October 30, 2006

Genuine Microsoft Office is a Must!

According to reports, Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program for Microsoft Office, titled the 'Office Genuine Advantage' (OGA) program that has been in beta-testing for several months, has now become mandatory.

The company says that the OGA program will now be "switched on for all" with no choice to "opt out" of the validation process, the way it was all through the beta testing phase.

As of October 27 last week, anyone using a pirated version of Office will no longer be able to download Office templates or other Office downloads, while those using Office Online templates will now require validation.

And from January 2007, pirated Office users will no longer be able to check for and download Office updates. The ability to download updates will require verification, beginning January.

Microsoft says it will continue to provide a complimentary copy of Microsoft Office to help qualifying customers, who have unknowingly acquired counterfeit versions of Microsoft Office 2003. But even for this, users will be required to fill out a counterfeit report, provide proof of purchase, and send in their counterfeit CDs to verify their entitlement to a free replacement copy of Office.

Those customers who have unknowingly acquired a counterfeit version of Office, but cannot provide the necessary details will be required to cough-up a license fee. And, this fee will be to the tune of $359 (Rs 16,155) for the Office Genuine Advantage kit for Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003; $269 (Rs 12,105) for the Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003; and $139 (Rs 6,255) for the Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003. The offer starts next month.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is now in a position to check whether one's copy is genuine or not, thanks to the proliferation of the Internet and Broadband.

October 27, 2006

Adobe Soundbooth Public Beta Out


Adobe Systems has released the public beta of Adobe Soundbooth software, an innovative and intuitive audio software product for creating and editing audio, and fixing common audio flaws using visually-oriented tools.

for more:- http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Adobe_Soundbooth_Public_Beta_Out/551-76764-580.html

links:-
http://labs.adobe.com/soundbooth

Microsoft Warns Against IE7 Flaw

Microsoft has issued a warning against a vulnerability in its Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser that could allow attackers to spoof the address of a Web site.

The company said that the flaw lets hackers put a fake Web address in a pop-up window, and could trick users into downloading from what looks like a secure Web site. The hacker can add special characters to the end of the Web address, so that only a part of the URL is displayed.

However, Christopher Budd from the Microsoft Security Response Center Blog has downplayed the flaw, stating that Microsoft's research has shown the full URL can still be displayed by clicking in the browser windows or address bar, or by scrolling within the address bar.

for more:- http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Microsoft_Warns_Against_IE7_Flaw/551-76766-580.html

October 25, 2006

Buy a PC Now, Get Vista Later Says Microsoft

Accoding to the official Windows Vista blog, Microsoft is launching their upgrade program for Windows users who wish to purchase a new PC now, but want the security of being able to upgrade to Windows Vista when it is launched.

New PCs loaded with Windows XP or pre-installed with Microsoft Office 2003 software can be upgraded via the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Technology Guarantee program. Express Upgrade will be available to consumers and small businesses from 26 Oct 2006 through 15 March 2007.

Windows Vista upgrades may be offered for free or at a discounted price (shipping and handling charges may also apply), so it pays to check with the particular PC manufacturer for details specific to their offer.

The company recomments looking for "Windows Vista Capable" PCs designated as "Premium Ready," as these PCs are designed to deliver the core Windows Vista experience. PCs carrying only the "Windows Vista Capable" logo may be eligible for the program, but the offer may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

In the US, the upgrade path includes the following:

# Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 --> Windows Vista Home Premium (nominal fee)
# Windows XP Professional --> Windows Vista Business (nominal fee)
# Windows XP Tablet PC Edition --> Windows Vista Business (nominal fee)
# Windows XP Professional x64 Edition --> Windows Vista Business 64 (nominal fee)


Other upgrades are available at 50% discount from the boxed product upgrade price, plus shipping and handling:

# Windows XP Home Edition --> Windows Vista Home Basic
# Windows XP Home Edition --> Windows Vista Home Premium

You can upgrade to the comparable edition of 2007 Microsoft Office when you purchase a PC pre-installed with qualifying Microsoft Office 2003 software. More details are at the Express Upgrade site.

