An Android-based netbook now seems a near certainty. Asustek’s Samson Hu, who heads the Eee PC business, had told Bloomberg that the company has begun work on an Android-based netbook, but did not promise a commercial version. But Asus isn’t the only one allured by the distinctive price advantage offered by Google’s Android OS. HP has confirmed that it, too, is deliberating upon the use of Android netbooks as an alternative to Windows in netbooks.
Though Asus and HP are only testing waters, Android-based netbooks may become a reality in the near future – perhaps as early as next year. All said, challenging Windows’ ascendancy in the netbook segment won’t be easy for Android.
It's been about six weeks since Redmond rolled out the Release Candidate for Vista SP2, and now the RTM Escrow build is available to Microsoft Connect beta testers, DailyTechreports. To make sure everything's working, the RTM Escrow build includes both slipstream and standalone installers.
If you find an unofficial source for something claiming to be the RTM Escrow build, the build string is 6002.17043.090312-1835. Typically, the RTM Escrow build is the last step before a public release, probably in April.
Check out our complete Vista SP2 coverage here. Have you tried this new build? Join us after the jump and give us your thoughts.
Giving Amazon's Kindle and Kindle 2 some competition in the eBook market, Fujitsu has at long last released its full-color eBook reader called FLEPia. Fujitsu had first shown off the FLEPia in concept form back in 2006 and has been drumming up interest with periodic glimpses ever since.
The FLEPia comes in both black and white unit colors and features an 8-inch XGA (1024 x 768) touchscreen capable of displaying 260,000 colors. Other specs include 802.11b/g WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth capability, embedded stereo speakers and a headphone connector, and an SD card memory card slot with support for up to 4GB, enough to hold 5,000 paper-based books 300-pages each.
Measuring less than a half an inch thick, Fujitsu says its FLEPia will last up to 40 continuous hours before having to be recharged. According to Fujitsu, the device doesn't require power to maintain a screen display because the color ePaper employed displays text and images by reflecting external light. The only time the FLEPia consumes power, says Fujitsu, is during re-draw, in which power consumption would be about 1/50 that of a standard notebook.
The Japanese version ships with Windows CE 5.0, giving end-users an internet browser, email, and other software.
The FLEPia starts shipping in Japan on April 20th for 99,750 Yen, which converts to a little over $1,000 USD.
Just when you might have thought it was safe to start using USB flash drives at work again, the third, and by all accounts, most fiendish version of the Conficker worm that's infected millions of PCs already is set to attack on April 1st, Ars Technicareports. Conficker.C's designed to hide itself even more thoroughly than its older siblings, using tricks such as:
Inserting itself into as many as five Windows-related folders such as System, Movie Maker, Internet Explorer, and others (under a random name, of course)
Creating access control entries and locking the file(s)
Registers dummy services using a "one (name) from column A, one from column B, and two from column C" method
To find out what happens when Conficker.C strikes, join us after the jump.
Today, Microsoft released a trio of security bulletins covering all currently-supported Windows versions. Users of Windows 2000 SP4 through Windows Vista SP1 (as well as Windows Server 2003 and 2008) need to install the update for the critical Windows kernel vulnerability noted in Security Bulletin MS-09-006. The other two bulletins (MS09-007 and MS09-008) solve important vulnerabilities in SChannel (007) and DNS/WINS Server (008); these bulletins apply to Windows 2000 SP4 through Windows XP and Server 2003 only.
Other updates to look for include the usual updates to the Malicious Software Removal Tool and the Windows Mail junk email filter. If you're on Automatic Updates, follow instructions to reboot if needed after installation. If you prefer to be in charge, don't forget to download and install these as soon as possible.
Call it peer pressure, or call it a dose of common sense, but Microsoft is finally looking to take on the free rivals of its Office application suite. During a presentation at the Morgan Stanley Technology conference, Microsoft Business Division Chief Stephen Elop announced a free / ad supported version which they hope will help combat piracy. According to Elop, “There's an opportunity to draw those pirate customers into the revenue stream. We want to draw them into the Windows family and maybe there's an upsell opportunity later”.
Also in related news, Microsoft Business Software VP Chris Capossela, has also tipped off the Silicon Alley Insider as to the operating system requirements of Office 14, and Windows Vista / 7 will still be optional. The Office and Windows teams now work completely independent of each other, and I’m sure the Office guys are simply hoping to avoid the depressing Halo effect that requiring a new operating system can have on sales. With Office 14 delayed until sometime in 2010, will this give businesses even more reasons to stick with XP? If the productivity software these companies rely on still works just as well in a legacy operating systems, do companies have enough incentive to move to Windows 7? Corporate IT professionals are typically big fans of the status quo, and are usually against operating system migrations unless they can prove the value.
So will this slow down business adoption of Windows 7? And if you would be willing to use an ad supported version of Office 14? Let us know what you think.
Microsoft released the release candidate for Windows Vista SP2 (Vista SP2 RC) to the public yesterday. You can now download it from the Microsoft TechNet website. However, before you install Vista SP2 RC, here are ten essential facts about the latest update to Windows Vista:
SP2 RC doesn't include a lot of visible razzle-dazzle, but....
.. it's designed to make your system work better with the latest hardware...
...and to clean up after itself.
It includes over 600 hotfixes to help your system work more reliably, but there are a few glitches to watch out for.
You're not ready for Vista SP2 RC if you don't have Vista SP1 installed.
vLite-streamlined Vista SP1 won't work with SP2 RC
Vista SP2 RC is available in a bunch of installation flavors, but if you want to get it via Windows Update right now, you have some extra work to do.
You can help Microsoft make the SP2 installation process better, but nobody's forcing you to do so.
Yeah, your desktop will remind you you're running a pre-release program
In a recently released video, a Nokia N800 that has been loaded up with VMware’s MVP hypervisor can be seen running Windows CE and Android simultaneously. Make no mistake about it, this is some cool stuff!
Now, admittedly the video is a virtualization, but the hypervisor is an extremely small virtual machine that will run beneath the phone’s operating system(s). It then creates virtual platforms on the device that it’s installed on, allowing OSes to be installed like apps. Since the virtual machine is what deals with the gadget’s firmware, you can theoretically run any OS that you’d like without the worries of driver compatibility.
VMware has stated that they’re in talks with manufacturers to have their hypervisor included with handsets so that dual booting could be possible. Though, there’s no clear reason as to why a manufacturer would license this software. Sadly, the idea of hardware virtualization, parallel mobile OSes and hypervisors are a bit much for mass marketing.
Microsoft made the Windows 7 Beta public, and many of you heeded the call of duty. With your bug testing hat on and feedback hands ready to type, you’ve made it possible for Microsoft to announce a whopping 36 updates to the release candidate.
“We’ve been quite busy for the past two months or so working through all the feedback we’ve received on Windows 7. It should be no surprise but the Release Candidate for Windows 7 will have quite a few changes, many under the hood so to speak but also many visible,” wrote Steven Sinofsky on Microsoft’s Engineering Windows 7 blog.
Among the laundry list of changes are edits so the desktop experience, networking upgrades, changes to the control panel, windows media player updates and performance upgrades. If you’re looking to check out the whole list of changes, be sure to check out the blog here.