Archive for the ‘windows’ Category

Windows —>>> Macs

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Almost half a dozen developers were eagerly waiting for Macs at work at Simply RFiD. The reliability and power are some of the factors which attracted these developers towards Apple machines. On the other hand Simply RFiD decided to switch over to Mac Pros to be used by its developers specially for Windows computers. The president Carl Brown of Simply RFiD declared that, ‘the company was small and in position to deal with tech support issues’. He stated that the company used Windows only because they were the developers for Windows. According to CIO reports Macs had gained a lot of popularity not only amongst the creative designers but also amongst the IT pros out there in the market. It is known that almost every techie out there prefers a technology oriented devise. This is the reason why most of them prefer working on Macs. On the other hand for most of the techies Microsoft’s vista operating system has been a compromise over quality and lacked innovation.

In the recent years, Macs had made substantial developments specially after its collaboration with the Intel platform. Apples stride towards Intel platform has been followed by developments such as software as a service and desktop virtualization. Thus, the corporate door has been wide opened after such developments. It was last year when Yankee Group surveyed more than 800 IT executives and found that about 80% were using Macs. This was a substantial leap especially after the same amount was not more than 47% in 2006. According to experts, five years ago Macs was not feasible as there were a lot of Windows applications which has to be run on a PC. It was noted that most of the Macs enthusiasts cam from the sales and creative ranks of an enterprise such as the marketing department. This was the same for Simply RFiD where the .Net developers were using the VMware virtualization machine for Visual Studio. This was primarily based upon the Mac Pro one of the fastest and most stable platforms used by the programmers. The developers stated that VMware performed much better on a Mac Pro when compared with Windows.

Not only can the developers easily switch over to Mac OS but also quick open iChat videoconferencing or move through various tabs and internet services used by RFiD. Macs has come out to be one of the best when it comes to interaction with internet based services. While Macs has gained a lot of popularity amongst the RFiD engineers, it is also in a lot of demand amongst other IT pros. The strongest reason for this demand is the stable and reputable hardware which comes along a promise of technological innovation on the part of Apple. The Mac OS X, being a Unix based platform meant that the developers will be provided with utmost simplicity while working. Some of the developers also tried running a Vista Machine with an Apple monitor. It was revealed that although there were several annoying prompts, the system was smooth to work on.

Lawsuit targets Microsoft for Vista-to-XP downgrades

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

According to the Federal a women from California has auctioned Microsoft Corporation for the $59.25 fee which she was charged for downgrading Windows Vista on a laptop to a previous Windows XP. This lawsuit that was recently filed in the Seattle federal court was regarding the latest legal problem of Microsoft Vista which as faced inspection for nearly last 2 years which is called as the Vista Capable case.Emma Alvarado a resident of Los Angeles has charged Microsoft with several violations of consumer protection laws and unfair business practices of Washington State on their policy of letting computer manufactures to continue offering XP for a new PC after the launch of Vista. The woman is looking for compensatory damages and expects the case to declare a class-action suit. According to Emma Alvarado, Microsoft forced computer makers to agree to the anticompetitive and restrictive licensing terms for windows XP. However according to Microsoft’s lawsuit, they has done so to only protect, maintain and extend their market power in operating system software to the next generation of personal computing, also to promote windows vista, lessen the market competition and enhance its monopoly position.

However, annoyed to having to pay the fee to downgrade a new Lenovo laptop to windows XP, Emma Alvarado claimed that Microsoft had used their position as the foremost operating system maker while making consumers to buy computers that were pre-installed with Windows Vista operating system and pay the additional sums in case downgrading to Windows XP OS. However according to how ‘Downgrade’ is described in Windows licensing rights, the licensing offers Microsoft users, who are allowed but under some specific situation to replace the new version of Windows with an older one without having to pay anything for another license. In fact the license for new Windows is actually transferred to the previous edition.

After the launch of Vista, computer manufacturers had stopped or significantly shortened the sales of machines with Windows XP but Microsoft’s users and eventually even the resellers started to take advantage of the downgrade rights as the reputation of Vista slid. According to Microsoft’s rule only those who had purchased computers with pre-installed editions of Vista Ultimate and Vista Business could downgrade and only to Windows XP professional. However as more uses demanded downgrades, the company then allowed PC manufacturers to install Windows XP Professional right at the factory, but the manufacturers charged a range of fees for this service. Recently Dell Inc had also come under the fire to add $150 to the price of downgraded PC, but Dell said that $20 was charged for the actual download while the remaining was charged to cover the additional costs in replacing the traditional Vista Home Premium with a vista Ultimate or Vista Business. Microsoft Corporation has extended their Windows XP availability a number of times. Like for instance, during the previous year they added six months to the time when they had made Windows XP media available to the large computer manufacturers.

New anti-virus technology from Sunbelt

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

A new antivirus technology has been recently released in UK after the U.S by the Vipre Enterprise of Sunbelt Company. This anti malware client software is just another program that is showed off for attention through the admin friendly claims which can protect the computers from malware without any slaughtering process. The company has also made known the fact that the anti malware engine was written at the center of Vipre from scratch and have not purchase it from any larger AV vendor as most of the independent security rivals of Sunbelt do.

Alex Eckelberry the CEO has revealed that from mid February Vipre will be automatically updated to use the new heuristic program to spot malware as they simply run a suspect program in the virtual machine on the host computer. MX-Virtualization or MX-V, as it is called in company jargon, Vipre successfully creates an emulated Windows OS computer system in a surprising area of the memory where in it copies API functions like the Windows registry and the communication interfaces and file system to find out what the file is currently doing. This lines with the different conservative pattern based techniques that try to find out malware through their unique procedures.

Even though this technology is not new most of the people have got it to use without creating a different in performance. Emulating Window and running virtual machines has also been seen as the process for sluggish computers. The company Sunbelt however considers it has upped the slightly mixed that is possible with emulations by several times over what was before possible, which for the first time makes it practical possibility.

According to EcKelberry in his recent blog that, Dynamic Translation is the technology used by Vipre which basically recompiles large parts of the program, on the go, in order to boast performance to nearly 400 MIPS. He further added that it was the use of Dynamic Translations which makes the MX-V layer which is adjunct to it and the built in emulation of Vipre capable of quickly analyzing the system for the presence of any malware. The blog further mentions that the rapidly developing complexity of malware makes standard detection methods increasingly outdated and so there are new strains or malware use some highly complicated obfuscation methods designed hide from also the most complicated analysis system.

Eckelberry, in a separate interview said as much as he is aware of, the only other anti-malware system which has tried the file emulation process was BitDefender and Microsoft. However Vipre Enterprise boasts of their anti-rootkit protection which is a program that runs special module that is called as “advanced kernel monitoring and firstscan in advanced Windows loading.” Apart form this the company is also planning to further set improvements to Vipre Enterprise for later during this year which include endpoint protection, intrusion protection and an integrated firewall where most of them are specifically designed in order to appeal the enterprise users.

Microsoft plans critical patches for IE and Exchange

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Microsoft Corporation states that they would soon deliver 4 security updates wherein 2 of them are specifically critical and would finally subject a patch to the SQL Server on which they were working. These four updates are specified in the advance notice that will overturn bugs in Internet Explorer 7, Visio application which is part of Office Lineup, the exchange mail server software and the SQL Server. The Exchange vulnerabilities and IE are marked critical as the highest risk ranking of the company while the Visio bugs and SQL Server are labeled important, a step lower.The SQL Server updates would repair the vulnerability which was acknowledged by Microsoft during December 2008. The director of security operations in nCircle Network Security, Andrew Storms said that there is a lineup created between the optional with affected editions of SQL Server. Additionally this bug is also prominent for a number of reasons. After Microsoft had confirmed about the vulnerability, the advisory noted that the exploit code was published. However after several days the company also acknowledged that they had first received the report about bugs from Bernhard Mueller the SEC Consult Security in Vienna based security based company. Mueller had disclosed about this bug early in December 2008 after there was not word from Microsoft and he said that the company failed to reply several messages during the 2 months before when he had asked about the updates on patch’s progress.

Most of the security analysts were expecting Microsoft to act fast. Wolfgang Kandek the chief technology officer of Qualys Security Company, for instance, during late December foreseen that Microsoft would update a fix “out of band” (a term that were when patches issued outside normal monthly schedule of Microsoft). Storms said about the SQL Server and IE Exchange patches that three of them are evenly important at least by the information they have as it is all dependent on the infrastructure of an enterprise.

