In recent times, there have been quite a few reports about some enterprises having professed their liking for Windows XP. The consumers and enterprises that have vowed to abstain from Windows Vista, or plan on running old software owned by them, are scampering for used XP-toting PCs.
There is no dearth of Windows XP PCs as millions of users are supplanting their old PCs with newer ones that run Vista; a Gartner study pegged the number of discarded XP PCs in 2007 at 197 million.
Kaplan advises consumers to be slightly more cautious while purchasing secondhand PCs online as they are very likely to come loaded with a pirated version of XP.
The talk of Vista and XP is known to have elicited some passionate responses from Maximum PC readers in the comments section before and so you are expected to be ready with your astute views on this occasion as well.
The Malaysian website Tech ARP, which previously figured out the release schedule for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3, has looked into its crystal ball again and predicts Vista SP2 will be released to manufacturing in April 2009. First, though, a release candidate (RC) will be released in February.
So, what will be the big attractions in Vista SP2?
Windows Search 4.0
Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack
Native Blu-Ray recording
Windows Connect Now support for easier Wi-Fi connections
UTC timestamp support in the exFAT file system to enable correct file synchronization across timezones
Keep in mind that Vista SP2 will only install on systems running Vista SP1.
Some users wonder if Vista SP2 is coming too quickly after the release of Vista SP1. To find out how the release schedule for Vista SP2 compares to other service pack releases for past Windows versions, and for your chance to comment, join us after the break.
Acer, the world’s #3 PC manufacturer, is on the brink of releasing a new netbook to accompany the Aspire One, and an all-in-one desktop computer that’s aimed directly at competing with Asus’s Eee Top and Apple’s iMac.
The netbook will measure 10.2”, cost roughly $500 and will be powered by Intel’s Atom processor. It’s reported that the system will include Vista and offer storage capacities of up to 320GB. Thanks to the size of the screen, it’s claimed that the display will sport a horizontal resolution of 1024 pixels, allowing users to view the entire width of most web pages (like this one!).
Also, thanks to some unconfirmed reports, rumors have been swirling about the possibility of Acer launching a cheap all-in-one desktop next year. The system will supposedly be aimed at competition with Apple’s iMac and Asus’ Eee Top.
While the battle between Windows and Linux wages on, a similar struggle is set to take place in the cloud. Instant-on computing has been gaining ground, helped in large part by Asus pushing a custom version of SplashTop on select motherboards and Eee PCs, and now Good OS steps into the browser-based OS fray.
If the name looks familiar, it's because the company's gOS Linux debuted in Wal-Mart's ill-fated $199 Everex gPC. But this time around, Good OS is focusing entirely on the cloud with an instant-on derivative appropriately called Cloud. The company showed off its browser-based OS running on Gigabyte touch-screen netbooks at the Netbook World Summit in Paris today.
"We are excited to preview the Gigabyte Touch-Screen Netbook with Cloud and Windows together," said a Good OS spokesperson. "With Cloud, Gigabyte Netbooks will power on to the Internet in seconds, while still supporting killer applications together with Windows XP."
Instead of loading a typical desktop, Cloud runs entirely in a browser that looks nearly identical to Google's Chrome. At the bottom of the browser, an integrated dock gives quick access to several apps and Web 2.0 portals. But like SplashTop, Cloud isn't meant to replace the main OS, and instead run alongside it.
Good OS plans to make more details available at CES in January, 2009.
While the news of the 400GB Pioneer disc isn’t necessarily new, the fact that it’s made it to production is. Just today at the IT Month fair in Taiwan, Pioneer announced that their 400GB Blu-ray disc would be hitting mass production sometime in 2010.
The disc’s ability to pack so much storage is all thanks to a breakthrough in the material used to create reflective layers. According to Pioneer High Fidelity Taiwan, this also allows the pick-up head of the disc to match that of current Blu-ray technology, allowing the discs to be played using current drives.
Pioneer’s plan to release the disc to the public in 2010 is followed swiftly by the release of rewritable discs in 2010-2012. Though, 1TB discs will quickly follow in 2013, according to the current roadmap.
Talk to any Mac-inite and he'll tell you how secure his Mac is compared to your Windows-based PC. And admittedly, he's right. But is it because Mac OS X is inherently more secure than Windows, or do virus writers simply not give a damn when there are so many Windows users to target? Justin Long doesn't say, and instead insinuates that Mac users needn't worry about malware - see for yourself.
In what might be an ironic twist, Apple's ad campaign has helped Macs increase its market share and potentially draw attention to the platform as a viable target. For the first time ever, Apple is telling its users to install antivirus software.
"Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult," Apple posted on its support site.
But don't take that to mean that Apple suddenly thinks its operating system is wrought with security holes. As Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee points out, malware is targeting data and not a specific OS. Vulnerabilities in Flash and the Safari web browser, for example, have given rise to non-OS attacks.
Reaction to Apple's recommendation? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.
Forgetting for a moment what's underneath the hood, Asus has officially introduced its redesigned Eee PC 1002HA, a gorgeous looking netbook that first appeared on the web back in October. The sleek new chassis owes its good looks to a brushed black (er, 'Agent Grey') aluminum LCD cover and palm rest in an attempt to bring "a touch of elegance to every day computing" in a lightweight package weighing just 2.6 pounds and measuring 1-inch thick.
On the inside, the familiar Intel Atom N270 processor makes an appearance, along with 1GB of DDR memory and a 160GB hard drive. Storage duties are complimented with another 10GB of hosted online space through Asus' Eee Storage service, free for the first 18 months.
Asus says you can expect up to five hours of unplugged computing time on its custom-made two-cell 4200mAh polymer battery.
The Eee PC 10002HA is available now through the usual outlets with an MSRP set at $499.
Perhaps DRAM makers and Microsoft's top brass should join each other at the local watering hole and lament the state of the industry, as the two share a somewhat similar woe. The memory market is the worst it has been in 15 years, and likewise, Windows market share has dropped to a 15-year low, according to market research firm Net Applications. But the similarities end there.
While Windows market share is as low as it has been since Windows 3.11, Microsoft still dominates the landscape by claiming just under 90 percent. The problem for Microsoft, if it can be called that, is a steady decline since Net Applications started providing market share data in October 2004. At the time, Microsoft's market share was at 96.4 percent, then 95.5 percent in November 2005, 94.2 percent in November 206, and 92.4 percent in November 2007.
Hardly a landslide, but with open-source alternatives such as Firefox and Linux gaining ground in the browser and operating system arenas, Microsoft might want to take a cue from what the competition is doing right rather than running 'told you so' ad campaigns like Mojave to convince skeptical users that it's been right all along.
You can forget about the historic election (politics) or Bill Gates stepping into semi-retirement (tech), because according to Yahoo's search statistics, it's Britney Spears who ranked as the top search subject. The pop singer 'did it again,' topping Yahoo's search results for the fourth year in a row and her seventh time altogether. Other pop-culture celebrities making the top 10 list include Miley Cyrus at No. 4, Jessica Alba at No. 6, Lindsay Lohan at No. 8, and Angelina Jolie at No. 9.
But it wasn't just specific celebrities making the list. Wrestling apparently had a good year with WWE placing No. 2, one spot above President-elect Barack Obama. The rest of the top 10 included RuneScape at No. 5, Naruto at No. 7 ,and American Idol taking up the 10th spot.
Surprisingly, no other political figures were represented in Yahoo's most popular search terms, despite being a historic and hotly contested election year. However, when broken down into subjects, Sarah Palin led the way behind President-elect Barack Obama in people of politics search terms, followed by John McCain, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Ron Paul, John Edwards, Mike Huckabee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mitt Romney.
On the subject of economic searches, surfers were most interested in IRS stimulus checks, followed with oil prices, gold prices, gas prices, Dow Jones, Sallie Mae, stock market, AIG, foreclosures, and debt consolidation.
Call it fear of commitment or old fashioned skepticism, but we have no idea how Fujitsu plans to pull off its latest marketing promotion. In what the company is rightfully calling a "unique proposition," Fujitsu's looking to create a life-long partnership with Lifebook owners as part of its new Lifebook'4'Life replacement program.
The way it works is you purchase a new qualifying Lifebook and opt for the extended 3-year warranty, and Fujitsu will then replace your notebook with a brand new one every three years for the rest of your life. Not only that, but Fujitsu will kick in an extra 10 percent of the original purchase price to offset inflation. So what's the catch?
None that we can find, though there are a few niggling caveats. First, the offer is only valid to UK residents (bummer!). Second, while you can choose to keep your laptop after 3 years, doing so boots you off of the program. You also must hold onto your original purchase invoice so you can send in a copy every 3 years. And finally, your laptop has to be "in good working original order." Other terms and conditions apply, but nothing that strikes us as obvious deal killers, which then raises the question, how can Fujitsu afford to do this? For that, we don't have an answer.
Would you pounce on this if it were offered in the U.S.? Hit the jump and tell us what you think of Fujitsu's new promotion.