Microsoft says 74 percent of work PCs still use Windows XP, extends downgrade rights until 2020

The latest Microsoft operating system may be selling seven copies a second , but it’s no match for the behemoth Windows XP, still the most popular OS in the world despite recent nefarious attempts (we kid) to invoke spontaneous shutdowns , slow hard drives and trigger blue screens . In fact, a Microsoft exec admitted today that practically three-quarters of business computers still run the nine-year-old OS on hardware averaging 4.4 years old, and Computerworld ‘s now reporting Microsoft will extend XP’s lifespan through 2020 (you read that right) as a result.

Lockheed Martin, Navy team up to deploy communications buoys for submarines

Lockheed Martin has announced that it’s completed a critical design review for a system that enables submarine communication while below periscope depth. Part of the US Navy’s Communications at Speed and Depth Program, buoys are launched by the sub, which can then connect nearby to military networks or satellites

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Tools package goes to beta

Early versions of the tools Windows Phone 7 developers will use to craft their wares have been floating around since Microsoft’s MIX event in March, but it looks like things have finally gotten robust and feature-complete enough this week to bless the kit with a beta label. In fact, Microsoft is coming out and saying that this release “represents the near final version,” which we take to mean you can develop with some confidence that your world won’t be turned upside down when the time comes to prep your apps for shipping devices and firmwares.

Skype says Fring violated its Terms of Use, ‘damaging our brand and reputation’ in the process

It looks like Fring’s recent decision to block Skype access to its iPhone 4 video app was the final straw for Skype, who charges that VoIP network was in breach of the Terms of Use and EULA for the Skype API. “Over time,” writes General Counsel Robert Miller, “Fring’s mis-use of our software was increasingly damaging our brand and reputation with our customers.” Although they’ve “been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably,” Friday’s action is being called “disappointing [for] our customers, who have high expectations of the Skype experience.” He goes on to say that “Skype will rigorously protect our brand and reputation, and those developers that do not comply with our terms will be subject to legal enforcement.” Meaning, presumably, that in the case of more Fring shenanigans there will be some sort of red-hot legal action.

Bina48 is one humanoid robot you’re going to want to hang out with

The photo you see above is of Bina48, one of the most advanced humanoid robots around.

BlackBerry 6 teased again in new official video

There have been rumors that the first volley of BlackBerry 6 -powered devices could launch as early as last month — but seeing how we’re still empty-handed, we may as well enjoy more high production value video pimping the biggest new features, right? RIM has published another official YouTube spot on BlackBerry 6 today showing off goodies likes aggregated social network integration, universal search, and — of course — the all-new WebKit-based browser coming out of last year’s purchase of Torch Mobile . Interestingly, this latest video continues RIM’s trend of showing 6 running only on full touchscreen phones; we can’t fathom that they’d abandon the form factor that made them famous, of course, but it’s becoming more and more obvious by the day that we’re going to see this launch on the rumored 9800 or something very similar to it