Items tagged with Micro

It's no secret that the days of procuring performance exclusively through faster clock speeds are over. The current crop of multi-core server, desktop, and mobile CPU designs are a dead giveaway that processor vendors like Intel are instead looking to increased parallelism as the facilitator of more computing horsepower. The problem, according to David Patterson, professor of computer science at UC Berkeley, becomes one of scheduling and balancing workloads across multiple sets of processing resources, so that you can truly get more performance out of those threaded designs. If an application is only running in one thread, upgrading to a dual- or quad-core chip won't help speed it up. It's a... Read more...
Many, many people have said that Windows XP is just fine, and while Vista's great (DX10 comes to mind), it's not necessary for most.  Can an outcry of public sentiment save XP?Windows Vista was supposed to be a shot in the arm for Microsoft, which had gone five years without a new desktop operating system. It hasn't worked out that way. Instead, Vista sales have been slower than XP's (when adjusted for market size) and there's been a distinct lack of passion for the new OS. In Vista's first year, InfoWorld detected a deep anxiety over Vista among technologists and consumers alike. We decided to do something about it, launching a petition drive to ask Microsoft to keep selling XP after the... Read more...
Nothing is so humorous as when the web site of a security vendor gets hacked. OK, OK, it was hilarious when the RIAA site was hacked, too. And I'll admit: it's probably not as funny if it's your security vendor.A Trend Micro spokesman confirmed that the company's site had been hacked Thursday, saying that the attack took place earlier in the week. "A portion of our site -- some pages were attacked," said Mike Sweeny, a Trend Micro spokesman. "We took the pages down overnight Tuesday night -- and took corrective action."On Thursday security vendor McAfee reported that more than 20,000 Web pages have been affected by the attack. The pages are infected with malicious code that tries to install password-stealing... Read more...
New peripherals bring stylish and affordable options for the digital lifestyle. REDMOND, Wash. - March 11, 2008 - Microsoft Corp. brings the beauty of Windows Aero from the PC to the devices that surround it with its latest keyboard and mouse desktop set, the Wireless Laser Desktop 7000, designed to complement the Windows Vista operating system with its striking design. The new desktop set includes an ultrathin Comfort Curve keyboard and rechargeable mouse, delivering ultimate performance and comfort. The keyboard features a Windows Aero-inspired translucent design, floating Hot Keys and instant access to Windows Flip 3D, making this desktop a perfect companion for today’s Windows Vista-based... Read more...
According to a report in the Financial Times, Sony is in talks with Microsoft about offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360.  As many of you know, until recently Sony has touted Blu-ray as an advantage the PlayStation 3 holds over the Xbox 360.  Microsoft had backed Toshiba’s HD-DVD format and offered an affordable, external HD-DVD drive for the 360, but by now we all know how that worked out... "A Blu-ray drive in a 360 would make Microsoft more competitive with the PS3, but it would also mean extra revenues for Sony’s electronics division. It would also add further cost to the 360, meaning a premium edition of the console could be necessary. A Blu-ray drive could be incorporated... Read more...
It's an obvious move, but one that removes a looming deadline from the horizon.[Yahoo] has amended the Company's bylaws to extend the deadline for nominating directors to Yahoo's board from March 14th to 10 days following the public announcement of the date for Yahoo!'s 2008 annual meeting of stockholders. As the Company has not yet announced the date of this year's annual meeting, the amendment will give stockholders who want to nominate one or more directors, including Microsoft Corporation, more time to do so. The amendment does not preclude any party from nominating one or more directors at any time prior to the new deadline.Translation: employees, Microsoft, shareholders and analysts continue... Read more...
Microsoft has developed a rich media platform to compete with Adobe's Flash, called Silverlight. Nokia has decided to sign on to use Silverlight on some of its smartphones and Internet tablets.  Microsoft  no doubt sees that browsing the Internet and virtual devices will eventually eat into their desktop supremacy, and would like to get a foothold in that on-the-go mediafest now.  John Case, a general manager with Microsoft, said Nokia represents the first of several similar announcements for Silverlight on mobile devices. He also said the next generation of Windows Mobile will support Silverlight, though he declined to give a time frame for the release of Windows Mobile 7. In... Read more...
