Currently, it would appear that Microsoft does not have any plans to release a second service pack for their widely popular operating system, Windows 7. XP, on the other hand, received three such service packs, and has lasted longer than any other Microsoft Windows operating system.
People close to Microsoft's sustained engineering team, the team who would be responsible for building and releasing a service pack, confirm that there are no plans for a second service pack. This breaks the cycle that Microsoft has traditionally kept in regards to updating the Windows operating system.
It's likely that Microsoft is doing this in part to drive people to Windows 8. It also takes time and effort to build these service packs, time and effort that could be going into Windows 8, or even 9. Monthly updates will continue to be pushed out. Users will just have to individually update all of the security updates, which is a hassle, but can be done.
On stage at the California Theater in San Jose, Tim Cook has just announced that 200 million users have upgraded to the latest iOS6, which makes that the fastest update for any software, according to Tim Cook. "This is the fastest upgrade rate of any software in history -- that we're aware of."
Along with these numbers, he's giving us more statistics. He says over 300 billion iMessages have been sent and a rate of roughly 28,000 per second. There are 125 million documents in iCloud and 160 million Game Center accounts. There are over 700,000 thousand apps in the App Store, 275,000 of which are iPad apps.
Apple says they have paid out $6.5 billion to developers for all of those apps.
BGR is reporting from one of their "reliable Apple sources" that Apple have begun iOS 6.0.1 with multiple carrier partners in the US, and with it, a list of what to expect from the update to iOS.
Apple's iOS 6.0.1 is set to fix the horizontal lines bug on the screen when the keyboard or app folder is open, and it should also fix the problem where the iPhone's camera flash not going off.
The new software should also "improve Wi-Fi support, fix cellular data not working in some cases, add a consolidated cellular data switch for iTunes Match, fix a bug that allowed access to Passbook pass details from the lock screen, and also finally fix the bug that caused Exchange meetings to be unexpectedly cancelled for the entire calendar invite group."
iOS 6.1 will reportedly ship with the new iPad mini when it's released on November 2.
According to a report from Digital Trends is giving future Surface owners some gaming news today, where they're reported that the upcoming tablet from Microsoft will support wired Xbox 360 controllers.
The report comes from a recent AmA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, where Surface general manager Panos Panay was asked "Does the Surface support Kinect and/or 360 usb controller inputs?", he replied with:
We used the 360 usb controllers to play with Surface all the time and they work great. We have not tried Kinect yet.
While the Surface will support Xbox 360 controllers, it is only of the wired variety. The USB Xbox 360 controller will work on Surface, just like they work on Windows PCs.
Google have sent out invites, unfortunately leaving me out, for an event to be held on October 29 in New York City at 10am. The event is shrouded in secrecy, with the only tease from the Mountain View-based company is that it has to do with Android, and states "The playground is open".
Stating something like "the playground is open" could mean that Google are talking about Android development, opening it up to more partners? Possibly opening up the Nexus program to everyone, pushing out Nexus devices without custom UIs on top? Teasing the next-gen Android to be much more open than it already is? It's anyones guess right now.
With Windows 8 closer than ever, a new survey has popped from Forrester Research that finds that around 33% of companies have plans to upgrade to Windows 8, with 10% of them planning to not bother with Windows 8 at all.
Around 40% of those surveyed admitted that they haven't even considered Microsoft's new OS. Compared to Windows 7, this is a considerable drop in companies planning to upgrade operating systems, according to The Wall Street Journal:
At the same point before Windows 7 was released in 2009, two-thirds of companies surveyed said they planned to migrate to Windows 7, and 28% said they hadn't yet considered Windows 7 or planned to skip it.
I can understand why most businesses don't want to make the move, as there's nothing that Windows 8 does that makes it an absolute requirement that upgrades be done. Yes, it has touchscreen functionality built directly into the core of the OS itself, but for a business who just needs an operating system that can handle email, productivity, and other normal tasks, upgrading to Windows 8 is useless. For consumers, it's a huge push - but it requires a new PC or a touchscreen at least.
Windows 8 is new. It's massively different. And those things aren't always such a good thing because humans are creatures of habit. We don't like change, and some of the changes put into Windows 8 are interesting, to say the least. From my use, I found it to be much more complicated than it needs to be, and apparently so did the people in the video below.
As you can see in the video above, people didn't particularly like the system, even those who identified themselves as savvy users or the person who is a system admin. Almost all of the users had trouble doing even the simplest of tasks, such as turning the system off, something that should be straightforward to do.
Furthermore, many of the users said the interface feels like it belongs on a smartphone or tablet, which is accurate as that is what it was designed for. It really appears that Microsoft may have made a mistake by bringing a tablet/smartphone interface to the traditional desktop. Only time will tell if people will be able to adjust.
What are your thoughts on Windows 8?
Windows 8 is nearly here, folks - are you excited? It's going to be a mammoth launch from Microsoft, who are reportedly spending $1 billion or more on a huge marketing campaign stretching the globe. We're looking at the Surface tablet, Microsoft's iPad competitor, a new operating system, a smart device OS (Windows RT, Windows Phone 8) and more.
