Government // Mobile & Wireless
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9/9/2011
09:02 PM
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Microsoft Samsung Partnership and BUILD Clues: BYTE Newsbriefs

Sites note 9/11 tragedy, MS BUILD preview and are Samsung and MS teaming up? Sept 11 Newsbriefs

Several sites marked the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Yahoo blacked out for a minute at 8:46 a.m. ET. That's the moment terrorists careened its first hijacked commercial jet into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City 10 years ago.

On YouTube, Google created a 9/11 themed channel for the tragedy. Also Facebook noted the date by allowing users to dedicate 9/11 related photos and status posts.

Google's search page displayed a black ribbon.

In other news, this week Microsoft will hold its BUILD conference for developers in Anaheim. They likely will see a lot more than just Windows 8.

According to a Korean news report, attending developers will find Samsung Electronics touting Windows 8 on one of its tablets.

Is Samsung switching teams? Unlikely. Samsung tablet tech is deep into Android.

Yet Samsung is under attack in Europe due to Apple lawsuits alleging IP infringement for its use of Android. A Windows 8 tablet is a possible answer there. Microsoft would not confirm details to BYTE, but Samsung could go both ways, reports from Korea said.

This week's showing may be the beginning of something much more interesting, too. As BYTE has reported since July, sources at Intel, Motorola and Microsoft have repeatedly and independently suggested to BYTE that Microsoft has a plan -- and potentially a standards-based consortium in the works -- to make Windows appear less irrelevant and, even, essential, in the so-called post PC era. "Microsoft and Intel know they need a solution for businesses and homes, something that resonates," said one source who spoke to BYTE on condition of anonymity.

"If tablets really do begin to replace PCs, Microsoft and Intel need to move quickly and give customers a way to keep a Wintel PC-like experience and still own a tablet, maybe just a tablet," said another highly placed executive, also speaking not for attribution. Rather, he said, the two companies are looking at a third option.

"In (Microsoft's) eyes, your docking station will be your next PC," he added. Microsoft is working, he said, with such Android-based tablet vendors as Motorola and Samsung to create a kind of souped-up docking station.

Such a device, much like Motorola’s $300 laptop dock for the Atrix and Bionic smartphone, lets mobile users pop in their devices and get a more PC-like experience, complete with big screen, full sized keyboard, lots of storage, memory and, especially, the ability to automatically switch between the light Android OS and the heavier Windows 7 or 8 when a user plugs it in.

Whether Samsung opens the kimono beyond just showing Windows 8 running on a Samsung tablet is all about timing.

Microsoft spokesperson Pam Edstrom told BYTE a dual Android/Windows 8 tablet sounded interesting indeed. However, she would not confirm or deny any other details sources reported regarding BUILD or speculation around unannounced Microsoft products.

Windows 8 incorporates a lot of mobile UI elements, including better OS integration with virtual drives and native support for touch use.

Check out Ballmer's demo below -- BYTE was there as he showed Windows 8 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Sounds a lot like what Apple's doing with its own UI unification between its iOS 5 and Apple OS X Lion 10.7.1, doesn't it?

In other Microsoft news, the company now is emphasizing speedier boot times for the new Windows release.

Slow booting is a real sticking point for Windows users. Microsoft now is claiming to address boot time issues directly with Windows 8.

Below, Microsoft's director of program management for Windows, Gabe Aul, explains exactly how Microsoft engineers are accomplishing faster boot times with Windows 8. The following is an excerpt from his blog post published September 8.

The main difference essentially lies in system kernel hibernation. He wrote:

Now here's the key difference for Windows 8: as in Windows 7, we close the user sessions, but instead of closing the kernel session, we can hibernate it. Compared to a full hibernate, which includes a lot of memory pages in use by apps, session 0 hibernation data is much smaller, which takes substantially less time to write to disk. If you're not familiar with hibernation, we're effectively saving the system state and memory content to a file on (hiberfil.sys) and then reading that back on resume and restoring contents back to memory. Using this technique with boot gives us a significant advantage for boot times (because) reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30 to 70 percent faster on most systems we've tested).

Microsoft provided the graphic below to show performance improvements. BYTE's reviews team will be looking at Windows 8 in depth on its release to verify and measure improved boot speed and other promised Windows 8 features.

Credit: Microsoft

Updated: Sept. 11, 2011 10:34 p.m. PT Carol Bartz, fired from her CEO post at Yahoo last week, has resigned from her seat on its board also. The New York Times is reporting the resignation occurred Sept. 9, the same day she told Fortune she retained her board seat and called the other board members "doofuses."

Click here for more on her explosive comments, a video round-up and analysis on what her exit from Yahoo means to tech pros. Viewer discretion is advised.

Based in San Francisco, Gina Smith is editor-in-chief at BYTE. Follow her @ginasmith888 and email her with comments and tips at Gina@BYTE.com.

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