Archive for November, 2008

Vista is, after all, still loved by someone

Friday, November 28th, 2008

It was actually very hard for Windows Vista of Microsoft to perform in the market but although there have been a number of negative perceptions about this operating system right from its release the recent data and encouraging customer feedback shows that there are still people who consider Windows Vista is a better operating system. The recent intelligence report of Microsoft clearly shows that Windows Vista has proved to be more resistant to the exploits compared to Windows XP during 2008′s first half. Additionally Microsoft blogger’s expert also ran some numbers to state that vista includes a security edge compared to Windows XP.

There was another security report from Microsoft Security Technology Unit which stated that Windows Vista had been affected by just fifty percent and less vulnerability compared to other desktop operating systems for the year 2008 and additionally it also have 19 percent less vulnerability compared to Windows XP SP2 for the same year. Therefore, with the security reports from Microsoft advertising their own operating system met with an endless debate about the metrics that are used to crown Windows Vista as the most secure operating system. However, most of the IT professionals who have upgraded to this operating system is mainly due to its high end security over Windows XP.

Better Security and Better Search from Windows Vista

 

Search and security are the two key feature that you can benefit from Windows Vista operating system. The post operation rehabilitation service in Waukesha named as Kinex Medical Center has also claimed that they have recently installed Windows Vista on 90 of their desktop computers and on 22 laptops and they are currently in the process of installing and using Windows Vista for nearly 170 tablet computers. The direct of this rehabilitation service said that the security features that are built in the Windows Vista’s security center and also the User Account Control or UAC has proved to be very effective in protecting the desktops of their users. They say that by using Windows Vista they can keep all the unwanted configurations and software out of reach without the need for any third party tools and that too with less effort compared to the previous versions of Microsoft Windows. The main reason for using Windows Vista is that it makes it easier to find patient data as the search capabilities included in the operating system are more users friendly and also much faster compared to that included in Windows XP.

The ability of Windows Vista to search for files, pieces of data or any application whether it is in network shares or email or on any local drive of the computer has provided people to be much efficient. However they are also not resistant to the negative sides of using Windows Vista as this operating system lacks testing and education by users. This does not mean it is not popularly used as there are several plus points it holds. If you just take any item it will have good points and also bad points and the key for any business is to do proper testing to find out if the operating system is beneficial for their business.

Microsoft to Offer FREE Security Software Service

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Microsoft said that they would not longer compete with security companies like McAfee and Symantec despite they also announced their plans to discontinue sales of their subscription based security service, but would rather provide their free security software to be downloaded by their users. The free download from Microsoft which the company calls as Morro is mainly created to defend Computers against malware like Trojans, spyware and viruses of their consumers.

With their announcement McAfee and Symantec faced a drop Wednesday with concerns that several other software giants would take a major position of their share in PC security market. McAfee shares fell nearly 6.62 percent to nearly $26.68 whereas Symantec Shares dropped to nearly 9.44 percent to nearly $11.23. However, shares of Microsoft also dropped to about 6 percent at about $18.45. Some of the security companies maintain that the announcement of Microsoft is just assign of capitulation and is an attempt to edge in the market that is dominated by security companies. McAfee said that the consumer online security solution of Microsoft OneCare had captured below two percent on the market from the time it was launched nearly two years ago.

However Microsoft claims that it is not undermining market shares of neither McAfee nor Symantec because of the fact that their new free download just provides protection against malware which only refers to online threats like spyware, Torjans and other malicious online codes. Meanwhile, McAfee and Symantec the other security giant companies also offer high end point products and comprehensive suites which include a wide range of security features like parental controls, firewalls, data loss prevention and encryption.

Additionally Microsoft has also planned to discontinue the sale of their windows live OneCare service from 30th of June that which cost nearly $49.95 annually and covered the cost of three computers. However their new consumer product will soon be available as free download probably from the next half of 2009. Even though this free download is available to anyone in the world McAfee says that Microsoft would go after the emerging markets like Brazil and other places which require increased IT security infrastructure and not those residents that generally lack financial resources to purchase and install this security software.

