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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:
GNU founder and PC-rights campaigner, Richard Stallman, has stepped forward and said that Valve's decision to sell DRM-based games on Linux is "unethical". Valve's digital distribution service, Steam, was announced it was making its way to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, with the first game out of the Linux-branded gate being Left 4 Dead 2.
The move has been seen much more positively from the Linux community, which is mostly ignored by major commercial software developers. Most people see the move as a turning point toward making Linux more popular, but Stallman disagrees and says that closed source games are "unethical because they deny freedom to its users". Stallman added:
Any GNU/Linux distro that comes with software to offer these games will teach users that the point is not freedom. Nonfree software in GNU/Linux distros already works against the goal of freedom. Adding these games to a distro would augment that effect.
Hot on the heels of Valve's founder, Gabe Newell, and his comments on Windows 8 being a "catastrophe", we have Blizzard's Executive Vice President of Game Design, Rob Pardo, sharing a similar feeling on the upcoming OS from Microsoft.
Pardo took to Twitter to call Windows 8 "not awesome for Blizzard either", but this is another PC-centric game developer who doesn't seem to like Windows 8. Both Newell and Pardo haven't gone into detail of what exactly they don't like about the OS, but maybe its the new direction Microsoft are taking? Could it be that the company is trying to compete with Apple, and not really push the OS design, or introduce any new ground-breaking features?
We knew that Samsung's quad-core smartphone, the Galaxy S III would receive some love from Google in the way of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but its predecessor, the Galaxy S II had not been on a confirmed list to receive JB.
But, according to Sammobile.com, Samsung are prepped to announce the upgrade for both Galaxy smartphones sometime in August or September. Apparently, initial testing on the S II has been fine, with a strong chance that the South Korean company could release the Android 4.1 update, as long as it passes testing.
The site also suggests that the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 would also receive Jelly Bean updates. Samsung haven't officially confirmed any of this, so this gets stamped with a "RumorTT" stamp for now.
During videogame conference Casual Connect in Seattle, Valve boss Gabe Newell branded Windows 8 as "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space". He added that in the fallout from Windows 8 "we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people."
Newell adds that one of the last remaining things keeping people from trying Linux was the lack of games, but with the company bringing both Steam, and Left 4 Dead 2 to the platform, it could be the start of a new direction for the PC. Newell describes it as "a hedging strategy" and if his predictions of Windows 8 are correct, he says "it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality".
But, you've got to remember, Valve makes money from every sale on their digital distribution platform, Steam. Windows 8 sports a built-in Windows Store, which would challenge Valve's revenue source, maybe not in a direct way, but it will still be competition. But, Microsoft's Windows Store is more closed, and controlled, compared to Valve's Steam platform.
Today, Apple has released the latest version of its Mac OSX operating system in the form of Mountain Lion. This is the ninth major release of the OSX operating system. The latest operating system is available as an upgrade from the Mac App Store for just $19.99.
Droid Life is reporting that the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi will soon receive its Jelly Bean update, and will arrive as Android 4.1.1 Build JRO03H. This build is slightly newer than what is on the Nexus 7.
The Nexus 7 has been updated to build JRO03D, but this new build is slighter newer, but what is included shouldn't be much different to the Nexus 7's updated JB.
But, the XOOM receiving Jelly Bean would make it the first 10-inch tablet to receive the OS, meaning we get to see what the "full tablet experience" of Jelly Bean will feel like compared to the Nexus 7's 7-inch screen size. The update has been delayed for the XOOM Wi-Fi, and should hopefully be out any day now.
Intel has confirmed that they are working with Google in order to support newer versions of their mobile OS, Android, including the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on smart devices that are powered by Intel Atom processors.
Intel didn't unveil a time frame for when the Jelly Bean port would be complete, or when the OS would be deployed on Atom-powered products, but we should see current devices get updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich first. Currently, Intel's presence in the mobile market is not that big of a deal, compared to their x86 processors for desktops and laptops, where they are the undeniable king.
Intel is continuing to push forward with plans to break into the mobile market, where earlier this year we saw the company release the first Intel-based smartphone for the consumer market, the Lava Xolo 9000, in India. After that, we saw the release of an Orange-branded Intel-powered handset launched in the UK and another from Lenovo in China.
During Apple's earnings press release earlier today, the Cupertino-based company announced that OS X Mountain Lion would officially launch tomorrow, July 25. Apple CEO Tim Cook said:
We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we've got in the pipeline.
OS X Mountain Lion will be priced quite well, at just $19.99 and will be made available through the Mac App Store. I would love to install it and see what it's like, but my 2011 edition MacBook Pro died a few days ago, and I'm still in the mourning stage.
As Windows 8 edges closer to release, we're seeing more and more new things leak out. Win Unleaked recently released some new screenshots of the freshest build of Windows 8, RTM build (8518).
It looks as though Windows 8 is taking on more of a square look, and ditching the curved window borders, Start menu and taskbar from the last two iterations of Windows (7 and Vista). First up, we have the original Windows 7 look pictured above, and the Windows 8 look, below:
It's not a big change from Windows 7, but it does look better in my opinion.