Most native apps updated
Microsoft-owned Skype today announced that its Video Messaging feature has left the preview stage and should now be available in most of its native client apps. Desktop support includes OS X and Windows/Windows 8. Compatible mobile platforms, meanwhile, include iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry.
Calculator, Sound Recorder return to Windows 8 in update
Details have emerged over possible updates for built-in apps in the free Windows 8.1 update. A reworked interface for Xbox Music, a redesigned Windows Store, and the reintroduction of apps seen in previous incarnations of the desktop operating system are shown in images, ahead of the update's preview release later this month.
Windows Store to show tablets, Windows Phone, Xbox consoles
Microsoft will be opening up Windows Stores inside electronics retailer Best Buy. The new announcement sees Microsoft placing a store-within-a-store version of its retail chain inside 500 Best Buy locations in the United States and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada, with the roll-out set to be finished by September.
No new features spotted
Apple has released a minor update of iTunes, v11.0.4. The patch copes with two glitches in the software, including one that would cause iTunes to crash when switching between USB and Wi-Fi sync. The other forced people to repeatedly enter their Apple ID at the iTunes Store, even after having logged in just recently.
Sub ten-inch Windows 8 tablets to gain Office Home and Student 2013
Microsoft has confirmed it will be releasing a version of Outlook for Windows RT tablets later this year, during its Computex Keynote address. At the same time, Microsoft advised that the new wave of tablets with screens measuring under 10 inches will be shipping with Office Home and Student 2013 preinstalled.
Docks for Transformer tablets add extra battery capacity, ports
Asus has shown off two new additions to its Transformer range of convertible devices, The Transformer Book Trio is billed as a "three in one" device that converts between an Android tablet, a Windows 8 notebook, and a Windows 8 desktop PC, while the Transformer Pad Infinity is an upgraded version of something the company has demonstrated previously.
Revised Start menu, greater focus on personalization
Microsoft has revealed more details about its free Windows 8.1 update that it will release later this year. The company has confirmed yesterday's rumors about the return of the Start Button, as well as revealing more about the incremental changes that will form part of the free software pack, previously known by the codename Windows Blue.
Start button to use angular design of Windows 8 logo
Details have emerged for how the Start button will work in the Windows 8.1 update, after complaints from users about its disappearance. The free Windows Blue add-on will include a Start button on the taskbar, just as it did in previous iterations of the operating system, but it will not apparently load a pop-up list of programs and folders like it did before.
Main, Gmail searches pull results from other Google apps
Google has released a beta version of Chrome 28 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The most significant change is in the Windows release, where a native notification center for apps and extensions has been turned on. These can include not only text and images, but optional actions such as making a phone call or sending email. Notifications can appear even when Chrome is closed. Google is promising Mac notifications "soon."
Uses Siri-like voice for narration
Microsoft is airing a new TV ad for Windows 8 tablets targeting their main competition, the Apple iPad. The spot points out that the iPad is missing equivalents to Windows 8 features like Live Tiles and true multitasking, and that at $449, a 64GB ASUS VivoTab Smart tablet is far cheaper than a comparable 64GB iPad, which is $699. Narrating everything is a Siri-like voice trying to defend Apple.
Finnish company site follows previous Amazon leak
The Acer Iconia W3 has been leaked yet again, but this time through Acer itself, and confirming it as having an 8.1-inch 1280x768-resolution display. The company's Finnish website shows the Intel Atom-powered tablet, complete with an optional keyboard dock and Windows 8 Pro pre-installed, after previously being shown by mistake on Amazon before being pulled from view.
Slatebook X2 Android-based, Split X2 driven by Windows 8
HP has just announced the HP SlateBook X2 and the HP Spilt X2, a pair of detachable PCs offering notebook and tablet functionality in one device. The SlateBook X2 is the first Android detachable device with the Nvidia Tegra 4-processor, and runs Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean." The Split X2 is powered by the full Windows 8 operating system.
Windows 8.1 public preview set for June 26th release
Microsoft has revealed more details for its upcoming Windows Blue update for Windows 8. Given the official title of Windows 8.1, the software pack will be made available as a free update to users of Windows 8 via the Windows Store, with a public preview of Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 and Windows RT also due next month.
Offers first offline playback support
Amazon has released a native version of Cloud Player for Windows. Previously, Cloud Player was only accessible through mobile and web apps. Amazon says it also working on native Mac software, but no release date is available.