The senior director of product management for Online Service of Microsoft Amy Barzdukas however said that this free download plan s mainly focused on nearly 50 to 60 percent of computer users who do not have or cannot pay for antimalware protection or antivirus protection. Microsoft has actually achieved a huge foothold in the computer security world over the past few years thereby raising worry for their competitors as it also continued to challenge McAfee and Symantec the security giants. McAfee and Symantec during the year 2006 and 2007 had raised concerns that Microsoft has created their Windows Vista operating system to actually deny them from accessing the core of the operating system for which they claim was very important in order to protect the users of Vista from malicious threats.

Microsoft Offers Affordable Computing

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

The subscription based computing program by Microsoft that will help nearly 20 million people throughout the world to have a laptop or a personal computer for their needs. Microsoft Corporation started this subscription based computing nearly two and a half years back after they launched this program for nearly two million computers that were deployed throughout the world. The company has already combined with more than 40 companies across 33 different courtiers throughout the world.

 

This entire innovative idea to sell computer systems as subscription would surely help people from developing nations to afford a compute system very easily. This will let people to take computers to their homes as they just have to give a very low cost and should keep paying the cost as the monthly instalments. In most parts of the world this program has worked perfectly well and now Microsoft is planning to provide more resources to these areas. The company will also soon launch a software training gateway to provide software training. This software training gateway will start as the pilot program just to find out how they partner companies and people respond.

 

About the Subscription Computing System

This computing subscription system provides an all new package of computer hardware including selected applications, Microsoft software and also a broadband connectivity, which can be easily paid off over time. The users would also have an option to include some additional hosted applications and programs which can be provided by the network operator. For instance, a single family can subscribe to the portal which will offer distance learning for local high school curriculum. There are also options for the user to subscribe to the music download service or any video highlights of their favourite sports team. If you are a small business owner then the subscription to business related services like purchasing, accounting and web site hosting can help in a great way to you’re your business.

 

Working of Subscription Computing

The subscription computing system of Microsoft helps a number of people throughout the world in gaining access to personal computer solutions. Through their ‘pay as you go’ computing system it would in lower entry costs when purchasing computers and also adds a convenient fixed payment system. You will first have to make an initial down payment which is nearly 20 percent of the entire price. You will then have to sign their 24 month contract along wit the network operator for their broadband internet service. The payments for this internet service repay the network operator for the entire balance of the computer cost. Further during the completion of the contract you will then own the computer and can choose to continue using their broadband internet service from the same network operator or can also change if needed. Your standard monthly payments will depend on the type of computer and the service you intend to use. This subscription computing system from Microsoft is literally affordable for most of the middle income families as it provides an excellent computing system for everyone.

5 Simple Tips to Speed Up Your PC

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Almost everyone must have experienced the excitement of bringing over a new computer. However most of the people have also experienced very soon that it takes twice as long for the computer to start and additionally it also starts showing error messages and slowly you notice that your computer is has become considerably slow. The reason for slowdown of your computer performance can be due to several reasons. Therefore the first step to resolve these issues is to find out the cause for these issues. Some most frequent and common causes for low performance are

 

  • Corrupt registry or poor maintenance
  • Fragmentation, capacity issues or hard drive errors
  • Malicious processor functioning (malware, spyware, viruses)
  • Too many processes or programs running

 

It can be frustrating to deal with slow performing computers and many also end up in spending a lot of money to repair it. However there are a few steps that you can take to not just stop these issues but also enhance the overall performance of your computer.

 

Run System Maintenance Programs Regularly

This program will check the hard drive for any fragmentation or errors and will remove all the unused files. This can actually go very deep in preventing decreased computer performance when done regularly. These fragmentations means the way files are located on the hard drive and what you see as a single file is actually scattered in different drives. They are totally invisible to you and can reduce your computer performance. Defragement will basically relocate the files in a more effective and precise way. The tool to do this actually comes pre-installed on the computer but there are also more systematic maintenance programs available.  

