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Users of Internet Explorer (IE) were in no hurry last month to discard older versions, even after Microsoft told them that their browsers will drop off the support list in early 2016.
In a surprise announcement on Aug. 7, Microsoft said that after Jan. 12, 2016, it would support IE9 only on Windows Vista, IE10 only on Windows Server 2012, and only IE11 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
IE7 and IE8 will drop off support completely, but others on certain editions of Windows — like IE10 on Windows 7 — will also get the patch axe.
The browsers will continue working, but Microsoft will halt technical support and stop serving security updates for the banned versions. Because of the large number of critical vulnerabilities Microsoft patches in its browser — 110 in the last three months — it will be extremely risky running an unsupported version.
But Microsoft’s mandate did little to change the user share of the various versions of IE last month as measured by metrics vendor Net Applications.
Microsoft’s asking more than two-thirds of current Internet Explorer users to ditch their browser by January 2016.
IE9 actually gained ground. The browser, which is the newest able to run on Vista, added two-tenths of a percentage point to its user share to average 9.2% for August. But because Vista currently powers just 3% of all Windows computers, a majority of IE9 runs on Windows 7, which must dispense with the 2011 browser in under a year and a half.
IE8 will be an even bigger problem. The browser, which is the default for many of the Windows XP PCs still in operation, also was adopted by large numbers of businesses as the standard for Windows 7. That showed in Net Applications’ statistics: IE8 accounted for 21.4% of all browsers last month, down just two-tenths of a percentage point, and 36.6% of all copies of Internet Explorer.
(The difference between the numbers for all browsers and only IE was because Internet Explorer has a 58.5% share of the browser space, not 100%.)
IE6 and IE7 also declined last month, but by minuscule amounts of two-tenths of a point and less than half of one-tenth of a point, respectively. IE6, although no longer supported on Windows XP, is still patched on Windows Server 2003, which is slated for retirement in July 2015.
IE10 barely moved, too: Its user share dropped by less than one-tenth of a point to 6.2% of all browsers, and to 10.6% of all copies of IE.
The only bright spot was 2013’s IE11, which gained about eight-tenths of a percentage point to average 17.6% of all browsers, 30% of all copies of IE.
By the numbers, Microsoft’s customers will have a very hard time scrubbing out-of-date versions of IE by 2016. If IE8 was to magically disappear — which it will not — it would have to shed 1.3 percentage points each month. That would represent an increase of more than 2,000% from its six-month average decline.
Likewise, IE9 will have to be aggressively suppressed. Even if every copy of Vista runs IE9 — certainly not the case — Windows 7 PCs must increase their IE9 disposal rate by 630% to make the monthly quota towards zero.
Overall, the numbers are daunting: Microsoft has taken the unprecedented step of demanding that nearly 70% of its current IE user base migrate to a newer browser, and do so, for enterprises at least, in a very short time.
Little wonder, then, that Gartner analyst Michael Silver last month said, “This is huge” when asked to characterize Microsoft’s announcement.
Net Applications calculates user share by mining data from the approximately 160 million unique visitors each month who browse to the sites it monitors for customers.
Ignore the gimmicks and stick with Windows 7, says Rick Maybury
The oft-quoted five-year lifecycle for PCs has more to do with how often people are persuaded by clever marketing and advertising to replace their computers, rather than the durability of operating systems and computer hardware. Be in no doubt that Windows 9 will have lots of flashy features that you did not know you needed but if Windows 7 – arguably the best Windows to date – does everything that you and your daughter wants it to do, why wait? Experience also teaches us that it is often unwise to be ‘the first kid on the block’ where any form of technology is concerned.
Microsoft is helping hardware makers build low-priced Windows PCs to combat Chromebooks and the early results of that effort are hitting the market.
Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo are selling laptops priced less than $250 that run on Windows 8.1 with Bing, a royalty-free version of the OS. The OS is the same as Windows 8.1 but with Bing as the default search engine in Internet Explorer.
Microsoft is using Windows 8.1 with Bing, which was unveiled in May, to spread Windows to more low-cost PCs and tablets. It’s also an attempt to take on Google’s free Chrome OS, which is used in Chromebooks, an inexpensive and lightweight laptop family growing in popularity among the Web-based computing audience.
