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PC maker Hewlett-Packard will continue to sell Windows 7-powered PCs until Microsoft's tentative deadline of October 2014 to stop pre-installs, with options still available to interested consumers and business users. However, many OEMs are focusing more on promoting Windows 8 and 8.1, which provides better sales revenue from the touch-enabled devices.
Microsoft increasingly wants value-added resellers (VARs) and partners to push consumers directly to Windows 8 or 8.1 - but clients still have the option of downgrading from 8/8.1 to 7. However, customers not ready to embrace 8/8.1 are choosing the familiarity and stability of Windows 7, and that trend doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.
Spotify is on a roll lately, where last week the music streaming outfit made music free on the web, and now the company is allowing artists to promote and sell their merchandise through Spotify.
Band t-shirts, posters and all sorts of other merchandise can be sold to Spotify users through the artist's page. Spotify could be doing this to look better in the eyes of music listeners and investors, as it provides artists lower royalty payments. Artists need to sign up to a Topspin account, and link it to their social media accounts, or e-mail Topspin to confirm the account is genuine.
What do you think of buying merchandise through Spotify? Is this something you would do, or are glad you can now do through Spotify? Let us know in the comments below!
The Chinese government has unveiled its own custom software, the China Operating System (COS), which is aimed at competing against Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X. Based off Linux, COS is a government-funded OS co-designed by the Shanghai Liantong Network Communications Technology and the China Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS).
The OS clearly mimics the Linux-based Google Android operating system, which is extremely popular on smartphones and tablets.
Open source software isn't as prevalent in China, where the government wants to have better control of computer software. Other open source initiatives struggled to take off in China because user interface, input methods, application support, and speech recognition haven't been able to keep up with the demands of the country's estimated 564 million Internet users.
(Image: CCTV News)
PC benchmark company Futuremark has rolled out a major update for PCMark 8, PCMark 8 v2.0.191, offering additional tests for image processing, video editing and spreadsheets. The Home, Creative and Work benchmarks have all received important updates, including a feature to allow Professional and Advanced Editions to run older versions of each test, which can be used for comparison purposes.
Futuremark wanted to ensure enterprise environments can also be quickly and accurately scored, along with an addition to boost drive performance analysis.
The Steam version of PCMark 8 will update automatically, while the standalone version requires users to download and install the update.
The download link is available here.
Tonight Adobe announced an exciting new feature for its Photoshop Creative Cloud software. The new 3D Printing feature allows users to create, color, and texture their 3D models and then button them up for 3D printing. Photoshop will also build support structure into the model to ensure everything prints exactly as planned.
As a heavy Photoshop user and avid 3D printing guru, this will definitely be something I try out in the coming weeks. While I think I may still prefer the tested methods of modeling an object and then prepping it for printing using a service such as NetFab, but who knows, Adobe could have just changed the game for experienced Photoshop users who are into 3D printing.
Companies that haven't started migrating from Microsoft Windows XP to a newer operating system are running the risk of missing the XP end of support deadline on April 8. Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) support will no longer be offered as the 12-year-old operating system is not as secure as Windows 7 or Windows 8.
"Businesses may not realize the complexity of migrating to a new OS," said Brad Mendonsa, Clare Computer Solutions CEO, said in a statement. "Because the migration involves detailed planning, creating a budget specific to a company's needs, testing, implementation and training, it's important for companies to begin now."
San Francisco Bay Area IT firm Clare Computer Solutions provides these four reasons to migrate: some industries face legal consequences if they don't upgrade; Windows XP will face significant malware and other security threats; no more XP-compatible hardware is being produced; and businesses will pay a steep financial price trying to keep using an unsupported OS in the workplace.
Realistically, businesses should have started to migrate from XP sometime last year - and there are significant business operation issues if they don't migrate.
Valve pushed an updated version of Steam into the warm hands of gamers across the world yesterday, but most don't realize that this is actually quite a milestone for the world of virtual reality, or VR.
The latest version of Steam allows you to use a VR headset, such as the Oculus Rift, with Steam's Big Picture interface. Big Picture was originally made for the living room, but with a VR headset on, the interface has a curved screen which hovers in front of your viewpoint, where you can see all of it between games.
This is an interesting development, considering Steam Dev Days starts today. Steam Dev Days will see Valve embrace the world of VR, with rumors of the company unveiling its own VR headset. I don't think we'll see that, but more of a close embrace of all companies working on VR, such as Oculus VR. We should also see Oculus VR's Palmer Luckey on-hand at the event, but unfortunately, no press are invited to the event.
Microsoft has announced it has teamed up with web hosting and domain name company, GoDaddy, in a partnership that will see the two companies offering Microsoft's suite of productivity tools to small business customers.
This deal will also include the ability to easily connect users' domain names to Office e-mail services. It will also see the full suite of Microsoft's Office software, including shared calendars, cloud storage and instant messaging. What do you think of this move? Is it a step in the right direction for each company?
We reported about NVIDIA's latest GeForce 332.21 WHQL drivers when they dropped, but in case you've missed out, we've made them today's Download of the Day. The new drivers can be downloaded right here.
The fresh GeForce 332.21 WHQL drivers include updated SLI profiles, the latest beta of GeForce ShadowPlay, and much more. If you are a GeForce owner, you owe it to yourself to grab the latest drivers. For more downloads, check out our new Downloads section.
We're only days away from Valve hosting its Steam Developer Days, but it looks like the maker of Half-Life is set to unleash its VR SDK into the hands of developers around the world.
The company has hinted that VR support is coming for the few VR headsets and controllers on the market, with a Steam-linked software development kit, or SDK. We should see the VR SDK unveiled during Valve's Steam Dev Days which will take place January 15-16 in Seattle, Washington.