Category Archives: Windows XP

11 ways LXLE Linux will make you forget all about XP

The lightweight, speedy and feature-packed LXLE 14.04 can breathe new life into your old XP hardware.

A lightweight powerhouse
Windows XP’s long run may have finally come to an end, but that doesn’t mean your XP-era hardware has to go too. No indeed: There are numerous options available in the Linux world, and one shining example is LXLE.

A brand-new LXLE 14.04 made its debut a few weeks ago, and it’s packed with new features while remaining lightweight and speedy. With an XP mode among several other desktop options, this zippy OS needs less than a minute to boot and get online. Don’t try that on your Windows machine.

Ready for a look? Read on, then, and see what your older PC hardware could be doing.

Long-term support
LXLE is based not just on Ubuntu Linux, but on Ubuntu Long-Term Support (LTS) versions in particular for maximal longevity. In the case of LXLE 14.04, the underlying Linux distribution is Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr,” which was released in April and offers support through 2019.

More specifically, LXLE 14.04 is based on the Lubuntu variant of Ubuntu, which uses the LXDE desktop and is designed to be more lightweight than its parent in general. Both 32- and 64-bit versions of LXLE are available; the 64-bit .iso file weighs in at 1.49GB.

Windows XP Mode
As a variation on the Lubuntu Linux theme, LXLE uses an optimized LXDE user interface. It also offers several alternative desktop layout paradigms, however—all of them updated in version 14.04 and accessible at login using a drop-down menu.

Shown here is LXLE’s Windows XP paradigm, designed with refugees from Microsoft’s long-lived OS in mind. LXLE aims to provide users with “a complete drop-in-and-go replacement for XP, Vista and 7 Starter/Basic,” the project team says. Also available is a Netbook paradigm that’s essentially a variation on the XP theme.

A classic Linux option
For those with no particular allegiance to Windows XP, LXLE also offers another classic desktop paradigm, this time from the Linux world. It’s GNOME 2, specifically—the longstanding favorite of many Linux users, even as numerous more modern contenders such as Unity and GNOME 3 have arrived on the scene. Linux Mint is another distro that aims to preserve the best of GNOME 2, as can be seen in the recently released Linux Mint 17.

A hint of Apple

Extending its flexibility even further, LXLE also gives users the choice of a Mac OS X paradigm, offering the general feel of Apple’s desktop operating system. Part of the philosophy behind LXLE is to add useful mods and tweaks for improved performance and functions, the design team says. Also among its goals are to “develop a beautiful, modern-looking intuitive desktop for anyone to use easily” and to “save system resources and spend them wisely on capable, feature-rich apps.”

Emulating Ubuntu’s Unity
Yet another choice for users of LXLE, meanwhile, is a desktop paradigm that offers the feel of Ubuntu’s Unity interface. While the mobile-inspired Unity option has been a controversial one ever since it was first introduced back in 2010 in what was then Ubuntu’s Netbook Edition, it has gained a considerable number of fans as it’s been refined over the years. With a vertical application switcher called the launcher, it’s now Ubuntu’s default user interface.

Packed with work tools
In addition to its diminutive footprint and speedy performance, LXLE also offers a wide array of full-featured apps preinstalled. Among those on tap in LXLE 14.04 are the latest stable versions of the LibreOffice suite for office productivity and the Osmo personal organizer along with the Evince document viewer, FBReader for ebooks, and HomeBank for personal accounting.

Accessory apps include ClamTK for virus-scanning and security, the gedit text editor, the PCManFM file manager, and the Xarchiver archive manager.

A raft of internet apps
For connecting with the Internet, LXLE offers Mozilla’s Firefox as its default browser and Claws Mail for email. Linphone is the default VoIP client, while Gitso handles remote desktop connectivity.

Since Canonical recently shut down its Ubuntu One cloud service, LXLE 14.04 includes Bittorrent Sync instead for file syncing and sharing among multiple platforms. FileZilla offers FTP capabilities, while Pidgin and Xchat are both on hand for chat purposes. uGet is the software’s download manager.

Graphics tools galore
One of the changes made to LXLE’s suite of graphics apps in version 14.04 was that Gpicview was replaced by the Mirage image viewer “to offer more features like cropping, resizing, etc.” while providing an alternative to always using GIMP, the project team notes. GIMP is still on hand for bigger jobs, though. Other options in LXLE’s graphics toolbox are LibreOffice Draw, the Shotwell photo manager, Simple Image Reducer, and Simple Scan for scanning.

