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As Patch Tuesday looms, Microsoft gives Windows 8.1 users a reprieve

By |May 26th, 2014|Categories: Security, Virus Alerts|Tags: , |

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Consumers now have until June 10 to get off Windows 8.1 and on Windows 8.1 Update to keep receiving patches

May 12, 2014
(Computerworld)

For the third time in the last four weeks, Microsoft today backed away from a customer cutoff as it postponed enforcement of the Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline until June 10.

On Monday — and just a day before its May Patch Tuesday slate of security fixes — Microsoft said consumers have four more weeks to move from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update before their devices would be barred from receiving further patches. The deadline change was the third in the past month, following an earlier Windows 8.1 Update extension for business users and a surprise update on May 1 for Windows XP after Microsoft had officially retired the aged OS.

“We’ve decided to extend the requirement for our […]

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Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday gives XP attackers a roadmap

By |May 20th, 2014|Categories: Microsoft, Security, Tech News, Virus Alerts, WinXP|Tags: , , |

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IDG News Service – For the latest round of Microsoft’s monthly collection of software patches, the company has fixed critical issues in Internet Explorer (IE) and Windows that have already been used by malicious attackers to compromised systems.

It is the software that Microsoft has not patched this month that is probably of greatest interest to attackers.

Overall, Microsoft has issued eight bulletins this month, fixing 13 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer and Office.

None of these fixes are for Windows XP or Office 2003, both of which Microsoft stopped supporting in April (except for those customers with extended support contracts). Many of the patches in this month’s collection do fix code vulnerabilities that probably originated in Windows XP or Office 2003, if not in earlier versions.

Studying what is being fixed with each month’s round of patches could give attackers an easy […]

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Windows XP Exploit Protection Tested, Winners Revealed

By |May 18th, 2014|Categories: Microsoft, Security, Tech News, WinXP|Tags: , , |

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XP Exploit Protection Test

I collect and analyze test results from a half-dozen antivirus test labs all over the world. Most of them run a regular cycle, releasing new results monthly, quarterly, or at other intervals. Security vendors can also commission one-off tests, which seem to invariably show them in a good light. That’s only logical; if the test reveals problems they use it to improve the product, not for publicity. Chinese security vendor Qihoo 360 totally aced a recently-commissioned test by AV-Test that specifically evaluated protection against Windows XP exploits.

Simple Test
On May’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released a collection of patches for vulnerabilities in various Windows versions. For the first time, and from now on, XP got bupkis. You can bet the bad guys are combing through the announced patches for other Windows versions to […]

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Microsoft CEO Nadella aces first-100-day test

By |May 15th, 2014|Categories: Microsoft, Tech News|Tags: |

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Computerworld – If Satya Nadella celebrated his first 100 days as CEO of Microsoft today, no one could blame him, a corporate leadership expert said Thursday.

“I’d give him very high marks, an A or A-, for his first 100 days,” said Randy Ottinger, an executive vice president with Kotter International, a Cambridge Mass. consultancy that specializes in leadership change and setting corporate strategy.

Just a day after Nadella was named successor to Steve Ballmer, Ottinger and others argued that the new chief executive had to have a 100-day plan to jump start his time in the big chair. Nadella’s 100th day as CEO is today.

“No question that there’s a first 100 days for a new CEO,” Ottinger said in February, giving a nod to the practice of many U.S. presidents, who implement a fast-moving plan to set their administrations’ political tone and […]

Microsoft makes one-time exception, patches IE on Windows XP

By |May 14th, 2014|Categories: Microsoft, Security, Tech News, WinXP|Tags: , , |

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Calls news coverage of IE vulnerability ‘overblown,’ but patches IE6, IE7 and IE8 on XP anyway

May 1, 2014
(Computerworld)

Microsoft today shipped an emergency update for Internet Explorer to close a hole that hackers had already been exploiting.

But in an unexpected move, Microsoft allowed Windows XP machines to receive the update, even though it had long held that the 13-year-old operating system had absolutely, positively retired on April 8.

“I’m surprised they went out-of-band at all,” said Andrew Storms, director of DevOps at security company CloudPassage, using the term for an emergency update outside the normal monthly patch cycle Microsoft maintains. “While there was a lot of talk about this zero-day, it was mainly focused on the XP angle.”

