Articles about Windows

Your next PC is… your 'Droid? Remix unveils Continuum-killer

Jide, the company founded by three ex-Googlers, has shown how a phone can act as a Continuum-style hub. When plugged into an external monitor, the Android device – with the new and as-yet unreleased cut of Jide's Remix OS – allows the user to work with "desktop-friendly" versions of the apps that are already installed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
European flag with sad face

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

The EU’s top privacy body has been probing Windows 10, but isn’t satisfied, even after Microsoft agreed to tweak the consent settings. Microsoft unveiled new privacy controls as part of its forthcoming “Creators Update” to Windows 10 due this spring. However, Reuters reports that the Article 29 Working Party, which represents …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
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Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped

SAP has scored what threatens to be a pyrrhic victory in court against one of its own customers. A British court sided with the software giant in a case that threatens to drastically increase the amount of money customers must pay it. A judge ruled that SAP's named-user licensing fees must cover any and all software that …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2017
Sad Android

Beeps, roots and leaves: Car-controlling Android apps create theft risk

Insecure car-controlling Android apps create a heightened car theft risk, security researchers at Kaspersky Lab warn. Boffins at the security software maker made the warning after putting Android apps from seven (unnamed) car makers through their paces, uncovering a raft of basic security flaws in the process. During recent …
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2017
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Love lambda, love Microsoft's Graph Engine. But you fly alone

Analysis Much has changed at Microsoft since Steve Ballmer described Linux as "a cancer" in reaction to the open-source flag-flyer's threat to Redmond's money-spinning Windows business. Three years after Redmond's researchers published their whitepaper on distributed graph engine Trinity, Microsoft has announced that it has released …
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Google bellows bug news after Microsoft sails past fix deadline

Google's Project Zero has again revealed a Windows bug before Microsoft fixed it. Project Zero operates under a “once we tell you about a bug you have 90 days to fix it or the kitten gets it or we reveal it to the world” policy. On this occasion, the bug allows attackers to access memory using EMF metafiles, a tool …
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2017

Yee-haw! It's the Friday storage round-up

Not every story is NetApp making a hyperconverged product, or Oracle possibly canning tape products. Here's a roundup of several pieces of news that are nevertheless significant. We wrote about data management startup Komprise some time ago. It tells us it released its product last year, has partnerships with NetApp, EMC, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017

As Microsoft touts Windows Insider for biz, let's take a look at W10's broken 2FA logins

For months now, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has broken two-factor logins using certain smart cards – and Microsoft has refused to discuss it. According to Reg readers writing in, and W10 users on support forums, folks who have Yubikey two-factor authentication gadgets have been hitting frustrating error messages when …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Feb 2017

ASLR-security-busting JavaScript hack demo'd by university boffins

Researchers in Europe have developed a way to exploit a common computer processor feature to bypass a crucial security defense provided by modern operating systems. By abusing the way today's CPUs manage system memory, an attacker can discover where software components, such as libraries and RAM-mapped files, are located in …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2017

'We need a new Geneva Convention to protect all citizens from snoops'

RSA USA In 1949, the world’s nations came together to sign the Geneva Conventions, according respect in times of war to civilians, soldiers incapable of fighting, and prisoners of war. Now we need to go back and do the same for civilians caught up in online conflict, according to Microsoft. In a keynote at this year's RSA USA …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2017
Valentine card

Roses are red, bugs make you blue, Patch Tuesday is late, because Microsoft loves you

IT admins hoping to get out of the office early for Valentine's Day have received some potentially welcome or heartbreaking news from Microsoft, depending on how they're set up. The Windows slinger says it will hold back its usual monthly release of software security patches while it irons out some last-minute problems with …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2017
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Amazon Chimes into video-conferencing: Watch out Skype and Google

Amazon has opened a new front in its battle for enterprise applications against Microsoft, Google and Cisco. The giant has unveiled Chime – a cloud-based unified voice, video and chat communications service targeting corporate IT as much as end users. Chime will, Amazon claims, eliminate common frustrations found in video- …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Feb 2017
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It's over? Pat Gelsinger's post vSphere VMware NSX-T opportunity

Sysadmin Blog VMware has recently announced its financial results for 2016, and for a company that's not just satured but that leads the VM market, it had a very good year. Some of this is attributed to accepting that VMware can't beat AWS, so it might as well join them. But VMware's NSX Network Virtualization arguably led the way, doubling …
Trevor Pott, 14 Feb 2017

