According to the latest data from analytics company, StatCounter, Windows 7 has gained more than half of the worldwide operating system market, for the first time ever. Windows 7 had officially surpassed Windows XP as the most popular OS choice globally back in October of 2011, but this is the first time that Windows 7 has passed the 50-percent mark.
StatCounter's data shows that Windows Vista still holds third place, just, with 8.32-percent market share, but Apple's Mac OS X has been making a sprint for third position, sitting at 7.05-percent at the end of June. If Apple continues with this slight jump, they should overtake Windows Vista as the third position by the end of the year.
But, as with all analytical data, there are other sides and companies working at it. Net Applications claims that Windows XP still holds 43.61-percent of the OS market, with their data showing that XP edges out Windows 7 ever so slightly, with Windows 7 sitting at 41.59-percent.
Microsoft have just announced some upgrade plans for their upcoming Windows 8 operating system, where the company will be selling Windows 8 Pro upgrades online for $39.99. If you prefer to make your Windows 8 upgrade purchase in-store, it'll set you back $69.99.
The offer is open to anyone running any version of Windows XP, Vista or 7, and lasts until January 31, 2013. The deal runs for the same amount of time that the $14.99 upgrade deal does, but this one applies to any version of Windows, not just those who have recently purchased a Windows-based PC in the run up to the Windows 8 launch.
Microsoft have also said that the offer will be open to 131 markets, and that it will release more details on the offer as the launch of the OS gets closer. The Verge reports that the upgrade process is quite simple, where it'll offer an upgrade assistant that will help users migrate files, settings, and apps from Windows 7, files and settings from Vista, and files only from XP. After the upgrade, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the "add features" option.
The online version comes as a download-only feature, but you can purchase a backup DVD for $15.
Samsung are quickly out of the gate by announcing that they will be providing upgrades for Jelly Bean "eligible" devices. This is good news, especially considering that Samsung only released their GALAXY S III a few weeks ago.
But, the question remains, what does Samsung consider "eligible", and how many would be eligible for Jelly Bean upgrades? Samsung's flagship GALAXY S III will most likely be the first to receive the Jelly Bean goodness, followed by the S II, Nexus and so forth.
Considering that the GALAXY S II just received its Ice Cream Sandwich update, it might be a little while before we can expect Jelly Bean on the S II. The Note II is coming soon, too, so that might just ship with Jelly Bean out of the box. This is the direct quote from Samsung's announcement:
Samsung will soon announce which additional devices are eligible for the Jelly Bean update. As the world's largest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung leads the Android community with best-in-class devices like the Galaxy S III, and is creating new device categories with products like the Galaxy Note. Samsung has delivered the most Nexus-branded lead OS devices and we are pleased that Google will be bringing Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S customers the first experiences of Jelly Bean on a handheld device.
Microsoft is keeping the developer community informed, where they've announced the total pool of countries where they'll have apps available for download at the launch of Windows Phone 8. They've said:
[W]ith Windows Phone 8 we're dramatically expanding our footprint around the globe. Consumers will be able to browse and download apps in more than 180 countries at launch.
Considering that this number was 63... the jump to 180 countries is quite the leap, nearly three-fold. If you're a smaller Windows Phone developer, your app just launched into 117 more countries, this could be a make-it-or-break-it situation for some app developers. Microsoft also took the opportunity to reiterate that in-app purchasing is making its way to Windows Phone 8.
If you want to try a signed copy of the official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean build, then now is your chance. It has just hit the Internet and seems to only be working on the 'takju' (GSM) GALAXY Nexus' given out at Google I/O 2012, reports Android Police.
You can download it for yourself here, coming in at 156MB. The dev community should smash into this pretty quickly and GALAXY Nexus owners should be munching on those delicious jelly beans shortly.
Please do let us know if you get it working, we'd love to hear from anyone running Jelly Bean.
Just before Google I/O 2012 started, the team behind CyanogenMod released version 9.0-RC1. The team stated that the job wasn't easy, but they're very proud of the results, and what it represents for the group.
Making the jump from version 2.3.7 to 4.0.4 was a fresh start for this project. The team states that the code has changed, the structure and organization of CM as a whole has changed, too, according to their blog.
This first release candidate is said to be the first of many, with the 'core' OS stabilized, the team's device maintainers will continue to work on their device trees to bring up more devices, which includes some of the newer releases as well as some from the older generations. CyanogenMod's issue tracker is now open for CM9 RC1, which can be had here.
Google I/O 2012: Ice Cream Sandwich has been out for around six months now, and Google have taken the stage at Google I/O to announce Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean". It was previously rumored Jelly Bean would be Android 5.0, but then rumors were flying in that version 4.1 would be Jelly Bean, it looks like the latter rumors were right.
The shift to Jelly Bean from ICS isn't as grand as the Gingerbread to ICS shift was, but this time its more of an evolution, and not a revolution. One of the best features is something Google call "Project Butter", which is an effort to improve performance and response time, Jelly Bean cranks along at 60fps. This should ensure a very, very smooth experience.
