Microsoft this week bids farewell to Kevin Johnson, the now former president of its platfroms and services division. During Johnson's tenure, many thought he would one day succeed CEO Steve Ballmer, and together the two of them played a major role in the company's pursuit of Yahoo.
This isn't the first defelction in recent times, as earlier this year Senior VP Steven Berkowitz announced plans to leave Microsoft by the end of the summer. And with Bill Gates having gone into semi-retirement, the face of Microsoft is beginning to look much different than it did just one year ago.
Find out why Johnson's announcement comes ill-timed for Microsoft after the jump. Touché?
With Intel's quad-core mobile chip soon coming to a laptop near you, some are wondering if a four-core chip might be overkill for a mobile platform. The answer is a resounding 'No' and anyone who thinks otherwise automatically loses 100x4 points of geek cred.
Okay, that might be a bit harsh, particularly since there are compelling reasons to support such blasphemous thoughts. While it's difficult to fathom ever having too much computing power, even desktop owners are still waiting for that killer app that will make everyone ditch their dual-core processor in favor of a quad. Moving to a mobile platform, wasted horsepower becomes even more of an issue as OEMs try to deal with heat dissipation, battery life, and the grand-daddy of them all, cost.
Nevertheless, there will be a market for four-core chips. Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest, says quad-core mobile chips are "definitely not" overkill, noting that the boutique OEM has been "putting quad-processors in (laptops) for a long time."
Details about some of Intel's upcoming quad-core mobile chips - like the Core 2 Extreme X9100 - are floating around the web, but others have yet to go public. Citing un-named sources, Cnet claims system vendors may start disclosing more details as soon as August 11. Will anyone care, or is dual-core still good enough for a laptop?
Have you ever run into an old ex-girlfriend only to realize she's nothing the way you remembered? Or fired up that retro-game and wondered what you found so appealing about it in the first place? Every once in awhile a blast from the past (like bringing WarGames back to theaters) will make a worthwhile comeback, but more often than not, old relics are best left buried, and Albatron might be finding this out.
Earlier this month the company let it be known it would be bringing Nvidia's 8-series videocards in 8400, 8500, and 8600 trim to the PCI bus, but those plans have hit a snag and it might be awhile before we see another PCI videocard. Even though the PCI bus has been around since close to the dawn of time, not all motherboards stick to the same signaling implementation for the PCI interface, and Albatron fears that compatibility with different motherboards could become a problem.
Sam Nada, Albatron's International PR representative, says the company's engineers are working on optimizing the BIOS to ensure a smooth rollout, but it will be a couple of weeks before the new Retrotechnology cards make a debut. But what's a couple of weeks if you've already staved off the upgrade bug for this long?
While the rest of the computing world inexplicably refuses to see a market for performance hard drives spinning faster than 7,200RPM, Western Digital is finding new segments for its flagship 10,000RPM Velociraptor. The company announced today it's shrinking the stupid-fast drive down to a 2.5-inch form factor for use in blade servers and 1U and 2U servers.
"WD is bringing to enterprise customers what PC enthusiasts already appreciate about the WD Velociraptor: a combination of high performance and high capacity for hard drive storage," said John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives.
Because server environments tend to be more mission critical than the average desktop, Western Digital claims its new enterprise model will be up to the job with the "highest available reliability rating of any SATA drive at 1.4 million hours MTBF."
The shrunken Velociraptor will come in both 300GB and 150GB capacities. Will anyone else join them?
Nvidia is preparing to release their WHQL certified PhysX driver on August 5th for GeForce 8, 9, and GTX series videocards. The new ForceWare driver will expand PhysX support to currently available PhysX titles like Ghost Recon 2: Advanced Warfighter, Warmonger and Cell Factor: Revolution.
WHQL or Windows Hardware Quality Labs is a testing process that when passed allows vendors to use a "Certified for Windows" logo, which certifies that the hardware or software has had testing by Microsoft to ensure compatibility with Windows. Many vendors like being able to hang that logo on their products, so we will see more videocards touting PhysX support and the Windows certified logo hitting big box store shelves soon.
Nvidia acquired PhysX when they bought Ageia. PhysX is now part of CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) that Nvidia developed. CUDA may take off in a big way if some driver modders succeed in getting it to run on Radeon videocards. No word yet if ATI plans to support the project at all.
Yet another reason to upgrade my trusty 7900GT. Is PhysX support enough to make you upgrade your older card?
Last year a company called Anascape brought a lawsuit against Nintendo and Microsoft, claiming the companies violated several of its patents on game controllers. Microsoft’s deep pockets settled the case for an undisclosed amount. Nintendo decided to continue the fight, but lost. A jury awarded Anascape $21 million in damages.. The judge has refused to give Nintendo a new trial and threatens to halt sales of GameCube controllers, Wavebirds, and Wii Classic controllers until Nintendo puts up the money or posts a bond so it can continue fighting.
With Sony losing a similar suit to Immersion and Microsoft caving in, it doesn’t look good for Nintendo to win its case.
ArsTechnica looked deeper into Anascape and its patents. They found that Anascape doesn't have a web site. All of its patents belong to Brad Armstrong of Carson City, Nevada. Searches for Anascape’s offices haven't turned up anything. Anascape's lawyer Doug Cawley claims that the company wants to enter the game controller business, but Nintendo has "clogged the market”.
What else did ArsTechnica find? Make the jump to see.
It looks like Google may be in final negotiations to acquire Digg for somewhere in the $200 million range. TechCrunch.com reports that negotiations that have been on and off again, have been moving along for the last six weeks. A letter of intent has been signed and a deal is close that will bring Digg under Google News.
As close as a deal is with Google, it could still not come to fruition. Microsoft has previously expressed interest in Digg and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a pending Google deal to stir Microsoft’s interest in Digg again. It seems most of Digg’s revenue comes from a three year ad deal with Microsoft.
The big fish are gobbling up the little fish, but will Microsoft want a nibble too?
For Windows Vista users who use Windows Media Center, there's good news and bad news:
The good news? The long-awaited "Fiji" update to WMC, officially known as the Windows Media Center TV Pack, was released to manufacturing last week. The bad news? Pick a pair: a) TV Pack is currently available only to OEMs. b) Nobody who knows exactly what TV Pack includes is telling, and the rest of us don't know.
Some long-rumored features, such as support for H.264 encoding (used by DirecTV), didn't make the cut, but exactly what's in "Fiji" is still a mystery. To find out the best guesses we've found about TV Pack, and when the rest of us might finally get our hands on it, join us after the jump.
In order to work in the gaming industry -- or any industry where ravenous journalists circle about, just waiting for a choice quote, really -- you probably need a fairly resilient sense of humor. After all, even if you possess an iron will and never blab a single well-guarded secret, out-of-context headlines are still perched atop websites, waiting to knock the wind out of your sails.
With that said, life isn't fair, and I have a living to make. Today's Roundup does, in fact, feature a couple of seemingly-ridiculous lines from a couple of your favorite industry luminaries. But you guys are great, so I'm sure we won't have any issues with context or mockery, right? Right?
Using the WHDI standard it is possible to transmit 1080p uncompressed content using two 20MHz channels and 1080i and 720p on a lone 20MHz channel. It can send high definition content ripping through walls up to 30 m, with a latency of only 1 millisecond. However, the members of the newly formed consortium are not bound to integrate the technology in their products.