Rumor has it that the next version of Apple's Mac OS X, 10.9 to be exact, will be called Lynx. The OS X line of operating systems have been named after big cats and Apple is running out of big cats to name the operating system versions after. The current version of Mac OS X is called Mountain Lion. Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion have already been used.
That leaves really only two choices, out of the trademarked big cats that Apple got way back in 2003. The two unused trademarked big cats are "Lynx" and "Cougar." Here's the kicker: a cougar is just another name for Mountain Lion, so Apple would likely not use that name. This leaves the final name as Lynx.
Furthermore, a report has surfaced that Apple's internal papers say they are working on finalizing the name and that it will be Lynx. Of course, this is the part that should be taken with a grain of sand as it relies on "reliable sources" and other decidedly flaky sources. But, it does have some logic behind it.
Mac OS X 10.9 is expected sometime in the next two years, probably in the next year, if Apple keeps up the update schedule that they have been doing with the last two updates.
Steven Sinofsky is out. Steve Ballmer personally fired Sinofsky, who was head of Microsoft's Windows division. He was the principle proponent and driving force behind the decision to remove the start button from Windows 8. He detailed his reasoning of why users should be forced to drop it cold-turkey.
But now that he is out, could the Windows Start Menu make a come back? Some factors point to yes. Stardock, makers of Start8, has distributed tens of thousands of free trials of Start8, a program which brings back a Windows 7-style Start Menu. Kris Kwilas, Stardocks vice president of technology:
We were having some success with word of mouth before the Windows 8 release, and since the release, the floodgates have been opened, and the demand is surprising even us. It tells me that early adopters of Windows 8 feel there's something missing -- a comfort factor for how they want to use their PCs, vs. how Microsoft has decided for them how they should use their computers.
Windows 8 has not been selling nearly as well as Microsoft, and OEMs, would like it to. Likely this is due, at least in part, to the lack of the familiar Start Button. Even as a PC person, Windows 8 was confusing for me. I had trouble figuring out how to turn it off--it literally took me 5+ minutes to do that simple task.
Would you upg
If you haven't heard about Android 4.2 Jelly Bean's "Daydreams", well, they're a screensaver-like app that runs whenever your device is docked, or charging. There's a handful included with the stock Android 4.2, but there's a hidden one, too - it's unlockable if you access the Jelly Bean "Easter Egg" animation.
Tapping several times on the Android version number under Settings, then About Phone will display a large Jelly Bean smiley face. Press down on this for a few seconds and you'll be prompted with a screen filled with even more delicious-looking jelly beans.
Once you've done this, the "BeanFlinger" Daydream will be unlocked. You can find BeanFlinger under Settings, Display, Daydreams. This unlocking should work on any Android 4.2-based device that supports Daydreams.
The Android team has just made the Android 4.2 SDK (AP level 17) available for download, including some juicy nuggets of goodness for developers to mess around with. The SDK includes files and tools for application developers to use to create all the apps you see and download from the Google Play store, with some of the highlights being:
We've worked with our partners to run Renderscript computation directly in the GPU on the Nexus 10, a first for any mobile computation platform.
New ways to engage users
Users can now place interactive lock screen widgets directly on their device lock screens, for instant access to favorite apps and content. With just a small update, you can adapt any app widget to run on the lock screen. Daydream is an interactive screensaver mode that users can encounter when their devices are charging or docked in a desk dock. You can create interactive daydreams that users display in this mode, and they can include any type of content.
New interaction and entertainment experiences
Android 4.2 introduces platform support for external displays that goes beyond mirroring. Your apps can now target unique content to any number of displays attached to an Android device.
Microsoft's Daniel Moth has taken to the Microsoft Answers forum to talk about DirectX 11.1, stating that the latest iteration is part of Windows 8, as DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7 when launched.
But, DirectX 11 eventually made its way into Vista, where Moth has stated that "there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7". DirectX 11.1 doesn't add to much to the 3D graphics API table, which is a sigh of relief mostly.
DirectX 11.1 adds native stereoscopic 3D support, meaning that any PC games or applications written with DirectX 11.1 will sport support for viewing the content through stereoscopic 3D glasses by default. Before DirectX 11.1, games would need to be programmed with a particular GPU in mind. So this means we're not missing out on too much, but it shows that Microsoft are going to be pushing people into Windows 8 rather than port over bits of it to Windows 7.
Microsoft is pretty much only known in the operating system world for Windows, but the Redmond-based software giant have been working on another OS in secret, cheating on Windows.
The secret OS is known as project Midori, and according to ZDNet's well-sourced Mary Jo Foley, it has definitely been beating along in the labs at Microsoft. Midori is a new OS believed to be designed around Singularity, which was a Microsoft Research microkernel OS. The under-development OS was, and most likely still is, overseen by senior vice president of technical strategy, Eric Rudder.
The OS is reportedly a distributed, concurrent OS, and was referenced during a presentation last month at the OOPSLA 2012 conference. A handful of Microsoft employees presented a paper during the event which was titled Uniqueness and Reference Immutability for Safe Parallelism.
Users who have purchased or upgraded to Windows 8 should be receiving e-mails from Microsoft. In this case, they aren't spam and they aren't phising e-mails. In this instance, Microsoft has decided it is a good idea to send out e-mails to customers that explain how to use Windows 8 and do various tasks in the new environment.
Users should receive two e-mails from Microsoft, if they set up a Windows 8 device and associated it with a Microsoft account. The first of the two e-mails details the basics of Windows 8, including descriptions of Live tiles, charms, and switching between views or multiple Windows 8 apps.
The second e-mail is more about customization and is titled "Personalize your Windows." It features information on how to customize the Start screen, use built-in apps, download new apps, and creating a picture password. Both e-mails feature a link called "Learn More" or "Discover More" which will take users to Microsoft's site, where they can watch how-to videos and find more information.
Google Analytics for various sites around the web are having a new version of Mac OS X show up in their logs. The new version is identified as 10.9, and is likely the beta version of the latest Mac OS X being tested. As you can see in the picture below, 9to5Mac started seeing the new version on October 15.
They report that the IPs associated with the new operating system are coming from Apple's corporate network as well as in the Bay area. The screen resolution on two of the machines, according to 9to5Mac, is the same resolution that the 15-inch MachBook Pro with Retina display uses.
Of course, this could be faked data, but it's likely not the case. If you take a look at the timing and IP addresses, it tells the story. Around now is about the time that beta testing should be occurring for the new operating system and the IP addresses are located where they should be for beta testers.
Android uptake to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been a bit slow, due in part to the large fragmentation that is present in Android, and the fact that the manufacturers have to produce the updates for the phones. The one nice thing about iPhones--ok, one of the nice things--is that updates are installed quickly across the product line.
But I digress, Ice Cream Sandwich is slowly making its way onto more and more devices, taking them away from the older Gingerbread, which still holds more than 50 percent of all Android devices. Part of the reason this is happening is due to peoples' two-year contracts expiring and more people going out and buying new devices running 4.0 and above.
ICS is at the heart of 25.8 percent of all Android devices, which is up from 23.7 percent last month. Jelly Bean has managed to capture 2.7 percent of the market, up 0.9 percent from the month prior. Gingerbread still rules the roost with 54.2 percent of all Android devices running the outdated operating system.
These numbers come from the Android devices that accessed Google Play in the 14 days prior to November 1.
Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system, very likely due to the fact that the phones vary so greatly between manufacturers. This means there is a phone available for nearly everyone that runs the Google-crafted operating system. Big or small screens, multicore processors, whatever your desire, there is an Android phone to meet your needs.
I'm sure this is why Android's market share came in at exactly 75 percent for the third quarter. This large number comes as no surprise to me at all, just like the market share numbers for Windows comes as no surprise. Apple's iOS market share is just one-fifth of this number, coming in at a tiny (by comparison) 14.9 percent.
BlackBerry and Symbian are still doing horribly. BalckBerry managed to grab just 4.3 percent of the market, falling 34.7 percent year-over-year. Symbian did even worse, capturing a tiny 2.3 percent and falling 77.3 percent year-over-year. Windows Phone 7 is still the biggest loser in terms of market share, but did the best in year-over-year change.
Windows Phone 7 captured just 2 percent of the market, but is up 140 percent year-over-year, which is impressive growth numbers. These numbers come from IDC, who produced the above chart.
Apple has just released iOS 6.0.1 ahead of the iPad mini being delivered to houses. The new version of the wildly popular mobile operating system brings numerous bug fixes that were discovered in iOS6. The update is available OTA, even for iPhone 5 users, though you'll have to go through an extra step to be able to grab the update OTA.
The fixes address issues such as the horizontal lines that appeared on the keyboard occasionally, a camera flash issue, issues with Wi-Fi when connected to a secure network, fixes for some cellular network issues, and a bug that prevents the iPhone 5 from updating over-the-air.
For iPhone 5 users to update over-the-air, they first have to download an updated updater. This will then allow them to pull down the 69MB update to their devices wirelessly. Grab the update, fix the bugs on your device, and let us know what you think of it in the comments. I'm personally hoping the device feels snappier.
Android 4.2 sports a bunch of different features and optimizations, but one of the biggest standouts is definitely going to be Photo Sphere. Android-based phones have had panoramic photo modes for a while, but this is a big change to that.
Apple's iOS 6 came in late to the party with their own mode, but Google are really ramping up the feature on Android 4.2. On the new OS, users can take pictures in any direction, with the OS doing the stitching of images together. It might not sound like a lot, but this is actually quite an amazing feature.
This means you can take pictures not just left to right, or right to left, but up and down, creating a near 360-degree image, which takes viewers "inside of the scene". Photo Spheres are stored as JPEG files, with all of the information required to look at them embedded as open XML metadata in the image itself.
Android 4.2 was just announced, but you'll need to have the skinny on those features, right? Well, I'm an avid Android user and there's a bunch of new features that look great, so let's go through a few of them.
Android 4.2 is going to arrive on the freshly announced Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet, and should be quite the OS from Google. Android 4.1 really ramped it up with Project Butter, but there are some features in Android 4.2 to be quite excited over, so here we go.
5.) Daydream - This is something that will have its specific users, who want to use this feature, but it is something nice to see as a tiny feature on an otherwise huge release from Google. Daydream will allow your tablet to display photos, news and more while the device is idle, or docked.
4.) Gesture Typing - Most Android users already use a third-party keyboard like SwiftKey or Swype, but this is Google's shot at the keyboard game. Gesture Typing lets you type by just sliding your finger along the words on the on-screen keyboard.
I really love my live wallpaper on my Android devices, and it is something I miss on iOS devices. Rumors are now forming that the upcoming Windows Phone 8 from Microsoft could support something very nice: live wallpaper for your lock screen.
Nokia Innovation has posted an image of what they're describing as a Live Wallpaper feature for Windows Phone 8. The image shows wallpapers that automatically update with live information from first- and third-party apps for WP8's lock screen.
It looks as though Bing, ESPN and USA Today all support the feature, with up-to-date news from USA Today splashing up on the lock screen. There's no detail on how this would work on WP8, but the Redmond-based software giant are holding an event in San Francisco on Monday where we should hear about all the new juicy Windows Phone 8 features.
Here's a study I'm sure Microsoft will be extremely happy to see. It seems like people do believe that Microsoft has gotten better over the years at making Windows a safer operating system, something that people previously despised Microsoft for. Avast AntiVirus ran a survey of over 350,000 computer users who installed or re-licensed their software and found some really interesting results.
In the study, Avast found that Microsoft did a great job of promoting the new operating system as 56 percent of respondents new that Windows 8 would soon be released. Of the respondents, 65 percent were using Windows 7, 22 percent XP, and 8 percent on Vista. Curiously, 3 percent didn't know which they were using.
18 percent of respondents said that Windows has "definitely gotten safer over the years." 46 percent thought that it probably had and 30 percent weren't sure. 4 percent said probably not and 2 percent said definitely not. A combined 46 percent said either probably or definitely yes that Windows 8 would be safer than previous versions.
40 percent were not sure and 14 percent made up the probably and definitely no category. Even with all of this extra perceived safety, only 8 percent are likely to get a new computer sooner just so that they have Windows 8. 78 percent said probably not or definitely not, showing that people either perceive their current system as safe enough, or can't justify the purchase just for the extra security.
