Report claims leaked memo reveals new Microsoft policy over dual-booting devices
Asus is receiving pressure from both Microsoft and Google to drop plans to sell a dual-booting notebook, according to reports. The manufacturer has apparently postponed its plans to ship the Transformer Book Duet, a combined notebook and tablet that could switch between Android and Windows, and is also looking to stop the sale of other dual-boot devices as well.
Windows version should also go free
Microsoft is planning to launch a free version of OneNote for the Mac later this month as part of a plan to expand the functionality of the platform, sources say. The company currently has a paid version for Office for Windows, and free iOS, Android, and web apps, but has so far left OS X alone in the software's decade-plus history. Like the Mac version, the Windows title is also expected to become free.
Squad based strategy comes to mobile and desktop worlds
Trying to mash tactics and strategy into a game that spans computers and mobile devices is no easy task. Not only do the controls need to be precise enough to use with a mouse and touchscreen, but the game must offer a consistent experience. Best known for Battlecruiser 3000AD in the late 90s, 3000AD has offered gamers a tactical, squad based strategy game in Line of Defense Tactics across multiple platforms -- OS X, Windows, iOS and Android. The game focuses on strategic thinking and resource management to get a squad of four through their missions in one piece. Does the game hit all the right marks considering its ambitious reach? Or will Line of Defense Tactics end up a frustrating game because of it?
Windows Update claimed to be in hands of manufacturers before April release
Microsoft has reportedly finalized the incoming update for Windows 8.1, ahead of a release in early April. The final version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 has apparently been signed-off for a Release to Manufacturing (RTM), namely to computer and notebook manufacturers to include in their products, with devices offering the update pre-installed likely to appear at the same time as the update's release to consumers.
QuickTime 7.7.5 now available, addresses security weaknesses
Apple has released a QuickTime update to rectify multiple security issues with its Windows version. Users who play a maliciously-crafted movie file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution, caused by an uninitialized pointer issue existent in the handling of track lists, memory corruption, and more. Improved error-checking is now included, and additionally a buffer overflow that was previously present in the handling of H.264 encoded movie files has been fixed through improved bounds checking. QuickTime v7.7.5 may be obtained from the QuickTime Downloads site, and is available for Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or later.
Considering discounts of up to 70 percent for low-cost device licenses
Having seen its share pummelled by mobile devices that continue to eat into traditional notebook and desktop PC sales, Microsoft is said to be looking at discounts to Windows licensing on low-cost hardware in an effort to regain marketshare, Bloomberg reports. Citing unnamed sources "familiar with the matter," the move is intended to fight back against the consumer move to tablets and smartphones as substitutes for much of what desktop and notebook PCs used to do.
More likely to upgrade, stay up-to-date on OS, software
Mac users are almost four times more likely to upgrade to the latest version of OS X than Windows users are, and that 41.7 percent of current Mac users can be defined as "engaged" (meaning, among other things, that they run up-to-date software and OS versions as well as use the Internet frequently), compared to just 11.6 percent of Windows users who meet the same criteria. Overall, Macs account for nearly a quarter of the "up-to-date" computer user market.
Sales took 16 months to reach on tablets and PCs
Sales of Windows 8 have reached an important milestone, with 200 million licenses sold of Microsoft's latest offering. Executive Vice President of Marketing Tami Reller let the sales numbers slip during a talk at Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference, but was later confirmed by Microsoft. The news comes about eight months after the 100 million sales mark had been reached for the operating system in May, a disappointing result. At the same point in its development history, Windows 7 had sold significantly more copies..
Messages to offline Skype users included in app update
Microsoft has finally fixed the way Skype synchronizes messages across multiple devices, the company has revealed, something that it hinted at late last year. Part of a larger update across multiple platforms, the change will allow users to read all received messages on an account regardless of whether a device is signed in or not, with messages read on one device causing it to be shown as read on all others.
