Leaked: First Office 14 screenshots

February 7, 2009

It didn’t take long this time, either. Earlier this week, testers received alpha builds of Office 14, the codename for the successor to Office 2007. A reader wrote in to tell us that a tester from Russian site wzor.net has now leaked the screenshots of the applications included in the productivity suite.

While he didn’t screenshot every application individually, we do now know that the list includes: Access 14, Excel 14, Groove 14, InfoPath Designer 14, InfoPath Filler 14, InterConnect 14, OneNote 14, Outlook 14, PowerPoint 14, Project 14, Publisher 14, SharePoint Designer 14, Visio 14, and Word 14. Without further ado, here they are:

I’ve been told that the beta of Office 14 will start in May, and the final version is slated for the end of the year. The alpha is reportedly running with good stability, all things considered. Redmond is expected to provide official release details for Office 14 next quarter.

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Pietersen, Flintoff hit jackpot at IPL auction

February 7, 2009

Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff became the costliest players in IPL history as the two were each sold for $1.55 million (Rs 7.35 crore) at the IPL auction on Friday.

The beleaguered Bangalore Royal Challengers successfully bid for Pietersen, while last year’s runners-up Chennai Super Kings bid the highest for the England all-rounder which set the new record, overtaking the $1.5 million bid last year for Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Only 50 players, for 17 slots, were on sale at the IPL auction here on Friday, and fewer were bid for. But the presence of England stars made for frantic bidding.

With the teams’s spending limit set at $2 million each, teams were cautious in their bidding. Pietersen’s appreciation was only a fraction of his base price of $1.35 million, as was Flintoff’s $900,000.

Jean-Paul Duminy thus became one of the prized catches of the auction, as Mumbai Indians’ $950,000-bid for the South African batting sensation raised his value over three times.

Bangladesh pacer Mashrafe Mortaza’s bid at the closing round of the auction made for an intriguing duel between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab with the Knight Riders finally securing him for $600,000, an astonishing 1100 per cent appreciation on his base price of $50,000.

Mortaza’s captain Mohammad Ashraful, though, remained unsold during the auction, only to be bought by Mumbai Indians to fill their last slot for $75,000. Bangladesh’s player of the season, Shakib-Al-Hasan, however, wasn’t bid for.

The first round of auctions saw Shaun Tait, the Australian speedster, being sold to defending champions Rajasthan Royals for $375,000, before Duminy, Pietersen and Flintoff went under the hammer.
The second round of the IPL auction had another England duo up for sale, and Delhi Daredevils bought both Owais Shah and former ODI skipper Paul Collingwood, each for $275,000. The previous year’s semi-finalists didn’t go for any other player, after having already bought Australian opener David Warner a few months ago and had retained pacer Ashish Nehra from Mumbai Indians.

The Deccan Chargers, who had a miserable outing in the first season despite having a star-studded line-up, purchased the West Indies duo of pacer Fidel Edwards ($150,000) and all-rounder Dwayne Smith ($100,000).

Defending champions Rajasthan Royals, whose representatives also included new co-owners Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty, added South African all-rounder Tyron Henderson to their squad for $650,000.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians, after securing JP Duminy, added New Zealand bowler Kyle Mills, while Bangalore, who had already spent a fortune on Pietersen, snapped up another Kiwi Jesse Ryder for $160,000. Chennai Super Kings, meanwhile, bought Sri Lankan paceman Thilan Thushara ($140,000) and Australian George Bailey ($50,000).

Kings XI Punjab bid successfully for England all-rounder Ravi Bopara for $450,000. But after the end of all six rounds of bidding at the auction, Kings XI and Mumbai Indians had a slot each left for an overseas player. The Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia-owned franchise pocketed West Indies pacer Jerome Taylor at his base price of $150,000 to wrap up the player auction.

Auction results
$1.55 million (A$2.37 million):

Andrew Flintoff (ENG) – Chennai Super Kings
Kevin Pietersen (ENG) – Bangalore Royal Challengers

$950,000 ($A1.43 million):

Jean-Paul Duminy (RSA) – Mumbai Indians

$650,000 ($A987,000):

Tyron Henderson (RSA) – Rajasthan Royals

$600,000 ($A910,000):

Mashrafe Mortaza (BAN) – Kolkata Knight Riders

$450,000 (A$682,000):

Ravi Bopara (ENG) – Kings XI Punjab

$375,000 (A$575,000) :

Shaun Tait (AUS) – Rajasthan Royals

$275,000 ($A417,000):

Owais Shah (ENG) – Delhi Daredevils
Paul Collingwood (ENG) – Delhi Daredevils

$160,000 ($243,000):

Jesse Ryder (NZL) – Bangalore Royal Challengers

$150,000 ($A227,000):

Fidel Edwards (WIS) – Deccan Chargers

Kyle Mills (NZL) – Mumbai Indians

Jerome Taylor (WIS) – Kings XI Punjab

$140,000 ($A212,000):

Thilan Thushara (SRI) – Chennai Super Kings

$100,000 ($A152,000):

Dwayne Smith (WIS) – Deccan Chargers

$75,000 ($A114,000):

Mohammad Ashraful (BAN) – Mumbai Indians

$50,000 ($A76,000):

George Bailey (AUS) – Chennai Super Kings


Google Launches Multiple Inboxes For GMail – Its Like Having Multiple Screens!

