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Windows NT Security Systems March 2, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Archives, Security, Technologies.
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Windows NT Security Systems

The starting point for strong Internet security is the operating system of any machine connected to it. Fortunately for the organizations using IIS 4.0, strong levels of security were built into the core of Windows NT in order to meet and exceed certifiable security standards, i.e. the C2 security guidelines required by the U.S. Department of Defense’s evaluation criteria. Windows NT security contrasts sharply with the thin and weak security layers that are bolted on to the top of some other operating systems.

Compliance with the C2 security standard was originally only required for government organizations. However, many commercial organizations are demanding the same level of security, and they recognize the value that such standards offer. The main requirements for C2 compliance are:

  • User identification and authentication. Before gaining access to the systems, a user must prove their identity. This is typically done by providing a user-id / password combination, for example by entering the details via a keyboard or by the presentation of a device such as a smart card which stores such information.
  • Discretionary access control. Each object within the system, for example files, printers and processes, must have an owner—who can grant or restrict access to the resources at various degrees of granularity.
  • Auditing Capabilities. The system must provide the ability to log all user actions and object access, and include enough information to identify the user that performed any operation. Such information must only be accessible by system administrators.
  • Safe Object reuse. The system must guarantee that any discarded or deleted object cannot be accessed, either accidentally or deliberately, by other entities.
  • System integrity. The system must protect resources belonging to one entity, from being interfered with by another entity.

The C2 guidelines are applicable to standalone systems, and are specified in the document Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC). Fortunately, to make life simpler, this is often referred to as the Orange Book, thanks to the color of its cover. Other specifications that expand on the Orange Book include the Red Book for networking, and the Blue Book for subsystems.

Obtaining C2 certification is a long and complex task, and Microsoft are pushing hard for complete certification. Windows NT has passed the Orange Book certification process (for a standalone PC, not connected to a network) and is on the DOD’s official list of evaluated products. At the time of writing, Windows NT 4.0 is undergoing Red and Blue book evaluations.

Read More…Windows NT Security Systems

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Windows 8 vs. iPad: feature by feature | The Verge March 2, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Apple, BlogoSphere, iOS, Microsoft, Microsoft, Platforms & EcoSystems, Software, The Verge, Windows, Windows 8.
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ipad vs windows 8 comparison

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview was made available to download yesterday, giving everyone a chance to experience the company’s most revolutionary change in user interface since Windows 95. The interaction paradigm has shifted from a mouse-centric desktop to a touch-friendly, highly visual Metro style UI. The old Start orb has been retired and replaced by a Charms bar, which is brought to life with an inward swipe from the right. A swipe from the top down dismisses the app you’re in and returns you to the home screen, and the left and bottom edges also have actions associated with them. Gestures play a very significant role in Windows 8, but they’re only one aspect of a truly gargantuan list of changes……

Windows 8 vs. iPad: feature by feature | The Verge

Disappointing review they really didn’t show off features that Windows 8 had and that the iPad didn’t. The features were ones compared to the limited iPad set. For example the author failed to point out you can easily switch to a Full Internet explorer from the Metro Internet Explorer. For a full detailed overview of Windows 8 CP feature see Paul Thurott’s SuperSite for Windows, www.winsupersite.com. Many of his articles are linked here.

With Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft Silences the Critics March 2, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Suddenly, you can see it happening: A future in which Microsoft melds the traditional Windows desktop with the highly mobile and highly connected devices that are just now exploding isn’t just possible. It’s a sure thing.

Microsoft on Wednesday unleashed its nearly feature-complete Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the public. This new pre-release milestone, called the Beta internally, is one of just a handful of public releases the company plans before delivering the final version of the OS in an expected Q4 2012 timeframe. But it’s already got the Internet buzzing.

"Get psyched," commentator and professional Apple promoter David Pogue wrote from his column at the New York Times. "With Windows 8, Microsoft has sweated the details, embraced beauty and simplicity, and created something new and delightful." 

"A Silicon Valley startup called Lytro is shipping a camera this week that actually lets you focus or refocus your pictures on a computer after you take them," commentator and professional Apple promoter Walt Mossberg wrote from his equally lofty perch at the Wall Street Journal.

Wait, what?

OK, so Mr. Mossberg hasn’t opined on Windows 8 yet, but then why would he with other such exciting topics to discuss this week? The point, however, is simple: Even Microsoft’s biggest critics—and Apple’s biggest public backers—love Windows 8. Well, assuming they give it the time of day, that is.

"We really are on the threshold of a whole new era of personal computing,
USA Today‘s more moderate Ed Baig noted in his own review. "I’m impressed by what I see."

So am I, Ed. So am I…….

With Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft Silences the Critics

Windows 8 Consumer Preview February 29, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Microsoft, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview

 

It’s Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability. It’s an all-new touch interface. It’s a new Windows for new devices. And it’s your chance to be one of the first to try it out.

 

See what’s new

Swipe, slide, and zoom

Touch a full-powered PC. It’s fast and it’s fluid. Take natural, direct, hands-on control.

Apps, front and center

Apps in Windows 8 work together to get things done faster. Get them from the Windows Store.

Your Windows, everywhere

Windows 8 can connect you to your files, photos, people, and settings, wherever you sign in.

Wall-to-wall web

Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview brings you immersive web browsing on screens big and small.

The familiar, made better

Still devoted to your mouse and keyboard? Windows 8 makes the tried-and-true feel brand new.

The Windows Experience Blog

Read this Windows Experience Blog entry for some tips on getting started with Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Behind the scenes

Meet the engineering team

Check out a short video for an informal look at Windows 8 from one of the teams that built it.

Building Windows 8

Get the latest news and the inside scoop on the development process from the Windows 8 engineering team blog.

The product guide

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for more in-depth, detailed info on this release.