Monthly Archives: June 2019

Paid Microsoft Office Web Apps to be available everywhere

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Directions on Microsoft analysts have made a rather pleasant discovery for the paid version of Microsoft Office Web Apps (browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote): you’ll be able to access them from everywhere. Office Web Apps will come included with the purchase of Office 2010 Standard or Office 2010 Professional Plus. The details are in the 128-page Microsoft Product Use Rights (PUR) January 2010 document. Here’s the relevant part:

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Office Web Apps. In addition to the rights above, you may install the Web App software on a network device. You may use the Web App software only as described below.

Primary User. The single primary user of the licensed device may access and use the software remotely from any device.Non-primary Users. At any time, one user may access and use the software from the licensed device.

This means that if you have rights to use the paid version of Office Web Apps and you’re away from your main PC, you can still use Office Web Apps from any device hooked up to the Internet without having to purchase additional Office licenses. Additionally, you can let anyone use Office Web Apps on your main PC.

In July 2009, Microsoft released a Tech Preview of the Office Web Apps and confirmed that they would integrate with Microsoft Office 2003 and later, in addition to supporting the following browsers: Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.5 on Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as Safari 4 on Mac. Users started to wonder about mobile browsers though, and a month later, Microsoft gave them the green light, but it has yet to specify which ones would be supported specifically.

If you recall, there is also going to be a free, ad-supported consumer version of Office Web Apps available to anyone who uses Windows Live SkyDrive (all you need is a Windows Live ID). Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled pricing for Office 2010, which is set to arrive, Office Web Apps and all, in June 2010.

Skeptical judges ask FCC if Comcast P2P smackdown was legal

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Comcast hashad its day in court over the issue of “network management.” News accounts suggest that the three-judge panel from the DC Court of Appeals was plenty skeptical that the FCC had the proper authority to sanction Comcast’s BitTorrent blocking in 2008.

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It can be difficult to guess judicial decisions based on the judge’s oral questioning of the lawyers, but it’s certainly possible to see where judges are having trouble with an argument. In today’s case, judges repeatedly went after the FCC’s contention that it was acting legally in the Comcast case. Because Comcast’s behavior ran afoul of an “Internet Policy Statement” rather than an official rule, the company claims that the FCC had no grounds for action until it made the Policy Statement into actual policy (which FCC Chair Julius Genachowski is trying to do right now).

Judges questioning the FCC’s legal team said that the Policy Statement was “aspirational, not operational,” that the FCC had not identified a “specific statute” Comcast violated, and that the FCC “can’t get an unbridled, roving commission to go about doing good.”

What difference would a pro-Comcast ruling make, given that the company has already changed its traffic management practices? It would “free us of this black mark on our record,” said a Comcast attorney, according to the Wall Street Journal. That attorney, Helgi Walker, comes from the high-powered Wiley Rein law firm in DC. Ironically, former FCC Chair Kevin Martin, the Republican appointee who sided with the two Democrats on the FCC in the Comcast ruling, was himself a former Wiley Rein lawyer.

In a statement after today’s hearing, current FCC Chair Genachowski said, “This case underscores the importance of the FCC’s ongoing rulemaking to preserve the free and open Internet. I remain confident the Commission possesses the legal authority it needs and look forward to reviewing the court’s decision when it issues.”

That decision should come in the next several months.

LED flash, better graphics, multitasking: 4G iPhone rumors

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Though most rumors as of late concern an Apple-designed tablet to be revealed later this month, the next version of the iPhone is getting its share of buzz as well. On top of a rumored CDMA version popping up on the Verizon network, here are additional details that we have caught up with recently.

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We have already seen some evidence that Apple might bump the iPhone’s camera up to five megapixels, but there is also evidence to suggest the company may add an LED “flash” to improve its low-light picture-taking abilities. Sources for AppleInsider suggest that Apple is currently seeking a supplier for “tens of millions” of LEDs, with Philips’ LUXEON LED supposedly leading the pack of possibilities. The LED “flashes” used in mobile phones are actually constant light sources, so they could be used for shooting low-light videos too.

Imagination Technologies, the company that develops the PowerVR graphics processors used in the iPhone, has also announced an improved SGX545 graphics processor core. It’s compatible with OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics API, as well as OpenGL 3.2 and even OpenCL. The processor core is designed to be used in multi-core applications for even more of a kick, but would likely only appear as a single core in iPhone applications for better battery life. Imagination says that the tech is already “licensed by a lead partner,” and Apple’s investment in the company certainly qualifies it as one of those partners.

