According to Microsoft, a release candidate of Internet Explorer 8 is just around the corner, and with it comes an urgent call to web designers to get their act together and tweak their sites so they’ll render properly under the new browser.Back in August, I began using IE8 Beta 2 full time on the Windows PCs I use for everyday work.
The Ed Bott Report
Get outspoken insights and expert advice on the products and companies that define today's tech landscape, from a source who knows these technologies inside and out.
Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
Bootleggers, beware. Judging by my inbox, lots of you downloaded a bootleg copy of Windows 7 build 6956 from BitTorrent, and now you have it running. But no matter how hard you try, you can’t update its built-in copy of Internet Explorer 8 with this week’s extremely critical out-of-band security update, which Microsoft turned around in record time. What's a poor bootlegger to do?
I've been impressed with the array of apps and services that have debuted lately under the Windows Live banner, including the new Windows Live Essentials package But the glow wears off fast if you need support. As I found through personal experience, support options are difficult to find, and when you're finally able to submit a request, there's no guarantee you'll get an answer any time soon. What was Windows Live management thinking?
Everyone knows Godwin’s Law, right? The longer a heated discussion goes on, the probability that someone will compare someone else to Hitler or the Nazis approaches certainty. Usually, Mac-versus-PC arguments take some slow simmering, followed by a few preliminary flame wars, before someone lets fly with the Hitler references. But today’s comment section beneath a post on a BusinessWeek blog sets a new record for invoking Godwin’s Law.
Nearly three years ago, at CES 2006, DirecTV announced that it was working on a tuner that would allow Windows Media Center to receive high-definition premium satellite signals. Earlier this year, there were rumors that the project was in beta test, and several high-profile web sites even spotted the hardware in action at Microsoft's labs. Alas, the long-rumored project is now officially dead. I've got the details.
At the Professional Developers Conference in late October, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky announced that Windows 7 Beta 1 would be ready "early next year." A Microsoft insider has now confirmed the actual date, which is indeed very early next year. I've put together my predictions for the Beta 1 timeline, which starts with Steve Ballmer's keynote at CES.
Reliable reports suggest that Microsoft plans to release Windows Vista Service Pack 2 to manufacturing in April 2009, roughly a year after it delivered SP1. Some observers are inferring from this schedule that ista SP2 is being "rushed out the door" and that "Microsoft seems to be in a hurry with this release.” They all need to dust off their Windows history books to see that the reality is exactly the opposite. If Vista SP2 does make its official appearance in April, it will mark a return to normal development and release cycles for Microsoft, which lost its way badly with Windows XP. I've got the proof, complete with charts.
The music industry has been stumbling and bumbling with subscription-based music services for years. This week, Microsoft announced a sweeping change to its Zune Pass music servicewhich gives you the right to download any album from the Zune Marketplace and convert 10 tracks to purchases each month. That effectively lowers the subscription portion of the service to 5 bucks a month. I’ve been using the Zune Pass service for the past five months and absolutely love it. The Zune software is superb, and the end-to-experience is better than anything Apple has to offer. In my opinion, Zune Pass should be irresistible to any serious music fan. But can it make a dent in the iTunes monopoly?
Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 7 for the first time at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles three weeks ago. Since returning from PDC, I’ve been installing and using Windows 7 on a variety of hardware platforms (eight distinct desktop and portable systems so far). My immediate goal is to learn as much as possible so I can begin writing my next book. The deeper I dive into Windows 7, the more I discover, including subtle changes and tweaks that aren’t obvious in a first look. In this post and its accompanying image gallery, I’ll share some of those details with you.
DirecTV's HD tuner for Media Center PCs, first announced at CES three years ago, has achieved the same notoriety as Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster. The occasional sighting is always enshrouded in fog and mystery, and no one has ever reported spotting one of these mythical creatures in the wild. But while poking around in the pre-beta build of Windows 7, I found a signed driver for this device. Does this discovery mean this mythical creature will make its debut with Windows 7 next year?