Microsoft officially launches Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010

Steve Dougherty | Software & Apps | May 13, 2010 2:26 AM CDT

We've known for a while now it would be arriving very soon and here 'tis. Microsoft has just officially announced Office 2010 as well as SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010.

Initially it is only available to business customers, but consumers will be able to purchase it as of June 15 at prices ranging from $99 to $499 U.S. depending on which Office version you opt for.

There's a huge amount of updates and features added to the 2010 Office suite including Backstage view which replaces the file menu, improved search and navigation functions, superior video and editing tools, a Sparklines tool for Excel which gives the ability to create small charts inside a single cell and backing for Office Web Apps that gives online versions of MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.

Continue reading: Microsoft officially launches Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 (full post)

Launch date for NVIDIA GTX 465? June 1st!

Steve Dougherty | Video Cards & GPUs | May 12, 2010 8:51 AM CDT

Our VGA gun Shane has learned that the upcoming GTX 465 that gets you a top end NVIDIA DX11 capable graphics card for less dollars will be officially launched on June 1, the day Computex makes its 2010 splash.

He's also been able to ascertain that stock levels won't be an issue come launch, unlike when the GTX 470/480 cards were released. Apparently several manufacturers already have stock in hand of this card and samples are being prepared for shipments this week, giving potential for leaked results on the interwebs ahead of launch.

It is not known for sure as to what specifications exactly this card will use. There have been rumours and numbers thrown about, but until samples get in peoples hands none of it can be confirmed, though that doesn't sound like very long of a wait now.

Continue reading: Launch date for NVIDIA GTX 465? June 1st! (full post)

Upcoming Athlon II Neo equipped netbooks exposed

Steve Dougherty | Laptops | May 12, 2010 8:50 AM CDT

The folks at Netbooknews have gotten a good scoop on AMD's upcoming Athlon II Neo platforms while in attendance at an AMD event held in Cannes, France.

In presenting three separate articles, the first looks at Acer's upcoming Aspire One 521 netbook which we first learned about towards the end of April. It will use a single core AMD V105 1.2GHz processor and has built-in Radeon HD 4225 graphics for HD support. You will find a couple videos (one being of some quality hands-on time with the unit) and a stack of official product shots here.

Also on display at the event was Acer's Aspire One 721 which is based on the new Athlon II Neo K325 dual core processor with a 12w TDP rating, each core working at 1.3GHz. The same Radeon HD 4225 IGP is used for this unit as is used in the Aspire One 521, giving smooth full HD video playback.

Continue reading: Upcoming Athlon II Neo equipped netbooks exposed (full post)

AT&T's five year iPhone exclusivity deal confirmed

Don Lynn | Mobile Devices | May 11, 2010 9:57 PM CDT

The term of Apple and AT&T's iPhone exclusivity deal has long been a mystery -- although USA Today reported a five-year arrangement when the original iPhone came out in 2007, that number has never been independently confirmed, and it's been looking suspect in recent weeks as Verizon iPhone chatter has gotten louder. But we've been doing some digging and we can now confirm that Apple and AT&T entered into a five-year iPhone exclusive in 2007, based on court documents filed by Apple in California. Read on!

Here's the deal: an ongoing California class-action lawsuit filed in 2007 claims that Apple and AT&T illegally exerted a monopoly over iPhone service by telling customers the iPhone's required service contract was two years long when the Apple / AT&T exclusivity deal was actually for five years -- thus requiring buyers to re-up with AT&T for three years (and not, say, T-Mobile) if they wanted to keep using the iPhone. Obviously Apple had to respond to these allegations, and in addition to arguing that no one was ever promised an unlocked iPhone after two years, the company's lawyers repeatedly confirm the existence of the five-year agreement while noting it was publicly reported in USA Today. It's extremely black and white -- check these choice quotes from Apple:

"The duration of the exclusive Apple-[AT&T] agreement was not 'secret' either. The [plaintiff] quotes a May 21, 2007 USA Today article - published over a month before the iPhone's release - stating, "AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years-an eternity in the go-go cellphone world."

Continue reading: AT&T's five year iPhone exclusivity deal confirmed (full post)

Software fix for iPad troubles coming soon

Don Lynn | Mobile Devices | May 11, 2010 8:55 PM CDT

A software update to solve wireless network connectivity issues with some iPads will be forthcoming from Apple, but the company has not offered a time frame for the fix.

In an updated support document on the Apple site, the company says: "A very small number of iPad users have experienced issues with Wi-Fi connectivity. This article outlines workarounds for these issues. Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update."

Apple did not respond to a request for amplification on the matter.

