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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Microsoft Releases New Free Antivirus Program

Microsoft released its Microsoft Security Essentials, the free successor to its OneCare security program.

MSE uses the same antivirus engine as the phased out OneCare, but the new free program focuses only on malware blocking. It doesn't include a firewall, system optimizer or other security suite type features.

With a 97.8 percent overall block rate as tested by It did shine in proactive tests that simulate how well an antivirus program can detect new malware that doesn't yet have a signature, and its performance there was topped only by Avira's AntiVir Personal.

Today's MSE, now available for download, doesn't add any new features or look any different from the beta version I reviewed, according to a Microsoft spokesman. The final version only includes some "code quality improvements, bug fixes, etc." when compared with that beta.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Office 2007 SP2 Supports OpenDocument Format

Office 2007 SP2 includes support for the OpenDocument Format, an open standard backed by many companies including IBM and Sun Microsystems but initially resisted by Microsoft.

Customers who download the service pack will be able to save documents in ODF and Adobe Systems' PDF, just like they would any current supported file format in Office. They can also set ODF as the default file format.

Office 2007 SP2 will also natively support PDF. Adobe initially opposed Microsoft's decision to add PDF to Office, but has since made PDF an open standard.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Lenovo Debuts Atom Based All in One PC

Lenovo has announced the availability of a new, Atom based, widescreen all in one nettop PC with an 18.5 inch screen.

The Lenovo C100 series starts at $399, and can be equipped with a single core Intel Atom 230 or dual-core Atom 330 processor, integrated graphics, DVD burner, a hard drive up to 320 Gbytes in size, and up to 2 GB of memory.

The C100 - 78691AU model is available now on Lenovo's Web site for $499, with an Intel Atom 230, 1GB of memory, 160GB hard drive, DVD burner, and runs Windows XP Home Edition. The C100 is the "little brother" to the C300 series released earlier this year.

The C100 series nettops come with the same trial antivirus and OneKey rescue and recovery utilities found on other Lenovo Desktops like the IdeaCentre series.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Read news fast with Google Fast Flip

Fast Flip is a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles. Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting. At the same time, it provides aggregation and search over many top newspapers and magazines, and the ability to share content with your friends and community.

Fast Flip also personalizes the experience for you, by taking cues from selections you make to show you more content from sources, topics and journalists that you seem to like.

Google partnered with three dozen top publishers, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Salon, Fast Company, ProPublica and Newsweek. These partners will share the revenue earned from contextually relevant ads. This gives publishers an opportunity to introduce new readers to their content. It also tests our theory that being able to read articles faster means people will read more of them, driving more ad revenue to publishers.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Critical bug infests newer versions of Microsoft Windows

Microsoft has promised to patch a serious flaw in newer versions of its Windows operating system after hackers released exploit code that allows them to take complete control of the underlying machines.

The flaw, which affects various versions of Windows Vista, 2008, and the release candidate version of Windows 7. The bug, which fails to adequately parse network negotiation requests, was previously believed only to generate a debilitating blue screen of death.

The advisory means that at present there are at least two zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft products that are relied on by large business customers.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Intel Speeds Up the Data Center With Affordable Lynnfield Chips

Intel has officially unveiled its new line of Lynnfield processors which were unofficially unveiled a few weeks ago thanks to a leak somewhere. The Lynnfield processors have a lot of the characteristics of the more robust Nehalem processors from Intel.

For both consumers and businesses, the Lynnfield processors deliver an equivalent experience to the Nehalem processors at a lower cost. The combination of the single-chip P55 chipset and the dual-channel memory controller reduce overall system costs.

Of course, the Lynnfield processors are only quad-core and use more power than the 40-watt, 6-core Istanbul processors from AMD. The cost of the system itself may be less, but looking at the total cost of ownership- including power consumption, cooling costs, and processing power per square inch of server room rack real estate, the Lynnfield may not be the better value.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Microsoft to Add 'Ping' to Bing to Share Search Results

Microsoft is testing a new feature called "Bing & Ping" for its Bing search engine that allows people to share search results on social networks Facebook and Twitter.

By clicking on one of the links, the information will post on a person's Facebook site or Twitter, or into an e-mail message.

Microsoft introduced Bing as a rebranding and update of its Live Search engine in June, and so far the engine has gotten positive reviews and has helped Microsoft increase its share against Google in number of search-engine queries.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Microsoft Offers Free Windows 7 Trial

Microsoft is offering a free 90-day trial version of Windows 7 Enterprise, the Windows Vista successor due Oct. 22. But there's a catch.

Once the 90-day trial ends, users who want to continue using the OS will have to purchase a copy and perform a clean install, including drivers and applications.

Microsoft says testers can continue to use the trial after program ends, but warned that the OS will shutdown once-an-hour after the expiration date.

Potential trial users, should also be aware that members of the following MS programs already have access to the new OS: Partner Program, MSDN Subscribers (developers). TechNet Plus subcribers, and Volume License/Software Assurance customers. If you work for a large company, ask around before downloading.

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