Microsoft

Wed
24
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's Annual Conference Raided By Protesters in Hazmat Suits

On May 23, 2006, Bill Gates was giving his speech on the future of Microsoft, when protesters wearing bright yellow Hazmat suits swarmed the entrance of a convention center. Their message to the software developer was, "your product is defective and ... hazardous to users." (Source: www.fsf.org ) The surprise protest marked the launch of DefectiveByDesign.org, a direct-action campaign that will target Big Media and corporations that market Digital Rights Management (DRM). DefectiveByDesign.org is a broad-based, anti-DRM campaign that is targeting Big Media, unhelpful manufacturers, and ... (view more)

Thu
18
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Support for Windows 98 and ME Ending: July 11th, 2006

If you are confused about articles foretelling The End of Support for Windows 98 and Millenium Edition, join the experts. It is especially confusing, and I delight in envisioning the meetings between the lawyers, accountants and programmers who've ... tried to sort it out and clarify it. To make matters worse, the official page explaining The End has been rewritten a number of times. In short, you can find several dates for different things which can be interpreted in many different ways: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/default.mspx http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?pr=LifeAn16 ... (view more)

Tue
16
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Internet Explorer 7: Is It Worth It?

After all the warnings and horror stories I've heard about problems with the beta versions of Internet Explorer 7 ("IE7"), it took a little courage for me to try it out. So far, I haven't seen any ill effects from installing IE7 beta, but was it ... worth the download? Short answer: No! Long answer below. ;-) Internet Explorer 7 Beta: Installation I downloaded the 12mb IE7 beta installer from Microsoft and fired it up. Not surprisingly, the first thing the installer wanted to do was to scan my PC to make sure I was running a legitimate copy of MS Windows. Since this wasn't an issue for ... (view more)

Wed
26
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows Live: Is it Worth It?, Part 2

My recent article about Windows Live OneCare drew a response from Infopackets Reader James R. In an excerpt of his email, James writes: " Jim does not mention that Windows Live One Care also includes a two way firewall. This is a major feature in ... any security suite and it's presence should not have been omitted. Jim goes on to say that his computer purrs just by using a cleanup script, Ashampoo's Magic Defrag , Acronis True Image and a few other programs. He goes on to state that everything Live One Care does can be done 'totally free'. Implying that Magic Defrag and True Image are free is ... (view more)

Sun
23
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows Live: Is it Worth It?

Because I previously wrote about the Windows Live trend of software as services, Dennis asked me to answer the following question submitted by "Jeanie": " Can you tell me any thing about this 'Windows Live One Care'? I downloaded it to try it. Of ... course, it had disable my antivirus completely. Can you tell me, does Windows Live work and is it any good? "When I replied, "Jeanie, this is probably not meant for you," watching Dennis' double-take via email made my day. ;-) I'm known to defend most things Microsoft and generally I'm pretty enthusiastic over their innovatio ns. ... (view more)

Sat
22
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Coping with Microsoft's April 2006 Windows Update Headaches (MS06-015)

Earlier this month, Microsoft released a series of critical patches that affect the way that Internet Explorer handles web pages that use ActiveX controls. Microsoft's $521 Million Dollar Patch To recap: In 2004 Microsoft lost a patent lawsuit on a ... method for embedding and invoking interactive applications in web browsers (such as applets and plug-ins). The patent affects the way Internet Explorer manipulates interactive content, including: Flash or QuickTime movies, Adobe acrobat reader, Apple QuickTime player, Macromedia flash player, Microsoft Windows media player, Real Networks real ... (view more)

Tue
28
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

8 Flavors of Vista? Nope, Only 6!

Recall -- A few weeks back I wrote about 8 versions of the new Windows Vista (the successor to Windows XP). It appears that this was misinformation. The newsworthy story was leaked by an internal Microsoft site that was accessed by an outside ... reporter, who then dutifully told the rest of the world that there were 8 versions of Windows Vista. After three weeks, that internal site became unavailable, and Microsoft officially declared there were in fact 6 versions of Vista. The below information was taken from a recent Microsoft document . To clarify: " Microsoft ... will offer Windows Vista ... (view more)

Mon
06
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 'TCO' Concerns

In the business world there is a 'thing' known as the Total Cost of Operation (TCO). In short, TCO is the sum of the initial cost for software, cost of the system required to run it, user training, and in-house support services when things go wrong. ... It can be expensive for a business to bring in a new release of software. For example: to purchase, install, operate, and support one copy of Microsoft Windows is expensive. But now that Microsoft seems bent on selling "software as service," the annual licensing fees are a more serious consideration than the old one-time fees used to be. In fact, ... (view more)

Wed
01
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows Vista: 8 Flavors to Choose From!

It's been reported on a number of blog sites that Microsoft will release Windows Vista with -- get this -- 8 different versions. Hint: Windows XP only has 2 versions (Home and Pro edition). Unfortunately, they have yet to describe what the ... differences are between each version. It's also speculated that Microsoft Vista will require (at minimum) 512 MB of memory and a Pentium 4 class microprocessor to operate efficiently. The 'Vista list' is as follows: Windows Starter 2007 Windows Vista Home Basic Windows Vista Home Basic N Windows Vista Home Premium Windows Vista Business Windows Vista ... (view more)

Tue
13
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

'Major' Critical Updates released from Microsoft: July, 2004

Over the last 2 weeks, Microsoft has issued a number of patches related to exploits recently discovered in Internet Explorer. Today, I received 2 additional notifications: one of them listed as critical and, if not applied immediately, may allow ... "remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a malicious website or JOB file." (Source: cve.mitre.org ) Yikes! This section of the Gazette is normally dedicated to answering questions I receive from Readers between the time that newsletters are sent out; however, this time, I feel it is imperative to inform Readers of the importance of ... (view more)

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