A preview of Windows 9 will be made available in either September or October, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. That timeline keeps ‘Threshold’ — Windows 9’s codename — out into the public market as a finished product likely in early 2015. The Windows 8 era isn’t merely closing, it’s racing to an end. Last weekend I posited that as Windows… Read More
Considering the most recent leaks involving the Charms Bar, desktop improvements and the like, it’s becoming plain that some of what Windows 8 emphasized will be scaled back in Microsoft’s next Windows build. If Windows 8 was a dramatic lurch towards mobile computing, especially on tablets, Windows 9 appears to be heading for a more equitable balance between desktop muscle, and… Read More
After pleading guilty, former Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo will pay a $100 fine and serve three months in prison for stealing trade secrets. His case picked up wide notice not due to the nature of the crime — trade leaks happen every day — but instead in terms of how he was caught. Kibkalo leaked code to a French blogger, and Microsoft took a look into that account for… Read More
One of the best parts of CES are the devices that companies show off that are more or less conceptual, and may or may not ever even get made. One such gadget is the Toshiba 5-in-1 tablet, notebook, media player, drawing slate, etc. It’s sleek looking in pre-production solid aluminum, and also has a lot of potential as a flexible hybrid with a form factor that’s tailor-made for Windows 8.
According to Net Applications, Windows 8.x crossed the 10% barrier in December of 2013. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ended the year with 6.89% and 3.60% apiece for a combined 10.49% total market share. In the month, Windows 7 picked up 0.88% market share, as Windows XP fell below the 30 percent mark, shedding 2.24% to land at 28.98% in the month. While Windows 8.x’s market share growth is probably still under what Microsoft wants, enterprise adoption of Windows 7 appears strong as the end of Windows XP approaches. Windows 8 gained 0.23% market share in December, an almost surprising figure given the general availability of Windows 8.1, a free upgrade. The latter did pick up 0.96% in the month. It will be interesting to see how Windows 8.x’s growing market share converts into downloads of applications through the Windows Store. Previously, the Windows developer portal provided detailed download numbers. However, this morning I was unable to load the usual set of analytics through the system. Microsoft may have removed the capability. If so, we will not be able to correlate downloads with market share, which will limit our ability to vet Microsoft’s ability to convert new Windows 8.x users to its new application platform. That’s a shame. To wrap 2013, Windows 8.x manages a new threshold as Windows 7 manages to accelerate the end of Windows XP. Not a bad way to start 2014. Top Image Credit: Flickr
Mozilla’s long-delayed Firefox for Windows 8 tablets has finally made its first public appearance outside of the relatively obscure and unstable Nightly development channel. As Mozilla announced today, the chrome-less tablet version of Firefox that runs in Windows 8′s Metro/Modern UI mode is now available in the Aurora release channel. From there, it will slowly make its way to the beta and then stable channel. It’s not expected to arrive in the stable version before late January 2014.
Wacom promised a standalone tablet solution earlier this year, to be revealed this summer, and now they’re revealing not one, but two such devices. The new Cintiq Companion and Companion Hybrid bring Wacom’s pressure-sensitive graphics power to creative pros in standalone devices. There’s more affordable pressure-sensitive fun for iPad users, too, with the Intuos stylus.
Windows 8 is a bet on touch. However Microsoft’s fortunes in the touch wars are unimpressive and perhaps even slipping.
IDC estimated that in 2013, between 17 and 18% of laptops sold would sport a touch screen. It now expects the tally to be lower, with only 10 to 15% of laptops sold in 2013 being touch-capable.