Neil MacDonald

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Entries Categorized as 'Microsoft'

What the Most Recent Zero Day in IE Should Teach Us

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 22, 2012  |  Comments Off

  I saw yesterday that Microsoft had released the out of band patch for Internet Explorer as they had committed to do. Certainly, Microsoft’s motivation to quickly release the patch out of band was affected by calls from various enterprises and governments to ban the use of IE until the issue was resolved. What can […]

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Category: Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7 Windows 8     Tags: , , , ,

If a Tree Falls in the Forest, is it Encrypted?

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 6, 2012  |  1 Comment

There’s a story behind the title of this blog Recently, I had a discussion in regards to Microsoft’s BitLocker with a client. One of the issues I call out in my research on BitLocker is that (unlike competing third party products), Microsoft doesn’t have an option to synchronize the pre-boot PIN with the Windows login […]

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Category: General Technology Information Security Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , ,

Microsoft’s Forefront Endpoint Protection – Is it “Good Enough”?

by Neil MacDonald  |  August 4, 2011  |  Comments Off

Licensing changes for Microsoft’s enterprise endpoint antimalware protection solution that were announced in March at Microsoft’s MMS conference take affect this month. If you are licensed under Microsoft’s Core Client Access License program, it now includes CALs for Forefront Endpoint Protection. For many organizations that are already licensed under Core CAL, this means that FEP […]

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Category: Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , ,

Observations from Microsoft’s Management Summit

by Neil MacDonald  |  March 22, 2011  |  Comments Off

I’ve spent the past day and a half attending Microsoft’s Management Summit in Las Vegas. From my perspective the announcement that will affect the most enterprises from a security perspective was a change in licensing related to Forefront. Some history — in 2010, Microsoft reorganized the Server and Tools Business Unit placing the Forefront Endpoint […]

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Category: Cloud Cloud Security Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Microsoft Security Next-generation Data Center Virtualization Virtualization Security     Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Identifying Browsers and Plugins That Might Represent a Risk

by Neil MacDonald  |  January 21, 2011  |  Comments Off

In my kick off post for 2011, I talked about the need for IT to expand the depth and breadth of patching. In the follow-on post, I talked about the need to migrate more users to run with standard user (and not administrative level) privileges. One of the challenges to both of these actions is […]

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Category: Application Security Information Security Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , ,

Is Windows Losing Market Share?

by Neil MacDonald  |  October 28, 2010  |  4 Comments

During our interview last week with Steve Ballmer, one point of contention was whether or not Windows was losing market share. The context of the question was a discussion on consumerization and its impact on enterprises. What our clients are telling us is that there are an increasing number of Macs being brought into the […]


Category: Microsoft Virtualization Security Windows 7     Tags: , , ,

Ray Ozzie’s Last Memo

by Neil MacDonald  |  October 26, 2010  |  1 Comment

In 2005, Ray Ozzie penned his famous memo in which he laid out the challenge for Microsoft as it entered the era of cloud-based services. I interviewed Ray Ozzie to discuss Microsoft’s cloud strategy in detail in this 2009 Gartner research document. Last week, Ray Ozzie announced he was leaving Microsoft. Yesterday, Ray’s last memo […]

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Category: Cloud Microsoft Windows 7     Tags: , ,

Symposium Mastermind with Steve Ballmer

by Neil MacDonald  |  October 25, 2010  |  Comments Off

On the final day of Gartner’s US Fall Symposium, my colleague John Pescatore and I interviewed Steve Ballmer on the main stage. You can catch a clip of the interview here. One of of questions we asked concerned a version of Microsoft’s “tablet” form factor that Steve had indicated that such a device would be […]

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Category: Microsoft Windows 7     Tags: ,

What Would You Ask Steve Ballmer?

by Neil MacDonald  |  October 5, 2010  |  4 Comments

Yesterday, there was quite a bit of buzz about Microsoft after a Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded Microsoft from “Buy” to “Neutral” and lowered their target share price by US $4. As reported in the article, the analyst highlighted Microsoft’s continued weakness in the mobile and tablet space as factors in the downgrade. Microsoft’s future is […]


Category: Microsoft Strategic Planning     Tags: , ,

More Pressure on the Antivirus Vendors: Free AV for Midsize Enterprises

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 24, 2010  |  Comments Off

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a free consumer offering originally delivered to market in 2009 based on the same engine and anti-malware feeds that are used within Microsoft’s for-fee enterprise-oriented Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP). I saw this announcement from Microsoft earlier in the week. From the announcement: For this reason, Microsoft is announcing that beginning […]

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Category: Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Microsoft Security     Tags: , , , ,