Watch out, Google: Microsoft is really coming after you. Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it will make Windows free to use for any manufacturers who are making devices that are 9 inches or smaller. This means that Windows smartphones, small tablets and wearable computers will have free-to-use software, just like with Google’s Android platform. This has the potential to significantly grow Windows’ market share on mobile devices, particularly in emerging markets where manufacturers have been churning out dirt-cheap Android phones.
After claiming in a recent report that the new Asus dual-booting Android/Windows tablet/laptop combo that was announced at CES 2014 may not actually hit stores, Digitimes is back with a second story that says the same thing. According to its research, the publication says Google is putting pressure on Asus not to go forward with such dual-booting devices. Similarly, “other PC vendors now also have intentions to stop plans for producing products featuring dual operating system features,” as “Google is trying hard to avoid its OS being combined with Windows.” More →
Two months before Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the world in 1984, Microsoft demoed an early version of Windows at COMDEX 1983. Much like the soon-to-be-announced Mac, it featured a graphical user interace with the desktop metaphor, including windows and icons. Users could open multiple windows and use Microsoft Word to edit and format a text document. More →
Phil Schiller recently tweeted a link to a report that said 99% of all mobile malware is directed at Android. Usually the malware comes through the web in the form of phishing or other tactics but it usually doesn’t come from PCs. However, that’s not the case with a particular piece of malware uncovered by Symantec that installs malware onto Android devices when they are connected to Windows PCs. The malware, called Trojan.Droidpak, installs a fake version of the Google Play store when the Android device is connected to PCs in “USB debugging mode.” That mode is usually only used by developers, but is also sometimes necessary for rooting Android devices or installing alternative Android firmware. More →
The many Windows users who are underwhelmed by Windows 8 will have to continue waiting patiently for the next iteration of the operating system, but Microsoft is working hard to address users’ issues in the meantime. According to one of ZDNet’s “accurate and trusted sources,” Windows 8.1 Update 1 will be available on March 11th, almost a month before the Microsoft Build Developer Conference, when a previous leak predicted the update would launch. More →
The best deal in indie gaming is back for its tenth run, and this time the theme is cross-platform availability. Humble Indie Bundle X went live on Tuesday and features six great games that can be played on Windows, Mac or Linux computers. Many of the games are making their Mac and Linux debuts as a part of the bundle as well. This time around, the games featured are as follows: To the Moon, Joe Danger 2: The Movie, Papo & Yo, Runner2, Reus and Surgeon Simulator 2013. Reus and Surgeon Simulator will only be available to customers who pay more than the average at time of purchase. All of the games you receive will also include a soundtrack. More →
In a “post PC” world dominated by the iPad and Android tablets, Intel seems to be ready to further embrace Google’s mobile platform, especially considering the decline of the traditional PC when it comes to quarterly sales. Intel at CES 2014 confirmed that its upcoming chips will support both Windows and Android, The Verge reports, allowing OEMs to create dual OS devices such as the recently unveiled Intel-based Transformer Book Duet TD 300 convertible tablet/laptop that Asus says is able to switch between Android mode and Windows 8.1 mode in under four seconds. Intel demoed dual OS support on stage during its pre-CES media event, saying that its Intel-based “dual OS platforms” will offer full 64-bit support as well. More →
Asus on Monday announced at CES 2014 a new Android tablet that doubles as an Android laptop, triples as a Windows 8.1 tablet and… quadruples as Windows 8.1 notebook – Asus describes the Transformer Book Duet TD300 as the world’s first quad-mode dual-OS laptop and tablet. The company says users will be able to move from Android to Windows 8.1 and vice-versa in just around four seconds, without having to reboot the machine to run the other OS. Asus chairman Jonney Shih said on stage that switch between operating systems is “faster than most supercars’ acceleration.” The company teased a dual-booting device in a video released in the weeks preceding the event. More →
If Windows ever dies out, it will likely go out with a whimper and not with a bang. Windows enthusiast Paul Thurrott worries that the biggest problem facing Microsoft right now is that Windows just isn’t as important to most consumers’ lives as it used to be and that app developers’ creative energies have shifted more toward iOS and Android. More →
With the Consumer Electronics Show coming next month, computer makers are doing whatever they can to attract attention. This includes Asus, which released a psychedelic 30-second teaser video that hints its next big tablet that it will unveil at CES will dual-boot with both Android and Windows 8. More →
In our review of the Xbox One, we talked about the potential of the console as a platform that will evolve over the course of this generation. According to ZDNet, part of that evolution will include unifying the game console even further with the Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. An update codenamed “Threshold,” reportedly set to be released in 2015, will roll out to virtually every Windows-powered device. If the site’s sources are correct, this convergence will bring even more shared features and capabilities to Microsoft’s lineup than the previously-reported merging of Windows RT and Windows Phone. This update could also play a significant part in the single, OS-wide app store that Microsoft is working to bring to Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1.
Any rival computing platform trying to break through 10 years ago faced a daunting challenge since Microsoft’s Windows was by far the most widely used desktop operating system in the world. So instead of taking on Windows directly on its home turf, Apple decided to create brand new turf to work from with iOS. As Google quickly followed suit, Microsoft saw its once-impenetrable dominance of the computing platform market evaporate. More →
Anyone holding out for lower-cost Windows tablets may not have that much longer to wait. PCWorld reports that an image and product description for the world’s first small Windows-based tablet, called the Acer Iconia W3-810-1600, leaked onto Amazon over the weekend before being quickly taken down. From a specs perspective, the new tablet features an 8.1-inch display and 32GB of storage and was selling on Amazon for $380 before it was removed. Microsoft recently made some changes to its Windows 8 hardware certification guidelines that gave OEMs more freedom to make smaller tablets by knocking down the display resolution requirements to 1024 x 768 pixels at a depth of 32 bits for smaller devices.