Microsoft Introduces Long-Awaited Surface Pro Hybrid Tablet Update

Today’s topics include Microsoft's new long-awaited Surface Pro hybrid tablet, CheckPoint Software's discovery of a media subtitle vulnerability that potentially exposes millions of computer users to malware infections, Citrix's plan to add machine learning to its cloud service later this year; and how Google's new mobile payment API aims to streamline mobile payments. 

Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off the long-awaited Surface Pro hybrid tablet/notebook PC, which was introduced at a media event in Shanghai, China May 23.    

This new model replaces the Surface Pro 4, which has been on the market since October 2015. But this new 2-in-1 hybrid looks strikingly similar to its predecessor.

That’s because many of the changes are internal, yielding a faster and quieter device, according to Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft Devices.

The latest Surface Pro is lighter at 1.7 pounds—despite a 0.05mm increase in thickness—and stuffed with performance-enhancing components like seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" Intel Core processors. I

Security firm Check Point Software Technologies publicly disclosed a new threat vector May 23 in media player subtitles that could have potentially exposed millions of users to security risks.

Simply by running a media file that downloads embedded malicious subtitles, Check Point contends that end-user systems could have been taken over by attackers.

Check Point responsibly disclosed the vulnerability to the impacted media players including VLC, Kodi (XBMC), Popcorn Time and Stremio, and updated players are now available.

VLC in particular is a widely used open-source media player that has over 170 million downloads on Windows alone. Media players are also widely used in smart TV platforms and other streaming media devices, with the total number of impacted devices estimated by Checkpoint to be about 200 million.

Citrix has become the latest IT company to add data analytics to its array of cloud and application services.

At its Citrix Synergy 2017 conference on May 23, the company introduced Citrix Analytics, what it calls “a new, holistic security and behavior-analytics offering” that expands the capabilities of its Citrix NetScaler Management and Analytics System with new behavior detection, security insights and proactive risk-resolution features.

This new product, which fits into Citrix’s corporate narrative around pointing its product line toward the "future of work," brings in machine learning as a major component of the service option

Google has made it easier for developers and merchants to enable Android app users to pay for purchases with their mobile devices.

Effective immediately, developers can use the new Google Payment API to enable Android app users to pay for purchases with credit and debit cards saved to their Google Account.

Users, according to Google senior vice president Sridhar Ramaswamy, will be able to choose from any card saved via the Payment API or in the Chrome browser, including cards that were used for transactions on the Play Store or to pay for other online purchases. 

"And they'll be able to use these saved payment options in third-party apps and mobile sites, as well as on Google Assistant when they are on-the-go," Ramaswamy said in a blog.