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Report: Google Android under pressure by iPhone, with sales dropping

Google Android smartphone shipments dropped quarter-on-quarter for the first time during Q4 2014, as Apple iOS shipments increased a whopping 90 percent. iPhone shipments rose from 39.3 million up to 74.5 million, while Android sales slid from 217 million down to 206 million, according to ABI Research.

 

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"Google's Android is being attacked by Apple's iOS at the high-end and forked Android and AOSP at the low-end in high growth emerging markets," said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director of Mobile Devices at ABI Research. "The Android One initiative has slowed forked Android and ASOP growth outside China, but Apple's success has taken the high-end of the market away from certified Android's premium tier vendors."

 

Android-powered devices still topped 1 billion throughout 2014 - but a strong sales quarter from Apple shows that it still has plenty of fight left while promoting new iPhones.

Continue reading 'Report: Google Android under pressure by iPhone, with sales dropping' (full post)

Microsoft trademarks 'Windows 365', with Windows 10 RTM coming in June

Microsoft should reach the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 10 by June, according to sources of Neowin. We've already seen a number of technical previews, as well as intricate details of the operating system so far.

 

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Most thought that an August release for the RTM would happen, but it looks like Microsoft is ahead of schedule with its latest operating system. The line of thinking here is that Microsoft most likely want to get Windows 10 with as many manufacturers as possible, with June being a big month for the tech world. Computex kicks off in June, so if we see a bunch of Windows 10-powered devices at the show, we won't be surprised.

 

Something more interesting has happened too, with Microsoft filing a patent application for the trademark "Windows 365". Microsoft filed for the trademark on January 29, which means we could expect a subscription-based version of Windows in the near future.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is on just 1.6% of devices since its launch

When Google launched Android 5.0 Lollipop last year, most thought that it would be jumping onto millions of devices, but it hasn't been the case unfortunately. Just 1.6% of polled Android users are using the deliciously named OS as of February 2.

 

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The numbers are coming from Android Developers, which pulls data collected from a 7-day period that ended on February 2. Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean is still the force to be reckoned with, securing 44.5% of Android devices. Android 4.4 KitKat comes in second with a total of 39.7%. There's not much of a push for Lollipop right now, but there are new devices that are coming soon, which should help bolster these Android 5.0 adoption rates.

Latest Windows 10 Technical Preview still has a built-in keylogger

When Microsoft launched the first Windows 10 Technical Preview last year, it included a built-in keylogger that would collect information about "you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks. Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage".

 

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Well, it looks like the latest version of Windows 10 that the public can get its hands-on in the form of the Technical Preview still includes this built-in keylogger. Microsoft adds "[When you] enter text, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features".

 

Since this is stated in the EULA for the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft isn't exactly hiding it. A post on Reddit bought this to my attention, warning people to not use this as their "daily driver" operating system. Since it's collecting copious amounts of not just personal data, but being a keylogger, it can secure everything on you. What if someone has found a way to hack into this built-in keylogger, and has been taking users' logged keys of Internet banking sessions, and various log-ins like Facebook and the such?

Windows 10 Preview build 9926 with Cortana, and more is now available

It was only last week that Microsoft was showing off the latest build of Windows 10, but the company has just made this version of its upcoming OS available to all. During the event, we found out about the awesome look AR headset HoloLens, and that DirectX 12 will be an exclusive to Windows 10.

 

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The January Technical Preview build - 9926 - is now out, and includes total Cortana integration. Microsoft's virtual assistant will hang out on the taskbar, helping users search for apps, settings, files and more across the Internet. The revised Settings menu has also had some work done to it, bringing it into line with the look of the Control Panel.

 

Microsoft has also baked in the new Photos, Maps and Xbox applications, as well as a look at the Windows Store Beta. Minor changes have sneaked into the new build according to insiders, with a bug in the keyboard lights not working for Caps/Num/Scroll lock, now being fixed in the latest build. One of the bigger parts of the new build of Windows 10 that is missing is Internet Explorer's replacement, Spartan. Another is the new Music Locker feature, which is based on the company's OneDrive service.

Microsoft announces that DirectX 12 will be exclusive to Windows 10

We only just reported that DirectX 12 will be providing CPU-bound games with up to 50% more performance, but the new version of Microsoft's API will be completely exclusive to Windows 10.

