Tag Archives: windows

Is Your Computer Part of a Botnet in the US?

During the first half of 2010, more than two million computers in the United States alone were found to be part of a botnet. Microsoft performed the research, which showed that Brazil had the second highest level of infections at 550,000. The country hit hardest is South Korea, where 14.6 out of every 1000 machines were found to be enrolled in botnets.

Cliff Evans is the head of security and identity in the UK. “Most people have this idea of a virus and how it used to announce itself,” he said. “Few people know about botnets.” Botnets start when a virus infects a computer, either through spam or an infected web page. The virus puts the Windows machine under the control of a botnet herder. “Once they have control of the machine they have the potential to put any kind of malicious code on there,” said Mr Evans. “It becomes a distributed computing resource they then sell on to others.”

The stats for the report were gathered from more than 600 million machines which are enrolled in Microsoft’s various update services or use its Essentials and Defender security packages. The conclusions of the report show that people need to be much more vigilant. You have to keep yourself well protected against threats of any kind. Even though they’re a pain, you need to apply your Windows updates when they become available, keep programs updated (such as Java) and make sure that you understand security basics.

Does Microsoft Hate Open Source Software?


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Josh represented Microsoft during OpenCamp recently. People were quite confused as to why Microsoft would be interested in Open Source products. While Windows and Linux may be competitors, much of the Open Source applications are not. They run really well in Windows.

The IIS team is making sure that open source software runs better on Windows than it does on Linux. Microsoft is very supportive of the people making these applications, and attends a lot of conferences to help them in every way they can.

To anyone who feels that Microsoft hates Open Source, Josh asks them to take a new look at the Redmond team. They compete hard where they have a product that may be similar, such as the operating system and Microsoft Office. However, when it comes to everything else – keep your eyes open and let Microsoft work with you to make the best application you can produce.

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How to Use Windows XP on a New PC


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One of the callers during our live stream the other night was asking about new hardware. He wants to put Windows XP on a newer machine but keeps receiving a BSOD every time he tries. He prefers XP over Windows 7 when it comes to customization. The modern hardware he’s trying to use just doesn’t want to use an operating system that is older and slower.

Using Windows XP may work inside of a virtual machine may be a good solution. You can use the free VirtualBox, or ask me for a coupon for either VMWare or Parallels. Any of those solutions should work. Load up Windows 7 as your primary operating system, and then throw a virtual machine onto it. Place Windows XP onto the VM and bam! You should be in business.

What other workarounds do you know of? If someone insists on using an older operating system on newer hardware, what options are available to them?

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Parallels 6

Parallels 6 is being released on September 14th to much fanfare and blowing of Vevuzelas. Wait… I’m still hearing echoes of those in my head. Real Networks was a sponsor during Gnomedex a few weeks ago, and they were kind enough to give one of those lovely little noisemakers to each conference attendee. The Parallels team was also on hand, giving away one heck of a lot of software to every person in Bell Harbor.

This new version has more than 80 new and improved features, including a speed increase over the last version of about 40%! Some of the new features you will be salivating over include:

  • A 64-bit engine to take advantage of the Mac’s power.
  • 5.1 surround sound which lets you immerse yourself completely in games, music, videos and movies.
  • Capability to extend Mac OS X Parental Controls to your Windows applications.
  • Use your OS X keyboard shortcuts to make all Windows programs work the way YOU want them to.
  • Choose how much Mac and Windows you want with simple profiles each time you set up a new virtual machine.

Some of the enhancements and improvements are significant, as well:

  • Find your Windows programs faster with Spotlight integration.
  • This version allows you to launch Windows 2.5 times faster than any other solution.
  • Enhanced 3D graphics are better by far than older versions.
  • Enjoy better control by managing Windows through Spaces and Expose.
  • There is much-improved network, hard drive and Transporter performance.

Are you looking forward to upgrading your version of Parallels?

What Do You Think About Windows Phone 7?


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One of our sponsors during Gnomedex just happened to be the Windows Phone 7 team. Larry was on site manning the booth, showing off the device and letting people get their first hands-on look! It was announced today (finally!) that Windows Phone 7 will be released on October 11th.

Windows Phone 7 is the new mobile phone operating system from the folks at Microsoft. It has a completely different start screen, filled with what they call “Live Tiles.” These give you real-time important information, such as for weather and stock markets. You can customize your tiles to make them relevant to your life. For instance, Larry has a tile set up just for his wife. Anytime she updates one of her social networks, the tile will let him know right away. This appears to be a great way to keep track of the people you want to stay in touch with on a continual basis.

If you click on the People Hub, you will see all of the contacts in your social circle. You can click on them separately to find out what they’re up to, or choose to check out an overview from all of them.

Larry is a product manager for the Application Platform. They’re providing people the ability to create their own applications which leverage these same concepts. They’re giving devs a free copy of Visual Studio to build Windows Phone 7 apps. These apps will be the key to the succcess of the operating system.

