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.
Here’s something that should embarrass Microsoft’s OEM partners: The most reliable Windows PC in the world wasn’t even designed to run on Windows. ZDNet reports that a new study from PC efficiency software vendor Soluto has used “data from its massive online database of PC crashes, hangs, and performance metrics to identify the 10 most reliable Windows PCs you can buy today.” The study found that the 13-inch Retina-equipped MacBook Pro with Boot Camp installed is “at the top of the list.” Other reliable PCs include the Acer Aspire E1-571, the Dell XPS 13, the Dell Vostro 3560, the Acer Aspire V3-771 and Apple’s 15-inch Retina-equipped MacBook Pro. Taken all together, then, Apple computers account for 33% of the six most reliable Windows PCs in the world while no PCs produced by the world’s leading vendor HP even crack the top 10.
Despite PC sales recently experiencing their steepest decline ever in a single quarter, Microsoft managed to increase overall revenues from its Windows division. The company reported Windows revenue of $5.7 billion for the first three months of 2013, up 24% from the $4.633 billion it reported in the same time period from last year. The Windows division is still extremely important to Microsoft and as a whole generated 27% of the company’s total revenue and 45% of its profits. The question remains, however: How did Windows do so well when the PC industry tumbled to all-time lows? More →
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have long been considered the future of computing and a new projection from market research firm Gartner shows just how important the mobile market has become. According to the firm’s estimates for 2013, Apple (AAPL) devices will outsell Windows devices for the first time this year. The estimate takes into account sales of Apple’s iPhones, iPads and Mac computers as well as desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones powered by Microsoft’s (MSFT) various Windows operating systems. In 2012, Windows device sales totalled 175 million units while combined sales of iOS devices and Mac PCs reached 159 million. As The Financial Times noted, Gartner also projected that tablet sales will overtake traditional PC sales by 2015.
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 →