Finally, The iPhone Blog reports that buzz around the CES show floor is that Apple plans to add some form of limited multitasking to the next version of the iPhone. The details are naturally non-specific, though Apple has cited battery life and user complexity for not allowing multiple third-party apps to run simultaneously. Apple may include a PA Semi-designed, low-power ARM Cortex A9 processor in the next iPhone, which would negate the extra battery drain and keep performance at acceptable levels.

Next-gen iPhone hardware may make an appearance at the event supposedly focused on “mobile” devices that is expected later this month. However, if recent history is a guide, we won’t see the new hardware unveiled until shortly before its release this summer.

Week in Apple: tablet rumors pick up, Mac mini server review, DRM

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The first week of 2010 is finally over, and with it came a new wave of Apple tablet rumors, iPhone on Verizon rumors, patent applications, and buy-outs. Topped off with our review of the Mac mini with Snow Leopard server, it was a pretty busy week! Read on if you need to catch up.

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Antacid tablet: As the (rumored) year of the Apple tablet dawns, John Siracusa offers his predictions. Expect the expected.

A review of the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server: Apple’s Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is aimed squarely at small businesses that, for any number of reasons, need or prefer to host their core Internet services in-house without breaking the bank. Ars kicks the tires on the new combo to see if Apple has another hit on its hands.

iTablet rumors: March arrival, Verizon 3G, UI learning curve: As the end of January—and an expected unveiling of Apple’s long-rumored tablet— approaches, we are starting to hear more details about what’s coming from Apple, and when.

A look at Apple’s love for DRM and consumer lock-ins: Apple makes great products—you’ll get no argument from us. But Apple also likes keeping tight control over those products, and if anyone outside of Apple’s blessed circle attempts to get in, the company is more than willing to try to use (or abuse) the law to its advantage.

CDMA iPhone may finally ship on Verizon in summer 2010: Verizon might launch a CDMA-equipped iPhone this summer if it can agree on pricing with Apple. While consumers would benefit from a choice of carriers, a CDMA iPhone still seems like a pipe dream.

Apple: pixels as touch sensors for brighter, thinner screens: How can you make a touchscreen thinner and brighter at the same time? Use the pixels as touch sensors, says Apple.

AppZapper 2 for Mac hands-on: beautiful UI, same old tricks: AppZapper has always been a fun app for the Mac that helps users delete unused applications and their associated files. Now, AppZapper 2 has seen the light of day. Is it worth the $13? That all depends on what you value.

Apple acquires its own mobile ad firm to one-up Google: Apple has acquired Quattro Wireless after Google outbid it for rival AdMob in a mobile advertising tit for tat.

Android closing in on iPhone in user interest, satisfaction: The iPhone still leads the pack when it comes to interest from potential iPhone buyers and satisfaction from current buyers, but Android is quickly closing the gap and users seem to be very interested.

Apple flirts with a 3D interface for mobile devices: A recent patent application may provide a clue to the “unexpected” UI for Apple’s yet-to-be-introduced tablet.

Nokia adds additional lawsuit in patent catfight with Apple: In addition to its complaint filed last week with the ITC, Nokia has filed an additional patent infringement suit against Apple in federal district court.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Exclusively first: Microsoft defends Modern Warfare content

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When Microsoft announced that there would be new content coming to Modern Warfare 2—and the Xbox 360 would get it first—gamers had one of two reactions. People with 360s were excited, while other gamers complained that Microsoft seemed to be yet again locking down content by writing large checks. At CES we sat down with Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg, and asked about the business of getting exclusive content.

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“I think about it like a sports team, when you sign a star athlete for your team… when you sign that free agent, I think it makes your team better. At the end of the day, we want to turn as many people as possible into Xbox 360 fans.”

Greenberg talks about Microsoft’s line-up of exclusive content this year as being incredibly strong. “And then to say, on top of that, to take the biggest game of last year, and be the exclusive place you can get that downloadable content first, I think that’s a big deal. That’s a big reason you’d want to buy an Xbox 360 instead of another console. So we think from a business standpoint that’s part of the reason more people are buying the Xbox 360, more people are on Xbox Live, it’s part of the reason more people are buying Modern Warfare 2—more than two to one our box vs. the PS3.”

He points out the “bet” Microsoft put on Modern Warfare 2, by putting out the custom console and showing it off at E3, and says now Microsoft wants to follow up that trend by offering the content first.

Will any of this convince gamers that are angry that Microsoft isn’t simply throwing money around? It’s doubtful. The fact remains, however, that you’ll have to own a Microsoft console if you want to play the newest Modern Warfare 2 content first. That’s a powerful selling point.