Items tagged with Windows 8

Microsoft's message to resellers is, 'You scratch my back and I'll scratch your back.' To be more specific, Microsoft introduced a new program called "TouchWins" that allows participating retailers to receive $5 to $10 for each Windows 8 device they sell from a list of 21 Windows 8 touch-enabled PCs and tablets. "The whole idea is to provide incentives for the commercial channel for featured devices and tablets, PCs and tablets, and through this program we will provide incentives directly to authorized distributors, as well as reseller partners, who sell featured PCs and tablets that have Windows Pro and are touch-enabled," Tami Reller, CFO of Microsoft's Windows division, said during a keynote... Read more...
Microsoft has reason to celebrate today, as its Windows Store is now filled with over 100,000 Windows 8 apps. It's an important milestone en route to a much larger goal of building out a rich ecosystem, and while it's true Apple and Google have Microsoft beat in the apps department, the Redmond outfit reached the 100,000 mark much faster than the competition. It took a mere eight months to flesh out the Windows Store with 100,000 apps, versus two years for Google to reach the same goal after opening the Android Market (now called Google Play) and one and a half years for Apple to get there. Not only that, but the Windows Store has doubled the number of apps in just the past three months alone.... Read more...
There will indeed be another version of the DirectX application programming language (API), though Windows 7 users won't be invited to the party. Neither will Windows 8 users, for the matter. Microsoft confirmed that DirectX 11.2 will be exclusive to Windows 8.1 and its Xbox One console, or at least that's the way it appears. Some sites are reporting that DX11.2 could also end up on other next generation consoles. Regardless of it ends up, the headlining feature of DX11.2 is a new Direct3D feature called Tiled Resources, which exposes a limited virtual graphics memory model to apps. This prevents loose mapping between logical resource data and physical memory, and also allows the creation of... Read more...
Samsung's Premiere 2013 event in London is well underway and as you might expect, product announcements are coming in fast and furious. One of the new items Samsung unveiled at the event is the Galaxy NX, purportedly the world's first interchangeable lens camera with 3G/4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity baked in. According to Samsung, the Galaxy NX combines cutting edge optical performance with connectivity capabilities with a bevy of Android applications, all in a single handheld device. "The Galaxy NX reflects the unique needs of a user who needs to take professional photos and share them immediately in any situation. For those who want to express themselves and the exciting moments that make up... Read more...
On the lookout for the ultimate Windows mouse? Well, given that's how Microsoft touts its Sculpt Comfort Mouse, the company looks to have you covered. Microsoft calls the mouse "Sculpt" because it's designed to fit perfectly in your hand, with a contoured left side - unfortunately, lefties are once again ignored. Also on the left side is what sets this mouse apart from all the rest: a Windows touch tab. This blue button has multiple functions. You can click it to switch between your desktop app and the Windows Start screen, swipe up to cycle through all open apps (in the Start screen) or down to reveal the All Apps section of the Start screen. As someone who's come to rely heavily on back / forward... Read more...
As much as I've wanted Microsoft to hit a homerun with its advertising efforts, I haven't been super impressed its commercials the past few years. I didn't really care to see Seinfeld shopping for shoes or Bill Gates talking about churros, neither of which were worthy retorts to Apple's Mac vs PC ad spots. And let's not even talk about Microsoft's ads in other parts of the world. I bring this up because Microsoft's finally showing signs that it can produce a comical commercial that's both informative and disparaging of the competition, but in a tasteful way. Check it out for yourself. One of the chief complaints about the iPad since its introduction is that it's poorly suited for productivity... Read more...
For some critics of Microsoft's latest OS, this should come as no surprise: IT departments are wary of adopting Windows 8. This information comes from a new Forrester report which sourced its results from interviewing nearly 10,000 IT employees. Interestingly, while IT managers themselves have little interest in rolling-out Windows 8 for various reasons, demand by individual employees at these companies expressed slightly more interest in Windows 8 (38%) than 7 (35%). Even with some Windows 8 demand, however, IT managers seem disinterested in the costs of moving to this particular version. Instead, many are looking at Windows 7. But from an ROI perspective, many companies prefer to adopt the... Read more...
Acer President Jim Wong earlier this month stated he doesn't see the value proposition in Windows RT tablets, but that doesn't mean Acer wants nothing to do with Windows 8. Need definitive proof of that? Just head over to Acer's Finnish website and spy a new entry for its upcoming Iconia W3, an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet that optionally snaps into a full-size keyboard for productivity on the go. We're not sure if Acer meant to let the cat out of the bag just yet, so it's possible the site will be taken down sometime today. We've already plucked the pertinent parts of the revealing portal, however, so there's no taking a mulligan on this one. Here's what you need to know. The Iconia W3 runs Windows... Read more...
There's no reason for Windows 8 and Windows RT to be treated like second class citizens, so why isn't Adobe's free Photoshop Express program available for either platform when you can grab it on iOS or Android? That would have been a good question a week ago, but is no longer valid, as you can now find the freebie photo editing app in Microsoft's Windows Store. "On-the-go photo editing was never so fun, fast, and cool. Touch your way to better-looking pictures with automatic fixes and filters," Adobe explains on the app's product page. "Get your pictures to pop! And after sharing, you'll be the talk of your friends. This isn't like the full version of Photoshop that's available for desktop systems,... Read more...
Microsoft earlier this week said it's sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses to date, though admitted that figure includes pre-installed copies of the touch-friendly operating system to retailers and OEMs. Perhaps a better gauge of where Windows 8 stands is to look at its market share, which is up slightly in April (around 4-5 percent, depending on which data collection agency you trust), but still trailing Vista. Looking long-term, what does Microsoft need to do with Windows to ensure it remains the PC platform of choice? That's a topic PC makers have been offering feedback on, and according to Acer President Jim Wong, Microsoft's been adopting suggestions from hardware partners "at a high percentage."... Read more...
This is just getting awkward, leaving me more convinced than ever that Microsoft needs to tap into its riches to hire some creative folk who's collective task, and only task, is to come up with commercials that don't suck. Remember when Apple blitzed the TV screen with its Mac vs PC ads? Those were funny, even if largely misleading. Microsoft's answer? Hire Jerry Seinfeld and have him shop for shoes. Seriously. More recently, Microsoft's attempted to sell the world on its Surface RT and Pro tablets/notebooks/hybrids with a series of ads that failed to inform the public what these devices really are, choosing instead to focus on that wonderful CLICK sound when you slap a cover to the devices.... Read more...
As we noted earlier, Windows 8's reception to date has been tepid at best. As much of a train-wreck that many considered Vista to be, even it had greater adoption six months after launch. There are multiple factors that can be blamed here, with one at the forefront being Microsoft's new-fangled Start screen. Many have considered that interface to be ideal for tablets, not desktops, and that's something I can't disagree with. But on the topic of tablets, the Windows 8 situation hasn't fared much better than on the desktop. According to Mark Whittard, managing director at Toshiba Australia, Microsoft "confused" consumers with its dual-OS approach; that is, Windows 8 and Windows RT. This... Read more...
Microsoft is staying the course with Windows 8, the most drastic change to the Windows ecosystem since the introduction of XP, and though Windows Blue will introduce a few changes (and maybe even bring back the Start button), the touch-friendly design doesn't look like it's going anywhere. That's led to some negative reactions and press -- some of it justified and some of it way overblown -- but for now, Windows 8 is slowly and steadily increasing its share of the desktop OS market. The key word there is "slowly." According to NetMarketShare, Windows 8 increased its share to 3.82 percent in April, up from 3.17 percent a month prior and up from 1.09 percent in November 2012, a month after it launched.... Read more...
Raise your hand if you own a Windows 8 tablet. If we were to say that in a crowd of 100 tablet owners, less than 8 people would raise their hands, based on recent data supplied by Strategy Analytics, which figures Windows owns a 7.4 share of the global branded tablet OS market. One reason why Windows 8 slates may be having a tough time carving out a large user base could be due to price. If there's a bright side for Microsoft, it's that price is a short-term problem. Asus chief Jerry Chen told The Wall Street Journal that he's "very optimistic about sales for Windows 8 tablets this year," and he's drawing much of that optimism from his expectation that Windows 8 tablets will fall below $300 before... Read more...
Amazon appears to be excited to show off Acer's upcoming Iconia W3 tablet, an unannounced Windows 8 slate with an 8.1-inch display (1280x800). Acer has yet to offer up a press release or otherwise unveil the 8.1-inch Windows 8 offering, but unless Amazon is getting a head start on April Fool's Day and is really good at Photoshop, the tablet exists, though when it will be available is anyone's guess. Right now the product page lists the Iconia W3 as being "Temporarily out of stock," though other details are readily available. Want to talk price? Amazon has it listed for $380, and it's eligible for Prime Member shipping. As for the specs, it's running a dual-core Atom Z2760 processor clocked at... Read more...
After teasing the Aspire R7 in a Star Trek-themed ad, the PC maker has finally made the convertible laptop official. And it’s released a new YouTube video – one that goes into a little more detail about what the R7 is meant to be. Whether or not this laptop succeeds, the R7 is a bold move by Acer. As the video’s narrator explains, Acer was looking for a way to bring R7’s touch screen closer to the user so that it’s easier to take advantage of Window 8’s touch capabilities. It came up with the Ezel hinge, which is a stand that shifts the screen from the back of the laptop closer to the front. The result is that you can lift your fingers from the keyboard and... Read more...
There are some interesting things happening in the tablet world. Perhaps the biggest development of all is that Apple's iPad family is finally starting to yield market share to the competition, and that's primarily due to the increasing number of affordable Android slates being pumped out by name brand manufactures. At first, pedestrian price tags were only attached to Android tablets in the 7-inch range, but more recently we've started seeing large slates come down in cost. One of the more intriguing options is the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10, a 10.1-inch slate that streets for as little as $280, or about half the price of a regular sized iPad. Given that it's one of the least expensive 10.1-inch... Read more...
There are some interesting things happening in the tablet world. Perhaps the biggest development of all is that Apple's iPad family is finally starting to yield market share to the competition, and that's primarily due to the increasing number of affordable Android slates being pumped out by name brand manufactures. At first, pedestrian price tags were only attached to Android tablets in the 7-inch range, but more recently we've started seeing large slates come down in cost. One of the more intriguing options is the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10, a 10.1-inch slate that streets for as little as $280, or about half the price of a regular sized iPad. Given that it's one of the least expensive 10.1-inch... Read more...
It's not entirely uncommon to see a major electronics maker using a major motion picture in order to promote new gear, but this may be one of the stranger mix-ups. Acer and Star Trek: Into Darkness have merged in a new 30 second avertisement that does a fairly good job of enticing viewers to check out both the film and whatever it is that Acer has up its sleeve. Judging by the Windows 8 icon at the end, it's possible that Microsoft is a third party in all of this, further using the new Acer notebook as a way to showcase the more unique abilities of Windows 8. Judging by the clip, it appears that whatever the machine is, it'll be a laptop when you want it to be, and perhaps a convertible tablet... Read more...
Oh Microsoft, why must you be so coy? The Redmond software giant announced financial results for its fiscal third quarter, noting record revenue of $20.49 billion on operating income of $7.61 billion, net income of $6.06 billion, and diluted earnings per share of $0.72 per share, but once again opted to keep quiet regarding Windows 8 sales. Regardless of Windows 8, Microsoft has reason to be happy with its performance, especially with PC sales in a slump as consumer interest transitions to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. “The bold bets we made on cloud services are paying off as people increasingly choose Microsoft services including Office 365, Windows Azure, Xbox Live, and... Read more...
Big is always better, but small is in. So, what's a company to do? Both! Microsoft has the big-screen tablet market covered, with a litany of Windows RT and Windows 8 slates (not to mention the Surface range). But if Apple and Google have proven one thing, it's that people appreciate choice, and in particular, the choice of smaller tablets. 7" slates have grown hugely popular now that the iPad mini is a reality and devices like the low-cost Nexus 7 exist. Microsoft is clearly missing out on that market. But it may change that soon. On an earnings call today, Microsoft's outgoing CFO Peter Klein mentioned that Windows 8 was being engineered to run on devices with smaller screens, and that we'd... Read more...
Initially showcased at CES, Lenovo's about to make "family time" a lot more fun with the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC. Be careful not to confuse this with a "tablet." There's just one letter missing from the end, but it makes a huge (literally) difference. This giant, family-centric PC is now available for pre-order in the U.S., doubling as a Windows 8 touch-based PC for the home or office. The machine is slated to hit stores in "late June." Just lay Horizon flat in Table PC mode to activate the Aura interface and begin interacting with other people and favorite content, from photos and videos to apps and games. If you've ever played a classic arcade game on one of those tabletop units, you'll... Read more...
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