VR-Zone has shared some information concerning upcoming AMD Desktop Software, covering AMD graphics and system solutions.
Of interest on the AMD Catalyst side of the equation, appears to be the mention of Lower UVD Power States for Windows XP and Vista operating systems, which are scheduled to make an appearance in Q4.
From the system software perspective, end-users can look forward to getting through two AMD OverDrive revisions by the close of Q1, 2009.
We can expect version 8.54 of AMD's Catalyst drivers on October 1st, according the above schedule, with each revision evidently taking a month between Release Candidate status and, General Availability.
According to the authors of the Engineering Windows 7 blog, the engineering team responsible for faster boot times has timed a early version of the upcoming operating system fully boot in under 15 seconds.
Apparently it's a big focus over at Redmond and we say about time!
For a PC to boot fast a number of tasks need to be performed efficiently and with a high degree of parallelism.
Files must be read into memory.
System services need to be initialized.
Devices need to be identified and started.
The user's credentials need to be authenticated for login.
The desktop needs to be constructed and displayed.
Startup applications need to be launched.
Startup can be one of three experiences; boot, resume from sleep, or resume from hibernate. Although resume from sleep is the default, and often 2 to 5 seconds based on common hardware and standard software loads, this post is primarily about boot as that experience has been commented on frequently. For Windows 7, a top goal is to significantly increase the number of systems that experience very good boot times. In the lab, a very good system is one that boots in under 15 seconds.
You can read more over here.
The folks over at Neowin have managed to get hold of an internal schedule release update from Microsoft concerning the release dates of Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.
If you haven't made the move to Vista yet and as our traffic stats confirm, there are many of you that haven't, you should pay attention to this news.
- April 14, 2008: Support is available for the release version of Service Pack 3 for Windows XP
- April 21, 2008: Original Equipment Manufacturers, Volume License, Connect, and MSDN and TechNet subscribers
- April 29, 2008: Microsoft Update, Windows Update, Download Center
- June 10, 2008: Automatic Updates
More over at Neowin.
Windows XP's third Service Pack has just reached RC2 status, having been handed out to testers last week.
If you're keen on trying it out yourself in this very near to completion stage, the good news is you rightfully can as Microsoft have made it available for download by the general public using Windows Update in conjunction with a small registry file.
Thanks to the folks at Dailytech for the heads up.
Microsoft released SP3 to testers last week, but the general public can now download the service pack via Windows Update. Users have to first download a small registry file from Microsoft which gives them special access to Windows Update to download SP3.
"The script sets a registry key on your system. The registry key is required for Windows Update to recognize your machine as a valid target for Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC2," states Microsoft. "It is recommended that you apply the resulting update package to an activated, genuine copy of Windows XP, in a test environment."
Despite recent news that Microsoft are apparently planning to withhold Windows 7 from being released until early 2011, we've decided to give you the other side of the story.
A recent roadmap suggests that Microsoft will launch "Windows 7", the successor to Vista as early as the second half of 2009. This is contrary to initial reports which stated its release sometime in 2010. According to APC Magazine, there are three milestone projects in the Windows 7 program, with the first stage already in progress. M1 is an Alpha build which has shipped to key partners for code evaluation. Stage two, due around April/May will be an updated version, and stage three is likely towards the end of the year if all goes to plan.
Apparently the Microsoft OS will be the last one available in 32-bit, although there will be a 64-bit version as well. This initial stage is only an English language version, with the upgrade to other languages likely as the OS reaches completion.
The shift to a 3 year cycle to initiate the new OS will be seen by many as an overtly aggressive move by Microsoft, who has only just begun to reap the rewards of the Vista launch in 2006.
With the advances in hardware far exceeding most people's budgets, one has to question if such advances in both software and hardware are simply too much too soon. A looming worldwide recession will answer that question.
Read more about Windows 7 here.
Along with Service Pack 1 for Office 2007 being released recently, Microsoft also let Service Pack 3 for Windows XP out of the bag.
It is not the final release which is expected sometime next year but still manages to pack in a total of 1073 fixes. It also includes four new features including a new activation scheme, Network Access Protection Module, Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module and a Black Hole Router detection algorithm.
There was talk of Windows XP SP3 including DX10 support but that didn't end up being the case. If you are still using Windows XP and haven't made the move to Vista yet, BetaNews is hosting the beta service pack for download.
