During videogame conference Casual Connect in Seattle, Valve boss Gabe Newell branded Windows 8 as "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space". He added that in the fallout from Windows 8 "we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people."
Newell adds that one of the last remaining things keeping people from trying Linux was the lack of games, but with the company bringing both Steam, and Left 4 Dead 2 to the platform, it could be the start of a new direction for the PC. Newell describes it as "a hedging strategy" and if his predictions of Windows 8 are correct, he says "it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality".
But, you've got to remember, Valve makes money from every sale on their digital distribution platform, Steam. Windows 8 sports a built-in Windows Store, which would challenge Valve's revenue source, maybe not in a direct way, but it will still be competition. But, Microsoft's Windows Store is more closed, and controlled, compared to Valve's Steam platform.
Today, Apple has released the latest version of its Mac OSX operating system in the form of Mountain Lion. This is the ninth major release of the OSX operating system. The latest operating system is available as an upgrade from the Mac App Store for just $19.99.
Droid Life is reporting that the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi will soon receive its Jelly Bean update, and will arrive as Android 4.1.1 Build JRO03H. This build is slightly newer than what is on the Nexus 7.
The Nexus 7 has been updated to build JRO03D, but this new build is slighter newer, but what is included shouldn't be much different to the Nexus 7's updated JB.
But, the XOOM receiving Jelly Bean would make it the first 10-inch tablet to receive the OS, meaning we get to see what the "full tablet experience" of Jelly Bean will feel like compared to the Nexus 7's 7-inch screen size. The update has been delayed for the XOOM Wi-Fi, and should hopefully be out any day now.
Intel has confirmed that they are working with Google in order to support newer versions of their mobile OS, Android, including the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on smart devices that are powered by Intel Atom processors.
Intel didn't unveil a time frame for when the Jelly Bean port would be complete, or when the OS would be deployed on Atom-powered products, but we should see current devices get updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich first. Currently, Intel's presence in the mobile market is not that big of a deal, compared to their x86 processors for desktops and laptops, where they are the undeniable king.
Intel is continuing to push forward with plans to break into the mobile market, where earlier this year we saw the company release the first Intel-based smartphone for the consumer market, the Lava Xolo 9000, in India. After that, we saw the release of an Orange-branded Intel-powered handset launched in the UK and another from Lenovo in China.
During Apple's earnings press release earlier today, the Cupertino-based company announced that OS X Mountain Lion would officially launch tomorrow, July 25. Apple CEO Tim Cook said:
We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we've got in the pipeline.
OS X Mountain Lion will be priced quite well, at just $19.99 and will be made available through the Mac App Store. I would love to install it and see what it's like, but my 2011 edition MacBook Pro died a few days ago, and I'm still in the mourning stage.
As Windows 8 edges closer to release, we're seeing more and more new things leak out. Win Unleaked recently released some new screenshots of the freshest build of Windows 8, RTM build (8518).
It looks as though Windows 8 is taking on more of a square look, and ditching the curved window borders, Start menu and taskbar from the last two iterations of Windows (7 and Vista). First up, we have the original Windows 7 look pictured above, and the Windows 8 look, below:
It's not a big change from Windows 7, but it does look better in my opinion.
It looks like HTC will be slapping Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' onto two of their smartphones, the HTC One XL and One S. The news comes from my favorite Australian telco, Telstra. Telstra are claiming that "HTC is preparing an update but is yet to confirm the date it will be submitted for Telstra testing".
But, does that tease really mean we should be seeing a leap to Jelly Bean? Maybe. Owners of the Tegra 3-powered One X isn't one of the phones listed for the JB update, but that is most probably because Telstra don't offer that model, and it's more likely that HTC are working on a JB update for the One X, too.
Once there's an official announcement, or a surprise release, you can be sure that we'll let you know.
Well, it looks like the wait is nearly over, folks. Microsoft have just slated in Windows 8's release on their Windows Team Blog for October 26. This means that the OS is just two and a bit months away from being in our grubby little hands.
Microsoft stated on the blog:
…October 26th, 2012! That's right! Just a few minutes ago, Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft's annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 - whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC - starting on October 26th. Earlier this month at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Tami Reller told attendees Windows 8 would be available in October. But now everyone has a specific date to mark on their calendars. It's on mine!
Will you grab Windows 8 on release? I'm personally going to grab a copy, because I'm just a tech addict, but I'm thinking it will really shine on touch-based systems. I wouldn't mind seeing a high-res Ultrabook to keep up with the Retina MacBook Pro, but be touch-based, too.
