Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Microsoft set to reintroduce the full Start Menu with Windows 8.2

Posted on: December 10th, 2013 by No Comments

Microsoft acknowledged the backlash against Windows 8 by launching 8.1, and it seems they are about to go a step further. For those who absolutely hate the whole Metro UI, they can look forward to the return of the full Start menu with Windows 8.2. The desktop mode will integrate the Start menu Windows users have known and loved since Windows 95, while incorporating Metro apps to float on the desktop screen. While it may not be enough to appease the more hardcore of anti-Windows 8 users, it is an even bigger step forward (or backward, whichever way you look at it) than 8.1 was.

Microsoft ending Windows 7 sales

Posted on: December 9th, 2013 by No Comments

According to the Microsoft website, retail sales for Windows 7 have ended, and have been over as of October 30. The next deadline for Windows 7, which reflects PCs with it preinstalled, is October 30 2014. This is standard practice for Microsoft, whose policy is to stop selling an older operating system in retail one year after the launch of its successor (2 years to stop shipping to OEMs). With Windows 8 having launched in October last year, the time is ripe for Windows 7 to start being phased out to make its successor the default.

Sony has sold over 2.1 million PS4s since launch

Posted on: December 4th, 2013 by No Comments


Sony has revealed the numbers for the PlayStation 4, and it’s looking fantastic for them. As of December 1st, 2.1 million consoles were sold worldwide since the US launch on November 15 – 700,000 were generated by sales in Europe and Australasia two days after the PS4’s release in those regions. “PS4 delivered the best launch in PlayStation history,” stated Andrew House, Sony Computer Entertainment President and group CEO. “Demand remains incredibly strong and continues to overwhelm the supply worldwide.”

Rivals Microsoft have yet to reveal their own figures for the Xbox One (launched a week after the PS4) in November. However the Xbox One has matched Sony in that it has also sold 1 million units in 24 hours.

Anniversary Patch Tuesday with a big Internet Explorer fix

Posted on: October 8th, 2013 by 1 Comment

Microsoft’s monthly security bulletin and the related Patch Tuesday is celebrating its 10th birthday this month, and the most important element of this month’s “anniversary” edition is a major fix for an Internet Explorer vulnerability that made the news in September.

The vulnerability (officially named CVE-2013-3893) is the result of some RCE (Remote Code Execution) bugs, where an outsider can send you something and infect you with malware in any current version of Internet Explorer, including the old IE 6 in Windows XP as well as the very latest IE 11 for those using the Windows 8.1 pre-release.

Major Update for Internet Explorer

Some of these bugs are officially branded Critical, which means you should patch it as soon as possible if you don’t want crooks to figure out an unlawful way to your computer. The Internet Explorer update will require you to reboot your computer, so you’d better save your work and prepare for reboot.

As part of the usual Patch Tuesday routine, the Malicious Software Removal Tool has been updated and is also available on our SoftwarePatch website for 32-bit Windows 7 and 64-bit Windows versions. Don’t be scared if you see MRT.exe running on your computer with high CPU usage – this is perfectly normal and it is crucial to run this time of the month.

By Gergely Sumegi

What is Patch Tuesday?

Posted on: August 12th, 2013 by 1 Comment

Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of each month, when Microsoft releases security patches for many of its products. Until recently, Patch Tuesday had been followed by an “Exploit Wednesday”, as hackers reverse-engineered many of these security patches, and attacked not-yet-patched computers.

Patch Bugs

But from August 2013, thanks to the revised Active Protection Program, some security firms receive information about vulnerabilities being patched several days before the update is released. They can use these few days to come up with their own signature for these vulnerabilities and patch their software in the same time as Microsoft’s updates come out.

You don’t have to work for a security firm to get a preview of the upcoming patches. You can sign up for an advance notification using your Microsoft credentials (e.g. your Skype or Hotmail login) on the website, and receive a preview in each month straight into your inbox.

By Gergely Sumegi

Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP in April 2014

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 by No Comments

Wow, the new Windows XP! Blue taskbar, green start button and the Bliss wallpaper from a Californian landscape photo. How fresh it looked after the boring gray of the previous versions when it came out – can you believe it was 12 years ago?

And in April 2014, just 8 months from now, Microsoft will finally stop supporting the operating system that is still being used on 37% of all desktop PCs in the world. This means that more than half a billion computers are still running the oldest supported Windows version, and the operating system of these computers will no longer be supported by Microsoft after next spring.

So, if you or your company is still using Windows XP on the computers, it’s time to start considering an upgrade to a newer version. If the new Modern user interface of Windows 8 is too unfamiliar for you, then you can still choose Windows 7, which is just as reliable and will be supported for many years to come.

By Gergely Sumegi

Top 5 Apps for Windows 8

Posted on: July 31st, 2013 by No Comments

Whilst it’s fair to say that Microsoft has been late to the game when it comes to apps – where Apple remains in pole position – they are certainly doing their best in trying to catch up. The Apple App Store was answered with the Windows App Store, which to date now contains over 100,000 apps. We’ve tried to narrow down five essential apps that any Windows 8 user should have.




