Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, March 17, 2014

Safe Updates & Discounts For Windows XP

There are a variety of services that help keep your important software updated. We've added a  "Check for Safe Updates" button  to integrate a new version checking feature directly into WinPatrol. It won’t be the most powerful but in the WinPatrol spirit our goal is to make sure updates are safe and folks are educated to all possible risks.

Previously this button checked for new versions of WinPatrol but it has been expanded to include version checks for popular software packages. When you click this button we'll compare your version against the newest safe version available. If updating is recommended you'll see a safe link that goes to the official download page for the software.

This is critical because bogus sites are showing up on the top results page with Google, Bing and other search engines. It's easy to find yourself on web page that tries to trick you into downloading software wrapped with a setup program that installs additional unwanted software.

Even a legitimate company like Oracle has partnered with toolbar and anti-virus companies. The revenue they get when anyone installs the parasitic software is significant. Considering the installed base of Java users and now often they need security updates it’s a very lucrative market. The WinPatrol PLUS Safe Update Engine will also warn you about these threats and show you sample screen shots of what you might expect.

Every time a new version of Java is available Oracle will try to push other software unrelated to Java. In some cases they’ll receive over a dollar for each customer lead.

Restore Deleted Files

Our second big feature came after feedback from radio host and America’s Digital Goddess, Kim Komando. In a recent article, Kim recommended WinPatrol but cautioned her readers about the dangers of deleting files that may be required. WinPatrol has always provided a History button that allows you to Restore any Startup Programs but she had a point when it comes to the removal of hidden files.

The files will now quarantined in a WinPatrol vault. We will also include a command line scripts that can be used to restore any files that had been hidden. The command-line scripts are created for a worse-case scenario when someone deletes a file that is required for Windows to run. The script or .bat file can be run in safe mode or a command-line mode.

PLUS Discount for Windows XP

The new Safe Update Engine will also detect which version of Windows you're running. If appropriate we will advise you to any potential problems. For instance, if someone is still using Windows XP we will offer timely protection tips. It’s clear not everyone can or will be upgrading immediately. Some businesses have software or hardware that still requires Windows XP.  Unfortunately, an XP machine could be infiltrated and turned into a "bot" that could be used to send SPAM or deploy viruses.

If our Safe Update Engine detects you're using Windows XP you'll see a link to a special Windows XP purchase page. The name of this page will routinely change but it will have a PayPal button that allows you to upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS for only $2.00 USD. If you can’t afford a Windows upgrade we’ll make sure WinPatrol PLUS is affordable.


This is section of the results provided by the WinPatrol PLUS Safe Update Engine. In this example, the special offer is provided when the Safe Update feature detects Windows XP is running.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tell Microsoft to Rethink Windows XP Guidance

On the surface(no pun intended) it’s not unreasonable for Microsoft to drop support for Window XP. At least that’s what I used to think.  Richard Hay of shares a common opinion, “XP is 13 years old - hardware and OS's have changed so much since then.”  He’s right of course but I realized my car is even older. It doesn’t have built-in GPS, backup cam or even an iPod connection but I’ll keep it. The impact of Windows XP on our planet & me is still much bigger than my ‘95 Camaro Z-28.

xplaunch4In the fall of 2001 Bill Gates stood on a stage in New York City and proudly introduced us to Windows XP. It was the largest launch event I had attended complete with a concert in the park by Sting.

As Microsoft prepared for the launch they were encouraged by then Mayor Rudy Giuliani to hold the event in NYC. After the trauma of 9/11 a large event was needed to show the world the city was safe and open for business. Microsoft did the right thing.

On April 8th, 2014 Microsoft will cease support for Windows XP inviting hackers around the world to have their way with any system still using XP. While it may seem reasonable Microsoft has provided limited guidance. Their advice; upgrade to Windows 8.x or even Windows 7.

Windows is not like any other product.
You can’t compare Windows to any other tool in or outside  the computer industry. The courts may have ruled Microsoft did not hold a monopoly but the impact of Windows world-wide is beyond a normal product life cycle. The justice system did acknowledge a substantial cost would be occurred choosing an alternative to Windows on an Intel based system.

windowsxpeos  Click for updated count down info

Microsoft making an effort to encourage upgrading and is providing help to business customers who need to make the transition. The site makes it clear what will change in support and security risks.  “you will no longer receive security updates, fixes or online technical support for PCs still running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003.”
While Microsoft is trying to point to their actions as being reasonable their examples show the world isn’t ready to change. If 1 out of 6 computers in Malaysia are still using Windows XP it’s clear Microsoft is not providing a reasonable choice. Even if a cost was attached to continued support the option should exist. There must be a path available besides a completely new OS that may not support all the existing hardware or software.