Windows Vista: complaints, complaints, complaints.  Rightfully so, however.  Was XP the last good OS from Microsoft?Everybody's talking today about "Drivergate" — internal Microsoft e-mails that show senior Microsoft executives personally struggling to use hardware products sporting the "Windows Vista Capable" sticker. The e-mails also show that Microsoft lowered its standard for some hardware compatibility, apparently to help Intel impress Wall Street.This revelation is simply the latest in a long series that add up to one inescapable conclusion: Windows Vista sucks. (And making it cheaper won't help, either.)Microsoft needs to learn to stop using email.  Honestly, every case... Read more...
This has to be the most screwed-up Service Pack release we've ever seen, and we've seen plenty of them. While Microsoft said SP1 has been released to manufacturing, it also said SP1 wouldn't be sent to end users for six weeks. And it even pulled one of the prerequisite updates yesterday after issues with it. Yet today end users with 64-bit Vista installs are seeing SP1 in Windows Update.Not a whole lot to say here, but if you're running Vista on an x64-based system, you've probably already noticed a little surprise courtesy of Windows Update, which today started pushing out the x64 edition of Vista Service Pack 1. If you've been following things in SP1 land, you'll notice that's actually ahead... Read more...
Thought Microsoft actually made the following statements prior to Toshiba's official announcement, it is reasonable to assume that they knew what was coming.  It seems like they're not very concerned about the potential impact:“We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace,” Microsoft said in a statement. “As we've long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry.... Read more...
Like Basil Fawlty telling everybody not to mention The War, while doing it himself over and over, Microsoft has a new media playback protocol called PlayReady, and it's not a DRM platform! You could waterboard a Microsoft executive but he won't utter the acronym. Don't mention the DRM platform!PlayReady has some interesting features that might make the DRM pill an easier swallow. As well as being able to handle any type of file type, restrictions are based around the idea of domains: you sign up for a subscription service with someone such as MusicStation, and that subscription defines how many devices you may have in your "domain". Each of those devices is registered with MusicStation and media... Read more...
Yahoo! responded to Microsoft's unsolicited bid with a "no" today.  Microsoft may not take no for an answer.Calling Yahoo's decision "unfortunate," Microsoft didn't back off from its quest. "Based on conversations with stakeholders of both companies, we are confident that moving forward promptly to consummate a transaction is in the best interests of all parties," the Redmond, Wash.-based company said.If you read the full response from Microsoft, you will see a measure of hostility there.  As in hostile takeover?  Perhaps, perhaps.  There is obviously more to come.... Read more...
Remember the Red 80GB Zune that Microsoft announced in mid-January? A nice idea for Valentine's Day, especially with special limited time Zune Originals artwork. Unfortunately, the best-laid plans ....Microsoft is e-mailing customers who are on the cusp of not receiving their special Zune orders on time, saying that while they are trying their best to get orders out in time, they might not make it. Maybe your Valentine won't mind, however, because Microsoft says that they are refunding customer's money, too. If you're one of the unlucky people to be sitting on the cusp of a February 14 delivery date, then all of the sudden you're not so unlucky, since you're getting a free Zune out of the deal.... Read more...
Yesterday OpenID added Google, IBM, Verisign, Microsoft and Yahoo! to the board.  Now if they could just add some "consumers."By bringing on these companies and their resources, the OpenID Foundation will now be able to better serve the needs of  the entire OpenID community. In 2008, we can expect to see a larger focus on making OpenID even more accessible to a mainstream audience, the development of a World-wide trademark usage policy (much like the Jabber Foundation and Mozilla have done), and a larger international focus on working with the OpenID communities in Asia and Europe. Awesome!An OpenID "consumer" is one that allows a user to login with an OpenID.  So far, most of... Read more...
Goodbye, Boring Beige Mouse: Microsoft Recharges Peripheral Perception With Innovative New Mice New hybrid mouse delivers desktop mouse comfort with notebook mouse portability; rechargeable mouse offers high-end technology at affordable price point.REDMOND, Wash. Feb. 5, 2008 Microsoft Corp. today added two new desktop mice to its line of award-winning input devices with the new Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 and Wireless Laser Mouse 7000, giving consumers more choice and flexibility in their computing experience. The Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 debuts a new desktop mouse design, combining a full-size mouse for supreme comfort with a portable snap-in transceiver for easy mobility. Microsoft also announced... Read more...