Go grab it here! Keep in mind it is still in beta form, so take some caution and backup first!
As many of you would now be aware, Microsoft are working on a third Service Pack to further support Windows XP and keep it in good health for a while to come. Though it's been mentioned that upon release, SP3 will be Microsoft's final installment before they pull the plug on support from XP and focus entirely on getting Vista right.
Some details have come to light about the progress of SP3 and what we can expect from it once it reaches final status. A massive 1,073 patches and hotfixes will be embedded into the new Service Pack as well as four completely new features which have been backported from Vista; these being as follows :-
- New Windows Product Activation model: no need to enter product key during setup
- Network Access Protection modules and policies have been brought to XP after being one of the more-well-received features in Windows Vista. You can read more about NAP here
- New Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module - the Windows XP SP3 kernel now includes an entire module that provides easy access to multiple cryptographic algorithms and is available for use in kernel-mode drivers and services.
- New "Black Hole Router" detection - Windows XP SP3 can detect and protect against rogue routers that are discarding data
Dailytech have the full scoop on it here. Long Live XP!
News on Microsoft's aging Windows XP operating system has surprisingly been coming in at a steady pace over the past few weeks. Although Windows Vista is Microsoft's current bread-and-butter consumer operating system, there is still much love to go around for Windows XP.
In late September, DailyTech reported that Microsoft is providing XP downgrades for unhappy Vista customers. Microsoft followed up on that news a few days later with the announcement that Windows XP sales would be extended to June 30, 2008.
The company followed up with a new build of Internet Explorer 7.0 for Windows XP that doesn't require product activation and released a Service Pack 3 (SP3) beta for a select group of testers.
Our own Cameron Johnson just finished completed some basic testing comparing the performance differences between Windows XP Service Pack 2.
We used the leaked and non-final Service Pack 3 (Build 3180), which made its way onto the world wide web last week after being leaked out by MS BETA testers.
We tested using the latest versions of 3DMark05, 3DMark06 and PCMark05 and saw vertically no performance increases by updating to SP3 from SP2. We thought there might be some slight chance for somewhat of a performance boost but everything was exactly the same (or within the usual margin of error, which we always see).
We would have loved to report that SP3 provided a performance boost but at this stage it doesn't appear as if you should be holding onto Windows XP in the hopes that the upcoming service pack will boost your PC performance.
We'll keep you posted on further SP3 updates as they come in!
With the availability of the Hitachi/LG GGW-H10N Blu-ray/HD DVD combo drive, CyberLink will be supplying its Hi-Def Suite which allows for playback of Blu-ray and HD DVD movies. On top of this it also allows for Blu-ray disc burning as well as backing up your Blu-ray media onto DVD.
The Hi-Def Suite consists of PowerDVD for video playback, PowerProducer for Blu-ray authoring, Power2Go, InstantBurn and finally PowerBackup that allows you to do backups of your digital content.
"CyberLink and HLDS have released a software-hardware solution that supports both next-generation disc formats, eliminating the complication and expense of users having to operate multiple single-format drives," said Alice H. Chang, CEO of CyberLink. "Instead, consumers can access all the features they want via a single software suite and play any movie they want via the same disc drive."
You can find out more about the various applications by visiting CyberLink
An announcement from NVIDIA today highlights the official final-build release of their Gelato 2.1 final-frame rendering software.
This software is designed to be used in conjunction with rendering programs like Maya 8.5 and 3dx Max 9.0 with improved performance all-round. It also allows for better ray-tracing and ambient occlusion, better stereo rendering and fog light support as well as support for Joe Alter's Shave and Haircut hair and fur effects software.
NVIDIA's press release has the full rundown on it.
SANTA CLARA, CA-March 12, 2006- NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in programmable graphics processor technologies, today announced the release of NVIDIA® Gelato® 2.1 high-quality, GPU-accelerated rendering software, which now includes support for Joe Alter's Shave and a Haircut software for computer-generated hair and fur effects. Other enhancements in this newest release of Gelato include support for Autodesk® Maya® 8.5 and 3ds Max® 9.0, improved stereo rendering, fog lights, and significant performance improvements.
Word from Cyberlink today has it that they've just finished checking to make sure all of their home entertainment and personal creativity products are "Vista Ready", this includes the highly popular PowerDVD playback software suite.
Grab the press material here for more info.
