Tag: windows 7

Dell business tablet challenges RIM Playbook

Dell is to take on RIM at the business tablet market with a 10-inch Windows 7 model that is designed specifically for healthcare, education and financial sectors.

Steve Lalla, head of the Business Client division at Dell, revealed that while the tablet is still in its early development stages, with no working prototype to demonstrate, it intends to launch the device much sooner than the end of the year.

It was also revealed that the tablet will utilise the Intel Oak Trail processor, one of Intel’s Atom line. 

A key differentiator will be the target audience of the device, which is aimed at businesses. Most tablets so far are consumer devices, trying to steal Apple’s iPad glory. But RIM’s upcoming Playbook is aimed at the business community, not surprising given the success of the Blackberry in the market.

RIM has a good name in business and a well-received product, so Dell will have its work cut out.

Dell suggested it may also offer a general model of the tablet for consumer use.

Dell has already dabbled in the tablet market with its Streak, which, due to its five-inch size, was more like a smartphone than a tablet. It recently improved things by bumping the model up to seven inches in the Streak 7, but the 10-inch tablets are expected to be proper tablets for a change.

Just in case the Windows 7 model doesn’t take off, Dell is also planning an equivalent 10-inch Android version.

Dell is also launching the Latitude XT3, the successor to the XT2, which is a laptop/tablet hybrid that utilises a swivel screen to alternate between the two modes.

Windows sends error reports to wrong companies

TechEye was tipped off to the fact that Windows may be sending information erroneously to Hewlett-Packard.

We received a message from an individual who said that his ATI display driver crashed and Windows 7 wanted to report the problem to HP, a company who had absolutely nothing to do with the problem.

“So my display driver crashed recently, and Windows 7 was kind enough to suggest that I send additional information to the manufacturer,” our source said. “The only problem? They wanted to send it to HP.”

He sent in a screenshot, which says: “Hewlett-Packard is interested in gathering additional feedback.”

windows

MSI Windows 7 tablet, AMD HD 6990, Kingmax 4GB DRAM module

MSI has launched its Windpad 100W Windows 7 tablet in the UK, according to Device Magazine. It features a 10.1-inch touchscreen, a 1.6GHz Atom Z530 single-core processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, 32GB SSD storage, an SD card reader, USB 2.0 slots, mini HDMI port, and a battery life of over six hours. It has a price tag of around $650.

Tweaktown brings news of AMD’s upcoming Radeon HD 6990, a dual-Cayman graphics card that is rumoured to have 3072 stream processors and 4GB of GDDR5 memory over two 256-bit memory interfaces. It is also expected to have a dual-vapour chamber design, dual Crossfire connectors, a dual-slot cooler, and four mini-DisplayPort outputs. If the rumours are true it’s promising to be a beast of a card.

The Lian Li PC-X2000F chassis was tested out by PureOC, which labelled it as a “top-notch premium case”. The 140mm fans run quietly at different speeds and well-positioned. Custom water cooling is available through a radiator installation at a the front. The case also looks good, with a minimalist design. However, the lack of SSD mounting, limited air flow when using all of the hot swap bays, difficulty adding an optical drive, and overall price are a few of its drawbacks.

HardwareHeaven reviewed the PowerColor Radeon HD 6950 PCS++ graphics card, which earned a rating of 10 out of 10, along with a Gold, Performance and Value award, thanks to its increased performance over the standard model and its very reasonable price. Flawless performance while running 3D, high-definition movies, and top-end games sealed the deal.

Kingmax has launched a 4GB 2,400MHz DRAM module, according to HardwareBistro. It is aimed at overclocking enthusiasts and supports the Intel P55 chipset. It comes with nano thermal dissipation technology and 10 percent greater thermal performance over conventional heat sink options. It also features a lifeitme warranty.

AMD supports OpenGL 4.1 for Windows and Linux

AMD has announced its support of Open GL 4.1 on Microsoft and Linux platforms in its latest driver release for a number of its graphics cards.

The driver release, available on the AMD website for the ATI FirePro, ATI FireGl and AMD Radeon cards, will support OpenGL 4.1 for Microsoft’s Windows 7, Vista, XP, as well as Linux.

“AMD has a long tradition of supporting open industry standards, and with the announcement of support for OpenGL 4.1, we continue to demonstrate that commitment,” said Janet Matsuda, general manager, AMD professional graphics.

“Maintaining OpenGL as a strong and viable graphics API is very important to AMD and we are proud to support the OpenGL development community.”

The latest drivers are named as ATI FirePro and ATI FireGL unified driver 8.801 and AMD Catalyst 10.12.

“The Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. R&D team is focused on offering the best user experience possible by enabling real-time OpenGL rendering,” said Ron Bates, Senior Manager, Graphical Applications, Dassault Systemes.

