If you're one of about 200 million people using older versions of Windows and you want the latest security enhancements to Internet Explorer, get your credit card ready.
Microsoft this week reiterated that it would keep the new version of Microsoft's IE Web browser available only as part of the recently released Windows XP operating system, Service Pack 2. The upgrade to XP from any previous Windows versions is $99 when ordered from Microsoft. Starting from scratch, the OS costs $199.
That, say analysts, is a steep price to pay to secure a browser that swept the market as a free, standalone product.
"It's a problem that people should have to pay for a whole OS upgrade to get a safe browser," said Michael Cherry, analyst with Directions on Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. "It does look like a certain amount of this is to encourage upgrade to XP."
Microsoft affirmed that its recent security improvements to IE would be made available only to XP users.
AOL offers RSA authentication security to its members
America Online and RSA Security have launched AOL PassCode, a new premium service that
offers members a second level of AOL account protection through the use of a keychain-sized device that generates and displays a unique six-digit numeric code every 60 seconds.
"AOL PassCode is like adding a deadbolt to your AOL account by automatically creating a new secondary password every 60 seconds," said Ned Brody, AOL's senior vice president for Premium Services. "Many of our members use their accounts for business purposes, financial transactions or other sensitive activities. AOL PassCode offers a higher standard of protection through the same state-of-the-art two-factor authentication system used by many financial institutions, technology companies, and other major businesses."