Microsoft has sponsored a white paper which demonstrates the costs connected with continuing to use Windows XP. All data and costs predictions  are based on a world with no alternate support from Microsoft. No where in the paper are cost estimates if Microsoft was still involved in minor ways.

By not providing some kind of extended support Microsoft will fail to attract a new generation of users of microprocessor based devices. Many of us remember the quote, “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”. By ignoring history Microsoft is damaging its brand at a critical time in the market place. Modern customers want to hear the quote, “We’ve got your back.”

scotty128Ironically, Microsoft’s decision will increase sales of my own WinPatrol PLUS product which does support Windows XP.  WinPatrol has been in the market for over 16 years and while I will take advantage of many new Windows 8 features I’m still able to protect Windows XP users.

Let me be clear!
If you’re using Windows XP I strongly recommend you find a cost effective way to upgrade your computers. I’m happy if you upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS but to really be safe you need to a different version of Windows. After you upgrade, continue to use WinPatrol along with other security programs.  Millions of Windows XP machines will soon become malware infected “bots” sending out spam and attacking computers across the world with software vulnerabilities  as soon as they’re found.

Even if you aren’t running Windows XP let Microsoft know how you feel.  Use hashtag #april8th

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Friday, March 07, 2014

March Madness for Windows XP

Note: This sale is now over.  Thank you for your support.

About once a year I have a special sale that most people think is crazy and I swear I’ll never do it again. This month I have a good reason to try to have more people protected by WinPatrol.

For long weekend I’m making a one system lifetime upgrade license to WinPatrol PLUS available for $2.00. Our full family pack lifetime license normally $49.95 can also be purchased for $10.00.  Sale ends Monday night at midnight EST.

This month our stats show that 17% of visitors to are still using Windows XP. I’ve heard from many people who will not or can not upgrade at this time. Even this summer I suspect our XP visitors will still exceed 10%.

On April 8th, 2014 Microsoft will end their full support for Windows XP. Many people may say, “I never contact Microsoft for support”, they don’t realize how many security holes are discovered every week and how quickly they get patched by Microsoft via their auto updates. If not for this behind-the-scenes support you’d be vulnerable to attack just by being connected to a network.

Let me be clear, WinPatrol is not a complete solution to the security dangers coming to Windows XP. It’s an inexpensive, safe way to know if you have been attacked and will help fight off most attacks. I still recommend upgrading to a newer version of Windows but I realize it’s not an option for everyone.

The graph below shows activity on the WinPatrol web site by Windows XP users.  Even with warnings from Microsoft there hasn’t been a significant change since January 1st.


Over the last month we’ve seen an increase in adoption of Windows 8.x but it’s not coming from Windows XP users.

If you want more information about upgrading from Microsoft or what it means to you: Click Here. If you can’t upgrade by April 8th you’ll want a little more protection by upgrading to WinPatrol PLUS now at

We’re committed to our XP users and while WinPatrol will take advantage of new Windows 8 Welcomexpfeatures, we’ll still provide our traditional quality programming for Windows XP users.
I’ve been a fan of Windows XP since attending the New York City launch in 2001.

Windows XP Launch Badge
September 24, 2001

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Sunday, March 02, 2014

New WinPatrolToGo Adds Safety Feature.

WinPatrolToGo 2014 Introduces
Version Update Engine.

New this weekend is the release of a little known accessory for fans of WinPatrol.  Unless you’ve been paying attention to new developments from BillP Studios you may not have known about the portable version of WinPatrol.

WinPatrolToGo is a single executable file that you can copy to a any folder on your hard drive, on an external driver or a flash/USB drive. It’s a small file that will fit on small portable drives so you can bring it with you where ever you go.

WinPatrolToGo allows you to explore a computer without installing WinPatrol.  If you’re the one who gets called when someone has a computer problem you’ll want this program.

Based on our WinPatrol technology this program is free but has some additional features available to our supporters who have upgraded to WinPatrol PLUS. 

This version introduces the new WinPatrol PLUS Version Update Engine for verifying you have the current versions of programs which are popular and have a history of vulnerabilities. Our goal is to make updating a one step process so you and your friends have programs which are safe to use.

WinPatrol PLUS Version Update Engine

Click for large image

To check out WinPatrolToGo and our new Version Update Engine just go to

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