Solid-state memory is the future. Micron and Intel, working together, have brought us closer to that future with the announcement of  a new flash  memory architecture that more than doubles both read and write speeds for solid-state memory devices.IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron, has developed an 8G-bit SLC (single-level cell) high-speed NAND chip which can reach read speeds up to 200M bytes per second and write speeds of up to 100M bytes per second, which could mean faster data transfer between devices like solid-state drives and video cards."With the popularity of digital video cameras and video-on-demand services, high speed NAND can enable a high-definition... Read more...
Microsoft launches - not hardware or software, but a comic strip.The daily Web comic, called Heroes Happen Here, features tech savvy crime fighters like Lord Firewall, who "stands between chaos and order" and says things like "begone vermin!"Heroes Happen Here is sponsored by Microsoft and Seagate. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Microsoft has also dubbed its February launch event for the 2008 versions of SQL Server, Windows Server and Visual Studio as 'Heroes Happen Here.'The HHH comic strips are being created by Jordan Gorfinkel, a former DC Comics editor who helped revitalize the Batman series. "IT pros and developers usually stay behind the scenes and keep a low profile, but in... Read more...
As we've mentioned here before, Yahoo has become a huge audience without a show. Now Microsoft, who have tried for years to leverage their success selling proprietary software into some sort of presence on the Internet, has decided to get that presence the old fashioned way: They're going to buy it.Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has made a proposal to the Yahoo! Inc. Board of Directors to acquire all the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 representing a total equity value of approximately $44.6 billion. Microsoft’s proposal would allow the Yahoo! shareholders to elect to receive cash or a fixed number of shares of Microsoft common stock, with... Read more...
As part of the result from Microsoft's anti-trust litigation with the U.S. government, the Redmond giant is currently subject to oversight to ensure that it doesn't abuse its market position.  While there are numerous decrees that govern this arrangement between Microsoft and the various government entities involved in the oversight, most of those agreements were due to run out in late 2007.It seems that the government bodies are still not 100% confident in Microsoft's ability to operate without running into anti-trust issues and thus are extending their arrangement for a few more years."A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a consent decree enforcing the settlement would remain in effect until... Read more...
Dell and Microsoft have gone (RED), joining (PROJECT) RED to fight AIDS in Africa.Dell will start selling two (Red) laptops and one desktop running Microsoft Windows Vista on Friday. The two companies will donate $50 for a laptop and $80 for a desktop to the Global Fund, which finances health programs in Africa.Microsoft said it expects "several hundred thousand" (Red) Dell PCs to be sold in 2008. The PCs, designed in part by Bono, will have a distinctive red casing and the Windows interface will feature a red background and sidebar.Sadly, you could already get Dell PCs in Red.  Ah, but they wouldn't have that great OS in Red!  Seriously, it's for a good cause.... Read more...
The EU's attacks on American tech companies appears to be progressing unabated:“European Union regulators said Monday they were again investigating software giant Microsoft Corp. this time on suspicion of abusing its market position by squeezing out competing Internet browsers and software rivals dependent on Microsoft programs.The European Commission opened two formal probes, the first move against the company since a court four months ago backed the EU in a long-running legal battle over Microsoft's actions in using its ubiquitous Windows operating system to elbow into new software markets.”Attention European countries!  There's an expression on this side of the pond: A day late and a... Read more...
While mice and keyboards don't typically get reviewed as often as new video cards and CPUs, they are still a major part of the computing experience.  Those who've plunked down a little extra money and purchased a product from one of the major players in this arena such as Logitech, don't often go back to bargain basement equipment.  Microsoft also knows this, and there has been a seriously rivalry for many years between the two firms.Microsoft itself may prefer Logitech as stock traders speculated that the software giant would launch a takeover bid for the Swiss-based peripherals maker.Shares of Logitech surged up to 12 percent based on the trader talk, despite comments from Logitech’s... Read more...
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