Intel’s next-generation Ivy Bridge processors will be the first to feature a “3D Tri-Gate transistor,” The BBC reported on Sunday. The company plans to initially release 13 quad-core processors for desktop computers that it promises will offer more computational power while using less energy. Intel hopes its new transistors, which have been in development for 11 years, will help it challenge ARM’s reputation for energy efficiency. “This is the world’s first 22 nanometre product and we’ll be delivering about 20% more processor performance using 20% less average power,” the company said, adding that dual-core processors aimed at ultrabooks will be announced “later this spring.” Intel promises that “there will be 50% more supply than we had early in the product cycle of our last generation, Sandy Bridge, a year ago. And we’re still constrained based on the amount of demand we’re seeing in the marketplace.” Digitimes on Monday reported that shipments of the company’s latest processors will still be lower than expected, however, and it will not be able to satisfy the strong demand anticipated from PC vendors. More →
Mobile World Congress has been a roller coaster ride so far this year. The week kicked off with a bang on Sunday with both Sony and HTC unveiling their latest and greatest smartphones, and the HTC One X was definitely the star of the show. Things were up and down on Monday and Tuesday however, and the show actually got pretty slow for a while there. Our time in Barcelona isn’t up just yet, however, and Microsoft chose today to unveil the latest version of its next-generation operating system, Windows 8. The technology giant released a preview version of Windows 8 last September, but we’re sure plenty has changed over the past five months. And beyond checking out all the new features Microsoft has undoubtedly baked into its new OS, we might finally get a better idea of when devices carrying the platform will finally launch. Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. Eastern / 6:00 a.m. Pacific (3:00 p.m. local time in Barcelona), so hit the break for our live coverage of the event!
UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out our full review of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which is now live! More →
Google may be in the process of bringing its mobile operating system to desktop and notebook computers, according to a recent patent filing. The patent, which was discovered by Patently Apple, showcases desktop control features similar to Apple’s multitouch MacBook trackpad and Magic Trackpad. The current Android operating system has been designed for touch commands and actions, however in the future it may be expanded to support different means of control, Google said in the patent overview. Using a multitouch trackpad, a user can “directly interact with graphical elements located at the current pointer location as if they are using a touchscreen device, and perform traditional touchscreen operations (e.g., dragging/flinging content, scrolling).” Following Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, it is believed that the Mountain View-based company will now explore a variety of new hardware products. More →
Smartphone shipments overtook client PC shipments for the first time in 2011, according to new data from market research firm Canalys. Vendors shipped a total of 158.5 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, representing a 57% increase compared to the 101.2 million units shipped in the same quarter a year earlier. Shipments for the full year of 2011 rose 63% to 487.7 million units, up from 299.7 million shipped in 2010. The PC market only grew 15% to 414.6 million units in 2011, which included an astonishing 274% increase in tablet shipments — tablets accounted for 15% of all PC shipments last year according to Canalys. The firm expects growth in the smartphone market to slow in 2012, with vendors putting more focus on profitability. Canalys’s press release follows below.
Market research firms Gartner and IDC have both released preliminary data for global PC sales in the second quarter of 2011, and the reports paint a much improved picture compared to the first quarter of the year. Lenovo was the biggest winner globally in terms of growth according to Gartner, having shipped 10.23 million PCs for a 12% share of the market. The China-based vendor’s PC market share grew a whopping 22.5% compared to the same quarter a year prior, and Lenovo now finds itself in the No. 3 spot globally. HP was still the top vendor with shipments totaling 14.89 million units, and Dell remained in the No. 2 spot with 10.62 million units shipped. Acer and ASUS rounded out the top-5 with 9.30 million units and 4.47 million units, respectively. Though Apple’s operating system share continued to climb last month, the firm still doesn’t sell enough units to bump it from the “Others” category on Gartner’s global table. In the U.S., however, Apple showed the biggest market share gains last quarter with 8.5% growth over the same quarter last year. While IDC’s numbers vary compared to Gartner’s, the end results are the same. IDC has Lenovo’s global growth pegged at 22.9% over the second quarter last year, and it shows that Apple grew even faster than Gartner estimates with 14.7% growth in the U.S. compared to the same quarter a year prior. The two firms agree that Acer was the biggest loser globally. Acer’s share of the worldwide PC market was down 20.4% from the second quarter of 2010 according to Gartner, and down a less alarming 10.1% according to IDC. Taiwan-based Acer was the biggest loser in the U.S. as well, as its share was down 22.6% year-over-year according to Gartner and 25.4% according to IDC. Full press releases from both firms follow below. More →
During his Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference keynote on Monday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the company has now sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses to date. Microsoft’s current operating system was first launched in October 2009, and it was welcomed with open arms as customers were eager to dump Vista following its troubled introduction. Despite an impressive 20 months for Windows 7, it is still far from being the world’s most used operating system. Windows XP’s share was near double Windows 7’s in June, though Microsoft did confirm on Monday that it would stop supporting the operating system 1,000 days from now. According to Net Applications, Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system was used on 27.13% of the world’s personal computing devices as of June 2011. Windows XP still ranked No. 1 with 51.13% and Vista occupied the No. 3 spot with 9.52%.
