Considering how ferociously Microsoft defends its trademarks (remember the makers of the Linux-based Lindows OS, who were forced to pay $20 million and change their name to "Linspire"?), you have to ask yourself why Microsoft settled on using the ubiquitous term "Metro" to describe its new interface.
Apparently Microsoft doesn't exhibit the same kind of concern for intellectual property when it comes to, uh, borrowing other brands to further its own products. Because in using "Metro" to describe the new interface in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 7 and 8, Office 2013, Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, and Visual Studio 2012, Microsoft is stepping on the toes of Germany's Metro AG, which has an established claim on the "Metro" name. Five years ago Metro AG fought -- and won -- a hotly contested trademark battle in EU courts, allowing it to take over the "Metro" trademark from retailing giant Tesco, which failed to properly renew the trademark. While Tesco ultimately withdrew its claim against Metro AG, Tesco continues to use the trademark in the United Kingdom. Read more...
Reading Borough Council is to develop an app to help young people find jobs.
The authority's plan is part of its "from handset to mindset" project that aims to address the Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) issue across Reading and West Berkshire.
By developing the app, with the benefit of £125,000 of funding from O2's The Future Fund, the council aims to help young people aged 16 to 25 gain employment by tapping into social media. Read more...
Opera Software is working on a fix to ensure Microsoft’s Hotmail successor Outlook.com works in its browser.
Opera has pumped out Update 12.01 to make Outlook.com work with its browser but warned fans might continue to encounter problems with attachments. It has also patched a critical vulnerability in desktop versions of its browser software in the update.
The browser company said here: “There may still be some issues with attachments for the time being, but we are working on getting that taken care of as soon as possible too.”
The idea of Outlook.com is you can open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint attachments in a browser window through the hosted version of Office, Office Web Apps.
You can get Opera’s fix here.
Microsoft launched Outlook.com on Tuesday and immediately Opera users found themselves unable to use the service. Read more...
For years I've marvelled at Twitter, the most commercially and technically clueless company to ever strike it big. Twitter is now hugely popular and millions of people love to use it. They use it in very creative ways. Twitter's success, in retrospect, now looks blindingly obvious. But Twitter has been uniquely inept at taking advantage of its popularity.
Where do we begin? Twitter's technical ineptitude needs little elaboration. After the official logo, the best known Twitter brand is its out-of-service logo, which has become the global emblem for failure. Right on cue, the service seized up and croaked last week.
Now let's turn to its business acumen. Read more...
With Microsoft's new Outlook.com free email service getting so much attention, will Google and Yahoo need to update their own email offerings before they start to lose users?
Google's Gmail will need some updates to grab a piece of the spotlight, but Yahoo Mail needs an overhaul and it needs to move fast, according to industry analysts.
"This really ups the ante in the email game," said Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC. "Microsoft's email may start to increase its adoption rate ... Everyone is at risk of market share changes. This is what it means to play in a competitive market."
Earlier this week, Microsoft took the wraps off Outlook.com, its new webmail service, which is set up to eventually replace the company's Hotmail. The updated service is a major redesign that synchronizes Outlook.com accounts across a range of devices and is integrated with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Read more...
As their company's stock continued to slump, Facebook executives had to face not one but two other pieces of tough news this week.
Just as an angry third-party developer blasted Facebook's allegedly high-handed negotiation tactics in an open letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company also reported that about 83 million of its user accounts are duplicates or have fake names.
"Any one thing isn't so bad but the cumulative effect is terrible," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "Why would any investor put more money into them? This was certainly a strange situation and it makes you wonder how many skeletons might be out there."
The trouble started Wednesday when startup entrepreneur Dalton Caldwell, co-founder of such sites as iMeem and PicPlz, posted on his blog an open letter to Zuckerberg in which he accused Facebook of bullying practices. Read more...
Cloud services promise low cost-of-entry and rapid return on investment, but those advantages make it easy to overlook associated investments. To find out the true return on investment (ROI) of cloud computing enterprises have to dig deeper, according to a white paper from industry organization Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).
Calculating the total cost of an IT service against its potential return is always a challenge for IT staff, and that holds even truer for cloud computing, according to ISACA. A thorough analysis of cloud computing benefits must include short-, medium- and long-term views as well as termination costs, it said.
Hidden costs that enterprises may fail to anticipate when moving quickly to cloud-based services include the cost of bringing services back in-house due to regulatory change; unexpected expenses involved in the initial migration of systems; and lock-in with a specific provider or proprietary service model, according to ISACA. Read more...
A final copy of Windows 8 leaked to the Internet on Thursday, just a day after Microsoft stamped the new operating system as finished. Identified as Windows 8 Enterprise N -- the "N" marks it as aimed at European users -- on several BitTorrent file-sharing websites, it was unclear yesterday whether the leaked build was legitimate.
Although some who downloaded the leaked copy asserted it was an invalid build, the consensus early Friday was that it was the real deal.
"Legitimate. It works. Looks real," said one commenter on a popular file-sharing site. Numerous downloaders posted screenshots to back up their contention that the leak was the actual Windows 8. Read more...
Microsoft has released Attack Surface Analyzer 1.0, a free tool that can help system administrators, IT security professionals, or software developers understand how newly installed applications can affect the security of a Windows OS.
The tool scans for classes of known security weaknesses that can be introduced by the files, registry keys, services, Microsoft ActiveX controls and other parameters created or changed by new applications.
It can identify executable files, directories, registry keys, or processes with weak access control lists (ACLs). It can also flag processes that don't mark memory regions as non-executable (NX), which could result in the bypassing of the Data Execution Prevention (DEP) Windows security feature. The tool also identifies services with fast restart times that could be attacked to bypass address space layout randomization (ASLR), as well as changes to the Windows Firewall rules or Internet Explorer security policies. Read more...