Using Windows 7 and Windows 8 during the next 4 to 7 years.

Windows 7 is supposedly supported until 2020, and Windows 8 until 2023. However, Microsoft announced on 2016-01-15 (YYYY-MM-DD) that newer hardware will certainly not be able to run Win 7 or Win 8.
Supporting older hardware with newer OS has also a cost that is certainly relatively important, maybe within the same order of magnitude than supporting newer hardware on older OSes. Wouldn't it be a little hypocritical to invoke cost savings then?

I managed a team developing kernel drivers for Windows and we knew that the kernels for Desktop and Server systems are actually the same ones. Thus for a given platform the drivers for the desktop and the server equivalent system are actually the same ones too.

Then, if Microsoft allows, on a given platform, only older server OS to run on newer hardware and not the equivalent desktop OS, it will have to be a software limitation. A little hypocritical too, isn't it?  
Microsoft seems to be aggressively pushing Windows 10 to as many devices as possible, including now computer identified as operating in SMBs.

We can suspect that this politics is not only for improving quality or reducing cost of supporting the older software/OSes, since supporting older hardware on newer OS has a non negligible cost too.
Win10 embeds a lot of telemetry (some say that "telemetry" is the politically correct word for "sneaky spying"... Although I would go as far as that, I think that users must have a greater choice over what is shared with the makers of the software they use). Windows 10 comes with some components designed to report some statistical details to third parties. These stats have a real value in today's world, but this value is not really shared with the user (except, that is true, by offering them a free upgrade...).

A large proportion of users, especially those who rely on their Wintel system professionally, actually want to have more control than what Microsoft currently offers. 
Why would dentists, bakers and lawyers take the risk of changing their (operating) systems that are correctly working along with their applications when everything seems to be OK?
How many users have suffered from a problem while upgrading to Windows 10, not being able to restore the previous system? Even 10% would be far too much, especially when users have not been given a real choice not to upgrade.

An ecosystem is emerging, aiming at bringing more choice and control to Windows users. Among the first achievements in this ecosystem one can find some tools design to give more choice and control to users regarding the upgrade to Windows 10 on systems currently running Windows 7 and Windows 8. "Win10wiwi" is a part of this ecosystem, designed to be really easy to use and reliable for users who want to stick to their beloved Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 systems.

What about the other Windows updates?

Monitoring the important and critical Windows updates and deciding which ones to install is not an easy thing, especially for users which are not IT professional but who rely on IT for their daily job.

When something called "Update for Windows 8.1 (KB2977678)" is offered, how would a user get some details about it ? It requires having to click on a link describing this update (if such a link is proposedn, which is not always the case...) and translating the jargon in order to understand what this particular update will actually do on the systems it is installed on. In the image below, one would have to click the "more information link", for instance.

When one clicks the "More Information" links, one ends up with this web page:

It is not that easy to understand what this update actually does, if it is necessary to install it, if it installs some spies in the system, and what will happen if this update is not installed.

At SysStreaming, we are IT professionals and we are planning to offer some services that would do exactly that: based on the user choices, we would select, for them, which updates to install, and which ones not to install. For instance, updates that are identified as containing telemetry would not be pushed to systems for which the user has decided not to allow telemetry.

Windows was good at giving its users more choices than some other OSes (OS X for instance)  and at allowing backward compatibility. It may loose some traction if it looses these aspects of its ecosystem. 

By giving back more power and control to the users, SysStreaming is actually making Windows ecosystem a better system. Microsoft should thank us I think!


Alert! Upgrade to Windows 10 is back...

We have been wondering whether we should send this alert message or not, knowing that it is not totally solicited. We thought the subject matter was important enough to warn our users of our findings.You can opt-out from future communication by using the unsubscribe link below.
On several of our test computers, a new release of the root component responsible for the "Upgrade To Windows 10" eco-system, named KB3035583, has been offered through Windows Update. Here are some facts about it:
  • This version's revision number is 202.
  • Its "last revision date" is 2015 December 15.
  • It is marked "Important" so it should be pushed to your computer if you are using recommended Windows Updates settings (which you should in most cases).
But Win10wiwi tool can disable it automatically.
The good news is that the current version of Win10wiwi (the one that 99% of our users have downloaded) can disable and uninstall this component, even its newer version.
Not all our test machines have been offered the newer KB3035583 yet, but we think that it will be pushed to all Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines sooner or later (except those running Enterprise edition).
The press has been relaying rumors and facts about what is known as the "UpdateGate". We will just mention two recent articles: Official Microsoft Windows EVP blog, and a Forbes article...

It is dormant (for now)

This new KB3035583 seems to stay inactive for now: On our test systems where it has been installed, nothing new really happened: The Windows 10 icon did not show up, and no message to upgrade to Windows 10 has popped up.

We found out that it (re)installed several components that are known to run periodically, triggered by task scheduler. The related tasks are there too:
It is very likely that this new release of KB3035583 will eventually cause the set of components known as "GWX" (the internal name for "Get Windows 10") to get installed. It will also certainly reinstall if you previously disabled it, with Win10wiwi, manually, or with another tool.
See https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3035583 

In order to avoid being annoyed by "Upgrade to Windows 10" (or even have your computer being upgraded without your knowledge), you can use (or re-use) our free utility "Win10wiwi".

Users who have already run Win10wiwi in the past will usually have to run it again to disable these new GWX and KB3035583 before they activate. Win10wiwi is still available for free here:http://win10wiwi.com

Note that it is not necessary to install nor download Windows Update KB3035583 in order for Win10wiwi to disable it: If this release of KB3035583 is offered to your computer but not yet installed, Win10wiwi will disable it all together and it will not been offered to your system again.

Announcing Pro edition

We are in the process of releasing a Pro version of our utility that will automate the monitoring of undesirable Windows Update components along with improved disabling of trackers. This Pro edition will disable those components automatically, without requesting the user to run anything manually, even when Microsoft releases new undesirable components or newer versions of existing components.

This Pro version will be a paying one, yet the free version will still be available. We do not know the final price of the Pro edition yet, certainly around $10/10€.

Users who have been supporting us by contributing more than $5/5€ on our "support us" page prior to the release of Win10wiwi Pro edition will be entitled to at least one license of the pro version of Win10wiwi (one license for each $5/5€ spent on our "Support Us" page).

Support Us!

We have developed and released Win10wiwi without really thinking of a business model to fund it, beside the revenues generated by advertisements. After 2 months, we know now that these revenues are not enough to make Win10wiwi's development sustainable, so we have added a "Support Us" page to our web site in order for users to be able to support us with a contribution if they wish.
Contributions can be sent with Paypal as well as with a credit card using PlayPlug payment system. Note that some of the contributions we receive will give the contributor some benefits to Win10wiwi Pro licenses (see above).
You can also use the Support Us page and click one of the advertisements there, or an advertisement anywhere on the win10wiwi.com site. It will increase (a little) the revenue we get (and that would be good for us to be able to go on building tools such as Win10wiwi and to make them evolve, to support them... So when you think of it and when an ad seems interesting to you, please come back onwin10wiwi.com and click the ads).

Stay tuned !

- Win10wiwi team.