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 »

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 »

New Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images are currently available for download free of charge from Microsoft.

The company is offering XP SP3 and Vista SP1 virtualized, packaged as Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) files, that can be used with Microsoft’s virtualization solutions.

Each XP and Vista copy brings to the table a different version of Internet Explorer. The images are designed for web devs that are building sites and need to test their projects for compatibility with multiple IE versions.

“After a little delay, the Internet Explorer App Compat Testing VHDs are now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center. Like the previous set of images, these ones are time-bombed for 90 days and will expire on January 11th, 2011,” revealed Microsoft’s Pete LePage. More »

Microsoft continues to offer free copies of its Windows operating systems, a “tradition” that the company started back in 2006 after the release of Internet Explorer 7. The software giant is attempting to compensate for the shortcomings of the Windows design in older releases of its platforms, in which a single version of Internet Explorer can be installed at a time. This limitation makes it difficult for developers building websites to test their code in different IE versions on Windows Vista and Windows XP.

This is where the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image comes in. This download offers free, virtualized copies of XP and Vista, each with different versions of Internet Explorer. There are no less than five downloads available, all free of charge.

The VPC Hard Disk Images are time bombed, and only allow usage for a limited period of time. However, for the past few years, Microsoft has updated the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image downloads without fault, just ahead of their expiration date. More »

A free download manager designed to integrate seamlessly with Windows 7 is now available from Microsoft. Dubbed the Microsoft Download Manager, the utility is designed, as the label implies, to help users administer their downloads beyond the boundaries of the browser.

More often than not, downloading very large files can be problematic, especially in the context of an unreliable connection. It is precisely in scenarios like these that a download manager will carry out any download tasks to the end, unlike browsers missing this functionality.

“The Microsoft Download Manager enables you to download files from the Internet in a more reliable and faster way than using a browser alone. Using the Download Manager makes it easier to download large files such as an application or multimedia files,” Microsoft explained. More »