Microsoft Tells IE Users how to Defend Against Zero-day Bug

Microsoft has yet to patch its latest critical Internet Explorer zero-day security flaw, but an advisory about the bug now offers two temporary solutions. Updated on Monday, Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983 offers new information about the new zero-day vulnerability that affects all versions of Internet Explorer. The flaw could allow remote code execution and has already been used in "limited, targeted attacks," Microsoft revealed, though those attacks have so far affected only IE versions 9, 10, and 11.

Mozilla Introduced the New Customizable Firefox

The first thing you’ll notice in Firefox is the beautiful new design that makes it easy to focus on your Web content. The tabs are sleek and smooth to help you navigate the Web faster. It’s easy to see what tab you’re currently visiting and the other tabs fade into the background to be less of a distraction when you’re not using them.

Apple Opens OS X Mavericks Beta Testing

Before today, you needed a developer account to help test Apple’s upcoming software releases before they hit the general user population. You didn’t need to actually develop anything, but it would still cost you $99 per year to partake, and technically it was still sort of against the rules. Today, Apple introduced its OS X Beta Seed Program to make pre-release Mac operating system software available to all who want to help try it out.

Windows 8.1 Update Might Change Your Mind About Windows 8

With the second major revision to Windows 8, somewhat confusingly named Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft seems to have finally remembered that there are PC users out there who still work with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Not everyone is happily tapping and swiping away at tablet and hybrid screens yet, and the loudest complaints about the OS have been regarding its lack of support for those who use their PCs in a more traditional fashion.

Discontinued Windows XP Still No. 2 Desktop OS

On the eve of Microsoft’s BUILD developer conference, Statcounter has published a snapshot of the challenge that Microsoft faces to get its users to adopt its current and future products over its legacy systems. According to the research firm, in the month of March Microsoft’s Windows 7 OS held on to its place as the world’s most popular desktop operating system, with the OS installed on nearly 55% of all machines surveyed. Windows XP, which Microsoft has said it will stop supporting by April 8, is at a firm number two with 18.6% of all installations.

Google Speeds WebP Image Format

Google has built a new version of its WebP software into Chrome to let browsers display its image format 25 percent faster, the company said Friday. The better-performance, new libwebp 0.4.0 is part of Google's general effort to speed up the Web, and the new software also uses less memory and fixes an issue that had blocked Google from supporting animated WebP images. The updated WebP support is built into the version of Chrome that's currently in beta.

Office for iPad Rumors Give Microsoft's Stock a Boost

Microsoft's share price hit levels Tuesday not seen since the dot-com boom days, with analysts attributing the rise to a report on Monday of Office finally landing on the iPad. Microsoft's shares rose as much as 5 percent to $39.90 on Tuesday, adding $15 billion to the company's value, Reuters reported. The last time the software giant's shares flirted with $40 was in July 2000.

Microsoft Takes on the 'free' OS

Microsoft is taking baby steps toward offering its operating system for free or on the cheap - a necessary tactic in a world dominated by Google's Android and other up-and-coming free operating systems, an analyst tells CNET. As reported by the Times of India this week, Microsoft had been in negotiations with Indian phone companies to "produce affordable Windows Phone devices" since last year. The agreement was "clinched" when Microsoft agreed to offer the Windows Phone OS sans the usual licensing fee, according to the Times. Microsoft said to CNET in a statement that it "cannot discuss confidential licensing terms."

PayPal Is Rolling Out Its New “Mobile First” Website Globally

PayPal, the eBay-owned online payments platform that made up some 40% of its $16 billion in revenues in 2013, has turned on a redesigned website — it’s biggest attempt yet at putting a contemporary, simplified face on one of the older services on the web (founded: 1998); and to introduce users to some of the newer features it’s hoping will take off, such as mobile and physical store payments.

Mozilla Stops Developing Its Persona Sign-In System

If you don’t know about Mozilla’s Persona sign-in and identity, you’re apparently not the only one. Citing low adoption rates, Mozilla has decided to give up on this project and is allocating its developer resources to different projects. Mozilla will continue to host the service and patch security issues as needed, however. The organization hopes the community will continue to develop the product, but given that there had been very little interest in supporting it in the first place, it seems doubtful that many developers will volunteer to pick up the slack.

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