was probably looking a bit sad. Are people actually taking W10 exams?

    What better way to fix the problem than by extending the dates thus allowing more suckers to pay MS lots of lovely lucre for the [insert insult/prise words here] of passing their exams.

    Then sit back and profit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Idiot tax

      You must be pretty simple to want to take a Windows exam in the first place - but one for an OS that MS are moving people away from?

      If you haven't learned it by now, then you really need to consider another career.

      1. Ktsecful

        Re: Idiot tax

        Makes it a hell of a lot easier to get through the HR filter though.

  4. Tim99 Silver badge

    Windows 8

    I suspect that in the near future the choice that businesses will make for Windows is between 7 and 10. Windows 8/8.1 will die fairly quickly.

    Most larger businesses will stick with 7 until they work out WTF is happening with 10 and "The Cloud". Smaller businesses will go with 10; or look at OS X, as the SMB owner/Director seems quite happy thank you very much with their iOS fondle-things (personal anecdotes).

    1. enormous c word

      Re: Windows 8

      Exactly, Tablets and Smartphones are the disruption devices that new employees into the workplace are already familiar with. If they have iPhones / iPads or Android phones or tabs, then it's not a big leap to use a non-windows device in the workplace. Thats why M$ is betting the farm on Windows 8/10/Metro whatever-its-called on tablets / phones / PCs / laptops - they need to capture users before they enter into the workplace. If they lose the desktops, then the servers will follow - then they just become an app vendor - but not owning the OS, they lose their competitive advantage...

  5. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Er...

    Did anyone else read "immortal" as "immoral"?

    OK, only me then - I blame a lack of caffeine.

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: Er...

      No I read it as 'immoral' too. My first thought was 'should that not refer to Win10, not Win7'. (After telemetry 'upgrades', either).

      And I've had my coffee.

  6. David Lawton

    7 will be the new XP. Luckily it still has just over 4 years of support left. Windows 10 is just as bad as Windows 8, its interface is awful. Just spend 3 seconds in Settings/Control panel to get a taste of its bad design.

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