Apple apparently reticent to add Metro support
"You shouldn't expect an iTunes [Metro] app on Windows 8 any time soon," Microsoft CFO Tami Reller tells CNN Money. "iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It's not for lack of trying." The quote may suggest that Microsoft has been talking with Apple about adding Metro support for iTunes, but without any progress.
Acer first to market with sub-10-inch Windows 8 tablet
The leaked Acer Iconia W3, which first surfaced on the weekend has been confirmed for June 4 launch in Russia. The launch date was revealed by Acer’s general director of the Taiwanese company’s Russian office, and provides an indication for its global rollout. The device briefly appeared on the Amazon store, before it was quickly pulled.
Carries over features of mobile apps
VoIP service Viber has released new Mac and Windows versions of its client software. Previously the app was only available for mobile platforms, such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone. The Desktop software incorporates all the features of the iOS app, such as instant messaging, contact sync, group chats, and shared histories.
Attack targeted nuclear weapons workers accessing health information
A US Department of Labor website tailored for nuclear weapons researchers has been compromised, redirecting visitors to a series of alternative websites. If the accessor was using Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8, the culmination of the attack inserted the "Poison Ivy" malware onto the computer, giving access to the user's data by "DeepPanda", a group of hackers believed to be located in China.
Microsoft update for Windows 8 Weather app includes ski resort data
Microsoft has updated its Weather app for Windows 8. The changes include new interactive and dynamically-moving weather maps for cities and regions, satellite images, temperature and precipitation levels, cloud cover, and radar pictures. The Bing blog also notes that weather details for ski resorts in 31 countries around the world are also provided in the update.
Microsoft enables two-step verification to Microsoft Accounts
Microsoft has enabled two-factor authentication for Microsoft Accounts. Leaked earlier this month, users will see the option to add the extra security measure through the account management menu over the next few days, and can download an authenticator app from the Windows Phone store or use third-party apps on other platforms, according to a company blog post. Apps and devices that will not work with the new security measure directly can have application-specific passwords created in order to function.
Also lays out timetable for Mac, Windows, Windows RT Office releases
Promised iOS and Android versions of Office won't launch until the fall of 2014, according to a leaked roadmap obtained by CNet. The document describes a project called "Gemini," said to be Microsoft's plan to incorporate the Metro user interface into Office. The first "wave" in Gemini is expected to be an October 2013 update of the core apps -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- that will run on mobile versions of Windows 8 and Windows RT. The software will allegedly supplement the desktop Windows suite, instead of replacing it.
Microsoft accounts can be linked to Authenticator Windows Phone app
Microsoft is preparing to add a two-factor system for account authentication, according to a report. The new system, aimed at improving account security overall by adding a number-based token to the Microsoft Account log-in system, has reached a point where the company is close to turning it on for all users, though it is not clear when this will be.
Jolla inches closer to launch with release of the Sailfish OS SDK
Jolla has released the Software Development Kit (SDK) for its Linux-based Sailfish mobile operating system. The SDK has been made available for Mac, Windows and Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) with its release paving the way for interested developers to create native applications for Jolla’s forthcoming handsets. The Sailfish OS also supports the Qt platform, which developers previously used for creating native apps on Nokia’s abandoned Symbian and MeeGo operating systems, making it simple for apps running on those platforms to be ported to the new OS.
Windows Blue to be renamed Windows 8.1 for release
Microsoft may name its upcoming operating system refresh Windows 8.1, if a leaked image is proven correct. A screenshot posted on WinForum.eu and confirmed by sources of ZDNet shows the leaked Windows Blue build adding a suffix to the Windows 8 name instead of using Windows 9. The RT edition will be known as Windows RT 8.1. Though unlikely, it is still possible for Microsoft to give the OS update a different name, as a firm release date has yet to be set.
Effort meant to bolster Internet Explorer 10 support
(Updated with sell-out status) Microsoft is offering Mac developers a special QuickStart kit that includes copies of Windows 8 Pro and Parallels Desktop 8, according to an official blog post by Sandeep Singhal, the company's group program manager for Internet Explorer. The kit comes on a USB stick, and is heavily discounted, requiring only a $25 donation to a charity of the developer's choice. Singhal says that a "limited supply" of the kit is available.
Both Win 7, XP falling slowly, OS X 10.8 climbing at expense of 10.7
A new report finds that at the end of the first quarter of 2013, the landscape of the user base of the desktop and laptop operating systems has changed somewhat since the end of 2012, according to data published by Netmarketshare. The research firm says that Windows 7 continues to dominate the worldwide landscape with 44.73 percent of the total worldwide PC user base. Noteworthy numbers include Windows 8 climbing to 3.17 percent, and Windows XP holding a commanding second place at 38.73 percent, but falling gently. Mac OS X 10.8 has climbed to 2.65 percent, mostly at the expense of OS X 10.7 dropping to 1.81 percent.
