All posts tagged ‘Windows’

Microsoft Touts New ‘Windows Cloud’ OS, Set to Arrive Next Month

windows logoMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that the company is working on a new OS designed for “cloud computing.” Although he offered few details, he did say that the official announcement would happen later this month at the company’s Professional Developers Conference (which will also see the first demo of Windows 7).

So how does Windows Cloud fit with Windows 7? Well, Ballmer says they’re different projects, and reading between the lines we suspect that Windows Cloud (which is not an official name) is much closer to Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) offering than the consumer OS you normally associate with the Windows brand.

Speaking at a Microsoft-sponsored conference in London, Ballmer said that the new operating system is targeted at developers writing cloud-computing applications — think Microsoft Live Mesh on steroids, perhaps with some new APIs and other tools for designing and building web-apps.

So why would Microsoft be interested in competing with AWS? Well, the company has long dismissed software-as-a-service tools like Google Docs, preferring to pursue what it calls “software plus services.” That is, Microsoft’s approach is not to the replace current desktop apps, but to augment them with web-based services.

To get the kind of tight web-desktop integration the company is after will likely require a new platform that gives developers a way to hook into existing desktop apps. And we suspect that’s what “Windows Cloud” will be.

Of course, for now, it’s just speculation, but Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, kicks off October 28 so we won’t have to wait too long. We’ll be sure to update you when the official announcement is made.

[via Computer World]

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File Under: operating systems

Rumor: Windows 7 to Arrive Early, First Beta Due October 27

Win7Windows 7, the much-anticipated successor to Microsoft’s Windows Vista OS, may arrive ahead of schedule. Although Microsoft has previously said that Windows 7 would not arrive until early 2010, new rumors surfaced Monday claiming that the company’s internal calendar puts the release date at June 3, 2009.

The rumor also says that Microsoft will use its upcoming Professional Developers Conference in October to launch the first public beta of Windows 7. Windows 7 could be announced on Oct. 27, during Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie’s keynote speech.

Microsoft has not yet responded to inquires from Webmonkey, but if the rumors are true it would be welcome news for those unhappy with Windows Vista.

Regardless of when it arrives, Windows 7 should offer a smoother transition than the one many users experienced moving from XP to Vista.

Much of the Vista backlash had to do with the system hardware requirements and the lack of third-party device drivers. Because Windows 7 will reuse the Vista Kernel and the same driver framework, a Vista-compatible PC should be just fine with Windows 7.

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File Under: operating systems

Microsoft, Novell Extend Controversial Partnership

TuxWindowsMicrosoft and Novell have agreed to extend the controversial deal the two competitors struck back in 2006. The new agreement will see Microsoft purchase additional Novell certificates that its customers can redeem for Novell’s SUSE Linux service and support.

The two companies also say they will continue to enhance the various tools designed to create better interoperability between Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, says “our increased investment in the relationship with Novell is intended to give [our] customers and partners the best possible Windows-Linux interoperability solution.”

What’s perhaps most interesting about the extension of the deal that caused a massive uproar in the open source community is that, this time around, Microsoft hasn’t been touting the “protection” component.

When the two rivals first announced their agreement back in 2006, Microsoft played up the angle that it was giving Novell customers “protection” from any potential lawsuits against Linux. The company then went on a blustering “Linux steals our intellectual property” tour, proclaiming that lawsuits against Linux would be forthcoming.

The response from the Linux community was a rather blunt, sue up or shut up, and it would appear that Microsoft has opted for the later. In fact, today’s press release only mentions the intellectual property agreement in passing.

Instead the focus is on making Windows Server and SUSE Linux work better together. The read-between-the-lines message is that Microsoft knows server virtualization tools are a threat and wants to head them off at the pass.

While the open source community may still view Novell with suspicion, at least Microsoft seems to have moved beyond its schoolyard bully tactics.

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File Under: Software & Tools

New µTorrent Features Better Vista Support, IPv6 Upgrades

UtorrentThe popular, lightweight Windows torrent client, µTorrent, has released its first major update in some time, packing in some significant new features.

From a layout and UI standpoint, not much has changed, but under the hood µTorrent now supports Teredo, which promises much improved IPv6 support. Teredo is a tunneling protocol that allows even IPv6-unaware NAT devices to handle IPv6 traffic.

The end result is IPv6 connectivity without needing to upgrade NAT hardware, meaning better connections and improved torrent performance.

Other features in µTorrent 1.8 include better Windows Firewall registration in Vista, better skin handling for customizing the look and feel and quite a bit more. Check out the µTorrent forums for the complete change list.

Also welcome news is that with the release of 1.8, the µTorrent team plans to focus its effort on the long-anticipated Mac OS X version. No time line has been announced, but µTorrent developer Greg Hazel hints to TorrentFreak that “the first public Alpha version will be released in just a few weeks.”

As always µTorrent is free and you can grab the latest version from the downloads page.

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File Under: operating systems

Rumor: Microsoft ‘Midori’ Project May Replace Windows OS

Scary_windows_sanjy_flickrWhat’s Microsoft without the Windows? While the next version of Windows will no doubt be the familiar desktop that still dominates the market, the future may hold something entirely different.

If the rumors are to be believed, Microsoft is hard at work on a project code-named Midori, which will pare down the operating system and might one day replace Windows.

Recently revealed documentation purportedly shows that Midori, while still in the very early stages, appears to be Microsoft’s answer to both “cloud computing” and virtualization. That is, rather than tying the OS directly to hardware, Midori would be available across networks or even possibly the web.

The SD Times claims to have viewed internal Microsoft documents that outline Midori’s proposed design which is, according to the site, “internet-centric and predicated on the prevalence of connected systems.”

Of course Microsoft Research has all sorts of projects under its roof and many will never see the light of day. But longtime Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley looked into Midori earlier this year and concluded that Midori has more legs than some of its Microsoft Research brethren.

Although Midori is “currently in ‘incubation,’” Foley wrote, “it’s likely to be launched sooner than a typical Microsoft Research project.” Of course she went on to say that Midori was unlikely to arrive in time to replace Windows 7 or even Windows 8.

So will Microsoft abandon Windows and start over, rewriting an OS from the ground up? Apple did something similar (though perhaps less radical) when it released OS X and it has proved a very healthy move for the company. Will Microsoft attempt the same sort of move? Let us know what you think.

[via BBC, photo by Sanj@y, Flickr]

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