Redmond usually releases security patches once a month, on Patch Tuesday, but Microsoft's security experts are worried enough about a newly reported vulnerability in the Server service to post an "out-of-band" security update, MS08-067, yesterday for all versions of Windows from Windows 2000 SP4 through Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 pre-beta. Microsoft hasn't issued a security update between Patch Tuesday releases since April 2007, so this is a significant security issue.
Although all supported versions of Windows are vulnerable, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 versions are especially vulnerable to this flaw, which can permit remote code execution via a specially crafted RFC request.
To find out what makes this vulnerability so critical, and to learn how to get the update, join us after the jump.
Adobe began shipping its Creative Suite 4 (CS4) this week, and perhaps the most significant new feature from a typical Maximum PC reader's point of view is the support for GPU acceleration in Photoshop CS4 and other components, including Bridge CS4, After Effects CS4, Premiere Pro CS4, Acrobat 9, and Flash Player 10.
In the latest indication that Windows Vista's not one of Redmond's greatest hits, Windows XP (aka "The operating system that will not die") has won another reprieve. Friday, Microsoft confirmed rumors that OEMs bundling Windows Vista Ultimate or Vista Business can continue to order media for downgrades to Windows XP Professional until July 31, 2009 . Meaning, for those paying attention, that Harry Potter could get a Vista system downgraded to Windows XP for his birthday. Previously, the last day for downgrade media was going to be January 31, 2009. 1-31-2009 remains the deadline for system builders (aka "the corner computer store") to buy Windows XP licenses for their systems.
As an OEM product, Windows XP won't quite make it to Windows 7's anticipated release date of January 2010, but it will get closer than anyone could have guessed when it was released in October 2001.
So, what say you? Have you exercised your downgrade rights to send a Vista machine back to XP land? Any tips or tricks to consider? Hit the jump for your chance to sound off.
It's a super-sized Patch Tuesday this month, and here's what to expect Windows Update to be sending you in the next day or so (if not already). Follow the links if you prefer to install the updates immediately.
Critical updates include:
A fix for a remote code execution vulnerability in Windows Image Color Management affects users running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000 SP4 (Windows Vista users can breathe easy on this one).
A fix for a sextet of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 5.01, 6, and 7 affects users of Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008.
A fix for a remote code execution vulnerability in the ActiveX control for Microsoft Access's snapshot viewer affects Office 2000 SP3, Office XP SP3, and Office 2003 SP2 and SP3 (Office 2007 users, you ducked this one).
Microsoft is going to extraordinary lengths this summer to make some of its customers satisfied with Windows Vista - or else. If they don't love Vista, Microsoft will help them downgrade to Windows XP. How much does this new customer-satisfaction blitz cost? For you, special price: nothing!
However, not everybody gets the special Microsoft Vista schmooze. To find out who gets the special love from Redmond, and how long they get primo treatment, you know what to do. We'll see you after the break.
Cut off the supply for a product that people still want, and the demand skyrockets. Windows XP is the product, and Amazon.com's Software Bestseller list proves that Windows XP is still a hot item. CNet reports that Windows XP ranks high on the Amazon.com best-selling software list. So, how popular is Windows XP? How does Windows Vista compare? And, where else can you buy Windows XP in the wake of its retail discontinuance by Microsoft?
The August 2008 cumulative time zone update for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Server 2003, and Server 2008 is now available at KB951072. New time zone changes include the Arabic, Argentina, Iran, Morocco, Pacific SA, and Pakistan time zones, but it also includes all previous changes.
If it's been a while since you updated your system's time zone information, it's time to bring your PC up to date. For more information and for download links, go to KB951072.
Bad news for ZoneAlarm users running Windows XP: the MS08-037 security update for DNS (aka 951748) released Tuesday breaks ZoneAlarm and knocks XP users off the Internet. If you're running recent versions of ZoneAlarm on Windows XP, you should avoid the KB951748 update for now. Grab a list of workarounds (and now, solutions)here.
For what went wrong, and how to fix it if you've already been bitten, catch us after the break.
Windows Update will itself be updated, starting in late July, according to Windows Update product manager Michelle Haven, in a recent TechNet post. This update changes both the WU clients used by Windows XP and Vista-based machines as well as the back-end infrastructure, and as a result, scans for updates and update installations are faster. That's the good news. But, will the update cause problems for Windows XP users who need to perform a repair installation? And, what about users who don't want Microsoft making any changes to their system?
For more light on these questions, join me after the break.