Tag: os

Microsoft Mango ready but no-one is releasing it

While pundits have touted Windows Mobile 7 as the antidote for Android problems, it seems that manufacturers can’t be bothered.

This week Microsoft had to go public that its Mango flavour of the operating system was ready to go.

Peter Wissinger, Microsoft’s director of Mobile Business in the Nordic countries, said that Mango had been released early.

The only problem was that Vole’s OEM partners were not ready. That includes HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu, ZTE Corporation and Nokia. Nokia’s first Mango smartphone, the “Sea Ray” was being shown to hacks at the end of June.

While in the case of Android there is much moaning about the software versons not being ready, it seems that when something is, the OEMs aren’t.

It is not clear when users of Windows Mobile 7 will start seeing updates either, but at least one side of Microsoft is happy that it has done its job on time and they can go off and find a nice beach somewhere. 

Gartner whinges about the death of Windows

Microsoft will be hoping Gartner’s predictions for Windows as its last major corporate-wide migration are wide of the mark, as it continues to fall flat with its mobile OS.

The good news from Gartner is that by the end of this year Windows 7 will become the leading OS in the PC installed base with 42 percent.  And analysts reckon that 94 percent of new PCs will ship with Microsoft’s current offering.

This will be buoyed by improvements to IT budgets meaning that companies can finally drum up enough cash to move to the new OS.

Of course, with forecasts of impending economic doom coming from all quarters of the world, this could slow down uptake.  So we wouldn’t be surprised to see firms selling their PCs for firewood rather than looking to update to a fancy OS.

More annoyingly for Microsoft, Gartner has stated its belief that Window 7 will be the last time there is a large migration on a corporate scale to Windows.  Analysts bizarrely think that with competitors like Mac OS and Chrome OS growing in stature, the company could be a little bit buggered, though Gartner quotes figures which don’t exactly add weight to the argument.

Mac OS was shipped on 4 percent of PCs worldwide last year, compared to 3.3 percent in 2008, with this figure set to grow to 4.5 percent this year.  This will reach 5.2 percent in 2015 as Apple continues to grow above average, thanks in part to the famous Apple ecosystem. Not exactly phenomenal growth.

Chrome, Android and webOS are not expected to gain a lot of ground in the PC market in the near future, with a strong position in mobile computing required before they can make the jump.  Indeed it is unlikely even then that such operating systems would be able to encroach on the position of Microsoft in the workplace, not least because of compatibility issues.

Linux meanwhile is expected to remain niche over the coming years, remaining at under two percent of the corporate market due to high migration costs.

The increase in popularity of virtualisation and cloud computing is set to continue, and it is thought that this could hurt large scale roll outs of Windows.

So with such a damning view by Gartner of this being the last time Windows will be used on corporate PCs, could this spell disaster for Microsoft?

Well, not really.

Barry Angell, software migration expert at Juriba, reckons that Gartner is “too early in writing off future Windows OS migrations” in the corporate sphere. In fact he believes that it is “highly likely” that Windows 7 will not in fact be the last major OS migration.

He believes that many enterprises are only just starting to plan for this new migration, and though IT budgets might have increased a little, we will still see migrations running through 2015.

And Microsoft will hope he is right. 

With some saying that the PCs will soon be found in the bargain bin among the Nintendo 3DSand Cher Lloyd CDs, they might be a bit concerned about the foray into mobile OS territory.

Another Gartner report has shown that Windows Phone 7 has been struggling again, as SeattlePi points out.

With a none too impressive 1.6 percent of new smartphones sold during the second quarter of the year, Microsoft is looking ever more out of touch. This is compared with a 4.9 percent share of the market last year, as it moved from Windows Phone 6.5 to 7.

In fact it has fallen behind in the rankings to Bada. Bada?  Yeah, that’s the Samsung developed OS which is doing even better these days.

With Android and iOS making further gains, it seems that Microsoft will be counting down the days to the start of its partnership with Nokia almost as much as the ailing manufacturer is itself.

It will be pinning its hopes for the future on the consumer and cloud driven Windows 8 – with support from both Intel and ARM – which its partners claim to be very, very excited about.

