A collection of Windows XP and Windows Vista releases offered by Microsoft was refreshed earlier this week, allowing customers to download and run the two operating systems free of charge.

The Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image downloads were updated, with the previous version closing in on the expiration deadline.

The latest versions of the Windows Virtual PC VHDs continue to be time-bombed, but users have a good few months of usage before they expire.

According to the software giant, the new XP and Vista virtual images are set to expire on 05/18/2011.

The Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images are offered by Microsoft for free to help web developers that need to test their websites on different versions of IE, as well as on older Windows operating systems. More »

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Microsoft is offering details about the web standards supported in Internet Explorer via a set of documentation available free of charge through the Download Center.

Internet Explorer Standards Documentation is focused on final approved web standards supported by the company’s browser, and as such developers should not expect details related to technologies that have been embraced only in the upcoming Internet Explorer 9.

The documentation “does not restate variations, extensions and other details that are specific for each standard. This documentation details the variations and extensions from HTML 4.01, CSS 1.0, CSS 2.1, and other final approved web standards published by W3C (as “W3C Recommendations”), ECMA (as “Standards”), or ISO (as “International Standards”) as implemented by Internet Explorer,” the software giant explained. More »

Microsoft has confirmed a zero-day vulnerability affecting all supported versions of Internet Explorer, including IE8, IE7 and IE6.

The Redmond company explains that the security flaw involves the creation of uninitialized memory during a CSS function within the browser.

“It is possible under certain conditions for the memory to be leveraged by an attacker using a specially crafted Web page to gain remote code execution,” the software giant informed.

Given the fact that successful exploits against this vulnerability can allow for remote code execution, and attacker could potentially take over a victim’s computer.

However, Dave Forstrom, Director, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft denied that this has happened yet. More »

Microsoft confirmed this issue, and noted that IE9 is not to blame, but that at fault is an incompatibility between the next generation IE browser and old hardware.

It appears that reports of poor performance for IE9 came from users that compared the speed of the new browser with that of older versions of Internet Explorer. The older releases of IE were faster especially on webpages that had complex graphics.

The issue is related to the HTML5 performance enhancements built into Microsoft’s next iteration of IE.

IE9 brings to the table hardware acceleration, leveraging the computer’s GPU (graphics processing unit) in concert with the DirectX APIs in Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP2. More »