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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.

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.

How Selling Old IT Equipment Can Increase Your Buying Power

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Once your used IT equipment is ready to be retired, you can start turning it into a brand-new investment to help expand your business. It’s easy to think of the many benefits of buying the latest equipment to grow your IT infrastructure. However, we encourage you to take a minute to think about the countless benefits your company will experience by selling your retired IT assets.

Used IT equipment is almost always valuable to another enterprise looking to grow, and we’ve found that even gear that’s operated in the field for a long time can be refurbished and made beneficial to someone else. Partnering with the right IT asset management firm can make all the difference in getting a high price for your used equipment and even acquiring new equipment you may need.

Working with the right partner can help an organization avoid a long sales process, tough negotiations, and a low price. Just because you’re ready to get rid of old assets that are taking up precious real estate, doesn’t mean you should settle for less.

Take a moment to look at your inventory and figure out a way to sell used IT equipment in a way that’s best for your company. This report will help you with some of that process.

Benefits of Selling Used IT Equipment

When your company decides it time to sell your used IT equipment, don’t just consider the money you’ll get from the sale. Sure, the return on investment is an upside, but there are many other benefits as well. We will go through a few more ways to maximize value that you might not necessarily think of right away.

A few potential areas you can save money by selling used IT equipment includes reductions in maintenance and repair costs, which is common with older equipment. Ultimately, there may also be a reduction in the purchasing of replacement parts. Savings also range from warehousing the equipment and its potential replacements, as well as spare parts and specialty tools that might’ve been needed in the past.

Selling used IT equipment gives organizations an opportunity to improve their IT capabilities simultaneously cutting costs for legacy and end-of-life gear.

Often, companies retire their IT equipment because they’ve outgrown it or switched to services that no longer require it. Most equipment that gets disposed of still has a lot of useful life, not because there’s something wrong with it. So, by trading or selling used equipment, you are actually supporting another company to grow at an affordable rate with quality equipment.

By selling used equipment — as opposed to throwing it away — a company can highlight its green initiatives and ensure that no equipment ends up in a landfill contributing to the world’s e-waste problems.

There are also ways to limit the number of suppliers you need to work with. This can help a business save both time and money by reducing their team to only trusted and verified partners. When you can find a trustworthy partner to sell your IT equipment to, and buy from the same partner, it creates a one-stop IT shop. Another bonus to selling and buying from the same IT asset partner is that they most likely have an existing network to find other legacy equipment you may need.

We highly recommend finding a partner with experience in used IT equipment because it can make the process easier with a higher rate of return.

Exclusive Benefits of Working With DTC

As a used IT equipment purchaser and IT asset provider, we give businesses considerable access to a full range of equipment and services.

Whether your organization is completing an infrastructure overhaul, or just updating your current set up, we’ve got a wide range of equipment and expertise to help you along the way.

With more than 50 years in the IT equipment industry, we have a thorough knowledge of the procurement process and can work with your team to assist with any data destruction services they may need. We are a family owned company and treat our customers like family.

Data security and customer service have been our top priorities since we opened our doors. Our diverse knowledge-base and experiences, allow our clients to utilize our purchasing and sales personnel as a valued resource for questions, research, and answers.

Another reason companies really like working with us is that our vast database and the contact list of customers, resellers, recyclers, suppliers, and industry partners allows us to find the best price when sourcing your IT equipment.

Our spotless reputation ensures your transactions are handled efficiently, ethically, and securely.  With all of the transactions we’ve processed, we have never had one security breach or data loss.

Things to Look for in an IT Asset Partner

When thinking about how to sell used IT equipment, it’s always best to create a profile of the companies you want to partner with. Building a blueprint allows you to know what questions to ask, identify gaps, compare costs and ensure that they can meet your specific needs.

To help in creating your list, here are some of the considerations we suggest for people who are thinking about selling use IT equipment:

  • What type of excess or used equipment do they purchase?
  • What is their payment process and how long does it take?
  • What types of services do they offer?
  • How long have they been in business and do they have referrals readily available?
  • Do they have flexible payment and other agreement options, including account credit that can be applied to other equipment?
  • What is their warranty and return policy?
  • Who handles the shipping and logistics?
 

These are just a few of the main things we think you should consider for any IT equipment sales partner.

Environmental Benefits of Selling Used IT Equipment

It is a known fact that up to 85% of retired e-waste that gets thrown away ends up in landfills or fiery incinerators, exposing the environment to toxic elements. IT equipment only makes up a tiny fraction of the total e-waste thrown away each year, but accounts for 70% of toxic waste that’s released in the environment.

Only 15% of e-waste was properly reclaimed, meaning companies and governments were able to recover $7.4 billion in 2014. The 85% of e-waste not properly reclaimed or recycled represents a loss of $40.6 billion in assets! That’s a huge economic impact!

Recycling is good for the environment. According to an EPA report, recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent of the power 3,500 U.S. homes will use in an entire year. Electronics, especially IT equipment, are full of valuable copper, silver, gold,  and palladium. They’re also full of silicon and a variety of heavy metals and chemicals that will leach into groundwater and soil, polluting and poisoning the environment. You can help avoid some of this harm by working with a used IT equipment buyer to limit hazardous materials from entering landfills and dumps.

How to Sell Used IT Equipment

There are many different channels you can use to sell your used IT equipment. Different vendors, personal sale service and recycling options will yield different challenges and returns on your initial investment, so it’s best to consider each option carefully.

DTC has IT equipment experts that are available to work with you to develop a plan to maximize the profitability of your used IT equipment, whether you’re looking to sell it for cash or trade it for the equipment you need to grow your infrastructure.

We provide a reliable way for you to sell excess equipment, remove outdated equipment, or implement the latest tech your customers demand. We handle all the shipping and logistics so your company can save money and difficulties along the way, focusing instead on how to grow your business that matters most to your customers. Never worry about how to sell used IT equipment again.