Microsoft’s (MSFT) chief technical strategy officer, Eric Rudder, revealed new details about the next version of Windows at the company’s TechFest earlier this month. The executive hinted that Microsoft is considering across-the-board improvements to Windows’ touch capabilities. According to MSFTKitchen, Rudder said the company is looking to “extend touch in even more dramatic fashion” in its upcoming operating system, code-named Windows Blue. Earlier reports have suggested that the latest version of Windows will launch in mid-2013 and include various UI changes to the platform. Microsoft is also said to be considering offering Windows Blue at a low cost or even free to ensure users upgrade.
It’s a pretty safe bet that Samsung (005930) CEO J.K. Shin doesn’t see Microsoft (MSFT) as Samsung’s top partner. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Shin said bluntly that “smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft’s Windows operating system aren’t selling very well” and that his company has seen “lackluster demand for Windows-based products.” More →
San Francisco-based startup Leap Motion has finally announced availability of its small motion control sensor. The company revealed on Wednesday that it will ship its $80 motion tracking device to customers who placed preorders during the week of May 13th, and it will arrive at Best Buy (BBY) stores in the U.S. on May 19th. The Leap controller was supposed to debut ahead of the holidays last year. BGR had a chance to test Leap’s motion control sensor last July and we were impressed. We called the technology “a total game-changer” and said it was “one of the coolest pieces of technology we’ve seen in a while.” The Leap Motion sensor is compatible with desktops and laptops running Windows 7, Windows 8, OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.8.
Just because the Surface has largely flopped so far, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bright future for Windows tablets. Nokia (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop has told the Australian Financial Review that his company plans to move beyond selling smartphones and start developing different form factors such as tablets in the coming years. While this isn’t the first time Elop has hinted that a Windows-based tablet is in the works, he did suggest that plans for a Nokia tablet are more advanced now that the company has had time to observe how consumers have reacted to Microsoft’s initial Surface offering. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) was once the king of the computing world. When the company released a new operating system its stock would typically flourish in the years following the launch. Times have changed, however, and it isn’t the 1990s anymore. A graph that put together by Thomas Reuters paints a troubling picture for the once-dominant software giant. A year after the release of Windows 3.0, Windows 95 and Windows 98, shares of Microsoft were up 45.4%, 27.9% and 79.5%, respectively. But then Bill Gates handed over leadership of the company to current CEO Steve Ballmer in January of 2000 and Microsoft hasn’t been the same since. More →
Early adopters of Apple’s (AAPL) new iMac computers who chose the 3TB Fusion Drive model have been unable to use Boot Camp Assistant. The program, which allows OS X users to install a Windows partition on their computers, is limited to drives of up to 2.2TB. Apple has hinted that the software may be updated in the future to support larger drives, however no set time frame has been given. Despite the set back, it has been discovered that it is still possible to create a working Boot Camp partition on new iMacs. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) is rumored to be switching to an annual release for its operating system starting with “Windows Blue” in mid-2013. According to a PCBeta forum user who goes by the pseudonym “maxy” and has been unofficially identified as a Microsoft official, “Windows Blue” or “Windows 9 Dev” as some call it, will get customization options in the form of Windows Phone 8’s resizable app tiles. Microsoft will also reportedly still keep the legacy “desktop view” around, but remove the gloss on elements including the taskbar, “flattening” it to mesh better with the Metro UI. Maxy also says a new kernel (6.3) will be used, which should give the entire OS more polish. It’s still too early to deem whether the rumor is legitimate or not, but refining Windows 8 with small nips and tucks while overhauling the underlying framework does sound highly plausible.
In yet another move that shows it wants to be more like Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) will reportedly move towards yearly Windows release according to sources from The Verge and ZDNet. Microsoft’s next Windows update codenamed “Windows Blue” will supposedly launch in mid-2013 and will “include UI changes and alterations to the entire platform.” Where things get interesting is pricing, with The Verge’s report suggesting Windows Blue will be released at “a low cost or even free to ensure users upgrade.” Of course, there will reportedly be a caveat: a genuine copy of Windows will be required to in order to upgrade from Windows 8.
Microsoft (MSFT) announced on Monday evening that Steven Sinofsky, president of its Windows and Windows Live division, will be leaving the company. The executive’s departure comes only weeks after Microsoft launched its Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet. The decision to leave the company is said to be mutual, however AllThingsD reported that Sinofsky left due to growing tensions with other Microsoft executives. Sinofsky took control of the Windows unit after the launch of Windows Vista and led development on Windows 7 and Windows 8, both of which received praise from consumers. Julie Larson-Green will now head the Windows hardware and software division, while Tami Reller, the company’s chief financial officer and chief marketing officer, will be responsible for the business end of Windows. All changes are effective immediately and Microsoft’s press release follows below. More →
Traditional PC shipments are set to decline in 2012 for the first time in over a decade while sales of mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets continue to increase and cannibalize PC sales. Even so, there are expected to be 1.5 billion devices running Windows by the end of the year, compared to 608 million using Android. The latest numbers from Gartner Research paint an interesting picture, however, suggesting that Google’s (GOOG) operating system will soon be on more computing devices than Microsoft’s (MSFT) according to Reuters. At the end of 2016, the total number of computers, smartphones and tablets running Android is estimated to reach 2.3 billion units, compared to 2.28 billion Windows devices. While Microsoft’s operating system has dominated the market for the last two decades, the company has struggled recently in the growing mobile space.
Fingerprint-reading software that comes pre-installed on laptops sold by Dell (DELL), Sony (SNE) and at least 14 other manufacturers has been independently confirmed to contain serious vulnerabilities. It has been discovered that hackers with physical control of select PCs can potentially access Windows account passwords. The vulnerability is found within multiple versions of fingerprint-reading software in the UPEK Protector Suite, which is marketed as a secure means of logging into Windows computers. More →
Regulators in Europe are reportedly set to file an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft (MSFT) related to the company’s failure to comply with a three-year-old ruling ordering it to offer users a choice of Web browsers on Windows PCs. An investigation into Microsoft’s breach of the order was opened this past July, and the company had previously acknowledged the violation last year. “The next step is to open a formal proceeding into the company’s breach of an agreement. We are working on this,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Thursday. “It should not be a long investigation because the company itself explicitly recognized its breach of the agreement.” Reuters reports that if the Redmond, Washington-based company is found guilty, it could face a fine of up to 10% of its global turnover. According to the report, Microsoft has already been fined more than $1.3 billion by European regulators over the past 10 years. More →
We are losing the war against cybercriminals, according to security firm McAfee. The company revealed in its quarterly “Threats Report” stating that the frequency of malware attacks is now growing at the fastest pace in four years. McAfee researchers found more than 8 million new kinds of malware in the second quarter, a 23% increase from the first quarter, and claim there are now more than 90 million unique strands of malware in circulation, CNNMoney reported. While traditional Windows PCs are still the most targeted by cybercriminals, attacks targeting OS X computers and mobile devices are on the rise. More →