Microsoft Internet Explorer is steadily losing ground to other browsers, though there is no immediate threat to its crown. However, Microsoft would be hoping to stymie the slide with Internet Explorer 8.
All eyes are now set on the release of the finished product after a public RC (release candidate) was released on January 26th, 2009.
IE8 comes with the promise of greater performance and reliability. Some of its key features include visual search suggestions, private browsing, accelerators, web slices and monetization opportunities (for OEMs).
You should be excited about this. Like, sure-let’s-raise-and-drop-the-New-Year’s-Ball-again excited. If you don’t know why, here’s some homework.
Anyway, at today’s Valve DICE keynote, Gabe Newell announced that a series of Valve-penned comics are setting up shop on Valve’s Monopoly map, and – even better – that they will receive their Certified Fine Art status from the team responsible for Valve’s “Meet the” series of Team Fortress 2 movies.
Ahem. Apparently, the comic is meant to “excite customers about the company’s games outside of creating game content.”
Delightful. 2009 is now officially Best Year of the Century.
Cnet's Matt Asay reports that Microsoft has decided to set up an interoperability alliance with Red Hat. In enterprise computing, virtualization is the name of the game, and virtualization is what this alliance is all about. Whether you're running Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies, Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Microsoft Hyper-V server, the interoperability agreement will enable Red Hat or Microsoft guest operating systems to run on any of these virtualization platforms and get technical support. For details, see the Red Hat website or the Microsoft TechNet blog announcement.
It will take time for Red Hat and Microsoft to validate server platforms for interoperability, and valid software support contracts are required. The best news for those of us who support enterprise-level virtualized platforms on Red Hat or Microsoft? No more finger-pointing, so you can spend your evenings winning your favorite frag-fest instead of playing pass-the-buck with operating system support staffs.
Sony has reached an agreement with Corel to use the latter’s InstantON technology in future Vaio P-series netbooks. Vaio Ps with Corel’s instant-on OS will begin appearing on American store shelves later this month. A lot of PC manufacturers are incorporating instant-on solutions in their netbooks.
The technology allows users to perform tasks like web browsing without having to wait for the main OS to boot. Though both the companies waxed eloquent about the inclusion of Corel’s Instant On technology in the world’s lightest 8 inch notebook, it still doesn’t seem enough to justify the netbook’s $900 price tag.
Of the new internet startups that have emerged in the past few months, one of our favorites has to be Boxee, the streaming social media center from the team that created the acclaimed XBMC frontend. Boxee (currently still in Beta) combines popular video and podcast streams from CBS, ABC, and PBS into one slick and functional media center that turns any connected computer into an internet TV receiver. One of the best features was that it supported streaming from Hulu, which meant users could navigate through thousands of hours of content (e.g. all of Arrested Development) without opening a web browser.
Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
Just today, Boxee announced that they would be discontinuing support for Hulu streaming after content providers complained and demanded that the Boxee service be shut off. In a sobering blog post, Boxee CEO Avner Ronen informed users that as of this Friday, Hulu streaming would be unavailable via their service. “We have many content partners who are generating revenue from boxee users and we will work with Hulu and their partners to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” said Ronen. In the Boxee beta, content from Hulu retrained all of the advertising that users would see when watching a video on Hulu.com, so the issue doesn’t appear to be related to missed ad revenue opportunities. Ronen also stated that Boxee beta testers streamed 100,000 videos from Hulu just last week alone.
And what did Hulu have to say for itself? Read on.
This is starting to get ugly. It's bad enough watching Intel and Nvidia go at each other over licensing disputes (remember how long we waited for SLI on Intel chipsets?), but the two aren't showing any signs of letting up. In response to Intel's recent lawsuit, which alleges Nvidia has no right to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has an integrated memory controller, the GPU/chipset maker had some choice words for Intel.
"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia. "At the heart of this issue is that the CPU has run its course and the soul of the PC is shifting quickly to the GPU. This is clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business."
Huang has never been one to mince words, at one time declaring his company would "open a can of whoop-ass." Now less than a year later, the quote-worthy CEO has declared the CPU just another run-of-the-mill component taking a backseat to the GPU.
Nvidia's press release went on to talk up the company's Ion platform, and was quick to point out that it "offers 10x the performance of Intel's current three chip design." Huang also said that given the broad and growing adoption of Nvidia's platforms, including the Ion, he's not the least bit surprised Intel is disputing a four-year-old contract.
Acer’s 8.9-inch Aspire One has largely been accepted as the sales leader in the netbook market. It’s been so hot that Acer, trying to fix what’s not broken, is looking to release a larger Aspire One AOD150, which will boast a 10.1-inch screen and a doubled battery life for the same $350.
The new Aspire One will have an Intel Atom N270 under the hood with integrated 945GSE graphics, 1GB of DDR2, a 160GB HDD and Windows XP Home edition. And to power it all, there will be a six-cell, 4,400mAh lithium-ion battery that will keep it all moving for up to six hours.
The AOD150 is currently available; so if you’re looking to upgrade the diminutive computer in your life, don’t hesitate to check it out.
You know that couple that is always at odds with each other, turning parties and other get-togethers into awkward affairs? The worst part is when they both turn to you to pick a side, and all you're trying to do is have a good time. For power users, that couple is Intel and Nvidia. We don't know what it is with these two, but just when their relationship appears to be on an upswing, another squabble breaks out.
After years of butting heads, Intel and Nvidia just recently came to agreement over licensing the GPU maker's SLI technology for use on Intel chipsets, and all appeared to be right in the world. But now the two are at it again, this time with Intel taking the offensive. Intel has filed suit against Nvidia this week claiming that the four-year old chipset license agreement between the two does not cover both its current and any future CPUs with integrated memory controllers.
"Intel has filed suit against Nvidia seeking a declaratory judgment over rights associated with two agreements between the companies," Intel said in a statement. "The suit seeks to have the court declare that Nvidia is not licensed to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has integrated memory controller functionality, such as Intel’s Nehalem microprocessors and that Nvidia has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed. Intel has been in discussions with Nvidia for more than a year attempting to resolve the matter but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. As a result Intel is asking the court to resolve this dispute."
Nvida contends that the license agreement is still valid, however admits that it has been "working with Intel to come to some kind of agreement" for the past year. And despite the lawsuit, Nvidia says it has no plans of changing its roadmap, including those chipsets which extend to future processors.
Reportedly, Acer is looking to become the number one notebook supplier by 2011. The current king, Hewlett-Packard has a lead on both Acer and Dell who are “neck-and-neck” with a12 percent market share.
Acer’s Chairman, J.T. Wang, suspects that an opportunity now exists that will catapult him to this success. He states that their goals are aggressive, but they have increased PC shipments by 31 percent in Q4 2008, and all the while in the midst of a struggling market.
According to reports, Acer now owns 12 percent of the overall PC market, compared to Dell’s 13 percent and HP’s 19 percent. Wang states that both American and Japanese computer makers have “underestimated the demand for netbooks,” which account for 30 percent of their sales.
The first Android-based device, the T-Mobile G1, might have not pronounced iPhone’s death warrant - just like numerous other so-called iPhone-killers before it failed to, but it has done a decent job as a “commercial prototype.”
A reasonable number of people may be keenly awaiting the advent of future Android devices after the steady start provided by the T-Mobile G1. However, nothing is known about upcoming Android devices with the exception of the HTC Magic.
The Magic has a 3.2-inch QVGA touch screen and, barring its lack of a physical QWERTY keyboard, closely mimics the G1. The phone has a 3.2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and HSDPA/WCDMA (900/2100MHz).