iCloud uses Windows Azure and Amazon S3

Posted by bink on June 15 2011, 2:36 PM.

While still in beta Rafael Rivera (Within Windows blogger) worked with Paul Paliath at Infinite Apple to analyze iCloud traffic:

Last week, we posted some screenshots showing what appeared to be Apple’s new iCloud-backed iMessage using Azure (and Amazon) services for hosting. Since then, GigaOM ran the screenshots through three “cloud and networking experts at major companies” and the trio dismissed our claims.

Looking at the screenshots, it’s obvious Charles was used to dump iCloud traffic. Working with Within Windows blogger Rafael Rivera, we were able to set up a similar configuration with proper SSL sniffing capabilities — a set up that cloud and networking experts could have set up in minutes.

We sent an image from and to iPhones running a beta copy of iOS 5. The resulting traffic showed, quite clearly, the use of Azure services for hosting purposes. We don’t believe iCloud stores actual content. Rather, it simply manages links to uploaded content.

Full story and opinion at Paul Thurrott’s blog:

Confirmed Apple iCloud Does Not Stand Alone - SuperSite Blog

Next Tuesday 16 bulletins addressing 34 vulnerabilities!

Posted by bink on June 10 2011, 4:46 AM.

Advance Notification Service information on 16 bulletins (nine Critical in severity, seven Important) addressing 34 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, .NET, SQL, Visual Studios, Silverlight and ISA. All bulletins will be released on Tuesday, June 14, at approximately 10am PDT. Come back to this blog on Tuesday for our official risk and impact analysis, along with deployment guidance and a video overview of the release.

One of the issues we start to address in this release is “cookiejacking,” which allows an attacker to steal cookies from a user’s computer and access websites the user has logged into. The Internet Explorer bulletin will address one of the known vectors to the cookie folder. Given the prevalence of other types of social engineering methods in use by criminals, which provide access to much more than cookies, we believe this issue poses lower risk to customers. Further, based on a signature that has been released to millions of Microsoft Security Essentials and Forefront customers, the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) has not detected attempts to use this technique.


June Advance Notification Service

Ten Immutable Laws Of Security 2.0

Posted by bink on June 10 2011, 4:43 AM.

Here at the Microsoft Security Response Center, we investigate thousands of security reports every year. In some cases, we find that a report describes a bona fide security vulnerability resulting from an issue in one of our products; when this happens, we develop a corrective update as quickly as possible. In other cases, the reported problems simply result from a mistake someone made in using the product, or our investigation finds a problem with the product that, while troublesome for users, does not expose them to a security vulnerability. But many fall in between. They are genuine security problems, but the problems don't result from product flaws. Over the years, we've developed a list of issues like these that we call the 10 Immutable Laws of Security.

Don't hold your breath waiting for an update that will protect you from the issues we'll discuss below. It isn't possible for Microsoft—or any software vendor—to "fix" them, because they result from the way computers work. But don't abandon all hope yet. Sound judgment is the key to protecting yourself against these pitfalls, and if you keep them in mind, you can significantly improve the security of your computers, whether they sit on your desk, travel in your pocket, or exist in a virtual cloud. (Throughout this list we’ll use “computer” to mean all of those objects, by the way.)

The 10 Immutable Laws

Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it's not solely your computer anymore. Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it's not your computer anymore. Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore. Law #4: If you allow a bad guy to run active content in your website, it's not your website any more. Law #5: Weak passwords trump strong security. Law #6: A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy. Law #7: Encrypted data is only as secure as its decryption key. Law #8: An out-of-date antimalware scanner is only marginally better than no scanner at all. Law #9: Absolute anonymity isn't practically achievable, online or offline. Law #10: Technology is not a panacea.

Continue to see the laws explained: Ten Immutable Laws Of Security (Version 2.0)

Microsoft Analytics for Twitter in Excel 2010

Posted by bink on June 10 2011, 4:38 AM.

Microsoft Analytics for Twitter allows users to query Twitter (i.e. Tweeters, #hashtags, @mentions & keywords) and get dashboard views on Twitter statistics inside Microsoft® Office Excel 2010.

Microsoft Analytics for Twitter allows users to search Twitter and get dashboard views on Tweet statistics inside Microsoft® Office Excel 2010. With this FREE add-in, you can:

  • Perform up to 5 parallel Twitter Searches (limited to 1500 results per query per day).
  • Drive ad-hoc analysis of tweets by day, by hour, by tweeters, by #hashtags and @mentions.
  • Customize your views (using slicers, DAX formulas or reference tables).
  1. Please note, that, after Installation, Microsoft Analytics for Twitter will manifest itself as a Microsoft® Excel 2010 file called "Microsoft Analytics for Twitter.xlsx" on your desktop.
  2. Please note that Microsoft Analytics for Twitter works only with the latest versions of Microsoft® Excel 2010 and of Microsoft® PowerPivot for Excel 2010. To download Microsoft® PowerPivot for Excel 2010, please go to www.PowerPivot.com.
  3. Please note that Microsoft Analytics for Twitter takes advantage of Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com/). During periods of high traffic volume Twitter Search does not always return search results. Please be patient and try your search again.

