New Vista Build Released
Microsoft has released another build of its next-generation Vista operating system. Build 5456 is a rather large jump from Vista Beta 2, offering a number of improvements.
NeoSmart Blog states:
Some of the new features include a revamped Aero/DWM subsystem, and a completely overhauled and significantly less obtrusive UAP for all those that couldn’t stand the previous one. From what we have been told by Microsoft, the Time Zone bug that plagued all most all previous builds of Windows Vista has been fixed and works great now, and quite a few fixes in the Regional Settings and IME are now implemented. And for the first time since Windows 3.0 Microsoft has finally announced that new mouse cursors will be made available for Windows – something they promised to do in XP with “Watercolors” but failed to deliver for internal reasons!
Beta testers can download the new build from the Windows Connect website.
Microsoft has decided to drop Windows Future Storage (WinFS) as a future update to the OS; WinFS Beta 2 has also been cancelled. WinFS was based on Microsoft SQL Server technology, supposed to do away with the traditional file/folder hierarchy.
AMD to build $3.5bn fab in New York
It appears that the rumors are true – AMD is to construct a 300mm wafer fab in Saratoga County, New York. At a cost of $3.5 billion, the fab will be used to produce 32nm processors according to comments made by senior staffers.
Media reports claim AMD has been offered $1 billion in incentives by the local government to help AMD make up its mind. Work is expected to begin in July 2007, completion in July 2009, and chips are slated to roll off the production line by 2010.
Notebook shipments growing in Asia
Despite a weak global demand, notebook shipments have been growing in Japan, China, and other Asia-Pacific markets during the first quarter according to industry sources.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), notebook shipments in the first quarter in Japan grew 31% to a total of 2.03 million units, 9% in China to 1.18 million units and 12% to 2.81 million units in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.
During the same period, the US saw notebook shipments slip 9% to 5.66 million units; shipments in Western Europe plunged 26% to 5.15 million units. In spite of continuing growth in Asia, Taiwan makers have estimated global shipments to drop 10% sequentially in Q2.
Laptop Sales in the UK outpace Desktop PC sales for April / May
For the first time in the UK laptops have eclipsed sales of desktop PCs in retail stores. At a major retailer in the UK, PC World, sales of laptops were 10% greater than desktops during the April and May months. Last year desktop sales were 20% higher than laptops. The trend continues for more and more people to buy a laptop as a PC rather than a desktop.
Exploding Dell Investigated
On Friday, Dell was investigating why one of its notebooks exploded into flames at a conference in Japan. The Inquirer has pictures; no one was hurt, thankfully. A Dell spokesman confirmed that the computer was a Dell, but did not give any further details.
The spokesman commented:
“We’re aware of it, and we’re digging into the details. There’s an investigation going on right now. When something like this happens, we want to know why.”
Laptops give hope to the homeless
Homeless people are more tech-savvy than most of us are inclined to think. Many homeless people make it a priority to keep gadgets handy, even when a cooked meal is hard to come by.
Although they may not have a roof over their heads, many homeless people have laptops or cell phones with them. Nearly all homeless people have Email addresses according to Michael Stoops, director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. He claims, “The Internet has been a big boon to the homeless.”