Vol. 24, #32- August 12, 2019 - Issue #1244
Win a FREE ticket to VMworld 2019
Forget about Windows 7 reaching end-of-life on 14 January next year when extended support ends for the operating system. Believe it or not there are still a significant number of businesses running Windows XP in one form or another.
That's at least the case according to a recent report from Spiceworks. In a report titled "The Future of Network and Endpoint Security" Spiceworks says:
"Often, older devices or software remain present on networks far past their end of support dates, whether due to legacy applications that won't run on newer operating systems, embedded software that was never updated by the manufacturer, or lack of funding and resources needed to update enduser or back-end systems. In fact, according to Spiceworks technology deployment data, 32% of businesses still have Windows XP installed on at least one device on their network, despite the OS's end of service date in 2014. While this figure is down slightly from 42% in 2017, the number of companies with outdated and therefore vulnerable machines is alarming."
The bolded text was highlighted by myself to draw your attention to it. You can read the full Spiceworks report here (PDF):
Now when it comes to statistics the devil is usually in the details, and the problem here is that there are no further details about Windows XP deployments in this report. But if you pause to think about it, the fact that one-third of businesses still have at least one device running Windows XP really isn't that surprising if you consider that most of these devices are probably industrial measurement and control systems, medical devices, and similar stuff. Upgrading the operating system on such devices is usually impossible because of the way they are designed. And replacing them with newer models that run more modern operating systems is often cost-prohibitive for most businesses and hospitals.
In addition to this situation not being surprising, it's also not very alarming either. That's because most of these special-use systems and devices are never connected to the Internet, either because they're too legacy to support Internet connectivity or because those using them realize how stupid it would be to do so.
Then there is the case of small businesses who can't afford to replace older peripheral hardware like printers, scanners, and card readers that only work with Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows. There probably aren't that many of these kinds of businesses still around, but I'm sure there are some.
All in all however, this kind of news does tend to tamper down the hysteria a bit that's floating around urging companies to upgrade their remaining Windows 7 systems to Windows 10 and to do it, like, NOW. We still have one Windows 7 machine in our office because of some legacy software we need to run it, and we basically plan on keeping it around forever, or until the motherboard bites the dust. And while Microsoft says they won't release any more security patches for Windows 7 after next January -- unless you pay for them, which we won't be doing -- I fully expect that if some extremely critical vulnerability is found Microsoft will very likely release a patch for the problem, just like they did a few months ago with Windows XP for the WannaCry exploit:
Microsoft sets post-retirement patching record with Windows XP fix -- 5 years after support ended (ComputerWorld)
Apart from that we simply don't use our Windows 7 system for email or casual browsing the web. The machine is online for a specific reason, but it's only used for its dedicated purpose and it's well-firewalled and any files copied to it are first scanned for malware on another system running Windows 10.
But we retired our last Windows XP system three years ago, and the only time I wish I still had it around was for playing old games :-)
Do any of you readers still have an XP machine kicking around their workplace? What's it doing? And got any mission-critical devices still running Windows 7? Send your comments to us at [email protected]
Mitch Tulloch, Senior Editor
WServerNews goes out each week to more than 500,000 IT pro subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some technical problem or are looking for expert advice on something IT-related? Ask Our Readers by emailing your problems and/or questions to us at [email protected]
Got any IT pro tips you'd like to share with other readers of our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]
If you need to stream large amounts of data from a server, the choice of whether your server should be a physical server system or a virtual machine depends on the kind of data you're going to stream. For example streaming 100 gigabytes per second of video is quite different from streaming 100 gigabytes per second of files that are each several tens of kilobytes in size. The key thing to keep in mind when crafting your streaming solution is where the bottleneck is going to be. When it comes to the server side of things, the bottleneck is usually the speed of the front-side bus and I/O controller. When it comes to the network however, the bottleneck is typically the server's CPU speed and the number of network connections the server can support. You can use these considerations to help you decide whether to co-locate your physical server in a service provider's datacenter or deploy it as a virtual machine in the IaaS cloud of a provider.
GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
You have the chance to join us at VMworld. Veeam is giving away FREE full conference tickets to three lucky winners.
Are you tired of mailbox quotas and slow search processes for emails & attachments? Then you should have a look at the email archiving solution MailStore Server:
Altaro VM Backup removes the complexities of backing up Hyper-V & VMware. Easy to use, sets up within just 15 mins & comes with the best deduplication in the industry. Download the free copy here
PowerPlanSwitcher provides a quick UI for switching power schemas & automatic switch on AC-plug-in on Windows 10:
Simplenote is a simple cross-platform note taking app with cloud-based syncing:
GPU-Z -is a free all-in-one GPU monitoring tool:
More from our readers on the topic of our connected devices snooping on us in strange ways:
Steve from Canada:
Hi Mitch, when I read the story about your wife's browser behavior matching yours but on a different computer, I had an immediate flashback to a recent similar occurrence in our family.
I was researching a vacation options and had sent some links to my wife for her to check out. So, fair enough that her ads started to show details about Maui accommodations too. The big leap, at least in my mind, was that her brother started seeing ads about Maui. He doesn't live in our house and the only commonality I can think of is that his phone is able to connect to our WiFi router. I'm the computer guy in the family but I had no reasonable explanation except chalking it up to bizarre coincidence. Up until reading your article, I always thought these browsing ad associations were either made by cookies or something similar in my browser, or maybe by being logged in to Google services while searching. I guess now it seems that things are also tracked and associated by other activity on past WiFi connections you have used recently.
On the bright side, this can be used as a handy alibi: "No Honey -- I was not browsing for 'InsertQuestionableActivityHere'!! It must have been Uncle Bob or maybe that guy sitting beside me at Starbucks!!!"
Mark who works in the IT Department at the University of Colorado:
Enjoy a link to a nifty TED talk that covers the topic of all the smart devices snooping:
What your smart devices know (and share) about you (YouTube)
Tom who is a Senior SCADA Specialist working in Portland, Oregon:
That kind of advertisement tracking has been written about in science fiction novels for decades, so it doesn't surprise me at all. Just wait when specific video ads pop on while you walk by...
That actually reminds me of a short story or novella by Isaac Asimov that I read when I was a kid. I can't remember all the details, but what I do remember is how people in the story lived apart and only communicated electronically. Sound familiar? :-(
I also received this comment from reader DB concerning the fake scientific paper that Howard from Brazil used a website to have me author:
Then of course there's also this...
Turbo Encabulator -- Complete Text Of The Best, Worst Example Of Jargon (The Chief Storyteller)
And finally, yes we're still thinking about trading in our BMW sedan for an SUV to better deal with the potholes that plague Winnipeg streets. My thanks therefore to these readers who proffered more advice on this bumpitty matter:
Marth an Information Security Analyst working in in San Francisco:
I've got a Toyota Highlander -- very comfortable, spacious and SAFE. I love it!! Hubby got it for me after my Prius got totaled because it has all the cool safety features. Check it out.
Wayne from Perth, Australia:
Hi Mitch, I understand the desire for the BMW, but can I add that as an Australian (and if you want to experience truly bad roads, you need to drive here) that Toyotas are bulletproof. Our family has had between us multiple Toyotas and we keep going back for their comfort, reliability and pure value for money. I currently drive a 2012 Prado Kakadu which is built on the 150 series platform that has been successfully used for many years and in fact is the basis for some of the Lexus SUVs . My father is currently driving his 200 series Landcruiser around the East Coast and is on his way back across the Nullabour to WA at this moment with caravan in tow.
Wheels and tyres are reasonable ( in a SUV "change them every 150,000 km" way, will cost you ~$2000 AU) and even if you get a destructive blowout, won't require taking a second mortgage to replace. The diesel in the Prado is reasonably frugal and has a surprising amount of get up and go. Of course if you can afford to run the BMW and the servicing, then go for it :)
Mark from Colorado:
You are safe sticking with the BMW. I have over 100,000 miles on my 2011 BMW 328xi and have not had any significant reliability problems. Heck the dealer replaced the main computer board in the car a couple months ago because BMW had a seven year warranty on the part. My ad owns a 15 year old Toyota 4Runner and it has been great, but has had plenty of fixes over the years. The value of the Toyota for him is that he leverages the V8 to tow his sailplane around. A co-worker's Toyota pickup has had the clutch burn out yet my BMW's clutch is still rock solid; that is likely due to the driver. Honestly, most reputable brands make significantly reliable cars.
Keep it coming: [email protected]
Last week's factoid and question was this:
Fact: Cord-cutters beware: Amazon's TV antenna listings are rife with dubious claims
Question: Can any readers recommend a good TV antenna for over-the-air broadcast TV reception in their country?
Rick who works in the Engineering Department of a municipal government office in Indiana, USA had this recommendation:
I have used the Channel Master CM-4228HD in my last house and my current house. The last house I had it mounted outside on the roof. It easily picked up channels from the stations about 50 miles south of where I live. I recently moved and purchased another one that I mounted in the attic. It will occasionally pick up a station from another city 70 miles to the west of me without even turning the antenna.
Randy from Victoria, Canada, on the other hand, offered the following warning:
Well, I can tell you which TV Antenna NOT to get...the Livewave one.
