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Windows

Vista Security — Too Little Too Late 483

Thomas Greene of The Register has a fairly comprehensive review of Vista and IE7 user security measures. The verdict is: better but not adequate, and mostly an attempt to shift blame onto the user when things go wrong. From the review: "[Vista is] a slightly more secure version than XP SP2. There are good features, and there are good ideas, but they've been implemented badly. The old problems never go away: too many networking services enabled by default; too many owners running their boxes as admins and downloading every bit of malware they can get their hands on."

Security

"Very Severe Hole" In Vista UAC Design 813

Cuts and bruises writes "Hacker Joanna Rutkowska has flagged a "very severe hole" in the design of Windows Vista's User Account Controls (UAC) feature. The issue is that Vista automatically assumes that all setup programs (application installers) should be run with administrator privileges — and gives the user no option to let them run without elevated privileges. This means that a freeware Tetris installer would be allowed to load kernel drivers. Microsoft's Mark Russinovich acknowledges the risk factor but says it was a 'design choice' to balance security with ease of use."
Graphics

Vista Not Playing Nice With FPS Games 437

PetManimal writes "Computerworld is reporting that gamers who have installed Vista are reporting problems with first person-shooter titles such as CounterStrike, Half-Life 2, Doom 3. and F.E.A.R. (Users have compiled lists of games with Vista issues.) The complaints, which have turned up on gamers' forums, cite crashes and low frame rates. Not surprisingly, the problems relate to graphics hardware and software: 'Experts blame still-flaky software drivers, Vista's complexity, and a dearth of new video cards optimized for Vista's new rendering technology, DirectX 10. That's despite promises from Microsoft that Vista is backwards-compatible with XP's graphic engine, DirectX 9, and that it will support existing games. Meanwhile, games written to take advantage of DirectX 10 have been slow to emerge. And one Nvidia executive predicts that gamers may not routinely see games optimized for DirectX 10 until mid-2008.'"
Windows

Windows Expert Jumps Ship 939

An anonymous reader writes to let us know that Scott Finnie, Computerworld's Windows expert, has given the final verdict to Windows after 3 months of using a Mac. And the verdict is: "Sayonara." Finnie is known to readers here for his many reviews of Vista as it progressed to release. Quoting: "If you give the Mac three months, as I did, you won't go back either. The hardest part is paying for it — everything after that gets easier and easier. Perhaps fittingly, it took me the full three-month trial period to pay off my expensive MacBook Pro. But the darn thing is worth every penny."
Security

Bitlocker No Real Threat To Decryption? 319

An anonymous reader writes "The Register is running a story called 'Vista encryption 'no threat' to computer forensics'. The article explains that despite some initial concerns that lawbreakers would benefit from built-in strong encryption, it's unlikely the Bitlocker technology will slow down most digital forensic analysts. What kind of measures does one need to take to make sure no one but yourself has access to your data? Is Bitlocker just good enough (keeping out your siblings) or does it miss the whole purpose of the encryption entirely?" One would hope an international criminal mastermind could do better than the encryption built into Vista.
Microsoft

Vista Indicates A Shift in Microsoft's Priorities 499

jcatcw writes "After hundreds of hours of testing Vista, Scot Finnie is supremely tired of it. And of Microsoft. Although 80% of the changes in Windows Vista are positive, there is nothing about Vista that is truly innovative or compelling; there's no transformational, gotta-have-it feature in Vista. But the real problem isn't with Vista. It's with Microsoft itself. His opinion is that Microsoft has stopped focusing on end users. They 'now seemingly make many decisions based on these two things: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality) 2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.'"
Windows

Koreans Advised to "Avoid Vista" for Now 333

An anonymous reader writes "The Chosonilbo reports that several government ministries in South Korea are advising users not to install Windows Vista, at least until popular online services can be made compatible. The problem is that ActiveX is pervasive in the Korean webspace, employed by everyone from web games to online banking. Upgrading to Vista is expected to render many of these services unusable. Portions of the popular "Hangul" word processor, a major competitor to Office in that country, are also not functioning under Vista. The Ministry of Information is planning to publish compatibility information for popular websites, and urging users to carefully research the implications of upgrading."
Windows

Microsoft Admits Vista Has "High Impact Issues" 520

EggsAndSausage writes "Microsoft has granted, in a roundabout way, that Vista has 'high impact issues.' It has put out an email call for technical users to participate in testing Service Pack 1, due out later this year, which will address 'regressions from Windows Vista and Windows XP, security, deployment blockers and other high impact issues.' It's hard to know whether to be reassured that Service Pack 1 is coming in the second half of 2007, and thus that there is a timeframe for considering deployment of Vista within businesses, or to be alarmed that Microsoft is unleashing an OS on the world with 'high impact issues' still remaining." In other news, one blogger believes that Vista is the first Microsoft OS since Windows 3.1 to have regressed in usability from its predecessor (he kindly forgives and dismisses Windows ME). And there's a battle raging over the top 10 reasons to get Vista or not to get Vista.
Microsoft

