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You can download Microsoft's Money personal finance software for free, through 10/31/95, from . Or call 800-508-8458 to get disks and the user manual for just $9.95 shipping. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/3/95, R2. EDUPAGE.]

The new Microsoft browser for WWW does not implement the Netscape "tables" extension to HTML -- apparently deliberately, in a fight for control over evolving HTML standards. Designers must choose whether to forego this elegant design tool, as tables "look shitty" to Microsoft browser users. Users must choose whether to stick with the Microsoft browser or use it to download the Netscape browser. (Chip Bayers of HotWired reports that AOL's browser has had less than 1.5% market share, vs. 70% for Netscape. Microsoft browser usage reached 1.5% in the first week.) For now, the only winners are the site managers who refused to use Netscape-specific extensions. "As usual, Microsoft's technology is not the best, but as usual it probably won't matter." On the other hand, Netscape is "too small to *not* respond to the needs of the web community." [Dave Winer , DaveNet, 9/3/95.]

With the launch of Windows 95, Apple had the gall to put "C:ONGRTLNS.W95" messages on public buses driving through the main Microsoft campus. "Perhaps the saddest part about this ad is that people _understand_ it." [Geoff Duncan , TidBITS, 8/28/95.]

It's great that Microsoft is selling decent operating systems, and I look forward to increased OS competition and ease of use. As Guy Kawasaki has said, "Windows 95 is a 2x4 across Apple's forehead." Dave Winer reported that, and said "... there's more to who you are than the kind of computer you use. Maybe Windows isn't so great. Maybe you will continue to use your Macintosh. And it's OK. But the truth is that, as of August 24, there are advantages to using both platforms." [, DaveNet, 9/3/95.]

Winer also says that not only is the customer is always right, the customer is also very smart. "She or he was smart enough to buy your product. The market is a minefield of excuses for people *not* to buy your product. The ones that pay money to use your software are the smartest people in the world. They overcame every obstacle, every objection, to discover the greatness of your product." With respect to current events, "When you hog the fast lane with inadequate technology, eventually the competition catches up, and then passes. Apple can block their [independent] developers, but they haven't blocked the competition. ... Windows 95 is a 2x4 across the forehead of Mac users, too." [, DaveNet, 9/1/95.]

Unfortunately, up to 5% of purchasers are having trouble installing Windows 95 because of viruses already on their computers. One common virus is activated by the first installation disk, preventing other disks from functioning. Be sure to set the write-protect tabs before installation. [Houston Chronicle, 8/31/95, C1. EDUPAGE.] Users with a corrupted Disk 2 can get new disks from 800-207-7766. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/2/95, B1. EDUPAGE.] (This was the most-tested software release in history. I guess beta testers were the very people who knew how to keep their disks free of viruses.)

As if that weren't enough: A new cross-platform virus has popped up, in the form of macros in Microsoft Word 6.0. "Word-Macro-9508" -- also known as "WinWord.Concept," "WW6," "WW6Macro," and the "Prank Macro" -- has been seen mostly on DOS, Windows, and OS/2 computers in North America and Europe. The code is spread by opening an infected Word document and then using Save As. You may see an alert window with the digit "1" in it, or you may notice that files are saved as templates rather than normal documents. (This is the main effect of the virus. Templates are awkward to work with or transfer.) The bogus global macros are named "AAAZA0," "AAAZFS," "Payload," and "FileSaveAs," and are easily removed on Macs. Virex customers can get Version 5.6.1 from . For more info on PCs, see . Microsoft's preliminary fix may be downloaded (using forced binary mode!) from or . Not all antiviral software will be extended to deal with macros. [Gene Spafford. Mark Anbinder , TidBITS, 8/28/95.]

Paul Ducklin suggests that you create a global AutoExec macro that disables other automated macros, including the WinWord.Concept virus. An example would be: Sub MAIN DisableAutoMacros MsgBox "Auto Macros are turned off", "Safety First!", 64 End Sub. You should also be able to prevent AutoOpen macros from loading if you hold down the shift key while opening a document, or if you load WinWord with the command "WINWORD.EXE /mDisableAutoMacros". Setting the "Prompt to save NORMAL.DOT" option in your Tools/Options/Save menu may also rob macro viruses of their cover. [, VIRUS-L, 8/24/95. John P. Mello Jr., freelance.]