Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report looks interesting if you could only download it

Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report looks interesting if you could only download it

Summary: Microsoft on Tuesday released its Security Intelligence Report and found that the number of vulnerability disclosures fell 15 percent in the second half of 2007. Malware detections increased 66.

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Microsoft on Tuesday released its Security Intelligence Report and found that the number of vulnerability disclosures fell 15 percent in the second half of 2007. Malware detections increased 66.7 percent.

sir.pngSpecifically, Microsoft found 129.5 million pieces of unwanted software on user systems between July 1 and Dec. 31. Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report (SIR) uses data from a variety of tools on 450 million computers worldwide.

That's the short version (statement) and I'd love to give you more detailed analysis from Microsoft's SIR, but frankly the installation pain is unbearable.

Just a note about downloading the PDF of Microsoft's report: Why do I need a workaround to download a damn PDF? And even to download the Excel version of the report I need a .Net framework download. The lesson: Unless you really want to read this PDF don't bother. Microsoft's downloading procedures (I even used IE only for this special occasion) is a complete joke and a waste of time. After more minutes than I care to admit, I've decided to flip off Microsoft. At least, I managed to refrain from punching my screen.

But first a few parting shots. I wanted to download the PDF version of Microsoft's security report in Firefox. No luck. Then I try IE. No luck. Then I look at these workarounds, which Microsoft obviously knows about in advance.

Workaround 1

Configure Adobe Reader to not open a PDF file in an Internet Explorer browser. This is done by un-checking 'open in browser' in the Internet tab of Adobe Reader preferences.

1. Open Adobe Reader 2. Go to Edit, Preferences 3. Go to Internet 4. Uncheck 'Display PDF in browser' 5. Click OK 6. Close Adobe Reader 7. Attempt to download the PDF file again. Now you should be prompted to open/save/cancel when trying to open or download the PDF file.

Workaround 2 (for Windows XP)

Configure Internet Explorer to prompt to save PDF files to disk. Then open the PDF file using your preferred PDF reader. Use Folder Options -> File Types to reset this.

1. Go to Control Panel 2. Click Folder Options 3. Go to File Types 4. Scroll to PDF in list 5. Click PDF 6. Click Advanced 7. If 'Save as' is not in the 'Actions box', click New 8. Type 'Save as' in Action box, click OK 9. Click OK 10. Click Apply 11. Click OK

There's a workaround for Vista too just for the five of you out there using it full time.I don't have time for that workaround mess--and actually like PDFs opening in a browser window. So I figured I'd download the Excel version. That would be easier given Microsoft's bundle of apps and software right? No luck there either.

Then I get a .Net framework installation, which I bailed on out of principle.

Bottom line: If you have all these stupid components feel free to check out Microsoft's report. Let me know if it's interesting. I'm done with Microsoft for the day.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Security

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12 comments
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  • I just clicked 'download'

    in Firefox, and both opened up within the browser.
    WinXP SP2, .Net installed, FF 3beta5

    However, I don't think .Net makes a difference, since I am in FireFox.
    mdemuth
    • same on

      Vista RTM with IE7, XP IE 8 Beta, and Win2K server, IE6
      All opened the PDF's inline

      My WinNT4 IE 6 choose to download it instead

      Are you sure you tried?
      mdemuth
  • RE: Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report looks interesting if you could only download it

    Is ZDNet always this anti ms biased ? I don't visit this site all that often but got redirected here and honestly, they must be getting money from google and firefox or something....

    Journalism should be independent... can't count the anti-ms references in this one article alone... statements like "just for the 5 of you using ...." look childish and immature ...
    DJK2
    • It's called the user interface

      I mean really 20 minutes to try and figure out how to download a report. You must be kidding.
      Larry Dignan
      • You do realize...

        ... most of the world uses Internet Explorer. And adoption of Vista continues quickly.

        Not surprising FireFox failed. One more indictment from a professed fan, I see.

        But in place of Adobe Reader ineffectual bloatware, may I suggest the free FoxIt? The software probably could save an open pdf document.

        And what principle applies to not using .Net? I'm not sure how honor, decency, or propriety is violated by installing helpful software.

        Congratulations; you've proven far more a crank than I.
        Anton Philidor
  • RE: Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report looks interesting if you could only download it

    I was able to download the file on 3 different systems, 1 XP and 2 Vista, using IE6/7, Firefox, Opera and Safari without issues. If you had the issues stated I would start to worry about your system.

    Concerning the workarounds that for some reason deserved a specific callout - these are standard workarounds for bypassing the Abode PDF ActiveX component when it decided not to work correctly, which seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

    Overall, a nice rant article about nothing.
    Gungnir
  • I think you meant XPS instead of Excel

    There is no "Excel version" of the download. There's a PDF and an XPS version. Yes, on XP in order to read XPS files you need .NET Framework installed (or, I believe you could look for something called the XPS EP which is a non-.NET viewer for XPS files).
    PB_z
  • Cmon, Larry

    Usually I like the information in your posts, but on this one you kind of dropped the ball. Maybe you shouldn't post in anger and give yourself time to look into things when something like this happens. As already stated, the download is an .xps file, not am .xls (xps requires the .net framework). Also, all systems I tried here at work viewed the .pdf just fine. Did you take the time to check another system before you accidentally let your feelings for MS slip?

    B.Beck
    B.Beck
  • Larry Dignan,

    For someone writing to a "technical" website you sure seem dense. I hope ZDNet didn't pay you for this piece of unbelievably misinformed drivel.

    But then again, making up fake rants just so you can tell us how much MS sucks always seem to be one of your strong points.

    I guess these days it is not even necessary to appear to be unbiased anymore...
    Qbt
  • RE: Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report looks interesting if you could only download it

    I am glad Im not the only one who noted the obvious anti-ms message in this article..

    I mean were all humans, everyone got their personal opinion about everything in life. But honestly I always thought ZDNet was a big respected site and was kinda suprised by the "dish ms vibe" on this page.

    I started reading more articles who are ms related and while quite a few more had a negative undertone to it, none had the same outspoken bias as displayed in this one...

    As others commented, it's one thing if you don't like the .net framework but trying to download a .net document and then complaining it needs .net is like ordering spaghetti and complaining it contains pasta...
    DJK2
  • Don't Mean to Just Pile On

    But the headline caught my attention and I too downloaded it with no problems.

    I think the larger issue here that may be lost in all of this is just how many people blame Microsoft for issues that aren't related to Microsoft?
    rkuhn040172@...
  • Larry, maybe you should...

    Quit your day job. Downloading the PDF report (all 104 pages) was no problem at all. Even from behind our warm and fuzzy Firewall with our pain-in-the-a$$ security download scanner.
    It seems your whole reason for the post was to just to kick Microsoft around. Instead of writing a Tech blog, maybe you should look into a waste management job. You know, like the guys that ride on the back of the garbage truck.
    TCP?IP'ed