Posts Tagged ‘cheshire’

Microsoft Open Up

Microsoft has promised to make sweeping changes to the way it designs and shares information about its products.
In a clear acknowledgment of the growing importance of open-source software Microsoft has promised to introduce a number of measures including:

* The publication of APIs for “all high-volume” products.

* Sharing 30,000 pages of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were previously available only under a trade secret licence.

* Indicating which of its protocols are covered by patents, and promising not to sue open-source developers for development or non-commercial distribution of implementations of these protocols.

* The creation of new APIs for Word, Excel and PowerPoint to enable developers to plug-in additional document formats, and set these as their default format in Office 2007.

“These steps represent an important step and significant change in how we share information about our products and technologies,” cliams Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer in a pre-prepared statement.

“For the past 33 years, we have shared a lot of information with hundreds of thousands of partners around the world and helped build the industry, but today’s announcement represents a significant expansion toward even greater transparency.

“Our goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies.”

In a later conference call, Ballmer claimed Microsoft’s new philosophy is key to its survival. “Microsoft’s long-term success depends on delivering software that’s open, flexible and delivers choice,” he says.

However, Ballmer says the new approach won’t be a free-for-all. “We still have trade secrets we need to protect. In some ways you can say we’re opening up, in others we have valuable intellectual property assets that we need to protect.”

Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, admits the move is at least partially motivated by satisfying regulator concerns. “Microsoft is fully committed to making sure we’re in full compliance with EU law,” he says.

“We recognise people will assess us not by our words, but the actions we take to implement them. We’re not just issuing principles. At the same time the principles went up on the web, so did 30,000 pages of documentation. It’s a first step to implement these principles. Over the coming months we’ll be issuing many more thousands of pages of documentation.”

Source – PC Pro

Toshiba to ditch HD DVD

Sony’s Betamax lost out in the 1980s, but its Blu-ray has better prospects Shares in Toshiba have gained more than 5% as speculation intensified that the electronics giant was set to pull the plug on its high definition DVD format. The firm said it had made no decisions but admitted that it had started a review of its HD DVD business.

The format has suffered from the defection of most of the major film studios to Sony-backed rival Blu-ray.

Analysts said that an end to the war meant Toshiba could refocus on other areas and the industry would gain too.

“It doesn’t make sense for Toshiba to continue putting effort into this,” said Koichi Ogawa, a chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments.

“It needs to cut its losses and focus its resources on promising businesses.”

Swift resolution?

Blu-ray and HD-DVD have fought to become the pre-eminent high definition format to help revitalise the $24bn global home DVD market.

But the two formats are incompatible with each other and so consumers have had to choose between machines that played only one type of disc.

As a result, many have held back to see which would become the industry standard and, like the battle between Betamax and VHS video recorders in the 1980s, this has been damaging to the industry as a whole.

The video machine war lasted a decade, so the prospect of Toshiba abandoning its HD DVD just two years after launching the player have been cheered by investors and analysts.

Toshiba shares surged 5.7% to 829 yen, topping the benchmark Nikkei 225, which rose 0.1%.

Source – BBC

it support liverpool

Recently BT released a document via their website explaining Voice Over IP (VOIP) to its customers and made some stark predictions for the future as well as dispelling many myths about Voice Over IP.

Here are some extracts from their website.

They say –

VoIP take-up is growing rapidly and we expect to see almost half of small businesses in the UK using internet calling in the next year. BT is also investing £10 billion in its 21st  Century Network (21CN) initiative, which will move the UK’straditional (PSTN) telephone network over to one that is entirely Internet Protocol (IP) based. The first PSTN customers moved over to 21CN in November 2006 and by 2012 all calls in the UK will be made over IP.

The majority of people first look at VoIP services because of the cost savings that are available, but this isn’t limited to calling other VoIP users. Many services offer reduced local and national call rates, along with capped prices for domestic, fixed-to-mobile and international calls.

One of the criticisms that has been leveled at VoIP services is that it is still a relatively new technology and voice quality isn’t quite as high as on conventional fixed-line telephone services. However, paid-for services from reputable suppliers are very much the same as fixed line and can be better than mobile reception. As with any new technology, in the early days VoIP services could be unreliable. However as the technology has matured, reliability has increased and is now at a level that is appropriate for business use.

VoIP services are not linked to a local exchange in the same way as traditional telephones. As a result, VoIP numbers do not have to be specific to a town or region, which gives companies the ability to choose the type of number they want to use, whether that is a geographic, VoIP (for example an 05 prefix) or national (for example an 0845 or 0800 number).

Extract from BT Article
by Barry Weaver Feb 2008