Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

IE8 just launched and immediately hacked

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The final code for the Internet Explorer 8 by Microsoft was introduced recently. This was hacked by a researcher from Germany in the PWN2OWN contest eventually winning $5000 and a Sony VIAO laptop. Nils is a student of computer science from Germany. He ruined into Sony in just a few minutes by taking benefit of an undisclosed weakness in the new Internet Explorer 8. Tipping point was the sponsor of this hacking contest. The laptop used by the researcher was running on the Microsoft internal build for the Windows 7. IE8 is the final version of Microsoft which can be used for Windows Vista, XP, as well as Server 2003 and 2008. It has been tagged as the final edition to their Windows 7. The version has not yet been unconfined to the public.
Microsoft conducted the hacking contest to find out the bug and deal with it. This has helped them to build a more secure and safe Internet Explorer which is hacker free. There are situations when some vulnerability arises during the product development which will obstruct the release of the product. Microsoft wanted to evaluate any vulnerability which existed in the new Internet Explorer 8. Tipping point has bought these vulnerabilities and its rights and has awarded a cash prize to the hacker who cracked IE8. This helps in knowing about the low points of the browser and makes the necessary changes. Microsoft was brought down to ground zero by the hacker who hacked through the product even before its release. Microsoft just watched how a researcher from Germany hacked through their system and went away winning a cash prize and a laptop. Nils only took five minutes to hack through the all new IE8. Tipping Point has handed over all the codes and details to the operation manager Mike Reavey of Microsoft Security Research Center. Reavey was at CanSecWest where the security conference of PWN2OWN was being held.
The code was taken back to the company and it has been filed as a bug. It is said to be a real winner story for Tipping Point as well as Microsoft who had the chance to interact with Nils and know more about the problem. The bug has been reproduced in the labs of Microsoft and they are working to make IE8 more foolproof. The vulnerability has not yet been confirmed by Microsoft. After the vulnerability will be confirmed, Microsoft has claimed to take necessary action to protect all its customers. It is said that the build which was used in the contest is not original RTW build that was released. Nils after successfully hacking the IE8 has moved to the Safari browser by Apple Inc and the Mozilla Firefox. He has successfully attacked both these codes which he created earlier. Nils gathered total prize money of $15,000 by hacking some of the popular internet browsers. The contest opened up new avenues for Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple to make their internet browsers foolproof.

First post-Gates Windows release: 7

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

CEO Steve Ballmer said, Windows 7 would be the 1st operating system by Microsoft that is built without much knowledge from Bill Gates, where the technical manager of the company who had lead this development process had to change to things without the co-founder of the company and the previous chief software engineer. He continued that they have a lot of people who have stepped ahead and grown in different new ways. There is no question about that as he too is growing in some say. Ballmer said when speaking at McGraw-Hill Media Summit 2009 at New York.

Microsoft Windows 7 is estimated to make its entrance later during this year as it is a product that included some changes that were done since Bill Gates had retired from Microsoft and the company officials are really proud of its results, said Ballmer during the on stage interview held by Steve Adler the BusinessWeek editor. Ballmer further said that it is an excellent piece of work in the upcoming operating system and it is the work driven by an enthusiastic team independent of the leadership of Bill gates and according to Ballmer he feels that they are all feeling good about their product. They have got to finish the project sand they think it to be a big deal.

A beta version release of Windows 7 was already made available early during January which has until now received several positive reviews over its predecessors like Windows Vista that had taken nearly 5 years for the company to develop which had been criticized by several consumers and business users. However without saying so clearly Steve Ballmer implied that he and his executives were restricted in their capability to make firm technical decision at Microsoft after the retirement of Gates. Bill Gates was retired from his work at Microsoft at Last July and started working at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is a Philanthropic organization. Some of his past duties at Microsoft would be now passed on to Ray Ozzie who had replaced Bill Gates as the chief software architect.

Steve Ballmer said that the first thing that should be changed at Microsoft is the way Craig Mundie and Ozzie interact as one team to make all the technology decisions. He added, the way all of three of them accomplish or their job at the technology leadership center is certainly different in the way Bill gates accomplished. According to Ballmer, Bill Gates had more in his final say in technical decisions, as he was also the founder. He added that Bill Gates did not give much orders but in case he thought something should is to be done then you clearly knew work would be intense if you did not agree. Additionally Steve Ballmer also said that if given the change then his team and he would be pleased to have back Bill Gates back. He said that they really miss Bill gates and he support for their work.

windows 7 vs. Linux

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

With the release of first public beta version of Windows 7, there was a feeling that Microsoft had finally created the Windows they were promising from long time. However they have got few choices the professional and public reaction to Vista and the mounting pressure from low cost Linux over the low cost computer devices, which mean they have to act fast. There is a debate about what 7 means for both Linux and Windows as it is Linux’s fearsome new enemy or Microsoft’s last gasp. However some closer inspections show that it is not either of it. Linux has made steps for itself on the desktop by making it possible to build netbooks at lower costs while Windows 7 would surely enjoy the market positions and impress their existing Windows users even more.

You can just find out how Windows 7 and the desktop breeds of Linux shape up against themselves while knowing what is coming before from both sides. This is however not in an intention to downgrade either Linux or Windows 7 but only an exercise to find out what each does in particular categories.

