Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category
We’re almost there. Just a few more days until the big reveal. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few final Windows 8 secrets to be disclosed. Two of those are the price and the packaging, which online retailer Newegg has just let slip. There are four packages listed: Windows 8 Professional Upgrade ($69), Windows 8 Pro Pack ($69, product key card only), Windows 8 OEM ($99) and Windows 8 Professional ($139), with the latter two being available in both 32- and 64-bit versions (for the same price). If you go into the product page, however, we can see that the original price for the upgrade and product key card only versions is listed as “$199″ suggesting that this might either be a launch offer, or subject to change. Don’t forget though, there’s still the chance to upgrade for an even lower price, for those who qualify. You can officially reserve your copy of Pro from today for $69.99 at all the main retailers, but if you can hold back on that impulse purchase for just a little longer, you’ll be able to upgrade to Pro online for $39 (until January 31st). Follow the source for details.
SOURCE via Microsoft
Microsoft confirmed some time ago that a Netflix app would be available for Windows 8, and it turns out it’s available well before the big October 26th launch date. Netflix announced today that the app is now available for download from the Windows Store for those who’ve already upgraded to an early version of the OS. Expectedly, the app matches the overall style of Windows 8, and Netflix says that it’s also made the app more efficient to cut down on both CPU and battery usage. It’s quick to point out that this is only the first version of the app, though, noting that it has “more updates and ideas in the pipeline for later this fall.”
Analysts at Gartner said on Monday that Microsoft is making a big gamble with Windows 8, but a necessary one if the Redmond company wants to stay relevant in a multi-screen world.
The news arrives as the release date of Windows 8 grows near. Microsoft has received a lot of criticism for the new operating system’s new touch-based focus, seemingly pushing aside the typical desktop user that has fed it millions for decades. Even Microsoft’s own Steve Ballmer has admitted the importance of this launch, calling 2012 the company’s most epic year.
As Michael Silver, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, points out, Windows was once a powerhouse for Microsoft when the PC platform dominated personal computing. However, smartphones and tablets, led by the iPhone and iPad, have changed the way people work. The PC is now one of many computing devices – a peer with several other gadgets that are more user-friendly on-the-go.
But with Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to play on the same level, to feed off the “excitement” of the tablet market by adding its own tablet-friendly features. “Microsoft’s approach is very different from Apple’s and Google’s, where phones and tablets have much more commonality than PCs and tablets,” Silver. “This plays to Microsoft’s strength in PCs, leveraging it not only to enter the tablet market, but also to improve its share of the smartphone market.”
Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner, said the release of Windows 8 isn’t your normal low or even high impact major release of Microsoft flagship platform. Instead, it’s the start of a whole new era – an era that includes the launch of a new non-x86 platform for Microsoft: Windows RT. This ARM-based OS follows the NT era which began in 1993 and is just now starting to fade out. That said, Microsoft “eras” seem to last 20 years, so the foundation of Windows 8 should last for a long time.
Making radical changes to Windows poses a risk for Microsoft as organizations like to reduce technology risk by deploying mature, stable, well-supported products, the firm said on Monday. There’s also the controversy surrounding the Modern UI – it looks appropriate on new form factors like tablets, hybrids and convertibles, but people are questioning its appropriateness for traditional desktop and notebook machines, which comprise the majority of the existing PC market.
Gartner believes that if Windows 8 on tablets is successful, it will have many impacts on organizations. It may also force IT to establish additional bring your own device (BYOD) programs, as it will be harder for IT to buy and support PCs the way they have for the past 20 years. Many workers will still want to use an iPad and a traditional notebook and others may want different, new devices.
“Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing and will be formally launched in October, but the reality is that most organizations are still working on eliminating Windows XP and deploying Windows 7,” Silver said. “Organizations will need to decide whether they continue with Windows 7 and or consider Windows 8.”
Additional information is available in the Gartner Special Report, “Is Windows 8 in Your Future?” which can be read here.
Uh oh. This is certainly news Microsoft does not want to hear about one month before the official release of its Windows 8 operating system. At a company meeting, Paul Otellini reportedly told employees that Windows 8 is released before it is “fully ready”, according to an article published by Bloomberg. However, getting Windows 8 ready now is the right decision and Microsoft can release updates afterwards to fix bugs.
It is not unusual that software ships with some bugs as many companies typically resort to an 80/20 strategy in which 80 percent is good enough and the remaining 20 percent too expensive to achieve. We should also remember that Microsoft also released Windows XP and Windows 7 in October to be able to make the Christmas season of sales. Vista was originally scheduled for an October 2006 release, but delayed to January 2007 due to critical bugs. Microsoft used “Express Upgrades” in October 2006 instead – and had to deal with a logistic disaster in early 2007. If Microsoft can avoid a delay for Windows 8, it will go to great lengths to do so, even if that means that Windows 8 will ship with some annoying bugs.
Of course, it is highly unusual that Otellini’s remarks, if they were made in the reported way, are making it into the public. Windows 8 has already been criticized left and right and if Intel now suggests that the operating system still has bugs that need to be worked out, then more than just a few prospective computer buyers may decide to stick with Windows 7. That, of course, also means that Intel will be taking a hit in potential CPU sales as customers are delaying their purchases.
SOURCE via Bloomberg
As promised, Microsoft is issuing a security patch for a Flash vulnerability on Windows 8 in Internet Explorer 10. Though the operating system has yet to see its official public release, researchers testing the RTM version found a bug that could cause Flash to crash and allow for attackers to take control of a user’s machine. Additionally, the company is rolling out an update to address a security hole in Internet Explorer versions 7 and 8 on Windows XP — and IE 9 on Windows 7 and Windows Vista — which left the door open for hackers to spread malware via a specially designed Flash animation. Both security patches are available via Microsoft’s Windows Update service.
