Entries with tag windows 8.

Chinese Government Bans Windows 8

The Chinese government has announced that its agencies cannot use Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. The prohibition was related to energy savings, said China’s Central Government Procurement Center, which offered no further explanation. The official Xinhua news agency, on the other hand, said the ban was enacted to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April 2014. A more precise rationale for the ban was not provided by officials. Microsoft does provide security support, for a fee to governments still using Windows XP and is already doing so in the Netherlands and the UK. (Reuters)(TIME)(ZD Net)

Financial Systems Are Vulnerable as Windows XP Support Ends

Despite Microsoft repeatedly heralding the end of Windows XP support, analysts say several types of financial systems are vulnerable as their operators will likely keep running the 12-year-old operating system. The problem is that systems such as independent automated teller machines (ATMs) and small businesses’ credit-card-sales systems are likely to continue running XP—for which supported ended on April 8—because of the high cost and inconvenience of upgrading. For upgrades to Windows 7, some retailers could pay $1,700 for a single-store credit-card payment system and ATM vendors could pay between $4,000 to 5,000 per machine. If new ATM hardware is needed, that could cost another $50,000 and $60,000 per device.



The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has warned retailers about the security risks of continuing to use XP systems but does not require them to upgrade their systems to operate on credit-card networks. Security analysts say malware writers sold new XP exploits that hackers have stockpiled in anticipation of Windows XP’s support ending. (TIME)(ZD Net)

Microsoft Plans to Update Controversial Windows 8

Microsoft executives are dropping hints about an update for the oft-criticized Windows 8 scheduled for later this year. Codenamed “Blue,” the update would enable the company’s software products to work on devices with smaller screens. Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Windows, said during the Wired Developer Conference that a public preview of the Windows 8 update will be available prior to the Microsoft developers’ conference in June. This Windows version has come under fire for its new user interface, which International Data Corp., a market research firm, says is significantly contributing to the PC market’s erosion. Although there have been rumors the impending update might address some of the rampant criticism, Larson-Green claims there will be no major changes. (CNET -- 1)(ZDNet)(CNET -- 2)(Windows Blog)

Market Research Firm Blames Windows 8 for PC Sales Drop

Analysts with IDC, a market research firm, say Windows 8 is responsible for the recent significant drop in PC sales by confusing consumers. The new operating system “not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” according to a statement from Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program VP Clients and Displays. According to IDC, global PC shipments dipped 13.9 percent through the first three months of 2013, compared with the same time period last year. This is the largest drop since the firm began tracking quarterly desktop-computer sales in 1994. O’Donnell added that, although some consumers seem to appreciate the new capabilities, “the radical changes to the [user interface], removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Analysts originally forecast first quarter 2013 PC sales would dip 7.7 percent. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment declines. (SlashDot)(ABC News)(ZDNet)(Mashable)

New EU Complaint Lodged Against Microsoft

A Spanish open-source group filed a complaint with the European Commission against Microsoft Tuesday. Hispalinux claims Windows 8 has a feature that makes it difficult for a user to easily install alternative operating systems. Microsoft reportedly claims this mechanism is a security feature users have known about. The company stated it is “confident our approach complies with the law and helps keep customers safe.” Hispalinux, an 8,000-member group of Linux users and developers, says in the 14-page complaint, The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Secure Boot in Windows 8 serves as “a de facto technological jail for computer booting systems... making Microsoft's Windows platform less neutral than ever.” Users wishing to install another operating system must obtain keys from Microsoft to be able to do so. The net effect is anti-competitive and bad for users and the software industry, claims the group. Earlier this month, the European Commission fined Microsoft 561m euros (£484m) for failing to offer users a choice of web browser, bringing the total fines levied against it for violating EU business rules in the past decade 2.2 billion euros ($2.83 billion), according to Reuters. (BBC)(Reuters)

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