Items tagged with Beta

It's been bandied around for some time: a subscription-based version of Microsoft Office, and on Friday, Microsoft launched just such a service, code-named Albany, in private beta form.  Albany includes more than just Office, however.“Albany” is the codename for a new all-in-one subscription service of essential software and services consumers told us were most important to them. We’ve pulled together the productivity tools people need to organize their lives, security to help keep their personal information safe and online services that make it easy for them to keep in touch with friends and family, and folded them all into a single service that also ensures the user’s PC is running the... Read more...
Not only did Mozilla release the Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 code today, it also announced when RC1 will code-freeze, as it closes in on completion of Firefox 3.0As it races to the goal post, Mozilla.org announced that beta 5 of Firefox 3 is available and that the code for release candidate 1 will be frozen on April 8.Beta 5 offers big improvements over previous release including enhanced stability, performance and  web compatibility and user interface enhancements, including changes to the look-and-feel of Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OSX and Linux themes.The updated beta also offers enhanced integration with Windows, Mac and Linux, including improved Windows icons and native user interface widgets... Read more...
Microsoft is readying a beta of their next generation Internet Explorer.Microsoft says its new browser will support web standards better, provide more security and additional interface options.In a Volish attempt to comply with standards, and not disrupt sites written with IE6 and IE7, it would seem that Microsoft is going to let developers "stay in or out of the web standards mode."It should also be noted that a new version of Firefox is nearing completion.... Read more...
Run, don't walk, to your nearest PC to sign up.   Only the first 15,000 registrants will get in, according to Ulteo, developers of the online version.The beta which is open to the first 15,000 subscribers, offers access to the complete OpenOffice suite without any prior installation, and 1GB of free storage.The suite also adds collaboration capabilities, allowing multiple users to work on a shared document, with the changes tracked in real time.Ulteo clearly has high hopes for the software, citing the potential uses in schools and colleges. The company also claims that taking OpenOffice online could help broaden adoption of the open-source office package.There are apparently still openings... Read more...
Look what's coming.  Windows Vista SP1 RC1 (don't you just love all those 3 letter acronyms) will be available next week via the Download Center, and to MSDN and Technet subscribers tomorrow."We feel really good and we look forward to receiving feedback from our larger set of testers," said David Zipkin, a senior product manager on the Windows Client team.Microsoft also said on its Vista blog on Wednesday that it will make available a "blocker" that will allow customers who have Vista and use Windows Update to block SP1 upon its final release to allow for further testing. Microsoft offered a similar option with Windows XP Service Pack 2.Service Pack 1 is mainly designed as a collection of... Read more...
Although we know Windows XP SP3 isn't going to be feature-laden, it does offer, according to tests, a noticeable speed increase. And on Monday Microsoft increased the beta coverage of SP3 by making it available to MSDN and Technet subscribers.Microsoft late Monday expanded its beta test of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to subscribers of its MSDN and TechNet programs, releasing what is being called a "near-final release candidate." The move is likely harbinger of a public beta, as the latest SP3 code will be in the hands of far more than the 15,000 who originally were given access in mid-November.As we know, SP3 is a rollup of all previously released XP updates consisting, according to Microsoft of... Read more...
In a recent Firefox 3.0 status meeting it was revealed that there are 700 bug classified as 'blockers' or bugs worthy of delaying release.  Given the original timetable for the project, it seems that things are running slower than expected and it is a good guess that the delays are due in part to the number of show-stopping bugs.“Firefox 3.0 is months behind the schedule Mozilla set about midyear, when it said the browser would reach Beta 1 in late July and move into a second beta in September, both preceding a final release by the end of the year. Now, however, the company's Web site alludes to getting Beta 2 ready by the December holidays.”Participating developers have until Thursday to... Read more...
Adobe has been preparing an online version of Photoshop for some time now, and it looks like we can stop holding our breath soon: a beta is likely to be out before the end of the year.The beta is likely to start at Adobe's site, but it is entirely possible that we'll see variants of the online Photoshop, dubbed Photoshop Express, on sites like Photobucket soon thereafter:“Adobe is introducing limited functionality Photoshop Express as part of its move to providing software as a service. Company chief executive Bruce Chizen has recently vouched his belief that online software will become the de facto standard for software distribution within the next decade.”We're excited to see that Adobe is... Read more...
Approximately a month after first announcing the Vista SP1 beta, Microsoft has released it to a private set of testers.Microsoft on Monday said it has released a beta version of the first service pack of Windows Vista to about 12,000 testers. Microsoft had said back in August that it expected to start private testing of the service pack within a few weeks. The update is largely a collection of bug fixes and performance and compatibility improvements, but includes some minor new features such as support for the ability to encrypt multiple hard drive partitions using Vista's BitLocker feature.Yes, unfortunately it's a private beta, but who wants to bet how long it will be before it is leaked?... Read more...
The Team Fortress 2 beta went live overnight, meaning some of you may notice missing people at work, as well as elsewhere. Last night a gaggle of old-school Team Fortress Classic fans flocked to Steam for their first shot at playing Team Fortress 2, a "beta" only available to those who have pre-ordered The Orange Box through Valve's download service. Unfortunately, as tends to happen with these anticipated downloads, there were some hiccups in the process. Ah well, the hiccups were worked out and now people are playing furiously.  This game has seemingly (note the word seemingly) been in development as long as Duke Nukem Forever, which has been in development... Read more...
