Windows SteadyState has been discontinued – no more downloads after December 31, 2010

Windows SteadyState, a once promising tool, has been discontinued by Microsoft. Why? I am not particularly sure why; it was (is) a useful program that had (has) excellent Windows integration, something missing in other tools like Returnil, Wondershare Time Freeze, AyRecovery, etc. Maybe it was the economy. It must be noted, though, that the discontinuation of SteadyState is hardly a surprise, seeing as it was last updated in 2008 and does not support Windows 7. (If Microsoft doesn’t want to support it and update it, it would be interesting if they threw it out to the open source community to see if someone brings SteadyState up to speed.)

SteadyState will be available for download until until December 31, 2010 and support will be provided until June 30, 2011:

Windows SteadyState will continue to be available for download through December 31, 2010. Support for Windows SteadyState will continue to be available through the Microsoft Knowledge Base portal through June 30, 2011.

This announcement does not affect your right to continue to use Windows SteadyState.

If you think you will find use for SteadyState in the future, be sure to grab it now and keep it safe because after Friday it will no longer be available (not from official sources, anyway). You should keep in mind, though, a security program that hasn’t been updated in over two years is not one you should depend too heavily on (or depend on at all, for that matter); it is bound to have vulnerabilities exploited by scumware and the lack of support means the vulnerabilities won’t be patched.

The following is a brief list of features of SteadyState features (as per Microsoft):

  • Windows Disk Protection – Help protect the Windows partition, which contains the Windows operating system and other programs, from being modified without administrator approval.Windows SteadyState allows you to set Windows Disk Protection to remove all changes upon restart, to remove changes at a certain date and time, or to not remove changes at all. If you choose to use Windows Disk Protection to remove changes, any changes made by shared users when they are logged on to the computer are removed when the computer is restarted
  • User Restrictions and Settings – The user restrictions and settings can help to enhance and simplify the user experience. Restrict user access to programs, settings, Start menu items, and options in Windows. You can also lock shared user accounts to prevent changes from being retained from one session to the next.
  • User Account Manager – Create and delete user accounts. You can use Windows SteadyState to create user accounts on alternative drives that will retain user data and settings even when Windows Disk Protection is turned on. You can also import and export user settings from one computer to another—saving valuable time and resources.
  • Computer Restrictions – Control security settings, privacy settings, and more, such as preventing users from creating and storing folders in drive C and from opening Microsoft Office documents from Internet Explorer®.
  • Schedule Software Updates – Update your shared computer with the latest software and security updates when it is convenient for you and your shared users.

You can grab SteadyState from the following links:

Version: 2.5

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista

Download size: 6.4 MB

Windows SteadyState homepage

[via TechSupportAlert]

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44 comments

  1. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: Not that I’m complaining about the download not being taken down but oh come on that isn’t a defense. All their thousands of employees are not there. I bet the people in charge of taking down SteadyState are not even at CES.

  2. Soulflare3

    @Ashraf:

    I just installed and learned something – just after install it connects to Microsoft to tell them it installed successfully. The program says it will keep trying to connect if the first connection fails.

    (I wonder if this could be “worked around” if a “curious” user “mistakenly” went to a certain “task manager”, opened a certain “processes” tab, found a certain installer “accidentally”, and “mistakenly” hit the “end task” button and the “enter” key very quickly… – just a thought ;) )

  3. Soulflare3

    @Ashraf: @Fred Smith:
    Heh, I just tried a few minutes ago (Jan 6 2010) and was able to download the installer…
    (YAY FOR PEOPLE NOT DOING THEIR JOB!!!!!)

    It should be noted that you must be running a genuine copy of Microsoft Windows to download this software from Microsoft…

  4. Daniel Fenn

    @Ashraf:

    I have seen that before but I’m wondering if there are any other options to me. I’m planning a project that was going to be based on SteadyState but considering that it won’t be supported, I would look at other freewhere or opensource software.

    I’m trying to stick to free stuff since the business in question is a charity and therefore does not have much to spend

  5. Samuel

    @Ashraf: Mono is the .NET VM (called the CLR actually) for Linux….so it’s not a different programing language. There are some differences, most often them being a bit behind the Windows CLR. And unless you’re in Sliverlight/Moonlight, you can’t run on Macs.

  6. Tortuga

    Hi again :)

    Duh!!! I did see that button, BUT did not understand !!!
    English is only my third language, so more often than not, the brain goes on a different direction …
    Was looking for a direct dwld, not a convoluted way to have it. Geee!
    I dont like all that sniffing MS wants to do on our rigs. Not that we have anything to hide, but really, enough already. Just upgraded to XP SP3 (yes, finally!), so had to have the validation prior to.
    Anyway, think I’ll prefer to wait for yours.
    Just send a shout when/where/how when you are ready – maybe some smoke signals? :*)
    ArkArkArk

    Have a great day
    Ciao

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: Mono sounds very interesting. Programming in it is similar to programming in .NET? I don’t see why anyone would want to use normal .NET, then, because Mono gives your cross-platform functionality whereas regular .NET does not.