 

Check for Malware, Spyware and Viruses Regularly

These viruses can actually cause havoc in any computer and they drastically decrease computer performance. Finding and deleting these malicious software pieces is very important in order to increase the performance of your computer. You can do this through several antisyware or antivirus programs available.

 

Check for Registry Errors

The registry basically stores all the important settings and information of the computer. As you use the computer and add or remove programs these problems start increasing in the registry. As this registry is essential for programs to run you should regularly maintain or clean your registry through the registry cleaning software available.

 

Simplify Computer Start-Up

Although you actively use a single program there are several programs running in the background without you knowing. These programs actually install themselves and even start-up automatically with you turn-on the computer. These programs can actually increase the start-up time and so decrease your computer speed. Some ways to resolve these issues is to remove all the unused programs and secondly implement start-up shields. This start-up shield lets you find and control programs running on start-up.

 

Check RAM

Hardware problems can also cause computer slowdown. The contemporary operating system available is very sophisticated and will require more RAM to run smoothly. Therefore if you have less RAM then it is very easy to upgrade your computer’s RAM using RAM chips and is also very inexpensive.

What Do You Know About Windows

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

13th of October, 2008 was a historical day for Windows Vista Team. Mike Has announced that he, along with his team had decided upon officially calling Windows’ next version as ‘Windows 7′. In fact, if seen from point of view of Mike Hash, you would get to know that he has experienced the most exciting phase of his career so far.  

The details regarding release of Windows 7 would commence within the next few weeks. The information would get furnished at WinHEC and PDC. The team headed by Mike Hash would be sharing a ‘pre-beta’ ‘developer only release’; that too, with the attendees of two of the shows, along with having given them the 1st wide in-depth look regarding what they have been upto.

 

Initially, just for the sake of convenience, the new-fangled client-operating system was called ‘Windows 7′ by team of Mike Nash. However, now, it has been officially announced as ‘Windows 7′. It has been repeatedly said that the utilization of name ‘Windows 7′ corresponds to simplicity. Since ages, different approaches have been followed with regards to having named Windows. Version numbers such as Windows 3.11 dates such as Windows 98, or ‘aspirational monikers’ such as Windows Vista or Windows XP. Since novel versions regarding Windows don’t get shipped every year, making use of date doesn’t sound sensible. Similarly, having come up with all-new ‘aspirational’ name definitely doesn’t prove of being just with what is actually tried of being achieved. The main objective is that of staying firmly rooted with respect to their aspirations regarding Windows Vista, at the time of having evolved and refined substantial investments relating to having plat formed the latest technology pertaining to Windows Vista in to Windows’ next generation. In other words, this is nothing but Windows’ 7th release. That’s why; Windows 7 goes on to make sense.

 

The entire team of Mike is extremely excited regarding the opportunity of having told you more in correspondence with ‘Windows 7′ in the forthcoming weeks. The audience would also realize that Microsoft has continued with building-on the investments started in Windows Vista for having delivered on next release pertaining to Windows Operating System. The people just have to wait and watch now. Till then, let some light be thrown on some superficial facts regarding Windows 7.

 

Five pillars

Windows Vista is said to have been designed around 5 pillars; which are specialized for ‘laptops’, designed regarding services, completely personalized for each and everyone, engineered for each and everyone, and optimized with the objective of entertainment.

 

More componentized and modularized

Windows 7 is reported of being more componentized and modularized in comparison with Vista or even other releases through Windows. Microsoft has not said whether PC makers or users would be permitted of having opted in to having installed subsystems, as users of Windows Server 2008 can make a choice regarding specific ‘roles’. However, Microsoft has given a hint that such an approach would be considered for ‘Windows 7′.

Microsoft Office Goes Web

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Last week, Microsoft carved a niche for itself by having launched its new-fangled ‘Windows Live Framework’ as well as novel ‘Office Web Applications’ as portion of its subsequent Office version, which has been codenamed as ‘Office 14′, for having bridged end-user experiences, as far as PC, phone, and Web are concerned. 

