Fusion Out Monday, Office 2008 Delayed, Gadget News, and More

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Fusion Out Monday, Office 2008 Delayed, Gadget News, and More

Big developments in the software world: First, the good news. VMware will release Fusion, its virtualization software for Mac, on Monday for $79.99 (or download a free 30-day evaluation version). Featuring 64-bit support, Fusion can run Windows (or other OSes) side by side with the Mac OS, like Parallels Desktop and CrossOver for Mac. You can still preorder Fusion for $39.99, through Sunday. And Microsoft has released a Remote Desktop Connection Client (Beta) to let you access a Windows machine from a Mac. You can download the public beta here. But there's also some bad news: Microsoft announced that Office 2008 for Mac is delayed -- it will miss its targeted "second half of 2007" release date, and not reach customers until January 2008. If you're wondering why, here's a good theory.

 

In Apple happenings: Leopard's on its way, but Tiger is still kicking -- Apple is testing prerelease builds of Mac OS 10.4.11. Macs are gaining ground in the business sphere, especially in small- to medium-size companies. And what's a day without questions, rumors, and speculation? Does this recent Apple patent show a multi-touch user interface for future Macs? Is Apple planning to sell ads on the iTunes Store? Are the dim and bright keys on this alleged new iMac keyboard for MacBook Pro-style keyboard backlighting (we hope so!) or just to control screen brightness? Will next week's Mac event in Cupertino finally signal the death of the Mac mini? And just how does this Gene Munster guy make all his Apple predictions -- and how'd he get "efamous" enough to get his own fake blog?

 

Non-iPhone gadgets and gizmos: Remember the once-separate devices that were eventually mashed up in the iPhone? You know, stuff like digital cameras, iPods, and regular old cell phones? They're still out there! Some are even hurting people just to get attention! (OK, not really.) Sony is offering to repair 416,000 Cyber-shot DSC-T5 cameras, because a case defect can cause sharp edges and cut hands. Check your serial number online. As far as other devices, we love the look of Monster's latest iPod streamer, which uses the iPod itself as the remote control. And we love even more this Cardboard iPod Boombox (yes, really!) from Suck UK. Speaking of iPods, keep it down, huh? Leaky sound bothers people. And cell phones save lives -- in Argentina, the backlights of several cell phones provided illumination when a blackout occurred during an emergency appendix operation.

 

OK, OK, there's some iPhone news too: The iPhone update released this week provides fixes for a few early complaints about the device. Hackers' "Hello" program proves that the iPhone can run third-party apps even without the cooperation of Apple. Nonhacker types can still customize certain aspects of their phones (custom ringtones, changing the order of the home screen icons) with iFuntastic. iPhone owners can get free Wi-Fi access at Boingo-networked airports during August. But if you're traveling overseas, remember to turn off the iPhone's "Email Autocheck" first, or you may wind up with extra data charges. Even though we've read that the iPhone battery is soldered in place, you can now get a $20 DIY replacement kit. Naturally, attempting to replace it yourself will void your warranty. (Although we can't imagine how many batteries are dying ALREADY.) Battery OK, but you want some new widgets and whatzits for your iPhone? Check out Readdle, which lets you upload PDF, TXT, Word, and Excel documents to a Web-based account and read them on your iPhone. And Plusmo has launched a free widget service for iPhones, letting users create personalized widgets from over 20,000 possibilities. That should keep you busy for a while.

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