Microsoft has announced that there will be a total of sixteen updates on the upcoming Patch Tuesday. Five of the updates are labeled as Critical and designed to address security vulnerabilities that could leave Windows or Explorer open to remote code execution. Three updates are labeled as "Important" and will resolve vulnerabilities that leave Windows open to spoofing and unauthorized user privilege elevation, and a vulnerability that could expose Microsoft Office to remote code execution. The remaining eight updates are labeled as high priority but non-security related updates on Windows Update and Windows Server Update Service.
The updates apply to Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008, as well as Explorer. Users will need to restart their systems after installing the updates. Users can determine if they need the updates by accessing the company's online Baseline Security Analyzer.
The company said it plans to host a Webcast on April 9 to address user questions about the updates. Microsoft has set up an online registration form for the event. Microsoft also said it plans to release an updated version of the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool next week. The tool is designed to check for and remove malware programs such as Blaster, Sasser, and MyDoom. Be sure to update this upcoming Patch Tuesday to keep your computer safe and secure.
Today Microsoft announced the worldwide extension of the availability of Windows XP Home for an emerging, new class of mobile personal computers commonly known as ultra-low-cost PCs, or ULCPCs. Windows XP Home for ULCPCs will be available until the later of June 30, 2010, or one year after general availability of the next version of Windows.
Microsoft has heard from partners and customers that they want Windows broadly available for this new class of devices, because they want the familiarity, compatibility and support only available on the Windows platform. Extending the availability of Windows XP Home for this category reflects Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to deliver the right version of Windows for new device categories as they emerge.
PressPass sat down with Michael Dix, General Manager of Windows Client Product Management, to better understand how the company is working with its OEM partners to make Windows available for this new and growing class of computers.
Source: Microsoft Presspass
Be careful your product lives up to what you advertise it to be and be careful it does what you say it will do; that's the lesson that many tech companies are learning the hard way. Microsoft recently found that out as its facing an uphill battle to fight against a class lawsuit alleging it intentionally deceived using "Vista Capable" stickers to sell chipsets.
Now Apple is mired in a similar mess, based on some of its a bit exaggerated claims. Apple's bold advertising claim that its MacBooks support "millions of colors." The only problem -- MacBook LCD are only 6-bit TN models, only allowing for only 262,144 colors. A true 8-bit display would indeed support "millions of colors", 16,777,216 colors in fact. However, Apple opted to ditch the eight bit display in favor of a cheaper 6 bit one, despite the high cost of Macs.
Apple had already been sued once over the issue. A pair of MacBook owners, Fred Greaves and Dave Gately, filed a class action suit against Apple last May for the claim. Most lawyers at the time dismissed the case as frivolous. The case's own lawyers realized that they would not be able to obtain class action due to difficulty finding enough plaintiffs who bought the Macs singly on the "millions of colors" advertising, and thus pursued alternative legal action, adding to many observers cyncism on the seriousness of the suit. The suit became even more of a joke in the legal community when it buttressed its claims with discussion board threads from apple.com support and other online fora showing customers angry about the poor LCD quality.
Microsoft Corp has won a battle to have a key document format adopted as a global standard, improving its chances of winning government contracts and dealing a blow to supporters of a rival format.
The OpenDoc Society, which had argued Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) format was unripe for ratification by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), published the results showing Microsoft's win on its Web site.
Microsoft welcomed the decision, which was leaked on Tuesday ahead of an official ISO statement expected on Wednesday, saying it created a "level playing field" for OOXML to compete with other standards.
Supporters of rival Open Document Format (ODF), which is already an ISO standard and widely used, said multiple formats defeated the purpose of having standards and that the result would help Microsoft tighten its grip on computer users.
Tom Robertson, Microsoft's head of interoperability and standards, said: "Open XML joins the ranks of PDF, HTML and ODF among the ranks of document formats. I think it makes it easier for governments to offer users choice."
Balloting on whether Office Open XML (OOXML) should become an international document standard closed at midnight Saturday in Geneva, in an apparently tight vote. The results have not yet been officially announced.
In order for the measure to pass, two-thirds of participating countries needed to vote in favor of the issue and less than one-quarter of observer countries in opposition to it. A total of 87 nations' standards bodies will cast votes. Neither the ISO nor Microsoft have issued a statement regarding the balloting results.
A few key vote changes ahead of the final tally could push the measure towards approval. In Europe, representatives from Finland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic all indicated they were changing their earlier votes from opposing the standard to supporting it.
Others remain in opposition.
"Standards New Zealand has confirmed its negative vote for the adoption of the OOXML specification as an ISO/IEC international standard," Standards New Zealand Chief Executive Debbie Chin said in a statement Sunday on the group's Web site. A Standards NZ spokesperson said Monday afternoon that it had no further news or statement from Geneva. A Microsoft representative in New Zealand declined comment.
Source: PC World
With the release of Firefox 3 imminent, the rest of the Firefox team is cooking up some crazy ideas for Firefox 4.
While Firefox 3 pushes the boundaries of a browser, delivering a cleaner graphical interface, numerous security upgrades, and a variety of new features, it still is far from the "perfect browser". Of course no browser on the market could earn such a distinction, be it Opera's "Kestrel" 9.5 browser, which is shaping up to be very nicely, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8, which is sure to deliver top end performance, or Apple's Safari v3.1 browser, which although plagued with bugs of late is still one of the fastest, most compatible, browsers around.
However, perfection is exactly what Mozilla wants for its Firefox 4 browser and it intends to get it through outside the box thinking. With the release of Firefox 3 imminent, Chris Beard, VP of Labs for Mozilla, has started to talk Firefox 4. Beard is working on many features which, while their underlying components might start to pop up in Firefox 3, won't truly see the light of day until Firefox 4.
Beard's basic push is to un-isolate the browser. He says that after 10 years the browser still remains isolated from your browser on other machines and from your computer environment. This leads to the focal point of Mozilla's efforts for Firefox 4. Mozilla is pushing strongly for two very different new lines of research: Prism and Weave.