Top Story

MS OneCare halts flow of antivirus info

When Microsoft
announced it was entering the antivirus biz, the usual nattering nabobs of
negativism moaned and groaned about unfair competition and unlevel playing
fields.

But several recent events seem to confirm the worst: Microsoft may well be using its
desktop monopoly to trump its AV competitors. What do you think?

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Readers reveal the secrets of IE 7

Microsoft’s new browser, Internet Explorer version 7.0, will ship sometime
soon with updated features and better security — so of course our contributing
editor Woody Leonhard explained on
Sept. 14 how to
prevent version 7 from automatically downloading to your PC.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with IE 7, mind you. Woody just thinks
other people, not you, should be the first to get bitten any point-oh bugs.

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Workaround needed for IE hole

Microsoft acknowledged this week a new weakness that allows hacked
Web sites to infect PCs merely displaying specific images in the Internet Explorer
browser.

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Internet Explorer 7 looms — be prepared

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.

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How fast does Windows Update update?

Readers have asked me, “How quickly is my computer protected after Patch
Tuesday, if I have auto-updates turned on?”

The question arises because most of the patches that Microsoft posted on
Aug. 8 took a lot longer than
usual to download. It appears that Windows Update, when configured to
download and install patches automatically, didn’t start downloading most
patches until three days after Patch Tuesday. Some PCs didn’t auto-install all
of the security patches until nine days had passed.

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Questions arise on PC World tests

A sweeping review of 10 security suites published in a major computer magazine
last month featured some very unlikely rankings for this crucial category of products.
After examining the evidence, I’ve found that some material facts were omitted from
the article, rendering its ratings useless.

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Should you use Windows Live Messenger?

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.

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Shavlik will lift download restrictions

I announced in the July 13 newsletter that Shavlik Technologies, a well-known
patch-management vendor, had released a free and capable
replacement for Microsoft’s Windows Update (WU) service.

The Shavlik program, known as NetChk Protect, is free for
up to one year, can remotely update 1 to 10 PCs from a single PC on a network, and
supports far more programs than Microsoft’s offering does.

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Free Windows Update alternative is released

In my last issue, I reported that Microsoft’s in-house Windows Update routine
is now likely to download marketing gimmicks such as Windows Genuine Advantage to your
PC. I advised all Windows users, other than novices, to turn off Automatic
Updates.

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Dump Windows Update, use alternatives

The Internet interprets Microsoft as damage and routes around it.

My apologies to John Gilmore for tweaking his famous 1993

quote about censorship. But the above statement just happens to sum up the
alternatives Windows users are adopting ever since Microsoft’s “Windows Genuine
Advantage” (WGA) debacle.

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