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Windows 7 Information Officially Revealed!

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329w ago - With Vista struggling Windows 7 it's the OS on everyone's lips at the moment. It could be set for an early release in Q4 2009. Chris Flores, from the official Windows Vista Team Blog brings us up-to-date.

Flores has conceded that Microsoft is working on Windows 7, but has stated that this is normal in the Windows OS cycle. "...we started working on Windows Vista even before we released Windows XP. So naturally, we've been thinking about the investments we made in Windows Vista and how we can build on these for the next version of Windows," he said.

This time around Microsoft has taken a new approach with Windows 7 by strategically sharing information with key partners. While this has already begun, neither Flores or Steven Sinofsky, Windows and Windows Live Engineering SVP, in a chat to CNET, would be drawn on a firm release date for Windows 7.

Sinofsky stated that they didn't want another five year wait as was the case with Windows XP and Vista, and it was more likely to be three years between the day Windows Vista went on sale to the day Windows 7 does. If you do that math, that would still mean start of 2010, but not far off late 2009. The possibility of an early release is still alive.

Flores has also confirmed that Windows 7 will be a major release. It...
 

How many FLOPS are in Game Consoles?

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329w ago - Analyst Opinion - Floating Point Operations Per Second - FLOPS - one of the more obscure processor performance indicators, and one of the oldest ones.

Over time, it has been modified with prefixes such as M (mega), G (giga), T (tera) and will soon get a P (peta). "Tera" describes a million millions - one trillion (1012) - which is a whole lot of anything whether it is cycles (Hertz), bytes, dollars, or FLOPS.

Recently I was asked how many TFLOPS are in all the game consoles shipped to date. There are two answers to that question. You can look at it from the perspective of all the game consoles built and you can look at this question with specific consoles in mind.

Let's look at the combined TFLOPS rating of all game consoles, which actually provides two answers as well. If you count central processor FLOPS then you have one answer and if you count the FLOPS potential of the GPU and add it to the CPU's FLOPS, then you have the second answer.

This second version is controversial since the FLOPS of the GPU aren't used in computations and some therefore claim that the GPU should not be counted as it simply represents a theoretical number. Others argue that GPUs are used in computation - the computation of shader operations. Both sides, however, agree that there isn't...
 

Mozilla IDs 10 bugs, 3 critical, in Firefox 3.0 RC1

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329w ago - Mozilla Corp. has identified 10 high-priority bugs in Firefox 3.0 – three of them pegged critical – but it won't decide until next week whether to release the browser anyway or restart the final stretch by issuing a second release candidate.

"We are making a go/no-go decision early next week, as we are still collecting feedback [on Release Candidate 1]," Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, said in an e-mail Thursday.

Firefox 3.0 RC1 launched a week ago, but Mozilla has not yet committed to RC2. Previously, the company only said it is targeting June as the release window for the final code.

On the mozilla.dev.planning newsgroup, Schroepfer also said that on May 27, Mozilla will either call Firefox 3.0 finished with RC1 or build RC2 with fixes for the 10 bugs that have been collected.

In the meantime, testing will begin on the 10 bugs. "If we need to do an RC2, they'll be ready to go," he said. "If we ship RC1, we can get them in the 3.0.1."

The bug list includes three marked critical on Bugzilla, Mozilla's bug-tracking database and management system. Eight of the bugs affect Firefox on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, while two affect only Linux.

One of the Linux bugs has caught the eye of some Firefox users, in part because...
 

Valve Marketing VP: The PC is no longer a Viable Platform

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330w ago - The PC is all about casual gaming. The PC market is dying. We've heard it all before, and so has Valve's Marketing VP Doug Lombardi.

What does Valve think of the PC Gaming Alliance? Are they as tired of the PC gaming "problem" as we are? What is at the root of the issue, anyway?

Shack: Do you guys ever get tired of the same old "PC Gaming Is Dying" stories?

Doug Lombardi: I mean, I think, we sort of laugh at it. Because we've been wildly successful--we're very fortunate, you know. Our games have all done really, really well, Steam has taken off and become this whole other business for us, Valve has never been in better shape--and yet everybody is talking about how in the PC world, the sky is falling.

And we're like, we've been doing this for 10 years now--actually 12 years since the company started, 10 years since the first game came out--and we've never been in better shape, financially or otherwise. The company is over 160 people now--it was 20 people when we shipped Half-Life. We've got multiple projects going--we were always a one-project-at-a-time group.

We don't understand why that story gets traction over time. I think people have finally started to clue in to the fact--there was a story last week where people finally looked at the online subscription...
 

Firefox 3 on Track to be Speediest Browser!

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330w ago - Now that Mozilla's locked down Firefox 3's final feature set with Friday's push of release candidate 1, it's official: while Firefox 3 boasts some great new features like a smart address bar and better bookmarks manager, the best reason to upgrade will be for the performance improvements.

Firefox 3 is noticeably faster and more stable than Firefox 2 to the casual user and Mozilla engineers have numbers that show it will be the fastest browser on the market. Tech site TechWeb reports:

Mozilla VP of engineering Mike Schroepfer claims that Firefox 3 is 9.3x faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and 2.7x faster than Firefox 2 in terms of JavaScript performance. In terms of Gmail message load time, he claims Firefox 3 is 6.8x faster than IE7 and 3.8x faster than Firefox 2. And he says Firefox 3 beats Apple's Safari, which is also faster than Firefox 2.

Barring major bugs, RC 1 could become the final release of the third major iteration of the 'fox, slated to officially drop in June. Check out our complete field guide to testing Firefox 3 if you want to make your extensions work with the RC. If you're already using Firefox 3, be sure to type about:robots into the address bar to discover a fun little Easter egg.

For a detailed list of what Firefox 3 has to offer, check out its release...
 
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