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Today, a new report was released from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, that stated that Microsoft is planning on releasing the first update to Windows 8.1 as early as March 11th, the same day the company has scheduled to push out its monthly security updates. This throws off analyst expectations for Microsoft's Build conference, which was expected to be centered around Windows 8.1.1.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is expected to refine the operating system and will reduce memory usage and disk space requirements to help lower-end tablets really shine with the OS. Microsoft hopes that these lower system requirements will help the OS gain some market share in the mobile arena, and become popular among low-end tablet manufacturers. We are expecting to see Windows 9 launch in October, so maybe Build will be all about Windows 9 and its return to a more traditional desktop.
Fans of Microsoft Windows now have something to look forward to in 2014 if newly leaked information is correct. A "hacker" going by the name of, WZor, says that we can expect to see Redmond release Windows 9 in October of this year, not the following April as previously expected.
WZor has been accurate in the past, and many industry insiders believe him to have insiders deep within Microsoft, if not an actual Microsoft employee himself. The new release date rumor came in the form of a Tweet which read "Win 9 released in April 2015? No! No! No! ..WIN RTM-0 RELEASED SIGN-OFF DEADLINE IN 21 OCTOBER 2014 :)" In any event, lets just hope that Microsoft returns to their senses and brings back something more similar to Windows 7 instead of the atrocity that Windows 8 is turning out to be.
Before Steam Machines begin invading gamers' living rooms, Valve hopes to offer digital music, video, and TV episodes through SteamOS. The news is coming from General Business Developer, Anna Sweet, who revealed the information at Valve's Steam Dev Days.
Valve launching digital music, video, and TV episodes through SteamOS would put it right up there with Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. But, would you expect anything less from Valve wanting to enter the living room? SteamOS was never going to be a games-only platform, as Steam itself is a digital distribution network.
I expect we'll see Steam, and SteamOS grow into something much more monstrous during 2014, and I'm incredibly excited.
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.