Microsoft has admitted Windows users should install antivirus above and beyond its own Security Essentials, describing its protection as merely a "baseline" that will "always be on the bottom" of antivirus software rankings.
Microsoft launched Security Essentials in 2009, raising complaints from antivirus rivals that such software shouldn't be bundled with Windows for competition reasons.
However, the most frequent complaint about Security Essentials is that it's not good enough: it flunked a pair of tests earlier this year - including one from Dennis Technology Labs.
Now, Microsoft has said it sees Security Essentials as merely the first layer of protection, advising customers to use additional, third-party antivirus - although the company stressed that wasn't because the product wasn't good enough to stand on its own.
This month's Black Tuesday -- Sept. 10, 2013 -- enters the record books as Microsoft's most patch-botching month in history. That's quite an accomplishment, frankly. Having followed Microsoft's bungled patch efforts since long before the ascendancy of Patch Tuesday, I think there's a better -- if rather unorthodox -- way to manage patching.
The release dilemma is quite straightforward: Microsoft has to test the patches without letting them leak to the bad guys. Conventional wisdom dictates that if the bad guys can reverse engineer the patches before they roll down the Automatic Update chute, Windows as we know it will cease to exist. However, given the recent revelations of governmental stockpiling of zero-days, the ascendancy of companies that specialize in selling such zero-days to governments and corporate spies alike, and the fascinating proposal that the U.S. government share its zero-day trove with private companies (for a fee, of course), I think the day-and-date exposure threat is way overblown.
When people download software from SourceForge, or any major repository of Open Source software, they expect the software to be trustworthy. (baring unintentional bugs)
They do not expect the software to be a source of “drive by installer” style malware, spyware, adware, or any other unrelated/unintended software.
SourceForge’s new owners, Dice, have consciously and deliberately moved to a model violating this trust.
With their recent changes, users downloading from SourceForge now receive a special closed source installer which attempts to foist unrelated third party software onto them.
Microsoft is intensifying its efforts asking users to scrap Windows XP, the 12-year-old operating system for which the software giant is ending support next April. Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, authored a blog post last week reminding customers of the perils that could await them should they continue running XP, which debuted in 2001, once Redmond stops patching the platform. Users should upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.
"There is a sense of urgency because after April 8, 2014, Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) customers will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates," Rains wrote. "This means that any new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP after its 'end of life' will not be addressed by new security updates from Microsoft."
Rains said that when a vulnerability is patched in one of Microsoft's supported operating system versions, attackers typically reverse engineer the fix in hopes of creating an exploit that could target users who failed to apply the update.
I know a lot of folks are eager to find out when they will be able to get Windows 8.1. I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market. So mark your calendars!
Windows 8 was built for a world that blends our work and our personal lives, a world where we expect high quality touch experiences everywhere, and a world that is always on the go and always connected. Windows 8 redefines our market from PCs to mobile computing.
We are pleased with the progress we’ve seen with Windows 8 so far.
Our OEM partners have delivered tablets, touch laptops, and convertibles that bring the vision of Windows 8 and mobile computing to life. They have introduced some incredible (and unique) new form factors like the Dell XPS 12, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, the Sony VAIO Tap 20, or the recently announced Acer Aspire R7. And today at retail, you can find a powerful mobile touch laptop starting at just over $400.
We now have more than 70,000 apps in the Windows Store (the online app store for Windows) – apps such as Twitter, eBay, Netflix, CNN and games like Temple Run: Brave, Bejeweled LIVE and Angry Birds Star Wars and many others.