Welcome to fall!! Support for Microsoft Windows 7 (all versions) is scheduled to end on January 14, 2020. As this end of support date approaches, many businesses and users have been scrambling to upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 7 remains popular due to its stability, application compatibility and the cost of purchasing new hardware for Windows 10. Microsoft has surprised everyone by announcing that anyone can purchase Windows 7 Extended Security updates through January 2023. Please note that security updates do not include bug fixes, new features or general technical support. However, it does buy current Windows 7 users more time to plan, prepare, test and execute their moves to Windows 10. I can help you with moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Speaking of Windows 10, Microsoft has finalized the latest build, which used to be called 1909 (for year 2019, ninth month) but will now be called the November 2019 Update. This update was designed to be smaller, quicker and easier to install. It also brings new features like Windows Defender ATP, which is fancy way of saying Windows will now prevent malware from disabling your anti-virus software or changing it to a trojan. I will have more details on new features and a review of the Windows 10 November 2019 Update when it is released.
It has been a busy month for Microsoft. As expected, Microsoft updated and expanded their Surface product line. The Surface Pro 2-in-1 received a processor upgrade and a USB-C port (finally!). Microsoft also introduced a new Surface Pro X, an ultra-light 2-in-1 computer that uses a custom processor and an LTE chip (mobile connectivity). The Surface Pro X was a surprise and represents Microsoft’s first foray in processor designs (although Apple has been designing custom processors for years for their iPhone and iPad lines). The Surface Laptop was upgraded to faster processors and USB-C ports too. Microsoft also introduced a 15” Surface Laptop 3 that includes extremely fast (good enough for gaming) AMD video and CPU processors. The only device not updated was the Surface Book laptop. Microsoft also previewed their folding Android phone which is scheduled to be released late next year. The big news is that Microsoft has chosen to support Android instead of Windows on this revolutionary phone, but the specs and look may change before the production model is released.
Apple also released several operating system upgrades this month. For Apple Mac users, Mac OS X Catalina is now available. My advice is to check your application compatibility before installing Catalina. Catalina does not support 32-bit applications and removes Apple iTunes, including the iTunes support libraries. Many popular applications (like Microsoft Office 2011) will not run on Catalina, which may force you to purchase a newer Office version or an Office 365 subscription. The removal of iTunes support libraries (including XML configuration files) has rendered many “jukebox” and video applications inoperable, even if they are 64-bit applications supported by Catalina. Sadly Apple has also had issues with the iPhone’s iOS operating system, resulting in almost weekly updates and patches.