Taipei, Taiwan----Feb. 14th, 2007----CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW), a world leader in digital home solutions, today announced that its complete range of home entertainment and personal creativity products are ready for the release of Microsoft® Windows® Vista.
CyberLink Vista Update Center: http://www.cyberlink.com/vista
CyberLink also launched a verification feature on its website that allows consumers to test if their existing software is "Vista Ready". The CyberLink Software Vista Upgrade Test quickly scans software and determines whether the versions of the software currently in use are ready for Vista. After testing, users can choose to update through available patches or purchase an upgrade to become "Vista Ready".
If you want a bit of benchmarking action under Windows Vista, here is some news for you from the UK.
London, UK, January 30th 2007 - We are pleased to announce that the latest version of SiSoftware Sandra XI Service Pack 1 (SP1) for download and to be included in all current versions of the Sandra family of product. This free service pack now offers full support for Microsoft Vista and includes an additional free theme.
"With a new operating system coming out technicians have more and more questions and we wanted to give them a familiar interface to simplify there jobs and increase productivity. We also value their investment and wanted to extend this investment in Sandra and by being able to offer Vista support in this version it helps protect there investment, this way even customers of the older 2007 version get free Vista support for free." said SiSoftware's Chief Technical Officer Adrian Silasi.
This latest version has been fully tested and certified against the production release of Microsoft Vista With the inclusion of features like Microsoft* cross-signed Kernel drivers for Vista* Aero (Glass) support in the Sandra Management Console, UAC (User Access Control) support for all services, to name a few, are alive and kicking in this service pack.
If you are running Vista or not there is a new look out there for everyone to enjoy with the addition of a new Sandra theme. This is the latest update version of its award-winning utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, Pocket PC2, Smartphone2, small office/home office (SOHO) networks and enterprise networks.
Transcend have just announced that they're now bundling a new advanced software application with all of their JetFlash series USB Flash Drives.
JetFlash elite is new software that focuses on the needs of the user and is specifically developed to help you manage you data and increase your productivity. The JetFlash elite software pack includes useful software applications such as, PC-Lock, Secret-Zip, E-Mail, AutoLogin, Favorites, DataBackup and My JetFlash solutions.
For further information on its functionalities, grab the detailed press material here folks.
In addition to providing outstanding online solutions your JetFlash and JetFlash elite software work together brilliantly to enhance and improve the ways in which you can interact with your PC. The JetFlash elite's PC-Lock feature allows you to use the JetFlash as a key to lock your desktop, or notebook computer by simply unplugging the JetFlash, thereby disabling the computer and preventing others from accessing your data. You can also setup the PC-Lock to automatically unlock the computer after a certain period of time has elapsed. Another of the JetFlash elite's system enhancing features is the Secret-Zip high-level security function. Secret-Zip not only compresses your saved files to maximize memory storage space, but it also provides very powerful password protection for your data by encrypting the files using the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm.
The official (final) version of Windows Media Player 11 has just been released, this version sporting an entirely new interface with stacks of features and improvements across the board. As with IE7, WMP11 will also be implemented into the upcoming Vista operating system by default.
Microsoft has released the final version of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP. Version 11 sports a redesigned user interface and incorporates seamless integration with MTV's URGE music service.
According to Microsoft, the URGE online catalog provides customers with over 2 million songs by over 110,000 artists. Microsoft is also boasting that its improved search engine in Windows Media Player 11 provides faster results than any other media player on the market.
Update: Unfortunately the Inquirer were incorrect on this one, the latest has it that DirectX 9.L will merely be an optimized version of DX9 for Vista, whoops :(
Looks like all the upcoming DirectX 10 game titles to start flooding the market following the release of Vista will also be able to run on ye'ole faithful (Windows XP) as well. Microsoft's soon to be released DirectX 9 update will be a renamed/modified DirectX 10 for WinXP.
WE MANAGED TO glean a few facts about the upcoming DirectX 9.0 L we told you about here.
DirectX 9.0 L is simply a renamed and refurbished DirectX 10 for Windows XP. It will make DirectX 10 games to work on Windows XP.
And games such as the upcoming Crysis won't work on the existing DirectX 9.0 c. they need a DirectX 9.0 L
Following AGEIA's recent acceptance by FutureMark into their Benchmark Development Program, the makers of the first standalone physics card solution on the market (known as the PhysX) have just released a benchmarking utility of their own.
