With the Vista launch now only a few months away I can't help but think back to the Windows 95 launch. It might be my memory playing tricks on me but things were a lot different back then. Microsoft played the media like a concert violinist and it paid off handsomely. I guess they didn't have bloggers to deal with. Over a decade later and Microsoft is making a total mess of the Vista launch and the company is stumbling from one crisis to another.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes sifts through the marketing hyperbole and casts his critical eye over the latest technological innovations to find out which products make the grade and which don't.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology.
Silicon Graphics Inc has emerged from bankruptcy protection and has slapped graphics chip vendor ATI with a patent infringement lawsuit.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is predicting that we're going to spend a whopping $21 billion over the holiday season this year, up 21% from a miserly $17 billion last year. That includes the whole works - tree, plastic snowman on the roof, mountain of food and, of course, gifts.
Intel has just made a few half-hearted price cuts to their CPU range. Mostly these cuts affect the Celeron D lines. Why are the cuts half-hearted? Because Intel doesn't really have much in the way of serious competition from AMD right now.
Come on now, be honest. When was the last time you suffered from "gadget lust"?
I've written here several times that AMD would have to cut the prices of their CPUs in order for them to remain competitive in the face of Intel's Core 2 Duo range. Well, AMD have once again slashed the prices of its Turion 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 and a number of its Sempron chips by up to 35.8%.
There's been much written about Microsoft's Vista Kernel Mode Security, especially the Kernel Patch Protection scheme for Windows Vista 64-bit, more commonly known as PatchGuard to the rest of us. Microsoft is selling these security enhancements as the best thing since sliced bread, telling us how much safer our 64-bit PCs will be. The security companies, on the other hand, are up in arms and claiming that Microsoft is locking them out of the kernel so that the Redmond giant can gain greater momentum in the security arena. I'm here to tell you that it has very little, if anything, to do with security - it's all to do with DRM and locking down your hardware.
The news that Apple shipped iPods containing malware came as a bit of a surprise yesterday. After all, you expect a company like Apple to have plenty of safeguards and checks and balances in place to prevent this kind of thing happening. The truth is however that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and putting your trust in someone else's chain is rarely a good idea.
Finally, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) might be starting to realize that their attempts to control and reduce piracy might actually be having the opposite effect, and are driving honest consumers to piracy.
Microsoft has made a real mess of explaining their Windows Vista licensing agreement terms. If professionals who are familiar with navigating their way around press releases and complex EULA agreements find the wording complex and ambiguous, what chance does a regular user have of coming up with the right answer?