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.
Red Hat announced today the release of Fedora 20 "Heisenbug." The new version of Fedora ushers in support for ARM CPUs as the systems main controller, and this means that developers and system administrators no longer need to utilize Intel chips for full support for from Red Hat.
Fedora 20 also features improved virtualization thanks to a new visual interface, and "first-class" virtual machine images. The desktop also received updates as well with new support for GNOME and KDE. For anyone looking to build a linux machine and has no other option but to run an ARM chip, it appears that Fedora 20 is right up your alley.
Today Apple released an update to its current OS X Mavericks operating system. The update brings OS X up to version 10.9.1 and is rather small in comparison to previous OS X updates. The update only takes care of bugs and software issues and does not install any new features either.
The biggest fix has been applied to the mail app, which fixes integration with Gmail, and stabilizes everything for a more reliable experience. A bug that prevented Voice Over from reading out sentences that featured an Emoji has been fixed as well. For the full list of fixes and to download the update yourself, head over to the source link below.
We heard about the Threshold update not long ago, something that might include more than we expect from Microsoft. Now we have Microsoft expert, Paul Thurrott, chiming in, where he believes we might see a return of the Start menu to Windows.
The Start menu would return to an optional desktop-only version of Windows, something that would be included in desktop versions of the OS. Touch-based versions of the OS will completely rid themselves of the desktop component, and will not feature the Start menu, and will only use the Start screen as its one, and only UI.
I think this makes much more sense, and is something I've talked about in various articles. Splitting the OS up into two: one with a Start menu/destined for desktop, one for touch-based devices/notebooks. I'm sure you could still get your hands on the desktop-based OS with the Start menu, and install it onto your notebook/Ultrabook, which is something I will be doing in the near future.
Apple has updated its developer website for the iOS App Store, which shows some great adoption rates for iOS 7. Apple's latest mobile OS is on 74% of devices, which is a 10% increase over October's numbers.
22% of active App Store users are running iOS 6, which means that if we combined the numbers, we're looking at 96% of iOS users being on the latest two operating systems from Apple. This is something that Apple excels in - iOS adoption rates. Compared to Android, where there are still 25.8% of its users on versions of Google's mobile OS older than Android 4.x.
It looks like Google is preparing to update its Nexus range of devices with an even newer version of its deliciously-named KitKat OS. The new update would crank it up to version 4.4.1.
We don't know what to expect from this small update, but I would put bets on just small bug fixes. The news is coming from 9to5Google's analytics, which show a few devices running Android 4.4.1 originating from Google's Santa Clara, California HQ.
Microsoft's next major milestone is something called "Threshold", an internal name for an upcoming update to its platforms. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley is reporting from multiple anonymous sources, as well as an internal Microsoft e-mail from Executive Vice President, Terry Myerson.
Foley says that Threshold will hit all three major platforms from Microsoft: Windows, Xbox One and Windows Phone. The company is wanting to unify the developer toolset for all three platforms, and support the same core set of "high value activities" across platforms. There are four parts to this, the first is expression/documents (Office), decision making/task completion (Bing), IT management (intune) and something else, which is labeled as "serious fun".
We did hear about this not long ago, so we should expect big things from this Threshold update. Before Threshold, we should expect an update being pushed out for Windows 8.1, which is known as Windows 8.1 Update 1, and Windows Phone 8.1, sometime next year.
Microsoft's three key Windows platforms will eventually be merged into one, super OS, according to Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green. The MS exec recently spoke at the UBS Global Technology Summit, where she said that this merging will take some time.
Larson-Green said: "We have the phone OS, we have Windows RT, and we have full Windows. We are not going to have three." The executive did have some comments regarding the necessity of the platform, for Microsoft's current operations: "We do think there is a world where there is a more mobile operating system, that doesn't have the risks to battery life or the risk to security [that Windows does]," she said, "but it also comes with a cost of flexibility."
I've been running my Nexus 5 for around a week now, and I love it - Android 4.4 KitKat is a very nice upgrade to the Android ecosystem, and now Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition owners can get some of that KitKat lovin'.
It's good timing, as the HTC One Google Play Edition received its update a few hours ago, and now the second Google Play Edition handset, and premium smartphone has received it. If you haven't received your update yet, it should roll through in the next couple of hours hopefully. Do comment and let us know what you think about the new deliciously-named OS!
