TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Cyanogen is definitely doing alright for themselves at the moment, with the company meeting with some of the biggest companies in the world recently. Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, Yahoo and more have met with the company "to see whether it becomes a potential partner or acquisition target."
Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, recently sat down with Cyanogen, which could be interesting for the company. Given that Cyanogen is a modified version of Android, which is owned by Google, Microsoft acquiring the guys and girls at Cyanogen could be something interesting for the future of Windows Phone.
Cyanogen is currently in search for a "big" Series C funding round, and with recent staff movements from EA and Facebook, it could get quite serious, quite quick for Cyanogen.
The clock is still ticking on Tizen, but Huawei boss Richard Yu thinks that Android and iOS will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Yu said that his company has no plans to use the Linux-based open-source mobile OS, an OS that is backed by companies like Intel and Samsung.
Carriers have reportedly been asking Huawei to build a Tizen-based smartphone, with Huawei considering it at one point, researching into it. The project was cancelled, as the company feels that Tizen has no chance at being successful. Yu was also asked if Huawei was thinking of building its own mobile OS, but Yu was quick to point out that it isn't hard to build an OS - using Microsoft and Windows Phone as an example - that its the ecosystem behind it that is more important, and much harder to build.
Building a Windows Phone-based smartphone isn't profitable to Huawei, as it finds it hard to convince customers to use a Windows Phone device compared to an Android device. The company has now put all of its future Windows Phone devices on hold, concentrating solely on Android. Yu is aware that Huawei is putting all of its faith, and the future of the company (as we know it now anyway) into Android, but they have no other choice. Yu added that Huawei has a strong relationship with Google.
We still don't know much about Google's next blip on the Android radar, simply known as Android 'L' or Android 5.0 right now. But Android Police have been doing some digging on Android L, finding evidence that Google might be using the codename of "Lemon Meringue Pie" for Android 5.0.
The site has been looking into it, as well as one of their readers chipping in, where they have located "multiple official sources in code and documentation that list the next release as "LMP," which can only refer to the delicious baked good". Better yet, they found an extract from the Android SDK, where it mentioned the current preview builds of Android L available for both the Nexus 5 and 7 are the "lmp-preview-release".
Then there's some Wi-Fi certification for a new tablet from HTC, known as "Flounder", which has popped up before as the Volantis. The firmware here is noted as "LMP". We should hopefully hear more about Android L, 5.0 or Lemon Meringue Pie in the coming months.
It looks like Microsoft could unveil its new version of Windows as previously reported, with Windows 9 to be unveiled at a special media event on September 30, according to The Verge.
We should see this event have Microsoft unleash a preview version of the OS, codenamed Threshold. Windows 9 will deliver an evolution of Microsoft's ever-changing desktop OS, where we'll see a new Start Menu, virtual desktops, the removal of the Charms bar, and much more. We should also see Microsoft include its digital assistant Cortana, but we don't know if this will make it into the preview build or not.
Microsoft is ramping up for Windows Threshold, the codename of its upcoming next-gen OS, Windows 9. The Redmond-based giant is reportedly set to launch a preview release of Windows 9 in either late September, or early October, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.
The company will make the Windows 9 preview available to all, so that everyone can test it out. We should expect the new, new Start menu, as well as new live tiles and the ability to run Metro applications in windows. The Charms bar should be gone, with Metro apps seeing their own embedded search, share and print buttons.
Another big feature to expect in Windows 9 is virtual desktop support, which is the first time Microsoft has baked in native support for users. We should also see the company's digital assistant Cortana featured, but we don't know if this will make the early preview build. The best part of Windows 9 is the rumor that it could eventually be released for free to Windows XP, Vista and 7 users.
We're starting to hear more and more about Windows 9, but what big changes should we expect with Microsoft's new desktop OS? For starters, we should be treated with a new Start Menu, as well as windowed "Metro-style" apps.
