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.
We’ve long said that it’s unfair to slap Windows 8 with the dreaded Vista comparison and now we have some data to back it up. ZDNet’s Ed Bott this week took a look at Amazon (AMZN) customer ratings for several versions of Microsoft’s (MSFT) operating system and found that while Windows 8 has its share of haters, it also has even more people who enthusiastically support the platform. Overall, 50% of Windows 8 users gave the platform four or five-star reviews while 40% gave it a one or two-star rating. This contrasts very favorably with Vista, which received one and two-star ratings from 50% of users while receiving four and five-star ratings from just 37% of users. The ratings also show that dislike of Vista was remarkably intense, with 42% of users giving it a one-star rating that Bott describes as a “middle finger” to the platform. More →
The next version of the Windows operating system may not be known as Windows 9, as had previously been reported. According to ZDNet, the operating system, which is currently known internally as Windows Blue, will come to market as Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 later this summer. The latest rumors suggest that Microsoft’s (MSFT) upcoming Windows update will include a variety of new features such as customized live tiles and improvements to the Snap View feature. The company is expected to announce Windows 8.1 at its Build developers conference on June 26th in San Francisco, and it will reportedly be released to manufacturing partners around August.
It has been over year since HTC (2498) has released a tablet, however a new report suggests the struggling company is preparing to take on the iPad once more. According to NPD DisplaySearch, HTC will reportedly debut a new tablet later this year, FocusTaiwan reported. The slate is expected to be equipped with a 10.1-inch full HD 1080p display and run Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8 operating system. The research firm believes mass production began in the first quarter of this year and the tablet could be announced in the coming months. HTC previously released the 7-inch HTC Flyer in February 2011 and the 10.1-inch HTC Jetstream tablet in September 2011, both of which ran the Android operating system. The company has not unveiled a new tablet since then, however.
The latest numbers from Net Applications show that Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8 operating system is slowly gaining traction. The company’s latest operating system is now found on 3.17% of computers, a small increase from February’s 2.67% share. Windows 8 was released last October and has gradually increased its market share over the past five months. The operating system experienced its biggest jump in market share following the holiday season, growing from 1.72% in December to a 2.26% share in January. Despite the small gains, however, Windows 8 remains less used than previous Windows releases. More →
One thing has been missing from Microsoft’s (MSFT) foray into the tablet world so far: A cheaper, smaller tablet that can go toe-to-toe with the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad mini. ZDNet reports that recent changes to Windows 8 hardware certification guidelines suggest that Microsoft is giving OEMs more freedom to make 7-inch tablets since ”the new guidelines relax the minimum resolution for Windows 8 devices to 1024 x 768 at a depth of 32 bits.” ZDNet says that OEMs need to justify to Microsoft why they’re using lower resolutions, however, so it doesn’t give them carte blanche to release big-screen devices that have inferior displays. Microsoft said in releasing the guidelines that “partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful,” so it certainly sounds as though we’ll be seeing some low-cost Windows 8 tablets in the near future.