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

The German city of Munich, which pioneered the use of open source software at scale in government, looks set to replace Linux on the desktop with Windows. The city's government has posted proposal for a new IT policy (PDF in German) that Reg affiliate Heise reports calls for the development of a new Windows-based standard …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2017
Surface Book

That guy using a Surface you keep seeing around town could be a spy

Microsoft's pointed out that the United States' National Security Agency has added some Surface devices to the nation's okay-for-accessing-secure-information list. That list's proper name is the Commercial Solutions for Classified Program and was created because the US government used to spend years building a secure suite of …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2017
Penguins in Antarctica

Linus Torvalds decides world doesn't need a new Linux today

Those waiting for the milestone that would have been version 4.10 of the Linux kernel have another week to wait, after Linus Torvalds decided not to release the final version this week. “Hey, it's another week, and I could have released the final 4.10,” Torvalds posted to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, adding that “... I …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2017

Bugat-wielding hacker: Yes, I tried to nick $3.2m from US schools, oil biz

A Moldovan miscreant has admitted infecting computers at a US oil company and school district in an attempt to rob the organizations blind. Andrey Ghinkul pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of conspiracy and damaging computers, all stemming from his involvement with the Bugat malware between 2011 and 2012. Bugat arose …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Feb 2017

Lovely. Now someone's ported IoT-menacing Mirai to Windows boxes

The Mirai malware that hijacked hundreds of thousands of IoT gadgets, routers and other devices is now capable of infecting Windows systems. The software nasty, discovered in August 2016, broke into heaps of insecure Linux-powered gizmos worldwide before running distributed denial of service attacks, most notably against DNS …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2017

Take cover! Storage news barrage incoming

Incoming! Boom, boom and boom again – storage news announcements hit the wires in a relentless barrage. Here's a few we've received showing developments in data protection, cloud storage, hyper-converged storage, the dregs of flash memory and more. Acronis Backup 12 now includes backup for Office 365 and VMware vSphere 6.5. …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2017
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Welcome to my world of The Unexplained – yes, you're welcome to it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I'm getting funny dreams again. Either that or I have stepped into one of Arthur C Clarke's episodes of Mysterious World of The Unexplained albeit without the Sri Lankan foliage and Eric Morecambe glasses. Inexplicable things have been occurring around me this week. In other circumstances, this might be fun. With the grim …
Alistair Dabbs, 10 Feb 2017
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IT guy checks to see if PC is virus-free, with virus-ridden USB stick

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly therapy session for readers who need to share terrible memories of jobs gone horribly, horribly, wrong. This week, meet “Dirk” who we imagine is carrying quite an emotional load because he's witnessed some horrors created by truly dull-witted users. Take, for example, the crew his IT team …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017
malware

Macs don't get viruses? Hahaha, ha... seriously though, that Word doc could be malware

Hackers are menacing Apple Mac users with Word documents laced with malicious macros that install malware. Security researchers spotted a rash of poisonous files doing the rounds earlier this week, one of which was titled "U.S. Allies and Rivals Digest Trump's Victory – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.docm." Apple …
John Leyden, 09 Feb 2017
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Life after antivirus: Reinventing endpoint security

Promo Security professionals still talk about “antivirus defences,” but in the space of a handful of years what is meant by this term has undergone a dramatic shift. On the surface, things look much as they have always done. Businesses still run what used to be called “AV protection,” reinvented some time ago as the all-purpose “ …
John E Dunn, 09 Feb 2017
Windows 10 Mixed Reality, no longer just for HoloLens

Windows 10: What is it good for? Microsoft pitches to devs ahead of Creators Update

Microsoft briefed developers on the updates to the Windows 10 platform at an online Developer Day in preparation for the Creators Update, set for release later this year. The Windows 10 story is long and complex. In 2012 Microsoft released Windows 8, intended to bring the operating system into the mobile era, where apps are …
Tim Anderson, 09 Feb 2017
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SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh

Once the second biggest enemy of Linux (SCO Group takes top honours), Microsoft is positively giddy about not just supporting Linux but actually building tools that run Linux in Windows and about putting previously Windows-only software on Linux. You can run Ubuntu inside Windows 10, install CoreOS and Docker containers inside …
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Microsoft touts cheap-ish anti-patent troll protection shield for Azure-hosted devs

Patent trolls are a growing problem, and Microsoft thinks that it has the solution – an affordable-ish protection scheme for Azure customers. Under the newly announced Azure IP Advantage program, users of Microsoft's cloud compute service can sign up and get the backing of Redmond's arsenal of more than 10,000 technology …
Iain Thomson, 09 Feb 2017

Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

Some time late last year, without most of us really noticing, the Vivaldi browser became genuinely, startingly useful. I’d met the Opera Software founder Jon von Tetzchner two years ago when he unveiled Vivaldi's technical preview. Jon has always one of the more thoughtful and engaging founders you meet. But what was he doing …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2017

Revealed: Malware that skulks in memory, invisibly collecting sysadmins' passwords

Cybercriminals have hit scores of enterprises in 40 countries using hidden malware. Banks, telecommunication companies and government organisations in the US, South America, Europe and Africa have already been hit by the ongoing (and stealthy) attacks. Kaspersky Lab experts report that the attacks harness widely available …
John Leyden, 08 Feb 2017
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Honeypots: Free psy-ops weapons that can protect your network before defences fail

Feature The hackers breached the transport operator's systems and before they knew it had sent a passenger train hurtling into a wall. And the only reason you didn't read about it in the papers was that the systems were an entirely fictitious network created in 2015 to test just how far snoopers or crims would go in attacking vulnerable …
Darren Pauli, 08 Feb 2017

MapR seeks DevOps love: Stateful storage WLTM Docker containers

MapR says it is has immediate availability for the industry's first persistent storage for containers that offers complete state access to files, database tables, and message streams from any location. The MapR Converged Data Platform for Docker includes the MapR Persistent Client Container (PACC). MapR trots out the cliché …
Chris Mellor, 07 Feb 2017
Money cloud

Cloud price wars resume as Microsoft cuts by up to 51 per cent

Microsoft has made another round of cuts to its cloudy costs, for both virtual machines and storage. Microsoft's F-series VMs, which offer cores on a Xeon E5-2673 v3, are down by up to 23 per cent for Linux and 18 per cent for Windows machines. The A1 Basic VM, Microsoft's second-wimpiest cloud server, is down by up to 42 per …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Feb 2017

BlackBerry wraps up India

Tying up loose ends, BlackBerry has found a licensee to sell BlackBerry-branded devices in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. It now has deals in place covering the planet, the largest by far being with Chinese giant TCL. Publicly listed Optiemus Infracom will sell the devices in the Indian region. The company is a …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Feb 2017
Mark Shuttleworth photo by Canonical

Ubuntu Linux daddy Mark Shuttleworth: Carrots for Unity 8?

New year, new Linux – or, in the case of Ubuntu, two. As in years past, Canonical's distro gets two updates in 2017 – the spring and autumn releases numbered and named respectively 17.04, Zesty Zapus, and 17.10 – name TBD, actually. As ever there will be UI and experience fiddling – Zesty Zapus sees changes in windows …
Gavin Clarke, 06 Feb 2017
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Microsoft's DRM can expose Windows-on-Tor users' IP address

Windows users running the Tor browser can be tricked into uncloaking themselves, with a pretty straightforward trick based on Microsoft's DRM system. The discovery was made by Hacker House, which says it's been researching social engineering attacks made using DRM-protected content. What the UK-based security outfit found is …

Update or shut up: Microsoft's choice for desktop Skypers

Microsoft's hurrying desktop Skype users to new client software. As revealed in a post late last week, Redmond's new plan will mean that come March 1st, users of “Skype for Windows desktop (7.16 and below) or Skype for Mac (7.0 to 7.18) will no longer be able to sign in.” To avoid that conversational crimp, you need merely …
Team Register, 06 Feb 2017
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If Linus Torvalds works well in airports, Linux 4.10 will land next week

Last week Linus Torvalds suggested Linux kernel developers should hurry up and calm things down, because he worried that version 4.10 might take longer than he wanted to complete. And this week he's all-but recanted that request, because he thinks he may not have time to finish the job. “Hey, look at that,” Torvalds wrote on …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Feb 2017
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Thought your data was safe outside America after the Microsoft ruling? Think again

The US Department of Justice will be happy campers this weekend. A court in Pennsylvania has ruled that Google must obey domestic search warrants for data stored overseas. In other words, Google has to hand over to the FBI suspects' email regardless of where it is held. The ad giant had previously refused to comply with two …
Iain Thomson, 04 Feb 2017
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New SMB bug: How to crash Windows system with a 'link of death'

US CERT on Thursday issued a security advisory warning that all currently supported versions of Windows are vulnerable to a memory corruption bug that can be exploited to crash computers from afar. "Windows fails to properly handle a specially-crafted server response that contains too many bytes following the structure defined …
Thomas Claburn, 04 Feb 2017