Ray Ozzie, main software architect of Microsoft, in keynote of his at ‘Professional Developers Conference’ of the company uttered that PC, phone, and web have all gone ahead with having become a portion of regular personalized computing experience of an individual. He said that the PC is adjusting to have become more and more relevant so as to have worked and centered on web.

 

Ozzie also said that PC is one of the unparalleled personal information, high performance management device. Through power of Web, internet is becoming a well-known meeting place for connecting, communicating, transacting, and sharing. With Web, phone, and PC having bridged together, they are much more valuable to the users in comparison with the situation when they are apart.

 

As portion of ‘Windows Azure platform and its Azure Services offerings’ of Microsoft, Live Framework was unveiled. As per David Treadwell, i.e. Microsoft’s Live Platform Services’ corporate vice-president, Framework is nothing but one of the ways for customers and developers for accessing Live Services. In fact, Treadwell has further elaborated saying that Live Services is portion of Azure Platform which goes on to work for connecting people, applications, and devices. It is a known fact that users possess data in loads of diverse places, and it is often tough to integrate these devices together.

 

The basic purpose of introduction of Live mesh SaaS, i.e. software-as-a-service by Microsoft is the simplification of process of integration of different devices. SaaS is around 6 months old. Due to Live Mesh, users can connect their personal computers as well as other devices, that too, with each other through internet. The developers can also avail of the facility of creating, building, and working with various applications which integrate on the ‘local client’, or in cloud.

 

Live Framework of Microsoft makes use of programming model and live operating environment which makes provisions for users to get an access to Live Services. It is, in reality, an open, a consistent, and an interoperable framework supporting Web, phone, and PC. All these statements have been uttered by Treadwell. Microsoft has also made use of ‘conference’ for announcing novel Web applications with regards to Office 14. As per the statements of Takeshi Numoto, i.e. GM (General Manager) for MS Office, users can communicate with one another due to these applications. Their convenience would literally know no bounds due to this technology.

 

Office Web Applications can be described as Microsoft Office Excel’s, Word’s, PowerPoint’s, and OneNote’s lightweight versions. Moreover, they are a portion of ‘Office 14′. Such applications can get accessed by having made use of standard browsers inclusive of Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. Through this, users can create, access, share, and edit Office documents.

Mac or PC, Which One Are You Going to Choose

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Mac or Windows? This is, in fact, the question coming in to the minds of thousands of people these days. With every commercial and the other advertisement having enticed people for having bought computer with some sort of operating system, several users go on contemplating, which, in actual sense, proves of being much better. There’re loads of OS, i.e. operating systems which range between Windows and Linux that can be used by users, with each operating system having its pros and cons. many people prefer having computers with Mac, Windows, and Linux. Moreover, UNIX is also used while having worked at ‘State Farm’. 

These days, users of operating system have been privileged enough to use something drastically different in comparison with the past. Computers, when having created at first, did not have anything called operating systems for functioning and multitasking. You might be surprised to know that the 1st ever operating system to come in to existence was ‘UNIX’, in the year 1969. Later on, Windows went on to follow with ‘Dos-OS’ in the year 1981. Besides, Apple went on to release Mac OS in the year 1984. Linux can be referred to as a derivative of UNIX. It was 1st created in the year 1991.

 

The operating systems mentioned above are the main ones made use of by businesses as well as individuals. From the survey carried out off late, you would get convinced that even now; Windows is being most broadly used OS. If you, however, look back, you would be apprised of the fact that trends of OSs are changing. Past years have shown that market share of Windows is decreasing by small percentages whereas that of Linux and Mac are increasing a bit. This can be attributed to the fact that there are loads of choices available to users.

 

Companies and organizations might have diverse kinds of ‘operating systems’. Based on job functions and sizes of company, several diverse operating systems can be made use of. Along lines of the thing which is extremely popular, a lot of schools make use of Windows. In fact, right now, they have started using Mac for teaching students.

