Archive for the ‘News’ Category
It’s been 30 years since Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft. While I’ve had mixed feelings about Ballmer over the years, he has earned a lot of respect for helping Microsoft become what it is today. The car salesman lilke CEO of Microsoft had him speechless at the event when they brought out his family to the stage. I’ve had some mixed feelings about Bill Gates, as well, but have to admit that he does a much better job at the helm than Steve. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll be saying the same about the next successor to the throne at Microsoft. One thing to look forward to for MSFT investors: quarterly and fiscal year end earnings report on Thursday. Windows 7 has been doing extremely well, and I’m sure their earnings should be up.
Sentiment aside, the timing is very interesting. Ballmer has seen criticism of his leadership rise over the past year, despite the turnaround of the flagship Windows business, as Microsoft’s share price has remained stagnant and the company has struggled to keep pace against Google and Apple in the mobile phone business.
Some shareholders would no doubt like to interpret the tribute as a retirement montage, but in the context of the Microsoft rally it was more along the lines of a show of support. Assuming he’s not ultimately forced out, Ballmer said as recently as 2008 that he’s planning to stick around until his last kid goes to college, around 2018.
For those wondering whether or not to use the 32 bit or the 64 bit version of Internet Explorer (if you use Internet Explorer), Computerworld has some good information on it. There is a good reason not to use the 64-bit version, but many times it won’t matter. I use 32 bit, myself, due to the plugin issue. I don’t notice any speed difference, so it may be noticeable, but it’s not a hindrance to any work being done.
They do this for a good reason: backward compatibility. Plug-ins have to be rewritten to work with the x64 version, and a lot of plugins have yet to be rewritten. More 64-bit plugins are being released all the time, of course, so this problem isn’t as severe as it used to be. For instance, you can now download and install 64-bit versions of Adobe Flash Player and Google Toolbar. But if Windows were to default to running the 64-bit browser tomorrow, it would still result in a lot of frustrated tech support calls.
Microsoft has acquired a new 3D sensing chip designer, Canesta. Kinect could be the new beginning of 3D interaction with your video games. Call me old school, but with MOST games, I prefer a standard controller. I’m sure they could design games that work better (exercise games, especially) with the 3D interaction, but FPS’s and platformers will never be better on it for me.
Canesta’s principal products are 3D image sensor chips which form the heart of Camera Modules which may be integrated into electronic end-use products from cars to personal computers. Designed to the specific requirements of a given application or set of applications, Camera Modules made with Canesta’s 3D image sensor chips are small and cost effective in high volume
Floppy disks have been around for a long time. Some of the recent 3.5” disks could hold 1.44 MB of information. These days, it’s faster to download or email a file over the internet than it is to load it from a floppy disk (even if the disk is already in the PC!). Here’s some other uses for them, if you feel the need.
More than 1,000 readers e-mailed in response to the Magazine’s request to explain their attachment to the once universally popular 3.5" diskettes. Many pointed out floppies are needed to access even newer computers’ deepest innards – their Bios. (A surprising number also enjoyed pointing out the South African term for floppies – stiffies – though let’s not dwell too long on that.)
I found this article fairly redundant as to what everyone else has been saying. The one thing that got me thinking was the last one: “A willingness to still be a PC, and be open”. A lot of people say that Windows is a very closed operating system. This is true to a point, but applications are install them as you find them – no permission from Nanny to install them. Apple has the Apple Store to give permission to those that want to develop for their very closed operating system environment. It may make for a less secure OS, but it will keep the freedom of choice in the hands of the consumer, rather than in the big man himself. There are a lot of “questionable” applications available for Windows that I’m sure wouldn’t be allowed to be distributed through normal channels or app stores.
I do have one thing to add. I’m waiting, and hoping, that a new “jailbreak” or rooting mechanism is implemented very soon after (or before, as usually is the case) the release of the OS. I really don’t like being at the mercy of someone else’s ideas and beliefs on what is best and appropriate for me. I can name several network tools I use in my different job duties for legitimate reasons that would be considered “unethical” by some. It all depends in the application of said tools. There are a lot of tools that can be used for malice or for nice. It depends on the user. Let the user decide, not the nanny.
What do you think? Would you trade your freedom of applications for a more secure operating system?
From what we’ve heard so far, Microsoft is going to take an Apple approach to Windows 8 apps buy controlling all app distribution for Metro-style apps. This makes for a very safe app ecosystem, but also one without freedom of choice. What will this do to services like Steam, which sell games? There are many good reasons to have a secure system for purchasing apps, but shouldn’t we be able to purchase software from multiple vendors? What if Microsoft decides that it doesn’t want to sell a particular app? Shouldn’t there be the possibility that the software could be obtained from other services? Why can’t Amazon sell apps? I guarantee they’d have lower prices and nice deals. There must be a smart way to integrate third-party app distribution into Windows 8, and every other mobile OS.
The worlds largest multi-user LCD display has been unveiled by MultiTouch Ltd.. Powered by Windows 7 and upgradable to Windows 8 later this year, it allows multiple users to use the touch screen interface. It uses the Surface 2.0 SDK for development, but lacks the PixelSense technology behind the Surface 2 hardware.
MultiTouch Ltd. introduces the world’s largest integrated multi-user LCD multitouch display, the MultiTaction® Cell 55. The product, a 55-inch display, is the first to emerge from the company’s new software and hardware platform for large-scale multitouch LCD displays, MultiTaction.
Windows 7 has been declared the fastest selling operating system in history, selling an average of 7 copies every second for a total of 150 million (150,000,000) copies. Great job Microsoft! You know you have a great operating system when it sells in record numbers! Of course, what’s not to love about Windows 7? Anyone have anything they DON’T like about it? Leave a comment (no registration required) and let me know!
Business Insider has a look and offers their opinion on why Windows Phone 7 is better than the iPhone. While I don’t really care for the iPhone, I do love Android, and both offer a lot of great features. The WP7 may be better for some, but the iPhone is still a strong competitor and to deny that would be stupid. I am sure that the iPhone is much better for a lot of people (a lot of Teenagers go for the Apple products over others, just because of the name).
Yes, but Microsoft’s making a point about Phone 7′s design, which lets you do more stuff without constantly navigating between apps. The best example is the People hub, shown here. This looks like a normal contact list, like the iPhone and every other smartphone has. But each contact’s image is automatically updated from their most recent Facebook image. Click on each one, and you get a wealth of options: you can make a call, send an e-mail or text, post on their wall, view pictures they’ve recently posted, and so on. Everything you want to do is based around that person, not locked up in different apps.
It seems that Windows really is a secure operating system. You can stop most of the vulnerabilities of Windows by not running your account as an Administrator. Using a normal User account and only elevating when you need to has been a new standard way of doing things since Windows Vista, but many people change that to run as Administrators all the time. Similar to the way Linux does things (sudo, su), most of what you do can be done as a user, only using the Admin account when you absolutely need to (change system files, install programs). This greatly slows down the way malware and viruses can infect your PC, as they usually need administrator rights to install their infected files.
After tabulating all the vulnerabilities published in Microsoft’s 2009 Security Bulletins, it turns out 90 percent of the vulnerabilities can be mitigated by configuring users to operate without administrator rights, according to a report by BeyondTrust. As for the published Windows 7 vulnerabilities through March 2010, 57 percent are no longer applicable after removing administrator rights.
While I am a big fan of Windows Mobile (but, I also use an iPod Touch and enjoy it’s interface; I have also played with a Google Android OS and enjoy it as well), it’s interface and general usability really hasn’t changed in the past decade. I’m using an older Dell Axim x50V and love it (I also have a MotoQ 9c and hate it! No touch screen…). It does everything I need it to do, it’s fast (faster than some brand new smartphones running the same OS), reliable, and just an awesome little PocketPC with Windows Mobile 6.1. It had Windows Mobile 2003 on it, and then 2005, then 6.0 and finally 6.1. With all the upgrades, I got small improvements, but nothing spectacular. Let’s hope that 2010-2011 brings Windows Mobile 7.0 with some major changes to the interface. I love the Windows look, but I haven’t gained anything really….
10 years ago, you could buy the HP Jornada 548 with a color screen, which let you listen to MP3s, surf the web, check your email, and keep a calendar. It had a touchscreen. It ran Windows. It was awesome.