An interesting Microsoft product roadmap has turned up. The document shows the year 2012 as the tentative timeframe for a “major release” code named Windows 8. This would put it at about three years out from the release of Windows 7. The interval between Vista and Win 7 was also three years. This could signal a new regular release cycle for Microsoft. No indication if the “code name” will stick, or if Redmond will decide to change naming schemes once again.
Vista was pushed back three years from its original release date after much of the code was scrapped. If this image is to be believed, Microsoft is confident in its ability to avoid such delays again. The timeframe fits with previous rumors we’ve heard, so there’s no reason to be overly skeptical.
Is the three year plan reasonable? We’ll have to wait and see what Microsoft can cook up in another three years.
If you run a Windows Home Server, you can look forward to November 24th when Microsoft will be releasing Home Server Power Pack 3. It will be pushed out to all current users via Windows Update. While it is a somewhat major update, it will install automatically if you have Windows Update configured to install patches itself.
Power Pack 3 makes a number of improvements to the system. Users can expect Windows 7 enhancements relating to backup and restore of Windows 7 PCs, Windows 7 Libraries integration, enhancements for Windows 7 Media Center. There will also be better support for netbook computers.
Most of the upgrades seem to Windows 7 related, but some improvements to TV recording are there as well. Recorded TV can be automatically archived on Home Server Power Pack 3. Microsoft is also including an improved console view. Overall, it looks to be a nice update. Let us know how it goes when you get it.
Its latest operating system has helped the company obscure the spectre of Vista's failure. A couple of NPD reports published during the past fortnight indicate that Windows 7 has so far surpassed Vista in terms of sales, revenue, and adoption rate.
One shareholder apparently became the face of moderation for a bit during the meeting when he questioned Ballmer about Apple's huge popularity with the younger generation. Ballmer admitted that there is some room for improvement. But on the whole, he seemed satisfied with the fact that Windows is by far the most popular OS in the world.
Google pulled the wraps off of Chrome OS today, and while there isn't a general availability announcement today, they spoke briefly about the Chrome browser (Linux and Mac versions due this year, along with support for extensions) before diving into the nascent OS. You can expect to see Chrome ship in about a year, and showed the first glimpses of the new OS, details about the architecture, the hardware it will run on, and gave us the first hints about what the Google Cloud OS will really look like.
Here's why Chrome OS won't be replacing Windows anytime soon.
This morning, Google gave the first public demonstration of the Chrome OS they announced earlier this year. We'll have a full recap of the presentation later today, but Google has also released a 3 minute video explaining the basics of their netbook-targeted operating system. The basics: Chrome OS is Chrome web browser, built on top of a Linux kernel, which only runs web apps (ie. primarily used when you're connected to the internet). And it's being designed with specific hardware specs in mind.
With the release of its latest OS, Microsoft appears to have put security at the forefront of the design phase. So much so that the National Security Agency (NSA) had a hand in helping the software maker lock down its operating system, a senior NSA official said on Tuesday.
"Working in partnership with Microsoft and [the Department of Defense], NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide without constraining the user's ability to perform their everyday tasks," Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's Information Assurance Director, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a statement prepared for a hearing held in Washington. "All this was done in coordination with the product release, not months or years later in the product cycle."
The NSA and Microsoft working together is not exactly a new venture. Back in 2007, NSA officials confirmed they had also lent a hand during the development of VIsta, but the collaboration goes even further back. In 2005, the NSA and other government agencies assisted Microsoft in securing Windows XP and other programs.
Of course, the NSA is probably best known for its electronic eavesdropping operations, and we can't wait to see what the conspiracy theorists have to say about the organization's involvement with Windows.
It’s been just over a year since Android was released, and we’re finally seeing the floodgates open. There are currently no fewer than 12 Android phones available and still more coming soon. While this may make Android fans out there giddy with excitement, it’s not so thrilling for app developers.
There are 3 versions on Android in the wild: 2.0, 1.6, and 1.5. Developers increasingly find themselves devoting time to patching incompatibilities with new Android handsets. “Instead of working on updates to our apps, we find we are trying to make each app work for multiple versions of the OS and different hardware capabilities,” said Froogloid’s Chris Fagan.
The modifications some manufacturers are making to Android complicate things even further. The recent;y released HTC Hero, for example, was incompatible with Froogloid’s application ‘a2b’. When a2b attempted to enable GPS using standard commands, the Hero would instead respond by presenting the lock screen. The new Motorola Droid also had a few incompatibilities due to the high screen resolution and new Android 2.0 APIs.
Can Android overcome this fragmentation? The solution may be to keep phones more uniformly updated. But that requires better cooperation between hardware partners and Google. Only time will tell if Android’s ecosystem can continue to grow more robust despite these challenges.
It looks like those rumors about the impending release of Google’s Chrome OS weren’t all smoke and mirrors. Google is planning to hold a Chrome OS event at its Mountain View headquarters this Thursday. Apparently Google will be giving some technical background, as well as showing some demos of the OS in action.
Google Senior VP of Product Management, Sundar Pichai, and Google Engineering Director, Matthew Papakipos will be speaking at the show. There will also be a Q&A after the event. No word on possible developer preview access though.
Chrome OS was just announced in July, so the fact that Google is already prepared to give a complete overview is impressive. There have been a few leaks of possible browser UI designs, but now we’ll get to see what form the whole OS will take. Are your hopes high for this operating system? Feel free to share any predictions in the comments.
At long last, Google has finally released the source code for Android 2.0 (codenamed Eclair). Motorola's Droid is the only smartphone currently shipping that's built around the latest version, but now that Eclair's out in the wild, expect to see plenty more handset makers jump on board.
The release is also great news for the Android modding community, many of which have been eagerly awaiting the update. Modding guru Steve Kondik, otherwise popularly known as "Cyanogen," stated in a Twitter message that he's already gotten Eclair to run on his HTC G1 smartphone, noting that "it runs really well, fast, and smooth. Audio and video not working yet, though."
So what's the big deal? Android 2.0 is the most significant update to Google's open source platform to date. Just a few of the added features include native Exchange support, search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages, more camera options (built-in flash, digital zoom, white balance, and so forth), an improved virtual keyboard, multi-touch support, and more. This could be the OS that finally gives Apple's iPhone OS a run for its money.
Apple didn't just win its case against Psystar, it demolished the "open computer" vendor whose Mac clones triggered a legal battle over whether or not the hackintoshes violated Mac OS X's EULA. According to Judge William Alsup, it most certainly does. In fact, the judge ruled in Apple's favor on every count brought to the court's attention, although the biggest focus was on copyright.
"Psystar's use of Mac OS X has been in excess and has violated Apple's copyrights," the judge wrote at one point in his 16-page order.
According to Groklaw, there are still issues that remain for trial, including allegations of breach of contract, induced breach of contract, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, trade dress infringement, and state unfair competition under California Business and Professions. In other words, the best case scenario for Psystar at this point is that it will be held liable for damages on Apple's copyright claims, but with its primary defense now seemingly dismantled, the company appears to be in a world of hurt. Or as Groklaw puts it, "Psystar is toast."