“AMD, through its close collaboration with Dassault Systemes, and its optimized OpenGL implementation and consistent support, presents SolidWorks users with
an extraordinary graphics experience.”

AMD’s driver for OpenGL 4.1 includes full compatibility with the OpenGL 4.1 standard on AMD’s most recent graphics products including ATI FirePro V3800, ATI FirePro V4800, ATI FirePro V5800, ATI FirePro V7800, ATI FirePro V8800 and ATI FirePro V9800 and the AMD Radeon HD 6900 and AMD Radeon(TM) HD 6800 graphics cards.

It will feature improved OpenCL(TM) interoperability for accelerating computationally intensive visual applications, as well as continued support for both the Core and Compatibility profiles first introduced with OpenGL 3.2, enabling developers to use a streamlined API or retain backwards compatibility for existing OpenGL code, depending on their needs

The driver will allow higher geometric precision with 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs, and increased rendering flexibility with multiple viewports for a rendering surface.

It was also announced by AMD today that it would be appointing two of the firm’s technical leaders, Sam Naffziger and Leendert van Doorn, to AMD Corporate Fellow for their leadership in power management technology and software development, respectively.

Corporate Fellow is the highest level of technical recognition at AMD, with Naffziger and van Doorn becoming only the third and fourth employees to hold the position.

“This designation is reserved for individuals who impact AMD’s business opportunities and technical breadth by providing a high degree of expertise, creativity and strategic direction,” said Chekib Akrout, senior vice president and general manager of AMD Technology Development.

“Sam and Leendert are not only leaders in their respective technical fields, but they are also crucial to AMD’s competitive position.”

Sam Naffziger is said to have more than 22 years of experience in developing microprocessors and has been described as a ‘visionary’ in circuit design and power management technologies, since joining AMD in 2006, notably making significant contributions to the Bulldozer core.

Leendert van Doorn is a recognised technical authority in a number of key areas, says AMD, including operating systems, virtualisation, security and manageability. 

HP, Lenovo unveil dozens of laptops, PCs and all-in-ones

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is awash with PC and laptop announcements, including plenty of new models from both HP and Lenovo.

HP announced a large consumer lineup, including the Pavilion dm1, Pavilion dv6, Pavilion dv7, Pavilion p6700, Pavilion Slimline s5700, HPE-500, Mini 210, and an updated ENVY 17. Not a bad start for a new year.

The Pavilion range includes desktop and laptop models, focusing on offering high performance. The dm1 has the mobility of a netbook but the performance of a laptop, while some of the Pavilion desktops come with Beats Audio, along with Intel processors and AMD graphics cards.

The Mini 210 is a small and stylish companion netbook. While it still comes with all you’d expect from a netbook, it’s marketed more a fashion accessory and can be bought with matching bags and other items.

The updated ENVY 17 is expected to add a new advanced cooling feature called CoolSense, along with switchable AMD graphics technology to prioritise performance or power. Sound and visuals will also get an update with Beats Audio and the DDD TriDef 3D Experience Ignition Game Player.

Prices range from $299 to $999, depending on the model.

HP biz

HP isn’t ignoring its business sector either, with announcements for several new business models arriving at CES, including the Compaq 8200 Elite, Compaq 6200 Pro, Compaq 4000 Pro, 100B All-in-One, t5550, t5565, t5570 and several Compaq Business Monitors.

Combined with the high performance of Intel Core vPro processors is a data security software suite called ProtectTools. Energy use has been improved, with many of the models ENERGY STAR and EPEAT Gold ratings. Virtualisation options and WLED-backlit displays are also available.

Lenovo

Lenovo has not been idle at CES, introducing several new laptops and all-in-one PCs. Included were a large number of IdeaPad laptops: the Y570d, Y570, Y470, Z570, Z470, Z370, S100, S205, V370, V470 and V570. More laptops that are not part of the IdeaPad range were also announced: the G770, G570, G470, G575, G475, B570 and B470.

The Y-Series of IdeaPads focus on high-performance mobile entertainment, feauting Intel Core processors and Nvidia graphics cards. A handy feature is Lenovo’s RapidBoot, which allows the systems to power up 20 seconds faster than standard Windows 7 machines. Boot times can be lowered to as little as 10 seconds with an optional RapidDrive SSD. They’ll be available in May, with prices starting at $899.99.

The Z-Series are the fashion accessory multimedia line, coming in a range of colours and designs, along with Intel Core processors, high-definition 16:9 format widescreen display on 13.3-inch to 15.6-inch models, optional Blu-ray drive, and Dolby Advanced Audio. Prices and availability were not revealed.

The S-Series is an ultraportable netbook offering with long battery life, AccuType chiclet keyboard, wide range of colours and optional 3G. Prices start at $329.99, with availability in March.

