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Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7

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Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7

All software products have a life-cycle. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running the Windows 7 operating system. After this date, this product will no longer receive free:

  • Technical support for any issues
  • Software updates
  • Security updates or fixes

Computers running the Windows 7 operating system will continue to work even after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risks from viruses and other security threats.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to upgrade to a currently supported operating system. For more information, see the Microsoft End of Support FAQ.

Source: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2019/03/19/Microsoft-Ending-Support-Windows-7

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the info Firefox  :)

My favorite OS other than XP.

RIP Windows 7. 

Edited by mountaintree16

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Thank you for the info Firefox  

My favorite OS other than XP

RIP Windows 7

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All my clients are all on Win 10 and of course, running Defender with Malwarebytes Premium. No issues and NO infections. All new clients get upgraded or replacement computers with Windows 10. No exceptions. I have found that when a computer with 10 is set up correctly clients have no problems adjusting. I also do not see any issues with updates or feature upgrades.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, Windows 7's time is coming to an end, but I won't be abandoning it for the gaping security hole filled, spyware riddled, backdoor harboring, adware infested sad excuse for an OS that Microsoft calls Windows 10.  I plan to stick with 7 for as long as possible, and if the day comes that I am no longer able to keep it secure using my methods (the same methods that have kept me infection-free for over 20 years and counting across every device I've ever administered) I'll assess my options and make a decision on what to run next; probably some variant of Linux, and hopefully by then their compatibility with Windows based games will be better than it is now (though it is improving all the time from what I hear).

In my honest opinion, security updates or not, 7 is still a far more secure OS than Windows 10 will ever be.  There is a good reason 10 is the only OS Microsoft has ever given away for free and even tried to force on users through Windows Update.  I understand that Microsoft's goal is to change to a 'software as a service' model (including using their OS to push sales through their Windows Store, Xbox and embedded advertisements) and to become a data harvesting telemetry giant like Google, collecting data and tracking everything that everyone does, but those goals do not align with my personal beliefs in privacy and my requirements for security.  One day clever hackers will discover the backdoors Microsoft left open in Windows 10 and will exploit them, and no amount of enhancements to their built in Windows Defender will stop the bad guys from using the open gates they left in their own OS for themselves and the organizations they have chosen to pander to.

Edited by exile360

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You really ought to have more faith in humanity. There's a lot that a user can do to improve their experience and personal security on Windows 10. For instance, I use WuMgr so that I can block automatic updates, and instead update Windows on my own terms, and mine alone.

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I have lots of faith in humanity; it's corporations (like Microsoft, for example) that I do not trust, and likely for good reason since one of their primary motivations is the monetization of user data/telemetry, not to mention their own privacy policies which state that they will retain and turn over any and all private messages, data, emails and other info to any authorities that request it.  Heck, my ISP fought harder for privacy and they're AT&T; a mobile carrier, and we all know how bad they tend to be when it comes to privacy, yet they're better than Microsoft.

My lack of faith is because while I do believe that most people are genuinely good and that they try to do the right thing, money tends to get the better of them too often, and in many cases not everyone within an organization knows everything that all the others are up to, and of course the word they're fed down from the top is often spun with a friendly sounding message that what they're doing is somehow for the benefit of their users/customers (telemetry is quite often justified this way, even when it is being used for marketing and sales purposes).

Of course, there's also articles like this and you'll find countless others if you search for anything like "Windows 10 privacy", "Windows 10 backdoor", "Windows 10 security", "Windows 10 spying" or anything else along those lines.  Never have I seen an OS release get so much negative light shined on it over privacy and security concerns.

And all of that is on top of the fact that Microsoft continues breaking their own OS by making compatibility breaking updates that are insufficiently tested before being forced out to users via Windows Update (something I've never experienced on 7, even after installing Service Pack 1, which was a major update to the OS) and the fact that it's designed with users of phones and touch enabled devices in mind first, and users of keyboard and mouse interfaces second (though it's still much better than 8 in that regard, but only because they received so much negative feedback and press over it).

