Windows 7 hits Milestone 3 from Mary Jo Foley – I have seen the future — specifically Windows 7 Milestone 3 (Build 6780).
Peru to try out Windows on XO laptops from Ina Fried – Microsoft and the One Laptop Per Child project announced Monday that Peru will be the first country to try out XO laptops running Microsoft Windows as part of a nine-month pilot program.
Report: HP trying for ‘end-run’ around Windows from Erica Ogg – Is the biggest PC vendor in the world looking to give customers an option besides Windows?
iTunes 8: If Windows Vista displays a blue screen error message when connecting iPhone or iPod from Apple.com – After installing iTunes 8 for Windows, some users may see a blue screen error message when connecting iPhone or iPod to a Windows Vista computer. In some cases, the computer may immediately restart when connecting iPhone or iPod to the computer.
Rumor: Windows 7 to Arrive Early, First Beta Due October 27 from Scott Gilbertson – Windows 7, the much-anticipated successor to Microsoft’s Windows Vista OS, may arrive ahead of schedule.
Microsoft and Cray Team up to Bring High Performance Computing Mainstream from Tina Couch – For the first time in the two companies history, Microsoft and Cray have teamed up to offer a powerful mix of what each company does best – - the Cray CX1! What is the CX1, you ask?
Windows Gets Even Better on the Mac with VMware Fusion 2: 100+ New Features, Free Upgrade for Existing Users from Team Fusion – We’re proud to announce that VMware Fusion 2 is now available.
Is Microsoft aiming for an early Windows 7 launch? from Ed Bott – Andy Patrizio at InternetNews.com has raised some eyebrows with his report that an “internal calendar” at Microsoft has June 3, 2009 as the planned release date for Windows 7.
Hypothetical thoughts on what Windows 7 Milestone 3 might have from aeroexperience – Alright, so I talked about Windows 7’s pillars not so long ago.
VMware wants to trump Windows and Linux servers with its Virtual Datacenter OS from Jason Hiner – VMware’s new CEO Paul Maritz used his first VMworld keynote on Tuesday to introduce the company’s Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS) to an audience of IT professionals and technology industry insiders at the VMworld 2008 conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
Microsoft and Cray to unveil $25,000 Windows-based supercomputer from Mary Jo Foley – Microsoft and Cray are set to unveil on September 16 the Cray CX1, a compact supercomputer running Windows HPC Server 2008.
Ahead of PDC, Microsoft Begins Internal Test of Windows 7 from Paul Thurrott – While Microsoft is busy trying to overcome consumer opinions of its current operating system, Windows Vista, the software giant is also undergoing an internal effort to beta test the next version, called Windows 7.
Here are some of the manufacturers who are still offering consumers Windows XP instead of Windows Vista. This is actually win-win for everyone as you get a license for both, well, at least for now you do.
From Toshiba Computers:
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From Dell Computers:
From Sony Computers:
After users starting having problems with a Windows Vista update, KB937287, that is a prerequisite for service pack 1, Microsoft pulled the update from automatic distribution until they discovered what the problem is. All they have stated so far is that it has only affected a small number of users in certain unique circumstances, no cause for the problems have been given yet.
So far, we’ve been able to determine that this problem only affects a small number of customers in unique circumstances. We are working to identify possible solutions and will make the update available again shortly after we address the issue.
Customers who may be experiencing this issue can use system restore to correct it or contact 1-866-PC-Safety for help troubleshooting. Additional guidance will be available via Microsoft’s free Update Support Center soon. Source: Update on Windows Vista SP1 Prerequisite KB937287
Mary Jo has this to add:
Last week wasn’t the first time endless reboot problems were reported by Vista users. In fact, there were reports of endless-reboot-loop problems from some Vista SP1 users dating back to late January, before Microsoft distributed the prerequisites for SP1 — right around the time the company delivered the final bits (in the form of the Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate 1 Refresh 2 build). Source: Microsoft suspends distribution of Vista SP1 prerequisite update
Larry Dignan at ZDnet has posted a comparison of the numbers of vulnerabilities between Mac OS X and Windows, both XP and Vista, and while the numbers look like Microsoft has a big lead on security, it certainly does not mean that. It just says that Mac OS X has 5 times the flaws of XP and Vista every month in 2007.
Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS X vulnerability stats for 2007 XP Vista XP + Vista Mac OS X Total extremely critical 3 1 4 0 Total highly critical 19 12 23 234 Total moderately critical 2 1 3 2 Total less critical 3 1 4 7 Total flaws 34 20 44 243 Average flaws per month 2.83 1.67 3.67 20.25
Now, before everyone does the Mac versus PC thing, this is just a comparison of the vulnerabilities and in no way does it say that Windows is more secure, now, if they did a comparison of the actual number of exploits taking advantage of the same vulnerabilities, I am sure the number would be severely tilted to Microsoft as they have the larger installed base. Plus, after reading some of the comments, it doesn’t take into account how many of these are actually from Apple for their software, as they distribute patches for the software that comes with their OS as well, lots of it being open source.
The final release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is getting closer all the time as Microsoft has released the release candidate to Microsoft Connect and it will be available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers tomorrow and it will be available to the public next week. They also made Windows Server 2008 RC available and everyone can grab it here.
Let me call out several changes made since the Beta release of Service Pack 1 — many of which came about as a result of direct feedback from our Beta-testing community (thank you!):
- The size of the standalone installers have decreased significantly. For example, the standalone installer packages consisting of all 36 languages (x86 and x64 chip architectures) are smaller by over 50%. The standalone installer packages consisting of just the 5 languages (again, x86 and x64) slated for initial release are more than 30% smaller in size.
- The required amount of disc space for SP1 installation has also decreased significantly. Furthermore, with the RC, if more space is required to install SP1, an error message will now display exactly how much space is needed to complete the installation.
- Previous SP1 versions left behind a directory of files that wasn’t needed after installation and occupied about 1GB of space; the RC includes automatic disk clean-up to remove this directory.
- Installation reliability has been improved based on bug reports and error codes reported from Windows Update (thanks, Beta testers!). Testing shows that these improvements have significantly increased the proportion of successful installations of the RC.
- We’ve improved the user experience of installing SP1 via Windows Update. During the Beta release, users installed without much guidance from Windows Update. The RC now contains a series of screens with detailed information on SP1.
We also have information to share with IT professionals and system administrators regarding final plans for SP1: we’re on track to complete and release SP1 in the first quarter of 2008. When SP1 is complete and we reach our release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone, then shortly after the standalone installer will be released to the Web in two waves. The first wave will consist of the standalone installer (x86 and x64) for the 5 initial languages — English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese. These languages will be deployed shortly after the RTM milestone. The second wave will launch 8-12 weeks after the first and will consist of all remaining languages, for both chip architectures (x86 and x64). Source: Announcing Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate (RC)
Looks like Microsoft has released beta versions of the service packs for Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Shhhh! Pre-beta Vista SP1 is out there Over the past couple of days, there have been new reports of sightings of the pre-beta of Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1. The reported build number: 6001.16549 (longhorn_sp1beta1.070628-1825). I?ve been getting tips over the past couple of weeks from testers who said they had the promised pre-beta. The tipsters all were referencing different build numbers. My first guess was the secrecy-obsessed Windows Vista team might be providing different testers with different build numbers in order to trace leaks.
Windows XP SP3 Released To Small Group (Updated) In addition to the previously reported Windows Vista SP1 drop to testers, Microsoft has just recently (few days ago) dropped a copy of Windows XP Service Pack 3 in the lap of the same small group of testers. Coming in at less than 350MB, the service pack includes fixes for over 900 reported problems, some of which have already been resolved with post-Service Pack 2 hot fixes. For the hardcore build string collectors, this build is tagged 5.1.2600.3180 (xpsp.070718-2058).
They have included several screenshots of both service packs.
Scriptlogic is releasing an e-book to help you migrate to Windows Vista, it’s called The Expert’s Guide to Implementing Microsoft Windows Vista and it is free when you Register to download the 30-day trial of Desktop Authority now, and receive chapters 1-4 for free. Or, you may be able to register here to get it free, but haven’t tried it yet.
- Provides information about new features and the background on the editions available
- Highlights new and improved security features and impact on the IT professional
- Outlines a plan on how to prepare for the migration to Vista
- Teaches IT administrations how to minimize costs and user disruption when deploying Vista.