A new independent study by security experts at Symantec attempted to measure how secure Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform are, and also to determine how these mobile platforms stack up against desktop operating systems. Symantec claims that these mobile platforms are much more secure than today’s popular desktop operating systems, though the firm does note that the key variable, as always, is the human element. “Today’s mobile devices are a mixed bag when it comes to security,” said Carey Nachenberg, Symantec Fellow and Chief Architect, in a statement. “While more secure than traditional PCs, these platforms are still vulnerable to many traditional attacks. Moreover, enterprise employees are increasingly using unmanaged, personal devices to access sensitive enterprise resources, and then connecting these devices to 3rd-party services outside of the governance of the enterprise, potentially exposing key assets to attackers.” While Symantec neglects to reach a firm conclusion regarding which mobile OS is the most secure, the firm definitely seems to favor iOS more often than not. It says iOS’ app screening procedure plays a big role in the operating system’s security, and it also says the platform’s architecture makes it better at resisting malware attacks and data integrity attacks. It also says iOS offers better encryption and more secure access control for apps. Symantec’s full press release follows below.
A survey conducted recently by Google-owned AdMob found that tablets are eating into the quality time U.S. consumers spend with their desktop and laptop PCs — and the majority of tablet owners might not use their devices the way many pundits believe. A survey of 1,430 tablet owners in the U.S. conducted March of this year suggests that the most popular use for tablets at this point could be gaming. An overwhelming 84% of respondents said they use their tablets for playing games of some type, while 78% said they searched for information on their tablets and 74% said they used email. Another indication tablets could be as disruptive as many analysts believe is the fact that 43% of those surveyed said they use their tablets more than than their desktop or laptop computers, and 33% said they spent more time with their tablet than they spend watching television. 77% of respondents said their use of traditional computers has decreased since buying a tablet, and 28% said the tablet is now their primary computer. More →
According to patent filings discovered by Patently Apple, Cupertino-based tech company Apple may be working to bring a Spaces-like feature to its iPad tablet. Spaces, which first debuted in Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) back in 2007, allows users to manage multiple, virtual desktops to aid window organization and management — the feature has been standard in a handful of various Linux window environments for nearly a decade. It is unclear if the function will be used as a card-based application switcher, like the ones found on webOS and the BlackBerry PlayBook; as a true, multi-desktop, multi-tasking application; or if this is just another one of those things Apple decided to patent just in case. Either way, the feature looks interesting… we wouldn’t be opposed other tablet operating systems manufacturers re-engineering a feature like this for their own OS. More →
A new rumor suggests HP may have considered selling its PC business, with Samsung lined up as the most likely buyer. The report comes from DigiTimes and is sourced from an article in the Chinese financial paper Commercial Times. DigiTimes claims that rumors to this effect have been circulating in Taiwan since last year, however, and suggests that a sale is no longer on the table. Citing sources from upstream component makers, the report claims “the deal was called off due to an unknown reason, and there has not been any follow up since then.” The original report also noted that Lenovo was a possible buyer and even suggests Foxconn might have shown interest in the business. HP has aggressive plans to include webOS on every PC it sells beginning next year. With such an incredible in-road to users, it would seem odd for HP to even briefly consider selling off its PC business.
UPDATE: HP issued the following statement on Thursday regarding the Commercial Times report: “Irresponsible reporting by Taiwan’s Commercial Times, suggesting that HP might sell its PC business, should be dismissed as market rumor and speculation. HP runs the world’s largest PC business and it is core to HP’s strategy for the connected world.”
According to market research firm IDC, 2010 will see shipments of PCs rebound in 2010 and erase the terrible sales figures seen in 2009. Overall sales are expected to rise 19.8% YoY with a total of 354.8 million units shipped. Notebook sales are anticipated to be the largest contributor to higher sales with growth targeted at 28.6% versus the 8.2% of desktops. As for netbooks, previously said by many to be the next big thing in personal computing, IDC believes that their sales will max out at 12% before tapering off. Why? Because everyone seems to want a tablet instead.
If you or anyone you know were planning on picking up a Mac mini over the weekend (don’t laugh, we’re serious), you might want to hold off because AppleInsider has it on good authority that the teensy weensy computer rig is due for a refresh in the coming weeks. AI is reporting that multiple independent sources who order Mac minis in large quantities were either instructed to order only what is urgently needed or wait a few weeks. One educational institution had its order fulfilment estimate changed from several days to June 14th. Two months ago AI reported that prototype Mac mini’s spotted by Apple employees had the DVI port swapped out for a HDMI port and the inclusion of NVIDIA’s MPC89 chipset. The last Mac mini refresh took pace last in October. More →
There you have it folks — done and done. The Apple Store is back up, new gear is live and credit card portals are wide open. Keeping things nice and simple, Apple has taken one of its two standard routes and simply tossed out a bunch of refreshes sans-hullabaloo. Here it is, now buy it. So what have we got?
- $1199 (only 20″ model) – 2.66 GHz, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, 320GB HD
- $1499 (24″) – 2.66 GHz, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, 640GB HD
- $1799 (24″) – 2.93 GHz, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, 640GB HD
- $2199 (24″) – 3.06 GHz, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 130, 1TB HD
- $599 – 2.0GHz, 1GB 1066 MHz DDRS SDRAM, GeForce 9400M, 120GB HD, 8x SuperDrive, Mini DisplayPort, mini-DVI, 5 USB Ports, FireWire 800 Port
- $799 – 2.0GHz, 2GB 1066 MHz DDRS SDRAM, GeForce 9400M, 320GB HD, 8x SuperDrive, Mini DisplayPort, mini-DVI, 5 USB Ports, FireWire 800 Port
- $2499 – 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 3500 processor, 3GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, 640GB HD
- $3299 – Dual 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 processors, 6GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, 640GB HD
Apple definitely gave its desktop lineup a bit of an adrenaline shot, though it really didn’t come through with anything too Earth-shattering. What do you guys think? On a completely overshadowed note, Apple is now offering a 1TB Time Capsule for $500 (500GB for $299) and the AirPort Extreme Base Station, now capable of running two networks simultaneously, will run you $179 (old model is going for $159).