Besides getting used to the Metro user interface, one of the most common complaints about Windows 8 is the operating system’s lack of available applications. Dropbox on Monday released its highly anticipated Windows 8 and Windows RT app, bringing one of the most popular cloud storage services to Microsoft’s (MSFT) new platforms. The application was originally showcased at Microsoft’s developers conference in October, however it seemed to have disappeared since then. Dropbox for Windows 8 includes support for the Share Charm, which allows users to share any photo, file or folder, and lets users open, edit and save files from other Windows 8 apps. Dropbox is available now for free in the Windows Store.
It seems that Acer (2353) president Jim Wong can’t decide whether to praise Microsoft (MSFT) or to bury it. Just days after Wong defended Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, he told AllThingsD that the company has done a poor job of marketing both the platform and its signature Surface tablet. In particular, Wong thinks that Microsoft has vastly overplayed the Surface’s click-in keyboard at the expense of showing off its touch interface features. More →
It’s not hard to come across bearish assessments of the PC market, but Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has delivered one of the most pessimistic projections of the PC market yet. As AppleInsider reports, Wu sent a new note to investors this week projecting PC shipments to grow by a mere 2% in 2013, as growth of both the Apple (AAPL) iPad and OEM “confusion” over how to best utilize Windows 8 takes its toll on Microsoft’s (MSFT) operating system market share. More →
Whether they’re ready or not, America’s fighting men and women are about to be powered by Windows 8. Business Insider reports that Microsoft (MSFT) has just scored a major win by signing a three-year software licensing deal with the United States Department of Defense that will deliver Windows 8 to 75% of its 450,000 employees. Business Insider notes that this new deal marks “the first time that three major DOD agencies — the Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency — have entered into a single agreement with Microsoft,” so this really will be a big boost for the new operating system. Of course, since Windows 8 is such a dramatic shift away from the traditional Windows interface, it’s likely that Microsoft will need to undertake a massive training program to make sure that Pentagon employees understand the ins and outs of the operating system. The last thing we want to see is a raid on al-Qaeda botched because someone on the support team was too busy looking for the Start button.
Retailers offered heavy discounts on laptops from various manufacturers over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day, but it wasn’t enough to entice consumers. According to numbers from NPD Group, overall sales of consumer electronics during the holiday season dropped 7% from November 18th through December 22nd. The hype around the launch of Windows 8 did little to boost sales, with notebook purchases falling 11% year-over-year and holiday revenue dipping 10.5%. The low-end market was hit even harder, with sales of laptops priced under $500 falling by 16% as the market transitions to a post-PC world. More →
Congratulations, Microsoft (MSFT): your latest operating system is starting to make its mark. According to new data from NetMarketShare, 1.72% of all desktop computers in December 2012 used Windows 8, up from less than 1% in November. Of course we won’t have a real measure of Windows 8′s adoption rate until we see the January numbers since by that time many people will have started using the shiny new Windows 8 laptops they got for Christmas. Overall NetMarketShare found that Windows 7 was still the most widely used operating system in the world, accounting for more than 45% of all desktops used in December, while Windows XP finished a close second with 39%. All versions of Apple’s (AAPL) OS X accounted for 7.1% of all desktops in December, a slight decrease from the 7.3% share that OS X posted in November.
Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft (MSFT), took aim at Google (GOOG) and the company’s unwillingness to develop for Windows Phone 8 in a blog post on Wednesday. Heiner claims that, “Google continues to prevent Microsoft from offering consumers a fully featured YouTube app [among other] for the Windows Phone.” Microsoft has been apparently been trying to get a full-feature YouTube app for its Windows Phone operating system for more than two years, however it has been unsuccessful. More →
As the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, millions of people around the world vowed to make changes to the way they live their lives. For some, 2013 will bring an end to smoking, drinking and an unhealthy lifestyle. For me, the new year will also bring some changes, but this year I plan to adjust some of the more technical aspects of my life. Here are my five tech resolutions for 2013. More →
OK, so we all know that Windows 8 is a flawed operating system. In particular, the OS has rather awkward and counterintuitive controls for switching between its tiles and its standard desktop interface, and finding key features such as the control panel can be difficult at first. At the same time Microsoft’s (MSFT) newest operating system, for all its warts, does a lot of things right and is a bold and innovative attempt to remake personal computers for the post-PC era. More →
Windows 8 has taken potshots from MIT professors and drunk people alike, but at least one Microsoft (MSFT) OEM thinks such criticism is largely overblown. In an interview with Digitimes, Acer (2353) president Jim Wong said that Windows 8 is actually a very good operating system that consumers will adapt to it given enough time. More →
As Microsoft (MSFT) does its best to paint a positive picture of its Windows 8 launch, the company’s PC vendor partners continue to report weak end-user demand for computers running the new platform. The latest in a long line of such reports comes from Fujitsu (FJTSY) president Masami Yamamoto, who told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that initial demand for Windows 8 is “weak.” Bloomberg reports that Fujitsu, Japan’s top computer service provider, will miss its annual shipment forecast as a result. ”We can’t be optimistic about the PC industry,” Tokyo-based analyst Yoshihisa Toyosaki told Bloomberg. “PC makers’ bet on Windows 8 has failed, as cheaper tablet computers are taking away customers.”
Windows 8 has failed to draw the excited masses that some earlier versions of Microsoft’s (MSFT) PC operating system had attracted, according to a report published Sunday by The New York Times. Microsoft and its partners hoped the new platform would be a catalyst in a weak PC market, but earlier reports suggested Windows 8 might not have a real impact on sale for quite some time. Now, Acer’s president for the Americas region Emmanuel Fromont tells The Times that Windows 8 sales are off to “a slow start, there’s no question.” Acer is not the only Microsoft partner that has publicly complained of slow sales. Speaking with The Times, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst A. M. Sacconaghi predicted that global PC shipments declined 3% in 2012.
Windows 8 tablets that were set to be equipped with a new, energy-efficient chip from Intel (INTC) are reportedly being delayed until early 2013, according to Information Week. PC makers are said to be having trouble building drivers for the company’s dual-core Clover Trial Atom Z2760 processor, which was expected to help manufacturers compete with the iPad and several top-notch Android tablets in terms of performance and battery life. More →