The V-Series is a line of professional laptops for the office environment. They come with Intel Core processors, RapidBoot technology, and a range of security features, including OneKey Rescue System, Lenovo Security Suite, a USB Port Locker and a Fingerprint Reader. They’ll be available in April, starting at $599.99.

The G-Series of laptops are aimed at the lower end of the market, offering some of the same features of the high-end models, such as RapidBoot, Energy Management and OneKey Rescue System, with a more affordable price tag. It was not revealed exactly how much cheaper these ones would be, however.

The B-Series is another affordable range of laptops, featuring up to an Intel Core i5 processor and RapidBoot technology. Prices start at $499 and they should be on the market in April.

Lenovo all-in-one

Lenovo was not content with its laptop offerings, so it also announced four new all-in-one PCs, the IdeaCentre A320, IdeaCentre B520, IdeaCentre B320 and Lenovo C205.

The A320 is what Lenovo claims is the industry’s slimmest all-in-one, measuring 18.5mm, while the B520 is claimed to be the world’s first frameless multitouch all-in-one. The B320 lives up to the all-in-one title by combing the computer with a TV, while the C205 is an affordable entry-level model. Prices range from $449 for the C205 to $899 for the B520, with availability in June.

Windows 7 tablet out soon

PC maker In Media has opened the kimono on a new Windows 7 tablet which will be hitting the shops early next year.

While all the hype about tablets has focused on keyboardless netbooks running cut down phone software, it seems that the In Media machine will be a full Windows 7 machine.

The product is powered by the 1.66GHZ Intel Atom processor and unlike most tablets comes with a comparitively large 160 GB hard drive of storage.

It will have an HDMI interface for viewing high definition content on the tablet or via the tablet to a large screen HD TV/ There is only one forward facing camera and an 11 1⁄4 by 6 inch LCD screen.

Obviously it comes with built in eReader functionality and Flash.

In Media C.E.O. Nick Karnik said that he wanted to launch a tablet that did everything and was not just a media player or eReader or net book.  It is strange that he choice Windows 7 to do it.

“The touch screen the Windows 7 Tablet PC had all the full functionality of a PC in an elegant and efficient tablet format and because of the operating system users are not limited to what type of video formats they can view as all are supported including the most popular, Flash,” he said.

The product is scheduled for shipment in Q1m 2011 and will roll out in Asia and the U.S. with at a suggested retail price of $399.  This price tag is compariable with many of the Android machines out there, which given what the beast can do, is a damn fine price.

There is a demo  video of the tablet below.

Nokia to launch tablet in Q3 2011

Nokia is planning to launch a tablet in the third quarter of 2011, according to inside information obtained by KnowYourMobile.

Not much is known about the tablet in terms of hardware, but with a release towards the end of next year it will face some stiff competition from the iPad 2, several Windows 7 tablets and an unrelenting wave of Android devices, some of which will feature dual-core processors and high memory.

It will therefore need to provide a reasonable offering if it’s to steal any of the limelight.

One thing we do know for sure is that it will run the MeeGo operating system and not the endangered species that is Symbian. Many people have been speculating that Nokia would adopt Android at some stage in the near future, but it looks like that won’t be in 2011 at least, as efforts to keep both MeeGo and Symbian alive are still ongoing.

MeeGo has previously been demonstrated on a tablet (video below), where everything looked very snazzy, but boot time and response times were very slow, suggesting that either a beefier spec may be required to get the most from it or a new, faster version of MeeGo is needed.

Nokia has previously straddled the tablet ground with hybrid tablet/smartphone devices, such as with the N800 and N900 series, but these were more like the Dell Streak than the iPad, the latter of which is where the real money is. 

Nokia is big in the mobile world, with a market share of roughly one third, but that has been dropping throughout 2010 with the staunch competition of Android and Windows Phone 7. If it can launch a successul tablet or two it may be able to recoup its losses, but if initial reports about MeeGo are anything to go by then next year’s launch could prove to be er interesting.

One of our software languages is missing

A major computer language is missing. Not missing in the sense of having disappeared but missing in the sense of never having been there. Despite there being hundreds of computer languages, many of them domain specific, there is no computer language to aid support and configuration.

That might seem like something trivial. Does there really need to be a language created just to, say, configure a printer once the driver is installed? Take one look at the most common tickets raised in any support database and you’ll know the answer.

So, given that just about everything you want to do in the way of configuration on Windows is possible using VBScript, you might think that it’s the obvious answer. But what if you want to configure a couple of group printers on an XP desktop, a Windows 7 laptop, an old Windows Server 2000 machine and a Windows Server 2008 box? Are you sure that they all use the same API?

Then comes the bigger horror. What about all those Sun boxes in the server room running Oracle? VBScript won’t run on it so the printers have to be configured manually unless someone writes a shell script.

