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Tech Roundup: Windows in Clouds, Cox Goes Wireless, AOL Death Spiral, More

Microsoft launches cloud version of Windows -- Although the product name is Azure, you can bet that Microsoft is hoping to see some bump in the black ink from this new cloud-oriented version of Windows. It's supposed to help developers create applications for deployment "in our cloud," according to vice president Amitabh Srivastava. Unfortunately, developers who want a choice of cloud services -- certainly one of the rationales behind the approach -- don't appear well-accommodated. That may be a problem, because Amazon's EC2 offering doesn't seem to have the same xenophobic hang-ups. [Source: InfoWorld, Ars Technica]

End of the VCR -- It's not that technologies live forever. It's just that some could teach Camille a thing or two about drawing out the last scene. The VCR format is over three decades old, and now JVC, the last company to make a standalone tape unit, is ending production. Don't tell Sony, though -- it's still hoping for a Betamax breakthrough. Or was that Blu-ray? [Source: href="http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/27/standalone-vcr-party-finally-ends-jvc-shuts-the-door-as-it-leav/" mce_href="http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/27/standalone-vcr-party-finally-ends-jvc-shuts-the-door-as-it-leav/">Engadget]

Cox to build cellular network -- In a time of economic downturn, when no one is sure what will be selling, Cox Communicationshas decided to build its own cellular network. It has 6.2 million subscribers, land lines, and an upcoming partnership with Sprint Nextel, and yet clearly hasn't heard that the time to build out cell phone networks was, uh, some number of years ago. Executives there want to control the whole enchilada, from marketing to back office and billing. Starting with CDMA, Cox then plans to test LTE, which is the GSM 4G service, making the whole thing sound a little confused. But management must think it has no financial worries, as this sort of effort is expensive, to say the least, with the good cell tower locations already taken by, oh, everyone. [Source: Computerworld]

AOL in world's slowest death spiral -- The signs are clear that Time Warner doesn't know what to do with that old Internet icon AOL, and that's not good news for those who work there. It has already announced the end of AOL Journals and AOL Hometown and is about to follow up with notification that come the end of the year, AOL Pictures, BlueString, and Xdrive will follow into that good night. Perhaps Yahoo is still considering an acquisition of the brand as a convoluted way of staving off Microsoft, but that would be a horse-sized poison pill. [Source: Ars Technica]

Nvidia denies further layoff rumor -- Word on the street is that Nvidia plans to lay off another thousand people rather than just the 360 announced in September. The company is says that the story is completely untrue. Could be, though there is certainly lots of precedent for managers to deny actions before taking them. [Source: DigiTimes]

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