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Microsoft will release a free Windows 7 'black desktop' fix

by Mark Tyson on 27 January 2020, 13:31

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 7

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeh62

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Windows 7 users started to report a problem that has been dubbed the 'black desktop' issue, which came to media attention last week. It turns out that the last ever free update dished out to Windows 7 users, as the OS reached its end of support milestone/gravestone (14th January), removed desktop wallpaper frills for some users. Hence the 'black desktop' moniker.

It is thought the black desktop bug might have been caused by Microsoft's intention to use this space for interstitial full screen notifications about the dangers of continuing to use Windows 7 Service Pack 1 after it reached end of support. However there was a smattering of complaints from Windows 10 users with "similar problems," according to ZDNet so it might be some other wrinkle / flaw that has been stirred into action.

Microsoft responded to the initial black screen issues very quickly, but only with workarounds. Basically it told Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 users to avoid the 'Stretch' mode, and/or to use a wallpaper sized to fit the monitor resolution you are using - to avoid the lack of wallpaper woe. At that time it gave notice that paying Windows 7 ESU customers could expect a proper fix in mid-February.

Now it seems like Microsoft has decided to be a bit more generous and offer a resolution via an update to "all customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1" - yes this if for ALL customers.

With Microsoft's move to address this rather minor issue, even for those not paying for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, it gives hope that any potentially serious issues (like critical security vulnerabilities) will continue to get patched-up for free for the time being.

In the most recent stats from NetMarketShare and StatCounter there is evidence of a very large herd of Windows 7 active online users. It will be interesting to see change in the January 2020 figures, which should be out next week.



HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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Im a user of a Win Vista O/S Toshiba Laptop which was updated to Win7 5 years ago and which can not be updated to windows 10 because it does not have the necessary architecture.
When I migrated to Win7 there was no warning that support would stop.
What will Microsoft do for people like me that are happy with their old hardware and don't wish to purchase new equipment which, in all probability, will meet with a similar fate a few years down the timeline.
I Like Win7, its a great upgrade from my first O/S win 3.11, which I started on.
uksnapper
Im a user of a Win Vista O/S Toshiba Laptop which was updated to Win7 5 years ago and which can not be updated to windows 10 because it does not have the necessary architecture.
When I migrated to Win7 there was no warning that support would stop.
What will Microsoft do for people like me that are happy with their old hardware and don't wish to purchase new equipment which, in all probability, will meet with a similar fate a few years down the timeline.
I Like Win7, its a great upgrade from my first O/S win 3.11, which I started on.
What will they do for you? I may be a bit cynical, but the answer seems to be to suggest you upgrade to Win10 and buy a new machine to run it on.

Unless you're a corporate and want to pay for extended support.

On the other hand, Win7 is getting on now, and on-going support gets more and more expensive, especially on a per-user basis as the number of users dwindles.

I sympathise, as I have several Win7 machines, and even a couple of XP systems because more modern OS's won't support some software and hardware I still use.

My solution was to take those machines off-net permanently. I never let them connect, and indeed they aren't even wired in. I also have a couple of machines online, but running Linux - which is not as hard to do as you might think.