What’s New in Microsoft Land: 15th – 19th October 2007

Although Microsoft never looked like a company which has the ability to compete with Google’s search engine, the Redmond-based giant remained focused on its product and released improvements every once in a while.

On Monday, it continued this update process and rolled out a major pack of goodies for Live Search, the technology supposed to eliminate the competition.

This new version of Live Search seems to be focused on mapping technologies, as many of the updates included in the solution refer to maps and directions. For example, you can now obtain driving directions with ease and access user-generated content straight from the Live Search results pages.

"Microsoft is building on several years of innovation in imagery and 3-D visualization, adding some of the most significant innovations to driving directions technology in the last several years and expanding how our current 185 million customers can experience the improvements to the core of Live Search to include access from a wider variety of clients, platforms and devices," said Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of the Search & Advertising Platform Group at Microsoft.

"Collectively, these improvements build on the work we did in core relevance and differentiated vertical experiences, and are an important milestone in our efforts in delivering a comprehensive, innovative search offering that includes mobile, mapping, Web and local services for customers to find what they need, when they need it, on any device."

Following Monday’s Live Search update, on Tuesday, Microsoft made an important step forward in the evolution into the mobile market by adding several improvements to the search technology especially addressed to handheld owners. Live Search 411 is a solution similar to 1-800-GOOG-411, the mobile service powered by Google that allows mobile users to find and connect to businesses straight from their handheld device. Just like the Mountain View technology, Microsoft’s product requires users to dial 800-225-5411, mention the city and the business name and connect to it.

"Jointly developed with Tellme Networks Inc., acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, a new toll-free number will be available for anyone using any kind of phone to access the power of Live Search. Users can simply dial (800) CALL-411 (800-225-5411) and say the city and state, then ask for the business or business category to hear a list of options. Users say, "Connect me," to instantly connect to the business. Cell phone users can ask for a text message with a link to a map of the business", it is mentioned in a press release published by Microsoft on its official page.

It’s well known that Internet Explorer and Firefox are the two web-browsers which share the majority of Internet users so it’s pretty important for both companies and consumers to patch every new reported glitch. On Wednesday, the IE users decided to take attitude and an unofficial fix for some recently-discovered flaws came out with no support from the Redmond-based company. Security company Sophos confirmed it and mentioned that Microsoft might receive an official patch in the upcoming days.

"The patch resolves the vulnerability by hooking the vulnerable ShellExecute() function and preventing the execution of malformed URIs. A posting to the Microsoft Security Response Center blog last week [4] suggests that Microsoft intend to harden URI handling within ShellExecute(), so an official patch will most likely become available soon," Fraser Howard, SophosLabs UK, wrote on the Sophos blogs.

At this time, nobody knows exactly which versions of Internet Explorer are affected by the vulnerability but everybody’s still waiting for the official patch coming from Redmond.

source: news.softpedia.com




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