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According to the latest data Google have taken during a 14-day period ending on September 4, Android 2.3 Gingerbread still rules the roost with 57% of devices running the ageing mobile OS. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sits in second place with a little under 21% of Android devices.
Google's latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS isn't doing too badly, with 1.2%, but this should grow quite rapidly with more and more new devices being announced with the OS on-board. Android 3.1 Honeycomb is sitting with just over 2%, and was a release-and-forget-it OS from Google, as it was only on tablets, and was definitely not popular at all.
Ice Cream Sandwich adoption has been growing rapidly in the last six months, from 1% or so to its current 21%. The last three months in particular have been great for Android 4.0 ICS. I'm expecting Jelly Bean distribution to go from 1.2% to around 4-5% by the end of the year, and ICS to jump to around 30-40% in this time. Gingerbread will probably drop from 57% to less than 50% in this time.
Yesterday we heard rumors that Sprint would be pushing out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G, where today this news has been confirmed. The updates should already be hitting handsets, or will any minute now.
Jelly Bean updates will provide a bunch of new features such as Google Now, which is a Siri-like assistant, an improved notification and voice search system, offline dictation, and more. One of the better features of Jelly Bean is 'Project Butter', which makes the entire OS' UI move at 60fps.
I've been using Jelly Bean for only two days now on my recently-acquired Nexus 7, and it truly is beautiful. If you're a Sprint-based Galaxy Nexus, or Nexus S 4G owner, keep checking your phone for that JB update!
Microsoft have just outed Windows Server 2012, which is offering simplified licensing. The new server OS comes in four different versions, Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation, all aimed at different markets and customers.
The new server offerings include training on the new features baked into the OS, as well as a 90-day trial period running on Microsoft's Azure cloud-based service. Microsoft's Windows Server general marketing manager, Mike Schutz, says:
One of the things we tried to do for this launch was simplifying the licensing. We've simplified it to two core SKUs: Datacenter edition and Standard edition. We used to have multiple licensing models -- some were per server, some were per processor -- and the feature differentiation was spread through the editions. We got feedback that sometimes it was too complex for customers to choose which version.
It seems that if a consumer were to purchase new PC with Windows 8 and not like it, Microsoft are offering a downgrade to the OS to Windows 7 or Vista. Of course, there is small print, and this has also happened before, with Windows 7 Pro, which allowed a downgrade too.
The software license agreement for the version of Windows 8 Pro that will arrive as an OEM on new PCs says: "Instead of using the Windows 8 Pro software, you may use one of the following earlier versions: Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business."
I think we're going to see more than a handful of people downgrading if the offer is there, it's also a nice sales tactic. If a customer was weary of the new touch-friendly Windows 8 Pro, they could always be offered a Windows 8 Pro-based PC that would allow for the downgrade, which would be a nice cushion to fall on if you didn't like Windows 8.
Windows XP isn't included in the list of operating systems that can be downgraded to, the downgrade only allows you to go back down the OS ladder as far as Vista.
We all know just how great Windows 7 is, but Microsoft's OS from yesteryear, Windows XP, has still enjoyed being the OS market share king, until now.
With the latest market share data in hand, Net Applications says that Windows 7 has passed Windows XP completely in OS market share. Windows 7 now enjoys 42.72% of the OS market share pie, leaving XP with 42.52%. We're not talking much, but its enough to claim the #1 spot.
Windows 7 will most likely be the Windows XP to Windows 8 when its released. Windows 8 will be great, but it won't have the same push that 7 did. It will be strong on smart devices, but until the screen tech gets cheaper (bigger screens, higher resolutions, touch compatible), that push won't be there for the end user.
As always, Microsoft is offering its typical cheap upgrade period just before the launch of a new operating system. Microsoft usually offers a period during which a new PC can be bought and later upgraded to the latest version of Windows for cheap. They do this so as to not kill sales right before the launch.
The period started back in July and the end date has now been extended to around February 14, 2013. For a mere $14.99, you can update from Windows 7 to the latest and greatest, in some people's opinion, Windows 8 operating system. If you're planning on doing this, you can check out the full details from Microsoft's page describing the process.
KitGuru has reported the change, though the official Microsoft page is still saying January 31. Until Microsoft confirms the change on the above linked page, I would live by the January 31 date.
It looks as though Microsoft will be getting an exclusive sneak peak into your computer if you install Windows 8, as the Redmond-based company will be contacted each time you install a new application, according to software hacker Nadim Kobeissi.
Kobeissi noticed the news when running a network packed analyzer under Windows 8. Don't fret: this can be disabled quite easily. Known as Windows 8's SmartScreen feature, it acts as a protector to users from malware, and other things that can be otherwise harmful to your PC. The technology was first featured and introduced with Internet Explorer 8, as an extension of IE7's phishing filter.
When Microsoft released IE9, SmartScreen gained Application Reputation, which is a set of algorithms used to analyze the trustworthiness of downloads through digital signatures, heuristics, and information collected by the company. The technology works by using Microsoft's database of software trustworthiness, but the company collects information about user-driven downloads in the process. This data is obviously kept on Microsoft's servers.
As we get closer to the release of Microsoft's latest touch-orientated OS, Windows 8, we celebrate a milestone in Microsoft's history. The company's first graphical user interface (GUI) powered version of their OS, Windows 95, turns 17 today!
Windows 95 ushered in a completely dominant lifestyle for Microsoft, with its powerful GUI, much-improved "plug and play" system that helped hardware installations and reduced conflicts, as well as moving from a 16-bit architecture , to a 32-bit architecture which bought with it a multitasking-friendly architecture.
Windows 95 pushed Microsoft into an antitrust case in 1998, where a later revision of the OS included Internet Explorer 4.0, which plaintiffs claimed gave Microsoft a monopoly in the browser market. Competitors such as Netscape Navigator and Opera required a download, over slow dial-up connections, or purchased in store, compared to IE which came included with the OS.
Windows 95 was supported by Microsoft until December 31, 2001.
Apple are still seeding out OS X 10.8.1 to developers, where they'll hopefully address some of the bigger issues with the initial release of Apple's latest OS, Mountain Lion. But, it looks as though some users have received notifications telling them that Apple are preparing to seed builds of OS X 10.8.2 for testing.
Join us for 10.8.2!
You are invited to participate in the next Mountain Lion Software Update seed project, 10.8.2. Apple will provide you with the pre-release software. Once builds are available, we ask that you install and test each build to help us make sure that this is a high quality release!
Apple seem to be moving pretty quick from OS X 10.8.1 to OS X 10.8.2, meaning that they're looking to clamp down on issues found not only in the original OS X Mountain Lion release, but 10.8.1. The issues in the OS X 10.8.1 are probably not that big to begin with, but it's good to see Apple moving quickly with updates.
Have you moved over to OS X Mountain Lion? I personally haven't bothered, there's no stand-out features that make me want to take the dive to the new OS. If I owned an iPhone, and synced it a lot, then maybe. But I don't even sync my iPad, so I haven't wanted to upgrade.
Microsoft opens the doors to Windows 8 upgrade for Windows 7 PCs, just $14.99 and available until Feb 28, 2013
If you've only recently bought a Windows 7-based PC, and would like to upgrade to the upcoming Start menu-less Windows 8, Microsoft have opened up the registration page in order to do so. The Windows Upgrade Offer will upgrade you to Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99.
It's available to anyone who purchased, or will purchase a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. If you'd like to take part in the upgrade to Windows 8, you'll need to provide your 25-digit Windows 7 key as part of the online registration process.
Starting October 26, Microsoft will then send out promotion codes via e-mail, which can be used in the checkout within the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant.