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Google Android and Apple iOS accounted for 96.3 percent of all smartphone shipments in 2014, as both platforms work their way towards total domination. Android leads with 81.5 percent, greatly ahead of iOS (14.8 percent), Microsoft Windows Phone (2.7 percent), and BlackBerry (0.4 percent) - with Android continuing to dominate.
"Many of the same drivers were in play for Android and iOS to tighten their grip on the market," said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager of the Mobile Phone team at IDC. "A combination of strong end-user demand, refreshed product portfolios, and the availability of low-cost devices - particularly for Android - drove volumes higher."
Android topped the one billion unit mark in 2014, with Samsung still dominating the market - but faces pressure from Lenovo, Huawei, Xiaomi, and LG Electronics.
When people think of a vulnerable operating system, the first thing that comes to mind is, well, Windows. But, according to a new report from GFI, that's not the case. The most vulnerable operating system in the world is actually Apple's MacOS X, followed by Apple's iOS.
GFI's report sees Apple taking the top two spots when it comes to OS vulnerabilities, with OS X having 147 vulnerabilities, and iOS with 127. Third position goes to Linux Kernel with 119 vulnerabilities, and Windows Server 2008 in fourth position with 38. Windows 7 funnily enough, comes in at fifth place with just 38 vulnerabilities, and comparing this to the huge 147 holes found in MacOS X, this should wake people up.
Over the course of 2014, there were 7038 new security vulnerabilities, up from the 4794 found in 2013. Out of those 7038 vulnerabilities, just 24% of them were deemed 'high risk'. GDI's Christian Florian explains: "2014 was a tough year for Linux users from a security point of view, coupled with the fact that some of the most important security issues of the year were reported for applications that usually run on Linux systems. Heartbleed, for example, is a critical security vulnerability detected in OpenSSL while Shellshock is a vulnerability that affects GNU Bash".
Microsoft has had its Windows 10 Technical Preview out for the PC now for a while, but it looks like it's time for the smartphone world to see the release of the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Select Lumia-branded handsets can have the Windows 10 Technical Preview installed, with the Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830 smartphones be the only ones capable of having it installed. The flagship Windows Phone-based handsets in the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 930 are not capable of having the Technical Preview installed, which is a shame. This latter two smartphones reportedly can't handle Windows 10 because of the very tight OS partitions.
So if you've got one of the aforementioned Lumia handsets, you can download the Windows 10 Technical Preview from the Windows Insider Program page after signing up for an account.
Google Android smartphone shipments dropped quarter-on-quarter for the first time during Q4 2014, as Apple iOS shipments increased a whopping 90 percent. iPhone shipments rose from 39.3 million up to 74.5 million, while Android sales slid from 217 million down to 206 million, according to ABI Research.
"Google's Android is being attacked by Apple's iOS at the high-end and forked Android and AOSP at the low-end in high growth emerging markets," said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director of Mobile Devices at ABI Research. "The Android One initiative has slowed forked Android and ASOP growth outside China, but Apple's success has taken the high-end of the market away from certified Android's premium tier vendors."
Android-powered devices still topped 1 billion throughout 2014 - but a strong sales quarter from Apple shows that it still has plenty of fight left while promoting new iPhones.
Microsoft should reach the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 10 by June, according to sources of Neowin. We've already seen a number of technical previews, as well as intricate details of the operating system so far.
Most thought that an August release for the RTM would happen, but it looks like Microsoft is ahead of schedule with its latest operating system. The line of thinking here is that Microsoft most likely want to get Windows 10 with as many manufacturers as possible, with June being a big month for the tech world. Computex kicks off in June, so if we see a bunch of Windows 10-powered devices at the show, we won't be surprised.
Something more interesting has happened too, with Microsoft filing a patent application for the trademark "Windows 365". Microsoft filed for the trademark on January 29, which means we could expect a subscription-based version of Windows in the near future.
When Google launched Android 5.0 Lollipop last year, most thought that it would be jumping onto millions of devices, but it hasn't been the case unfortunately. Just 1.6% of polled Android users are using the deliciously named OS as of February 2.
The numbers are coming from Android Developers, which pulls data collected from a 7-day period that ended on February 2. Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean is still the force to be reckoned with, securing 44.5% of Android devices. Android 4.4 KitKat comes in second with a total of 39.7%. There's not much of a push for Lollipop right now, but there are new devices that are coming soon, which should help bolster these Android 5.0 adoption rates.
When Microsoft launched the first Windows 10 Technical Preview last year, it included a built-in keylogger that would collect information about "you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks. Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage".
Well, it looks like the latest version of Windows 10 that the public can get its hands-on in the form of the Technical Preview still includes this built-in keylogger. Microsoft adds "[When you] enter text, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features".
Since this is stated in the EULA for the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft isn't exactly hiding it. A post on Reddit bought this to my attention, warning people to not use this as their "daily driver" operating system. Since it's collecting copious amounts of not just personal data, but being a keylogger, it can secure everything on you. What if someone has found a way to hack into this built-in keylogger, and has been taking users' logged keys of Internet banking sessions, and various log-ins like Facebook and the such?
It was only last week that Microsoft was showing off the latest build of Windows 10, but the company has just made this version of its upcoming OS available to all. During the event, we found out about the awesome look AR headset HoloLens, and that DirectX 12 will be an exclusive to Windows 10.
The January Technical Preview build - 9926 - is now out, and includes total Cortana integration. Microsoft's virtual assistant will hang out on the taskbar, helping users search for apps, settings, files and more across the Internet. The revised Settings menu has also had some work done to it, bringing it into line with the look of the Control Panel.
Microsoft has also baked in the new Photos, Maps and Xbox applications, as well as a look at the Windows Store Beta. Minor changes have sneaked into the new build according to insiders, with a bug in the keyboard lights not working for Caps/Num/Scroll lock, now being fixed in the latest build. One of the bigger parts of the new build of Windows 10 that is missing is Internet Explorer's replacement, Spartan. Another is the new Music Locker feature, which is based on the company's OneDrive service.
We only just reported that DirectX 12 will be providing CPU-bound games with up to 50% more performance, but the new version of Microsoft's API will be completely exclusive to Windows 10.
This is going to hurt some gamers, but with the offer of providing Windows 10 for free for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users, the sting won't be felt for too long. We shouldn't be too surprised, as previous versions of Windows have had exclusive rights to the latest version of DirectX. Windows Vista had DirectX 10 for example, but let's not even begin to talk about Vista.
The reason behind DirectX 12 being exclusive to Windows 10 is that Microsoft is making the desktop OS free to everyone who owns the last three versions of its OS. So anyone who wants to get in on more performance, or better quality graphics (DX12 games) then there is nothing bad here at all.
As previously rumored, Microsoft plans to make Windows 10 a free upgrade to current Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows Phone users. The promotion is available only during the first year of release for 10, and is designed to help spur adoption to the new operating system.
Windows 10 is scheduled for release before the year, and hardware OEMs and users are cautiously optimistic about the new OS. It appears Microsoft is serious about taking an updated approach to Windows 10, providing a frequently updated, subscription-based strategy.
"Overall we know that about only 10% of computers are running Windows 8 and the adoption rate among companies is similar or lower," said Frank Gillett, analyst with the Forrester Research group, in a statement to BBC. "Developers are not paying much attention to Windows for mass market consumer apps, and you could even argue that for enterprise software most of the energy is going into mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets."