Archive for March, 2009

windows 7 vs. Linux

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

With the release of first public beta version of Windows 7, there was a feeling that Microsoft had finally created the Windows they were promising from long time. However they have got few choices the professional and public reaction to Vista and the mounting pressure from low cost Linux over the low cost computer devices, which mean they have to act fast. There is a debate about what 7 means for both Linux and Windows as it is Linux’s fearsome new enemy or Microsoft’s last gasp. However some closer inspections show that it is not either of it. Linux has made steps for itself on the desktop by making it possible to build netbooks at lower costs while Windows 7 would surely enjoy the market positions and impress their existing Windows users even more.

You can just find out how Windows 7 and the desktop breeds of Linux shape up against themselves while knowing what is coming before from both sides. This is however not in an intention to downgrade either Linux or Windows 7 but only an exercise to find out what each does in particular categories.

Firstly, as most people generally purchase computers preloaded with Windows is because they don’t have to deal with the entire process of installing the OS and the same goes to machines that come preloaded with Linux. However people trying the new Windows 7 and those installing Linux on their existing computer have to go through entire installation process in some way. The installation process of Windows 7 can be familiar to those who have already installed and used vista as it requires a few setup choices and is much faster than XP. Windows 7 however insists to be the first OS on the system. Therefore if you need a dual boot system you will still require installing varieties of Windows and then Linux or else you will have to repair one to get the other boot.

One thing that Windows has incrementally added over time is their better pre-booth support environment. You can actually boot the installation DVD to bring up command consoles to perform a small division of admin of admin functions while also performing a full system image recovery. However installing Linux will be half the struggle and the process has also become much easier. Ubuntu also gives you the option to run straight from an existing Windows partition with just a few performance hit. There is also another positive change on how the hit rate for hardware detection has increased with each successive release. Additionally the other great thing that Linux still continues to offer in this regards and which Windows still seems unable to offer because of their architectural limitations is the live USB or the live CD drive. When you boot it you would have a full blown copy of the operating system along with the biggest hindrance being in the transfer speed of boot media. This is only possible in Windows with its great deal of acrobatics but in Linux it is a natural thing.

New Smartphone technology for enterprise IT infrastructures

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

The Research in Motion Ltd has hopes that their new version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server will help in convincing doubtful IT managers that the smartphone technology can meet stiff corporate standards for security and management. Users and analysts said that if the new simplified administration tools and fail over functions in the upcoming 5.0 version of BlackBerry management software work according to the promises of RIM then hundreds more workers outside the executive suites would safely use this mobile device.

The analysts said that improvements in technology, including faster networks, more powerful processors and devices which could support multiple networks offered at lower costs are slowly increasing the pace of mobile devices in corporate platforms. However they noted that most IT managers remain cautious of letting significant number of employees to use these handhelds due to the apparent lack of management and security capabilities. Ken Dulaney the analysts in Gartner Inc has estimated that nearly 80 percent of big companies that employ more than 100 workers are now using smartphones that are authorized by IT operations. He added that during the past two years the technology had started spreading from management suite to corporate masses.

Therefore the new BlackBerry management tool set with Argon code name is scheduled to ship in second quarter of this year. The officials of RIM refused to identify the companies which are not beta testing this software which can also best explain its advanced features. Peter Walkar who is the senior director of software product management at RIM says that the fail over capacity in the 5.0 version would let IT administrators to connect a number of servers with one system which is kept ready in a high availability and live mode for activation in case primary systems run below the predetermined performance level. However Dulaney said that the present version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server needs IT developers to build custom add-ins to achieve fail over from multiple servers.

Implementing these fail over capabilities will need some users to install a few more hardware to run its backup tool. Walkar also said that the multiple computer system might even share a single database which does not need to be replaced. Walkar said that the new web based console of Argon lets IT executives to edge the administrative functions any IT employee can access or control. For instance the managers can blacklist or white list a user applications with just a click of the mouse. Natan Glich who is the IT director in Jam Industries Ltd said that he hopes the new administrative console would considerably easy the task of managing the BlackBerry device used in the firm. This assured web based console will surely eliminate the need for the client to run the console as it was required in the previous 4.16 version which Jam Industries currently use. He said that more than 50 employees at Jam Industries who are distributors of musical equipments and instruments and who travel overseas often use this BlackBerry to communicate and the new version would surely easy the overall task.

Unite your phone numbers – Google Voice

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Google Inc. has recently announced that their previewing a new offering known as Google Voice which is basically a hosted suite of application that is designed to provide a variety of phone related services. For instance the new Google Voice is designed to mainly offer a single number for your office and home land line phones and even your cell phones. The services also offers a single message depository  for all the voice mail messages linked to your phones and it also creates a transcript of all the messages with the ability to record and store calls online.

A Google blog post which was written by a Voice product manager said that the new application can improve the way you use your cell phone. It also said you can get transcripts of all the voice mails and archive including the search of all SMS text messages that you receive and send. You can even use the service to make low cost international calls and access Goog-411 directory assistance easily. These applications are an offshoot of the Grand Central service which was purchase by Google during the previous year. One number for life was the motto for Grand Central service which had tools to easily reach the person regardless of which number you dial of the person. Users and analysts were since then waiting to seen how Google would plan to use this technology again.

Therefore Google with an expansive mode regarding new business ventures it has developed their Google Health Service by recently unveiling the Google Power Meter service. This seemed to be a good time to introduce Google Voice according to Dan Olds who is the analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. He further said that Google is making its way into different fields which is distinctive for them but not for mother other companies in economic troubled times, and Google has never failed to cut against their gains which has often paid of for the company. Their move into telecommunications might be the right business line which diversifies their revenue stream according to Dal Olds. Although the service is currently free, Google might easily make their move to charge users a small fee as the set of features increase.

Dal Olds also said that with the lives of people becoming increasingly complicated through different communication devices, a number of phone numbers to memorize and even multiple voice mail systems to check Google Voice can prove to be a handy service for all the overworked or for the newly connected. The service comes with a number of handy features which would simplify communication ability of the user. He said that the ability to have all their different numbers centralized over a single number can prove to be very helpful. Additionally the facility to have messages delivered through the web in audio and text format is also helpful for those who are always on the go and cannot find ways to access their cell phone. According to the blog entry, users of the Grand Central would avail the instructions in their inbox over the few days on how they can get started with the new Google Voice service.

You can uninstall IE8 in Windows7, says Microsoft

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 users would be able to remove IE 8 or Internet Explorer 8 including other applications from the OS. This ability of removing IE8 is revealed by some bloggers after they worked around the Windows 7 Built 7048, which is a post beta version which was leaked to file sharing sites on the internet. Mike Nash the vice president of Windows product management had declined to comment over the bloggers’ report and said that it is unfortunate that builds leak off thorough the web. However Jack Mayo, the group program manager from Windows team had acknowledged that the new OS would includes a wide list of applications and features that can actually be switched off.

Therefore in the Engineering Windows 7 blog entry Jack Mayo has listed the applications which can be switched off. These applications include Internet Explorer 8, Windows DVD maker, scan and fax, Windows Gadget platform, handwriting recognition, Windows Media player, Windows search, Windows Media Center and XPS Viewer services. He also explained that the files linked to these features and applications are not really deleted from the hard drive. When a features or application is deselected, it would also not be available for use. This means that the data and binary files are not loaded by the OS and so are not available to the user on the PC. These files are dramatic so that they can be back to the OS without wanting any extra media. The staging is important feedbacks received form the users who surely are not satisfied with the long process in DVD installation.

Jack Mayo also said that the APIs related to these applications are still supported by Windows 7 even when these features ore applications are disabled. However Jack Mayo did not provide any examples of what APIs would still be support when users switch off IE8, but most probably windows update which mainly relies on the web browser would stay functional. He also did not mention about the new antitrust charges of the European Union against Microsoft which the bloggers Bryant Zadegan and Chris Holmes quoted as the possible reason why the company had added the IE8 option.