Windows 8 officially launched today and Microsoft would like to ensure that you go out and purchase the new operating system. To encourage as many purchases as possible, Microsoft has decided to offer, for a limited time, the new Media Center Pack for free to those who are purchasing or upgrading to Windows 8 Pro.
The offer runs from October 26, 2012 through January 31, 2012, so not exactly a short period. You will have to jump on the offer soon, though, as it does expire. Each e-mail address will only be able to obtain one product key for the Media Center Pack, but it appears you can just create multiple e-mails to get the keys.
Head on over to Microsoft's website and pick up a key, even if you are undecided--it's free and there's no reason not to. In fact, I suggest everyone who is even considering a possible upgrade to Windows 8 Pro in the future go grab a key. Microsoft really want's to ensure the success of Windows 8, so I'm guessing there may be future promotions similar to this. We'll be sure to keep you updated if there are.
Yes, there is no typo in the headline statistic. Microsoft announced during its official launch event that the new operating system was tested for a total of 1.24 billion (with a "B") man-hours. That's an incredible feat, and very unlikely that they're only counting official testing done in-house.
According to Steven Sinofsky, President of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, "No product anywhere receives this kind of testing anywhere in the world." The testing reportedly occurred in 190 countries and certified over 1,000 current devices for use with the "revolutionary" operating system.
I'm sure that the figure does not only account for in-house testing. There's no way that Microsoft could have conducted that much testing by themselves. I know for certain that Intel had Windows 8 in-house being tested well before it went gold, and Microsoft is sure to have included those numbers in that statistic.
Still, it's a staggering amount of testing. Let's hope it translates into real world quality.
Windows 8, it's just hours away, folks. Tick, tock. In the meantime, we have Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Windows Web Services, Antoine Leblond, who has discussed the current state of the Windows Store and the new developer ecosystem.
Leblond has said that the Windows creator don't just want to fill the store with apps, but are concentrating on getting quality apps in the store. Microsoft don't want 50 different celebrity apps that are all really just the same app, for example. One of the biggest differences between Microsoft's Windows Store and Apple's App Store is that Windows 8 apps sport a trial period, meaning that developers don't need to put a free app on offer, as all apps are essentially free for the trial period.
He did note that Windows 8 will feature more apps in its Windows Store than any other competing platform had at launch - although, without stating how many apps are residing in the Windows Store right now, that's kind of hard to judge. Leblond has said that developers are very happy to have the ability to choose between different programming languages for writing their apps, and are "generally happy" about the onboarding process, too.
Microsoft's biggest launch of pretty much any product they've ever released is here, Windows 8. But, a new operating system isn't the only thing launching with Windows 8. We're looking at the Surface tablet running Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, a slew of Windows 8-powered notebooks, Ultrabooks, tablets as well as countless Windows 8-compatible accessories, and hardware.
5.) Windows 8-powered notebooks and Ultrabooks - One of the most exciting thing about the launch of Windows 8 is that there are going to be countless new products for everyone to choose from. New notebooks with Windows 8, touchscreen notebooks with Windows 8, new Ultrabooks, new touchscreen Ultrabooks with Windows 8. There are exciting new products like ASUS' TAICHI, which sports dual 1080p screens, one on the normal side like a standard notebook, and on the rear, another 1080p screen, but touchscreen-capable.
Before Windows 8, we never saw bold moves like this by players like ASUS, but now we are seeing dramatic shifts in the market as companies try new things. It's exciting.
This is something I kind of expected to happen, and in around the same time frame, but it looks like Android could turn into a huge powerhouse for Google. Bigger than the powerhouse it already is now with over 500 million Android-based users across the world, that is.
Traditional PC shipments are on the track to reclining for this year, marking the first time in over ten years that PC shipments have dipped. Gartner Research's latest numbers point toward Google's mobile OS, Android, being baked onto more devices that Microsoft's Windows OS.
By the end of 2016, the total number of computers, smartphones and tablets running Android is estimated to hit around 2.3 billion units, compared to [just] 2.28 billion Windows-based devices. Microsoft may have waved the flag of OS victory for the past 20 years, but its time for another champion, in robot form.
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.