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The Verge has been the first out of the gate with exclusive pictures of the retail packaging of Microsoft's upcoming, and already leaked OS, Windows 8. Packaging has been shown off for Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro, which will be the only boxed versions of the OS to hit retail shelves.
Microsoft have opted to show off their Windows 8-style UI on the boxes, which looks quite delicious, if I may say so myself. Windows 8 sports a brighter styled package in white, with the Professional version shown off in black. Both are looking very nice indeed.
Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT will be available either on new PCs, and tablets from October 26. Upgrade versions will hit stores, or as a download on the same day. What do you think of the newly-styled Windows 8 boxes?
Windows 8 won't be allowing you to boot to desktop, you'll have to say hello to the 'I'm not Metro' homescreen first
If you were looking forward to booting directly to the desktop in Windows 8, you're going to be sorry, because Microsoft won't be allowing this. This means that users will be totally forced to look at that "Windows 8-style UI", aka Metro, before you can hit that usual desktop screen you're used to.
We don't know if this will effect all users, but right now it looks like it is a possibility. If the move is concrete, we can see just how serious Microsoft are at pushing their new Windows 8-style UI, or Metro, and how its going to effect Microsoft going forward. The Windows 8 Start Screen isn't just a feature that can be ignored, but will be a component of every single system that sports the OS. Maybe it sounds annoying now, but when we're used to it, we could have tiles for temperatures, e-mail, and the like, and we'll totally get over it.
But, Microsoft have also been talking about this type of move since BUILD, with it looking like it's going to be a staple feature of the OS now. The more I think about it, the more it doesn't directly effect me, as I don't fully turn off my PC all that often anyway.
There's no denying that piracy is a huge problem for Microsoft. Just two days after Windows 8 was released to OEMs, the operating system showed up on file sharing sites for download. Microsoft has declined to comment on the leak, but there's little reason to think it was someone other than an employee at an OEM.
This isn't the first example of piracy for Microsoft. Almost every previous product they have released has been pirated to some extent. While they won't be able to get the problem completely stamped out with the changes they are making, it should at least close some loopholes and make it harder for pirates to do what they do best.
The changes relate to how OEMs active Windows on pre-built machines. Windows is activated at the factory so that consumers don't have to take any additional steps when they purchase a computer. Prior activation schemes saw OEMs using a single activation key on all machines so that they could use the same image across them all.
Now, however, OEMs will be required to write a unique code into the BIOS of the machines based upon the hardware configuration. Furthermore, this key isn't generated by the OEM. Instead, it will be delivered by Microsoft via electronic delivery and factories will have to file production reports detailing licensing compliance so they can no longer avoid paying licensing fees.
Windows 8 isn't due out for consumers until October 26, yet it appears a final version has already been leaked out onto the web. Even early access people, those with TechNet, MSDN, and other subscriptions and contracts don't get access until August 15 at minimum, so if this a true version, it had to come from a hardware manufacturer.
"It looks like our first leak has occurred, as Windows 8 Enterprise N has appeared on torrenting sites and has been confirmed by several that it's the real deal," said winbeta.org in a post earlier today. Winbeta.org is a site which follows Windows betas. They throw out a disclaimer: "Remember, we are yet to confirm this as real or fake."
Of course, Microsoft would encourage you not to download a copy for several reasons. One, they have no control over what's contained in the package, so it could be packed full of malware. Two, they'd much rather sell the operating system to you than have you get a copy for free. Microsoft declined to comment on this issue.
This is one thing that really upsets me, in this technologically-driven age we live in, why do tablets and smartphones not feature the ability to include multiple users? I'd love for my iPad to have a 'login screen', where I can select myself and have the iPad set out how I want. Then, if my wife, or a guest wanted to use it, they would use an appropriate account.
But, it looks like this might come to Android first, and I can't be anymore excited. According to a report from Android Police, "miles of code" for multiple user accounts has already been written into the Android source code. Better yet, it looks as if lock screen information, installed applications, running applications, application data, default applications, home screen widgets, accounts, syncing and language settings are already separated for multiple users.
Google supposedly began work on the multiple user account feature more than a year ago, and maybe this will be the selling point of Android 4.2 "Key Lime Pie".
Well, Microsoft is having quite the week, aren't they? First they hit the Release to Manufacturing state for Windows 8, meaning that is is finished and shipped off for mass duplication. Then, just hours ago, we reported that an 'N' version of Windows 8 RTM had hit file sharing sites, and now the company is having to fight off rumors of a possible trademark infringement for the use of the word "Metro" for their user interface in Windows 8, according to a piece over at Ars Technica.
I stumbled over it, and first thought it was a joke, but realised that I was fooling myself. Sources have told Ars that Metro is now dead after the company's Legal and Corporate Affairs team sent out a memo banning the word "Metro". LCA's memo reportedly said that Microsoft had been threatened with legal action for infringing on "Metro" trademarks that are held by German retailer Metro AG.
That didn't take long, did it? The Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8 has leaked. The leaked build is an 'N' build, which means it doesn't include Windows Media Player. Microsoft were forced to make an 'N' version of Windows after a 2004 European Union ruling mandating the company to provide a copy of Windows that didn't include the media player.
This would annoy Microsoft surely, and a lot of other people considering that developers don't even have their paws on the operating system yet. Another thing to consider is that the OS doesn't arrive until October 26, which is still miles away.
We can't link you to the leaked 'N' build of Windows, but if you do end up using it, we would recommend caution.
As another feather in Android's cap, Ice Cream Sandwich has been ported to the pint-sized Raspberry Pi. Where the two foods mix nicely, the actual hardware isn't quite as nice. While Android allows Raspberry Pi to act like a smartphone or tablet, the single 700MHz core and 256MB of RAM aren't quite up to the same snuff as most smartphones or tablets.
As such, there is a bit of lag in some places. However, it is still quite the achievement as they have gotten hardware accelerated video and graphics working as expected. The next step in the process is to get audio on the system working. As of right now, the port is not publicly available, although they plan to release it as soon as two kernels merge.
The video above shows Ice Cream Sandwich on Raspberry Pi. As delicious as that may sound, we're talking about hardware. Considering Raspberry Pi is only $25, the versatility it offers is rather impressive!
So it looks like its not just Valve's Gabe Newell, or Blizzard who are against Microsoft's Windows 8, which just hit RTM, by the way. Minecraft developer Notch is cautious of the shift to the Windows Store, and third-party outlets.
Notch sees any further lockdown of Windows 8 as potentially "very very bad" for indie game developers, and overall competition in the gaming business. It was all during an interview on Reddit, where the Minecraft dev predicted a bright future for indie game developers, as long as there are "open and free" platforms to support their work. Notch says:
If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for Indie games and competition in general. If we can keep open platforms around, there's going to be a lot of very interesting games in ten years, mixed in with the huge AAA games that we all love.
Windows 8 is getting closer and closer to be released and today sees another major milestone for the latest operating system. Today, Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 testing and production has been completed and that the new operating system has been released to manufacturing. This means that OEMs now have access to the OS and can start building PCs with it.
Of course those PCs built won't go on sale quite yet. They will hit the market with the general release of Windows 8, which comes on October 26. Upgrades will be offered for $39.99, or if you have recently purchased a Windows 7 PC, the upgrade will only cost you $14.99. Various audiences will get access to Windows 8 RTM before the rest of us: