The race is still on to see which will come out first - Vista's second Service Pack, or Windows 7 - but when it comes to beta releases, you needn't wait long. In a blog post, Microsoft said Vista's SP2 will begin beta testing this week.
"Following the success of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 last spring, we have been working hard on Windows Vista Service Pack 2," writes Mike Nash, corporate VP for Microsoft's Windows Product Management. "As part of the development and testing process, we're going to start by providing a small group of Technology Adoption Program customers with Windows Vista SP2 Beta for evaluation next Wednesday, October 29."
Nash goes on to say that SP2 will incorporate both previously released fixes and unreleased updates into a single serviceability model covering both Windows Vista (client) and Windows Server 2008 (server) versions. A big focus on SP2 will be on improving hardware support as well as "adding support for several emerging standards." Some of the changes include:
Adding Windows Search 4.0
Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack
Record data on Blu-ray media natively
Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) for easier WiFi configs
As far as Nvidia is concerned, any problems that may have plagued its previous mobile GPUs are a thing of the past. Bill Henry, director of notebook marketing at Nvidia, recently stated that the graphics chip maker has "updated the materials" used to manufacture the company's chips. Nvidia was successful in getting that message across to Apple, who chose to use Nvidia's 9400M GPU it its refreshed MacBook line, but Apple's not the only one who's convinced.
According to news outlet DigiTimes, several global top-tier notebook vendors are jumping on board Nvidia's 9400M bandwagon. Some of these include heavy hitters Asus, Acer, HP, and Dell, all of which plan to launch MCP79-based (9400M) laptops by the end of the year. Speculation among notebook vendors suggest that Nvidia's new chipset could end up with a 20 percent market share of Intel-based notebook platforms.
If true (and according to Ujesh Desai, Nvidia's GM of GeForce products, more than 10 MCP79-based notebooks will have been released by the beginning of next year), Nvidia's fortunes could take a much needed turn for the better, both in public perception and investor confidence, the latter of which has watched the company's stock price plummet compared to not even one year ago, before the market went haywire.
Is Nvidia on the up and up? Hit the jump and give us your take.
Intel is going to update its Montevina notebook PC platform in April, 2009 with the introduction of the Montevina Refresh platform, according to a DIGITIMES report, which cites unnamed sources within Intel. The launch of the platform will be accompanied by two new processors, the Core 2 Duo T9900 and P8800.
Intel also plans to unveil its GM47 chipset for high-end notebooks in first quarter of next year. Entry-level and small form factor (SFF) PC will also not be over looked, as Intel will launch the GL43 and GS40 chipsets in July or August.
A deluge of new processors for the Centrino 2 platform are soon going to be made available by the world’s leading chip maker. Also, the GM55 chipset for Intel’s upcoming 6th generation Centrino platform, Calpella, will become available in July or August next year.
Rackspace Hosting has made two acquisitions in a bid to establish itself as a major player in the lucrative cloud computing market. It has acquired Slicehost and Jungle Disk to bolster its Mosso cloud service. The acquisitions are said to be worth $28 million. Rackspace’s Cloud Files, scalable file storage service, will most probably be integrated into Slicehost, according to the Slicehost website.
Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technology University (NTU) and Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) have developed a low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) antenna for use in the unlicensed 57 - 64 GHz millimeter-wave bands. The development has paved the way for instantaneous wireless USB file transfers. It has the potential to replace Bluetooth as the preferred technology for nearby remote data exchanges.
SIMTech’s AIP (antenna in package) is not only economical but also practical per se. IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Inc.) is busy devising standards for applications for the unlicensed 60 GHz band.
AMD last week launched its HD 4830 graphics card, a sub-$150 GPU with support for DirectX 10.1 instructions. With a budget price tag and impressive spec sheet, the HD 4830 has been positioned to compete with Nvidia's 9800 GT videocard, but some buyers may find that their HIS-branded HD 4830 isn't living up to expectations.
"AMD has identified that, in addition to reference samples of the ATI Radeon HD 4830 boards sent to media with a pre-production BIOS potentially impacting the card's performance, a very limited number of ATI Radeon HD 4830 boards were released to market with the same pre-production BIOS," AMD said in a statement. "This is no way hardware related, and an updated BIOS fully resolves the performance limitation."