Access for all
A number of Universal Access tools were added in LXLE 14.04 to extend the software’s capabilities for users with visual or hearing impairments or physical disabilities. The Florence Virtual Keyboard, for instance, offers features such as a timer-based auto-click input method. Gespeaker, meanwhile, can play text in many languages, with settings for voice, pitch, volume, speed, and word gap. The xZoom magnification tool is also included, as are right-handed and left-handed cursor themes in various sizes.

A rich software trove
Long before app stores became commonplace in the mobile computing world, Linux users were already enjoying software repositories such as Ubuntu’s Software Center as the place to quickly and easily find new software without having to scour the Web.

LXLE users in search of software tools to add to their setup can turn to the Lubuntu Software Center, which is packed with both free and for-a-fee options. Also available are the Synaptic package manager and the Y PPA manager along with an updater tool to keep everything current.

100 Flavors of Beauty
Last but not least, LXLE 14.04 gives you more than a few ways to customize your desktop and make it your own. A full 100 wallpapers come preinstalled, in fact, pretty much guaranteeing that there will be something to please everyone.

There’s also a Random Wallpaper feature for those who like variety, and you can add your own images as well. LXLE was designed to offer theme consistency throughout system, the project team says. Included ARandR software, meanwhile, provides multiple-monitor support.

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Seven Easy Steps to be able to 70-511 CSHARP MCTS Certification

In present day harmful globe, there are some illnesses you should be really cautious regarding. Liver disease T, Hepatitis C along with Man Immunodeficiency Symptoms 70-511CSHARP are some this kind of illnesses. MCTS You could prevent all of the identified channels involving infections entering the body; however they can still invade a person if you are not cautious.

Enter blood borne pathogens, Microsoft 70-511CSHARP microorganisms in which hold these types of potentially fatal Trojans. They are able to enter in the blood of a healthful particular person if health care isn’t obtained. As an illustration, the particular improper dealing with of the blood of humans, body fluids and man discharges of your infected man or woman can easily contaminate a perfectly healthy system.
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The Section involving Wellbeing of the us helps it be mandatory for those within the healthcare industry using jobs concerning utilizing human blood and the body fluids, to pass through blood borne virus coaching. This specific education is necessary with regard to medical doctors, healthcare professionals, paramedics as well as lab employees, skin image musicians and lots of various other experts who assist human being discharges and bloodstream. While it is mandatory on their behalf, numerous 70-511CSHARP MCTS many people likewise try to have the qualifications because of their own advantage of preserve themselves and their family members wholesome as well as ailment totally free. A great deal of businesses present this sort of exercise program; some provide it on the internet. Listed here are 7 simple actions to cleaning the qualification examination and having blood borne pathogen coaching certified.

• See the Substance Carefully

the organizations supplying the education Microsoft programs offer abundant content and ideal sources. Read MCTS their particular supplies along with understand and relate with the bottom situation.

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Understand the actual language being utilized. Master 70-511CSHARP this and also picture and then use it in relation to real life training.

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Read high on substance that talks about Microsoft 70-511CSHARP how you can safeguard oneself preventing coverage. Appreciate how the actual transfer associated with bad bacteria happens along with precisely what safety measures ought to be delivered to avoid the idea. They are very crucial and should be thoroughly committed to memory as well as used.

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In case of your random publicity, comprehend MCTS the many actions, treatments and also protocols to be performed in order to retain the toxins as well as control the problem. List the particular processes inside an appropriate buy.

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Take exercise tests, when possible, and then Microsoft of program the actual checks. These types of examinations must be quite simple and stay in line with the content examined. Apply knowing about it.

• Accumulate Certification
Tell oneself, “Congratulations!” if you move one further examination. Upon passing the exam, a piece of paper needs to be offered. Protect the print out and about for future use, if it is an internet qualification.

• Review Exams
Training is generally reviewed each 70-511CSHARP once in a while. Keep yourself up to date in regards to the restrictions and operations. Check the credibility of one’s qualification along with MCTS retakes your classes when needed to keep up with your knowledge and also qualifications.

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Microsoft patches critical security holes in Windows, Office, IE

The company issued fixes for 26 security vulnerabilities, including for SQL Server and Exchange

Microsoft has fixed 26 vulnerabilities in its software products, including several considered critical, the company said on Tuesday in its monthly security patch report.

The security holes, described in five critical and four important bulletins, affect multiple products, including Windows, Internet Explorer, Exchange, SQL Server and Office. In the worst-case scenarios, exploits could give attackers control of affected systems.

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The first critical bulletin, labeled MS12-060, involves Windows Common Controls vulnerabilities, which affect Office, SQL Server, other server products and developer tools.

