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!
Cool, right? Granted, Valve has never given us reason to fear that it’s into the whole nickel-and-diming thing, but it’s still nice to hear that our dwindling budgets can now go toward more important things like Starbucks coffee, impulse iPhone app purchases, and a replacement iPhone after an ill-advised literal interpretation of DanceDanceRevolution S Lite.
Oh hey, here are some details about the new rides the Survival DLC pack will bring to Valve’s carnal carnival. Apparently, the mode will see “up to four players set records for the longest time surviving hordes of zombies on over 12 maps.” That’s all anyone knows at this point, really.
Generally, the term “conference call” stirs up images of stuffy businessmen swapping stories about things like revenues, stocks, and how to be completely out of touch with today’s youth (“Call your online database ‘kgb’! Then fill your commercial with facetious douchebags!”). However, there ain’t no conference call like an Activision Blizzard conference call, and today’s game of telephone didn’t disappoint.
First up, Acti-Blizz finally took war back to the future with the announcement that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will launch during Q4 (real, not fiscal) of 2009. Is it us, or is the recession looking a little pale?
Continuing its elongated pop-the-question date with our PCs, Activision Blizzard also plans to launch StarCraft 2’s beta sometime in the “months ahead.” In addition, the much-anticipated beta will include an early version of Battle.net’s next iteration, which will probably just open a portal to heaven or something.
Did we mention that Activision won’t be laying-off anyone? Presumably at all? Draw your own conclusions.
In the original Far Cry, rigging a tree branch to clothesline a hapless foe was a deadlier alternative to, you know, shooting them. With guns. Unfortunately, Far Cry 2 de-fanged guns in a similar manner (minus the pro-deforestation propaganda) – something for which we nearly awarded it a seven out of ten. Good thing, then, that Ubisoft Montreal has announced a new “Hardcore” Far Cry 2 multiplayer patch that promises to make sure in-game guns’ bite outdoes trees’ bark (grooooan).
"The hardcore mode has been designed as an answer to a community request," Ubisoft community developer Atmon wrote on the game's official forums. "Some players were seeking and expecting a more realistic experience.”
A new damage model will be applied with increased damage for all weapons.
All weapons have been rebalanced on normal mode, and on hardcore mode.
Enemy names will disappear after the spawning invincibility period is over (A shield is displayed above a player’s head for a few second to show that he is invincible).
A new option will allow you to tweak spawning time (but not spawning rate).
A new search option will be available in multiplayer to allow you to find games that are playing on hardcore mode.
The patch hasn’t been given a drop date just yet, but we’ll be sure to give you a heads up when it does.
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.
Microsoft has reached a major landmark after receiving its 10,000th U.S patent. The software bellwether has cemented its place among top patent recipients in the last five years; it is the fourth highest patent getter in the U.S. The 10,000th patent concerns a technology that allows a Microsoft Surface-like computer to discern real objects and link them with data or media. Microsoft can be expected to move up the ladder in the near future as it has a policy of incentivizing employees for patent filings.
The free tool, called PowerMeter, will allow users to view and thoroughly analyze their household energy consumption data. The platform, currently in closed beta, requires that the user possess a smart meter. It will let users compare the energy-appetite of different devices within their house, besides making it possible for users to compare each other’s energy consumption trends.
Google hopes that access to household energy data will help users conserve energy – something many studies and Lord Kelvin have previously suggested.
So your computer is taking too long to boot, after being bogged down by dozens of startup applications you’ve downloaded over the years. You might want to just format, but that’s the coward’s way out. If you spend a little time tuning up your boot applications you may avoid the time it takes to wipe and restore your system altogether. Don’t give in to clutterware -- follow our guide to the essential methods of troubleshooting your PC’s start up sequence and freeing Windows of unnecessary resource hogs.
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.
It is finally happening! Microsoft is now changing over to a 64-bit operating system by default instead of 32 bit. Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the first operating system to feature 32 bit optional. This means that all the applications included with Windows Server 2008 R2 will be native 64 bit. It appears Microsoft is now ready to embrace the 21st century and begin shipping their new server operating systems as 64 bit only.
For the system administrators that still want to run 32-bit applications inside of Windows Server 2008 R2 they will have to install WoW64. This application support layer is not included by default with the operating system.
Hit the jump for more information and what this means to regular home users.