The Windows logo has evolved over the years, but has always followed a carefully crafted theme. The Iconic Windows Flag is one of the most recognizable logos of our generation, being printed literally billions of times on the stickers we find plastered to our cases and laptops, as well as the ever so handy start key on just about every keyboard made in the last 10 years. Love it or leave it, everyone knew it, and isn’t that the whole point? Apparently not, as Microsoft has now publically declared their intent to ditch it in favor of something new.
Microsoft first introduced its four-color Windows logo over two decades ago with the launch of Windows 3.0 in May 1990 and it's been waving ever since. It's been altered over the years, with the Redmond software giant adding color gradients, shading, reflections, and other artistry tidbits to maintain a modern flair, but with the launch of Windows 8, the familiar logo might undergo a somewhat radical makeover.
Up until late last week Windows 8 on ARM was a complete mystery. We know the product existed, that it would launch at some point in the future, and it would sport the Metro interface Microsoft has been showing off for almost a year now. The silence on just about everything else had led many to wonder if Microsoft was further behind on the ARM version than they were letting on, but this week they finally opened up the information floodgates. That might sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but 9000 words is a bit more than we were expecting. It makes for an interesting read, but let’s be honest here, most of you just want the CliffsNotes right?
Many have claimed that Microsoft’s Windows on Arm efforts were a direct reaction to the iPad, and while I’m sure that’s the motivation these days, it turns out Microsoft had the idea long before the first Apple tablet ever shipped. In a recent post on the building Windows 8 blog, several Windows on Arm details leaked out, along with a pair of photos showing Windows 7 running on an Asus smartphone. Careful examination of the EXIF data shows the pictures were taken on January 22nd 2010, several months before the iPad was released.
The Start button and accompanying menu are iconic parts of Windows first introduced in Windows 95 over a decade and a half ago, and it looks as though the run will end with Windows 7. Leaked photos of Microsoft's Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" build show a Super Bar without a Start button, whereas in previous versions it showed up with a flat Metro-style makeover.
Get ready to wave at your PC and welcome the motion control revolution on the desktop, Microsoft just made available the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) version 1.0 for download. After shedding its beta tag, the Kinect for Windows SDK now supports up to four Kinect sensors on a single computer, skeletal tracking, a Near Mode feature that lets the camera recognize objects just 40cm away, improved stability and audio, and API updates and enhancements.
Nokia may have just announced a massive quarterly loss due to a precipitous decline in handset sales, but it remains confident of “establishing a beachhead in this war of ecosystems.” The Finnish company is now banking on its Windows Phone lineup to turn things around. But are its plans only limited to the smartphone market, or is it also considering venturing into the increasingly crowded media tablet market?
The Windows operating system is Microsoft's bread and butter and added $4.74 billion to the Redmond software giant's bottom line for its second fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2011. Oddly enough, that number represents a 6 percent drop in sales from the prior period. What's more, Windows sales accounted for just 22.7 percent of Microsoft's overall revenue, the lowest share in more than two years.
While more of a steady smolder than a spectacular blaze when compared to the iPad, the Kindle Fire has shown that consumers are not averse to buying a non-iPad tablet as long as the price is right and the specs not too shabby. Amazon has literally lit up the tablet market, with a number of vendors now taking its lead in releasing affordable Android tablets. All the combustion metaphors aside, this surge in the ranks of decent budget tablets is only going to make the task that much harder for Wintel tablets, especially given Microsoft and Intel’s reluctance to subsidize their products. Everyone wants to know just how the duo would respond. Will the two giants try and enter into a price war with their rivals?
Much of the focus on Windows 8 has been centered on the Metro UI and whether or not it will translate well to non-touch devices, like your typical desktop PC or notebook computer. Dig a little underneath the hood, however, and you'll find a nifty nugget in the form of a next generation file system. It's called ReFS (Resilient File System), a newly engineered file system built on the foundations of NTFS.