There have been “limited, targeted attacks” to try to exploit this security hole, but no public proof-of-concept code has been made available to Microsoft’s knowledge, wrote Microsoft security official Yunsun Wee in a related blog post.

If a user visits a website that contains “specially crafted content” designed to exploit the vulnerability, attackers could execute code remotely on the affected machine. However, users would have to be tricked into visiting such a website. The malicious code can also be sent as an email attachment, but users would need to open the attachment for the attack to work.

Affected products include all supported editions of Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010 (except x64-based editions), SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, SQL Server 2000 (except Itanium-based editions), SQL Server 2005 (except Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, but including Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services), SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, Commerce Server 2002, Commerce Server 2007, Commerce Server 2009, Commerce Server 2009 R2, Microsoft Host Integration Server 2004 SP 1, Visual FoxPro 8.0, Visual FoxPro 9.0 and Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime.

Microsoft patched a Windows Common Control bug in April that “made everyone sit up and take notice” due to the broad scope of important products it touched, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at enterprise security vendor nCircle.

“There is some good news this month: that the attack vector associated with the [Windows Common Control] patch is an RTF (rich text format) file, and the victim has to explicitly open the file to allow the exploit. If you can’t get this patch rolled out or mitigation applied quickly, you should remind users about the dangers of opening attachments from unknown persons,” he said via email.

The second critical bulletin, labeled MS12-052, concerns four issues with IE that aren’t known to be under “active attack.” If successfully exploited, a malicious hacker could execute code on the affected machine with the privileges of the current user. As with the previous hole, users would need to visit a malicious Web page to fall victim to the attack. This vulnerability is rated critical for IE 6, IE 7, IE 8 and IE 9 on Windows clients and moderate for those same IE versions on Windows servers.

“It’s the third month in a row with a new Internet Explorer patch, so Microsoft is really taking advantage of the new ability to release an IE patch more frequently. This probably means there are a lot more IE patches in our collective future, since it’s a good bet Microsoft will be tackling their IE backlog post haste,” Storms said.

The third critical bulletin, labeled MS12-054, involves three holes in Windows Networking Components related to the Remote Administration Protocol (RAP) and one issue affecting the Print Spooler. The vulnerabilities could allow malicious hackers to launch denial-of-service attacks and execute code remotely on the affected machine, among other scenarios. Microsoft hasn’t received reports that these holes have been exploited.

The issue is critical for all supported editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003; important for all supported editions of Windows Vista; and moderate for all supported editions of Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2.

“This is something that predominantly affects small business and campus locations where Windows computers are configured in workgroups. If this describes your business, deploy this patch as soon as you can,” Storms said.

A fourth critical vulnerability, MS12-053, affects the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol and can be exploited by attackers who send a sequence of “specially crafted” RDP packets to an affected system. RDP isn’t turned on by default on any Windows OS. This hole is rated critical for all supported editions of Windows XP.

This bug has “a potential wormable condition” and could cause serious harm because it is “network aware” and requires no authentication, Storms said. “If you have XP on your network, then get the mitigations for this one installed ASAP,” he said.

A fifth critical vulnerability, MS12-058, relates to Exchange Server’s WebReady Document Viewing feature. The exploit could allow execution of remote code on the affected system. Users would need to preview a malicious file using Outlook Web App. This is rated critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

This fix closes the loop on a security advisory Microsoft issued in July, in which it explained that the existence of the vulnerabilities was due to the way files are parsed by Oracle Outside In code libraries. Oracle had fixed the security holes in its product earlier in July.

“This vulnerability really never went anywhere in the exploit community. We have so far seen very little uptake on actively exploiting the bug,” Storms said.

The four vulnerabilities rated important are MS12-055, related to Windows kernel-mode drivers, which would allow for unauthorized elevation of user privilege; MS12-056, a vulnerability in the JScript and VBScript scripting engines on 64-bit versions of Windows, which could allow remote code execution if users visit a malicious website; MS12-057, a hole in Office that could lead to remote code execution if a user opens a malicious file or embeds a malicious Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) graphics file into an Office file; and MS12-059, a vulnerability in Visio that also could lead to remote code execution on an affected machine.

Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at enterprise security vendor Qualys, said CSOs and IT professionals should give top priority to the Windows Common Controls patch, which is already being targeted by attackers. “A second important vulnerability to address is MS12-058 for IT Admins that are responsible for Exchange servers,” he said via email.

Microsoft also announced a change in the way Windows deals with certificates whose RSA keys are under 1024 bits in length. A Windows update will restrict the use of such certificates. That update is now in the Download Center as well as the Microsoft Update Catalog so that enterprise administrators can download it and test it. The update will be widely released via Windows Update in October of this year.

