Microsoft Ends Support on Windows 8 and Internet Explorer

Please be aware Microsoft is once again narrowing their product base and is ending support of Windows 8. Further Internet Explorer (IE) versions 8,9,10 have had the support ended as well.

There’s been many different articles on it, but here’s two articles which explain it – including with videos.

Security updates for windows 8 to cease after January 12 2016

Windows 8 Microsoft ends support for 3 year old operating system

Microsoft cutting support for IE 8 9 and 10

Windows 10

In our house my husband and I have both been invited to upgrade to Windows 10. We have both wanted to upgrade but didn’t want to do it without knowing what exactly would happen to our computers. Once we did some research, we found Windows Media Center wouldn’t be in Windows 10. My husband uses it sparingly but has had many problems with it. On the other hand, I use it daily and have had no problems with it. Its very easy to use and does what I want. The problem is it saves in formats which I have to convert the things I record in.

The screen when you updating Windows 10

Finally yesterday, my husband loaded Windows 10 on his computer. We have both downloaded the software but it still took him about 3 hours to put Windows 10 Operating System on his computer. Since then, he’s find that it ‘operates fine and Ok’ according to him. He did say it is easier to transfer things to our Media TV sets, which is an improvement.

Because of my issue with Windows Media Player, I haven’t loaded Windows 10. I have to find software which can record TV easy enough. I’m still looking for something which could fit, but now that my husband has the software loaded it might be easier to find software that fits.


Windows 10 is to arrive in 2015 – What’s in it for you?

Everyone always wants to know what is in it for them…no matter what it is. Looking for a new car – what does it have that I want? A house – does it have what we want/need? A restaurant – does it have what we want? Want, Want, Want…its all we ask ourselves for.

However this time with Windows 10, I can understand people taking the time and asking – Do I really want Windows 10 this year after Windows 8? The horror stories of Windows 8…I wonder how they’ll screw up Windows 10. That’s probably what everyone’s thinking and cringing about. I know I was when Windows 10 was first mentioned and besides why do I need to upgrade?

Thinking back….and what about Windows 9? Did it get lost?I first covered Windows 10 in October 2014’s post called Have you heard the news on Microsoft’s Windows?

At that point, the word was Windows 9 would be an upgrade for Windows 8 users (Windows 8.1 and Windows RT users included) and it would he a very small fee for those who wanted to leave Windows 7 and upgrade.

Then upon the announcement, Microsoft had decided to go directly to Windows 10 – forget about Windows 9. Then the questions started – Why? Why would Microsoft do this? What happened to Windows 9? There was a range of ideas floating about:

  • Trying to distance itself from Windows 8’s tragic software was probably the most widely sprouted idea.
  • Trying to start again – it’s a big enough change of the software so starting again
  • This software was started back in 2010 so just keeping up the reflection of the year it was started (like Windows 95, 98, 2000). This was a bit of a stretch for me, but OK if people want to believe this.

And it went on and on. I think all up there were something like 10 different reasons why. To me it doesn’t matter, as long as the software gets BETTER for the users. As a teacher, beginners need something that is right there and easily explained. For the more experienced users, they need to get in and get stuff done rather than search day and night for what they use. This leaves me with the question – What WILL Microsoft’s Windows 10 do for all of us? That is the real question.

What came about at yesterday’s announcement of Windows 10 was pretty good if it stays that way. The main points of Windows 10 are:

Are you a Windows 7 or one of the many Windows 8 users? Then you can update to Windows 10 FOR FREE … but there’s a catch (isn’t there always?)…

PC World’s article “Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users“. According the article the terms and conditions (or t/c as some people know them as) state:

Here’s the fine print from the Windows 10 page on Microsoft’s site:

“It is our intent that most of these devices will qualify, but some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. ISP fees may apply. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise outside of this offer. We will be sharing more information and additional offer terms in coming months.”

So this means if you have the above done, and you don’t have Enterprise, then you are fine for the update. More than PC World is reporting this – CNet,Yahoo tech, Tech Crunch, ComputerWorld – just to name a few!

