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Poll

Is Windows 8 worth it?


Windows 8 is great!

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What is windows 8?



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Software

Monday 25 January 2010
Firefox surges
MaTiCa , Monday 25 January 2010 - 18:39:33 //

Mozilla's open source browser experienced a healthy boost in popularity last week on the back of a new release and security concerns about Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

On Friday the Mozilla Foundation released version 3.6 of the popular open source browser and by Monday morning almost 12 million copies of the latest version had been downloaded. At the time of writing on Monday morning, 11 921 680 copies of Firefox 3.6 had been downloaded according to the Firefox download-tracking site. An average of around 42 downloads per second were being recorded on Monday morning.

The majority of downloads were from the US where close to 2.5 million copies had been downloaded over the weekend. This was followed by Germany (1.5 million copies), Brazil (640 000), France (580 000) and Japan (414 000). South Africa had recorded just over 18 000 copies downloaded over the weekend. In comparison Morocco recorded in excess of 31 000 downloads in the same period. South Africa was listed as number 55 in the total number of downloads by country.

Firefox 3.6 is a significant upgrade for web users and includes a number of new features including personas for customising Firefox's appearance, many new HTML5 features including geolocation, CSS gradients, native video and the new Web Open Font Format for including fonts in web designs.

Extra boost

While most of the downloads of Firefox 3.6 are likely to be done by existing Firefox users, the browser also received a additional boost in the past week when new security flaws were revealed in opponent Internet Explorer. The security risks in IE prompted the German government to recommend web users adopt another browser to protect themselves when online.

The result was a significant increase in downloads of alternative browsers, most particularly Firefox. According to the Sydney Morning Herald Mozilla said that it had seen an increase of more than 300 000 downloads of its browser in Germany over a four-day period following the warning. Norway-based Opera also reported an increase in downloads following the warning.

Microsoft said at the time that the flaws in IE were insignificant but they did issue a security update for IE on Thursday last week.

SOURCE: MyBroadband.co.za News

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Tuesday 01 December 2009
Latest Firefox beta offers file-handling feature
MaTiCa , Tuesday 01 December 2009 - 11:09:56 //

Mozilla, determined to release Firefox 3.6 before year's end, is also determined to squeeze as many features as possible into the new browser.

The latest example: support for the File interface that adds more sophistication to uploading and some other chores.

Support for the feature is one of the 133 changes that arrived in Firefox 3.6 beta 4, which the Mozilla project released Thursday for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The File API (application programming interface), a draft standard at the World Wide Web consortium, lets browsers handle files better. Among its abilities are uploading multiple files at once, showing thumbnail previews of images that have been selected for upload, breaking a long video upload up into chunks to protect against network interruption problems, and integrating with drag-and-drop Web applications.

While many software projects use beta testing periods to shake down their code, Mozilla isn't afraid to add new features as it goes. That can mean new ideas arrive sooner, of course, but it also can delay the completion date of the new version. What was to have been a quick Firefox 3.1 release was pushed back months as new features were added and the version ultimately was renamed Firefox 3.5.

For those who want to dig into the File interface, Mozilla offers a Web developer guide to using it.

The beta-testing periods aren't just important for debugging Firefox itself. New versions often don't work with older add-ons that people install to customize the browser, so beta testing gives some time for programmers to update those add-ons. Mike Belzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, said 70 percent of add-ons are now compatible with Firefox 3.6.

SOURCE: cnet news

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Saturday 24 October 2009
Microsoft Windows 7 here on Thursday - www.mybroadband.co.za
MaTiCa , Saturday 24 October 2009 - 21:42:16 //

Courtesy of www.mybroadband.co.za


Microsoft releases Windows 7 to the world on Thursday as the US software giant tries to regain its stride after Vista.

Microsoft releases Windows 7 to the world on Thursday as the US software giant tries to regain its stride after an embarrassing stumble with the previous generation operating system Vista.

"It's a big deal for Microsoft," analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley said of the Windows 7 launch. "Windows Vista was a train wreck."

While computer users may not give much thought to operating systems that serve as the brains of their machines, the programs are at the heart of Microsoft's global software empire.

Microsoft operating systems run more than 90% of the computers on Earth.

Importantly for Microsoft, versions of its popular programs such as Office, Outlook and Excel evolve to work better with successive Windows releases.

Winning users of new Windows systems translates into increased sales of other packaged software for the Redmond, Washington-based company.

Vista's dismal reception in the market broke Microsoft's rhythm regarding hooking people on upgraded software.

Computer users held firm to Windows XP, shunning much-maligned Vista.

"Microsoft is still a packaged software company," Enderle said. "If people don't buy their updated packages, they feel it."

Microsoft apparently learned a lesson from Vista and worked closely with computer makers, users and software developers while crafting Windows 7.

More than eight million people have dabbled with Windows 7 since Microsoft began a beta test phase in January, according to Parri Munsell, director of consumer product management for the Windows client group.

Early reviews praise Windows 7 for being everything Vista should have been.

"We always listen to our customers, but we took an even more thoughtful and pragmatic process this time around," Munsell told AFP. "We feel really good that people have been trying it for themselves."

Windows 7 features winning raves include enabling computers, televisions, radios, digital picture frames and other "smart" devices in homes to talk to each other.

Windows 7 also lets people use PCs to record television programs and then watch shows "on demand" at any internet-linked computer using Microsoft's Live service.

Touch-screen capabilities built into Windows 7 should give birth to monitors that further blur lines between televisions and PCs, according to Munsell.

Microsoft's primary objective with Windows 7 was to simplify the lives of PC users, according to Munsell.

"This is going to be the next XP where it sticks around for a very long time," said analyst Matt Rosoff of Directions On Microsoft, a private firm focused on tracking the software firm.