Users whose machines are set up to receive Microsoft’s software patches automatically don’t need to do anything. The fixes will be installed on their computers automatically. The updates can also be manually downloaded at the Microsoft Update and Windows Update sites.

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Windows 8 Update: Operating system is cooked, sent to manufacturers

Also, Microsoft knows Surface is ticking off the OEMs, Windows Store is open to third-party apps

Businesses seriously considering Windows 8 can get a copy of the final version starting Aug. 15 so long as they have a subscription to TechNet, Microsoft’s resource for technical information.

This means they can test and evaluate the product in order to make decisions about when and if to migrate to the new platform, which officially launches Oct. 26.


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Businesses without a TechNet subscription can get the final Windows 8 version Aug. 16 if they have a current Microsoft Software Assurance contract. The software will be accessible via the Microsoft Volume License Service Center. On the same day, the software will become available to Microsoft Partner Network members.

On Aug. 20, Windows 8 access is given to Microsoft Action Pack Providers who build services and products around Microsoft products. On Sept. 1, volume license customers that don’t have Software Assurance contracts can get Windows 8 via Microsoft Volume License Resellers.

Beyond all these upcoming deadlines, Microsoft this week officially released the final Windows 8 build to manufacturers, meaning they can start installing it on Windows 8 hardware, prepping for the official launch when devices with the operating system loaded go on sale.

This is just the start of a potentially busy time for Microsoft customers. Also released to manufacturer this week were Windows Server 2012 and Internet Explorer 10, both of which are also of interest to Microsoft shops. Server 2012 launches Sept. 4 and anchors what Microsoft describes as a cloud operating system. This is a tight integration between Server 2012 and Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, making it simpler to set up flexible data centers using traditional corporate infrastructure, private clouds and public clouds.

In a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission Microsoft stated the obvious — that selling its own Surface laptop/tablets will make its OEMs very unhappy.

“Our PC hardware products face competition from computer and other hardware manufacturers, many of which are also current or potential partners,” the Form 10-K says. “In addition, our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform.”

That sounds like Microsoft expects the OEMs to be less than enthusiastic about slapping Microsoft operating systems on the hardware they make — not a good frame of mind for them to have if you’re launching a new operating system that depends in large part on OEMs licensing a lot of the software.
Windows Store opens for apps

Along with the release of the final version of Windows 8, the Windows Store is now accepting Metro-style applications from developers. There is a vetting process by Microsoft to approve any app that is accepted for sale in the store with the idea that if properly written, Metro apps will work well on Windows 8 machines, won’t slow them down and will be less likely to contain malware.

Note: In order to submit to the store, developers must have the release to manufacturer version of Windows 8.
iPad may be the default holiday gift

The excitement over Windows 8 on tablets may do more to confuse customers than it will do to actually sell the devices, according to an IDC report on the sale of iPads in Q2 of this year.

iPads crushed the competition, scoring 68.2% of all tablet shipments, the research firm says. With the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet already available, and then Windows 8 and Windows RT devices going on sale in October, consumers may become confused.

“If anything, there’s a real risk that people will have too many options from which to choose this holiday season,” says Bob O’Donnell, IDC’s program vice president for clients and displays. “Consumers baffled by the differences between Amazon and Google versions of Android, or Windows 8 and Windows RT, may well default to market leader Apple. Or they may simply choose to remain on the sideline for another cycle.”

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Windows XP and Vista: No Office 2013 for you

Microsoft bars 55% of all current Windows PCs from running the newest suite

Computerworld – Microsoft confirmed yesterday that the new Office 2013 will not run on older PCs powered by Windows XP or Vista.

“The new Office will work with Windows 7 and Windows 8,” a Microsoft spokesperson said Monday in an email reply to questions about Office 2013 and Office 365. “Vista or XP will not support the new Office.”

Users running those operating systems will not be able to advance beyond Office 2010, the suite that launched about seven months after Windows 7.

The omission of the two operating systems means that more than half of all Windows computers — 54.6%, to be exact — now in place will be locked out of the upgrade, according to statistics compiled by Web metrics company Net Applications.

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Windows 7 does not yet have a majority of all Windows PCs: In June, it powered 45.1% of all PCs that went online, said Net Applications. Windows 8, which has not been released except in preview formats, accounted for just 0.2% of all copies of Windows.

