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Knights tech_news_300MADISONVILLE, KY (12/5/12) – The Funeral of a Long-Loved Friend.

Windows XP has fewer than 500 days left to live, according to Microsoft and third-party countdown clocks. Microsoft will end support for XP on April 8, 2014, when it will issue a final security update for the 11-year-old operating system. On Saturday, the retirement countdown clocks offered by Microsoft and others flipped from 500 to 499 days, or a shade under 17 months. Microsoft provides a countdown gadget (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11662) for Windows XP's support demise. Ironically, the gadget runs only on Windows 7, the 2009 OS that most customers have adopted after departing XP.

AT&T Back to Basics

In a sign that the flip phone and walkie-talkie functionality are still popular with some workers, AT&T announced Thursday it will sell the rugged Samsung Rugby III exclusively for $99.99 with a two-year agreement starting Dec. 14. The Samsung Rugby III rugged phone: The flip form factor and compatibility with AT&T's Enhanced Push to Talk (a walkie-talkie service) create a sweet spot for businesses trying to equip field workers in a range of industries as well as outdoors enthusiasts. The 2.4-in. touchscreen display on the Rugby III is small compared to many of today's smartphones, such as the new 4-in. iPhone 5. But screen size isn't the priority for potential users, who AT&T thinks will want the military ruggedness, which makes it waterproof, dust proof and shock resistant

When a “Deal” is Not a Deal

Some laptops will be on sale for under US$200 from U.S. retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart this week. But what do you get in such inexpensive machines? For one, you can't play the latest games or run intense applications with these lightly configured laptops, and the machines are not the easiest to carry around. The laptops are adequate for basic Web surfing, word processing or very basic gaming, and could replace an aging desktop or laptop at home. But these laptops are not for everyone. It may be worth considering a higher-priced laptop with Intel's Core or Advanced Micro Devices' A-series processors for resource-heavy applications or multimedia. Lightweight ultrabooks or touch laptops will also be priced higher, perhaps more than $600 or more.

That’s today’s technology news you can use. I’m George Cummings from Computer Knights, and have a great day!

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