Beyond that, it looks like Microsoft will be removing its Charms bar, which is an overlay from the right hand side of the OS that gives users quick access to search, share, the Start screen, devices and settings. This new information is being reported by The Verge, which has seen the changes in the latest builds of Windows Threshold, the codename for Microsoft's upcoming OS. Charms are useful for touch-based systems, something I often used to quickly search for something on my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook, but outside of that, it's close to useless on traditional mouse and keyboard setups.
Another new addition to Windows 9 is the rumored virtual desktops feature, that will see power users and enterprise customers welcoming the new OS. Windows has supported virtual desktops before, but always through third-party software, but now Windows 9 users will be capable of creating their own separate active desktops, with the ability of switching between by clicking, or tapping a button on the taskbar. The addition of virtual desktops shows that Microsoft is getting serious about its focus on the desktop.
Ever since Google officially unveiled Android L at Google I/O 2014 a few months ago, we've been wondering which devices would receive the new OS, and when. Well, now we can confirm that the Moto X smartphone will definitely be receiving Android 5.0 when it is released.
Google+ user Josh B. asked Motorola's Punit Soni whether the Moto X is "still going to get android L (5.0) to which the Motorola executive replied "Yep". We don't know whether any of Motorola's other Android-powered smartphones will be getting the updated OS, but we should hopefully have more information on that closer to the release of Android L.
Mary Jo Foley, who is usually pretty good with rumors about Microsoft, has some more information on the next version of Windows, currently known as Windows 9. We should expect Windows 9 to be released in April 2015, which would see the next update to Windows 8.1, 'Update 2', should be released this month, with Update 3 only coming with a few improvements. We could see Update 3 scrapped if Microsoft diverts its energy toward Windows 9.
When it comes to Windows 9, there's an interesting spin on Microsoft's upcoming OS: it could be a free upgrade to Windows XP, Vista and 7 users in order to get the adoption of Windows 9 much, much higher than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This wouldn't just be a great thing for Microsoft, but for the entire industry as it will shift many more copies of its OS, which would convince people to upgrade or possibly buy a new PC.
The latest numbers from market research firm Strategy Analytics for Q2 2014 see that Google is completely dominating the mobile OS market, with Android hitting a global market share of 84.6%, up from 80.2% in the same quarter of last year.
Google's biggest competitor, Apple, has just 11.9% market share, which is down 13.4% from the same period of 2013. Microsoft has also lost market share to Google, dropping from 3.8% in Q2 2013 to 2.7% in Q2 2014. BlackBerry is barely hanging on, dropping from an already low point of 2.4%, to just 0.6% this year.
When it comes to smartphone manufacturers, Xiaomi has become the world's fifth-largest brand, which has Strategy Analytics calling the company a "star performer" for taking control of 5% of the global smartphone market by shipping 15.1 million units. Samsung is still number one, with 74.5 million smartphones shipped in Q2 2014, down from 76 million units in the same quarter of 2013. Apple shipped more units this year, hitting 35.2 million shipments, up from 31.2 million in Q2 2013.
Hot on the heels of Microsoft's so-so fiscal fourth quarter earnings, CEO Satya Nadella has pledged that the Windows experience is set to be unified across all devices capable of running a variant of the OS.
Speaking with analysts during an earnings call, Nadella suggested Windows is currently a fragmented experience. "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes," he said in the call. It is thought the efforts could also provide a much-needed boost to the company's ailing app ecosystem, which pales in comparison to the marketplaces on iOS and Android.
It was also confirmed that the company had scrapped a "new form factor" being developed - which could well be the Surface Mini, a teeny tablet running the much-mocked Windows RT, details of which leaked earlier this year. "During the quarter, we reassessed our product roadmap and decided not to ship a new form factor that was under development," CFO Amy Hood said in the call. Of course, it's unclear right now just what this means for the future of Windows, other than users hopefully getting a more seamless experience between devices, and perhaps a rethink of the future for Windows RT.