02.05.10

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Huge Internet Explorer Flaw, Vista 7 “Kills Batteries”, and Windows Mobile is Virtually Dead

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: More security wakeup calls, petitions; Reports suggest that Vista 7 is damaging batteries and its mobile sibling fades away

AN INTERNET EXPLORER flaw that we mentioned last week is merely the latest episode after last month’s drama [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13] that had 4 nations advise their citizens to abandon Internet Explorer. This latest flaw is finally making the news and it is confirmed:

Microsoft warned on Wednesday that a flaw in its Internet Explorer browser gives attackers access to files stored on a PC under certain conditions.

There are many more articles and discussions about it, including:

CURSED BY ITS HAIRBALL CODE, Microsoft has released another security warning relating to a bug in Internet Explorer.

In a blog post on its technet website the firm said that the vulnerability, which has been disclosed elsewhere, would give hackers access to personal information.

“MS probes bug that turns PCs into ‘public file servers’,” is the headline used by The Register:

Microsoft has begun investigating a flaw in IE that most affects older versions of Windows, and turns vulnerable systems into a “public file server”.

The vulnerability means that hackers might be able to access files with an already known filename and location, providing they can trick users into visiting a maliciously constructed website. For this approach to work, the Protected Mode feature – which runs by default in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 – needs to be absent or disabled.

Following some IE6 abandonments in the UK comes this new petition (not the first of its kind):

A PETITION has been presented to 10 Downing Street calling for the outlawing of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6.

The petition was set up by Dan Frydman of web firm Inigo. It calls for the UK government to ban Internet Exploder 6 and move to a more modern web browser.

Vista 7 Bugs

Two days ago we wrote about battery problems in Vista 7 and now we learn that it leads some people to abandoning Windows and moving to GNU/Linux:

One forum member said the glitch forced him to switch to an alternate operating system.

“After 20 years of using Microsoft OSes, I’m moving to Linuxpermanently,” wrote Russ Latham. “I just wiped Win 7 off my new Acer and installed Ubuntu 9.10. Everything works and the battery is showing normal capacity,” he wrote.

With GNU/Linux, one can optimise for better battery life, whereas “Windows 7 kills batteries,” according to the headline from The Inquirer. Microsoft is still investigating this and coming up with excuses. Microsoft rarely admits that something is its own fault. Also, Microsoft refuses to give up on Windows Mobile, despite the sad reality. From the news:

Microsoft plays down Windows Mobile

[...]

It isn’t the first time that Microsoft has missed the boat – it was also a late starter in the Internet game – but the company has all but dropped the ball with its Windows Mobile operating system.

It seems reasonable to say that Microsoft is not sure what to do next in Mobile. Windows Mobile 7 (WM7) seems like lipstick on the WM6 pig.

“Well the initial impression is how much it [Windows 7] looks like Vista. Which I think is…uh…the thing I’m not supposed to say.”

Microsoft Jack Schofield

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4 Comments

  1. overflow said,

    February 5, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Gravatar

    As a side note: Nearly the entire article on “Windows Mobile 7″ on wikipedia was written by a user called “Interframe”, who describes himself as a “technology enthusiast and Microsoft fan”, “working on improving the [...] pathetic [...] Windows Mobile Wikipedia article.”
    He regarded the “old” articles as “either out-dated or biased”, so you know how “unbiased” they are now, after he edited them.

  2. williami said,

    February 5, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh, and IE (even version 8) is a turtle. The Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark (http://service.futuremark.com/peacekeeper/) proves that. That, and the fact that IE is not a very secure browser at all, makes me give it the seal of dissaproval. Use Firefox instead.

    williami Reply:

    I meant to say that IE version Eight (diddn’t use the number because it gave me a emointoicon, 8)is a turtle.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 7, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Gravatar

    @overflow

    Yes, Microsoft has PR agencies “fixing” Wikipedia.

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