IE 9 Platform Preview 7: Making Your Web-Sites Faster

Ziad Ismail: On October 28th, we released Internet Explorer Platform Preview 6. Today, we are announcing Internet Explorer Platform Preview 7 which is focused on real-world performance improvements across sites on the web.

We first demonstrated the power of a fully hardware accelerated HTML 5 browser taking advantage of the full power of the hardware through Windows just 8 months ago. We now couple that with dramatic performance gains in Chakra, Microsoft’s JavaScript engine. As a side effect of our focus on real-world performance, Internet Explorer 9 performance in JavaScript micro-benchmarks has also improved and Internet Explorer is now the leading performing browser in WebKit SunSpider. Since we first demonstrated Chakra at PDC in 2009, Internet Explorer has increased JavaScript performance by 345% according to WebKit SunSpider...

Ballmer and Gates: Here's why we're not breaking up Microsoft

Microsoft's annual meeting of shareholders in Bellevue this morning was pretty much the standard routine this morning. The company's nine-member board was reappointed and a lone shareholder proposal was rejected. CEO Steve Ballmer touted the company's revenue and earnings over the past year. Shareholders complained about the company's stagnant share price and pressed for a higher dividend. Ballmer talked about Microsoft's product pipeline and finance chief Peter Klein noted that the company has returned more than $170 million to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks over the past decade...

Windows 8 to showcase 'desktop as a service'?

Since April, it's been quiet on the Windows 8 leak front. But here's a new tidbit to keep the "what's next for Windows" faithful going for a bit longer.

Blogger Charon at Ma-Config.com unearthed a slide presentation from a Microsoft architectural summit held in London in early April of this year that focuses on virtualization futures. (As Microsoft watchers may recall, new virtualization capabilities are expected by many to be part of Windows 8 when it ships around 2012 or so.) There’s only one slide in the deck that explicitly calls out the 2012+ “Windows Next.” But the deck still gives some general sense of what the Softies are thinking on the Windows client virtualization front...

Microsoft accounting shuffling resulted in higher sales for Windows division

Microsoft's Windows division has been on something of a roll recently, but a deeper look into the company's financials seems to indicate that the reported numbers might look better than reality. Information Week has done some deep digging into Microsoft's recent SEC filings and found that several bookkeeping changes resulted in significantly increased reportings of profits in the company's Windows division. Revenues that had been assigned in previous quarters to other divisions within the company -- mostly the Entertainment and Devices unit which includes highly successful businesses such as Xbox -- were, in this past quarter, re-assigned to the Windows operating system division...

'Super-secret' debugger discovered in AMD CPUs

A hardware hacker has discovered a secret debugging feature hidden in all AMD chips made in the past decade.

The password-protected debugger came as a shock to reverse-engineers who have hungered for an on-chip mechanism for performing conditional and direct-hardware breakpoint operations. Although AMD has built the firmware-controlled feature into all chips since the Athlon XP, the company kept it a closely guarded secret that was only disclosed late last week by a hacker who goes by the name Czernobyl...