Apple Insider has also found its anonymous knight in stealthy armor. It identified its source as a Microsoft/Danger insider. For those of you who don’t know, Danger is the company that developed the T-Mobile Sidekick before being bought by Microsoft for $500 million in 2008. Danger is rumored to have been converted into “Pink”.
The insider source echoed the claims made by MobileCrunch’s source. But then the anonymous-source ego came into the picture and he made a desperate attempt to prove his superioriy as the more conscientious anonymous source of the two. He believes that the person who originally spilled the beans is clearly a “disgruntled former or current employee.”
“I have my share of disgruntlement about the situation, but it never occurred to me to do something like that. This is actually the worst possible timing for Microsoft for this information to come out (on the heels of the awful reviews of WM 6.5), and I suspect that it has already caused irreparable damage to their relationships with a number of key partners, to which I say, 'Bravo, leaker, well played.' Now allow me to twist the knife...,” he said. He is quite certain that Microsoft had intentionally leaked photos of “Pure” and “Turtle” – the two Pink phones.
But the move seems to have backfired as the tepid response to the leaks seems to have given Microsoft cold feet. I hope you are in the vicinity of a few grains of salt.
First, Brin argues that information unavailable is information wasted. Brin writes that “the vast majority of books ever written are not accessible to anyone except the most tenacious researchers at premier academic libraries. Books written after 1923 quickly disappear into a literary black hole.” Information, such as the 1919 issue of the journal Electrical World’s assessment of the state of electric cars, doesn’t really exist. Digitization can correct that.
Second, paper is temporal. Books are continually being lost to age, improper care, and disasters. Libraries are forever burning: Alexandria, the Library of Congress, and even Stanford University's own libraries. When books burn so to does the collective human wisdom they represent. Digitizing books saves them and the knowledge they contain.
Third, authors are cheated by Google’s project. Brin states this is not so, that authors are able to control the pricing and access of their works in Google Books. And that “orphaned” books will be subject to default rules on pricing and access, accumulating revenues should their authors reappear.
Lastly, Brin tackles the question of competition. Some argue that Google’s efforts would lock others out of the market, effectively creating a Google-controlled monopoly. Not so says Brin because at present no one else wants to do what Google is doing. And, should someone wish to enter the market at a later time they would be free to do so; Google would be unable to prevent it.
We can't imagine anticipation running any higher for the imminent release of Windows 7 than it already is -- anyone hosting or attending a launch party? -- and rightfully so, given that the OS seemingly combines the best of XP and Vista while getting rid of most of the negatives. However, don't expect Windows 7 to save a struggling PC market from sluggish sales.
So says Steve Ballmer, who during a news conference in Munic, Germany, downplayed the role of Windows 7 in any PC sales increase that may follow.
"There will be a surge of PCs but it will probably not be huge," Ballmer told the audience, according to Reuters. Ballmer also went on to suggest that the ailing tech sector would take some time to rebound into old form.
Ballmer could be playing the karma card, as he seems intent on tempering expectations for Windows 7, while at the same time he and Microsoft's marketing gurus have entered a massive campaign to promote the upcoming OS. Amid all the hoopla, Microsoft even offered a 90-day trial of Windows 7 to enterprise users in an attempt to entice them into upgrading.
Then again, who knows what goes on in Ballmer's head - see here.
It's hard to argue with the success of Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, which has prompted competition running the gamut from Asus and MSI, to startups looking to cash in on the rapidly growing market. But one company Amazon apparently needn't worry about is Microsoft.
"We have a device for reading. It's the most popular device in the world. It's the PC," Microsoft's Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Thursday.
Er, what? But Ballmer wasn't joking and went on to say that Microsoft would be willing to work with Amazon to port more books over to the PC.
"I would love to see companies like Amazon and others bring their books to the PC," Ballmer said. "Hopefully, we can get that to happen with Barnes & Noble or Amazon or somebody. But no, we are not interested in e-readers ourselves."
Microsoft might not be interested in e-readers, but consumers are. Portable readers are expected to do particularly well this holiday shopping season, and Industry research firm Forrester this week raised its forecast for e-reader sales by 50 percent to 3 million units.
It's a good thing most of use have long since moved on from dial-up, because come Tuesday, Microsoft said it will send out its largest-ever number of security updates to fix and plug holes in every version of Windows, including the first update for Windows 7 RTM. Internet Explorer, Office, SQL Server, Forefront Security client, and some developer tools will also be in the mix.
"Thirteen is not a lucky number," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security, in response to the monster update scheduled for October 13. "They've been a busy bunch at Microsoft, that's for sure."