Google has confirmed it will be providing RAW file support for Android, as well as native burst shot for the Camera application on Android, too. These functions have been rumored, but now confirmed.
The news has been announced by Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano, who said: "Android's latest camera HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography. We will expose a developer API in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality." RAW support will allow users to create professional-style photos by using photo editors, just like people who snap photos with a DSLR can.
Sure, it won't be as good as using a DSLR camera, but RAW support will only be embraced, not pushed away.
Microsoft has evolved Windows over the years, to the point where Windows 8.1 is all but unrecognizable to its older operating systems - like Windows 95/98. Of course, time goes by, and we can't expect Microsoft to stay in the dark ages, while everyone wants something better. Well, Windows 8 ushered in a touchscreen interface for Microsoft, something that most people don't like because, well, they don't own a touchscreen. Sure, it's great for tablets and touch-enabled PCs, but not for normal desktop users, like myself.
There's some concept art that users have made for Windows 9, that address some of these problems that Windows 8 ushered in. The Windows 9 concepts all use a Start button, something that was complained about so much with Windows 8, that Microsoft was forced to provide a Start button in Windows 8.1. They look absolutely gorgeous, but I know Microsoft won't go in this direction, unfortunately.
I wish they would offer us a touch-enabled UI (that we see in Windows 8) but with a professional/desktop-based UI, as we see in these concept pieces. This would help Microsoft gain some of those lost customers back, and it would help the company get people to upgrade from Windows 7, instead of not providing anything to the user as an incentive to upgrade.
If you're rocking a Nexus 4 smartphone, or Nexus 7 tablet (in either the 2012 or 2013 edition) then you'll be happy to know that Google is pushing out Android 4.4 KitKat factory images.
This is great, because some of the Nexus 7 versions aren't receiving their over-the-air (OTA) updates, but now any Nexus 4 or Nexus 7 owner can download it and apply them. I've been using Android 4.4 KitKat on my Nexus 5 for the last few days, and I'm coming to really enjoy the changes that Google has pushed onto the platform.
Windows Vista has come and gone, Windows 7 is still here, but even that has been replaced with Windows 8 and now we have Windows 8.1. But, there are plenty of people still on the ageing Windows XP, and this has to stop.
Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, Tim Rains, has reminded people that the company will no longer provide support for Windows XP once it strikes midnight on April 8, 2014. This will end security updates for Windows XP, which will leave it more vulnerable to malware. The company stopped supporting Windows XP Service Pack 2, and within two years "its malware infection rate was 66 percent higher than Windows XP Service Pack 3."
We should expect similar numbers for malware in Windows XP SP3, so you might want to upgrade, especially when the malware infection rate of Windows 8.1 is around six times smaller.
Android 4.4 KitKat may have just been announced, but the more delicious sounding Jelly Bean (Android 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) on more than 50% of devices. Just three months ago, it was barely scratching at 40%.
Google has also unveiled that the total number of activated Android devices has finally surpassed one billion devices, quite the amazing milestone. Jelly Bean being on more than 50% of devices is a great thing, as it's finally bringing the Android OS fragmentation issues to an end, something that KitKat should really nail down.
Gingerbread is now on 26.3% of devices, Honeycomb barely exists with 0.1%, Ice Cream Sandwich is still sticking around with 19.8% of the Android OS share and Froyo is still hanging on with 1.7%.
Google is prepping to unleash Android 4.4 KitKat hopefully in the coming weeks, with the refreshed Nexus 5 smartphone and Nexus 10 slate. But, we don't really know what to expect, and whether there'll be a killer feature on Google's latest mobile OS.
Well, rumor has it that Android 4.4 is going to begin the big push into the TV market, where Google hope to dominate like it does in the smart devices market. Android 4.4 KitKat is expected to include a refreshed TV interface that is a new work of art compared to the current Google TV user interface. We've already heard that Google is rumored to rename Google TV to "Android TV" and this report now makes that rumor make more sense.
Apple's OS X Mavericks was unleashed to the world yesterday, for free by the way, and it has already seen a 7% adoption rate according to a live tracker hosted by analytics company GoSquared.
GoSquared CEO, James Gill, spoke with MacRumors where he said that his company provides analytics for over 40,000 websites, which allows the firm to monitor billions of page views per month. This gives GoSquared the ability to report a snapshot of activity at anytime, giving us the peek into the early success Mavericks is seeing.