Landmark verdict by Italian Supreme Court concludes 9-year-old case
In late 2005, an Italian citizen named Marco Pieraccioli, who had just bought a Windows laptop from Hewlett-Packard, took the then world’s leading PC vendor to court after the latter refused to issue a refund for the accompanying Windows XP Home Edition license that he had no need of. Almost nine years later, Pieraccioli has finally secured the €140.00 refund (plus interest and costs) that he was after.
Cheapskate. Some folks say it with a snarled upper lip and a curt, terse emphasis on the final syllable, like it’s some kind of awful, horrible moral failing. Puh-leeze. More often than not, cheapskates aren’t ripping off anyone. But the cable, satellite, software, and phone companies sure are.
In a day and age when everyone is trying to upsell, premium-ize, and shake us down on a weekly basis—often under the guise of saving us money—we actually view cheapskatism as a sign of higher intelligence and reason. If approached the right way, of course.
The folks at Gizmodo got a great tip on some sweet deals at a few Fry’s Electronics stores participating in Windows 7 midnight opening.
Eight locations are making the offer and open at midnight tonight for the release of Windows 7. If you pop into your local Fry’s in: Downers Grove, IL, Plano, TX, South Houston, TX, Duluth, GA, Renton, WA, Fountain Valley, CA, San Diego, CA, or Sunnyvale, CA and pick up your copy of Windows 7, you can walk away with some free software too.
With mail-in-rebates, you can get your hands on a bunch of software for the low, low, price of…nothing.
Hit the jump for the full list of which products are part of the offer.
For those of you who found yourselves breathless with anticipation after watching the Office 2010 Movie Trailers, you might just be the perfect candidate for the technical preview. Currently Microsoft is looking beta testers who fall into the home, or student category, and are willing to fill out a short survey via the connect website. The survey will ask for basic information about your PC, your OS, and what you currently use for an office suite, nothing overly personal. You will need a free Windows Live account (or Hotmail), and it sounds like they are looking for plenty of volunteers.
People with Office 2007 probably won’t notice much of a difference, but I highly encourage curious users with older versions of Office, as well as Open Office, to give the new ribbon UI a try. It takes some getting used to, but does a pretty good job of exposing functionality that was previously hidden to novice or casual users.
Hit the jump to watch one of the official Office 2010 Movie Teasers.
Call it peer pressure, or call it a dose of common sense, but Microsoft is finally looking to take on the free rivals of its Office application suite. During a presentation at the Morgan Stanley Technology conference, Microsoft Business Division Chief Stephen Elop announced a free / ad supported version which they hope will help combat piracy. According to Elop, “There's an opportunity to draw those pirate customers into the revenue stream. We want to draw them into the Windows family and maybe there's an upsell opportunity later”.
Also in related news, Microsoft Business Software VP Chris Capossela, has also tipped off the Silicon Alley Insider as to the operating system requirements of Office 14, and Windows Vista / 7 will still be optional. The Office and Windows teams now work completely independent of each other, and I’m sure the Office guys are simply hoping to avoid the depressing Halo effect that requiring a new operating system can have on sales. With Office 14 delayed until sometime in 2010, will this give businesses even more reasons to stick with XP? If the productivity software these companies rely on still works just as well in a legacy operating systems, do companies have enough incentive to move to Windows 7? Corporate IT professionals are typically big fans of the status quo, and are usually against operating system migrations unless they can prove the value.
So will this slow down business adoption of Windows 7? And if you would be willing to use an ad supported version of Office 14? Let us know what you think.
You have to admit, Windows is a pretty barebones operating system, feature-wise. After a fresh install of XP or Vista (perhaps following a Clean Start), you're faced with a barren Start Menu and an empty desktop that's beaming with limitless potential. The problem is that it's up to you to hunt and download those applications that you really need in your day-to-day computing experience. And chances are, it's often difficult to find good software that's also free. That's where this guide comes in.
We've put together a list of what we think are the most essential PC apps for every Maximum PC reader. These are all free programs (except one) that should be immediately installed after a fresh build or reformat; 32 indispensable programs and utilities that we couldn't imagine computing without. From the best IM client to FTP browser and Notepad replacement, these essentials truly enhance the Windows experience (much more so than Microsoft's own Windows LIVE Essentials). We're not saying you'd use all 32 entries in our list on a daily basis, but if you are at all serious about utilizing your PC, we promise our picks will not go unused.
And at the end of the feature, we'll even show you how to install these apps in one fell swoop with a special configuration file we've created. Because if it were up to us, this is software that should be bundled with every copy of Windows.
Having trouble staying productive at work or home? Tired of feeling like you're staring at the screen and accomplishing absolutely nothing? Want to speed up your file transfers? Protect your surfing habits? Synchronize your files across your PCs and Macs? These are all themes we're going to explore in this week's freeware and open-source software roundup. Were there an official title for this week's grab-bag of programs, it would be that: The Hodgepodge Edition. But when you drill down and consider what each program brings to the party, a picture starts to emerge. These applications are designed to enhance your productivity. We've explored this subject before, so feel free to check out our earlier recommendations for making the most of the time you spend at your PC.
Free up some space on your hard drive and get clicking--time's a-wasting!
Open Office has been around in one form or another for over nine years now. But the once little known productivity suite known back then as StarOffice has evolved considerably over the years. Today the Sun Microsystems freebee is admittedly a fairly full featured alternative to Microsoft Office. Open Office in fact has become so useful that Maximum PC Editor and Chief Will Smith has admitted its open source charm (and free price tag) has finally won over his home PC for casual word processing. Fans of the platform have another reason to get excited these days with the impending launch of version 3.0. The new version will further improve compatibility when working with Microsoft Office files and will include additional support for the open file format OpenDocument which is to be integrated into Office 2007. For those looking to give version 3 a try, a public beta is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. But for corporate users looking to implement Open Office you should follow the links instead to the version named StarOffice. The retail version will cost you about $69.95, but it includes technical support and intellectual property indemnification. For those keeping track Open Office 2 launched on October 20th 2005 and the latest stable version is 2.4.1 which was released in June.
I ran across a site that’s selling something called Opal Office. The site, OfficeBestDeal.com, says the suite is compatible with Microsoft Office, but in reality it’s just OpenOffice! You can find that out when you open the program and it says on the first line of text, “OpenOffice.” Apparently, they’re charging $11.95 for it. Is this even legal?
— Marion Randall
Good question, Marion! Answer, as always, lies after the jump.
The University of Washington has developed a new tool called WebAnywhere that allows the blind and visually impaired surf the Web on the go. It turns screen-reading into an Internet service that reads aloud Web text on any computer with speakers or headphone connections. For the past month that WebAnywhere has been available, Bigham, has received inquiries from librarians and teachers who struggle to find the time to locate free software, get permission to install it and then maintain the program. They plan to continue to update the program and make improvements.