Microsoft Plans Online Version of Windows

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced online enhancements to its Windows operating system and other popular software programs, hoping to defuse a growing threat from Google Inc. and other fast-moving challengers.

With a new Web site called “Windows Live,” Microsoft hopes to create a new platform that will unfasten some of its applications from a computer hard drive.

The change reflects Microsoft’s recognition of the growing demand for applications and services that can be used from any place, at any time, as the lines between the home and office blur and portable computing devices become more powerful.

“It’s a revolution in how we think about software,” Microsoft Chairman
Bill Gates told reporters and industry analysts Tuesday. “This is a big change for…every part of the ecosystem.”

It’s Microsoft’s most aggressive push yet into online services, an area that’s being pioneered by search engine Google, portal leader Yahoo, Inc., and others.

Gates said neither Windows Live nor another service called Windows Office would replace the operating system or other popular applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, sold on disks that are installed on individual hard drives.

Office Live, Microsoft said, will be targeted at the 28 million small business worldwide.

It will have elements that enhance regular Office applications while others will work independently of the software suite.

Some of the tools outlined Tuesday will help small businesses build an online presence as well as offer applications to automate tasks such as project management, expense reports and billing, among others.

“With Office Live services, we make complex technology affordable and easy to use for small businesses, empowering them to reach their business goals,” said Rajesh Jha, general manager of Information Worker Services at Microsoft.

Office Live will be available as an invitation-only beta in early 2006.

Windows Live will be offered for free and try to make money from the rapidly expanding online advertising market that has been fueling the explosive growth of Google and Yahoo, providing them with the financial and intellectual firepower to challenge the world’s largest software maker.

Microsoft also plans to charge monthly fees for some of the Live Office features aimed primarily at small businesses — a subscription model that has been a boon so far for online software pioneers like Salesforce.com Inc., NetSuite Inc. and RightNow Technologies Inc.

Source: AP

Happy Birthday EverQuest II

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), will celebrate the first birthday for EverQuest II. On that day, SOE will offer in-game rewards to EQII players based on the length of time they have subscribed and there will be fun virtual treats for all EQII players to enjoy. However, the most extraordinary gift is the option for US and European players to use unique Asian-styled characters that were only previously available for the EverQuest II East project created by SOGA, an SOE joint-venture development studio based in Taiwan.

In-game rewards will be given to players who have subscribed for any time from one day (a 12 slot bag) all the way up to those who subscribed for the whole year. The gifts will be given at the following intervals: at least one day, one week, one month, three months, six months and one year. The gifts stack up so, for example, a player who subscribed for 6 months will also receive all previously accrued rewards. Exciting gifts include experience bonuses, a special title, unique house items, and fireworks.

Wikipedia May Go to Print, Says Founder

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Entries from Wikipedia, the popular free online encyclopedia written and edited by Internet users, may soon be available in print for readers in the developing world, founder Jimmy Wales said Monday.

He said content from the Web site may also be burned onto CDs and DVDs so computer users in places like Africa, who lack access to high-speed Internet, could consult parts of the reference work offline.

Wales also described as incorrect reports, one of them from Reuters, that certain pages of the Wikipedia could be subject to tightened controls or “frozen” for good to prevent vandals and pranksters from tampering with them.

“We are talking to several agents and publishers about what they would be interested in,” Wales said of the book project.

Source: eWeek

Borland Eyes Development Services

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Acknowledging a decline in IDE revenues, Borland Software instead is focusing on development services, with an emphasis on people, processes, and technology

The company, as part of its strategy, plans to bolster its application lifecycle management (ALM) offerings beginning with a requirements management product to be launched next week to supplement Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team System.

While not planning to take over entire software development projects in the manner of an EDS, Borland seeks to counsel customers on issues such as process maturity while also providing tools, according to Erik Frieberg, Borland vice president of product marketing and strategy.

“We’re consulting on how you become better at your software development processes,” said Frieberg in an interview in San Jose, Calif., on Monday afternoon.

The heydays of the IDE are in the past, Frieberg said.

Source: InfoWorld (via Yahoo)

Stem Cell Center’s Web Site Overloaded

Filed under: — Galit

The Web site of a stem cell research center in Seoul was overloaded Tuesday when it began formally accepting applications from patients seeking to benefit from cloning technology, an official said.

Nearly 1,200 applications were received as of Tuesday morning, said Lim Jong-pil, an official at the research center at Seoul National University Hospital. More applications were still being submitted.

The stem cell bank opened Oct. 19 with the aim of serving as the main center for providing scientists around the world with embryonic stem cells, seen as a potential source of replacement tissue for people with a variety of ailments.

The bank planned to receive applications from patients with Parkinson’s disease or damaged spinal cords, who are willing to offer their skin tissue for research purposes. Officials have said it doesn’t mean the beginning of clinical tests or treatment, yet applications still surged.

Source: AP

Mac OS X Update Fixes Multiple Vulnerabilities

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has issued an update for Mac OS X. This fixes some vulnerabilities and a security issue, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to bypass certain security restrictions or to gain knowledge of potentially sensitive information.

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