Long the poster boy of Microsoft complacency, Internet Explorer 6 has finally
reached the end of the line.
the end of this year, Internet Explorer 7 will be “pushed” onto tens of
millions of desktops. You’d better be ready.
How long does it take Microsoft to fix holes in its programs? Three months?
Six months? Two years?
When a music-file-cracking program called
a few weeks ago, Microsoft patched the hole in just nine days. There’s a good reason
"You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."
Scott McNealy, chairman of Sun Microsystems, uttered those infamous words in
1999. Incredibly smart people have been working overtime since then to prove him
Windows Live Messenger — the successor to MSN Messenger — hit the stands
a week ago on
Wednesday. That was version 8.0.0787. Ancient history.
Less than two days later, Microsoft released a new version, 8.0.0792. Hooo boy.
Here we go again.
My last column explained why Microsoft needs the free Windows Live Safety Center to keep antitrust lawyers off its butt.
A few days ago I tested Windows Live Safety Center on a real zero-day Excel exploit. Does it work? Or is Microsoft blowing smoke? Frankly, I was amazed.
When Microsoft first announced Windows Live OneCare, I figured
Redmond had a lot of cojones to charge consumers for protection against
flaws in its own products.
In OneCare’s first month, however, it appears to my jaundiced eye that MS has responded
to two real, in-the-wild, zero-day attacks — first in Word, then in Excel — via a little-known
free service called the Windows Live
Safety Center. Never heard of it? Read on.
Windows Vista Beta 2 may be the most-downloaded program in history — but
heaven help ya if you use it for real work.
Bugs and lock-ups come with the territory
it’s beta software, after all, and you’d be crazy to run Vista Beta 2 on a
production machine. (Or go crazy trying.) Having spent months struggling with
various incarnations of the Vista beast, I’m worried about something more
fundamental than bugs. More insidious. One Vista feature, User Account Control,
just keeps getting in the way.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of
wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was… Nawww… It was just Windows XP
This past week, Windows XP networking surprised me twice. The first shocker
magically solved a long-standing problem (dare I say a “bug”?) in my office
peer-to-peer network. The other event scared the, uh, Dickens out of me.
For years I’ve been advising Windows consumers to disable Automatic Updates:
Keep Microsoft’s mitts off your machine until you’re darn sure the
proffered patches do more good than harm.
I’ve taken a lot of flak for that heretical stance, vilified for intimating that
Microsoft’s patching process leaves consumers in the lurch. Bah. Recent events
have proved my point conclusively: Windows auto-update is for chumps.
I don’t gush over new software very often. Most of what I see looks like
same-old, same-old, maybe with a burnished bell here or a twisted whistle there.
But I recently found something new — something exciting — on the Web, and it’s
saved my tail a couple of times. If you haven’t seen SiteAdvisor, you should
look. If you don’t use SiteAdvisor, you should try.