The Future of Personas, YouTube and Windows 7
Article by George Norman
On 09 Mar 2010
This article is about three different products, developed by three different companies, and what the future holds for them – I am talking here about changes already implemented that will be rolled out gradually and get better over time, changes that will be implemented soon, and changes that are expected to happen over the course of the year.

Let’s get things started with Personas, the Mozilla Labs experiment released to the public last year in April that allows Firefox users to customize the way the browser looks. Personas turned out to be quite a hit with the public; such a big hit that in February there were 57,000 designs already, not to mention the fact that Personas was built into the latest iteration of the Firefox browser, Firefox 3.6.


Here is what the future holds for Personas, as announced by the Mozilla Add-ons Team:
  • Personas will migrate from to (AMO) because is “built on a prototype code base and simply is not capable of supporting the features and scale we need to bring to the Personas community.” By moving Personas to AMO it will become a piece of the add-ons ecosystem and as such will be given all the attention it deservers from the AMO team.
  • The name of the add-on will change from Personas to Personas Plus “to better reflect how it adds features to the Personas already present in Firefox 3.6. Personas Plus will continue to evolve to add new and exciting features to Personas,” said the Mozilla Add-ons team.

Moving on to the Google-owned, popular video sharing site YouTube, in a blog post entitled “The Future Will Be Captioned: Improving Accessibility on YouTube” Product Manager Hiroto Tokusei, announced that YouTube is opening up auto-captions to all YouTube users. Auto-captions will be rolled out over time to all the videos available on YouTube. Speaking of things that will happen over time, the auto-caption feature will be tweaked over time to support more languages (currently only English is supported).

Last but not least, let’s focus a bit on the latest iteration of the Microsoft-developed operating system, Windows 7. You might remember that back in January Microsoft announced it sold more than 60 million Windows 7 licenses. Earlier this month we reported that the total number of sold Windows 7 licenses shot up to 90 million. Here’s what the future holds for Windows 7: according to COO (Chief Operating Office) Kevin Turner, Microsoft expects to sell 300 million Windows 7 licenses during 2010.

There is one other thing the future holds for Windows 7: it will be increasingly targeted by malware spreaders. Fake antivirus applications (or rogues) are programs that claim to be genuine security software applications. They scare you into thinking your system has been infected, then ask you to purchase a license to remove the infection. It is nothing but a scam meant to part you and your hard earned money. According to SophosLabs researcher Onur Komili, “the malware folks have upgraded their look to the latest Windows 7! They have to assume people visiting their pages have upgraded to the latest Windows. After all, it seems less likely people will fall for a Windows XP My Computer looking page claiming they have malware when they’re running Windows 7.”

Tags: Mozilla, Personas, Google, YouTube, Microsft, Windows 7
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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