Microsoft Windows Vista – Four Years On

Microsoft Windows Vista – the operating system that has been known more for its malfunctioning and loopholes than the amazing new set of features that it came with is now four years old. It was in November 2006 that Microsoft released, what it called the “highest quality version of Windows that we’ve ever produced“, for manufacturing.

While the malfunctions of Vista have been pretty well documented, it also needs to be noted that this was still only a topic of discussion among nerds and that the notoreity that the software did not affect the sale of Vista units itself significantly. Also, with the majority of issues being ironed out with the release of SP1, users did not have much to complain about.

Nevertheless, with the success of its successor, Windows 7, it is safe to assume that Microsoft’s nightmares with the release of Vista are well and truly over.

Age Of Average Workplace Computer : 4.4 Years & Running Windows XP

It’s the proverbial half-glass-full scenario. At the recent Microsoft Worldwide partners conference, Tammi Reller, the CVP of Microsoft Windows has revealed that nearly 74% of the present day workplace PCs run Windows XP – the nearly decade old Windows Operating System which has since then been replaced by Windows Vista and now Windows 7.

It’s not necessarily because consumers are wary of the newly launched Windows 7. Rather, it is probably due to the fact that workplace computers have a longer usage life and at an average age of 4.4 years, most of these computers are presumably seen to have more lifetime – enough to have Windows 7 waiting.

While Windows Vista was indeed available close to 4 years back, the operating system did not fare well in the market because of several reported bugs that made many manufacturers to install their computers with the older XP. Also, with Windows 7 requiring higher processing speed, it is likely that these old PCs may not sustain the processing requirements of the latest OS.

So as for Microsoft, it is still seeing this as an opportunity to expand their growth. Steve Ballmer expects 350 million Windows 7 licenses to be sold in 2010.

Microsoft Windows XP Security Vulnerability Exploited By Malicious Code

A new security flaw has been detected on the older versions of Microsoft Windows Operating system – namely Windows XP and Windows 2000. The vulnerability will allow hackers to exploit the system and subsequently run malicious code.

In a statement released to the media, Microsoft Group Manager Jerry Bryant said that his team was presently investigating the issue. The company has also confirmed that they are unaware of any attempts by hackers to make use of the vulnerability so far.

According to Secunia, the flaw could arise due to a boundary error in a function that was employed on these versions of the Windows operating system. Microsoft has termed the vulnerability “moderately critical“.

Microsoft Office 2011 For Mac To Be Closer To Windows Version

In an effort to improve cross-platform compatibility, Microsoft has revealed that its upcoming 2011 version of Microsoft Office for Mac productivity suite will offer greater feature parity with the Windows version.

The new version shall offer improved support for Exchange and Visual Basic Applications. You may recall that support for VBA was dropped in the 2008 version of Mac Office.

The new tool also brings co-authoring tools to the platform. In a press release, Microsoft has said,

“The new co-authoring tools in Office 2011 give you and your teammates the ability to work on a file from Word, PowerPoint or Excel [via the Office Web App version only] from different locations, brainstorm ideas, and stay on the same page regardless of time, geography or platform. Co-authoring improves the processes of working together, removing the pain and frustration of multiple versions, lost edits, or even trying to set a time for the group to meet. With this new feature you can keep track of your team with the Presence Everywhere feature that gives real-time status updates on who is working on the document directly in the application.”

[via Apple Insider]

New Secure Foxit Reader 3.3 Released

Foxit, the developers of the popular PDF reader application that is known to be much agile than its famous counterpart, Adobe Acrobat has released a new version 3.3 of its PDF reading application that secures the system from external command attacks.

Foxit Reader 3.3 for Windows includes a “Trust Manager” that is switched on by default that prevents external documents from plugged into PDF documents. The company explains,

“The new Secure Trust Manager enables users to allow or deny unauthorized actions and data transmission, including URL connection, attachments PDF actions, and JavaScript functions; efficiently avoiding the attack from malicious contents and viruses.”

You can download the latest version of Foxit reader by clicking here.

Toshiba Slates In Multiple Form Factors & OS Launching This Year

Yet another day when a company has unleashed its plans to launch a slate PC. Following upon an impressive 50% jump in US sales in the first quarter, Japanese tech major Toshiba has announced its plans to launch slate PCs in the market later in the year.

Interestingly, the company is learnt to be banking on multiple OS and form factors for its success. Users may expect Windows based tablet PCs with dual screen as well as a single 10″ display screen. Also, Android based tablet PCs are expected to be launched.

Like other executives in the past, Jeff Barney, the GM for digital products at Toshiba America too thinks the market for such a device is expansive and shall not be cannibalistic. Quite expectedly, Toshiba thinks the device will be a hit among media consuming users.

[via Reuters]