But those shares are moving targets, and will be different come the release date of Office 2013 and the various Office 365 subscription programs. It’s difficult to project how much more share Windows 7 and Windows 8 will have then, since uptake on Windows 8 would be a blind guess, and no one knows whether Windows 8’s gains will come from former XP or Vista users, or from people moving up one edition from Windows 7.

One projection is possible, however: Absent any Windows 8 impact — unlikely, of course — Windows 7 will edge upward to 54.9% of all Windows PCs by February 2013, one of the several release dates that has been bandied about.

“It makes sense for them to do this, what with the end of life for XP approaching,” said Alan Krans, an analyst with Technology Business Research.

As Krans noted, it’s no surprise that Microsoft excluded Windows XP from the supported OS list. Windows XP is due for retirement in April 2014, when Microsoft stops serving the 11-year-old operating system with security updates.

“Those people are due for an upgrade [to a new operating system] anyway, but it is a nudge to push people to Windows 8,” acknowledged Krans. “Microsoft is imposing that line in the sand where users running software a couple of generations old need to upgrade.”

Microsoft has said that XP users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8, assuming that their hardware passes the eligibility test.

Krans pointed that out as well. “A lot of upgrades will go straight from XP to Windows 8,” he said, referring to the possibility of those users buying into Office 2013 once they’ve upgraded to the new OS.

Microsoft has eased the pain of upgrading to Windows 8 by cutting the price to just $39.99, a deal good through the end of January 2013.

Less expected was Microsoft’s decision to bar Vista users from acquiring Office 2013. Although the five-year-old edition was never popular — it peaked at a 19.1% share in October 2009 by Net Applications’ tracking — it still represents about 7% of all currently in-use copies of Windows and will account for around 5% come February 2013.

Krans had an explanation for Vista’s absence from the Office 2013 list as well, saying that it was a sign that Microsoft recognized what users have known for years: The 2007 edition was a washout.

For those reasons — XP users needing to upgrade or buy new PCs soon, and Vista’s irrelevance — Krans downplayed the potential financial hit to Microsoft of its decision to block XP and Vista from running the new Office.

What’s also notable about Windows XP’s inability to run Office 2013 is that it ends the operating system’s long run of supported suites. The aged operating system was able to handle four different editions: Office XP, which shipped in March 2001, Office 2003 (October 2003), Office 2007 (January 2007) and even Office 2010 (June 2010).

By comparison, the perception-plagued Vista only supported two editions — Office 2007 and Office 2010 — another demonstration of its short shelf life.

And it’s not as if Microsoft hasn’t put the kibosh on XP and Vista before.

March 2011’s Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) was refused to XP users, a decision Microsoft made the year before and stuck to even in the face of critics who howled that they’d been left behind.

Vista, meanwhile, will not run the upcoming IE10 that Microsoft plans to ship with Windows 8 and also release for Windows 7, later this year.

The ban on an Office 2013-Windows XP combination can also be read as another way for Microsoft to condemn the OS to the ash bin of history. For over a year now, Microsoft has said it was “time to move on” from Windows XP as it’s dubbed it the “lowest common denominator” and kicked off a retirement countdown for the software.

Users running Windows 7 or the Windows 8 Release Preview can try Office 2013 through one of the Office 365 Customer Previews, available from Microsoft’s website.

Windows XP and Vista users, of course, need not apply.

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What to expect at TechEd North America 2012

As anyone who’s been to TechEd will attest, the event is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. With hundreds of technical sessions, workshops, labs and vendors, the annual Microsoft event doesn’t lack quantity. But what’s actually worth paying attention to?

Thanks to the timing of the event, the published agenda and the tarot cards found lying around the TechTarget office, we have a few informed guesses regarding what attendees can expect to hear a lot about, and where Microsoft wants the industry conversation to go. Here are the top topics we’ll be watching:

Windows Server 2012
With the recent name change from Windows Server 8, there’s a renewed anticipation for Microsoft’s upcoming server OS – and heightened expectations for all the things the company claims it can do. Server and Tools Business president Satya Nadella will be one of the featured keynote speakers at the show, and he’ll likely hammer on all of the many documented improvements within Server 2012, from enhancements to Hyper-V and PowerShell to the new Resilient File System. There are also 72 technical sessions in the Windows Server track, which should sate folks eager to play with the Release Candidate, available now.
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Windows 8
It’s no secret that Microsoft is betting big on Windows 8, its “reimagined,” “fast and fluid” new client operating system. With the next iteration – dubbed the Release Preview – now available, you can bet it’ll be a major point of emphasis for many speakers, if not for the IT pros who remain skeptical of how the touch-centric interface will translate to the enterprise. The agenda includes technical sessions on Windows 8 deployment, Metro-style app delivery, Windows To Go and more. Developers will have plenty to chew on as well: Visual Studio corporate vice president Jason Zander will be speaking during Monday’s keynote session, and Antoine LeBlond, corporate vice president for Windows Web Services (with a focus on the Windows Store) takes the stage on Tuesday.

