Microsoft refreshes Azure cloud tools

From InfoWorld: Microsoft unveiled on Wednesday refreshed versions of its Windows Azure software development kit and Azure tools for Visual Studio, which support the planned Windows Azure cloud services platform.

Google lays off 100 recruiters

From CNET News.com: Google, having reduced its hiring rate, is also reducing its hiring staff.

The company said on its corporate blog that it's cutting about 100 jobs.

Steve Jobs taking medical leave of absence

From CNET News.com: Apple has confirmed that CEO Steve Jobs will step down from his CEO post while recuperating from a hormone imbalance. His absence will stretch until the end of June.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, will run the company during Jobs' absence, according an e-mail Jobs sent to Apple employees that was released to the media.

Jobs said in the e-mail:

Toshiba Nears Final Stages of Negotiations to Acquire Fujitsu’s Hard Drive Biz

From X-bit Labs: Toshiba Corp., a maker of various electronics, is reportedly in the final stages of discussions to acquire hard disk drive (HDD) business of Fujitsu. The move will expand potentially profitable business for Hitachi and will take the money losing unit away from Fujitsu. What is surprising is that estimated cost of the deal is below the price of Fujitsu’s HDD biz which was discussed during Fujitsu – Western Digital talks earlier.

Microsoft issues first Windows 7 beta patch

From InfoWorld: Microsoft issued its first patch for the just-released Windows 7 beta on Tuesday, but it passed on plugging a hole in an important file-sharing protocol that it fixed in older versions of the operating system.

Blockbuster Deal to Put Movies on Many Digital Devices

From PC World: Blockbuster and Sonic Systems are teaming up to make digital content available on a wider range of electronic devices, the companies said on Wednesday.

Sonic Systems, perhaps best known for its Roxio disc-burning software, will provide a back-end digital content delivery system under the multiyear agreement as Blockbuster seeks to bolster its online offerings for a greater range of devices and in different formats.

Google Launches Reseller Program for Apps Premier

From PC World: Google will launch on Wednesday a reseller program for the paid version of its Apps hosted collaboration and communication suite.

The program will allow, for the first time, third parties to resell Apps Premier, which costs US$50 per user per year.

Resellers can be IT service providers, VARs, system integrators, consultants, software vendors and ISPs of any size anywhere in the world.

Psystar: We bought Mac OS fair and square

From CNET News.com: Psystar is still tilting at legal windmills in its battle against Apple, this time asserting its right to do whatever it wants with products obtained legally from Apple.

Intel price cuts coming

From CNET News.com: Intel is planning price cuts to its lower-end mainstream quad-core processors on January 18.

Barron's Tech Trader Daily first reported the news, citing Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell.

These cuts are happening because of the recent introduction of Advanced Micro Devices' 45-nanometer Phenom II and "Shanghai" Opteron processors.

50 Million PlayStation 2 Consoles Sold in North America

From DailyTech: 50 million PlayStation 2 consoles have been sold in North America. Despite being nine years old, the console is still selling well and is the most played console of 2008 according to a Nielsen study. In November, 206,000 PlayStation 2 units were sold.

According to NPD numbers, the original Microsoft Xbox sold 14.5 million consoles and the Nintendo GameCube sold 12 million consoles. In the United States alone 43 million PlayStation 2s have been sold.

Subscribe to Daily Computer & Technology News, Reviews, Discussion