The email and calendar service on Windows Phone 7 is being touted as the “best in class.” It’s tied in to Microsoft Exchange, which many of us (myself included!) use for business. Larry says that this phone represents a drastic change from the way Microsoft built phone systems in the past. Historically, they were focused on being a good partner and on delivering something that the OEM companies wanted to use. The problem with that is that while the people in Redmond love their various partners, it was taking too much away from the end user… from YOU.

There was zero control over what the end user was receiving. What Microsoft did was to take direct control over the user experience. The most important focus of the project was to deliver outstanding end user experience. Larry admits that Microsoft has had trouble in the past with focusing on something. Instead, they’ve been all over the map with various aspects of projects. Windows Phone 7 represents a very focused effort to bring you what it is you want in a phone.

The free developer tools are available on the Windows Phone site. If you already have Visual Studio, it will simply update your install to include the various elements you will need to develop apps for this phone. Apps are only available through the Windows Phone Marketplace, and revenue is earned in much the same way as with other phone platforms.

Have you taken a close look yet at what’s in store? What are your thoughts about Windows Phone 7 so far?

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7 Reasons why Windows Phone 7 Should be the Called the Xbox Compass

At one time, I carried a Pocket PC. That evolved into a Windows Mobile device – which made far less sense to me, given that “windows” didn’t exist on the platform. Now, we’re to understand that Microsoft is going to brand its next series of mobile devices as “Windows Phone 7” – huh?

Hell, I don’t even like taking phone calls on my phones, anymore. That’s not just because of AT&T’s crappy coverage in the Seattle area (or the iPhone 4’s questionable antenna reception) – but because I prefer emails, texts, tweets, etc.

After getting a personal prototype walkthru, I can’t wait to play with one on a regular basis – but I still don’t believe that “Windows” is the right brand to back this player. In fact, I believe Microsoft should give serious consideration to going with the “Xbox” brand, instead:

  1. Within days, I’m sure the average consumer will be referring to a “Windows Phone 7” device as a “Windows iPhone.” That’s bad. Watch it happen. Get the word “phone” out of its title.
  2. “Windows Phone 7” sounds so… plain. Not that I’ve been impressed with adjectives in titles (the “Droid Impressive” sounds like it has an inferiority complex), but let’s start moving past the idea that this is a device which is only good for making calls. It’s not just a phone – it’s a portable communications center. And please, for the love of God and all that is holy, do not call it the “Microsoft Windows Portable Communications Center.” Slap it with a brand we all recognize, add a word that describes its role… and we’ll have a label worth talking about.
  3. When I hear “Xbox,” I think of slick experiences that work out-of-the-box. When I hear “Windows,” I think I’m going to have a different experience than every other Windows user on the planet. You want me thinking about “Xbox.” I think less about the size and shape of an Xbox and more about the experiences it enables for me. Let’s evolve the “Xbox” metaphor and leave “Windows” to the desktop?
  4. I believe I’ve already stated this, but to hammer the point home: it’s NOT Windows. The Metro UI doesn’t even HAVE windows.
  5. The Xbox isn’t just a gaming console – it’s a true media center, rich with games, content, and communication tools. And if you’re one who believes that the Xbox is just for games, well… you’re wrong. And even if that was the case, have we not already learned that gaming is the killer app for just about ANY mobile platform?
  6. The phone experience looks more like an Xbox than it does Windows.
  7. Watch what happens with people’s eyebrows when you say “Windows Phone 7” versus “Xbox Compass.” If they remain still or furrow, the name has lost the game. I can’t find a SINGLE mobile enthusiast who was impressed with the (hopefully) working title for this new series of devices.

C’mon, Microsoft – the name should be equally as sweet as the product itself. At least make it sound like a tool that I’d be lost without.

100 Mac Tips


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If you’re switching from Windows to Mac OS X, I thought I’d help get you started with my top 100 Mac tips. If you’re sticking with Windows, fine – I released the Windows eBook earlier this year (and I hope you scored a copy).

Every day, I get asked questions related to “making the switch.” I just figured this was an easier way to get you the information you needed. The eBook has no DRM attached to it, and sells for only five bucks. I can almost guarantee that you’ll pick up at least one tip that you didn’t already know about.

I live inside of both Windows and Mac OS X. Do you?

If you do get a copy, please post your review as either a comment here or video response – I’d love to hear what you think about its value to you, either as a new Mac user or as someone who communicates with new Mac users on a regular basis.

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Really Slick Screensavers


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The screensaver on my computer is Really Slick. Seriously – it’s slick – really slick.

If you’re looking for a slick new screensaver, look no further. Microcosm is now available for both Mac OS X and Windows, and it’s fantastic. I’ll definitely be using this one for a long time to come.

What other really slick and cool (free!) screensavers do you know of to pass along to our community?

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World's Biggest Windows Phone 7 Device


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You won’t be able to get ahold of your own Windows Phone 7 device. I, however, am lucky enough to have one I can play with right now. The screen is ginormous… way bigger than that of my iPhone 4. It fits easily into your pocket, too – as long as you have seriously large pockets.

According to those in the know, Windows Phone 7 is going to completely change the game when it comes to productivity on our mobile devices. That’s a pretty high standard to set. I’m definitely looking forward to trying it out for myself later in the year.

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