In the coming days and years the uses for multitouch will only grow, some will act as innovative new pieces of technology that the world will benefit from, and then there will be others that lack practical use. This is the latter.
While the PQ-DVD made app (the same folks responsible for the iPod video conversion software) looks like a Microsoft Surface made just for synching media to and from an iPod (because it is), it just doesn’t look useful. The tasks, while pretty, would be far easier to complete with the traditional mouse and keyboard.
Admittedly, the software is easy on the eyes – nobody’s questioning that. But ultimately, this is a party trick. Sure it’s cool to show off when people are around, and you might use it once or twice when you’re home alone, but you and I both know that there are far easier ways of opening that bottle of beer than with your molars.
Microsoft’s last Patch Tuesday of 2008 is on its way, and it’s bringing a heavy amount of updates that you’ll want to be ready for.
Yesterday Microsoft announced a whopping eight security bulletins that will be going public on December 9th. The announcement was meant to allow IT departments some prep time before the post-Monday patch fiasco. Six of the bulletins have been listed as “critical” with two posted up as “important.”
Of the patches, two of them are meant directly for Windows itself. The others are for the separate applications of Microsoft’s Office suite.
Those of you that use Google Desktop know it’s capable of some pretty cool things. It’ll quickly search all the information on your computer, check the weather in your location (looking outside is so 1990), and now you can even check your Gmail – all right from your desktop.
The new gadget, released just this week will allow you to read, send, search and star your email messages from your desktop. It’ll also link up with your Gmail account’s contact list and auto-complete anyone you might be trying to send email to. It should also be noted that it’ll only take up as much screen real estate as you want it to. You can resize the window to show as many or as few messages as you want.
If you’re new to Google Desktop, they’ve included this gadget in the latest download available right from Google. If you’re already a user, be sure to check out the gadgets page to download it. Either way, it’s pretty snazzy and worth checking out!
According to a blog post by Bob Familiar, an Architect Evangelist with Microsoft, the Windows 7 Beta 1 will be available at the upcoming MSDN developer conference. Said conference will take place from December 9th to February 19th.
In the post, familiar writes, “attend an upcoming MSDN Developer Conference and you will receive a Windows 7 Beta 1 DVD.” It hasn’t been made clear whether or not this means that attendees will receive the disc after or during the conference, but it has been confirmed by other Microsoft employees that the beta will be available.
One such confirmation comes from Keith Combs, who has stated that the DVDs will be available on January 13th. This places it right in time for this year’s CES, and mounts for an even grander unveiling at the trade show.
In recent times, there have been quite a few reports about some enterprises having professed their liking for Windows XP. The consumers and enterprises that have vowed to abstain from Windows Vista, or plan on running old software owned by them, are scampering for used XP-toting PCs.
There is no dearth of Windows XP PCs as millions of users are supplanting their old PCs with newer ones that run Vista; a Gartner study pegged the number of discarded XP PCs in 2007 at 197 million.
Kaplan advises consumers to be slightly more cautious while purchasing secondhand PCs online as they are very likely to come loaded with a pirated version of XP.
The talk of Vista and XP is known to have elicited some passionate responses from Maximum PC readers in the comments section before and so you are expected to be ready with your astute views on this occasion as well.
Perhaps DRAM makers and Microsoft's top brass should join each other at the local watering hole and lament the state of the industry, as the two share a somewhat similar woe. The memory market is the worst it has been in 15 years, and likewise, Windows market share has dropped to a 15-year low, according to market research firm Net Applications. But the similarities end there.
While Windows market share is as low as it has been since Windows 3.11, Microsoft still dominates the landscape by claiming just under 90 percent. The problem for Microsoft, if it can be called that, is a steady decline since Net Applications started providing market share data in October 2004. At the time, Microsoft's market share was at 96.4 percent, then 95.5 percent in November 2005, 94.2 percent in November 206, and 92.4 percent in November 2007.
