Raw first-week sales numbers are often used to indicate the efficacy of a product's launch. But really, the thing these numbers best represent is the level of user excitement. Today, Microsoft revealed that users were very excited about Internet Explorer 9 RC, which launched last week.
According to Microsoft, IE9 RC was downloaded 2 million times in the six days following its launch. While a big number, it's doubly significant because these were users who actively downloaded the software without a Windows Update auto update, or a system alert telling them an update was available. These users knew the update was there and went out and got it.
Windows 7 SP1 RTM is now available to MSDN and TechNet customers.
Microsoft posted its final build of Windows 7 SP1 to MSDN and TechNet customers on Wednesday. Copies of Microsoft’s Windows 7 SP1 RTM update leaked last month to file sharing websites ahead of its release. Microsoft has confirmed 7601.17514.101119-1850 is the final RTM. The software giant will offer the build to the public on February 22 and it is expected to be released to Windows Update shortly afterwards.
Work on Windows 7 SP2 has already begun as early as fall 2010. Microsoft is reportedly planning 132 updates for x86 Windows 7 SP2 and 171 updates for x64 Windows 7 SP2 at the time of writing. Microsoft hasn’t officially started talking about SP2 but expect it to land in the 2012 timeframe.
SP1 will include RemoteFX which provides rich 3-D graphical experience for remote users. The service pack also will include a series of incremental updates, previously released on Windows Update for both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
Google today announced 2-step verification for account holders. The new security feature is rolling out gradually; I haven't received the update and so couldn't test the new feature. I like the concept but wonder how many people will bother to set it up or will cringe at the steps required to use it.
Like so many other cloud services, Google requires a username and password to login @gmail.com. The new mechanism adds a verification code received by cell phone. Additionally, there are 16-digit app-specific codes for e-mail clients and other applications. The extra layer of security is compelling, but is in some ways daunting.
In a blog post, Nishit Shah, Google security product manager, said 2-step verification could take as long as 15 minutes to set up. "Once you enable 2-step verification, you'll see an extra page that prompts you for a code when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. The choice is up to you. When you enter this code after correctly submitting your password we'll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you."
The IE9 Release Candidate, which Microsoft posted today, may change all that again. IE9 is the first Microsoft browser in years that has me excited about UI development. Finally, I can see a future void of the many CSS hacks necessary to get a page to play nice with IE. There are five features in this release candidate I am excited about as a UI developer.
Agnitum has released version 7.1 of its flagship product, Outpost Security Suite FREE. It's a maintenance upgrade for the most part, with under-the-hood bug fixes and minor tweaks, but there are some notable exceptions.
Top of the list is the inclusion of a second anti-malware engine. The suite now includes one antivirus engine, and a second focused on spyware, adware and trojans. The company claimed in a blog post that this offers "double the protection" and "more targeted security for Windows users"; there are no related controls or options exposed in the interface, though, so you can continue to use Outpost Security Suite as you always have.
Microsoft has informed close partners that SP1 has hit the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) milestone. MSDN and TechNet customers will receive the bits on February 16, followed by a general web release (RTW) on February 22. According to sources close to the matter, Microsoft sent out internal announcements to mark the RTM of Windows 7 SP1 in January. Russian site Wzor confirmed the RTM too and has leaked several versions of Windows 7 SP1 for various languages.
Microsoft has yet to announce the RTM milestone publicly. WinRumors previously asked Microsoft officials multiple times to confirm whether Microsoft had reached the RTM milestone for Windows 7 SP1 but company officials would only reply in January with "Microsoft has not released SP1 to OEMs at this time." As always, we&'d advise against installing leaked bits on production machines but at this time we're confident build 7601.17514.101119-1850 is the final RTM. Copies of Microsoft's Windows 7 SP1 RTM update leaked last month to file sharing websites. Microsoft is expected to announce the official RTM shortly, including the MSDN/RTW dates.