Microsoft Ruins The Bar Exam (UPDATED)

There was an afternoon when you’ll Do Savor  pass down to your nearby software program merchant and purchase the modern edition of whatever operating gadget you desired to run. Until you made your subsequent challenge to Software Etc., the version on your hand changed into the model you’d use. Of direction, this intended that you could look up in the future and find your self woefully out of date, but it additionally meant that each other program you might hope to run might have a steady and predictable platform to work with.

Then got here the automatic updates. The information worried needed to be small given the data infrastructure of the time, however, nobody ought to whinge approximately minor patches and security fixes.

Now data comes in tidal waves and tech groups see their opportunity to make a quit run across the first sale doctrine — selling a provider. Instead of purchasing an running system, for instance, clients can watch their pockets continuously drained via a “carrier” that maintains updating the gadget — in methods both minor and foremost — in perpetuity.

And this is how Microsoft is ruining the bar exam. Or, perhaps extra precisely, this is how Microsoft is inflicting ExamSoft to smash the bar exam.

Examinees in California planning to take the July examination were these days informed that ExamSoft simply can’t manage Windows 10 and people taking the check want to both take it via hand or get themselves a brand new PC that doesn’t run Windows 10. Sorry about that modern laptop you were given for graduation!

There’s a temptation to the region the blame totally on ExamSoft because, properly, this passed off. And, make no mistake, ExamSoft’s lack of ability to deal with predictable operating system updates merits a wonderful deal of scorn. But in keeping with the alert to be had on the State Bar of California’s Internet site, the actual culprit is that Microsoft’s April Windows 10 update:

Microsoft lately launched “Windows 10 Creators,” a new edition of Microsoft’s running gadget (OS) in order to impact humans taking the July California Bar Exam. ExamSoft presently does no longer guide the Windows 10 Creators OS, as it does not meet its minimum machine requirements. As an end result, candidates intending to apply their computer computers that have the Windows 10 Creators OS loaded may additionally revel in issues all through the administration of the July 2017 California Bar Examination.

That’s… no longer good. Because it’s now not like users can easily keep away from those updates or maybe comprehend that at the same time as they’re sound asleep, their vibrant new computer is spending the night turning itself into a bar examination brick. Some faculties expected the hassle and attempted to let humans recognize to turn off their updates — in all likelihood due to the fact ExamSoft has constantly been unable to preserve up with Windows 10, so why might this replace be any extraordinary? — however many folks remained in the dark until a final couple of weeks while bar examiners began alerting test-takers.

And it’s not simply California. North Carolina has this issue. Massachusetts isn’t letting Windows 10 Creators machines into the exam. Tennessee is ejecting humans the usage of the working system from the exam. Because ExamSoft gives testing software program all over u. S . And can’t provide running software program, that is a national disaster. And the words “ExamSoft” and “national crisis” seem within the equal sentence for kind of the eight millionth time here at Above the Law.

But, to return back to the essential intellectual belongings issue, this ultimately all comes again to Microsoft’s move to a always updating software carrier to squeeze cash out in their customers for the “proper” to have their software program surreptitiously upgraded with capabilities they’ll by no means use as a way to most effective crash the features that count number. It’s now not honest to unmarried out Microsoft for taking advantage of the space between the highbrow property regime and generation — they’re not the simplest virtual players adopting this version — but it’s timed like those that pressure domestic how a good deal mischief a near worldwide monopoly can accidentally reason.

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And if you are taking the examination, make sure to verify that your laptop may be able to take the test. You don’t need to be caught taking it with the aid of hand like a few vintage person who remembers software program bought in containers.

UPDATE (7/7/17): New York is likewise on the list of states the use of ExamSoft, and we’ve heard an anecdote from a test taker that highlights the problem of the states’ patchwork responses. It turns out ExamSoft created a workaround to allow college students to use Windows 10 Creators on their finals, and even though that got people via the quit of the school 12 months, the New York examiners aren’t letting human beings use the workaround and are mandating students use other computer systems.