Microsoft foists fake file system for fat Git repos

To lighten the burden of massive Git source code repositories, Microsoft has created a virtualized file system that allows developers to interact with large codebases without sending excessive amounts of data across the network. Git (when not applied to people or animals) refers to a distributed version control system for …
Thomas Claburn, 03 Feb 2017

Sophos update borks systems at London NHS trust

Updated An anti-malware update from Sophos caused borked systems at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) on Thursday. Sophos confirmed the problem in a brief statement, adding that it was working with the NHS Trust to get to the bottom of the issue. Sophos can confirm that the Trust raised a support case yesterday regarding an …
John Leyden, 03 Feb 2017

Fears Windows code-signing changes will screw up QA process

Changes introduced this week that mean code-signing certificates for Windows can only be sold in hardware form or run through a cloud-based "service" are continuing to be a concern for some developers. Industry trade body the Certificate Authority Security Council (CASC) decided in December that "best practice" for code- …
John Leyden, 03 Feb 2017
Cool dude with big hair and thumbs up like Arthur Fonzarelli

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists

ON-CALL Welcome to another Friday and therefore to another edition of On-Call, The Register's regular recycling of readers' recollections! This week, meet “Donald” [Why did that pseudonym come to mind? - Ed] who shared a tale that riffs on last week's dark, magical On-Call. Donald's tale starts with a late eighties gig “doing tech …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2017
Paisley skull

Tablets become feebleslabs as sales spiral down

The tablet computer market has slumped into “spiraling decline”, according to box-counter IDC. The firm defines tablets as either a “slate”, like the iPad, or a “detachable” that offers a first-party keyboard like a Microsoft Surface device. The firm's totted up all the sums from a year's worth of its Worldwide Quarterly …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2017
Engineer aboard Das Boot U-96 responds to telegraphs

'Webroot made my PCs s*** the bed' – AV update borks biz machines hard

Updated Anti-malware firm Webroot has apologized after an update pushed out this week borked computers at unlucky companies, leaving the PCs unbootable. El Reg learned of the issue through reader Andrew, who reported that the Webroot 9.0.15.43 update for enterprises has "shit the bed," creating all sorts of problems on corporate …
John Leyden, 02 Feb 2017

Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple

In its advice to the manufacturing community, Microsoft has said it wants PC builders to focus on quality and features that differentiate PCs from Macs. It's also seeking to migrate high-end features, and AR, into cheaper kit. Redmond's Channel 9 blog recently posted the WinHEC presentation made in Shenzhen to dozens of local …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Feb 2017
Visual Basic 6.0, the last version before .NET

Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

Microsoft program manager Mads Torgersen has posted about the company's programming language strategy, stating that the plan for Visual Basic has shifted from co-evolution with C# to a focus on "core scenarios". Torgersen outlines the strategy for the three pure .NET languages, C#, VB, and F#. C#, says Torgersen, is used by …
Tim Anderson, 02 Feb 2017
An eraser

Netherlands reverts to hand-counted votes to quell security fears

The Netherlands has decided its vote-counting software isn't ready for prime time, and will revert to hand-counted votes for its March 15 election. The voteare's security came under question when Dutch security bod Sijmen Ruwhof told local newscaster RTL Nieuws that the average iPad is more secure than the electoral software, …
Feet on hot beach sand

Amazon's cloudy desktops now tiptoe across hot sand

Amazon Web Services has found another way to make its “Workspaces” desktop-as-a-service offering more attractive: as of today the cloudy Windows instances run on solid state disks instead of ye olde spinning rust hard disks. The change doesn't change AWS' price for the service. The new disks are AWS' general purpose SSDs, so …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Feb 2017
Tired football kid. Photo by Matt Ragen/Shutterstock

In China, Apple's gegenpress doesn't scare the locals

Analysis Apple’s main job in earnings conferences is to remind us that there’s more to the world’s most valuable company than the iPhone – while persuading us that the iPhone is doing really jolly well. The iPhone generates almost two-thirds of Apple’s wealth. The latter task was easily accomplished yesterday, as this was the first …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Feb 2017
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Dear Microsoft – a sysadmin's wishlist

Sysadmin Blog I yell at Microsoft a lot. It's cathartic. Microsoft make several decent pieces of software and quite a few great cloud services, but for every awesome thing they create it seems they ruin something else. Over the past year I've developed a wishlist of changes. Dear Microsoft... Azure Stack I like Azure Stack. A lot. What I …
Trevor Pott, 01 Feb 2017