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New Windows 8.1 Security Improvements


Maurice Naggar
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New Windows 8.1 Security Improvements Help Protect Against Pass the Hash Attacks | Security Bistro:

http://www.securitybistro.com/?p=8062

Windows 8.1 stops pass-the-hash attacks | Security - InfoWorld:

http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/windows-81-stops-pass-the-hash-attacks-227875

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  • Root Admin

Thanks for the post Maurice

 

No one doubts there is some good new technology in Windows 8 or 8.1

 

What MS doesn't seem to get is that if you read most technical blogs about Windows 8 almost no one slams the OS, it's the choice (or lack there of) of which "shell" (aka Interface) is used.  If Microsoft would pull their proverbial head out of their "***" and give users the choice of which SHELL they want to use.  Windows 7 or Windows 8 then Sales would probably jump off the chart for them.

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I recently had a home user return their Windows 8 computer to Costco after having it for about a month and spending $200 more online at TigerDirect to get a Windows 7 computer. Wake up Microsoft.... That is an issue when a user dislikes something enough they're willing to shell out that much money to get rid of Windows 8

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I recently had a home user return their Windows 8 computer to Costco after having it for about a month and spending $200 more online at TigerDirect to get a Windows 7 computer. Wake up Microsoft.... That is an issue when a user dislikes something enough they're willing to shell out that much money to get rid of Windows 8

 

sbskzk.jpg

 

It's a subject of lively and emotional debate at the Windows 7 forum.  There's a thread over there that's very long.

 

I demo'ed Win 8 a while back at a store and wasn't impressed but some users like the Metro interface, I guess.

 

If MS had targeted the tablet and mobile market exclusively with 8 and left the Desktop/Laptop customers alone (not loading 8 on most store PC's when it was introduced), I think they'd have been ok with that marketing approach.

 

Someone disputed that claim at the Win 7 forum but I didn't get into a debate with the guy over it.  From what I've heard from others, the brick/mortar stores, Best Buy, etc, have Win 8 loaded onto almost all of their new devices and PC's but perhaps that's not accurate. 

 

I'm not sure if this is right but I've heard that 8 doesn't come with WMP or another physical media player.  I guess the customer can load one, VLC Player, etc.  I thought that decision was a little strange but then I'm a dvd guy :) and am not into the cloud storage and playback world as yet.

 

I'm a big 7 fan so I'll probably be running it as long as I can.  I'm too hooked on years-old Win (XP, 7) shortcut keys to change now :).  I tested some of those in the store but noticed there were a few that weren't ported over from 7 that I use multiple times daily.

 

I don't use the mouse much and am not interested in a touch-screen interface for now.

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i just performed a fresh install of W8.1 and the latest version (4.0.0) of "classic shell" ...

it looks as if WMP is not included in the basic install . will it be included in the "real" release coming up shortly , time will tell .

i did not check out the "app" side (gawd , that sounds trendy , pretentious and smug) to see what is available .

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...

I'm not sure if this is right but I've heard that 8 doesn't come with WMP or another physical media player.  I guess the customer can load one, VLC Player, etc.  I thought that decision was a little strange but then I'm a dvd guy :) and am not into the cloud storage and playback world as yet.

...

 

WMP is present on W8, but here's the catch : it won't play DVDs. MS has to pay $2 per copy of Windows it sells to the MPEG-LA consortium, for codec rights.

But... you can play DVDs in W8 if you really want to. Just be sure you have W8 Pro (you can upgrade for a price) AND the Media Center Pack (again, cha-ching...). Once you have W8 Pro + Media Center, you can view DVDs (but not Blu-Rays) in Media Center, not in WMP.

But yeah, VLC is free, great, and can do it all. I've seen a bunch of factory machines (Asus, HP, etc..) that come with vanilla W8, loaded with a third-party DVD player (free, bloatware). I guess Media Center is mostly for those who like to watch/record TV on their computers.

 

What you heard about big chain stores is correct : W8 on everything now, simply because big brands can't get volume licenses for W7 anymore. But hey, W8.1 will have its Start button, wooo-hoo. It just brings you to Metro though, heh. Ok, to be fair, you can right-click it and get... an ancient looking context menu with a few options, but nowhere near what we want/need from a real Start button + menu. Classic Shell or Start8 for the masses ; nothing like a third-party app to save the day (and make MS cringe...).

 

Edit : took me a long time to write, so... what Ron said ^^ ;)

Edited by Mark
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as the topic/thread on windows treating their "anti" program (MSE) like a red-headed stepchild is locked ... i'll make a commentary here (it somewhat fits in) :

 

i hope that easy disabling and/or removing of "MSE" and the "MS defender firewall" is going to be included in the release of 8.1 in a few days .

as it stands now , one has to do some (minor ?) hoop-jumping in order to get these two items out of the way when installing a full-tilt AV/AM/firewall program (ie : ESET smart security 6 or 7) .

one has to navigate to places and do things that the average user should not be going to and doing .

the point being that there should be no "hoop-jumping" involved in the first place .

oh ... and good luck on finding out what to do , where to do it , and how to do it ... and (then) it does not hold true for/in all instances .

how nice of the boys and girls in charge of these important and far reaching decisions to give well rounded though based on time proven experience and wisdom .

it sounds like "yeah , we made it installed and activated by default and now were not really going to improve it . as a matter of fact , we're going to leave you in a bit of a lurch" .

