Windows 8 Coming in 3 Versions

Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will come in three versions.

“For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), we will have two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.” – a post on Windows 8 Blog Team.

But the post goes on to let us all know that there’s a third version, Windows RT.

“Windows RT is the newest member of the Windows family,” the post says, going on to explain that the new name replaces “Windows on ARM or WOA” and that this version of Windows “will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors.”

There’s no explanation of the name RT, but the post does say “Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. For new apps, the focus for Windows RT is development on the new Windows runtime, or WinRT, which we unveiled in September and forms the foundation of a new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps of all kinds.”

Source: The Register

Microsoft Product Roadmap Leaked

Microsoft has provided some of its partners with a roadmap for next versions of many of its key products, including Office 15, IE 10 and Windows Phone, and parts of that document have leaked to the Web.

One of the partners who received the roadmap, Maarten Visser, CEO of Meetroo — a new SharePoint and mobility startup — recently posted screen shots from it and tweeted links to them.

“For who want to know: I got the roadmap from the Microsoft Partner Network, where it can be downloaded without logon,” Visser tweeted a week ago.

Update: And here’s a Microsoft spokesperson emphasizing those same caveats in a statement: “We often provide forward-looking information to our partners and customers under our confidentially agreements with them. This information contains our best estimates and is, in no way, final or definitive.”

Source: ZDNet

India Got Its First 4G With Airtel

An immediate opportunity for Airtel is to push 4G (fourth-generation) data services in a market that is currently addressed mainly by slower, fixed line broadband connections that have limited reach, said Kamlesh Bhatia, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Airtel bid about 33 billion rupees (US$634 million) in a government auction in 2010 for the right to offer broadband wireless access (BWA) in four of India’s 22 service areas. Starting with Kolkata, the company plans to offer 4G services in the other three service areas including Bangalore shortly.

Besides offering rich content, Airtel plans to give customers fast access to high-definition (HD) video streaming, multiple chatting, and instant uploading of photos, and also to bridge the country’s digital divide.

Source: Latest News on Software

Support for Windows XP Ends in Two Years

XP was shipped to OEMs on August 24th, 2001 and reached average punters on October 25th.

Plenty bought it and plenty still run it: Gartner’s July 2011 assessment of the global OS population suggested “Windows XP Home and Follow-Ons” had 68 million users, while XP Professional ran on 144 million machines.

A more recent Gartner study, the March 2012 Client OS and Office Survey reported 79% of business desktops and 45% of notebooks ran XP, based on responses from a 147-strong, self-selecting, group at its October 2011 US Symposium event. While the analyst firm notes that’s not the most scientific of samples, the respondents represented organisations with a combined three million PCs in service.

Gartner’s message to to those users is clear: flee migrate away from the OS ASAP, or as soon as is convenient before the end of its supported life on the date we note above.

See Full Story Here!

Source: The Register

Microsoft Stacked The Deck for Firefox and Google

Windows 8 is considerably more complicated because you have two versions of IE, one for the Legacy Desktop and one for the Metro Start screen. In Windows 8, if you choose IE as your default browser, you need to pick which version of IE is the default browser: Metro or Legacy. In a flourish of Windows-style user interface muddling, the place where you choose your default browser is not the same place where you choose which of the two IEs reigns as default.

Firefox and Google have a vested interest in coming up with a Metro version of their browsers. As Firefox architect Brian Bondy puts it, “If a browser does not support Metro, it is seriously at risk of losing the default browser status, and therefore significant market share.”

Here’s how it works. Just as in Windows 7, you need to set a default browser in Windows 8. In Windows 7, the default browser handles all the things you would expect a browser to handle: links in email messages and documents, rendering HTML files, the usual browser shtick.

Source: InfoWorld

Microsoft is Boosting Its Desktop Optimization Pack

Microsoft is boosting the virtualization components of its Desktop Optimization Pack suite of IT management tools.

The new product, called User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), is designed to establish user preferences and settings in a central server location and have those settings and preferences automatically applied to the multiple devices a user employs, so that applications don’t need to be reconfigured manually in each one.

The goal is for UE-V to deliver a personal, consistent Windows experience across devices, said Karri Alexion-Tiernan, Windows product marketing director. UE-V works with Windows 7 and will work with Windows 8, which is now in beta testing.

Meanwhile, the upgraded product, App-V, which lets IT departments store applications in a central server and stream them on demand to multiple user devices, features in this latest 5.0 version what Alexion-Tiernan describes as a “deeper platform integration,” which lets the virtualized applications perform more like traditionally installed applications.

Source: InfoWorld

Microsoft: Key Contributor to Linux?

For the first time ever, and probably only temporarily, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux.

The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux.

he Linux Foundation’s Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually.

Overall, Microsoft contributed 688 changes, or about 1.0 percent of the accepted changes to the kernel, since version 2.6.36. Company engineers also signed off on 2,174 changes, or about 1.1 percent of all the changes in this review period.

See Full Story Here!

Source: InfoWorld

Adobe Releases a Critical Flash Player Security Update

Adobe did something good this week, releasing a new version of its Flash Player software with automatic updating capabilities.

They also did something truly awful—using their update page to push a third-party scareware program designed to separate naive PC users from their cash.

The good news is, it includes a new automatic updater for Windows. But the  bad news is, Adobe’s download page pushes a misleading “system optimizer” designed to scare users into paying for unneeded repairs.

Update: Even on a completely clean installation of Windows 7, the “system optimizer” utility I discuss in this post found hundreds of “critical errors” that could only be fixed after paying for the repair. 

Source: Z D Net