PC World compared Bing’s outage to Sally Field. I thought that the Bing outage was longer than 30 minutes, but probably not. Just pretty noticable! Although it wasn’t too big of a deal for me, as I just went to Google in the meantime, others were missing out on the Bing Cashback program.
In case you missed it–and most of you probably did–Microsoft’s Bing search engine was offline for about 30 minutes on Thursday evening. What’s noteworthy here isn’t that fact that a Web service was down briefly (just ask Gmail users) but that the short-lived outage resulted in a flurry of media coverage, including a couple of stories right here on PCWorld.com.
Microsoft has killed their money saving Family Pack offer for Windows 7 home users. This was a great deal for a lot of users with multiple PC’s around the home that are wanting to upgrade to Windows 7. Sad to see it die off so soon. And right before Christmas, too!
The special offer, which debuted shortly before the Oct. 22 retail launch of Windows 7, let buyers upgrade as many as three PCs from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7 Home Premium. The $149.99 price of the Family Pack represented a savings of $210 over three separate copies of Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade, which lists for $119.99.
A Polish site, CentrumXP, has revealed the boxart for Microsoft Office 2010. You can definitely tell these boxes are made to get attention on the retail shelf! Looking good! Click the link for more images of the other editions!
Microsoft says that the “Black Screen of Death” is not caused by the recent updates in November. I haven’t heard much about people having issues with them, but I guess some people have.
“Microsoft has investigated reports that its November security updates made changes to permissions in the registry that that are resulting in system issues for some customers,” Microsoft security response communications lead Christopher Budd said in a statement. “The company has found those reports to be inaccurate and our comprehensive investigation has shown that none of the recently released updates are related to the behavior described in the reports.”
PCWorld has a pretty thorough writeup about why and how you should install the new beta of Office 2010. I’ve been running the technical preview and now the beta, and I have to say that it is a worthy upgrade. I agree with the “expert” quoted in the article:
But what does our expert say? “Anyone interested in Office should get a copy of this beta,” wrote Preston Gralla in his first-take review. “It was solid and performed well without crashing once. I experienced none of the slowness that you sometimes do with betas.”
So, Windows 7 has been out (officially) not even a month. But, as the way it is in this industry, speculation over Windows 8 started quite a while ago. A release date has been shown on a roadmap slide from Microsoft, showing 2012.
The NSA (National Security Agency) of the USA has been helping Microsoft with security for the Windows OS. This is some great news, and should be great in the long run. Of course, I did find one thing disturbing.
The NSA and other cybersecurity experts say that simple precautions (such as installing system updates regularly and running anti-virus software and firewalls) should protect against about 80% of the attacks out there. This means that if users took these steps, the NSA and others could focus on the more dangerous 20%, or so the theory goes. Put another way, of course, that means about 20% of attacks are sophisticated enough to theoretically defeat standard security measures.
The emphasis is mine. I wonder what types of firewalls the attacks can bypass. Scary.
For all those that like to customize the look and feel of your operating system, Stardock has released the Windows 7 compatible WindowBlinds 7. I’ve always been a fan of WindowBlinds, and have been awaiting the release of this version. Give it a try, there is a free trial download to test it out.
Customize your entire Windows experience with WindowBlinds. This one-of-a-kind program can change virtually every element of the Windows graphical user interface.
There has been a lot of talk about the beta release of Office 2010. It’s been available to MSDN and Technet subscribers for a few days now, and now it’s available to the public. One nice thing to note, however, is that it is also available for Windows Mobile 6.x on Windows Marketplace for Mobile. I’ve been using the technical preview for some time, and am now using the beta. Overall, it’s a nice upgrade from Office 2007, and the improvements from the technical preview to the beta are noticeable. So, if you’ve been running the TP, take the time to upgrade to the beta.
While I don’t agree with the author on this one, this is still a very good and informative read. What don’t I agree with? The fault of the failure of Windows Mobile. It wasn’t the iPhones fault. Windows Mobile is a nice OS, but I really loved it on my Dell Axim x50V. Not so much on my Motorola Q9C. Even with the touch screen phones I’ve played with, they just don’t offer that much over the easier to use competitors. I’d like to see Windows Mobile 7 do a complete rewrite of the software. I like the Windows like interface, but there should be an option for an icon based touch screen (similar to iPhone or Android), and redo the Start menu (too many taps to get something done). Personally, I use my Dell for the WinMo features, and my MotoQ for the phone and text. An expensive phone for what it’s used for… Just a phone. They need to put the “Smart” back in SmartPhone.
Windows Mobile has lost nearly a third of its smartphone market share since 2008, research firm Gartner reports. Windows Mobile had 11 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2008, according to Gartner, and last quarter Windows Mobile