Archive for March, 2013

Windows Server 2008: still welcome to enterprise

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Windows Server is a brand name for a group of operating systems released by Microsoft. Windows Server 2008 is a representative. When it comes to Windows Server 2008, some of its users will firstly think of its password policies, say, password must meet the complex requirement, which make many of its users troubled by Windows Server 2008 reset password when they forgot the password. Others may also be impressed by Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, a version for enterprise users. With the release of Windows 7 and Windows 8, is Windows Server 2008 outdated to enterprise now?

Last year, Microsoft has announced that its free technical support for Windows Server 2008 will be extended for another 18 months. In mainstream support, Microsoft offers security patches, general fixes and feature updates for free. During extended support, which runs five years beyond mainstream support, Microsoft will offer free security updates only but will provide non-security-related bug fixes for a price.

The extension of Windows Server 2008 technical support is not groundless. In spite of the release of Windows 8 and Windows 7, there actually are many enterprises that are using Windows Server 2008, the old but stable system. As said by Peter Sondergaard, director of Gartner Research, “however good the prospects look for Windows 8 in the consumer market or for tablets, there are no compelling business imperatives to drive legacy devices in business toward Windows 8.” Of course, Windows 7 has also been accepted by more and more enterprises. However, Windows Server 2008 has never been outdated to enterprise users for its satisfactory security performance.

When compared with other OS, Windows Server 2008 is outstanding for its abilities to consolidate servers, to manage hardware effectively, to remotely manage hardware without the graphical traffic, and to radically alter the system security model, etc. Windows Server 2008 can be used as a super workstation, which is suitable for enterprises.

According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2008 is designed to power the next generation of networks, applications and Web services. Windows Server 2008 provides a solid foundation for business workloads with a new server manager that provides a uniform management console to simplify and streamline system setup, configuration and ongoing management. In terms of transfer speeds with new Web tools, security enhancements, virtualization technologies, and management utilities to help save time, reduce costs and provide a solid foundation for IT infrastructure, Windows Server 2008 is 45 times faster than Windows Server 2003. In addition, with PowerShell and System Center in Windows Server 2008, enterprise users can easily manage the system automatically.

As we all know, Windows 7 has enjoyed the most usage share in OS market and its users cover many enterprise users. The future of Windows Server 2008 in business is difficult to predict, I want to say. However, by now, Windows Server 2008 is still a good choice for small or big enterprises. At least, before the expire data of technical support from Microsoft, it is sensible to have Windows Server 2008 as your system with regard to system security and working efficiency.

Windows 7 in 2012: Increased Popularity As Well As Malware Infection

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

According to Microsoft, from June 2011 to June 2012, Windows 7’s usage share grew 45% and it outnumbered the aged Windows XP and the new Windows 8. And also, malware infection rate in Windows 7 climbed by as much as 182% in 2012, said in Microsoft Security Intelligence Report. The case seems difficult to understand. Since Windows XP has been widely used and Microsoft released its milestone system, Windows 8, which is equipped with many new features and fresh functions, how can Windows 7 keep increasing popularity in spite of soaring malware(virus , Trojan horse, rootkits, keyloggers, etc.) infection?

To answer the question, we firstly take Windows 8 password as an example. In Windows 7, when users forget login password, they may have to recover Windows 7 password by some tools; In Windows 8, users just need to change to log in another methods, such as, picture password. However, the new password features in Windows 8 is said to be a big security flaw and vulnerable to hackers. Windows 8 is still not a trust-worthy system. As for the decreased market share of Windows XP, it is not groundless. Because even with the dramatic increase of malware affection in 2012, Windows 7 remained two to three times less likely to fall to hacker attacks than Windows XP.

“Windows 7 has really been the first platform adopted by both enterprises and consumers, and that kind of adoption hasn’t happened in quite some time for Microsoft”, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security. “Given the market movements, it’s likely that the attackers follow.”

Windows 7 is undoubtedly the most popular operation systems nowadays. On the other hand, the malware infection situation is indeed a big worry to many users, no matter which version of Windows 7 it is. Windows 7 SP1 was less likely to be infected than RTM, and the x86 editions of Windows 7 RTM and SP1 came with higher infection rates than the x64 versions. Windows 7 SP1 x64 had the lowest, 3.1, while Windows 7 RTM x86 had the highest rate, 5.3.

