24 November: Media Player 7 security flaw
A security flaw in Media Player 7 lets unauthorised users run arbitrary
code on a victim's PC if the latter is viewing a Web site or accessing an
The discovery was made by GFI, a developer of email content-checking
software. Microsoft has been notified and has issued an advisory.
24 November: WinME can't handle more than 512 megs of memory
Our sample P4 and D850GB mobo, supplied with Windows ME installed, ran
perfectly happily with the 256MB of RDRAM shipped to us. It also ran
perfectly happily with the 512MB of RDRAM that Kingston sent us. Only
when we tried to run both together did we hit problems.
No matter which configurations we tried, the system would not run with
768MB of memory, returning the error message: "There is not enough
memory available to run this program. Quit one or more programs, and then
try again." The answer turned out to be far more mundane: Windows ME simply
can't cope with more than 512MB of memory.
23 November: How PCs shipped without Windows will destroy your
In a propaganda page aimed squarely at its OEM customers, Microsoft goes
to considerable lengths to blacken the reputation of what it terms "Naked
PCs." A Naked PC, since you ask, is one of those boxes that you can (but
generally, oh no you can't) buy without an operating system. Try it, you'll
find it's really quite difficult anyway, and Microsoft wants its OEMs to
make it even more difficult. It wants them to refuse to sell you one.
20 November: Security problem found in Microsoft software
Microsoft's Web browser has a security vulnerability that lets malicious programmers find temporary Internet file folders
and take over a target computer, a security expert reported Monday.
Noted bug hunter Georgi Guninski reported the vulnerability on the Bugtraq security mailing list. He said the problem affects
Internet Explorer 5.5 and Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express email clients.
The vulnerability exploits ".chm" files, a compressed help file format, Guninski said. He added that the vulnerability could be prevented by disabling active scripting, a browser
setting that offers more functions but has been repeatedly associated with potential security
19 November: Office 10 beta underwhelming users
While the marketing machine at Microsoft Corp. is in overdrive promoting Office 10—the next-generation Office suite, due
by the middle of next year—the software itself has yet to get in gear.
Beta 2 of the desktop applications suite, released late last month, offers not much new on the speech recognition front and
only somewhat more improve ment elsewhere compared with the troubled first beta, testers said. Much of the promised
functionality lacking in the first beta included offline storage; translation options; and speech recognition technology.
9 November: Microsoft to disclose its political contributions?
Microsoft will face its first two shareholder resolutions ever at its annual
meeting later today. One calls for greater disclosure of the company's
political contributions, while the other calls for Microsoft to behave in
accordance with the China Labor and Human Rights Principles.
Microsoft is opposing both, so they won't go through - they will however
have the designed effect of training the spotlight on the companies'
activities in both areas.
8 November: MS hacked by Dimitri again?
The hacker that gained access to several Microsoft servers through a
known security hole on Friday claims he did it again yesterday (Tuesday).
Dimitri says he uploaded a file called oopsididitagain which mocked MS'
A Vote for Tech Is a Vote for ...
This week's election will not only decide the name of the person who gets to move into the White
It will also determine the views of Cabinet officials, assistant secretaries, and thousands of mid-level
bureaucrats, who together will influence how the new administration approaches and regulates technology. Aaron Lukas, a critic of the Microsoft antitrust suit, predicts that "a Bush administration would
be give us a more flexible, market-oriented regulatory apparatus that is more
appropriate ... A vibrant technology sector
requires a hand-off approach from Washington, and Bush is less inclined to touch."
It's true that antitrust is one of the tech areas in which a substantial difference exists
between the major party candidates.
Al Gore has reaffirmed his support
for antitrust law, and he generally backs the case against Microsoft.
3 November: Another hacker hits Microsoft
One week after Microsoft Corp. reported an intrusion into
its corporate networks, another hacker claimed to have penetrated the company's
Web servers on Friday.
The Dutch hacker, using the alias 'Dimitri,' said that Microsoft failed to install a
patch for a known bug in its Internet Information Server (IIS) software, and has
not sufficiently secured its Web servers, he said in an interview with the IDG News
3 November: MS charges students who don't use its software
A US university has outraged its student rag by trying to charge $20 for
Microsoft software access - even if students don't use it.
According to Microsoft, the proposed scheme is part of its campus
licensing agreement - which lets colleges and schools get cheaper licenses
in volume from resellers.
"Students have legal access to a broad platform of products [through the
scheme]," Marcia Kuszmaul, Microsoft Industrial Relations manager told
The Register. The $20 fee includes access to Windows OS, Office, Web
development tools and upgrades.
But when colleges sign up for the scheme they can't just buy the number of
licences they need, they are forced to sign up every student - or they
cannot get the budget prices.
1 November: Developers' friend or foe?
Bob Lokken read the press release and saw his company evaporating.
Microsoft's relationships with its roughly 10,000 independent
software developers have always been complex. Development shops
can profit enormously by creating software for the world's most
popular PC platform, but Microsoft's tendency to follow its
independent software vendors into new markets also puts their
products at risk. "Our first product was completely wiped off the map, and our second
product became the genesis of the company," Lokken said.
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