Investigating Blue Screen of Death
Microsoft also spent part of the week investigating reports of the infamous "Blue Screen of Death" appearing for some users who installed one of the company's Patch Tuesday security updates. The problem, Microsoft apparently surmises, either stems from the MS10-015 patch or an interoperability problem with another component or third-party software. "Our teams are working to resolve this as quickly as possible," Jerry Bryant, senior security communications manager lead at Microsoft, wrote on the Microsoft Security Response Center blog. "We also stopped offering this update through Windows Update as soon as we discovered the restart issues. However, those using enterprise deployment systems such as SMS or WSUS will still see and be able to deploy those packages."By disabling the NTVDM subsystem, users not choosing to install MS10-015 can leverage a workaround for the CVE-2010-0232 vulnerability.On Feb. 15, Microsoft will offer a big piece of mobile-related news at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, which the company is keeping under wraps but which many pundits and analysts expect to be the unveiling of its Windows Mobile 7. That announcement will come days after research firm comScore's Feb. 8 report showing that Microsoft's share of the U.S. mobile operating system market declined exactly 1 point, from 19 percent to 18 percent, between September and December 2009. Minor updates to Mobile 6.5, featuring tweaks to areas such as touch-screen support, have already begun appearing; on Feb. 2, the Sony Ericsson Aspen smartphone debuted with Windows 6.5.3 as its operating system. But many analysts are suggesting that Microsoft will need to make a more radical move to boost its share of the mobile OS market in face of competition from Apple's iPhone, Google Android and other operating systems. Rumors floated this week that Microsoft may also try to solve its ills in the mobile space by acquiring Research In Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry, but at least one analyst has discounted this idea as one with a substantial negative side for Microsoft. "While there is often speculation about MSFT's interest in purchasing RIMM, we think the likelihood is slim and that MSFT's near-term focus is on gathering support for its upcoming release of the Windows 7 mobile platform," Mark McKechnie, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech, wrote in a Feb. 11 research note.