Coming Soon: The End of DVDs?

universal-picturesAccording to a new article on movies.com, Universal Pictures will no longer be selling stand-alone DVD copies of several of it’s movies as of January 1st, 2010. Instead, the movies will only be sold as Blu-ray/DVD bundles.

This bundling is not new since Disney and other studios have already been bundling Blu-rays, DVDs and digital copies, but this is the first time a stand-alone DVD is not also being manufactured.

Blu-ray/DVD bundle packs are generally a good deal for people with Blu-ray players because you get a Blu-ray for the main TV, plus a DVD and digital copy for more portable viewing. However, for those of us who have yet to shell out the money for a PS3 or other Blu-ray player, this might be the push that finally makes us go to the store.  As the article says, “This means if you are a stickler for standard definition, you’d better start getting used to Blu-rays being bundled with your movies.”

Could this be the beginning of the end for new movies being released on DVD? Probably not, but who knows. What do you think the future holds for movies on DVDs?

Google’s New Operating System: What is it?

You’ve probably heard about Google’s upcoming Chrome operating system, and today Google officially released the open-source Chromium OS project to the public.  Google’s new operating system won’t be available for about another year, but in the meantime you can check out their video explaining why the world needs a better, browser-focused operating system.

Are you looking forward to the prospect of having a computer that starts in seconds and only uses web-based applications?  Share it with us in the comments.

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta Now Available

office-2010-betaMicrosoft Office 2010 has recently been released as as a public download.  The download weighs in at a fairly light 685 MB and includes Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, OneNote, Access, Publisher, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace, and Communicator (which is an instant messenger for Outlook).

If you’re working in the IT field and want to prepare for the future, I would suggest downloading this software and testing out the new products (especially if you or your clients use them every day).

The system requirements for Office 2010 are relatively low so you won’t need to perform a serious computer overhaul to install it:

  • Processor: 500 MHz or higher
  • Memory: 256 MB of RAM or higher
  • Hard Disk: 3 GB
  • Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7
    • Supports both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows

My initial impression of Office 2010 is that the software is very promising.  Although it looks similar to Office 2007, I can see that the program is much more customizable to an individual’s needs and wants.

office-2010-screenOne new feature that I think most people will enjoy is a line preview for cutting and pasting.  This lets you view what the paste would look like before actually performing the paste, which can save you a lot of undoing.

Word 2010 now comes with built-in photo editing tools which is great for users that have to edit pictures in their documents.  PowerPoint has much better support for videos in presentations (which I wish was available when I was going to school).

That’s my two cents on the new version of Microsoft Office, I’ll have more to come after I’ve used it some for longer than the time it took to write this article.  Cheers!

[Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 Beta Download]

Windows 7 Officially Releases Today

win7-release-thumbWindows 7, Microsoft’s newest operating system and successor to the ill-famed Windows Vista, was released today after becoming the biggest pre-order product of all time on Amazon UK.  You may have already been following as we showed you how to install Windows 7 on a virtual machine, how to dual boot Windows 7 with your current operating system, and how to install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive for netbooks.

If you’re wondering if your computer is capable of running Windows 7, you can check out the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor which will tell you exactly what you can expect with the new operating system.  As a general rule: if your computer can run Windows Vista, it will run Windows 7 just fine.  Many computers capable of running Windows XP can also use Windows 7 (just make sure you have 1 GB of RAM).

Still haven’t taken the leap?  You can purchase Windows 7 from Amazon, and make sure to check out the rest of our Windows 7 coverage.  We’ll have many more Windows 7 articles coming in the future!

Windows 7 System Requirements:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Google Chrome Turns 1, Celebrates With Great JavaScript Performance

google-chrome-thumbGoogle Chrome, a recent entry to the Windows web browser market, celebrates its first birthday today.  Chrome has offered many improvements throughout the last year of its development, namely an incredible 150% increase in JavaScript performance since its initial release.

This performance increase is definitely noticeable in the performance of Google Chrome Experiments, which is a showcase of innovative and interesting uses of JavaScript.  Most impressive, I’ve found that many of these Experiments cause Firefox to freeze while running very well in Chrome.

google-chrome-performance1google-chrome-performance2Many features have been added over the last few months, including themes, form autofill, side-by-side view, and the ability to customize and remove items from the New Tab page.  The Chrome team is still working on releases for both Mac and Linux (and a developer version for Mac and Linux is currently available if you’re feeling daring).  Most exciting to me: Extension support for Chrome is “well underway”!

Google Chrome is a free download for Windows.  [Google Chrome Blog]

Newsflash: Windows 7 Pre-Orders Start June 26

Win7PreOrderStarting June 26th, the Microsoft offers page will have a list of retailers offering a pre-order of Windows 7 so you can get a copy before anybody else at half price.   If you want to be put on the pre-order list be sure to act fast, because Microsoft says quantities will be limited.

Not sure if your computer is ready to run Windows 7?  Check our our guide to see if your computer can handle it.

Let us know about your Windows 7 experiences so far, or if you plan on pre-ordering by commenting below.

Apple’s App Store Hits One Billion Downloads

app_storeAt approximately 2pm on April 23rd, 2009 the 1,000,000,000th application was downloaded from Apple’s App Store since it first launched only nine months ago.  Although the App Store has had its fair share of problems (and it seems that developers are still getting stuck in the application approval process), this statistic is a significant milestone for the company.

Which applications do you like the most?  Some of my favorites are Tweetie, Pandora, and Air Sharing.  Share in the comments!

[via Apple]