Windows Updates--are these 'really' updates or is there a problem?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by wegs, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    @ Repo Man...yes, I agree about Java. If most computers don't need this crap, why do they come with it? :shrug:

    Oh, and my prior computer had Vista...and I HATED IT. I had more problems with that machine than I'd care to list here, and people who were computer 'gurus' often told me the problems and hiccups were due to Vista.

    Vista sucksssss!
     
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  3. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    I had another back up computer that I installed Vista on. I used it to run Folding at Home, and it ran fine for about a year for me. I've since given it to my niece, and she has had no problems with it. I use Microsoft Security Essentials for an AV, and have never had any problems. Why would I spend $100.00 for an OS when I have a key for one that works perfectly well for me? Also this.

    The computers at work were XP machines, and I'm well aware of what that actual MS update icon looks like. I even went to Windows update to try and break the cycle. It showed that I needed the same two updates, downloaded and installed them (I watched the install box) only to have the tray icon reappear, with the same two updates. I gave up; it wasn't affecting how they perform, and MS would sort it out eventually. Apparently they have.
     
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  5. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    Likely because some software relies on it. Should you disable Java on your computer?
    To counter your Vista anecdote, my cousin bought a lap top with Vista in 2008, and never had a single issue with it. I recently upgraded its hard drive, and installed Windows 7 on it as a gift for her, but it wasn't because she had any problems with her OS during those years. The main advantage that I've seen with 7 over Vista is that the UAC's behavior is less obtrusive. There are many more subtle advantages to Win 7, as you would expect with a newer version, but I've seen no evidence that Vista, when installed on a machine with adequate hardware, and with all of the latest security packs and updates, comes anywhere close to deserving the reputation that it has.
     
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  7. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I tried Windows 8 and didn't like it! My back-up computer has 8 on it. Vista seems much more easy and effective on a desktop! My guess is that evolution had brought Windows 7 up to a pretty good level, and MS updates brought Vista up close to 7.
     
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    One reason for an OS upgrade is due to XP and Vista eventually reaching their xEOL (Extended End Of Life), this is when Microsoft will cease to support those OS's and will point you to an upgrade rather than support. In OS development there is usually major version differences where one older version will have a poorly optimised modification tacked on and a new version will take a far more in depth approach to analyse how to optimise the previous modification as a stock addition.

    It can be applied there more research and development time is spent on building new components than patching old ones, after all if their support team has to be larger than their development team, then how would they ever get to a point of releasing a new version since they would never get passed Release Candidates.

    While the cost of the OS can be seen as expensive, you should probably consider that the cost covers at least three years support for the software (approx $33 per year), if of course you are going with their newest release, the same can't of course be said for buying older inferior versions.

    Ideally OS companies could use an Advertisement sponsorship method of allowing for free OS's, however this would require a person to be subjected to (sanitized) advertisements at login, and require a connection to the internet to be pretty constant to both update the advert and identify an advert view as occurring. Over time the adverts could be disabled from the users account once they have reached the point that the OS has been paid for by their view, additionally allowing a "Purchase at any time" method would allow for a user to buy the OS minus any previous advertisement revenue, again disabling the advertisement from then on.
     
  9. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    That's fine, but I replaced an XP machine (EOL 4-8-14) with a Vista one that doesn't face the same fate until 2017. Being used to Windows 7, I certainly prefer Vista to using XP. As I picked the computer up for free, and it had a valid Vista COA on the case, and with a dual core Pentium and three gigs of RAM Vista works perfectly well; why spend the cash on a OS upgrade?
     
  10. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Repo Man, you stated : "I'm well aware of what that actual MS update icon looks like." - if that was in response to my comment about : not automatically starting any resident updater other than possibly Windows Update, allow me to clarify.

