Once Windows 7 ships, Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate edition users will be able to download a free Windows XP Mode upgrade from Microsoft, WinSuperSite's Paul Thurrott reports. What Thurrott calls XP Mode will enable these versions of Windows 7 to be almost perfectly compatible with Windows XP applications. Essentially, Windows 7 will have "Windows XP inside" when XP Mode is installed.
What is XP Mode? Officially known as Virtual Windows XP, it combines a hardware-accelerated host virtualizer based on Virtual PC with a fully licensed copy of Windows XP Professional SP3 which the user must supply [updated 4-29-09]. While, at first glance, this might sound like little more than a more convenient replacement for downloading a copy of Virtual PC 2007 and scrounging up a Windows XP Pro disc and license from a dead PC, there's a lot more to Virtual Windows XP.
As the WinSuperSite screenshow reveals, Virtual Windows XP will be able to share your system's USB drives, and when you install apps to Virtual Windows XP, your Windows 7 menu will automatically be updated with shortcuts, enabling you to run Windows XP programs in separate virtualized windows on your desktop. Although the virtualizer used by Virtual Windows XP is a host-based virtualizer, these features put it miles ahead in usability compared to Virtual PC 2007 plus Windows XP. And, because Virtual Windows XP's virtualizer requires hardware virtualization support, it won't bog down your system the way an unaccelerated virtualization host will do.
Are there any downsides? For a couple of potential gotchas, and for your chance to sound off, join us after the jump.
Only after a few months of being on the market, HP has decided to cut the price of the Firebird 802 gaming desktop by $500. The price cut includes a $150 cut to the base price, as well as a $350 instant rebate, bringing the $1,799 price down to $1,299.
For those that haven’t been paying attention to the Firebird since release, that $1,299 will get you an Intel Core 2 Quad 9400 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD and two Nvidia GeForce 9800S GPUs, each packing 512MB of DDR3. Not to shabby considering the new price point.
If you’re interested in checking out the Firebird 802 for yourself, be sure direct your browser here, to HP’s site.
Last week, it was rumored that Acer would unveil the very first Ion-based nettop this week. That rumor has been vindicated by Acer. The AspireRevo, as the diminutive nettop is called, was unveiled on Tuesday by Acer and Nvidia.
The nettop features up to 4GB of RAM, a maximum of 250GB hard drive, HDMI/VGA outputs and six USB 2.0 ports. To put the stats into perspective, the nettop measures 7.1 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches (about the same size as a hardcover book). Its pricing and release date are still awaited.
We first learned of Acer's plans to release an Ion-based nettop back in February of this year when leaked slides hit the web, and now another leak reveals what the specs might look like.
As it stands, Acer's Hornet nettop will come in three SKUs, each one outfitted with Intel's Atom N230 processor. Other specs, depending on the model, include up to 2GB of RAM, up 160GB of storage, optional WiFi, optional wireless keyboard and mouse, and other odds and ends.
The upcoming Hornet also looks to take a page from Nintendo with a Wii-style remote that can be used for both gaming and media controls.
No word yet on availability, although news and rumor site DigiTimes says it will debut in Beijing on April 8. Pricing is expected to be in the $150 to $300 range.
In what Dell describes as "fashion meets function," the OEM has introduced an octuplet of color configurations for its refreshed Inspiron desktop line. That's more than what's found in some crayon boxes and includes Piano Black, Pure White, True Blue, Formula Red, Tangerine Orange, Spring Green, Plum Purple, and Promise Pink. The Promise Pink is a collaboration with Susan G. Komen for the Cure program to fight breast cancer - for every Promise Pink laptop or Mini Dell sells, it donates $5 to the cause.
The colorful Inspiron desktop line also includes a wide range of processor selections, such as Intel's Celeron, Core 2 Duo, and Core 2 Quad, and AMD's Sempron, Athlon, and Phenom X4 CPUs. Other configuration options include integrated Intel graphics or discrete ATI Radeon graphics, up to 8GB of memory, up to 750GB of storage on the slim tower and up to 1TB on the mini-tower, optional 19-in-1 media card reader, optional HDMI port, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and dual optical drive options.
