Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up #2 (June 6-12, 2010)

I wasn’t able to make a Wrap-Up last week, but it’s arrived this week for the second time. A lot has happened this past week, what with TechEd and Apple’s WWDC going on, there’s enough to write about to last me for quite some time. However, there were some more specific areas that were a little more shocking than others. Here’s to another year’s worth of TechEd fun!

Windows 2000, XP SP2, and Vista RTM end of Support

I wrote about the end of support for these versions of Windows earlier this year, you can read about it there, or learn more about it here. First, remember that support has officially ended for Vista RTM, it ended on April 13 of this year. Users who continue to use Vista RTM will be subject to security threats. However, you can easily upgrade to SP1 or SP2 for Vista to ease this problem. I recommend going the latter route and upgrading directly to Service Pack 2.


For those running Windows 2000 or XP SP2, you’re time for continued support is running out. Support will end for both versions of the Windows operating system on July 13, 2010. Although Windows XP SP2 users can simply upgrade to SP3 for free, Windows 2000 users are out of luck. For those still running Windows 2000, you will need to upgrade to a new operating system, at least Windows XP with SP3. Because Windows XP is no longer sold anymore, you will more than likely need to upgrade to an even higher edition, Vista or 7, unless you still have an un-activated Windows XP disc.

Does Apple Care about its PC-Market anymore? Or is it just iPhones and iPads from here on out?

Steve Job’s keynote this year at Apple’s WWDC left out any mention of the Mac OS. In fact, the entire WWDC seemed to be hush, hush about their PC OS, albeit, with the exception of the slight mention and release of the new Safari (not that new, just a new version). Instead, the focus seemed to be completely based on the new iPhone (designated iPhone 4) and the iPad. Granted, these two products have been quite a bit of success for Apple of late, but let’s be realistic, even that much success has a limited lifetime. But, I don’t work at Apple and I don’t plan to so, whatever.

Safari 5 is released, and revamps the move to HTML5

And speaking of Safari, a new version was released this week, designated as Safari 5. Although Apple touts Safari 5 as being fully compliant with HTML 5, there still seems to be a bit of work that needs to be done with it to be more successful. Apple goes as far as mentioning that their HTML 5 test site only works with Safari 5 (supposedly, it’s the only HTML 5 capable browser or something), but really, it was a clever ploy to get more users to install Safari 5.


On a better note however, Safari 5 does offer up some nice useful features. First, one of my more favorite features, is the Safari Reader. This feature allows for articles to be read without all of the fancy graphics and ads that most news sites feature up. Essentially it blows out the article into another pseudo-window and darkens the background of the current real-window. It’s very nice and works very well for most news sites and blogs.


Yet another one of my favorite features is the added support for Bing web search. In fact, Steve Jobs went as far as saying that Bing Search was almost cool while presenting the keynote at WWDC. Whether or not this will increase Bing’s marketshare is unclear; however, if history is repeats itself then Mac fan-boys may just take Jobs’ word and start using it as their default web browser.


On another note, as compliant as Safari 5 is with HTML 5, Brandon LeBlanc over at the Windows Team Blog, proves that it can’t stand up to the mighty Internet Explorer 9, in a nice side-by-side video. Sorry, Apple. It looks like Microsoft trumps you again.

Windows Phone 7

Speaking of the iPhone 4, Microsoft also discussed a lot about their next Phone development, titled Windows Phone 7. This piece of hot hardware will be a great competitor towards the iPhone 4, though it may take a couple updates to get it fully up-to-bat. Microsoft will focus more on the business aspect than what some news sites thought at first. This came at the footsteps of the discussions of Windows Phone at TechEd and it seems like Microsoft will focus on both consumer and business features with Windows Phone 7. Ultimately, Windows Phone should be good competition for both the iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry devices, along with Google’s Android, I suppose.

Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 Service Pack Beta to come in July

Other news released during TechEd 2010, was the timing of the SP1 Beta for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2. The big news isn’t dealing with Windows 7, instead, it’s Server 2008 R2 that will be getting the big update this time around. Essentially, what users of Windows 7 will receive with the first Service Pack will be cumulative updates. However, for those using Server 2008 R2, there will be a myriad of different fundamental changes that will be greatly appreciated.

No New Netbooks will be sold with Windows XP after October, 2010

This was first announced back in 2008, so it’s not really anything new. However, Microsoft this week felt it necessary to let hardware manufacturers know that they will no longer be able to purchase and put Windows XP onto new netbooks after October, 2010. This does make a lot of sense. After-all, Windows XP is almost ten years old, and needs to be updated. With that, Windows 7 has proven to be able to run efficiently on netbooks and lower-end PCs without having too much of a draw on resources. Although the numbers have never been released, it is presumed that OEM’s pay Microsoft roughly $15 per copy of Windows XP on a netbook, whereas they are thought to pay upwards of $50 per copy for Windows 7. Back when Windows 7 was first released many people thought that this price hike would affect the overall price of netbooks, but as more and more netbooks are being sold with Windows 7, it can be seen that this is not really the case.


To add to that, as the Windows Team Blog states, as of April of this year, 81% of netbooks were being sold with Windows 7 anyways. Ultimately, this means it won’t be that big of a deal for the average person anyways.

MetroTwit – A new Twitter Client – Beats out the competition

I downloaded and installed Long Zheng’s latest creation, MetroTwit, when it was first released two weeks ago. I have since been using it as my default Twitter client and find it to be a very reliable and useful tool for my day-to-day tweeting needs. However, it is still in a technical, “bug-bash,” beta release, so it’s not quite there yet. However, as often as the program is updated, I can see this becoming something great in a short amount of time. So for now, I wish a great applause towards the creators of the new Twitter client. You can download MetroTwit from the official website. I should also give credit to the full crew that came up with and developed MetroTwit: David Golden, Winston Pang and Long Zheng.

Wrapping It Up

I think that’s about it that I want to cover for this week. I should have another Wrap-Up ready to go next week between Friday and Sunday, so stay tuned for that. As always, you can read my other posts at the Tinkering with Windows blog, follow me on Twitter, or simply send me an e-mail with a question or a comment.


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