Author
 Dave Methvin

Profile of Dave Methvin

News & Commentary Posts: 339
Articles by Dave Methvin

The Mobile Phone Update Conundrum

5/9/2011
Apple's tightly controlled environment makes iOS updates a snap; it's a sharp contrast to the Android and Windows Phone 7 platforms, which are at the mercy of wireless carriers.

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Microsoft Should Bet On Web Apps

3/21/2011
As the mobile environment becomes more fragmented, developers will be tempted to focus their efforts on the platforms with large market share. Microsoft needs a way to attract those developers.

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Phony Phone Numbers

12/26/2010
How many Window Phone 7 units has Microsoft sold? For whatever reason, it's difficult for Microsoft to give a straight answer. That, of course, leads to industry speculation that things aren't going so well for Microsoft's new mobile platform.

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Time To Change Web Advertising

12/20/2010
Advertising on the web as we know it has gone through good times and bad times. Now it may be going through end times. Privacy concerns, security breaches, and perhaps even government regulations will drive changes.

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Hey, You Get Offa My Cloud

12/16/2010
We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Microsoft Azure, the company's platform-as-a-service (PAAS) offering. Like any big project, it's taking a while for potential customers to find their way around the platform. This week, though, saw the first high-profile defection from Azure.

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Will You Patch This Tuesday?

12/12/2010
The Microsoft security sleigh will be laden with patches this coming Tuesday, a bag full of 17 bulletins patching 40 different vulnerabilities in Windows and Office products. With this being a hectic time of the year for many companies, it can bring up some tough choices. What is your company's policy for applying these patches in December?

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What Microsoft Should Have Said

12/5/2010
It's clear that Microsoft is awfully twitchy about the impact of Google Apps on their Office market share, so they've been trash talking it every chance they get. If you ask me, though, Microsoft is saying all the wrong things.

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Microsoft Doesn't Want To Spoon

12/1/2010
Developing web applications that run on a wide variety of browsers can be quite a challenge. There's an online tool that can make that job easier, but Microsoft doesn't want you to have it.

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Google, Microsoft Fight For Your Domain

11/21/2010
Google has built a lot of services, plus several from acquisitions over the years. Last week, the company made most of those services available as part of Google Apps. Microsoft has an answer for that.

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The Threat To Microsoft's Server Business

11/18/2010
Microsoft's Server and Tools Division has been a steady and consistent producer for the company over many years. Yet there's a potential danger looming for the company that could put a big dent in that business -- and it's coming from hardware.

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Azure's Late Infrastructure Start

11/14/2010
One of the interesting announcements from last month's Microsoft Professional Development Conference was that Azure will soon include the ability for customers to run a virtual machine instance of Windows Server 2008. What took them so long?

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Stop Feigning Silverlight Shock

11/3/2010
It seems like last week's Microsoft Professional Developer's Conference left some people shocked -- shocked -- that the company's Silverlight strategy has changed. Yet nothing really has changed, at least recently.

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Does Ray Ozzie's Departure Matter?

10/25/2010
Stores selling gold watches in Redmond, Washington must be doing great business lately. Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie, became the company's latest executive to announce that he will retire soon. I'm not sure that it matters.

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The Real Office 365 Innovation

10/20/2010
The new Office 365 is a major push by Microsoft into the cloud-based and services-based world. This time the push is for a major company cash cow, which also makes it a high-stakes move. Yet there is a significant upside.

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Microsoft's OpenOffice Attack Video

10/14/2010
It's not very common for an established industry leader to trash a competitor; that kind of dirty politics is usually considered below them. This week Microsoft decided to buck that trend and create what some have called an attack video where customers lament their experiences with OpenOffice.

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No Such Thing As Free Public WiFi

10/10/2010
A recent feature on National Public Radio reminded me of the old Windows XP bug with the "Free Public Wi-Fi" viral networking entry and how it has plagued travelers with Windows PCs for a decade. The problem is declining as Windows XP does, but there's a simple fix for XP to get rid of it once and for all.

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"Do Not Track" Makes No Sense

10/3/2010
There are some ideas that are sure-fire crowd pleasers, like hating on Windows Vista. Similarly, the idea of a do-not-track list or policy administered by ... someone ... is good enough to get a populist politician elected. If only it made sense.

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Welcome To The New Microsoft

9/29/2010
This has been a week full of surprises from Microsoft. They're doing things that the company historically has never done. What the heck is going on up in Redmond?

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Reduce Risk On Mobile Apps

9/26/2010
If your company is developing mobile apps, it is hard to ignore the hard-charging iPhone and Android platforms. But who else deserves attention? Certainly BlackBerry is still a player, even if it's shrinking; maybe the analysts are right and Microsoft can't be ignored either. But why take a risk betting on the wr

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The IE Hole Nobody Cares About

9/21/2010
Researchers recently found an interesting problem in the way Internet Explorer handles browser cookies. IE could essentially be confused into letting cookies through that it should have blocked. It's been that way for years, but nobody seemed to notice.

