Engadine Web Services
Newsletter 44 - 21 Apr 2008

This newsletter has been designed to maintain links with customers and provide an information service for internet users generally.

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Bruce Beresford, Engadine Web Services - ManagerEditorial

An interesting item from Gartner:

Microsoft's Windows juggernaut is collapsing under its own weight, as it tries to support 20 years of applications and becomes more complicated by the minute, according to analyst firm Gartner.

To compound Windows' problems, it has outgrown the hardware it requires and customers are considering skipping Vista and waiting for Microsoft's next-generation Windows 7, the analyst firm has said, adding that, if Windows is going to remain relevant, it will need radical changes.

more >>>

Bruce Beresford, Manager & Editor


In this Issue:

Featured Site  Back to top...

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We offer a full service in compliance systems establishment and ongoing management and control.

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Microsoft to extend life of XP for low-cost PCs  Back to top...

Microsoft has said it will only further extended the life of Windows XP Home Edition, and only for low-end computers that have no chance of running Vista.

Microsoft said on Thursday that it will continue to allow Windows XP Home edition to be sold for a class of computers it calls "ultra-low-cost PCs." It's a category that covers machines with slower processors, smaller screens, and in many cases flash memory for storage, rather than a traditional hard drive.

Microsoft will give PC makers the option of using Windows XP or Vista on this type of device, said Michael Dix, general manager of Windows client marketing.

The minimal hardware used in low-end systems might make Vista ill-suited to such a task. The decision to discontinue Windows XP is likely to have driven even more device makers into the hands of Linux, hence the extension.

Overall, big-name computer makers will have to stop selling Windows XP for all other uses by the end of June. Mainstream technical support will continue to be available for Windows XP through April 2009, and more limited support will continue through April 2014.

Dix said that Microsoft is confident that it can discontinue Windows XP at the end of June for mainstream PCs. "We have received affirming feedback from partners that they are ready to make the transition," he said.

Computer makers will be able to sell XP Home on new ultra-low end machines till 30 June 2010, or one year after the launch of Windows 7, the next major release of Windows -- whichever is later, Microsoft said.

A Microsoft representative on Thursday reaffirmed that the company expects to ship the successor to Vista roughly three years from Vista's January 2007 debut.

Microsoft has already extended the Windows XP sales deadline once. In September last year, it extended the life of Windows XP until June, rather than the original January 2008 deadline.

At the time, Microsoft also announced that computer makers in emerging markets could sell Windows XP Starter edition until June 2010.

Microsoft is also publishing a set of guidelines on Thursday designed to make it easier for makers of flash-based computers to use Windows. Many of these initial devices have launched running Linux, though some, such as the Eee PC from Asus, are also being offered in Windows versions. Lcial year. ZDNetAustralia Apr 2008 (Ina Fried, CNET News.com).


Windows 7 coming next year: Gates  Back to top...

MICROSOFT co-founder Bill Gates expects the new version of Windows operating software, code-named Windows 7, to be released "sometime in the next year or so."

The software giant has been aiming to issue more regular updates of the operating system software that powers the majority of the world's personal computers. Nevertheless, Mr Gates' comments suggested that a successor to the Vista program might be released sooner than was generally expected.

Microsoft has said it expected to release a new version of Windows approximately 3 years after the introduction of Vista in January 2007. A company spokeswoman said Mr Gates' comments are in line with a development cycle that usually releases a test version of the software before its official introduction.

"I'm super enthused about what it will do in lots of ways," Mr Gates said in a seminar on corporate philanthropy held during an annual meeting in Miami of the Inter-American Development Bank.

"That'll be sometime in the next year or so that we'll have a new version," Mr Gates said in response to a question from the audience.

Mr Gates, who is due to leave his day-to-day functions at Microsoft and dedicate himself to the philanthropic efforts of the Gates Foundation in June, said the company aimed through its $US6 billion ($6.51 billion) annual research and development budget to take the products running on its software to "the next level."

He said new versions of Windows would help revolutionise mobile phones and run the desk of the future, which would have a touch surface display allowing users to call up items using their hands. AustralianIT Apr 2008.


Conroy kills $1bn OPEL rural broadband contract  Back to top...

The federal government has cancelled the contract for Optus and Elders to build a WiMAX broadband network, the companies say.

Futuris Corporation, which owns Elders, and Singapore Telecommunications, Optus's parent, both told the Australian Stock Exchange of the cancellation of the contract this morning.

Futuris and Optus, in an equal partnership called OPEL, were awarded US$958 million by the Howard government to construct a broadband network for rural and regional Australia.

According to the companies' statements to the stock exchange, the Rudd government has cancelled the contract because of an assessment that the implementation plan does not meet prescribed coverage requirements.

The government also was concerned that networks would be duplicated, as it has proposed its own fibre-to-the-node broadband plan, according to the statements.

Futuris and Optus maintain the OPEL plan satisfies the prescribed coverage requirements.

If the companies are unable to recover money from the government, Futuris will make a provision of $15 million as a non-recurring item and Optus will write off $9 million.

The cancelled plan would have delivered improved broadband services to 889,322 underserved premises in rural and regional Australia within two years at metro-comparable prices, Futuris and SingTel said.

The commercial arrangements through OPEL were not expected to have a material impact on the financial statements of SingTel for the year ended 31 March, the company said.

Futuris said the government's action does not impact Elders' retail operations or Amcon Telecommunications or its investments. ZDNet Australia Apr 2008.


All eyes on broadband bids  Back to top...

AN emerging Indian telecommunications company, two huge private equity funds and a major local investment bank are all considering making bids through consortiums for the Rudd Government's $9 billion-plus national broadband network project.

But the high cost of debt due to the global credit crunch is likely to thwart the ambitions of some players, who will have to spend up to $50 million simply to lodge a bid and provide a $5 million bond to the Government to participate in the process.

The Government last week issued tender documents, or request for proposals (RFP), for the network, along with a call for proposals on changes to telecoms regulation.

It is understood that Indian telecoms group Reliance, private equity funds Providence and Permira and local bank and infrastructure fund player Babcock & Brown are all keen to consider bids for the project.

Offshore telcos Deutsche Telekom and US-based Verizon are also believed to be interested in operating a new network.

But the only two confirmed bidders are Telstra and the G9 consortium led by Optus. AustralianIT Apr 2008 more >>>


Quotes of the Day  Back to top...

There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again. Clint Eastwood (1930 - )

A person who trusts no one can't be trusted. Jerome Blattner

Careful. We don't want to learn from this. Bill Watterson (1958 - ), "Calvin and Hobbes"

Would those of you in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry. John Lennon (1940 - 1980)

Brought to you by The Quotations Page

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