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The Internet

MS Publishes Papers For a Modern, Secure Browser 296

V!NCENT writes with an excerpt from a new publication by Microsoft: "As web sites evolved into dynamic web applications composing content from various web sites, browsers have become multi-principal operating environments with resources shared among mutually distrusting web site principals. Nevertheless, no existing browsers, including new architectures like IE 8, Google Chrome, and OP, have a multi-principal operating system construction that gives a browser-based OS the exclusive control to manage the protection of all system resources among web site principals. In this paper, we introduce Gazelle, a secure web browser constructed as a multi-principal OS. Gazelle's Browser Kernel is an operating system that exclusively manages resource protection and sharing across web site principals." Here's the full research paper (PDF).
Microsoft

Microsoft To Offer Free Anti-Virus Software 448

Dynamoo writes "The good news is that Microsoft have announced free anti-virus software for consumers, dubbed Morro, available late next year. The bad news is ... well, exactly the same. Although Microsoft's anti-malware products are pretty good, this move could drive many competitors out of business and create a dangerous security monoculture; major rivals will be lawyering up already. On the other hand, many malware infections could be prevented even by basic software. So is this going to be a good or bad thing overall?"
GUI

Windows 7 Beta Screenshots Leaked 587

Slatterz writes "Screenshots of what is said to be the next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system have been leaked onto the internet. The ThinkNext.net blog posted a range of screenshots over the weekend which it said represents Windows 7. Overall, the screenshots show a distinctly Vista-like interface, but there is still plenty of time for tweaks and changes to take place."
Microsoft

Microsoft Uses "I'm a PC" Character In New Ads 837

arcticstoat writes to tell us that in the wake of their largely unsuccessful Jerry Seinfeld ad campaign Microsoft is setting their sights directly on recent Apple ads by featuring the "I'm a PC" character in their new advertising campaign. "He then follows this with another phrase, such as 'and I've been made into a stereotype' before the advert shifts to a range of people performing a diverse assortment of jobs, all of which also say they're a PC. Among those featured are astronaut Bernard Harris, as well as religious author Deepak Chopra and 'Desperate Housewives' actress Eva Longoria. The ad also features a wide range of anonymous people, including a shark diver, a teacher and a guy with a beard."
Windows

Peru To Be First To Put Windows On OLPC Laptop 292

Da Massive writes "The government of Peru will run the first ever trial of the One Laptop Per Child association's XO laptop running Windows XP. This puts the nation at the heart of a software controversy that has been raging for years between those who advocate making software and its source code free, such as Linux OS developers, and those who charge for software and keep the development recipes secret, such as Microsoft."
Supercomputing

Unholy Matrimony? Microsoft and Cray 358

fetusbear writes with a ZDNet story that says "'Microsoft and Cray are set to unveil on September 16 the Cray CX1, a compact supercomputer running Windows HPC Server 2008. The pair is expected to tout the new offering as "the most affordable supercomputer Cray has ever offered," with pricing starting at $25,000.' Although this would be the lowest cost hardware ever offered by Cray, it would also be the most expensive desktop ever offered by Microsoft."
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Says IE8 Phoning Home Is "Pretty Innocuous" 194

CWmike writes "Microsoft has defended the IE8 tool that suggests sites based on URLs typed into its address bar, saying that the browser 'phones home' only a limited amount of information to Microsoft and that the company discards all user IP addresses almost immediately. Company managers also contrasted IE8 Beta 2's 'Suggested Sites' feature with the 'Suggest' feature used by Google Chrome, saying that Microsoft's requires the user's explicit permission before it's used. They did acknowledge a bug that prevents the request from reappearing when users reinstall the browser. Cyra Richardson, a Microsoft principal program manager on the IE team, said: 'Suggested Sites is connected to the browser's history, and it's not looking at each of the keystrokes. IE only captures the URL as it is navigated [to], when that URL goes into your history.' Nor does Suggested Sites log and transmit cookies to Microsoft's servers, as does Google Suggest, Richardson said. 'The data we log is actually pretty innocuous.'"
Microsoft

Best Buy + Windows Guru = Apple Store Experience? 600

CWmike writes "As part of Windows Vista's $300 million marketing rehab, Microsoft will hire an initial wave of 155 'Windows Gurus' to walk around Best Buy and Circuit City stores to answer customer questions and defend Vista's reputation against skeptics, reports say. Gurus will earn $20 an hour or more, plus benefits. (Apply here.) One way Windows Gurus will differ from Apple Geniuses is that they are not intended to be sources of free technical support for existing Vista users. 'The Guru role is to help sell Windows-based PCs. It is not to be an alternative tech support channel for Microsoft as this has no financial return beyond improved customer satisfaction,' Baker said. One reason: Windows Gurus could end up 'lightning rods for customers' frustrations with Vista.'"
Government