The EU regulators had earlier claimed that Microsoft safeguards IE from its competition by bundling it with the Windows OS. The competition commission of EU said that among the possible solutions it might make the company cripple Internet Explorer if the user installs a rival browser like Chrome from Google or Firefox from Mozilla. Jonathan Todd the EU spokesman said that Microsoft can also be told to technically let users to disable Internet Explorer code in case the user chooses to install a competitive browser. Microsoft has declined to reply on whether the decision to let users remove IE8 is anyway linked to the EU case. However the option to remove IE8 is only available in the post beta builds and is also restricted to just a small group of people.

Future of Microsoft Windows Server

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

The future versions in Windows Server would allow companies to resourcefully manage and offer virtualized applications with the help of the web just like the upcoming platform Windows Azure of Microsoft Corp. as a service. Steven Martin the senior director of developer platform product management at Microsoft said that the innovative advancement in Azure and the future version of windows server would be shared and that the code base would carry on the cross pollinate. He further said that the corporate data center would sometime look like a mini cloud which would be divided by the application workload.

The Windows Azure was first previewed during last fall and it is the foray of Microsoft that would bring windows server online as a cloud computing platform. The developers would be able to port or eve write applications using the popular .net tool and the web tool standard interface of Microsoft like the Atom, SOAP and REST and host them to Azure. The Windows Azure is expected to be launched later during this year. The detailed pricing list is however yet to e released. Microsoft is also expected to talk about their new Windows Azure at their MIX web development conference which is to be held in Las Vegas.

The conservative hosting includes companies leasing or buying a server from data center operators and run a set number of applications off them. This can actually be complicated to manage and also entail several upfront costs and it can also be difficult to scale quickly on demands. Windows Azure just like other new generation cloud platforms also enables fast setup with easier scaling which lets users pay for the usage thereby avoiding upfront investment. Martin said that their main goal is to completely hide the difficulty of hardware from the developers. He further said that preferably a product does not get recalled and it also does not need to activate their services, but in case it does they will be prepared to scale it very fast.

Epicor Software Corp., an independent software vendor is writing about the next version of their ERP software which could be hosted through Azure while the Micro Focus Ltd is also taking their COBOL application off the mainframe and would host them on Windows Azure. The Azure basically runs well with windows server 2008 installed in data centers of Microsoft. Martin said that the fact that Microsoft is offering both their Azure services and windows server software as part of their services and software strategy is a plus point for several companies who are unsure about committing totally to a cloud infrastructure. This is probably because they think they can run it with more agility or cheaper or just because regulations need them to do it. Martin said that they can make it easier for you to transition back to the on premises without the need to entirely rewrite the application. Apart from bigger corporations several web hosting companies would also be interested in hosting Windows Azure to make their communications more efficient and nimble.

AMD contemplates spin-off chip manufacturing

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Advanced Micro Devices Inc or AMD which is a leading company in manufacturing chips in the industry has said that it has finally got enough votes from the stockholders in the favor of spinning of the chip manufacturing operation of the company and also to approve the plan, after their initial attempt failed during the last week which was due to the lack of quorum.

The approval of stockholders would take AMD a huge step near to splitting off their chip plants into a separate company. It is a move that is aimed at letting the semiconductor chip maker to become more viable against Intel Corp. however it was also reported by AMD about their 9 quarterly losses and also about laying off workers as they expect to unload nearly $1.2 billion of debt including their manufacturing expenses through this spin-off plan. Apart form this AMD also said in an announcement about their stockholder’s vote that, the transaction which is an investment firm that is controlled by the Abu Dhabi government in the United Arab Emirates would also take over most part of the ownership over the chip plants. This is now expected to be completed by the 2nd of March.

