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To appease OEM hardware manufacturers upset with disappointing Windows 8 sales, Microsoft reportedly will slash 8.1 prices it charges to OEMs by 70 percent. Instead of paying a license fee of $50 for mobile products that cost $250 or less, OEMs will now only have to pay $15 per unit.
Microsoft said it did 1.24 billion hours of Windows 8 testing during development, hearing about user displeasure of the Metro interface. New CEO Satya Nadella must try and determine if Microsoft will move on to the next version of Windows, or put full effort into trying to raise adoption as quickly as possible.
Using market-development funds and other incentives, larger hardware OEMs were paying around $30 per unit, according to a report published by Bloomberg Technology. Microsoft offers MDF money, similar to other companies, based on sales, revenue generated, using a tier system with its partners.
How is Windows 8 going for Microsoft after a year on the market? Well, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Marketing, Tami Reller, spoke at a Goldman Sachs technology conference yesterday, where he said: "We've surpassed 200 million licenses now on Windows 8, which is pretty stunning".
This seems like a lot, and it is - especially when you compare the numbers against Windows 7 after a year in consumers' HDDs. Windows 7 at this point in time had sold over 240 million licenses, but with Windows 8 not being received anywhere near as well as its predecessor, it's doing quite well at this point in its lifecycle.
Google has pushed out a new policy that will see OEMs using newer versions of Android, if they want to quality for Google Mobile Services (GMS) - otherwise known as Google Apps, reports Android Police.
If the rumors are true, it would see the Mountain View-based giant no longer authorizing devices running versions older than Android 4.2. The report also states that OEMs will no longer be allowed to release devices running versions of Android older than Android 4.2 after April of this year, with the same rules applying to Android 4.3 after July 2014.
OEMs won't be happy with this news, but consumers will benefit greatly from having the latest versions of Android on new devices.
Winphollowers has posted some leaked screenshots from an internal Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, which show off Windows Phone 8.1's heavily improved Notification Center.
The Notification Center, or "Action Center" as Microsoft seems to call it, will display itself with a quick swipe from the top of the screen. From here, four basic settings are on-hand, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. These four actions are customizable, so you can play around with them, but the basic Action Center will also display the date, and battery level percentage.
If you continue to pull on the Notification Center, a full "Action Center" will be displayed with even more information and settings. Microsoft's update to its mobile OS will also push forward a split in volume controls for ringer/notifications and media/apps, too. Windows Phone 8.1 will also bring forth Microsoft's own personal assistant, "Cortana". We should hear more about Windows Phone 8.1 at Microsoft's Build developer conference in April.
A new report has surfaced that unveils some interesting information about talks between Sony and Apple way back in 2001 that could have seen an Apple operating system on the company's VAIO product. The report from Nobuyuki Hayashi reminisces back to an interview between Hayashi and ex-Sony president Kunitake Ando who spilled the beans on a 2001 meeting between Steve Jobs and himself on a golf course.
Ando recalls that after a round of golf with several Sony executives, Steve Jobs and other Apple employees greeted him at the end of the golf course and were holding a Sony VAIO PC that was running Mac OS. The report states that Jobs liked Sony's VAIO line so much that he offered to make an exception to his "No Mac clone rule" just for Sony. Unfortunately, this was also around the time that Sony was beginning to see its VAIO line skyrocket with Windows, and the cards never fell into place for a VAIO-branded Mac PC.
After returning from its mission to the sun (satire), North Korea appears to have kicked its development of Red Star Linux into high gear. New screen shots have surfaced of the OS and they tell two very big tales. First off, the screen shots are square, so North Korea has yet to adopt widescreen technology. Secondly, Kim Jong Un must be a huge fan of Apple's OS X operating system.
Former iterations of the Linux-based OS took on a more Windows 7 desktop appearance, but these new screen captures are clearly a direct rip-off of Apple's OS X. Red Star Linux has been in development in the isolated country for more than a decade now, and this new OS X style version marks the third revision in the OS' history. The screen captures came from, Will Scott, a university professor who spent a semester teaching in Pyongyang at its University of Science.
The operating system does include a Mozilla-based web browser even though Internet access is restricted to most North Korean citizens. The browser is used to access a country-wide intranet that serves up websites for North Korean educational institutions, and government propaganda sites. The OS also features a copy of Wine so that some programs coded for Windows can be run. With such a blatant rip-off of OS X's theme, one is left wondering when we will see the first North Korean knock off iPhone or iPad arrive.
Net Applications' data for January 2014 shows that both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 didn't make much progress for the first month of the year. Both operating systems gained 0.09% combined, with Windows 8 even falling 0.26%, but Windows 8.1 grew by 0.35%.
Windows 7 dropped 0.03% from 47.52% to 47.49%. Windows Vista is slowly dropping, 0.31% for the month down from 3.61% to 3.30%. Windows XP on the other hand, regained some market share, increasing 0.25% for the month. Net Applications data comes thanks to 160 million unique visitors' data being captured, by over 40,000 websites for its clients.
Apple announced some massive numbers during its earnings call today, creating a record quarter for the company thanks to huge upticks in iPhone and iPad sales. But how is iOS doing?
The company has announced that 80% of all iOS devices in the wild now feature iOS 7, with 17% still on iOS 6, and the last 3% running an older version of Apple's mobile OS. Remember, these numbers are for the most active iOS users, not all iOS users. Apple found its numbers by using App Store usage over a seven-day period which ended on January 26.
Apple did point out that its iOS 7 numbers are much better than Android 4.4, but that is to be expected when there are so many different Android handsets on the market, versus just a handful of iPhones and iPads.
Paul Schiller, Apple's Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, talked with MacWorld when the Mac turned 30 just a few days ago, where he had some interesting things to say about the OS X and iOS worlds merging.
He said: "We don't waste time thinking, 'But it should be one [interface!]' How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?' What a waste of energy that would be". Apple's head of software, Craig Federighi, chimed in with: "The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn't because one came after the other or because this one's old and this one's new. Instead, it's because using a mouse and keyboard just isn't the same as tapping with your finger".
Federghi continued: "You don't want to say the Mac became less good at being a Mac because someone tried to turn it into iOS. At the same time, you don't want to feel like iOS was designed by [one] company and Mac was designed by [a different] company, and they're different for reasons of lack of common vision".
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.