Apple to merge operating systems in 2012

Fruity cargo cult, and wielder of wide patents Apple is about to merge its iOS and OSX operating systems.

According to Apple Insider, Jobs’ Mob is planning a Central Unified New Technology, which will run mobile applications and cloud services.

The story has been touted by Wall Street analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies & Company  who thinks that a transition is possible on the new MacBook Air running Apple’s custom next-generation “A6” processor.

If he is right then all iPad, iPhone and MacBook Airs running the A6 will have the new operating system in 2012.

Misek wrote that Jobs’ Mob was sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first multi-device platform capable of “PC-like” strength. If your PC is running like it was in 1990 we guess he would be right.

Fortunately for those who want a proper computer, the MacBook Pro and Mac desktops will use Intel processors and the current Mac OS X software. However by 2016, he sees all of Apple’s Mac devices running on an ARM-based processor like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad.

Apple can use a 32-bit ARM architecture to address the vast majority of the OS X ecosystem’s needs in 2012-13 except for high-end professional devices, he wrote.

When there is a a 64 bit ARM in 2016, Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture, he said.

Misek thinks that merging the iOS and Mac OS X platforms would allow users to have content optimised on an even wider range of devices. It is difficult for Apple to achieve this if the company continues to keep its Mac and iOS operating systems separate.

There have been rumours that Apple was going to ditch Intel in its line of Macs and adopt the ARM architecture across the product range for a while. Jobs’ Mob is waiting for ARM to move to 64-bit so it can make the jump. 

Android dominates because it was always going to

There is plenty of hooting and hollering during the start of the silly season about Android, or Andorid according to one publication, stealing market share from Apple’s iPhone. Well, duh.

Google is smart in its Android push. It wants it everywhere, so it can grow its ecosystem and integrate all of its other bits and pieces – handing it control of, eventually, the screens in your home and mobile. According to the marketing, it is an open method with clear differences to Apple’s control freakery. By luring developers and manufacturers with the promise of a great alternative to Apple it makes sure its software is widespread.

So, of course it is beating Apple in terms of market share. Android is not a phone manufacturer with a secretive product cycle. Apple is. Android is an operating system Google really wants adopted by every phone manufacturer that isn’t Apple.

Taking over market share is inevitable. Some corners of the press – including Nick Farrell over here if we’d let him – will suggest it’s a sure-fire sign that people are sick of Apple’s cultish modus operandi. But they’re not. Most people faithful to the bizarre church already own an iPhone 4.

When the sequel tips up, early adopters and the biggest of the fanboys will queue up around blocks and camp out to get one. Provided Fruityco keeps getting it right, it’ll be back at the top of the charts and, a couple of years down the line, we’ll hear the same old story again.

It’s entirely likely that Android is going to remain king of the castle in terms of handsets shipped, but, then, it always was.

The interesting point here is, the more abundant Android becomes, the more Steve Ballmer can grease his own wheels from some thrown chair in Redmond

Finland backs Microsoft not MeeGo

What better place to poke our nosey noses around Nokia than its home turf? Here at the Aalto university, talking to local industry watchers and keen developers in an offshoot room of its bustling start-up lodge. 

Well, Nokia’s seedy love-in with domineering MSFT might actually be *good* for Finland. Though worries of straining the relationship between Finland and the States were rife, at least some of the start-up scene thinks it’s a good opportunity to hire top new talent.

Nokia’s dealings with Microsoft were referred to as a change in strategy throughout, which is one way of putting it, and weight wasn’t given to prospects of a positive future for Nokia’s independent future.

On the bright side, the industry is “becoming more mobile despite Nokia’s hardship,” and twice as many companies in Finland will develop for mobile platforms by 2012.

The Finns love Nokia. Somewhat bizarrely, our impression among businesses we’ve talked to so far – and we will be down at Nokia HQ tomorrow to find out more – is that Microsoft has managed to buy itself something priceless. You wouldn’t think you could buy loyalty. But the Finns have let their love of Nokia transfer over to its abusive controller, Microsoft. Not the Stockholm Syndrome. Helsinki syndrome, we guess.