Similar programs are available region-by-region for upgrading both Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows XP FPP to Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office. Consumers have to query their local retailers for the particulars.

More information: http://www.windowsvista.com/expressupgrade

Finger Drum Mousepad


Now here's something odd, a new way to disturb your office environment. It's more like a pass time to have a drum set on your mousepad. Provided you take away your mouse from the pad and begin pounding the drums to play a rocking tune.

Everything on that mousepad makes exactly the same sound as the instruments would. You can even save your tunes 30 of them to hear them later. This mousepad costs you just $39.95 (Rs. 1,837) which is much cheaper than an actual drum set, though you can't have the pleasure of breaking them as the rockers do after a hole concert.

Microsoft Puts Sender ID under OSP


Microsoft has announced that its Sender ID Framework specification for e-mail authentication is now available free under the company's Open Specification Promise (OSP).

Sender ID aims to help stop the spread of spam, phishing scams, malware, and other online exploits, by addressing domain spoofing, a tactic used in over 95 percent of all exploits. Sender ID gives customers greater certainty about the origin of an e-mail message, and enables legitimate senders to more clearly distinguish themselves from spammers and online criminals.

for more:- http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Microsoft_Puts_Sender_ID_under_OSP/551-76719-580.html

AOL set to make an Indian debut

MUMBAI: One of the biggest online company in the US, AOL (formerly known as America Online), is set to enter the Indian market on November 15, sources said.

With $8 billion in revenues for the year 2005, AOL is one of the late entrants in the Indian cyber scene. Though, the company has customer service and customer analysis center in Bangalore, there was never a focus for the Indian market.

It could be due to the fact, that AOL had a subscription based revenue model till date. AOL recently launched a free service on September 12. With a downturn in its fortunes, making a foray into newer territories makes a good strategy.

"The Indian venture will take on the domestic biggies like Rediff, Indiatimes, and other international players like MSN and Yahoo. It will be a advertising-based revenue model," the source said on condition of anonymity.

for more:- http://www.ciol.com/content/news/2006/106102404.asp

October 24, 2006

Firefox 2.0 Release Today

According to reports, the final version of Firefox 2.0 will be available for download sometime today.

The final version is very similar to the last release candidate, RC3, which reportedly got a very good response, and has been hence finalized as the final version, to be branded as Firefox 2.0.

Firefox 2 includes features such as built-in anti-phishing controls, built-in RSS and XML feed-viewing capabilities, and a new inline spell checker. It comes with an improved tabs feature, including closing and reopening of individual tabs more easily, plus a history of previous tabs opened.

According to experts though, users of Firefox 1.5 will not find much of a difference between the two, as far as user interface is concerned.
Firefox 2.0 will be available for download from the Mozilla homepage or from getfirefox.com.

Interestingly, the release of Firefox 2.0 comes soon after that of Internet Explorer 7 by Microsoft.

note:- by the time of posting of this blog it was not available for download at getfirefox.com

Google lets Web sites tailor search to user tastes

SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc. is ready to let Web publishers and bloggers create custom searches on their sites, in a move that could make searches more relevant to consumers and allow the company to charge more for advertising, Google said late on Monday.

The Internet search leader said the new Google Custom Search Engine relies on the same underlying database of Web sites to allow companies or individual users to set up personalized online searches -- on topics ranging from global climate change to gossip on pop stars.

"This is really a way to make your own version of Google search," Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president in charge of search, said in a phone interview with reporters.

for more:- http://www.ciol.com/content/news/2006/106102401.asp

MY GOOGLE VS YOUR GOOGLE

The service allows users to choose which pages they wish to include in a tailored Web search index, what the search results will look like on their own Web sites and whether other users can contribute their own favorite links to the index.

