Surface Pro July Firmware, Six Critical Security Updates Rolls out Today - New Store Apps Policy

Watch new TV Ad "Things Aren't Always What They Seem | Internet Explorer." July 2013 Patch Tuesday and Surface Po firmware update released. Announces new policy for store apps.

To promote its Internet Explorer 11 browser, Microsoft with singer-songwriter Laura Gibson create created a new tv advertisement that reminds us "things aren't always what they seem" and that the new Internet Explorer will help you shake those old misconceptions of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft touts IE11 as the browser that offers better touch performance, faster page load times, continuous browsing experience across Windows devices, and a completely redesigned and reimagined F12 developer tools.

Additionally, the company is also touting IE10 as the most energy efficient and the browser designed with security in mind on Windows 8. Microsoft even compared IE to Chrome and Firefox, claiming that Internet Explorer 10 uses up to 18% less energy. And, it makes us believe that IE10 can block over 99% of malware and has less vulnerabilities when compared to rival browsers.

Today, Microsoft begin to roll out security updates as part of the July 2013 edition of Patch Tuesday.

Microsoft is rolling out total seven security fixes--of the seven security updates, six of them are critical and one is labeled as important addressing 34 vulnerabilities. The critical security updates deal with remote code execution in Windows ranging from Windows XP all the way up to Windows 8 and Windows RT. Other products affected include Internet Explorer, Microsoft Lync, Office, Visual Studio, .NET Framework, GDI+ and Silverlight.

Windows 8 will see six critical updates while Windows RT will only have five critical updates. The security update that is labeled as important applies to Windows Defender in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Surface Pro Firmware Driver Pack July 2013, a cumulative firmware and drivers for the Surface Pro is now avilable.

"This firmware and driver package contains drivers for all of the components in the Surface Pro device, as well as updates to the system firmware that have been released via Windows Update. These drivers and firmware are compatible with Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise. These drivers and firmware are not compatible with Surface RT, " reads the description.

You can download Surface Pro firmware and driver pack (July) here.

Microsoft also announced a new policy for handling vulnerabilities in the store apps available through the Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, Office Store, and Azure Marketplace.

"we're doing this to help protect customers and to ensure the apps available in our stores are as secure as possible," microsoft stated adding, "starting today, developers will be required to submit an updated app within 180 days of being notified of a Critical or Important severity security issue," it said. This assumes the app is not currently being exploited in the wild. In those cases, "we'll work with the developer to have an update available as soon as possible and may remove the app from the store earlier," the company adds.

Additonally, to help those developer needs more than 180 days--Microsoft said it will work with the developer to get an updated app replacement as soon as possible.

You can watch the bulletin overview video below for a brief summary of today's releases:

Update: Microsoft Director of Trustworthy Computing Tim Rains announced a new version of Windows Phone 8 app that delivers Microsoft security news.

The app is designed with live Tile notifications, improved graphics, and of course, it's optimized for Windows Phone 8 and include following enhancements:

  • "Windows Phone 8 - To keep up with changes in technology, we have updated the application so that it is optimized for Windows Phone 8 users.
  • Live Tile Notifications - Several customers expressed the desire to have a notification when a new blog post arrives without having to open the application each time. This new version of the application comes equipped with live tile enabling you to see if any new blog posts have published since you last opened the application.
  • Branding - Several visual enhancements were made to improve the visual component including higher resolution graphics for Windows Phone 8 users."

You can download the app from the Windows Store marketplace here.

Trustworthy Computing Blogs Windows Phone application

Also, it has put together a few resources for businesses and organizations looking to move their IT assets to the cloud in a safe and secure way.

First, the Cloud Security Alliance's security guidance for "Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing" provides enterprises with a set of best security practices based on 14 domains involved in governing or operating the cloud," Adrienne Hall, general manager, Trustworthy Computing, writes.

The guide is available here (pdf).

And second, last fall, Microsoft released its free Cloud Security Readiness Tool.

"The tool builds on Cloud Security Alliance's Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM), and provides organizations with a solid baseline into their current security, privacy and reliability practices, helps them understand relevant regulations, and helps determine their readiness for cloud adoption," expalins Hall.

You can download July 2013 Security Release ISO Image from Download Center.