In fact, today’s turnabout was bigger news than the security update itself, something Microsoft tacitly acknowledged by posting a long […]

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Microsoft offers $399 Xbox One, opens apps to all Xbox owners

By |May 13th, 2014|Categories: Gaming & Entertainment, Microsoft, Mobile/Wireless Devices, Tech News|Tags: |

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Responding to feedback, Microsoft announced a cheaper Xbox One that comes without Kinect and drops the Xbox Live Gold requirement for apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Twitch.

$399 Xbox One

$399 Xbox One sans Kinect

Today Microsoft announced a cheaper, $399 model of its Xbox One system, which will be available June 9. The price cut comes from removing the Kinect, previously thought to be a required accessory. As to why Microsoft made this sudden change, the company said: “Since the beginning, we have focused on delivering great games and entertainment experiences for you. Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build.”

In another big policy change, all Xbox owners will get access to entertainment apps previously available only to Xbox Live Gold subscribers for a $60 annual fee. These apps include Machinima, […]

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Hey Microsoft, Surface 2 is great, but clear up something please

By |February 15th, 2014|Categories: Microsoft, Tech News, Win8|Tags: , , |

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The Surface 2 and the Nokia tablets are great hardware with a dim future — but Microsoft could fix that.

February 15, 2014 11:13 AM PST

Surface 2 is a stellar piece of hardware, but Microsoft needs to be more open about where RT is headed.

(Credit: Microsoft)

It might be a good idea now for Microsoft to be more public about the direction of its tablet operating system so consumers know what they’re buying into.

I like the Surface 2 and the Nokia Lumia 2520. A lot. As hardware, they’re two of the best tablets out there. Bar none (including iPads).

But Windows RT, as it stands now, is in no-man’s-land. It’s not the Windows 8.1 that comes on PCs and it’s not Windows Phone 8.

And it’s been that way too long — since October 2012.

So far, the closest Microsoft has come to […]

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Microsoft sets Oct. 31 as stop date for Windows 7 consumer PC sales

By |February 15th, 2014|Categories: Microsoft, Tech News, Win7|Tags: , |

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News

February 15, 2014 02:09 PM ET

Computerworld – Microsoft has set Oct. 31 as the end of sales of new consumer-grade Windows 7 PCs, but for now has left open the do-not-sell-after-this-date for business machines.

On the site where it posts such policies, Microsoft now notes that Oct. 31, 2014, is the end-of-sales date for new PCs equipped with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium or Ultimate. All three are consumer-oriented versions of Windows 7; Home Premium has been the overwhelming choice of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) for consumer systems.

Microsoft’s practice, first defined in 2010, is to stop selling an older operating system in retail one year after the launch of its successor, and halt delivery of the previous Windows edition to OEMs two years after a new version launches. The company shipped Windows 8, Windows 7′s replacement, in October 2012.

The setting of a deadline for consumer Windows 7 PCs […]

Microsoft plans another short patch slate for next week, but finds a few XP bugs to crush

By |February 7th, 2014|Categories: Tech News|Tags: , , |

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News

February 7, 2014 07:11 AM ET

Computerworld – Microsoft Thursday said it will issue five security updates next week, two tagged as “critical,” to close holes in Windows and the company’s Exchange-based Forefront Protection 2010 security software.

Three of the four updates for Windows will affect Windows XP, the 13-year-old operating system that Microsoft plans to retire from patching support on April 8. After next week’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has just two more rounds of security updates on its schedule before it pulls the plug on the aged OS.

One of the two critical updates — and the only one that will apply to Windows — does not even patch XP, according to Microsoft’s typically-terse advanced notification published Thursday. Instead “Bulletin 1.” as that update was tentatively labeled, will patch Windows 7, 8 and 8.1; Window RT and RT 8.1; and Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2. All are […]

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Best Buy Marks Down First Generation Surface Pro 128GB to $500

By |January 31st, 2014|Categories: Tech News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Posted 01/31/2014 at 9:40am | by Paul Lilly

Sale ends on Saturday

It hasn’t even been a full year since Microsoft launched its first generation Surface Pro for $900, a price tag that undoubtedly scared off more than a few buyers. When we tested the Surface Pro, we came to the conclusion that it has “more than enough power for any casual computing need,” though cheaper and lighter solutions made it a tough sell. If pricing is all that held you back, take note that Best Buy is currently selling the original Surface Pro for $500, which is $400 off its original retail price.

Finding first generation Surface devices selling for less than the original retail cost isn’t exactly a difficult task, but as far as sale prices go, this is the lowest we’ve seen the Surface Pro with […]