A couple of last minute additions to Patch Tuesday address security holes in Windows XP
Today is the second Tuesday of the month, which means it's time to download a collection of security fixes from Microsoft. Otherwise known as Patch Tuesday, today's collection includes seven security bulletins, including two late additions that fill up patch remote code execution holes in Windows XP. These are some of the last updates Windows XP will ever receive, as Microsoft plans to stop supporting the legacy OS on April 8, 2014.
Earlier this month, Microsoft took a flawed Surface Pro 2 firmware update down after issues were found that drained tablet battery life and affects users' ability to utilize sleep mode. After making the update unavailable, Microsoft informed users that it would be re-relasing the firmware update "after the holidays."
Tweaks We Expect (And Hope) To See From Windows 8 Service Pack 1
Alright, haters. Judging by many of the comments left on this week’s “Week of Windows 8” posts, a number of you aren’t huge fans of Windows 8. In fact, some of you hate it so much, the very mention of the words “Windows” and “eight” in the same sentence – unless it’s a story about “Eight ways to not install Windows 8” or something like that — sets you into a frenzy.
Streaming works well for music and movies, so why not push out software updates that way as well? That's the question Avast Software asked itself when building Avast 7, the next major release of its antivirus software set to hit the streets sometime later this year. Avast 7 will give users streaming updates on new malware threats in addition to regular virus database updates, Avast Software says.
For as popular as the Xbox 360 is, Microsoft's been notoriously slow to certify game updates to be rolled out via its Xbox Live service, a constant source of frustration for developers and gamers alike. That's reportedly going to change when Minecraft is ported over to Xbox Live Arcade, which could very well end up being the first game to tout frequent and constant updates.
Microsoft has begun rolling out a Windows Phone update intended to stomp out myriad bugs and glitches associated with the mobile OS platform, and that should be received as a good thing. So why are so many Windows Phone users freaking out and suddenly worrying about fragmentation similar to what exists on Android? It has to do with a change in Microsoft's transparency policy.
Starting next month, Microsoft will begin automatically upgrading some Windows users to the latest version of Internet Explorer available for their PCs, the Redmond software juggernaut announced in a blog post today. These silent updates are deemed an "important step in helping to move the Web forward," though consider this a trial run.
After a star-studded, presumably crawling-with-Creepers convention in Vegas, Minecraft has officially put its beta days behind it. That, however, doesn't mean Notch has any intention of letting his gravy train stall out in the station. “I had this goal of where I wanted to take the game, but there’s so much we can add and we keep finding out,” he told IGN. “We’re going to keep working for as long as people keep buying, really.” So then, what's next? “One thing we really wanted to do, which for some reason kind of slipped [through] the cracks, is the mod support, because lots of people are adding really cool stuff and we want to embrace that more,” he explained. Further, he's now hired an AI specialist to breathe some life into Minecraft's braindead villagers. Will they repeatedly spout nonsense about taking arrows to the knee? We can only hope.
One of the minor annoyances of computer usage is needing to restart your computer. Yeah, it doesn’t take too long – especially if you have a speedy SSD drive – but it’s still downtime that interrupts your previously scheduled Skyrim time. Microsoft has been working to reduce the number of restarts required to run a computer, buy hey, they still need to happen every now and again. Windows 8 will make some changes to the Windows Update and automatic restart process to make restarts as infrequent and unobtrusive as possible.
After a delay of several months, Microsoft has started pushing out the first full-scale update to the Windows Phone 7 platform. The so-called NoDo update brings some much anticipated features, like copy and paste. The rollout is starting slow, with unbranded devices getting the update notification first. Carrier branded devices might be a whole different story though.