for more:- http://www.ciol.com/content/news/2006/106102401.asp

October 21, 2006

~~~*HAPPY DIWALI*~~~


Wish you A Very Happy & Prosperous Diwali
Luv
ImageVAIBHAV GERAImage
http://www.passionvaibhav.co.nr
http://360.yahoo.com/luv_vaibhav24

http://passiontech.blogspot.com


note:-due to festive season wont be able to update the blog for a day or two... bt have a gr8 time.... n enjoy life to the fullest... may the festival of lights bring peace happiness n prosperity in ur life...

October 20, 2006

Microwave Cloaking is Now a Reality


Scientists have made a breakthrough towards creating an invisibility device, as they succeeded easier than was thought possible to construct a microwave cloaking device. The device works only in two dimensions and only on microwaves. This first device is far from perfect in that it is barely 8-cm wide and can only reduce back scatter and forward scatter, the researchers said.


for more:- http://www.playfuls.com/news_002596_Microwave_Cloaking_is_Now_a_Reality.html

Now Online Game on Shakespeare

Edward Castronova, an Indiana University Professor, and an economist who studies virtual worlds, has been awarded a $240,000 grant to create an online game based on the world of William Shakespeare.

The online game, for which a grant has been received from the MacArthur Foundation, is called "Arden: The World of Shakespeare".

It is learnt that the idea behind this project is to produce a virtual world steeped in the rich lore and characters of Shakespeare's work. However, Castronova sees this initiative as far more than just a historical adaptation of the legendary playwright's work. He sees it as a way to teach students about Shakespeare's life and times and his writing, as well as a way to conduct innovative social-science research. He cites it as a strategy that could give social scientists unprecedented ways to test out their theories.

Elaborating further, Castronova said that what they plan to do is to have people encounter the texts in Shakespeare, and the ideas in the text at many points within a really fun, multiplayer game, so that without even knowing it, people can get to learn more about the playwright's work.

However it is believed that "Arden: The World of Shakespeare" will have a hidden purpose beyond teaching, as Castronova plans to use it as a 'Petri dish' for testing out economic theories by creating controlled experiments within the game's population.

October 19, 2006

India's own once-a-day AIDS drug

New Delhi:A breakthrough combination of three HIV/AIDS drugs, Viraday has been launched by Cipla which would help the HIV infected persons in effectively treating the dreaded disease by taking just one tablet a day.

Viraday is a combination of three anti-HIV drugs including efavirenz 600 mg, tenofovir 300 mg and emtricitabine 200mg.

A single tablet of Viraday could provide all the medicine required for an HIV infected persons to deal with the viral load so the person need not take three separate medicines.

This treatment is not only less cumbersome but could be taken even when the HIV infected person is taking medicine for tuberculosis which is not the case otherwise.

Cipla on Thursday became the first company to launch the combination drug in India.

This combination is drug was earlier available only in the United States and European countries.

However, the cost of this combination therapy in the US and Europe is Rs 52,800 per month while Cipla has made it available here at just Rs 5200 per month.

The toxicity of this combination drug has been found to be lower than the drugs taken individually.


for more:- http://news.moneycontrol.com/india/news/health/indiasownonceadayaidsdrugaids/indiasownonceadayaidsdrug/22/49/article/246528


Yahoo! Launches Indichat Plug-in


Yahoo! India has launched the Indichat plug-in that enables users to chat in Hindi and Tamil without a special language keyboard. All users need to do is load the Side Panel plug-in, and start chatting in Hindi and Tamil.

Yahoo! India also offers other plug-ins, which facilitate chat in other Indian languages like Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, and Malayalam. A user with any language keyboard can chat on Yahoo Messenger 8.0 in that language.

According to company sources, the plug-in feature will revolutionize user experience on Yahoo! Messenger 8.0 by enabling music, finance, games, answers, and many more features in their messenger window. It will take Yahoo! Messenger beyond just a device for chatting, making it a daily essential service for net users.

for more:- http://gallery.yahoo.com/apps/2047

links:- http://gallery.yahoo.com/messenger
more specifically:- http://gallery.yahoo.com/apps/2047

MSN''s Eid, Diwali microsites

CHENNAI: MSN India has joined the Indian festivities by launching a Diwali and Eid websites.

The Diwali website has all the news one would want to know, from games for the season to tips on how to dress, celeb speak and the latest movies playing during the season.

The website on Eid looks most delicious with all the information on how to prepare biryanis, curries and kababs!

for more visit:-http://www.ciol.com/content/news/2006/106101907.asp

links:- http://www.msnspecials.in/diwali/index.asp
http://www.msnspecials.in/eid/index.asp

Internet Explorer 7 Final Released

Microsoft late Wednesday released the much-anticipated final version of Internet Explorer 7, the first major update to the market-leading Web browser in five years. The company has high hopes for the release, which arrives amid growing competition from Firefox.

Microsoft plans to deliver IE7 to all Windows users via Automatic Updates beginning in November. IE product manager Gary Schare told BetaNews last week that the rollout would be staggered and start in about 3 weeks.

Windows users will see a dialog box asking them to choose whether or not to upgrade. Users can also uninstall IE7 and revert back to IE6 if they so desire. Schare said that IE7 is "friendly," noting that it won't take over as the default browser, and it will migrate current search settings, so Windows Live Search will not necessarily be the default search provider.

Enterprise customers will have until November 1 to block IE7 if they don't want their employees to see the available update. Because the new release introduces major changes to the browser, Microsoft acknowledges that some businesses may encounter problems and, thus, will not force an upgrade.

First announced over 20 months ago by Bill Gates, IE7 was built with security in mind. IE6 has largely proven to be Microsoft's Achilles' heel when it comes to security, as it was developed before the onslaught of online attacks that now delude consumers as they surf the Web.


In turn, IE7 includes a number of new features such as a built-in Phishing Filter and ActiveX controls that require manual activation to keep users protected. Under the hood, Microsoft has rewritten the networking architecture of the browser to stop URL spoofing attacks.

IE7 will also play a key role in bringing Windows into the so-called "Web 2.0" era, in which rich applications can reside on a server but feel as snappy as those on the desktop. The release natively supports asynchronous JavaScript and XML, better known as AJAX, along with including a slew of CSS bug fixes and improvements.

Microsoft has additionally built a new RSS feed platform directly into IE7. Not only will users be able to stay up to date by subscribing to Web sites, but application developers can also hook into the platform and easily make use of RSS APIs.

On the outside, IE7 has joined the 21st century with tabbed browsing and a customizable search box. Rivals Firefox and Opera have long offered such functionality, as have IE-based browsers including the popular Maxthon. The toolbar has also been compressed to give more space to Web sites.

Despite all the changes, Microsoft has made a concerted effort to ensure IE7 is compatible with the latest Web standards while leaving in "quirks mode" for older sites. This means users should come across few problems when browsing even those sites that were designed for legacy versions of IE. The company has worked closely with banks and e-commerce sites to make sure IE7 is fully supported.

In a blog posting, IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch thanked the beta testers that took part in the development of IE7. Five betas and a release candidate were made available to millions of users worldwide.

"With each release, your feedback helped us make IE7 better. Your contributions, ideas, and direct comments were crucial in helping us prioritize and focus our work," he said. "I can’t imagine delivering this product without the tremendous cooperation we enjoyed from so many of you as well as developers and partners."

For those who don't want to wait for the automatic update to arrive, IE7 is available for download now in English for Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 and x64 Editions of Windows.

In 2-3 weeks, Arabic, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish language versions of IE7 will arrive. The remaining 17 languages will become available between November and January, Microsoft said.

To show how committed it is to the new release, Microsoft is offering free phone support to IE7 users for the next year. Users can call (866) 234-6020 regarding download or installations issues and receive assistance at no charge seven days a week.

Nonetheless, Microsoft's Hachamovitch says the IE team is not done yet. "Even as we put the finishing touches on Windows Vista and release all the remaining language versions of IE7, we have already started work on the next versions of Internet Explorer."