They say: "LiveWave Antenna is capable of receiving up to 300 channels or more completely free and legally. Simply plug your LiveWave Antenna into any electrical outlet. And then connect the cable to the cable input on your TV. Then turn your TV on, run a channel scan from the Menu of your TV and within 10 seconds you can be watching your favorite shows."
I ended up getting one of these by mistake, and luckily, I got my money back. I live in Victoria, and I got 5 stations, not 300. They were all American. It didn't get any Canadian stations.
You have probably seen their ads.
Another reader named George pointed us towards the following DIY approach on Digital Home:
Apparently, the Gray-Hoverman TV Antenna which you can build yourself provides very good reception of broadcast UHF television. Have any of our newsletter readers tried building one? Let me know at [email protected] if you have.
Now let's move on to this week's factoid:
Fact: The job of being a sysadmin can be summarized in two words/phrases:
Question: How accurate do you feel this is in describing your job as an IT professional? Got any stories you can share to illustrate? Email us at [email protected]
>> Got an IT conference happening in North America that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]
Nov 4-8, 2019 in Orlando, Florida
Microsoft Licensing Boot Camps
Cyber Security Summit - August 27 in Chicago, Illinois USA
Cyber Security Summit - Oct 3 in New York City
SecTor - Oct 9-10 in Ontario, Canada
Global Cyber Summit - Oct 13-16 in Miami Beach, Florida
Cyber Security Summit - Oct 17 in Scottsdale, Arizona
Cyber Security Summit - Nov 7 in Boston, Massachusetts
Cyber Security Summit - Nov 21 in Houston, Texas
Cyber Security Summit - Dec 5 in Los Angeles, California
SPTechCon - August 25-28 in Boston, Massachusetts USA
VMworld - August 25-29 in San Francisco, California USA
CloudyCon - Sept 10-12 in Burlingame, California
Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit - Sept 23-25 in Las Vegas, Nevada
VMworld - Nov 4-7 in Barcelona, Spain
Midwest Management Summit - Nov 11-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana
European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference - Dec 2-5 in Prague, Czech Republic
SharePoint Fest - Dec 9-13 in Chicago, Illinois
Inclusive design with Intuit's Vince Abbate (The T-Suite)
Azure and Office 365 News (Microsoft Cloud IT Pro Podcast)
Open sourcing the Windows calculator (MS Dev Show)
Does Windows Still Matter with Paul Thurrott (RunAsRadio)
Automation: It's Not Just For Devops (This Week in Enterprise Tech)
Review: Network security and patch management solution GFI LanGuard
GFI LanGuard performs vulnerability assessments of the devices on your network and then helps you fix any problems. Here's our review.
Connecting virtual networks in Azure with Microsoft peering
Microsoft peering is the go-to solution for configuring interoperability among your virtual networks in Azure. This guide shows you how to do it.
Why mission-critical encryption remains a must for IT security
Many processes, procedures, and technologies can be used to protect mission-critical enterprise data. None is as effective as mission-critical encryption.
Spinnaker for Google Cloud Platform simplifies continuous delivery
Spinnaker for Google Cloud Platform lets you start creating pipelines for continuous delivery with just a couple of clicks.
Docker Enterprise 3.0 desktop-to-cloud container tool generally available
After a public beta program in which more than 2,000 users participated, Docker Enterprise 3.0 is now in general availability. Here's more on this tool.
Flying Frenchman Crosses English Channel By Hoverboard
French inventor Franky Zapata has crossed the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard:
Spectacular And Beautiful Airshow Over Switzerland
Spectacular and beautiful precision flying of a Boeing F/A-18C Hornet, six Northrop F-5E Tiger II jets of the Swiss aerobatic team and an Airbus A220-300:
Why The Future Of Cars Is Electric
Why electric cars are now ready to take over, thanks to new battery technology, better torque, handling, maintenance and range:
You've Got Mail
Wouldn't it be fun to have your mail delivered by an owl?
How can IT put Windows 10 Containers to Use?
Using Docker containers in Windows 10, IT can isolate apps and processes from users' devices, which can help in several ways, including preventing conflicts with other apps.
Best Practices for Using Powershell ISE for Scripting
Administrators who want to break into PowerShell scripting need to work with an editor for a more effective workflow. Learn how to edit and manage scripts with PowerShell ISE.
How Does Microsoft Remoteapp Server-Based Virtualization Work?
With RemoteApp, users can access virtual apps that reside in a data center or in a cloud-based VM rather than locally on their devices. The app still behaves as though it's local.
Hyper-V VM Template Creation Made Easy
Creating Hyper-V VM templates is a straightforward process, but there are a few things you should consider, such as template creation source and administrative password assignment.
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]
Win a FREE ticket to VMworld 2019
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7www.mtit.com.Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.