Windows 7 & Internet Explorer – Big Changes at Microsoft

Windows 7 & Internet Explorer – Big Changes at Microsoft

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Microsoft will bid farewell to Internet Explorer and legacy Edge in 2021

Microsoft’s services will drop support for IE11 in a year

Today, we’re announcing that Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) by this time next year.

  • Beginning November 30, 2020, the Microsoft Teams web app will no longer support IE 11.
  • Beginning August 17, 2021, the remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support IE 11.
 

This means that after the above dates, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11. While we know this change will be difficult for some customers, we believe that customers will get the most out of Microsoft 365 when using the new Microsoft Edge. We are committed to helping make this transition as smooth as possible.

Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today. Since then, open web standards and newer browsers—like the new Microsoft Edge—have enabled better, more innovative online experiences. We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets like Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more.

Microsoft will end support for Internet Explorer 11 across its Microsoft 365 apps and services next year. In exactly a year, on August 17th, 2021, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer be supported for Microsoft’s online services like Office 365, OneDrive, Outlook, and more. Microsoft is also ending support for Internet Explorer 11 with the Microsoft Teams web app later this year, with support ending on November 30th.

While it’s still going to take some time to pry enterprise users of Internet Explorer 11 away, Microsoft is hoping that the new Internet Explorer legacy mode in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser will help. It will continue to let businesses access old sites that were specifically built for Internet Explorer, until Microsoft fully drops support for Internet Explorer 11 within Windows 10. Microsoft’s move to stop supporting Internet Explorer 11 with its main web properties is a good first step, though.

LEGACY EDGE WILL GO AWAY NEXT MARCH

Alongside the support changes, Microsoft is also planning to drop support for its existing legacy version of Microsoft Edge on March 9th, 2021. After the end of support date, the legacy version of Edge will no longer receive security updates. Microsoft has been moving existing Windows 10 users over to new its Chromium-based Edge browser, and the company says new devices and future Windows feature updates will all include the new Edge browser.

Microsoft has been working on killing off Internet Explorer usage and support for years now. The company first unveiled its new Edge browser back in 2015, codenamed at the time Project Spartan. It was the beginning of the end for the Internet Explorer brand. Microsoft has since labeled Internet Explorer a “compatibility solution” rather than a browser and encouraged businesses to stop using the aging browse

FBI issues warning over Windows 7 end-of-life

The FBI says companies running Windows 7 systems are now in greater risk of getting hacked due to a lack of security updates.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has sent a private industry notification (PIN) on Monday to partners in the US private sector about the dangers of continuing to use Windows 7 after the operating system reached its official end-of-life (EOL) earlier this year.

“The FBI has observed cyber criminals targeting computer network infrastructure after an operating system achieves end of life status,” the agency said.

“Continuing to use Windows 7 within an enterprise may provide cyber criminals access in to computer systems. As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered.

“With fewer customers able to maintain a patched Windows 7 system after its end of life, cyber criminals will continue to view Windows 7 as a soft target,” the FBI warned.

FBI URGES COMPANIES TO UPDATE DEVICES

The Bureau is now asking companies to look into upgrading their workstations to newer versions of the Windows operating system.

To this day, Microsoft still allows Windows 7 systems to be upgraded to Windows 10 at no cost — even if this offer officially ended in July 2016.

However, in some cases, the PC’s underlying hardware may not support the (free) upgrade to a much more powerful system like Windows 10, a challenge that the FBI acknowledged in its alert, citing costs that companies might need to support to buy new hardware and software.

“However, these challenges do not outweigh the loss of intellectual property and threats to an organization,” the FBI said — suggesting that companies should keep an eye on the bigger picture down the road and how future losses from possible hacks might easily outweigh today’s upgrade costs.

The agency specifically cited the previous Windows XP migration debacle as the perfect example of why companies should migrate systems as soon as possible, rather than delay.

“Increased compromises have been observed in the healthcare industry when an operating system has achieved end of life status. After the Windows XP end of life on 28 April 2014, the healthcare industry saw a large increase of exposed records the following year,” the FBI said.

WEAPONIZED WINDOWS 7 VULNERABILITIES ALREADY EXIST

Furthermore, the FBI also cited several powerful Windows 7 vulnerabilities that have been frequently weaponized over the past few years.

This includes the EternalBlue exploit (used in the original WannaCry and by multiple subsequent crypto-mining operations, financial crime gangs, and ransomware gangs) and the BlueKeep exploit (which allows attackers to break into Windows 7 devices that have their RDP endpoint enabled).

The agency said that despite the presence of patches for these issues, companies have failed to patch impacted systems. In this case, replacing older and abandoned systems may be the best solution overall.