    @Tortuga: Did you perform the genuine advantage check? I will host the mirror after the download is closed by Microsoft.

  8. Tortuga

    Hi Ash, Hi Everybody

    I might be toootally daft & blind, but really »» How do u dwld this thing»???!!

    Been clicking away w no results!
    I even opened NoScript completely … Is it possible only w IE?

    The possibility of hosting it somewhere seems more interesting by the minute :)

    By the way Rob, brilliant idea you got there – I’ll add another $500. to your pledge !!
    Lets make our Ash Rich-Rich-Rich !! Yeahhhh

    Peace

  9. Samuel

    @Ashraf: LOL.

    I won’t say I follow it, more like I keep my ears open for it, after all Mono allows me to stay in .NET and still be cross platform. MonoTouch is the most interesting to me. It allows me to use .NET to program for the iOS platform! Unfortunately you still need a Mac to use it so it’s a no go for me for now.

  10. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: Well, then, I am sure Windows 7 users will enjoy that article.

    Take your time to write article… dotTech and Microsoft ain’t going anywhere.

    No offense but hearing .NET Framework and Linux in the same sentence just makes me laugh, even if it is officially supported/allowed by Microsoft. It is a very interesting idea though; seems like Microsoft is trying to follow Java’s footsteps in market penetration.

  11. Samuel

    @Ashraf: I can do the “Whole System Sanbox” concept that Returnal does with out a Server, all you need is Windows 7.

    Been running IE9 Beta since it came out and for the most part I’m loving it. I should really do a follow up article…in fact I need to find the time to write a bunch of articles!

    Mono is the LEGAL Open Source version for the .NET Framework of Linux.

  12. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: Is this the same thing you were referring to earlier that requires a server? If not, then it sounds like a very interesting article.

    Speaking of articles, what do you think about IE9? I haven’t looked much into it, but I have been using it lately and it seems like a big, positive step ahead. I especially like the new look even if it is Chrome inspired.

    @Samuel: Excuse my noobiness, but whats “Mono”?

  13. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: Honestly, I think it would be a bloody brilliant move by Microsoft to include SteadyState features (may be not all of them, but some of the main ones) in MSE. No other free security program could match that; the only one I know of is Returnil and that uses VirusBuster signatures so MSE would still rock it.

    @Rob (Down Under): How you plan on paying? No credit cards accepted. =P

    And yeah, I agree with you: I don’t see there being a high-chance of Microsoft releasing proprietary code as OO.

  14. Rob (Down Under)

    The $500 is separate.
    I have two reasons for believing that MS would not allow it -
    1) They are not very sharing
    2) VB6 was the most popular programming language in the world.
    MS decide to go 100% ‘OO’ (Object Oriented), and decided to throw in as much complexity as they can, and released VB.NET
    They then proceeded to purge VB6 from their world, and if they had a button to remove it from the universe, they would press it.
    They would like to do the same with XP, so they ain’t going to be releasing anything that might encourage us to stick with XP

  15. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Samuel: How much bloat would a SteadyState add onto MSE? The installer itself is only 6.4 MB; I can’t remember if it downloads anything extra during installation. It is true, though, SteadyState’s disk protection requires quite a bit of hard drive space.

  16. Rob (Down Under)

    Hi Ashraf,
    I just posted another comment, and it is not appearing ?
    I used the Reply button before.
    This one I just typed at the bottom of the page

    PS The comment was -
    There will be an extra 500, if MS allows you to do that.

  17. Rob (Down Under)

    @Ashraf:
    “I don’t know if I am legally allowed to do it, but I think I am going to host a mirror for SteadyState on dotTech so people can still get it after December 31.”

    And there will be another $500 for you if MS allows that.

  18. Samuel

    @Ashraf: I was thinking of doing that as I was writing that, the problem is that I doubt anyone here could do it, since I doubt many of them have a server lying around they could use, have an unused copy of Server 08, and want to use Active Directory in their house….
    (I happen to have at least the first two actually)

  19. Samuel

    Just a guess here but the reason MS is getting ride of it is that with a little work you could replicate that using VM technology, Group Policy, and some features in Server 08 (might need R2, don’t remember off hand).

  20. Rob (Down Under)

    Ashraf,
    Could you post your bank account details.
    That way I will be able to transfer $1,000 to your account, the instant that I hear MS -
    “threw it out to the open source community”