Firefox 12 final ready to go
Mozilla has posted the finished release of Firefox 12. The browser has a key update each for Mac and Windows users. Windows' update is most conspicuous and doesn't need the user to confirm the update in a User Account Control prompt on Vista or 7. Mac users see a lift, as Mozilla has fixed slow WebGL graphics performance on some hardware.
Users get limited supportt for next 5 years
Effective tomorrow, users running Microsoft Windows Vista operating system will be entering a different support phase for all versions of the OS. Up until now, the OS, which originally was released in 2007, had been supported under the company's "Mainstream Support" phase. Under the new "extended support" classification, Microsoft will provide only security updates and paid support for both retail and business versions of the OS for five years until April 11, 2017.
HP FTP shows no gap in home editoins
HP may have inadvertently spoiled Microsoft's plans for a simpler Windows 8 lineup after it posted a document for OS support with the future OS inside. The sheet lists just a basic Windows 8 as well as Professional and Enterprise editions. Apart from the necessary 32- and 64-bit splits, no mention was made of Home Basic, Home Premium, Starter, or other separate home versions that previous Windows versions have had in the past.
Bith OSes will be supported for full 10 years
Microsoft has extended its support window for its legacy Windows operating systems. In the past, the software giant provided five years of support for the consumer releases of the OS, while the business versions got extended coverage for a total of ten years. Microsoft has now quietly extended support of the retail versions of Windows Vista and 7 to ten years as well.
Microsoft accuses UK retailer Comet of mass piracy
Microsoft on Wednesday sued British retailer Comet for allegedly committing mass piracy. It claimed the store made and sold 94,000 "counterfeit" copies of Windows XP and Vista as recovery discs. The sales were "unfair to customers," Microsoft's associate general counsel David Finn claimed, implying that customers didn't concern themselves with or know that the discs weren't from Microsoft.
Microsoft cheers end to IE6 use
Microsoft's hopes that Internet Explorer 6 would die were partly validated after the company's Roger Capriotti noted that the decade-old browser had been reduced to irrelevance in the US. Working from data at NetApplications, he declared IE6 over as it made up just 0.9 percent of all American web traffic. The US was late, having been preceded by parts of Europe and Scandinavia, but was coming at the same time as the Czech Republic, Mexico, the Philippines, and others were also dropping below one percent.
Chitika has Lion adoption levelling off
Adoption of Mac OS X Lion has slowed significantly in the past month, Chitika found in its latest web traffic results. While it was up to 14 percent in September after being available for two months, it had moved just two percent more by late October to hit 16 percent of the Mac user base. Snow Leopard still had a clear majority at 55 percent, while even the four years old Leopard was at 22 percent.
Windows 7 passes XP in usage share for first time
Windows 7 has become the first OS to be used more than Windows XP in the decade since launch. New data collected by StatCounter has shown Windows 7 just passing XP as of October at a rate that saw it grow just as much as XP declined. The troubled earlier release, Windows Vista, never got more than a quarter of users.
Microsoft addresses fake DigiNotar certificates
Microsoft has responded to the recently unveiled hack that saw DigiNotar issue fake security certificates for some high-profiles websites by issuing a patch on Tuesday. The patch only applies to affected versions of Windows Vista and is delivered through Internet Explorer. After the vulnerability was discovered on August 28, Microsoft released a security advisory on August 29 and removed the DigitNotar root certificate from the Microsoft Certificate Trust List.
Windows XP RTM now a decade old
Microsoft passed a milestone Wednesday as Windows XP reached its tenth anniversary. The OS was released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001, two months before it reached stores October 25 that year. It quickly became the most popular Microsoft OS and to date has sold hundreds of millions of copies.
Official Windows 8 blog wants surer footing
Microsoft geared up for the launch of Windows 8 with the start of an official blog on Monday to help developers. The first post by Windows president Steven Sinofsky recapped the shift to a more mobile focus for the OS but also addressed complaints about the lack of information beyond the first look. More info would come at the Build expo in September, he said, but Microsoft was also taking a cautious approach that only spoke about technology the company was ready to ship.
