Microsoft has always been an ardent proponent of digital distribution and now it’s this long held belief that is reflected in its recent decision to pull Microsoft Money off store shelves. It has decided that the financial software only be sold as an online download from here on. But the company isn’t in any hurry to renounce boxed software and realizes that an absolute transition to digital distribution will take some time.
A MS employee, Chris Jolley, told Cnet about MS Money sales trends that instigated the current move. About half of the total sales of the financial software in the last one year have been generated through the internet, according to Jolley.
Yahoo’s search ads deal with Google might have come as a shock to most but it elicited a different emotion among legislators, that of suspicion. Yahoo has made its 50 page agreement with Google public amid all the talk of it being anti-competitive. It filed the document with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a supplement along with its quarterly report card. But certain parts of the agreement are not available to the public and have been made available to SEC separately.
The prospects of an antitrust lawsuit still loom over the search ads deal, which capped Yahoo’s brazen defiance towards Microsoft. However, don’t mistakenly assume that the SEC is probing the matter. The probe into the legality of the agreement is being carried by U.S. Department of Justice and various states.
When Windows Vista launched back in January 2007, the 64-bit edition was clearly not ready for primetime. The driver and compatibility issues that mired the early days of the OS were even worse on the 64-bit side, and for most users Vista x64 was completely crippled or in some cases, wouldn’t install at all. Hardware manufacturers struggled to release stable device drivers but because 32-bit and 64-bit editions both required radically different drivers, Vista x64 just wasn’t a priority. Coming up on two years later, 32-bit Vista’s issues seem to have calmed down, but what about Vista x64? Well according to Microsoft, usage of the niche OS is on the rise, but is it finally ready for prime time?
Click the jump to learn all about Vista 64 and what you need to know before you consider switching.
Yesterday evening, I had the indistinct pleasure of viewing G4's GPhoria gaming awards. GPhoria is odd in that it doesn't take place at the end of a year; rather, it highlighted, in this case, the best games from the second half of 2007 and first half of 2008. Even so, I was fairly surprised when Halo 3 took home GOTSHO07AFHO08 honors. I mean, Halo? Seriously?
But GPhoria is voted for by the fans, which got me to thinking about how different audiences have different expectations, and about how those expectations can shift with time.
See, in my experience, Halo is typically met with derision and utterances of "Moar liek Fail-O" when mentioned in the presence of PC gamers. It is, after all, just a dumbed-down, slow-moving console shooter, right? The first domino in a long, weaving line that wrecked the FPS genre as we know it. Well, except for maybe Half-Life 2. Oh, and TF2. And Call of Duty 4. Also Bioshock. Portal, too. Hey, maybe Halo didn't bring the genre crashing down after all! Actually, I'd say the expanded audience led developers to try new things.
These days, though, gamers are fretting about a new scourge: casual gaming. Where am I going with this? Simple. I believe casual gaming is nothing to worry about. As with the FPS genre, an expanded audience, lured in from casual titles, will inspire great devs to try new things, as well as provide them with more cash to back their games.
So, what's your opinion on so-called "casual" gaming? Whether it be the Wii, Diner Dash, or fan-fave Peggle, how do you think these games and the audiences they attract will affect gaming? Good? Bad? Both? Neither?
At the very least, today's Roundup is dedicated to the hardcore gamer. Past the break, you'll find stories about BioWare's handheld ambitions, John Carmack's stance on PC gaming, and Star Trek Online's upcoming reveal. And more, of course.
It is also ensuring that Eee PC users don’t develop insomnia fretting over the machine’s limited storage space. Users can now count upon 20GB of cloud storage space, i.e. internet hard drive space. But Asus will have to insure that the downloads are cheap as many Eee PC users in developing countries do not perceive it as a fun internet gadget but more of a cost-effective computing device.
Think about all the ways we converse and communicate online now. RSS/Atom feeds, Twitter, blogging, web discussion forums, social networks, email and others. It gets to be a jumbled mess in just a short time.
Now the folks that brought you Firefox are trying a new experiment in managing all this information in the form of Snowl.
Make the jump to find out what key ideas are going into Snowl's development.
Microsoft’s much delayed SQL Server 2008 is available now. Despite the delay in SQL Server’s launch, MS is patting its back for having released the new version of its popular database product within two to three years of the SQL Server 2005 launch. Apart from the free version, there are a variety of paid ones for both PCs and Windows Mobile devices.
SQL Server 2008 is expected to further strengthen Microsoft’s promising database business. In fact, it made immediate impact on Microsoft’s VP Ted Kummert, who has dyed his hair orange due to the product’s release. Kummert had vowed to dye his air orange if the developers were able to meet the latest launch deadline.
Be warned, a cabal of Russian cyber criminals is on the loose and actively pillaging vast expanses of the internet. The gang slyly assumes the administrative responsibilities of large corporate and government networks and then quickly plants malicious tools on thousands of computers in that network. Security analysts reckon this to be the most well coordinated, systematic use of administrative tools for malicious purposes.
The group’s activities came to light when Joe Stewarts of Atlanta-based computer security firm SecureWorks found that a central program belonging to the Russian bandits was running at a Wisconsin-based Internet hosting facility. He estimated that 100,000 computers had been compromised. He promptly notified a federal law enforcement agency that proceeded to boot of the central program. But the gang, unfazed, quickly relocated the tool to a network in Ukraine.
Gamers have enough trouble trying to come up with a game plan to beat pesky end bosses and single-handedly defeat armies of mutant soldiers. Saving often gives gamers an endless advantage and cheat codes can help in a pinch, but neither of these tactics will do any good against an increasing amount of real-life threats the online gaming scene.
More than just an annoyance, time spend in virtual worlds like Second Life can translate into real currency and it's attracted the attention of organized criminal gangs. According to security software vendor ESET (best known for its NOD32 Antivirus products), "high volumes of malware intended to steal passwords for online gaming and virtual worlds" have been detected since 2007, resulting in a "dramatic upsurge."
The alarming news comes courtesy of ESET's mid-yearly Global Threat Report, which focuses on broad trends in malware over the past six months. In addition to an upsurge in attacks against gamers, ESET notes that malicious software that tries to use the Windows Autorun facility to self-install from removable media continues to flourish.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the company reports email bound malware is in "dramatic decline," at least when it comes to dirty attachments. Malicious URLs passed through email messages have taken the place of attachments.
Further reading to keep yourself (and your virtual self) protected:
Those Microsoft’s internal studios and development partners that license Havok Physics will also get Havok Animation. If this agreement provides easy access to Havok’s innovative products to Microsoft’s game developers, it also guarantees a loyal consumer base to Havok, which will allow it to push its new and lesser known products – other than Physics - far more easily.