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Recent Releases

Posted By On October 27, 2006 @ 2:42 PM In Using The Internet | No Comments

Q:
I’ve been hearing about all these new programs coming out recently, such as Windows Defender. It seems like they’ve all hit just since the release of Internet Explorer 7. Can you give me any information on some of these?

A:
Well, you are absolutely right. This week has been a “release mania” time. With Internet Explorer 7 releasing its full version last week, it seems like everyone else wants to get their new programs out as well. But, we won’t complain, will we? All you can do is just give them a chance by checking them out and who knows, you might fall in love with them!

Since you mentioned Windows Defender in the question, I believe I will start with that. This program was designed to go along with IE 7 and even though that was released last week, Microsoft was still trying to work out the bugs for Defender. There have been a couple beta versions of Windows Defender available, but all of those will expire at the end of this year. Why? Well, because Microsoft announced the release of its full version just this week.

Windows Defender is a free program that you can download to help detect spyware and other types of malware on your computer. Once something is detected, Windows Defender will remove it immediately. With this feature, you can then browse the Internet more safely and smoothly. This program also comes with automatic definition updates, which are provided by Microsoft. There have been several improvements made to Defender since its first beta release and Microsoft feels that it will be a pertinent part of any computer. To read more about Windows Defender and to download it onto your computer, just click here.

The next big thing making its debut is Firefox 2.0. (They just come up with everything, don’t they?!) Firefox 2 has also been in beta form until just recently. Mozilla announced its release this week as well. With this new Web browser, you are promised an updated user interface that will improve your browsing experience, a new built in phishing protection service that allows you to browse with a little more security, enhanced search capabilities, improved tabbed browsing, a new add on manager and even updates to the extension system. And that’s not even everything that Firefox 2 will offer.

Firefox 2 will work with older versions of Windows (as low as 98), but Mozilla recommends that you have Windows XP on your PC. This new browser will also work on Macs and Linux systems. There is a ton of information on their Web site, including a FAQ section in case you have any additional questions. Check all of that out here. You can also download the new Firefox 2 for your system right from this link.

The last thing I have for you today is the release of Windows XP Service Pack 3. If you’re thinking right now that you haven’t even gotten acquainted with the Service Pack 2, you’re going to be just fine. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that they are officially delaying SP3 again until the first half of 2008. The first delay was for the latter part of 2007, but it has changed once again. This is also another tentative date, so chances are, you’ll have even more time with the SP2 than you think.

It’s said that Microsoft is waiting for this release because of the scheduled date for the debut of the new operating system, Windows Vista. They want to keep the two releases somewhat separate so people will still be interested in getting Vista. That may be good thinking, but either way, you’ll be waiting on this one for awhile yet.

So, there you have it. Three new updates for you in the world of Microsoft. They sure do keep busy, don’t they?! And like I said before, we can’t complain, can we?!

~ Erin


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