You have to understand that the biggest problem here isn't some set of options in the OS or even the fact that Microsoft has straight up said that they would cooperate with authorities to expose user data/systems (though those are certainly things to be concerned about); it's that Microsoft is literally looking to get out of the endpoint software business, meaning that eventually they want to make profit from serving up software and services from 'the cloud' just like Google.  They want all sales to go through their app store, all data to be stored on their servers (including any private data, especially anything containing useful info such as other users' email addresses and contact info as that just adds to the people they can potentially advertise/sell to) and they want everyone to get comfortable with the idea that no matter what they do on their devices, it all gets saved and stored for them by Microsoft, who just so happens to be constantly seeking out new ways to profit from it, be it through paid advertisements embedded in the START menu, browser, instant messaging app, games or whatever, or through direct sales of their own software and services to users of their operating system which serves as little more than an 'always on' Microsoft storefront.  They want Xbox to become the same thing which is why with the next version they're going to be pushing hard for gaming as a service with more streaming than physical media and I'm certain it won't be long before we see advertisements embedded in the games we play (some of them are already doing this, actually, but it will get worse).

I HATE advertisements.  I hate them so much that I cancelled my cable TV because I got so sick of the constant ads being forced on me, even during programs not just commercial breaks when I was paying for the privilege.  I can understand if something is free, someone using ads as a means of generating revenue, but once I've paid I've earned the right not to have any more products and services pushed on me.  That's also why I block the ads on the internet.  I wouldn't if they weren't so obnoxious, but it's really gotten to the point that the web is practically useless without a good ad blocker, and that's sad.  That's also why I'm more than willing to PAY for services like Amazon, Netflix and Vudu just so I can have access to the content I want WITHOUT any advertisements.  I would rather pay a premium for content to receive it ad-free and without restriction than to have countless advertisements and little 'gotchas' in there for the company to try and profit from using the lure of supposed 'free' content as the bait.

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Amazon still makes you watch advertisements, though... which pisses me off more than a little bit. As much as I love and rely on the internet, I feel like only after a complete collapse of the system would things have even a chance of improving. Same thing with current economic and political structures.

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On the Amazon video app for the PS4, a short commercial will play in between episodes of shows, including ones that we've actually purchased and aren't available for free via an Amazon Prime membership.

Oh, and Google also explicitly puts advertisements in the middle of YouTube videos to try to get people to pay for YouTube Premium with the "No more interruptions" selling point. And even though a lot of people use YouTube or Twitch as their primary means of income, they won't actually get that income anymore because of copyright abuse, where something that falls within fair use (or in some cases,  has nothing at all to do with something that's copyrighted) will either receive a copyright claim (at which point, all revenue goes to whoever placed the claim), or will receive a copyright strike (where the video is taken down entirely).

After three copyright strikes, your entire channel is deleted. And we have bots all over the internet looking for anything that even barely resembles copyrighted material in the loosest sense of the word and basically machineguns copyright strikes at people.

And let's not forget the demonetization bots, which will flag your videos as being "unsuitable for advertisers" if your video contains anything which the bot classifies as offensive or controversial, which is A LOT of things (not only needlessly broad definitions, but false positives on top of that) and you won't get any revenue from it at all. And yet advertisements will still play. What exactly does "unsuitable for advertisers" even mean, anyway? People would still be watching the video, and would still be forced to see advertisements. And if you get a false positive, tough luck, because YouTube support is specifically trained to be as unhelpful as possible.

By the way, Google's official reasoning for demonetization bots? "To stop terrorism". Yeah, because clearly, all anyone ever watches on youtube are videos of people wearing ski-masks beheading anyone who's not also wearing a ski-mask.

The demonetization and copyright strike bots on YouTube, which rely on machine learning, have hardly any training at all before they're released into the wild and given administrative privileges. It would be like taking a toddler with only the barest sense of right from wrong, giving them a box of superhero cartoons on VHS and a five minute crash course on the law and criminal justice, and then giving them a badge and gun and putting them in charge of an entire swat team with the purpose of "stopping bad guys" with a license to completely disregard collateral damage. And by the way, this entire paragraph is being extremely generous. Those bots need to be put on a leash,  and the people who authorized their release are long overdue for their rabies vaccine.

