Category Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft tries to convince businesses to switch to Windows 8

A recent post at Microsoft’s Windows for your Business blog reads – as one might expect – a lot like PR hype for Windows 8. Even the subtitle: “Identifying your unique Windows 8 adoption path” assumes that the reader will be upgrading to the new O/S.

The gist of the article is that Windows 8 is going to be a really good thing for “the enterprise”, meaning businesses and corporations. Having read this article and much of the material linked from it, I remain unconvinced.

This list of features found only in the pricey ‘Enterprise’ edition of Windows 8 is supposed to get IT managers all excited about Windows 8, but I don’t see anything particularly compelling there. Not enough to upgrade from Windows 7, anyway. Sure, if you’re still running Windows XP in your IT shop, you might want to consider Windows 8, but right now, Windows 7 looks like a much safer bet. Thanks to Microsoft’s surprisingly generous support windows, Windows 7 is going to be around for a long time.

Windows 8 Store Rules could be a problem for some games

Microsoft is apparently applying a strict set of rules to the Windows Store, which is making its debut on desktop PCs with the arrival of Windows 8.

By the current rules, many popular PC games would not be acceptable for the Windows Store, including Skyrim. Games not available through Windows Store would still be available in the usual way, but they would be limited to running on the Windows desktop rather than on the new user interface. But who cares whether a game will run on the new UI? Most PC games take over the entire screen when they run anyway.

I’m betting this goes one of four ways:

  1. Game developers ignore the Windows Store and sell their games the same way as before. Windows Store becomes increasingly marginalized and irrelevant.
  2. Microsoft figures out how to sell mature content in Windows Store, and game developers gradually give in and start using it.
  3. The Windows Store restrictions remain in place, Microsoft phases out support for desktop gaming, and PC gamers revert to Windows 7 in disgust. Windows 8 retail sales drop to zero, joining business sales levels.
  4. Microsoft relents, recognizing that the only way to keep Windows Store relevant is to allow people to buy what they actually want there.

See Techdirt’s coverage of this issue for more details and links.

Update 2012Oct27: Microsoft is apparently paying attention. They have decided to adjust their rules to allow inclusion of mature games, although the change will not take effect until as late as December 2012.

Lack of interest in Windows 8 runs rampant in the business world

The Verge reports on findings from a Forrester study (as interpreted by The Wall Street Journal) showing that companies are significantly less interested in Windows 8 than they were in Windows 7.

Clearly, businesses have settled on Windows 7 to get them from the impending demise of Windows XP to the next (post Windows 8) version. Microsoft’s extended support for older operating systems is a real boon for IT departments, but there’s a danger that eventually Microsoft will give up and adopt a support model more like Apple’s, in which you’re practically forced to upgrade the O/S every other year.

Microsoft releases patches for Windows 8

Despite the fact that Windows 8 has not yet started appearing on store shelves, Microsoft is releasing a set of updates for the new operating system. Since Windows 8’s RTM (release to manufacturing), several new issues have been discovered, and the updates are intended to address those issues.

Anyone testing or evaluating Windows 8 should install the updates, which are available through Microsoft Update.

Anyone buying a new computer with Windows 8 installed on it should check for and install any pending updates immediately after powering up the computer for the first time. Anyone installing Windows 8 after it is released to retail should also immediately check for and install any pending updates.

October 2012 Patch Tuesday Advance Notice

Another month, another batch of updates from Microsoft. On October 9, starting at about 10 am PDT, Microsoft will release patches that address a total of twenty vulnerabilities in Windows and Office. Seven security bulletins will cover the defects being patched, one of which is a critical vulnerability in Word.

Also included in the upcoming updates will be Microsoft Security Advisory (2661254): Update For Minimum Certificate Key Length. This update is the final step in a series of actions taken by Microsoft to improve Internet-based security for its products. This update will force RSA-encrypted communications in Internet Explorer and Outlook to use keys that are 1024 bits in length or greater. If you access secure web sites with Internet Explorer or use encrypted email with Outlook, this update may cause those services to stop working. For further details, see: