Category Archives: Microsoft & Windows

Microsoft Security Essentials misses 39% of Malware.

Microsoft Security Essentials which is a free product from Microsoft , now given to every Windows 8 and 8.1 users in name of Windows Defender. Has failed to detect 39% of the Malware in Dennis Test.
Microsoft_Security_Essentials_icon
Norton Internet Security received the strongest protection rating online casinos in DTL”s tests, detecting 99% of malware(result includes false positives),while Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 provided the best overall level of protection.

Full Scores and Details of individual antivirus programs can be downloaded from here

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas coming to iOS ,Android and Windows Phone

Rock Star Games has announced that very soon it will release the classic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on mobile platform. Not just on iOS and Android but also on Windows Phone. No release date or pricing is provided yet, but it is expected to be released this December. So get ready to live in the early 90’s in the gangster world of Carl Johnson.

GTASA

Windows 8.1(Windows Blue) Review

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview Evaluation copy. Build 9431

 

Windows Blue or Windows 8.1 is a recent update of Windows 8. Which is currently in a preview edition. I tested the Windows 8.1 Pro 32 bit Evaluation Copy on my laptop. Before I begin let me tell you the specs of my laptop it’s a Dual-Core with 1 GB RAM , why did I selected a low hardware over high end, because I wanted to test how it performs on low resources. At higher resource even the worst built software may perform kind of OK more over I wanted to test how it performs over Windows XP SP3 or Windows 7. While testing a OS I use it for a week and I try out the basic task which all people does like, web surfing, email , music, movie, document editing, etc. And I also try other things which only few people does like installing IDE of certain programming language and installing other developer tools which worked fine in previous versions of the OS. And I do write the review of the OS using the same OS itself. (Except using photo editing or other tools which I don’t have license on the new OS or the software does not work on the new OS)

 Installing the OS

The installation went smoothly after I downloaded the iso file I used tool provided by Microsoft to make it in a bootable flash drive. You could skip this step and burn the iso into a DVD and use it to install.

Installation works same as Windows 8 so I won’t go into the details.

Most noticeable change that you will see at first.

You can directly boot in to Desktop Mode if you want.

Still No Start Menu.

Still feels like the UI is designed for touch screen rather then traditional Keyboard and Mouse.

Problems encountered while using Windows 8.1

My laptop has a Realtek sound card, on installation of Windows 8.1 the sound stopped working, resolved by installing the latest drivers (for Windows 7/8) from the official manufacturer website.

My laptops touchpad scroll stopped working, older drivers were unsupported, no driver for Windows 8 or 8.1 , tried to use 3rd party drivers but still no joy. And screen brightness control keys did not work by default (worked after installing Windows updates), while other function and multimedia keys worked fine.

Windows 8.1 Start Page

 

(While these problems were entirely related to my laptop which is fairly old model, you may not even have these problems on your laptop if its new or other model then mine,  mentioned because you should be ready to download and install drivers if it does not work, keep in mind that if your network card is not supported you should have access to other working PC or dual boot your computer before you install Windows 8.1, having said that we should note this is a preview copy and not final, it’s natural that something won’t perform as desired. It’s to be noted that my touch pad works fine in other Windows versions with driver)

Using the OS.

After I finished installing the OS and driver for my sound card. I started installing my day to day software. I installed Google Chrome and synced my bookmarks and plugging, installed VLC, winrar, and MS Office 2010. All went perfectly smooth. Problem faced was one of the old software that I use (which still works in XP and Windows 7) Google Talk that I frequently use. The installation went fine but it will never sign in to Google account, keeps throwing an error message about problem in connecting, even though the internet works fine. Well its an old software Google did not push any updates to it for quite a long time. But the fact that it still works in Windows XP and Windows 7 but not on the Windows 8.1 was a bit of disappointment for me. And yes Google Talk Plugin for browser works fine.

Ok, hard core Windows fan may have already started hating me, please don’t there are many things I liked. Even though I don’t have any state of art GPU in my laptop just the regular Intel on-board graphics card, the screen looked crisper then it use to when I used Windows XP or even Windows 7, its to be noted that I did not install the default drivers provided by the manufacturer, the Windows 8.1 installed the required drivers itself. I linked my Microsoft account with my laptop and visited the Store, very much same as with Windows 8, installed one app to test (Twitter) downloaded & installed fine and worked as it should no complains.

Twitter App getting installed from the Windows App Store

Even though I have set the boot to Desktop in my machine the missing Start Menu kept bothering me. (remember I am my day to day task on this computer ) so I had to install a third party Start Menu, strange as it may sound the first which I installed had compatibility issue with Windows 8.1 ! Tried to check solutions online but it failed to resolve any problem. So I uninstalled it and installed another one that works fine.  If you care to use it on your own Windows 8.1 or even Windows 8 it’s called Start Menu 8 made by IObit (note I am not sponsoring the company by any mean, there are many other companies that makes start menu for Windows 8 which you can use if you like)

Except for the scroll on my touch pad and issue with gesture controlled things in Windows 8.1 and after I installed the third party Start Menu Windows 8.1 is pretty much usable. The boot time is very fast considering the low specs of my laptop, it booted faster than Windows XP or Windows 7. But Windows 8.1 did give me more trouble with BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) then Windows XP or Windows 7 (while installing Windows updates)

Games

We all know the next best thing a computer is useful for is playing games. While the latest and greatest games are not tested by me. I went ahead and tested the most use applications in office environment next to MS Office. Yes I am talking about Minesweeper and card games like Solitaire. Well to be able to play that game you need to have a internet connection , a Microsoft account and time to download it. Yes the basic games also needed to be downloaded. Well it may be because it’s a preview copy, but seriously you are making a 2GB plus size ISO (for 32 bit) how hard is it to squeeze in a game or two? Well its not COD, games size are not that big.

Xbox service not available.

While people may argue why bother I will just download it from the internet. Yes that what we have to do but, what if the person who just installed the OS and other important software decides to go out of his/her house without internet, and decides to play a game after he/she is bored with work(which he/she does offline like making PPT and Excel sheets for his/her office) Well MS has decided you should not be able to play games at least not without a Microsoft Account and Internet connection and the time to download the games. Minesweeper is a 105 MB download well not that big in size you will say, but if you like me lives in a country where internet is slow and pricy you will think otherwise.

You need to download even the basic games.

(Note: I did not download any games)

Ok lets surf Internet and play online games

Lets come to the default IE. Yes I am a Web Designer come developer and I hate IE, ever since IE6 (before that I was not developing anything for the web) I hate IE. But I will still use IE for a while and let you know how it performs. Just because I like my readers of the blog. Well as most of the cool things of web nowadays is HTML5 I decided to check it first. So how does the new IE 11 performs on the Microsoft’s new operating system ? Poorer then other modern bowser. HTML5 score is very low, even lower then some of the basic Android phones.

HTML5 Test Score for IE 11

 

IE 11 on Windows 8.1

 

While using for email, social networking , surfing you won’t feel any difference, if you are a developer or designer for the web and works with HTML5, CSS3, JS, etc you will definitely feel that Google Chrome is much better.

 

Default Apps

Most of the default apps that comes with Windows 8.1 is metro apps. As metro apps open in full screen when you start , it can make some apps less useful. While some apps do looks good when it starts in full screen , like the photo app, yes we all generally like to see photos in full screen so goes with the default video app. But some apps when opened in full screen makes it less useful. Example the default pdf reader app. And if you download the Adobe reader from the Microsoft Web Store it will also run in full screen. Well I don’t know about you but many a times I have opened a pdf file and used Word, Excel or PowerPoint while viewing the data from pdf . That can not be done with the pdf readers with Metro interface. Yes there is a solution you can get the normal pdf reader from Adobe website directly.

Another thing that I hate about this metro apps is that the ads inside the apps. I mean I am already seeing ads in browser when I visit web pages,and you show me ads in mobile apps but now you have to show ads inside apps which runs on my PC too?

Ads inside PC apps!

 

Useful Shortcut that will make using Windows 8.1 bit easier.

 

Closing Metro Apps: Alt +F4

Starting Windows applications quickly: Windows Key + R (and type the app name in Run dialogue example mspanint for Paint application ,excel for MS Excel)

Open Windows Explorer (My Computer to look for your files): Windows Key+ E

Something like the start menu bot not the same: Windows Key + X

 

 

Developers (skip this if you are not)

Well my developer friends I tried to install , run and do some coding (not at all in anyway better than you) on popular tools to check how well its compatible with Windows 8.1

Windows Visual Studio 2012 compatibility with Windows 8.1 (I know the latest is Windows Visual Studio 2013, buts its supported very well as its used to make Windows 8 Apps)

Visual Studio 2012 install error

Visual Studio 2010 on Windows 8.1

Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate installed fine but did throw error while installing, works file (I did some projects on asp.net stuffs only, did not test other features)

Windows Sky Drive service deeply integrated with Windows 8.1
Windows Sky Drive service deeply integrated with Windows 8.1
News App in Windows 8.1
The default news app of Windows 8.1
Twitter app docked
Twitter app docked.

My final conclusion.

So as of now what I fell is that if you have a touch screen based device and willing to learn new way to interact with your computer go ahead with Windows 8.1 (when it releases) or if you already use Windows 8 then you should update to Windows 8.1 But if you have an old computer or if you don’t want to learn new way to use your computer and want to stick to the way you have used your computer for all these years don’t update to Windows 8.

 

FBI raids teenagers house over Xbox secrets.

A teenage from Perth who is popular in Twitter by the name SuperDaE was raided by the FBI and WA Police and his possessions were seized. as a part of investigation in international corporate espionage probe.

black-xbox-360

SuperDE posted sensitive information about Microsoft’s yet to be released Xbox. He also posted an online advertisement offering to sell a development kit for Durango — Microsoft’s new Xbox design.

To follow more updates about the incident follow the hashtag #FreeSuperDaE on Twitter.

Microsoft Office 2013 won’t let you transfer license to new computer.

If you are using Microsoft Office 2013, think twice before upgrading or changing your computer as the license of Office 2013 is tied to the computer it was installed on. The license can not be transferred to a new computer. However the Office 2013 can be installed on the same computer more than once in case the software crashes. But what if the original computer you installed the Office 2013 crashes, gets destroyed, gets stolen ? Well Microsoft said “No Comments”

office 2013

 

I think its time people start moving away from Microsoft Office products as there are many better alternates available on the market and at a lower price point, low as zero. You can use LibreOffice on your computer you can view , edit, create doc,docx, xxls, xslx, ppt, pptx with it and also create word to pdf at zero cost. Or if you always have a internet connection then you can try the Google Docs too.

I wonder how much the sale will impact if you can not trasnfer the license from one computer to another even if you have paid for the software. Microsoft Office 2013 is just begging to be pirated.

Do leave your comments and share your views, what do you think about this move by Microsoft? Would you still buy Microsoft Office 2013 , or look for alternatives?

You can't access Google Maps on Windows Phone.

If you have  Windows Phone 8 then you can not access Google Maps through the Internet Explorer browser. If you try to access the Google Maps page, you will be automatically redirected to Google home page.

 

google maps icon

 

We have seen earlier that Google does not play well with Microsoft OS, be it the new Windows 8 desktop OS or the Windows Phone OS. But unable to access the Google Maps web version is a completely different story. It seems to be the problem with rendering engine if the browser as the real reason.

 

Windows Phone devices

 

The Google Maps mobile web version was made with WebKit engine, which never supports in Internet Explorer. As I personally don”t have a Windows Phone 8 device, I tried visiting the Google Maps mobile web from a desktop browser by changing the user-agent and was redirected to Google homepage.

Statement issued by Google: “The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps online slots for the mobile web.”

Luckily the Windows Phone 8 has Bing Maps and Nokia Maps which the user can use as an alternative.

 

Update 1

Google is now restoring Google Maps access on Windows Mobile. Below is a statement from Google.

“We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.

In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users.

Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.”

 

Story behind the missing YouTube app in Windows Phone.