Dubbed "RealityMark" it's based on a streamlined/modified variant of the original Cell Factor demo purely used for the purpose of benchmarking a system with or without a dedicated physics processing solution. If you dont have a PhysX card the benchmark opts for software physics instead, allowing one to clearly see the differences in running a system with dedicated physics processing.
AGEIA RealityMark is a new tool which demonstrates the feature and performance value of AGEIA PhysX in a physics-intensive gameplay environment. It's designed to illustrate how next-generation game design uses the power of the PhysX processor to enable leading-edge, physically interactive gameplay elements which were not possible until now.
RealityMark is based on a version of CellFactor: Combat Training from Artificial Studios and Immersion Games. It utilizes a pre-scripted gameplay sequence much like a time demo to compare in-game performance of hardware and software PhysX. The scripted sequence is played once with the PhysX processor enabled and a second time with it disabled to determine the relative performance of each. It then returns the results in terms average Frames Per Second (FPS).
First discovered over at NVNews a short while ago, company "Tenomichi" have teamed up with NVIDIA to create an entirely GPU powered 3D Media Center software suite designed to work on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Media Center Edition and Windows Vista.
3D Media Center bridges the gap between games and multimedia by using the GPU to create a completely 3D interface that includes a 3D carousel, a DVD player powered by Nvidia's PureVideo decoder, a video editor with computer games special effects, a photo editor capable of manipulating the highest resolution photos, video transfer to mobile phones, Sony's PSP and Apple's iPOD and can be operated by standard remote controls.
For full details, head over to Tenomichi's website.
"Tenomichi has, for the first time, combined two of Microsoft's core technologies DirectX and Direct Show to create a new multimedia engine called 3D Experience" said Richard Faria, Tenomichi's President and CEO. "This engine was used to build 3D Media Center the most advanced 3D application available in the world" he said "3D interfaces provide the consumer with a fully immersive experience that blends the boundaries between interface and rich media. All consumer applications will follow our lead into 3D; it's inevitable because it's more natural."
3D Media Center includes "Automatic Updates" keeping customers up to date with the latest version of our software and providing free new features. Customers will also receive Tenomichi's Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) module free of charge when it is released in Q4 with SD and HD playback of cable, satellite and digital terrestrial.
In a fresh press release, NVIDIA have just announced their commitment to delivering a bunch of video and multimedia products with full support for Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. With NV's PureVideo technology being the main focus for enriched multimedia usage in a HTPC environment, they also intend to release Dual-Tuner Cards with personal video recording functionalities. More details over at the NV pressroom folks.
SANTA CLARA, CA-OCTOBER 14, 2005-NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), a worldwide leader in graphics and digital media processors, today announced that it is delivering a full suite of video and multimedia products specifically for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Update Rollup 2.
"Advanced video processing technologies such as PureVideo enhance the Media Center experience and give consumers a complete home theater experience on a PC," said Joe Belfiore, general manager of the Windows eHome Division at Microsoft Corp. "We applaud NVIDIA for their efforts and look forward to seeing more industry-leading video and multimedia technology from them in the future."
Another recent press release from memory makers "TwinMOS" informs us that they're now bundling the popular image browsing and editing software "ACDSee Partner Edition 7.0" with any of their mobile disk products, giving you a saving of up to 30 bucks.
yAugust 3, 2005, TaipeizFrom now on all TwinMOS mobile disks are equipped with ACDsee Partner Edition 7.0 ver. for free! You can save up to US$29.99 for a TwinMOS mobile disk that allows you to browse and edit pictures with the powerful ACDsee Partner Edition 7.0!
You can open and browse images in most formats efficiently with ACDsee Partner Edition 7.0, including zoom in and zoom out images, view images fit to window size or in full screen. The powerful editing functions of ACDsee Partner Edition 7.0 allow you to search an image by description, make simple editing, copy images to the clipboard, rotate or modify images, and set images as the backdrop.
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ATI have just given us the heads up on a BETA 2 release of their 64-bit CATALYST drivers. These are said to add support for all their newest "X" line of RADEON cards. You can get to the download page here should you like to give them a whirl.
Do not even bother asking for it, I'll probably get yelled at just for this. Let's just say it would be safe to bet Windows XP 64-bit final is not too far away from release.
More information in our Windows Forum