Not Enough Choice?

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Wow. Most of you recall that Microsoft caved into the EU’s demands to add a browser alternative selection on Windows, so they aren’t “forced” to use Internet Explorer as a default browser. This guy, Mr. Quick thinks that it’s not enough choice. You have IE, Safari, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and a few others. The others, he claims, are based on Internet Explorers rendering engine. Huh?!? You can’t win with some people.

“The aspect of a browser that decides what bit to put where on the page, that’s the rendering engine,” said Mr Quick.

Wow. He is quick. So, IE uses the Trident engine. So, he nails Microsoft. What about Mozilla, with 3 products using their engine? Or WebKit (Safari)? This guy needs a clue.

Of the 12 browsers on offer, five use the Trident rendering engine, three use Mozilla’s Gecko, two use WebKit, and one uses Opera’s Presto. Sleipnir can use either Trident or Gecko.

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Confessions of a Windows Pirate Drama Queen

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Ed Bott from ZDNet showcases his skills cracking Windows 7. Sure, he uses premade programs that are a simple click and it’s done thing, but he does go into detail on what you shouldn’t do. The majority of ISO’s out there that are pre-cracked are infected with some real nasty malware. Piracy isn’t good at any level, but it does go to show that the Windows activation scheme is aimed at the average Joe Consumer, rather than trying to thwart the pirate community…

In this post, I

The Slow Death of IE6

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We’ve all used it, and at one time we probably liked it. Well, at least a little. Ok, IE6 really wasn’t that great, but a lot of web sites were designed to be viewed on Internet Explorer 6, rather than the (at the time) niche Firefox (Netscape was pretty much dead by then). So, times have changed since the year 2000, right? Not according to the statistics. IE6 still holds about 20% of the users on the internet hostage to a 10 year technology. The world wide web came out in the early 90’s. So, not even a decade went by and we went from text to Flash enabled, secure web sites. Technology moves fast, extremely fast. So, why are so many people still using Internet Explorer 6? Popular Science has a few reasons why, all of which I agree full heartedly on.

The post goes on to explicitly recommend moving off of IE6. The problem is, corporate IT departments won

Profile Relocator for Windows

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Joseph Cox has a nice program that moves your Windows user profiles to a different hard drive, which can come in very handy if you have an issue with the main hard drive down the road. Sure, the second drive could go out, but the main Windows drive usually is the drive that goes kaput first. Check it out if you have a use for it!

Profile Relocator is a step-based application that allows the re-locating of the Windows Users profile directory. Once re-located, any created profiles will appear in the new location in their entirety. The advantage to doing this allows profiles to be stored in a location that doesn’t reside on the system drive, ensuring that profile data isn’t compromised as a result of re-installation or system failure.

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First Windows 7 Phone Photos

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Engadget has a nice photo of the new LG Windows 7 phone. Personally, I like the look of it, but the new UI seems to get away from the Windows format, which was easier for business folks. Only time will tell whether or not the new phone software is a success. Maybe in 2 years, I’ll move from the Android powered HTC Eris I have now to a new Windows phone.

Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman just pulled off a little surprise here at The Engadget Show: he brought out LG’s Windows Phone 7 Series pre-production prototype! The QWERTY slider is the first branded Windows Phone 7 Series device the world’s ever seen, and while the hardware and software are both obviously early, we can tell you a few things about it: it’s just a hair thicker than an iPhone or Nexus One, there are dedicated hardware camera, volume, and power buttons in addition to the back, home, and search buttons dictated by Windows Phone 7 Series, and we noticed a five megapixel camera with a flash on the back, along with a headphone jack.

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The Downside Of Phone 7 Series

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With all the recent positive press with the Microsoft phone OS, there has been very little negative feedback. Other than from the Mac guys, but anything Microsoft is horrible, sight unseen. Here is an article that hits on some of the points that I agree with, and mentioned the other day.

Windows Phone 7 Series may prove to be a bad choice for enterprise customers due to lack of control over the device. Also a lot of Microsoft’s fortified technologies can’t talk to a lot of newly evolving Muktware (Open Source) technologies.

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Microsoft Yahoo Deal OK, Says DOJ

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For those of you following the Microsoft/Yahoo alliance, the Department of Justice has said that it won’t hurt consumers or advertisers. Good news for many. I’m just hoping it helps with innovation and can bring some more competition into the advertising market. The internet advertising has pretty much crashed to rock bottom, but it should make somewhat of a recovery. Do you click on advertisements you see online? I try to support the sites I visit by clicking the ads. Many times, I know a site advertises a certain company, and will go out of my way to visit that site just to click the ad before I make my purchase. Helps out the site, and I was going to make the purchase anyway!

The antitrust division added the deal “is not likely to harm users of Internet search, paid search advertisers, Internet publishers or distributors of search and paid search advertising technology” and “likely will enable more rapid improvements in the performance of Microsoft’s search and paid advertising technology.”

Windows Phone 7 Series Unleashed

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The news that was expected to come from Microsoft is true. They have unveiled the Windows Phone 7 Series to the world. A few things that I would like to comment on. First, the lack of Flash. It seems like Apple and Microsoft are abandoning the Flash platform. With Adobe’s support for 64-bit Flash, and the problems with the standard 32-bit version, it almost seems like Adobe has abandoned it as well.

Second, it is almost a “Too little, too late” scenerio. I’ve always been a fan of Windows Mobile, but have just recently jumped ship to the Android platform. I still use my Dell Axim x50V with WM6.0 occasionally, but my MotoQ phone is just a bad phone. A lot of people have already switched to Android, iPhone or the business friendly Blackberry. I’m hoping that the Windows Phone 7 Series can bring back some respect for the Microsoft mobile platform, but judging from the screenshots, it just doesn’t look like it will bring a whole lot of innovation to the table. Maybe I’m wrong, but only time will tell.

I do think that the addition of the Zune features and XBox Live functionality is great, and will help bring in some sales, but it just isn’t a major reason to switch to a new phone. Now that I’m on a contract with my new Android phone, I’ll have to wait for the new Microsoft phone, unless they offer some great incentives or deals to make me switch.

Engadget has some good coverage and screenshots on their page. It looks nice, sure, but I just don’t see what would make me switch this late in the game. I’m going to wait until the next revision of hardware and software before I make the switch. Unless they have a new “killer application” that I can’t live without.

Besides just flipping the script on the brand, the company seems to be taking a much more vertical approach with hardware and user experience, dictating rigid specs for 7 Series devices (a specific CPU and speed, screen aspect ratio and resolution, memory, and even button configuration), and doing away with carrier or partner UI customizations such as Sense or TouchWiz. That’s right — there will be a single Windows Phone identity regardless of carrier or device brand. Those new phones will likely look similar at first, featuring a high res touchscreen, three front-facing buttons (back, start, and perhaps not shockingly, a Bing key), and little else.

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Microsoft Details Issues With Windows 7

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Ars Technica posted an article describing a few issues with Windows 7 that are known, and some fixes via hotfixes or patches from Microsoft. Glad to see that MS is fixing these as they come along… Well, most of them.

Microsoft has been tracking some odd issues that occur on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. These bugs are not typically fixed via Windows Update, because these hotfixes should only be applied to systems that are experiencing specific problems. So if you are not severely affected by either of them, wait for the relevant service packs. Here are the four most prominent issues, listed in order of decreasing severity.

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