Microsoft's RTM build of their forthcoming OS, Windows 8, is now officially available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. This is the same version that will reach the general public on October 26. Microsoft Software Assurance customers will get their hands on the RTM tomorrow, and Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase the OS through Microsoft Volume License Resellers on September 1.
Microsoft have also offered some good faith here to the general public, offering up a 90-day trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise. This is available in both 32- and 64-bit versions and are available to anyone as a free ISO image in many languages. This version, however, cannot be upgraded to a full retail version once the 90-day period expires.
The Enterprise version of Windows 8 includes all of the features found in the Pro edition, plus some business-based options like Windows To Go, DirectAccess, BranchCache, and RemoteFX virtualization. What are your thoughts on the OS so far? Are you going to hit up that 90-day trial?
Microsoft could release their next-generation mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8, if unnamed sources of PocketNow are to be believed. The site is reporting that Windows Phone 8-based devices could see a release much earlier than previously known.
Windows Phone 8, until now at least, was though to reach RTM in September, and not make its way into the market until November. NeoWin is also talking about it, where they've said:
Microsoft has given heavily guarded Windows Phone 8 handsets to developers that were identified as "star developers" or "VIP's" during the Windows Phone 7 lifecycle.
ZDNet are reporting that Microsoft have finally decided what terminology to use for their Metro/Windows 8-style UI, where it will simply be referred to as "Windows 8", according to their sources. ZDNet's sources have said that:
Anything currently/formerly known as a "Metro-Style application" (with or without a hyphen) will now be known officially as a "Windows 8 application." References to the "Metro user interface" will now be replaced by "Windows 8 user interface." And instead of saying "Metro design," the Softies and those adhering to their official guidelines will be using the words "Windows 8 design."
Microsoft have been having quite the identity crisis on what they want to name their new UI, where it sat on Metro for quite sometime, but due to a trademark dispute, they changed it to "Windows 8-style UI". This news would make sense, and they've now changed it to something much more simple, "Windows 8". I don't see what all the fuss is over, personally. It's a UI, it's part of Windows 8, why even give it a name and have this much air time about it? Free publicity, maybe?
I'm sure we've all been there. You see an open Wi-Fi connection and connect to try to save data from your cellular plan. Unfortunately everyone around you has the same idea and the connection slows to a crawl. If you haven't experienced this, consider yourself lucky. Clearly enough have as Apple has added an option for apps to default back to the 3G connection if the Wi-Fi isn't working.
The new feature is a godsend for some and not a big deal for others. If you're anything like me, you want your e-mail and you want it now. When the option is enabled, some more important apps that have trouble communicating through the Wi-Fi connection will automatically switch back to the cellular network until the problem is resolved.
These apps that are capable of using this feature, as of right now, are iCloud Documents, iTunes purchases, Passbook and Reading Lists. Furthermore, the feature will attempt to keep FaceTime video calls from dropping on the iPhone 4S and above. It's not clear, as AppleInsider points out, just how the cellular companies will react to this.
It looks as thought Apple is ready to begin seeding builds of OS X 10.8.1 out to developers. 10.8.1 will most likely include some bug fixes that were found in the recently-launched Mountain Lion, so we're not talking of big changes, just minor fixes.
OS X usually receives maintenance updates pretty quick after the initial builds land, which is due to the company wanting to push major bug fixes out to the public as quick as they can. The final version of OS X Mountain Lion was fixed two weeks ahead of the public launch, which means the Cupertino-based company was most likely working on 10.8.1 for quite a while now.
To compare this to other versions of OS X, 10.7.1 launched 27 days after the launch of OS X Lion, where OS X 10.6.1 launched 13 days after the launch of OS X Snow Leopard.
We all know Research in Motion (RIM) is in trouble, and one of, if not their only safe haven, is their forthcoming BlackBerry 10 OS. But now there's some new spark to rumors that the troubled company could be saved by Samsung.