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Dude, I cited Google as my reference point for my concerns regarding Microsoft; I'm all too aware of their operations with regards to advertising and privacy.

I don't use a console for gaming so I've never seen those ads you mention for Amazon.  I block all ads so I don't even see any of the ads when I watch videos on YouTube, but I know that they're supposed to be there; I just don't tolerate them, the same as with other sites.

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I wasn't disagreeing with you on citing Google, I was merely elaborating on the issue so that others who weren't as well-informed wouldn't be super confused when reading this thread. As it stands, Google never was a search company in the first place, they have always been a marketing company. Their revolutionary search engine was just the first step in their master plan. We live in a world run by con artists. We live in Shadowrun, but slightly less violent and without all the awesome fantasy and science fiction elements.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, it's a world full of adware and spyware.  What was once called spyware is now referred to as 'telemetry', and what was once called 'adware' is now referred to as 'targeted advertising' but it's all the same stuff that brought companies like Safer Networking, Lavasoft, Webroot, and eventually, Malwarebytes, into being.

Edited by exile360

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My main character in Shadowrun actually works for MalwareBytes. The first Technomancer hire of the newly established Houston, Texas branch. The company has gone lots of places by 2080, but maintains the reputation of their real-world counterpart and the principles they were built-on.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, exile360 said:

(including using their OS to push sales through their Windows Store, Xbox and embedded advertisements)

I have not seen an AD or a push for anything from MS. Easy to turn off without using any 3rd party tools or hacks. Just in settings albeit spread all over settings though. gotta know where to look. Also, need to do it for each user account on some settings.

Edited by Porthos

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1 minute ago, Porthos said:

I have not seen an AD or a push for anything from MS. Easy to turn off without using any 3rd party tools or hacks. Just in settings albeit spread all over settings though. gotta know where to look. Also, need to do it for each user account on some settings.

And in 7, I don't have to turn any of it off because there's nothing to turn off, and I also don't have to trust that they are not only honoring the settings that they do expose to the user to control, but that they aren't likely hiding other areas of concern for which there are no settings to control.  I've seen reports in articles, videos and from users about ads embedded in the live tiles in the START menu and how apps will reinstall themselves after being removed, and that privacy settings will revert following updates to the OS.  It just seems more trouble than it's worth, especially knowing what I know of Microsoft's initiatives to follow the business models of the likes of Google and Facebook who essentially make their entire living off of gathering user data and selling advertising.

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3 minutes ago, Porthos said:

Yes, as I mentioned, Linux is definitely on my very short list of considerations for the long term future.  That said, I have no plans to migrate away from 7 any time soon.  Given the extensive measures I take on my devices to secure them and either disable, turn off/deactivate, remove or outright break any components and aspects that present a potential exploit risk or security hole, combined with all of the measures I take using third party security tools as well as near constant software and performance monitoring to look for any suspicious, out of place or malicious behavior, I am certain I can keep 7 secure for a long time to come, even after Microsoft ends support for the Operating System early next year.  A great deal of the major exploits for Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and other common components and programs that I use have been useless against my system from day-0 and prior due to that fact.

To cite a well known example, EternalBlue, the now infamous SMB v1 exploit utilized in the WannaCry/WannaCrypt0r ransomware attacks.  I was immune to this attack vector (and any other SMB related exploit for that matter) since long before the Shadow Brokers group ever exposed it to the public, and likely before the NSA ever even developed this exploit/attack measure simply because I had already removed/disabled SMB capabilities from all of my network connections and I'd already disabled or deleted any of the Windows Firewall rules allowing such connectivity to my system (or from it for that matter, so even if I were infected, I could not infect others on my network with any worm attempting to exploit SMB as a connection mechanism).

In fact, I don't even have IPV6 enabled yet just because it has not yet become necessary and hasn't been adopted as the primary standard/protocol yet, though obviously I will once the world finally gets off of IPV4 (at which point I'll likely disable IPV4 so that only the primary/most secure protocol remains active).

Anything related to remote control/remote access is either disabled, removed or broken (including patching and disabling Intel's own Orwellian IME hardware remote access/control functionality embedded in virtually every chip they've manufactured for the past decade or so; that one was tough without my system manufacturer's willingness to provide a patched BIOS, but I accomplished it nonetheless).

