Every year around late December or early January the internet is bombarded with the top “whatever and such and such” of 2008. Here at Maximum PC we stopped to reflect on our favorite gaming moments, and even cracked the lid on the best of open source; but we never took the time to focus on the hilarious technological flops of the year now past. Luckily however, Tom’s Hardware has put together a fairly comprehensive list. Some of which we can agree with, others perhaps worthy of debate. The list includes:
1.) HD DVD 2.) Nvidia’s Mobile GeForce 8400M and 8600M 3.) iPhone Killers 4.) Windows Vista 5.) Mobile Television 6.) OLED Displays 7.) Phenom X3 8.) The Microsoft Yahoo Proposed Merger 9.) GPGPU 10.) Sony Ericsson XPeria X1 11.) HybridPower: Pseudo-Green 12.) Sony Batteries 13.) Fiber Optics 14.) Non-HD DTT 15.) GTA IV For PC
I’m sure we have more then a few readers that will jump to the defense of some of these items such as Windows Vista and perhaps OLED or Fiber, but it’s hard to argue with the bulk of it.
What do you think should be added or subtracted from the list?
When Windows Vista launched back in January of 2007, incompatibility was a term that was synonymous with the new OS. Things have clearly improved since then, but almost everyone has at least one or two applications that simply refuse to run, and probably will never see an updated version. The problem for Microsoft grows even larger when you look at businesses that often have very custom mission critical applications that tend to be rather fussy about their operating environment. For these businesses, Vista was simply not an option. The use of virtualization as a solution to incompatibility is nothing new. Unfortunately in most cases it is an overkill approach that requires multiple OS licenses, and a beefy enough rig to support both the guest and host environments.
Those in search of a better solution are overjoyed by the launch of Microsoft's Enterprise Desktop Virtualization Beta, also known as MED-V. The release was announced on the official MDOP blog where Senior Product Manager Ran Oelgiesser seemed enthusiastic about the future of embedded virtualization. “For those of us on the MED-V product team, our primary goal was to deliver an enterprise virtualization solution for the compatibility challenges that IT teams have with some of their line-of-business applications, during the upgrade to new operating systems (like Windows Vista). With MED-V 1.0, you can easily create, deliver and centrally manage virtual Windows XP or 2000 environments (based on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007), and help your users to run legacy applications on their Windows Vista desktops”. MED-V is slated to leave beta in Q2 2009.
With the Windows 7 launch on the horizon, is this too little too late?
Nothing against the NPD Group, but if it’d like to stare us straight in the eyes (as opposed to peering directly into our upturned nostrils), it might want to consider duct-taping a few new tools onto its measuring stick – at least, as far as PC gaming is concerned.
The NPD Group recently released its 2008 PC game sales totals, wherein it concluded that our favorite platform is barely puttering along behind consoles’ gold-paved success parade, claiming that PC game sales are down 14% from 2008.
However, to be frank, they’re wrong. This is, of course, because NPD doesn’t take into account sales of digitally downloaded games, microtransactions, or the all-important subscription fee – that is to say, the rippling base of PC gaming’s food pyramid. The group has taken a few tentative steps into this arena with a quarterly subscription tracker, but its results are not factored into these 2008 totals.
Hopefully, NPD will continue to build off the base it’s formed with the aforementioned subscription tracker – otherwise, its descent into total obsolescence (even where consoles are concerned) will be less like a rollercoaster and more like Richard Garriott after they turn the gravity back on.
Fortunately, while this first run doesn’t look so hot, next week’s figures will be more in-depth. Here’s hoping this decidedly negative knee-jerk reaction finds itself looking foolish before too long.
Well, select RPGs, anyway. Still though, this weekend’s Good Old Games promotion trims the pointy edges off quite the haul of excellent role-playing games. Standouts include Fallouts 1, 2, and Tactics, Arx Fatalis and Gothic.
In order to reap the sale’s benefits, you need only peruse GOG’s list, drop selected games into your cart, and enter the promo code “PROMO1” for 15% off whichever RPGs you purchase. Or not. Alternatively, you can damn The Man and his Rules by ignoring the list and forcing the promo code to dance its wicked, mostly forbidden mating ritual with random games until you find something that works. It’s your promo code now; use it however you please!
The deal ends at 23:59 EDT on Monday. Follow the link for the full list of applicable games – but only if you’re a total bore and a bit of a killjoy.
If Mobile Today is to believed, all those rumors about the PSP phone were indeed true. According to a report, which cites anonymous sources, Sony disallowed Sony Ericsson’s request to use the Playstation brand in December.
Sources have revealed that Sony told the mobile phone manufacturer that the only way the Playstation brand can appear on a cellphone is when it independently makes such a device.
It is claimed that Sony is reluctant to license the Playstation brand for a product that doesn’t conform to the lofty technological standards the brand is associated with.
Vivek Kundra is a strong contender as he has relevant experience. He is currently the CTO of the government of Washington, D.C. Indian-born Kundra spent a fair amount of his childhood in Tanzania before his parents brought him to Maryland at the age of 11.
Cisco’s CTO, Padmasree Warrior, is the other candidate. She has also served as a chief technology officer at Motorola. Warrior was also born in India and studied at the much vaunted Indian Institute of Technology. “President-elect Obama and his team fully understand the importance of digital infrastructure to further our technology leadership as a nation”, she told BusinessWeek.
Even behemoths like Microsoft are not immune to the financial crisis. The Redmond-based company might be quite close to large job cuts, according to the WSJ. The much feared announcement could be made as early as next week.
Many analysts have prognosticated a 10 percent to 17 percent reduction in Microsoft’s workforce in the imminent future. Microsoft is due to announce its fourth-quarter results today. PC sales in the last quarter were dismal and are expected to have an impact on Microsoft’s earnings.
What will the next version of Microsoft Office look like? Leaked screenshots of an alpha version recently released to testers suggest that, in short, ribbon menus rule. However, the Office 14 ribbon menus seem to have been influenced by the ribbon menu used in some of Windows 7's accessories, rather than being simply a rehash of Office 2007's version.
How long before we'll have a release version? According to alpha testers cited at Neowin.net, Microsoft is looking at a 2009 release and - you guessed it - the suite might be called Office System 2009. However, with the Microsoft roadmap unearthed earlier this month showing "2009" and "12-31-2009" for release dates, maybe it's too early to worry about the name.
Google’s interests are spread far and wide and it is almost a ritual for the internet juggernaut to develop and maintain interests in a new internet niche. Although Google has struck the jackpot with a few of its punts, it has far too many experimental ventures for each one of them to be successful. Now Google has decided to close some of its experimental services in part or completely
IBM took its patent filing mojo to a whole new level last year, filing more patents in a single year than it has ever done before. But not only is IBM's 4,186 patents inside 12 months a new record for the company, it's also the most ever issued by the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office to one company in a year-long time period.
"IBM's leadership in the strategic use of intellectual property is based on balancing proprietary and open innovation," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president and director of IBM Research. "Our goal is helping stimulate innovation as public investments in large infrastructure projects are being planned to boost global economies. We also anticipate that adding additional transparency to the patent system will help tackle the continuing patent quality crisis, which is impeding inventors, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes."
This marks the 16th year in a row IBM has led the charge in patent filings, with Samsung being its nearest competitor in 2008 with 3,515 patents. Microsoft, who's pay-as-you-go computing concept patent was ultimately denied, checks in at No. 4 with 2.030 patents.