HP on Wednesday announced the Android-powered SlateBook x2 and the Windows-powered Split x2. The SlateBook x2 is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200-pixel display and a new 1.8GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. The tablet also features 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, a rear-camera capable of 1080p video recording, an SD card slot, HDMI-out, a USB port and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. More →
Microsoft’s admission last week that it would need to make changes to its Windows 8 operating system to address a steeper-than-expected user learning curve has sparked two very different reactions from media and analysts. On the one side, Microsoft’s backtracking on Windows 8 is seen as a sign of humiliating defeat that could even point the way toward CEO Steve Ballmer’s exit from the company. The Telegraph takes this particular angle with a report that focusses on the “hostile reception” to Windows 8 and that quotes an analyst who says that “investors think Ballmer’s the wrong guy” to run Microsoft because “he missed tablets and he missed smartphones, and that these are the two areas of technology that really count.” More →
Although Microsoft recently touted having sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses this week, careful observers noted that selling all those licenses doesn’t mean vendors have actually sold 100 million Windows 8 devices over the past half-year. ComputerWorld this week talked with Patrick Moorhead, a principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, who estimates that the actual number of Windows 8 devices being used out in the wild is closer to 59 million, since the most recent data from Net Applications shows that Windows 8 is being used on around 4.2% of all Windows PCs. More →
Microsoft executive Frank Shaw is not happy with everyone who compared Windows 8 to New Coke this week. Shaw, who serves as Microsoft’s vice president of corporate communications, has written a blog post swiping back at media outlets who bashed the company’s latest operating system and said that comparing it to Coca Cola’s ill-fated attempt to rework its soft drink formula was completely ridiculous. More →
With Microsoft admitting the need for a course correction with its next version of Windows, some commenters have been lobbing the dreaded “New Coke” comparison at the company, referring to Coca Cola’s calamitous decision in the 1980s to rework its tried-and-true formula for sugary soft drinks. In some ways this comparison is apt because it seems that Microsoft took something that wasn’t broke — in this case, the excellent Windows 7 desktop operating system — and tried to fix it in a haphazard manner. But while it’s true that Windows 7 wasn’t broken from a desktop user perspective, Microsoft’s smartphone and tablet strategy was in desperate need of an overhaul that the company tried to address creatively with Windows 8. More →
The good news for Microsoft: It seems to realize that Gap-style dance routines are no longer the best way to sell computers. The bad news: Its new marketing direction involves watermelon kung-fu. Neowin reports that Microsoft’s official YouTube page this week posted and then quickly removed three new advertisements for something called “Windows 8 Training Camp” that all failed to actually show Windows 8 at any point during the ads. More →
With the Windows Blue update on the way, analysts have already started writing obituaries for Windows 8, the operating system that proved to be immensely polarizing among PC users. While history will likely look upon Windows 8 more kindly than the widely despised Vista, Envisioneering analyst Richard Doherty tells The Financial Times that it will be remembered as the biggest marketing fiasco since Coca Cola decided to rework the formula for its famous soft drink back in the ’80s. More →
Windows Blue is hardly a secret at this point, but Microsoft finally confirmed that it is prepping an update to its Windows 8 operating system that will be released this year. Windows 8 has done nothing to boost sales for struggling PC vendors. In fact, some believe it is having the opposite effect. “Blue” will be Microsoft’s attempt to reverse course and tweak Windows 8 so that it better suits users’ needs. More →
With PC sales crashing and burning, it’s not surprising that several PC OEMs are still fuming about Windows 8, the operating system that has so far failed to reignite the PC industry. And now two unnamed OEM sources have told ZDNet that Microsoft and Windows 8 are primarily to blame for the accelerated decline in PC sales, with one source claiming that Windows 8 is “destroying” the PC industry and another claiming that the new operating system has “handed over millions of customers to Apple.” These criticisms of Windows 8 from OEMs are nothing new, of course, as a Samsung executive earlier this year called the new operating system “no better than Vista” while the CFO of Asus said that “demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.” And unless PC sales start turning around later this year, Microsoft should expect to hear a lot more of this sort of criticism from its manufacturing partners.
Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been the huge boost PC vendors were looking for to reinvigorate the slumping PC market. In fact, a few reports suggest it’s actually having the opposite effect on sales. While some users seem to really enjoy the new tile-based user interface found on the Start screen, it’s also mentioned in nearly every complaint about Windows 8 we have seen — many people would like to bypass it and boot directly to the Desktop. The lack of a Start button is also a big problem for a number of users, but both of these issues are rumored to be addressed in Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8.1 update. Of course, as we’ve discussed before here on BGR, there’s no reason to wait: You can boot directly to the Desktop and get the Start button back in Windows 8 right now with one simple, free app. More →
While Microsoft’s (MSFT) launch of Windows 8 was supposed to be the big change that the company needed to help personal computers keep pace with touch-based devices such as tablets and smartphones, new research from IDC suggests it has so far had the opposite effect. According to IDC’s latest numbers, PC shipments posted their “steepest decline ever in a single quarter” in Q1 2013, as the 76.3 million PCs shipped represented a 13.9% decline from Q1 2012. To make matters worse, IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell says that Windows 8 bears at least some of the blame for the accelerated decline in PC shipments. More →
Microsoft’s (MSFT) next version of the Windows operating system, codenamed Windows Blue, will reportedly help merge its PC and mobile platforms, according to Digitimes. Windows Blue is said to currently be in development separate from the Windows 8 and Windows Phone units. Microsoft’s overall goal is said to have the operating system compete with Google’s (GOOG) Android and Chrome platforms. More →
We know that Windows 8 has failed to reignite demand in the PC market so far and now one formerly bullish analyst says that the platform “lacks momentum” and is “challenging” his earlier optimism. Benzinga notes that Bank of America analyst Kash Ragan downgraded Microsoft (MSFT) from “Buy” to “Neutral” on Thursday and expressed dismay that Windows 8 has still shown few signs of catching on “despite more available touch-based devices” more than six months since the platform’s initial launch. Microsoft has been taking feedback from early Windows 8 adopters and is planning to make changes to the operating system aimed at winning over more traditional Windows users with its “Windows Blue update” rumored to be released this summer.