While companies are looking into upgrading systems, the FBI recommends that they also look into:

  • Ensuring anti-virus, spam filters, and firewalls are up to date, properly configured, and secure.
  • Auditing network configurations and isolate computer systems that cannot be updated.
  • Auditing your network for systems using RDP, closing unused RDP ports, applying two-factor authentication wherever possible, and logging RDP login attempts.

The Secret Behind Radiation Hardened IT Equipment in Space

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The Secret Behind Radiation Hardened IT Equipment in Space

From 1961- 1975, during the worldwide space race and when the United States was making history with successful moon landings, technology at the time was booming. However, the Apollo 11 computer had a processor which ran at 0.043 MHz; meaning the iPhone in your pocket has over 100,000 times the processing power of the computer that landed man on the moon! More than 50 years later, its no secret that technology has developed into something we’d never dreamed possible. So, you’d think we’d at least be using updated systems in space today. Right?! Wrong. The computer hardware on board spacecraft computers is far from the newest and best around. 

Until the recent Space X Flacon 9 rocket, space travel was conducted with outdated processors. Even the International Space Station (ISS) is operating with using two sets of three command and control multiplexer demultiplexer computers from 1988. Even the chips that made up the original Sony PlayStation in 1994 are faster! Well luckily for all future astronauts and space cowboys alike, the Space X Falcon 9 carrying a Dragon spacecraft sent to the ISS was the first commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) high-performance computer to orbit the earth. It just so happens to be among the first supercomputers in space.

What is Radiation Hardening and Why is Necessary?

Radiation hardened electronics can simply be defined as electronic components that have been designed and tested to provide some level of protection against penetrating radiation. If not protected, radiation can cause the computer components to malfunction, damage circuitry or cause the electronic device to completely shut down. Radiation hardening is essential when the electronics are used in environments where they will be exposed to high energy ionizing or space radiation.

There are three types of space radiation concerning electronic computer components used in space: galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), high energy solar radiation, and radiation belts. Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) are electrons, protons or neutrons that originate outside of our solar system. High Energy Solar Radiation are emissions from the sun due to solar flares or explosions of stored magnetic energy. Radiation Belts contain trapped electrons and ions of varying energy levels. GCRs and solar radiation routinely reach the earth; therefore, they are present at all of the earth’s atmospheric levels. 

For manned spaceships and satellite, continuous and reliable operation depends on being able to withstand space radiation. If you don’t already know the answer to the question, then you’re probably asking yourself why do we use spacecraft with such outdated processors? Well, by NASA’s standards and the laws of physics, not just any computer can go into space. Computer components must be radiation hardened, especially the CPUs. Otherwise, they tend to fail due to the effects of ionizing radiation. 

There is more modern hardware in space like the laptops used on the ISS. But those laptops are not high-performance computers. They’re just ordinary laptops that are expected to fail. Actually, there are more than a hundred laptops on the ISS, and most are obsolete. In order to perform serious data mining, we want high-performance computing. Afterall these are the reasons we’re doing experiments on the space station. 

The typical way to radiation-harden a computer that will be used in space is to add redundancy to its circuits or use insulating substrates instead of the usual semiconductor wafers on chips. That’s not only very costly but laborious as well. Scientists believe that simply slowing down a system in adverse conditions can avoid glitches and keep the computer running.

The end goal is to develop a functional supercomputer for operation in space without spending years hardening it. By using off-the-shelf servers and custom-built software, scientists are trying to harden a computer using software by throttling its speed when there’s a solar flare or other radiation hazard. If possible, astronauts will have the latest devices available, increasing their onboard capabilities.

The Effects of Space Radiation

There are a number of ways that computer components designers can radiation-harden their devices. One of the most common is to harden for total-ionizing-dose radiation – or the amount of radiation the device is expected to withstand for its entire life before problems occur. A typical requirement is for 100 kilorads of total-dose radiation hardness. The advancement of today’s advanced electrical components is changing the total-dose picture. Specifically, the shrinking size of circuits on today’s most modern chips is decreasing their exposure to total-dose radiation.

This trend is a double-edge sword because the steady shrinking of chip geometries also makes these devices even more vulnerable to other kinds of radiation effects, namely single-event upset (SEU) and single-event latchup (SEL). If not protected, radiation can cause the computer components to malfunction, damage circuitry or cause the electronic device to completely shut down.

Intel vs AMD – The Best CPU

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AMD vs Intel CPUs

Performance, security, and everything else you need to know about which CPU is right for you.

AMD vs Intel CPUs, which is the best CPU for you? Technology buffs have been debating this for years. Intel, has by tradition, had the advantage, but AMD’s Ryzen processors are shaking up the market. We’ve put together a quick snippet to help you decide which is right for you. Mainly focused on the pros and cons of each, and everything related to performance and security. Because let’s be real, that’s really what matters here.