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Desktops Are Not A "Walled Garden"

9/19/2010
A recent Ars Technica article talks about Intel's acquisition of McAfee and its vision to migrate "from a known-bad model to a known-good model." It makes me wonder whether Intel really understands the strength of the Wintel software market.

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Piracy Isn't The Worst That Can Happen

9/15/2010
This week we got to see two different aspects of software piracy. Today the Business Software Alliance released a study claiming that $51 billion worth of software was stolen last year. Earlier in the week, the New York Times did a story on how Russia is using the premise of software piracy to punish political adversaries. Microsoft is enta

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Is Microsoft's Remote-Wipe Effective?

9/12/2010
Microsoft Exchange support for mobile devices such as the BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android phones has a remote-wipe feature that lets someone remotely reset the device to factory settings. One recent blogger calls it a terrible bug. If there is a bug, it's that remote wipe isn't foolproof.

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Microsoft Wins California By Default

9/9/2010
When the State of California put a revamp of its 200,000-user email system up for bid, it seemed like another opportunity for Google to grab territory that has typically been owned by Microsoft. Then Google saw the requirements, and cried foul.

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Microsoft Chooses The A-Bomb

9/6/2010
The final Windows Phone 7 software has been released to the phone makers. Next month you can drop by your local carrier's mall kiosk and grab a new phone and a Starbucks. Although Microsoft would love to take on the iPhone, it's more likely to try and grab some of Android's surging market share.

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Google Vs. Oracle: Microsoft Wins?

8/31/2010
Oracle, now the keeper of the Java flame through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has decided that Google has sullied Java through its modifications for the Android platform. For that, Google must pay, and it must pay Oracle. At least that's the way Oracle sees things.

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Good Ideas Make Good Products

8/26/2010
In a recent blog entry, Om Malik argues that Apple's success comes from the fact that it doesn't target markets, but instead makes products with people in mind. I don't think it's the targeting that makes the products successful, but the ideas they embody and the insight of the people who built them.

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Intel Plus McAfee Equals ... Huh?

8/22/2010
We all know Intel for the processors that drove Windows to its world domination, but lately the company has been having problems in downsizing its hardware technology for the red-hot mobile market. With its bid to buy McAfee, Intel seems to be trying to expand outside its core competencies. I can't see how this will turn out well.

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Big Tech Stifles Innovation

8/15/2010
As I read an article about small companies versus big ones, it occurred to me that large technology companies often don't get credit for one of their biggest services to the enterprise: stopping innovation.

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Will Intel Kill Wintel?

8/11/2010
Although IBM may have committed the original sin that allowed Microsoft to dominate the desktop, it couldn't have stayed on top for so long without Intel. Windows is so tied to Intel's CPU that the industry came up with "Wintel" to describe the symbiotic pairing. But now, Intel is becoming a player in Microsoft's undoing.

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Advertisers Nixed Browser Privacy

8/8/2010
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft originally had plans for aggressive privacy protections by default in Internet Explorer 8. That was before Microsoft's own advertising group, among others, got wind of the plan.

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Microsoft Phone Idea Is Nuts

8/1/2010
Over at Ars Technica, Peter Bright has proposed that if Microsoft really wants to succeed at Windows Phone 7, the company should build its own phone. That idea is, in a word, nuts. It doesn't address any of the real problems that Microsoft has in this market.

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Microsoft's Free Phone Giveaway

7/28/2010
Wow, Microsoft will be giving away a lot of phones this fall, about 90,000 of them. That's one way to make sure that Windows Phone 7 gets off to a fast start, for both users and developers. Given that Microsoft is far behind, it's something they need to do if they want to compete against iPhone and Android.

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Microsoft Wants Free Testers

7/23/2010
Writing software is hard, but testing software and finding bugs can be harder. That's why companies like Google and Mozilla pay upwards of a $3,000 bounty to anyone who reports a serious security bug in their browsers. Don't expect anything more than an attaboy if you find a hole in Internet Explorer, though.

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I Have Broken My Printer Addiction

7/11/2010
There is a printer sitting in my office, but the last two times I've gone to use it I've found that the ink cartridge isn't working. The ink clotted in the print-head from lack of use, since I only can work up the courage to power it up about once every four months. I'm not sure it will ever get another chance.

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Just Make It Sound Good

7/8/2010
People love a good rumor. Since we're in the technology business, juicy stories about Lindsay Lohan, LeBron James, or Lady Ga Ga don't quite fit in. That doesn't stop some tech stories from repeating things that seem just as crazy, and are totally unsupported by any facts.

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Monopolies Could Kill Microsoft

7/5/2010
After a disastrous Kin experience, Microsoft is doubling down on the launch of Windows Phone 7 this fall. The question is whether the same problems that plagued the Kin might also torpedo Windows Phone 7. One of those problems is something that used to help Microsoft: monopolies.

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Notify The Next Of Kin

6/30/2010
There's a business strategy for new products that goes by the name of "fail fast, fail cheap". Perhaps that's the reason that Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Kin phones after just two months and one desperate price cut. But they didn't fail fast, and I doubt Kin's failure will be cheap.

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Is Silverlight A Dead End?

6/27/2010
When Microsoft released Silverlight in 2007, it was widely seen as an attack on Adobe's Flash player. Silverlight has come a long way since then, adding lots of features in version 4.0 that was just released in April. One thing that it hasn't done, though, is kill Flash. If anything, the predator is now suffering from friendly fire at the hands of its own company.

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Microsoft's Ad-Serving Machine

6/25/2010
Let's face it, Microsoft has an uphill battle in jump-starting their morbid mobile strategy. The early peeks at Windows Phone 7 show that it may be able to compete as a mobile platform. Assuming, of course, that Microsoft doesn't screw up some other aspect.

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Desktops Won't Die

6/21/2010
So this week a writer at Slate says that "Soon there will be no reason to have a big, boxy computer on your desk." I think what he really was trying to say was that the days of full-sized keyboards and monitors is over, since most desktop PCs have long since migrated under the desktop. Still, I think he's wrong.

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Google-Disclosed Hole Being Exploited

6/15/2010
Less than a week after Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy disclosed a security problem with the Windows Help application, attackers are exploiting the hole on Windows XP. Their work was simple since he provided proof-of-concept code.

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A Bing Browser-Buying Bid Busts

6/9/2010
Microsoft has started to wind down its Bing Cashback program. Introduced in May 2008, Cashback was one of Microsoft's ploys to buy search share for Bing so that it could compete with Google. All cashback offers are done at the end of July, and users have a year after that to claim their money.

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Who Doesn't Like The Ribbon?

6/6/2010
When Windows users get together, it's never hard to find some topics to gripe about. Last weekend at a neighborhood party, our geeky party conversations turned to Microsoft Office and its polarizing Ribbon user interface.

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Google Blames Windows For Its Own Mistakes

6/2/2010
This week's word is that Google is in the process of dumping Microsoft Windows. Employees have the choice of Linux or Mac; any new use of Windows has to be approved at the CIO level. The policy was apparently triggered by Google's Chinese hacker attack revealed in January. That's a lame excuse.

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Silent Security Fixes Are A Calculated Risk

5/31/2010
Recently, the folks at Core Security noticed that Microsoft has been delivering more fixes during patch day than they have documented in their security bulletins. It's great that Microsoft is fixing more security issues, but when they're not documented the IT department's job could become even more challenging.

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Shakeup Bodes Ill For Windows Phone 7

5/25/2010
Hoo boy. For every step forward lately, Microsoft is taking two steps back. Windows 7 has been a great success to the company's bottom line and reputation, but the implosion at the Entertainment and Devices Division (E&DD) is bringing the company back into negative-karma territory.

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Is Microsoft A Patent Troll?

5/23/2010
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, says that Microsoft is a patent troll. Given that Microsoft has just sued the company for patent infringement just this month, that comment might not be a surprise. Looking a bit deeper though, I don't think Benioff's name-calling is justified.

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Microsoft's Eating Caviar In The Cloud

5/18/2010
One of my favorite terms in Microsoft-speak is "dogfooding", the act of using a product or service internally so that its developers can experience it the same way that customers will. When it comes to cloud computing, though, Microsoft seems to have lost its way. Their cloud efforts reflect an internal diet that's more like caviar than dogfood.

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Microsoft and Google Deliver Variety

5/12/2010
Apple was the first to market with a smartphone that people understood and really wanted. That seems to have the company thinking that they alone know what is good for their customers. That will lead to some serious problems for Apple, and soon.

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XP Holdouts Will Hold Back Progress

5/7/2010
The web has been moving ahead quickly as vendors trip over each other to implement the latest standards such as HTML5. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and even the upcoming Internet Explorer 9 have all pledged allegiance to the web. The future of the web looks bright, but I fear that the future will take a long time to arrive because of Windows XP.

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Microsoft Courier: Not The Right Time

5/2/2010
Lately Microsoft has seemed to awaken and realize that it needed to start putting out decent products if it didn't want to be left behind. Windows 7 was one sign of that; Windows Phone 7 and Internet Explorer 9 look like they may follow in the same vein. So it may seem a bit strange that Microsoft is cancelling its Courier tablet.

