With Google having opened Android Market to paid apps, users of the fledgling mobile platform are eagerly looking forward to an inevitable rise in the number of apps. Google, on its part, is trying its best to offer more reasons for Android users to exult.
And exult they will on hearing that the Android Market will let users return any application within 24 hours from the time of purchase. Google has stolen a march on Apple’s App Store by espousing an application return policy.
Also, users will be allowed unlimited reinstalls by Google. If any dispute arises - including billing issues - between a user and a developer, the two parties will have to settle it directly as Google is not interested in playing arbitrator. Another thing Google is not interested in is porn. The Android Market policies expressly prohibit “nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material.”
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.
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.
The last thing you want to be told when buying a new car is that you shouldn't be driving it, and likewise, HTC G1 owners can't be geeked to learn that at least one security researcher is advising against using the Android-based phone's web browser.
Security researcher Charlie Miller says a vulnerability in Google Android makes it possible for hackers to remotely take control of the phone's web browser and other related processes. At that point, hackers could then gain access to saved information stored in the browser and spy on a user's online transactions, including encrypted ones.
Interestingly, Miller notified Google of the flaw back on January 21 and a patch was put forth, which the search company has given to T-Mobile. But as of this writing, T-Mobile has yet to deploy the fix.
"The Android Security Team responded by contacting PacketVideo, T-Mobile, and oCERT, a public Computer Emergency Response Team. PacketVideo developed a fix on February 5th, and they patched Open Source Android two days later," writes Rich Cannings, a Google Android security engineer. "oCERT assisted PacketVideo with coordinating the fix, and they published an advisory detailing this issue. We offered the patch to T-Mobile when it became available, and G1 users will be updated at T-Mobile’s discretion."
No word has been given on when T-Mobile expects to push out the patch.
Select Vista owners may be getting a free ride to Windows 7, according to a draft document TechArp claims to have obtained. The document, which TechArp says was handed out to OEM partners on December 10 with a one month deadline to provide feedback, outlines Microsoft's tentatively named "Windows 7 Upgrade Program."
The point of the program is to alleviate the concern from potential PC buyers who may be postponing a purchase in anticipation of Windows 7. As it's being reported, it's a consumer-oriented upgrade program aimed at both individual consumers and small businesses who purchase a Vista-based PC during the unspecified 'Program Eligibility Period.'
To qualify, end users must buy a new PC with Vista pre-installed, and the system must come with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached. The upgrade only apples to Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate flavors, which can then be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate respectively. And finally, Microsoft says the program does not support multiple upgrades for medium, large, or enterprise customers, according to the document.
Keep in mind the above is based on a draft document, and should it become finalized, eligibility requirements and other details could very well change. Stay tuned!
Microsoft seems to have finally taken a cue from its competitors in the cellphone market and is planning to roll out an online marketplace – similar to Apple’s App Store – for the distribution of Windows Mobile applications, according to The Wall Street Journal. The online marketplace will allow developers to directly distribute their applications to Windows Mobile users.
The company is also on the verge of offering a new service called My Phone. It will let users store backups of their Windows Mobile phone’s data on the internet. The company won’t be charging any subscription charges, although iPhone users have to shelve out $99 per year for a similar offering. Other companies are dictating terms to Microsoft in the cellphone market and the company will have to make some changes to turn the tide.
Procrastinators take note, your window of opportunity to beta test Microsoft's next operating system is closing fast. You have until 11:59 PM PST today to begin downloading Windows 7 (from Microsoft, anyway), and will have until 9 AM PST Thursday to finish the download, Microsoft said. It's the general public who are being cut off by tonight's deadline; MSDN and TechNet subscribers will still have access.
If you miss the deadline, you'll have another opportunity when Microsoft releases its next test version of Windows 7, which the software maker says will closely resemble the final release. When that version of Windows 7 will arrive has not yet been announced.
This is also a good time to remind users that Windows Vista beta testers who submitted a legitimate bug report ended up being eligible to receive a free copy of Vista Business or Ultimate. Microsoft has made no mention of doing anything similar for Windows 7 beta testers, so you'll have to decide for yourself how motivated you are to spend some hands-on time with Vista's successor.
In case you missed the earlier stories, MaximumPC readers and many others have been concerned about how easy it was for malware to change UAC levels and subvert the new and allegedly improved User Account Control in Windows 7.
To find out what's changing - and who deserves the credit - join us after the jump.
The Registerreports that there's good news and bad news for the many Windows XP users who took a pass on Windows Vista and decided to wait for Windows 7.
The good news? Windows XP users will be eligible for Windows 7 upgrade pricing.
The bad news? Windows XP users will need to do a clean install of Windows 7.
El Reg quotes a Microsoft rep thus:
I can confirm that customers will be able to purchase upgrade media and an upgrade license to move from Windows XP to Windows 7 - however, they will need to do a clean installation of Windows 7.
This requires the user to back up their data, install Windows 7, re-install the programs and restore their data. For PCs running Windows Vista customers have the option of an in-place upgrade of Windows 7 keeping their data and programs intact or to perform a clean install of Windows 7.
For those of you in the XP to Windows 7 camp, does the need to do a clean install bother you, or were you planning a clean install anyway? Join us after the jump for your chance to be heard.
The time has come for businesses to abandon Windows XP and start using Vista, so says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Failure to do so might result in a discontent work force.
"If you deploy a four or five-year old operating sytem today, most people will ask their boss why the heck they don't have the stuff they have at home," Ballmer said during an interview at a New York City Event.
Whether or not "the stuff they have at home" is Vista or XP, Ballmer has good reason to push the former to business owners. According to the most recent survey results collected by Forrester, Vista is powering slightly less than 10 percent of all PCs within enterprises in North America and Europe.
On the bright side (for Microsoft), Ballmer may not have to do much convincing. Forrester also says that 31 percent of enterprises have begun deploying Vista, even with Windows 7 now on the horizon.