What if you want to put a Linux box somewhere in the business? Most support teams will be all for it. Unless they have to support it. They may be geeks in support but that’s no guarantee that anyone there has ever touched Linux. If they have, they’ll be wary enough to start asking questions about which distro and which GUI for starters.

That’s just for printers. Check with any support team and you’ll discover that most of their day is spent on configuration problems. They can talk a user through half of the Control Panel settings with their eyes closed. Many larger companies even produce their own Windows installation disks so that all of the major configuration has been done. Where the proxy server resides, the local name server, the group printers, the AD server, mapped network drives and so on.

And heaven help you if some salesman comes along and convinces the directors to buy something like PolyServe. Suddenly any desktop software that has a T-SQL database backend will need to be reconfigured to point at the bigwigs’ new white elephant.

The worst thing is that someone has to know how to do all of these things for all different kinds of machine. It has to be documented. The documentation has to be kept up to date. And it almost never is.

So here’s a little proposal for anyone who wants to get on with it because they’re fed up of waiting for Microsoft, Apple, Sun and the rest of the industry to get off their butts.

The support language needs to be simple. People in support aren’t programmers. It needs to be easy to read, easy to understand and easy to maintain. If you think C-style syntax is the best, you’re not the person for this job. Think along the lines of Basic, Python or Rexx. But simpler.

Obviously the language needs to be cross-platform. A Windows-only support language would be an improvement on what’s there at the moment but Microsoft hasn’t even managed that properly with VBScript let alone the embarrassing PowerShell scripting. The ideal will be when you can schedule an AV scan remotely for every machine in an enterprise that has AV. Where adding a new printer for 200 users is as simple as publishing one small script that works on pretty much any version of any OS.

There are some tough questions too. Should the language be able to update drivers on a machine? Should it allow the running of executables? What about changing the IP of the DNS? VBScript used to be a favourite of virus writers because it was so easy and flexible, somehow the new language will need to avoid that trap.

The graphics world has had OpenGL for nearly twenty years. The parallel processing gurus have OpenCL. The poor blighters in support have been helping people for longer than either of those areas of computing even existed so isn’t it about time they got a language to make their life easier too?

Kinect hacked to work with Windows 7

The Kinect has been hacked to work with Windows 7, only days after a $2,000 bounty was offered to anyone who developed a fully-documented open source driver that would allow the device and software to work with systems other than the Xbox 360.

A Youtube user called KinectMan2 uploaded a video showing the Kinect connected to his PC. He used an NUI Motor Test to show the Kinect camera responding in real time to movement with its built-in accelerometer, which is the first pivotal step towards making it work on a different platform.

However, more is required to apply for the bounty, including video showcasing colour and depth. KinectMan2 has not been idle, however, releasing another video addressing these issues:

A third video shows the camera movements being controlled from within Windows 7:

It’s not clear if this fulfills all the requirements to claim Adafruit Industries’ $2,000 bounty, but it’s a definite step in that direction. The developer is also attempting to raise $10,000 to fund development of the project as open source, but so far only $102 has been donated.

Microsoft was furious with Adafruit for offering the bounty, so it remains to be seen how it will react to this development. While some people believe the company would benefit from increased Kinect sales by having it multi-platform, limiting it to the Xbox 360 will result in substantially higher console sales, which it needs to compete with Sony’s PlayStation Move and Nintendo’s Wii.

Mintpass to intro dual-screen, dual-boot tablet in 2011

The iPad could see its doom at the hands of a new dual-screen tablet that can boot the two main rival OSes, Android and Windows 7, set to be released by Mintpass in the first half of 2011.

In fact, the company, which released a memo and blogging device called the Mintpad in 2008, believes their new tablet could shake up the tablet industry, because it’s being flagged as a cross between a tablet and a full-scale laptop.

It uses two screens which can unfold like a laptop or fold up for use as a tablet. The screens will support full multi-taksing, allowing users to surfthe net on one while playing video clips on the other. Or, one of the screens can be turned into a touchscreen keyboard for a full laptop experience, which will be achieved using Mintpass’s Space Touch software.

If that were not enough, it can also dual boot two OSes, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows 7, the former more suited for a tablet experience and the latter more appropriate for laptop work.

Details about the processor, memory, and storage were not revealed, but it’s likely to be significantly superior to the iPad due to the minimum requirements for running Windows 7. At least a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM is needed, along with a full 16GB of hard drive space just for the OS.

A few hurdles need to be overcome before its release, however. Mintpass is still looking for a Taiwanese manufacturer to produce its tablet for release next year and it’s waiting for Android Market access approval, which is set to be granted on the tablet’s release. If such access is delayed, however, it could prove detrimental to the hybrid’s success.