Well, it looks like Venue Pro owners will be getting not one but two software updates in the near future. Dell has just confirmed that the much-anticipated NoDo Windows Phone 7 update has begun rolling out to devices today, and also announced that a separate update of its own will be “coming later.” NoDo, of course, adds copy and paste functionality among some other updates and tweaks, while the Dell update is only said to have “more fixes.” Feel free to let us know how the update works out for you in comments.
Just when we got used to the new iPhone OS 3.0, Apple rolls out a beta of version 3.1. Top of the list of this bug fix is the ability to nondestructively edit video. With the current OS 3.0, if you trim the beginning or the end of the clip and save it, those edited parts of your video are gone forever. In OS 3.1, you’ll have the option to save a copy of the edited video, leaving the original intact. But wait, there’s more:
• Voice Control now works over Bluetooth
• Faster boot time
• iPhone vibrates when moving icons
• Updated AT&T profile to 4.2
• Updated modem firmware to 5.08.01
• Improvements to OpenGL and Quartz.
• APIs to allow third party apps to access videos and edit them.
One fix I wish they would implement: It’s harder to place the cursor within text than it was in the old iPhone OS (could that be because of the new “oleophobic” screen?). Maybe somebody could try fixing that. Let’s also hope the developers do something to improve the iPhone 3GS’s speech recognition, which is laughably lame thus far.
Developers are getting the beta software and firmware now, but the official release date for the rest of us iPhone-totin’ suckas is unknown.
Microsoft will make the first public beta of Windows 7, the next version of its desktop operating system, available as a free download on Friday. There are several limitations, however, so even if you’re excited and committed to trying out Windows 7 Beta 1 on your home PC, check out this list of rules, requirements and considerations.
We culled this list from a post on the official Windows blog and its comments, so check it out before taking the plunge:
- Windows 7 Beta 1 will be made available for a limited time during the day on January 9, 2009.
- Visit the Windows 7 page on Microsoft’s website for the link.
- It will only be made available to the first 2.5 million people to download the code. Demand will be huge, so prepare to act quickly.
- Microsoft has not announced a specific time on Friday for the release, but we can expect it will be later in the day so the west coast of North America isn’t left out.
- Windows 7 Beta 1 will be offered as an ISO image. It’s around 2.5 or 3 gigabytes, so you will need a DVD burner if you want to install it.
- You will be required to register before downloading so Microsoft can give you a product key.
- It will be build 7000.
- The beta will only support Windows Vista SP1 to Windows 7 upgrades. If you’re not running Vista SP1 right now, upgrade before you try to install the Windows 7 beta.
- There is also a clean install option for the Win7 beta.
- There is no upgrade path from XP.
- There’s only one version of the beta, which Microsoft says “is roughly equivalent the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista.”
- The Windows 7 Beta will expire on August 1. You will probably be forced to go back to using Vista SP1 on August 1 (or maybe upgrade to Win7 Beta 2?).
- English, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Hindi versions will be available Friday.
- Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions will be available (except for Hindi, which only gets a 32-bit version).
- If you’re upgrading, remember to back up your PC. It’s a beta, stupid!
If you miss out, there will be other ways to get the beta in the near future. It’s likely Microsoft will be handing out hard DVDs of the code at developer events and consumer conferences throughout the year. And of course, (cough) there’s always BitTorrent.
Okay, never mind that I’m a dinosaur with an affinity for 1990’s era User Interfaces – I think even my best critics will very likely agree with me that Windows 7, for all of its performance improvements and bling, is essentially one big service deluxe pack for Windows Vista. It’s the Windows Vista that customers were promised when they bought “Vista Capable” PC’s 3 years ago, and despite the rest of us dinosaurs that are set in our ways about the way we like to work, it’s the Windows Vista that even Micosoft’s most ardent supporters hoped that would finally replace Windows XP. Windows 7 is the Vista that we were guaranteed would work properly, the first time around.
Taking a page from the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, Windows 7 and it’s accompanying sales propaganda is the Microsoft corporate mantra equivalent of “Wait ’till next year” that everyone is hoping may actually result in that all-elusive pennant win — the end-user and corporate acceptance that Windows Vista was never able to achieve.
Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Let’s face it, Windows 7 is Windows Vista Service Release 2, more than a service pack but less than a major release, with only a few added extra features, or as I am now in the custom of calling it, Windows Fixta. And since Windows 7 is essentially a performance and usability fix for a defective product, I’m of the increasing opinion that a Windows 7 upgrade should be free to anyone who was conned into buying Windows Vista.
Yes, you heard me. If you own a copy of Windows Vista — Microsoft should be giving you a download entitlement to whatever corresponding version you have. So if you have Home, you should get Windows 7 Home. If you have Ultimate, you should get Windows 7 Ultimate. For Microsoft to do anything less would be a disservice to their loyal customers, especially to the enterprises that actually bought into Enterprise Agreements for Vista desktops. It isn’t just good business for Microsoft to redeem itself in this way, it’s simply the right thing to do. Anything less than a complete “Mea culpa, we’ll do anything to make this up to you” move by Microsoft is likely to open them up to further litigation, especially by angry EU lawmakers who are just looking for another excuse to hit the company with billions more in fines as well as an expansion of existing class action in the United States.
