07.05.10

Cash Cows Watch: Windows and Office Are Suffering

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cows

Summary: A roundup of one week’s news about Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office

THE reality behind Vista 7 continues to expose itself and Windows in general has grown somewhat weak, unless one judges it based on mockups. “Vista” was mentioned in last week’s news (headlines) only once, in relation to security issues. Insecurity and Windows are almost synonymous in the context of computing. New from IDG: “Death of Windows XP SP2 Support a Security Risk, Says Report”

There was not so much in the news headlines about “Windows 7″ either. Instead, Microsoft boosters started touting something which does not even exist — something which may actually harm adoption of Vista 7, according to IDG:

The Web is abuzz following the leak of an alleged Windows 8 presentation outlining Microsoft’s vision for the next iteration of the flagship desktop operating system. As media pundits speculate on the potential features and capabilities of Windows 8, the news also has the potential to make some IT administrators and business customers currently considering a migration to Windows 7 to hold off.

The Microsoft boosters from IDG were actually critical of it:

Also from IDG:

‘Don’t Get Excited’ About Windows 8, Says Analyst

[...]

Leaked Windows 8 slides, which may not be genuine, include a development timeline without dates. (Credit: Windows Kitchen)

We are citing and comparing IDG articles only for the sake of reference. We hardly recommend IDG as a news source.

The thing is, IDG also had its share of good words about something that does not quite exist (without verifiable evidence at least):

Let’s get back to the malarkey about “Windows 8″. Some say it’s accidental [1, 2], but it probably is not. Microsoft has already been caught faking “leaks” (pushing it voluntarily and pretending it was in error), just like Apple. It’s a marketing strategy.

Getting back to reality, Microsoft boosters are still floating articles about Vista 7 SP1. It will potentially be more disruptive than constructive:

Windows 7 SP1 Beta and Microsoft Security Essentials Can Fail to Play Nice Together

Major upgrades to Windows client and server platforms introduce extensive changes both on the surface and under-the-hood, down to the very core of the operating systems. It’s no wonder then, that the installation of new service packs can be prevented by programs designed with the specific purpose of safeguarding the platforms’ integrity. Early adopters deploying the Beta of the first Service Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 can experience installation problems if they are running security software on their computers. According to Microsoft, the issues can affect Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta when testers attempt to have it integrated on top of Windows 7 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM on computers where Microsoft Security Essentials or Microsoft Forefront Client Security are already installed.

No matter one’s personal opinion on Vista 7, it is being dumped by HP, at least for tablets/Slate. Now it’s more official:

Hewlett-Packard completed its acquisition of Palm this week and gave a hint that it could be ditching Microsoft’s Windows 7 Home Premium operating system for Palm’s webOS platform in the upcoming HP Slate tablet PC.

“HP Reveals Plans for WebOS Tablet,” says IDG:

HP has officially completed the acquisition of Palm, making it the proud owner of Palm’s coveted intellectual property including WebOS. It is hardly a surprise that before the ink was even dry on finalizing the purchase, HP announced its intent to build an array of mobile devices around the WebOS platform–including the predicted WebOS tablet.

Microsoft Nick confirms this too. HP dumps Vista 7 and moves to Linux (for this form factor at least).

Dealing separately with security problems in Windows, most Windows users are susceptible to 0-day attacks at the moment:

The number of malicious attacks exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in older versions of Windows has mushroomed over the past week, prompting Microsoft to warn customers to deploy countermeasures until an update is released.

This is also covered in:

This workaround is not a solution and amateur users will not be able to apply the changes. “Trojan Writers Target UK Banks With Botnets,” says this new IDG report (they say “PCs” instead of “Windows PCs”)

The company identifies two pieces of malware — the previously undetected Silon.var2 and the longer-established Agent.DBJP – as the two bank Trojans being distributed by Zeus-based botnets using UK-infected PCs.