SOURCE via The Verge
Many who’ve been following Microsoft’s tablet efforts for years will have a soft spot for the Courier, a creative-focused device axed because it didn’t fit the Windows puzzle. However, it looks like you just can’t keep a clever idea down. Developers at Microsoft have revived the dream through Project Austin, a Windows 8 app based around the visual concept of a notebook. Pen aficionados can choose different paper types and paste in photos, but they’re deliberately kept away from typing, searching and other elements that would complicate the idea. It should sound familiar: it’s a rough (if possibly unintentional) Windows doppelganger to FiftyThree’s Paper for iPad, which itself was designed by some of the former Courier team. A company spokesperson won’t say if or when Project Austin will be available in a complete form for the public, although there’s not much point until Windows 8 arrives on October 26th. Thankfully, programmers keen to see what Courier might have been — if just in bits and pieces — can already download the source code for themselves.
SOURCE via CodePlex
Windows Phone 8 may not have a firm release date, but reports are flooding in that it’s just been released to manufacturers (RTM) so they can work on their side of the equation: hardware production. According to LiveSino, pictures posted to Chinese social network Sina Weibo show members of the Windows Phone team signing a banner marking the milestone. In particular, Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone Division, was caught penning his name alongside others. ZDNet’s own sources corroborate that Ballmer and Co. have deemed the operating system fit to ship. With manufacturers seemingly taken care of, developers will be able to get their mitts on the WP8 software development kit in roughly two weeks.
SOURCE via Live Sino
HTC and Microsoft have been cautious about what they’ll let us see of the software on the Windows Phone 8X and its 8S counterpart. Apparently, they don’t have any such compunction about leaving the phones’ naked components hanging in the breeze. Along with outlining the essentialist, Metro-inspired philosophy behind the Windows Phone 8 devices’ design, HTC’s new behind-the-scenes video (after the break) shows the internals without that extra-colorful shell getting in the way. The exposé is more about the sheer demand for customized hardware to match those distinctive enclosures than anything too scandalous — that tapered shape requires some finessing on the inside, we’re told. Whatever you think of HTC’s guided tour, the company has at least learned its lesson and decided against including any unexpected prototypes this time around.
Consider this Microsoft’s ultimate blessing, or merely a way to guarantee household name recognition. Whatever the case, the company’s next-gen Apollo OS is not only powering HTC’s newest mobile movement, it’s also the headliner. That’s right, as clunky as it may initially seem, Windows Phone 8X is the official moniker of the OEM’s brightly hued flagship series, an alphabetical denomination that puts it on premium standing with the One X line.
And thanks to the loosened spec restraints made possible by WP8, this modern-minded, unibodied beaut reps a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 Super LCD 2 display with Gorilla Glass 2 coating, dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor buffered by 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, WiFi a/b/g/n, NFC and an integrated 1,800mAh Li-ion battery. There’s also quadband radio support for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSPA/WCDMA (850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz) and, of course, LTE for stateside carriers.
Though the 8X may share the same boldly colored, polycarbonate construction of its live-tiled Lumia frenemies, it also stands apart with the inclusion of two HTC-specific features: Beats Audio, replete with a built-in amplifier, and ImageChip for continuous shooting. And speaking of optics, this device’s dual camera setup packs the combined punch of a 2.1-megapixel front-facer with 88-degree ultra-wide-angle lens and an 8-megapixel rear module with an f/2.0 lens accompanied by a single LED flash — both capable of 1080p video capture.
While the veil of mystery surrounding this latest tech industry collaboration may have just lifted, you’ll still have to wait a bit before it heads to retail. After all, Microsoft’s planning its own WP8 coming out party for late October — a reveal that should finally give us a full look at the smartphone UI formerly known as Metro.
With a ship date set for some time this November, the 8X will be available in four distinct colors – California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow — on over 150 carriers worldwide. No word on final pricing as of yet. So, until then, sate yourself with this first taste.
The Windows Phone 8 era is swinging into full effect. Nokia’s big launch event was only a few short weeks ago, now HTC is enjoying its time in the spotlight with two handsets of its own. The Windows Phone 8S makes no mystery of its platform choice and, like the One S, indicates its midrange status with a simple alphabetic suffix. This four-inch phone will be shipping with HSPA on board. Unfortunately there’s no word on an LTE edition of this rather handsome device. Spec-wise, the WVGA screen leaves us a little wanting, but we appreciate the combination of Super LCD and Gorilla Glass, which should make for a contrast-y and scratch resistant panel. Under the hood is a dual-core S4 clocked at 1GHz, which is hardly a speed demon by today’s standards, but should be enough to keep Microsoft’s streamlined OS humming along nicely. The CPU is augmented by 512MB of RAM, which isn’t any beefier than most Mango phones prepping for retirement.
A paltry 4GB of storage is baked in, but thankfully HTC saw fit to include a microSD slot for expansion. Those rather modest internals should help the handset make the most of the 1,700 mAh battery at least. Sadly, the Taiwanese manufacturer decided to skip a front-facing cam on its entry level device and the sensor around back is only 5MP and limited to 720p video capture. At 10.28mm thick the 8S isn’t the sleekest handset, but the tapered edges make look quite a bit thinner than that measurement would indicate. There’s no denying the appeal of the two-tone polycarbonate bodies, regardless of comparative girth, which feature soft touch finishes in veritable rainbow of options. Pricing has yet to be announced, but you can expect the 8S to hit shelves in early November on a number of carriers.