WINDOWS LIVE ID AND PASSPORT

Microsoft is attempting to streamline its centralized authentication system – a combination of e-mail address and password that controls signon to Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live OneCare, and other Microsoft services. The system was introduced years ago as Microsoft Passport Network; it’s being re-branded as Windows Live ID. The two terms refer to the same thing. […] continued

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MICROSOFT & YAHOO TO LINK INSTANT MESSAGING SERVICES

On Thursday, Microsoft and Yahoo will begin testing a link between their instant messaging programs, fulfilling a promise made nine months ago.

Windows Live Messenger is a nice product, and the “sharing folders” are implemented so smoothly that small businesses may finally have a reason to consider using IM as a business tool. […] continued

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WINDOWS SECURITY UPDATES

Lots of new security updates from Microsoft today, the regularly-scheduled once-a-month release that’s become known as “Patch Tuesday.” Here’s an article about this month’s patches.

Some of you will find your computer restarted after installing the updates last night, or perhaps OneCare will be bugging you today. If you’re not sure, go to Microsoft Update and install all Critical Updates! […] continued

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WINDOWS MEDIA CENTER 11

Another week, another beta release from Microsoft. Windows Media Center 11 is the latest program getting a bunch of attention from the media – here’s Paul Thurrott raving about it, here’s CNet’s lukewarm review, here’s a negative review from the Washington Post.

I’ve been using WMP11 for the last couple of weeks. […] continued

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WINDOWS LIVE

Later this year, Microsoft will roll out Windows Vista, the successor to Windows XP, as well as Office 2007, a dizzying array of familiar and unfamiliar business applications.

The busiest division at Microsoft, though, is producing online services under the umbrella name of “Windows Live.” The executives claim there’s a unified vision behind the flood of Windows Live products – but take a look at this chart of Windows Live services and see what you think. […] continued

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WINDOWS LIVE SEARCH

Microsoft unveiled its latest Internet search page, yet another attempt to unseat Google. The “Windows Live” name is being attached to many web-based Microsoft projects right now, so the new name is Windows Live Search. Currently the results are driven by the same engine behind MSN Search, but Microsoft promises that it will be enhanced soon to produce results that are neato keen compared to Google’s search results. […] continued

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YAHOO AND MICROSOFT INSTANT MESSENGERS TO INTERACT

It’s not confirmed yet but rumor has it that Microsoft and Yahoo will announce a deal on Wednesday for their respective instant messenger programs to exchange messages with each other.

If you’re under 25, that might be a big deal – running AIM, Yahoo, and MSN messengers means three different screen names, three different passwords, three different programs to keep onscreen simultaneously, making it almost impossible to find room onscreen for homework. […] continued

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MICROSOFT UPDATE

Microsoft released a new batch of security updates for Windows and Internet Explorer yesterday. If you have Automatic Updates turned on and your computer is left on overnight, the updates are installed automatically. If you see the little gold shield with an exclamation mark down by the clock, click on it and install the updates. […] continued

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MSN VIRTUAL EARTH

Microsoft opened MSN Virtual Earth today in response to Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Local. Here’s an article about the new service. On first glance it doesn’t come close to the elegance of the Google services, but it’s nice to have competition – for any given location, either might have better closeup pictures or local information or the like. […] continued

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MICROSOFT MEDIA CENTER KEYBOARD

Manufacturers are releasing dozens of products to convince you that it’s natural to move computers into the living room. Microsoft has a lineup that is complex but thorough and well-designed, beginning with a “Media Center PC” and soon to add the redesigned XBox as part of a family of hardware and software that can move audio, video, and pictures around the house in a fluid way. […] continued

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MICROSOFT AND CLARIA

Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy Claria Corp., one of the worst distributors of spyware in the world. It is utter lunacy, the single most destructive and humiliating thing that Microsoft has done in years. Claria is responsible for Gator, exceptionally irritating software that was partially responsible for Kazaa becoming unusable, in addition to a host of other software with dozens of names. […] continued

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MICROSOFT ANTISPYWARE

Whenever you go online, you are at risk of having adware and spyware installed on your system. Well-funded companies are seeking to invade your computer without your knowledge or consent; their software can slow or crash your computer, overload your Internet connection, and potentially invade your privacy or permit personal information to be stolen. […] continued

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FREE SECURITY TOOLS FROM MICROSOFT

Microsoft Antispyware was released a few weeks ago (here’s my writeup and links – scroll down to January 11.)

Microsoft had a dilemma. If it sold the antispyware program, the media would howl that consumers should not have to pay to solve a problem that was “Microsoft’s fault.” If it gave the program away, competitors would complain that it was a monopolistic bully trying to put them out of business. […] continued

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MSN SEARCH

Microsoft has finished its work on MSN Search and will now begin a blitz of marketing in an attempt to dent Google’s brand identification. To enhance search results, Microsoft has added full access to the contents of Encarta, which is a reasonably nice thing to do. Search results look good but personally I still prefer Google’s page layouts. […] continued

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MICROSOFT SPYWARE TOOLS

Microsoft continues to attack security issues on the Windows platform with impressive vigor.

This week Microsoft released Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware, a program that cleans out existing adware/spyware and then runs continuously, monitoring to prevent new infestations. This is good stuff! Many reviewers are coming away impressed with its performance compared to stalwarts like AdAware and Spybot, and Microsoft’s program is free for the next seven months. […] continued

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