Silon.var2 now affects 1 in every 500 UK-based PCs connected to the Trusteer Flashlight system, 40 times the detection level for the US, with Agent.DBJP affecting 1 in every 5,000 UK-based PCs, again far higher than for the US.

Windows does not offer applications much protection as an underlying platform:

Applications in Windows have many privileges that enable them to mess up the entire system rather than a confined sandbox. It’s an architectural issue. Even the newly-released Office 2010 (c/f [1, 2, 3] for perspective) has security problems already (will Microsoft blame Microsoft for not bothering with “Windows defences”?)

Researchers at Vupen Security say they have uncovered a security vulnerability in Microsoft Office 2010. However, their discovery has been met with criticism from Microsoft, which complains that it has not received technical details of the bug.

As IBM acquires BigFix [1, 2] it also turns out that Microsoft Office could use some of that. According to this news, it’s buggy. Here are the details:

You’ve seen it before: That strange, cutesy “J” that occasionally appears in email and seems contextually like it’s meant to be a smiling emoticon. You may even be sending these little “J”s without even knowing it. Tech blogger Chris Pirillo explains:

[F]or some inexplicable reason [In Microsoft Office applications], some brilliant engineer thought it wise to correct “:)” as a smiley rendered in a specific font face when composing rich text documents (and/or HTML email). This is why people think you’re crazy for inserting random “J” characters in your emails — they don’t have the same fonts installed on their machine!

Wonderful. And this is what people pay a fortune for? For those who pay Microsoft for ActiveSync patents to merely use its protocols there is also trouble in store. Here is another new problem which hypePhone 4 suffers from:

Bug in iOS4 Exchange ActiveSync hammers servers

[...]

Bugs in the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) implementation in iOS4 were resulting in significant artificial loads on Exchange servers that they are connected to for push email. As outlined by the Microsoft Exchange Team blog, another symptom of the problem involves email, calendar or contact entries not synching properly.

Got to love proprietary software. Apple is just trying to step in line with Exchange/Office, which really ought to be replaced.

There are missing bits in Office 2010, Mary Jo Foley alleges (based on readers’ feedback), which maybe explains the poor reviews of Office 2010 (2/5 in Amazon). It’s just another Office 2007 with a Web extension. It’s still a resource hog that does not comply with international standards [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Microsoft is still pretending that Free software does not exist (while quietly recruiting and advertising jobs that attack OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3]). Here is a pathetic new attempt to fight competition from OpenOffice.org/Google and another similar attempt to fight competition from Apache. There is also an element of FUD there, sometimes promoted by Microsoft boosters like Lance Whitney and others:

Microsoft is misdirecting the perception of competition, sometimes with former employees. Microsoft Nick says that “Google Docs Has Microsoft a Bit Worried,” but what about Free software such as OpenOffice.org? Google Docs is proprietary.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2010/07/05/windows-office-issues-galore/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  2. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  3. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  4. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  6. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now



  7. Virtual Injustice -- Part 10: Vapid and Superficial Coverage in the 'IP' Blogosphere

    The media has come under attack by Benoît Battistelli; during the term of António Campinos most of the media critical of the EPO has mostly vanished already; so one needs to look carefully at comments and social control media



  8. Links 18/6/2021: RasPad 3 and Pushing Rust Into the Linux Kernel

    Links for the day



  9. Heli Pihlajamaa Promoting Software Patents to Patent Maximalists

    "Ms Pyjamas" from the EPO is promoting illegal software patents to a bunch of patent zealots (CIPA)



  10. The Lying by Team UPC, Led Again by Kevin Mooney

    Team UPC, or specifically Mr. Mooney, lies to the public about the prospects of the UPC; similarly, EPO and EU officials keep bringing up false claims about the UPC, so while the UPC itself has likely died for good the lies have not