I don't mess around when it comes to security, and while I definitely do NOT recommend others do so since I'm certain most likely aren't nearly as thorough or paranoid as I am, I will most likely be sticking with an 'unsecured' OS, at least for the foreseeable future.  Honestly, as long as the software is compatible that I use (which shouldn't be a major obstacle until Microsoft makes some massive, sweeping changes to hardware/driver compatibility in a later version of Windows 10, which will necessitate breaking compatibility with current versions of Windows 8/8.1 and 10 as well as 7 since they all currently use the same underlying core driver/hardware APIs save for those new ones which only apply to Windows 10 such as ELAM), I have no reason to fear that my system will suddenly become so vulnerable to attack that it cannot be mitigated, either through my own pre-emptive countermeasures or those in play from third party software tools such as Malwarebytes.  Those generic, behavior based/signature-less protection mechanisms go a long way to securing a system against many potential existing and as yet to be discovered vulnerabilities.  At the time that XP support ended this really was not the case, as technologies such as anti-exploit, active keylogger monitoring/detection and other strictly behavior based protection mechanisms in that area were either very much in their infancy, or hadn't reached nearly the level of availability and reliability that they have now.  It's also a different world out there from the bad guys' perspective.  Microsoft Windows is no longer their primary target of choice; in fact, I've seen several reports in recent years that the largest botnets are now composed of IoT devices, not PCs which is something that has never happened until now.  Mobile devices are now much more prominent, as are 'smart', always online IoT devices that almost all run some flavor of Linux, not Windows, and these are the main targets for those who seek to infect as many targets as quickly as possible, especially with their lackluster security offerings compared to desktop operating systems which have a plethora of security tools, suites and offerings available for free and paid to help keep them secure.  A time will soon come that Malwarebytes and other AM vendors will see for the first time ever the number of threats discovered throughout the year to be primarily for devices that are NOT running Microsoft Windows.  It's only a matter of time, and that time is fast approaching.

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By the way, this is a prime example of the direction that Microsoft is taking.  Obviously that applies to businesses, not consumers, but I assure you that consumers won't be far behind (they tend to test things out on the business side before the consumer side for most major initiatives).

The smart phone market is pretty much already there, with many phone service providers offering leases for their overpriced devices which gives the consumer the option to never own their phone, just to lease it and have it replaced every year or two when the new one comes out.

It's silly if you ask me, but I guess I can understand wanting to have the latest and greatest tech being a PC hardware enthusiast; I just don't like the idea of perpetually paying for hardware that I never actually own and paying for so-called 'upgrades' that don't really offer new, exciting, innovative features any longer (the mobile market has stagnated of late, especially for the company that starts with the letter 'A' in my opinion; though they are about to have these new folding phones which is ironic considering that modern smart phones replaced phones that flipped open/closed with dual screens in the past, one of which I still own and use in lieu of a touch based smart phone :P).

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I still feel like MalwareBytes should compile a version of MB3 for ARM64 builds of Windows 10, as ARM devices running Windows 10 are becoming increasingly popular. Even before threats specifically targeting the ARM64 version become a thing, it could help protect against common exploits that don't care which version of Windows you're running. If you're running Windows 10 for ARM, you won't be able to run the current x64 version of MalwareBytes, and you'd have to do icky workarounds to install the 32-bit version which probably wouldn't work too well.

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1 minute ago, Amaroq_Starwind said:

I still feel like MalwareBytes should compile a version of MB3 for ARM64 builds of Windows 10, as ARM devices running Windows 10 are becoming increasingly popular. Even before threats specifically targeting the ARM64 version become a thing, it could help protect against common exploits that don't care which version of Windows you're running. If you're running Windows 10 for ARM, you won't be able to run the current x64 version of MalwareBytes, and you'd have to do icky workarounds to install the 32-bit version which probably wouldn't work too well.

Yeah, trying to hack compatibility for an in-memory protection program like the Exploit Protection in Malwarebytes is a recipe for disaster and unlikely to do much to increase the security of the device in question.

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