To the surprise of many, Microsoft seems to have built into the forthcoming Windows 7 a way to completely disable Internet Explorer, if you know the trick.
Meanwhile, in response to complaints from the European Commission, the software giant is also proposing to ship within the Continent a version of Windows 7 without IE, although Microsoft’s plan would allow PC makers themselves to freely install Redmond’s browser.
By disabling AutoRun and changing the wording of the top entry in the AutoPlay dialog, Microsoft has made the forthcoming Windows 7 more secure without significantly inconveniencing Windows customers.
The company also promises to make similar security changes in AutoRun and AutoPlay available for XP and Vista users, although it hasn’t yet said when this will happen.
Some of the programs that run automatically every time Windows starts can be more than a little cantankerous.
In the past, you may have used Msconfig or Windows Defender to rein in problematic autostart apps, but there’s a better way — one that will stand you in good stead when (need I say “if”?) you switch to Windows 7.
They must have put something in the water in Redmond, because the Windows 7 development team is starting to respond to feedback from us average joes running beta copies.
I hate — hate — to sound like a Microsoft fanboy, but several significant, quick improvements to the beta version will be in the Win7 Release Candidate, which I expect to arrive in April.
The Windows Experience Index PC benchmarking suite, which was introduced in Vista, is modified somewhat in Windows 7 — and not always for the better.
If you know which numbers to ignore, however, the Experience Index can save you a heap of money on a Windows 7 machine.
Windows 7 ushers in a new bifurcation of Windows applications: some apps that used to ship with the OS are now available only by download.
Allow me to help you find which of these Live Essentials you’ll find handy — most of which work in XP and Vista as well as in Windows 7.
Last January, I devoted a column to the topic of undeleting pictures on a camera, and the deluge of thanks from readers warmed the cockles of my heart.
This year, the file-undelete situation’s even better — technically — and besides, my cockles could use a warmup.
A few weeks ago, software giant Adobe patched a security hole in its ubiquitous Acrobat and Reader software for PDF files.
Several months before Adobe released its patch, however, a small company named Foxit, which makes a highly recommended PDF reader, had already distributed its own fix for a similar security breach.