This is all according to Jefferies analyst, Peter Misek, who believes that RIM's strategic review will end up with a decision to license the company's BlackBerry 10 OS, and that the company best suited to handle it, is Samsung. Misek wrote in a note to clients:
Given recent management comments in the press, it now appears that RIM is realizing what Wall Street has been saying for some time: they are a subscale manufacturer and desperately need a partner. We believe RIM is attempting to revive discussions with Samsung regarding a BB10 licensing deal.
Does it seem far fetched? Not really, considering that RIM's CEO, Thorsten Heins said that licensing BB10 was definitely an option under serious consideration at RIM, and considering the stress the company is under right now with the competition from Google and Apple, it seems like a viable option. Heins said:
We don't have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year. To deliver BB10, we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than [we] can do it.
So, Apple have cut YouTube out of iOS 6, and now they've added an extra row for icons. There just doesn't seem to be anything worth drooling over for the next-gen mobile OS from Apple. BGR reports from a 9to5Mac post that we could be looking at a fifth row of icons on iOS 6.
Using Apple's Xcode development application, BGR used a simple tweak to show what iOS 6 would look like when the resolution is bumped up to 640x1136, as shown above. 9to5Mac says that five rows of icons will fit on the screen instead of 4 on the current iPhone's, and that apps will scale accordingly to take advantage of the extra height.
Windows 8 is bringing a lot of new changes to the Windows operating system. Beyond a completely new Start/desktop interface, Microsoft has fully integrated Windows and Xbox as shown by the new "Xbox Windows" branded games. These games will live separately from the Games for Windows Live service.
The games that fall under this banner will provide in-game achievements which award Gamerscore to players. This way you can boost your Gamerscore while killing time at work. As of right now, the games that fall under this title give up to 50 Gamerscore and are Microsoft productions: Minesweeper, Solitaire, and Majong.
Minesweeper provides the most chance to increase your Gamerscore with a possible 50 spread out over 4 achievements. You get 5 Gamerscore just for being blown up by your first mine. Solitaire provides up to 40 Gamerscore with 10 being awarded for just flipping over your first card. Majong has 25 Gamerscore with 5 being awarded for changing the game's theme.
Microsoft has promised to not drop support for the Games for Windows Live brand and instead promised "new investments in Metro style games" such as Minesweeper, presumably. Windows 8, with all these new features, will be released on October 26.
The Verge has been the first out of the gate with exclusive pictures of the retail packaging of Microsoft's upcoming, and already leaked OS, Windows 8. Packaging has been shown off for Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro, which will be the only boxed versions of the OS to hit retail shelves.
Microsoft have opted to show off their Windows 8-style UI on the boxes, which looks quite delicious, if I may say so myself. Windows 8 sports a brighter styled package in white, with the Professional version shown off in black. Both are looking very nice indeed.
Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT will be available either on new PCs, and tablets from October 26. Upgrade versions will hit stores, or as a download on the same day. What do you think of the newly-styled Windows 8 boxes?
Windows 8 won't be allowing you to boot to desktop, you'll have to say hello to the 'I'm not Metro' homescreen first
If you were looking forward to booting directly to the desktop in Windows 8, you're going to be sorry, because Microsoft won't be allowing this. This means that users will be totally forced to look at that "Windows 8-style UI", aka Metro, before you can hit that usual desktop screen you're used to.
We don't know if this will effect all users, but right now it looks like it is a possibility. If the move is concrete, we can see just how serious Microsoft are at pushing their new Windows 8-style UI, or Metro, and how its going to effect Microsoft going forward. The Windows 8 Start Screen isn't just a feature that can be ignored, but will be a component of every single system that sports the OS. Maybe it sounds annoying now, but when we're used to it, we could have tiles for temperatures, e-mail, and the like, and we'll totally get over it.
But, Microsoft have also been talking about this type of move since BUILD, with it looking like it's going to be a staple feature of the OS now. The more I think about it, the more it doesn't directly effect me, as I don't fully turn off my PC all that often anyway.