“If Nokia had not adopted Windows Phone we wouldn’t see these figures. If Nokia wasn’t a Finnish company we wouldn’t see these figures,” we hear. That’s talking about Microsoft’s predicted success to become the top three in the smartphone and mobile market, where it will battle off competition from rivals to really be a contender. 

What of poor little MeeGo? Yes, we’ve been ragging on MeeGo a little for a while now. We hope it does well, we really do. Unfortunately for MeeGo, in Finland – the country where it is perceived to have much of its more dedicated support – there are “only a handful of MeeGo developers”.

“They don’t view MeeGo as much of a huge opportunity as the Windows Phone.” This is the view of Aalto University and supported by the Software Industry Survey 2011, not to mention anecdotally from plenty of others.

There is still some hope for the beleaguered software. Some think there are solid opportunities for it in the automotive industry. Then again, everyone else wants in too. 

It’ll spell trouble for Intel which is demonstrating its famous committment to the operating system. Cash backing the product is largely hoisted over from Intel’s coffers, we hear, especially in Finland. But for the Finns, they don’t want to “jump ship from Nokia to Intel”. Not when Nokia’s with Microsoft now. 

HTC 12 megapixel 'Mango' smartphone leaked

HTC is to release a smartphone with a professional-level 12 megapixel camera that supports the RAW file format, supported by the latest Windows Phone 7 software.

A video was posted by renowned leakster Eldar Murtazin, which shows the phone he has dubbed the HTC ‘Mazaa’ in action, says Digital Trends.

While it is not necessarily the first smartphone to ship with a 12 megapixel camera, it is a rarity among handsets as it is a specification that professional snappers use. The ability to shoot in the RAW format is usually only available in dedicated cameras.

Another interesting point is that the leaked phone appears to be running on Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ operating system, the latest update from Microsoft that is yet to hit the market.

The new fruity flavoured update, which Microsoft has been twiddling its thumbs over for some time now, will also feature on handsets being made by Acer, Fujitsu, Samsung, LG and ZTE.

It has also been noted that Mango would be the operating system on which the much anticipated Nokia/Microsoft handset collaboration will debut later this year.

 

Nokia confirms that Symbian is closed source

Former rubber boot maker and one time phone success story, Nokia has decided that it will not allow  beardie open sourcers, like Richard Stallman (pictured), play with its Symbian operating system.

There was some interest when the marketing team from Nokia described its new model for Symbian smartphone operating system development as “open and direct”.

But it seems that the open reference had nothing to do with open sauce, but being open for business and, we guess, open all hours.

An “open and direct” model is not one who tells you she would not be seen dead in a Vivienne Westwood outfit, but one which will enable Nokia to continue working with the remaining Japanese OEMs and the relatively small community of platform development collaborators.

This would be a bit different from last week when the outfit announced the Symbian code was back online in a posting titled “We are Open!”

We can see how you can get confused when the announcement was made by Petra Söderling, who is the “Head of Open Source, Symbian Smartphones, Nokia”.

The clarification of its definition was required after Groklaw  looked at the licence and declared it non-open.

Open Saucer Phipps also wrote in his bog that Nokia was pretending there’s no problem, but it really needed to get its act together.

Nokia has now fixed the problem by confirming that it is locking away its Nokia code.

If you want Symbian source under an open source licence, there is an archive on sourceforge at symbiandump.sf.net containing the code and resources from the Symbian Foundation before it closed its doors.

Apple MacBook update on the cards: Lion OS and double power

Apple announced that it will be updating its MacBook Pro featuring the next generation of processors and graphics, as well releasing an updated Mac OS with iPad style features.

The range of revamped MacBook Pros will also feature fast Thunderbolt I/O technology and a high definition FaceTime camera to go with the latest dual-core and quad-core Intel processors, leading to claims from Apple that the new breed of Pros will be up to twice as fast as the previous batch.

Apple is particularly proud of its “groundbreaking” Thunderbolt I/O technology, created in collaboration with Intel, which enables greater expandability than previously seen.

“Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The new FaceTime HD camera will apparently triple the resolution of the previous incarnation of the MacBook, to enable high def video calls between a range of Apple devices such as the iPhone 4.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro will feature i5 and i7 dual core processors up to 2.7 GHz, with Intel HD Graphics 3000.

