Sunday, June 29, 2008

The end of Windows XP next Monday

Software giant Microsoft will stop selling its ubiquitous XP operating system on Monday. But that doesn’t mean the seven-year-old software won’t continue contributing to the company’s financial performance for years to come. Terminating XP was expected. It comes just 18 months after Redmond, Wash.- based Microsoft introduced a new, more advanced operating system called Vista. While the new system is powerful, upgrading means spending lots of time and money to rework applications designed to run XP specifically. As a result, some companies, including Microsoft partner Intel Corp, have balked at adopting Vista, preferring instead to continue using XP.

Though Monday will be the last day Microsoft sells XP or provides free support for the “hundreds of thousands” of computers that are estimated to run on it, the company has come up with a novel way to wring money from the aging operating system: It is killing XP but isn’t letting it die. One way Microsoft will still make money from XP is by charging to provide support. Because the software continues to be popular, Microsoft’s “extended” support program is sure to generate lots more revenue. Microsoft will offer the program at least through 2014. That will likely attract lots of big corporate customers. Meanwhile, Microsoft will make more money by supplying XP to computer makers Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and others. Because Vista has had trouble making headway in the corporate market, computer makers have asked for “downgrade rights” - the right to continue offering XP on their notebook and desktop computers after.

Source: CNN

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bill Gates to retire from Microsoft on Friday

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was set Friday for his last day of full-time work at Microsoft - the company he founded 33 years ago on a hunch that personal computers would become an integral part of everyday life. The world’s largest software company said that it was not planning any public events to observe the transition, though the change would be marked by internal events. Gates, 52, will continue to hold the title of non-executive chairman and work about one day a week at Microsoft. He intends to devote the rest of his time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the wealthiest charity in the world, which is aimed at improving healthcare around the world and reducing extreme poverty. Founded with the vast fortune he made as Microsoft prospered, the foundation has an endowment of some 38.7 billion dollars with billions more expected to roll in as Gates transfers his massive personal wealth. Legendary investor Warren Buffet, currently the world’s richest man, has also pledged to transfer the vast majority of his wealth to the foundation.

Gates handed over his role as Microsoft chief executive to his long-time partner Steve Ballmer in 2000, when Gates became the company’s chief software architect. Under a carefully planned succession programme, Gate’s duties will be taken over by two top Microsoft executives. Ray Ozzie will be in charge of day-to-day management issues, while Craig Mundie will be in charge of long-term planning. The company, whose Windows operating system powers some 90 per cent of the world’s personal computers, has a market capitalization of about 260 billion dollars and employs more than 78,000 people in 103 countries. But even as its cash cow products of Windows and the Office productivity suite look set to continue their stellar earnings, Microsoft faces tough competition as Google’s online dominance threatens to cut into Microsoft’s core businesses.

Source: M&C

Monday, June 9, 2008

Omnia, competition for iPhone from Samsung

Samsung Electronics South Korea released on early Monday preview details on the company’s new smartphone, before the mania of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference begins in California. The Samsung Omnia (SGH-i900) is similar in looks and function to the Samsung Instinct (SPH-M800), but with a few more bells and whistles. For starters, it sounds like it has a very promising camera. With five megapixels and anti-shake technology, this may be the first camera on a phone that produces pictures you would actual think of printing, not just posting to Facebook. This is an improvement over the 2-megapixel cameras on both the first-generation iPhone and on the Samsung Instinct.

The touch-screen smartphone, which runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 and features Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Opera 9.5 as its Web browser, will also have Wi-Fi. That’s something the Instinct also lacks. Like the Instinct, the Omnia has visual voice mail, 3G capability, Bluetooth, an FM radio, and GPS functionality. The smartphone, of course, also doubles as a music player and, with 16GB, will be able to hold up to 4,000 songs or 100 minutes of video, according to Samsung. More details on the smartphone’s specs will follow when the Omnia (SGH-i900) is officially unveiled on June 17 at Communicasia, the 2008 Singapore Expo. The Omnia (SGH-i900) will become available in Southeast Asia first and then be launched to other markets over the second half of 2008, according to Samsung.

Source: Crave