Jelly Bean's home screen has been modified, with Google adding some nice features such as the ability to dynamically resize widgets, which means you no longer have to place it, resize it, then move it where you want if there wasn't enough room. If the room is there, but your app icons are sitting in the way, the widget will now automatically push the apps to the side. Apps and widgets can also be removed by simply flicking them off your screen.
Apple users across the world want iOS 6 pretty bad, myself included for my third-gen iPad, but we can't all be developers. If you are a developer, however, Apple released an over-the-air update to the iOS 6 Beta which was released shortly after the WWDC earlier this month.
The update comes in at 332MB and is for the iPhone 4S at this state. Beta 2 has a build number of 10A5338d, up from the build number of 10A5316k on Beta 1.
Windows 8 RTM is right around the corner if several sources are to be believed. Sources seem to agree that the announcement for Windows 8 RTM will come sometime in July, but they disagree about whether it will be in the build number 8500 or 8600 variety. This time frame lines up nicely for an October relase.
One source is reporting that the final build number for RTM will be 8500.0.120623-1707. However, a different source who agrees on the July time frame believes that the build number will be in the 8600 range. The announcement is supposedly coming at MGX, the event that runs from July 17 to the 20.
Windows 8 is one of Microsoft's biggest gambles yet. Some reviewers have been very upset over the lack of the start button and some of the other changes, but only time will tell if it will be successful. The ecosystem appears to be coming together with the new Surface tablets and upcoming Ultrabooks in time for the holidays.
One this is for sure, if Windows 8 is going to succeed, this ecosystem that is developing and coming together will vastly improve its chances. Furthermore, if a July announcement is indeed when it happens, it looks like we're going to have another busy technology month.
Raspberry Pi, the wonder chip for $35 can do wonderful things, but until now it has been a potential rather than a real-world item, until now. Google's Chromium OS has been ported to Raspberry Pi, where a port of the OS has the ability of booting from the $35 device.
The initial port has been completed by 'Chromium OS hacker' Hexxeh, who laid his hands on the Raspberry Pi system in mid-April. Raspberry Pi already has three versions of the Linux OS available to owners and developers to run on it, but now the choice of Google's Chromium OS has opened many more doors to users.
A screenshot of Chromium OS booting up on the Raspberry Pi was uploaded yesterday to Liliputing.com, which is a site all about "compact computing". Hexxeh has a history of porting Chromium OS to various machines such as MacBook Air's, and PCs, but in order to get the OS running on your PC, notebook or netbook, you require the right combination of hardware to get it to work. If you want to try out Chromium OS builds, click here.
Microsoft are on quite the roll this week, first up we had their Surface tablets, and now the announcement of Windows Phone 8. The next-generation mobile operating system will sport a redesigned home screen, now allowing every tile to be customized in one of three available sizes, and completely ditches the right-hand "rail" that help the link to the full app list.
Skype and VoiP functionality are built directly into Windows Phone 8. Microsoft are adding a background agent that handles incoming and outgoing calls, as well as messaging and integration with several of the Windows Phone 8 features. Skype takes full advantage of this, as well as any other VoiP-based application without favoring one over the other. Microsoft's Greg Sullivan says the integration is so good that he jokes that Apple should create its own FaceTime app on Windows Phone 8, and it would work better than it does on the iPhone.
HTC's One X looks to be soon receiving an update that should include the latest build of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0.4. This should definitely close that nasty gap between HTC's One X and Samsung's GALAXY S III.
As usual in this world of Internet craziness we have, ROM developer and XDA member 'Football' has received the leaked ROM and has stirred up a ROM based on the firmware. The new update will be 2.05.401.2, and should be a noticeable update over the current 1.29.401.11.
Android version number gets an update up to Android 4.0.4, which includes some default stability improvements, also baked in are updated kernels, radios and software drivers, too. Early adopters of the new ROM have been happy, with some reporting a better web browsing experience, tweaked auto brightness settings, a smoother user interface and faster unlock speeds - can't complain at that!
You want proof that Apple is still a little bit OCD even post-Jobs? Pull out your iPhone with iOS 6 and take a look at the chrome slider reflection. Now, tilt your phone side-to-side. Yup, the reflection actually changes as the phone is tilted. Proof positive that Apple still has some OCD, detail-oriented people on its payroll.
This is just insane that Apple would actually dedicate the resources to do something this tiny. It serves no purpose other than to look good and replicate what would really happen. It's extremely impressive, but at the same time completely pointless. iOS 6 has many other more major features, so this isn't the whole reason for the update.
We all know Android is popular and during the Mobile World Congress in February, Google were seeing 850,000 activations per day but now those numbers are stronger. They're currently seeing 900,000 activations each and every day. This equates to around 625 per minute!
Insane numbers for Google and it'll only grow with the number of Android-powered devices coming out every few weeks. Andy Rubin was also rumored to be leaving Google, but he has squashed these numbers on his Twitter page where he says "No plans to leave Google", adding a tease of the activation numbers "oh, and just for meme completeness -- there are over 900,000 android devices activated each day :-)".