“Many IT administrators have already started to develop a Vista migration strategy and we wanted to arm them with the resources necessary to ensure a smooth and effective transition,” said Nick Cavalancia, vice president of Marketing, ScriptLogic Corporation. “Leveraging feedback and notes from an extensive customer base and Mr. Masson’s technical expertise, we were able to publish a guide that will help industry professionals take full advantage of the features included in Vista, one of the most anticipated OS launches from Microsoft in years.” Source: ScriptLogic Corporation Releases Free e-Book on Windows Vista Migration
The also have a whitepaper available, The Proactive Migration to Windows Vista,” detailing the best strategies for Microsoft Vista migration. Get it here.
Microsoft has released 2 Windows Vista fix packs and one for Windows XP. The one for XP is actually downloadable now, get it here, the two Vista fix packs have been uploaded to mediafire file serving site and can be downloaded here for the X86 version and the X64 versions here. It is being speculated that these two fix packs will be the majority of what comprises the Windows Vista sp1 and that it will not contain much more, but most all of the service pack information concerning Windows Vista is speculation right now.
938979 Vista Performance and Reliability Pack
This update resolves a number of individual issues which may be affecting some computers running Windows Vista. These issues have been reported by customers using the Error Reporting service, product support, or other means. Installing this update will improve the performance and responsiveness for some scenarios and improves reliability of Windows Vista in a variety of scenarios. Some examples of the improvements contained in this update are:
- Improves performance in resuming back to the desktop from the Photo and Windows Energy screensaver.
- Resolves an issue where some secured web pages using advanced security technologies may not get displayed in Internet Explorer on Windows Vista.
- Resolves an issue where a shared printer may not get installed if the printer is connected to a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 system and User Access Control is disabled on the Vista client.
- Resolves an issue where creating AVI files on Vista may get corrupted.
- Improves the performance in calculating the ?estimated time remaining? when copying/moving large files.
- Improves performance in bringing up Login Screen after resuming from Hibernate.
- Resolves an issue where synchronization of offline files to a server can get corrupted.
- Resolves a compatibility issue with RAW images created by Canon EOS 1D/1DS Digital SLR Camera which can lead to data loss. This only affects RAW images created by these two specific camera models.
- Resolves an issue where a computer can lose its default Gateway address when resuming from sleep mode.
- Improves the performance when copying or moving entire directories containing large amounts of data or files.
- Improves the performance of Vista?s Memory Manager in specific customer scenarios and prevents some issues which may lead to memory corruption.
938194 Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack
- Improved reliability and compatibility of Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations.
- Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop.
- Increased compatibility with many video drivers.
- Improved visual appearance of games with high intensity graphics.
- Improved quality of playback for HD-DVD and Blue-Ray disks on large monitors.
- Improved reliability for Internet Explorer when some third party toolbars are installed on Vista.
- Improved Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios.
- Improved the reliability of Windows Calendar in Vista.
- Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from XP to Vista.
- Increased compatibility with many printer drivers.
- Increased reliability and performance of Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep.
Looks like a lot of improvements for Windows Vista users, lets hope that it is actually the case. No reports from anyone using them currently that I am aware of. Mary Jo Foley got a look at the email sent to the testers and it had some service pack 1 information in it.
Q: What is in Windows Vista SP1?
A: ?Windows Vista SP1 is an update to Windows Vista that, along with improvements delivered to users via Windows Update, addresses feedback from our customers. In addition to previously released updates, SP1 will contain changes focused on addressing specific reliability and performance issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards.?
Q: What is not in Windows Vista SP1?
A: SP1 is not intended to be a vehicle for releasing new features; however some existing components do gain enhanced functionality in SP1. ?
Q: What are some examples of ?improved security and quality??
A: SP1 delivers improvements that target what we?ve found to be the most common causes of crashes and hangs, giving users a more reliable experience. SP1 also improves upon performance in key scenarios, such as copying files and shutdown time.
Beyond improvements to the basics, SP1 addresses other areas where we have received feedback. For example, SP1 improves the success of peer-to-peer connections, such as Windows MeetingSpace or Remote Assistance, when both PCs are behind symmetric firewalls. It also gives vendors of security software a more secure way to communicate with Windows Security Center. Source: New Vista fix packs provide updates promised for SP1
Some of the folks over on the AeroXperience.org website have benchmarked the time it takes to copy files before and after the fixes and the improvements are indeed promising.
