During his annual “strategic update” with Wall Street analysts, Steve Ballmer made it very clear that Office 14 will not launch in 2009. Normally outside of the business community, few would take notice of this. But with the high profile beta of Windows 7 igniting a passion in both raging Microsoft fans and Mac / Linux converts alike, a delay on the Office side should have everyone concerned. The reason for this is simple; Office releases usually follow operating system launches extremely closely. Windows XP & Office XP both shipped together in 2002, and Windows Vista & Office 12 shipped together in January 2007 as well. Even though some versions of Office have released in-between operating systems, if we simply rely on history as a guide we won’t be seeing Windows 7 until 2010.
Microsoft released an alpha version of its new office suite back in January, and rumors were swirling that Office 14 would indeed come in 2009, rumors Steve Ballmer has now put to rest. With an open beta not planned until sometime in the summer, it seems likely that the RC (release candidate) version would push well into the fourth quarter and see an early 2010 release.
Now that we know Windows 7 development is far ahead of Office, will Microsoft delay the launch in order to have a concurrent release? Or will it break with tradition in order to capitalize on the good will that has been building since the release of the beta. Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
Six years after its original release, Command & Conquer Generals has – like a human-controlled competitor at a GameStop Mario Kart kiosk – finally crossed the finish line. Frankly, we would’ve just started a new race.
But we’re not nearly as generous as EA, who has decided to append Command & Conquer Generals with a level once considered too controversial to be deployed with the rest of the game. Why? Because of this little number:
“Players were given command of the Toxin Tractor, a slow-going farm vehicle modified to spray a deadly corrosive agent, and ordered to eliminate a town that had been ‘corrupted beyond salvation’ by the USA's propaganda. While the mission was ultimately removed from Generals, the Toxin Tractor was available in other campaign missions, as well as in multiplayer and skirmish modes.”
Murdering civilians? Detestable! Sorry, EA, but we draw the line at the undiscerning slaughter of friendlies who are actually packing heat, thank you very much. We pick on those who – to the near-sighted – are more or less our same size.
But how about you? Will you be picking up this tiny (and free!) slice of history? Were you even alive when C&C Generals first came out? God, we’re so old.
Console gamers have been melting faces and bashing skulls under mountains of plastic peripherals for years, but what about those of the PC persuasion? Where are our seemingly Skittle-riddled, Fischer Price-friendly hunks of electronic bliss?
They’re in the future. Like jetpacks.
First up, Street Fighter IV – apparently afraid of being associated with this week’s feature flop – is laying low until summer. Well, probably. Capcom vice president, business development and strategic planning, Christian Svensson’s exact words were: "Let's say summer."
The game will likely come bundled with some “sticks and pads” – if you catch Svensson’s meaning. (We assume he means arcade sticks, though “Mad Catz” were also mentioned. This is why videogames confuse old people.)
In other, slightly vaguer peripheral-related news, Intel basically confirmed the existence of Guitar Hero World Tour on the PC. The King Kong of processors passed along a press release that acknowledged the game, and then just sort of stopped, as though the employee writing it finally reached the end of his/her Quake Live queue and abandoned their work to--
Microsoft recently slapped TomTom with a patent infringement suit. The Redmond-based tech behemoth has claimed that TomTom’s devices are in direct violation of eight of its patents.
Some fear Microsoft’s suit against TomTom may be a straw in the wind, as three of the claims are related to the use of the Linux kernel. Microsoft’s lawyer Horacio Gutierrez tried to dispel such misgivings. He told Cnet that the claims pertaining to the implementation of “file management techniques used in the Linux kernel” are only specific to TomTom.
He insisted that Microsoft is not going to mount a massive legal assault against the open-source community. Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation’s executive director, also feels that it is unfair to jump to conclusions about the scope of this lawsuit. Gutierrez and Zemlin certainly don’t think that Microsoft’s suit against TomTom is an indicant of trouble for the open-source community. What do you think?
Intel plans to rollout a couple of new ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs by the end of next month, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The processors are part of Intel’s CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) family of processors. The website’s informants identified the two processors as the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6 GHz) and the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4 GHz). The price of the SU9600 has been revealed to be $289 in thousand-unit tray quantities, and for the latter it is said to be $249. Also, Intel is reportedly planning to diversify its CULV processor range into three subclasses.
