The plan was for the second Beta development milestone of Firefox 4.0 to have already been release by the start of this week at the very latest, although the company was trying to do it even earlier.

Obviously, Firefox 4.0 Beta 2 is not here. However, early adopters should know that the browser release is still, just around the corner. But it did suffer a small delay, just a few days. According to Mozilla, Firefox 4.0 Beta 2 is still just around the corner, and it could drop as early as today or tomorrow.

“We’re glad you’re interested in Firefox 4 Beta 2 – it’s not quite ready yet. Our candidate builds are still going through quality assurance tests,” is the message that greets testers attempting to download the second Beta Build of the next major iteration of Firefox. More »

When building Windows Azure, one of the aspects of the operating system emphasized time and time again by the company was interoperability. And, indeed, early adopters but also customers of the Cloud platform from Microsoft can testify to the fact that Windows Azure plays nice with a range of non-Microsoft technologies. The Redmond giant wanted to make sure that developers leveraging PHP and Java would feel right at home on the new platform. A new video tutorial made available on MSDN is designed to show devs how to run a Java application on Windows Azure.

After all, I bet there are people in Java-centric shops that need a bit of convincing.

“For those of you interested in Windows Azure, an open platform on which applications written in .NET, PHP, or Java can run, the Windows Azure team has just posted a new video to MSDN on how to create and run a Java application in Windows Azure,” Peter Galli, the Open Source Community manager for Microsoft’s Platform Strategy Group, revealed. More »

Customers that are using Linux and Windows Server in the same environment can also turn to a free resource from Microsoft designed to enhance the performance of the open source operating system when used together with the Redmond company’s hypervisor role. Best Practices for Running Linux on Hyper-V is a whitepaper offered free through the Microsoft Download Center, set up to highlight virtualization benefits associated with Linux on Hyper-V. At the same time, customers with heterogeneous environments can leverage the best practices described in the whitepaper in order to boost the performance of Linux when used as a guest operating system on a Hyper-V host.

“Most data centers use a variety of applications and operating systems. If you use both Linux and Windows operating systems, you can use Hyper-V to take advantage of the benefits of virtualization across your data center,” an excerpt from the whitepaper reads. “Hyper-V, the Microsoft hypervisor-based server virtualization platform, provides virtualization capabilities through the Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system infrastructure. Hyper-V lets you efficiently run multiple operating systems in parallel on a single server and fully capitalize on the power of x64 computing.” More »

A second Alpha version of Firefox is planned for availability by the end of this week, the evolution from Firefox 3.7 Alpha 1 which was released almost two weeks ago to developers. Specifically, in the first half of February 2010, Mozilla offered the Developer Preview of Gecko 1.9.3 Alpha 1. In this regard, Firefox 3.7 Alpha 2 is bound to be nothing more than Mozilla Developer Preview of Gecko 1.9.3 Alpha 2.

With the Alpha releases, Mozilla is exploring development directions for the next iteration of its open source browser. The Alpha 2 development milestone will bring to the table one of the key features announced for Firefox 4.0, namely Out Of Process Plugins (OOPPs).

“We are planning to do another alpha release of 1.9.3 this week with out-of-process plugins on by default. The following bugs should be resolved on February 23rd or 24th: bug 532208 – make browser->plugin streams unidirectional; bug 545734 – hide the iframe used to submit plugin crash reports; bug 547894 – topcrash with DivX passing null to a string function; and bug 544074 – topcrash at PluginModuleChild::UnregisterActorForNPObject,” stated Mozilla’s Benjamin Smedberg. More »

With the landmark alliance inked with Novell in 2006, Microsoft stepped up its game of supporting customers with heterogeneous environments in which Windows and Linux were running side by side. The Microsoft and Novell Windows and Linux interoperability and support broad collaboration agreement covered Windows Server and SUSE Linux, but since them the Redmond company has also worked to support Red Hat customers.

The Linux Integration Components for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2 are designed to provide a collection of drivers designed to enable synthetic device support in Linux OS virtual machines running under the software giant’s hypervisor role in Windows Server 2008 R2.

“We are excited to announce the availability of Linux integration components for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4) which provides synthetic network and storage drivers enabling RHEL to work with the optimized devices provided by Hyper-V.

We’ve already submitted these drivers to the upstream Linux kernel in July 2009, and are looking forward to these being integrated with a future version of RHEL,” revealed Mike Sterling, Hyper-V program manager, Microsoft.

According to Sterling, Hyper-V customers that rely on virtual machines with open source platforms from both Novell and Red Hat will be able to enjoy the same level of performance for Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests, as for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The Integration Components need to be installed on the virtualized copy of Linux running in Hyper-V. More »