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.
New details on Nokia’s (NOK) rumored 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet have leaked out from The Verge. The tech blog says Nokia’s tablet will go head-on with Microsoft (MSFT) Surface tablet with its own “keyboard cover” that will also double as an external battery. The 10.1-inch slate will reportedly also have an ARM-based processor of course, a display that is “similar to Microsoft’s Surface RT screen,” two USB ports, HDMI and 10-hour battery life “with fast charging that boosts the battery capacity to 50 percent in a short period of time.” Nokia’s tablet will also have built-in support for cellular data with AT&T (T) cited as a U.S. carrier partner. Nokia is rumored to be planning an unveil at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February 2013.
It still isn’t known whether Microsoft’s Surface tablet is a quiet success or a miserable failure, but the fact that the company’s vendor partners are slow to get onboard with Windows RT isn’t a good sign. That apparently won’t stop Nokia (NOK), however, as the vendor seemingly dives deeper into the Microsoft (MSFT) ecosystem without pause. Citing anonymous Taiwan-based supply chain sources, Digitimes reports that Nokia is building a 10-inch Windows RT tablet that will likely be unveiled during the Mobile World Congress trade show in February 2013. No features were covered in the report, however Digitimes says Nokia had initially planned to launch the device in 2012 but the introduction of Microsoft’s Surface slate forced Nokia to delay the device’s launch.
The latest version of Windows brought a wave of confusion to consumers looking to purchase a new computer or tablet. Microsoft’s (MSFT) operating system is available in four different versions — Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise and Widows RT. All but the latter are compatible with traditional Intel (INTC) chips and can run older Windows programs. Windows RT is not like the rest, though — the tablet-specific version of Windows is only available on ARM-based devices such as Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet. The operating system comes preloaded with a basic version of Office 2013, however it cannot run traditional desktop applications. The naming scheme has left consumers scratching their heads, and at least one executive warned Microsoft about it earlier this year. More →
The early signs for Microsoft’s (MSFT) entry into tablet market haven’t been very good. Bloomberg reports that “of more than a dozen tablets Microsoft and Intel (INTC) touted for the new version of Windows, only five can be purchased for immediate U.S. delivery.” The five tablets, for anyone who’s curious, are the Microsoft Surface, the Asus Vivo Tab RT, Lenovo’s IdeaPad, the Samsung (005930) ATIV Smart PC, and the Acer (2353) Iconia. To make matters worse, it isn’t easy to find these tablets in retail outlets either since both the Surface and the Iconia “are only available at Microsoft’s own stores, which number just more than 60 for the holidays.” Or as IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell told Bloomberg, “You can hardly even find one… even if you wanted to buy it, it would be difficult.”
In today’s world of disposable electronics, where new models can instantly make old ones feel obsolete, it’s often impossible to know how long hardware will be supported down the road. Although Microsoft (MSFT) greatly annoyed Windows Phone 7 users by making devices that were incapable of updating to the new Windows Phone 8 OS, the company looks to do right with Surface tablet owners in terms of providing regular software updates. Microsoft will support the Surface with Windows RT for four years until April 11th, 2017 according to a support page discovered by ZDNet. That’s good to know for anyone looking to buy a Surface. BGR reviewed the Surface and found it to be a robust and solid piece of hardware, but we said it was ultimately bogged down by finicky software issues and lack of a compelling library of apps.
The Microsoft Surface got off to a shaky start. Preorder demand seemed strong for Microsoft’s (MSFT) debut tablet but the company made it a point to note that initial supply would be limited following the Surface’s launch. CEO Steve Ballmer then stated on multiple occasions that Surface sales have been relatively slow, likely in an effort to keep investors’ expectations in check. Microsoft’s partners have slammed the Surface time and time again, and analysts have done the same. Is Microsoft’s premiere Windows hardware offering doomed to crash and burn? More →
Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Windows RT operating system is no stranger to criticism and while BGR’s review of the new Surface tablet was favorable, the device was not well received in other early reviews. Executives at Microsoft’s partner companies have been outspoken about the Surface as well, and HP’s (HPQ) PC boss Todd Bradley joined in during a recent interview with CITE World. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) chief executive Steve Ballmer said just after the company’s debut tablet launched that sales weren’t very “interesting,” and it looks like sales of the Windows RT-powered tablet are still a bit slow. Speaking with French newspaper Le Parisien, Ballmer is quoted as having said Surface sales “are starting modestly.” Ballmer wouldn’t elaborate with any figures, but he did say that the Surface is currently in short supply. The CEO went on to state that supply shortages are “a good sign,” and that Microsoft “will fix this problem quickly.” BGR reviewed the Microsoft Surface last month and we said the tablet’s hardware is fantastic but it is limited by some software issues and a lack of available apps.
Acer (2353) has been one of the biggest Surface critics out there, so it’s not surprising that the company is taking a wait-and-see approach to the idea of releasing its own Windows RT tablets. Reuters reports that Acer is holding off on putting out any Windows RT devices “to give itself time to see how Microsoft’s (MSFT) own Surface tablet fares.” Acer President Jim Wong told Reuters that the company is being “much more cautious” about releasing a Windows RT tablet and is instead “watching how Surface is doing” and seeing how Windows RT is accepted by customers. Wong said the company had originally planned to release its own RT tablets in the first quarter of 2013, but that those plans had been pushed back to at least the second quarter for the time being.
Welcome to the new Microsoft (MSFT). The world’s largest software company is now officially a Windows hardware vendor, having launched its debut tablet at midnight Friday morning. Crowds seeking out at Microsoft pop-up stores were surprisingly large in some cases — AllThingsD’s Ina Fried posted some great photos from the Times Square store on her Twitter account — and orders for the tablet that seems to be OEMs’ worst nightmare placed on Microsoft’s website still won’t ship for at least three weeks. While the company did say supplies would be limited at launch, we know from conversations during our visit to Redmond that Microsoft has high hopes for the Surface and it looks like things are off to a good start. Are you thinking about buying one? Did you just purchase a Surface and you’re wondering where to start? Not interested in the Surface but want to know more about Windows 8? Here are some resources that might help: More →
Microsoft (MSFT) on Thursday took to New York City to announce availability of its brand new Windows operating system in more than 140 markets around the world. Windows 8 and Windows RT usher in the new face of Windows, a tile-based interface that combines shortcuts and widgets into tiles that can deliver live information to the user. Windows RT is a “lite” version of the platform compatible only with specially made applications, while Windows 8 combines Windows RT with classic Windows that is compatible with legacy and new x86 software. Windows 8 is available starting at just $39.99 for a limited time and upgrades from Windows 7 start at just $14.99. Microsoft’s debut tablet, the Surface, will launch tomorrow starting at $499.
Windows 8 is coming! Windows 8 is coming! Judging by the reaction to Windows 8 on various technology and business blogs, it’s a miracle society ever moved past MS-DOS and adopted Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows operating system in the first place. Bloggers seem to be scared of the new tile-based Windows user interface, and they think consumers and enterprise users aren’t ready for the big change. Moreover, there are all kinds of “secret” new gestures that users will have to know to navigate around the U.S., and tech writers apparently aren’t confident that people are up to the task. We went through the big ones in last night’s Microsoft Surface review, but in case you missed it, let’s take a look at all the scary new things you need to learn to use Windows 8 and Windows RT: More →