Updating the BIOS doesn't perform any voodoo shenanigans on affected cards, and instead enables all 640 stream processors that the HD4830 is supposed to have. For whatever reason, a "small number of HIS-branded" cards sporting the pre-production BIOS only showed 560 stream processors as being enabled, resulting in an undue performance hit.
If you think you might own one of the gimped cards or simply want to verify that your videocard's running at full speed, download and run the GPU-Z utility.
No sooner do you fill up your credit card purchasing the latest components, new technology emerges rendering your parts obsolete. Welcome to the world of computers. This fact of computing isn't limited to just the desktop sector, and even though Intel's Centrino 2 platform has just recently manifested in the market place, the company offered onlookers a glimpse of its next generation mobile platform at this year's Intel Developer Forum in Taiwan.
The new platform, currently code-named "Calpella," will include processors based on Intel's upcoming Nehalem architecture, due out in desktop form next month. As with every subsequent generation of notebooks, part of the focus on Calpella will be on preserving battery life and you can expect a number of new features aimed towards this goal. These include power switches capable of shutting down individual processing cores, and independent voltage for memory and I/O.
"It's a very different platform than anything they've done to date," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at research firm Insight 64. "When Calpella shows up, everything inside that laptop will be brand new."
No specific release date has yet been set, but rumblings point to sometime in Q3 2009.
We all have that friend or colleague who simply can't resist passing along a link to yet another "hilarious" YouTube video (and if not, well, you might be that friend or colleague). That's okay when it's a quick 30-second videoclip, but does Dan from accounting really expect us to sit through a 12-minute low quality video that doesn't even begin to get good until the 8-minute and 32-second mark?
No longer do we have to, and Dan can link us to a specific spot in any YouTube clip now that the video sharing site has quietly implemented deep linking functionality. To do so, senders need only add a short tag to the end of any YouTube link in the form of #t=_m_s, but instead of underscores, specify the exact minute and seconds (as designated by the 'm' and 's'). So to skip to the 8-minute and 32-second mark, it would read #t=8m32s.
T-Mobile scored a big win by partnering with Google and handset manufacturer HTC to become the first provider to offer a smartphone powered by Android, Google's open-source OS. The pre-release buzz was so strong that initial estimates indicate as many as 1.5 million HTC G1 phones were gobbled up through preorders alone. It would seem illogical to scoff at those kind of numbers, but that's what Dan Hesse, Sprint's CEO, has done.
According to a report on Reuters, the cynical CEO told the National Press Club in Washington that the current iteration of Android isn't "good enough to put the Sprint brand name on it." Is he hating on Google or pouting over being passed over? Likely not. Initial reviews of the recently released G1 show Android as having promise, but as Engadget points out, Android "has a lot of ground to cover before it's really making the competition sweat," namely platforms like the iPhone and Windows Mobile devices.
Don't fret of you're a Spring subscriber. Despite Hesse's unenthusiastic comments, he has promised to sell an Android-powered phone "at some time in the future." Of course, at some point in the future, other manufacturers besides AT&T will also carry Apple's iPhone, so perhaps this is a case where time is of the essence.
Last week we looked at the financial results for AMD which reported a fairly positive financial outlook. Even though the company was still losing money, they had managed to bring loses under control and investors were most likely hoping Q4 2008, or Q1 2009 would see the chip maker return to profit. These hopes are slowing being dashed by new market share numbers which according to Mercury Research saw AMD’s total share drop to 17.7 percent. This is a drop from 18.8 percent in the second quarter, and a huge plunge from 25.3 percent they enjoyed in the fourth quarter of 2006.
According to Mercury a large contributor to AMD’s drop is the shift from desktop processors to mobile. For the first time, shipments of mobile parts have exceeded their desktop counterparts in the CPU market. A market where Intel is extremely dominate. AMD drastically needs to improve innovation in the laptop arena if it is to slow Intel who is posting record breaking revenues. The processor market on a whole grew 13.3 percent and according to researchers, seems to be somewhat immune to the chaos in the financial markets. AMD managed to bring about a modest increase in the server and notebook markets but this is more the result of the market growth rather than share gains. AMD’s stock price has dropped to $3.03 in afterhours trading, down from its 52 week high of $13.80.
Do you think AMD can bounce back? Hit the jump and let us know.