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Looking Beyond Vista To Fiji and Vienna 600

Vinit wrote in with an article that describes Microsoft's strategy for future versions of Windows. It begins: "As we all know that Microsoft Vista was originally scheduled to be released in 2003, after two years of Windows XP, but it got delayed by over five years due to various reasons. Definitely, Vista is very very improved OS over the previous versions, but the delayed in the launch has cost Microsoft, billions of dollars. Now the question at the moment is, what exactly after Vista? Microsoft can't afford to wait another five years for an operating system. People are becoming more aware of the choices they have, and Linux is no longer a hobbyist OS, and that day isn't far away when it becomes simple enough to be a viable alternative to Windows. The competition is fierce. That is why, to stay at the top, Microsoft has planned a 'Vista R2', codenamed 'Fiji' which will be released some time in 2008. And after Fiji, there will be Windows 'Vienna'. Windows Fiji, will not be a totally different OS from Vista; but it will be an add-on. Whereas Vienna will be totally different from Vista."

GoogleOS Scenarios 224

ReadWriteWeb writes "Read/WriteWeb offers 3 scenarios for a GoogleOS and suggests it could be less than 6 months away. They say it may be a web based desktop (aka WebOS), a full featured Linux distribution, or a lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS. They predict that once Microsoft's Vista rolls out, it will present a direct threat to Google's Web properties and so therefore Google will start a more punchy strategy — pushing Firefox and some form of Google OS in order to nullify Vista's potential impact."

Microsoft Considers Pulling Out of China 443

icefaerie writes to let us know that a senior executive for Microsoft has said the firm could pull out of non-democratic countries such as China. From the article: "Fred Tipson, senior policy counsel for the computer giant, said concerns over the repressive regime might force it to reconsider its business in China. 'Things are getting bad... and perhaps we have to look again at our presence there,' he told a conference in Athens."

Power, Water and Refrigeration in One Box 148

Roland Piquepaille writes "Engineers at the University of Florida have developed and built a system that can provide power, water and refrigeration from a single unit. This project, funded by the U.S. Army, will lead to units small enough to fit inside a military jet or a large truck. The prototype system is already more efficient than conventional turbines. And it is also environmentally friendly because it can use traditional fossil fuels as well as biomass-produced fuels or hydrogen and releases only small amounts of pollutants. This kind of system could be used as a mobile unit in case of hurricanes or wars. But it might also be connected to the normal power grid in fixed locations."

SCO Stock Continues Downward Spiral 186

tobiasly writes "TechNewsWorld reports that three and a half years after SCO saw its stock price increase tenfold to US$20.50 following the filing of its lawsuit against IBM, it closed Tuesday at US$2.28 per share, or two cents less than where it was before the lawsuit. This follows a sustained slide fed by poor earnings results and courthouse reversals which, according to OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen, shows that 'Linux and open source software are bigger than any one company. Linux has won in the courts and is winning in the marketplace.'"

Text Mining the New York Times 104

Roland Piquepaille writes "Text mining is a computer technique to extract useful information from unstructured text. And it's a difficult task. But now, using a relatively new method named topic modeling, computer scientists from University of California, Irvine (UCI), have analyzed 330,000 stories published by the New York Times between 2000 and 2002 in just a few hours. They were able to automatically isolate topics such as the Tour de France, prices of apartments in Brooklyn or dinosaur bones. This technique could soon be used not only by homeland security experts or librarians, but also by physicians, lawyers, real estate people, and even by yourself. Read more for additional details and a graph showing how the researchers discovered links between topics and people."

AMD Slashing Prices Still Not Enough? 159

PeterN writes to tell us that after hearing the announcement that AMD was slashing prices on their processors by 47%, TG Daily looked a bit deeper and found that it still might not be enough. From the article: "For AMD's planned price drop for its dual-core processors to enable the company to regain its aggressive price/performance competitive position against Intel as it has promised, the company would have to reduce its existing Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon FX prices by between 38% and 56% for its various models, with cuts averaging about 51%. This estimate is based on a comprehensive price/performance review of Intel's soon-to-be-released Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Duo processors, along with its existing Pentium D dual-core line, pitted against AMD's FX-62, FX-60, and Athlon 64 X2 processors in Tom's Hardware Guide tests."

Microsoft's 12-Step Program 169

NevarMore writes to tell us eWeek is reporting that Microsoft, after almost 30 years of Windows, now has 12 philosophical tenets outlining Windows development. From the article: "Smith said the principles largely come from things Microsoft picked up in the consent decree the software giant signed in settling its landmark antitrust battle with the federal government, but that more recent developments led to the crafting of some of the other principles. The 12 principles are based on three main areas: choice for computer manufacturers and customers, opportunities for developers, and interoperability for users, Smith said."

Anna Konda, the Robotic Firefighter 94

Roland Piquepaille writes "In fact, Anna Konda is a robotic fire hose moving like a snake. This robot, which has been developed in Norway by SINTEF, is 3 m long and weighs 70 kg. The snake contains 20 water hydraulic motors that move the robotic joints. And the energy needed to power these motors comes from water pressurized to 100 bars and already available inside the fire hose. This gives enough energy to this water-powered robot to climb up stairs, to lift a car up off the ground or even break through a wall. Very clever design! The designers think that this robot could not only replace humans to fight fires when it's too dangerous for them, but could also be used for subsea operations or explosion prevention. An additional overview contains more details and pictures of this snake robot."

Intel Stepping Up to Combat AMD's 4x4 202

Grooves writes "Intel has said that the company is stepping up the pace of its Core 2 architecture rollout to compete with AMD's 4x4. Two "quad-core" parts originally slated for release in the first half of 2007, Kentsfield for the desktop and Clovertown for servers, will make their debut as early as the end of this year. The Ars article warns that per-core bandwidth problems could end up giving a performance advantage to AMD's 4x4 approach."

Microsoft Hit With 280m Euro Fine 527

Craig Mason writes "The BBC Reports that "Microsoft has been fined 280.5m euros ($357m; £194m) by the European Commission for failing to comply with an anti-competition ruling. The software giant was hit by the fine following a long-running dispute between the US firm and EU regulators. The move follows a landmark EU ruling in 2004, which ordered Microsoft to provide rivals with information about its Windows operating system. EU regulators also warned Microsoft it could face new fines of 3m euros a day.""

Microsoft Hoping for Vista in January 424

WebHostingGuy writes "Bill Gates said Tuesday there was an 80 percent chance the company's next-generation operating system, Vista, would be ready in January. He is also hopeful that the next version of Office will ship in December. The holdup, he says, is due to constant revisions due to beta tester feedback." From the article: "'We've got to get this absolutely right,' Gates said. 'If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I'd be glad to delay it.' He said Microsoft was investing $8 billion to $9 billion in developing Vista and the company's next version of Office, its key cash-generator. He said the company's software partners, in developing and adapting their own products for the two launches, would invest 20 times as much as Microsoft."

U.S. House to Vote on Anti-Online Gambling Act 334

SonicSpike writes to mention that the House is set to vote on an act designed to choke off the U.S. money flow to internet gambling. Though illegal here in the states, overseas operators are getting a good deal of business from individuals with U.S. bank accounts and credit cards. From the article: "The legislation would make it illegal for banks and credit card companies to make payments to these sites. It also allows law enforcement officials to force Internet service providers to remove links to the websites. Many major credit card companies already refuse to process such payments. Opponents of the bill, including online gambling sites and a new group representing U.S. poker players, noted the growing popularity of Internet gambling and predicted that people would continue to sidestep laws."

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