BetaNews would like to hear your thoughts on the new release, and ideas for features you would like to see in the next release of Internet Explorer so that we can pass them onto Microsoft. Post your comments below.

Mobile VoIP Free on Nokia N80


Truphone has announced the beta version of its true mobile VoIP service, downloadable for free on Nokia's Wi-Fi enabled N80 handset.

The company believes this service will make free and low cost mobile calls easily available for all N80 handset owners.

Truphone had announced its first download in September, for Nokia's E-series handsets, with a promise that a download for N-series handsets would follow imminently.

The company clarified that there are no hidden or monthly fees for users, and that calls between "on net" Truphone handsets are free, the world over.

James Tagg, chief executive, Truphone, said, "Support for Nokia's N80 handset brings true mobile VoIP to the mass market, and gives Truphone genuine consumer appeal. Truphone routes calls entirely via the Internet, ensuring the lowest possible call costs to consumers, whether in their home country or while travelling abroad, unlike 'calling card' services masquerading as mobile VoIP."

The Truphone provisioning, installation, and use have been designed to be as easy as possible. Interested users can send an SMS with the word "TRU" to the numbers allotted by the company for different countries.

Further, provisioning takes place "over the air" and the software installs itself quickly and easily on the mobile handset. Truphone integrates seamlessly with the phone using the existing address book, eliminating the need to re-type. Additionally, if the handset is once set up to use a Wi-Fi hotspot, the next time when in use it automatically connects.

The true mobile VoIP will be available for download later this month from the Truphone Web site.

October 18, 2006

McAfee Stinger for MP3 Players

McAfee has announced the release of a new version of McAfee Stinger, which targets two Windows-based threats that are still being identified on the video iPod and MP3 devices.

McAfee Stinger is a free, stand alone utility tool that can detect and remove specific viruses, including the W32/RJump.worm, also named the RJump.worm; and the W32/QQPass.worm aka the QQPass.worm. Protection for both threats has been available in McAfee products since September 25, 2006 and August 15, 2006, respectively.

The W32/RJump.worm, which was discovered on June 20, 2006, reappeared on video iPod devices released by Apple late September. This uses the Python scripting language and is converted into a Windows portable executable file. It attempts to spread by copying itself to mapped and removable storage drives, and also opens a backdoor on an infected system.

The W32/QQPass.worm, which was first discovered on February 5, 2003 on MP3 players released in Japan, has surfaced again this week on MP3 devices released in August. This one is a generic worm that steals password information from QQ, a popular Instant Messaging application in China.

Both worms may spread through spam, instant messaging, removable media, and other means.

Kartik Shahani, director - sales India, McAfee, said, "Devices like MP3 players, cell phones, and digital cameras, with their much larger storage systems, and consumers' tendency to plug them into multiple computers, can be a vector for slow-spreading threats. When you try downloading or transferring a file from the Internet on to your device, it is necessary that you make sure that the file does not carry any Trojan or worm of any kind."

"McAfee Stinger helps you do exactly that. Stinger works on the vulnerability and not on the signature, so any Trojan is detected and blocked. It gives caution messages through pop-ups when a Trojan is detected," Shahani said.

A product of McAfee Avert Labs, McAfee Stinger is a stand-alone utility, and not a substitute for full anti-virus protection. It can be described rather as a tool to assist administrators and users when dealing with infected systems. Stinger utilizes next generation scan engine technology; including process scanning, digitally signed DAT files, and scanning of performance optimizations.

McAfee Stinger is available for free download on the company Web site.

Small Number of Apple iPods Included Virus

Apple said Tuesday that it had discovered that a small number of its Video iPods shipped with a Windows virus installed on the player.

"Less than 1 percent" of the Video iPods sold after Sept. 12 were infected with the Windows RavMon.exe virus, Apple said.

"This known virus affects only Windows computers, and up to date anti-virus software which is included with most Windows computers should detect and remove it," the company said in a statement posted to its support web pages. "So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X are not affected, and all Video iPods now shipping are virus free. As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it."