What should you be looking forward to? Well, a lot! I've compiled a list of five things I think you should be excited for - and as usual, this list is just a personal opinion.
1.) Proper touchscreen support in a Windows OS. Yes, there have been previous versions of Windows that support touchscreens, but Windows 8 has been built with touchscreens in mind.
Not only are we going to see tablets with Windows 8 on them but we're going to see Ultrabooks, notebooks, all-in-one PCs and other form factors with touchscreens. Microsoft's touchscreen revolution will truly start with Windows 8.
2.) An iPad competitor. Microsoft are set to launch the Surface tablet on October 26 along with their next-generation OS and it should really be an interesting device to compare to the already-established giants found in Apple's iPad and Google's Android-powered tablets.
What will we see in Surface? Well, I expect to see great things from the passion Microsoft have been expelling from every pore about it - so stay tuned for a review of Surface!
At least one Walmart has put Windows 8 on sale before the official Microsoft launch on October 26. According to a tip sent in by a Verge reader, his local Walmart had several copies of the boxed Windows 8 Pro variety on display, and with a price of $69.99 for the upgrade.
The tipster didn't pick up a copy, though Walmart employees did inform him that they could be purchased. Curiously, the employee added that the store just wasn't fully promoting them. Odd, considering that they were on display such as they were.
Now the question is, has anyone purchased one yet? Furthermore, how many other Walmarts or other stores already have the discs out and for sale? If any of our readers find Windows 8 on sale in a local shop, be sure to let us know!
Microsoft have pushed out their first advertisement of Windows 8 which has a tagline of "Windows reimagined". The Redmond-based software giant is looking to spend $1 billion on advertising, making it the biggest advertising blitz for any company, ever.
The company are focusing on throwing advertisements on huge billboards in the US for their iPad competitor, Surface. Advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky are pushing out the first set of Windows 8 ads that will air on national TV ahead of the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.
Microsoft are holding a special media launch for both Surface and Windows 8 on October 25, with a handful of special holiday pop-up stores opening at midnight on October 26. These stores will sell Windows 8-based PCs and tablets.
Microsoft has let slip the packaging design for Windows 8 Professional. With this, we can infer that a similar situation will take place with Windows 8 standard. The packaging is now completely paper-based, except, of course, for the DVD. This has several advantages for Microsoft, and will help to make them a "greener" company.
For one, the new packaging is 41 percent lighter, which will see Microsoft having to pay less for shipping the software. This, in turn, reduces fuel consumption for shipping the software. Combine this with the fact that plastic is made from petroleum, and you find that this change will result in an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption.
The packaging for pro will come in 5 different designs, two of which we have included here. Hit up the source link to see the rest. Pre-orders have also opened for the operating system. Windows 8 Standard will set you back $100 and Pro will set a purchaser back $140, not exactly unreasonable prices.
Android 4.2 codenamed "Key Lime Pie" is being sneaked onto devices, according to Android Authority who noticed they were seeing visitors to their website from devies Google Analytics said were running the new Android 4.2 OS.
The devices Google Analytics picked up running Android 4.2 were the Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Sony Xperia Arc S and the Samsung Galaxy Y - so fingers crossed we should see Android 4.2 on these devices shortly after its release.
Two other names appeared also, Occam and Manta, who are rumored to be a Motorola smartphone and tablet, respectively. Of course, this is unconfirmed at the moment. Android Authority have reported that the Google Analytics data shows that visits to their site from Android 4.2-based devices has happened since August, which would show that the testing of Key Lime Pie has been going on for two months.
Windows 8 is bring with it significant changes to the Windows operating system. No more desktop, tablet-friendly, and Xbox Live integration, to name a few. Today, it is being reported that Windows 8 will be doing away with Microsoft Points, the virtual currency that has been the bane of every gamers' existence.
This isn't the first rumor where Microsoft has been said to be doing away with points. A month or two ago, a picture slipped online showing that Xbox has switched away from using Points. Microsoft later said that that was a mistake and did not signal that the system would be moving away from the virtual currency.
If Windows 8 does move away from Points, which it likely will, Xbox should quickly follow since Windows 8 will be using Xbox Live accounts to do transactions. It would be stupid to either have two separate accounts or for Microsoft to show the balance one way on one system and in another currency on the other.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft Points?
Android 4.2 rumors are really building up, with all of the news that there's an impending LG-built Nexus-branded phone that is meant to drop later this month and be available next month.
Android 4.2 is beginning to pop up on some logs that are running on current Nexus-branded devices. The new smartphone is reportedly running with a codename of "Occam", with the new tablet codenamed "Manta".
The new Android 4.2-powered devices will have the ability to stream even more content from the Google Play store as well as including a new Customization Cente, which will let users customize both the look and feel of their stock Android device. Out of the rumored features, the one I'm most excited for is something called Project Roadrunner.