Apple's iOS 6 Beta 3 has hit developers today, and it looks like the company updated their change log, revealing that they're in the first stages of moving over me.com e-mail addresses and Apple IDs available under MobileMe to new addresses using icloud.com.
icloud.com email addresses are now available for iCloud mail users. Users signing up for new Apple IDs, or enabling Mail on their iCloud account for the first time, will automatically receive an @icloud.com email address instead of a me.com email address. iCloud users with @me.com addresses that have been used with iOS 6 beta 3 will receive an @icloud.com email address that matches their @me.com address.
MobileMe was discontinued on June 30 in favor of iCloud, but MobileMe users are still able to transition their accounts to iCloud, but for a limited time only.
Apple released iOS 6 Beta 3 to developers today, with the next-gen mobile OS set to hit users' devices sometime "this fall", most likely with the new iPhone that is rumored to be announced on August 7.
iOS 6 Beta 3 is Build 10A5355d, which is released only three weeks after the previous dev version which was Build 10A5338d. Users are the ones that really add juice to this news, thanks to forum discussion and blogs. One of the additions to this new beta is a new section in the Settings app for Maps, which now allows users to change the volume of the navigation voice, set distances to display in miles or kilometers, set map labels to display either in the local language or always in English, and finally, to set map label sizes to either "normal" or "large".
Other changes found in iOS 6 Beta 3 include:
- Roadwork and traffic accidents showing up in Maps app
- Answer and Decline buttons for FaceTime calls have returned
- iMessage on iPad now accepting phone number as valid contact info
- Greater 3D Flyover coverage in Maps
- Glyphs for bookmarks, Reading List, and history in Safari
- Auto-brightness changes gradually
Windows Phone 8 seems to be adding a fair amount of notches to its belt, before its even released. Microsoft's Joe Belfiore talked about the mobile OS at the WP Summit a few weeks ago, but there are also leaks and more around, too.
Then, a rumor has been floating around that Windows Phone 8 is to support "USB Mass Storage", which is the ability to simply plug your phone into your computer and transfer files. But, WPCentral says that this is no rumor, and that it is 100-percent truth, as Microsoft talks about this with the site, and a few other news outlets, pre-Summit. Secondly, WPCentral says you can watch the video yourself with Joe Belfiore briefly discussing the feature at the 14-minute mark in the Summit video.
Google released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mostly on their $199 Nexus 7 device, which we should hopefully receive a sample of for a review soon, with one of the main features being Project Butter, and Google Now, but there are little things that slip through the cracks in terms of bragging points.
Jelly Bean allows you to share photos and videos through Android Beam via Bluetooth as well as sporting additional options for vision impaired users, and USB audio support. Automatic disabling of background data while using a Wi-Fi SSD that has been designated as a mobile hotspot and an easily accessible Windows-like safe mode. Some nifty features indeed.
At the moment, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is only officially available on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the aforementioned Nexus 7 tablets, but it should slowly be baked onto other devices in the coming months.
It looks as though Microsoft is going for a big change in regards to how they'll be selling their upcoming next-gen OS, Windows 8. Previously, Microsoft had sold Windows in full retail, on retail shelves, at retail stores. This was on top of the already-available OEM system builder and upgrade versions of Windows.
But, "Netcast" video show, Windows Weekly 269 carried an interview with Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite, as well as Mary Jo Foley of AllAboutMicrosoft.com, that things are about to change. They've said that Microsoft will completely drop the full retail version of Windows 8, as anyone who wants to buy Windows for a PC that's never had Windows on before, or a newly-built PC, will just purchase the OEM system builder version.
The Redmond-based company has re-thought how they sell the Windows OS when it comes to upgrade pricing and availability. Anyone with a copy of Windows XP or newer on their PC is eligible for pretty decent upgrade pricing to Windows 8 at $40. This is definitely the way Microsoft need to take it, and it really shows how much they've come 180-degrees on the previous years, and their rules. People who buy PCs with Windows 7 on them now, have an even better deal: an upgrade price of just $14.99, available until next year.
Apple's next-generation OS X Mountain Lion comes out later this month, with the OS hitting Golden Master status just 24 or so hours ago. This means the company has locked in which Macs will support the upcoming OS. Apple have listed which Macs will support Mountain Lion:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
Google have announced the rollout of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which first arrives on Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ devices. If you haven't yet heard of the wonderful Jelly Bean OS, with its Project Butter and new features, you should definitely read up on it, especially if you're rocking a handset that is ready to receive the OS.
If you're rocking a Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ device, you should hopefully soon receive a prompt notifying you to update the handset over the coming days. Jelly Bean is set to hit other devices shortly, such as all Galaxy Nexus', Nexus S, Motorola Xoom and the Nexus 7, which will ship with Jelly Bean on-board later this month.
