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Month: September 2018

Posted on by Arnon Erba in Op-Ed

Apple released iOS 12 to the public this Monday, where it immediately became available for download on a sizable list of supported devices. As announced at WWDC this year, iOS 12 is a conservative release intended to prioritize performance improvements and bug fixes over shiny new features.

As it turns out, iOS 12 delivers on those promises.

New Life for Old Hardware

Apple’s continued support for the iPhone 5S and iPad Air directly contradicts the idea that the company intentionally sabotages older hardware.

Ever since the release of iOS 7 for the iPhone 4 and the release of iOS 8 for the iPhone 4S, it’s been clear that new iOS releases have the potential to cripple old hardware. However, this isn’t 2014 anymore, and Apple is supporting a much more capable lineup of devices. It’s also clear that Apple is trying to provide a more consistent and usable experience across all supported devices.

iOS 12 is remarkably fast on an original iPad Air, a device that was sold so long ago that it originally shipped with iOS 7. There’s no fooling anyone into thinking that an Air with iOS 12 is a brand-new iPad, but it turns an almost-obsolete tablet into a very usable device.

On my iPhone 7, iOS 12 feels just as fast as it did with iOS 10, which is what it originally shipped with back in 2016. There’s less dropped frames than in iOS 11, and this is the first time I can remember an iOS update making my phone feel faster instead of making it feel slightly out of date. It doesn’t hurt that almost all the new features in iOS 12 are supported across Apple’s entire lineup as well, with the exception of ARKit which requires an A9 processor or later (iPhone 6S or newer).

In the end, it’s great to see Apple committing to a better user experience for new and old iOS customers. There’s never been a better time to own an older iPhone.

Posted on by Arnon Erba in News

In a blog post last week, Microsoft announced an interesting new feature for Windows 7 business users. With Windows 7 reaching end-of-life on January 14, 2020, many companies have already migrated to Windows 10, but it’s likely that not everyone is going to meet the 2020 deadline. With this in mind, Microsoft is going to provide a new paid service called “Windows 7 Extended Security Updates” to help ease the last few business customers onto Windows 10.

Only For Businesses, Not Home Users

Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available exclusively for Volume Licensing customers, which means only the Professional and Enterprise flavors of Windows 7 will be supported. However, that didn’t stop Gordon Kelly from Forbes from writing a confusing article about the new feature. Instead, in his post titled “Microsoft ‘Confirms’ Windows 7 New Monthly Charge”, Kelly insinuates that Microsoft is about to start charging individual Windows 7 users a monthly fee as a penalty for not upgrading to Windows 10.

That isn’t the case at all. In fact, home users will not be able to pay for Extended Security Updates even if they want to since the feature is only available for Volume Licensing customers. In reality, this feature is specifically targeted at enterprises with specialized requirements that need assistance or just a bit more time to migrate their critical systems off of Windows 7. Extended Security Updates does not impose any additional penalties over the already well-established end-of-life date for the aging OS.

A Smoother Transition

The enterprise world works very differently than the usual home/small office Windows environment. There are a lot of factors that hold back major OS upgrades, and, as we saw with Windows XP, these delays can cause major businesses to run past the end-of-life date of software and become vulnerable to newly discovered security flaws. When Windows XP left extended support, Microsoft was forced to continue supporting select customers (for a fee) who were unable or unwilling to migrate to Windows 7 in time.

At any rate, Microsoft will only provide the Windows 7 Extended Security Updates option until January 2023, so Windows 7 is certainly not going to be around forever.

Oh, and Microsoft is not planning to force Windows 10 home users to pay a monthly fee either, no matter what clickbait nonsense Kelly writes.