He continued that companies are always responsive when exchanging fixes and so the serious fix that is set for Exchange Server 2007, 2003 and 2000 would be analyzed carefully. He said that messaging is also very important to enterprises and so they will also spend time in making sure that the patches work fine. The plus point is that he said, the does not needs to be restarted a note in Microsoft’s bulletin. Storms said that it might mean it is not essentially a huge hold or that they would just get lucky as they will not need to restart the Exchange servers and the IT administrators will be able to organize the patch even quicker. The Internet Explorer vulnerability should be something exclusive to IE7 he said. However according to Microsoft this Critical vulnerability would affect only that particular version of browser and not IE5.01 or IE6 as the latter editions which are just for Windows 2000 and also the oldest browser which Microsoft even today supports with their security updates.

Google develops new tracking technology

Monday, February 16th, 2009

There has been a recent upgrade to the new mobile maps tracking system of Google Inc with hopes to prove it would be able to track people on the go as efficiently as it would search for information on the web. This new software would be soon released throughout that would enable people with mobile phones or some other wireless devices to automatically share their whereabouts with friends and family.This new feature is named as Latitude, expands thorough a tool that was introduced in 2007 to offer mobile phone users the ability to check their own locations thorough Google maps with just a press of a button. Steve Lee the product manager for Google said that this would add a social flavor to the Google maps while making it more fun to use. However, as it might also raise up privacy concerns, Google is trying its best to avoid a reaction as it would require every user to manually turn on this tracking software while also make it easy to turn off or limit the access to this service.

Additionally Google also promises not to retain any of the information about the movements of the user. This means that just the last location that is picked up by this tracking system would be stored on the computers of Google. This latitude software plots a location of the user which is marked by a personal image on Google’s map and so by relying on the cell phone towers the Wi-Fi connection or the global positioning system can be used to deduce their location. This system can follow the travels of people in the United States and also in other 26 countries.

It is left up to the user to make the decision of who can monitor their locations. This social mapping approach is much similar to the service that is already offered by Loopt Inc which is a recently established company located near the Mountain View headquarters of Google. The service of Loopt is compatible with around 100 different types of mobile phones.

Therefore in order to get started, the Google Latitude would work on a the BlackBerry devices of Research in Motion Ltd and other devices that run on Symbian software or the windows mobile of Microsoft Corp. this software would also work on T-Mobile phones that run on Android software of Google and would eventually work on iTouch and iPhone of Apple. However to widen the appeal of the software, Google would also offer a version which can be installed on even a personal computer.

Steve Lee said that This PC access is specifically designed for those people who don’t have a mobile phone with these features and still need to track their children or someone special. Additionally people who use this PC version could also be watched when they are connected through Wi-Fi or the Internet. Google can plot the location of a person within a few yards when using if the person is using GPS or can be off by a number of miles when relying on the transmission of cell phone towers.

Hardware-based encryption to increase storage security

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Everyone would accept that it is crucial to store sensitive data encrypted whether it is housed in the data center or stored in notebooks or computers or if it is filled away on some removable storage disk. However as the recent headlines show, the problem is that very few organizations really bother. For instance, the previous week a person form New Zealand purchased a used MP3 player in Oklahoma and found nearly sixty files included with names and personal details of US military personnel. This is only the recent example of which demonstrates how lots of tapes, drivers and even notebooks are lost with sensitive data on them without encrypted.The industry standards groups along with several other bigger hard drive manufactures of the world hope to make it easier to protect sensitive data. Therefore the Trusted Computing Group unveiled this week three specifications for full disk encryption to be used in all types of storage devices and in encryption key management systems. As the technology in encryption management is largely based on the specification that is built into the hardware almost any storage device that uses this technology would require to use a password even before the system starts.

Therefore the devices that can use this specifying can range from standard computers, consumer gadgets to even notebooks and drivers used in data servers, centers and large storage arrays. Pete Lindstrom the research director at analyst form said that, this is an excellent effort to make encryption the standard features for all hard drives which builds security in an outstanding approach to such a difficult problem.

The three specifications include:

 Opal – The specification from Opal details al the requirement for fixed storage media notebooks and computers.

Storage Interface Interactions – The specification explain how all of the specifications of Trusted Computing Group interact with interface specifications and storage connections including ATAPI, ATA, Fiber Channel, SCSI and others.

 The Enterprise Security Subsystem Class – Their specification is mainly aimed at drives in high volume applications and data centers where generally there is a minimum security configuration during installations.