News Bento: This nifty app presents an interface combining top US news sites, with constant updates always coming through. Story summaries are neatly displayed in various panels – clicking on any of these will take you directly to the content app, which means you don’t need to switch to and from an external browser.




IM+: IM+ combines all the major messenger tools available, including Facebook, Google Talk, AOL, Yahoo, and so on. Rather than having to switch between different clients, you get access to your contacts in one streamlined place.




Skype: Regaling in its status as a Microsoft acquisition, Skype’s new interface complements Windows 8’s design – meaning that it gets full advantage of W8’s latest features. Even if your PC is locked or the app is closed Skype continues to run in the background, so you never have to worry about missing important calls.




8tracks: Quite possibly the best radio app on the market, 8tracks has already proved popular on the web, as well as on iOS and Android platforms. The new Windows 8 app only enhances the 8tracks experience: with a smooth interface that makes transiting between different songs and playlists a synch.




Fhotoroom: Out of all the photo-editing apps available Fhotoroom is probably the most comprehensive one. It’s brilliant for any rookie looking to get started in editing, with the tools you’d expect out of more advanced software at a beginner’s level. Experiment with exposure, saturation, and even vintage-style filters for you Instagram addicts.


Source: iOS App Store

Internet Security – What is MAPP?

Posted on: July 30th, 2013 by No Comments

The Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) was launched in 2008 to give antivirus vendors a head start against malware developers. Vendors can get information from Microsoft bulletins before it gets shared with the public, and release their signatures immediately after the bulletin is published. Microsoft is now planning to introduce some major changes to MAPP, according to the latest progress report of MRSC, the Microsoft Security Response Center.

MAPP will be renamed MAPP for Security Vendors and become a part of a larger program, and some trusted vendors will get a three day window to come up with their signatures for vulnerabilities instead of the current one-day one. A new program, called MAPP for Defenders will concentrate on threat intelligence where incident responders will get critical intelligence but are required to share theirs. Microsoft will contribute by sharing malicious URLs and other threat indicators.

A new cloud-based service, MAPP Scanner will allow participants to scan Office and other files and URLs to find out if they are malicious or not. The service will use virtual machines with all Windows versions to run its scan. This is a new way for Microsoft to discover new attacks and unknown activities.

By Gergely Sumegi

Internet security tips – What is Microsoft EMET?

Posted on: July 29th, 2013 by No Comments

As the everyday PC user has more and more software on their computer originating from vendors big and small, the likelihood of an exploitable vulnerability remaining unpatched is ever growing. The developers of your anti-virus software or the vulnerable program might not be able to patch the vulnerability as quickly as they get discovered, but there are some helpful tools to make these vulnerabilities as hard to exploit as possible. One of these tools is Microsoft EMET.

Microsoft EMET stands for Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, and it is a utility that helps preventing software vulnerabilities from being exploited. EMET is using security mitigation technologies to achieve this goal to make exploitation as difficult as possible, as a possible attacker will face extra obstacles to get through. It can be used with any software, regardless of when it was written and who the author or vendor is; it doesn’t need to be a software product of Microsoft.

EMET can be downloaded from the Microsoft TechNet page, and requires the Microsoft .NET Framework to operate, which can be downloaded from the Download section of Microsoft’s website. The latest version, EMET 4.0 has got a Certificate Trust feature to detect man-in-the-middle attacks leveraging the public key infrastructure.

After installing, EMET must be configured to protect the piece of software you want to be protected. For this, you need to provide the name of the program and its location on your PC. The above mentioned Certificate Trust will need you to provide the list of websites you want to protect. For a detailed introduction please visit where you can download the latest version that comes with a detailed user guide.

By Gergely Sumegi

Microsoft patches Office 2010 for one last time

Posted on: July 25th, 2013 by No Comments

Good news everyone: Microsoft has just released the latest and probably the last service pack for the three-year-old Office 2010 suite. Service Pack 2 is available to download from Microsoft’s Knowledge Base or through Windows Update. The patch is intended to improve the compatibility of the Office and SharePoint 2010 products with other Office and SharePoint versions, Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10. The service pack contains some previously unreleased minor fixes, such as improvements in stability, performance, and security.

The service pack contains improvements for some annoying problems in Excel 2010, such as an issue in which file sizes become larger when additional built-in styles are copied between different Excel instances. In Word, the patch fixes issues regarding bookmarks, templates, tables, autocorrect options just to name a few. Some errors in Outlook will get fixed too, such as the one occurring when you perform a spell check before sending an email. An important update in PowerPoint fixes an issue in which Mozilla Firefox crashes on a Mac computer when viewing a presentation in PowerPoint Web App.

The beta version of SP2 was available for public testing in April this year, and there were no reports of major problems with the patch. While there is no urgent security-related need to download this latest update pack, Microsoft will possibly turn Service Pack 2 into an automated update in three months’ time.

By Gergely Sumegi