Tag: "microsoft"

Microsoft Security Essentials beta now live

The beta for Microsoft Security Essentials is now available from Connect, or find your way there from the official homepage.

Highly recommended.

Codename Morro - now Security Essentials

Neowin has some details on codename Morro, now called Microsoft Security Essentials - rumoured to go into a public beta form soon.

You can clearly see how this was built upon the excellent anti-spyware software Windows Defender that Microsoft included with Windows Vista (and made a free download for Windows XP), you can see it even more clearly in earlier builds.

Hopefully this will be everything the PC ecosystem needs it to be. Windows Defender + anti-virus. Windows Defender was really a breath of fresh air, it showed anti-malware manufacturers how the job should be done. It's fast, it doesn't complain about updating itself - it just does it. It doesn't blast open windows telling you its running a scan - it just does it. The only remotely annoying thing would be a tray-icon appearing after three days if the computer hadn't been on to run a scan - a tray-icon that doesn't even exist the rest of the time.

Compare that with the likes of Norton and McAfee who just put bucket loads of junk all over your system, Norton toolbar in IE, Norton this and that in the Control Panel, all over the Start Menu and in the system tray. Let's not even talk about the performance hit - which is extreme and how they're constantly bugging you.

It looks like Microsoft Security Essentials will basically disable and replace Windows Defender on a system, it will take up the job of anti-malware in general - another good thing, having two separate scanners for anti-virus and another for anti-spyware is a bad performance hit. Having one resident scanner scanning for everything is much better.

Hopefully they keep things that way and continue to follow in the steps of Windows Defender, and not fall along the path of OneCare, Norton and McAfee, of being more annoying than the malware they're supposed to protect you against.

So far so good. Now I just need the beta so I have time to complain about things before it ships to the world, and if done right, massively shakes up PC security forever.

I think Redmond was already onto something

Tom Gromak wrote up a post detailing his experiences with Windows 7.  However, almost everything he mentions positive of it, is present in Windows Vista, which he seems to dismiss out of hand.

Windows 7 is everything Vista was not: Sleek, stylish and speedy.

Sleek and stylish?  It looks pretty much the same as Windows Vista.  If it wasn't for the new less-efficient taskbar it would be almost indistinguishable.  Speed is hotly debated.  On my high-end systems there's no noticeable difference between them, even on low-end systems like my Tablet PC there's no difference.  Sure it might have a lower memory footprint, but who has any systems with 512MB of RAM in them these days?

[A]n easy-to-use screen magnifier, snipping tools [.] lots of ways to view the data on your disks

All the same as Windows Vista.

But it's also got features that, frankly, make OS X start to look a little dated. Some are big, like the many ways you can handle your digital media in Windows Explorer (hint to Apple: I know you want me to use iTunes to manage all my music and movies, but I really want to be able to do meaningful file management in Finder, too).

Identical to Windows Vista.

There's a vastly improved Windows Media player

Up for debate - its got some nice new features like internet streaming and remote play.  But the new interface isn't as smooth, there's an awkward jerk between the now-playing mode and the library, the rip tab has been hidden and you have to hunt around to see how to rip a CD, the advanced tag editor is gone as is the mini-player for the taskbar.  I'd kill to get the advanced tag editor and mini-player back - I'd probably even trade internet streaming for them.

better movie- and dvd-making

There is no movie making, Movie Maker was removed as was Photo Gallery.  You're expected to download the Windows Live Essentials pack to get all that stuff back, the Live version of Movie Maker is still in beta and even worse than Movie Maker was 10 years ago.

re's one example that I stumbled upon that seems so intuitive: Grab a window by the title bar and pull it to the top of your screen, and it maximizes. Pull it back away from the top, and it returns to its original size. Drag it right or left and it auto resizes to a width about a third of your screen's width

Yeah that's nice.

Oh, and unlike Finder (still, Apple? Really?), you can still grab and resize a window from any edge or corner you might like or need to grab.

How Windows has worked for as far back as I can remember.

Minimize a browser window, and you get a nice preview when you hover over its button

In Windows Vista.

Minimize a browser window with multiple tabs open, and you get a preview of each tab and the ability to pick which tab you want opened when you un-minimize IE.

Yup that's nice.

Windows Explorer, the venerable file manager, has new ways to quickly get to commonly used folders and places and, for the first time in a long time, actually works quite well with my home network. XP was always a little spotty in its ability to communicate with my other PCs, and Vista was downright hostile in its overbearing and underperforming ways.

Windows Explorer is the same as in Windows Vista, the only difference being the colour of the button menu, and how the navigation pane is laid out, which is a bit neater.  Networking is the same.

When Vista came out, I had just a short period of time to give it a test drive. But Windows 7? I get a year. A whole year.

Not quite.  Firstly you don't have a year, in March the RC will start shutting itself down automatically every 2 hours, it won't bomb out until June, let's call that 12 months minus the annoying constant shut downs which will drive you insane, and is really only there to enable you to get any data off before it time-bombs.  For Windows Vista however, Beta 2, RC1 and RC2 all time-bombed on the 1st of June 2007, the Beta 2 version was released in May 2006, so again about 12 months.  Comparing pre-release versions to trial versions is also unwise.

All in all a pretty positive article, its just a shame that most of the features he liked we had three years ago in Windows Vista which gets dismissed off the bat as being terrible.

Windows 7 RC up on Connect, MSDN and Technet

As well as the new XP Mode VMs. Public release still on for Tuesday.

Office 2007 SP2 released

Go get it here.

New features include OpenDocument support, integrating the XPS and PDF functionality that was previously a free add-on (removed before the original release because of Adobe's complaining). More changes here.

Windows 7 RC due for public release 5th May

Microsoft have officially confirmed that the Release Candidiate of Windows 7 will be up for download starting from the 5th of May for the general public.

MSDN and Technet subscribers will get it the bits on the 30th of April. Sweet.

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