The rumor that Rubin was leaving came from Robert Scoble who is known for rumor mongering, where he reported through Google+ that Rubin was leaving to take charge of a new startup called CloudCar, but Rubin debunked this quite quickly.
Mountain Lion is nearing completion and will start shipping in July. With it comes a host of new APIs for App developers. Users will be happy to hear that updates from as far back as Snow Lion will only cost $19.99. Users who buy a new Mac will get a free upgrade when it ships in July.
A new feature has been introduced into OSX Mountain Lion which will allow the PC to continue updating while sleeping. The feature works with the second-gen MacBook Airs and the new MacBook Pro. It's claimed to be efficient and silent. I just wish it worked on more devices than the second-gen Air and Retina MBP.
We know it's coming, but now we have some pretty strong and undeniable evidence that the next-generation mobile operating system from Apple is nearly here in the form of iOS 6. The news comes from a banner being put up at Mascone West in San Francisco, where Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is being held.
The banner also confirms Apple's move toward a silver theme for iOS, a change from the current blue theme. Workers started hanging out the banners two days ago now, and before this, the only thing Apple have said about WWDC and iOS is that they would discuss the "future of iOS" at the event.
What are you hoping iOS will deliver?
Apparently I am not the only one who thinks that Windows 8 is going to be terrible. A Wall Street Journal writer by the name of John Dvorak shares some of the same concerns as me and even went as far as to say "Windows 8 looks to me to be an unmitigated disaster that could decidedly hurt the company and its future."
I'm not sure I would go quite that far, but some of his concerns are echoed by journalists around the web. His major problem seems to lie in the new Metro desktop interface that appears to be designed for tablets. He had some hope when it appeared that he could still use the old style desktop, but with the latest release candidate, that is no longer an option.
The real problem is that it is both unusable and annoying. It makes your teeth itch as you keep asking, "Why are they doing this!?"
First of all, the system-software product is mostly divorced from all the thought and trends developed by Windows over the years, as if to say that they were wrong the whole time, so let's try something altogether new.
No business will tolerate this software, let me assure you. As a productivity tool, it is unusable.
Furthermore, he reiterates the idea that the Metro desktop is more useful, and wanted, on a smartphone or tablet rather than a PC. He points the issues with trying to use one GUI across every platform and the issues that not everyone will want that unification.
XP has been top of the pack for a long time now, but it looks as though Windows 7 may be poised to overtake for the top spot. Net Applications took a snapshot of the operating system landscape in May and found that the gap between Windows XP and Windows 7 was the narrowest it has ever been in the history of the two OSs.
The study placed XP's market share at 44.8% and Windows 7's market share at 40.5%. Soon, XP support will be dropped by Microsoft and businesses will be forced to upgrade. Considering some of the possible issues with Windows 8, it's likely they will jump to Windows 7 which will further push it into the top spot.
This fact has been inevitable. Microsoft itself has been pushing the upgrade from XP to 7 by telling companies explicitly not to wait for Windows 8. Even still, OS migration is not an easy task which explains the slow uptake. After all, XP is a stable, proven, and robust operating system so there has been no reason to upgrade.
If you wanted to jump on the bandwagon, or just be cool, Microsoft have just made Windows 8 Release Preview available to the public. So if you're still on Windows 7, or on the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, you can jump to the latest version of their next-gen operating system.
There's a bunch of highlights in the new installation, and tonnes of things to do, explore and find. You can read the in-depth Windows 8 Release Preview product guide, if you wish, or you could dive right into it.
We will be getting a Windows 8 Tweak Guide in the coming weeks, which we will be accepting user-given guides/tweaks where you can send in your tweaks and adjustments that make your Windows 8 life better. Look for this in the weeks after Computex and get your tweaks together now!
Apple's next-generation mobile operating system, iOS 6, is expected sometime in the coming months, but BGR is reporting about their Maps app which will support 3D mapping. Apple aren't using Google's mapping data this time around.
BGR has sourced some exclusive information, and photos, of Apple's new Mapps app, with the app featuring an updated user interface as well as a brand new navigation bar. This bar is said to be silver instead of blue. The current Maps app follows the normal blue iOS color scheme, but it looks like Apple could move toward a silver theme for iOS 6, like the iPad.
The iPhone Maps app has a floating 'locate me' button in the bottom left corner. In order to access 3D mode, you'll have to peel back the lower right corner of Maps. Once 3D has been enabled, you can switch in and out of 3D mode by tapping a 3D icon in the lower left hand corner. Apple's acquisition of C3 Technologies has helped them back 3D mapping into their Maps app, which should be a great feature in the new iPhone and iOS.
Apple are currently testing, and putting the final touches on its 3D mapping functionality, with it being tested in build 10A3XX of iOS6. BGR does state that the above image is a mock up based on what Maps should look like, as their source has told them.