Microsoft is on the lookout for private beta testers
The lack of tablet-optimized apps has for long been a major source of frustration among Android tablet owners. What’s worse, even Android’s emergence as the overwhelming leader in the tablet market has done little to alleviate this shortcoming, with even some big-name developers refusing to offer tablet-optimized versions of their apps for the platform. Well, Microsoft is willing to help.
Microsoft first offered up its free update to Windows 8.1 (from Windows 8) for the general public back in October of last year, though there are still many users who have been unable to make the leap. If you're one of the unlucky ones pulling your hair out wondering why you can't get the update to install, hang tight, a fix might finally be forthcoming. At long last, Microsoft has released an automatic update that's supposed to solve the Windows 8.1 upgrade issue.
Microsoft is reportedly aiming to win back its core desktop audience with the release of Windows Threshold next year. These are the same users clinging to Windows XP and Windows 7, or perhaps even made the jump to Linux in order to avoid Windows 8/8.1. Microsoft has a chance to atone for the usability mistakes it made in Windows 8/8.1 with Windows 9, and you can expect a whole bunch of new features aimed at desktop users.
After spending all that time putting your system together and strategically routing the cables, it's time to pick an OS. Otherwise, you'll spend long days staring at the BIOS screen -- not so fun. Lucky for you, today's top deal is for Microsoft's Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM for $85 with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: [EMCPDHD97]). Windows 8 caught quite a bit of flack when it first came out, though with the Windows 8.1 release and subseqent updates, it's slowly but surely becoming more friendly for power users.
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Don't hold your breath waiting for a smaller size Surface tablet
Leading up to the launch of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, there were several rumors suggesting the Redmond company was planning to announce a Surface Mini tablet during the press event. Even Microsoft teased such an unveiling by inviting members of the press to a "small gathering" on May 20. Instead, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Mini is still nowhere to be seen. That might not change any time soon.
The next generation of Surface tablets might get a name change to Lumia
After successfully acquiring Nokia's Devices and Services business (basically the company's mobile division) for around $7.2 billion, Microsoft's next task is to figure out how to juggle its different brands. The Redmond outfit might already have it figured out -- word on the web is that Microsoft is planning to market its smartphones as "Nokia by Microsoft" and use the Lumia brand for its tablets.
Following up on yesterday's top deal for a Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB SSD, today's theme is the same, only bigger (as in, more capacious). Sure, we could have mixed it up a little bit, but there are still mechanical hard drives in the wild being used as the primary storage device, and that's causing us to lose sleep at night -- bottleneck nightmares are the worst! Help us sleep better by checking out today's top deal for a Samsung 840 Evo 500GB SSD for $240 with free shipping (normally $250 - use coupon code: [EMCPDHF24]). Using Samsung's 3-core MEX controller, this drive kicks out 540MB/s sequential read and 520MB/s sequential write performance, along with up to 98,000/90,000 IOPS 4KB random read/write.
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The day has finally come that Microsoft released an Android handset. Of course, we knew this day was coming, the wheels of which were set in motion when Microsoft acquired Nokia's mobile division. Still, it's a bit surreal. That said, Microsoft's launch of the Nokia X2 isn't about dominating the Android space with a high-end handset, but about introducing the "next billion" people to the mobile Internet and cloud services.
Big price reductions accompany increases in cloud storage capacity
Microsoft is doing its present and future customers a solid by offering more OneDrive storage space for less money. We're not talking about small increases simply to make headlines, either -- Microsoft today announced that OneDrive will come with 15GB for free, up from 7GB, while all versions of Office 365 will come with 1TB of OneDrive storage. That sound you just heard was the gauntlet being dropped on the competition.
If you're at all concerned about a part going bad in Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 tablet, you may want to consider an extended warranty. The alternative is to try and fix or replace a faulty component yourself, but unlike a traditional laptop, Microsoft's laptop replacement isn't all that easy to service. Straight to the point, the Surface Pro 3 scored a miserable 1 out of 10 in iFixIt's teardown analysis.