The virus is fairly easily removed with a conventional virus scanner, Apple said. However, the iPod must be connected during the scan.

MTNL Launches IPTV in Delhi


After Mumbai, it's now Delhi's turn for Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) along with Aksh Optifibre to announce the launch of its IPTV service.

MTNL will offer this service to all its broadband subscribers in Delhi, using its existing broadband network. Through this service, traditional television broadcast, time-shifted TV, video and music on demand, and video calling on TV facilities will be provided to consumers.

The software, hardware, and content delivery for the IPTV service will be managed by Aksh Optifibre. Besides, the registrations for the IPTV service in Delhi will open October 25, 2006 onwards, and commercial operations will begin from November 1 this year.

Speaking at the occasion, R S P Sinha, chief managing director, MTNL, said, "Consumers expect services that are both innovative and affordable from MTNL. We take the lead, yet again, in ushering in a true revolution in home entertainment with the country's first IPTV service."

"The possibilities with IPTV are endless. Video-on-Demand, Audio-on-Demand, Game-on-Demand, Video-Calling, Tele-medicine, e-distance learning, virtual classrooms are some of the innovative applications of IPTV. Our existing presence in over 3.8 million homes in New Delhi and Mumbai through our landline phones will give MTNL a tremendous head start in changing the way people watch television," Sinha said.

The IPTV service will be priced aggressively, and will have tariff comparable with DTH or cable TV. The registration charges for the service will be Rs 500. The minimum fee for basic service of free-to-air channels will be Rs 125 per month that will be charged on a quarterly basis. And upon a monthly payment of Rs 250, consumers will be able to see about 30 paid channels and all free-to-air channels.

Moreover, the system is also CAS-ready (no separate set top box required), and the resultant fee rationalization for pay channels will automatically be adjusted in the monthly charges.

The deposit for the IPTV set top box is also being charged quite innovatively. The one-time deposit will be converted into an interest bearing fixed deposit for a 5-year term in favor of the consumer. The entire amount (with interest) will be paid back to the consumer upon maturity or elective termination of service and return of the set top box, whichever occurs earlier.

Kailash Choudhari, managing director, Aksh Optifibre, said, "With the launch of our IPTV service today, Aksh Optifibre has emerged as the only Indian company that finds itself fully integrated from a leadership position in the manufacturing of optical fiber, to hardware and software management and content and service delivery. The company will be uniquely advantaged as a solution provider for a service that can potentially reach over 40 million consumers nation-wide."

Firefox 2 RC 3 Gets Downloadable



Mozilla has announced that its Firefox 2 Release Candidate 3 (RC 3) is now available for download to the public.

Firefox 2 RC 3 is the latest preview release of the next version of Firefox, and features several updates and bug fixes that are mainly the result of widespread user feedback.

Firefox 2 RC 3 is available for download to those interested in trying their hands on the new version, including Web application developers, and the testing community.

The company however warns users to expect the most, but not all of the extensions, plugins, and themes from previous versions of Firefox.

The list of new inclusions in RC 3 include: a new theme that updates Firefox's familiar interface; in-built phishing protection; enhanced search engine management with search suggestions for Google, Yahoo!, and Answers.com; improved tab browsing; and the ability to resume work from wherever the user last left after a system crash or browser restart.

RC 3 also incorporates better support for previewing and subscribing to Web feeds; inline spell checking in Web forms; ability to create bookmarks with "Live Titles" for Web sites offering microsummaries; JavaScript 1.7; VG text; extended search plugin format; and client-side session and persistent storage.

Besides, RC 3 supports the new Windows installer based on the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, and the new Add-on manager in it simplifies management of extensions and themes.

According to Mozilla, those using Firefox 2 RC 1 or RC 2 will automatically be updated to RC 3 through the Software Update feature. Whereas it is available for download on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux in more than 35 languages.

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October 17, 2006

Microsoft, EU reach agreement

By David Gow