Hardly a landslide, but with open-source alternatives such as Firefox and Linux gaining ground in the browser and operating system arenas, Microsoft might want to take a cue from what the competition is doing right rather than running 'told you so' ad campaigns like Mojave to convince skeptical users that it's been right all along.
There’s been some loose talk of Microsoft looking to release Service Pack 2 for Vista just as soon as they can. They’ve been reportedly rushing it so that there will be more incentive for people to buy Vista, instead of just waiting for Windows 7.
According to some inside sources, a release candidate for SP2 will be available in February 2009, with the final version scheduled for release to manufacturing in April 2009. When a version is labeled as RTM it’s not always available for download, but it has been put out in disc form, including OEMs.
Following suit with pervious service packs, it’s expected that Microsoft will release Vista’s SP2 in language waves. The previous service packs give us reason to believe that the English, German, Japanese, French and Spanish versions will be the first available, with Chinese, Korean and Brazilian Portuguese available not long after.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be forced to take the stand to defend his involvement in the “Vista Capable” marketing initiative which sparked a class action lawsuit back in February. The court has been selectively taking testimony from key Microsoft executives based on the contents of the 158 page bundle of internal emails that Judge Martha Peachman ordered unsealed. Specifically the court seems interested to learn of Ballmer’s involvement in giving Intel a pass on its underpowered integrated graphics hardware which turned out to be barely capable of booting Vista Basic. In one specific chain senior vice president Will Poole emailed Ballmer following a conversation with Intel CEO Paul Otellini stating:
“Steve, following up on the call you took from Paul today, we have changed our program so that Intel's current integrated parts qualify for 'Vista Capable' branding ... This change completely resolves their problem. “
In response Ballmer wrote:
“I thought they had other issues Certainly paul described other (non graphics) issues is this really resolved check back with her thanks”.
In the eyes of Judge Peachman this is sufficient acknowledgement of the issues to justify the need for a deposition. Ballmer has 30 days to schedule his three hour appearance, but he has yet to set a date. A Microsoft spokesman has responded to the press by stating, "We will of course comply with the court's order. Mr. Ballmer's knowledge about the Windows Vista Capable program comes from the executives he empowered to run the program and make decisions, and two of those executives already testified in this case." Many other spectacularly controversial quotes have come from the internal emails, including a VP of product management Microsoft employee who claims to have been “burnt” by the program. But Officially Microsoft defends the initiative and claims many of the emails and memos released have been taken out of context.
What are your opinions on the trial? Hit the jump and let us know.
Because hackers target Microsoft's Windows operating systems more than any other OSes, one could argue that it would be only fitting for the software maker to offer its users a free security suite, and that's exactly what Microsoft intends to do. Noting the rapid increase in the prominence of malware, Microsoft says it will discontinue retails sales of it's fee-based Live OneCare subscription service by June 30, 2009 and replace it with a free security suite currently code-named "Morrow."
"Customers around the world have told us that they need comprehensive, ongoing protection from new and existing threats, and we take that concern seriously,” said Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management for the Online Services and Windows Division at Microsoft. “This new, no-cost offering will give us the ability to protect an even greater number of consumers, especially in markets where the growth of new PC purchases is outpaced only by the growth of malware."
Morrow, which will offer protection against viruses, spyware, rootkis, Trojans, and other malware, will be built to use fewer resources, which Microsoft claims will make it well suited for both low bandwidth situations and low-power PCs. According to Microsoft, Morrow's protection will be on the same level as the company's enterprise solutions.
While that sounds like good news for Windows users, McAfee sees it as an even better opportunity for themselves and doesn't appear worried that it might lose paying customers to Morrow.
"Consumers have voted; OneCare, in its two years on the market, has achieved less than 2 percent market share," he said in an interview. "Microsoft is giving up and has defaulted to a dressed-down freeware model that does not meet consumer security needs. This is good news for McAfee."
Is McAfee underestimating Morrow? Hit the jump and give us your thoughts.