Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft on security, expert says

By on April 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM.

Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft on security, expert says

Apple may be the most valuable company in the world, but when it comes to security, the Cupertino-based company doesn’t hold a candle to Microsoft. Kaspersky Lab co-founder and chief executive Eugene Kaspersky on Wednesday told CBR that Apple is a decade behind Microsoft in terms of computer security. “I think they are ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security,” Kaspersky said. “For many years I’ve been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It’s always been possible to develop Mac malware, but [Flashback] was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms.” More than 600,000 Macs were infected by the Flashback trojan virus before it was discovered earlier this month and the exploit it used to infect OS X PCs was patched. “Apple will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago,” Kaspersky said. “They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software.”

More →

No Comments

Pre-launch Windows 8 usage doubles that of OS X Mountain Lion

By on April 26, 2012 at 2:45 PM.

Pre-launch Windows 8 usage doubles that of OS X Mountain Lion

Since Microsoft released its Windows 8 Consumer Preview in February, millions of users have downloaded the software giant’s latest operating system, which looks to carefully blend its existing mobile and desktop experiences into one. According to research from ad network Chitika, the Windows 8 CP adoption rate in the U.S. and Canada has doubled that of OS X Mountain Lion, Apple’s upcoming operating system. Of course Microsoft’s Windows 8 preview is publicly available for free while Apple’s Mountain Lion preview is available only to those with paid developer accounts. Chitika’s research was conducted from April 13th to April 19th and it analyzed hundreds of millions of impressions across the Chitika ad network. The Consumer Preview makes up .1% of all Windows traffic and exhibits traffic levels more than three times the peak level that the Windows 8 Developer Preview produced. The increased level of activity is a good sign for Microsoft, which will reportedly complete work on Windows 8 this summer. According to rumors, the first wave of PCs and tablets powered by the new platform are slated to launch in October. More →

No Comments

Though risks are minimal, one in five Mac computers found to contain Windows malware

By on April 24, 2012 at 11:00 PM.

Though risks are minimal, one in five Mac computers found to contain Windows malware

Security firm Sophos on Tuesday indicated that a surprisingly high level of malware has been found on Mac computers — the firm’s research revealed that one in every five Mac computers is harboring some kind of Windows malware. Of the 100,000 customers sampled through Sophos’s antivirus offerings, 20% of users were found to be carrying one or more instances of Windows malware. The firm highlighted that Windows malware on a Mac won’t cause any harm, however, unless the computer also runs a Windows partition in addition to OS X. The company’s research found that just 2.7% of Macs that installed the company’s free anti-virus software were infected by OS X malware. Nearly all of the OS X malware discovered was an iteration of the “Flashback” trojan called “Flshplyr.” Sophos said that cybercriminals may find Macs to be targets because OS X users are less likely to be running an anti-virus software, however Macs can get viruses and the right software can keep a user’s computer safe. A second pie chart follows below. More →

No Comments

Microsoft posts Q3 beat: Operating income grows to $6.37 billion on $17.41 billion in sales

By on April 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM.

Microsoft posts Q3 beat: Operating income grows to $6.37 billion on $17.41 billion in sales

Following the huge loss reported by major mobile partner Nokia, Microsoft posted its fiscal third-quarter results on Thursday following the close of the market. Wall Street was expecting the software giant’s earnings to slide 7% year-over-year to $0.57 per share on sales of $17.18 billion, up 5% from the same quarter in 2011. Microsoft reported earnings of $0.60 per share, beating estimates, and revenue came in at $17.41 billion. Operating income totaled $6.37 billion, up 12% year-over-year. Read on for more. More →

No Comments

Microsoft reveals three editions of its next-generation operating system

By on April 17, 2012 at 8:55 AM.

Microsoft reveals three editions of its next-generation operating system

Microsoft on Monday announced that there will be three editions of its next-generation Windows 8 operating system: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. The Redmond-based company detailed each edition on its blog and promised “all editions of Windows 8 offer a no-compromise experience.” Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will support PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors, while Windows RT will be reserved for ARM-powered devices. The basic edition of Windows 8 is aimed at the average consumer, while the Windows 8 Pro edition is designed for tech enthusiasts and business and technical professionals and the RT edition is aimed at lighter-duty devices. More →

No Comments

Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone roadmap reportedly leaks

By on April 12, 2012 at 2:15 PM.

Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone roadmap reportedly leaks

Images of Microsoft’s product roadmap for partners have leaked onto the web. The documents were posted on Twitter by Maartin Visser, who discovered the them on the Microsoft Partner Network. The purported roadmap reveals new details regarding the next versions of upcoming products, including Office 15, Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Phone. Microsoft’s IE 10 could be out by mid-year according to the roadmap, possibly around around the same time as the Windows 8 Release Candidate. Office 15 is expected to enter its beta-testing phase midway through 2012 and become available in the early part of 2013. Window Phone will see “future investments” somewhere around the third quarter of this year, possibly indicating an Apollo launch. A second image can found after the break. More →

No Comments

Windows Vista enters extended support, XP support ends in 2014

By on April 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Windows Vista enters extended support, XP support ends in 2014

Microsoft products fit into two different life cycle stages — mainstream support and extended support. With mainstream support, users receive free security updates, stability improvements, bug fixes and occasional new features. In the extended support phase, security updates are available for free but other fixes require paid support. Microsoft reminded Windows XP users earlier this week that XP is now in the extended phase, and it said support for the operating system and Office 2003 will be officially discontinued by April 2014. Mainstream support for Windows Vista has also officially ended as of Tuesday, along with support for Office 2007. Both Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in the extended support phase from now until April 2017. Microsoft recommends that users with PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003 should migrate to Windows 7 and Office 2010 before support is completely cut off and systems are left vulnerable to new forms of malware. More →

No Comments

Selling used Android phones poses huge identity theft risk, expert says

By on March 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM.

