Tag: "windows vista"

Halo 3 release date and countdown sidebar gadget

Microsoft have announced that Halo 3 will start shipping on Tuesday the 25th of September, the European release will be Wesnesday the 26th of September. So I've released a Vista sidebar gadget for Halo 3.

Halo 3 countdown sidebar gadget

It's pretty simple, it countdowns to the release date. There's two versions for each region North America and Europe (126KB), download from Microsoft's gadget gallery North America and Europe.

Switching from Mac OS to Windows Vista

I came across a recent blog entry by Nik Cubrilovic covering his recent switch from Mac OS to Windows Vista.

I have been running Vista for a little less than 24 hours and I can’t believe I didn’t switch back sooner, the main difference is that the interface is much much smoother and neater and despite popular belief performance is actually fantastic. I was used to waiting on Mac OS X while my standards apps would open up - Quicksilver, Firefox, Skype, etc. but Vista goes almost straight into the desktop and most apps boot very quickly.

I didn’t expect it to be like this, I didn’t want Vista to be this good - I was expecting to boot back into OS X and living happily ever after, but damn, this is one fast, slick and nice operating system. If you are a Mac user try it yourself, install boot camp and Vista and it will feel like you just added another CPU and doubled your RAM - I can’t see any evidence for any of the reports of Vista being slow or power-hungry.

He goes on to talk about Media Center, WMP, security and a few other topics. It's always good to get some feedback from somebody who has been out of the Windows world for a while.

Of course, the Apple fanatics were on station ready to respond:

Your claim about the advantages of Vista sounds like the generic MS BS we’ve been seeing for those same 20 years– no actual advantages that can be verified, just claims. (And as someone who has been forced to used every MS OS, this supposed improvement to the UI is something I’ve never experienced.) You’re not fooling me…. but you have lost me from your feed. Caio.

Talk about pathetic, but well you only need to read some of the comments on my blogs when I've touched on Apple to see how pathetic they really are. At least this guy didn't use "M$".

Halo 2 Windows Vista trailer

The video player uses Silverlight, so you'll need the plug in for Windows or Mac OS.

Edit: I've decided to scrap the iframe and just have a link to the page here.

This was put together (primarily the player) with Expression Media Encoder, once I can get my hands on RTM I'll be using that for Gamercast.

Yes I know there's a big percentage thing in the middle when the video is playing and still downloading, when Silverlight supports Windows Media Server that'll go away, or when I edit it out of the player.

HTC Shift - Ultra Mobile PC

HTC, the manufacturer of a lot of Smartphones and Pocket PC phones, are now moving into the Ultra Mobile PC market too.

HTC Shift Ultra Mobile PC

Yes, it runs Windows Vista, including Aero and it features a 7 inch touch screen. The specs are as follows:

VIA CPU (the one we tried had a 1.2GHz chip).
Windows Vista Business Edition.
7-inch sliding, tiling wide-touchscreen.
30GB drive.
Tri-band UMTS / HSDPA, quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE .
WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0.
Biometric reader, front-facing camera.

Microsoft pushed the development of the Ultra Mobile PC devices over the last couple of years, as a sort of mini-Tablet PC. With a number of manufacturers releasing models. Its definitely good to see more manufacturers join in with such a wide array of devices to try and push the price point down, hopefully to the point at which I can afford one.

Engadget has more details.

Dear Robert Peston

This is in response to Robert Peston's whinge on his BBC blog. Mainly about how his iPAQ isn't supported on Windows Vista, and how Outlook XP makes him type his password in.

My HP iPAQ PocketPC will never be compatible with Vista, even though the software it runs is Microsoft software. Hey ho. That's an expensive and serviceable bit of kit written off prematurely.

That iPAQ would be running a very old version of Windows Mobile then. Windows Mobile Device Center (the actual software that interfaces with it, Windows Vista doesn't per-se) supports the last four versions of Windows Mobile.

Have you actually checked with HP to see if they have a ROM update that carries Windows Mobile 2003 or above? May be you should find out and if they don't, ask HP why they don't (let's be honest - they want you to buy a new one). A lot of Pocket PC manufacturers release updates. Perhaps you should shop around next time and find out which manufacturers have the best track record for doing this.

Your engineer has however held out the tantalising prospect that Olympus may produce new drivers such that I would eventually be able to transfer sound files from my digital voice recorder to my new Vista laptop. But so far, those drivers are proving a bit elusive and my digital recorder may also become redundant.

