Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8 and Server 2012 have gone RTM and the final code is now in the hands of OEMs, ready to be tested and installed onto new systems.
MSDN and TechNet subscribers can download the final Windows 8 build on August 15, and Redmond's reseller network gets it a day later. So do those with Software Assurance contracts, who can download it via Microsoft's Volume License Service Center portal.
Subscribers to the Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions (MAPS) scheme get their chance to kick the tires (but not pirate) the new build on August 20, and Redmond's biggest corporate buyers who aren't on a Software Assurance contract will have to wait until September 1 before they see code.
Those interested in Windows Server 2012 have a slightly easier time of it. Now that the RTM is sorted the code will go on general release at a launch event on September 4, where Microsoft plans to pitch the software's cloudy credentials.
While Microsoft says it has completed the final builds on Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5, developers won't actually be able to download it until August 15. Redmond's also throwing in a free one-year developer account for Windows Store today for MSDN subscribers to test the water. Read more...
It's a slow day on the tech-news desk in the temporary Olympic capital of the world, London. But, with proper IT news being in short supply, more than one starving blogger has been forced to resort to writing a "my first pony" story about Hotmail, now that it's turning into Outlook.com.
We take you now to a newsroom not far away:
"Mr editor, I've got a brillllllliant pitch for you."
"Yes! I want to tell the world about the wondrous past age of Hotmail now that Microsoft is gently saluting its passing."
"What, the same Hotmail that's been waiting to be sent to the glue factory for years now?" Read more...
Dropbox said Tuesday one of its employee's accounts was compromised, leading to a raft of spam last month that irritated users of the cloud-storage service.
A stolen password was used to access the employee's account, which contained "a project document with user email addresses," Dropbox engineer Aditya Agarwal wrote on the company's blog.
"We believe this improper access is what led to the spam," Agarwal wrote. "We're sorry about this, and have put additional controls in place to help make sure it doesn't happen again."
The company also found that usernames and passwords that had been stolen from other websites were used to access "a small number of Dropbox accounts," Agarwal wrote. Hackers commonly try username and password combinations from breaches on other web services in hopes people use the same combination, a common security problem. Read more...
The latest release of Google's Chrome browser can render webpages with the resolution of Apple's Retina display, the company said on Tuesday, making good on a commitment it made several weeks ago.
This means that users of 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops with Retina displays will be able to view webpages at a 2880-by-1800 resolution with Chrome 21.
In mid-June, Google said in a blog post that the Chrome development team was "off to the races" in enhancing the browser so that it could take advantage of ultra high-resolution Retina screens.
Chrome 21, which runs on the Mac OS, Windows and Linux OSes for laptops and desktops, also features a new API (application programming interface) called getUserMedia that lets users give Web applications access to their computers' cameras and microphones without having to install a plug-in. Read more...
The Nexus 7 with 16GB of storage reappeared "in stock" Wednesday on the Google Play online store after it was unavailable there and in many retail stores in the U.S. for about a week.
A Google spokeswoman said Friday that the 16GB version selling for $249 would come back soon to Google Play, but didn't indicate a date. It wasn't immediately clear when the site began re-selling it, and Google didn't respond to a request to comment. The Google Play site says it will take three to five business days to deliver the 16GB version.
The 8 GB version, selling for $199, has been available on Google Play since the Nexus 7 went on sale July 13. In addition to shortages on Google Play, the 16GB version is still listed as on "back order" at GameStop, and for sale "in store only" with a special order at Staples. Various retailers said they had trouble meeting demand for the larger-capacity Nexus 7 nearly from the start of sales.
Gabe Donnini, a data solutions engineer for Chitika Insights, said Google's restock of the 16 GB version didn't come as a surprise. "The company was expending a lot of effort into making sure that they could meet consumer demand," he said."The shortage was never projected to be a long-term issue." Read more...
The micro-blogging site today launched the Twitter Political Index, a tool to show in real time the popularity of President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney based on the millions of tweets being made about each candidate.
"One glance at the numbers, and it's easy to see why pundits are already calling 2012 'the Twitter election,' " wrote Adam Sharp, head of government, news and social innovation at Twitter. "More Tweets are sent every two days today than had ever been sent prior to Election Day 2008."
The unveiling of the political tool is in line with Twitter executives' expectations about the role the site will play in this year's presidential election in the United States. Read more...
As I was scanning the presentations delivered at last week's Black Hat conference, one really jumped out at me. Presenter Timmay delivered a provocative session entitled "Why You Should Not Get a CISSP" -- a topic I recall as being hotly debated five years ago. As Timmay puts it, "For two decades, the flagship offering of the (ISC)2 [International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium] has been the CISSP, widely regarded as the only must-have certification for information security practitioners. But has it stood the test of time?... We explore the 10 domains of the CBK [the "common body of knowledge" upon which the certification exam is based], how the test has changed, and whether or not bothering with this certification can even help your career."
His slide presentation (PDF) packs a whallop. Read more...
Japanese electronics heavyweights Fujitsu and NEC, together with the country's largest mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo, said Wednesday they will form a new joint venture to build and sell wireless chips for smartphones.
The venture, Access Network Technology, will focus on creating chips that combine wireless modems with other functions, cutting the number of chips needed to make a phone and reducing reliance on outside vendors. The companies will initially develop products for their own use, but will target international sales in the quickly growing smartphone market.
In Japan, mobile operators have long dictated what specifications and functionality manufacturers build into the phones that run on their networks, although their control has loosened somewhat with the recent influx of foreign smartphones. Fujitsu and NEC currently work with NTT DoCoMo on a contractual basis to develop the chips for their handsets, and the deal formalizes the long-standing arrangement. Read more...
Lenovo and EMC will team up to develop and sell server and storage technology, with an eye to the Chinese market, the companies said on Wednesday.
The partnership will improve Lenovo's standing in the server and storage space, while giving EMC greater access to China and other high-growth markets, the companies said in a statement.
Lenovo is fast rising to possibly become the world's top PC vendor later this year, already dominating in its home market of China. EMC, meanwhile, leads as the global top vendor for external disk and open networked disk storage systems, according to research firm IDC. Read more...
Following a four-month beta period, Rackspace has started offering its hosted servers and databases using the open source OpenStack suite of cloud software.
That OpenStack has been pressed into production use just two years after its launch, "is a great proof point for the maturity of the project," said Jim Curry, head of OpenStack at Rackspace.
Rackspace currently has over 180,000 customers of its hosted services. The company offers Windows and Linux servers, content delivery network services, and .Net and PHP hosting, all with associated management and monitoring services.
Starting Wednesday, when new customers log into Rackspace to requisition servers, they will interact with Rackspace Open Cloud services, which is based on the OpenStack Nova compute component. Rackspace has run the Swift object storage component of OpenStack for over 2 years for its Cloud Files storage service; it created the technology in-house and then contributed its code when it co-founded the OpenStack project. Read more...