Firstly, as most people generally purchase computers preloaded with Windows is because they don’t have to deal with the entire process of installing the OS and the same goes to machines that come preloaded with Linux. However people trying the new Windows 7 and those installing Linux on their existing computer have to go through entire installation process in some way. The installation process of Windows 7 can be familiar to those who have already installed and used vista as it requires a few setup choices and is much faster than XP. Windows 7 however insists to be the first OS on the system. Therefore if you need a dual boot system you will still require installing varieties of Windows and then Linux or else you will have to repair one to get the other boot.

One thing that Windows has incrementally added over time is their better pre-booth support environment. You can actually boot the installation DVD to bring up command consoles to perform a small division of admin of admin functions while also performing a full system image recovery. However installing Linux will be half the struggle and the process has also become much easier. Ubuntu also gives you the option to run straight from an existing Windows partition with just a few performance hit. There is also another positive change on how the hit rate for hardware detection has increased with each successive release. Additionally the other great thing that Linux still continues to offer in this regards and which Windows still seems unable to offer because of their architectural limitations is the live USB or the live CD drive. When you boot it you would have a full blown copy of the operating system along with the biggest hindrance being in the transfer speed of boot media. This is only possible in Windows with its great deal of acrobatics but in Linux it is a natural thing.

You can uninstall IE8 in Windows7, says Microsoft

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 users would be able to remove IE 8 or Internet Explorer 8 including other applications from the OS. This ability of removing IE8 is revealed by some bloggers after they worked around the Windows 7 Built 7048, which is a post beta version which was leaked to file sharing sites on the internet. Mike Nash the vice president of Windows product management had declined to comment over the bloggers’ report and said that it is unfortunate that builds leak off thorough the web. However Jack Mayo, the group program manager from Windows team had acknowledged that the new OS would includes a wide list of applications and features that can actually be switched off.

Therefore in the Engineering Windows 7 blog entry Jack Mayo has listed the applications which can be switched off. These applications include Internet Explorer 8, Windows DVD maker, scan and fax, Windows Gadget platform, handwriting recognition, Windows Media player, Windows search, Windows Media Center and XPS Viewer services. He also explained that the files linked to these features and applications are not really deleted from the hard drive. When a features or application is deselected, it would also not be available for use. This means that the data and binary files are not loaded by the OS and so are not available to the user on the PC. These files are dramatic so that they can be back to the OS without wanting any extra media. The staging is important feedbacks received form the users who surely are not satisfied with the long process in DVD installation.

Jack Mayo also said that the APIs related to these applications are still supported by Windows 7 even when these features ore applications are disabled. However Jack Mayo did not provide any examples of what APIs would still be support when users switch off IE8, but most probably windows update which mainly relies on the web browser would stay functional. He also did not mention about the new antitrust charges of the European Union against Microsoft which the bloggers Bryant Zadegan and Chris Holmes quoted as the possible reason why the company had added the IE8 option.

The EU regulators had earlier claimed that Microsoft safeguards IE from its competition by bundling it with the Windows OS. The competition commission of EU said that among the possible solutions it might make the company cripple Internet Explorer if the user installs a rival browser like Chrome from Google or Firefox from Mozilla. Jonathan Todd the EU spokesman said that Microsoft can also be told to technically let users to disable Internet Explorer code in case the user chooses to install a competitive browser. Microsoft has declined to reply on whether the decision to let users remove IE8 is anyway linked to the EU case. However the option to remove IE8 is only available in the post beta builds and is also restricted to just a small group of people.

Future of Microsoft Windows Server

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

The future versions in Windows Server would allow companies to resourcefully manage and offer virtualized applications with the help of the web just like the upcoming platform Windows Azure of Microsoft Corp. as a service. Steven Martin the senior director of developer platform product management at Microsoft said that the innovative advancement in Azure and the future version of windows server would be shared and that the code base would carry on the cross pollinate. He further said that the corporate data center would sometime look like a mini cloud which would be divided by the application workload.

The Windows Azure was first previewed during last fall and it is the foray of Microsoft that would bring windows server online as a cloud computing platform. The developers would be able to port or eve write applications using the popular .net tool and the web tool standard interface of Microsoft like the Atom, SOAP and REST and host them to Azure. The Windows Azure is expected to be launched later during this year. The detailed pricing list is however yet to e released. Microsoft is also expected to talk about their new Windows Azure at their MIX web development conference which is to be held in Las Vegas.

The conservative hosting includes companies leasing or buying a server from data center operators and run a set number of applications off them. This can actually be complicated to manage and also entail several upfront costs and it can also be difficult to scale quickly on demands. Windows Azure just like other new generation cloud platforms also enables fast setup with easier scaling which lets users pay for the usage thereby avoiding upfront investment. Martin said that their main goal is to completely hide the difficulty of hardware from the developers. He further said that preferably a product does not get recalled and it also does not need to activate their services, but in case it does they will be prepared to scale it very fast.

Epicor Software Corp., an independent software vendor is writing about the next version of their ERP software which could be hosted through Azure while the Micro Focus Ltd is also taking their COBOL application off the mainframe and would host them on Windows Azure. The Azure basically runs well with windows server 2008 installed in data centers of Microsoft. Martin said that the fact that Microsoft is offering both their Azure services and windows server software as part of their services and software strategy is a plus point for several companies who are unsure about committing totally to a cloud infrastructure. This is probably because they think they can run it with more agility or cheaper or just because regulations need them to do it. Martin said that they can make it easier for you to transition back to the on premises without the need to entirely rewrite the application. Apart from bigger corporations several web hosting companies would also be interested in hosting Windows Azure to make their communications more efficient and nimble.