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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Windows 7 Sales Beat Mac OS X Market Share

Windows 7 passed the 5% market share milestone last weekend, which put it above the total market share of all versions of Apple's Mac OS X, a Web measurement firm has said. "It's safe to say that Windows 7's daily share did peak above Mac's weekly share," said Vince Vizzaccaro, executive vice president at Net Applications.

In fact, Windows overall market share of 92.64% for the week of Nov. 15-21 was slightly higher than the OS's October share of 92.52%. The last time that Windows showed any appreciable increase in share was June 2009, when it gained 0.21%. Windows biggest increase in the last two years was in March 2008, when it jumped 0.28%. CEO Steve Ballmer told shareholders that Windows 7 had sold twice the number of copies as any other Microsoft operating system in the same time span.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Google Widens the Road for Android Nav App

Google has rolled out a new version of its free Google Maps Navigation application that's compatible with smartphones running the Android 1.6 operating system, such as T-Mobile's myTouch 3G and its G1. When the app was introduced last month in beta, it could only be used by smartphones running Android 2.0, the latest version of the OS, such as Verizon's Droid.

Google Maps Navigation is an Internet-connected GPS system with voice guidance and automatic rerouting. Users enter a destination, and the app then delivers a map, business info, traffic data, and satellite and street view imagery along the route. Its key feature, however, is the ability to provide turn-by-turn voice directions similar to navigation systems such as TomTom that must be purchased.

Google Maps Navigation is viewed as a threat to GSP-guided voice navigation systems that have a price tag attached.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Ballmer Touts Windows 7 Sales

Microsoft Corp. has sold twice as many copies of Windows 7 in its first few weeks than any previous version of the operating system, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said. A company spokeswoman said Mr. Ballmer was referring to both boxed copies of Windows 7 and copies it sells to PC makers for inclusion on their machines.

The new software, which has received favorable reviews, also could give Microsoft a badly needed image boost in the wake of Windows Vista, which suffered from technical snafus when it was launched in 2007.

Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft does "quite well" among students but said the company can improve its standing in that market. "Windows 7 gives us a real opportunity to come back again at audiences that have been tougher for us". Apple's share of new PC shipments in the U.S. was 9.2% in the third quarter, up from 4.8% in the same period four years ago.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Microsoft Warns On Windows 7 Zero Day

Microsoft has released an advisory for a zero day bug that cropped up in Windows 7 the day after last week's November Patch Tuesday release. The vulnerability lies in the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which is used for file and printer sharing, and can reportedly be used by attackers to remotely crash any Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 system.

Microsoft is "actively monitoring" the vulnerability with the help of partners in its Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP), and may decide to fix the issue in next month's Patch Tuesday update or through a rare out-of-band patch, the company said in the advisory.

In the advisory, Microsoft also chides unnamed parties for not following the principles of responsible disclosure. Last week, security researcher Laurent Gaffie published a proof of concept for the flaw on the Full Disclosure mailing list.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

DNS Problem Linked to DDoS Attacks Gets Worse

ISPs are distributing consumer modems that could be used in DDoS attacks, researchers say. Internet security experts say that misconfigured DSL and cable modems are worsening a well-known problem with the Internet's DNS (domain name system), making it easier for hackers to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against their victims.

According to research set to be released in the next few days, part of the problem is blamed on the growing number of consumer devices on the Internet that are configured to accept DNS queries from anywhere, what networking experts call an "open recursive" or "open resolver" system.

Because modems configured as open recursive servers will answer DNS queries from anyone on the Internet, they can be used in what's known as a DNS amplification attack.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Windows 7 use continues to climb

Adoption of Windows 7 continues to grow, with the weeks-old operating system accounting for 4 percent of PCs accessing the Web over the past weekend. By contrast, it took Windows Vista seven months to reach that level.

The new operating system tends to do better on weekends, the time when consumer use accounts for more of the market and then share dips back somewhat as the work week starts. Market researcher NPD said last week that boxed copy sales of Windows 7 were also outpacing those of Windows Vista in its initial days on the market.

Microsoft has also said it is seeing strong interest from businesses, although typically corporations take many months to test a new operating system before deploying it widely.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Microsoft cuts 800 more jobs

Microsoft said that it is notifying approximately 800 workers that their jobs are being eliminated as the software giant completes the layoffs it announced earlier this year. Once these cuts are made, it will have eliminated approximately 5,800 jobs.

The job cuts were spread across multiple businesses and around the globe. Microsoft didn't announce any specific products that are getting the axe as a a result of Wednesday's cuts, although it has cut a variety of products in recent months, including Microsoft Money, Windows Live OneCare and, just this past week, its small business accounting product line.

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