By Joe Callison
3 February, 2016
Here are a few recent news items I have run across while browsing on cold winter days.
End of Google Chrome Support for Windows XP and Vista and Older Mac OS
Starting April 2016, Chrome will continue to function on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8, but will no longer receive updates and security fixes. Since most malware is introduced to your computer through either browsing or email, this could increase your security risk if you continue to use Chrome after April on these older operating systems. It is very surprising to me that Google chose to end support for Vista a full year before Microsoft will end support for the operating system.
Mozilla has not yet announced any plans for ending support of their Firefox browser for Windows XP and Vista, so that will be a good alternative for now.
End of Microsoft Support for Windows 10!
Surprisingly, Microsoft has added end of support dates for Windows 10 to their Windows lifecycle fact sheet. The end of mainstream support for Windows 10 is October 13, 2020 and the end of extended support is October 14, 2025. So what does this mean for what is supposed to be the last version of Windows? A clue can be found in a note at the bottom of the fact sheet, explaining that “not all features in an update will work on all devices” after October 14, 2025, and “a device may not receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside the original equipment manufacturer’s support period”. In other words, Microsoft updates will not keep supporting old hardware indefinitely as Windows-as-a-service evolves. Also Microsoft will not keep updating Windows 7 or 8.1 to work with newer processors, starting with Intel’s Skylake processors. Hardware upgrades with new processors from Intel, AMD and Qualcomm will need to use Windows 10.
The end of sales for new PCs with Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 preinstalled is October 31, 2016. The end of extended support for Windows 7 is January 14, 2020 and for Windows 8.1 is January 10, 2023.
Windows 10 Upgrade Automatically Installs Now on Most Computers
Microsoft just changed the Windows 10 upgrade from an optional update to a recommended update. Most people have their Windows Update settings box checked for “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” by default. If you do not want the upgrade to occur automatically, but want to continue installing important updates automatically, you need to uncheck the box for recommended updates now! If you find your computer in the process of upgrading, you can cancel the upgrade if you wish.