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Paul Merrell

WikiLeaks just dropped the CIA's secret how-to for infecting Windows | Ars Technica - 0 views

  • WikiLeaks has published what it says is another batch of secret hacking manuals belonging to the US Central Intelligence Agency as part of its Vault7 series of leaks. The site is billing Vault7 as the largest publication of intelligence documents ever.

    Friday's installment includes 27 documents related to "Grasshopper," the codename for a set of software tools used to build customized malware for Windows-based computers. The Grasshopper framework provides building blocks that can be combined in unique ways to suit the requirements of a given surveillance or intelligence operation. The documents are likely to be of interest to potential CIA targets looking for signatures and other signs indicating their Windows systems were hacked. The leak will also prove useful to competing malware developers who want to learn new techniques and best practices.

    "Grasshopper is a software tool used to build custom installers for target computers running Microsoft Windows operating system," one user guide explained. "An operator uses the Grasshopper builder to construct a custom installation executable."

Gary Edwards

I'll tell you something about Windows: Joe Wilcox does the numbers - 0 views

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    Microsoft already got its big Windows 7 sales bang -- 400 million licenses sold since the operating system shipped nearly two years ago. The global install base of PCs is around 1 billion. The majority of licenses are going to emerging markets. Microsoft estimates that they totaled 40 million PC shipments for the quarter or -- get this -- half of global volume. It's simply a stunning number that represents faster recovering economies in many emerging markets and new sales. The majority of Windows sold in developed markets are resales -- to existing customers.
    Microsoft is still getting some bang from businesses. During yesterday's earnings conference call, Bill Koefoed, general manager of Microsoft Investor Relations, said that "business PC refresh cycle continued and drove estimated business PC growth of 8 percent".
    Those business deployments won't last forever, however. The reality is this: If not for Windows Vista's market failure, successor 7's sales situation might be a whole lot worse today. Windows 7 released with about 80 percent of the install base on XP. Upgrades were inevitable in developed markets. Whenever Windows 8 ships, much of the established install base will be on 7 or moving that way. Enterprises don't deploy overnight. For now, Koefoed says that "90 percent of enterprises have committed to a deployment plan" and one-quarter of their desktops have Windows 7.
    Windows 7's lifeblood is two-fold, then: Pent-up demand from businesses still using Windows XP and sales to emerging markets. It's not a sustainable growth business, although legacy sales should keep the Windows & Windows Live division profitable for some time.
    Microsoft's Business Division long ago passed Windows as the big revenue and profit generator, $5.78 billion and $3.6, respectively, in fiscal Q4. Windows & Windows Live generated $4.7 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in profit. Actually, Server and Tools division nearly generated as much revenue as Windows & Windows Live -- $4.6 b
Paul Merrell

FT.com / Technology - Google ditches Windows on security concerns - 0 views

  • Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees.

    The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google’s Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google, which employs more than 10,000 workers internationally.

  • Employees said it was also an effort to run the company on Google’s own products, including its forthcoming Chrome OS, which will compete with Windows. “A lot of it is an effort to run things on Google product,” the employee said. “They want to run things on Chrome.”
Gary Edwards

Google Drops A Nuclear Bomb On Microsoft. And It's Made of Chrome. - 0 views

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    Introducing the Chrome OS alternative to Windows:

    excerpt: What Google is doing is not recreating a new kind of OS, they're creating the best way to not need one at all.

    So why release this new OS instead of using Android? After all, it has already been successfully ported to netbooks. Google admits that there is some overlap there. But a key difference they don't mention is the ability to run on the x86 architecture. Android cannot do that (though there are ports), Chrome OS can and will. But more, Google wants to emphasize that Chrome OS is all about the web, whereas Android is about a lot of different things. Including apps that are not standard browser-based web apps.

    But Chrome OS will be all about the web apps. And no doubt HTML 5 is going to be a huge part of all of this. A lot of people are still wary about running web apps for when their computer isn't connected to the web. But HTML 5 has the potential to change that, as you'll be able to work in the browser even when not connected, and upload when you are again.
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