Microsoft Corp. has defended its decision not to patch a critical security flaw in Windows 98. Support for the operating system officially ends next month on July 12. The vulnerability exists in Windows Explorer and the way it handles Component Object Model objects, whereby a malicious Web site could force a connection to a remote server where Explorer could fail, executing arbitrary code and giving the attacker complete control of the OS.
The most recent build of Longhorn--Microsoft's next Windows--has some impressive visual touches, including the kinds of translucent objects found now in Apple's OS X, and more powerful ways of finding files. But it doesn't yet exhibit any breakthroughs in productivity, or promised features such as security improvements and smarter connections to handheld devices.