For years, the browser race was a one-horse affair: it was Internet Explorer’s way or the highway. Then Firefox crawled out of the Netscape wreckage and established itself as a viable, free alternative to Microsoft’s bundled software. Google’s Chrome may be the feisty new kid on the block, but a new report says it very well may unseat Firefox by the end of the year for the worldwide number two slot in the cut-throat browser wars.
Remember that old Johnny Carson bit where he pretended to be the swami and guessed the contents of an envelope he held over his forehead? Maybe some of those psychic powers transferred over to us here at Maximum PC. No, we're not saying we can pick tomorrow's lotto numbers, but damn we have a knack for timely scheduling. Hot on the heels of our ARM vs. x86 feature – you've checked it out, right? – comes the news that ARM processors are projected to be the driving force behind nearly a quarter of all notebook PCs by 2015.
If you aren’t a huge Gmail user, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs or so. That’s a not-so-subtle warning about this week's Chrome Extension of the Week, as it’s a super-useful add-on that allows you to climb deeper into the depths of your ever-expanding Gmail Inbox. Go figure, it’s called, “Graph Your Inbox.”
Unfortunately, the extension only works for Gmail and Gmail alone—sorry, other email services. But if you’re one of the proud users of good ol’ Google mail, you’ll be able to use this extension to see exactly how many different kinds of emails you’re receiving over days, months, and years. Think of it as… a kind of Excel chart for your inbox.
Who crashed? Who. I'm asking you, who crashed? Yes, Who, that guy over there on first base...
Only the best downloads get their own warm-up comics. And WhoCrashed is one of the best downloads you'll want to have on your system if you want to figure out the source behind your occasional Blue Screens of Fatal Windows Unhappiness. Install this app on your PC and you'll be treated to a little more information than the gobbilty-gook permeating your average BSOD.
WhoCrashed isn't a panacea--it's not going to give you a little button that says "Fix Me," which will automatically heal your system's upset-whatever like a glass of digital Maalox. Consider this app the Sherlock Holmes of freeware (the book, not the Iron Man version). It'll give you clues and suggest a potential culprit for your woes, but it just can't make everything better without a little deduction and sleuthing on your part.
So why, then, would you download WhoCrashed? Click the jump to find out!
Windows 7’s launch may have turned in an impressive 234% growth in sales over Vista, but at least one industry analyst report is suggesting it may not be enough to bring Microsoft out of the red. Boxed copies of the software enjoyed strong pre-orders, but as many of you know, the vast majority of these were sold at a significant discount with an average selling price of only $76 in the week ending October 24th. Sales of PCs through the OEM sales channel also grew by 95% during the launch week, but it has since settled down considerably.
According to the report, Microsoft’s fortunes in 2010 will largely depend on whether the global economic conditions improve, and if IT budgets increase along with it. Strong sales to consumers is one thing, but getting businesses to embrace a tech refresh is the real trick to Microsoft’s recovery. Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell suggested that his company is planning for the worst, and is being “reasonably cautious” about the prospect of enterprises adopting Windows 7.
"It looks like the Win7 inspired upgrade cycle can start in late 2010 and run through early 2013," Katherine Egbert, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., wrote in an Oct. 12 report. "We expect new hardware purchases to precede the software upgrades by about 6 months." Either way, business will need to replace aging hardware and software eventually, but the big question for Microsoft is “when”.
At least, that's the greeting I now expect to see whenever I fire up a page on SourceForge. And before you ask, no, the Wachowski brothers haven't bought the rights to the Web site. The open source software world is huge--billions of dollars huge--but trying to figure out its breadth makes me think of The Matrix. Or, at least, a construct of Matrix-like proportions.
Amazingly enough, a company called Black Duck Software has taken on the task of creating a complete and compelling picture of open source software development. And I'm not just talking about a simple Linux survey or two. Black Duck has used everything from the largest of the open-source operating systems to the smallest of massively-multiplayer frameworks to develop an epic valuation of open-source software. It's been running these numbers and scanning for projects since the company's founding in 2002, if that helps you to visualize just how deep the rabbit hole gets.
And what have they found? Enough code, representing enough cash, to create a little Matrix of your very own. Jack in, click the jump, and I'll tell you just how much that is.