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The much-anticipated update to Windows 8.1, which is scheduled for release to the general public in early April, has leaked to the web early. And this time the leak comes from an unexpected source: Microsoft itself. After being released to manufacturing a couple days ago, the update was supposed to roll out on a carefully graduated schedule, first to “dogfooders” inside Microsoft, then to MSDN subscribers, and finally to the public via Windows Update.
But thanks to some accurate instructions on the MyDigitalLife forum, anyone can download the update files directly from Microsoft, using direct links or by tweaking the registry to enable the update to appear in Windows Update. The registry edit successfully enabled the updates on one test system, a Surface Pro running Windows 8.1 Pro. It didn’t work on a desktop system running Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition.
The complete package consists of six updates, the largest of which contains the Windows 8.1 Feature Pack. On an x64 test system, that download was approximately 761 MB in size.
via ZDnet > http://www.zdnet.com...ond-7000027074/
There's nothing like ending the week with a few fresh Windows rumors.First up, the target release date for Windows 8.1 Update 1 -- the relatively minor update coming to Windows 8.1 this spring -- is allegedly March 11, according to one of my accurate and trusted sources. Yes, that's a Patch Tuesday. Given that Microsoft will likely deliver Update 1 to Windows 8.1 users via Windows Update, this seems pretty believable to me.
Windows leaker WZor previously indicated that Windows 8.1 Update 1 would likely be released to manufacturing in March, but didn't provide a specific date. One more tidbit about Windows 8.1 Update 1 from my aforementioned source: Update 1 may feature some of the work that Microsoft has been doing behind the scenes to reduce further the memory and disk space requirements for Windows. This would allow Windows 8.1 Update 1 to run on cheaper small tablets.
Windows 8.1 Update 1, screen shots of which leaked earlier this week, is expected to allow users to pin Metro-style/Windows Store apps to their desktop task bars. Thumbnail previews of these Metro-style apps will be available from the Desktop task bar, according to additional screen shots. Windows 8.1 Update 1 also is expected to include close boxes for Metro-style apps. If Microsoft does hit the March 11 date with Windows 8.1 Update 1, that release will hit just a few weeks before the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system supposedly will. Rumors have indicated that Windows Phone 8.1 (a k a "Blue") will RTM just prior to the kick off of Microsoft's Build 2014 conference, which starts April 2. From what I've heard, Windows Phone 8.1 won't be available to consumers until later this April, at the earliest, though developers will likely have access to the bits sooner than that.
Even though the arrival dates for Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Phone 8.1 are relatively close, it's now sounding from my sources that there won't be application programming interface (API) changes made to Windows 8.1 Update 1 to bring it into closer alignment with Windows Phone 8.1. Instead, Windows 8.1 Update 1 will be focused primarily on making Windows 8.1 more useful to business users.
read the full story at ZDnet > http://www.zdnet.com...-11-7000025559/
403 Views · 1 Replies ( Last reply by kingbuzzo )
At the BUILD developer conference in April 2014, Microsoft will discuss its vision for the future of Windows, including a year-off release codenamed "Threshold" that will most likely be called Windows 9. Here's what I know about the next major release of Windows. As a kind of recap, we know that Microsoft will update Windows 8.1 in 2014, first with a service pack/feature pack-type update called Update 1 (or GDR1 internally). I wrote a bit about this update recently in Windows 8.1 Update 1 (Very Early) Preview but the expectation is that it will ship in April 2014 alongside Windows Phone 8.1, the development of which Microsoft will soon complete.
Also in April, of course, is BUILD 2014. That show will hit just weeks after Microsoft completes its corporate reorganization and will surprisingly be very much focused on Windows Phone and Xbox, according to my sources. But I think Windows watchers will agree that the biggest news from the show will be an announcement about Microsoft's plans for the next major Windows version, codenamed "Threshold."
I previously wrote about Threshold in Microsoft to Take Windows to the "Threshold", Further Changes Coming in Windows "Threshold" and Big Changes Are Coming to Windows. This is the release my sources previously pegged as being the one that will see the return of the Start menu and the ability to run Metro-style apps on the desktop alongside desktop applications.
But Threshold is more important than any specific updates. Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment. That's a disaster, and Threshold needs to strike a better balance between meeting the needs of over a billion traditional PC users while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on new types of personal computing devices. In short, it needs to be everything that Windows 8 is not.
Here's what I've learned about Threshold.
Windows 9. To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking.
BUILD vision announcement. In case it's not obvious that the Sinofsky era is over, Microsoft will use BUILD to provide its first major "vision" announcement for Windows since, yes, Longhorn in 2003. Don't expect anything that grandiose, but the Windows team believes it needs to hit a happy middle ground between the KGB-style secrecy of the Sinofsky camp and the freewheeling "we can do it all" days that preceded that. As important, the firm understands that customers need something to be excited about.
No bits at BUILD. Microsoft will not be providing developers with an early alpha release of "Threshold" at BUILD, and for a good reason: The product won't even begin development until later that month. Right now, Microsoft is firming up which features it intends to deliver in this release.
Metro 2.0. Maturing and fixing the "Metro" design language used by Windows will be a major focus area of Threshold. It's not clear what changes are coming, but it's safe to assume that a windowed mode that works on the desktop is part of that.
