Monday, January 27, 2020


Sometimes you think something has ended at last, only for that thing to have even the briefest last-minute development that keeps it going for just a bit longer. Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system has had a long and good product life, still being used around the world even with the debut of its rather distant successor Windows 10 in 2015. The official support given to the OS by Microsoft has been gradually phased out in recent years. Just this January 13, mainstream support for Windows 7 definitively ended. Or it should have, if not for a certain bug that Microsoft fixed after the support deadline.

The Verge tells us that just over two weeks following Microsoft halting all software update support for their aged Windows 7 computer OS, they suddenly went and issued a batch of security fixes for it. Ironically, these post-support updates were to repair an unexpected display error caused by one of the final official support packages for Win-7, designated KB4534310. According to Microsoft, one of the details on this last fix has caused problems with displaying wallpaper on the desktop. From their description, setting an image as wallpaper with the stretch setting would cause the background to display as black instead.

Specifically, only the “stretch” display option for wallpapers seems to be affected by certain features of the swan-song KB4534310 update, likely because of aspect ratio issues. If a wallpaper display option is set to center, title, or even just a fill color, there are no issues (since the image aspect ratio for the former two are not so dramatically altered). The fact that the update-induced problem only became apparent when mainstream support ended would have meant that Microsoft could charge Win-7 users for getting it fixed, the same way they would be charging extended security updates for stubborn Win-7 regulars.

Thankfully, Microsoft is a lot more reasonable than expected and offered the bug fix for this issue free. Essentially, what should have been part of the paid “extended security update” packages is now available for all continuing users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. That is very kind of them here, compared to how Microsoft has caused the German government to cough up about $887,000 for extended security updates for all their government-use PCs and devices that still use Win-7, since a paid ESU package is $20 to $50 per unit, depending on the computer being protected.

Image courtesy of Bleeping Computer


Post a Comment