The backers for these TCG and other new specifications are Hitachi GST, Fujitsu, Western Digital, Wave System, Toshiba, Samsung, Seagate Technology, LSI Corp. and IBM. However according to Eric Orgen the analyst at the research firm in The Ogren Group, there are some state laws like in Massachusetts and Nevada for mandating full disk encryption on notebooks which contain consumer data. Therefore for this single reason corporations should understand the endpoint crypto abilities already available in simple tools like the Windows BitLocker. He further added that it is a 1.0 specification which means it is just the start. The storage vendors must familiarize wit the features of the standard also charge product management with determining the features reverberate with customers. Those features which are attractive to customers must be included in the product roadmap with a watchful eye to revising as the Trusted Computing Group specifications mature, Orgen further added.

New worm slithers and crawls into 10mil PCs worldwide

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

There is a new malicious computer virus which by several names like Conficker and Downandup has already attacked hundreds and thousands of computers which actually goes above 10 million infected business and personal computers throughout the world. This however leaves the security experts all messed up to find out about its impact. F-Secure the well known security researchers have found out that this new virus has different names like Downandup, Conficker and Kido which are among the popular names and it is a part of a large family of network viruses which mainly infect servers and workstations of Windows thereby causing a number of problems.

This virus was found to start spreading about two months before and it used a number of different methods to spread which include the recently patched susceptibility in Windows Server Services, infecting through USB sticks and can also spread by guessing network usernames and passwords. However although Microsoft had instantly sent an emergency patch to protect the windows operating system against the susceptibility during October as the virus has been found to quickly spread during the recent weeks.

This virus has infected as many as ten million home or personal computers throughout the world which a bigger hit on the commercial computers. According to the report of F-secure, countries like Brazil, Russia and China account for nearly 41 percent of the infected IP addresses. However according to the vice president of Symantec Security Alfred Huger said that the number of infections has so far not reached an appalling mark in the North America and Western Europe.

Similar to most other computer viruses the computer owners would be completely unaware that their machines have actually been infected as both the computer users and the companies would not instantly install patch updates. There is a distinctive problem caused by this virus where it locks out the users from their own accounts so that the virus can easily download modified versions of the virus from a long list of websites. This makes it difficult even for security companies to locate and close down the virus in one time. However after the virus gains access to most of the inside processing of the network then it can generally be very hard to completely eradicate the virus, warned by F-Secure.

Nevertheless, the impact of this virus is yet to be determined with the officials in UK, US, Russia, India and China as they say they are waiting to find out about the effects of the virus if they are major ones. The computer security researchers have said that they are waiting for the instructions to show up, so that they can determine what impact the virus would have on computer users. The virus might also operate in the background, where it will user infected computers to send infect or spam to other computers or it might also steal personal information of the computer user.

Vista be left in the dust?

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

There will be several operating systems you can see throughout this year. Apple has new plans to release its new version for Macintosh system while Palm also plans to give out an all new smart phone OS. However the new release that would affect more users compared to any other would be windows 7 operating system which is a major edition in the dominant platform of Microsoft.

Microsoft has officially not announced the release date for their new windows 7 operating system but it would probably not be available to consumers until autumn. However the company has recently released their first public test or beta version of the software and most users have already tried it out on their laptops. Although there cannot be given a full review about the software, you can however go through the preview of some of the interesting features of this new windows 7 operating system.

Most of the people have found that windows 7 operating system is pleasurable to use. Although there might be a few drawbacks, maximum of its users have positive opinion about the operating system. However when you use windows 7 system in its beta version you will find that some of its features are imperfect or incomplete, but it is surely much better than using windows vista whose lethargy, its incompatibilities and its annoying nag screens that have caused several users never turn back to it. Additionally it is also a serious competitor in its features and ease of usage, with the current new operating system of Apple.

However with most respects the new system of Microsoft is not a radical shift from vista, rather it is more of an attempt to fix all the main flaws of vista. The new windows 7 operating system shared the same core architecture and also retains graphical touches much like the translucent windows boarders. Something different here is that the operating system has introduced some major new navigation features and easy to use features including some scores of performance improvements and small usability.

Although your current or future computer might lack touch screen features, the windows 7 OS would surely offer you plenty of other benefits. The most important benefit here would be its speed as even when using windows 7 beta version it is dramatically faster compared to vista with tasks like starting up of computer, launching new programs and waking it from sleep. This speed boast was not only apparent in the preconfigured machines of Microsoft, but also on other machines that might have previously used vista. However these computer speed gains might be compromised by computer makers if there is lots of junky software added to the machine. The new windows 7 operating system is also more likely to run perfectly on some of the latest hardware configurations of today than vista. Although having much similar looks, windows 7 includes a number of new and easy to use features that let you easily navigate through the programs and files while also a great speed to work efficiently and fast.

