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%.
In the world of computing, no two companies have more history than Microsoft and Apple. In fact, the companys’ history is 10,124 pixels tall. From modest beginnings to IPOs, and later to global domination, Microsoft and Apple are largely responsible for computers as we know them today. Microsoft concentrated on software early and now owns the lion’s share of the global PC market, and more recently, Apple looked to mobile computing to revitalize its business and its market cap. Of course from an investor’s perspective, the stock chart at the bottom says it all, but as is remarkably evident in looking over the meandering paths these two tech titans have taken, no one knows what the future might hold. The full, extremely large infographic can be found after the break.
This infographic has been updated by its creator and the updated version is now found below. More →
Windows developers around the world had cause for excitement Thursday afternoon as Microsoft finally released a beta version of its Kinect for Windows software development kit. As the name might imply, this new SDK will allow developers to build Windows software that makes use of Microsoft’s popular motion-based controller as a peripheral. The SDK obviously opens the door for Kinect-controlled Windows PC games, but we’re sure Windows developers will find plenty of creative ways to make use of the great technology. Developers can download the SDK beta immediately via the read link below. More →
Microsoft doesn’t have plans to release its upcoming tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system until some time next year, but that doesn’t mean Windows fans have to wait for an optimized tablet experience. Windows tablet fan Justin Campana found a series of apps and tweaks that can be combined with a few custom scripts to make the Windows 7 touch experience much more appealing. On his blog, Campana lays out a great guide that gives users all the tools they need to transform their contrived Windows 7 slates into gorgeous touch-optimized tablets. He uses a variety of software such as ObjectDock, Fences and Rainmeter along with a bunch of tweaks to make Windows 7 look like it was born for tablets. Best of all, Campana happily shares his methods with the world. Hit the break for a video of ASUS’ 12-inch Eee Slate EP121 Windows 7 tablet with touch optimizations applied, and follow the read link for a simple guide that will show you how to perform the mods yourself. More →
During a press event in Japan recently, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Windows 8 would would launch sometime next year. His firm says otherwise. “It appears there was a misstatement,” a Microsoft spokesperson recently said in a statement. “We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows.” Despite Microsoft’s statement, we could still hear more about Windows 8 much sooner — even if it doesn’t actually launch in the coming fiscal year. “As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8,” Ballmer said in his speech. “Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.’ According to ZDNet, we could see an early build of the operating system as soon as the D9 conference, which begins on June 31st. More →
Microsoft on Thursday revealed its back-to-school offer for 2011, which is likely to drop students’ jaws and raise parents’ eyebrows at the same time. This year, students with a valid student ID who purchase a Windows 7 computer for $699 or more will receive a free Xbox 360 4GB video game console. “A hot new Windows 7-based PC with a free Xbox 360 is the ultimate productivity, social and entertainment package for students,” said Kathleen Hall, general manager of Windows Marketing at Microsoft, in a statement. “In one shot, with this great offer, Microsoft is giving students everything they need for a successful new school year.” We’re not sure how much the Xbox offer will help students with their school work, but it will definitely help them blow off some steam and avoid burning out while still managing to save them some money. The deal becomes available to students starting this Sunday, May 22nd. Hit the break for Microsoft’s full press release.