 

the issue of WMP not being included in one version but included in another version becomes an issue for the *average* user that does not fully understand what this means to them .

many users of WMP have no idea about the "ins and outs" of why and how the program works ... they are not going to be overjoyed when they find out that they have to "buy into" one more piece of software .

but this is where M$ would seem to be capitalizing on the situation ... if one considers that the average user that is "used to" WMP is reluctant to learn something new (ie : VLC) , the said user(s) will pony up the money .

right now i can think of roughly 30 individuals that will cede and cough up the coin rather than "learn how to use" VLC , with only one person having the wherewithal to "learn" VLC ... this is excluding something known as "file associations" .

 

i can't help but feel this is yet *more* of the myopic and narrow-minded trends that seems to be spreading at MS (think herpes) .

yessir , one might even be led to believe that they are doing their level best to slowly engineer it right off the air .

 

this should all prove most interesting and entertaining over the next few months .

stay tuned for further developments .

"that's right folks ... don't touch that dial !"

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WMP is included with Windows 8 it just does not support DVD playback

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/download-windows-media-player

 

Thanks for the info.  That jogged my memory, something I read at the Windows 7 forum thread.

 

WMP is present on W8, but here's the catch : it won't play DVDs. MS has to pay $2 per copy of Windows it sells to the MPEG-LA consortium, for codec rights.

But... you can play DVDs in W8 if you really want to. Just be sure you have W8 Pro (you can upgrade for a price) AND the Media Center Pack (again, cha-ching...). Once you have W8 Pro + Media Center, you can view DVDs (but not Blu-Rays) in Media Center, not in WMP.

But yeah, VLC is free, great, and can do it all. I've seen a bunch of factory machines (Asus, HP, etc..) that come with vanilla W8, loaded with a third-party DVD player (free, bloatware). I guess Media Center is mostly for those who like to watch/record TV on their computers.

 

What you heard about big chain stores is correct : W8 on everything now, simply because big brands can't get volume licenses for W7 anymore. But hey, W8.1 will have its Start button, wooo-hoo. It just brings you to Metro though, heh. Ok, to be fair, you can right-click it and get... an ancient looking context menu with a few options, but nowhere near what we want/need from a real Start button + menu. Classic Shell or Start8 for the masses ; nothing like a third-party app to save the day (and make MS cringe...).

 

Edit : took me a long time to write, so... what Ron said ^^ ;)

 

Win 8 Pro and a Media Center Pack, more un-friendly user news about 8.  MS isn't trying to cater to us old-timer Laptop-with-DVD-Drive users :lol:

 

Thanks for the retailer-store info.  I thought I had that one right but one poster over at the Windows 7 forum was rather sarcastic to me about that one so I left it alone.

 

VLC, yes, it's a great addition to my PC's.  It plays everything that I have on my PC's.  I still use WMP to watch DVD's on my Laptop but I have VLC loaded on it as well.

 

as the topic/thread on windows treating their "anti" program (MSE) like a red-headed stepchild is locked ... i'll make a commentary here (it somewhat fits in) :

 

i hope that easy disabling and/or removing of "MSE" and the "MS defender firewall" is going to be included in the release of 8.1 in a few days .

as it stands now , one has to do some (minor ?) hoop-jumping in order to get these two items out of the way when installing a full-tilt AV/AM/firewall program (ie : ESET smart security 6 or 7) .

one has to navigate to places and do things that the average user should not be going to and doing .

the point being that there should be no "hoop-jumping" involved in the first place .

oh ... and good luck on finding out what to do , where to do it , and how to do it ... and (then) it does not hold true for/in all instances .

how nice of the boys and girls in charge of these important and far reaching decisions to give well rounded though based on time proven experience and wisdom .

it sounds like "yeah , we made it installed and activated by default and now were not really going to improve it . as a matter of fact , we're going to leave you in a bit of a lurch" .

 

the issue of WMP not being included in one version but included in another version becomes an issue for the *average* user that does not fully understand what this means to them .

many users of WMP have no idea about the "ins and outs" of why and how the program works ... they are not going to be overjoyed when they find out that they have to "buy into" one more piece of software .

but this is where M$ would seem to be capitalizing on the situation ... if one considers that the average user that is "used to" WMP is reluctant to learn something new (ie : VLC) , the said user(s) will pony up the money .

right now i can think of roughly 30 individuals that will cede and cough up the coin rather than "learn how to use" VLC , with only one person having the wherewithal to "learn" VLC ... this is excluding something known as "file associations" .