$400 off 15.6-inch Vizio Ultrabook
Today's daily deal slasher from Tigerdirect.com is on the 15.6-inch Vizio Ultrabook, which has been reduced by $400 from $1,000 down to $600. That's about $50 less than the lowest price we have seen on this notebook anywhere else. The Vizio Ultrabook features a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid state storage -- and has Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included.
Build 9364 of Windows Blue said leaked through French partner
A leaked copy of what is claimed to be Windows Blue has appeared on file sharing sites, ahead of the updates public preview. The downloadable ISO file, weighing in at 2.63GB, is said to have come from a Microsoft partner based in France, and shows a number of adjustments to the operating system, including a choice of smaller and larger Live Tiles for the Start screen.
New Fresh Paint to include watercolors, image importing
More details relating to Microsoft's plans for Windows Blue have leaked, in the form of a video from an internal event. The demonstration from Microsoft Research at TechFest shows a new version of Fresh Paint made for Windows Blue, as well as company officials confirming the Windows Blue codename.
Update period could be extended past initial 18 months
Microsoft will stop supporting Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 in mid-2014, according to a product support lifecycle table. Updates, including those to help secure the mobile operating systems, will last until July 8, 2014 for Windows Phone 8, while Windows Phone 7.8 users will see its life cycle support continue until the 9th of September.
European Commission claims Microsoft in violation for over a year
Following accusations by the European Commission in October of 2012, the regulatory agency plans to fine Microsoft for continued refusal to offer a choice of browsers consistently in the Windows operating system. According to Reuters, sources familiar with the matter claim that the fine is expected before the end of March -- and it may be a significant sum, given that it is the second time that Microsoft has failed to adequately comply with a Commission order.
Version 2 of the software provides several UI, usability improvements
Acclivity today announced AccountEdge Basic 2 for Mac and Windows. The new version of the accounting application includes improvements to sales, banking, and customer management, in addition to other features designed to make small business owners' bookkeeping tasks easier.
Third emergency update may be the charm for recent malware issues
Oracle has once again released an updated version of Java SE 7 in order to combat serious vulnerabilities that have resulted in malware attacks on both Macs and Windows PCs. The new version, Update 15, comes less than three weeks after the previous patch, and follows an Apple-issued update to Java SE 6 in the wake of hacker attacks against Apple's own employees' work Macs. The new update is said by Oracle to "enhance security" as well as improve performance and stability.
Gates admits Microsoft was slow to market with mobile phones
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has expressed he is not satisfied with innovation at the company, including its mobile products. An interview with the ex-CEO also saw Gates admit that Microsoft failed to "get out in the lead very early" in the mobile market, labeling the way the company developed its mobile products later than others as "clearly a mistake."
Most iOS devices supported
The Evad3rs hacking team has released its promised jailbreaking tool for iOS 6 devices. Known as evasi0n, the software supports any version of iOS 6 through 6.1, and is available in Mac, Windows, and Linux editions. It's also untethered, meaning that it doesn't require connecting to a computer and reapplying the jailbreak if an iOS device is rebooted.
Operating system decision forces Nokia to 'consider any option'
Nokia is willing to "consider any option" in choosing an operating system for a tablet, according to CEO Stephen Elop. Both Android and Windows will be looked at in a tablet's development, claimed Elop in an interview, though the company will primarily look towards Windows as it's tablet OS of choice.
Samsung Series 5, only $450 after rebate
This week TigerDirect.com has slashed the price on the Samsung Series 5 Slim notebook PC from $699.99 down to $499.99, which already makes it the lowest price we have seen on this notebook by $60, and until 2/28/2013, save an additional $50 with a mail-in-rebate offer that drops the price further to $449.99 with $7.99 for shipping. This notebook features a 2.1GHz AMD dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit pre-installed. Other features include a Radeon HD 7500 graphics card, Wireless N networking and HDMI port. A one year warranty on parts and labor is included from Samsung.
Google Now notification integration into Chrome now closer
Google may be adding Google Now integration into its Chrome browser in the near future. A notification center has been added to the company's latest build of Windows Chromium, giving developers a chance to add Chrome notifications to their applications, as well as being an ideal platform for the Google Now cards that were hinted at in December.