 

Every exclusive operating system is bound to have its negatives and positives. In reality, Windows: this is the most renowned operating system, costs hefty fee, as far as ownership is concerned. Such a thing can prove of being a burden with respect to users. Windows, however, has the greatest compatibility. This can be evident from a wide spectrum of kinds of computer. It has a large selection of softwares which are compatible (with it). For running Mac OS, Mac computer is needed. Anything of this sort can prove to be annoying as in this case; user is required to have paid for the computer costing much more as compared to operating system. Mac has another disadvantage: It’s nothing but its non-compatibility with certain softwares. User always needs of having made sure that he/she has software that is Mac compatible.

Google Provides Recall Function for GMail

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Google seems to have added a novel feature to ‘Gmail labs’ which tries of having made sure that you’re in proper state of the mind prior to having sent messages- especially useful when you might have had excess of drinks, and would be sending an email which would certainly be embarrassing had you done it in a sober way. This is done by having asked you of solving mathematical problem prior to being permitted of sending messages at the time of hours which you’re likely of being ‘not quite right’.You can have this feature enabled by having clicked on beaker at top of Gmail. Thereafter, ‘Mail Goggles’ can be enabled. After having done that, you are entitled of changing number of times it would intervene in the general settings. This is one of the most interesting features which some people would certainly make use of. In fact, certain people want Google to have the sent mail delayed for around 15-30 seconds, in order to find appropriate time for having hit ‘undo’ if something bad is being recognized immediately. One of the options of having turned delay of this kind would prove of being a big step here.

Google has launched ‘labs project’ as well. It is designed to facilitate detection of missing attachments. Moreover, Google is being allowing people to have profiles created for quite some time now. Till today, public profile created by you was remaining hidden with respect to search engines. However, this won’t be the case now.

On 15th of October, 2008 Google went on to add a novel line in to their ‘robots.txt’ file that makes every profile of such type. You can make at least 50000 profiles out of this line. All of these profiles would be crawl able by the search engines. This new-fangled entry has told search engines of having used the following site as sitemap.

In this file, thirty static files can be seen. Every file amongst these goes on to contain an entire slew of the URLs to the public files. Now, you just need to wait and watch- the time taken by these files for having shown up in the search results of Google. Not only that, you are also required of having a look at these profiles! As per the experts, Google would be creating an exclusive OneBox for showing ‘people results’ at certain point.Nobody has been able to study the human mind as yet. It might happen that at times the messages would get sent in the feat of excitement. Thereafter, you won’t even get the chance to regret. However, now, you would not have to repent for having sent an improper message. Google has provided with the facility of enabling ‘Mail Goggles’. This is actually a service which checks your mind. In other words, it provides a check on your certainty to send messages. Cool going! Mail Goggles would surely be the talk of world in the days to come.

Finally, Microsoft is Going to Offer You Something Free.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft has been trying hard to have answered a question almost every morning: How would Microsoft compete with ‘FREE’? He says that on server-software side, ‘Windows Server’ is doing extremely well, particularly with Exchange e-mail server, along with unheralded server having good collaboration, i.e. SharePoint. Such products have improved a lot. Moreover, they are relatively simple in terms of setting up as well as management by ‘IT organizations’.  Further, Ballmer goes on to state that Exchange component has been spectacular success, i.e. it manages contacts, e-mail, calendars, that too, for thousands of companies/organizations across the globe. Exchange has also been embraced by Apple off late. Right now, iPhone syncs properly with server of Microsoft. Moreover, OS X’s next version has promised ‘native’ ‘Exchange Support’. If put in plain English, Apple’s Address Book, Mail, and ‘iCal programs’ would sync with ‘out-of-the-box Exchange’, just like iPhone. Seeing that more than around $20 billion had been generated by Windows Server last year, one gets tempted of having thought that everything is being going on swimmingly.

