The keyword for the introduction of Mozilla Firefox 3.5 was speed. That helped start a whole new race in which Firefox led early, but fell soon behind Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and later even Opera. Now with even Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 looking to erase the speed gap, and then some, a newly published Mozilla developers' page characterizes Firefox 4 -- whose first public betas may be only a few weeks away -- as feature-laden.
Enhanced security features, built-in WebM video, and new support for standards-based animation -- including live, GPU-rendered 3D -- are all part of the new feature list for Mozilla's next browser.
Microsoft has already started building Windows 7’s successor, a release referred to as Windows 8, but the company is keeping all details under a tightly closed lid. This is, of course, of no surprise, especially considering that the company is mum on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), which, by all accounts, is much closer. Market analysis firm Gartner is telling business customers not to wait for Windows 8, especially if they continue to be running Windows XP.
Gartner is advising customers to start planning for the migration to Windows 7 by the end of 2010. Fact is that, while XP might seem to still have a lot of life left in it, companies need to start upgrading long before extended support will be discontinued in April 2014. This can happen in the context in which planning and testing for the move to Windows 7 starts as soon as possible. According to Gartner, customers still leveraging XP need to dump it by 2012.
In mid-March 2010, Microsoft started the discussion on the first service pack for Windows 7. While announcing that the successor of Windows Vista was poised to get nothing more than a minor upgrade with SP1, the Redmond company did indicate that new features would be introduced, but focused on Windows Server 2008 R2. Because they share the same core, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will receive a single service pack together. However, based on the actual operating system, customers will be able to enjoy features such as RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory, or not.
Both RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory are reserved for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, with Microsoft having yet to discuss the evolution of the Windows client. However, participants at next week’s TechEd in North America will have a chance to attend no less than two sessions focused on Windows 7 SP1, or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft said it will deliver 10 security updates next week to patch a record-tying 34 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and SharePoint.
The patches will also quash two bugs that Microsoft acknowledged in February and April.
"I'd actually call this a moderate month," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security. "Looking at the criticality of the bulletins, and the fact that the number [of bulletins] is low, it doesn't look like a huge month to me."
By the numbers, however, next week's updates will be huge. Although the 10 updates fall short of the record of 13 -- first set in October 2009, then repeated in February 2010 -- Microsoft will fix a total of 34 vulnerabilities, the same number as the current record, also set last October.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware has been an excellent anti-malware application since it was first released to the public in January of 2008. Previously you had to purchase a license online. But now, that's changing. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is now being sold in retail stores for around $29.99. A few of the benefits of the paid version over the free version are is that the paid version provides scheduled scans, real-time protection and a flash memory scanner.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is now moving into retail stores in addition to online sales. If you would like to own a Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware retail box, you can find them at a Fry's Electronics store or on the Fry's website. Note: the boxes are selling out very quickly. Please check the website for availability near you.
The developers of the open-source cross-platform video player VLC have released a version that supports the new WebM video format, which Google open-sourced at its developers conference last week. VLC 1.1.0 Release Candidate 1 also comes with support for hardware-based decoding of H.264-encoded video on some platforms. The new version of the software can be downloaded here (hat tip to The H).
The release of a standalone player for WebM video represents a significant step for the adoption of the new video format. Up until now, users had to download special nightly builds of Firefox, Chrome or Opera to play WebM videos on their systems, and not everyone is committed to running what can essentially be considered an unstable browser version on their machine. VLC’s website also warns visitors that the new release candidate is “aimed at power-users,” but the release will undoubtedly also get some traction with people simply curious about WebM.