When it comes to Twitter, we’re just as addicted as every other poor soul who got sucked in. We’re constantly connected on our phones and computers, always checking our timelines, and we crouch in a corner and cry every time the fail whale rears its ugly head. As addictive as the service is though, Twitter is often asleep at the wheel when it comes to features. Luckily, that’s where third-party developers come into play and when it comes to Twitter apps, there are now thousands of choices across every platform imaginable. Even once you’ve found your Twitter apps of choice, however, one of the most annoying things about being addicted to Twitter is constantly seeing the same tweets as you move back and forth between your phone, PC tablet and other devices. What’s more, when you make changes to your mobile client — say, adding a new list column — you have to make the same changes all over again in your other clients. But what if there was a better way? More →
In a recent interview with Finnish news outlet YLE, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop discussed the company’s strategy for approaching the already crowded tablet market. “There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, only one of them is doing really well,” Elop said. “And, my challenge to the team is I don’t want to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all of the others. We have to take a uniquely Nokia prospective.” Elop added that Nokia could work with Microsoft and take advantage of its software for a Windows-based tablet, but also said that the firm could “do things with some of the other software assets that we have.” Early reports have suggested that Nokia may exclude Microsoft from its tablet plans altogether, and that it may still launch a MeeGo powered device. More →
On Tuesday, Sony took the wraps off of two new Android tablets, the S1 and the S2, but two other devices — the “Freestyle Hybrid PC” and the “Ultimate Mobile PC” — were also teased by Sony execs during its IT Mobile Meeting in Tokyo. Sony’s keeping the specs for both devices close to the vest for now, but the Freestyle Hybrid PC offers a tablet form factor with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard that doubles as a stand. Sony’s Ultimate Mobile PC appears to be a new thin and light laptop with HDMI-out, but its screen size and other specs remain unknown. We wouldn’t be surprised to see both of these devices break cover in time for the back to school season. More →
While most manufacturers are trying to find the sweet spot for tablets in the 7-inch to 10-inch range, Lenovo’s thinking bigger. The firm’s senior marketing specialist, Wiliam Cai, said that his company is working on a new 23-inch tablet designed for the home — with a focus similar to that of an all-in-one desktop — that could land later this year. “We think that there is potential for a 23-inch tablet,” Cai told TechRadar. “We’d have to take care of battery life and we are working to get the weight down.” Cai said such a device could be moved around the house, and possibly be used as a TV or with a full keyboard. That sounds more like a connected TV than a tablet to us, but we’re excited to see where Lenovo takes this idea. It’s unclear what sort of operating system Lenovo has in mind, but we’re guessing it’ll probably run Windows 7. More →
Microsoft will hold a Professional Developers Conference (PDC) event from September 13th through September 16th, Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s Windows Chief, said Tuesday. According to Business Insider, Microsoft may introduce its latest Windows 8 operating system during the event — an OS that will cater better to touchscreen tablets and lower powered processors. A September introduction could mean that Microsoft is gearing up for a launch sometime next year, a time frame that’s in line with earlier rumors. Microsoft may already be shipping the operating system to some of its OEM partners, and some reports have suggested that the Redmond-based company will show off early tablet designs in June. The report remains a rumor, however, as Microsoft has not gone on the record to say when it will lift the curtain on Windows 8. More →
Dell’s 10-inch Windows 7 tablet may not launch until this fall, a company source speaking to Forbes said Tuesday. Dell revealed in February that it had plans to launch a 10-inch tablet, although the company never publicly announced a release date. The site’s source did not indicate why Dell has decided wait to launch until September. The month is arguably the tail end of back-to-school season, and other tablets from competitors — like the HP TouchPad — will be widely available, but it sounds like there are some internal delays happening. In its defense, Dell has said that its Windows 7 offering will be a “business tablet” aimed at quelling the needs of the mobile work force — as opposed to students or the everyday consumer — so the back-to-school season may not be a priority. More →
According to a report on Wednesday from industry watcher DigiTimes, Acer is seeing higher than expected interest in its upcoming line of tablets. Demand is so high, the report claims, that it exceeds the initial supply Acer has ordered from its manufacturing partners. The strong demand comes from various cellular carriers around the world that are seemingly eager to bundle Acer’s upcoming devices with data plans. According to the report, Acer plans to launch four devices between now and April: The 10-inch Windows 7-powered Iconia W500, which will launch mid-March; the 10-inch Tegra 2-equipped Iconia A500, which will run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) when it launches in late March; the 7-inch Android-powered Iconia A100, which will launch in April; and the supersized 4.8-inch Gingerbread smartphone dubbed Iconia Smart, which will also launch in April. Acer noted that initial limited inventory is due to a short supply of key components, such as touchscreen displays. More →