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Patch Tuesday for November

Windows Update Icon

Microsoft is set to release six security bulletin patches this coming Tuesday. Three of the six have been labeled as Critical, Microsoft’s highest security rating, and three more patches labeled as Important, the second highest security rating.

The patches are due to release on November 10 and will focus on patching Remote Code Executions and DoS (Denial of Service) flaws in the Windows operating system. Four of the patches will be released for Windows, while two will patch Remote Code Executions in Microsoft Office.

The patches will fix security holes in:

  • Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 & 3 *
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 & 2 *
  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 *
  • Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 *
  • Microsoft Office XP
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Office 2004 (Mac)
  • Microsoft Office 2008 (Mac)

* Both 32bit and 64bit architecture

No updates for Windows 7 will be released. Currently, Windows 7 only has one officially released security patch, released on October 8, 2009.

Some of the updates may require a restart.

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10 Ways Vista is more annoying with Windows 7 available

We all know Windows Vista got a bit of a bum rap. Its biggest sin was that it shipped earlier than it should and its reputation has never recovered.

However, with Windows 7 now out, those of us who have to switch between PCs now find ourselves discovering completely new things about Windows Vista that are annoying — because they are things that Windows 7 made so much better.

Here’s our list…

#1 “Program not responding”

Windows Vista loved to throw programs under the bus for not responding. This was especially true of Windows Explorer which regularly would fade out a window because it was trying to access a network resource.

It was always annoying before but the realization that this is a rare occurrence on Windows 7 makes it all the more annoying when we’re forced to use Windows Vista again.

#2 Are you sure? Are you REALLY sure?

Windows Vista was the culmination of Microsoft’s goal to have every action have a “are you sure?” dialog. Nothing illustrated this as much as the User Access Control console. In Windows 7, you can now fine tune this and with third party programs like Tweak7 you can even turn off the annoying “secure” desktop whose security remains theoretical.

#3 You want to change your resolution? Then you must go on a sacred quest first.

With Windows XP, a user could right-click on their desktop and go to properties. Windows Vista decided to do away with that and instead send people to personalization which gave quick access to, amongst other things…fonts.

Thankfully, Windows 7 brings back a direct way to change screen resolution for those of us who find themselves occasionally doing so.

#4 The System Tray is a mess.

I had no idea how bad the Windows Vista system tray was until I had the pleasure of working with Windows 7 for awhile.

#5 Windows Explorer — everything except what you need.

The Windows Vista explorer wasn’t bad — until you got to use the Windows 7 one.

#6 A dark time for skinning

Sure, YOU might not be into skinning. But lots of people are and Microsoft hard coded enough weird graphics into the UI to make it a pain to customize compared to Windows 7.

#7 Cyan borders? Really?

Someone at Microsoft thought it would be a great idea if the borders of Aero on Windows Vista were cyan. I didn’t really notice or care that much until after I started using Windows 7 and then that along with the weird glare texture in Windows Vista’s aero title bars really started to grate.

#8 Libraries are nice

The user folder is a concept Linux and Mac users have had for years. Windows Vista started moving to this metaphor but Windows 7 really builds on it and the addition of libraries makes things that much easier to organize.

#9 Common sense device management

Adding and managing with common devices on Vista wasn’t noticeably annoying at the time because it was actually better than it was on XP. But after having an actual devices folder, it’s hard to go back.

#10 Home Groups

I think it’s a bit lame that Microsoft didn’t backport the new home groups to Windows Vista. As a result, if you have a household of Windows 7 boxes that can now easily work together on a home group, that remaining Windows Vista box (or two or three) that is still painful to simply access a video or an image from is all the more annoying.

Much of this really boils down to the strengths of Windows 7 more than the weaknesses of Windows Vista. But it’s been many years since I’ve loaded up a version of Windows and found the previous version so annoying.

Microsoft launches Windows 7, eyes PC sales rebound

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Microsoft Corp launched Windows 7 on Thursday, its most important release in more than a decade, aiming to win back customers disappointed by Vista and strengthen its grip on the PC market.

The world’s largest software company, which powers more than 90 percent of personal computers, has received good reviews for the new operating system, which it hopes will grab back the impetus in new technology from rivals Apple Inc and Google Inc.

“They met expectations but that was pretty much it,” said Michael Gartenberg, a long-time Microsoft analyst at market research firm Interpret after a launch event in New York. “They showed off some very cool things, but now they have to keep the momentum going.”

The new system — which is faster, less cluttered and has new touch-screen features — comes almost three years after the launch of Vista, whose complexity frustrated many home users and turned off business customers.

The success of Windows — which accounts for more than half of Microsoft’s profit — is crucial for Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to revive the company’s image as the world’s most important software company.

“Windows 7 is a chance for us to let the PC be not only more interesting but just simpler and faster for the many, many hundreds of millions of people who use them,” Ballmer told Reuters Television in an interview on Thursday.

NEW HARDWARE

Ballmer and other executives demonstrated at the event a range of new devices showing off Windows 7, from ultra-slim laptops to large touch-screen computers, highlighting a new Kindle book-reading application from Amazon.com Inc and live-streaming CBS television shows.

Crowds lined up overnight to see the new software and check out the latest PCs at the first branded Microsoft store, which opened on Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Microsoft is charging $199.99 for the Home Premium version of Windows 7, or $119.99 for users seeking to upgrade from older versions of the operating system — well below comparable prices for Vista.

It also has a range of offers in conjunction with retailer Best Buy Co Inc and PC makers such as Dell Inc and Acer Inc.

The U.S. holiday season will soon reveal whether consumer PC sales get a kick from Windows 7, but success with corporations — the key to Microsoft’s financial power — will not be clear until next year, analysts say.

Windows 7 sales will not immediately impact the bottom line of Microsoft, which is expected to post a lower quarterly profit on Friday.

Can your computer handle Windows 7?

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If you own a Windows Vista machine, good news: Odds are you can use Microsoft’s new Windows 7 when it comes out Thursday – unless you’ve really screwed your computer up. But what if you’re running Windows XP on a pre-Vista machine?

Enter the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, a tool Microsoft launched Tuesday to help people see if their computers can run Windows 7.

It can be downloaded for free here, and it scans your computer for any problems with your hardware, devices and applications. Then it recommends what you should do before upgrading, if your computer can handle Windows 7.

Heads up – the program sends information back to Microsoft. But, the company says, the info won’t be used to identify or contact you.

Remember all that hoopla with Windows Vista when it first came out in 2007, that it just didn’t work well with third-party peripherals? All signs so far indicate Windows 7 won’t have as much of a problem, but it’s still good to check.

Enter the Windows 7 Compatibility Center, a Web site Microsoft set up to help people see if their external devices are compatible with Windows 7.

New devices are likely in the clear – if they boast the Windows 7 logo, they’ll work. But the Compatibility Center also lists peripherals whose manufacturers stated are compatible with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, according to the site’s FAQ.

Also available on the site are drivers and software updates to get your system running correctly.

Microsoft Windows 7 Gets Image Boost from ACS & Perot

windows7 I would assume Microsoft executives are in stand still waiting for the release of their operating system on October 22 as they are in desperate need to see this operating system hitting the big time. They cannot fall short as two successive failed operating systems starting with Microsoft Windows Vista would mean disaster for the software giant. The company would give up market share and improve Apple and Linux bottom line, while their market share would dramatically shrink.

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