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.
Bug said to affect hundreds of thousands of PCs
A McAfee update has reportedly wreaked havoc on businesses using Windows XP machines. The bug potentially affects hundreds of thousands of systems, causing many computers to disconnect from networks and fall into uncontrolled restarts, according to Gizmodo. The glitch appears to be limited to enterprise systems, rather than consumer-level devices.
Apple puts MobileMe on Win
Apple has quietly slipped a MobileMe preference pane into Windows Vista, and allegedly on some versions of XP, for users who have the latest version of iTunes installed on their computers. Blogger Steve Clayton notes that while exploring Vista's Control Panel, a MobileMe preference pane was found at the very bottom, even though he is not an existing MobileMe customer. Users who wish to use the latest versions of Nike+ gear or iPhone/iPod touch 2.0 are required to have iTunes 7.7.
Dell breaks promises
Dell is being accused of breaking two promises it has made to customers, pertaining to its continued support of the Microsoft Windows XP platform, next-day repair service, and promotional financing plan. A note from the computer manufacturer's Small Business sales team reveals that its earlier plans to offer Windows XP on machine sales past Microsoft's June 30th deadline are null and void, instead stating that it would cease to offer the operating system past June 30th.
OLPC XO to get XP by fall
Microsoft tonight revealed that the highly talked-about OLPC XO – a laptop initially designed for students in developing countries – will ship with Windows XP as an option in August or September, with some countries to get the low-cost ultraportable sooner. Engadget expects that in the future, the operating system will most likely replace the current Sugar front-end offered in the XO, but OLPC has not explicitly said anything to support the theory. The build is allegedly the same as that of the Eee PC, with custom drivers for the XO hardware.
Vista Sales at 140m
Microsoft chair Bill Gates today noted at a European news conference that sales of Windows Vista have reached 140 million copies worldwide. The update is the first since the company crossed the 100 million mark at the start of the new year, although Gates doesn't clarify when the company reached the newer threshold. This demonstrates that Vista continues to sell at a "very rapid" rate, according to the Microsoft co-founder.
WinXP SP3 delayed
Microsoft on Tuesday announced a delay in the expected general release of Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), due to a newly found discovered incompatibility. The company said that it had uncovered a compatibility issue between its retail chain management solution for small and midsize customers, Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS), and the updates (both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1). The update was released to manufacturing last week and was expected to be generally available on April 29th and later in early Summer as an automatic update; however, Microsoft did not provide any details on revised public release date (which had been released to volume customers last week), but said that update would be available after appropriate filter to prevent update from being applied to some systems).
Lenovo extends MS XP sales
Late last week, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer said the software giant will stop distribution and all support of its Windows XP operating systems by June 30. Lenovo is the latest computer company to announce it will offer XP past the deadline, thanks to Microsoft's own downgrade rights for its hardware-intensive Vista Business and Vista Ultimate editions. Customers with qualified Lenovo PCs with the two Vista editions can purchase a Windows XP recovery CD until January 31, 2009.
Boot Camp, Common Criteria
Apple today released a variety of updates for Boot Camp users, as well as a Common Criteria Tools security verification utility. The Boot Camp updates are required to install Service Pack 3 in Windows XP, Windows Vista 32-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit versions on an Intel Mac. Little is mentioned regarding the updates themselves, but they are presumably designed to ensure compatibility with the updated versions of Windows.
VMWare Fusion 1.1.2 has been released, adding enhanced support for the MacBook Air. The new release also enables Time Machine backup of virtual machines, adds support for Windows XP SP3 Boot Camp partitions, and is now available in Simplified Chinese. In addition, VMWare can now properly disconnect USB devices connected to the virtual machine when shut down, making the USB devices available again to the Mac. It also addresses problem with wireless bridged networking in some cases not being able to obtain an IP address from the DHCP server.
HP 2133 to ship with XP
HP will offer the 2133 Mini-Note PC preconfigured with Windows XP in mid-May, something the company refers to as a "downgrade". Laptop Magazine observes that XP is more ideal for ultramobile PCs, given its lower power requirements, and better performance on lighter hardware. The revelation came after a chat with an HP Sales representative, who confirmed that XP would be an available feature in the future.
Gartner on Win Monolith
Microsoft may have no choice but to break up Windows into many different versions if it wants to avoid serious long-term problems with its code, according to analysis by Gartner analysts. Neil MacDonald and Michael Silver of the research group note that the operating system is being asked to cover too many aspects of computing, creating a "monolithic" code base that is both too demanding on some classes of hardware and consumes too much space. The company's decision to extend Windows XP for budget systems is a sign that Vista has stretched too far, Gartner's experts note.
XP on More PCs than Vista
Microsoft's now six-year-old Windows XP came with many more computers in 2007 than its Vista replacement, according to Microsoft's own statistics at its CES keynote. Though outgoing company chief executive Bill Gates touted that Vista had crossed the 100 million-unit sales mark before the end of 2007, InformationWeek notes a Gartner assessment which claims that about 255.7 million PCs will have been sold over the course of the year, leaving Vista with just 39 percent of the new PC market despite going on sale early in the year, at the end of January. With most remaining systems shipping using a variant of Windows, the statistic points to almost 60 percent of all PCs shipping with the older XP variant -- or a more than 50 percent larger number than its newer counterpart, according to Electronista calculations.
Vista SP1 Slows Down
The looming Service Pack 1 update for Windows Vista has deteriorated the Microsoft operating system's disk and networking performance beyond the already slow launch version, according to a series of tests conducted by Gizmodo. The software is notably faster than its six-year-old XP predecessor in general performance on a new quad-core Xeon system, besting the earlier OS in CPU-heavy tasks such as video encoding as well as 3D tasks. However, the Vista update is also shown to suffer dramatically in heavy network use: a transfer that would take just over 3.5 minutes in XP takes nearly 13 minutes with Vista circa January 2007 and actually deteriorates further to more than 15.5 minutes for the SP1 fix, the tests show.