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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Category: Security & privacy
January 12, 2015 at 8:58 AM

Microsoft criticizes Google for releasing Windows bug

The rivalry between Microsoft and Google has spread to the realm of software bugs.

For the second time in a few weeks, Google security researchers posted details about a Windows security flaw before Microsoft fixed the bug. Microsoft didn’t publicly reply to Google after the first case.

But after Google detailed another security vulnerability Sunday, two days before Microsoft’s release of its regular slate of software fixes, a Microsoft official accused the Mountain View, Calif., company of trying to embarrass Microsoft rather than protect customers.

Google’s “Project Zero,” its security unit dedicated to finding and exposing bugs, on Sunday revealed a Windows 8.1 security flaw that can allow low-level users of a network to gain administrator privileges and access sensitive functions.

Google says it follows a consistent formula with its security efforts. Once researchers discover a flaw, they alert the company whose software is involved, and give them 90 days to fix the error before Google makes the bug public (along with code that could allow people to exploit it).

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Comments | More in Security & privacy | Topics: google, microsoft, security

April 15, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Microsoft and Interpol talk about public-safety software

Microsoft is hosting a two-day symposium in Redmond bringing together an international group of 300 people who work in public safety. The company announced Citizen Safety Architecture this morning, which brings together several products Microsoft has developed for governments, such as sharing information across agencies for disaster management and criminal investigations. The company will offer free…

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March 25, 2009 at 6:26 PM

Q&A: Microsoft chief strategist Craig Mundie on global competition, government IT

Craig Mundie, Microsoft chief research and strategy officer, said Americans seeking to update their technology skills should look to the nation’s community colleges for training.

Mundie took a break from the company’s Government Leaders Forum — Americas on Wednesday to talk with me about global competitiveness, the government IT spending environment, prospects for cloud computing in government IT portfolios and more.

Earlier in the day, Mundie talked to the gathering of Latin American governors and ministerial-level leaders about using technology to improve health care and education. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is scheduled to address the group, meeting in Leesburg, Va., on Thursday.

Here are edited excerpts from my talk with Mundie:

Q: You remarked on the idea that technology has been a great global leveler, contributing to developing nations’ transition from industrial and agricultural economies to knowledge-based economies. What’s available for people in this country who are facing layoffs now and want to compete on that global playing field that technology creates?

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Comments | More in Cloud computing, Data centers, Education, Public policy & issues, Security & privacy, Strategy, Tech Economy

December 16, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Unpatched flaw in Internet Explorer prompts calls to change browsers until fix issued

The BBC and others are reporting today on a security vulnerability in Internet Explorer 7 — though earlier versions of the Microsoft Web browser also have the same flaw — that has yet to be patched. Microsoft has been working on it since at least Wednesday, when it published a security bulletin explaining the flaw.

Update, 12:40 p.m.: Microsoft says it has a security update for this vulnerability. It will be released Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. via Automatic Updates and Microsoft Update. More after the jump.

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December 4, 2008 at 7:46 AM

Microsoft news roundup: IBM’s ‘Microsoft-free’ desktop; Microsoft tightens integration with RSA; Obama’s Zune?

IBM has created a “Microsoft-free” desktop, according to The Wall Street Journal, which is “a complete suite of applications that run on a backroom server and don’t require Microsoft software or costly desktop hardware.” The combo of a Linux OS and IBM thin-client office software will cost from $59 to $289 per seat, a savings of $500 to $800 over a Microsoft desktop with Vista, Office and collaboration tools, according to IBM estimates.

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Comments | More in News roundup, Open source, Security & privacy, Zune

November 3, 2008 at 10:02 AM

More on Microsoft’s security report: Malware infections highest in developing economies

Malware infection map.JPG

Malware infections as measured by Microsoft are worst in many developing economies, such as Brazil and North Africa. This map shows infection rates measured as the number of computers cleaned per thousand uses of the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool.

The information comes from Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report, released today. Find more details from the report in this story from today’s paper.

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August 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Microsoft releases beta 2 of IE8; more from Firefox maker Mozilla

Read my story about Microsoft releasing a second test version of its next Web browser, Internet Explorer 8, here. Get it and try it yourself here.

For some added perspective, I talked with Mike Shaver, a founding member of Mozilla, maker of Firefox. He’s currently interim vice president of engineering. Rather than gloating about the success of the browser and the 15-plus points of market share Firefox has taken from IE in the last four years, he was glad to see Microsoft speeding up improvements to its own browser:

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Comments | More in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Security & privacy, Web browsers

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