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Windows Cheap Enough For $2B Aussie Laptop Deal 234

An anonymous reader writes "Windows-based netbooks aren't too expensive to be ruled out of the Aussie government's billion dollar promise to give a laptop to every school-aged child, according to several education departments. The admission follows an earlier report that open source machines based on Ubuntu or Mandriva are the only option to deliver up to four million computers to students for under $2 billion. Microsoft itself claimed it will keep costs per unit down by hosting a lot of the educational software in the cloud rather than on the netbook devices."

Developers Warned over OOXML Patent Risk 134

Tendraes brings us a story about legal experts who are warning that Microsoft's "covenant not to sue" over use of the OOXML specification is both ambiguous and untested. Developers wishing to make use of OOXML are unlikely to understand the complex legal language of the Open Specification Promise, and such a document - being neither a release nor a contract - has never been tested in court. From ZDNet Asia: "David Vaile, executive director of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Center at the University of New South Wales, said that Microsoft participants at a recent symposium on the issue found it challenging to explain how an ordinary person 'or even an ordinary lawyer' could easily determine which parts of the specification were covered. 'This lack of certainty would mean a cautious lawyer may be reluctant to advise any third party to rely on the promise without extensive and potentially quite expensive analysis, and even that could be inconclusive,' Vaile said. 'In turn, this could restrict its viability as a usable standard for less well-resourced users, including small developers and many public organizations.'"

Quirks and Tips For Upgrading To Vista 236

jcatcw writes "Computerworld's Scot Finnie has some advice for those considering an upgrade to Vista. He praises the work Microsoft has done on the installation program, but thinks it still presents problems for those who wish to upgrade. He recommends the free Windows Vista Upgrade Adviser. Then, be sure to pick the best edition for your use." From the article: "Don't bother wiping your hard disk. Just run the in-place upgrade from your previous installation. You'll be given the option to perform either an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) installation. Opt for the Custom install to clean-install Vista, and Windows Vista Setup does something smart: It creates a folder called Windows.old in your root directory that contains your old Documents and Settings, Program Files and Windows folders. (Note that on my test machine, this added step used an additional 7GB of disk storage.)"

HDMI-Enabled Graphics Cards Debut 235

TrackinYeti writes "HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface), is the first industry supported digital-only interface, that requires a single cable to connect an output source to an HD-ready device, such as a television or monitor and deliver HD video, plus multi-channel digital audio, like Dolby Digital and DTS. Recently, Asus Computer released versions of their GeForce 7600 and Radeon X1600 cards with HDMI outputs on them, driven by an on-board Sil1930 controller. These are some of the first graphics cards to hit the market that can output HDMI natively with an integrated HDCP cipher engine and support HD-audio as well. Just the thing for that HTPC?"

Make it right before you make it faster.