Category: Featured

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Microsoft’s Doug Mahugh: Inside the real OOXML debate

The Office Open XML format may or may not be ratified by the ISO, but in either event, it will still be a driving force in millions of the world’s offices. So one way or the other, its senior product manager tells us, the interoperability debate will be resolved. From the outside, the debate over whether the International Organization for Standardization should formally ratify...

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Wal-Mart ends Linux-based computers in stores

Computers that run the Linux operating system instead of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows didn’t attract enough attention from Wal-Mart customers, and the chain has stopped selling them in stores, a spokeswoman said Monday. “This really wasn’t what our customers were looking for,” said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Melissa O’Brien. To test demand for systems with the open-source operating system, Wal-Mart stocked the $199 “Green gPC,”...

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Microsoft denies Blu-ray drive rumors, while Toshiba eats $1 billion

In an interview with Reuters, Microsoft shot down claims by Sony that the companies were in discussion to bring a Blu-ray drive to the Xbox 360. Meanwhile, Toshiba is expected to take a nearly $1 billion loss for abandoning HD DVD. Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for the Xbox 360, said the company was focusing on digital distribution of entertainment through Xbox Live...

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Vista SP1 up to 86 percent faster

Is Vista SP1 really the shot in the arm your Vista system needs? We’ve spent many hours strapped to our benchmarking system in a caffeine and pizza fuelled haze to uncover these very interesting results. We tested Vista: As it comes out of the box (RTM — or “release to manufacturing”) As it comes out of the box, with all Windows Update patches applied...

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Sony reportedly in talks with Microsoft on Blu-ray for Xbox 360

Inevitably, the other leading game consoles will need a high-resolution video disc option, and with the format war now over, there’s only one option to be had. So it seems like now’s as good a time as any for the two sides to talk shop. A Financial Times report this morning cites Sony Electronics US President Stan Glasgow as saying his company is presently...

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US delegation to ISO votes in favor of OOXML

A Microsoft technical evangelist and member of the INCITS V1 technical committee reports that after deliberating the many comments raised on Office Open XML’s viability, the US contingent has voted to maintain its “Approve” recommendation. The news reflects just the US’ vote on the matter, and not whether the ISO Subcommittee 34 has voted as a whole in favor of adopting OOXML as an...

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Latest Firefox beta posted, then removed

This morning, BetaNews FileForum received word that Beta 4 of Mozilla Firefox was posted for testers to download…and for a short time, that’s how it genuinely appeared. But as one of our readers soon found out — and apparently Mozilla as well — what went up in the properly named releases/3.0b4 directory was not the final public Beta 4 at all, but rather a...

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Is Silverlight 2 catching up with Flash?

As Adobe and Microsoft come out with new releases of their respective multimedia platforms, the debate rages on among developers over which is the most viable. And Flash’s proponents are using Linux as their trump card. One indisputable fact for now is that, while Flash works across both Windows and Linux, the same really can’t be said for Silverlight. Moonlight, a free and open...

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Firefox 3 Performance Gets a Boost

Now that Firefox 3 is approaching the home stretch it is important that Mozilla starts to throw in performance improvements to really make the browser purr. Over in our forum xpgeek pointed out that a Profile-Guided Optimization (PGO) build of Firefox 3 had been created which greatly improved the performance of JavaScript in the browser. While PGO itself hasn’t yet landed in the nightly...

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Google Gets Into Web Sites Building Biz

Google, already the world’s most popular spot for finding Web sites, is aiming to become the go-to place for creating Web sites too. The Mountain View-based company is taking its first step toward that goal Thursday with the debut of a free service designed for high-tech neophytes looking for a simple way to share information with other people working in the same company or...