Slides claim 80 percent of XAML code usable for Windows desktop, mobile apps
More evidence of Microsoft's merging of the Windows and Windows Phone lines has allegedly surfaced. Leaked images claimed to be from a Microsoft slideshow about the project appears to show it is working towards "Universal Store" apps, namely apps that use the same basic code base, but can be produced to work on both the mobile and desktop versions of Windows.
DaaS allows Chromebooks to run cloud-based Windows apps
Chrome OS users will be able to use traditional Windows apps in the future, Google has announced. Working with VMWare, the two companies have developed Desktop as a Service (DaaS) for enterprise users, allowing companies to run Windows apps on servers with the intention of letting Chrome OS devices connect and stream the content directly to the Chromebook or Chromebox.
Pinch to zoom, swiping navigation added to beta Firefox version
Mozilla has released a beta version of its Firefox browser, for use with touch-enabled Windows 8 systems. Teased by the company in early 2012, Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta is said in a company blog post to be optimized for the operating system's Metro user interface style, with the main focus of the release being its usefulness for owners of touchscreen computers, notebooks, and tablets.
Threat seen in the wild, Adobe says
Adobe has released a new version of Flash Player for Windows and Mac, 188.8.131.52, to cope with a serious security hole. The company warns that exploits for the vulnerability have been seen in the wild, and that the problem could potentially allow an attacker to seize control of a computer. A matching Linux update is labeled v184.108.40.2065.
Social API gains simultaneous notifications
Mozilla has released Firefox 27, an update to its browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The desktop apps have been given an updated Social API, allowing for multiple notifications at the same time. Until today, Firefox would only show notifications for the social network indicated in a user's toolbar. Mozilla is also supporting two new networks, Delicious and Saavn.
Obama initiative valued at about $750 million
US President Barack Obama is today announcing commitments from several US corporations towards connecting more students to high-speed Internet, says the Associated Press. In all, about $750 million has been pledged; Apple is offering $100 million in iPads, computers, and other tools, while Verizon is providing the same amount in straight cash and in-kind contributions. AT&T and Sprint are offering free Internet access; Microsoft is promising copies of Windows at discounted rates, and 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office.
Update to Microsoft OS leaks before expected March 11 launch
Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 has leaked ahead of its expected March 11 launch. The update, appearing in a number of file sharing sites, is said to have been compiled on January 14th and is not the final version that will be supplied to users, but at the same time it does not appear to include many more updates other than what has already leaked out.
Change to booting will minimize visibility of Metro Start Screen
The incoming update to Windows 8.1 could see the operating system load to desktop by default, according to a report. Though Windows 8.1 gives the user the option to boot to the desktop instead of the Start Screen, by making the desktop the initial view, it appears to be a far greater attempt at appeasing users who dislike the Metro user interface style by minimizing the amount of time it is visible.
Web portal could soon become more robust
An unusual URL redirect bug suggests that iCloud.com may soon get access to iCloud Bookmarks. The feature lets people sync Safari bookmarks across platforms, including not just different versions of Safari but also Chrome and Firefox. Currently, people trying to install the Chrome extension from the iCloud Control Panel for Windows will briefly see "iCloud Bookmarks are coming soon. Please check back later" at this URL before being shunted to the Chrome Web Store.
Power, search options moved to Windows 8.1 Start Screen
More rumors for Microsoft's first major update for Windows 8.1 have surfaced. A more accurate date for release has been touted, along with more screenshots claiming to show the upcoming changes to Windows 8.1 Update 1, including a seemingly simpler way for users to shut down desktops, and a new search button at the top of the screen.
Option to add Metro apps to taskbar spotted in leaked screenshots
Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 could bring more integration between Metro-style apps and the Windows desktop, according to leaked images. Icons for Metro apps, typically running separate from the desktop itself, have been spotted on the taskbar in some screenshots, suggesting that users will be able to switch quickly from desktop mode to the app through an alternative means to what is currently offered.