Of course there’s another snag – er condition – Microsoft operating system chief Terry Myerson announced that current users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free for one year after the operating system launches. Once you’ve claimed the upgrade, Microsoft will keep you updated for the supported lifetime of the device.

Then we start to think – Why would we want to do this besides the supported lifetime of the device? How about Microsoft stopping support on Windows 7? Yep, no more support for Windows 7 mainstream will end. Huh? Yep as of January 13, 2015, Microsoft stopped mainstream support for Windows 7–which is still an extremely popular operating system. But you’ll still be able to use it safely for another five years.

This will bring you up to current software and it won’t cost you. That’s a savings of almost $120 for the upgrade.

Other positives? Let’s look at Windows 10 as they gave everyone a bit of an in-depth look at the OS.

There will be 2 different types of Windows – Cortana – which is the artificial intelligence (to combat Apple’s Siri) will handle if the software is on a desktop, tablet or phone. Each will handle a bit different because she will pick up if a mouse, monitor and keyboard is attached. If not, then it defaults to the tablet/phone interface.

We say goodbye to IE or Internet Explorer. Well in a way we do. Apparently they are keeping the concept but now its name is Spartan. Yep just like the Greek town. Why is it when I heard about it thought of a Greek fighter? Maybe that’s the image they are trying to overcome as well – because I always term IE as Swiss cheese because of the security flaws. I’m just wondering if the interface will be as sexy as the Greek fighter image I have in my head – I doubt it.

Gaming is made better and DirectX will be installed as part of the OS. Good? Bad? This one got me a who the hell cares type of feeling, but I know my husband will like it as he’s the gamer in the family.

In late 2014, they announced some other features will be returning on the desktop software – start button and task bar to name a few. I’ve

Apparently the announcement didn’t go any further than this – not even a release date in sight other than them to say 2015. Hmmm as of now its less than 344 days if it gets released around New Years of 2015 that is. There are beta copies and the Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program is there but apparently very unstable, so I wouldn’t try it unless you want to lose your data I’m told.

From experience, the developers are working towards an end date but just not letting everyone else in on it – yet.

Who’s looking forward to Windows 10?? Anyone that’s game enough to admit to it? I know I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks of this one…

People and Products lost in 2014…and what can we look forward to in 2015

I hope you had a great Merry Christmas for those of you who celebrate.

As 2014 draws to a close, in this post we take a look back at what and who we lost and what we have to look forward to.

I’ve been spending my time trying to figure out the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8 inch tablet I got for Christmas. As it operates differently than my Apple, it’s going to be a challenge getting used to it.

IT People we lost in 2014

Jack Kinzler

Jack Kinzler, 94. He was known at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, where he was the chief (1961-1977) of the Technical Services Center, which he founded.When Skylab launched in May 1973, it lost a heat shield, rendering it uninhabitable. Working with fishing poles and parasols, Kinzler fashioned a substitute shield that could be deployed without a risky spacewalk, earning him NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal. His other contributions to space include the designs of the flagstaff, plaques and golf club heads used on the Apollo moon missions.

Aaron Allston

Aaron Allston, 54. He wrote the novels kicked off the sweeping Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi sagas. He also wrote two hardcover sequels to the film Terminator 3.He wrote several role-playing game rulebooks and supplements and helped developed the fantasy world of Mystara, a setting for many early adventures from Dungeons & Dragons publisher TSR.

Douglas E Smith

Douglas E. Smith, 54.He created the game while a college student. Smith dropped out of his classes to finish the game’s 150 levels, crowdsourcing some of their designs to neighborhood kids. First called Miner, it was rechristened Lode Runner when it was published by Broderbund.Smith later worked on such seminal Nintendo games as Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana.

