Microsoft Sued Over Windows XP Downgrade Fees

16 02 2009

Microsoft was sued by Emma Alvarado over the fees they charge over DOWNGRADING from Vista to XP

Microsoft gets sued over Windows XP downgrade fees – Engadget


Microsoft Thumbtack

10 12 2008

Hot on the heels of its Web news tracking service Political Streams, the Live Labs team at Microsoft has a new tool called Thumbtack. Similar to Listas,
a previous Microsoft Live Labs project, Thumbtack lets users grab
chunks of information from Web pages and store it in the cloud.

These chunks of information can be tagged, and strewn about canvas
pages as self contained eco-systems of content. Users can go in to edit
them at any time and invite others to view their work. There is however
no real-time collaboration, meaning your collection can be shared, but
not worked on at the same time.

Unlike the note-taking found in Listas, Microsoft seems to have
learned that not everyone uses Internet Explorer. To that end the
company now provides a bookmarklet that lets you grab Web content,
which is a step forward compared to Listas’ use of a installed toolbar. It gives you the option to tag and preview content before sending it to Microsoft’s servers.

The big caveat is that there’s no support for Google’s Chrome, and
minimal support Firefox. Mozilla users miss out on the special IE-only
canvas view mode which lets you maneuver your notes around a virtual
workspace. Non-IE users are also unable to use the copy function, which
lets you temporarily put an entire Thumbtack stack in your clipboard
before pasting it into another collection.

Users are given an unlimited amount of storage, which is something
that might change once the service leaves its “technology preview”
status. The application handles full-resolution photos from the Web,
although not videos, which Microsoft says will be supported in a later version.

YouTube #2 Search Engine

17 10 2008

ComScore’s most U.S. search engine Rankings for August 2008 suggest
that YouTube achieves a greater level of search traffic than Yahoo. If
you were to consider YouTube’s integrated search a regular search
engine, you would have to hand Google the top two spots for search
engine traffic. In combination, Google has about four times the search
traffic of Yahoo and more than ten times the search traffic of
Microsoft’s MSN sites.

Windows 7

14 10 2008

Microsoft is expected to be handing out pre-betas of Windows 7 to developers at WinHEC and PDC soon, and it looks like it’s settled on an official name for its next-gen OS – Windows 7.

Microsoft to Issue Security Patches

9 10 2008

On Thursday, Microsoft announced four security bulletins for next week. The announcement is intended as a heads-up for IT departments before Patch Tuesday. Four fixes are considered critical, six important, and one is moderate as ranked by the software giant.

Starting this month, Microsoft is sharing the technical details of new vulnerabilities to give software developers a catch to update affected products before the public announcement. And on Tuesday, Microsoft is expected to provide with each bulletin an “exploitability index” to help system administrators prioritize the patches.

Among the critical patches one each affects Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Host Integration Server, and Microsoft Excel. All four could enable remote code execution if exploited.

Of the important patches, all six affect Windows, and could enable remote code execution or elevation of privilege if exploited.

The lone moderate patch affects Windows Office and could enable information disclosure if exploited.

XP Won’t Die!!!

4 10 2008

Microsoft has stepped up its effort to promote its Vista operating system, but Windows XP just isn’t going away.  The company reportedly extended the OEM downgrade timeline once again: As of now, system builders can still offer Windows XP downgrades to their customers and will be able to do so until Vista’s second birthday.  

Microsoft’s deadline for allowing OEMs to sell PCs with systems that are “downgraded” from Windows Vista to XP is still a moving target. Initially planned to expire on June 30 of this year, Microsoft at first granted an extension to July 31. However, OEMs are still selling the downgrade option (often for a premium) and, according to new reports, the deadline apparently has been officially extended for six more months to January 31, 2009. The information is based on one leaked email sent to an OEM.

The decision indicates that there is still substantial demand for Windows XP and demand for Vista and its features may not be quite as convincing as the Microsoft usually claims. However, it also raises questions about the firm’s recently launched $300 million Windows advertising campaign that is designed to push Vista sales and there are certainly reasons to believe that a user who now purchases a Windows XP PC is unlikely to ever upgrade to Windows Vista: Windows 7 is expected to arrive in early H2 2009.   

As before, the XP downgrade is available from some OEMs with the purchase a PC with Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate.

Microsoft Updates Online Services

30 09 2008

On Monday, Microsoft updated two of its Live services: Windows Live Hotmail and Live Maps. Of the two, the changes to Hotmail are not yet available to everyone. The company began rolling it out to some of its users this weekend, with everyone else getting their hands on it in the next few weeks. It’s the newer, faster version of the service that brings in gains of up to 70 percent compared with older versions of Hotmail. (Read more about that here.)

Meanwhile, Live Search Maps, Microsoft’s online mapping tool has a really neat new way to get directions using local landmarks and local businesses. If the service picks up on one of these landmarks as part of your route, it will use it in addition to the street name. Oftentimes this comes in handy where a business has better signage than the city, which in the case of car dealerships and fast food restaurants is almost always true.

Chris Pendleton, Microsoft Virtual Earth’s Tech Evangelist, says these landmarks are currently limited to these six categories:

  • Gas Stations
  • Major National Chains of Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Convenience Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Car Dealerships

To help get you there, there’s a new multistop trip planner–a feature Google Maps has had since late 2006. This means you can add other addresses between the point A and point B of your trip, then print it out to stick in your car.

The service is also now instantly indexing community maps. Maps that users have created will now be able to be searched by everyone immediately. The user-created items will also be mixed in with business results, which means you or someone else could enter in a business’ address and phone number before it’s been officially added and have it show up in regular searches. Neat.