Windows 7 hits 400m milestone but
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer used his Worldwide Partners Conference keynote on Monday to tout Windows 7's success while trying to downplay the success of the Mac. The most recent OS had now reached 400 million licenses sold, up from 350 million in the winter and still growing faster than XP. He added that there were 350 million new PCs sold in the past year and used the large number, without comparing gains, to argue that Microsoft had no reason to worry about the Mac or Linux.
Windows 7 hits 350m licenses in 18 months
Microsoft celebrated another milestone for Windows 7 on Friday by reaching 350 million copies sold, either with PCs or as upgrades. The tally was reached one and a half years after Windows 7 went on sale in October 2009 and just six months after the 240 million mark from its anniversary. Web traffic also just recently suggested that Windows 7 overtook XP as the most popular version of Windows and therefore the most popular OS in the US.
Windows 8 History Vault to ape Time Machine
A leak Wednesday has uncovered plans for Windows 8 to imitate the behavior of Time Machine in Mac OS X. Nicknamed History Vault, it would use the Shadow Copies feature that came as early as Vista but give it a proper visual interface for restoring older files. The WinRumors shot doesn't provide many details of the restoration process but shows that users could use both real and virtual drives to make a History Vault archive.
Morgan Stanley sees Windows 8 ARM tablets in year
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt on Friday drew attention by claiming to know Microsoft was accelerating its attempts to compete in tablets. Following a briefing with Microsoft executives, he now believed Windows 8 on ARM chips could reach the market as soon as the end of 2011 or the start of 2012. The acceleration could put it out a year earlier than most expect and would render Microsoft "closer to competitive" with Apple and Google, Holt explained.
Microsoft 'I'm A PC' worker Siler leaves the firm
Microsoft faced an unintentional but symbolic loss on Friday as Sean Siler, one of the key stars the "I'm A PC" ads, was confirmed to be leaving the company. In an e-mail sent out to co-workers, the IPv6 lead noted a "family situation" required that he move to the East coast and that Microsoft couldn't offer him a job in the area. He characterized the exit as amicable and saw the anti-Apple campaign as a defining moment, according to a Post-Intelligencer copy of the message.
Microsoft at 240m Windows 7 licenses sold in year
Microsoft preceded the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 by noting that it had sold 240 million licenses of the OS over that timeframe. The OS is both Microsoft's and by nature the industry's fastest-selling OS. It was helped by overcoming much of the negative reputation earned by Vista, as every Windows PC builder was using 7 within half a year where 30 percent had avoided Vista in its first six months.
WD Caviar Green 3TB drive official
Western Digital landed a symbolic milestone today by becoming the first to ship a hinted at 3TB internal hard drive. The Caviar Green 3TB packs 750GB per disk platter and is tailored to 64-bit platforms like Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Windows 7 64-bit that can see and boot from drives larger than 2.19TB. The drive builder goes so far as to bundle a special Advanced Host Controller Interface adapter so that 32-bit Vista and Windows 7 installs can still get to the full contents.
Editorial: Acer next in line of Apple imitators
Acer is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest PC manufacturer. And it has done that by capitalizing on the success of Windows. But now the company is taking aim at Apple, and it's becoming evident that it's the latest victim of a bipolar behavior in the tech industry whenever Apple is a competitor.
Apple tops ACSI index while PC users climb up
Apple today managed to get its best-ever score on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and maintain its lead over Windows PCs. Happiness with Macs climbed from 84 points last year to an all-time high of 86 this year. It has a nine-point lead over the maximum 77 point score for Windows PCs, the largest gap of any category in the ACSI.