Jim Weirich

James Nolan “Jim” Weirich, 58. chief scientist at agile development firm Neo Innovation, was a renowned Ruby developer. His most popular utility, “rake,” brought the functionality of Unix’s “make” command to Ruby. In addition to teaching and speaking at conferences, he would often perform his original song, “Has Anybody Seen My Code?” on the ukulele.

Ralph H. Baer, 92. He invented and patented the first home video game system in 1971 called Odyssey. He also created the came called Simon that tested our memory.

Georgy Adelson-Velsky

Georgy Adelson-Velsky, 92. He was part of the team that developed the first chess program to defeat Kotok-McCarthy, another early chess programs. His program was further developed into Kaissa, which, in 1974, won the first-ever chess tournament exclusively for computer programs to compete against each other. Kaissa continued to be developed as late as 1990, when it placed fourth in the second annual Computer Olympiad, an event that continues to this day.

Priya Haji, 44.  Haji’s startups have helped serve at least 500,000 people in 70 countries, according to Fast Company. Her most recent effort was SaveUp, a financial app that helped Americans erase $856 million in debt.
There are many others – take a look at Computerworld’s tribute.

Products we lost in 2014

Microsoft lost quite a bit Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 were no longer supported. I know from my students, Windows XP no longer being supported was one of the biggest complaints I heard.

Be aware of those of us out there that have resisted Windows 8, and are still using Windows 7, support will be pulled for this product in January 2015 as well. I guess this is forcing us to move up to one of the new Windows products…See the New Products in 2015 for more information.

Some say Windows 9 has been killed, but I’ve heard a few things. One that Windows 9 will be only for those who haven’t upgraded to Windows 8.1 or 8.2, so by upgrading to Windows 9, it will give you functions to most of Windows 10 and bring back some of the stuff we liked. However, other say there is or hasn’t been or won’t be a Windows 9. If this is correct, then how can it be killed? Hmm think about that oh brainy ones out there…

MSN or Windows Live messenger was killed this year as well. This was to be expected as it merged with Skype last year.

Office Clip Art has died. This means Microsoft office no longer has clip art – it will direct you to a bing (a Microsoft website) webpage to do searching for images.

Remember the iPod Classic players? Those were discontinued too. At least you can show your children – or those who have children – right?

Captchas or those annoying boxes that distorted text at a bottom line of a webpage so creators knew you were a person. Now, we have a box that has to have a tick in it that says “I’m not a robot”. Boy, a genius would have figured this

A Captchas box

solution out instead of the years I’ve wasted yelling at the computer because it had one thing typed (which I couldn’t figure out) and it pronounced something else. The grey’s I’ve gained from this are here to say but the Captcha is gone. Hmm I wonder who won this battle then?

Symbian from Nokia. You are probably saying never heard of it. It was Nokia’s operating systems on Nokia mobile or smartphones. This was thrown out because they decided to go with Microsoft’s operating system. Great give the headache’s to others, so I guess the sharing is caring has been done.

Facebook has retired some apps – one being the poke app and the picture app. Personally, I don’t know anyone who used these, and besides why would they keep them after buying out other companies that did or do this better?

If you’ve gone looking for the LinkedIn email app called LinkedIn Intro, then its gone as well.

Google’s Orkut, which was its first Google social media program closed this year too. I’ve never heard of it but its supposed to be huge in some areas of the world out there.

Flappy Bird was pulled because some the creator felt guilty some people got addicted to it. I’ve never played it but I did hear about it getting shut down though.

Aereo TV Service was 2 years old but after court hearings, it was closed. I haven’t heard of this one so I can’t say much more on it.

Verizon SugarString closes. Verizon, for those who don’t know, is a carrier in the US. They wanted to get involved with tech news and put their own stamp on it. They sure did that where almost all topics were fair game – except the topics about net neutrality and the US surveillance programs. The company took a huge hit and decided to retire the tech news ideas. Sounds like a smart idea to me.

If you think I’m lying both CNN’s Money and CNet agree with me these are dead and gone.