Brussels, Oct. 17: (Guardian News Service): Microsoft and the European commission yesterday welcomed an unprecedented break in their seven-year legal war of attrition that will enable the European launch of the software group's new computer operating system, Vista, to go ahead next month.

Neelie Kroes, competition commissioner, who fined Microsoft euro 280.5 million in July for failing to comply with commission anti-trust rulings, said: ``They promised they would behave and take into account our rules and regulations.

Well, I'm a happy woman.'' Ms Kroes, nicknamed ``Nickel Neelie'' because of her hardline stance on competition, reached an understanding with Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, late on Thursday that the group would make significant changes to Vista to ensure rival software is available on its operating system.

For Microsoft, fined a record EUR497m in March 2004 for abusing its market dominance, the breakthrough after seven months of tense negotiations is a portent for the future. ``For once, we may be able to launch a productwithout entering into a hailstorm of legal suits,'' an insider said.

Yesterday, sources close to the group said the commission had shown a more proactive approach towards Vista. Ms Kroes, meanwhile, is said to havebeen impressed by the software group's flexibility and willingness to make information available.

Both sides agree that the commission has not given the ``green light'' for the commercial launch of Vista to business users next month and to retail customers in January. But Brad Smith, the group's general counsel,has said Microsoft accepts it is obliged to comply with antitrust law and believes the revised Vista does comply.

Microsoft has agreed to make three key changes in the form of commitments to address EU concerns about ``bundling'' software into its operating system. First, users can now choose their own search engine.

Second, after complaints from rival security software companies such as Symantec, it has agreed to create a new set of codes (APIs) that will enable rivals to gain access to Vista's core. Third, it agreed that its newfixed layout document format, XML, similar to that of Adobe's PDF files, will be scrutinised by a standards body.

Want to buy PC? Now's the time



Tuesday, 17 October , 2006, 08:57

Chennai: Diwali Dhamaka! Buy a personal computer, and you may be lucky to get a new Hyundai Verna or a holiday package to one of your favourite destinations.

Consumers this season are flooded with freebies and lucky draws while buying PCs offered by players such as Lenovo and Hewlett Packard (HP). And, some regional associates of various companies offer freebies such as crackers worth Rs 1,000 - a new thing this year, said an industry source.

IBM bonanza

Take Lenovo (formerly IBM) for instance. Its festive bonanza says, "Scratch an online card, and you could be the lucky winner of the all the new Hyundai Verna or be the one of many to win a Lenovo printer." There is also guaranteed prizes for all - a holiday package with every Lenovo 3000 PC. The offer is valid till October end.

HP offer

And, with purchase of HP Pavilion, there is a gift promotion called Five Aces, which provides a two night/three day holiday for the customers' family worth Rs 4,999. The offer is for two adults and two kids (below 8 years), and customers can choose from 40 destinations across India.

In pix: B-schools on marketing mode

Further, HP will offer a Britannica Profile series worth Rs 1,995, an Electrolux Microwave Oven - 17L Mechanical Solo White (Rs 3,990), Britannica Encyclopaedia 2006 worth (Rs 2,500) and a Creative 2.1 Speakers set (Rs 2,000).

The offer is valid on purchase made between September 14 and October 31. Online registration will close on November 10, says information in its Web site.

HP also has a list of freebies for its cartridges. It offers a 5 gm silver coin with a twin pack of certain varieties of inkjet cartridges and 12 gm silver coin with a twin pack of HP 12A laserjet cartridges. It also offers a Parker pen and a wallet set with purchase of certain varieties of laserjet cartridges.

And, one HP authorised premium retailer in the city has a "pot luck" that gives gift on the spot from a pot. The gifts are for purchasing a HP Compaq desktop/laptop and a person can win gifts such as gold coin, silver coin, X-box controller, pen drive and National Geographic CDs.

HCL crackers

As part of the Diwali bonanza, HCL Point, Chennai, offers freebies such as DVD Player, three flasks and cordless phones with purchase of a HCL PC. A HCL store in the city has assured Diwali gifts worth Rs 3,000 for all models of HCL. In addition, first ten booking get crackers worth Rs 1,000.

Says P. Varadarajan, a first time PC buyer, "there are a number of alternatives available in the market, and the offers are very attractive. With such offers, it is also very confusing which brand to buy."

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