"It performs well with a lot of hardware and software, and then it gets out of the way. It is not flashy, but it is solid."

He added that Windows 7 works "surprisingly well" on netbooks - low-cost bare-bones laptop computers that have devoured market share in the recent grim economic times.

Windows 7 will be available pre-loaded on personal computers as of Thursday, and people who bought Vista machines in recent months will be able to upgrade free.

Upgrading a home computer to Windows 7 will cost from $120 to $220, depending on the version.

As well-built as Windows 7 is, it probably won't boost consumer PC purchases, which depend heavily on the economy, according to Rosoff.

A lot of corporations clinging to Windows XP are expected to upgrade to Windows 7, but after Microsoft's new Office 2010 suite of business applications is released next year.

"This kind of gets Microsoft back on track with its core business," Rosoff said. "It is not going to be something that takes the world by storm, but it is a solid operating system that people will be relying on for years."

The failure of Vista to catch on hurt Microsoft competitively, giving Apple the opportunity to woo PC users to Macintosh computers.

Apple could benefit anew if PC users faced with switching operating systems go for Macintosh machines instead of Windows 7, according to analysts.

Microsoft has been faulted in the past for lacking the type of marketing pizzazz for which long-time rival Apple is famous. Microsoft has devoted an ample budget to advertising Windows 7.

Microsoft has already been lambasted for hokey online videos describing how people can throw Windows 7 launch parties in their homes.

Microsoft and television studio Fox announced that Windows 7 will be the theme of an animated Family Guy television show featuring "musical numbers, comedy sketches, and celebrity guests".

"The fact that Microsoft is trying new things is actually pretty unique," Enderle said. "They are going to try to show that Microsoft and innovative marketing is not an oxymoron."
[Submitted by Enigma_2k4]



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Free Microsoft Office 2010
MaTiCa , Saturday 24 October 2009 - 21:40:32 //

As per mybroadband.co.za

A version of Microsoft Office 2010 will be offered for free, with advertising support

Microsoft has unveiled their plans for an ad-supported version of its Office suite – Office Starter 2010. The product is to come pre-loaded on new PCs. It will have basic functionality – viewing, editing and creating of documents. MS claims that the Starter suite is designed for casual users, who will be fine with the reduced functionality and ad-supported software.

Microsoft plans to replace their MS Works version of Office with the Starter suite, which never expires. Consumers will have to live with the adverts, or pay to upgrade to a full version. The 60 day trial version of Office with full functionality will still be available.

A Product Key Card will be available via OEMs and retail stores, that allows the customer to upgrade to one of three full versions of the 2010 suite: Home & Student, Home & Business and Professional. Click-To-Run is a service that will enable users to download a trial version of the 2010 suite, as well as keep installed versions up to date. Product licenses can also be purchased through the service.

Office 2010 will be the first version of the suite to come in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The beta trials of Office 2010 are expected to start later this year. Microsoft is still working on their Office Web Apps, which are currently in ‘technical preview’ status.
[Submitted by Enigma_2k4]



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Friday 18 September 2009
Microsoft Offers Students Windows 7 Pro at Snow Leopard Prices Until January 2010
MaTiCa , Friday 18 September 2009 - 17:59:51 //

Windows 7 is getting closer to its October 22 launch date. With improved security, better compatibility, and a slick new look, the OS should please owners of both powerful and underpowered machines alike. Microsoft has already offered hot pre-order deals, but now it has announced its sweetest deal of them all.

Students with a valid student email address are eligible to get a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional, 32-bit or 64-bit (your choice, presumably some might pick the lighter Home Premium for netbooks) for a mere $30. And with one announcement, Microsoft has essentially matched Apple's OS price point for one of its most pivotal demographics -- students.

Apple beat Windows 7 to the market and has been loudly trumpeting that its Snow Leopard -- priced at $29 per license -- beats Windows 7 in prices. However, students in the U.S., U.K, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea and Mexico will now have their pick between the two competitors at virtually identical prices.

With Snow Leopard, students will get several key improvements (virtually all of Apple's core software was fine-tuned and sped up), but the release falls somewhere between a full Windows OS release and a Windows Service Pack. For an equivalent price they can get Windows 7, a full OS release packing many features that have drawn rave reviews from early adopters. The deal is sweet for users of traditional PC hardware and Macs alike, as even Mac users can take advantage of it to equip their Boot Camp Macs with Windows 7 for gaming and Windows-favored activities.

The deal is found on the win741.com site, a recently launched site from Microsoft, which calls the offer "too sweet to pass up." The site proclaims, "For a limited time, eligible college students can get the sweetest deal on Windows 7 - for only $29.99 USD. That's less than most of your textbooks! Hurry -- offer ends January 3, 2010 and 12 a.m. CST."

One major appeal of the deal is that with Windows 7 and a netbook, students get about the most portable and affordable bundle possible for a fully functional computer.

The move seems a smart one, given that Apple does have Microsoft beat on standard prices, with a copy of Home Premium (upgrade) retailing for $120 and $200 for a Professional upgrade (versus $29 for Snow Leopard). With the price bar set nearly four times as high as Apple's, the pressure is on Microsoft to deliver a dynamite product -- which indications show it will.

Still, Snow Leopard's aggressive pricing has caused it to double the initial sales of its predecessor, Leopard, and quadruple the sales of Tiger. Apple has also been much more aggressive in targeting school children, with programs such as "Field Trip to the Apple Store" in the U.S. and Canada. Many schools continue to use Mac computers primarily. All of this bodes well for Apple's long term success. However, Microsoft is at last making a legitimate bid to seize this important demographic from Apple.

SOURCE: DailyTech

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