What Will Microsoft's Big Announcement Be?


    Some analysts are speculating that Microsoft will reveal a Windows RT-based tablet at a major media event the company has scheduled for Monday afternoon in Los Angeles. There are rumors that such a tablet will be built by Microsoft, and yet other rumors indicating that Microsoft might reveal an Xbox tablet variant.There's a lot of speculation as to Microsoft's plans as it is well known that they are planning to attempt to enter the market dominated by Apple. The fact that this is going to be a Los Angeles event as many people speculating that it could be Xbox related as Xbox has done announcements in L.A., especially where they've just recently announced the Xbox smart glass at the E3. Computer productivity and gaming are both right up Microsoft's alley so it's really anybody's guess as to what exactly will be announced. One thing for certain is that it will be interesting to find out on Monday.

Apple at BLACK HAT Security Conference?

   Growing sales of iPhones and iPads are causing Apple to undertake endeavors it has not before, and the their planned appearance at next month's Black Hat security conference is a strong indicator that the company is taking security concerns more seriously. This is  significant because Apple has never actually had any real participation at Black Hat. Although they nearly did four years ago in 2008, the Apple security engineers that were scheduled to lead a Black Hat panel pulled out a week before under direction of Apple's powers that be. Whereas some of the more prominent previous Black Hat storylines have centered on Apple flaws, it does seem that it's about time for Apple to become involved at Black Hat.

   Apple's security team manager, Dallas De Atley, will be presenting a talk on iOS security at this year's Black Hat. Apple recently published a document outlining the iOS security architecture potentially setting up a platform for this presentation. Apple needs to improve its track record of working with security researchers, many of whom claim to have been ignored after bringing serious issues to the company's attention. Some such researchers have evidently taken vulnerability disclosure into their own hands, as evidenced by the Month of Apple Bugs and other things. So why is Apple opening up on security? it is probable that Apple could be looking to fix the dent that the botnet and flashback malware caused to its security reputation.

   Apple says iOS is inherently more secure. Another plausible explanation might be that Apple wants a bigger share of the enterprise market and taking Black Hat seriously while presenting genuine security information about the iOS will likely give CEOs and CIOs better reasons to believe an apples security. With all this Apple also apparently realizes that it needs to improve, perhaps even upgrade its own networking security skills and to that end they have been recruiting Microsoft channel partners which would be another first. It will be interesting to see what comes of this Black Hat appearance and just how forthcoming Apple will be.



Shhh! There's Been CYBER ATTACKS!


   According to leading security experts, there is a large number of U.S. companies have not disclosed security breaches of their computer systems, in spite of the fact that U.S. securities regulators issued guidelines on disclosing cyber attacks.Many of the same experts are calling for more rigorous rules and enforcement because they claim to know of many cyber intrusions and other computing/networking security issues that have not been revealed. Cybersecurity consultants and U.S. government officials and  have been raising alarms about the growing sophistication of attacks on all computer networks in general.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidance on October 13, 2011 that outlined how and when companies should report intrusions and their networks and their overall security health. This did not establish new rules, and it's likely that many corporations do not want the embarrassment of releasing such information.

    It is entirely likely that due to the recent increase in cyber attacks based in China several corporations could potentially have lost proprietary information, perhaps including secure data to these attacks.One thing the corporations might want to consider is the fact that if all of this information were revealed to the government, it could well be used by the government to help prevent such attacks in the future. This alone may not be enough reason for corporations to reveal what they claim to be material in nature, and it may take multiple intrusions to make corporations realize how risky the security situations actually are. One might hope that said corporations don't continue to "whistle past the graveyard" regarding security issues to the point where they suffer some very serious kind of intrusion.


    One of the newest pieces of equipment out there in the world of computing devices is something called "Hybrid Ultrabooks". It's hard to say if these nifty little computers will be of much use to the average person where so many of us already have laptops and or tablets etc. They're small they’re sleek and they will have a myriad of different configurations basically all designed for flexibility. The newest OS from Microsoft (Windows 8) is designed to take the most possible advantage of touch screen capabilities and this is something which Ultrabooks will also provide.

    Things like removable keyboards and dual sided displays will definitely have an appeal but to go the route of the hybrid Ultrabook is likely to depend on proven performance and naturally the price. Microsoft, Intel, and PC manufacturers will be putting these machines on the market and there will no doubt be many reviews to go through in helping to make a decision on whether or not to buy one of these machines. If somebody's just looking for a new toy this hybrid Ultrabook is probably going to be a great option; however, if one wants productivity more than anything else, it's hard to say at this point whether or not these will be a viable option. Take a good look at all the manufacturers and all the options to make a decision as to if one of these should be your next purchase.


The Windows 8 Release Preview was released today, replacing the Consumer Preview and providing the last “peek” into the newest OS from Microsoft prior to final sale. This is not a surprise nor is it out of character for Microsoft. The final UI (User Interface) may not be in this latest public release but it is likely that all of the features otherwise will be included. More on this in coming days as it is evaluated!