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Operating Systems Posts - Page 41

Windows 8 will send Microsoft information each time you install new software

It looks as though Microsoft will be getting an exclusive sneak peak into your computer if you install Windows 8, as the Redmond-based company will be contacted each time you install a new application, according to software hacker Nadim Kobeissi.

 

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Kobeissi noticed the news when running a network packed analyzer under Windows 8. Don't fret: this can be disabled quite easily. Known as Windows 8's SmartScreen feature, it acts as a protector to users from malware, and other things that can be otherwise harmful to your PC. The technology was first featured and introduced with Internet Explorer 8, as an extension of IE7's phishing filter.

 

When Microsoft released IE9, SmartScreen gained Application Reputation, which is a set of algorithms used to analyze the trustworthiness of downloads through digital signatures, heuristics, and information collected by the company. The technology works by using Microsoft's database of software trustworthiness, but the company collects information about user-driven downloads in the process. This data is obviously kept on Microsoft's servers.

Continue reading 'Windows 8 will send Microsoft information each time you install new software' (full post)

Microsoft's Windows 95 turns 17 today, can't even enjoy a drink on its birthday

As we get closer to the release of Microsoft's latest touch-orientated OS, Windows 8, we celebrate a milestone in Microsoft's history. The company's first graphical user interface (GUI) powered version of their OS, Windows 95, turns 17 today!

 

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Windows 95 ushered in a completely dominant lifestyle for Microsoft, with its powerful GUI, much-improved "plug and play" system that helped hardware installations and reduced conflicts, as well as moving from a 16-bit architecture , to a 32-bit architecture which bought with it a multitasking-friendly architecture.

 

Windows 95 pushed Microsoft into an antitrust case in 1998, where a later revision of the OS included Internet Explorer 4.0, which plaintiffs claimed gave Microsoft a monopoly in the browser market. Competitors such as Netscape Navigator and Opera required a download, over slow dial-up connections, or purchased in store, compared to IE which came included with the OS.

 

Windows 95 was supported by Microsoft until December 31, 2001.

Apple start seeding OS X 10.8.2 builds to developers

Apple are still seeding out OS X 10.8.1 to developers, where they'll hopefully address some of the bigger issues with the initial release of Apple's latest OS, Mountain Lion. But, it looks as though some users have received notifications telling them that Apple are preparing to seed builds of OS X 10.8.2 for testing.

 

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Join us for 10.8.2!

 

You are invited to participate in the next Mountain Lion Software Update seed project, 10.8.2. Apple will provide you with the pre-release software. Once builds are available, we ask that you install and test each build to help us make sure that this is a high quality release!

 

Apple seem to be moving pretty quick from OS X 10.8.1 to OS X 10.8.2, meaning that they're looking to clamp down on issues found not only in the original OS X Mountain Lion release, but 10.8.1. The issues in the OS X 10.8.1 are probably not that big to begin with, but it's good to see Apple moving quickly with updates.

 

Have you moved over to OS X Mountain Lion? I personally haven't bothered, there's no stand-out features that make me want to take the dive to the new OS. If I owned an iPhone, and synced it a lot, then maybe. But I don't even sync my iPad, so I haven't wanted to upgrade.

Microsoft opens the doors to Windows 8 upgrade for Windows 7 PCs, just $14.99 and available until Feb 28, 2013

If you've only recently bought a Windows 7-based PC, and would like to upgrade to the upcoming Start menu-less Windows 8, Microsoft have opened up the registration page in order to do so. The Windows Upgrade Offer will upgrade you to Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99.

 

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It's available to anyone who purchased, or will purchase a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. If you'd like to take part in the upgrade to Windows 8, you'll need to provide your 25-digit Windows 7 key as part of the online registration process.

 

Starting October 26, Microsoft will then send out promotion codes via e-mail, which can be used in the checkout within the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant.

Apple responds to iOS SMS flaw, suggests using iMessage instead

Apple continues to show that it's not the most security-focused company with its response to a security vulnerability found in all iOS versions, including iOS6 beta 4. The vulnerability is that a text can be sent with a "Reply-to" number which is different from the actual sender number. This results in messages in which the sender can be spoofed.

 

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Apple takes security very seriously. When using iMessage instead of SMS, addresses are verified which protects against these kinds of spoofing attacks. One of the limitations of SMS is that it allows messages to be sent with spoofed addresses to any phone, so we urge customers to be extremely careful if they're directed to an unknown website or address over SMS.