Microsoft will ship 13 updates in all next week, eight of them considered critical. That's enough to break the record of 12 updates shipped in February 2007 and October 2008.
Five of the updates will affect Windows 7, even though the OS has yet to formally launch. However, enterprises with volume licenses, party hosts, and others have been able to obtain and run the finalized the OS for awhile now.
If you buy a Windows 7 PC in the future, you might not be getting that copy of Microsoft Works nobody uses. Instead it will come with a completely free version of Office 2010. Oh… Office 2010 Starter Edition, that is. It will be a limited functionality version of Office supported by Ads. The nature of the ads was not made clear.
According to Microsoft, the Office Starter Edition will have, “a simple path to upgrade to a fully featured version of Office 2010 directly from within the product.” This is probably an effort to get customers used to Office features in the hopes that they will purchase the full version. Microsoft will have to walk a fine line to make the ads annoying enough that people will want to get rid of them, but not so annoying that they don’t even use Office.
The new PCs will already have the full version of Office 2010 installed on the hard drive. Customers will simply have to purchase a card from a retailer with the unlock code. The card will apparently be sold through some “major electronic retail outlets”. Microsoft hasn’t detailed which OEMs would be installing the Office Starter Edition software. Try to contain yourself waiting for this one.
Just how much could billions of bite-sized snapshots of everyday life be worth? Twitter is hoping a whole heck of a lot, according to Kara Swisher of All Things Digital. Twitter is engaged in serious discussions with both Microsoft and Google to data-mine the billions of tweets submitted by Twitter’s 54 million monthly users. Twitter is looking to score some big-time up-front cash in these deals, as well as some back-side money through revenue-sharing on search results.
Data-mining, which involves a little sleight-of-hand, involves tossing together a bunch of information and “mining” it for patterns that predict behaviors or preferences. It is widely used, we are told, to make for better consumer experiences. More often it’s used to sell us something.
The data Twitter controls is especially valuable, consisting of real-time and content-sharing information. This data would be used by Microsoft and Google to enhance the findings of their respective search engines. Basically, your tweets will be used by Twitter, Microsoft and Google to make a ‘better’ product, from which each of them will make more money. In return you get a ‘better’ user experience.
Uh oh, Windows 7 might not trump Vista across the board after all. According to PC tune-up software company Iolo Technologies, the OS of the hour takes longer to boot than Vista in most cases, no matter what you might have heard.
Iolo claims its lab unit found that a new machine installed with Windows 7 takes a minute and 34 seconds to fully load. Vista, on the other hand, takes a minute and 6 seconds, the company said. This isn't a straight boot time into Windows, says Iolo, who records how long it takes each OS to boot into a usable state where "CPU cycles are no longer significantly high and a true idle state is achieved."
Further crashing the Windows 7 party, Iolo says the situation becomes more dramatic over time. On a three-month old machine, Windows 7 took 2 minutes and 34 seconds to boot in Iolo's lab, or a minute longer than when first installed.
Have you noticed any boot-up sluggishness with Windows 7? Hit the jump and let us know!
As we know, the successor to Windows 7 may already be in development. What we didn’t know is that Microsoft may be considering making a 128-bit version of the OS. It was suspected that Windows 7 would be the last version of Windows to ship a 32-bit version, but will there still be two different versions, 64 and 128-bit?
The clues came from a LinkedIn profile for one, Robert Morgan, a senior developer at Microsoft. In his profile, Morgan stated he was working on, “projects including 128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan.” There’s certainly no confirmation that Windows 8 will have 128-bit support, but Microsoft could be on the way to that technology. If not Windows 8, then maybe Windows 9.
This is all still very early speculation. We most likely won’t even see Windows 8 until at least 2011, but more likely 2012. We may see more clues in updates to Microsoft’s server products before that. Until then, keep an eye on LinkedIn. Apparently people love divulging details in their profiles.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or choose your own cliche, bearing in mind that Microsoft is considering whether or not to port its Zune software and services to other platforms, most notably to Apple's. Is the sky falling?
"We are evaluating a lot of options in terms of platforms," Jose Pinero, Director of Communications for Microsoft's TV, Video, and Music Business told ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley when asked point blank about the possibility of Zune running on Apple devices. "Zune is a music and video service from Microsoft. Period."
In other words, while Microsoft would like nothing more than to beat iPod in the music player market, that isn't the Zune's focus, which is software-based. And considering the number of users who would be willing to dump iTunes in a heartbeat if it didn't mean giving up their shiny iPods, it makes sense that Microsoft would at least entertain the idea of opening up Zune to the largest install-base of music players.