February 6, 2009

Google really seems to be in the groove. We’ve been covering a lot of Google stories in the last 2-3 days and here’s another one.

From what it seems, Gmail is going for subtle and not so subtle changes. Every day another feature gets added through Google Labs. The subtle changes include vanishing of the search the web browser at the top and inclusion of a separate move to/labels tab.

Now Google Labs has introduced a new multiple inboxes feature and it’s quite interesting.

It’s creator introduces it in this blog post:

“I’m seriously into filters and labels. All the email I get related to Flash goes under my “flash” label, everything about paragliding goes under “flying,” and they all skip my inbox because that’s how I like to stay organized. But when new email arrives I have to switch to the “flash” label first, then click on “paragliding,” etc. I wanted a way to see it all at once.”

To select this feature, head over to Google Labs section and enable Multiple Inboxes. And the end product? Here have a look for yourself.

You can obviously choose how many inboxes you want. To do the same go to settings and select the Multiple Inboxes tab (after you have enabled the feature). There is great personalisation. You can select the labels and even the number of posts you want to see so that you’re screen isn’t too cluttered. This is what it looks like.

I think it’s an awesome feature because its almost like having 2/3 screens at once as far as mail is concerned and makes it very convenient if you’re using a lot of labels.

This feature was created by Octavian “Vivi” Costache in his 20% time that Google offers their employees. Do check the feature out and then discuss it in the comments section below.


Windows 7: To be launched in 6 versions with a beta release in Hindi

February 5, 2009

The speculations are rife that Microsoft latest upcoming operating system windows 7 would be launched in 6 different versions.

The company in order to avoid clash of versions would heavily promote only two versions i.e primary version for consumers which will be called Windows 7 Home Premium, and the one for businesses which will be called Windows 7 Professional.

Versions to be launched:

Windows 7 Home Premium:: main promoted version for home users.

Windows 7 Professional:: main promoted version for business and professionals.

Home Basic :: It would mainly be used as OEM VERSION.

Starter edition:The Starter edition is intended for sale in developing countries

There would also be a Top-end Enterprise version for big corporate customers and a similar Ultimate version for consumers. Those versions will include security features and a few other tools not available in the two main versions.
Does game of plenty work?

* Microsoft first encounter with multi-tiered versions of their product started with windows xp which was launched in versions like home, professional, media centre edition etc…this practice of launching plenty of versions in the market seemed to have paid during xp time but was not so successful during the time of vista launch.
* This multi-tiered approach results into a increase in use of pirated operating systems in emerging markets and the reason being that people believe that the core or simple version may not be enough for their work and higher version being unaffordable they go for piracy route.
* It make cumbersome for people to decide which version to go for their use.

Why does Microsoft play this game:

* The main reason for launching multiple versions with different functionality is to remove price barriers and make it more accessible to buyers.
* This again helps in fueling the volume growth or the sales growth for the company.
* The company is able to leverage the brand Rep of its flagship operating system to sell different versions of it which again does not put too much load on advertising budget.

Microsoft has also said in a statement that changes to the way it communicates about Windows 7 should `make these choices as simple and clear as possible for customers and partners.”
Microsoft launches windows 7 beta in Hindi:

* Microsoft has announced that it has launched windows 7 in Hindi.

* The new initiatives is again followed by launch of Language Interface Packs (LIPs) in 12 Indian languages for MS Office and Windows.

* The company has also announced a total of 45 additional virtual keyboards for these languages.

According to the company,”This would facilitate company to overcome the language barrier to computing,and has showcased a variety of custom made products directed specifically at the vernacular language market – a market that has been largely left untapped till now.”

If you want to download windows 7 beta in Hindi just go here and click Hindi in the dropdown box.

End note:

This could be followed by full fledge launches of future releases from the company in Hindi and other vernacular languages and in turn suggests that Microsoft is waking up to seriously notice the requirements of emerging markets which could provide it the next big opportunity looking at capping of I.T budgets in its prime markets.

This could further imply good news for PC and Internet penetration in India as it would finally see a robust growth due to breaking of language barriers.


I won’t get provoked by marriage rumours: Katrina Kaif

February 4, 2009

After spending six years in Bollywood, British-born actress Katrina Kaif has learnt to handle rumours and criticisms. While she rubbished reports of her marriage to Salman Khan, she also denied speculation about her sister Isabel entering the Hindi film industry soon.

“It’s complete rubbish and the paper (Saamna) is denying it. When I marry, the world will know. Right now I’ve no such plans,” Katrina said.

Commenting on speculation about her relationship with Salman, she said: “That’s bound to happen. If you’re a public figure and if neither of the party is clarifying anything, there’s bound to be a lot of speculation and unnecessary comment. But I’m not going to get provoked into giving explanations. Because once they start, they never end.”