Right so this is an Olympus problem so why are you writing an open letter to Bill Gates? A guy who after all didn't handle the development of Windows Vista and a guy who doesn't and can't tell Olympus what to do without being dragged to court over being anti-competitive or abusing power of a near-monopoly.

I installed Office XP on my new laptop, and have been puzzled and irked that Outlook will not save sign-on passwords. It means I have to type in my passwords every time I check my e-mail accounts for new mail.

Right so it works other than that?

This is what AppCompat Guy says: "This was a difficult deliberate choice. During the development of Vista, it was discovered that the password storage algorithm used by Outlook was too weak to protect your data from future, potential attacks. Both the security and application compatibility teams decided that protecting your data outweighed the inconvenience of having to retype your passwords. As the appcompat representative, I can assure you this was not a decision we took lightly"

Right. So the password encryption used in Outlook XP (6 years old) could in theory within the next few years become retrievable using a realistic amount of CPU time on a compromised machine.

Between a rock and a hard place. What would you be saying if your e-mail password was compromised, yet Microsoft had the ability to prevent it? Well Microsoft have prevented it. What's worse you having to type your password in, or somebody potentially reading your e-mail?

So just to be clear, Microsoft has created a new operating system that isn't properly compatible with a best-selling, still perfectly useable version of its own software. Which of course provides quite a powerful incentive for me to spend up to £99.99 on upgrading to Microsoft Outlook 2007

You do not need the latest version of Outlook (2007). Even a four year old version of Outlook will do the job fine too.

The upgrade adviser (downloadable from Microsoft's website) would of told you your iPAQ wouldn't sync, it would of told you Outlook XP has some issues, and it probably would of said your Olympus voice recorder won't work or at the very least it doesn't have any information about it. May be you should just install Windows XP on the machine, and ask the supplier for a refund on Windows Vista?

And a quick word on all the comments on Robert's blog coming from the Apple-faithful, getting a Mac isn't the solution.

1) You'd have to spend well over one thousand pounds to get the thing doing nearly what the Windows machine did. You'd need new software, new hardware, new peripherals, etc. Instead of one or two things being incompatible virtually everything would be incompatible.

2) Apple have a horrible track record of compatibility. Just take the iChat application, if you're using an old (in Apple land old is just 2 years) version of Mac OS, say 10.3, you can no longer chat to people on 10.4, because Apple released an update for 10.4 which stopped people from being able to connect to the iChat application on 10.3, because they no longer supported 10.3. So that's a hundred pounds somebody would have to put down, just for a tiny incremental update so they could chat to somebody again. I won't even bother going into the whole Mac OS 9 -> Mac OS X thing, or the whole PowerPC -> x86 thing.

Get real, we're trying to ease the problems Robert Peston, and some other users are having, not make them twenty times worse.

First 90 days of Windows Vista, security comparison

In a sort of follow up to my previous post about Windows Vista being the most secure operating system.

Jeff Jones has totalled up the number of vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the first 90 days of the Windows Vista launch (end of November), and compared it to Windows XP, Mac OS X.4, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, Red Hat Linux Enterprise 4 Workstation and Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

Here's the figures:

Windows Vista: 5.
Windows XP: 18.
Mac OS X.4: 27.
Ubuntu Linux: 100.
SuSe Linux:111.
Red Hat Linux: 201.

That's one fifth as many security related problems as Mac OS X.4. Take note Apple, you don't want to find yourselves in hot water over trying to mislead people, again, do you?

I got some feedback left on my other post on this topic.

Not taking into consideratio that the vulnerabilities for the windows are alot more common

Come on, are you serious?

That's because Windows is a lot more common (90+% of the market). Now let's follow this through, if you replace Windows with its 5 security issues, do you get more or less potential security issues when replacing it with Red Hat and its 201 issues? You get more, much more.

Let's assume that 90% is 400 million machines. Which means with Windows in the first 90 days of launch there's 2 billion potential holes in the worlds computers. With Red Hat's 90 days that figure goes up to 80.4 billion potential holes in the worlds computers. With Mac OS it's 10.8 billion! Come on get real. We're talking about how secure the operating system is, not how much software there is for it, which obviously will follow the OS with the largest market share.

Microsoft have made huge improvements over the last few years on security and that is undeniable, and they'll continue to make even more improvements in the future. By the time the next version of Windows ships people saying Windows is massively insecure will sound as dumb as all the people who are saying Windows is hugely unstable today, after 5 years of Windows being solely based on NT.

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