Photo business software currently in public beta
Light Blue Software has announced Light Blue 4, an upgrade of its photo business management software. The new app has been rendered fully native in versions for Mac and Windows, instead of being based on FileMaker. Currently only a public beta of the Mac software is available; the completed Mac release is due by the end of January, to be followed by the Windows edition in February. iPad and iPhone apps are in development, and should be ready sometime this spring.
Windows notebooks see tougher hit
For a period between November 18th and December 22nd, MacBook sales came in 6 percent lower year-over-year, according to new NPD Group data. It's not clear why MacBook sales suffered, although there are several potential reasons. The major driver may be that Apple released only one updated MacBook in late 2012, the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro; every other MacBook was updated earlier in the year. In late 2011, the entire MacBook Pro lineup was refreshed.
HTC working on 7-inch and 12-inch Win RT devices
HTC is prepping two new Windows RT tablets, reports Bloomberg. One is said to be a 7-inch tablet that may also be able to make phone calls, while the other will be a larger 12-inch model. The two ARM-based devices are expected to debut sometime in 2013, with an unveiling of prototypes a possibility for CES 2013.
Windows seen as too important not to use in RT name
A Dell executive urged Microsoft to not use Windows branding for its ARM-based operating system, according to reports. Jeffrey Clarke of Dell apparently told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that it should have been called something else other than Windows RT, but Ballmer deemed the Windows brand to be too important to not be used in the new devices.
'Experimental' Mac Driver may eliminate need for X Window
CodeWeavers has launched CrossOver 12, a new version of its software designed to run Windows apps in OS X or Linux. The update implements a new version of Wine, the program's core technology, which is said to have received over 5,000 changes. Support has been improved for a number of Windows apps, such as Microsoft Office and several editions of Quicken. Newly compatible apps include Quicken 13 and World of Tanks; on Linux, Guild Wars 2 has been added.
Web interface adopts Gmail-like touches
Yahoo has launched a significant update of its Mail service. The web interface, foremost, has been updated with a cleaner look, as well as an improved search function. One AllThingsD source claims that Yahoo was deliberately aiming at making the site "more Gmail-like." Yahoo is also reportedly working on an overhaul of its homepage. The company's new CEO, Marissa Mayer, has meanwhile stated in a blog post that the new Mail should roll out to most users.
Classic game returns after 15 years for Mac, PC, iPad
Originally planned for a September release, the long-awaited enhanced edition of the party-based, turn-based RPG Baldur's Gate -- which includes both the original game and the expansion Tales of the Sword Coast -- will be out on November 28, and Overhaul Games has released a new trailer promoting the title and its imminent release for the Mac, the iPad, and Windows. The new version of the game sports some 400 enhancements, including some new content.
Microsoft OS launch not the explosion expected by retailer
Sales of Windows 8 are slower than expected, according to a member of management at NewEgg. A senior executive at the online retailer has called the operating system's sales figures not the "explosion" the company had expected, but while it is selling slowly, the rate of sales is gradually and steadily improving.
Interest in Windows 8 said to be weak
A survey conducted by Avast has found that immediate interest in Windows 8 may be weak, and nearly half of the upgrade-ready respondents are eyeing a Mac or iPad rather than another PC. The survey, which was referenced by USA Today, polled 135,000 Windows users last month ahead of the Windows 8 launch. Only nine percent indicated that Windows 8 has hastened their plans to upgrade, and more than 74 percent still have no immediate plans to upgrade.
Virtual machine limits loosened
Parallels has released an important update for Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac, its virtualization software. The code notably supports tablet gestures in Windows 8, and adds a tile to the Windows 8 interface, letting people access shared Mac apps. It also provides full and faster USB 3.0 support, and easier settings for Retina displays.
Demonstrates 82-inch slate, PayPal in-app purchasing
Microsoft has sold over four million upgrades for Windows 8 in the first few days after its launch. Speaking at the Build developers event on the Microsoft campus, CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed the number in his keynote speech, alongside announcements for more Windows 8 apps, such as PayPal, Dropbox, and ESPN.
2016 to see 2.3 billion Android devices, 2.28 billion Windows
Google's Android is on track to become the most used operating system in the world, according to research firm Gartner. Over the next four years, as mobile devices continue to define the next wave of computing, the number of smartphones, computers, and tablets running Android software is expected to grow to 2.3 billion from the current total of 608 million. Over the same period, the number of devices running Microsoft's Windows platform is expected to grow from 1.5 billion to 2.28 billion.