Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 betas available for download (Links Updated)

, posted: 9-Jan-2009 00:49

Microsoft have made the beta versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 betas available for download effective immediately. The initial downloads are for MSDN and Technet subscribers, however others will also have access from Friday, 9 January (Pacific Time - USA/Canada).

In a statement, Microsoft advise the Windows 7 beta which will be downloadable from Microsoft.com will be available to the first 2.5 million downloaders only. How long it will take to be downloaded by that many (read the entire post)...



25gb free online file storage - with update to Windows Live services

, posted: 4-Dec-2008 05:15

Overnight Microsoft have updated a number of their Windows Live Services as part of the 'Wave 3' launch. One feature of immediate interest is increased storage being provided by Windows Live Skydrive. This has jumped from 5gb free storage 25gb.

Click through to take a look: Windows Live Photos, Windows Live Skydrive, Windows Live Groups, Windows Live People, and the Windows Live Home

During the launch process I found that the name servers for Live.com were timing out so cou (read the entire post)...



New Zealand's biggest internet failure? (updated)

, posted: 29-Nov-2008 14:59



New Zealand's largest Telco and Internet Service Provider has suffered one of the worst internet outages ever experienced in this country. Reports started coming in between 9pm - 11pm on Friday night of internet connections outages, websites dropping offline and widespread email outages.

The impact on customers of Telecom New Zealand was swift with not only home and business broadband internet connections failing, but major brands such as Dick Smith Electronics and Tip Top (read the entire post)...



Blackberry Storm launches in Australia and NZ

, posted: 21-Nov-2008 17:40

Vodafone are launching the Blackberry Storm in Australia and New Zealand on Monday, 1 December (though some stores may have stock a day or two prior).

Aiming to ensure that the price is not too dissimilar to that of the iPhone, the touch screen Blackberry Storm will be selling in New Zealand for NZ$999 incl GST. This is some $200 cheaper than the $1199 Blackberry Bold.

Update, Mon 1 Dec: I've been advised that shipments have been delayed and the Blackberry Storm has not arr (read the entire post)...



Windows Server 2008 R2 (or should it be called Windows Server 2009?)

, posted: 29-Oct-2008 09:17

It appears as though Microsoft have really moved into top gear with their product development over the past couple of years and now we can expect more regular updates than during the mid-2000's.

The R2 release of Windows Server 2008 is a case in point. Less than a year after the release of Windows Server 2008 and a bunch of important new features are being touted for this update. Some of these include: - Direct Access (SSL VPN for accessing files much like Exchange RPC over HTTPS)- Br (read the entire post)...



Windows 7 and Office 14 (aka Office 2009/Office 2010)

, posted: 29-Oct-2008 08:51

Microsoft have started showing off Windows 7 and it's various new features at their Professional Developers conference. They've also provided details of next release of Office and how it will be accessible via a browser.

Some of the best things about Windows 7 include:
- Performance improvements: including faster boot times, and installation time of 10-15 mins
- Improved UAC: Not just the option of on or off - you set the levels (and it doesn't take over your entire screen)< (read the entire post)...



Microsoft launches System Center Virtual Machine Maanger (SCVMM)

, posted: 22-Oct-2008 06:34

Microsoft have completed and launched their newest virtualisation product - Virtual Machine Manager 2008. VMM 2008 is part of Microsoft's effort to generate revenue from Virtualisation. In contract with the standalone Hyper-V product and the Windows Hyper-V role which cost nothing and close to nothing, VMM 2008 will sell for a recommended price of US$1,304 (license and 2 years software assurance).

Virtual Machine Manager 2008 provides management of three virtualization products - Micr (read the entire post)...



Hardware and Software prices to rise 10-20% in NZ and Australia

, posted: 19-Oct-2008 09:28

Due to the drop in value of both Australian Dollar (AUD) and the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) versus the US Dollar (USD) it is anticipated that the price of many products will rise in coming weeks by as much as 20%.

Rates today are as follows:
1 NZD = 0.61 USD
1 AUD = 0.69 USD

The last week has already seen Apple release new MacBooks in the region at prices higher than previous editions - something that's virtually unheard of. IBM and HP have also announced price rise (read the entire post)...



Apple releases new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and 24'' Display

, posted: 15-Oct-2008 07:39

Apple have launched their new aluminimum MacBooks and new MacBook Pros with faster graphics capabilities. In addition new a LED backlit 24" monitor was released by Apple.

The new aluminimum MacBooks have dropped in weight to weigh in at just over 2kg. They include a multi-touch trackpad and 13.3" LED backlit screen and are available in 2.0ghz and 2.4ghz configurations operating with faster DDR3 memory. Prices for the new Macbooks have risen in New Zealand and Australia compared to pri (read the entire post)...



Blackberry Bold 9000 shipping, Blackberry Storm 9500 not far off

, posted: 14-Oct-2008 14:45

I noticed yesterday that the Blackberry Bold (pictured) is now available in NZ, Australia, UK and probably other markets too. This release is slightly ahead of schedule for this new handset which features Wifi, GPS, Quad-band GSM, Tri-band HSDPA and a few other nifty features.

Details here from Vodafone NZ:
https://store.vodafone.co.nz/Mobile_Details_Summary.aspx?ptrecno=4261

Apparently the touchscreen Blackberry Storm 9500 (pictured at bottom on page) is nearly here t (read the entire post)...