international news - News, Features, and Slideshows


  • Microsoft backs down on XP

    Microsoft's decision on Tuesday to allow low-cost desktop makers to install Windows XP Home on their hardware until June 2010 reverses a move it rejected two months ago.

  • Steve Ballmer: IT challenges through to 2018

    Improvements in processing speeds, storage space and wireless broadband will drive a new revolution in information technology, but software makers face several challenges in their efforts to keep up, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Tuesday.

  • Sci-fi authors: Crystal ball gazing

    If IT security professionals think they have challenges now, they should wait until new technologies such as quantum computing and devices embedded in skin arrive in the not-so-distant future, three science-fiction writers said on Monday.

  • Australian VoIP online directory service launched

    A new online services directory, dubbed FreeConnect, has been launched, claiming to be Australia's first online VoIP directory service. FreeConnect is a free portal for businesses to connect with potential customers via telephone, e-mail, SMS and VoIP. The service allows businesses to post contact and services information, photographs, payment options and company history. Consumers can search FreeConnect's national online database by business type, keyword, location or service nature. Once an appropriate business is found, FreeConnect can contact the consumer and initiate a connection between them and the business. Searching the service is free, with charges incurred once the service connects a customer to a company. A A$99 (US$95) advance payment gives a business up to $175 credit, with amounts deducted each time a customer is connected to the business. Fees range from 40 cents for an SMS, to $3 for a voice call. Businesses can specify how and when they wish to be contacted. FreeConnect founder John Kennedy says that with FreeConnect businesses don't pay to list or promote their products and services. "They only pay for the leads that bring new business in the door, which is a results-driven approach that hasn't been available before now," Kennedy says. "Our database already lists most of the businesses operating in Australia, but we want the businesses themselves to visit the site, check their details are accurate, and then add additional information to their listing that will make it easier for people to choose them."

  • XP deathwatch, T-minus four weeks

    The march toward Windows XP's retail and OEM June 30 retirement party continues. In four weeks it is Microsoft's deadline for mainstream computer makers to stop selling new PCs with the old OS, and the date the Redmond, Washington-based developer will stop shipping boxed copies to retailers.