If you're on the Microsoft Connect testing list for Windows Vista SP2 or Windows Server 2008 SP2, Redmond has just rung the "come and get it" bell - SP2 RC (the same package upgrades both Vista SP1 and Windows Server) was released to MS Connect testers yesterday, Ars Technicareports.
So, what's special about SP2 RC? Some highlights include:
Support for VIA's 64-bit CPU
Integration of the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, including support for Bluetooth 2.1
Support for writing to Blu-ray media
Integration of Windows Search 4.0
Better and more secure installation experience
Over 690 hotfixes
If you're not among the fortunate few testing Vista SP2 RC, what should you be doing until you can try it? For our suggestions, as well as an early comparison with Vista RC1 (not to mention your chance to sound off), join us after the jump.
If your company releases a browser, you’d hope that your own website would work using said browser, wouldn’t you? Well, it looks like Microsoft has managed to somehow mess that up, with their very own site (among others) on IE8’s incompatibility list.
Among the broken sites are bigs such as Google.com, Yahoo.com, Live.com, Wikipedia.org, Flickr.com and many others. A larger list can be found here.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the next update for IE8 is a big one.
After purchasing a Lenovo PC preloaded with Microsoft's Windows Vista, Emma Alvarado was shocked to learn she would have to pay $59.25 in order to downgrade to Windows XP. She's now taking the matter to court and has a filed a lawsuit against Microsoft.
"Microsoft has used its market power to take advantage of consumer demand for the Windows XP operating system by requiring consumers to purchase computers preinstalled with the Vista operating system and to pay additional sums to 'downgrade' to the Windows XP operating system," the suit alleges.
The suit is an interesting one, though probably an uphill battle for Alvrado to convince a judge that Microsoft is in the wrong. The software maker had originally intended for XP to go the way of the dodo bird at the end of June in 2008, but has since offered more than one stay of execution due to consumer demand. Both Vista Business and Ultimate come with downgrade rights, but it's up to the OEMs to decide if they want to offer it as an option, and if so, for how much. Pricing varies by OEM, which might make Alvarado's claim that Microsoft extended its XP cutoff date because of "tremendous profits" hard to prove in court.
Does Alvarado have a case? Hit the jump and give us your verdict.
Microsoft Internet Explorer is steadily losing ground to other browsers, though there is no immediate threat to its crown. However, Microsoft would be hoping to stymie the slide with Internet Explorer 8.
All eyes are now set on the release of the finished product after a public RC (release candidate) was released on January 26th, 2009.
IE8 comes with the promise of greater performance and reliability. Some of its key features include visual search suggestions, private browsing, accelerators, web slices and monetization opportunities (for OEMs).
Cnet's Matt Asay reports that Microsoft has decided to set up an interoperability alliance with Red Hat. In enterprise computing, virtualization is the name of the game, and virtualization is what this alliance is all about. Whether you're running Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies, Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Microsoft Hyper-V server, the interoperability agreement will enable Red Hat or Microsoft guest operating systems to run on any of these virtualization platforms and get technical support. For details, see the Red Hat website or the Microsoft TechNet blog announcement.
It will take time for Red Hat and Microsoft to validate server platforms for interoperability, and valid software support contracts are required. The best news for those of us who support enterprise-level virtualized platforms on Red Hat or Microsoft? No more finger-pointing, so you can spend your evenings winning your favorite frag-fest instead of playing pass-the-buck with operating system support staffs.
If you're Intel, you have to be ecstatic at the recent trend towards owning a netbook. At a time when many tech companies are posting big losses, the surprising success of netbooks is helping Intel to weather the storm through sales of its Atom processor. But if you're Microsoft, the mood might be decidedly different, even if the company isn't letting on.
On one hand, Microsoft should be thrilled to see more PCs end up in the hands of end users, but that only applies if they come equipped with a Windows-based operating system. And while many netbooks now come configured with Windows XP, Linux is much more prevalent on netbooks than it is on notebooks, which is the result of both underpowered hardware and a desire to keep costs low.
The bad news for Microsoft is that the trend towards netbooks doesn't look to be letting up any time soon. Recent IDC figures show that if you take Atom processor sales out of the equation, total PC shipments are down almost 22 percent. As netbooks continue to sell, that means more users are becoming familiar with Linux, and at a time when Linux is far more user friendly than even one or two years ago.
Computerworldreports that HP will offer not only Windows 7 Professional and Home Premium SKUs on its netbooks, but also the stripped-down (three apps open at a time) Windows 7 Starter edition. Making Starter available in all markets is a departure for Microsoft, which has offered Windows XP and Windows Vista Starter editions only in developing countries.
As we reported earlier this month, Windows 7, unlike Windows Vista, is designed to run on everything from netbooks to the most powerful desktop and laptop PCs on the market. Although HP isn't the first company to announce it would be running Windows 7 on netbooks (ASUS beat them to the punch back in October), HP's decision provides more backing for Microsoft's claim that Windows 7 covers all the modern PC bases. So, how about you? What's the lowest-performance platform you've used for installing Windows 7 Beta? Were you satisfied with the performance, or not? Join us after the jump for your chance to share your Windows 7 Beta on netbook or low-end PC platforms war stories.
When you consider the complexity of modern day web pages, it’s actually a bit of a miracle that search engines work as well as they do. Dealing with duplicate links, especially off pages such as Amazon that may promote an individual product a thousand times or more has always been a challenge. Finally, after years of debate, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are putting the past behind them to solve this age old issue. The solution is a simple tag that will be added to the standard link format called “canonical”.
The tag is designed to solve issues associated with multiple URL’s pointing to the same page, but may also be helpful when multiple versions of a page exist. Currently, the search engines employ a process that looks at the structure of URL’s to look for similarities. This generally works pretty well, but is far from perfect. It is considered to be somewhat rare for search engines to come together on any issue, but it isn’t unprecedented. In 2006 they joined forces to put unanimous support behind sitemaps.org, and in June of 2008 they jointly announced new standards for the robots.txt directive. Matt Cutts of Google and Nathan Buggia of Microsoft claim this new approach should help reduce the clutter on the web, and improve the accuracy of all search engines.
Even though these tags won’t completely solve all the duplicate problems found on the web, it should significantly enhance the indexing performance of search engines, particularly on e-commerce sites. The new tags will be discussed in depth at this year’s Ask the Search Engines panel at SMX West.
It looks like everyone’s favorite online DVD rental service has seen 6 percent growth in just one month, and they’re now boasting over 10 million subscribers.
While many of these subscribers remain the average, web-queue using type, a significant portion of the newcomers are thanks to Xbox Live. To date, over one million people have downloaded the Xbox Live client, allowing the online streaming service to take huge prescient, and bringing in a mighty profit.
This number is expected to grow from here to 10.1-10.3 million subscribers by the end of Q1 of this year, and all the way up to 10.6-11.3 million by the end of this fiscal year.