HMV have pulled MW2 Prestige Edition from thier site on the Xbox 360. The site now simply states that it is “Unavailable”. PS3 fans however can still get it there as it’s still for sale. Some time ago, it was reported that it was unavailable but it seems this was just to update the price as originally it was £149.99 on the site and it was readded as £119.99, the difference this time being that only the Xbox 360 version has been pulled rather than both.
If there were a steeple on Microsoft’s Redmond campus, the bells would be ringing like mad this afternoon. The company just announced that it has finished Windows 7, the latest version of the flagship operating system that’s the foundation of Microsoft’s business. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer delivered the news at a conference in Atlanta, while the Windows President Steven Sinofsky in Redmond posted details on his team’s blog today.
An excerpt from that post:
We continue to be overwhelmed at the community’s response to Windows 7 and it has been an extremely rewarding experience to witness. We hope the enthusiasm will continue to grow even more as our partners build amazing experiences with their products and Windows 7.
A lot is riding on Windows 7.
Microsoft’s difficulty producing Windows Vista, and Vista’s underwhelming performance, raised questions about Microsoft’s ability to regularly improve and refresh the horribly complex operating system powering most of the world’s computers.
Vista’s problems not only tarnished Microsoft’s engineering reputation, but they also opened the door for competitors such as new versions of Linux and Apple, which had a resurgence during the Vista era, now coming to a close.
Early reviews of Windows 7 are glowing, and now the software has been completed on time. Technically, Microsoft is releasing the software to manufacturing.
That means a complete version is being provided to PC makers within a few days, destined for new computers to go on sale in the coming months. Software developers and big companies that buy Windows in bulk can download copies in the first weeks of August.
For the Puget Sound region, Microsoft’s success is a refreshing breeze through the haze surrounding the 787. Boeing seems to be having its Vista moment as the engineers scramble to fix significant flaws keeping its new flagship on the ground.
One big difference: More than 10 million people have already been testing early versions of Windows 7 and providing feedback, helping Microsoft refine the product it’s releasing today.
The company also said Windows Server 2008 R2 code is also being released to manufacturing.
Microsoft recently released a new 14-page whitepaper entitled “Windows 7 Power Management” to outline the power management technologies in Windows 7 that reduce power consumption. For those curious as to how exactly Windows 7 will use less power, this is your answer. For those who just want the quick scoop, here are 8 different ways how Windows 7 mainly save battery life:
1) Idle Resource Utilization
This is one of the most important power management technologies because idle time is a significant portion of the time a computer is turned on. Idle efficiency in Windows 7 is improved by reducing resource utilization and enabling hardware to go into lower power states during long periods of inactivity. This includes the processor, disk, memory, and network activity on the computer. To demonstrate just how much power can be saved, CPUs consume nearly 0 watts when idle, but up to 35 watts at full power.
2) Trigger Start Services
Services were usually started automatically right after startup and would run in the background waiting for an event to occur. In Windows 7, certain services are only started when triggered by an event such as device insertion or an IP change. This makes it unnecessary to have services starting all the time and reduces the amount of background processes.
3) Enhanced Processor Power Management
Windows 7 will include device driver support for the latest PPM technologies. PPM allows Windows 7 to choose the appropriate processor performance state depending on the load and scale performance accordingly.
4) Adaptive Display Brightness
Microsoft says that the average display is set to turn off after 10-15 minutes of inactivity. Often times however, there are shorter periods of inactivity in between. To save additional power, ADB defines will allow dimming the display. ADB can also utilize hardware sensor technology to adjust display brightness accordingly to ambient light.
5) Low-Power Audio
Windows 7 will support the latest Intel HD Audio low-power specification, which introduces a new power state known as D3Cold. This is the lowest unresponsive power state that a codec can go into. It can also further conserve power when an audio device is not in use. Windows 7 also supports selective suspend technology that extends to USB audio-class devices such as microphones and web-cams.
As usual on the upcoming Patch Tuesday next week, Microsoft will be issuing a series of critical patches to fix security vulnerabilities for its popular Windows computer operating system. But this time, the company is getting a bit more attention than it’s used to for its patch release schedule.
Three new “critical” security patches affecting Windows will be part of the patch package that will be available on Tuesday, as well as three “important” fixes for other Microsoft products – Publisher, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server and Virtual PC and Virtual Server. The fixes affect machines running Windows Vista, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, according to details in the patch advisories.
If your computer is set to automatically receive Microsoft patch updates as recommended, then you should receive the fixes without any intervention on your part.
One of those fixes, for a security vulnerability in Microsoft Video ActiveX Control affecting computers running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, though, has been awaited for quite a while. It appears that the first reports of the problem date back to early 2008.
Questions raised about first reports
“We’ve gotten some questions from customers about when we got the first report of this vulnerability and how long the investigation has taken relative to the outbreak of attacks against this vulnerability,” wrote Microsoft spokesman Mike Reavey in a Microsoft Security Response Center blog item yesterday.
“Before I go into the details, the key thing I want customers to understand is that this is an issue that was responsibly reported to us and we have been driving in our standard process towards a security update,” Reavey wrote. “While in the middle of that process, attackers found this same vulnerability and began attacks against it. We were far enough in the process that we could provide information that customers can use to protect themselves in the interim while we complete that investigation and deliver a security update that you can deploy broadly with confidence. ”
Oh yeah, I’m real confident now.
First report received in Spring 2008
What’s interesting here for consumers is that the first report of this ActiveX Control security vulnerability came in during the spring of 2008, according to Microsoft, and it’s just getting around to fix it now. That’s more than a whole year.
And Reavey even admits that in his blog post.
The reason the vulnerability is being fixed is because it can enable an attacker to take over a victim’s computer over the Internet as the logged-on user if the computer’s owner browses a malicious Web site.
Yet despite that danger, more than a year has passed for a fix.
Hmmmmm, another Tuesday, another group of Microsoft patches.
So is that Google Chrome OS ready to try out yet?
One of the many criticisms of Windows Vista was the incredibly complex packaging that Microsoft used for both Vista and Office 2007. In an effort to prevent theft and piracy, Microsoft created boxes that required their own set of instructions to open. In a blog posting on Wednesday, Microsoft said it will use a package that is shaped similarly to the Vista one. However, the box will open more like a standard DVD case.
The case, which will be recyclable, will contain just the disc and a getting started guide. Overall, Microsoft said it reduced the packaging weight by 37 percent.
Microsoft plans to start selling Windows 7 on October 22, although pre-sales of the product as well as a free upgrade program for new PC buyers are expected to both kick off on Friday. Source: cnet