  11. Links 17/6/2021: Cutelyst 3 and Lenovo Move Towards ThinkPad BIOS Configuration From Within Linux

    Links for the day



  12. Too Much Noise and/or Distraction and General Loss of Focus (on the Real and Urgent Issues, Such as the Ongoing Anti-FSF 'Coup')

    The media is full of Microsoft fluff and technical blog posts still focus on the Freenode fiasco, among other things that don't matter all that much; but we certainly need to talk about steps undertaken to undermine the FSF's power because long-term ramifications may be huge



  13. [Meme] The Enlarged Bored People With Presidential Decrees

    The laughable state of the EPO‘s EBA (or EBoA) is rarely commented on anymore, not even in so-called ‘IP’ blogs; maybe they’re just so eager to see patents on everything, even European software patents, so tyrants who destroy the courts (with UPC lobbying and removal of EBA independence) don’t bother them so much anymore



  14. Response to Misinformation From EPO Officials

    Opponents of European software patents are clearly being mischaracterised by EPO officials, who also use meaningless buzzwords to promote such patents; as an aside or footnote that relates to our ongoing series we’re making this quick video, which is days late



  15. [Meme] Tilting the Scales for Software Patents

    Shovelling up lots of patents, even worthless patents such as software patents, dooms the EPO (EPC violations, lawlessness), dooms European professionals, but the wrong people have been put in charge and courts are being intimidated by them



  16. Virtual Injustice -- Part 9: Heli, the EPO's Nordic Ice-Queen

    Team Campinos is full of people who instead of grasping and working to promote innovation are boosting the agenda of litigation (scientists are not being employed)



  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 16, 2021



  18. Links 17/6/2021: elementary OS 6 Beta 2 and JingPad Linux Tablet Crowdfunding

    Links for the day



  19. Techrights Statement on IRC

    Freenode needs to explain what the hell happened this week and why communities that make up the network weren't informed or consulted



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 15, 2021



  21. Virtual Injustice -- Part 8: A Well-Connected 'IP' Maximalist

    The EPO‘s lobbying for European software patents goes all the way to the top, including António Campinos and his circle



  22. Links 16/6/2021: Alpine 3.14.0 and DXVK 1.9

    Links for the day



  23. Links 15/6/2021: Debian Installer Bullseye RC 2 and Zink Updates

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, June 14, 2021



  25. Virtual Injustice -- Part 7: Musical Chairs and Revolving Doors

    Cross pollination in Alicante and Munich serves to show that people aren't picked for their skills and experience; it's like a private club or a clique



  26. Hardly Shocking and Not At All Surprising That Thugs Who Run the EPO Hired External Thugs to Help Them Oppress Aggrieved Staff

    With the EPO's management flooding the bank accounts of aggressive law firms (at our expense) we need to ask serious questions about how such a "Mafia" (what EPO staff calls the management) managed to metastasise inside Europe's second-largest institution and how to remove this "Mafia" as soon as possible (some arrests too are well overdue)



  27. [Meme] There Are No Elections in Mafia-Type Regimes; It's About Family and Friends...

    With no real concept or notion of "elections" (the so-called 'mafia' members choose their successors and colleagues) the EPO's patent examiners clearly need outside intervention, e.g. inquest by the EU authorities (the EPC died and maybe the EPO too; it's unregulated and it grants false patents that harm Europe because the courts don't function, either)



  28. Today's Linux Standing for the Opposite of What Linux Users Stand for

    The so-called 'Linux' Foundation or the "Corporate Linux Foundation" is alienating many of the original users of GNU/Linux and it still insults their intelligence; it's rewriting history, it still distorts the objectives, and before we know Linux will perish and lose momentum because all the excitement associated with the brand will fizzle away



  29. Links 14/6/2021: Kdenlive 21.04.2 and Raspberry Pi 400 Support in Linux

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] EPO 'Lawfulness' as Crude Budget Wars

    A war of attrition against EPO staff won’t ensure justice is done; it’ll only increase the number of casualties and accomplish nothing good


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts