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Now that December is over, the latest numbers are available for Google's mobile OS, Android. We've seen Android 4.4 KitKat increase its grip on the market, jumping just 0.3% for the month.
Jelly Bean increased by a decent margin, increasing from November's numbers of 54.5%, to December's 59.1%. Gingerbread continues to slide, losing around 3% since the last time we saw these numbers. As for Ice Cream Sandwich, we're seeing 16.9% still, but this will continue to erode as people upgrade, and new devices are pushed onto the market.
Over 75% of Android devices are now running Android 4.x, which is great for developers with apps that require Android 4.x and above.
We've heard about the Threshold a few times, but now we have Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott reporting that the software giant will unveil its new "Threshold" OS as Windows 9, which will be released next year.
What will Windows 9 include? Well, Thurrott believes that we'll see Microsoft discuss its next-gen OS at its upcoming BUILD developer conference being held in April. Thurrott believes that Microsoft will shift away from the Windows 8 name after all of the problems associated with it, and will drop the Windows 8 branding in favor of Windows 9 - this could change, but right now this is what he believes will happen.
Thurrott also reports that development on Windows 9 will begin in late-April, with no build of it being teased or given out at the BUILD conference in April. He also reports that we should see something he is calling "Metro 2.0", that would be a major focus of Windows 9. He doesn't know what will be changed, but we should see the desktop be centered again, versus the company going all-touch as it did with Windows 8.
Popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, released by Canonical, will provide Torrent users from The Pirate Bay to search for torrents directly from the Unity graphic user interface (GUI) desktop. The Canonical team shares Ubuntu releases and updates via torrents and sought to expand free and open software into the user experience.
"The Saucy/Trusty early version of the torrents scope has landed yesterday in the scopes-packagers ppa. Not the final design, but a good way to test the functionality (which was initially created for Precise) against the smartscopes Dash."
Desktop Linux distributions are popular among experienced users, and introducing features like integrated torrent searches can help. Microsoft has kept Windows fairly simple and streamlined, but different Linux packages have easy-to-use customizations to enhance user ability to be productive.
Microsoft is successfully guiding users away from Windows XP and up to Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 on new PCs, laptops, and other devices. XP's market share dropped from 40 percent at the start of last year down to almost 29 percent currently, with more businesses abandoning the OS. Despite being an archaic OS, much less secure than 7 or 8/8.1, Microsoft set an end-of-support date of April 8, 2014.
Microsoft wants partners to focus on migrating users directly to 8, but customers have the option to downgrade pre-installed systems to 7 if they are interested in a non-touch OS. There were reports that IT managers weren't taking migration seriously, and many casual users were unaware of potential security threats, but that stance is finally changing.
For those living in the land of the free (Android), it's hard to run a stock version of iOS, but never fear, evasi0n 7 is here! The untethered jailbreak allows both Mac and Windows users to modify iOS 7 on any device.
This includes the recently released iPad Air and iPhone 5S, which is great. But, there's a huge but here: the early versions of the jailbreak aren't exactly super easy to get working, and there are risks associated with jailbreaking your device - as always. We don't openly recommend jailbreaking your device here at TweakTown, but it is something you can certainly do now.
Then, you run into the issue of something I found on Reddit, which says that the reason the Cydia store doesn't work, is because a Chinese company paid the hackers a rumored $1 million for the jailbreak, pushing their own store onto the phone. You can read more on that here.
Canonical had finally seen the light, and has added TRIM support for SSD's to its core. This is a basic feature that has been present on most modern operating systems for years now. TRIM's only function is to extend the life of your SSD, and allows the operating system to tell which blocks of data are no longer needed and can be erased or overwritten.
This allows the SSD to perform more efficiently which results in performance increases, longer life and much less performance degradation over time. Windows first featured TRIM support back in 2009, and OSX adopted it in 2011. Android now even supports TRIM which was added back in July of this year. This means that Ubuntu becomes the first mainstream Linux consumer operating system to fully support SSD's without killing the drives prematurely.
Around 80 percent of IT professional still have at least one Microsoft Windows XP-based machine operating in their work environment, with security concerns looming as the end-of-life approaches on April 8, 2014, according to IT company Spiceworks.
In an alarming revelation, almost half of those surveyed plan to leave at least one XP box running past the end of support, despite continued warnings of security threats. When Microsoft finally pulls the plug on XP support, the OS will face a drastic increase in virus, malware, and other security threats.
Microsoft is frantically trying to prepare home users and businesses to migrate from XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 - but XP, which has remained a popular OS for years, has proven to be hard to leave behind for many. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are dramatically more secure than Windows XP, as they have a modernized back-end infrastructure to protect from threats.
Red Hat announced today the release of Fedora 20 "Heisenbug." The new version of Fedora ushers in support for ARM CPUs as the systems main controller, and this means that developers and system administrators no longer need to utilize Intel chips for full support for from Red Hat.
Fedora 20 also features improved virtualization thanks to a new visual interface, and "first-class" virtual machine images. The desktop also received updates as well with new support for GNOME and KDE. For anyone looking to build a linux machine and has no other option but to run an ARM chip, it appears that Fedora 20 is right up your alley.
Today Apple released an update to its current OS X Mavericks operating system. The update brings OS X up to version 10.9.1 and is rather small in comparison to previous OS X updates. The update only takes care of bugs and software issues and does not install any new features either.
The biggest fix has been applied to the mail app, which fixes integration with Gmail, and stabilizes everything for a more reliable experience. A bug that prevented Voice Over from reading out sentences that featured an Emoji has been fixed as well. For the full list of fixes and to download the update yourself, head over to the source link below.
We heard about the Threshold update not long ago, something that might include more than we expect from Microsoft. Now we have Microsoft expert, Paul Thurrott, chiming in, where he believes we might see a return of the Start menu to Windows.
The Start menu would return to an optional desktop-only version of Windows, something that would be included in desktop versions of the OS. Touch-based versions of the OS will completely rid themselves of the desktop component, and will not feature the Start menu, and will only use the Start screen as its one, and only UI.
I think this makes much more sense, and is something I've talked about in various articles. Splitting the OS up into two: one with a Start menu/destined for desktop, one for touch-based devices/notebooks. I'm sure you could still get your hands on the desktop-based OS with the Start menu, and install it onto your notebook/Ultrabook, which is something I will be doing in the near future.