Items tagged with Windows

Back in June, a leak hinted that there would be new flavors of Windows 10 aimed specifically at workstation PCs. Fast forward a couple months and Microsoft has now officially announced Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and it is designed specifically to support server-grade PC hardware. Microsoft's Klaus Diaconu, Partner Group Program manager, Windows & Devices Group, wrote, "Today we are very excited to announce a new edition of Windows 10 Pro designed to meet the needs of our advanced users deploying their Workstation PCs in demanding and mission-critical scenarios. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will be delivered as part of our Fall Creators Update, available this fall." The OS will... Read more...
Microsoft has gone to great lengths to foster adoption of its Windows 10 operating system, and for good reason. In addition to it likely being one of the best iterations of the Windows OS in a long time--with better security, support for DX12 and host of other features--it’s clearly also a platform for MSFT to better track its customer base for myriad of reasons. Many, including our team here at HotHardware, have droned on about some of the privacy concerns with Windows 10 and we even showed you how to keep Redmond’s nose out of your private bits here as well. Further, even Microsoft has reacted, offering significantly more advanced privacy controls in the recent Windows 10 Creators Update. However,... Read more...
Last Friday, we reported on a major cyberattack involving ransomeware that hit a large number of computers - including some belonging to the UK's National Health Service. At first, the malware's reach wasn't too clear, but as the weekend went on, we learned that the number of affected PCs reached at least 200,000 worldwide. Given the nature of this beast, that is downright terrifying. The big question right now is, "Who's at fault?" The blame could easily be shifted to Microsoft, as the bug that allowed this to happen was directly attributed to its own code. While the company is to be commended for releasing a rare Windows XP patch to help squash the bug, it comes a bit too late. Microsoft knew... Read more...
Windows 95 is alive and well in the United States Pentagon. Daryl Haegley, program manager for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment reported at an event hosted by OSIsoft that 75% of the Department of Defense computers Windows XP or older (including Windows 98 and even Windows 95). This information was gathered from fifteen different defense sites within the United States.Image from: Wikimedia Commons, David B. GleasonMicrosoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014, but the Pentagon currently pays Microsoft to continue providing support for the outdated OS. The majority of the computers equipped with Windows XP or older are thankfully... Read more...
We can't seem to go a single week without news of a severe vulnerability out there in the wild, and it looks like our streak isn't about to end. Not too long ago, a number of NSA-derived tools were released online, giving us an idea of how desperate the folks at one of the US government's leading intelligence agencies are to get inside targeted PCs. Now, we have to hope that IT managers and system owners alike take updating their OS seriously. This particular family of NSA exploits are being dubbed "DoublePulsar", and they're severe enough to warrant immediate attention to your Windows PCs. Last month, Microsoft released patches to remove the vulnerability, but as we all know too well, most people... Read more...
Have the most recent Microsoft exploits been keeping you up at night? Microsoft recently remarked that almost all of the exploits have already been patched, while the remaining ones can not reproduced on supported platforms. On Friday, a hacking group referred to as the “Shadow Brokers” revealed a number of programs that could potentially be used to attack different versions of Windows operating systems. Microsoft maintains that the vast majority of these exploits have already been patched. “ETERNALCHAMPION”, a SMBv1 exploit, was patched by Windows updates CVE-2017-0146 & CVE-2017-0147. EnglishmanDentist”, “EsteemAudit”, and “ExplodingCan” have not been reproduced on supported platforms.... Read more...
Hardware enthusiasts that read HotHardware surely aren’t running a tired and busted operating system like Windows Vista, right? Besides the fact that the OS was widely panned following its release on January 30th 2007, Windows Vista is a decade-old operating system that is antiquated in today’s modern computing age. However, for those of you that are somehow still clinging to Windows Vista, Microsoft is making it clear that time is nearly up for the operating system. On April 11th, Microsoft is pulling the plug on support for Windows Vista, which means that that the company will end the practices of providing security updates and hotfixes. In addition, Microsoft will no longer provide... Read more...
