A FAQ document on the site clearly states that “Service Pack 1 will be released within the first half of calendar year 2011.” Microsoft has been urging consumers, especially enterprise users, to not delay their upgrade plans until the release of SP1 as it will include “only minor updates.” Microsoft released a public beta of Service Pack 1 last week.
However, Speed alone is not the only area of improvement. The browser is now armed with key HTML5 technologies, including Appcache, Web Workers and the royalty-free WebM online video format (based on the VP8 codec). The latest version also brings improvements to the UI and search suggestions. “Beyond the speed boost, the latest version of Opera improves on our robust HTML5 support and provides more options for quick and efficient Web search through your preferred search engines. By combining raw speed with intuitive and easy-to-use features, Opera places you among the fastest Internet users on the planet.”
Apple has delayed the shipment dates of three iPad accessories, including the Keyboard Dock and the 10W USB power adapter. Both of them will not ship along with the iPad on April 3 but about a month later in May. The third accessory to be affected is the iPad case, which will arrive sometime during April. The regular dock and the dock connector to VGA adapter are the only accessories that will be available on launch day. There has been no official clarification on the reasons behind the delay. One can only speculate that pre-orders may have outstripped the company's expectations. It is also likely that only the affected accessories are in short supply.
As if there was a dearth of excuses to further divide an already compartmentalized planet of ours, the iPad has driven another wedge between Apple loyalists and the rest of the world. The iPad is arguably yet another milestone in the art of hyping products, if not a groundbreaking product. But the hype just might be on the wane. According to a self-styled Apple analyst from Venezuela, pre-orders for the iPad declined drastically over the weekend.
Daniel Tello (aka, Deagol) has an uncanny knack of making accurate financial predictions when it comes to Apple. Earlier, Deagol and some other members of the Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board had estimated that the number of of pre-orders on Friday – the day Apple began accepting them – was around 120,000, with an initial rate of around 25,000 orders per hour. Now, Deagol's latest estimates show that the rate has slowed down to 1,000 per hour. He expects Apple to receive approximately half a million pre-orders for the iPad in the lead up to its launch on April 3.
"My best guess, although very tentative given the early stage and few data we have so far, would be that they hit the 1 million unit milestone by the second week after it ships," Deagol told Fortune. "But this is a very speculative guesstimate based on just a weekend of pre-orders." All said, Deagol's formula may or may not be right this time.
Handheld gaming is no longer a fiefdom of just one or two dedicated gaming devices, with games now appearing on mobile devices you'd never fancied as competent gaming platforms. The largest handheld maker, Nintendo, has hitherto preserved the simplicity associated with its devices despite competing devices becoming increasingly multifaceted.
“We have a lab in Korea that is currently working on developing a laptop with partially-transparent screen,” Samsung Electronics America's Reid Sullivan told PlusPlasticElectronics. “Soon, I imagine that all Samsung's audio-visual products will feature this technology. We want to be the first in this market.”
It appears as though transparent AMOLED displays have infatuated Samsung. It also plans to launch a see-through MP3 player christened IceTouch, which according to the report will be available in the early half of 2010. The IceTouch is likely to cost around $330. The real challenge for the consumer will be to think of a practical use for such gadgets once they cease to be a novelty.
Besides the added pace, it comes packed with a bunch of new features and subtle improvements, out of which the new Personas feature and automatic plugin updates are the notable ones. Using Personas, it is now possible to personalize the browser's appearance with a single click and without a restart. Mozilla's online repository of Personas for Firefox boasts over 35,000 designs.
The latest Firefox version is sensitive to outdated browser plugins. Its ability to automatically detect outdated plugins may not be revolutionary but is a welcome addition from a security standpoint. Also, there are a few under-the-hood improvements aimed at developers.
Exactly a week after the much anticipated launch of Windows 7, Canonical rolled out Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). Although it may not have been as keenly awaited as Windows 7, Karmic Koala's launch was special for a particular demographic that romances Linux, and especially its subset that dotes on Ubuntu. But early adopters of the latest Ubuntu release are having a torrid time.
Excited users have been rewarded with a plethora of problems in exchange of their bravura and enthusiasm. Karmic Koala's poor handling of graphics drivers - blank and flickering screens are quite common - and its failure to install the latest 2.6.31 Linux kernel figure prominently on the list of flaws. Also, the latest version of Ubuntu is not too good at spotting hard drives, according to initial reports.
Microsoft opened its gates to public beta testers for its free antivirus solution, Microsoft Security Essentials, on June 23, 2009. Within a day, it managed to get rid of the 75,000 public beta downloads it had made available on a first-come-first-serve basis in the United States, China, Israel and Brazil.
“The final version of Microsoft Security Essentials will be released to the public in the coming weeks. If you are running the older version of the beta (1.0.1407.0), we encourage you to upgrade to a newer version of the beta (1.0.1500.0),” Microsoft informed testers on Sunday.