As expected, Apple has previewed the next version of Mac OS X, code-named Snow Leopard. We were somewhat surprised to hear that there will be no new features, but focus on performance instead. However, if you consider performance a feature - and most of us probably will – the Apple prepares a real treat: GPU acceleration.
In depth - Mobile who? Apple is replacing its ailing .Mac suite of pricey online services with a rebranded service dubbed MobileMe. It delivers improved a web interface and enhanced over-the-air data syncing between a Mac, a PC, the iPhone and the iPod touch. Unfortunately, its pricing may be overly optimistic and may scare away many potential customers.
Opinion - News that Apple may announce an early build of Mac OS X 10.6,
code-named "Snow Leopard", at next week’s WWDC, targeting January 2009
as the release date for the final. Rumor has it that 10.6 will not
deliver major new features, but focus on code optimization instead.
Really? Our bet is that Snow Leopard will integrate multi-touch as one
of its key selling features, beating a similarly equipped Windows 7 to
Did you know that Corel now owns WinDVD? We sure didn’t and we
thank Corel’s 5-foot tall, squeaky chipmunk voiced, oh so cute as a
button ambassador for leading us to the company’s suite to enlighten
our minds. Actually, we were just randomly jumping from floor to floor
checking out the most interesting rooms the Grand Hyatt during the
Computex tradeshow in Taipei. We exited at the 11th floor and there
she was holding a sign that was probably bigger than she was. “Welcome
to Corel, please visit our suite,” she mustered in her best
Chinese-accented English. How could we resist?
Feature – The Spaces feature introduced with OS X Leopard has been
advertised as a huge time-saver, but its actual implementation only
contributed to windows clutter, instead of reducing it. Luckily, a
subtle change in the recent OS X 10.5.3 update has addressed this
problem, turning Spaces into a valuable tool that you can finally use
to group several application windows into task-oriented virtual
Review – According to Mozilla, Firefox 3 final is just days away from
its release and there is every indication that the RC2 released today
may actually represent the final version of the browser. That was
reason enough for us to give Firefox 3 RC2 a thorough test drive and
single out the most important improvements you can expect over Firefox
Mozilla has posted the second release candidate of its Firefox 3 web
browser this morning. The software is currently only available through
the organization’s FTP server.
Microsoft today said that it will be rolling out the second beta of
Internet Explorer later this summer and make the software available in
20 languages. Meanwhile, it appears that the Mozilla team has hit
roadblocks, which prompted the developers to delay its next-gen
browser. There will be at least one more release candidate before
Firefox 3 final can be downloaded.
Adobe today released a new version of its document management software
Acrobat. Flash movies are now natively supported and can be embedded
into PDF documents and viewed through a new version of the free Acrobat
Reader. Perhaps even more significant is Adobe’s continued push into
the software-as-a-service (SaaS) segment, introducing a fancy interface
for a simple online word processor, a screen sharing applications as
well as a file sharing platform.
A new web page that popped up on Mozilla’s site today suggests that the
launch of Mozilla 3 is imminent. The developers announced that they
will soon be announcing the availability date of the software and are
rallying users to take Firefox 3 into the Guinness Book of World
Records – as the most downloaded software within 24 hours.
Apple has released a hefty 420 MB update for its current operating
system. Leopard 10.5.3 delivers a myriad of improvements, patches as
well as general stability and reliability enhancements.
He may be stepping down from day to day duties at Microsoft, but Bill Gates can still hold a crowd. Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took center stage at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital Conference last night in Carlsbad California and fielded tough questions along with demoing an upcoming touch-sensitive version of Windows, but it was Ballmer who did most of the talking. He emphasized that Vista is not a failure and that Microsoft was still pursuing some type of partnership with Yahoo.
Microsoft squashed hopes that the next version of Windows will come
with a completely new kernel – a new kernel that had been discussed and
presented as “micro kernel”. The foundation new operating system,
apparently due for launch in early 2010, will be an evolutionary step
over the Windows Server 2008 kernel, which is based on the Windows
Vista kernel, an executive said in an interview.
GPU acceleration is one of the most significant trends in today
hardware industry, opening the doors to an entirely new class of software. It appears
that the next Photoshop will be one of the first mainstream
applications that will tap into the GPU for a speed up. And, at least
from what we have seen during a first demonstration, the progress is
Microsoft announced that it will extend the file format range supported
by its Office 2007 package. ODF 1.1, PDF 1.5 and XPS will be added with
the next service pack, but the integration of Microsoft’s own and
recently standardized Office Open XML will be delayed until Office 14.
Back when we first saw the capabilities of Nvidia’s CUDA technology and
Tesla acceleration cards, it was clear to us that the company had all
the tools necessary to change the way we use computers today – the
enormous computing horsepower of graphics cards open up possibilities
we have talked about for some time, but didn’t think were possible in
the foreseeable future. The company now challenges developers for the
first time to exploit the hidden potential graphics cards in a