The beta of Windows 7 shows off Microsoft's most innovative operating system in years. Everything from the look to the guts has been overhauled. A completely revamped taskbar changes the way you'll interact with your programs for the better, and nobody will be complaining about the faster boot time, the faster program launch time, and the improved resource management.
In this First Look video, I'll give you a quick overview of what Windows 7 beta can do and how to use it. The only problem? Having to wait until summer for the official release.
The file compression field is tightly packed, and this freeware app offers little to get users to switch. Cyber Archive's very basic button and file list interface is easy to learn and operate. The few logically placed commands make it easy to quickly remember program operation even when it's used infrequently. That's important as the publisher neglected to supply a Help manual.
Cyber Archive compresses any kind of file. So do most archivers. The app lets users drag and drop files to the interface to easily construct archives. But so do most archivers. You can easily select … Read more
As of December, Apple's Mac OS X commanded 9.63 percent of the OS market, according to Net Applications, while Microsoft still led the way, accounting for more than 88 percent of the operating-system market.
But the real story behind those figures is Apple's meteoric rise in the market. Just one year prior, in December 2007, Apple controlled just 7.3 percent of the operating-system space--a record at the time.
There are numerous reasons why Mac OS X has become so popular over the past few years. Part of it can be attributed to Apple's success and its status in the industry as the most renowned and respected company to consumers. It can also be attributed to Mac OS X itself, which is easily one of the best operating systems ever made.
And most assuredly, part of the reason for Mac OS X's success is Windows Vista. Although it currently controls 21 percent of the market, it was a failure on many levels for Microsoft. Suffice it to say that compatibility issues, User Account Control annoyances, vendor and enterprise unrest, and poor PR contributed to the blunder that was Vista.
But now, as a new Microsoft operating system starts making its way to store shelves, it's incumbent upon us to forecast its expected impact. And after downloading the Windows 7 beta and immersing myself in its environment, I think I can say, both as a Mac user (I'm writing this on my iMac) and what some may call an Apple nut (I own just about every Apple product released over the past five years), Windows 7 will not only stymie Mac OS X's growth, it will push Apple's market share back down to pre-Vista levels.… Read more
Palm is rumored to be launching a smartphone on Thursday that runs Nova, its next-generation operating system, according to a report Sunday on CrunchGear.
The report, which cites "a trusted source," says the device will have a full QWERTY keyboard that will slide under the touch screen.
Nova, based on Linux, is expected to bring the Palm brand operating system into the modern era of computing. The beginning of Palm'… Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--A federal judge on Tuesday heard arguments in a case that centers on an important constitutional principle: can the Feds immunize any telecommunications company that violated the law by opening its network to government snoops?
That was the question debated in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker on Tuesday. Lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department, who sought to persuade Walker to throw out lawsuits pending against the telecommunications companies, told him the government engages in a variety of activities designed to "protect the heartland." Those in the Bush administration have said the lawsuits … Read more
Take a first look at Windows 7. Building on Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest operating system isn't due until some time in 2009, most likely around the holidays.
However, this alpha build that we've gotten our hands on is surprisingly stable for what it is. CNET Editor Rob Vamosi shows you what Windows 7 can do, what it can't, and talks briefly about whether it's worth waiting to upgrade from XP.
Symbian, the U.K.-based maker of the world's most popular smartphone operating system, is going through big changes.
As well as being taken over by Nokia, the company is preparing to convert its closed code into open source.
ZDNet.co.uk caught up with Symbian's research chief, David Wood, at this week's Symbian Smartphone Show at Earls Court in London, to discuss the complications of such a process, as well as what the next few years hold for smartphone technology.
Q: It seems as though everyone is waiting for the Nokia takeover to happen before the code starts getting stripped. When is the acquisition likely to be completed? Wood: We expect the approval for the deal sometime in Q4 this year. It's not an exact science. It's been approved in most parts of the world that need to approve it, but there's a small number left. That will happen almost certainly this year, and that will then allow us to do some of the integration. We can't do any integration at all now--it's illegal. What we're doing now is a lot of planning, but no actual change in what we're doing.
In the first half of next year, the Symbian Foundation will be established. On day one, sometime in March or April, the first version of the Foundation software will become available.
What can we expect from that version? It won't be stripped of third-party code yet, will it? Wood: Correct. That will be available only to people who join the Foundation and who sign up to the Foundation license. There will be some parts that are open source.
So the Foundation license is not the open-source license. Wood: The Foundation license is very similar to the open-source license, but it allows the companies to share the code only within the Foundation. It's a community source license, with as much as possible in common with the eventual (open source) license that will take over.
There is some code available as open source from day one, but completion (of the open sourcing) will be sometime in 2010. It's a sensible engineering approach--a stage-by-stage release of the code.
I was speaking earlier to the chief executive of a software firm whose code is currently in Symbian. He said there was no problem in having some proprietary elements within open-sourced code, and that this was acceptable under the GNU General Public License. That doesn't sound right. Wood: We're not using the GPL--it's the EPL (Eclipse Public License). The EPL is indeed able to link to proprietary software. The GPL is less clear. In fact, a straight reading of the GPL says if you link to other software then that other software falls under the same license. Under the EPL, if you link to other software then there's no obligation on that other software to take the same license. EPL is weak "copyleft," whereas GPL is the most famous example of strong copyleft. So I agree with that part, that there could be code that's linked to. This is to encourage innovation.
We're not saying all software should be free of charge. We do realize that there will always be new, interesting software that people will want to monetize by selling for a license. If you change the Symbian code, that has to be given back--you can't hang onto that, so that's the copyleft part of this message.
But there is code from this company within Symbian's code--won't that have to be scraped out? Wood: Something has to be done, and I don't really want to talk about an individual case, but in principle several things could happen. We could throw money at a supplier, and we could say to them: "We will buy this off you in perpetuity and we will make it available." Or we could say we'll leave this outside the platform and we can put something else in instead. It won't be quite the same, and we might go back to the kind of offering that we had in previous versions of Symbian. It's always possible that someone else will come along and do comparable software and make that available. There should be plenty of ways for companies (whose code is currently within Symbian's code) to recoup their investment, either by selling the software (to Symbian), or by developing a better version and making that available for an additional fee. … Read more
Several sites are tallying up lists of start-ups that are undergoing significant layoffs. (Interestingly, not much noise on that front is coming out of Europe.)
Every day, we're hearing about yet another start-up (or established technology vendor) laying off workers. This may mean that the companies are battening down the hatches in preparation for a nuclear economic winter, but it also likely means that these same companies haven't been prudently managing their VC investments.
As reported by NetworkWorld, VMware CEO Paul Maritz suggested at VMworld that VMware has "thought about whether we want to open source ESX," the company's leading hypervisor, but provided no substance as to whether or not the company were inclined in that direction.
Instead, the former Microsoft executive paid lip service to open source's model for encouraging third-party participation in development.
That's OK, as his attention is not focused on the license and development model for ESX, but rather on what his customers should expect from the next generation of virtualization. Though Maritz was cagey about a forthcoming VMware technology as an "operating system" (OS), it seems clear that this is, in fact, what VMware is building, as ITworld describes. In response to a direct question as to VMware's plans to build an OS, Maritz equivocated:… Read more