Asked about a picture that showed her entering her birthday party last year, Katrina said: “That wasn’t when I entered the party. The picture was taken while we were leaving. I was tired and, yes, I was disappointed. I didn’t want it to be turned into tamasha (drama).”

Salman and Shah Rukh Khan had a war of words at the birthday bash that was widely reported in the media.

Talking about her sister Isabel’s Bollywood plans, Katrina said: “That was something completely blown out of proportion. At the moment she’s too young to take up an acting career. In fact, my sister is off to drama school. Something I never got to do, and I wish I had. Not being a trained actress bothers me and I’m happy that my sister is taking that route.

“I realise I can’t be talked about only for my work. You can’t have things exactly the way you want them to be.”

Although Salman and Katrina are a real life couple, they have not been able to form a saleable pair on screen. Katrina had hoped “Yuvvraaj” would work so that she and Salman would be a saleable pair and filmmakers would sign her with Salman as eagerly as they do with Akshay Kumar.

But the film sank without a trace at the box office. Apparently, a major drawback was that director Subhash Ghai kept writing the script as the film progressed.

“I’d like to stick to a bound script from now on. The time has come for the entire film industry to get completely organised. A script helps both the director and the actor to connect with each other and with the plot. I’m not going to be shy about insisting on a script,” the actress said.

Katrian admitted she had very little space in “Yuvvraaj”. “Yeah, that was something I grew gradually aware of. I didn’t have that much to do. But that’s okay.”

However, not attending acting school doesn’t make Katrina feel inadequate as an actress.

“I think I had to undertake my own journey and do things my own way. I learnt on the job. I think I’ve acquired knowledge of the camera on-camera. So no regrets about not attending any acting school. If I had regrets about any aspect of my career, I’d be the most ungrateful person on the planet. Look at the level of acceptance I’ve received in so little time. Some people don’t get this kind of success after working all their lives,” she said.

The 24-year-old ventured into Bollywood in 2003 and was instantly written off because of her strong British accent. But after five years of hard work and determination, she is one of the most sought after actresses in the film world.

After the failure of “Yuvvraaj”, Katrina is no longer considered a lucky mascot for a film, but she is nonchalant about it.

“I think that’s just people talking a lot of nonsense. Actors far more intelligent and talented than me have had to deal with ups and downs. Sooner or later I’d have had to deal with failure. No point brooding about it. I’ve learnt my lessons from the ‘Yuvvraaj’ experience,” said Katrina.

Between 2007 and 2008 Katrina delivered six back-to-back hits – “Namastey London”, “Apne”, “Partner”, “Welcome”, “Race” and “Singh Is Kinng”


Nasscom pegs revenues of Indian software industry at $60 bn

February 4, 2009

The Indian software and services industry is expected to grow 16 percent this fiscal and log revenues of $60 billion despite the global slowdown, a top lobby for the industry said today. The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) said in its report that together with the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, the revenues are expected to top $71.7 billion with a growth of 17 percent.

Of this, the export of software and services will account for $47 billion, growing by 16-17 percent. The association also said the domestic BPO industry would log a growth of as much as 40 percent this fiscal.

“The current financial year has been challenging for economies across the globe. But the Indian IT-BPO industry has exhibited a balanced growth,” said Ganesh Natarajan, chairman of Nasscom and global chief executive of Zensar Technologies.

“We have seen Europe, Asia Pacific and rest of the world grow more than US, reaffirming geographical diversification as an encouraging trend for this industry,” Natarajan told reporters, while releasing the association’s report.

Nasscom also said it expected the software and BPO industry to grow by 15 percent annually till 2010-11 to log export revenues alone of $60-62 billion.

“Due to our strong fundamentals and as a derivative of the value we add to our global customers, the Indian industry will continue to grow in spite of global slowdown,” said Som Mittal, president of the association.

“We also feel that this is a time of learning and optimisation for the industry, we would urge our member companies to see this as a silver lining.”

Following are the key highlights of Nasscom’s projections:

-Total IT-BPO industry to touch 71.7 billion in 2008-09

-The industry to account for 5.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product

-Domestic BPO market to growth by over 40 percent

-BPO exports estimated to grow by 17.5 percent to $12.8 billion

-IT services exports estimated to grow by 16.5 percent to $26.9 billion

-Software products, engineering services to grow by 14.4 percent to $7.3 billion

-Exports to Europe log highest growth, while US remains dominant market

-Uncertain economic environment to prevail in 2009

-Indian IT industry expected to grow 15 percent annually till 2010-11

-Exports projected to $60-62 billion by 2010-11

-Industry remains a net hirer with 2.23 million new direct jobs

-Indirect job creation estimated at 8 million


IIM-Ahmedabad to host venture capital conference

February 4, 2009

The first edition of the ‘Leverage 2009’, a two-day venture capital and private equity conference, will begin Friday at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A). In the conference, industry experts, practitioners, advisers, academicians and students will talk on key issues and trends related to venture capitalists, private equity investors and entrepreneurs, organisers said on Tuesday.

The conference is being organised by IIM-A students in association with the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM-A