Three milestones. Microsoft expects to deliver three milestone releases of "Threshold" before its final release. It's unclear what these releases will be called (Beta, Release Candidate, etc.) or which if any will be provided to the public.
April 2015 release. Microsoft is currently targeting April 2015 for the release of Windows 9 "Threshold."
more via WinSuperSite.com > http://winsupersite....ship-april-2015
Yesterday Microsoft released 11 security bulletins fixing 24 vulnerabilities in Windows, Windows Server, Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Office Web Apps, Lync, ASP.NET SignalR, and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013. Five of the bulletins address at least one vulnerability rated Critical. Another recently-reported zero-day was not fixed. Microsoft says that four of the bulletins (MS13-096, MS13-098, MS13-104 and MS13-106) contain a vulnerability which is being exploited in the wild. Of particular concern is MS13-098 which could undermine code signing, one of the more important fundamental protections available today.
- MS13-096: Vulnerability in Microsoft Graphics Component Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2908005) — This update fixes a vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild. The bug was in TIFF parsing and and affected an odd assortment of Windows and Office versions.
- MS13-097: Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2898785) — Seven vulnerabilities, five of them rated critical, are fixed in the latest cumulative update.
- MS13-098: Vulnerability in Windows Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2893294) — The WinVerifyTrust function, which is involved in verification of code signatures, has a critical vulnerability which could allow a malicious actor to inject malicious code into a signed executable. Microsoft says that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild.
- MS13-099: Vulnerability in Microsoft Scripting Runtime Object Library Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2909158) — A critical vulnerability in Windows Script 5.6, Windows Script 5.7, and Windows Script 5.8 could allow a malicious web site to take control of a user's computer.
- MS13-100: Vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint Server Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2904244) — Multiple SharePoint page content vulnerabilities, collected as CVE-2013-5059, could run arbitrary code in the security context of the W3WP service account. SharePoint Server 2010, 2013, and Office Web Apps 2013 are affected.
- MS13-101: Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2880430) — Five vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally and would have to run a malicious program to exploit this vulnerability.
- MS13-102: Vulnerability in LRPC Client Could Allow Elevation of Privilege
(2898715) — Malicious code could elevate privilege by spoofing an LRPC server and sending a specially crafted LPC port message to any LRPC client.
- MS13-104: Vulnerability in Microsoft Office Could Allow Information Disclosure (2909976) — By getting a user to open an Office document on a malicious web site, the attacker could ascertain access tokens used to authenticate the current user on a targeted SharePoint or other Microsoft Office server site. Strangely, Microsoft says both that functional exploit code for this vulnerability is unlikely, and that they are aware of limited, targeted attempts to exploit it.
- MS13-105: Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2915705) — This describes four vulnerabilities in Exchange Server, 2 of them in a bundled component from Oracle.
- MS13-106: Vulnerability in a Microsoft Office Shared Component Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (2905238) — Loading a shared Office component as an ActiveX control in IE could allow it to bypass ASLR. The vulnerability has been publicly disclosed and Microsoft is aware of attempts to exploit it.
via Zdnet - http://www.zdnet.com...ent-7000024145/
When I blogged recently about Microsoft's plans on the operating-systems front following Windows 8.1, I mentioned a couple of "spring 2015" releases.
It turns out the Microsoft codename for that wave of deliverables is Threshold.
A couple of my contacts have confirmed that Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson recently mentioned the Threshold codename in an internal email about plans for his unified operating-system engineering group. If all goes according to early plans, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone) that will advance them in a way to share even more common elements.
(The codename Threshold, for those wondering, derives from the planet around which the first halo ring orbited in the original Halo game launched back in 2001. Threshold joins "Cortana," Microsoft's answer to Siri, as yet another codename with its origins in the Xbox franchise.)
From what I've heard, Threshold doesn't refer to a single Windows OS -- not even the expected, converged hybrid comprised of the Windows Phone OS and Windows RT. Instead, the codename refers to the wave of operating systems across Windows-based phones, devices and gaming consoles. The Xbox One OS, Windows 8.x OS and Windows Phone 8 OS already share a common Windows NT core. As we've heard before, Microsoft is working to deliver a single app store across its myriad Windows platforms. Company officials also are laboring to make the developer toolset for all three of these platforms more similar.
But Threshold will add another level of commonality across Microsoft's various Windows-based platforms, sources said.
With the Threshold wave, Microsoft plans to support the same core set of "high value activities" across platforms. These high-value activities include expression/documents (Office, and the coming "Remix" digital storytelling app, I'd think); decision making/task completion (Bing, I'd assume); IT management (Intune and Workplace Join, perhaps?) and "serious fun."
CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned this concept of high-value activities at back in July when he announced Microsoft's cross-company reorg to make the company more focused around its new "One Microsoft" mission.
Before Microsoft gets to Threshold, the company is on track to deliver an update to Windows 8.1 (known as Windows 8.1 Update 1) around the same time that it delivers Windows Phone "Blue" (Windows Phone 8.1). That's supposedly happening in the spring 2014/Q2 2014 timeframe, from what my sources have said. I've asked Microsoft officials if they'd confirm any of this information about Threshold. No word back so far.
via Zdnet - http://www.zdnet.com...ape-7000023832/
581 Views · 1 Replies ( Last reply by kingbuzzo )
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