The first PCs with Windows 8.1 with Bing were shown at Computex in June. The cheapest PC is a desktop sold by Lenovo for $225, while the laptops start at $249. Microsoft has promised to bring down laptop prices to $199 with HP’s Stream 14, which has not been unveiled, although information about it has leaked out.
Open Terminal. Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal and type in the following command (or to use copy/paste method): sudo uname –m and hit Enter
- If the response is i686, you have a 32-bit version of Ubuntu.
- If the response is x86_64 for example, you have a 64-bit version of Ubuntu.
Check out other information as needed. You have other commands for other information also, so type those commands or to use copy/paste method to the Terminal:
- sudo uname –s, shows you the kernel name
- sudo uname –n, shows you the network node host name
- sudo uname –r, shows you the kernel release
- sudo uname –v, shows you the kernel version
- sudo uname –m, shows you machine hardware name
- sudo uname –p, shows you the processor type or “unknown”
- sudo uname –i, shows you the hardware platform or “unknown”
- sudo uname –o, shows you the operating system.
Ever since the creation of computers, the threat of computer hackers has existed. Today there are a number of antivirus options, but which one is the best?
Thankfully, users don’t even have to pay to get decent antivirus software, as a number of great free options are available. Among those free options are AVG and Avast Antivirus, which many see as better than many of the paid options.
AVG, which stands for Anti-Virus Guard, has long been a favorite among consumers. In fact, it is the most popular antivirus software on the market, and is often considered to be the best option for removing viruses and other forms of malware.
One of the best things about AVG is its LinkScanner cloud technology, which keeps it always up to date on being able to stop the newest viruses. AVG also promises its customers that it will remain the best software on the market, improving with every new release.
Avast, on the other hand, is short for Anti-Virus Advanced Set. It is very common among consumers as a choice for virus and malware protection. Avasts detection rates have been tested and configured and the software is comprehensive protection against a variety of viruses and malware.
Another great thing about Avast is its user interface, which allows users to easily configure and navigate the software, even for those who might not be as computer-savvy as others. Avast provides a number of features that cannot be found in AVG, such as Boot Scan, iTrack and P2P shield, which ensure even more protection.
While AVG and Avast are surely industry leaders when it comes to antivirus software, they aren’t the only options available. Norton AntiVirus is another leader in the industry, although it is a paid option. It has a level of protection that reaches 92 percent, and is a good option for avid users of social media, as it protects against links that may include malware.
When considering the options for antivirus software, it is important to remember that antivirus software exists to help prevent viruses and malware from accessing your computer. Do not wait until you already have a virus to install this software, as by the time it is installed, the damage can already be done. In fact, if a computer is suffering from virus problems, it is often difficult to install antivirus software.
It is also important to consider which types of malware and viruses each software prevents, as no two antivirus programs do exactly the same thing. Despite this, when it comes to choosing between AVG and Avast, for the general consumer it’s hard to go wrong.
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In an email newsletter Wednesday, HP led its sales pitch with the line “Windows 7 PCs on sale, just in time for school,” adding that Windows 7 is still available preinstalled on select notebooks and desktops. From HP’s website, more than a dozen laptops and desktop models running Windows 7 are still offered for sale.
HP is not alone in continuing to sell Windows 7 PCs to consumers. Dell still offers a number of consumer PCs running Windows 7, as do other computer makers.
While not unheard of — PC makers clung to Windows XP after Vista flopped — it does show that the industry still sees Windows 8 as a drawback, at least for some PC buyers.
It has been nearly two years since Windows 8 went on sale. Though the update was pitched as the future of Windows, Microsoft has spent the last couple of years finding ways to make the new Windows look more like the old one. With Windows 8.1, released last year, Microsoft added the ability to boot to the old-style desktop.
The company has promised the next version of Windows will go even further, allowing new-style apps to run from the desktop and bringing back a more traditional start menu.
As for consumer PCs with Windows 7, expect to see those on sale through Oct. 31, after which computer makers will no longer be able to sell them as a standard option, per Microsoft’s policy.
Microsoft hasn’t set an end-of-sales date for machines running the professional version of Windows 7, and business customers often have the right to “downgrade” their machines to an older version of Windows as well.