Adobe today launched Photoshop Elements 7 and Premiere Elements 7 for
Windows as two new more affordable ways to edit pictures and videos
with a touch of Photoshop and Premiere. But the real news is that Adobe
is ready to get consumers used to the fact that buying a software is
only half the story. What you really want is to buy a service and renew
it every year. The question is: Will you bite?
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 is due within a few days and
will not only bring bug fixes, but a range of new security features
that are likely to lift the browser above Firefox, but also represents
a new level of complexity how the security of a browser has to be
managed by a user. At the core of Microsoft’s security ideas is the
term “InPrivate”, which is designed to either block an
“over-the-shoulder-view” when browsing or reveal what is happening in
DivX is joining the high-definition era: Following its first H.264
decoder, the company today announced the alpha version of its first
H.264 encoder. The software is part of what eventually will become Divx
7 and beta testers are invited to try out what the company has come up
with so far.
Opinion – Microsoft has a tough time these days. First we complain that
they don’t react to Apple’s mean and insulting Mac vs. Vista
commercials and then nobody appears to like Microsoft’s choice for a
spokesperson, Jerry Seinfeld (we do agree that this is a strange
choice.) But we do not want to simply criticize Microsoft – criticism
always should offer solutions and this is exactly what we wanted to do.
Here are our top 10 choices for Microsoft’s anti-Apple campaign.
Nvidia today released the second generation of CUDA, the company’s
C-based programming environment that enables developers to tap into
GPUs to accelerate their applications. There are several new features
included, most interestingly a Photoshop plug-in example that provides
guidelines how to design plug-ins that run on the GPU.
Photosynth has been one of Microsoft most creative consumer projects in
some time. Developed by the company in collaboration with scientists
from the Graphics and Imaging Lab (GRAIL) at the University of
Washington, the technology – previously also known “Photo Tourism” -
uses a number of pictures to create a sketch of a three-dimensional
landscape filled with high-resolution images: Upload your pictures and
you could end up with a dramatic 3D world. Conceivably, Photosynth
could easily be imagined to be one evolutionary step above Google’s
Street View Maps feature.
If you think about it, it is somewhat surprising that Apple has not yet
managed to add the good old copy and paste feature to its iPhone
software. Help comes from the developer community with a free framework
that provides copy and paste features on a system-wide level. At least
three developers are already implementing the feature in their
applications, one of them being a WordPress blogging tool, and several
others are apparently in the queue.
Apple today said it will give away two additional months of free
MobileMe service to both paid and free trial account users, on top of
previously announced free service extensions. Users who had to deal
with MobileMe’s rocky launch and its service outages are compensated
with a total of 90 days of free service worth $24.75.
Opinion – Ok, so we adjusted our hopes that Windows 7 will not become
that revolutionary operating system we hoped it would be. But the
ongoing flow of news suggests that we should downgrade our expectations
even further, as Microsoft’s recently updated server roadmap indicates
that there will not be a Windows 7 server, suggesting that Windows 7
indeed will not be what Microsoft would call a major operating system
release. Sounds to me like Windows 98 SE all over again.
Ray-tracing is one of the big topics gamers and graphics enthusiasts
should pay special attention to these days. AMD already demonstrated
Transformers and Ruby Ray-traced demos using pre-rendered and real-time
rendered voxels, Intel is busy working on its own ray-tracer, and now
we are seeing much more obvious ray-tracing material from Nvidia as
There is no denying that the initial news about Windows 7, Vista’s
successor, weren’t especially great for Microsoft. Vista is by far not
as successful as Microsoft would have hoped and Windows 7 will have to
carry the company until a completely new operating system, speculated
to be code-named Midori, will be available. So, will Windows 7 be
another Vista? Will it lag behind OS X Snow Leopard? Is multi-touch UI
really as great as Microsoft claims it will be?
David Gosen, vice president of strategic marketing for the Xbox and
Xbox Live in Europe, threw a big one over the crowd that was listening
to his speech at Microsoft UK Gamefest developer event: "There is no
question digital will overtake physical. It happened in music and it
will happen to our industry."
Yahoo introduced a new open location-based services (LBS) platform
called Fire Eagle that helps users publish their current location to
the Web, while giving them the ability to control how and where their
location data is shared. Geodata are shared with authorized
applications on the Internet, mobile and desktop applications. It is
easily the best LBS approach we have seen so, and easily the front door
to a privacy nightmare scenario for people who do not fully understand
the concept of online privacy and its implications.
Google's online translation service is one of the most valuable free
translation tools available today. However, it did not work very well
on mobile platforms until recently, forcing travelers to bring their
pocket translators along. That scenario, however, could change with a
Google Translate version that is optimized for the iPhone.
This one does not come unexpected. An application that poked fun at the
fact how much money people are shelling out for their iPhone and the
wealth that the AppStore has created for some developers was yanked by
Apple early Thursday: The $1000 “I am Rich” application that got
famous through thousands of media articles published around the web is
no longer available.
Considering the big news coming out of Intel this week (Larrabee) and
the expected big News from Nvidia within the next two weeks (x86 CUDA),
AMD is under pressure to match its rivals: AMD is making substantial
changes to its GPGPU software strategy and announced at its GPG CTO
Technology Day that it will ditch its Close-To-Metal platform and switch
IBM prepares a big rollout of its Lotus Symphony office suite and what
better marketing to support the launch than an anti-Microsoft pitch?
IBM said it has “joined forces” with big Linux distribution providers,
such as Canonical and Novell, to deliver “Microsoft-free personal
computing choices“ by 2009. There are always reasons why you should
love to hate Microsoft, apparently.
Apple has begun to more aggressively update its Mac OS X operating
system and is now patching the operating system with regular minor
security updates and incremental updates pretty much one a month. The
fifth update for Leopard was handed to developers last week and will be
making its way as Mac OS X 10.5.5 to end-users soon.