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February 20th, 2019:

Windows 7 – March 2019 SHA-2 enhancements critical for future security updates

During March 2019 updates, Microsoft will be improving security for its Windows Update (Patch Tuesday) process by adding SHA-2 encryption as shared below  

https://www.pcmag.com/news/366610/still-using-windows-7-microsofts-next-update-is-critical

If you want to continue receiving Windows updates, then the next Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 update is critical as it adds support for SHA-2 encryption. Without it, future updates can’t be downloaded.

As MSPoweruser reports, Microsoft needs to ensure that the operating system updates end users receive haven’t been tampered with. It does this using SHA-1 and SHA-2 hash algorithms to authenticate the updates. The problem is, the SHA-1 algorithm has a weakness and can no longer be relied upon.

As Windows 7 SP1, Windows 2008 SP1, and SP2 all rely on SHA-1 encryption, they need updating with support for SHA-2 as future Windows updates will require it. So next month Microsoft is rolling out an update to add support for SHA-2 encryption for its oldest supported operating systems. If you’re a Windows 7 user and don’t install this critical update, wave goodbye to any future Windows patches

Apple Marzipan – Same App runs unchanged on all platforms in future

Apple is working on new conventions where a developer can develop an app once and have it automatically run on iPhone, iPad, and Mac without any extra work. The initiative is called ‘Marzipan.’

https://www.pcmag.com/news/366636/report-iphone-ipad-mac-to-run-the-same-apps-by-2021

App developers targeting Apple’s platforms currently need to create at least two versions of their apps. One is aimed at iOS while the other at macOS. However, by 2021 this may no longer be the case as Apple is thought to be aiming for a “one app fits all” solution.

As Bloomberg reports, Apple is planning a multistep initiative which is being called “Marzipan.” Expected to be in place by 2021, it would allow a developer to focus on creating one version of their app targeted at Apple’s platforms. Deploying it to iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices would be handled automatically by the Marzipan system, which would take the form of a software development kit (SDK) provided by Apple.

The thinking is, by removing the need to create multiple versions of the same app, developers will be encouraged to release across all three platforms. Apple benefits because it gets a wider choice of apps across both its portable and desktop hardware, which in turn should bring a boost in app revenue. It should also boost hardware sales if that hardware can do more through more apps being available.