New Windows and Office gets X rating
Microsoft's new versions of popular software programs Windows and Office will have the letters "XP" added to the end of their names.
The initials, which stand for "experience", are part of Microsoft's signature .NET architecture to build Internet applications, the company said.
Office XP, dubbed "Office 10", is expected to be released publicly by the end of the second quarter and Windows XP - formerly known by its code name "Whistler" - is expected to make its market debut in the second half of the year.
Windows XP will offer voice, video and application sharing over the Internet as well as wireless access, while Office XP will integrate communication tools such as Hotmail, the company's Web-based e-mail service.
Furthermore, Office XP will include a set of Web-based "Send for Review" tools for online document editing and review, as well as a Web-based, multi-user workspace called SharePoint Team Services, according to the company.
Japan LCD makers work on saving energy
Six leading Japanese manufacturers of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are to work together on developing less energy-consuming production methods.
The companies, which include NEC, Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, Matsushita Electric Industrial and Mitsubishi Electric, will establish a joint-venture company to work on the new technology, which they hope will halve the energy required to produce LCDs.
The companies are keen to develop energy-saving manufacturing methods as LCD production levels are climbing fast and Japanese makers find themselves increasingly locked in price battles with South Korean and Taiwanese makers.
The global LCD market is forecast to double between now and 2006 to reach $US1.3 billion, according to a report from industry analysts Stanford Resources.
The price of Apples
Apple has announced Australian pricing for the new version of its operating system, Mac OS X. The system will retail for $229 and is available for pre-order from the vendor's direct online arm, www.apple.com.au. The company had been selling its beta version of the system to customers for $55. When customers purchase the new product, that cost will be refunded.
"Customers who bought the beta will get a $55 discount off the full version, meaning they are refunded the cost of the beta when they buy the full version," Apple said in a statement.
The new system will ship March 24.