However, even today, there were just hardly enough votes cast at the continuation of the special meeting of the stockholders to endorse the spin-off. A spokesperson of AMD said that nearly 50.26 percent of share owners of AMD cast ballots, while around 95 percent of the votes were in the favor of the proposal. The company had postponed the scheduled vote session last week after they failed to get the essential minimum of 50 percent turnout during the first stockholder meeting. According to AMD, The votes were received just for 42 percent of the shares of the company during that point

AMD the chip maker also announced the manufacturing spin-off much earlier by saying that the company will focus on the chip design and the marketing while also shift manufacturing to an entirely new which is currently called as the Foundry Co. AMD would hold around 34.2 percent of the ownership stakes for the manufacturing business while the remaining would be owned by Advanced Technology Investment Co based in Abu Dhabi. The company would have originally owned around 44.4 percent but the ownership position of the company was reduced in December after the faced a value drops in their stocks. According to the market research firm IDC, the spin-off would take over the chip plans in Germany and in the United States from AMD as the PC microprocessors shares of which in unit shipment had fell to around 17.7 in the last four quarter of last year. IDC further said that, it had been even down to around 23.1 percent during the forth quarter of the year 2007whcih had put the shares of Intel to Q4 processor shipments at around 81.3 percent and so there was this decision taken by the IDC.

BlackBerry phone scores with VoIP

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

RIM has found a new way of pulling customers to its new BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry is mainly imitated, very mature, and targeted brand in the cell phone industry. However RIM keeps launching new handsets and also keeps scoring new exclusives through wireless operators by finding new gaps in their own product line and also replacing them better than the others. Therefore by joining T-Mobile the latest product of RIM helps in fulfilling your budget by offering a low rate ultimate IP telephony from your office, home and any other locale which hosts T-Mobile hotspot.

The new EDGE/Wi-Fi and UMA BlackBerry Curve 8900 handset is currently available to only T-Mobile users in U.S. This pocket-sized model offers traditional QWERTY keyboard design. Consequently it’s GUI and other functionality is a close match for its previous BlackBerry Bold. The full sized QWERTY handset of RIM and the chassis of BlackBerry Curve are styled after the outstanding Black-clad Bold apart from its strip of chrome plastic. Although you might not like its design, the Curve 8900 is designed with a fast CPU, very sharp 360×480 displays, expandable flash memory, and excellent 3.2 MP cameras are some of its best Wi-Fi calling features.

There is a MicroSDHC card slot covering the battery and it offers sufficient room for nearly 32GB of swappable storage for data files and media. Additionally the Blackberry Curve 8900 is identified as an USB storage class device when it is connected to a Mac of PC. The browser of BlackBerry supports downloads and its mail client manages the attachments as files. You will find that a great ability to transfer files from and to the device, eliminates the need for a tethering plan.

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 is designed with a special version of DataViz Documents to Go which is sufficient to view and do basic editing in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents which you download, save to the storage card, or receive through email attachments. Therefore with a minimum charge you can trigger all the features of Documents to Go so that you can create new office documents with complete changing and formatting features.

The media qualifications of Curve 8900 are also very impressive which starts with the 2.4 inch LED backlit display. You will have to dialup the backlight to avail similar readability with small test. Additionally even the next generation BlackBerry GUI along with its transparency features and the sublimely soothed text seems great on the densely packed pixels of Curve 8900. RIM often includes clear, loud and distortion free speakers in their devise where even the music is very decent. They have also used CPU acceleration to offer the Curve 8900 with perfect full screen video playback. The camera software and hardware quality also catches by surprise. The in built camera is a 3.2 MP Senor designed with an auto focus lens. Overall the BlackBerry Curve 8900 is a market winner with its fast CPU, a slick, high resolution screen and high function GUI and the entirely equal to enterprise and professional messaging duty apart from cutting a smaller formal profile.

