Best Buy’s CTO and Geek Squad founder, Robert Stephens has just piqued our interest today after tweeting some pics of a Rocketfish tablet. In case you haven't spent any time in the big box electronics chain, Rocketfish is Best Buy's in-house brand for various accessories. But a Best Buy tablet? There are a few things this might be, some of them pretty exciting.
There are a fair number of similarities to the HP Slate, at least superficially. The ports seem to be the same, and the design is similar. So it's possible this tablet is being manufactured by HP. It would be a cunning way for HP to test the markets. They said the HP Slate would be a business only product, but they didn't say anything about a Rocketfish-branded, HP-built tablet. If this device fails, consumers will chalk it up to Best Buy, not HP.
But what OS is this tablet running? The obvious answer is Windows 7, just like the Slate. But HP did acquire Palm for webOS. But would they really debut a webOS tablet under someone else's brand? While webOS is a long shot, Stephens did let it slip a while back the company was working on an Android 2.2 tablet. What's your take on this?
No one's under any impression that Apple's Mac OSX is on the way to beating out Windows in the market share department, but the July market share numbers still have to sting a little bit for Cupertino. The market share of OSX fell for the fourth straight month, landing at 5%. It's not like Apple is hurting for cash, they're selling more devices than ever before, thanks to the iPad and iPhone.
Windows 7 on the other hand, hit a milestone and is now running on more PCs (14.5%) than Windows Vista(14.3%). Microsoft has been talking a big game about their Windows 7 sales level, and this is just more proof. Vista numbers have fallen precipitously since Windows 7 was launched. Interestingly, the operating system stalwart, Windows XP still holds a 61.9% market share. XP has lost 5.9% this year though.
It will be interesting to see if Windows 7 can continue this trend, and if it ever makes a real dent in XP's market share. Also of note, is the continued move of Apple away from OSX, and toward vertically integrated platforms like the iPad. What do you think the future holds?
You hear a lot of doom and gloom stories about Microsoft these days, but the Redmond software giant seems to be doing just fine. In the midst of earnings season, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to announce that they've sold 175 million copies of Windows 7 since its release. This keeps up the convenient rate of about 7 copies per second we heard a few months ago.
The interesting thing about the numbers is that demand is not yet falling off. People are adopting Windows 7 in droves, in many cases moving right from XP. While Microsoft probably isn't thrilled about people skipping Vista, the massive step up to Windows 7 is likely to impress skeptical consumers. One last stat from Microsoft; Windows 7 is now running on 16% of the world's PCs. Not bad.
Are you a Windows 7 user? If you made the jump from XP, let us know what you think about the latest and greatest.
Microsoft’s performance during the fourth quarter not only exceeded the Street’s expectations but also saved some blushes. The Redmond-based company earned $16.04 billion in revenue, a 22% rise compared to the same period last year, and enough to get it past Apple’s quarterly revenue of $15.7 billion. The Street had foreseen Apple bettering Microsoft’s quarterly revenue for the first time ever, but MS had other plans.
Windows 7 continued its stellar performance during the quarter and, along with Office 2010, accounted for a large part of the company’s growth. “We saw strong sales execution across all of our businesses, particularly in the enterprise with Windows 7 and Office 2010,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer.
According to a press release issued by the company, “Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.93 billion, $4.52 billion and $0.51 per share, which represented increases of 49%, 48% and 50%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.”
HP's Windows 7-based Slate is dead and buried, right? That's what we thought too, but if the project is truly dead, HP didn't bury it very deep. Some astute grave diggers over at IDG News dug up what we used to know as the HP Slate and now dubbed "Slate 500."
Perhaps HP just hasn't gotten around to updating its website yet, but if you go here and scroll down, you'll see several HP Slate 500 models about halfway down the page (we counted eight different SKUs). And that isn't the only place the Slate 500 appears. Apparently the thing's been Energy Star certified (see here).
Falling in line with earlier speculation about the hardware, the Windows 7-based Slate 500 is listed as an 8.9-inch tablet sporting an Intel processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 1GB of system memory, and both a front-facing and rear-mounted camera.
We'll update this as we find out more, but if this was a Myth Busters episode, we'd have to label the chances of the Slate 500 and recently announced PalmPad co-existing as "plausible."
A FAQ document on the site clearly states that “Service Pack 1 will be released within the first half of calendar year 2011.” Microsoft has been urging consumers, especially enterprise users, to not delay their upgrade plans until the release of SP1 as it will include “only minor updates.” Microsoft released a public beta of Service Pack 1 last week.
ATI came screaming out of the gate with a competitive lineup of GPU's just in time for the release of DirectX 11, and we now know it's a gamble that seems to have paid off. According to numbers released late last week AMD shipped more than 16 million 5000 series GPU's in the last 9 months, an increase of nearly 87 per cent over the results from the prior year.
Despite the positive sales numbers AMD still posted a net loss of $1.65 billion $43 million in Q2, but with revenues of more than $1.65 billion it shouldn’t take too long to turn this around. "Robust demand for our latest mobile platforms and solid execution drove record second quarter revenue and a healthy gross margin," said Dirk Meyer, AMD President and CEO. "We added Sony as a microprocessor customer and continue to see our existing customers expand their AMD-based platform offerings".
With three new GPU's on the market Nvidia finally has some skin in the game, but this is a far cry from the nearly 12 different offerings from ATI that hit up just about every price point imaginable. Nvidia still controls the lion share of the market, but this is the first sizable dent ATI has managed to put in its competitor.
Given that ATI has almost as many DirectX11 GPU's on the market as Sony has PS3's, we can't help but wonder, where are all the games!
EDITED: To Reflect Proper Sales / Loss Information.
HP has been talking about making all sorts of tablets for delivery later this year, but one by one they seem to be fading away. The newest apparent victim is Android. Sources within the company say that plans for an Android tablet in the fourth quarter have been scrapped. Instead, HP may be directing more effort towards a rumored webOS slate.
HP acquired Palm a few months back, and said they would be “doubling down” on webOS. If there's a place to really make an impact with the Palm technology, it may be tablets. In a few month's time, Android tablets may be a dime a dozen. Making webOS into a viable tablet platform could have long term benefits.
With the lack of definitive news regarding the HP Slate running Windows 7, it looks like HP is trying to narrow their focus. If they're going to keep the iPad from owning the market, that might be a good idea. What OS do you want to see on a tablet? Android, Windows 7, or webOS?
“This study will be two hours long and will take place on the Microsoft Redmond campus with a number of dates and times between Friday, July 16th and Wednesday, July 21,” read the now-deleted Facebook event's description. “In appreciation for your time, each participant will be offered a Microsoft gratuity item. If you are interested, please respond to the questions below to email@example.com with the subject line “iPad.”
The Facebook event surfaced just a day after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced plans to launch tablets and smartphones in the next few months. But why did the company delete the Facebook event? One explanation is that it does not want to come across as being awestruck by the iPad.
The Windows 7 juggernaut has little regard for impediments, but it does have a soft spot for an elderly cognate that refuses to die: Windows XP. Microsoft marked the availability of the public beta for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) by extending the end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP until 2020, even though the previous deadline for their expiry was set at Windows 7 SP1.
End-user downgrade rights let businesses use a prior version of Windows on new machines until they are ready to transition to the latest version. Only OEM copies of Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate include downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista Professional. According to Microsoft, the move is meant to “provide customers and partners with more predictability around the lifecycle of Windows.”
Apparently, its business customers feared that removing end-user rights could lead to confusion. “Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7. Enabling such rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle will make it easier for customers as they plan deployments to Windows 7,” Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a blog post yesterday.