Microsoft makes Windows, a closed source platform. Suse builds open source Linux distros aimed at enterprise users. On the surface, these two would appear the unlikely couple, but the two companies just renewed a pact dating back to 2006 that has Microsoft purchasing and reselling Suse licenses. As part of the four-year contract extension, Microsoft has agreed to invest $100 million in new Suse Linux Enterprise certificates for Microsoft enterprise customers receiving Linux support from Suse.
AMD set out to squash recent rumors suggesting the chip maker was interested in licensing ARM technology for use in tablets and other mobile devices. John Taylor, director of client product and software marketing at AMD, made it clear than an ARM license isn't in AMD's cards, and that his company is more than content to develop its own computer chips based on the x86 architecture for mobile devices.
LG Electronics is looking to be on the move and has turned to ARM to help get them going. A new licensing agreement between the two firms provides LG with access to ARM's Cortex A15 and A9 processors, as well as ARM's Mali T604 GPU and CoreLink interconnect and system IP. Look for LG to use these parts in a whole host of devices, including digital TVs, set-top boxes, smartphones, tablet PCs, and smart grids.
Denver-based patent pool outfit MPEG LA, which licenses the H.264 codec, has called upon holders of “patents essential to the VP8 video codec” to join the VP8 patent pool it’s trying to assemble. As some of you might recall, MPEG LA has time and again questioned VP8’s royalty freeness, all along threatening a VP8 patent pool. I guess you are familiar with the "hit the jump" routine.
Microsoft re-introduced Windows 7 Family Pack in October to coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of the operating system. If you don’t already know, the family pack gives you three upgrade licenses of Windows 7 Home Premium for $149.99, when a single upgrade license alone costs $119.99. But if that sounds like a great deal to you, just wait till we tell you about the limited-time discount Dell is offering on the family pack. The family pack is available for $119.99 – three upgrades for the price of one – from Dell’s online store. However, only when you add Windows 7 Family Pack to your cart does the discount reveal itself.
It’s not very often that one sees one’s life posted on one of the larger news/technology aggregates/communities/linkdumps on the web. But there I sat the other day, idly browsing the web the other day, when up came a chat window from Future US co-star Andy Salisbury. Andy, as it turns out, had stumbled across a rather interesting picture in Reddit’s submission queue and was curious to know if I had any further details to share.
I clicked the link without really thinking much about what could lie beneath. And you can thus imagine my surprise in discovering that I was basically staring at the back of my car. Yes, my car. Somebody had taken a picture of my (extremely clever and/or witty) license plate and uploaded it for the world to see. The votes on Reddit were slowly a-climbing and, based on a quick scan of the third-party that was actually hosting the image in question, roughly 10,000 people or so had already checked out my car’s butt.
According to reports, Microsoft has quietly cut the number of product keys it hands out to TechNet subscribers from 10 to a maximum of five. Because this happened on the down low, some subscribers were caught off guard, including some of Microsoft's own employees, some of which told customers it was a bug in the system.
Long-term subscribers aren't affected as much, as they get to keep their current keys.
"We did not take away any keys. Just the amount of keys available 'ad hoc' via the portal has been reduced, all previously claimed keys are still available," Microsoft said. "The reduction is due to an updated anti-piracy policy. More information will be made available for all customers soon."
With the new policy in place, TechNet Professional ($349/year, $249 renewal) subscribers will have access to a maximum of five product keys, while TechNet Standard ($199/year, $149 renewal) subscribers get two. Those product keys can be used on full product titles, like Office 2010 and Windows 7, "licensed for evaluation purposes only -- not for use in production environments." In other words, you're good to use them at home for personal use, but not at work.
Chips based on this new multi-core design will be able to run at speeds of up to 2.5GHz. Performance-wise, the Cortex-A15 MPCore is said to be five times better than contemporary smartphone processors. The Cortex-A15 MPCore processor is now available for licensing to “and is targeted at manufacture in 32nm, 28nm and future geometries,” ARM announced on Wednesday.
“The launch of the Cortex-A15 MPCore processor marks the beginning of an entirely new era for the ARM Partnership. It brings together more than 20 years of ARM expertise in low-power design with a host of new and very aggressive high-performance technologies,” said Mike Inglis, EVP and GM, Processor Division, ARM.
The first batch of products featuring chips based on the A15 architecture aren't expected to come out before the end of 2012.
Texas Instruments (TI) says it will be the first company to license ARM's next-generation Cortex-A series processor core, currently known as "Eagle." In addition, TI is helping to define the upcoming part, which will be announced sometime later this year.
"Our position as ARM's advanced lead partner for its next-generation Cortex-A series processor core underscores TI's unwavering commitment to helping customers achieve success in the competitive mobile world," TI said. 'Our customers will be the first to leverage the new ARM processor core's far-reaching innovations via our industry-leading OMAP products."
According to earlier reports, Eagle will come comprised of a multi-core chip with "high-end" graphics and relatively low power usage thanks to Global Foundries 28nm manufacturing process. This, along with two other iterations, will provide the foundation for future mobile devices.
Tom Halfhill, formerly a senior editor for Byte magazine and now an analyst for Microprocessor Report, wrote in an interesting piece (as he always does) in the currently shipping August issue of Maximum PC magazine (perhaps you've heard of this rag?) on how Apple's iPad is doing Intel a favor. Halfhill argues that even though Apple snubbed x86 in favor of ARM's architecture for its iPad, the iPad will generate demand for low-power x86 chipsets.
"Intel is trying to push x86 processors into cell phones, where ARM's lower-power processors reign supreme," Halfhill writes. "Intel's latest attempt is an Atom-based chipset code-named Moorestown... Moorestown will be an ARM-breaker for high-end smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices."
Halfhill brings up some excellent points, which makes today's announcement that Microsoft has signed a new agreement to license technology for the ARM processor architecture all the more interesting.
Hit the jump to find out what this means for Microsoft, ARM, and Intel.