During the tests, we quickly found copying small files (1MB-10MB) proved too difficult to time and therefore were cut from the benchmark. The other tests, however, blew us away (sorry, we’re pessimists when it comes to NVIDIA drivers and Microsoft hotfixes)…
After some very lengthy re-learning of percentages, we calculated the transfers completed over twice as fast! One oddity, however, was the fact the speed indicator in the file transfer dialog remained at a fairly constant rate (48MB/s), giving us the impression the speed calculation code is borked. Despite this, however, these numbers are very encouraging given the hotfix’s short life; we can’t wait to see what the final build delivers! Source: KB938979 to Fix File Transfer Woes. No, really.
So, it definitely appears that it will be a help to most people.
Lots and lots of computer security related news recently, the IE and Firefox brouhaha concerning a high security risk with how IE handles a “firefoxurl://” URI (uniform resource identifier), Haute Secure blocks malware, Microsoft security bulletins and Facebook pimping da crudware baby.
Firefox and IE together brew up security trouble News.com article about the Firefox and IE combo flaw that could allow someone to compromise their machine remotely.
Site Advisor 2.0: Haute Secure Launches To Detect and Block Malware Little review of Haute Secure from Michael Arrington, he says, “Haute Secure launched moments ago: it?s a new browser plug-in that the company says will detect and block malware before it has a chance to infect your computer. The timing couldn?t be better as news spreads of more Windows-based vulnerabilities.”
Haute Secure They block bad sites and then let you decide if you want to allow it or not. Sounds like the UAC feature of Windows Vista, but I haven’t tried it yet myself.
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-036 – Critical Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (936542) This critical security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and two privately reported vulnerabilities as well as other security issues identified. These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution on your computer if a user opens a specially created Excel file. Users whose accounts are not configured to run as Administrator will be less impacted than those who do. This is a critical security update for supported editions of Microsoft Office 2000. For supported editions of Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 Microsoft Office System, this update is rated important. This update is also rated important for the Excel Viewer 2003, Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats.
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-039 – Critical Vulnerability in Windows Active Directory Could Allow Remote Code Execution (926122) This critical security patch resolves a vulnerability in Active Directory on Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 that could allow remote code execution or a denial of service condition. Attacks attempting to exploit this vulnerability would most likely result in a denial of service condition, and remote code execution could be possible. On Windows Server 2003 an attacker must have valid logon credentials to exploit this vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts.
Facebook found pimping crudware Facebook has become the latest website to be found pushing services that deliver highly deceptive security warnings designed to trick users into buying software. Purveyors of this scam are making use of Facebook Flyers, small ads that get posted on Facebook pages associated with a specific region. At 5,000 impressions for just $10, it’s a bargain.
Categories: Firefox, IE7, Security Tags: Facebook, Firefox, Haute Secure, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Security Bulletin, Office XP, Remote Code Execution, Windows Vista
Here are a couple Vista service pack 1 related stories.
Vista ReadyBoost Suckage & Vista resume sluggishness Problems with a computer resuming from S3/S4 sleep are related to the encryption key that is created with the Readyboost file. Apparently, the key is created once per windows session, so, sometimes when resuming from sleep, Vista realizes it needs to rebuild the Readyboost file because of the key, so, while it is trying to come out of sleep mode, while it is paging data to the memory, it is also rebuilding the Readyboost file. So, on resume, if you notice your computer thrashing the hard drive and poor resume performance, you know why. This is supposed to be fixed in Windows Vista SP1.
Vista SP1 beta 1 to launch in mid-July Looks like Microsoft is planning on beta testing the Vista SP1 in mid July with a final release date of November 2007.
Microsoft’s OEM catch-22: XP still in the driver’s seat Now more than half a year into the launch of Windows Vista, it’s beginning to look as though Microsoft may have a rebellion on its hands, at least in the corporate world. While Windows Vista continues to sell like hotcakes via OEMs to consumers, businesses are calling up those same OEMs and asking how they can get Windows XP instead.