In one of the new Mac vs. PC commercials from Apple, the PC guy, John Hodgman, has written two books. The first one is about buying a new computer, the point being there are so many choices in the Windows world that it's confusing and intimidating. Fine. The second one, though, is called "I just bought a computer. Now what?" That really hit home.
When it comes to antimalware software, the first decision any Windows user needs to make is whether to go with an integrated suite of software or pick and chose specific products, such as a firewall, antivirus, and antispyware software. If a suite came preinstalled, it's certainly a tempting option. Dealing with a single company and not having to install new software has obvious appeal. But, I think it's the wrong way to go.
For one thing, the software suites can be complicated to use. Oftentimes they have been known to slow down the computer. And they cost money, … Read more
Microsoft has a busy conference schedule for next fall.
The company, which canceled this year's Professional Developer Conference, confirmed that it does plan to hold the event next year, October 27 through 30, in Los Angeles.
Microsoft also plans to hold its WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) at some point in the fall at a West Coast location still to be determined. Microsoft said those details still haven't been worked out, but a company representative said the two events are not planned to run concurrently.
Perhaps having both events in the fall means that Microsoft will be ready … Read more
Yahoo is set to release a preview of Yahoo Messenger for Vista on Thursday.
It's just a preview, or a very early version, so it doesn't have all the features other versions of Yahoo Messenger do, such as voice, Webcam, chat rooms, text messaging to mobile phones, easy photo sharing and conferencing. Those features will come later.
What it does have is a new interface, and it lets you organize conversations into tabs and drag and drop tabs out to create a new window. You can also keep favorite contacts by dragging them into the Windows Sidebar gadget, … Read more
Microsoft is serious about getting Windows XP to work on One Laptop Per Child's low-cost laptop, but the company still isn't sure it will be able to make a go of it.
In an interview, James Utzschneider, the general manager of Microsoft's emerging market unit, says Microsoft has devoted about 40 employees and contractors to work on its effort.
However, there are plenty of technical hurdles, he said. One of the biggest is the fact that the XO has no hard drive and only 1GB of built-in memory. The company concluded it needed at least 2GB of … Read more
Bill Gates confirmed that Microsoft will call its next browser Internet Explorer 8, though Microsoft isn't sharing much else, such as the obvious questions: When will it arrive and what features will it have?
The confirmation came during his speech at the "Mix and Mash" conference taking place this week in Redmond, Wash. In a posting on the IE blog, Microsoft general manager Dean Hachamovitch jokes about some of the names Microsoft ruled out, such as "IE 7+1" and "IEVIII."
But, seriously, folks don't care about the name. They care about … Read more
Microsoft said Wednesday that it is working to develop a version of XP that can run on computers without a hard drive, including the XO computer from One Laptop Per Child.
In a statement, Microsoft said that it will start "limited field trials" of XP running on the OLPC computer in January. If all goes well, Microsoft said it could have XP running on the XO by the second half of next year. However, it cautioned folks in North America, particularly those taking part in the Give One, Get One program, that it has no plans to offer … Read more
Microsoft on Tuesday said that it has reached the "release candidate" with the first service pack for Windows Vista, with plans to make the test software available publicly next week.
It is releasing the test code this week to the 15,000 or so people who have been beta testing SP1 already, and will also make it available on Thursday to those in the MSDN and TechNet developer programs.
"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 … Read more
Microsoft has reached another milestone on the road to the release of Windows Server 2008.
On Wednesday, the company made available the Release Candidate 1 version of the software and promised the final version will be ready in time for the product's February 27 launch. Microsoft plans to launch the product, along with SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, at an event in Los Angeles.
The standby and hibernate modes in Microsoft's Windows XP and the sleep mode in Vista are meant to be great time-savers. But too often a sleeping PC wakes up on its own--or doesn't awaken when you want it to.
The latter problem is particularly common with Vista, which is proving itself to be pretty worthless, even as Windows versions go.
The first time I set one of my XP systems to standby, it sprung to life each night, showing a message that my network was detected. The problem disappeared after I entered the machine's BIOS (press the … Read more