Project Roadrunner is said to be focused on improving the battery life of Android 4.2-powered devices through optimizations Google have made in the OS. Google's Jelly Bean-exclusive Project Butter ramped up the OS to 60fps and it felt beautiful. It makes it truly buttery smooth and if Project Roadrunner has the same impact on Android 4.2 as Project Butter did with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Hopefully Android 4.2 launches onto more devices at launch than Android 4.1 Jelly Bean did, as the rollout was mostly died to Google and ASUS' release of their Nexus 7 tablet.
Windows 8 will be here in just over three weeks time, but the Redmond-based company have announced that they're updating most of the built-in Metro-style apps that come with Windows 8.
This will include SkyDrive, Mail, Calendar, People, Photos, Bing, Maps, News, Weather, Travel, Video, Music, Games, and Finance. Bing's update will arrive tomorrow and will include better search results for local content, it will also include Bing rewards integration and the feature to use the file picker to "select an image from Bing to use on your lock screen or in your other apps".
The SkyDrive update will let users search within SkyDrive itself, with the ability to rename and move files and folders. The Mail update will receive improved IMAP support, as well as the ability to accept or decline invitations in e-mails.
You can get a complete idea of the Windows 8 apps updates here.
We know that Android and iOS dominate the market right now, but just how much of the US smartphone market have they consumed in the last three months? Well, since May, Android has gone from 50.1% marketshare, to 52.6%, enjoying over half of the US smartphone market.
iOS has also done well, going from 31.9% in May to 34.3% in August. Apple's numbers are interesting, as this was all pre-iPhone 5, meaning that we should see somewhat of a jump for the iOS numbers in another couple of months.
Microsoft, Research in Motion (RIM) and Symbian are all bleeding out right now, losing customers everywhere. Microsoft dropped from 4.0% to 3.6% of the US smartphone share, RIM went from 11.4% to 8.3%, representing a huge drop in users, and Symbian, the little engine that could, dropped from 1.1% to just 0.7%.
Apple has always seen good adoption of its latest operating system, and iOS 6 is doesn't break away from this norm. Undoubtedly, the over-the-air nature of this latest update improved adoption rates and shortened the time it took for the adoption rate to hit 50 percent and other benchmark numbers.
iPhone users were most likely to upgrade to the latest operating system, with roughly 60 percent of owners having upgraded to the latest and greatest operating system as of Sunday. iPad users are also upgrade happy, though not quite as much as their iPhone-owning counterparts as only 45 percent had upgraded as of Sunday.
iPod touch users seem a bit more disinterested in upgrading, and this could be due, in part, to them having to be connected to Wi-Fi. It limits the locations that upgrades can take place, and I would venture to guess hampered upgrades. They reached 40 percent as of last Sunday, which still blows away Android's adoption rate.
Android may be popular, but the latest versions of Android are still lagging behind the most-adopted version of Android: version 2.3.3 Gingerbread. This is a huge problem, but it looks to be something that is slowly losing its steam.
As of October 1, devices running Android 4.0 or higher, meaning Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, represent a little over 25% of Android devices. Just 1.8% of these devices are running Jelly Bean, but that is quite new and only on a few devices right now, leaving ICS with nearly a quarter of users on the OS.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread really does dominate, with 55.8% of users on the OS. All previous versions of Android take up the remaining 16.8%.
XP has long held the most market share out of any operating system. That was the case until it was overtaken in August by Windows 7 and a small margin. However, that once tiny margin has continued to grow and Windows 7 is now nearly 3 percent higher than XP in terms of market share and it shows no signs of stopping.
For the month of September, Windows 7 saw 44 percent of all web traffic, as recorded by Net Applications. XP was a close second, taking 41.2 percent. XP was a great operating system when it came out and businesses, who are slow to change, flocked to the operating system. Now, 10 years later, those businesses have reached their refresh cycle and are starting to upgrade to Windows 7-based devices.
Microsoft is helping to push the transition along, making Internet Explorer 9 and 10 not supported on the older operating system. The long-term support will also cease in April 2014, so users will no longer receive patches and bug fixes. Microsoft is also pushing the end of Vista, but not as hard as it only has 6 percent of the market.
After sitting on a ROM manager, CyanogenMod are moving to an over-the-air (OTA) updating system. Android Police report that the CyanogenMod team wanted to go down the route of an update solution that didn't revolve around closed source software.
This will make the entire ecosystem of the OS completely open source, so the team decided to build one themselves. The new updater is a revised version of the older version, which we saw in CyanogenMod versions 5 and 6. CyanogenMod 9 and above, will have the system look for an update at pre-selected times, and download the ROM if it is new.
The new updater will come backed into an update that should be available pretty soon - after you flash to the new update, go into Settings, then About, where you'll be able to set your update preferences.
Getting the nod of approval by someone like Bill Gates should make yourself feel quite proud, with the co-founder of Microsoft saying that he is happy with Windows 8, and is already using it, according to his recent interview with the Associated Press.
The AP was interviewing Gates to talk about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's participation in a global mission to end polio, where he also talked about the upcoming OS from Microsoft.
Gates' comments were in favor of the touch-friendly OS, and he believes that Windows 8 will be a big thing when its out, because hardware partners are doing "great things" to take advantage of Windows 8's new features.