The more powerful 15 and 17-inch models will feature quad-core i7 processors up to 2.3GHz alongside AMD Radeon HD Graphics with up to 1GB of video memory that will easily allow high performance gaming, video editing and other such intensive applications.

All of this continues to be housed in an aluminum enclosure, with glass Multi-Touch trackpad as would be expected of a MacBook, as well as a LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery life.

The range of notebooks is expected to retail at a starting point of $1,199 for the 13-inch model, with faster processor and larger HDD ramping the price up to $1,499.

Meanwhile the 15-inch models will retail at both $1,799 and $2,199, and the 17-inch costing $2,499.

All of the MacBook Pros will feature the Mac X Snow Leopard operating system.

Apple gave some insight today into its new Mac OS X Lion system, taking many ideas from the successes of the iPad tablet.

Lion will feature Mission Control that unfies Expose, Dashboard, Spaces and full screen apps allowing for an overview of all apps and windows by zooming out to allow instant navigation.

Another new feature, Launchpad, is aimed at making it easie to find and launch an application, by displaying all of them on full screen at the touch of one button.

Users will also be able to arrange apps into multiple pages and swipe between them.

Lion will include the Mac App store which will allow apps to be purchased and installed onto the LaunchPad.

Also in the large number of new or updated features will be a new version of Mail, again inspired by the iPad.

A preview of Lion can be found on the App Store, with the full version likely to be available this summer.

Tons of Google Calendar entries wiped clean

Google’s online help forum is awash with reports of users who have lost vital data on their Google Calendar service.

It seems as though up until last night the online calendar was working fine, but now a large number of users have woken up to find that their diaries have been wiped clean, with calendars and entries having been deleted.

Though it is not expected to have affected all users, there are a number of frantic reports of vital information going missing on the help forum.

The problem, which seems to be affecting a wide range of devices and operating systems, appears to have started causing problems quite recently, with reports beginning to flow in early this morning.

One user posted: “I am using WinXP and Internet Explorer 7. I do not synch this calendar with anything and did not realise that I should back it up – I never dreamed that it would all disappear!” 

Another added: “GOOGLE – PLEASE FIND MY DATA AND RESTORE IT ASAP!!!!”

We expect Google’s competent communications team to go live with a blog post any time soon, and it’ll probably just claim everyone needed a holiday. Google’s not evil, and it knows what it’s doing!

*Update Google has admitted it screwed up, but only a little. According to Google, “less than 0.001%” of its calendar users have seen the service trip up. It’s a “disruption” and not severe.

Adobe pledges lifetime love for Android tablets

Adobe has released a new tool as part of its Digital Publishing Suite that will help Android tablets in the battle to gain ground against the iPad.

Adobe announced at the Mobile World Congress that a number of leading publishers such as Condé Nast, Dennis Publishing, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and National Geographic will be using a new Content Viewer designed for use with a range of forthcoming Android tabs.

According to Adobe the Content Viewer will provide intuitive navigation for users, with HTML5 support and “rich visualisations and highly interactive overlays”.

With no love lost between Adobe and Apple it is hoped that teaming up with Android will offer an alternative to the iPad, which has made significant inroads into the world of print, particularly with the recent release of the Murdoch-backed newspaper The Daily.

“In addition to the iPad, readers expect to see their favorite magazines and newspapers on Android devices,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Creative and Interactive Solutions Business Unit, Adobe.

“Thanks to Adobe’s digital publishing innovation our publishing partners can create compelling and engaging editions for the Android platform, where millions of potential readers and subscribers will help drive the rapid expansion of digital titles.”

“The explosive growth of Android devices will be key to publishers building profitable and sustainable businesses.”

Adobe will provide major publications, such as National Geographic, WIRED and The New Yorker with a simple way for consumers to access digital magazines through upcoming Android-supporting devices such as Motorola’s XOOM.

“We believe that consumers are looking for high performance tablets with clear beautiful displays for enjoying content and media,” said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president, Software and Services Product Management, Motorola Mobility.

“With its high performance dual-core processor, and 10.1 inch H display, Motorola XOOM will deliver the perfect reading experience. Motorola and Adobe have a long history of collaboration, and the results of this will enable a stunning digital content experience for mobile devices.”