Continue reading: Software fix for iPad troubles coming soon (full post)

Why Sprint and Verizon Nixed the Nexus One

Don Lynn | Mobile Devices | May 11, 2010 5:32 PM CDT

Sprint is following in the footsteps of Verizon, by backing out on its promise to carry the Google Nexus One on its network, and replacing the smartphone with a newer, flashier sibling. Still, it's not all bad news for Google or Android.

In mid-March, Sprint announced that it would carry a CDMA version of Google's Nexus One smartphone sometime later this year. But on Monday, Sprint said that it would not support the Nexus One, making way instead for the upcoming HTC EVO 4G smartphone.

A CDMA version of the Nexus One for Verizon also fell off the table recently, with the carrier instead opting to sell the Android-based HTC Incredible this spring. Now, the Nexus One remains available only for T-Mobile and AT&T's GSM networks, or in an unlocked version for $529.

Continue reading: Why Sprint and Verizon Nixed the Nexus One (full post)

Apple brushes off NPD's smartphone report of Android leapfrogging iPhone sales

Don Lynn | Mobile Devices | May 11, 2010 4:13 PM CDT

Fresh off NPD's latest Mobile Phone Track report claiming that Android has leapfrogged the iPhone in US sales, Apple is commenting on the numbers -- and as you might expect, they're not exactly taking a congratulatory tone with Google. Speaking to AllThingsD's John Paczkowski, Cupertino had this to say:

"This is a very limited report on 150,000 US consumers responding to an online survey and does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide. IDC figures show that iPhone has 16.1 percent of the smartphone market and growing, far outselling Android on a worldwide basis. We had a record quarter with iPhone sales growing by 131 percent and with our new iPhone OS 4.0 software coming this summer, we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon."

The factual accuracy of Apple's words here can't really be disputed, but as Paczkowski notes, the context can: lumping the iPod touch into this equation isn't really fair, since NPD's report is about smartphones, not mobile operating systems (which would've let devices like non-phone Android MIDs into the picture). Besides, this is about the US market in the first quarter of 2010, not global sales, nor is it about Apple's development pipeline. In other words, Apple's not disputing NPD's report here -- rather, they're simply trying to change the subject, as any properly-trained PR department would. There's no question Android still has an uphill battle to dominate market (and mind) share the world over, but the odds that it outsold the iPhone in the US in Q1 remain very real.

Continue reading: Apple brushes off NPD's smartphone report of Android leapfrogging iPhone sales (full post)

Sapphire's Pure CrossfireX 890GX pictured

Steve Dougherty | Motherboards | May 11, 2010 7:10 AM CDT

Details and pics of Sapphire's new Pure CrossfireX 890GX motherboard have surfaced. The board is full ATX sized and uses the 890GX+SB850 combination.

It's interesting that Sapphire has done away with its iconic white PCB this time around.

The AM3 socket is given 10-phase VRM power and is wired to four DDR3 slots. The integrated Radeon HD 4290 IGP is given 128MB of Sideport memory alongside the ability to share system memory.

Continue reading: Sapphire's Pure CrossfireX 890GX pictured (full post)

RunCore unveils Kylin II SandForce SF-1500 powered SSDs

Steve Dougherty | Storage | May 11, 2010 5:36 AM CDT

RunCore has just brought to market a new series of enterprise level SSDs that use the tried and true SandForce SF-1500 controller and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) interface.

RunCore calls the new series Kylin II, of which comes in both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch form factors. There are both Single Level Cell and Multi Level Cell variants of this series available. Other attributes inlude native ECC data protection, on-board temperature sensor and a power consumption of about 2.6W.

Despite the ECC inclusion, read and write rates are still very respectable at about 270MB/sec read and 260MB write. Capacities in the series go from as small as 50GB up to 400GB.

Continue reading: RunCore unveils Kylin II SandForce SF-1500 powered SSDs (full post)

Sneak Peek at the iPhone OS4 Beta

Don Lynn | Software & Apps | May 10, 2010 7:38 PM CDT

Although Apple's next iPhone operating system is at least a month away from release, got a hands-on peek at the latest beta and found some interesting goodies that have not been officially announced.

Most notably, the iPhone OS 4 beta 3 software includes a brand new iPod widget and a file-sharing feature that was previously exclusive to the iPad. (These features were previously reported by Boy Genius Report.)

Other new features we tested were those on display during Apple's recent iPhone event: multitasking, folders, universal e-mail, wallpaper and camera zoom. Taken together, they paint a picture of an operating system that is well on its way to a major upgrade, one that will greatly increase the usability of Apple's growing family of iPhone OS-based devices.

Continue reading: Sneak Peek at the iPhone OS4 Beta (full post)