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All posts tagged windows update

The Blogosphere Is Rejoicing Over IE 8 9 10 End of Life…

Microsoft announced this week that IE 8 9 10 would no longer receive support.

This leaves Windows 7 and 8.x users with the option of upgrading to IE 11 or making the leap to Windows 10.

Whilst many Web Professionals, Developers, Designers and Testers in my feed are doing the Happy Dance over the fact they can follow Microsoft’s lead and end support for these versions of IE, there are inherent problems.

IE 8 9 10 Happy Dance

With thanks to the BBC and the 9th Doctor for this “Happy Dance”

Now For The Bad News…

For those of you who are the IE hateful, there may be some aspects of this announcement you haven’t considered.

Whilst blogs like the Verge, Ars Techica and others are touting this news as Microsoft .. killing Internet Explorer. The fact is end of life means Microsoft will actually no longer support these versions.

IE 8 9 10 will no longer receive patches, hot fixes or security updates and whilst Microsoft might remind users to upgrade their browsers, it won’t force it on them. As such, how many people out there are going to be left with unsecured browsers? Not so happy now huh?

Microsoft has faced this problem before with end of life for IE6. Moving users out of their comfort zone is no small challenge. Even if Windows Update is set to automatic updates, the user is almost certainly going to have to opt-in to updating their browser to IE11. Moving users from IE 8 9 10 to Chrome or Firefox? Even more of a challenge.

So Microsoft will be looking for creative ways to entice users with IE 8 9 10 to upgrade and reduce the footprint of masses of unsecured browsers in homes and the workplace. The workplace is somewhat easier, it requires influencing IT Professionals, Ops and CIO’s to take their business back to secure, patched browser use.

The home users are going to be a bigger problem. Telling users they get a more secure browser is too abstract, everyday consumers need a tangible incentive. Many may also not have Windows Update setup to push automatic updates or just see it as an annoyance.

The Warptest POV

I make no bones about the fact that if your PC can handle the move to Windows 10 then upgrading the OS is the way to go. If that’s not for you then you should be running Windows Update right now and updating IE 8 9 10 to IE 11.

If you have been cheering the so-called demise of these browsers then I have a challenge for you. Now you know the browsers aren’t going anywhere, just the support for them, what are YOU going to do to resolve this problem? Each of us know a bunch of people who won’t be updating their browsers, why not do it for them after convincing them that IE 11 is still in their comfort zone, even if Chrome and Firefox aren’t. The UX isn’t a drastic change and the UI is still clearly 100% Internet Explorer. They may just be too anxious to run the update themselves.

There, you just made the internet a safer place and reduced the number of unprotected versions of IE 8 9 10 running out there. Doesn’t that feel good?

Now as for Microsoft, if I can run a crowdsource project like this off the cuff, what are you going to do? Especially for non-techy consumers to make the update to IE 11 or Windows 10, then they need to feel a tangible incentive. This is going to need to serious evangelism, no? Game on Redmond.

Windows Update: The Best And Worst of Murphy And Schroedinger…

… A few days ago I was in a computer shop when an enraged customer took issue with the store owner. What was he so angry about? That his computer was meant to be fixed but he had switched it on and it instantaneously ran Windows Update and then installed the updates for almost 20 minutes.

Windows Update Frustration

I truly felt sorry for the store owner who patiently explained what Windows Update was, how it worked and even offered to sit with the customer and teach him how to use it.

Whilst this was an extreme case of a computer user who has a limited view of how technology should work, one thing is clear. Windows Update can be a source of frustration to PC users.

It’s not that people get frustrated by yet another vulnerability, patch, hotfix or driver update. It’s the inevitable and unavoidable inconvenience that Windows Update consistently causes them.

PC’s are meant to make us more productive, more efficient and yet Windows Update seems to: –

  • Download and run updates at the most inconvenient times.
  • Either require restart or postponed restart or in some cases force a restart just when we are getting into our productivity groove.
  • To add insult to injury, Windows Update then installs said updates at an apparent molasses like pace, requires multiple restarts and after we think it’s complete it reboots and zings us one more time with the “Leave me alone, I’m installing updates” screen.

Today I read and heard several times online and off complaints and frustrations of people who just wanted to get on with their work and were stuck with updates and restarts.

