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Microsoft Office 2010 Reaches RTM Stage

Microsoft Office 2010 has finally reached the release to manufacturing (RTM) stage, which means that development on the new Office suite is complete and ready to be distributed. Microsoft will first give copies to manufacturing partners and OEMs, then businesses will get it, and then finally customers should expect to be able to grab a copy sometime in June.


“RTM is the final engineering milestone of a product release and our engineering team has poured their heart and soul into reaching this milestone. It is also an appropriate time to re-emphasize our sincere gratitude to the more than 5,000 organizations and partners who have worked with us on rapid deployment and testing of the products. Since the start of our public beta in November 2009, we’ve had more than 7.5 million people download the beta version – that’s more than 3 times the number of 2007 beta downloads.” — Microsoft Corporate Vice-President Takeshi Numoto.

So, it looks like Microsoft benefited from using a beta testing program (just like Windows 7), something that they didn’t use for Vista.

[TechNet Blog]

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When it comes to computer security, many people often say that Mac has the better edge, simply because they’ve been told that, but CNET sat down with Marc Maiffret, a famous and professional hacker and interviewed him about his success and the security state of Microsoft and Apple. Here are just some of the interesting quotes from the interview (Apple fanboys beware):

“Now when you look at Microsoft today they do more to secure their software than anyone. They’re the model for how to do it. They’re not perfect; there’s room for improvement. But they are definitely doing more than anybody else in the industry, I would say.”

“It’s even a little scarier with them (Apple) because they try to market themselves as more secure than the PC, that you don’t have to worry about viruses, etc. Anytime there’s been a hacking contest, within a few hours someone’s found a new Apple vulnerability.”

“And the Apple community is pretty ignorant to the risks that are out there as it relates to Apple. The reason we don’t see more attacks out there compared to Microsoft is because their market share isn’t near what Microsoft’s is.”

To read the complete Q&A, head on over to CNET.

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Windows Vista RTM No Longer Supported

As of today, Microsoft has quit supporting Windows Vista with no Service Packs a.k.a. Windows Vista RTM. It is recommended to upgrade to Windows 7 or at least install Service Pack 2 for Vista.

I doubt any of you are running the RTM version of Vista (let alone Vista itself), but we just wanted to send out a friendly reminder anyway.

via [Windows Team Blog]

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Huzzah! The beta build of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 has been upped onto torrent sites. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. No one?

It looks like a pretty recent build, with the compile date being March 27th. Geek Smack was brave enough to download and install the leaked Service Pack and they’ve even taken quite a few screenshots of the installation process. They specially noted that the installation was much quicker than service packs on Vista, which is to be expected since anything is faster when it doesn’t run on Vista.

For those curious about getting in on this, look for the full build string, which is 6.1.7601.16537.amd64fre.win7.100327-0053.

As for me, I can live without SP1 for now. I’ll be waiting until the official release.

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Starting up something new and trying to get people to use it is no easy task, but Microsoft has managed it fairly well with their new Bing search engine. According to Nielson, Bing reached 12.5% market share in February, which is an all-time high. To add to that, Bing saw a tremendous 15% increase in market share from January (10.9%) to February (12.5%). Microsoft could easily catch up to Yahoo! where they have a 14.1% stake in the market and hold the number two position behind search engine giant Google, who holds a 65.2% share.

via [PR Newswire]

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Microsoft Talks SP1 for Windows 7

For all of those silently waiting anxiously for a Service Pack update for Windows 7, you’re in luck because Microsoft is in talks about it right now! However, your celebration might be a bit premature because it seems that SP1 for Windows 7 won’t include anything more than a few minor updates, as well as a Remote Desktop update that uses RemoteFX (which is a Windows Server thing and won’t effect us Windows 7 users).

For Windows 7, SP1 includes only minor updates, among which are previous updates that are already delivered through Windows Update. SP1 for Windows 7 will, however, deliver an updated Remote Desktop client that takes advantage of RemoteFX introduced in the server-side with SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2.

There’s no word yet on any kind of release schedule, but we can be sure that SP1 will be available conveniently through Windows Update when the time comes.

[Windows 7 Blog]

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Internet Explorer 9 Demoed at MIX10

At MIX10, Microsoft unveiled details of their ninth version of Internet Explorer. It’s only been in development for three weeks, so what Microsoft demoed was an extremely early IE9 build, but we got a sneak peek at HTML5 support, but Microsoft seems hesitant at the moment until HTML5 is actually a go. Their new Javascript engine seems to be catching up to Chrome and Firefox speed-wise, but still has yet to beat them. Improved CSS support will also be a focus, as well as hardware acceleration, which will use DirectX and the GPU to improve graphic and AJAX rendering.

It looks like Microsoft is finally stepping up to the plate with their browser. It’s still to early to tell if IE9 will be a contender and Microsoft hasn’t said anything about availability, but you can download a platform preview of IE9 here.

via [Download Squad]

UPDATE: In a Q&A session following the keynote, Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager of the IE team, has said that IE9 will not be supported in Windows XP.

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Windows 7: 90 Million Served

Redmond’s newest operating system, Windows 7, has sold 90 million licenses since its release in the Fall of 2009. This makes Windows 7 the fastest-selling operating system of all time. The announcement came early last week at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference by Microsoft CFO Peter Klein.

[Windows Blog via MCV]

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Good news for all prospective buyers of Microsoft Office 2007. If you buy the 2007 suite between now and September 30, 2010, you’ll be able to grab Office 2010 for free when it’s released this June. We’re not sure why you would want Office 2007 anytime after June, but who knows what crazy things people do these days.

[Microsoft]

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In another attempt to boost their Games for Windows platform, Microsoft is now offering a new awesome deal every week through their on-demand download system. This week features Batman: Arkham Asylum at 75% off, costing you a mere $12.49. The deal ends March 1st and the next deal will be revealed on March 5th, so be sure to keep an eye on the details page and don’t miss out on a great deal!

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