Some stand out features of Jelly Bean are Project Butter, where the engineers at Google have made Jelly Bean buttery smooth, the OS runs at a constant 60fps, which is just impressive. Something else to get excite over is Google Now, which can tell you today's weather before you start the day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, or your favorite sport team's score as they're playing.
Microsoft have finally coem out and given a delivery schedule for their upcoming Windows 8 OS. Right now, Microsoft have said they are on track to getting Windows 8 to the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) point in the first week of August.
From there, retail will arrive in late-October, which will give Microsoft the time they need to certify additional language packs and to give OEMs time to prepare Windows 8-based systems. Unfortunately, Microsoft haven't released plans for MSDN and TechNet.
Enterprise Software Assurance customers are being told they'll have access as early as August. Who is excited about Windows 8? I don't think we're going to see the surge of users that Vista to 7 saw, not in the short term, anyway. Smart devices running Windows 8 will have my money all over it.
Good news for Apple is that they have released the Golden Master (GM) version of their upcoming next-gen OS X Mountain Lion to developers. The "GM" version of the OS indicates this is the version of software that is destined for customers.
The build of the GM version if 12A269. Apple previewed Mountain Lion back in February of this year, highlighting a bunch of new features that are found in their mobile OS, iOS. This includes Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, Game CEnter, and more.
Just recently, at WWDC, the company showed off some new features including Dictation, iCloud Tabs, and 'Power Nap'. Apple's OS X Mountain Lion will be priced at $19.99 and should hit the Mac App Store later this month.
Jean-Baptiste Queru, the technical lead on the Android Open Source Project has just announced that the source for the newest version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be made available today. Binaries are available for the Nexus 7 and GALAXY Nexus, with Nexus S and Motorola Xoom models promised soon.
This is more ammo for big third-party coders like CyanogenMod to crank out some great releases. It might take a little while before the code to be replicated and go live, but we've been patient enough, right?
We should see some great releases thanks to Jelly Bean and its Project Butter 60fps goodness, I can't wait to try out a Nexus 7 personally.
Google have updated their Android Developer site with some juicy numbers on Android adoption rates based on the number of active smart devices rocking the mobile OS. Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich has had a jump of 3.8-percent over the last month, but in the eight months since its release, it has only been able to take 10.9-percent of the Android OS pie.
These decent gains come from device manufacturers updating their smart devices to Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as new flagship Android-based devices like HTC's One X and Samsung's GALAXY S III. Android 2.3 Gingerbread still remains the top of the heap, with 63.6-percent, with Android 2.2 Froyo behind that with 17.3-percent. Good news is Android 2.3 and 2.2's install base is shrinking, dropping 1-2 points over the last month.
Google get this data based on the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within a 14-day period, ending July 2. They use this data to decide how to prioritize the development of their applications' features for the devices that are being used the most by users.
It appears that Mozilla, developer of the web browser Firefox and other things, is currently working on an "open mobile OS" that seems similar in many ways to Google's Chrome OS. The new OS will be based off of HTML 5 and open web standards and be designed to remove many of the barriers that currently make mobile website development difficult.
Mozilla has its sites set on emerging markets such as Brazil in 2013. The basic operations of the phone, calling, gaming and messaging, can be developed as HTML 5 applications. Mozilla is already seeing support from Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and Telenor.
Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla:
The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote opennes, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers. As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use.
Mozilla has been working on allowing HTML 5 to access the hardware more directly than was previously allowed for. They have been doing this through their "Boot to Gecko project" and it will allow HTML 5 apps to access the hardware like only a native app used to be able to. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but it seems likely to follow Chrome OS in that it won't work very well.
Mozilla have just announced that they are renaming Boot to Gecko to Firefox OS, the company has talked of having support from multiple carriers worldwide, as well as a couple of device manufacturers. Firefox OS is a totally open source OS, and its interface is built from HTML5 and CSS web standards, making it very customizable.
A proof of concept was recently shown off running on Samsung's GALAXY S II, with the company pointing out its responsiveness to touch input, a 3D graphics demo, a full SMS client and on-screen keyboard, as well as a store for various web apps. The first Firefox OS-powered device will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and should launch sometime in early-2013 in Brazil through Telefonica's Vivo brand of entry-level handsets.
Manufacturing partners are looking to be TCL Communication Technology, and ZTE, with operators such as Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia and Telenor all jumping on the Firefox OS bandwagon. Mozilla ia hoping Firefox OS will change how developers have to re-write their apps to run on the various mobile operating systems, with apps that can run in a browser but still look, and feel like a native app with access to underlying phone capabilities like calling, messaging and games.