HelpWithWindows Newsletter Volume 11, Number 2
January 26, 2008
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In this issue:

Windows Vista Sales Disappointing?

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

According to Microsoft, sales of Windows Vista licenses where around 100 million for 2007. That sounds impressive, but if you look at the PC Sales numbers that have been released by IDC and Gardner, some 270 million PCs where sold in 2007. Now you will see the obvious quite easy: Vista was only sold with roughly 1 out of every 3 PCs sold. By comparison, Windows XP sold nearly 90 million copies in its first year, despite a PC market that was selling only about 130 million PCs that year.

Since Windows still shipped on nearly all PC sold, one can argue that the bulk of Windows sales in 2007 have come from Vista's predecessor, Windows XP.

Early on, when Vista just started selling in the market there were reports of significantly lower retail sales of Vista, in some cases nearly 60% less than the same 'sales week' in Windows XP's sales cycle. At the time, analysts attributed the 'sales slump' of shrink-wrapped copies of Vista to a shift in the way users get the new OS. More businesses are purchasing Windows through a volume licensing program, which reduces the number of shrink-wrapped copies that are picked up at a retailer. It was also argued that Vista's hardware requirements caused many consumers to order a new PC instead - pre-installed with Vista, further reducing the need for the shrink-wrapped boxes sold through retail, which was the back-bone of Windows XP's sales in 2001.

An early indicator of trouble for Vista emerged in April when several PC makers were pressured by demand to offer Windows XP as an option on new systems, particularly on systems sold into the small business channel.

Even Microsoft itself had to adjust some of its policies toward Windows XP. Originally Microsoft had planned to stop sales of Windows XP from 30 January 2008, but last September it announced it would extend that date by five months to 30 June 2008. Previous versions of operating systems released by Microsoft have generally been available for up to two years after the shipment of a new OS.

Save Windows XP?

InfoWorld has launched a "Save XP" campaign, arguing that "Microsoft plans to end most sales of Windows XP on June 30, despite a deep reluctance by many business and individuals about moving to Vista. InfoWorld believes such an expensive, time-consuming shift with problematic benefits should not be forced on Windows users, so we have decided to rally XP users to demand that XP be kept available". Not only that, the actual petition will ask Microsoft to "keep Windows XP available indefinitely". That's just plane insane! That way computing would be stuck in 2001.

Windows Vista is superior to Windows XP. That's a fact, plain and simple. And the horror stories you are hearing about Vista? I would argue that the majority of reported Vista problems stem from lazy third-party developers who didn't get their hardware and software compatible with Vista in a timely manner, despite a development cycle lasting many years. Let me just offer you one example I experienced myself: Panasonic took nearly ten months after Vista's November 30, 2006 (business) release date to offer a driver for their KX-FLB751/756/FLM551 multi-function printer/fax/scanner. When I tried installing the driver it caused my machine to 'bleu-screen'. Obviously that was the last time I purchased such a device from Panasonic (my Canon MP510 has been working fine with Vista since day one). As I have stated before, Microsoft gave third parties all access they needed to develop their Vista drivers, but if they (the third parties) fail to deliver these drivers, one can hardly blame Microsoft for it.

Windows Updates

Microsoft issued a number of updates for Windows Vista & Windows XP in the past weeks:

Windows Vista:

  • KB945149 - Update to improve the graphics performance for multiple Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) scenarios.
  • KB945435 - Update to resolve an issue where delays are experienced while accessing a WebDAV share for the first time.
  • KB945145 - Update to resolve an issue where a user is prompted for Windows Live Passport credentials every time a document is accessed on a WebDAV site from a new workspace.
  • KB944652 - Update to resolve an issue in administrative MMC snap-ins where icons display incorrectly on a Windows Vista-based computer with Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack installed.
  • KB938660 - Update to resolve a performance issue on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)-based programs.
  • KB947506 - Update to resolve an issue where partially installed language packs may cause installation of update packages to fail.

Windows XP:

  • KB932762 - Update for Windows XP x64 Edition to resolve an issue where the Service Host process stops unexpectedly.
  • KB934428 - Update to resolve an issue where 8GB SD media is not recognized.

Microsoft Ships Latest XP SP3, Vista SP1 Builds to Testers

This week Microsoft shipped new versions of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) to its testers. Both of these releases are labeled Release Candidate Refresh 2. Right now Microsoft has not made any of these available for the general public, but that could change. Planning is for Vista SP1 to be released next month.


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IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Security with Microsoft Windows

Although wireless LAN networks provide freedom of movement, they also require you to address security issues that are not as prevalent on a private cabling system for a wired LAN technology such as Ethernet. The main security issues are the authentication of wireless clients and the encryption and data integrity of wireless LAN frames. This paper (Word document) discusses the security issues of IEEE 802.11 wireless networks and shows how Microsoft Windows operating systems can be used to make 802.11 wireless networks as secure as the current set of 802.11-related technologies allow.

Recommended Book:

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-620): Configuring Windows Vista(TM) Client

Wi-Fi Users, Beware: Hot Spots Are Weak Spots

Next time you are sitting in a hotel lobby checking email on your laptop, be careful: The "businessman" in the next lounge chair may be tracking your every move.

Many Wi-Fi users don't know that hackers posted at hot spots can steal personal information out of the air relatively easily. And savvy criminal hackers aren't settling for just access to credit cards, bank accounts and other personal financial information; they love to sneak into your company's network, too.

Whether you're using a Wi-Fi hot spot at a hotel, airport or cafe, "you've got to assume that anything you are doing is being monitored," says Shawn Henry, deputy assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's cybercrimes division.

Read WSJ.com Article

Latest Microsoft & Windows News from around the Internet

Freeware: Wise Disk Cleaner

Wise Disk Cleaner is a user friendly, fast and easy to use application developed to free up disk space by deleting junk files that are no longer used by any software on your system.

More Information
Download [1.1 MB]

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