New vulnerability endangers Internet Explorer users

By: Doug Zbikowski

iewarn

UPDATE (May 1, 2014, 1:30pm ET): Microsoft has released an emergency patch for the Internet Explorer vulnerability. In a surprise move, they also released an update for Windows XP! Head over to Windows Update to get it.

A new bug has been discovered that could put Internet Explorer users at serious risk. Until the problem is fixed security experts are calling on users to switch to an alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. In a rare move, the US Government is advising to users to switch to another browser until Internet Explorer is fixed.

On April 26th, 2014, Microsoft announced that all versions of Internet Explorer are at risk for “drive-by” attacks from malicious websites. This new vulnerability, dubbed CVE-2014-1776, has the potential to give hackers direct access to your computer, allowing infected web sites to install malicious applications, create new Windows accounts, and change or delete data stored on the computer. Disturbingly, these attacks have actually been observed in the wild by Internet security firm FireEye, who started observing this type of attack as early as February. Microsoft says attacks seem to be coming from websites that feature advertisement feeds or user-provided content where an attacker could insert malicious code. At this time it is unknown whether Microsoft will release an emergency patch or wait until patch Tuesday on May 13th to fix the vulnerability. Continue reading “New vulnerability endangers Internet Explorer users”

Using Windows 8? Windows 8.1 free upgrade is now available!

Windows 8. Love it or hate it, it’s what you can expect to be using if you buy a new PC these days. Microsoft stirred up more controversy with its latest operating system than anything in recent memory by completely changing the familiar Start button based interface we’ve come to love over the last 18-or-so years. In its place is a screen full of bright colors and big tiles, and with Windows 8.1 Microsoft’s flashy new OS is getting its first facelift. Overall, the changes are minor, but bring some much-needed options and tweaks to make Windows 8 more comfortable. Continue reading “Using Windows 8? Windows 8.1 free upgrade is now available!”

Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview now available to Windows 7 users

Microsoft posted a “preview release” of Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) for Windows 7 on Tuesday, with hints that a final release will be made available in December.

The  “IE10 Release Preview,” as it’s called, appeared on Microsoft’s site early Tuesday and is only available for Windows 7. The newly released Windows 8 already has a full version of IE10 integrated, and the word on the street is Windows Vista (and obviously Windows XP) will not be supported for this release. If this proves correct, it will make Microsoft the first web browser maker to drop Vista support, just as it was the only developer to drop support for Windows XP when IE9 shipped last year. Continue reading “Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview now available to Windows 7 users”

Get Windows 8 for Dummies e-book for free!

Windows 8 for Dummies - Pocket EditionI freely admit it. I’m not the biggest fan of Windows 8. I tried out the beta test version and thought “Well, it’s not quite finished.” I tried the release candidate version and thought “Well, maybe they’ll fix it before release.” Now I’m running the retail version and saying “Ugh, this thing is a mess.”

If you’re not familiar with the changes in Windows 8, it’s essentially Microsoft trying to get everyone to start using touch-screen devices. Don’t get me wrong…the new OS works great on the new MS Surface tablets. But, using an operating system optimized for touch on a laptop or desktop computer is proving to be more frustrating than innovative. They even have touchscreen-equipped  laptops and desktops out now that allow you to “experience Windows 8 the way it was designed”. Continue reading “Get Windows 8 for Dummies e-book for free!”

Happy 11th Birthday Windows XP – Not Quite Dead Yet

Today Microsoft is in New York starting its festivities for Windows 8, its latest operating system that promises to merge tablet and PC computing into a brand new environment. However, in the back room Windows XP is quietly celebrating its 11th birthday. October 25th, 2001 was the day Windows XP was unleashed, becoming the most successful operating system in history.

I’m sure Microsoft hopes to have the same success with Windows 8, but its track-record has been hit and miss…history shows the “odd” number releases are usually the good ones. We’ll have to see if Windows 8 breaks that mold.

Windows XP was so successful because it solved a lot of pain-points for PC users at the time. Hardware installation, file limitations, memory management…all of these issues made computers more of a complicated tool rather than the appliance-like device it is seen as today. Windows XP is the product that made that possible. Its so well made that even 11 years after its introduction, XP is still used 41% of the world’s personal computers as of September 2012. Only the much newer Windows 7 has a larger share, and it didn’t surpass Windows XP until August! Continue reading “Happy 11th Birthday Windows XP – Not Quite Dead Yet”