Last night, Microsoft Research released WorldWide Telescope--new, free software that enables users to explore the universe with impressive content from the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, and other famed ground- and space-based telescopes. Colorful nebulae, distant galaxies, black holes, and radiation clouds are all accessible from your desktop with a few clicks. The software has been released for free in honor of Jim Gray, a Microsoft researcher who was lost at sea last year.
Boingboing is reporting that Microsoft is forcing OEMs into using artificially low hardware specifications. Even if you erroneously believe that OLPC is simply a matter of price tag, Microsoft's actions are puzzling, to say the least. Well, as long as you imagine that Microsoft is in it for the kids.
As Cory Doctorow notes:Microsoft is trying to distort the market for cheap, tiny laptops by setting up artificial incentives to manufacturers to limit the power and capability of their lowest-cost units -- even if a vendor can figure out how to put more storage, a bigger screen, or a touchscreen into its machines, Microsoft doesn't want it there, and they'll punish any vendor that tries by refusing to license XP Home Edition on the same preferential terms that lower-spec machines get.
Why would Microsoft do this? More pertinently, why would OLPC sell out its ideals? IDG News Service suggests that Microsoft is trying to prevent cannibalization of its mainstream desktop market. That is an understandable goal, but not necessarily a laudable one given Microsoft's alleged intention to play fair with OLPC. I suspect something more is involved here.… Read more
Microsoft is set to announce Tuesday that it is launching a "public preview" program for two server products based on its Windows Server 2008 operating system.
The products, one aimed at small business and the other at midsize firms, combine the server operating system with Exchange Server and other software into a bundle designed to cost less and be easier to install than acquiring the products separately.
Small Business Server 2008 is an update to an existing small business product, while Windows Essential Server Solutions 2008 (formerly code-named Centro) is a new product, targeted at midsize firms that … Read more
Users of Microsoft's instant-messaging service found themselves unable to share links to YouTube videos on Friday evening and Saturday morning, sparking brief worries of a possible Microsoft-led effort to block access to the Google-owned video-sharing site.
Microsoft said in a blog posting Sunday that the issue was a mistake made by the third party that handles blocking of potentially unsafe content for MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.
"As some of you noticed, we had a problem from Friday night to Saturday morning where our Messenger service was incorrectly blocking some legitimate IP addresses," a Microsoft employee … Read more
I'm always looking for a little bit more performance from my PCs, so I regularly use Piriform's free CCleaner utility to clear out the clutter on my systems' hard drives. (Note that CCleaner is donationware, so if you find yourself using it regularly, drop a few ducats in the virtual coffer.)
The last time I ran CCleaner on my XP test machine, it freed up almost 2GB of hard-drive space by removing temporary Internet files, sweeping out the Recycle Bin, and deleting various Windows updates and other system and application files I no longer needed. Then I clicked … Read more
This blog was updated at 9:30 a.m. PDT with information from Microsoft about the cause of the glitch.
Owners of some AMD-based computers are finding that the move to Windows XP Service Pack 3 has sent their systems into an endless reboot cycle.
"While the root cause of this issue is complex, it results from OEMs improperly placing a Windows XP image created for an for Intel-based computer onto machines with non-Intel chipsets," Microsoft said in a statement. "Microsoft issued guidance to OEMs advising them to only load Windows XP images onto like hardware in … Read more
In addition to the BlackBerry Bold debut, Research in Motion also announced this morning an agreement with Microsoft to bring its Windows Live services to BlackBerry smartphones. Specifically, this partnership will allow BlackBerry customers to access their Windows Live Hotmail accounts as well as Windows Live Messenger.
For Hotmail users, you can opt to have e-mail automatically sent to a dedicated in-box on your device or combine them into a single in-box with your other messages. As usual, you will get BlackBerry's push technology for real-time delivery and synchronization, and there will be full HTML support. Meanwhile, Windows Live … Read more
If the list of installed programs on your Windows XP computer is annoying long, a little organization goes a long way. Try moving items that you never expect to use to a folder called "NeverUsed" and move items you very rarely use to a folder called "Infrequent". I've done this for years, on many computers, and never regretted it.
To begin, right click on the Start button, "Open All Users" and double-click on the Programs folder. In the Windows Explorer window, right click over nothing and select "New" and then "… Read more