Adobe posts 64-bit Flash preview for Mac, PC
Adobe today posted "Square," a preview version of 64-bit Flash available for Mac and Windows. Expanding on the original Linux port, it gives users of Mac OS X Snow Leopard's 64-bit mode and 64-bit x86 editions of Windows a truly native plugin instead of having to use a compatibility layer or nothing at all. The release also gives these users performance optimizations specific to 64-bit processors.
iPhone 4 sparks 19pc boost in web share
The launch of the iPhone 4 triggered the single largest increase in the iPhone's web share since it launched, Net Applications said today. Use of iPhones jumped from 0.59 percent in June to 0.7 percent in July, or an 18.6 increase in the number of owners in just one month. The growth rate also debunked some beliefs about Android as Google's OS grew at just half the pace.
MS exec thinks iPhone 4 may mimic Vista's failure
Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner skewered Apple's missteps with the iPhone 4 in his talk at the Windows Partner Conference today. He noted that Windows Phone 7 devices shouldn't have problems with holding the phone and likened the iPhone 4 to Microsoft's own experiences with Windows Vista, where development problems helped competitors gain ground. A stumble by Apple in public perception would help Windows Phone 7 attract customers just as Microsoft itself needs to restore its image.
Microsoft admits most XPs avoid both Vista and 7
Microsoft's Corporate VP of Windows, Tammi Reller, admitted today at the Windows Partner Conference that nearly three quarters, or 74 percent, of business PCs are still using Windows XP. Despite both Windows Vista and 7 having been released as far back as three years ago, many have refused to upgrade and in some cases are keeping systems for longer than they would have before. The average age of a work PC is older than it has ever been, at 4.4 years, Reller said.
Microsoft workers say Kin leaders may kill WP7 too
More Microsoft employees have weighed in on the death of the Kin project and are now suggesting that the problems may spill over into Windows Phone 7. In addition to criticizing Windows Phone lead Andy Lees for downplaying Kin to protect his preferred OS, anonymous comments from within the company also lay blame at the feet of Matt Bencke, who was purportedly responsible for letting Verizon charge smartphone-level rates for a limited device. He may also have pressured the Kin team to drop features to make the international launch with no guarantees it would ever arrive.
MS sets deadline for last XP systems
Microsoft has sent out a warning that Windows XP will finally be dropped from netbooks as of October 22. The policy is a reminder of a move originally unveiled in April 2008 but will require that all Windows-based netbooks use Windows 7 from the fall onwards. Switching isn't expected to be a major issue as about 81 percent of netbooks were already using the much more modern OS by April, according to NPD data.
MS reveals Win 7 fastest selling OS to date
Microsoft CFO Peter Klein late yesterday revealed that it has sold 90 million copies of Windows 7 in various forms since the OS was released in late October. The figure, given at Morgan Stanley's technology conference, is an all-time high for Windows sales and represents far stronger sales than Vista achieved in a similar timeframe. The older OS managed just 40 million units in slightly over three months and declined rapidly over time.
Zune coming to other countries?
Use of Microsoft's new Zune 4.2 software indicates the multimedia player could be offered in non-English countries for the first time. Hidden in the free-to-download update is a translated version of all instructions, in this case German, at least when installed on a German Windows Vista PC.
Dell hurt by Acer, corporate fears
Dell today posted disappointing results for its latest quarter ended in October. The company saw its year-over-year revenue drop 15 percent to about $12.9 billion and its net income drop even further, falling 54 percent to $337 million. Both decreases were blamed on poor results both in the public sector and in its staple home PC business, where its shipments were up about 17 percent compared to a year earlier but its revenue was down 10 percent, an indication that many buyers were opting for less expensive PCs.
NPD says Win 7 units soar, cash modest
The NPD Group today revealed that initial Windows 7 sales were more than twice as strong as for Vista. Although declining to provide the number of copies estimated sold, the researchers note that boxed, retail unit sales of the new OS were 234 percent higher in the first few days than the 2007 release. The jump is credited to both to steep pre-order discounts, strong marketing and similar approaches that helped ship a large number of initial copies.
Win 7 10-day sales best ever for MS
Sales of Windows 7 have broken Microsoft's sales records for an initial operating system launch, company CEO Steve Ballmer said at a Japanese press event today. The executive said early sales have been "fantastic" and that the new OS has generated more revenue in its first 10 days than any earlier version of Windows during a similar timeframe. He declined to provide specific revenue or unit numbers.
