Microsoft Surface

I was at the mall today, and saw that a Microsoft Store had opened. My wife was clothes shopping, so I thought what the hell, I’ll go and look at the new Surface tablet. The Microsoft store is obviously modeled on the Apple Store. It’s almost embarrassing how much they want to be Apple; it’s a bit like your dad putting a baseball cap on backwards and pretending to be ‘gangsta’.

Top 10 rejected Windows Vista font names

Calumny Candelabra Colonic Cabalist Canker Capitulate Cadaver Cornhole Catamite Colostomy Seriously, though, who thought it would be a good idea to give them all nondescript one-word names beginning with ‘C’?

Ouch

At the weekend I cleaned the windows. A downside to a 2-storey house that I hadn’t considered is the difficulty of cleaning the windows on the upper floor. Rather than clamber on the roof or try to handle an 8m ladder, I bought a dispenser of window cleaner that attaches to the hose and sprays suds quite a distance. You then leave them for 15-20 seconds, and hose off. It did an adequate job.

Microsoft discovers principles

Microsoft has announced its new tenets to “promote competition”, so I thought I’d take a look at them. I wasn’t impressed.

1. Installation of any software. Computer manufacturers and customers are free to add any software to PCs that run Windows.

Translation: “Your computer belongs to you, not us.”

Yes, you’re actually allowed to install any software you like on the computer you build or purchase. It’s hard to believe that Microsoft even have to write this down. That they feel it’s some kind of new principle to apply “going forward” is a shocking admission.

XP SP2

A few months ago people were telling me that Windows XP Service Pack 2 would be secure, and that they were running the beta release and were therefore safe. As with every previous Microsoft promise of security, this one has turned out to be an illusion. A new worm called Phel infects systems running the final XP SP2. All you have to do is visit a web page, and it downloads and installs itself and puts a backdoor on your machine.

OK, who didn’t see this coming?

Microsoft Windows XP SP 2, the new service pack promised to improve the shoddy insecurity of Windows systems, has already had two critical holes found in it. The result is that innocent looking files with non-executable extensions like .gif can execute arbitrary code on your machine when launched, without XP SP2 warning you in any way.

You’re not going anywhere today

Microsoft press release, 2002: Microsoft has announced that the BMW 7 Series features its real-time embedded operating system, Windows CE. This comes shortly after Microsoft’s Automotive Business Unit launched Windows CE for Automotive v3.5. This latest telematics software version based on Windows CE is an open platform that allows developers to create powerful in-car computing systems. It offers flexibility and choice of hardware platforms, peripherals and software components, as well as being able to take advantage of the growing community of experienced CE developers.

Windows misbehaves

At the weekend, I was installing a software update on the ThinkPad when the Microsoft installer decided to fail for permissions reasons. It didn’t think to tell me it needed to be administrator before running through the entire install, no, that would be too easy. And somehow although it wasn’t privileged enough to install the software update, it was privileged enough to wipe out several vital system files. So Windows started demanding the Windows 2000 CD.