OS itself will see no more patches in April 2014
Microsoft, which has been trying to end support for its 12-year-old Windows XP for years, had previously announced the Windows XP final end-of-support date of April 8, 2014 -- saying that after this date, Windows XP will no longer be a supported operating system. However, to help organizations complete long-overdue migrations away from the aged OS, Microsoft has admitted that it will continue to provide updates to just anti-malware signatures and the attendant engine for Windows XP users for a further year, until July 14, 2015.
'Traditional' PCs outsell Macs 19 to 1, but used to outsell them 56 to 1
Mostly on the back of iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, Apple has been predicted to outsell the combined Windows empire sometime this year, according to statistician and analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco. To reach this conclusion, he combined sales of all of Apple's OS X and iOS products together and compared them to combined Windows sales (including the tablet-based Window RT and Pro, not that it materially affects the results) to arrive at his estimate.
Miix 2 10, Miix 2 11 joins existing 8-inch Lenovo tablet
Lenovo is adding two more to the Miix 2 convertible Windows 8.1 tablet line, joining the existing 8-inch version the computer producer launched in October last year. The Miix 2 10 and Miix 2 11 offer 10.1-inch and 11.6-inch 1080p displays respectively, with an accompanying keyboard dock attaching to the side of the tablet using magnets and turning it into a notebook.
Windows notebooks, iPads remain bestsellers
Chromebooks surged ahead in 2013 to become a major player in US commercial computer sales, according to new NPD data. Between January and November of this year, some 14.4 million desktops, laptops, and tablets were sold. Of these about 9.6 percent were Chromebooks; in 2012, by contrast, the platform represented just 0.2 percent of sales. Companies are presumably choosing Chromebooks because of their laptop-style features and their cost, which can be as little as $199, cheaper even than many low-end tablets.
Microsoft adds classic Windows desktop games to Windows Phone 8
Owners of Windows Phone 8 devices can now download updated versions of classic Windows desktop games, according to the company blog. The Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Minesweeper, and Mahjong are all listed in the Windows Phone Store, and introduce features such as Xbox Live integration, stat tracking, and the option to start a game on one device then completing it at a later time on another.
8-inch Windows tablet from Asus appears in presentation
Asus may be preparing to release another Windows tablet in the VivoTab range, according to a new leak from a presentation. A low-resolution image for what is described as the VivoTab Note 8 has surfaced, apparently showing it will have some form of stylus support, as well as a list of specifications suggesting it will have a 1.33GHz quad-core Intel Atom "Bay Trail" SoC for processing.
Desktop client introduces darker, modern design, UI tweaks
One week after rolling out a free music streaming service to tablets and smartphones, Spotify has started to roll out a visual upgrade to its apps. The Windows and Mac desktop clients have a darker and more modern appearance to them, along with less drastic changes to a number of pages, with the Android app also receiving some minor interface tweaks.
Windows 8, RT users can take advantage of Slingbox
Slingbox announced in a post to its blog on Friday that its SlingPlayer app is now available for Windows 8.1 and RT devices. The new app pairs with a Slingbox in order to transmit video content from a user's home computer or other device directly to a user's mobile device. Users downloading the app will have access to a free test-drive period of 24 hours before it will require them to decide whether they wish to purchase it for $15.
Asus tablet variants in filing will run Windows, Android, or both
A tablet from Asus capable of running two operating systems has appeared in an FCC filing. The tablet, going under the model names M82T, L82T, and R82T, is able to run on both Android KitKat and Windows 8, though a further six variants are listed as Windows-specific and Android-specific models, suggesting there will be a total of nine available using the same base hardware.
Free upgrade spurs quick adoption
Mavericks is already the predominant version of OS X in use by the public, according to November tracking data from Net Applications. During that month, Mavericks' share rose from 0.84 percent to 2.42 percent of the Mac's total global share of 7.55 percent. Mountain Lion's share, meanwhile, plummeted from 3.31 percent to 1.85, while Lion dipped from 1.56 percent to 1.34. Leopard and Snow Leopard, already marginal platforms, dropped only slightly, slipping from 0.33 and 1.6 percent to 0.32 and 1.53 percent, respectively.
Microsoft continues rapid update strategy with Windows 'Threshold'
Microsoft's follow-up to Windows 8.1 will is said to be codenamed "Threshold." This according to ZDNet, which cites sources within the company as saying that the next major Windows update will come in the year 2015. The "Threshold" update is said to cover not only Windows and Windows Phone devices, but also Microsoft's recently released Xox One console.
Tiers start at free 15GB level
Cloud file storage service MediaFire has launched a beta of Desktop, a new sync app and service for Windows and OS X. Much like Dropbox or Google Drive, MediaFire Desktop lets users automatically sync local files. Files can also quickly be shared through integrated OS options, which include URL generators and a screen capture tool.
Mac client going without web payment tech for now
Google has released Chrome 31, an update of its web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS. The primary addition is better payment support, in the form of allowing site access to Chrome's auto-complete data (with user permission). This lets people save payment information in the browser for quicker access. Google says, however, that Mac compatibility will only be included "in a future release."
Version 11 brings 120 features, migration to OS X Cocoa frameworks
Cross-platform small business client and project management tool Studiometry has received what developer Oranged Software calls "probably our biggest change to the app since its initial release." Version 11 of the Windows, iOS, and OS X application ships today with a brand new user interface, adding over 120 features and improvements and finally transitioning to Cocoa on Mac.
Lumia tablet packs Snapdragon 800 processor, 32GB expandable storage
Nokia has launched its rumored "Sirius" tablet during its Nokia World event. The Nokia Lumia 2520 is a Windows RT slate that packs a 10.1-inch 1080p AH-IPS display, which is claimed to be bright enough to read outdoors and is protected by Gorilla Glass 2, as well as retaining most of the design language of the Lumia range despite the increase in size.
Gartner sees PCs continuing to drop year-over-year
New figures from computer industry observer Gartner predict that the burgeoning tablet market will continue to expand over the next few years and will almost equal the traditional PC market by 2014. Tablet shipments grew 53.4 percent in 2013, according to Gartner, while the PC market shrank by 4.5 percent. Gartner also sees Google's Android operating system's dominance over the new computing landscape continuing to expand, even as Apple catches up with longtime rival Windows.
Supports Windows 8 multi-touch gestures
Microsoft has released a promised iOS version of its Remote Desktop app. The title lets people connect to a remote Windows PC, and gain access to both its data and apps through a secure connection. Microsoft is promising support for the multi-touch gestures in Windows 8, and high-quality audio and video through optimized compression and bandwidth. For presentations, the app can help push content to external monitors or projectors.
Free, paid downloads of Microsoft operating system upgrade commence
Windows 8.1, Microsoft's upgrade for Windows 8, is now available to download and buy. The update, which reintroduces the Start Button to the desktop among other changes, can be downloaded from Microsoft directly or bought as an installable DVD, with current Windows 8 users able to download it via the Windows Store at no charge.
17-inch Alienware Haswell notebook, only $1,449 and more
At Dell.com this week, save $50 on the Alienware 17-inch aluminum notebook computer which carries a list price of $1,499, but is cut to $1,449 when coupon code "2M66J?BPVPP$F3" is used at checkout. That's about $150 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This computer features a 2.4GHz Intel quad-core Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M 2GB video card. It also comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit pre-installed. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Dell.
Second update for Air in less than a month
Apple has issued a new EFI firmware update for the MacBook Air, v2.7. The patch is aimed explicitly at 2013-model Airs, and copes with a bug that caused black screens to appear when trying to install Windows 7 or 8 using Boot Camp Assistant. The problem was triggered if both an external optical drive and a USB stick were connected at the same time. Simultaneously, Apple has tweaked the firmware to ensure a Mac will boot into OS X by default after Windows 8 is installed.
Updated client adds mobile OS to Windows, RT, OS X roster
Microsoft will be releasing a new version of its Remote Desktop software to Android and iOS in the future, as part of a raft of enterprise cloud computing launches. The app, which allows users to control a PC or virtual desktop remotely, will appear on the mobile operating systems at the same time as updated versions of the software ship for Windows, Windows RT, and OS X.
Windows 8, Surface RT struggles mean pay cut for Ballmer
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will only earn 79 percent of his potential incentive award for fiscal 2013 due to the poor performance of the Windows Division and the company's underperforming Surface RT device. Earlier this week, the software giant released its fiscal 2013 proxy statement, revealing Ballmer's docked pay. Last year, the Microsoft head received 91 percent of his eligible incentive award.
Downloads, DVDs of Windows upgrade shipping on October 17th
Microsoft has started accepting pre-orders for its next operating system, Windows 8.1. The DVD and downloadable versions of the install disc, costing $120 for Windows 8.1 and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro, will serve for both full installs and upgrades from earlier versions, with the discs themselves set to ship on the October 17th release date.
New software under Gemeni codename
Microsoft is reportedly working on a new series of Office utilities for Windows 8 and the Windows Phone mobile platform. Office division VP Kirk Koenigsbauer reportedly demonstrated one of the new apps, Office Reader for Windows 8, at an internal meeting yesterday, unnamed sources have told The Verge. The software is said to serve as a universal reader with support for Office documents, PDFs, e-books, textbooks and web pages.
MKV gets better subtitle support, faster seek
VideoLAN has released a major update of VLC, its open-source, multi-platform media playback software. Version 2.1 -- codenamed Rincewind -- is the first to support 4K "Ultra HD" video, and has been given quicker video decoding and a rewritten audio system, the latter with improvements like higher fidelity, new effects, and better volume and device management. OpenGL output has been ported to OpenGL ES, which should make it easier to port to iOS and Android, and MKV playback has received faster seek performance and enhanced subtitle metadata support.
Update fixes Boot Camp-related Windows install issues
Hours after the announcement of the Haswell-powered iMacs, Apple has released an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) update for the new models. The update brings the firmware on the new models to version 2.1, and "addresses an issue which may cause a black screen to appear when installing Windows 7 or Windows 8 using Boot Camp Assistant if both an external optical drive and USB thumb drive are connected to the system." Additionally, the update guarantees that the system boots by default into OS X after a Windows 8 install.
Microsoft executive VP hints at Windows RT on more ARM devices
Microsoft may still be working on a way for Windows RT to still be useful, following its relative lack of success with the platform in the Surface RT. Executive vice president Terry Myerson, head of the operating system at Microsoft, hinted that Windows RT may find a useful place in phablets at some point in the future.
iCloud bookmark sync for Chrome still not available for OS X
Amidst the high-profile iOS 7 launch, Apple has also made available a pair of plug-ins for Windows users to enable bookmark syncing. Available today in conjunction with the iCloud Control Panel for Windows 3.0 upgrade are plug-ins for alternative browsers Chrome and Firefox on Windows. Notably, Apple has not added the functionality to Chrome on OS X.
Windows Media Center still a paid-for upgrade in Windows 8.1
Microsoft has revealed its pricing strategy for Windows 8.1 sales, when it is released on October 18th. While users of Windows 8 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8.1 at no charge, Microsoft will not be providing a heavily-discounted Windows 8.1 Pro discount similar to the one it had at Windows 8's launch.
Android app gains WebRTC, NFC sharing
Mozilla has released Firefox 24, an update of its web browser for Windows, OS X, Linux, and Android. The desktop apps have gained a "Close Tabs to the Right" option, found within the contextual menu when right-clicking on a tab. The Mac app uses a new scrollbar style, and people using Firefox's social features can tear off chat windows.