FUD hurts Microsoft

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

You might want to find out whether Windows 7 contains more DRM than Windows Vista or does windows 7 limit the audio recording capabilities or does it limit you from running a cracked application and open the firewall specifically for the application to find out if they are cracked or not. The answers are positive according to the skimp and badly post written on Slashdot as the Slashdot team tore of the front-page item apart. The post had been titled as Draconian DRM revealed in Windows 7 and it as written by a user who had apparently discovered the instances of DRM the new Windows 7. It had only taken three seconds of looking at the new item which led several Slashdot readers to recognize that the post was sheer nonsense. Therefore the Slashdot crowd had to destroy it entirely.The DRM of Windows 7 supposedly prevented its users from cracking Photoshop program. The user had installed Photoshop CS4 program on the new Windows 7 and further went to mess up with one of the Nag DLLs in the application. The user simply replaced the DLL with the cracked version and was surprised to find Photoshop no longer working. Additionally the user was also astonished how Photoshop had added itself into the exception list of firewall. The user further went on about Windows 7 locking him out of Local settings folder.

You can just have a step by step look at the process and consequences. So firstly, messing up with DLLs is dangerous and difficult for a reason. Several types of malware use DLLs to destroy your system. There are several schemes of protection put in, to prevent this from happening. Therefore replacing a functioning DLL with the cracked one would basically ask for trouble. Additionally, Photoshop adding itself to firewall list is no more a latest news. Photoshop installer is basically run as an administrator application and so just like other applications it also adds a firewall exception to its list. The other thing about local settings folder is also appealing which clearly shows lack of knowledge in Windows as both Windows 7 and Windows Vista don’t have local settings folder. It is in the AppDataLocak and the previous local settings folder is NTFS junction in the newer versions of windows.

The user then moves to the audio capabilities of windows 7 as with Windows XP you have options to select Stereo Mix or much similar under the audio recording inputs which captures any program which is entirely true. The default drivers in windows 7 are limited in functionality so that official drivers from manufacturers can continuously offer new added value. Additionally, the stereo mix features is basically a part of the official drivers which were not installed by the user. Therefore if you need to know what DRM windows 7 has then you will be surprised to learn that the OS does not carry any DRM like Vista and as all the Vista users know that DRM is immaterial.

Microsoft Windows7 beta and Vista SP2 coming

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Although Microsoft had officially announced the updates for their Windows 7 Beta version, there are several web sites reporting about the release of Vista Services Pack 2 updates from Microsoft which is also for the Windows Server 2008. This Vista Service Pack 2 updates or SP2 will not just update or enhance the software and hardware aspects of the operating system but they would also tweak a few Windows enterprise features.

Microsoft Corp had officially announced a few updates to their new Windows 7 Beta version even though there were several websites which declared this concern of Release Candidate Built of the Service Pack 2 for their Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008. The updates to their new Windows 7 Beta version are subject to start on the 24th of Feb 2009. There have been five updates planned on this date. However these updates would neither offer any new features nor would they fix any existing issues or help in enhancing user experience.

There was a post sin the Microsoft Update Product Team Blog said that the team at Microsoft typically verifies these update scenarios during a Beta version and so releasing these test updates basically helps them to ensure that when they want to release real updates the entire process would run smoothly. It also said that these updates would help in testing the servicing infrastructure in Window 7. Microsoft has been continuously tweaking their new Windows 7 Beta version including a number of high-end security fixes.

The new Windows 7 operating system of Microsoft has been declared as an improvement over their much maligned windows vista as it includes some new features which would likely appeal to the enterprise users which includes DirectAccess VPN replacement technology and BranchCache file caching features. However on the other hand there are a number of web sites reporting to the Microsoft Connect testers of Windows, has issued the Release Candidate built for Windows Server 2008 and 6002.16670.090130of Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista.

However according to the Ars Technica web site, new windows Vista Service Pack 2 would help in enhancing some certain aspects of its hardware ecosystem. This can include the Wi-Fi performance and ability to record data to its Blu-Ray system. Apart from this the new Windows Vista Service Pack 2 would also update the operating system experience while adding new features such as the addition of registry key which lets the user to adjust according to the number of open TCP connections. Additionally the Microsoft Vista Service Pack 2, on the other hand will also provide a few tweaks for the enterprise. This would include a boast in the authentication options when using WebDAV redirector and the Hyper-V integrated in the windows server 2008. Apart from this as it was reported, the new Windows Vista Service Pack 2 would also add in 691 hotfixes.