Perhaps you’ve heard about Microsoft’s WIndows Live new “Family Safety” software, which you can install on your Windows computer, so that your children can safely surf the web without fear of exposure to material that is not family friendly – or ‘family safe’. Apparently in Microsoft’s view this includes competitor Google, although oddly it does not include their own similar search engine, Live.com.
Countless Microsoft Windows Live Instant Messenger users recieved a message yesterday – a legitimate, genuine message from “email@example.com” – telling them that they needed to change their email address in order to continue using the Windows Live service. The problem was, while it was a real message from Microsoft, it was sent accidentally, and was not true.
The Conficker worm or Conficker virus (also known as Downadup or W32/Downadup), which has been in the news a lot lately, is currently estimated to have infected more than 9 million Windows computers the world over, and continues to spread at an alarming rate. With a $250,000 bounty on its head offered by Microsoft, and set to activate on April 1st, nobody yet knows what the millions of PCs infected by the Conficker worm will be ordered to do, but it’s a sure bet that if and when it happens, it will be nasty. Fortunately there are ways to combat it and even a free Conficker removal tool.
While a Microsoft Zune Phone has been rumoured for months, no less a reliable source than Barrons says that a Zune Phone will be out by the first week of January. The Zune Phone, rumoured to be the industry-whispered “Project Pink”, will be unveiled at CES, say industry insiders.
As if president elect Obama doesn’t have enough to worry about with all the buzz over his Blackberry – and will he or won’t he get to take it to the White House with him – now folks all across the Internet are screaming because Obama was seen with – gasp – a Microsoft Zune MP3 player, instead of an iPod. Welcome to Zunegate.
A bizarre spam making the rounds in the form of a chain email claims that MSN Hotmail is running out of account names “because too many inconsiderate people are taking up all the names”. The email starts out by saying “Hey it is tara and john the directors of MSN, sorry for the interruption but msn is closing down.” (It isn’t.)
Microsoft has gone outside their usual patch release schedule and has released an emergency patch which everyone running affected versions of Windows is urged to get and install immediately.
If you get an email, supposedly from Microsoft, which says “Security Update for OS Microsoft Windows”, ignore it, delete it, and whatever you do, don’t install the “patch” which comes with it, which is, of course, really a trojan program just waiting to wreak havoc on your computer.
In a move that can only be described as, at best, disingenuous, Microsoft testified this week before the U.S. Congress that if Yahoo were allowed to partner with Google in a search advertising deal, it would, they implied, be an illegal monopoly. Oh, right, but if Microsoft buys Yahoo for the very same reason, that’s ok??
You can say one thing for Carl Ichan – he doesn’t give up. Icahn, currently embroiled in his own takeover bid for Yahoo’s board, is also fomenting Microsoft’s efforts to acquire Yahoo – or at least part of Yahoo – again.
Security researchers have discovered another Windows Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Internet Explorer 7 (IE7). Thankfully, though the severity of this vulnerability is high, the chance of a successful exploitation is rather low. It is, however, glaringly simple for the hackers to attempt an exploit.
Do you want to go boldly where noone has gone before? Would you like to make the journey without leaving your computer? Microsoft has just launched World Wide Telescope, a free online space telescope which, to quote Bill Gates, “is a powerful tool for science and education that makes it possible for everyone to explore the universe.”
A group calling itself “Friends of Yahoo” has initiated an online petition to stop a small group of hostile stockholders from forcing Yahoo to sell itself to Microsoft, and to “Let Yahoo Be Yahoo”. (Sign the ‘Let Yahoo Be Yahoo” Petition here.)
If You Install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 (XP SP3) You May Have to Say Goodbye to Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) Forever
If you install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 (XP SP3) and either already have, or upgrade to, Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), you will never again be able to use IE6. That is the word on Microsoft Developer Network’s Internet Explorer blog, where Microsoft have just published an article on IE and XP Service Pack 3 that may cause you to think again before upgrading your version of Internet Explorer. Prematurely installing Service Pack 3 will block your ability to downgrade IE7/8 back to IE6, and as we’ve told you here, while IE6 is pretty stable, IE7 is fraught with peril.
Poor misunderstood and beleaguered Microsoft. Though at times they can appear to be their own worst enemy, at others they appear more to be the victims of others in the operating system ecosystem, over whom they have no control and seemingly little influence. Leading among the causes of Vista crashes are drivers by Nvidia, followed by drivers by Intel and ATI (now AMD).