Last week, Microsoft made a surprise mention that it had been working with Qualcomm to bring Windows Server to ARM, a tidbit that no doubt sent many into a frenzy. At Intel, we wouldn't be surprised if a little bit of anxiety was felt.  From a consumer or enterprise standpoint, Windows Server on ARM could sound like an interesting route to take. Well, as it happens, Microsoft didn't announce that Windows Server was going to become available for ARM. Instead, the company has been using WS on ARM internally, and as for now, that's not going to be changing. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley verified this through a bit of prodding, with Microsoft explicitly stating that this interesting OS release is for... Read more...
As if AMD’s new Ryzen processors weren’t enough to make Intel grab for a bottle of antacids, it looks as though Microsoft’s latest partnership could challenge the world’s dominant processor manufacturer in the lucrative server market (Intel commands well in excess of 90 percent of the server chip market according to IDC). No, we’re not talking about AMD’s Naples server chips, which also should give Intel pause, but Microsoft's efforts to ensure that Qualcomm ARM processors can run its Windows Server operating system. Microsoft says that it has already built a version of Windows Server that offers native support for ARM chips, and it is using this branch of the operating system for its own internal... Read more...
It looks as though Google’s Android operating system is on the verge of making history. According to analytics firm StatCounter, the current trending shows Android quickly approaching parity with Windows as the world’s most popular operating system among all computing devices. What more striking, however, is the fact that Microsoft has been losing overall market share at a rapid pace since 2012. At that time, Microsoft was riding high with 82 percent share of all global OS traffic. But it has been a steady march downward, and today Microsoft’s Windows-based operating systems have a collective 38.6 percent share of the global OS market according to StatCounter.Image Source: JD Hancock/Flickr... Read more...
The design of Windows Update in Microsoft's latest Windows 10 OS hasn't been the best-received solution the company has released over the product's life cycle thus far. The updated mechanics for WU is one of the major sticking-points for even wanting to upgrade to Redmond's latest platform (but thankfully, there are improvements coming). No one likes their PC rebooting on its own while they're away from it - and many have lost work because of it random reboots required in an update. Despite that, Microsoft does try to give users and IT managers useful tools from time-to-time, with this latest feature targeting Windows Update that's at least sure to save many an IT guy or girl some level... Read more...
If you have a kiddo in the American public school system, they likely are toting around a Chromebook, which runs Google's Chrome OS. A recent study of PC sales in the K-12 sector indicate that long-running favorite Apple is losing the battle in the classroom. Apple’s iPads and Mac notebooks were once kings of the playground and accounted for roughly half of the devices used in American classrooms in 2013. This number has steadily dropped, however, due to the affordability of Chromebooks. In 2016, Chromebooks accounted for 58% of the 12.8 million shipped devices, while macOS devices fell to 19%. This was a fairly significant change from 2015 in which Chromebooks dominated 50% of the market,... Read more...
TorBrowser users could be in for a rude awakening thank to some rather nefarious Windows DRM-protected files that are making the rounds. It appears that malicious parties could use malware that is ensconced within DRM-protected files to reveal their true IP address. It should be noted that this latest attack vector requires both the use of Windows and the Tor Browser. As Hacker House reports, clicking on “these ‘signed WMV’ files do not present any alert to a user before opening them they can be used quite effectively to decloak users of the popular privacy tool TorBrowser with very little warning.” Such a sneaky attack would leave your IP address wide open for hackers, copyright holders, or... Read more...
  Newer versions of Windows, including Windows 10 are vulnerable right now to a new Server Message Block (SMB) zero-day exploit that has been shown as a proof-of-concept. The vulnerability was first demonstrated by @PythonResponder and requires a user to connect to a SMBv3 server for a successful attack. Given the severity of the exploit, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has already published an emergency advisory, officially labeling it VU#867968. US-CERT describes the memory corruption vulnerability in detail, noting: Microsoft Windows fails to properly handle traffic from a malicious server. In particular, Windows fails to properly handle a server response that... Read more...
What does 2017 look like for corporations such as Apple and Microsoft? According to the research firm Gartner, Inc., Apple devices will outsell its Redmond, Washington-based rival for the first time in the twenty-first century. Gartner has also predicted that the gap will continue to widen between the Apple and Microsoft’s number of shipments over the next three years. This past year, 260 million Windows-powered devices were sold, or roughly 11.2% of the market. Apple only shipped 248 million devices, a 10% decrease from the previous year. Apple’s results from this past fiscal quarter are not in, but the previous quarter was a bit of a disappointment. iPhone sales decreased from... Read more...
We wrote just the other day about Zorin Linux, a distro that targets Windows users, or at least those who appreciate ease-of-use and a great aesthetic. Today, Windows convert hopefuls have another solution: Fedora 25. Understanding that it's not exactly easy for a life-long Windows user to make the transition to a completely new operating system, the Fedora team has made the transition to Fedora 25 a bit easier by defaulting the download for macOS and Windows users to a tool that will automatically fetch the latest version and let them flash the image to a thumb drive (or DVD). With Fedora 25 copied to a flash drive, users just need to keep it plugged into their computer and reboot. The first... Read more...
It should be safe to call Windows 10 a "great" OS, but we can't ignore some maddening aspects of it including its data mining features and frustrating Windows Update mechanism. More than ever, the latest batch of Windows releases has clued the world into the fact that alternatives exist, and we're not just talking macOS. Free alternatives exist, such as the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS. Some Linux distributions make their goal of catering to those familiar with Windows clear, and Zorin OS is no exception. The GNOME-based desktop is designed to mimic Windows in some key areas, such as by having a taskbar at the bottom, and the main system menu located to its left. The clock and other system tray icons... Read more...
Quick, which is more expensive to own, a Windows PC or a Mac? Conventional wisdom (and not-so-fuzzy math) says Macs typically cost more than comparable Windows PCs, but if you look beyond the initial price and also factor in time and money spent maintaining each system, do things change? IBM's VP of Workplace as a Service Fletcher Previn came to the conclusion that Macs are by far the better buy after analyzing post-sales costs. While speaking at the Jampf Nation User Conference this week, Previn broke it down like this—the initial cost of purchasing a Mac system runs anywhere from $117 to $454 more than a similarly configured Windows PC, but over a four-year span that follows, IBM saves between... Read more...
Microsoft HoloLens is expanding outside of North America, as the augmented reality headset will be available for pre-order in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany. Shipping will commence for these countries in November. Microsoft argued that the introduction of the HoloLens in these six new countries is a distinct milestone for their product. It remarked, “Each of these moments bring us closer to a more personal way of interacting with technology. They empower us to go further together, making it possible for people to communicate, create and collaborate more easily than ever before.” The Hololens, the world’s first and still only, self-contained holographic... Read more...
We’ve seen some rather nasty ransomware making the rounds over the past few months, but a new strain is wreaking havoc on computers around the globe. Brazilian firm Morphus Labs first discovered the Windows-based ransomware, which has been given the name Mamba. So far, Mamba has been found on computers located in Brazil, India and even the United States. According to Morphus Labs researcher Renato Marinho, Mamba has been spreading as a result of people being tricked into interacting with phishing emails. Once a user has been “hooked”, Mamba gets down to business by infecting the host machine, and then proceeds to overwrite the PC’s Master Boot Record (MBR). But whereas most ransomware will encrypt... Read more...
If you're trying to removing malware from your system, it's a good idea to boot your Windows system in Safe Mode, or so conventional wisdom has taught us. That's still true, but in an ironic turn of events, security researchers at CyberArk Labs warn that remote attackers who've infiltrated a system can use Safe Mode to more easily maneuver your network and do more harm while remaining undetected. Safe Mode loads only the bare necessities to boot and run Windows. It's primarily used to troubleshoot issues that arise in a normal Windows environment, be it a buggy driver, conflicting hardware or software, or a stubborn malware infection that you're trying to remove. The technology dates back over... Read more...
A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background. Fantom is based on the open-source EDA2 ransomware project, and unfortunately there's no way to decrypt the files without the culprit's help. Plain and simple, you're in a bad spot if you happen to fall for this one. While savvy computer users might spot the ransomware as a malicious attempt to wreak havoc, it's easy to see how a less experienced user could be tripped... Read more...
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