As reported by Mary Jo Foley today, selected PC OEMs will begin offering free upgrades from Vista this summer, but these upgrades will not be retroactive. Microsoft needs to address their loyal customers and early adopters with free certificates NOW.
Should Vista users get Fixta For Free? Talk Back and Let Me Know.
In case you’re one of the squares who hasn’t yet grabbed a leaked copy of OS 184.108.40.206 for the Verizon Storm, you’re going to love this. Rumor has it that Verizon is getting its servers all set to officially unleash an OS update to fix the problems that have become the bane of some users existence (before you flame, no, we’re not hating on the Storm). Rumor has it that the OTA updates will be available in the afternoon followed by computer-based upgrade downloads in the evening. We’ll be sure to update this post if and when the update is ready, but we can tell you that if you prefer to upgrade your OS via Desktop Manager then the update will be available here. Note that OTA upgrades will only work for BIS users as this feature is not supported on BES.
Speaking to CVG, Microsoft’s Jerry Johnson stated that many of the features originally planned for the upcoming New Xbox Experience were not implemented in the version being released later this month. Said Johnson, “Half the things we wanted to do we cut out of the service.” However, Johnson also says that updating the NXE is much simpler than previous dashboard updates, noting an “architectural change” to the system saying, “All of a sudden we opened up the platform to say ‘I don’t have to wait until once or twice a year to release something onto the dashboard.”
It seems the NXE is more based on individual applications, as Johnson noted the photo sharing application, saying that implementing it would be a simple matter of users spotting its “slot” on the dashboard and downloading it once it’s available. The upshot of all this: no more waiting for biannual updates.
Johson also added that Primetime, the online social gameshow application, will launch in spring of 2009.
Ah, bug fixes galore. Apple just announced firmware 2.1 for the iPhone and iPod touch. “No crashes,” says Steve. He’s calling it a big update with the promise of fewer dropped calls, big battery improvement, and faster backups. Is this a dream? We’ll find out when it’s released this Friday.
P.S. No mention of copy and paste.
Apple announced a new version of iTunes media playing and shopping software today, taking it up from version 220.127.116.11 to version 8. Headlining the new release is a new sidebar Apple calls “Genius,” a software routine that’s also in the company’s latest music players that can automatically make a playlist by watching what songs you listen to most. It lets you pick a song, and then it builds a list of similar tunes. Its intelligence is enhanced if you choose to send data about your listening habits to Apple’s mother ship, where that’s compared to the preferences of scads of other users. What about your privacy? Steve Jobs says it’ll all be kept confidential.
Sounds great, but it’s not anything new. You can get a similar routine from free web-based music service Pandora Radio, with the main difference being that you don’t have to buy or steal any tunes to use it. The field of apps containing similar features might become less crowded, though, if Pandora is sunk by record company honchos and their accomplices.
Those of us addicted to HD video will like the fact that Apple has finally added HD capability to iTunes (just in time for NBC to add a slew of HD shows back into the iTunes store). So now you don’t have to have an Apple TV to buy, rent and watch HD content from Apple. Standard-def shows that are normally $1.99 will be $2.99 in HD. The iTunes 8.0 software will be available for free download today.
You’ve seen the PR, now check the videos. The zunitedcommunity just posted four introductory videos straight outta Redmond — three demonstrate the new WiFi Marketplace, buy from FM, and Channel features in the 3.0 firmware while the fourth demonstrates the updated desktop software with new Zune mix, improved Now Playing view, and new Picks view auto-populated to reflect your listening habits. CNET News also had the chance to get some hands-on time courtesy of Zune’s Joe Belfiore. Joe confirms that WiFi access to Marketplace only works from hotspots that don’t require a browser-based login (duh) while once again hinting at future Xbox and Zune integration since “both stores are based on the same technology.” He also confirms that the 3.0 firmware will work with all Zune devices as we expected. Curiously, when asked about accessing your Zune music collection from a phone, Joe responded by saying, “that’s another really interesting device that you may someday see us do work on but nothing that we’re announcing here today.” Funny response since CNET asked him about accessing Zune music from a phone, not a Zune phone. See all five videos after the break.
[Via Zunited, thanks Ryan and Milo]
Facebook will soon be rolling out a new site design that, among other things, will change the way your profile looks. But you can check it out today by logging into your account and then visiting www.new.facebook.com.
One of the most prominent new features will be an emphasis on the mini-feed. In fact, it might be safer to start calling it a news feed, since it’s not so mini-anymore. When you first view a profile, what you’ll see is a list of recent activity on that account.
You can also click on tabs for Info, Photos, or Boxes. Info brings up your contact information, group membership, and other info. Boxes shows all the Facebook apps that are currently littering your main profile page. And we’re going to let you figure out for yourself what shows up in the Photos tab.
Update: Facebook seems to have disabled the http://www.new.facebook.com page sometime in the last few hours. But trust us, it looks something like the image above!