Download at Microsoft Download Center

Windows Embedded 7 Compact Edition Evaluation

Posted by bink on June 8 2011, 5:04 PM.

Windows Embedded Compact 7 Evaluation Edition toolkit is valid for 180 days from the day of installation.

Attention! You will need to request a product activation key from here to install the product. This download includes an add-in for Visual Studio 2008®. Windows Embedded Compact 7 supports both Visual Studio 2008 Professional and Team Edition. You will need to have Visual Studio Service Pack 1 installed. If you don’t already have Visual Studio 2008 installed, you can download an evaluation copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional from the Microsoft download center. If you do not have Visual Studio SP1 installed, click here for download information and instructions.

This Windows Embedded Compact 7 Evaluation Edition is a 180-day evaluation software development toolkit that provides you with with everything you need to build a broad range of small footprint devices that need a powerful, componentized, real-time operating system.

Windows Embedded Compact 7 helps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) get devices to market faster by providing developers with a complete catalog of tested, selectable OS components, integrated development and test tools, source code access and board support packages. Windows Embedded Compact 7 is compatible with ARM, x86 and MIPS processor architectures.

Windows Embedded Compact 7 delivers the latest technologies for building the next generation of specialized devices, including Internet Explorer with Flash 10.1 integrated, complete media player and DLNA support, symmetrical multi-processor (multi-core) support, Microsoft Office document viewers, PDF viewers, and a revolutionary new UI framework called Silverlight for Windows Embedded Compact 7 provides developers and UI designers with a powerful real-time OS and a full development tools suite, enabling an integrated, streamlined development experience that helps great speed devices to market Developers can customize and build a broad range of small footprint specialized devices with real-time capabilities using Platform Builder, a powerful embedded-specific development tool that works as an add-in to Microsoft’s familiar development environment Visual Studio 2008.

Functionality: This no-cost, downloadable Windows Embedded Compact 7 Evaluation toolkit gives you unrestricted access to all of Windows Embedded Compact 7 and includes Platform Builder, the Compact Test Kit and several board support packages for ARM, x86 and MIPs architectures so you can begin evaluating Windows Embedded Compact 7 today. With the Compact 7 Evaluation toolkit you can design, developed, build and show prototype devices. The Evaluation toolkit includes the full functionality of Windows Embedded Compact 7 and will only expire after 180 days. After 180 days you must uninstall the product, purchase a license for the full version of Windows Embedded Compact 7, install from the full product installation discs. You’ll have to enter your full product license key during the installation. Full product license keys are unable to unlock evaluation versions of Windows Embedded Compact 7. Projects started with the Windows Embedded Compact 7 Evaluation toolkit are fully compatible with the licensed full product version.

Upgrade to the full version: For information about licensing or pricing of the Windows Embedded Compact 7 toolkit and device runtime licenses, please consult your favorite Microsoft Windows Embedded Authorized Distributor. You can find a complete list here.

Important: You need to accept the End User License Agreement in the installer before you can use this product. If you do not accept the terms of the license agreement, you will not be able to install the product.

Download details Windows Embedded Compact 7 Evaluation Edition

Microsoft reveals new Windows 8 UI

Posted by RayC on June 2 2011, 7:31 AM. Posted in Windows 8.

Today, at the All Things Digital D9 Conference, Steve Sinofsky demonstrated the next generation of Windows, internally code-named “Windows 8,” for the first time. Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface. Windows 8-based PC will become a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse.

The demo showed some of the ways Microsoft reimagined the interface for a new generation of touch-centric hardware. Sinofsky also revealed that Windows 8 will not require any additional hardware requirements above and beyond Windows 7.


More information at source

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Beta available for download

Posted by RayC on June 2 2011, 5:59 AM. Posted in Windows Deployment, Windows "7", Windows 2008 R2.

Thanks for your ongoing interest and participation in the MDT beta review program. We hope you’ll take the time to preview and provide feedback on MDT 2012 Beta 1.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

Download the beta materials on Connect:https://connect.microsoft.com/site14/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=8689<o:p></o:p>

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Beta 1 rides the next wave of System Center releases with support for System Center Configuration Manager 2012. For Lite Touch installations, MDT 2012 improves the overall client-side user experience, while also providing behind-the-scenes enhancements for partitioning, UEFI, and user state migration. These features, combined with many small enhancements, bug fixes, and a smooth and simple upgrade process, make MDT 2012 Beta 1 more reliable and flexible than ever.<o:p></o:p>

Key Benefits:<o:p></o:p>

  • Fully leverages the capabilities provided by System Center Configuration Manager 2012 for OS deployment.<o:p></o:p>
  • Improved Lite Touch user experience and functionality.<o:p></o:p>
  • A smooth and simple upgrade process for all existing MDT users.<o:p></o:p>

Proof of Concept Jumpstart Kit v2.0

Posted by bink on May 27 2011, 1:17 AM.