 

i can't help but feel this is yet *more* of the myopic and narrow-minded trends that seems to be spreading at MS (think herpes) .

yessir , one might even be led to believe that they are doing their level best to slowly engineer it right off the air .

 

this should all prove most interesting and entertaining over the next few months .

stay tuned for further developments .

"that's right folks ... don't touch that dial !"

 

Wow, more bummer info about 8...uninstalling MSE being a headache, WMP not being on one version but present on another, etc.

 

That's a good point about VLC/WMP.  It's regrettable that the reluctance exists to learn something new.  I know since I was there a few years ago about an unrelated topic, backing up my HDD, cloning, etc.

 

It would seem to me, as a novice in this discussion without industry knowledge, that MS has been trying to "steer" the masses to cloud environments, storing all of your personal data there, and also steering us away from physical media into streaming/downloading for entertainment media.

 

Perhaps that's why I'm not a Win 8 fan :D  . 

 

- I'd rather keep my personal info on my local HDD.

 

- As a DVD hobbyist/collector, I can travel with my Win 7 Laptop and discs and not depend on a wifi connection or depend on a 'net connection at a friend's house.

 

I can see one significant advantage with cloud technology:  I guess it eliminates the need to maintain a local backup scheme, ie, backing up your data, although it's still depending on another entity for backup or redundancy.

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I see more disadvantages to "cloud technology".  They include, but is not limited; availability, security, privacy and access.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Not using "cloud technology" is but a gram of prevention. 

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I see more disadvantages to "cloud technology".  They include, but is not limited; availability, security, privacy and access.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Not using "cloud technology" is but a gram of prevention. 

 

wapld5.jpg

 

I was mostly referring to the PC users that don't have a backup plan in place.

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My stance doesn't change and why would one want to choose online "backups" that take many, many, hours to do when they can do the same in minutes or within 1 hour and the data is in your own hands so "availability, security, privacy and access" concerns are greatly mitigated by multiple factors.

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Cloud has its advantages, under specific conditions for specific uses. I call that a "niche" and that's how it should be considered, I think. But marketing forces being what they are today, why not shove the idea down everybodys' throats and make the most money from it. W8.1 seems to be going places where it shouldn't be going, like forcing the use of *Microsoft accounts* instead of the good ol' local User accounts. And you also have the new Librairies scheme, that will point to SkyDrive now instead of the familiar and trusted *My Documents* on disk. Imagine having your pictures and videos on SkyDrive ? Cha-ching... big bucks for M$. But the Librairies thing will depend on how you had it set up in W8 prior to upgrading (if upgrading) and/or on how you log in to Windows (online or local account). They are really going to be messing with our heads with this one folks. And then there's "Smart Search". Pleeeze...

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/windows-81-tip-configure-smart-search

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One of the more compelling reasons for online or cloud backup is that if you had a house fire, flood, earthquake, or other similar disaster at home then you could very well lose ALL your data including your local backups.   Having a copy of at least the most critical data on some type of cloud storage would allow you to at least not lose that data.

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While it may seem that "online or cloud backup" is a good part of a disaster recovery scheme in the case of fire and flood, one can take the; tape, DVD, Flash Drive, External Hard Drive, etc to a family member's house, safety deposit box, garaged storage, alternate home or office, etc.  There still is that;  availability, security, privacy and access problem with "online or cloud backup" that is lessened by physically holding a redundant backup set at an off-site location.

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ahhh ... WMP not playing dvds ... unless you cough up the cash .

it seems to me that M$ is cutting off their nose to spite their face .

i am having trouble seeing that two buck savings reflected in the price .

now , if they came out with a version of W8 that didn't have all the fisher-price stuff in it and then charged to have it installed (as an app ...how apropos is that) it would make a lot of people very happy .

(i changed my pre-orders of W8.1 to the pro version at 0dark30 today)

 

i wonder how long it will be before *someone* comes up with a program that removes the "other side" and all the stuff that is not needed ?

 

 

when i was looking for a way to "uninstall" MSE , it was a dry well ... at least from what i read , there is (was) no way to uninstall MSE and M$ did not include an easy way to "turn it off" and get it out of the road ...

WTH were they thinking ?

a lot of the M$ employees harp about not running certain programs as they conflict with MSE ... yadda yadda yadda .

so it makes all the sense in the world to not include a way to easily shut down or uninstall MSE ?

one could almost suspicion a little collusion or racketeering going on ... "you will use our products and like them" .

and here i thought the soviet union was a thing of the past .

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Well one good thing for Windows 8 is the storage drivers fully support the newer native 4K drives. 

Though if Microsoft wanted to they could write a driver even for XP to support them but they have no desire to do so.

 

Advanced format (4K) disk compatibility update
Advanced Format
Transition to Advanced Format 4K Sector Hard Drives

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