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In the late 1990s, initial development of what would become Windows XP was focused on two individual products: "Odyssey", which was reportedly intended to succeed the future Windows 2000 and "Neptune", which was reportedly a consumer-oriented operating system using the Windows NT architecture, succeeding the MS-DOS-based Windows 98.
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However, the projects proved to be too ambitious. In January 2000, shortly prior to the official release of Windows 2000, technology writer Paul Thurrott reported that Microsoft had shelved both Neptune and Odyssey in favor of a new product codenamed "Whistler", named after Whistler, British Columbia, as many Microsoft employees skied at the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort. The goal of Whistler was to unify both the consumer and business-oriented Windows lines under a single, Windows NT platform. Thurrott stated that Neptune had become "a black hole when all the features that were cut from Windows Me were simply re-tagged as Neptune features. And since Neptune and Odyssey would be based on the same code-base anyway, it made sense to combine them into a single project".
On release, Windows XP received critical acclaim. CNET described the operating system as being "worth the hype", considering the new interface to be "spiffier" and more intuitive than previous versions, but feeling that it may "annoy" experienced users with its "hand-holding". XP's expanded multimedia support and CD burning functionality were also noted, along with its streamlined networking tools. The performance improvements of XP in comparison to 2000 and Me were also praised, along with its increased number of built-in device drivers in comparison to 2000. The software compatibility tools were also praised, although it was noted that some programs, particularly older MS-DOS software, may not work correctly on XP because of its differing architecture. They panned Windows XP's new licensing model and product activation system, considering it to be a "slightly annoying roadblock", but acknowledged Microsoft's intent for the changes. PC Magazine provided similar praise, although noting that a number of its online features were designed to promote Microsoft-owned services, and that aside from quicker boot times, XP's overall performance showed little difference over Windows 2000. Windows XP's default theme, Luna, was criticized by some users for its childish look.
The Blackbird JPEG2000 IP core is a custom logic implementation of the JPEG2000 Part 1 Standard targeting FPGA and ASIC based products. The Blackbird JPEG2000 core was developed to meet specific customer requirements in the ultra fast image compression application area. The demanding performance needs of high speed scanners, digital camcoders and non-linear video editing cards can only be met using Blackbird codec technology.
The Blackbird IP core is available for FPGA and ASIC designs. The IP Core is compatible with the AMBA System on Chip interconnect standard. The Blackbird codec will also be available as a PCI compatible interface board for desktop systems. The Blackbird PCI Card will be compatible with the Cypress JPEG2000 SDK Applications Programming Interface (API). Software application using the Image Power Cypress Software Development Toolkit will enjoy speed improvements of 40 to 1 by simply installing the Blackbird PCI Card. The Blackbird IP Core uses technology originally developed last year for a communications infrastructure product company.
The Blackbird JPEG2000 IP core and board level products are currently slated for release in August. The JPEG2000 IP core is available for a license fee $40,000 for the encoder and $20,000 for the decoder per design instance in encrypted netlist form. Pricing includes a limited unit volume license. Higher volumes are available on a per unit royalty basis. The Blackbird PCI JPEG2000 card is priced at $1495 single quantity.