New Windows virius variants cause increased infections

Friday, January 30th, 2009

According to the study conducted by Microsoft, there has been a worm virus which is infecting computers since the month of October has now spread to nearly eight million computers throughout the world which has also created fears which this infection would reach huge new levels by the year 2009. this virus worm is called as Kido, Downadup and Conficker can actually be transferred through different ways that include through the commonly used flash drivers which makes it difficult to protect against it even though your computer system is efficient with current updates. However this does not mean that nothing can be done stay away from this virus as you can use a reliable anti virus software and also secure all your passwords which would be hard for any of such programs to break through.

Graham Cluley who is a senior technology consultant of the computer security company named Sophos said that Microsoft has done a great job by updating the home computers of people by it is found that virus still continues to infect business who did not bother to use the patch update. He also said that the shortage of IT staff during the holiday bread did not help much while also the rolling out of the patch update over a large number of users and companies was very touch. He again added that if any of the business computer users use week passwords like QWERTY or 12345 then this virus attach can easily crack them within a short time. This harmful virus mainly works by making its way through the ‘services.exe’ files that are the most important for windows functions and after merging with it the virus lets itself to cover-up as a driver while also copying itself until the virus has modified your computer registry.

After this is done the virus would create a particular server that lets different malware from the website of a hacker to be automatically downloaded to your computer system which would reset all the restore points to make is almost impossible to regain complete control over your machine. As this virus also generated thousands of rotating websites it also makes it impossible to track the original site files and it would bury it in different URLs any of which can be one of the hacker. Although Microsoft is working hard to identity and combat this new virus, some new versions of malware make it difficult.

Eddy willems who is the security expert at Kaspersky Lab said to the reporters that there is a new variant released just less than a week before and it is the one that is causing the most problems. He added that replication methods can be good way, but as it used different mechanisms like USB sticks, if anyone uses an infected USB to another company then it would infect the entire network of the company. The virus can also download a lot of content that can create new variants through the mechanism. Therefore the initial solutions by Microsoft can be best ways to stay away from this virus to keep your and your company’s machines working efficiently.

Is Windows 7 your Vista alterative?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Most of the Microsoft users barely have a kind word to say about Vista operating system of Microsoft Corp. It has been widely reported that most of the users who had tried using Windows Vista had actually switched back to Windows XP operating system, while there are even millions of users who have not yet tried Windows Vista and are just happy with Windows XP. Therefore you can say that Windows Vista had been a failure, although you might have enjoyed it for several months before moving to some other operating system and never returned back.

However the goal of Microsoft Corp. would be achieved by their new Windows 7 operating system. This system is currently available to be downloaded in beta format from the official website of Microsoft. There are also some major changes in Windows 7 operating system and one of the most notable changes is the tolerance for low powered computers of Windows 7 operating system. It is pretty much clear that when you opt for Microsoft Windows operating system upgrades you will basically need a more powerful computer system, but it is different in case of Windows 7 operating system. Here it would just run perfectly fine on a high specification dual core computer and would be a perfect match if you have an Asus Eee PC. This would directly help in fighting the popularity of an open source operating system similar to Linux OS.

The Windows Vista operating system has not been much harmless for Microsoft users but not profitable either. The shares of the company in a personal computer system market actually fell much below 90 percent during the last year for the first time since they maintained their higher records. However Microsoft has fought back through its recent ad campaign that has also attracted a number of consumers to their new Windows 7 operating system. Although most of the people thought it to be just another type of Vista system, Microsoft would be better off in creating something that it would be ashamed to sell under their name. This is the main goal of Microsoft with their new operating system which is even available as test version. Windows 7 operating system is not like Vista operating system but is more like those extended and developed editions to make a perfect alternative.

Something what most Microsoft users would love is the tolerance of Windows 7 system for relatively low powered hardware systems. The system runs smoothly with Panasonic Toughbook laptop with dual core processor, 2.6 GHz and 2 GB of memory. Most of the notebooks of today either run on modified versions of Linux OS or the aging Windows XP systems of Microsoft. This is because Vista operating system often overpowers standard notebooks that have smaller memory bank and slower processor. This is much different with Windows 7 OS which easily gets along with the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom process or Asus with 1 GB of memory.