Selling used Android phones poses huge identity theft risk, expert says

Android users who are looking to sell their old devices should be wary of the possible consequences. McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano warned that personal data from Android devices is not completely removed after a user activates the built-in wipe option, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there,” Siciliano said. If you have a BlackBerry or Apple device, Siciliano said your data can be fully deleted by following the manufacturer’s directions. As for smartphones running the Android operating system and computers running Windows XP, Siciliano recommends that people don’t bother with selling them at all. “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.” To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 smartphones and computers from Craigslist. The researcher was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own hacking efforts and the help of a forensic expert. The data obtained included bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins. More →

No Comments

Galaxy Nexus user defeats Windows Phone in challenge, Microsoft calls foul

By on March 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM.

Galaxy Nexus user defeats Windows Phone in challenge, Microsoft calls foul

After learning about Microsoft’s latest “Smoked by Windows Phone” challenge, Sahas Katta visited his local Microsoft store equipped with confidence and his trusty Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The Windows Phone challenge is issued to users with non-Windows Phone handsets, and it calls for these users to perform a variety of tasks faster than a Microsoft store sales associate armed with a Windows Phone. Microsoft was rewarding 10 winners a limited edition Hunger Games PC (HP Folio 13 Special Edition) valued at $1,049.00, and challengers who lose are given the option to trade in their current smartphone for an unlocked Windows Phone device. After waiting for his turn to challenge an employee, Katta’s task was to “bring up the weather of two different cities.” Katta smirked, knowing he had two weather widgets on his home screen. Victory was all but certain, until the employee proclaimed victory “just because.” Read on for more. More →

No Comments

Angry Birds Space reaches 10 million downloads in less than three days

By on March 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

Angry Birds Space reaches 10 million downloads in less than three days

Rovio on Monday announced that the company’s latest Angry Birds installment has been downloaded 10 million times in less than three days. Angry Birds Space launched last Thursday on iOS and Android devices, as well as on OS X and Windows PCs. In the fourth major Birds release, users are faced with new challenges such as zero-gravity planets and new gameplay features like slow-motion and lightspeed destruction. The game has over 60 levels, including some hidden ones, and Rovio has promised that it will receive content updates in the future. Since the game’s release, fans have dubbed it the best Birds game since the original. More →

No Comments

Windows 8 PCs and tablets set to launch in October

By on March 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

Windows 8 PCs and tablets set to launch in October

Early rumors suggested that devices running Microsoft’s next-generation Windows 8 operating system might launch as soon as this summer, but a new report places the platform’s public release in the fourth quarter. Citing multiple unnamed sources, Bloomberg on Tuesday reported that Microsoft will complete work on Windows 8 this summer, and the first wave of PCs and tablets powered by the new OS will launch in October. Intel x86 and ARM-based devices will both become available at the same time, and Microsoft will reportedly announce its launch plans to industry partners during an event in April. BGR recently reviewed Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which was unveiled during a press conference at Mobile World Congress last month, and we called it a first glimpse at the future of computing. More →

No Comments

Former top Microsoft exec: ‘Of course we are in a post-PC world’

By on March 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM.

Former top Microsoft exec: ‘Of course we are in a post-PC world’

Whether or not we are currently living in the post-PC era is no longer a question, Microsoft’s former Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie said recently. “People argue about ‘are we in a post-PC world?’. Why are we arguing? Of course we are in a post-PC world,” Ozzie said on stage Wednesday at a technology conference, according to Reuters. “That doesn’t mean the PC dies, that just means that the scenarios that we use them in, we stop referring to them as PCs, we refer to them as other things.” Apple on Wednesday unveiled the latest version of its wildly popular iPad tablet, and dozens of Android-powered media tablets will launch during 2012. Despite the continued proliferation of light-duty tablets, Microsoft is finally planning to counter the tablet craze with its upcoming Windows 8 platform, an operating system that will find its way to media tablets as well as full-fledged personal computers. Gartner said in a report on Thursday that it expects the traditional PC market to grow 4.4% in 2012 after staying flat in 2011. More →

No Comments

NASA astronaut explains gravity in new Angry Bird Space teaser [video]

By on March 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM.

NASA astronaut explains gravity in new Angry Bird Space teaser [video]

Rovio on Thursday released a video featuring NASA astronaut and International Space Station flight engineer Don Pettit. In the video, Pettit explains microgravity with the help of characters from the popular Angry Birds franchise, even making a slingshot and firing a bird across the station. The fourth major Birds release is scheduled to land on Android, iOS, OSX and Windows on March 22nd. In “Angry Birds Space,” users will be flinging birds on zero gravity planets with new gameplay features such as slow-motion and lightspeed destruction. Rovio has previously confirmed that the game will feature completely new birds along with some of the originals, who now possess various super powers. Rovio’s video follows below. More →

No Comments