New or Anticipated Products in 2015

Windows 9 now this has been one of the talked about platforms. In September, there were rumours that Windows 9 would be for those Windows 8 users who haven’t upgraded to make them basically equal to Windows 10. I wrote about it here in my blog labelled “Have you heard the news on Microsoft’s Windows?“. There have been many theories as to why there is no Windows 9, but only Microsoft knows this. I know in the past when a piece of software wasn’t favored, they completely changed the naming, so maybe it was a step in that direction for Microsoft instead of the “Legacy code” of Windows 95 or in Japan 9 is not lucky so we’ll skip it. There are many other theories out there. ExtremeTech wrote an article on Windows 10 and so has PC World and The Independent are among many others out there.

Soon after the September rumors, Windows came out with their announcement of Windows 10 will be out in 2015. This one I’m not looking forward to because my Windows 7, as I’ve discussed above, is being discontinued. *sob*

One of the many types of wearable tech in 2015

I think wearable tech, like the Fitbits, are going to be more common than anything. I know here in Australia, Victoria Bitter or VB, has now introduced a wearable watch so workers can be caught up on the cricket no matter where they are.



If you are looking for a new tablet combo with keyboard or new laptop then look no further if you like Android. The Logitech Type-S is a thin and light protective keyboard case for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablet. Personally, I still like the look of the Surface 3 though.

There will be the newer LiveScribe pens that will be out. However, I have last year’s model and wasn’t very impressed at all. To me it was really hard to sync and it took some fiddling for it to record as well.

iFusion dock for your Apple iPhone. It’s a charger for your iPhone within a handset you use at work. Interesting but is it really worth it? I think not.

If you have a family history person in your life, this sounds like the perfect gift – Photo iPad Scanning Doc. The iPad sits on top and  you put the photo through the scanner and it saves to the iPad. If it’s a person like myself, and on the go and can do great scans this would be a winner. But how good is the scans I wonder?

Apple & Samsung will be looking to release new products or so we hope. I wonder if they will bring any new and drastic changes like what the iPhone did when it first hit the market? We can only hope…

Microsoft Office is going to have another version released in 2015. Again its to be touch friendly however we can only hope they’ve learned their lesson with Windows 8 and make it not so drastically changed.

Who’s looking forward to the New Year?

Hope you and your families have a safe New Year.

Have you heard the news on Microsoft’s Windows?

As we know either from talking to people or experience, when Microsoft released Windows 8, it wasn’t the best choice. You heard the complaint and people were really resistant of it and the change. In fact, as a teacher (at Learn Local organizations), I’ve experienced all types of emotion when, usually on day 1 of classes, I ask how many people have used Windows, then ask about XP, Windows 7 and then Windows 8. As you expect, typically almost all hands went up when I mentioned Windows (and yes I’ve had people – about 1% – of over 100 students that had or used Apple). Then when I went to XP, I had the most hands, then Windows 7 I had less than XP but still a few. However, when I reached Windows 8, it was like someone farted or threw up – only single digits of hands went up AND the look on people’s faces when from smiling to the one of a really bad fart, annoyed or throw up (see the queen’s face for an example). The first few times I saw this, I knew I was going to have problems with resistance. I took a deep breath and said the current business software was Windows 8.1 which is what we’ll be using. You should have heard the groans – you would have sworn they had food poisoning or their appendix was about to burst the way it was going on.

The first time this happened, I was unprepared. I knew everyone hated the software, but I had no experience in it and the one time I had used it I wasn’t impressed myself. However, it wasn’t that bad and I’ve used worse. I told them we were going to learn together and it was going to be fun to see how many mistakes we would all make as I hadn’t had experience in the software almost at all and at that some people laughed at. Other people sat there like they just sucked on a lemon and started to mumble.