As reported by Microsoft, there are several factors to be blamed for the boost in successful malware attacks, “This may be caused in part by increasing acceptance and usage of the newest consumer version of Windows”. The report also states that “Early adopters are often technology enthusiasts who have a higher level of technical expertise than the mainstream computing population”. New users, especially those without advanced computer skills, are supposed to have a lower degree of security awareness to protect their Windows 7 from malware than early adopters. Another reason lies in the improvement of hacking skills after hackers have made researches for Windows 7 for a long time.

There isn’t any operation system that can totally prevent malware. The point that matters is not only the system itself, but also how users use their PCs. Windows 7 is surely a relatively safe system, but don’t ignore the Windows 7 security measures in daily usage.

100 Days of Windows 8: a Good Start But Unpredictable Future

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Since the release of Windows 8 in Oct.26, it has been over 100 days. According to Microsoft, it has revealed 60 million Windows 8 license sales for this new operation system by far, which is broadly in line with similar stats around the launch Windows 7. Although the figure doesn’t tell us the whole story, for the Windows 8 upgrade cost is significantly lower than Windows 7 and it’s not clear how many are simply licenses sold to OEMs and businesses that aren’t actively in use.

Tami Reller, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, thinks that Microsoft has had “a really solid start” in the sales of Windows 8. She said that there is still more to do after Windows 8’s three-month milestone, and users’ demand for touch is something Microsoft and its partners will pursue.

As we all know, at the first release of Windows 8, the Windows 8 apps are in serious shortage. For example, when users lost password in spite of the new picture password and PIN code, they may be confused in how to recover Windows 8 password. While not everyone is making apps for the Windows Store, she said that the number of apps available has more than quadrupled since the launch of Windows 8. She also pointed out that the Windows Store allows app builders to use their own commerce engines and keep 100 percent of their in-app sale profits, a subtle jab at Apple’s policy.

However, will the sales of Windows 8 in the future be as promising as s expect? Windows 8 password is said to be stored in plaintext form, which is regarded as the first security hole found in the new system. Meanwhile, a point should be noticed is that the sales of Windows 8 tablets, no matter in which brand, is not satisfactory. Then, how about the attitudes of big PC manufacturers towards the future of Windows 8?

First it was Asus and Acer, then Fujitsu. Now Samsung has added its voice to the growing chorus of PC manufacturers who failed to boost demand for machines running Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system.

“The global PC industry is steadily shrinking despite the launch of Windows 8,” said Jun Dong-soo, president of Samsung’s memory chip division, “I think the Windows 8 system is no better than the previous Windows Vista platform.” And Samsung has pulled out of Windows RT in the US and HP says it has no plans to use the operating system on ARM-based chips just yet, describing the Surface as “slow and a little kludgey.”

Though as Reller said, “It’s that flexibility and portability of Windows that gives us a lot of opportunity for the future wherever the market might take us”, obviously, the market response is not as positive as Microsoft expect. It is undoubtedly that Microsoft has made and will continue to make efforts to promote the sales of Windows 8 in different means, say, inspiring the OEMs and offering both tablet and laptop in a single ultraportable package. But, the future of Windows 8 is too early to predict.

Windows Server 2008: old but not outdated!

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Is Windows Server 2008 outdated? Not at all! Let’s take Windows Server 2008 password reset tool as an example to prove my point. As we all know, passwords in Windows Server 2008 are difficult to be remembered because of the default password policies, say, password should meet complexity requirement. After the constant releases of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, the reset password Windows Server 2008 tools market is still competitive and its users can easily find a suitable tool to reset lost their Windows Server 2008 password.

The training workshops on “Windows Server 2008” conducted under FATA Institutional Strengthening Project (FISP) last month, funded by USAID, a US government agency aimed at assisting the management of FATA Secretariat (FS) and FATA Development Authority (FDA) in their capacity building initiatives. More than ten IT support engineers from FATA Secretariat and FATA Development Authority were participated, according to press release issued in February.

