Week in Geek: Microsoft Adds 5 More Years Consumer Support for Windows Vista and 7

By Akemi Iwaya on February 26th, 2012

Our last edition of WIG for February is filled with news link goodness such as Chrome’s possible new password generator, Mozilla’s upcoming marketplace for open web apps, Canonical’s release of Ubuntu for Android, and more.

Weekly News Links

  • Microsoft extends consumer support for Windows 7, Vista
    Support will now run for a total of 10 years from when the operating systems were released, meaning end dates of 2020 for Windows 7 and 2017 for Vista.
  • Who needs Dropbox when Windows 8 has SkyDrive?
    Microsoft revealed its plans this past Monday for SkyDrive which will include a new Metro-style Windows 8 app, integration into the Windows Explorer desktop, and the ability to retrieve any remote files (uploaded to SkyDrive or not) through SkyDrive.com for machines connected to the service.
  • Will the death of two MS brands accompany Windows 8 birth?
    Microsoft is reportedly planning to kill off Windows Live, Zune brands at the announcement of the preview version of Windows 8.
  • Early Office 15 screenshots show elegant fusion of ribbon and Metro
    Though Microsoft is extending the Metro styling to many of its products, Office 15 will still use the ribbon interface first introduced in Office 2007. But that ribbon interface has been given a Metro twist.
  • Ubuntu for Android: Canonical brings Ubuntu desktop to docked smartphones
    Canonical has announced a new product called Ubuntu for Android that will bring the popular Linux distribution to high-end Android smartphones. The product consists of a complete Ubuntu desktop experience that is intended to be installed on the device alongside the standard Android environment.
  • Firefox’s Jetpack extensions reach mobile browsing
    Mozilla has begun adding mobile device support to its newer extensions framework–but it’s also changing Jetpack’s direction and requiring earlier extensions to be rebuilt.
  • Mozilla announces marketplace for open web apps
    The Mozilla Foundation is planning its own app store where developers will be able to market their HTML5 web apps. Mozilla thinks that other marketplaces are too restrictive, which, it believes, has the effect of limiting the freedom of users and developers and of inhibiting innovation.
  • Mozilla revamps BrowserID as Persona
    Mozilla is renaming its BrowserID identity system as Mozilla Persona, but is not renaming the underlying technology. The new name was introduced in a blog post that explained that Mozilla Persona was the name for the “complete Identity offering from Mozilla”, not just the BrowserID technology but also other identity services such as an identity dashboard and user data interconnections.
  • Chrome may get a password generator
    Google’s solution for the problem of getting better passwords on the net – a combination of browser sign-in and OpenID – will take some time to implement as it involves persuading sites to switch to using OpenID. The developers on the Chrome project think that they can at least improve the security of passwords on sites, by generating passwords for the user.
  • Chrome to support Do Not Track privacy feature
    Google previously found Do Not Track “interesting” though too vague, but now says the technology for blocking behavioral ad targeting is mature enough to use.
  • Adobe abandons Linux
    Adobe has announced its future plans for Flash and AIR and Linux isn’t part of them. Flash will still, however, be available to Linux desktop users who use Google’s Chrome Web browser.
  • Win 8 security bundle an antitrust magnet
    Microsoft could be saddled with antitrust lawsuits for bundling its Windows Defender security suite with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS), as such an act may be considered an abuse of a dominant position within the industry, lawyers said.
  • HijackThis now open source
    Trend Micro has published the source code of its free anti-malware tool, HijackThis (HJT), on Sourceforge under a GPLv2 licence. Trend Micro says it will be maintaining the original source code but also incorporating modifications from the community.
  • “Unethical” HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism from W3C reps
    A new Web standard proposal authored by Google, Microsoft, and Netflix seeks to bring copy protection mechanisms to the Web. The Encrypted Media Extensions draft defines a framework for enabling the playback of protected media content in the Web browser. The proposal is controversial and has raised concern among some parties that are participating in the standards process.
  • Data mining’s adult challenges
    The tools to analyze disparate data sets are getting better and cheaper. But the practice will increasingly bump against the boundaries of privacy comfort zones.
  • Open source model creates new cybercrime frontier
    Inspired by the success of the open source development model, criminals are creating similar community models and, in doing so, opening up a new avenue for malicious software and malware incubation, industry insiders warn.
  • Microsoft: Google bypassed IE privacy settings too
    In the wake of reports that Google had sidestepped privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser, Microsoft announced this past Monday it had discovered that the Web giant had done the same with Internet Explorer.
  • Report: IPv6 sees first DDoS attacks
    Calling it a “milestone in IPv6 deployment”, Arbor Networks notes that respondents in its seventh annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report said they observed distributed denial of service attacks on their IPv6 networks. There are now, says the network monitoring and security provider, enough IPv6 end-points to make launching a DDoS over IPv6 possible.
  • Flashback malware uses new infection technique
    A new variant of Mac malware Flashback is using a new installation method. When a user visits a crafted web page, the new variant either tries to exploit two old security vulnerabilities or deploys a Java Applet which tries to trick the user into believing it has been certified by Apple – that’s according to a blog posting from anti-virus company Intego.
  • Cutwail botnet back in action
    According to M86 Security, the infamous Cutwail botnet (aka Pandex, Mutant and Pushdo) appears to have been reactivated. The security specialists say that in the past few weeks they have registered several waves of HTML emails that were infected with malicious JavaScript and probably originated from Cutwail-infected PCs.

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Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 02/26/12
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