AMD vs Intel: The battle over performance

For a majority users, the difference between any of the current generation AMD and Intel CPUs is minor, if at all noticeable. They’re all perfectly capable of surfing the web, streaming your favorite shows, running office applications, multitasking between all of those, and more. The only true way to reveal their differences is to run demanding workloads.

For multithreaded application workloads, the AMD Ryzen 7 compares nicely with the Intel Core i7. This AMD Ryzen is actually a bit slower in some cases, but faster in others. Most users would likely never notice the difference between the two. Now if we step up a level and compare the Intel i9 and AMD Ryzen 9. The AMD Ryzen 9 appears to be roughly 25 percent faster in multithreaded workloads, thanks to having 50 percent more cores. For this, AMD is looking extremely attractive in the realm of content creation. 

When moving over to the gaming world, the differences between Intel and AMD are more noticeable. The fastest Intel CPUs usually lead AMD’s best Ryzen parts by 5-10%, and in some games the gap can be as large as 15%.  Some of this gap is due AMD’s earlier Ryzen CPUs being a bit slower in games because games don’t usually make use of more than four to six CPU cores, resulting the extra cores remaining inactive. However, that’s starting to change. The other part of the comparison is latency. Latency refers to the time to access and process data. AMD’s Ryzen parts have higher cache and memory latency than Intel’s, causing a slightly worse overall performance in sensitive workloads like games. 

AMD vs Intel: Who has top notch security?

Security is an ambiguous term that can be difficult to explain in the CPU world, as most problems track back to software, not hardware. Intel processors and platforms used to be thought of as more secure than AMD processors. Then Meltdown and Spectre transpired.

 

Technology security researchers discovered side-channel attacks that compromised the security of data. Meltdown affected AMD and Intel platforms in different ways, where variations in firmware and operating systems were needed to address the problem. Spectre was a bit more abstract and mostly targeted Intel CPUs. Since the earlier security holes were made known, several new holes have come about.

The latest set security holes includes RIDL, ZombieLoad, and Fallout. These were classified as Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) attacks, that target Intel CPUs, but don’t affect AMD processors. Solutions are in the works, with some improvements already in place via OS and firmware updates. Intel’s 9th Gen CPUs also include some hardware changes to help address some of these exploits. 

 

Intel’s processors have been compromised by side-channel attacks far more often than AMD CPUs, but it’s still unsure what the future holds. Because Intel CPUs hold a larger market share, and each set of fixes slightly reducing performance, some are beginning to speculate whether Intel CPUs will fall behind AMD CPUs. 

Looking to sell your old CPUs and upgrade?

AMD vs Intel: Who should you chose?

When dealing with an everyday workload, the highest end AMD CPU and the highest end Intel CPU won’t deliver totally different outcomes. There are clear differences in certain scenarios, but the CPU isn’t the foundation of PC performance that it once was.

That being said, AMD CPUs, offer remarkable value and performance throughout the whole range of chips produces. From the low 3600 models right up to the high end 3950X model, the ROI is fantastic with AMD CPUs, even for gamers. Not to downplay the quality of Intel CPUs, but if they want to stay competitive with AMD innovations, they need to lower prices. Although, there are those users who will hold out because they’re brand loyal and only interested in buying Intel products.

When choosing your next CPU upgrade, it is best to look at the individual performance of the CPU you want to buy. AMD Ryzen processors offer the best bang for buck throughout almost the entire value range. Intel does hold a slight edge in gaming at the very top end, but AMD promises existing motherboards will continue to work with new AMD chips in 2020, guaranteeing an upgrade path. In the end, it’s really up to what you prefer.

A Step by Step Guide on How to Sell Used Servers

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Looking for a solution to dispose of your retired and used servers that is painless for both you and the environment? Has your organization recently updated the data center or IT infrastructure and need to get rid of used IT equipment? We Buy Used IT Equipment is your best choice to sell used servers and networking equipment. It’s in our name. We’ll pay you a fair market value to take it off your hands and dispose of it, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. In the case that your used equipment can’t be refurbished, we’ll handle the recycling on your servers in an environmentally friendly manner. By partnering with We Buy Used IT Equipment, you get paid for your used IT assets, ensuring that it is properly handled, and your data protected. 

We Make It Easy to Sell Used Servers & IT Equipment

When you decide to sell used servers and IT equipment not only will you make money, but you will also be helping your business stay socially responsible. We’ll either revamp your used servers and IT equipment or make sure everything is properly recycled. Regardless of the outcome, you walk away with some cash in your hand, your data secure, and the reassurance that your retired equipment was handled properly. Our simple six-step process to buying used servers will make everything as simple as possible.

