Exactly one year after it re-announced the commercial subscription edition of its anti-malware service for individual Windows users, Microsoft announced it will discontinue Windows Live OneCare, replacing it with a free alternative.
The new service, which has yet to be formally named but which is being referred to by its code-name "Morro" (perhaps named after a famous Spanish fortress) is said to be constructed around the current anti-malware engine used as part of the Live OneCare service, though with a smaller footprint. The aim is to enable the new service to be used in devices with smaller memory and resources, probably including netbooks.
An explanation on the Windows Live OneCare team blog this afternoon reads, "Ultimately, we believe the decision to offer a security solution at no additional cost to consumers and phase out Windows Live OneCare is the right step to broaden PC protection and improve the Windows experience for more users around the world. Microsoft will continue to deliver on its commitment to provide consumers around the world with a world-class security solution."
An international group formed in May to lay some ground rules for anti-malware testing has delivered a pair of documents setting forth basic principles.
The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO), which includes representatives from most of the major vendors on its membership roster, has published two documents setting forth fundamental principles (PDF available here) and best practices for dynamic testing (PDF available here).
There's a little echo of Asimov in the list of nine fundamental principles, which begin with the dictate that "testing must not endanger the public." (Public to AMTSO: Hey, thanks!) Malware undergoing testing must not be accidentally released into the wild, and new malware can't be created simply for testing purposes.
Most of the other principles involve balance, fairness. and clarity of communications. Testing must be unbiased, reasonably open, and transparent. Product effectiveness and performance must be measured in a balanced way, and testers must take "reasonable care" to check that test samples or cases have been accurately classified as malicious, not malicious, or invalid. The testing process has to mesh with the purpose of the testing. Results should be valid and conclusions should be based on those valid results. And everyone involved -- vendors, testers, and publishers -- has to be actively available for testing-related correspondence.
Reports are reaching us that today’s update of the AVG 8.0 crashed many computers. After the update AVG 8.0 thinks that "user32.dll" is a virus: PSW. banker4.APSA. This file, however, is not (part of ) a virus but in fact an essential part of your Windows program.
In the event you have deleted this vital file as a result of the faulty detection, your computer will not restart. It shows a blue screen at start up and tells you it cannot find winsvr, error c0000135. System recovery has no effect.
How to repair the problem (as mentioned on AVG’s own forum here):
For several years, Lunarsoft has helped members rid their computers of malware by suggesting a variety of tools. Users would then have to search the internet for these tools and download them separately. The search for the right program can be daunting for some users, and takes valuable time.
Lunarsoft is proud to announce the release of the Anti-Malware Toolkit - a program that automatically downloads all of the recommended programs to help users clean their computers and have them running at peak performance again.
Help keep your computer safe, secure and clean from malware - get the Anti-Malware Toolkit today!
Download: Anti-Malware Toolkit (*.exe installer) | Anti-Malware Toolkit (*.zip)
Screenshot: Anti-Malware Toolkit Preview
Forum: Support Forum
Wiki: Anti-Malware Toolkit on the Lunarsoft Wiki
Link: Digg This!
Microsoft is hard at work on Service Pack 2 for both Windows Vista and Server 2008. Very little information is available at this time. Currently, the product release notes and related information about Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Vista SP2 are not available. We will be keeping a watchful eye for any changes and updates about Service Pack 2. If you want to keep track of any changes then visit the following Microsoft link below.
Link: Microsoft KB 948465
Microsoft is tailoring Windows 7 to solid-state drives. Mum's the word on the matter as far as the Redmond giant is concerned, but this will no longer be the case come November 2008. Starting with the Windows 7 road show scheduled to debut with PDC2008, Microsoft promised to unveil the successor of Windows Vista to the world. Between November 5 and 7, at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference 2008, Microsoft plans to detail the enhancements introduced in the next iteration of the Windows client, in order to make it play nice with solid-state drives.
"PC systems that have solid-state drives (SSDs) are shipping in increasing volumes. Microsoft is working with the industry as overall experience with SSD technologies grows, which results in planned Windows enhancements that take advantage of the latest updates to standardized command sets, such as ATA," reads the synopsis for the "Windows 7 Enhancements for Solid-State Drives" WinHEC session, which will offer the audience an insight into the "file system optimizations, best-practice information on design, and thoughts on the future of SSDs and their role in Windows."