Microsoft has been wanting to put the YouTube app on its Windows Phone for a long time but Google seems to be not at all interested. Earlier we have seen that Google said it won’t be making apps for the Windows 8 desktop OS. It now seems that Google is not intersted in both the desktop and mobile OS of Microsoft.

Even though the users of Windows Phone can access YouTube along with Google’s other products through the web, but a dedicated app is very much required when the rival mobile OS like Android and iOS has those apps. Also the users feels more comfortable using the apps rather then the web page of the services.

 

Windows Phone devices

 

 

Dave Heiner, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft. said  “Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers” . Personally I think that Google is also loosing a lot of YouTube viewers because of the lack of app on Windows Phone platform.But it seems that Google thinks, not making the YouTube app on Windows Phone will make the hard core YouTube users to buy an Android device over Windows Phone.

 

“Win 8 Security System” has nothing to do with Windows8 ,its just a Fake Antivirus , rouge software.

There has been a lot of Fake Antivirus, it has been a trend that , the name of these softwares were always named in such a way that it can be confused with a Windows or Microsoft software. The latest one is “Win 8 Security System” it can be very easily confused with a software program or some software related to the upcoming Windows 8, by general computer users.

The Win 8 Security System works by installing a rootkit driver that takes the control of all the process of the operating system.

Win 8 Security
Win 8 Security, the Fake Antivirus software.

 

The rootkit is installed in the C:\Windows\system32\drivers\51991c15f7a6834.sys (note the numbers are random, your may be a different filename but the location is the same) The rootkit is of two  variant the 64bit , the rootkit disables the Windows 64bit kernel-mode driver signing. The cyber criminals also went ahead and slef signed the rootkit driver, note that the certificate date starts from 30th August (yesterday) !

Note the date of the certificate on the Fake Antivirus it starts on 30th August thats yesterday.

The virus also creates a Fake Action Center which shows the user that the computer is not fully protected.

Fake Windows Action Center

Browser Hijack, the proxy settings gets changed it happens both IE and Chrome , so whatever you type in the address bar it gives a fake  warning.

The main purpose of these fake antivirus is to scare the user and ask them to pay money and says that if you pay money the will get it out of your system and you should know this they wont! even if you have submitted your credit card (which is taken by the cyber criminals) I have seen many people who have regretted submitting their credit card. So, my request is that please do not submit your credit card, they will steal your money and not fix your computer.

They say to buy the software and they will fix your PC, but they wont trust me.

 

Clicking the shortcut icon to buy the software will add this to your computer registry   Target: C:\WINDOWS\system32\reg.exe add “HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT” /v FrameworkBuild /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f that will open the shopping cart

Shopping cart designed to steal your credit card information.

 

 

How to remove it?
You must be wonderring how to remove this from your PC. You can use the Hitman Pro software (you will get a free licence with the download)
 
Hitman Pro running on 64 bit machine.

 

Is Windows 8 Spying On You?

Recently there has been reports that the Microsoft”s Windows 8 is spying via SmartScreen. Analysis by security researcher Nadim Kobeissi have found out that there is potential privacy threat to Windows 8 users due to ScreenSmart system. The ScreenSmart is built to check if the application that the user wants to install contains malicious code.

“The big problem is that Windows 8 is configured to immediately tell Microsoft about every app you download and install,” Kobeissi wrote. “This is a very serious privacy problem, specifically because Microsoft is the central point of authority and data collection/retention here and therefore becomes vulnerable to being served judicial subpoenas or National Security Letters intended to monitor targeted users.”

The SmartScreen keeps a note of all the applications you install and researchers have also claimed that the install logs from your computer hard drive are also sent to Microsoft. And this data can be snooped by third-parties. As because the data is sent over from your computer to Microsoft over casino online SSLv2 protocol which is breakable.

Although as you might know SmartScreen can be turned off, but the system automatically gives you reminder to turn it of. And yes Microsoft have denied the fact. I am sharing a screenshot of captured packet from a Windows 8 system which clearly shows that the data is being sent to Microsoft and the data can be received by third party.

 

So what do you think? do comment below.