.NET Developments

Dec 19 2008   6:00AM GMT

Microsoft patches critical IE bug, warms up to open source software

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Here’s what we’ve been seeing around the Web…

Microsoft was hit hard by a zero-day Internet Explorer bug late last week. The bug affected IE versions 5 – 8 and let hackers run code remotely. Microsoft’s initial advice was to change security settings to “High,” thus disabling scripting. The company issued a patch for IE on Wednesday, prompting discussions about whether IE’s auto-upgrade feature is less robust than other browsers’.That was in addition to another critical bug that targeted WordPad’s handling of Word 97 files. That bug made it possible to hijack systems if Word 97 files are opened in WordPad, as might happen on systems that don’t have Microsoft Word or other office suites installed.

Microsoft also continued its slow-but-steady warming to open source. The company hired an open source liaison, although Microsoft senior director Robert Duffner also said that the Microsoft isn’t trying to promote OSS to its customers.

And a Russian entrepreneur tried to get a monopoly on snark when he trademarked the winky emoticon, ;-). Close derivations, like noseless winkies, may also be covered.

Happy holidays and new year!

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