 

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This is going to hurt some gamers, but with the offer of providing Windows 10 for free for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users, the sting won't be felt for too long. We shouldn't be too surprised, as previous versions of Windows have had exclusive rights to the latest version of DirectX. Windows Vista had DirectX 10 for example, but let's not even begin to talk about Vista.

 

The reason behind DirectX 12 being exclusive to Windows 10 is that Microsoft is making the desktop OS free to everyone who owns the last three versions of its OS. So anyone who wants to get in on more performance, or better quality graphics (DX12 games) then there is nothing bad here at all.

Microsoft: Windows 10 will be free upgrade for Windows 7, 8/8.1 users

As previously rumored, Microsoft plans to make Windows 10 a free upgrade to current Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows Phone users. The promotion is available only during the first year of release for 10, and is designed to help spur adoption to the new operating system.

 

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Windows 10 is scheduled for release before the year, and hardware OEMs and users are cautiously optimistic about the new OS. It appears Microsoft is serious about taking an updated approach to Windows 10, providing a frequently updated, subscription-based strategy.

 

"Overall we know that about only 10% of computers are running Windows 8 and the adoption rate among companies is similar or lower," said Frank Gillett, analyst with the Forrester Research group, in a statement to BBC. "Developers are not paying much attention to Windows for mass market consumer apps, and you could even argue that for enterprise software most of the energy is going into mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets."

Microsoft excited to make Windows 10 a platform for gamers

Microsoft is really pushing the gaming side of its upcoming next-generation desktop OS, Windows 10, with a big event planned for January 21, just days away. During this event, Xbox boss Phil Spencer will be talking about Windows 10 and how it will be a platform for gamers.

 

 

Spencer said: "I'm excited to be talking on January 21st. We have speakers coming up talking about Windows 10 and the great work that we're doing there. For the Xbox team, this is the beginning of our discussion with fans about the work that we're doing to bring gaming to the Windows 10 operating system". We previously heard that Windows 10 would be more focused toward gamers, but we've heard that before, too.

 

Spencer continued, saying "It's really nice to finally be able to get to talk about this. We'll continue the conversation throughout the year. We remain committed to gaming on console, but we know that we have fans and gamers that also play on PC and phone, and it's important that we build out the features that we have, learning from what we've done on console, and helping make Windows 10 the best operating system we've ever created for gamers on PCs".

Continue reading 'Microsoft excited to make Windows 10 a platform for gamers' (full post)

Microsoft's Windows 10 will also feature 32-bit version, but why?

Microsoft's head of the Windows Insider program recently extolled the virtues of 32-bit Windows on Twitter and announced that Microsoft will be providing 32-bit versions of Windows 10. This is surprising considering that 92.8% of new Windows computers utilize 64-bit operating systems.

 

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32-bit operating systems pigeonhole users to 4GB of user addressable memory, not just RAM. Many GPU's feature much more than 1GB of RAM, and this drains the user addressable memory pool, so subtract a portion of video memory (it's not a direct 1:1 ratio) from the total RAM you can actually use. Add in PCI and ACPI and the pool starts to get pretty shallow, so why oh why is Microsoft still moving forward with 32-bit?

 

Of course Microsoft has to consider all of the existing computers that run 32-bit versions of the operating system, which are estimated to be roughly 71 million. This is based off of computers that are currently receiving patches, but it could expand into the hundreds of millions. Considering that Windows is deployed into over a billion computers this still seems like a small fraction of the user base, and with the vast majority of systems being 64-bit compatible it is interesting that Microsoft will still develop 32-bit versions.

Continue reading 'Microsoft's Windows 10 will also feature 32-bit version, but why?' (full post)

Free support for Windows 7 ends today

The number 13 is bad luck, again, as Microsoft is ending free support for Windows 7 today, the 13th of January. Speaking of bad luck, Microsoft is hoping the end of free support for Windows 7 will speed the transition to Windows 8, which has been rejected by discerning users worldwide. Thankfully for Microsoft, Windows 10 is on the horizon. Windows 10 is slated to be released later this year.

 

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The end of free support also means that no new features will be added, so dont expect any further service packs in the future. Windows 7 sold over 100 million units in the initial six months of availability in 2009, largely due to customer dissatisfaction with the notoriously buggy Vista. Many are speculating that sales of Windows 10 will also be propelled by user distaste with Windows 8. Windows 7 has been truly successful for Microsoft, and it powers roughly half of the world's computers.

Continue reading 'Free support for Windows 7 ends today' (full post)

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