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Google have sent out invites, unfortunately leaving me out, for an event to be held on October 29 in New York City at 10am. The event is shrouded in secrecy, with the only tease from the Mountain View-based company is that it has to do with Android, and states "The playground is open".
Stating something like "the playground is open" could mean that Google are talking about Android development, opening it up to more partners? Possibly opening up the Nexus program to everyone, pushing out Nexus devices without custom UIs on top? Teasing the next-gen Android to be much more open than it already is? It's anyones guess right now.
With Windows 8 closer than ever, a new survey has popped from Forrester Research that finds that around 33% of companies have plans to upgrade to Windows 8, with 10% of them planning to not bother with Windows 8 at all.
Around 40% of those surveyed admitted that they haven't even considered Microsoft's new OS. Compared to Windows 7, this is a considerable drop in companies planning to upgrade operating systems, according to The Wall Street Journal:
At the same point before Windows 7 was released in 2009, two-thirds of companies surveyed said they planned to migrate to Windows 7, and 28% said they hadn't yet considered Windows 7 or planned to skip it.
I can understand why most businesses don't want to make the move, as there's nothing that Windows 8 does that makes it an absolute requirement that upgrades be done. Yes, it has touchscreen functionality built directly into the core of the OS itself, but for a business who just needs an operating system that can handle email, productivity, and other normal tasks, upgrading to Windows 8 is useless. For consumers, it's a huge push - but it requires a new PC or a touchscreen at least.
Windows 8 is new. It's massively different. And those things aren't always such a good thing because humans are creatures of habit. We don't like change, and some of the changes put into Windows 8 are interesting, to say the least. From my use, I found it to be much more complicated than it needs to be, and apparently so did the people in the video below.
As you can see in the video above, people didn't particularly like the system, even those who identified themselves as savvy users or the person who is a system admin. Almost all of the users had trouble doing even the simplest of tasks, such as turning the system off, something that should be straightforward to do.
Furthermore, many of the users said the interface feels like it belongs on a smartphone or tablet, which is accurate as that is what it was designed for. It really appears that Microsoft may have made a mistake by bringing a tablet/smartphone interface to the traditional desktop. Only time will tell if people will be able to adjust.
What are your thoughts on Windows 8?
Windows 8 is nearly here, folks - are you excited? It's going to be a mammoth launch from Microsoft, who are reportedly spending $1 billion or more on a huge marketing campaign stretching the globe. We're looking at the Surface tablet, Microsoft's iPad competitor, a new operating system, a smart device OS (Windows RT, Windows Phone 8) and more.
What should you be looking forward to? Well, a lot! I've compiled a list of five things I think you should be excited for - and as usual, this list is just a personal opinion.
1.) Proper touchscreen support in a Windows OS. Yes, there have been previous versions of Windows that support touchscreens, but Windows 8 has been built with touchscreens in mind.
Not only are we going to see tablets with Windows 8 on them but we're going to see Ultrabooks, notebooks, all-in-one PCs and other form factors with touchscreens. Microsoft's touchscreen revolution will truly start with Windows 8.
2.) An iPad competitor. Microsoft are set to launch the Surface tablet on October 26 along with their next-generation OS and it should really be an interesting device to compare to the already-established giants found in Apple's iPad and Google's Android-powered tablets.
What will we see in Surface? Well, I expect to see great things from the passion Microsoft have been expelling from every pore about it - so stay tuned for a review of Surface!
At least one Walmart has put Windows 8 on sale before the official Microsoft launch on October 26. According to a tip sent in by a Verge reader, his local Walmart had several copies of the boxed Windows 8 Pro variety on display, and with a price of $69.99 for the upgrade.
The tipster didn't pick up a copy, though Walmart employees did inform him that they could be purchased. Curiously, the employee added that the store just wasn't fully promoting them. Odd, considering that they were on display such as they were.
Now the question is, has anyone purchased one yet? Furthermore, how many other Walmarts or other stores already have the discs out and for sale? If any of our readers find Windows 8 on sale in a local shop, be sure to let us know!
Microsoft have pushed out their first advertisement of Windows 8 which has a tagline of "Windows reimagined". The Redmond-based software giant is looking to spend $1 billion on advertising, making it the biggest advertising blitz for any company, ever.
The company are focusing on throwing advertisements on huge billboards in the US for their iPad competitor, Surface. Advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky are pushing out the first set of Windows 8 ads that will air on national TV ahead of the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.
Microsoft are holding a special media launch for both Surface and Windows 8 on October 25, with a handful of special holiday pop-up stores opening at midnight on October 26. These stores will sell Windows 8-based PCs and tablets.
Microsoft has let slip the packaging design for Windows 8 Professional. With this, we can infer that a similar situation will take place with Windows 8 standard. The packaging is now completely paper-based, except, of course, for the DVD. This has several advantages for Microsoft, and will help to make them a "greener" company.
For one, the new packaging is 41 percent lighter, which will see Microsoft having to pay less for shipping the software. This, in turn, reduces fuel consumption for shipping the software. Combine this with the fact that plastic is made from petroleum, and you find that this change will result in an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption.
The packaging for pro will come in 5 different designs, two of which we have included here. Hit up the source link to see the rest. Pre-orders have also opened for the operating system. Windows 8 Standard will set you back $100 and Pro will set a purchaser back $140, not exactly unreasonable prices.
Android 4.2 codenamed "Key Lime Pie" is being sneaked onto devices, according to Android Authority who noticed they were seeing visitors to their website from devies Google Analytics said were running the new Android 4.2 OS.
The devices Google Analytics picked up running Android 4.2 were the Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Sony Xperia Arc S and the Samsung Galaxy Y - so fingers crossed we should see Android 4.2 on these devices shortly after its release.
Two other names appeared also, Occam and Manta, who are rumored to be a Motorola smartphone and tablet, respectively. Of course, this is unconfirmed at the moment. Android Authority have reported that the Google Analytics data shows that visits to their site from Android 4.2-based devices has happened since August, which would show that the testing of Key Lime Pie has been going on for two months.
Windows 8 is bring with it significant changes to the Windows operating system. No more desktop, tablet-friendly, and Xbox Live integration, to name a few. Today, it is being reported that Windows 8 will be doing away with Microsoft Points, the virtual currency that has been the bane of every gamers' existence.
This isn't the first rumor where Microsoft has been said to be doing away with points. A month or two ago, a picture slipped online showing that Xbox has switched away from using Points. Microsoft later said that that was a mistake and did not signal that the system would be moving away from the virtual currency.
If Windows 8 does move away from Points, which it likely will, Xbox should quickly follow since Windows 8 will be using Xbox Live accounts to do transactions. It would be stupid to either have two separate accounts or for Microsoft to show the balance one way on one system and in another currency on the other.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft Points?
Android 4.2 rumors are really building up, with all of the news that there's an impending LG-built Nexus-branded phone that is meant to drop later this month and be available next month.
Android 4.2 is beginning to pop up on some logs that are running on current Nexus-branded devices. The new smartphone is reportedly running with a codename of "Occam", with the new tablet codenamed "Manta".
The new Android 4.2-powered devices will have the ability to stream even more content from the Google Play store as well as including a new Customization Cente, which will let users customize both the look and feel of their stock Android device. Out of the rumored features, the one I'm most excited for is something called Project Roadrunner.
Project Roadrunner is said to be focused on improving the battery life of Android 4.2-powered devices through optimizations Google have made in the OS. Google's Jelly Bean-exclusive Project Butter ramped up the OS to 60fps and it felt beautiful. It makes it truly buttery smooth and if Project Roadrunner has the same impact on Android 4.2 as Project Butter did with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Hopefully Android 4.2 launches onto more devices at launch than Android 4.1 Jelly Bean did, as the rollout was mostly died to Google and ASUS' release of their Nexus 7 tablet.