European Union to Probe Microsoft for Tablet Software

European antitrust regulators may open a new investigation into whether Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) can avoid giving a choice of browsers in a new version of its Windows operating system for tablet computers, the bloc’s competition chief said.

Windows RT, the version of the software for tablets and other devices that run on chips designed by ARM Holdings Plc, prohibits any browser except for Internet Explorer, according to a May blog post by Mozilla Corp., maker of the rival Firefox browser. The software is to be introduced Oct. 26.

“We’re confident that our updates to the Windows family of products — Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone — will offer customers additional choice in a very competitive market,” Robin Koch, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, said in an e-mail.


Source:  Google News

Apple Released New iOS

Apple released a new version of iOS, the software that underlies its handheld devices. On the whole, iOS 6, as Apple has dubbed the update, is worth downloading. It’s faster and offers some compelling new features. But be prepared to be frustrated. Some of the new features are incomplete, and one — the overhauled Maps application — is buggy and disappointing.

Older iOS devices won’t be able to use some of the new features in iOS 6. And two devices that could run iOS 5 can’t  run iOS 6 at all: the original iPad and the third-generation iPod. It also lacks features that Apple decided were appropriate for the iPhone or the iPod touch but not for any iPad. Those shortcomings aside, there still are plenty of new features in iOS 6 for older devices.

Source: Google News

FBI Launchd Facial Recognition Tool

Criminals who fear the FBI have reason to get a whole lot more nervous now.

The federal law enforcement agency just launched a $1 billion facial recognition program that will aid them in ways fingerprints and criminal background record information can’t. And it will do so with a mere photo. It’s called the Next Generation Identification Program (NGI).  The agency will be able to compare images in its database to those of individuals being tracked in crowds and elsewhere through surveillance footage. They will also be able to determine if someone that comes across their radar during a stake-out or surveillance has a criminal history, and to identify them immediately, even through a tattoo.

Some have expressed concerns that the general public could become a target of the new software program if photos of all citizens are uploaded. Currently, the FBI is on track to implement the new technology nationwide by 2014 according to the Daily News. The FBI’s facial recognition program should provide 90 percent accuracy.

Source: Google News

New Lumia from Nokia

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, and Nokia, the Finnish company that once dominated the cellphone market showcased their latest device in New York on Wednesday, and planned to demonstrate it for industry insiders in Helsinki as well.

Microsoft and Nokia introduced the new Lumia and hoped it will become a potent weapon in an escalating global mobile industry war.

The Lumia 920 and smaller Lumia 820 run on the latest Windows Phone operating software, which Microsoft hopes will rival Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android to become a third mobile platform.

The new Lumias could, however, benefit from the continuing decline in Research In Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry, and from a recent legal blow to the Android operating system.

A California jury decided last month that some of Samsung’s hot-selling Android smartphones copied features of the iPhone, which may result in import bans and drive handset makers to put more resources into making Windows-based phones.

But for Nokia and Microsoft to exploit that window of opportunity, it must first find favor with consumers, who so far have shown little enthusiasm for smartphones with Windows software.


Source:  Google News