Tag Archive: Microsoft Windows

Windows 8 Consumer Preview - thumbRemember how annoying it was that there were six versions of Windows 7? Well, you’ll be glad to know there aren’t six versions of Windows 8! … There’s eight.

One of the biggest annoyances with Windows 7 was that when you went to buy a system, you had to look at which version of the operating system it came with.  Then you usually ended up having to look at a chart to remember why each version was different.  It was a bit of a pain, and one that you hoped might go away in Windows 8.  Sadly, Windows 8 Beta has learned differently.  After digging around in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview that was released the other day, they found screenshot you see above.  In short, there will be eight versions of the next iteration of the Windows operating system, and they include:

  • Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval edition
  • Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Premium edition
  • Windows 8 ARM edition
  • Windows 8 Professional edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus edition
  • Windows 8 Starter edition
  • Windows 8 Ultimate edition

If you’ve installed the Consumer Preview you can locate this list at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\PackageIndex\Product.

The only one that puzzles us a bit is the Enterprise Eval edition which we suspect may be short for “Evaluation,” and may be more like trial software.  We just don’t know yet.

What we do know, however, is when you head out to buy a Windows 8 machine once they are launched, you may want to take a comparison chart with you of all the features.

[via Windows 8 Beta]

Microsoft Readies Valentine’s Day Windows Patches

By Colin NeagleNetworkWorld    Feb 12, 2012 5:38 am

Microsoft Thursday said that the second Patch Tuesday of 2012 will see nine security bulletins, four of which were deemed critical.

Three of the four critical bulletins address vulnerabilities in Windows, one of which also targets an Internet Explorer flaw that Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, says should be treated with the “highest priority.” This is because browser-based vulnerabilities have been exposed more quickly of late than those for legacy software, Kandek says.

The fourth critical bulletin targets the .NET framework and Silverlight. As for the remaining bulletins, all five are rated “important.” Four address vulnerabilities in Windows while another resolves an issue with Office and Server Software.

With the release, Microsoft will exceed the seven bulletins issued last month, as well as nearly tripling the number of vulnerabilities addressed, from eight in January to 21 this month.

RELATED: Microsoft patch blows ‘perfect game’ but sends important message

However, when the trends of the past few years are taken into account, the second Patch Tuesday of 2012 is a sign of continued progress for Microsoft security. Paul Henry, security and forensic analyst at Lumension, called this Patch Tuesday a “pretty sweet Valentine’s day” for the IT professionals responsible for implementing the bulletins, especially when compared to the last two years. Microsoft sent 12 patches and addressed 22 vulnerabilities in February 2011, a year after issuing 13 bulletins that addressed 26 vulnerabilities.

Especially coming off a similarly light January Patch Tuesday, in which seven bulletins were issued but just eight vulnerabilities were addressed, Henry says there are signs of optimism for Microsoft security.

“We’ve had two fairly light patching periods in a row, with just seven from Microsoft last month,” Henry says. “Clearly, the company’s renewed focus is paying off.”

Tuesday’s upcoming patch will bring the total number of security bulletins in 2012 to 16. In comparison, Microsoft had issued 14 combined patches in the first two months of 2011, following a light, two-patch month in January 2011.

Despite the slightly higher total in overall bulletins compared to the same time last year, Henry has said security improvements in updated versions of Microsoft products have been evident in the continued decline in security patchesIn 2011, Microsoft issued 100 patches, down from 106 the year prior. The company also saw its lowest level of bulletins rated critical in 2011, at 32, since it began issuing them monthly in 2004.

Colin Neagle covers Microsoft security and network management for Network World. Keep up with his blog: Rated Critical, follow him on Twitter: @ntwrkwrldneagle.