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Copyright Cops 483

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the EIPA (the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008), which would create copyright cops. And these cops would take over the RIAA's War on Sharing by filing civil lawsuits and using civil forfeiture laws to take any and all computers engaged in infringement. Worse, they would even seize computers (such as servers or database farms) that house the data of innocent people, and these people would not have any right to get their data back. At best the 'virtual bystanders' who happened to have data on a computer used for infringement could get a protective order saying that no one should go rummaging through their stuff. Perhaps the only good thing in the bill is that they've excluded DMCA circumvention from the list of grounds for seizure. So while the Senators believe this is needed to combat foreign copyright infringement cartels, it's entirely likely that innocent people will be harmed by this law."
Linux Business

Lenovo Removes Linux Option For Home Buyers 380

billybob2 writes "Lenovo has stopped selling laptops pre-installed with Linux on its web site, only 8 months after starting the trial program. This means that home customers won't be able to buy a Thinkpad without paying the Microsoft tax. Word has it that the decision to pull the plug on Linux came down from the highest levels of the Chinese company's corporate headquarters. For those looking to buy full-sized laptops and desktops with Linux pre-loaded Dell, System76, ZaReason and Everex all still offer such products."
Microsoft

Microsoft Concedes Vista Launch Problems 594

notdagreatbrain writes "Maximum PC just posted a lengthy feature looking back at the myriad problems that went into Microsoft's 6 billion dollar failure of the Vista launch. Aside from running benchmarks comparing Vista at launch how its performing now, they also found a Microsoft exec who was willing to speak frankly about Vista. The Microsoft source blamed bad drivers from GPU companies and printer companies for the majority of Vista's early stability problems and described User Account Control as poorly implemented but defended it as necessary for the continued health of the Windows platform. He assailed OEM system builders for including bad, buggy, or just plain useless apps on their machines in exchange for a few bucks on the back end. Finally he conceded that Apple appeals to more and more consumers because the hardware is slick, the price is OK, and Apple doesn't annoy its customers (or allow third parties to)."
GUI

Will W3C Accept DRM For Webfonts? 315

dotne writes "Microsoft has submitted Embedded OpenType (EOT) to W3C and a slimy campaign for EOT has been launched. EOT is a DRM layer on top of normal TrueType/Opentype files; EOT ties a font file to a certain web page or site and prevents reuse by other pages/sites. Microsoft's IE has supported EOT for years, but it has largely been ignored due to the clumsiness of having to regenerate font files when a page changes. Now that other browsers are moving to support normal TrueType and OpenType on the web (Safari, Opera, Mozilla, Prince), W3C is faced with a question: should they bless Microsoft's EOT for use on the web? Or, should they encourage normal font files on the web and help break Microsoft's forgotten monopoly?"
Editorial

Gates Issues Call For "Creative Capitalism" 464

theodp writes "Bill Gates makes his case for Creative Capitalism in TIME, citing projects like a Text-Free UI for illiterate computing, the use of Multimouse technology to allow fifty kids to share one computer display, cell phone billing by the second, and Bono's RED campaign as examples of the type of corporate creativity that can make the world a better place for the billion or so people scraping by on less than a dollar a day. Michael Kinsley, a former Microsoft employee whose wife still advises the Gates Foundation, says it's hard to object to Gates' goals, but notes that creative capitalism does have its share of skeptics, and points out that there was not a whole lot of energy devoted to lifting up the world's poor during Bill's three decades at Microsoft."
Microsoft

Microsoft's Open Source Guru Faces Tough Fight 432

coondoggie writes "Microsoft's Sam Ramji is like a turkey knocking on Thanksgiving's door. Ramji has the unenviable task of stretching his neck out into the open source world as Microsoft's representative. On top of it, his employer has preheated the oven with years of hubris, sleights of hand and broken promises. Ramji's Sisyphean task was evident last week in Portland at the Open Source Conference (OSCon) and will likely be fuel for chatter at next week's LinuxWorld gathering in San Francisco."
Bug

Dual Boot Not Trusted, Rejected By Vista SP1 525

Alsee writes "Welcome to our first real taste of Trusted Computing: With Vista Enterprise and Vista Ultimate, Service Pack 1 refuses to install on dual boot systems. Trusted Computing is one of the many things that got cut from Vista, but traces of it remain in BitLocker, and that is the problem. The Service Pack patch to your system will invalidate your Trust chain if you are not running the Microsoft-approved Microsoft-trusted boot loader, or if you make other similar unapproved modifications to your system. The Trust chip (the TPM) will then refuse to give you your key to unlock your own hard drive. If you are not running BitLocker then a workaround is available: Switch back to Microsoft's Vista-only boot mode, install the Service Pack, then reapply your dual boot loader. If you are running BitLocker, or if Microsoft resumes implementing Trusted Computing, then you are S.O.L."

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