Microsoft cuts go beyond planned 5K
Microsoft today confirmed late rumors and said it has cut 800 additional jobs. The positions are spread across many of the company's divisions and are above and beyond the 5,000 cuts planned at the start of the year. No direct explanation is given other than that the company says it still has to "manage [its] businesses closely" and watch for where it can trim costs.
Download geared for latest iMacs
Apple on Wednesday released a Bluetooth firmware update designed for users running Windows via Boot Camp. The download is said to improve the wireless performance with Vista and XP on the latest 21.5- and 27-inch iMacs released earlier this month, although specific details have not been provided.
Win 7 Amazon sales beat Harry Potter
Advance sales of Windows 7 at Amazon UK set an all-time record, the online retailer said this morning. Pre-orders for the Microsoft OS, which began in July, have been higher than for even the final Harry Potter book and in sheer numbers has only been outweighed by the release of Dan Brown's Lost Symbol. Windows 7 has also significantly outsold Windows Vista and took only eight hours to exceed what its predecessor sold during its entire pre-order run.
Michael Dell says own netbooks poor
Dell's namesake Michael Dell in a talk late Tuesday criticized both his own products and Microsoft. Despite his company offering multiple netbooks, including the Mini 10, the CEO largely dismissed the category and said a "fair amount" of buyers are unhappy with them for both their smaller screens and slow performance. Many existing notebook owners in particular often come back disappointed as they lose what they liked about their larger portables.
Analyst notes Mac uptick with Windows releases
Microsoft's launch next week of Windows 7 could paradoxically help Apple's Mac sales, analyst data shows today. Broadpoint AmTech researcher Brian Marshall notes that, historically, every major Windows release in the past 10 years has coincided with a significant spike in Mac purchases either during the same calendar quarter or within a few quarters afterwards. The effect was particularly pronounced for Vista, as Mac sales surged in fall 2007 and have been very high ever since.
Microsoft's first TV spot for Windows 7
Microsoft tonight reversed course on its ad strategy with the launch of its first Windows 7 ad. The 30-second TV spot (seen below) draws on the same little girl, Kylie, that starred in a Windows Live Photo Gallery ad in February and avoids the pseudo-realistic but targeted anti-Apple attacks that have characterized the "Laptop Hunters" ads. Instead, the commercial is uniformly positive and has Kylie say she's discovered "happy" words about Windows 7 from reviews, which she then puts into a slideshow using Windows Movie Maker.
Windows 7 returns remote BSOD
(Updated with Microsoft advisory) Windows 7 when it ships next month will be vulnerable to an attack that hasn't been possible since 1999, a new vulnerability found by a security researcher shows. Sending a deliberately malformed network negotiation request can force a Windows 7 system into a page fault that triggers a "blue screen of death" error, even without the user's help in launching the code. The attack affects both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the OS.
Microsoft Win 7 NYC Event
Microsoft plans to herald the October 22nd launch of Windows 7 with multiple special event, the company confirmed today in an invitation sent to the press. A New York City gathering will lead the events and should include an appearance by company CEO Steve Ballmer. Smaller events are also planned for elsewhere in the US and likely other countries, though what these would involve wasn't detailed in the invitation.
Win 7 vs Snow Leo Debunk
A controversial report today has accused Apple of borrowing or being late to features previously available in Windows. The PC World story argues that Apple is behind in implementing 64-bit and that Exposé's new integration with the Dock, the enhanced PDF preview, and QuickTime X are all either derivative of features first seen in XP or Vista or else available separately. Author Randall Kennedy goes as far as to claim that QuickTime X is a "reactionary" move to Windows Movie Maker.
Dell Mini 12 Gone
Dell today in a low-key move shrunk its Inspiron Mini netbook line by dropping the Mini 12. The Texas PC builder hasn't explained the decision but now just leaves the Mini 10 as its lone netbook. It follows shortly after Dell's cancellation of the Mini 9, its first netbook introduced late last year.