Here's how it works:

    1. Submit your list of equipment you wish to sell: Send us a list of the servers or IT equipment you want to sell via the contact form on our site, or by emailing us at Sales@WeBuyUsedITEquipment.net. Be as specific as possible by providing information such as: quantities (the more the better), which brand/model numbers, capacity of drives, types of processors, and how much memory on each server.
    2. Receive an Offer: Once our team of IT equipment specialists reviews your list of equipment, we will reach out to you with an offer. We may ask questions like, will your company be responsible for data destruction, or will you need us need to provide these services? 
    3. Get the specifics on shipping. We Buy Used IT Equipment organizes and pays for the shipping. That’s right! We handle all of the logistics! If there is enough value in the equipment, we can get it done.
    4. Equipment Inspection and Audit: Once your used servers and equipment is received in our 24-hour secured facility, we perform a thorough inspection and audit. All drives are tested and formatted. 
    5. Data Destruction: If any data destruction, shredding, or magnetic degaussing is needed, we can take care of it. We can also provide you with a certificate of data destruction upon completion.
    6. Get Paid: This is the best part! We will either write you a check for your used servers, or if you choose, we will apply your used equipment as a credit towards upgrades and newer equipment purchases. 

Check out this short video to learn more about how our ITAD process works

We Buy Used IT Equipment buys all makes and models of used IT equipment, including, but not limited to:

Rackmount and Standalone Used Servers:

  • HP Proliant: DL320, DL360, DL380, DL385, DL580, DL585
  • Dell PowerEdge: R610, R710, R620, R720, R630, R730, R640, R740
  • IBM / Lenovo xSeries: x3250, x3550, x3650, X3850
  • Sun Oracle: T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, X4, X5, X6, X7, X8
  • Supermicro Servers

 

Used Blade Servers:

  • HP C7000 – BL Blade Servers BL460c, BL480c, BL660c
  • IBM® BladeCenter – HS22, HS23
  • Sun Blade 6000 – X6220, X6250, X6420, X6440
  • Dell PowerEdge M1000e, M620, M630, M640, M720, M730, M740
  • Cisco UCS 5108 – B Series Blades B200 M3, B200 M4, B200 M5

How To Sell Used CPU’s

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When your IT department decides it’s time to upgrade the infrastructure, you may want to consider selling the system’s CPUs. The CPUS or Central Processing Units, are one of the most valuable parts of a server or computer. 

We’ve put together a list of questions to ask in order to help you sell your CPUs. What makes the most sense for you or your business is going to depend on a number of different aspects. 

If you already know what you want to sell, whether it be your CPU’s, servers, hard drives, memory, data tape or other IT equipment; click here to submit your list.

Otherwise, let’s get to it!

Why Sell Your Used CPUs?

Here are some reasons that you might want to sell used CPUs:

  • The current jobs running for your computers or servers are slowly funneled with CPUs running at max 
  • Increased virtualization could yield considerable benefits 
  • Older CPUs don’t support virtualization as well
  • Increase power efficiency on a per unit basis
  • You could consolidate older servers into newer ones, expanding precious real estate
  • You have retired equipment with CPUs no longer in use

Be sure to research what an upgrade in processing power will do for your equipment. Upgrading CPUs may not always have a measurable impact on efficiency.

Learn More About How Selling Old IT Equipment Can Increase Your Buying Power

Who Buys Used CPUs?

Realistically, there are a limited number of options when it comes to selling used CPUs. Your organizations specific situation will most likely be the deciding factor as to where you should sell them. The main deciding factors for where you will sell them are:

  • Do they still work?
  • What is the age of your CPUs?
  • What is the quantity you want to sell?

Understandably, CPUs are most valuable when they are newer with little to no prior use. You may also want to consider their resale value, especially if you’re planning on replacing them with upgrade processors.

Smaller quantities or individual CPUs will more often than not get more value on sites like eBay, Craigslist, or even a hardware swap. ITAD vendors (like We Buy Used IT Equipment) generally deal in larger quantities and bulk sales of CPUs.

Learn more about IT Asset Disposition

How Can I Sell Large Quantities of CPUs?

If you have a large quantity of newer CPUs, then you can contact an ITAD company (such as We Buy Used IT Equipment) that will purchase your processors from you. 

Normally, the more processors you have the better for selling to an ITAD company. When selling CPUs or processors that are 4 or 5 generations prior, the ITAD company may want more information on them such as the number of processors, their model, and their condition. At that point, their resale value is very limited due to the vast differences between their capabilities and the current versions.

Below is some information to send the ITAD company when looking to sell CPUs:

  • Model number
  • Quantity
  • Condition (new, original packaging, used, functional, broken, etc.)

If you’re ready to sell your used CPUs, submit your list of equipment for a FREE, no obligation quote.