Normally we don’t track every software revision to every overclocking utility on the net, and for good reason. If we did, we wouldn’t get any other work done. The overclocker’s tool kit consists of dozens of applications to vary the speed of the fans, set and modify clocks, and a few more for benchmarking and checking stability. The ability to wrap all these utilities up into a single easy to use application was the goal of AMD when it created its Overdrive Tool, and the new version 2.1.6 delivers some impressive improvements. The new version has several stability and bug fixes as well as support for newer chipsets and full compatibility with Catalyst 9.2.
For those that haven’t been following the utilities development, the goal of the project was to create a single overclocking utility for AMD / ATI customers that would be a one stop utility for tweaking your system. AMD Marketing Manager Sami Maekinen has also released a series of video demonstrations showing how both enthusiasts and novices alike will find everything they need to dial in the best performance.
Have you given the Overdrive utility a spin? If so hit the jump and let us know how it’s been working for you.
The war of words and bad blood between Intel and Nvidia continues to spiral out of control, and Intel is back at it again. After making some rather pointed remarkets about Ions shortcomings, Intel decoded the time was right to warn the geek masses about Nvidia’s impending doom at the Goldman Sachs Technology conference in San Francisco. According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, Nvidia is merely trying to defend the status quo, and that Larrabee will be the future choice for those in search of powerful dedicated graphics solutions. Oddly enough, Intel choose its words very carefully and mysteriously made no mention of AMD’s ATI division.
Most enthusiasts I’m sure see these statements as a bit overconfident, and the 2010 release of Larrabee is the real wild card in the equation. Even if Intel manages to churn out the most powerful GPU, it’s unlikely they would have the type of driver optimization, developer support, or backwards compatibility that have made the ATI/ Nvidia GPU’s the most important component in any gaming PC. Clearly however, dedicated GPU companies should be concerned over CPU+GPU solutions for mainstream users. If GP-GPU applications don’t take hold in time to win over the mainstream consumer, Nvidia and ATI risk find themselves severing a much smaller niche market that could be devastating to both companies.
What do you think? Is this just corporate posturing at its best? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
The game that gave birth to Operation Immortality is, ironically, about to reach the end of its unfortunately fly-esque lifespan -- but it’s giving us one last lecture on why we totally dropped the ball on this one before going upstairs and never coming back down.
Tabula Rasa will not end with a whimper, but with the kind of bang that one anticipates before hearing a balloon pop. But here’s the crucial difference: Tabula Rasa delivers.
Beginning today at 8PM CST (or GMT, depending on your server), the sci-fi MMO will tape down itsself-destruct button with an intricately planned in-game event. Said a “message” from AFS High Command:
“Special Intelligence units throughout AFS territory have been monitoring an escalation of Bane assaults and communications in the recent weeks. Some of the communications have been intercepted and decoded, and we have reason to believe that the Bane are planning a massive, multi-front assault sometime in the coming days.”
“We request that all military personnel begin fortifying defenses at every AFS base in preparation for a massive Bane assault. If enemy troop movements are as large as we fear, and the Neph are truly prepared to lead all out war against us, this may be our last stand. Penumbra has been informed of the situation and is standing by on the use of their last resort weapon.”
“We cannot afford to be complacent or uncertain, but if it is truly our destiny to be destroyed, we are taking them all with us.”
Sends chills, really. This game was too good for our undeserving world.
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.
iBuypower has long been the champion of the cheap gaming PC, and they’re looking to continue this with the latest addition to their line – the Gamer Fire 600. And while the case looks like something that a six year old with an overactive imagination thought of, the innards don’t look half bad.
Underneath the hood of this eye-murdering monstrosity is an AMD Phenom II X3 720 Tripe-Core CPU, Gigabyte’s CrossFire chipset, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and an ATI Radeon HD 4830 video card. To help fill it out there’s a 500GB HDD, as well as a 20x double layer DVD writer.
The system will all come to you for a reasonable $774 at the base level. It is possible to upgrade the box so that it will include an AMD Phenom II X4 810 Quad-Core CPU, two ATI Radeon HD 4870-X2 video cards, and for an extra $96 you can upgrade the storage capacity to 1.5TB. Not too shabby!