 

As you can see, there is no mention or commitment to fix the vulnerability. Instead, they take the chance to promote their iMessage service. Unfortunately, everyone in the world would need to be using iMessage (a dream for Apple) for this to effectively take care of the vulnerability present.

 

It wouldn't be very hard for Apple to fix this issue. They could easily show the sender's number and that would pretty much negate the entire issue. It's unclear why they wouldn't fix this seemingly easily to resolve vulnerability, but they have made no commitment to do so as of yet.

Windows 8 is now available for MSDN & TechNet subscribers, also as a 90-day trial for everyone else

Microsoft's RTM build of their forthcoming OS, Windows 8, is now officially available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. This is the same version that will reach the general public on October 26. Microsoft Software Assurance customers will get their hands on the RTM tomorrow, and Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase the OS through Microsoft Volume License Resellers on September 1.

 

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Microsoft have also offered some good faith here to the general public, offering up a 90-day trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise. This is available in both 32- and 64-bit versions and are available to anyone as a free ISO image in many languages. This version, however, cannot be upgraded to a full retail version once the 90-day period expires.

 

The Enterprise version of Windows 8 includes all of the features found in the Pro edition, plus some business-based options like Windows To Go, DirectAccess, BranchCache, and RemoteFX virtualization. What are your thoughts on the OS so far? Are you going to hit up that 90-day trial?

RumorTT: Windows Phone 8 could see a release as early as next month

Microsoft could release their next-generation mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8, if unnamed sources of PocketNow are to be believed. The site is reporting that Windows Phone 8-based devices could see a release much earlier than previously known.

 

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Windows Phone 8, until now at least, was though to reach RTM in September, and not make its way into the market until November. NeoWin is also talking about it, where they've said:

 

Microsoft has given heavily guarded Windows Phone 8 handsets to developers that were identified as "star developers" or "VIP's" during the Windows Phone 7 lifecycle.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Windows Phone 8 could see a release as early as next month' (full post)

Microsoft says 'don't call it Metro', call it 'Windows 8', we say call me, maybe?

ZDNet are reporting that Microsoft have finally decided what terminology to use for their Metro/Windows 8-style UI, where it will simply be referred to as "Windows 8", according to their sources. ZDNet's sources have said that:

 

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Anything currently/formerly known as a "Metro-Style application" (with or without a hyphen) will now be known officially as a "Windows 8 application." References to the "Metro user interface" will now be replaced by "Windows 8 user interface." And instead of saying "Metro design," the Softies and those adhering to their official guidelines will be using the words "Windows 8 design."

 

Microsoft have been having quite the identity crisis on what they want to name their new UI, where it sat on Metro for quite sometime, but due to a trademark dispute, they changed it to "Windows 8-style UI". This news would make sense, and they've now changed it to something much more simple, "Windows 8". I don't see what all the fuss is over, personally. It's a UI, it's part of Windows 8, why even give it a name and have this much air time about it? Free publicity, maybe?

iOS 6 beta sees new option "Wi-Fi Plus Cellular"

I'm sure we've all been there. You see an open Wi-Fi connection and connect to try to save data from your cellular plan. Unfortunately everyone around you has the same idea and the connection slows to a crawl. If you haven't experienced this, consider yourself lucky. Clearly enough have as Apple has added an option for apps to default back to the 3G connection if the Wi-Fi isn't working.

 

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The new feature is a godsend for some and not a big deal for others. If you're anything like me, you want your e-mail and you want it now. When the option is enabled, some more important apps that have trouble communicating through the Wi-Fi connection will automatically switch back to the cellular network until the problem is resolved.

 

These apps that are capable of using this feature, as of right now, are iCloud Documents, iTunes purchases, Passbook and Reading Lists. Furthermore, the feature will attempt to keep FaceTime video calls from dropping on the iPhone 4S and above. It's not clear, as AppleInsider points out, just how the cellular companies will react to this.

Apple to soon release the first build of OS X 10.8.1 to developers

It looks as thought Apple is ready to begin seeding builds of OS X 10.8.1 out to developers. 10.8.1 will most likely include some bug fixes that were found in the recently-launched Mountain Lion, so we're not talking of big changes, just minor fixes.

 

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OS X usually receives maintenance updates pretty quick after the initial builds land, which is due to the company wanting to push major bug fixes out to the public as quick as they can. The final version of OS X Mountain Lion was fixed two weeks ahead of the public launch, which means the Cupertino-based company was most likely working on 10.8.1 for quite a while now.

 

To compare this to other versions of OS X, 10.7.1 launched 27 days after the launch of OS X Lion, where OS X 10.6.1 launched 13 days after the launch of OS X Snow Leopard.

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