Windows 8.1

Well on we went to use the tool that we had – Windows 8.1. We started up the computers and I then showed them what it looked like. I warned them the first screen we get to looks like what you would get for a tablet because essentially the software was made for tablets, but Microsoft has done some changing of the software to make it better for us.  I told them at first it looks new and completely weird, but I’d show them how to make it look like the Windows we all knew and liked. This got the learners more interested and comfortable. I pointed out:

The desktop icon on the desktop. This icon takes the user to what everyone is used to seeing – somewhat of a start button and the task bar at the bottom. I did point out ways it was very much like the past Windows once you got to the yellow desktop.

The charms bar (located on the lower right side) was anything but charming, BUT once you got that up it had the search box which is how you can find the program you wanted. This is exactly the same as all the Windows before, but with more options, like stuff online.

The taskbar is still there at the bottom, but if you have a program open, you need to go to the upper left side and you will see what is open.

The last change was the logging off of the computer. This was the most complicated thing as it wasn’t the most direct way – either go to the charms bar or go back to the main screen (purple on our computers) and then go to the upper right side at the top, to turn off the computer.

Was Windows 8.1 different than Windows 7 and Windows OS before? Of course, but once you take away what you were seeing and putting it into something you were used to, most people felt comfortable with using Windows 8.1. I do prefer it? Nope. We’re happy at home sitting here with our Windows 7 OS.

Windows 9

Back in April 2014, I did a post regarding Windows 9 called “Is Windows 9 is coming..?” and yes I put this title this way on purpose to draw out the reader’s eye.

I have finally found more information on Windows 9 – it seems Microsoft is doing a major backflip from Windows 8 after having so many complaints and, in my opinion and the biggest motivator, profits weren’t just down a tiny bit – they were greatly down. Also, once users found out there was to be a Windows 9, they were annoyed with “getting stuck” with Windows 8, so now Microsoft is trying to make points back with possibly a great idea – give Windows 9 away to these users for free. At the moment, this is what I’m hearing, but there is no confirmation that I have found so far in Mashable’s article “Confirmed: Windows 9 to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users” but I’m not so sure… Then I found a  Yahoo News article called “The Windows 9 upgrade might not be as free as initially believed” and in this article, it goes on to say how if you bought Windows 8 outright, then you will get it free BUT (isn’t there always a but?) if you bought the OEM or a computers pre installed with Windows 8, then you will have to pay a small fee. Anyhow, for now, just know there is hope coming… when? All indications are pointing to early October, which is right now for us in Australia where today is October 1st. I have also heard it is on Tuesday October 2nd 2014 when Microsoft will make its announcement, but we shall see.Also, as we are Windows 7 users here, I found if we want to upgrade to Windows 9, then we will have to pay a small fee as well. The amount quoted in the Yahoo News article, points to about $20 which is a very small fee.

Reemergence/New things in Windows 9 are said to be:

These things will hopefully make those sour faces go away from my learners.

The return of the Start menu  – This will hopefully make the smile come back into the life of people.

The voice-based search assistant that’s currently available only on Windows Phone

the Notification Center – which we all liked as it told us things that sometimes were important instead of guessing

Support for multiple desktops– many of us use our computers for business, personal and our many different hobbies. This way you can have desktops for each of these without loosing anything. Now this sounds like something I’d like!

Several other UI enhancements

Most of these changes will make people happy. I’d be happy for the Start menu, taskbar and the multiple desktops! This gives us a hope.

Windows 10

This is something that is currently being looked at and they are looking for testers for the software. Would I give this a shot? Normally I’d be all over it, but since changing our study, which has our desks in it, we lost desktop space and I don’t have room for another one on here, sadly. I wouldn’t trial software on any currently used system only because this is experimental stuff and I wouldn’t want to lose any of my information and work, which is what could happen if I used my current system.

I have heard Windows is finally starting to see the light and making Windows 10 for different pieces of hardware – Desktop will be different from tablet. Tablet different from phone. Phone different from desktop. This will be interesting if it comes about.

However, here’s more about the software and information if you want to try it. It takes a bit of time to get into it because they tell you about they are looking for testers, but it is worth a look at for the Windows 10 information.

What do you think? Are you willing to upgrade or are you happy with what you currently use?