 

Windows Server as well as Exchange reign for several Enterprise applications, loads of websites go on to run on FreeBSD software’s Linux. Further, such softwares have ‘Open Source’ nature which encourages various sophisticated users of having modified operating system for fitting specified hardware applications requirements or configurations of theirs. For instance, Google performs the task of designing and manufacturing its own ‘servers’. Moreover, it goes on to customize ‘Open Source’ OS run by Windows. There also has been a rumor that they go on rolling their own Ethernet switched of 10-gigabit. However, vouch for it is not known as yet. Now, you can imagine the worth of Google account if Windows Server gets used by Mountain View Company. This thing would be completely objectionable by knowledgeable readers, as they would feel that the concept of Windows Server being run by Google doesn’t seem to be realistic, that too, not for reasons of price but because server software of Microsoft is not technically suited for huge ‘server farms’ like that of Google.

 

The above mentioned dictum is not false. In fact, it would be interesting for having looked at the way used opted for Microsoft for Live Cloud of its own. Previously, Microsoft was required of having resorted to the ‘other’ server software in case of applications like Hotmail. However, putting issues of scalability aside, Microsoft has been losing against ‘free server software’ for loads of easy-going web servers going out to sprout across the globe. Moreover, as Linux matures along with its cousins, inroads in ‘Enterprise applications’ would be inevitably made. Many of you are well aware of the fact that Microsoft is a leader, as far as this field is concerned. There exist competitors with respect to Open Source. They aren’t strong threat. They, however, if manage to improve, Microsoft would soon be eroded.

 

It has been observed that Linux is troublesome on desktop. Further, such a thing would seem to be much less, if server farms are considered.

Are We Becoming Less Secured?

Monday, November 10th, 2008

As majority of you are aware of the fact that anti-Midas touch with regards to financial crisis has been spreading to technology sector. One amongst the biggest VC funds present in ‘Silicon Valley’, i.e. Sequoia capital has given a presentation stating that ‘Go on to become profitable right now, or else, go home’. At the time of last bust, security appeared of being counter-cyclical with @Stake, Guardent, SecurityFocus, and loads either starting or acquiring during downturn. Most of the security bloggers/analysts believe that the present scenario is, by all means, different. This field would be experiencing identical cutbacks which we would see through wider tech industry, albeit in a less severe manner.  

Security spending would not come to the halt. Every person would always require anti-virus packages and spam filters. What the common man expects is, however, more technology innovation and less products, which provide just marginal improvements in terms of security within the next few months or years. No one would be ready of shelling out money from his/her pocket for a novel ‘database security solution’, especially when UTM can just be capable of keeping ‘web compromises’ down. Any person wishing of having pushed a new-fangled product forward is advised to solve any of the pre-existing problems in a well-established market more effectively as well as at the lower cost instead of giving their competitors a chance to surpass them.

 

Such a thing cannot be termed as bad news, as though. Attackers would be having a golden time with downturn. Limited resources would mean that machined would be staying online for longer duration. Moreover, reduced staffing would mean that they would remain unpatched for longer intervals. The ‘home users’ would stretch their budgets further, thereby having replaced an ‘ideally fine computer’ to be the last on the list. Problems regarding distributed attack are expected. These problems would include spam having driven by the bots, in order to continue to have increased as an outcome.

 

Bottom line message is that people would be forced to have focused on fundamentals, along with having dispensed with processes and products which do not keep them secure. People are advised of having kept only the products which do so, that too, with present hardware and minimum with regards to human oversight. In fact, as per the opinion of experts, IT security has nothing to do with technology. There’re loads of good stuff which can be done with worthwhile and sensible technology, guarding parameters, installing systems, repulsing the attackers, and having identified users as ‘login’ takes place from their side. However, this isn’t what actually matters. In reality, it’s the type of policies for having ensured that technology, in actual sense, gets used that matters.

 

If you do not have thought-out policy, thousands might be spent in having blocked up the ‘gap’ with regards to security. The other gaps can be left wide open. The worst part would be that without a concrete policy, the staff would not understand reasons behind security measures. It might then, deliberately or accidentally, side-step or break them.