The PoC Jumpstart provides resources to deploy a desktop PoC with Windows 7, Office 2010, Internet Explorer 8, and Application Virtualization with Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack technology.

  • This self-contained, self-service kit will help you complete a Proof-of -Concept (PoC) at your organization, allowing you to quickly evaluate the new Microsoft desktop technologies, including Windows 7, Office 2010 Pro Plus, Internet Explorer 8, and Application Virtualization with Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack technology App-V. It will also familiarize you with some of the important deployment tools provided by Microsoft to assist with your broader deployment efforts. This PoC is not meant to be comprehensive training mechanism but rather an introductory set of modules to familiarize you with tools and technologies.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition – A platform that helps IT Professionals increase the flexibility and reliability of their server infrastructure.
  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) – A tool to assess your hardware readiness for Windows 7 and Office 2010.
  • Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) – A tool to assess your software readiness for Windows 7 and Office 2010.
  • Microsoft Office Migration and Planning Manager (OMPM) – A tool to assess and upgrade Office versions and files.
  • Microsoft Office Environment Assessment Tool (OEAT) – A tool to assess Office add-ins.
  • Microsoft Office Code Compatibility Inspector (OCCI) – A tool guide remediation of Office VBA code.
  • Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) – A tool guide management and customization of group policy settings
  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit – A tool to create, configure, and deploy custom images, applications, and components.
  • Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial image – This evaluation edition forms the base image for deployment on client computers.
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 – Evaluation version - both MSI and App-V sequenced package.
  • Microsoft Visio Premium 2010 – Evaluation version.
  • Microsoft Project Professional 2010 – Evaluation version.
  • Office 2010 with Application Virtualization – This system is deployed virtually to streamline and centralize operations.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Evaluation Edition – This database system is used to store tool results.

The PoC Jumpstart is intended to show you that an upgrade to new Microsoft Optimize Desktop technologies can be seamless, feasible, easy and cost-effective. The PoC Jumpstart will also shed light on the deployment process (tools and technologies) and give your organization confidence for undertaking a broader deployment motion. After completion of the PoC, you should have a test environment setup that will allow you to evaluate the various features of the Microsoft Optimized Desktop and help you make informed decisions to meet your business needs.

Download details Proof of Concept Jumpstart Kit v2.0

System Center Updates Publisher 2011

Posted by bink on May 26 2011, 8:13 PM.

System Center Updates Publisher enables independent software vendors, OEMs and IT administrators to import, manage and develop software update definitions which can be deployed with System Center Configuration Manager.

System Center Updates Publisher is an application that enables independent software vendors or line-of-business application developers and IT administrators to import software update catalogs, create and modify software update definitions, export update definitions to catalogs, and publish software updates information to a configured update server. By using Updates Publisher to define software updates and publish them to the update server, administrators can begin detecting and deploying published updates with System Center Configuration Manager to client and server computers in their organization. Feature Summary

  • Updates Publisher enables IT Administrators the ability to do the following:
    • Import software update catalogs created by non-Microsoft organizations or from within administrators organization
    • Create custom software update definitions for EXE, MSI and MSP based updates
    • Export software update catalogs that can be imported by other Update Publisher consoles
    • Manage (duplicate, delete, expire, publish) software update definitions
  • New in System Center Updates Publisher 2011
    • Improved user interface that allows better control of managing software updates
    • New “Automatic” publication type that enables Updates Publisher to decide whether to publish software updates as metadata only or full content based on Configuration Manager data
    • New Software Update Cleanup wizard which enables expiring of unreferenced software updates
    • Ability to create Software Update Bundles
    • Ability to define prerequisite updates and superseded updates as part of an software update definition


Download details System Center Updates Publisher 2011

Demo of Windows 8 at D9 conference

Posted by bink on May 24 2011, 6:03 PM.

Microsoft’s Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky, is due to appear at the upcoming D9 conference.

The software giant confirmed Sinofsky’s appearance on Monday. Sinofsky will appear at All Things Digital D9 conference. A source, familiar with Microsoft’s plans, has informed WinRumors that Microsoft is planning to demo its Windows 8 Tablet UI at D9. Microsoft has a habit of introducing new technologies at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital Conference, which will run from May 31 to June 2 this year. Bill Gates introduced Microsoft’s Surface computer in 2007 and the company demonstrated Windows 7 multitouch in 2008. Microsoft will show a “technology preview” of its Windows 8 Tablet experience at the conference next week.

Continue at Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky to demo Windows 8 at D9 conference  WinRumors

AppLocker Technical Documentation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Posted by bink on May 23 2011, 5:38 AM.

The AppLocker Technical Documentation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 provides technical guidance about understanding how AppLocker works and how to effectively plan and deploy AppLocker policies.

AppLocker in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 7 Enterprise helps administrators control which applications are allowed to run in their organizations. These documents provide technical guidance about understanding how AppLocker works and how to effectively plan and deploy AppLocker policies.


Download details AppLocker Technical Documentation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2