Posts Tagged With: Windows 8

Microsoft sets Windows 8 price, opens for pre-order…..


Microsoft Corp opened its Windows 8 operating system for pre-orders on Friday, setting the price for an upgrade to the full version of the software at $70 for a DVD pack.
Users can also wait for launch on October 26 to download the system onto their computers for $40, an offer price that will expire at the end of January. PCs running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8.
Shoppers can reserve the software pack at Microsoft’s own stores, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples and elsewhere. Microsoft has not yet announced the price of the full software to install from scratch, as opposed to the upgrade. The current price for a comparable version of Windows 7 is $200.
Any customer who buys, or already bought, a Windows 7 PC between June 2 and the end of January 2013 will be able to get an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $15, a move designed to prevent a drop-off in PC sales before the launch of Windows 8.
Microsoft also said PC makers such as Acer, Asustek, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony were also now taking pre-orders for machines with Windows 8 pre-installed.
The world’s largest software company did not mention its own Surface tablet PC, which is expected on the market at the same time as Windows 8. Microsoft has not revealed the price of the product it hopes will challenge Apple Inc’s iPad.

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Windows 8 Is Watching You…..


Playing around with the manufacturers’ version of the not-yet-widely released Windows 8, programmer (and hacker) Nadim Kobeissi discovered that the operating system “tells Microsoft about everything you install” and does that “not very securely.” Basically, the new Windows has this program called SmartScreen that’s designed to protect users but instead gives Windows (and possible hackers) access to a lot of information. Here’s the crux of the issue from Kobeissi’s blog:

Windows 8 will, by default, inform Microsoft of every app downloaded and installed by every user. This puts Microsoft in a compromising, omniscient situation where they are capable of retaining information on the application usage of all Windows 8 users, thus posing a serious privacy concern. The user is not informed of this while installing and setting up Windows 8, even though they are given the option to disable SmartScreen (which is enabled by default.)
Windows 8 appears to send this information to Microsoft to a server that relies on Certificate Authorities for authentication and supports an outdated and insecure method of encrypted communication. It is possible that these insecurities could allow a malicious third party to target a Windows 8 user and learn which applications they are using. This allows them to profile the user and decide how to best exploit their personal selection of applications and their computing habits.

As commenters on his post note, Apple also knows this kind of information when we download apps in its marketplace. That doesn’t make Microsoft’s move right, though. And from the sound of it, it looks like Microsoft knows more detailed information than what Apple does. The other difference between Apple and Microsoft is that Microsoft can still fix some of the security issues outlined by Kobeissi, as he only played around with the manufacturers’ version. The consumer version is due for release on October 26.

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