Internet Explorer 8 Looking to Help Businesses

When it comes to Internet Browsers such as the Internet Explorer, rarely would you consider them having any impact as far as the business aspect of things is concerned. But apparently, that is one additional highlight that Microsoft aims to cater to as it has announced better performance, easier Web development tools for enhanced browser experiences and improved security and reliability.

Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft, showcased solutions from industry partners such as ESPN, eBay Inc., Digg Inc., Facebook and OneRiot that create new value for their customers.

“With the Internet Explorer 8 platform, Microsoft creates opportunities for Web sites to engage customers in new ways and drive not only more traffic, but also more value in the online experience,” Hachamovitch said.

Developers will benefit from performance features that enable Web sites to allow customers to engage more deeply with their site content. Accelerators and Web Slices make it easier for developers to reach beyond the page and provide new ways for people to stay connected to the content and services of their choice. Internet Explorer 8 has enhanced search features and capabilities to provide more interesting and relevant content, increased speed, and enhanced security, and offers greater performance and reliability.

Internet Explorer 8 is Microsoft’s most standards-compliant browser to date, and benefits from work the company is doing with standards bodies to bring increased measurement and consistency. As part of Microsoft’s commitment to supporting standards, the company has submitted more than 7,000 cascading style sheet (CSS) 2.1 test cases to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in the last year to help drive easier and more measurable standards adoption for all developers.

Moreover, Internet Explorer 8 now passes more of the W3C CSS 2.1 test cases than any other shipping browser and has invested significantly in support for HTML 5. Defaulting to standards-mode for Web sites and featuring a Compatibility View list to ease the transition enables developers to be sure their code runs across multiple browsers and platforms, freeing developers to innovate, not re-create.

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General Dynamics Itronix GD8000 Notebook

With the advanced interface these days pointing more towards rugged and solid notebooks on demand, it looks like many of the known and secondary PC manufacturers are trying to outdo one another as far as coming out with acceptable hardcore notebooks for business and operations use.

The latest offering comes from General Dynamics with its Itronix GD8000 notebook. The new GD8000 notebook computer by General Dynamics Itronix is now available for military personnel, field service workers and first responders who require high-performance computing while working in extreme temperatures, humidity, dust and rain-soaked environments.

Engineered to operate in extreme conditions, the GD8000 kept working after multiple 42-inch drops onto a hard surface, operated in the rain for more than four hours and successfully booted-up in freezing and scorching temperatures. Powered by the Intel low-voltage Core2Duo processing architecture, the GD8000 is housed in a user-friendly, ergonomic casing with a 13.3-inch DynaVue touchscreen display. The GD8000 delivers uncompromising performance from command centers, to helicopters, to tactical vehicles and everywhere in between.

GD8000 features

  • Intel Core Duo 1.86GHz processor
  • Up to 4 GB RAM
  • Meets and exceeds MIL-STD 810F
  • WWAN, WLAN, PAN and GPS
  • 13.3″ outdoor viewable DynaVue display

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Motion J3400 Rugged Tablet PC

Mobile computing needs to adhere towards the rugged nature where some PC tablets will be exposed. The sensitivity issues are something we are familiar with, the slightest miscarriage of such products posing as potent threats towards damaging any component or the gadget as a whole.

Hence, Motion Computing adds another potential rugged tablet PC in the market with the release of the Motion J3400 Rugged Tablet PC. Maximizing performance and flexibility, the J3400’s lightweight package, superior ergonomics and integrated features allow it to adapt easily to a broad range of demanding work environments. Ideal for mobile workers that compute while walking or standing, the J3400 extends the computing day with a dual battery design and shines with an industry-leading, bright outdoor display.

The J3400 joins Motion’s family of proven tablet PCs that meet the needs of mobile users across a variety of markets including healthcare, construction, field sales and service and government. Balancing performance, weight, durability and integrated features, Motion tablets have significantly enhanced mobile productivity by enabling users to take technology directly to the point of service.

A variety of features create a reliable, rugged device:

  • 1.8 inch hard disk drive (HDD) that provides extra shock protection
  • Shock-mounted display and HDD with DataGuard™, an accelerometer that protects data during drops or other events that could potentially damage the hard drive
  • Optional low cost 64GB SSD for extreme shock and vibration protection

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Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C2200

All in one printers and multi-tasking printers are growing in popularity and FujiXerox provides another option in the Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C2200. Long known in the business, Fuji Xerox’s DocuPrint C2200 color laser printer offers better print speeds and quality compared to low-end color lasers, but its price we would have liked to see some more features included as standard.

The Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C2200 is quite tall, as its four toners are aligned vertically rather than the horizontally like the HP Color LaserJet CP2025dn. This isn’t unusual for a color laser printer, and it makes the toners easily accessible. With high capacity yields reaching to 9000 pages each you won’t have to change them too often, however. You should expect a running cost of around 19.3c per A4 page during normal use.

The printer offers USB and Ethernet connectivity and can hold up to 400 sheets in a front paper cassette and multi-purpose fold-out tray. Other worthwhile features are optional, however. These include an automatic duplex unit, increased paper capacity, a 40GB hard disk and a 512MB memory upgrade (for a total of 768MB). With these options added, this color laser printer becomes more functional but much more expensive.

The Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C2200 has a two-line monochrome LCD panel and a four-button navigation pad. Like many networked laser printers, obtaining information about network settings requires you to print out a report.

If you need a durable color laser printer with decent security and good print quality, the Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C2200 is a viable option, but it would be nice if some of the optional extras were included as standard.

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HP Pavilion DV6T Gaming Laptop

Modern day laptops today are coming out with higher specs not just for business and mobile professionals. They have now become the new device that gamers use, thus needing to increase areas like video cards and processor capacity. While the standard desktop is still there, it just remains that many users today want to access or play their favorite games regardless of where they are.

Laptops come in all shapes and sizes and normally, specs are important over the outer features. Apparently the HP Pavilion DV6T is a makeover from the previous DV7T laptop that was released last month. And the new offering is certainly enticing considering its specifications.

That includes your choice of 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4530 or 1GB HD 4650 graphics, which have edged out the previous NVIDIA options, although the rest of the specs seem to have remained largely untouched, including the usual range of Core 2 Duo processors, up to 8GB of RAM, a max 500GB hard drive, and an unfortunately lackluster 1366 x 768 resolution on that 16-inch display.

You can also now get the laptop in your choice of Espresso Black or Moonlight White color schemes, although there seems to be a $25 premium over the $679.99 base price for the latter option

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IE8 Removable in Windows 7

After some horrendous problems with the Microsoft Vista, the Windows 7 which is tasked to recover the lost faith that Microsoft users have had due to inconveniences brought about, are getting quite a number of reprieves including the potential removal of the Internet Explorer 8 browser just in case you don’t like it. Microsoft has confirmed, via its Engineering Windows 7 blog, that IE8 among other significant features will be user-removable.

A “Windows Features” dialog box will allow users to remove programs they don’t want, although the programs themselves are more buried than actually removed. I guess Microsoft heard the million cries of annoyance when users had to put in their install disc just to get some service installed: now everything will be installed initially and then unwanted components will be “removed,” but ready for reinstallation in a heartbeat.

The “big ones” you can remove are:

  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows DVD Maker
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Windows Search

There are lots of other services, games, and so on as you can see in the big list (right), but I think we’re all thankful that Microsoft has made these main five programs totally optional. It should be noted that any dependencies or shared services will not be affected by removal, so you won’t have to worry about DVDs not working in other programs because you removed the Windows version, or the like.

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Panda Software Heads Study for Child Internet Safety

One thing that most parents worry these days is the content that children can access on the web. Internet-related risks have been an issue for some time now and today, they have become worse, making it entirely disturbing since we are all aware how much the Internet has evolved and enticed practically anyone of all ages to go online.

On that note, Panda Security, a world leader in IT security, today announced that it is encouraging consumers to participate in a nationwide study that surveys parents and educators to better understand the evolving online behaviors of children and their families, and guarantee their safety against Internet-related risks.

“Internet-related risks are clearly on the rise, and children are especially vulnerable,” said Carlos Zevallos, security evangelist, Panda Security U.S.A. “Panda Security is dedicated to children’s safety, and we are taking strides to foster partnerships, promote educational programs and develop solutions that will keep kids and their families safe in the wake of escalating cyber threats. The results of this study will help us better understand what children and their parents are aware of with regard to taking online safety precautions, and we’re looking forward to learning from and sharing the results.”

Panda Security has been conducting the survey through private channels until now, and it will be open to parents and educators through March 13, 2009. Participants will be given a free 30-day trial of Internet Security 2009 for their contributions.

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Microsoft and Lenovo Unveil PC Dean’s List

Buying a computer these days has to be done carefully. Unlike in the past years when the economy was not that bad, PC or laptop buying was made regularly with flourish. Today however, banking on guides on which PC or laptop is suitable to cater to the needs of every individual persists and perhaps this PC Dean’s list by Microsoft and Lenovo can offer more than just a guide.

Microsoft Corp. and Lenovo announced the availability of the Ultimate Academic Personal Computer promotion with high-powered, highly functional, affordable laptop PCs designed specifically for college and university students, faculty, and staff. As part of the program, initially offered as a pilot by Microsoft, Lenovo will offer four different ThinkPad laptops pre-loaded with Windows Vista Ultimate and Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007.

The Ultimate Academic PC promotion offers four exclusive configurations:

  • ThinkPad T400. The 14-inch widescreen laptop gives users powerful processing functionality, a host of wireless connectivity options and multimedia features essential for college students. Lenovo also builds in a roll cage to give the laptop extra durability to meet the rigors of academic life.
  • ThinkPad R500. This laptop packs in the same functionality as the ThinkPad T400 but gives users extra screen real estate with a 15-inch display.
  • ThinkPad X200 Tablet. The Tablet offers note-takers the best of both worlds with a Tablet PC and a laptop all in one. The 12-inch screen swivels both directions for easy maneuvering in class, and has low reflectivity and wide viewing angles; the Tablet also features a full-size keyboard, and more than 10 hours of battery life for all-day computing.
  • ThinkPad X301. Lenovo’s thinnest and lightest full-function PC, the ThinkPad X301 comes with several leading technologies such as solid state drive storage for greater reliability, an LED display for a crisp viewing experience and two roll cages to make the laptop extremely light yet sturdy.

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Gigabyte Touch Note M1028

We have been seeing a lot of new trendy laptops these days. Other than boasting of higher specs and powerful components, the touch screen and screen mobility has become readily apparent and noticeable. Gigabyte showed this to us when they unveiled their initial M912 and now they are coming up with a new one in the M1028.

the Gigabyte Touch Note M1028 has an 10.1-inch swiveling touchscreen, comes with up to Intel’s 1.66GHz Atom N280 processor and has a 160GB hard-drive. Connectivity includes WiFi a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, and in the case of the M1028G there’s 3.5G and WiMAX connectivity. All four run Windows XP Home, have three USB 2.0 ports and an ExpressCard slot, and there’s a choice of two batteries: a 4,500mAh 4-cell pack or a 7,650mAh 6-cell pack. Weight with the former is 1.3kg, while with the latter it’s 1.48kg.

Four versions of the convertible were announced, two – the M1028M and M1028G – with a WSVGA 1024 x 600 display, and two – the M1028X and M1028P – with a WXGA 1366 x 768 display. Each has 1GB of DDR2 memory (2GB maximum) and the Intel 945GSE graphics chipset, except for the M1028P which has the HD-capable GN40 chipset.

No word on pricing for the Gigabyte tablets or which models we might see in the US and when. Still, our brief hands-on with them suggested they have very usable keyboards and responsive touchscreens, and the extra real-estate over the original M912 is welcome when you’re dealing with bigger on-screen buttons for your finger to poke at.

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