Be on the lookout for a rogue program masquerading as a piece of software that helps users determine whether or not PCs are compatible with Windows 7, warns security firm BitDefender.
"This actually works because of the interest in Windows 7," said Catalin Cosoi, the head of BitDefender's Online Threats Lab.
BitDefender first discovered the threat on Sunday. At this point, the Trojan is not yet widespread, though BitDefender notes it has been receiving reports of about three installs per hour from its users in the US, Infoworld reports. Like many viruses, this one requires proactive steps on the part of the user, which the malware writers have been able to elicit with the following email:
"Find out if your PC can run Windows 7," the emails read. "This software scans your PC for potential issues with your hardware, devices, and installed programs, and recommends what to do before you upgrade."
Once installed, hackers have free reign over your system, Cosoi warns.
When TechCrunch revealed that HP was killing its Windows 7 Slate shortly after the acquisition of Palm, many came to the logical conclusion that it probably had something to do with WebOS. Officials from HP were pretty tight lipped on the matter considering Steve Ballmer showcased the HP Slate as a poster child for Windows 7 tablet computing, but fans of the device were forced to assume the worst.
The Windows 7 slate might never see the light of day, but if you believe the guys over at the Examiner the HP Hurricane featuring Palm's WebOS could be hitting stores by Q3. If this turns out to be true, it would be no small feat considering that the current x86 architecture of the Windows 7 slate would be incompatible with WebOS which requires an Arm based processor. The result would be a complete hardware redesign over what was shown a few months back.
At the end of the day whether the sources at the Examiner are legitimate or not it seems likely this is the direction HP will pursue in the coming months. Tablet critics seem to agree that mobile OS platforms scaled up stand a far better chance of winning over the masses then desktop OS's scaled down.
We'll have to wait and see what happens, but does anyone out there still think HP will launch a Windows 7 tablet?
This is turning out to be a rough week for Microsoft tablets. First the Courier gets scrapped, leaving many to wonder what might have been of the dual-screen tablet, and now HP is abandoning its much hyped Slate, at least in its current form, according to TechCrunch.
HP hasn't yet made an official announcement, but TechCrunch feels pretty confident its "source who's been briefed on the matter" is right on the money. And really, we half expected something like this anyway. Earlier this week HP announced it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase Palm for $1.2 billion, a deal that brings Palm's webOS into HP's stable. HP was very blunt on where it goes from here, saying it plans on "doubling down on webOS," meaning we could very well be looking at a webOS-based tablet in the near future.
This makes perfect sense if, as TechCrunch's source says, HP isn't satisfied with Windows 7 as a tablet OS. If that's the primary reason, however, then it's a little surprising that HP waited this long to scrap the project. Prior to the cancellation, HP had been focused on drumming up excitement over the Slate, posting teaser video clips and talking about all the things the Slate could do, with a particular emphasis on the features Apple's iPad lacks (like Flash, USB, cameras, and expandable storage).
Windows 7, which was launched on October 22, 2009, has since sold more than 100 million licenses and can now be found on one of every 10 PCs in the world. According to Microsoft, that's enough to qualify as the fastest selling Windows OS in the Redmond company's history.
The rapid adoption of Windows 7 has paid off big time for Microsoft, who earlier this week reported revenues of $14.5 billion for the financial quarter ended March 31. Windows revenue was up 23 percent year-on-year, and according to Microsoft CFO Peter Klein, the OS "continues to be a growth engine."
Helping the new OS gain a foothold into so many PCs is the willingness of IT admins to make the transition. Recent research suggests that nearly half of all IT departments are looking to migrate to Windows 7, which certainly wasn't the case six months after Vista launched.
IT admins who find themselves in a tug-of-war with the bean counters over whether or not to deploy Windows 7 in place of XP have a bit more ammunition today to plead their case. In a new Security Incident Report released this week, Microsoft unsurprisingly lays out some compelling reasons to upgrade.
The Key Findings Summary is of particularly interest. It's here that Redmond's research team points out several benefits, including the fact that in Windows XP, Microsoft vulnerabilities accounted for 55.3 percent of all attacks in the studied same (comparing targets of browser-based exploits). In Windows Vista and Windows 7, however, the proportion of Microsoft vulnerabilities is a lot smaller and accounted for just 24.6 percent of attacks in the studied sample.
Microsoft's report also points out that the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP2 had lower infection rates than any other OS in the second half of 2009, while the 32-bit versions both had infection rates that were less than half of Windows XP with SP3, the most up-to-date service pack currently available.
