What's Now: First rollout of Office 2010 code due today

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First rollout of Office 2010 code due today

Morning of July 13, 2009 • If you're feeling a bit damp this morning, look around you, because there could be a leak going on. Yes, as fully anticipated, there's clear evidence of a leak in the latest build of Office 2010, which is expected to be officially shipped to certain select Microsoft partners as soon as today. The leak indicates that shipment has already begun, and that Microsoft's "friend" is not cooperating.

This morning, in advance of the company's Worldwide Partner Conference, a Microsoft engineer tried to filter the leak by creating a little rumor: that perhaps the leaked copy of Office 2010 may be 1) incomplete, and 2) infected with a little virus.

"As a heads up, because we want to ensure our customers are safe, we have been monitoring various torrents and already detected quite a few that were infected," writes Microsoft's Reed Shaff. "As a reminder, the Win 7 leak was used as a vector for attack and it's not surprising to see this being used the same way. So, please be aware that if you download this torrent there is a very good chance you are also getting some unexpected malware with it."

This morning, Microsoft unveiled a whirlwind of marketing videos showing peeks of the new software, and Long Zheng's blog may be the only place to see them all in one place today, since Microsoft's own Web site for these videos appears to be offline. (Ah, the wonders of server virtualization!)

AMD set to deliver low-, high-power six-core Opterons

Morning of July 13, 2009 • Last month, AMD began rolling out perhaps the most critically important line of CPUs in its history, the first six-core Opteron server processors. AMD must regain respect in this segment of the market, even if it doesn't regain market share leadership, because it will not (no CPU maker today can) earn enough from just the consumer sector to stay above water.

This morning, stage 2 of that rollout process begins, with three new models in the HE series and two in the SE. The HE is AMD's "somewhat lower power" line-up; only AMD, not Intel, is gambling that there are two facets to the low-power side of the market, with the larger slice of that market preferring to balance power and performance, with a smaller percentage (the "EE" side) wanting low power at all costs. The SE side of the market is meant to attract the opposite market segment, seeking high performance at all costs, including some supercomputer builders. But in an interview with Betanews you'll see later today, AMD admits up front that side of the market is shrinking. Or at least that may be AMD's excuse at the moment for keeping its processors clocked under 3.0 GHz once again.

Report: Intel 'Core i7' brand to reach notebooks by Win7 launch

October 22, 2009 > Back when Microsoft and Intel were officially cooperating on getting their products launched in sync with one another (new operating system + new CPU = Your Computer's Too Old Already), they ended up at loggerheads regarding such issues as timing. Privately, it's those closed-door arguments that have been blamed for Windows Vista's infamous 2006 commercial rollout delay. Now that the two companies appear to be on their own schedules, however, there's a strange synchronicity to them.

Case in point: Intel's rollout of its new Core i7 and i5 brands, which motherboard manufacturers are now telling the Taiwanese industry daily DigiTimes should be right on schedule for Windows 7 -- certainly not later than October, perhaps as soon as September. The mid-range model in its "Clarksfield" mobile processor series, clocked at 1.73 GHz, should be ready for shipment during this timeframe, which may mean that a Core i5-based CPU may be ready for what we'll call the "just-back-in-school" market (Intel missed the "back-to-school" window already) by the end of October.

An alternate scenario for Chrome OS emerges: a backup OS

August 2009 > DigiTimes has the edge on looking ahead this morning, citing a Chinese-language Apple publication as saying global #3 PC producer Acer has plans to produce netbooks with both Windows XP and Android OS for next month.

Now, why would anyone want that? Think about this: Linux has a toehold in the emerging "instant-on" operating system market, as evidenced by the growth of Phoenix' HyperSpace OS. That's an instant-on system that provides a full suite of applications, such as an office apps suite that uses OOXML, and the Opera Web browser. In Acer's new contraption, Android can fulfill that role, getting the Linux OS in front of more pairs of eyes without sacrificing the traditional role of Windows XP. Of course, this won't drive the price down either (the XP licensing fee remains one of Acer's biggest expenses), but it could actually help clear the way for certain other Linux distros to find their way to netbook desktops, and Google's Chrome OS would be one of them.

LG has apps store, Android phone on tap

July 14, 2009 > South Korea will be the initial home of the LG's new apps store, slated to open Tuesday. But what about the rest of us? Reuters' coverage doesn't mention any wider rollout plans, which they covered in conjunction with the Korean rollout of the Arena 3D-touchscreen smartphone. Rafat Ali at mocoNews.net is more forthcoming, however, saying the store will roll out globally by the end of the year.

Surveymeisters can't get their Win7 story straight

Q4 2011 > Because a new operating system doesn't sow sufficient confusion on its own, we have analysts to further muddy the waters. Today's example: On the one hand, we have IDC claiming that Windows 7 will account for 49.5% of Windows operating systems purchased by corporations, with 75% running 7 by the end of 2011. On the other hand, we have ScriptLogic, a Windows network-management company that asked its clients and found that 6 out of 10 have no plans to deploy Win7. Hmm.

APC happened to notice both surveys and got a good chuckle (and a great photo) out of it. TechWhack picked up on the ScriptLogic numbers, Network World's John Fontana (writing for PC World) went with the IDC numbers, and the rest of us are left to remember that there are lies, damn lies, statistics, and pre-release BS-ing.

Monday's tech headlines

New York Times

• Hiroko Tabuchi has an oddly affecting story about the many Japanese robots sitting idle in the global recession. Better the machines than the humans, of course, but all this has implications for innovation down the line.

• It's hard to take the Times seriously when they say which outlets break the news first, since the paper is notorious in certain circles for using information previously appearing in other publications without proper credit. (Which, I suppose, is what it perceives as "payback.") Still, Steve Lohr is only reporting on a Cornell study -- underwritten by, among others, Google and Yahoo -- that says the traditional news media moved an average of 2.5 hours faster than the blogosphere on key stories during the 2008 election cycle. In Cornell we trust.

• Twitter has absconded with Alexander Macgillivray, deputy general counsel for products and intellectual property at Google. He will serve as general counsel for the microblogging service. No, he will not have to keep contracts under 140 characters.

Federal Computer Week

• The inspector general at DHS recently took a look at how the department has handled an assortment of security vulnerabilities spotted back in 2007, and -- surprise! -- he was impressed, says Ben Bain.

• An overhaul -- some would say a long-overdue overhaul -- of management of the radio-frequency spectrum allocations here in the US is at hand. There are two slightly different bills working their way through Congress, both called the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act. William Jackson has details.

Network World

• This ought to be good: Tim Greene has advance word on a Black Hat seminar explaining how an attacker intent on keylogging can grab the data from either an electrical socket near the computer or a cheap laser pointed at a shiny spot on or near a laptop.

• Rackspace's CEO would like to explain how the company managed have two power outages in a co-location facility inside two weeks. Jon Brodkin is listening.

Washington Post

• The Post's pair of Sunday tech columnists both delivered the goods yesterday. Mike Musgrove speaks with Mark Espinosa, the number-one citizen-reviewer on Amazon... and to Harriet Klausner, who has written 19,463 reviews and counting.

• Meanwhile, Rob Pegoraro -- clearly having something other than fun on the social networks of late -- goes into some detail about the malware situation on Twitter, Facebook and the like.

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