When it comes to handing out fines, the European Commission doesn't mess around. Just last month the EC ____ slapped Intel with a record setting $1.45 billion after finding the chip maker guilty of anticompetitive practices, while in 2004, the EC slammed Microsoft with what today would amount to about a $790 million fine.
The aforementioned incidents no doubt weighing on Microsoft's mind, the software maker will release a version of Windows 7 in Europe with Internet Explorer 8 stripped out.
"To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer," Microsoft said in a memo. "Microsoft will offer IE8 separately and free of charge and will make it easy an convenient for PC manufacturers to preinstall IE8 on Windows 7 machines in Europe if they so choose."
Probably a good move, as European regulators earlier this year warned that bundling a browser in Windows would likely violate European antitrust law.
June 9th saw a rare 'double-header' in security updates: Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday was joined by Adobe's quarterly security updates for Acrobat and Adobe Reader. How big was this month's 10-update Patch Tuesday? According to a Microsoft spokesperson quoted by Cnet, the 31 vulnerabilities covered by updates are "the most since Microsoft started releasing updates on a regular schedule of the second Tuesday of every month in October 2003."
Users of Windows 2000 SP4 through Windows Vista SP2 (and holdouts still running Windows 7 Beta), Microsoft Office 2000, 2003, or 2007; Microsoft Office for MacOS 2004 and 2008, Microsoft Works 8.5 and 9, and IE5.01 through IE8 users have some work to do before heading off on vacation, as do users of Adobe Reader and Acrobat 7.x, 8.x and 9.x. To find out what's being changed - and why - join us after the break.
As the October 22nd release date nears, excitement continues to build over Windows 7. After playing with the beta and, more recently, the Release Candidate (RC), many feel Windows 7 is what Vista should have been all along, including XP stalwarts who skipped the Vista release altogether. Nevertheless, don't expect the new OS to give the PC market a kick in the rump, says Microsoft.
"History would tell us that generally as you ship a Windows release into the market, the bump is very modest," Microsoft senior vice president Bill Veghte said at the UBS Global Technology and Services Conference. "You will see a little bit, but it is modest."
Perhaps a victim of timing, Veghte went on to say that while enthusiasm for Windows 7 runs high on the business side of the fence, "it will get drowned out by the macroeconomic environment."
Veghte also talked about Windows 7's potential impact on the average selling price of Windows, which has gone down as consumers clamor for low-cost netbooks. He said it was hard to tell what impact Windows 7 will have, noting that it probably won't be like it was when XP shipped, and during the beginning of Vista.
If you've been playing around with either the beta or RC of Windows 7, then you know what to expect from Microsoft's upcoming OS. And with the recent announcement, you even know when it will start shipping (October 22, 2009). Now you can add box art to the growing list of details for the new OS.
Various images have been floating around the web for some time now, some of which are now proven accurate. The software maker updated its Windows 7 page in the Microsoft Store to reflect the official box art, which looks like toned down versions of Vista's graphics. The same color scheme applies - green for Home Premium, blue for Professional, and black for Ultimate.
More importantly, pricing information and other details have yet to be announced, but are expected to surface later this month.
Earlier this week, Acer pulled a 180 and announced plans to ship an Android-based netbook after previously saying the open-source OS wasn't ready for netbooks. For the company's next trick, Acer now plans to dual-boot Android with Windows XP.
According to Acer chairman JT Wang, the dual-boot strategy carries less risk than shipping a netbook with Android alone, as consumer response has yet to be determined for the latter. But the company isn't ruling out a standalone Android netbook either. Acer plans to target telecom providers to sell the new netbook, and if there's enough demand, an Android-only model could be in the works.
Not everyone is happy about the decision, however, particularly open-source enthusiasts. It also remains to be seen what kind of consumer reaction there will be, considering the major selling point of an open-source platform is the reduced cost, but that won't be the case with XP tagging along for the ride.
What are your thoughts on a dual-booting netbook? Hit the jump and let us know!