Microsoft PR Paying to "Correct" Wikipedia 355

Unpaid Schill writes "Over on the O'Reilly Network, there's an interesting piece about how Microsoft tried to hire people to contribute to Wikipedia. Not wanting to do the edits directly, they were looking for an intermediary to make edits and corrections favorable to them. Why? According to the article, it was apparently both to let people know that Microsoft will not 'enable death squads with their UUIDs' and also to fight the growing consensus that OOXML contains a useless pile of legacy crap which is unfit for standardization."
Microsoft

Mossberg - Vista Is Worthy, Largely Unexciting 398

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walter S. Mossberg says Vista is the best version of Windows yet, but doesn't represent a major step forward: 'Overall, it works pretty much the same way as Windows XP.' More from the review: 'Nearly all of the major, visible new features in Vista are already available in Apple's operating system, called Mac OS X, which came out in 2001 and received its last major upgrade in 2005. ... in my tests, some elements of Vista could be maddeningly slow even on new, well-configured computers. Also, despite Vista's claimed security improvements, you will still have to run, and keep updating, security programs, which can be annoying and burdensome. Microsoft has thrown in one such program free, but you will have to buy at least one more. That means that, while Vista has eased some of the burden on users imposed by the Windows security crisis, it will still force you to spend more time managing the computer than I believe people should have to devote.'"

IE7 Compatibility a Developer Nightmare 416

yavori writes "Internet Explorer 7 has kicked in at last on all MS Windows OS running PCs because of the fact M$ decided to force it's users to migrate through update. In fact this has started a IE7 Web Developers Nightmare. The article actually explains that most of the small company B2C sites may just fall from grace because of IE7 incompatibility. One of the coolest thing IE7 is unable to do is actually processing form data when clicked on an INPUT field of TYPE IMG... which is pretty uncool for those using entire payment processes with such INPUT fields."
Linux Business

Tamil Nadu (India) Shutting the Door On Microsoft 269

aprasadh writes "The government of Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India, has begun initiatives to convert all of their IT systems fully to OSS-based software. (The link is a copy of a news item that appeared recently in the Deccan Chronicle, an English-language daily.) The managing director of the IT procurement, consulting, and training agency for the Tamil Nadu government describes the reasons why he has chosen OSS, and also how he dealt with Microsoft executives." From the article: "Initially, 99 per cent of government systems have been running on Microsoft systems but then 2007 will be a watershed year for the state IT sector... We have already dispatched 6,500 Linux systems to village panchayats and another 6,100 Acer desktop systems with Suse Linux operating systems are on their way. We are procuring 20,000 desktop systems for schools, which will run only on Suse Linux... I require at least 500 trainers to train 30,000 state officials across Tamil Nadu in the next six months."
Windows

David Pogue Takes On Vista 533

guruevi writes to let us know about a review of Microsoft Vista in the NY Times, in the form of an article and a video, by the known Mac-friendly David Pogue. In the article, Pogue recasts Microsoft's marketing mantra for Vista: "Clear, Confident, Connected" becomes "Looks, Locks, Lacks." Pogue writes that Vista is such a brazen rip-off of Mac OS X that "There must be enough steam coming out of Apple executives' ears to power the Polar Express." But the real fun is in the video, in which Pogue attempts to prove that Vista is not simply an OS X clone.
Microsoft

Vista the End of An Era? 446

mikesd81 writes "The Times Online has an article about the uncertain future of Windows. Even Microsoft, it seems is admitting that Vista will be the last OS of its kind. With the push towards a constant presence on the internet, and the churn that entails, the company has admitted that even with a two year delay 'it is not really ready'." From the article: "Security experts are acknowledging that Vista is the most secure of Windows to date. However, 'The bad guys will always target the most popular systems,' Mikko Hypponen, of F-Secure, the security group, said. 'Vista's vulnerability to phishing attacks, hackers, viruses and other malicious software will increase quickly.' But the current fear is that the Internet will kill Windows, with Google being Public Enemy No. 1: 'Microsoft is way behind Google when it comes to the internet,' Rupert Godwins, the technology editor at ZDNet, the industry website, said. 'Building Vista, Microsoft is still doing things the old way at the same time as it undergoes a big shift to catch up.'"
Windows

Vista an Uneasy Sleeper 395

Emmy King writes "
One thing we just can't wrap our mind about is the terrible, broken, and completely pitiful support for waking Vista up from a Deep Sleep or hibernation.
Anytime you attempt to wake Vista up from Hibernation or "Deep Sleep" (S3-induced sleep mode), it dies. It's either a BSOD, or a driver error, or a broken network, no DWM, lack of sound... the list goes on, and on. So much for an operating system to "power" the future! (No pun intended!) That's with properly-signed drivers and no buggy software on multiple PCs..."

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