Sure, IT pros have been able to take certification exams at TechEd every year. But this year adds some intrigue, given the recent changes to Microsoft’s program, including the return of the MCSE and a focus on the cloud. Many are wondering what the changes mean for them, whether they should get recertified and what the value of these things are, anyway. If there is any place to get answers, it’s here.

Device (or user) management
It’s pretty difficult to avoid the topic of consumerization and BYOD programs at any conference these days, and for good reason: Any organization that isn’t dealing with it now will soon need to or risk being beaten over the head by iPad-wielding employees. One of the main ways that Microsoft is addressing the new reality is through improved device management. The revamped Windows Intune, which will purportedly give IT the ability to manage and deliver applications to iOS and Android devices in addition to Windows devices, will be featured in demos and discussions throughout the week (as will System Center Configuration Manager 2012). Expect to hear about Microsoft’s “user-centric” management model a lot, and get explanations as to why Windows RT tablets don’t need to join Active Directory domains.

The word “cloud” at a Microsoft conference usually means Azure. The public cloud platform will definitely be a major coverage area at TechEd, given both the timing – there was a recent branding brouhaha, and the company is scheduled to make a significant Azure announcement on June 7 – and the speaker slate (which includes sessions from Azure executives Scott Guthrie and Mark Russinovich, and purportedly something on the new Windows Azure Active Directory). But don’t discount Microsoft’s private cloud push, which includes System Center 2012 and Hyper-V.

System Center 2012
Though Microsoft’s updated systems management suite got plenty of time in the spotlight during the Management Summit in April, IT pros are looking to learn more about how to better monitor and respond to increasingly complex environments. Many of the suite’s most significant products, including Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager and Orchestrator, will get dedicated technical sessions, and should be touted as ways to tie together many of the topics mentioned above.

We’ve heard very little about how things are going with Office 365, Microsoft’s answer to Google Apps, and maybe that’s for a reason. But the roadmap should become a little clearer during TechEd, as there are several sessions scheduled that cover the cloud-based productivity suite in depth, including its tie-ins to the Sharepoint collaboration platform (and we may get more details on the new government-specific version). Though there’s nothing listed, we might also hear something about Office 15, which will reportedly be delivered to Windows devices before anything else.

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Database Certifications

Popular database certifications are always in demand, whether it’sMicrosoft’s MCTS and MCITP, Oracle’s OCA, OCP and OCM or MySql’s CMA, CMDEV and CMDBA.

Are you a database professional seeking to polish your resume in the hopes of landing a better gig? Perhaps you’re just getting started in database administration and you’d like to establish your credentials in the field. Database vendors offer a variety of professional certification programs that can help you advance your career while gaining valuable technical skills. After all, even the most seasoned professional has yet to fully explore some nook or cranny of the field that’s covered on a certification exam.

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So, where do you start? Most database certs are vendor-specific, so you’ll want to earn a certification from the company that puts out the software you’re currently working with or would like to work with in the future. We’ll take a brief look at the credentials available from the major vendors.

If you’re an Oracle guru, the Oracle Certified Professional program may be for you. There’s one catch to this program, however. Before receiving any Oracle credential, all candidates must take at least one instructor-led course. If you’re like me and you just want to pick up the book, study and take the exam, you’re out of luck here. Oracle’s program includes three tiers of certification, beginning with the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate (OCA), progressing through the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP) and culminating with the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Master (OCM). Each certification is version-specific, so you’ll need to update your certification each time a new version of Oracle rolls off the production line.

On the other hand, if you work in a Microsoft shop, you should consider one of several certifications:
• If you’re maintaining Microsoft Access databases for your organization, the simplest database credential is the Microsoft Office Specialist Access Track. This is a one-exam certification that covers basic knowledge of Microsoft Access 2003 and Access XP topics. Users of Access 2007 should instead prepare for the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) program.
• The Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS) credential is the entry-level certification for SQL Server professionals. There are three different certification paths: MCTS SQL Server 2008 Implementation and Maintenance, MCTS SQL Server 2008 Database Development and MCTS SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance. Each requires only a single exam and may be used to build toward higher-level Microsoft certifications
• The Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) credential is the premier certification for SQL Server administrators. It also comes in three variations. If you already hold the MCTS in SQL Server 200 Implementation and Maintenance, you can upgrade it to MCITP: Database Administrator with a single exam. Similarly, those who passed the MCTS Database Development exam can become MCITP: Database Developers with one additional exam. Finally, if you’re an MCTS in Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance, you can upgrade to MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer with one test.
Finally, if you’re a MySQL user, you might find one of their four certifications useful in your career:
• The MySQL Associate (CMA) certification requires passing a single exam and attests to the holder’s knowledge of basic MySQL skills.
• MySQL database administrators may earn the Certified MySQL Database Administrator (CMDBA) certification by passing two advanced examinations.