There's no denying that piracy is a huge problem for Microsoft. Just two days after Windows 8 was released to OEMs, the operating system showed up on file sharing sites for download. Microsoft has declined to comment on the leak, but there's little reason to think it was someone other than an employee at an OEM.
This isn't the first example of piracy for Microsoft. Almost every previous product they have released has been pirated to some extent. While they won't be able to get the problem completely stamped out with the changes they are making, it should at least close some loopholes and make it harder for pirates to do what they do best.
The changes relate to how OEMs active Windows on pre-built machines. Windows is activated at the factory so that consumers don't have to take any additional steps when they purchase a computer. Prior activation schemes saw OEMs using a single activation key on all machines so that they could use the same image across them all.
Now, however, OEMs will be required to write a unique code into the BIOS of the machines based upon the hardware configuration. Furthermore, this key isn't generated by the OEM. Instead, it will be delivered by Microsoft via electronic delivery and factories will have to file production reports detailing licensing compliance so they can no longer avoid paying licensing fees.
Windows 8 isn't due out for consumers until October 26, yet it appears a final version has already been leaked out onto the web. Even early access people, those with TechNet, MSDN, and other subscriptions and contracts don't get access until August 15 at minimum, so if this a true version, it had to come from a hardware manufacturer.
"It looks like our first leak has occurred, as Windows 8 Enterprise N has appeared on torrenting sites and has been confirmed by several that it's the real deal," said winbeta.org in a post earlier today. Winbeta.org is a site which follows Windows betas. They throw out a disclaimer: "Remember, we are yet to confirm this as real or fake."
Of course, Microsoft would encourage you not to download a copy for several reasons. One, they have no control over what's contained in the package, so it could be packed full of malware. Two, they'd much rather sell the operating system to you than have you get a copy for free. Microsoft declined to comment on this issue.
This is one thing that really upsets me, in this technologically-driven age we live in, why do tablets and smartphones not feature the ability to include multiple users? I'd love for my iPad to have a 'login screen', where I can select myself and have the iPad set out how I want. Then, if my wife, or a guest wanted to use it, they would use an appropriate account.
But, it looks like this might come to Android first, and I can't be anymore excited. According to a report from Android Police, "miles of code" for multiple user accounts has already been written into the Android source code. Better yet, it looks as if lock screen information, installed applications, running applications, application data, default applications, home screen widgets, accounts, syncing and language settings are already separated for multiple users.
Google supposedly began work on the multiple user account feature more than a year ago, and maybe this will be the selling point of Android 4.2 "Key Lime Pie".
Well, Microsoft is having quite the week, aren't they? First they hit the Release to Manufacturing state for Windows 8, meaning that is is finished and shipped off for mass duplication. Then, just hours ago, we reported that an 'N' version of Windows 8 RTM had hit file sharing sites, and now the company is having to fight off rumors of a possible trademark infringement for the use of the word "Metro" for their user interface in Windows 8, according to a piece over at Ars Technica.
I stumbled over it, and first thought it was a joke, but realised that I was fooling myself. Sources have told Ars that Metro is now dead after the company's Legal and Corporate Affairs team sent out a memo banning the word "Metro". LCA's memo reportedly said that Microsoft had been threatened with legal action for infringing on "Metro" trademarks that are held by German retailer Metro AG.
That didn't take long, did it? The Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8 has leaked. The leaked build is an 'N' build, which means it doesn't include Windows Media Player. Microsoft were forced to make an 'N' version of Windows after a 2004 European Union ruling mandating the company to provide a copy of Windows that didn't include the media player.
This would annoy Microsoft surely, and a lot of other people considering that developers don't even have their paws on the operating system yet. Another thing to consider is that the OS doesn't arrive until October 26, which is still miles away.
We can't link you to the leaked 'N' build of Windows, but if you do end up using it, we would recommend caution.
