I've heard from several people who are concerned they won't be able to find new PCs with Windows 7 this holiday season. Businesses planning on buying new PCs may have money allocated for the machines, but there's not nearly enough in the coffers to train the troops in the care and feeding of the new dual-faced operating system as well.
For those people, I have some good news and some sorta good news.
Back in July 2010, Brandon LeBlanc on the Windows Team Blog had some words of cheer. "In the interest of providing more consistency and predictability with how we manage the Windows lifecycle," LeBlanc said, "we are confirming our current policy of allowing retailers to sell the boxed version of the previous OS for up to 1 year after release of a new OS, and that OEMs can sell PCs with the previous OS pre-loaded for up to 2 years after, the launch date of the new OS." Read more...
Microsoft will unveil a tablet computer running on Windows RT and manufactured by Microsoft on Monday at a Los Angeles event, according to entertainment website TheWrap.com.
Windows RT machines are designed to run on ARM chips, as opposed to a more traditional X86 chip that will be used in Windows 8 tablets said to be coming in the fourth quarter of 2012. ARM is a chip specification that is widely used in smartphones, and Nvidia and several other ARM chip makers are expected to build Windows RT machines.
TheWrap said it learned that the Los Angeles event, at an unnamed venue, will be an unveiling of a Windows RT tablet built by Microsoft from "an individual with knowledge of the company." Read more...
Jim Thomas, director of IT operations at Pella Corp., expected to be wrapping up his Windows 7 deployment by now. The window and door maker, an early adopter of Microsoft's latest Windows PC operating system, began deployment in February 2009, just four months after the product shipped. Plans called for half of Pella's 5,000 desktop and laptop users to transition by the end of 2010, with the rest following by this December.
"We are not going to get there," Thomas concedes. Today, Pella has 1,800 machines running Windows 7. The rest remain on Windows XP, which celebrated its 10th birthday in August.
Pella has plenty of company. Nearly two years after Windows 7 was released in October 2009, users in most enterprises remain on Windows XP, this despite Microsoft's ending mainstream support for XP over two years ago. (Most skipped Vista, XP's unpopular successor.)
In a September survey of Computerworld readers, 88% of respondents said they have begun or are planning a move to Windows 7. Of those who said they have already moved to Windows 7, or will, some 82% say their organizations are still running XP -- down from 93% in our January 2010 survey -- and 73% say they're running Windows 7.
But 55% of those still running XP expect to fully transition to Windows 7 by the end of 2012, and 34% said they would transition some time before Microsoft ends extended support for XP in April, 2014. And 11% said they would continue to run XP after that date. (During extended support, no-charge incident support ends, warranty claims won't be honored and design changes and feature requests aren't available.) Read more...
It might not be as dramatic as a last-ditch battle against relentless killer robots, but it might be just as decisive for humanity - could we be only five minutes of idle chit-chat away from domination by machines?
For decades, computers have been chipping away at the range of skills that can only be mastered by humans. From performing calculations to beating grand masters at chess, composing poetry and music, talents previously considered 'humans only' have been replicated by computers.
Indeed, so great is the list of machines' achievements that only the biggest challenge remains to them: can a computer really be said to think?
It is this question that the Turing Test attempts to answer - with the unlikely tool of small talk.
The test was first proposed by mathematician Alan Turing in the 1950 paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence. The test, which he describes as "the imitation game", was his attempt to set criteria for judging whether a computer really can think.
In the most modern version of the test, judges talk via a computer to two unseen correspondents - one a human, one a piece of software - and then have to decide which is which. Read more...