Windows Update and Maintaining Inner Zen-like Harmony

It’s important to start from a perspective that Windows Update is there to protect you and is necessary and desirable. If you are Windows XP user who hasn’t upgraded now that XP has reached end-of-life you are probably missing Windows Update right about now.

To maintain calm in the face of Windows Update appearing just when you are busiest it’s important to know or decide on a few things first: –

Windows Update Meditation

  1. Inevitability – the first step to inner peace is acceptance; accept that Windows Update is a part of your OS / UX and plays a vital part in keeping you, your data and work safe.
  2. Patch Tuesday – the first Tuesday of each month Microsoft regularly releases any patches and hotfixes. So add a reminder to your calendar for the first Tuesday of each month to run Windows Update and check how many updates need downloading. Give yourself enough time to do it right.
  3. Default State – by default Windows Update is set to download and install automatically but it is also set to do so from a specific time.

Windows Update Settings

If you want to change this then go to:

  • Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Windows Update\Change settings >
    next best choice is “download but let me choose when to install them.”
  • Then choose a time of day when you are willing to run the Windows Update and sit through the installation and restart process.

NB* Don’t let this become a way of not running Windows Update. Eventually this mistake will catch up with you.

The Warptest POV

As a Windows user I’m a fan of Windows Update and as a Windows 8 user I like the improvements. As I said earlier, if you are a Windows XP user then you are probably realizing that no more updates leaves you unsecured and exposed; it’s time to upgrade.

Remember that the path to harmonious existence with Windows Update is pre-emptive. Be prepared and run Windows Update, don’t wait for it to run when you need to be productive. So …

Windows Update Keep Calm

… and remember if you need help with this or other problems then you can contact me through the comments.

double espresso

Follow these steps and your Computer should run as if it’s mainlining Double Espresso:

 Caffeinated and happy

I know it’s cappuccino but it’s caffeine and it’s smiling. 

  • Check how much hard disk space you actually have free on your computer. You would be surprised how often we forget this one.
  • Backup all your photos, documents, music etc to either cloud storage (Google Drive/ SkyDrive/ Dropbox/ Box) or buy yourself an external hard drive and copy everything there.
  • Winning Israeli startup Soluto allows you to remove all the things slowing down PC boot and browser. Either you can go to and download and run the app yourself or if you already know someone with an account and tech savvy they can invite you and remote manage your tech issues.

Keep in mind that every day is be nice to your Tech Support Guy… they are giving you cheap if not free help. Last year as a favor to a friend I waded through their visiting father’s Windows 95 laptop when it ground to a sudden halt; he was kind enough to offer to pay and when I declined he brought round a six pack of Samuel Adams beer.

  • Uninstall programs you just don’t use. All those freeware / bloatware apps you installed a year ago and haven’t used since… terminate with extreme prejudice > Add/Remove Programs.

Note: If this is purchased / licensed software ensure you have the license and disk / installer elsewhere before removing.

  • CCleaner this is like Windows Disk Cleanup on steroids and will dispose of all the accumulated temp files on your system and in your browser cache. Open CCleaner to the cleaner tab > select / deselect the options you want > analyze will tell you how much you can delete > Run cleaner; keep in mind this will also remove all your logins to sites you use like so make a note of all your user names and passwords somewhere safe.
  • CCleaner also can clean redundant information from your registry. This is a power user activity, if you want to know more contact me.

CCleaner settings

  • Run Windows Update and install all critical updates – for ease of use have it set to download and install your updates automatically.
  • Assuming you have antivirus / antimalware run the updates then set it to run a deep scan and go do something else more interesting while it runs. If you don’t have security apps on your computer then stop what you are doing and read this post while you remedy this severe oversight.
  • Defragment your hard drive – again while running this go read a book, drink some coffee, call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently or go for a run.

    Note: Don’t overdo this. Defragging your hard drive is a once in a while activity.

  • Updating freeware programs:  there is a reason Adobe and others bring out patches and often it’s because a security issue needs fixing. You can do a lot of this easily via Soluto or you can use Filehippo‘s Update Checker.

If after all this you still find that your computer is running slowly then something may still be running in the background eating up resources or your PC is struggling due to demands beyond its available resources. It may be time to consider upgrading and it may not mean you need a new computer but perhaps a small investment in extra RAM, a better Hard Drive or even a replacement for your low bandwidth Wi-Fi card.

That just about sums it up. If you are having problems still or are a bit anxious about attempting this adventure without a guide then get in touch.