As another feather in Android's cap, Ice Cream Sandwich has been ported to the pint-sized Raspberry Pi. Where the two foods mix nicely, the actual hardware isn't quite as nice. While Android allows Raspberry Pi to act like a smartphone or tablet, the single 700MHz core and 256MB of RAM aren't quite up to the same snuff as most smartphones or tablets.
As such, there is a bit of lag in some places. However, it is still quite the achievement as they have gotten hardware accelerated video and graphics working as expected. The next step in the process is to get audio on the system working. As of right now, the port is not publicly available, although they plan to release it as soon as two kernels merge.
The video above shows Ice Cream Sandwich on Raspberry Pi. As delicious as that may sound, we're talking about hardware. Considering Raspberry Pi is only $25, the versatility it offers is rather impressive!
So it looks like its not just Valve's Gabe Newell, or Blizzard who are against Microsoft's Windows 8, which just hit RTM, by the way. Minecraft developer Notch is cautious of the shift to the Windows Store, and third-party outlets.
Notch sees any further lockdown of Windows 8 as potentially "very very bad" for indie game developers, and overall competition in the gaming business. It was all during an interview on Reddit, where the Minecraft dev predicted a bright future for indie game developers, as long as there are "open and free" platforms to support their work. Notch says:
If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for Indie games and competition in general. If we can keep open platforms around, there's going to be a lot of very interesting games in ten years, mixed in with the huge AAA games that we all love.
Windows 8 is getting closer and closer to be released and today sees another major milestone for the latest operating system. Today, Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 testing and production has been completed and that the new operating system has been released to manufacturing. This means that OEMs now have access to the OS and can start building PCs with it.
Of course those PCs built won't go on sale quite yet. They will hit the market with the general release of Windows 8, which comes on October 26. Upgrades will be offered for $39.99, or if you have recently purchased a Windows 7 PC, the upgrade will only cost you $14.99. Various audiences will get access to Windows 8 RTM before the rest of us:
GNU founder and PC-rights campaigner, Richard Stallman, has stepped forward and said that Valve's decision to sell DRM-based games on Linux is "unethical". Valve's digital distribution service, Steam, was announced it was making its way to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, with the first game out of the Linux-branded gate being Left 4 Dead 2.
The move has been seen much more positively from the Linux community, which is mostly ignored by major commercial software developers. Most people see the move as a turning point toward making Linux more popular, but Stallman disagrees and says that closed source games are "unethical because they deny freedom to its users". Stallman added:
Any GNU/Linux distro that comes with software to offer these games will teach users that the point is not freedom. Nonfree software in GNU/Linux distros already works against the goal of freedom. Adding these games to a distro would augment that effect.
Hot on the heels of Valve's founder, Gabe Newell, and his comments on Windows 8 being a "catastrophe", we have Blizzard's Executive Vice President of Game Design, Rob Pardo, sharing a similar feeling on the upcoming OS from Microsoft.
Pardo took to Twitter to call Windows 8 "not awesome for Blizzard either", but this is another PC-centric game developer who doesn't seem to like Windows 8. Both Newell and Pardo haven't gone into detail of what exactly they don't like about the OS, but maybe its the new direction Microsoft are taking? Could it be that the company is trying to compete with Apple, and not really push the OS design, or introduce any new ground-breaking features?
We knew that Samsung's quad-core smartphone, the Galaxy S III would receive some love from Google in the way of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but its predecessor, the Galaxy S II had not been on a confirmed list to receive JB.
But, according to Sammobile.com, Samsung are prepped to announce the upgrade for both Galaxy smartphones sometime in August or September. Apparently, initial testing on the S II has been fine, with a strong chance that the South Korean company could release the Android 4.1 update, as long as it passes testing.
The site also suggests that the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 would also receive Jelly Bean updates. Samsung haven't officially confirmed any of this, so this gets stamped with a "RumorTT" stamp for now.