After a lot of speculation, leaked builds and closed beta testing - without specific public details about SP1 - Microsoft today posted an announcement on their official Windows Vista blog detailing SP1 and their plans for it. Now is the time and the time is now:  let's talk about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).  Much has been made of what will or will not be included in SP1 and when it will be released (some accurate, some otherwise).  I'm here to set the story straight:  we're in the process of developing and deploying a Beta version of SP1.  This post will describe for you what to expect from that effort and how you can be involved in the process. They say they are targeting... Read more...
It’s not really a big surprise that MS is working on a service pack (SP) for Vista.  The two things that may come as a surprise to many are how soon after launching the SP might be released (November, less than a year after launch) and of course, why: “Windows Vista is not even a year old, but Microsoft is already orchestrating the launch of Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta 1 for the week of July 16. Many companies will not even touch a new Microsoft operating system until the first service pack is released, so the quick rollout of SP1 isn't totally unexpected.” If many companies wait to buy until the first SP is out, then it might encourage MS to release the first SP earlier than they have with... Read more...
Blockbuster video has thrown their considerable weight behind the Blu-Ray format by deciding to offer only that format in its video rental stores. They offered high definition discs in both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray format as a test in 250 of their outlets, and consumers opted for the Blu-ray more than 70 percent of the time.  The release of Sony's Blu-ray-enabled PlayStation 3 games console was also a factor in the decision, said Blockbuster senior vice president of merchandising Matthew Smith. Smith's comments comes after Microsoft conceded that the Xbox 360 games console may eventually support Blu-ray. While Blockbuster is following market trends, its backing of Blu-ray as... Read more...
After a long wait, the new Folding@home client is here.  No more need to run multiple consoles to get all those cores cranking away.  Keep in mind that HH is team number 32407. "We are pleased to announce the release of our Folding@Home Windows SMP client to open beta! Please keep in mind that this is beta software. There will be bugs. You may lose work. If you are looking for a "safe" way to complete work (and earn points), we do not recommend using a beta client. For those who are willing to risk a little more debugging and the potential of some lost work (and points), this is a wonderful way to contribute to the science and see... Read more...
NVIDIA's latest beta drivers for Windows Vista, Forceware 101.41, was released to the public last friday and after a great deal of anticipation, the guys over at Bit-Tech have good things to say. Addressing issues such as the functionality of 6 and 7 series GeForce cards in SLI, NVIDIA has added SLI functionality to these cards under Windows Vista including the 7950GX2, which requires SLI functionality to run properly. NVIDIA says they haven't ironed out all the kinks yet, but Forceware 101.41 is a good step forward. here is an old saying that says, "March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb." Well, the "in like a lion" part is at least accurate in our industry. Nvidia has finally... Read more...
Google's Gmail has been available for some time now, though up until now it's always held onto the Beta tag. Google has ended their long Beta test of Gmail, and now anyone can sign up for the service without the need for an invitation or cell registration. If you're still one of those folks without a Gmail account, head on over for your free 2.7GB+ of e-mail storage.... Read more...
The winner in the plasma/LCD wars to supply you with a television is coming to a head. Big, high resolution LCD screens are forcing plasma televisions into the huge screen corner. And the price of all of it is coming down --way down. It is technologically difficult and often costly for plasma makers to give a full high-definition function to models with a screen size of less than 50 inches, while LCD TV makers are aggressively promoting full HD models in that segment although prices are generally higher. "This Christmas season probably is the last chance for (plasma TV makers) to promote 42-inch models. By this time next year probably there will be no price difference between plasma and LCD TVs,"... Read more...
The second beta for Mozilla's Firefox 2 browser has been released. As the release notes explain, the browser includes built-in phishing protection, improvements with the visual interface and tabbed browsing system, a browsing session restore feature, and enhanced search capabilities. There's plenty more to check out, so get downloading. "Firefox 2 Beta 2 is a developer preview release of our next generation Firefox browser and it is being made available for testing purposes only. Firefox 2 Beta 2 is intended for Web application developers and our testing community. Current users of Firefox 1.x should not use Firefox 2 Beta 2 and expect... Read more...
If you're interested in how your computer might fare with the still-in-development Battlefield 2142, AMD Zone has a preview of the game's performance with the latest beta build of the game. When looking at the scores, keep in mind "beta build". "For our testing we ran Fraps for the same length of gameplay, recreating the same gameplay. There was no way to make a demo unless you have a server, and you can not currently make one with 2142. This means there could be some error in these results, but looking at them we feel they should be accurrate. Settings we pushed to maximum for everything, and AA was set to 4XAA or off... Read more...
With the official release of Internet Explorer 7 expected later this year, Microsoft has updated their Internet Explorer page with the announcement of IE7 Beta 3's availability. IE7 is shaping up to be a much better browser than IE6 currently is, with improved security, tabbed browsing, and RSS capability being some of its highlights.... Read more...
If you want to see how the latest build of Vista performs with some of today's popular benchmarks, Techage has the scoop for you this evening. We urge you all to approach the results and writer's opinion with caution, however. We don't question the validity of the results, but Vista's performance has changed quite a bit from build to build, and driver support and optimizations will likely be worlds ahead of where they are now. "Windows Vista is system intensive, as we knew it would be. We set out to find out just -how- system intensive it is. We run a slew of benchmarks and gaming runs on both the 32-Bit and 64-Bit versions to see how they compare to XP."  ... Read more...
The article is meant as a preview, but Ars Technica's tour of Windows Vista Beta 2 has some good coverage on the progress of the upcoming OS. "Generally when I am reviewing beta operating systems, I use whatever throw-away gear that I might have. For this preview I've decided to throw my main machine at Vista. I really wanted to get a good feel for what using Vista day-to-day might feel like on more modern hardware that I have plenty of experience using."  ... Read more...
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