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.
Online banking is pretty common these days, but so are people looking to get their grubby hands on your information! That’s why IBM developed the ZTIC USB stick, which allows for completely secure banking.
The ZTIC (or Zone Trusted Information Channel) is a dongle that allows for secure banking, even on a very infected machine. The way it works, is it opens an SSL connection with your bank’s servers, keeping data safe on its side (with no internal storage of its own) and displays the transaction on the built in display. Even if you’re attacked by a “man-in-the-middle,” the action will be shown on the display – a single press of the big red panic button and you’re in good shape! If you want to see it in action, be sure to check out this video.
Pricing and availability is reported to be based on what bank you use, but no actual details have been ironed out.
Gateway, following in stride of many others, announced a new notebook this week. Taking examples from both its MC and MD lines of laptops, they’ve revealed the TC series, a line of ultra-thin, HD laptops with cinematic 1,366x768 resolution screens.
These laptops will come with an Intel 2.0GHz Pentium Dual-Core Mobile T4200 processor, 4GB of DDR2, a 320GB HDD and will bring you the visuals, thanks to Intel’s GMA 4500M graphics.
These laptops will cost only $650 a piece, but there’s no word on as to when we can expect them.
Integrated graphics has run its course and will soon become virtually extinct, according to a new report by Jon Peddie Research (JPR). The prediction? In just four years time, IGPs won't even make up 1 percent of all GPUs shipped.
That's in stark contrast to 2008, in which integrated graphics accounted for 67 percent of all graphics chips shipped. But JPR sees IGPs stronghold weakening to just 20 percent by 2011, resulting in a significant gains for both the discrete GPU market and emerging CPU+GPU technologies.
If JPR is correct, it will be interesting to see how Intel fares in an IGP-less world. The No. 1 CPU chip maker also accounts for roughly half of all desktop and notebook graphics, a position made possible due to the demand for IGP chipsets. Both Intel and AMD (Fusion) are working on CPUs with embedded graphics, which JPR believes will be a strong segment starting sometime between 2010 and 2012. For Intel's part, the company thinks it will be ready to serve the desktop (Clarkdale) and notebook (Arrandale) markets with CPUs with embedded graphics cores by the end this year, and AMD's Fusion is expected sometime in 2011.
Will IGP chipsets all but vanish completely in the next four years? Hit the jump and post your predictions.
Earlier this week at CeBIT MSI displayed their new Wind Box nettop without making much of a splash.
The modest machine, which will feature a 2GHz Celeron M processor, an Nvidia GeForce 9400M GPU, 2GB DDR2, a 160GB HDD, 802.11 WiFi and a Blue-ray player, has yet to be shown with any pricing or availability information, but we can expect that MSI will keep their handiwork nice and cheap – just the way this economy likes it.
MSI has unveiled a new "Classic Series" of laptops at CeBIT, which the company says will be value oriented. Among the new models are the CX700, CX600, and CR400.
The CX700, CX600, and CR400 will ship with 17.3-inch, 16-inch, and 14-inch widescreen LCD displays respectively, utilizing the 16:9 aspect ratio and MSI's Vivid Image Technology. Pushing pixels on the two larger models will be ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 4330 with 512MB of video RAM, with the CR400 sporting Nvidia's GeForce 8200MG.
All three models will come spec'd with a Super Multi DVD burner, 4-in-1 card reader, and 1.3MB webcam. As for the rest of the hardware, final specs remain a mystery, but it's a safe bet you won't find anything earth shattering if this is to be a value-oriented line-up.
There's also no word yet on pricing or availability.
Open-source software and hardware are common elements of the technological world. And now the ancient counterparts to these modern products, written books, have finally jumped the gap into open waters as well. Virginia's currently accepting public comments for its first-ever open-source school textbook, "21st Century Physics FlexBook: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies."
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike, the project ran from concept to creation in a little under four months. That's an impressive amount of time for the creation of a full textbook. Thirteen teachers from Virginia's K-12 physics community joined up with university and industry volunteers across a number of states to develop the book's eleven chapters. And each chapter was given no less than three peer reviews from college professors, related authors, and high school and college students.
A-DATA this week launced its 512GB XPG 2.5-inch solid state drive (SSD), which it claims is the highest capacity SSD to date. The new drive will be pitched to both laptop and desktop users.
Balancing capacity with performance, A-DATA says its 512GB XPG reads data at up to 230MB/s and writes up to 160MB/s. By comparison, Intel's highly touted X-25M boasts read and write speeds of up to 250MB/s and 70MB/s, respectively, giving A-DATA's a sizable paper-spec advantage in write speeds and a slight disadvantage in read bandwidth.
The new drive comes enclosed in a "dashing, durable, lightweight aluminum casing" and boasts a shock resistance rating of 1500G/0.5ms. In other words, it could probably survive an accidental drop or three, even if the rest of your laptop doesn't.
By now you should have received a pop-up alerting you a new version of Firefox, 3.0.7. If not, select 'Check for updates' from the 'Help' menu, as 3.0.7 introduces fixes for several stability and security issues, some of which are considered critical. Among the more notable fixes include:
URL spoofing with invisible control characters - LOW
Upgrade PNG library to fix memory safety hazards - CRITICAL
XML data theft via RDFXMLDataSource and cross-domain redirect - HIGH
Mozilla Firefox XUL Linked Clones Double Free Vulnerability - CRITICAL
Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:18.104.22.168) - CRITICAL
A full list of bug fixes can be found here, including those which are specific to Windows, Mac, and Linux, and those which affect all three operating systems.
Another day means another netbook on the horizon, this one from former memory-maker-gone-everything-maker OCZ. And another netbook means another Atom processor on the spec sheet, but OCZ adds a twist.
OCZ says its new Neutrino netbook will part of its DIY program, meaning power users can select from a list of validated components (in this case, probably RAM, HDD or SSD, and WiFi) and install it themselves. OCZ's DIY line so far includes a handful of 15-inch and 17-inch gaming notebooks, but this will be the first time that we know of where end-users can assemble their own netbook.
For those who'd rather not dink around inside such tight quarters, OCZ also plans to offer a pre-configured Neutrino with a 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 LCD display. Other specs include an Intel Atom 1.6GHz CPU, 945GSE chipset, up to 2GB of RAM, optional 250GB OCZ SSD, two USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, 13.MP webcam, and either Ubuntu or Windows XP.
Look for the new models to start shipping in 2-3 months and "priced competitively."