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HP-Palm Deal Reinforces Microsoft-HTC Pact

4/29/2010
This week has seen two big developments in the business of mobile technology. The first was Microsoft's intellectual property licensing agreement with HTC, the maker of Android devices including Google's Nexus One phone. Next came Hewlett-Packard's offer to buy Palm Computing for $1.2 billion. Turns out that is more good news for Microsoft too.

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Apple Alone Is Dumber Than Everybody

4/16/2010
Seems that just about every day there is a new story breaking that Apple is making another dictatorial decision about applications on their iPhone and iPad products. Apple justifies these moves in the name of maintaining application quality, family friendliness, or appeasing the creators of copyrighted content. Whatever their excuse, it's dumb.

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The Sad Saga Of OOXML

4/11/2010
Not much seems to have been going on in the Office Open XML (OOXML) world for a while. In fact, the last really meaningful development was two years ago in April 2008, when Microsoft successfully got its proprietary Office format sanctified as a standard. Yet it seems like the release of Office 2010 will mark another development, and it's not a good one.

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Microsoft Drops Intel Server Support

4/5/2010
It's official: Microsoft is dropping the architecture that Intel once hoped would take over the server market, and perhaps migrate to workstations and desktops. But now the writing is on the wall; Microsoft's new server software offerings will ignore this dethroned prince of processors.

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Are 'Pads' A Useful IT Tool?

3/28/2010
It looks like the iPad has enjoyed robust early demand; Apple has responded by delaying its new pre-orders until April 12 so that there will be enough inventory available for in-store sales beginning on April 3. So much for being the first to own the iPad by ordering in advance!

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Internet Explorer 9, The Next Generation

3/20/2010
After years of dormancy, Microsoft has kicked its Internet Explorer development into overdrive with IE8, and now with a test drive version of IE9. Since the MIX conference earlier this week Microsoft's IE blog has been abuzz with frequent updates about the status of IE9. But will this time be really different?

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Rumble In The Educational Market

3/14/2010
Twenty-five years ago, Apple Computer established a home in the K-12 educational market and introduced an entire generation to the Apple brand. Today you'll find both PCs and Macs in schools at every level, but there's a new battle going on to offer a wide variety of technology services to students. This time the two major competitors are Google and Microsoft.

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Funeral For A Fiend

3/6/2010
Most web designers and users despise Internet Explorer 6, especially now that it has been hanging on for nearly a decade. So there weren't a lot of tears shed at the recent funeral for IE6. But is it really dead, or will it live on in a zombie-like existence?

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Windows Phone 7: Hail Mary

2/28/2010
If the story at Ars Technica is to be believed, Microsoft really is starting with a clean slate with its Windows Phone 7 platform. That seems like a good idea, because the old slate wasn't tearing up the market. However, Microsoft's new platform seems like it's betting on a slate of proprietary technologies that haven't yet been proven in the mobile world.

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A Microsoft Picture Worth 1000 Words

2/11/2010
Microsoft is a company driven by its history, and by its core products. Nothing makes that point quite as well as this chart, which shows how dependent Microsoft is on Windows and Office. In comparison, all the other products and services are a drop in the bucket.

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The iPad: I Don't Get It

1/28/2010
Good grief. Yesterday's breathless blogging would have you thinking the technology world has been changed forever with the new Apple iPad. So let me go on the record with a contrarian viewpoint. The iPad seems like an interesting device, but I can't see where it fits into most personal or business IT needs.

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How Much Office Do You Want?

1/24/2010
With Microsoft Office 2010 due to ship in the middle of this year, now may be a good time to take a look at how you use Office applications and whether it makes sense to plan for an upgrade. There's certainly a lot of interest in Office 2010; Microsoft says the beta is generating 40,000 downloads per day earlier this month.

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Bing And Freedom From Choice

1/20/2010
This week a report surfaced that Apple may be considering a deal with Microsoft that would make Bing the default search engine for the iPhone. No doubt some people will say, "What's the big deal? It's just the default search engine, I can still choose to use any search engine I want." That might not be exactly true.

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Seriously, Stop Using IE6

1/19/2010
Okay, guys, I know you are out there because I hear your excuses all the time. You claim your company has too many mission-critical intranet apps that depend on IE6 peculiarities, or that it's just too expensive to upgrade users to another browser. Well the rest of the world is tired of having to deal with your broken and insecure infrastructure. Upgrade now.

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China And Google: The Real Story?

1/16/2010
Last week's announcement by Google that they are likely to pull out of China due to the recent hacking incident was quite a shocker. Google didn't say they were definitely leaving, but that they would only stay if they can offer a service uncensored by the Chinese government. That sounds like a swan song to me.

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Adobe, The New King Of Security Holes

1/13/2010
Microsoft gets a lot of blame for the security issues that plague Windows, but not all of it is deserved. The company has spent more than a decade improving both its approach to secure software development and its response to security exploits. As a result, Microsoft is losing the lead in security vulnerabilities and being replaced by Adobe.

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