Besides, according to the release, two session of training will be held regarding the said topic at the Professional Development Centre of National University of Sciences and Technology (PDC-NUST) in Islamabad. The project is providing capacity building and systems development support in various subjects. IT Support and IT Training is one of the core areas of FISP Annual Plan. The training aims to develop participants’ capacity in advanced techniques of Windows Server 2008, which will result in the fluent operation of IT related activities in FS and FDA.

Then we come to a question: Why they choose Windows Server 2008? Why is Windows Server 2008 welcome by enterprises? Most private businesses, public sector and third sectors use windows technology in their day to day running. Windows Server 2008 is always their prefer choice. There are many reasons as follows, I think.

Hyper-V, IIS 7 and Server Cores are three components of Windows Server 2008 worth checking out. What’s more, the powerful functionality is the biggest advantages for business that Windows Server 2008 owns. It adds real value by simplifying users’ business operations and improving working efficiency. It incorporates many built-in features that can help improve dramatically the efficiency of users’ data center operations:

1. Hyper-V™ that virtualizes system resources without third-party software to optimize your infrastructure. It replaces Virtual Server 2005 and is an integrated part of the operating system, which comes to you at no additional cost.

2. The power management in Windows Server 2008 has many new features that will help enterprises to cut hardware and facility costs.

3. Enhanced system security and control over network access, such as the ability to reduce attack surfaces by running minimal installations, and specific features like BitLocker and NAP, is also a reason.

4. The Live Migration feature in Windows server 2008 enables it to move virtual machines without downtime.

5. In Windows Server 2008, the Remote Desktop Services makes it possible for all applications to run on a single server for greater IT security and flexibility.

6. The last reason may be its interoperability with Windows 7.It is especially useful for those who want to equip dual-system.

Internet Explorer 10 finally comes to Windows 7

Friday, March 1st, 2013

On February 26, 2013, the final version of Internet Explorer 10, the default browser of Windows 8, comes to Windows 7. It is available worldwide in 95 languages for both the 32-bit and 64-bit version of the popular desktop operation system. IE 10 was firstly released on October 26, 2012, following the latest Windows operation system, Windows 8. The preview version for Windows 7 users was launched last November.

With the release of Windows 8, many Windows 7 users tend to compare these two operation system in their performance. When it comes to security performance, Windows 8 actually works better than Windows 7 in some aspects. For example, password recovery Windows 7 is troublesome to many Windows 7 users. While, in Windows 8, users can add a picture password or a PIN code as an implement to text password so that they are less possible to forget the password. As for the browsers, IE 10 provides Windows 8 users a safer online environment, which is also a reason why many Windows 7 users upgrade to Windows 8. Now, Windows 7 users can also download IE 10 to enjoy a faster and safer Web.
“With this final release, IE 10 brings the same leading standards support, with improved performance, security, privacy, reliability that consumers enjoy on Windows 8, to Windows 7 customers,” said Rob Mauceri, group program manager for Internet Explorer in a blog post.

IE10 is regarded as the most competitive and modern browser by some IT experts. Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 includes a focus on battery life improvements for mobile PCs as well as improved JavaScript performance. Though it has been available on Windows 8 with the release of Windows 8 four months ago, Microsoft opted for a delayed Windows 7 schedule to ensure the release was fully ready. We can see that some Windows 7 users have waited this upgraded browser for too long a time that some criticisms have been drawn on Microsoft in the early days.

Windows 7 users will now get integrated spell checking and auto-correct within IE10, as well as improved support for web standards like the latest CSS3 improvements. Besides, if you’ve run IE9 on Windows 7, IE10 probably won’t look much different at the first glance. Windows 7 users won’t get the full screen experience that’s available in Windows 8.The Windows 8 version of IE10 moves the address bar to the bottom of each page and features a stripped-down, rakish aesthetic, the Windows 7 variant retains its predecessor’s major design cues.

IE10 has many security and privacy enhancements. By default, ad websites will be barred from collecting user information, which greatly annoyed many advertisers. AppContainer, for instance, similar to the sandboxing approach used in mobile systems, essentially segments processes so that an infected program cannot spread malicious code elsewhere easily.

It is said that IE10 will not be released for Windows Vista or Windows XP. Microsoft was the only browser maker so far to drop Vista, just as it was the first one to abandon Windows XP last year when it shipped IE9.

Now, you can download IE 10 for your Windows 7 computer from Microsoft’s official website!