Microsoft has officially discontinued its support for Windows 8 today. This means that the company will not release additional security patches or provide technical support for home users of the operating system. Older operating systems which are missing critical updates have a greater chance of being infected by viruses or malware and it’s recommended that users update their system. 

According to ComputerWorld, “There are significant numbers of devices running Windows 8…Last month, Net Applications estimated that Windows 8 powered 3% of all Windows personal computers, while the newer Windows 8.1 ran on about 11.3% of Windows PCs. Using the 1.5 billion number that Microsoft claims as the total number of PCs which run Windows worldwide, Windows 8 was on approximately 48 million systems last month.”

If you want to continue to receive critical updates from the company, you can update your computer to Windows 8.1. The update is free for users currently running Windows 8 and requires a minimum of 4 GB of free disk space. Users who want to perform the upgrade can use the Windows Store to download and install 8.1.


Adobe Releases Critical Updates

Today Adobe released patches to address 17 vulnerabilities in its Acrobat and Reader programs for both Windows and Macintosh users. Most of the patches address critical vulnerabilities “that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” according to the company. 

Almost all of the vulnerabilities could facilitate code execution, allowing a potential attacker to execute commands on the target machine. One of the vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to bypass restrictions on Javascript API execution and another is an update to Adobe’s Download Manager, addressing a similar code execution issue. PDF documents have been a popular source of malware infections for years and Adobe’s release illustrates the importance of official support for software.

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