The Download Blog

Windows 7 mainstream support ends

Windows 7 mainstream support ends

On January 13, Microsoft officially ends mainstream support for Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

What end of mainstream support means

For corporate users, it's business as usual.

For home users, free online and phone support are disappearing. Microsoft stopped distributing new licenses to manufacturers and vendors in October 2014, so don't expect to see many more new PCs preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 now enters its extended support phase. Microsoft will continue to release security patches until January 14, 2020. Business PCs with Windows 7 Pro will still … Read more

Downloads of the Year 2014

Downloads of the Year 2014

You, Download.com nation, got more than 630 million apps from our site in 2014. To put the number in perspective, that's more than dollars spent seeing "Guardians of the Galaxy" ($332 million gross), Netflix subscribers (53 million), World Series game 7 watchers (23.5 million), Apparently Kid viewers (18 million), and US buyers of Taylor Swift's "1989" (3.3 million).

So, what had you downloading in droves? In a word, security -- and no surprise, since this year brought Heartbleed and Shellshock; credit card and personal info stolen from Home Depot, Target, and … Read more

Best security options

Best security options

This year has given us plenty of reasons to question the efficacy of our Internet security: Heartbleed vulnerabilities, Target and Home Depot customer data leaks, celebrity iCloud photo hacks, attacks on Sony. While companies batten down their Web servers, you can protect your computer and phone with a security app -- but with so many options, how do you choose? We've reviewed all of this year's major antivirus and security updates, and now here are our recommendations for the apps that will work best for you, whether you're running an old version of Windows or need remote … Read more

Windows XP security

Windows XP security

Though Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April, the popular OS refuses to die. Roughly 25 percent of desktop users are clinging to the OS, meaning XP still has four times as many users as Windows 8 or 8.1, according to NetMarketShare. Recently, independent security lab AV-Test investigated whether the outdated XP can be adequately protected.

Is Windows XP still safe?

The answer is a resounding yes. AV-Test found that the majority of security vendors have been able to defend against most of the known or recently discovered exploits. Vulnerabilities and other issues no longer being fixed by … Read more

Software week in review for August 8

Software week in review for August 8

This week's hack of over 1 billion online account credentials is the worst thing ever or else nothing to worry about, but either way you should change your passwords (again). Yahoo and Google are teaming up for encrypted email in 2015. And as always we have the latest product releases and rumors from Apple, Microsoft, and others. Read on for our recap, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Security

It's Black Hat and DefCon week in Las Vegas, which means that we're awash in … Read more

Software week in review for August 1

Software week in review for August 1

Apple's getting closer to releasing its new OS, iOS, and iPhone. Microsoft needs to convince users to kick out the old Windows. Facebook has a new Bolt and updated Slingshot, but Messenger's on its own and there are no more Gifts. Read on for our recap of the software news, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Apple

Apple hasn't announced the iPhone 6, let alone given it a release date, but speculation says it will launch on October 14. In the meantime, iPhone owners … Read more

Software week in review, July 25

Software week in review, July 25

This week we're hoping to recruit William Shatner, who decided to boldly go into software reviews, evaluating Facebook Pages on his new Tumblr. In other news, Apple's next OS is now in public beta, Microsoft wants one Windows to rule them all, and everyone's talking Tor. To get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Security and privacy

Black Hat and Def Con are a little over a week away, so it's not surprising that Tor is on the minds of many. This week a Black Hat talkRead more

Software week in review, July 18

Software week in review, July 18

Microsoft's layoffs are bad news for Nokia, Xbox Entertainment, and Windows phones that run Android. Google is going after zero-day threats and is fixing Chrome's security and power-hogging. And vulnerabilities have been found in everything from Teslas to the stock market to hotels. Read on for more updates, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Microsoft

Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published a 3,100-word memo about "bold ambition" (or "turgid drivel," per linguist Geoff Pullum). This week another memo (also … Read more

Software week in review, July 11

Software week in review, July 11

Microsoft is still trying to woo users away from Windows 7 and XP; Apple's next iPhone has a sapphire screen, and the phone after that may have a smart lock; and Google is killing apps and bad site certificates. Read on for more of the week's software news, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Microsoft

Yesterday CEO Satya Nadella declared that Microsoft is no longer a "devices and services" company, but rather will reinvent productivity, with a focus on mobile and cloud. He … Read more

Software week in review for June 27

Software week in review for June 27

Wear it, watch it, drive it, sweat it: That's what you'll be doing soon with Android and Chrome, according to news from the Google I/O conference. For the football fans, revisit our guide to watching the World Cup, and you can follow @ReplayLastGoal on Twitter to get video replay and an animated GIF of the latest goal. Read on for our I/O recap, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Google input/output

A billion fandroids can't be wrong. This week at I/… Read more