Contrary to a number of reports that have suggested otherwise, ARM-powered Windows 8 devices will likely be able to run full desktop applications. Microsoft had failed for some time to provide a straight answer as to whether or not ARM-powered devices would be limited to simply running Metro-style applications. However, ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley noticed a Microsoft post that specifically discussed power states on Windows 8 ARM devices for “both desktop and Metro style apps,” which clearly suggests that support for desktop applications will be included. Microsoft still hasn’t officially confirmed this, but as Mary Jo Foley points out, we suspect that Microsoft was diligent with its writing and that it didn’t just drop in a reference to desktop support accidentally. We’ll likely have to wait just a little longer until the official word drops, but for now it appears full desktop applications will be supported on Windows 8-powered ARM devices. More →
Apple pulled ahead of HP in the fourth quarter to become the largest player in the client PC market, a new report suggested Monday. The Cupertino-based company shipped more than 15 million iPads and 5 million Mac computers last quarter, and those figures represented 17% of all PCs shipped around the world during the fourth quarter. The report, which comes from market research firm Canalys, said PC shipments grew 16% annually to reach 120 million during the quarter, and the firm’s categorization of “PC” includes desktops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets in its figures. Tablets drove PC growth, however, and Canalys said the market would have declined by 0.4% without taking tablets into consideration. Read on for more. More →
Intel could be preparing to unveil most of its next-generation 22nm Ivy Bridge processors “on or around” April 8th according to a recent rumor. The company is set to introduce 25 different models in total, DigiTimes reported, including 17 chips designed for use in desktop PCs and eight for notebooks and ultrabooks. Intel will announce the following desktop processors in April according to the report: the Core i7-3770K, 3770, 3770S, 3770T as well as the Core i5-3570, 3550 and 3450. The desktop processors will reportedly range in price from $184 to $332. The following notebook CPUs will also be announced: Core i7-3920Qm ($1,096), 3820QM ($568) and the 3720QM ($378). Intel is allegedly working on the Core i5-3520M, 3360M, 3320M for notebooks and the Core i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U for ultrabooks, but those processors may not be announced at the same time; the company is expected to unveil several other models for both notebooks and desktops in May. Intel has said its Ivy Bridge chips will offer a 37% performance increase over its 32nm chips.
Desktop apps that are designed to run on Windows 8 computers with x86/x64 processors will also be capable of running on ARM processors, ZDNet reported on Tuesday. Developers will need to recompile applications so that they run properly and Microsoft is hoping that a majority of developers create both desktop and ARM versions of their applications. In addition, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley said the standard Windows 8 desktop Metro style user interface will look the exact same on both types of processors. Microsoft has not yet said whether or not its Windows 8 application store will be populated with both Metro style applications and desktop apps. More →
We can’t say it comes as much of a surprise, but Google has just taken the wraps off of a service many of us have been waiting for years to see… or should we say, hear. Google’s freshly unveiled Music Beta service will give users a cloud-based solution for storing and streaming their digital music collections — and we mean, their entire collections; Google’s service supports the storage of up to 20,000 songs as opposed to the 1,000 tracks supported by Amazon’s Cloud Drive product, which Music Beta will compete with directly. Google’s Music Manager app supports Windows and Mac, and it allows users to upload their tracks directly to Music Beta. The Web-based music manager is a full-featured music player that supports organization, playlist creation and plenty more. The related Android app features all of the same functionality as the Web player, and playlists created on one device will instantly be available on all devices. Recently played music is always cached by the mobile player, and albums can also be downloaded and stored for playback when data connections are unavailable. Music Beta is available initially by invitation only, and it is free — at least, it’s free during the beta period. Google’s updated music app with Music Beta support is available in the Android Market beginning today.