Some of my favorite kinds of freeware apps to find (and install) are the ones that build new functionality into the Windows operating system. I'm running Windows 7 right now, but even this latest version of Microsoft's OS has substantial room for third-party improvements.
It's not difficult to find free or open-source apps to boost the common interactions one has with one's operating system. The tough part is in the classification: I'm really not sure how to best lump this week's applications together, save for the fact that they're all awesome ways to enhance Windows with new and useful features. And I'm not talking about super-complex, command-line scripts or what-have-you. No, these apps are all super-easy to use-if you even see them at all, given that most will modify some form of your Windows OS without needing any further interaction past the installation screen.
Anyway, if you can think of a better way to classify this week's Freeware Files other than, "Apps that Make Windows Rock," I'm all ears. Otherwise, click the jump and get ready to take your operating system to new places!
After installing a new OS, most people just jump right in and start driving it through all their favorite applications and games. Makes sense, right? The operating system, after all, should be a background player in the computing experience—a means to an end, with the end being web surfing, content editing, and wanton destruction in the first-person shooter of one’s choice.
The problem, however, is that most people, even a lot of self-described power users, never take the time to really tune the new OS, exploring its menus and setting up the interface for the fastest, most convenient operation based on personal preferences. And as operating systems offer more and more user controls, it’s the curious, performance-minded enthusiast who has the most to gain from tuning an OS to his or her liking.
It’s been about six months since Windows 7 hit the market, so we figure most of our readers have made their upgrades. For those who’ve made that jump, we present a bottle of our favorite Windows 7 tips, each designed to help you extract the very last bits of convenience and GUI-navigating performance from your own personal dream machine. And if you haven’t yet upgraded to Win7, we trust you will after reading this article, as its core features—let alone its actual Lab-benchmarked performance—kicks Vista and XP ass.
We close out our tuning session with a tip designed to supercharge the process of installing the OS. By loading Windows 7 onto a USB key, and making that key a bootable drive, you can do an end-run around slow optical-drive technology and install your OS in (pardon the pun) a flash.
It’s time to get started. Park your computer, but don’t shut down. This is one PC tune-up that can only be done with your engine running.
Of interest to anyone with a touchscreen display, Microsoft this week announced the release of its Touch Pack for Windows 7. Prior to the public release, the Touch Pack was only available for OEMs, but is now up for grabs for anyone.
The Touch Pack is a 240MB download and includes a few apps to help show off what Windows 7 can do with touch gestures as well as get users acquainted with how it all works. The freebie software is divided into three casual games and three Microsoft Surface apps, all of which have been created for Windows 7.
No surprise here, the software requires a Windows 7 PC or a multitouch monitor that support Windows Touch in Windows 7. Could something like this give upcoming Windows 7-based tablets -- like HP's Slate -- a leg up on the competition?
An year ago, when the PC industry was retreating in the face of a rampant financial tsunami, Microsoft wrote a bit of history, albeit for all the wrong reasons. It registered its maiden year-on-year revenue decline back then. But now that an economic recovery is well underway, Microsoft is riding a wave of its own – the Windows 7 wave. The company posted its third-quarter results on Thursday.
During the quarter ended Mar. 31, 2010, its earnings reached $4.01 billion after rising 35% as compared to the the previous year. Revenue also registered an increase of 6% and reached $14.50 billion. The strong showing can safely be attributed to Windows 7, which is “by far the fastest-selling operating system in history.”
“Windows 7 continues to be a growth engine, but we also saw strong growth in other areas like Bing search, Xbox LIVE and our emerging cloud services,” said Microsoft CFO Peter Klein. “Our record third-quarter revenue along with continued rigor on cost management resulted in exceptional EPS growth.”
It is important to note that Microsoft has chosen to defer $305 million of revenue from its Office productivity suite. This is due to the fact that these Office sales are covered by the ongoing Microsoft Office 2010 Technology Guarantee program.
I have an Intel Core i7-940 coupled with an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard and 6GB of Super Talent DDR3/1333 memory. My OS is 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium with Creative’s X-Fi XtremeGamer soundcard. I bought an upgrade version of Windows 7 and ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor; it said my audio device was not compatible. I downloaded the new Creative drivers and still got the same message. I have looked all over the Internet for a fix and I see a lot of people having the same problems with X-Fi cards.
Read the Doctor's answer to William's question after the jump.