It's not too often that you see giant pastries requiring two or more people just to the lift the thing being delivered to a company, but when that company is Google, well, it's a safe bet another Android release is on the way.
To quickly recap, the Android 1.5 update carried the codename Cupcake, Android 1.6 (which still isn't out yet) is referred to as Donut, and Eclair looks to be the codename for Android 2.0.
The ginormous pastry was caught on video being delivered to Google's lawn, right next to the oversized cupcake. Maybe Google just has a thng for sweets and felt an eclair would complete its landscaping motif, but we're willing to bet developers will be getting their hands on the next version of Android very shortly.
Holy dual-platforming netbooks, Batman, have you seen Acer's revamped Aspire One D250? The netbook has developed a split personality since we last saw it and now rolls with both Google's open-source Android OS and Microsoft's closed-source Windows 7 software in 32-bit form.
But this isn't your typical dual-booting setup. To load Windows 7, you must first fire up Android and poke around the OS's slide-out menu to select "Switch OS." Jim Wong, Acer's Senior Corporate VP, downplayed the additional step, noting that Android gives users "instant on" functionality. And judging by the YouTube clip, he's right - following the POST screen, Android appears to boot in under 10 seconds.
Acer's dual-boot strategy is a continuation of the company's previous plan to ship a combo Android/WinXP ultraportable. Acer's original stance was that Android hadn't matured to the point where it would be a suitable OS for netbooks, at least in standalone form, and that a dual-boot solution would carry less risk than an Android-only netbook. There's probably some truth to that, considering XP-based netbooks remain a much more popular choice than ones running Linux.
The downside to dual-booting is that Acer still has to factor in the cost of a Windows 7 license, so it seems pointless to toss an open-source OS into the fray without the benefity of a cost reduction. But Acer might be on to something by using Android as essentially a Splashtop replacement, which would count as an extra feature for those who planned on purchased a Windows 7-based netbook anyway.
What do you think about Acer's dual-OS netbook? Hit the jump and sound off!
If you think you're excited about the launch of Windows 7, you should check out Toshiba, who today announced a boatload of laptops ready for the OS's release.
Running the gamut from netbooks to full-blown desktop replacements, the lowest model in Toshiba's upcoming totem pole includes the 10.1-inch NB200 netbook series. For $400, you'll find a typical spec sheet consisting of an Intel Atom N280 processor, 1GB of DDR RAM a 160GB hard drive, and other decidedly netbookish specs.
Further up the pricing ladder is Toshiba's Satellite A500 series, which will sport a 16-inch HD screen. Underneath the hood, users will have a choice between an Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Turion II Ultra foundation. Pricing starts at $590.
Towards the top sits the Satellite P500 series. These laptops will come with an 18.4-inch HD screen and also give users a choice between an Intel or AMD processor. Some models will also include a Blu-ray player and illuminating LED backlit keyboard.
And then there's the Qosmio X500 desktop replacement laptop, which will be available in two configurations. One will come with an 18.4-inch HD screen, 320GB hard drive spinning at 7200RPM, and 4GB of memory, while the other will boast two hard drives and a 64GB SSD, along with 6GB of memory. Pricing will start at $1,450 and $1,900 respectively.
Toshiba has plenty of other models on tap for an October 22nd launch, and so will everyone else. Stay tuned!
Not that it probably needs it at this point, but the marketing blitz for Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system continues, taking a turn for the unexpected. The Redmond company has signed a deal with Fox to sponsor a variety show produced by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, who also plays the voice of Peter Griffin, among others, and actress Alex Borstein, who voices Lois Griffin.
The MS-sponsored variety show -- currently called "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" -- mixes live action "Family Guy" musical performance, animated shorts, and celebrity guest appearances. And a healthy does of Windows 7 references.
"You'll see us deeply integrated into the content. You'll hear a lot about how Windows 7 can help you simplify your PC -- it's simple, fast, and easy to use," said Gayle Troberman, general manger of consumer engagement and advertising at Microsoft. "We'll be evoking the cast of "Family Guy" in some interesting ways that integrate the product messages."
The show will air November 8 without commercial interruption.
Following the launch of Windows 7 next week, if Microsoft's upcoming OS can avoid deleting user data, it will have bragging rights over Apple's recently released Snow Leopard. That's because Snow Leopard users have been reporting lost data due to a bug in the OS.
According to the complaints, the problem crops up when a user logs into the Guest account, whether on purpose or by accident. Once the user logs out and then back into their regular one, users are greeted with a fully reset account where all the data has been eradicated, just as if they had created a new one.
Users initially reported that the data was unrecoverable, but Cnet published steps on how to restore the files from a Time Machine backup to a new, identical user profile, although the method can take over two hours to complete, Neowin.net reports.
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 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.
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!
Google's open source Android platform will turn one year old later this month, and according to Gartner, the OS is about to hit a major growth spurt. While Android can be found on less than 2 percent of all smartphones today, Gartner predicts a seven-fold increase in global Android-based handsets by 2012.
That would put Android in second place, trailing only the Symbian OS, which today accounts for nearly half of all smartphones but is expected to drop to 39 percent in 2010, Gartner says.
Gartner acknowledges that T-Mobile's G1 -- the first Android-based smartphone -- was met with a mixed response among consumers, but the research firm believes Google's continued backing of Android and its focus on cloud computing capabilities will propel the platform to 14 percent of the smartphone market in just a couple of years.
"Google's other up-and-coming consumer and enterprise products should make [Android] a dominant platform," Ken Dulaney, VP of Gartner Research, told ComputerWorld in an interview.
Dulaney also predicts that there could be as many as 40 models of Android devices shipping in 2010.
By all indications, Windows 7 will be met with a much warmer reception than Vista was at launch, and the Redmond company has already started certifying PCs as "compatible with Windows 7." The logo will appear on machines that "have passed Microsoft designed tests for compatibility and reliability with Windows 7," but can consumers really trust this to be true after the Vista-capable fiasco?
According to court documents, Microsoft bowed to pressure from Intel and lowered requirements for its Vista Capable stickers at the last minute so that the chip maker's 915 chipset could be included. Consumers balked when they found out that some machines bearing Vista's logo were only powerful enough to run Vista Home Basic, which had been stripped of many of the features found on other versions of Vista.
Rest assured, Microsoft seems to have learned its lesson and has no intention of repeating the same mistake. In order to qualify for a Windows 7 sticker, the PC or gadget in question must "work with all versions of Windows 7," and that includes 64-bit versions, not just 32-bit. So say you purchase a machine bearing the Windows 7 logo and later decide to upgrade from Windows 7 Starter 32-bit to Ultimate 64-bit, you'll be able to do so, according to Microsoft's certification requirements.
The software giant also says that logo'd machines are checked for common issues and are less likely to crash, hang, or reboot unexpectedly.