    An installed "program" - like Adobe or Java - will often install in your "startup" folder a "resident updater" - a small simple program designed to find an active Internet connection and access the Adobe or Java site and check for any current updates that are not already downloaded and installed on your machine. If the updater is in your startup, it can use up system resources by running constantly in the background and can be easily exploited by virus or mal-ware - the core of Vistas OS was and is still one of the easier OS's to apply those "exploits".

    The best method for updating installed programs, is to only update if there is an actual need to - if it is working fine, why update it?

    I was not in anyway trying to say that you were not "...well aware of what that actual MS update icon looks like." - I am sorry if that is what you thought I was trying to imply.

    The " apparently they have" link you Posted, is just another in a long line of examples where Microsoft and other vendors have decided to force the consumer to become unwitting "beta testers" for their products - by releasing software and programs that are not fully tested, and then having the consumer experience the problems and report back!

    The updates or "fixes" that were referenced in your Posted link were actually showing up as being "needed" by Windows machines that DID NOT EVEN HAVE the software installed that the updates or "fixes" were targeted for - hence the "update cycle" invariably repeating itself!

    As far as which OS is best or how well it performs - all of that is highly dependent on what it is used for, how it is configured, and the interaction of any of the manufacturer or user installed programs.

    It is similar to any other "tool" - some may allow you to get the job done, but the "tool" that is expressly "designed" for that particular "usage" will be easier and more efficient. - i.e. pliers may eventually break a very tight bolt loose (often damaging the bolt head in the process), but a ratchet and socket does the job much more efficiently!

    Sorry again, Repo Man, for any unintended affronts my miscommunication may have caused you to experience.
     
  11. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    @ elte; What problems did you encounter using Windows 8? (I still think Vista sucks, and hasn't evolved to Windows 7 'status.' lol But, I digress...)
     
  12. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    How many people are in a position to judge whether or not an update is needed? Most updates in programs close vulnerabilities that have been exposed by being exploited by malware. In my experience, the most malware laden machines will be ones where all update icons in the system tray have been ignored (sometimes even not having the latest service pack for their operating system installed!). These are often the same machines where you will often find two, three, or sometimes even more toolbars installed. Keeping up to date on all updates offered by Microsoft, Abobe, Sun etc. (as well as keeping your web browser up to date), is boilerplate in any article about keeping a computer as secure as possible.
     
  13. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Wegs, at first Vista was pretty bad, worse than XP. Yet, especially after all the updates got added by Microsoft, it became better than XP. That was the experience I had, anyways.

    When I tried Windows 8, I was disappointed at how far from the fingertips, so to speak, everything seems to be. I'm certain that they must have removed a lot of capabilities that 7 and Vista had. They probably added some new ones, but I question how useful those would be a desktop machine, especially if the goal of the user is intensive Internet browsing. One thing I greatly missed on 8 was the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
     
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    this might be a dumb question, but how does one keep a web browser 'up to date?'

    Thx for the feedback, elte.
    I haven't seen 8, but now I'm thinking to just stick with 7. Another dumb question, if one never upgrades to 8, and stays with 7...will the updates for 7 ever 'match' 8? Just from a manufacturer's standpoint, is that the intent of updates?
     
  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The Dell website, if not some other manufacturers as well, apparently still needs JAVA installed on (at least) their older computers to scan them and evaluate if they need any new drivers / software. Back in the last decade there was an online storage service that required it just to upload files. Some sources have predicted that innovations brought with HTML 5 will eventually replace the last vestiges of JAVA dependency; others scoff at this, while another points out the former's security vulnerabilities as being comparable to the latter.

    When Vista was first released, most of the hardware found among the mass public had few 64-bit drivers, and the drivers that were available had to be properly signed to be sanctified by a now sterner Microsoft (supposedly a widespread negligence then, which an F8 option 'Disable Driver Signature' didn't necessarily remedy). The x64 version of the Vista OS couldn't run (at that time) the 32-bit [x86] drivers more common during the early XP era, so this posed problems for it. In addition to whatever else afflicted Vista variations in general, as the "new girl" on the block.
     