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• Similarly, MySQL developers may earn the Certified MySQL Developer (CMDEV) credential with two development-focused exams.
• Finally, CMDBA holders may upgrade to MySQL Cluster certification by passing a single additional exam.
Once you’ve chosen a credential that’s suitable for you, it’s time to hit the books and/or take a course and get started on your way to professional certification!

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The Rewards of Microsoft Certification


Microsoft certification is a vast combination of rich and varied spectrum of job and responsibilities. To successfully perform the critical IT function we should earn a specific credential providing objective validity of the ability. One of the most effective ways to reach a long-term career goal, which is even embraced by industry professionals worldwide, is Microsoft certification.


What are the benefits of achieving a Microsoft Certification?

Microsoft Certification enables you to keep your skills relevant, applicable, and competitive. In addition, Microsoft Certification is an industry standard that is recognized worldwide—which helps open doors to potential job opportunities. After you earn your Microsoft Certification, you have access to a multitude of benefits, which can be found on the MCP, MCT, or MOS member site.


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Advancing with long-term career goals Microsoft certification has helped countless IT professionals work more effectively. Individuals have started quoting their valuable experiences during the Microsoft certification course on the websites available. The professionals of Microsoft certification course are very different from the IT counterparts. They not only keep on fighting the challenges of IT field but also have keep themselves a step ahead from them by developing and improving their skills. These certification processes gives one a kind of knowledge to know how to get recognized in any field.


The professionals of Microsoft certification are called at the Microsoft certified professionals or MCP. For the this Microsoft certification they have to pass current Microsoft certification exam which will proved a reliable and valid measure of professional and technical expertise. The validity of a current exam is only considered and not which is retired. Microsoft certification exams reflect how Microsoft products are used in the organization.


Microsoft certification exams are developed from the inputs received from the IT industry professionals. The independent testing organizations administer these exams. There is one very big reason why IT professionals and developers become Microsoft certified professionals is that they all know that their clients, peers, employees and the IT industry shall acknowledge their expertise in working with the Microsoft products and technologies.


There are various steps towards obtaining Microsoft certification. Firstly, one should decide which Microsoft certification is correct for the person. As Microsoft offers a vast variety of professions within the IT industry one should understand which course would be the best for him. One should also get handy with the Microsoft products, which can be done only after working in the IT industry. Experience should be expanded with training by taking advantage of the training resources.


For obtaining Microsoft certification, it is also better to know what to expect in the exam. Previous question papers or taking consultation from those who have appeared or cleared the test is always a good choice. Taking helps from the help guides for Microsoft certification exams is also an added advantage. These help provide guidelines and suggestions to the person appearing for the exam. It is also suggested to take trial tests before appearing for the final exam. The test center should be selected from the worldwide locations. Also certain details like area of study, testing program and region etc should be mentioned.


If your ready for career change and looking for Microsoft MCTS Training, Microsoft MCITP Training or any other Microsoft Certification preparation get the best online training from they offer all Microsoft, Cisco, Comptia certification exams training in just one Unlimited Life Time Access Pack, included self study training kits including, Q&A, Study Guides, Testing Engines, Videos, Audio, Preparation Labs for over 2000+ exams, save your money on boot camps, training institutes, It’s also save your traveling and time. All training materials are “Guaranteed” to pass your exams and get you certified on the fist attempt, due to best training they become no1 site 2012.

