Jan 2010: Platform/Suite 1.6, Freeware, New Tools, FOSDEM and more

Welcome to the January 2010 edition of the PortableApps.com newsletter... sadly, a couple days late due to mailing glitch. This month we'll cover the new PortableApps.com Platform and Suite 1.6 release, the launch of freeware on PortableApps.com, our new development tools letting most software be portablized easily, our presentation at FOSDEM 2010 and our current and upcoming releases. So let's get started!

1. PortableApps.com Platform and Suite 1.6
2. Follow PortableApps.com on Twitter and Facebook
3. The Road to 2.0
4. Freeware Debuts on PortableApps.com
5. PA.c Launcher, Format and Installer
6. PA.c at FOSDEM 2010 in Brussels
7. New Releases
8. Upcoming Releases
9. Recent Press

==== PortableApps.com Platform and Suite 1.6 Released ====

Just two days ago, we released the new PA.c Platform and Suite 1.6. This release includes all of the features from the latest 2.0 Beta 3 release including improved performance, better renaming and hiding, pinning applications to the top of the menu, an integrated eject feature, better Wine support, automatically run apps, transparency and 120dpi support. It also includes updated translations, improved Windows 7 support and an improved installer. The PA.c Suite has been updated to include the new Platform and the latest versions of everyone's favorite software including Mozilla Firefox 3.6, Mozilla Thunderbird 3.0.1, and OpenOffice.org Portable 3.1.1. Get all the details:


==== Follow PortableApps.com on Twitter and Facebook ====

In addition to our online community on PortableApps.com with over 100,000 members, we've expanded to include Twitter and Facebook in our online community. Both are growing quickly and are other easy ways to find out what PortableApps.com is up to. On Twitter, we tweet about all our software releases as well as related news like our recent trip to CES in Las Vegas to meet with hardware partners. On Facebook, we only post about major new software releases like our recent releases of Firefox 3.6, Inkscape, Canabalt and uTorrent. You can also interact with all your favorite developers. So, feel free to join in today:


==== The Road to 2.0 ====

As many of our dedicated users will know, the 1.6 update seems a bit out of order with our original 2.0 plan. We decided it was more important to get many of the features we were working on out to users now rather than wait for the big 2.0 release. So, you can enjoy them now. 2.0 itself is still in the works. 2.0 Beta 4 will be posted today (Tuesday) and include all the updates in 1.6 as well as theming re-enabled. This will be followed by additional betas, each of which will add a significant new feature including the upcoming PortableApps.com Updater and improved menu organization. We'll be posting weekly status updated to the PortableApps.com Forums again detailing our progress on 2.0 as well as all the other things in the works.

==== Freeware Debuts on PortableApps.com ====

At the end of last year, we made the long-awaited announcement that we'd be packaging and supporting freeware applications in PortableApps.com Format. At the same time, we released the PortableApps.com Format, the open standard for portable software, for open source, freeware and commercial software. Now, for our fans wondering if this means we're going to go closed source ourselves, the answer is a definite no. We believe open source is the best model to provide our software and to ensure the continued reliability, security, feature enhancements and flexibility of our platform. That means that the PortableApps.com Platform (including the menu, backup utility and upcoming updater), the PortableApps.com Installer, the upcoming universal launcher and all our other tools remain 100% open source, all under the GPL, and will remain so. Even the full PortableApps.com Suite remains 100% open source software.

But, this does mean that your favorite freeware applications are now available on PortableApps.com. Software like FreeCommander, Skype, Google Chrome, Foxit Reader, TeamViewer, 2X Client and even popular games like Canabalt are already available, and much more is on the way. We work with publishers to ensure their software is packaged properly. Many publishers are even using our tools to package and distribute the portable versions themselves. Full details are included in the announcement:


==== PA.c Launcher, Format and Installer ====

As our developers and publishers know, we finalized the PortableApps.com Format and Installer and made them available in our Development section. But we're not done yet. To make portablizing software even easier, we're announcing the release of the PortableApps.com Launcher. It includes all the time-tested methods we use to make software portable, but within an easy-to-configure launcher that can be used to make nearly any software portable without writing a single line of code. The first preview version is available in the Beta Testing forums. The 1.0 Beta release is coming later this week and will be announced on our homepage and via RSS and twitter.

==== PA.c at FOSDEM 2010 in Brussels ====

PortableApps.com developer Steve Lamerton will be representing us at FOSDEM 2010 in Brussels on February 6th and 7th. He'll be giving a Lightning Talk on the PortableApps.com Platform on Saturday. You may be most familiar with Steve as the developer behind our popular Toucan backup, sync and encryption utility. So, if you're heading to FOSDEM, drop in on Steve's lightning talk. The details are here:


==== New Releases ====

We've had a busy few months since our last semi-monthly newsletter. In addition to the big updated to Firefox 3.6, Thunderbird 3.0.1 and others, we also launched portable versions of Skype, FreeCommander, Google Chrome, uTorrent and other popular freeware apps. We worked with the Inkscape team on Inkscape Portable, making vector graphics editing on the go a snap. We also launched the long-awaited SeaMonkey Internet Suite Portable. We were even lucky enough to work with game designer Adam Atomic to bring the hugely-popular game Canabalt to the PortableApps.com Platform... so you can outrun the demolition of your city with just one button anywhere you'd like.


==== Upcoming Releases ====

We've got several upcoming releases in the fire. Today, we'll see minor updates to Audacity, Cornice, KompoZer, LBreakout2, SpeedCrunch, WinDirStat and winMd5Sum to improve Windows 7 compatibility and update to the current PortableApps.com Installer for better interaction with the upcoming PA.c Software Updater. We'll also see the release of PA.c Platform 2.0 Beta 4 with all the updates from the recent 1.6 release and menu theming. Also this week, we'll see the debut of SMPlayer Portable as well as an updated version of the PA.c AppCompactor for shrinking apps and the new Google Chrome 4.0 release, which has been in testing since it debuted. The PA.c Launcher 1.0 Beta 1 release will also drop. Later in February, we'll see releases of the PA.c Autoplay utility (to let the PA.c Platform automatically run on your PC), the Eclipse open development environment, XMPlay Portable and lots more.

==== Recent Press ====

In recent months, we've had some great write-ups and mentions in lifehacker, MakeUseof, Information Week, Maximum PC, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Computerworld and more. Our favorite mention was in lifehacker's Internet Survival Guide for Traveling Where Privacy Isn't Respected: "On your USB drives, you want to carry software that you need, and for that the PortableApps[.com] Suite really is outstanding. It's almost like carrying your own computer with you, without the hassle of actually doing so." You can read them all on our In The News page in our Press Section:


Well, that brings this month's newsletter to a close. Stay tuned (or subscribed, actually) for even more great software next month. And don't forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter.

- Your friends at PortableApps.com