Dell says its new slim and mini-tower Inspiron desktops debut today in China, with U.S. availability expected this spring starting at $299.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while we described Acer's Predator PCs as looking "hot," we meant it figuratively, not literally. As it turns out, it didn't matter how me meant it, because according to Acer, who has issued a recall, the high-end gaming rigs are prone to overheating posing a potential burn hazard.
"Acer has received two reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in melted internal components and external casing. Neither incident occurred in the U.S. No injuries have been reported," Acer wrote in its recall notice.
Acer said the problem occurs when insulation on the affected machines' internal wiring becomes bent or stripped, causing the wires to overheat. The recall includes model numbers ASG7200 and ASG7700, which Acer says were sold by computer and electronic stores nationwide from May 2008 through December 2008.
If you have one of these models, Acer says you should stop using it immediately and contact them at 866-695-2237 or visit Acer's website.
Intel's crazy-popular Atom processor already dominates the netbook and nettop segments, but that might turn out to be only a glimpse of things to come. By the end of the year, look for Atom CPUs to have found a home in more than half of all entry-level desktops. What the Caesar?
Citing un-named industry sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes says Intel has had to adjust its target shipment ratio of single-core Atom 230 and dual-core Atom 330 processors as a percentage of total CPU shipments with nettops and entry-level desktops. And what an increase Intel puportely projects. According to the report, Intel expects Atom growth to increase from 4 percent (nettops) and 6 percent (desktops) in the first quarter to 10 percent and 52 percent, respectively, by the fourth quarter of 2009.
As a result, DigiTimes says Intel's 65nm dual-core Celeron E1000-series and 45nm single-core Celeron 200-series CPUs will account for less than a fifth of th shipment makeup by the end of the year.
If the projections hold true, both entry-level and mid-range desktop pricing is likely to go down.
Thin is in, or so Samsung seems to think with a trio of new slim MagicStation desktop PCs. But don't let the size fool you; Samsung has stuffed what amounts to a respectable spec sheet into each model.
The most slender of the three, the DM-X100, is fully configurable just like the somewhat wider DM-R100 and DN-Z100 models, and comes packed with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia GeForce 9600M graphics, 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and Vista Home Premium in its standard configuration. Other odds and ends include WiFi, media card reader, a wireless keyboard, and the typical assortment of ports in a package just under 8 pounds.
No word yet on price or availability, although it appears Samsung will first target Korea with these new models.
Need a good reason to "go green" by recycling your old electronics? How about getting some green (money, that is) for your old desktop or laptop computers, digital cameras, monitors, PDAs, smartphones, inkjet or laser printers, table PCs, or workstations? HP has teamed up with Market Velocity, Inc. to offer the HP Consumer Buyback and Planet Partners Recycling Program. Whether you think you're sitting on a potential gold mine of old stuff or are looking for a painless way to get worthless digital junk out of your office, give it a try.
Any car enthusiast worth his salt knows that until you customize your ride, it’s just another commuter. Likewise, your computer is little more than a generic PC in an ocean of look-alikes until you make it your own.
Here at Maximum PC, we don’t settle for out of the box. To us, a computer is incomplete until it’s been forged in our own image. To that end, we’re taking a look at six unbeatable tools that can spice up a drab Windows desktop. When we’re done here, you’ll have given your default Windows interface a much-needed face-lift by adding custom themes, ditching the taskbar for a more attractive dock, and setting up your wallpaper to refresh on a schedule.
This newfound pride in your desktop will raise your morale while you’re working for the man, and these apps will boost your overall productivity by better organizing your applications and icons on different virtual desktops and placing to-dos, system statistics, and other important information a keystroke away.
Sound appealing? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s time to turn that dreary Windows default into something you can be proud of.