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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:
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.