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About The Author

Hi I educated in the U.K. with working experienced for 5 years in multinational companies, As an IT Manager and IT Instructor, I am attached with here they provide IT exams study material, the study materials included exams Q&A with Explanation, Testing Engine, Study Guides, Training Labs, Exams Simulations, Training Videos, Audio Exams Training, etc. for certification like MCTS Training, MCITP MCTS, MCSD, MCSA, MCSE  Training, CCNA exams preparation, CompTIA A+ Training, and more provide you the best training 100% guarantee. “Best Material Great Results”
My Specialties

I’ve worked with a lot of technologies, but these are where my focus has been in recent years:

* Microsoft SQL Server (particularly high availability and disaster recovery)

* VMWare Virtualization

* Oracle (yes, Oracle, I’ve worked on 7-11)

* Microsoft Clustering

* Red Hat Linux (I can still write shell scripts)

Microsoft Continues Rebranding, This Time It’s Azure

Microsoft must be in a mood to rename things this month. First, the company re-branded its small and medium business advertising site and eliminated Windows Live branding. Now it’s moved on to Azure. Will any of these changes have a positive impact on revenue or just result in confused customers?
Rebranding Azure for Billing Reports
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Microsoft has sent a message to Windows Azure users that it is rebranding its cloud services. “Azure” will no longer appear on the billing site and many of the cloud offerings will get slightly modified names. For example, SQL Azure is becoming SQL Database and Azure Compute will now be Cloud Services. Although the change is imminent, it’s unclear if the rebranding will be isolated to billing and usage records or if will apply to the brand as a whole.

Microsoft hasn’t released an official statement explaining its rebranding actions. However, the move may be designed to blur the distinction between on premises and cloud-based solutions. The company has long been committed to having both a premises and cloud versions of its products. In 2009, Microsoft combined the Windows Server and Azure teams.

Microsoft doesn’t want customers to worry about moving between locally deployed and cloud-based solutions. The company wants to create an ecosystem where customers can mix deployment options and easily move between environments.

In addition to the name changes, Microsoft also updated the Azure privacy policy. The policy doesn’t include any additional restrictions or protections. According to the company, the change only added more details for clarification.
What This Means

The cloud market is continuing to mature and has grown more competitive. Microsoft seems to be positioning itself as a one-stop-shop for business computing. The company has offerings at every level of the cloud stack from infrastructure-as-a-service to software-as-a-service.
However, the company isn’t stopping with the cloud; Microsoft is also supporting every deployment strategy from traditional on premises installs to the public cloud. The approach will likely be attractive to organizations that don’t want to invest time and resources into integrating best of breed solutions from multiple vendors.

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Windows Vista infection rates climb, says Microsoft

End of support last year for SP1 responsible for spike in successful attacks

Computerworld – Microsoft said last week that a skew toward more exploits on Windows Vista can be attributed to the demise of support for the operating system’s first service pack.

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Data from the company’s newest security intelligence report showed that in the second half of 2011, Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was 17% more likely to be infected by malware than Windows XP SP3, the final upgrade to the nearly-11-year-old operating system.

That’s counter to the usual trend, which holds that newer editions of Windows are more secure, and thus exploited at a lower rate, than older versions like XP. Some editions of Windows 7, for example, boast an infection rate half that of XP.

Tim Rains, the director of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group, attributed the rise of successful attacks on Vista SP1 to the edition’s retirement from security support.

“This means that Windows Vista SP1-based systems no longer automatically receive security updates and helps explain why there [was] a sudden and sharp increase in the malware infection rate on that specific platform,” said Rains in a blog post last week.

Microsoft stopped delivering patches for Vista SP1 in July 2011. For the bulk of the reporting period, then, Vista SP1 users did not receive fixes to flaws, including some that were later exploited by criminals.

Vista SP2 will continue to be patched until mid-April 2017.

Rains also noted that the infection rates of both Windows XP SP3 and Vista dropped dramatically last year after Microsoft automatically pushed a “backport” update which disabled AutoRun, a Windows feature that major worms, including Conficker and Stuxnet, abused to infect millions of machines.

Rains seemed to intimate that the AutoRun disabling had more impact on XP than on Vista, and by Microsoft’s data, he may have been on to something: While XP’s infection rate continued to drop throughout the year, Vista SP2’s climbed from the second quarter to the third, and again from the third to the fourth.

Windows 7’s infection rate also increased each quarter of 2011.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security, had a different theory for XP’s infection rate decline and the rise of Vista’s and Windows 7’s.

“As Microsoft’s intelligence gets better in [the Malicious Software Removal Tool] and fewer attackers focus on the older OS, then fewer infections should be found on the older OS,” said Storms, talking about Windows XP.

Most of Microsoft’s infection rate data is derived from the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT), a free utility it distributes to all Windows users each month that detects, then deletes selected malware families.

And the rise of infection rates in Vista and Windows 7?

“It would be expected that all the SKUs should go up slightly over time simply because new vulnerabilities are found, more attacks always happening, and so on,” Storms added.

Rains urged XP and Vista users to upgrade to the supported service packs — SP3 for XP, SP2 for Vista — to continue to receive patches.

The 126-page Security Intelligence Report that Rains referenced can be found on Microsoft’s website (download PDF)

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