Blog SemiAccurate has published an interesting article stating that Apple intends to move its desktop and laptop computer systems from the Intel x86 architecture to ARM-based architecture in the semi-near future. “The short story is that Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible,” reads the posting. “With A15/Eagle allowing more than 32-bit memory access, things look up, but it seems silly to do so before the full 64 bit cores come in the following generation. [...] Think mid-2013. At that point, Apple can move to ARM without worrying about obsoleting code with an ISA [instruction set architecture] that is on the verge of changing, and no memory overhead worries either.” Apple’s iOS line of products are powered by ARM silicon. The publication cites “moles” as the source of the information — moles that have provided accurate intel (pun intended) about Apple’s manufacturing component choices in the past. Will Apple shift desktop architectures yet again? Will we get to see more commercials featuring barbecued moon men? Time will tell. More →
It looks as though Google may be testing a voice search feature for its desktop search homepage. According to blog Search Engine Roundtable, several users have begun seeing the oh-so-familiar microphone icon in the search box on google.com — we can confirm that we have seen it on our Google home page as well. The icon will look extremely familiar to those Android users out there, as voice search has been an operating system staple for nearly a year now. No word on when/if this feature will roll out to the masses. More →
Here’s an interesting way to add value to your mobile application store, free test drives! An overlooked feature of Amazon’s new Android app store provides users with the ability to try both free and paid applications before making their purchase. Being referred to as “Test Drive,” the company is utilizing an Android virtual machine to allow users to preview applications, in the desktop browser, before purchasing on their mobile. While a VM can’t give you the complete experience, it definitely can aid in weeding out those applications that are duds. The online retailer boasts that it has “hundreds of apps to Test Drive,” with more on the way. More →
Skype announced on Monday that it will soon add advertisements to its desktop software. The move is thought to be an effort to introduce a new revenue stream ahead of the company’s IPO, which will occur this year. The new display ads will be rolled out in the U.S., U.K. and Germany this week, and they will appear on the Home tab of Skype’s desktop software. Initial ad buys that will begin running as soon as Skype’s new ads go live come from companies including Groupon, Universal Pictures and Visa. While Skype’s long-term plans remain unclear, the company said that it will initially only display ads from a single brand each day. For the time being, Skype’s ads will appear only in its Windows client, not its Mac application. More →
“Apple today announced that the Mac App Store will open for business on Thursday, January 6.” That is the opening line of a press release fresh out of Cupertino. The new service announced back in October offers developers a 70-30 split in revenues for applications sold and looks to mimic the utility and ease of the iOS-based App Store on the desktop.
“The App Store revolutionized mobile apps,” quipped Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs. “We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun.”
The store will be available in ninety countries upon launch and will contain both free and paid applications. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Although it has been available in a beta version for the past several weeks, BlackBerry Desktop Manager 2.0 for Mac had yet to be given an official release date by maker Research In Motion… that is, until today. RIM has made version 2.0 of its desktop suite for Mac official. The update brings with it Wi-Fi music syncing, a new device switch wizard, and the ability to import and sync both photos and videos with iPhoto and iTunes. Desktop Manager 2.0 clocks in at just north of 40MB and is available as we type. Hit the read link to download the new goodies. More →
Google recently revamped its mobile Google Docs offering, providing more robust editing capabilities on several smartphone platforms. While the revised sites are quite useful on mobile devices like the iPhone and Android handsets, they’re hardly optimized for larger devices such as the iPad. As of Friday, however, the full desktop Google Docs experience is now available on Apple’s tablet, pushing third-party productivity suites one step further toward extinction. Users need only visit docs.google.com from the mobile Safari browser on their iPads to start using the Google Docs desktop editors for documents, spreadsheets and more. Google points out that because mobile browsers still aren’t as powerful as desktop browsers, iPad users can easily switch to the mobile-optimized editor if they so choose. More →
Any developers out there that thought they’d be able to submit trial or demo versions of their applications for inclusion in Apple’s Mac App Store are going to unfortunately out of luck. Not unexpected, Apple has chosen to only offer full apps in the upcoming computer-focused application portal. Apple’s suggestion for those of you that still want to distribute beta, trial, or demo versions of your applications? Well, just keep on truckin’ and continue making those versions available on your website for direct distribution. With Mac OS X 10.6.6 just possibly around the corner, we might be browsing Apple’s latest App Store sooner than later (Apple promised a release by mid-January). More →