  16. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Repo Man, I have been building, programming, servicing, maintaining and repairing computer systems and the associated hardware and software more or less continuously since the late 1970's. Believe it or not I, dmoe, am quite adept at it.

    As to what - "...is boilerplate in any article about keeping a computer as secure as possible" - due diligence, properly installed and configured software and "tools", developing disciplined user habits and always paying close attention to and fully thinking prior to "clicking" - will keep any computer running any "Operating System" much more "secure" than "any article".

    As always though...with any and everything else...the old adage - "Your Mileage May Vary" - also applies in the digital domain!

    Have a Great Day, Repo Man.
     
  17. elte Valued Senior Member

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    You're welcome, Wegs. I think sticking with 7 is a good choice. I wouldn't be surprised if the updates to 8 will often try to make it more like 7. They might come to regret that they stripped capabilities down too much to make 8. One thing they might do to 7 to make it more like 8, though, could be building an antivirus into it.
     
  18. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    When using a browser such as Firefox, it will periodically update. They have automated the process to an extent, but it's still possible to end up with a version that is so far out of date that it will no longer auto update (I often see this on computers where Firefox is rarely used). To check and see if Firefox is up to date, go to Help, then to About Firefox; it will then display the version, and say if it is up to date. I don't use Google's Chrome very often, so I don't remember the exact details, but I'm sure it's similar. For Internet Explorer, just installing Windows Updates when prompted will keep it up to date.

    Regarding Windows 7 versus 8, it might be possible for MS to issue a service pack that could bring many, possibly all of the improvements of 8 to 7, but it would not be in their interest to do so, and it isn't going to happen. They have to offer something to motivate people to upgrade. But they will continue to issue security updates until 2020 for Win7. In spite of the (to me at least) annoying interface of Win8, I've read that Win8 actually has some significant improvements "under the hood" when compared to Win7. But I'm quite satisfied with Win7, and nothing I've seen so far has motivated me to spend the money to upgrade from Win7 to Win8.
     
  19. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you very much, Repo Man for your help here.

    Yeah, you know I haven't ever seen an update pop up or anything indicating I should update my browser, so that must be automatic.
    So, a question for you.

    I have not seen Windows 8, yet...hmmm I'm curious as to what might be under the hood?

    Personally, I like 7 A LOT...It feels like I've reached Nirvana, compared to what life was like using Vista.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  20. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Windows 8 is uses a different base or core for the Operating System than Windows 7 - so there will be no updates or service packs to/for win7 to bring any base or core features of win8 to it.
     
  21. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Missing Taskbar? Windows 8 has both a tablet optimized interface and the a desktop interface, "with taskbar", the only thing missing from it was the "Start button" which people complained about, however that was initially replaced in the desktop environment by scrolling your mouse to edge of the bottom left corner and right clicking [you can also do this with the other corners of the screen], where the equivalent of a "roll down list" (you can use your mouse to choose) has most of the things you'd use from the start button. The only thing you didn't really have is a list of your software to scroll through, however the search function most of the time will find the program by just typing the first few letters of it's name into the search.

    There are also a few standard tools available that originally would of had to be downloaded as essentials in other OS's.

    As for differences between OS's, well win 8 can use DirectX 11, where as prior software was a maximum of DirectX 10, it basically means the OS is best on newer compatible hardware as opposed to upgrading older hardware. (at least for those of you interested in decent I-candy and using the OS for various Graphics related functions like Gaming or CAD)

    [Image below shows a desktop environment with taskbar on Win 8 [ View attachment 6560 ]]

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    [Image below shows the "metro" (no longer called that) tablet optimized environment on Win 8 [ View attachment 6561 ]]

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    (I do use both instances, the desktop mostly with a quick switch back and forth to metro to pick various programs to run)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  22. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Stryder, after your explanation, I did an Internet image search which gave various examples of the Windows 8 taskbar. Thanks!
     
  23. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    @ Stryder: the bottom tool bar—I don't think I like that much. :/
     

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