Windows 7 RTM on July 13th
Multiple leaks today indicate that Microsoft is set to declare Windows 7 complete in just 10 days. The software developer is now expected to produce a Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of the operating system on July 13th and is likely timing the news for its Worldwide Partner Conference the same day in New Orleans, which would let it hand companies a finished copy. The RTM version will be what ships to PC builders and retail when the software ships on October 22nd.
OCZ Sabre gaming keyboard
OCZ on Tuesday released its Sabre OLED multimedia keyboard meant for gamers or CAD professionals. OCZ's first premium peripheral offering, the Sabre sports nine dedicated OLED keys (not unlike Art Lebedev Optimus keyboards) that can be customized and are capable of displaying key icons converted from digital images or text. The rest of the 103 keys are backlit with amber LEDs.
Gateway LT3100 Netbook
Gateway this morning chose to follow an unusual tack and launched the LT3100 as its second-generation netbook. The crossover PC is just an inch thick and about 3.1 pounds but uses an 11.6-inch, 1366x768 display and has components closer to a regular notebook's: it uses a low-power, single-core 1.2GHz Athlon 64 with Radeon X1270 graphics and a full 2GB of RAM. Consciously breaking Microsoft's rules for netbooks means the system uses Windows Vista Home Basic instead of XP, but the faster components should support the full Aero Glass interface where Atom netbooks usually struggle.
BenQ Joybook Lite T131
BenQ recently announced the upcoming release of its ultra-portable netbook, the 13.3-inch Joybook Lite T131. Weighing in at just under 4lbs, the 13.3-inch T131 sports a 1.6GHz AMD Sempron 200U processor based on the same platform as the Athlon Neo and which should give performance better than netbooks without a major increase in bulk. A minimum of 1GB of RAM is onboard, as is an ATI Mobility Radeon X1270 graphics chipset that can drive HD video playback. The standard 250GB hard drive -- a 320GB drive is an option -- comes preloaded with Windows Vista Home Basic.
Kingston 128GB USB drive
Storage device maker Kingston Technology on Monday announced it has released a new USB flash drive series, the DataTraveler 200, with the first-ever 128GB USB flash drive available. The range also offers 32GB and 64GB models. All have password protection in the form of Password Traveler security software for Windows. The DT200s have a capless design, with the USB connector retracting into the device's body for protection.
ThinkPad T400s leaked
New images show there may soon be an addition to Lenovo's ThinkPad T400 notebook range with a new, slimmer model, the T400s. Its 0.83-inch thickness represents a noticeable reduction from the T400's 1.12-inch design. Specs will be shared with the range, according to SOBlog, including a choice of 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors and a 14.1-inch, LED-backlit display with a 1440x900 resolution. Due to the T400s' slimness, users won't be able to upgrade from Intel's integrated 4500MHD graphics processor, however.
Russia Says MS Monopolist
The Russian government today accused Microsoft of monopolistic behavior in its treatment of Windows XP. Antitrust officials said they would launch an investigation in the belief that Microsoft was unfairly pulling the older operating system from stores before the market was ready. Although significant demand exists for XP in both public and private sectors, Microsoft has been insisting in some cases that these outlets use Windows Vista instead.
Windows 7 October 22nd
Microsoft today ended speculation and said it would ship Windows 7 on October 22nd. The launch applies to all versions and confirms statements from Acer that it would have the new OS preloaded on its PCs just a day later. Pricing for individual upgrade and full installs hasn't been mentioned.
MS posts Vista SP2
Microsoft has posted 64- and 32-bit versions of Service Pack 2, a major update for Windows Vista and Server 2008. The downloads measure 577 and 348MB respectively, and include all of the key Windows updates produced since the debut of Service Pack 1. New devices and hardware platforms are also said to be supported, such as Bluetooth 2.1, 64-bit VIA CPUs and Blu-ray data recording.