We're not going to start hiding our millions under our mattress (that's right, all bloggers roll in obscene amounts of money and own private jets), but the next time we withdraw a wad of cash, it might be a good idea to skip the ATM and flirt with a real live teller instead. That's because about 20 ATMs, mostly in Eastern Europe, have recently been hacked and are thought to be a testing ground before spreading to other ATMs, including those in the U.S.
"Trustwave's SpiderLabs performed the analysis of malware found installed on compromised ATMs in the Eastern European region," TrustWare said. "This malware captures magnetic stripe data and PIN codes from the private memory space of transaction-processing applications installed on a compromised ATM."
According to the report, the compromised ATMs all ran Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. The malware is installed and activated through a dropper file and once compromised, hackers then have full control over the machine via a customized user interface and accessible by inserting a special controller card into the ATM.
"This malware is unlike any we have ever had experiece with," TrustWare added.
The wait is almost over for staunch XP users who have decided to skip Windows Vista altogether and wait for what's next. That would be Windows 7, and Microsoft this week announced plans to launch its upcoming OS on October 22, a little over five months from now.
"The feedback from the release candidate has been good," said Bill Veghte, Microsoft Senior Vice President, during an interview with CNet.
Windows 7, now in Release Candidate form, has generally been well received by the public who have had a chance to play with the beta versions and now the RC. Those looking to put off buying a copy of Windows 7 will still be able to rock the RC until March 1, 2010, at which point the PC will begin shutting down every two hours. On June 1, 2010, the RC will officially expire.
Getting back to the retail version, Microsoft confirmed it will offer a "technology guarantee," which will give those who buy a Vista-based machined near the launch date a free or discounted version of Windows 7. Microsoft was short on details, but did say that pricing will be up to the OEMs to decide, and that the upgrade program will apply to Vista Home Premium and up.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Acer will start shipping netbooks powered by Google's open-source Android platform in the third quarter of this year. The new netbooks will supplement -- not replace -- Acer's lineup of Windows-based netbooks.
The 180 comes as somewhat of a surprise, as two months ago Acer had stated it didn't believe Andorid was ready to run netbooks.
"For a netbook, you really need to be able to view a full web for the total internet experience," said Jim Wong, head of Acer's IT products and business line. "And Android is not that yet."
Fast forward to today and Wong is singing praise over Android's ability to provide a fast wireless connection to the Internet, which is apparently enough to outweight any cons the company might have previously felt existed.
You've seen the demos of multitouch, and you might even have a PC that supports Windows 7's multitouch, but what can you do with it? If you're in the market for a PC that supports multi-touch, Microsoft is making a multitouch PC even more appealing by announcing its Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.
Microsoft Touch Pack is a product of the collaboration between the Windows and Surface development teams, and as a result, Microsoft Touch Pack includes three Microsoft Surface applications and three casual games. Here's what you get:
Microsoft Surface Globe enables you to navigate the Virtual Earth 3D version of the world by touch, and lets you get local information as you "fly" by particular places.
Microsoft Surface Collage brings one of the original Microsoft Surface "touch and move the photos" demos to life, adding the ability to convert a collage into a desktop background.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon is a multi-touch enabled screensaver - watch fish gather around your "submerged" finger.
Casual gamers can enjoy the Rube Goldbergesque Microsoft Blackboard, a mashup of death rays and air hockey in Microsoft Rebound, and float origami on the water in Microsoft Garden Pond.
To find out who gets their hands on Microsoft Touch Pack first, join us after the jump.
If Google's prediction turns out to be correct, this could very well end up the year of the Android smartphone. According to the search giant, at least 18 mobile phones rocking the open-source OS will be released on the global market before 2010, and maybe as many as 20.
Andy Rubin, senior director for Mobile Platforms for Google, said the devices will be made by eight or nine different manufacturers, but stopped short of saying which manufacturers or which wireless carriers. As it currently stands, there are two Android smartphones on the market - TMobile's G1 in the U.S., and HTC's Magic available in Europe.
The summer looks to sizzle with heated competition in the mobile market. In addition to more Android phones, other contenders include the new Palm OS for the Pre, a new version of Microsoft's mobile version of Windows, and of course Apple's iPhone.