This was not a banner week for Microsoft darling Windows 7. The new OS has been cruising along with solid buzz and record sales to back it up, but user complaints on two fronts — misreported battery life and a stability update causing disruptions — provided a reality check.
Microsoft was quick to refute that these were major issues (which was, in turn, refuted by users), but the strong negativity from the user community was a first for Windows 7.
Microsoft also delivered a security update on Tuesday with a record 13 security updates patching dozens of vulnerabilities in Windows. Unfortunately, a side effect of the giant patch was that some Windows XP machines were crippled with the notorious BSOD (blue screen of death), according user complaints on Microsoft’s support forum. Microsoft stopped serving the Windows patch blamed for the blue screens.
[ For complete coverage on Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system — including hands-on reviews, video tutorials and advice on enterprise rollouts — see CIO.com’s Windows 7 Bible. ]
But there were also high points this week for Redmond: CEO Steve Ballmer is scheduled to discuss Microsoft’s plan for Windows Mobile 7 and “Windows phones” on Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In addition, new research shows that more enterprises are using Internet Explorer 8 (and ditching Internet Explorer 6) than earlier research had indicated.
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Search engine Bing also had a good week. It gained half a percentage point of U.S. search market share in January to reach 11.3 percent, according to market researcher comScore.
Here’s a round up of this week’s Microsoft stories from CIO.com and its sister publications.
Microsoft to Update Windows Phones Monday
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may give the world a sneak peek at Windows Mobile 7 during a press conference on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Microsoft Delivers Huge Windows Security Update
Microsoft Tuesday shipped a record 13 security updates that patched dozens of vulnerabilities in Windows.
Windows Patch Cripples XP with Blue Screen, Users Claim
Microsoft users reported on the company’s support forum that Tuesday’s security updates are crippling Windows XP-based PCs.
Microsoft Stops Serving Windows Patch Blamed for Blue Screens
Microsoft has stopped distributing a Windows patch thought to cause a Blue Screen of Death on XP machines, and said it is investigating the problem.
Microsoft Gives a Glimpse of Windows 8
A cached version of a blog post on MSDN says to expect the unexpected from the next version of the Windows OS.
Enterprises Ditch Microsoft’s IE6, Go Big for IE8
Contrary to popular thought, enterprises are not wedded to Microsoft’s old and buggy Internet Explorer 6, but have largely dumped the browser, a researcher said Wednesday.
Bing Gains Hollow as Microsoft Online Bleeds Millions
Microsoft Bing’s piece of the U.S. search market keeps growing bit by bit, but Microsoft is a long way from profiting from it as its online services division loses hundreds of millions each quarter.
Users Dispute Microsoft’s Explanation of Windows 7 Battery Problems
Microsoft’s head of Windows said Monday in response to customer complaints that Windows 7 does not ruin notebook batteries or issue premature warnings that the power is exhausted, but Windows 7 users who have experienced those problems disagreed, calling the explanation “hand washing.”
Windows 7 Stability Update Makes PCs Unstable, Users Report
Some Windows 7 users say their PCs started to freeze or randomly display the infamous “Blue screen of death” after applying a January update Microsoft billed as a stability and reliability fix.
Windows 7 Cracks Starting to Show?
Poor battery readings and stability fixes that break stability. Here come the Win7 user complaints. Are they worth the shouting?
Shane O’Neill is a senior writer at CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter at twitter.com/CIOonline.