It's no longer a question of whether or not tablets are the next big thing in mobile computing, but which OS will consumers flock to? Rather than take a gamble on Windows 7 or Android, MSI has gone and unveiled a pair of Wind Pad tablets, one each built around both OSes.
On the Windows 7 front, the Wind Pad 100 sports a 10-inch multi-touch screen, Intel Z530 processor (1.66GHz), 2GB of RAM, and a 32GB solid-state drive (SSD). Android users get the Wind Pad 110, which trades the Atom chip for a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 250 setup.
There are some other differences between the two as well. According to reports, the Wind Pad 100 will feature a customized, touch-friendly layer on top of Windows and share some netbook-esque DNA, like HDMI out, a webcam, and two USB ports. The Wind Pad 110, meanwhile, will come with just a single USB port and will include swappable back plates so users can change up the looks.
Look for the Wind Pad 100 to ship by the end of the year for $500. MSI is less clear on when it will ship the Wind Pad 110, which will sell for $400.
Rumors of an ASUS tablet first surfaced during December last year and the Taiwan-based company wasted little time in confirming them. But the internal organs of the Eee Pad still remained a subject of speculation. Today, ASUS put all that speculation to rest when it unveiled the Eee Pad at Computex 2010.
“The ASUS Eee Pad EP121 offers two convenient modes of character input-an embedded virtual keyboard or an innovative hybrid keyboard/docking station design. All of this power is available in a personal computing device that delivers up to 10 hours of usage,” the company announced in a press release.
As for the 10-inch EP101TC, ASUS has opted for Windows Embedded Compact 7 and the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform. Not a lot is known about the EP101TC at this point in time. According to Engadget, ASUS expects the Eee Pad tablets to fit into the $399 to $499 price band. The company also told the popular tech blog that it will only begin shipping the tablet during the first quarter of 2011.
According to market research firm Gartner, about 80 percent of IT organizations turned a blind eye to Vista, opting instead to stick with Windows XP, an eight-and-a-half-year-old operating system. Is it time to make the jump to Windows 7?
In a word, "yes." In a recent survey of 285 IT professionals, Computerworld found that 72 percent of the respondents have plans to migrate to Windows 7, with 70 percent saying they will do so within a year, or are already running Microsoft's latest OS.
Out of all the new features in Windows 7, respondents were most interested in faster bootups and overall performance gains (69 percent). Better device management also ranked high on the list (52 percent), as did compatibility with Windows XP (47 percent).
I have Windows 7 Home Edition 64-bit. When I download pictures from the Internet, I want to save them to a specific folder—let’s call it ABC. I right-click the picture and select Save Picture As. Then Windows Explorer sends me to Libraries\Picture Library. I then navigate to ABC folder and click it, then click Save. I right-click the second picture, but I’m sent back to the pictures library! The save dialog in Windows XP would open right at the last directory I saved photos to, so I didn’t have to click back to the ABC folder every time. Why won’t Windows 7 do the same?
Read the Doctor's answer for Glenn after the jump.
There’s a lot to like in Windows 7. I like the new taskbar best, I like the jump lists, I like that I can set up my own theme with changing wallpapers. I like the Devices and Printers page for its ease of use. I like the Readyboost cache. I like the Monitor Calibration utility. And I really like Microsoft Security Essentials.
But no operating system is perfect. There are things that I would like to see included in the next iteration of Windows. Most of them are easy. Some of them are obvious and it’s puzzling to me why they aren’t already a part of Windows. (And one is probably an impossible pipe dream.)
Be on the lookout for a rogue program masquerading as a piece of software that helps users determine whether or not PCs are compatible with Windows 7, warns security firm BitDefender.
"This actually works because of the interest in Windows 7," said Catalin Cosoi, the head of BitDefender's Online Threats Lab.
BitDefender first discovered the threat on Sunday. At this point, the Trojan is not yet widespread, though BitDefender notes it has been receiving reports of about three installs per hour from its users in the US, Infoworld reports. Like many viruses, this one requires proactive steps on the part of the user, which the malware writers have been able to elicit with the following email:
"Find out if your PC can run Windows 7," the emails read. "This software scans your PC for potential issues with your hardware, devices, and installed programs, and recommends what to do before you upgrade."
Once installed, hackers have free reign over your system, Cosoi warns.
When TechCrunch revealed that HP was killing its Windows 7 Slate shortly after the acquisition of Palm, many came to the logical conclusion that it probably had something to do with WebOS. Officials from HP were pretty tight lipped on the matter considering Steve Ballmer showcased the HP Slate as a poster child for Windows 7 tablet computing, but fans of the device were forced to assume the worst.
The Windows 7 slate might never see the light of day, but if you believe the guys over at the Examiner the HP Hurricane featuring Palm's WebOS could be hitting stores by Q3. If this turns out to be true, it would be no small feat considering that the current x86 architecture of the Windows 7 slate would be incompatible with WebOS which requires an Arm based processor. The result would be a complete hardware redesign over what was shown a few months back.
At the end of the day whether the sources at the Examiner are legitimate or not it seems likely this is the direction HP will pursue in the coming months. Tablet critics seem to agree that mobile OS platforms scaled up stand a far better chance of winning over the masses then desktop OS's scaled down.
We'll have to wait and see what happens, but does anyone out there still think HP will launch a Windows 7 tablet?
This is turning out to be a rough week for Microsoft tablets. First the Courier gets scrapped, leaving many to wonder what might have been of the dual-screen tablet, and now HP is abandoning its much hyped Slate, at least in its current form, according to TechCrunch.
HP hasn't yet made an official announcement, but TechCrunch feels pretty confident its "source who's been briefed on the matter" is right on the money. And really, we half expected something like this anyway. Earlier this week HP announced it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase Palm for $1.2 billion, a deal that brings Palm's webOS into HP's stable. HP was very blunt on where it goes from here, saying it plans on "doubling down on webOS," meaning we could very well be looking at a webOS-based tablet in the near future.
This makes perfect sense if, as TechCrunch's source says, HP isn't satisfied with Windows 7 as a tablet OS. If that's the primary reason, however, then it's a little surprising that HP waited this long to scrap the project. Prior to the cancellation, HP had been focused on drumming up excitement over the Slate, posting teaser video clips and talking about all the things the Slate could do, with a particular emphasis on the features Apple's iPad lacks (like Flash, USB, cameras, and expandable storage).
Windows 7, which was launched on October 22, 2009, has since sold more than 100 million licenses and can now be found on one of every 10 PCs in the world. According to Microsoft, that's enough to qualify as the fastest selling Windows OS in the Redmond company's history.
The rapid adoption of Windows 7 has paid off big time for Microsoft, who earlier this week reported revenues of $14.5 billion for the financial quarter ended March 31. Windows revenue was up 23 percent year-on-year, and according to Microsoft CFO Peter Klein, the OS "continues to be a growth engine."
Helping the new OS gain a foothold into so many PCs is the willingness of IT admins to make the transition. Recent research suggests that nearly half of all IT departments are looking to migrate to Windows 7, which certainly wasn't the case six months after Vista launched.
IT admins who find themselves in a tug-of-war with the bean counters over whether or not to deploy Windows 7 in place of XP have a bit more ammunition today to plead their case. In a new Security Incident Report released this week, Microsoft unsurprisingly lays out some compelling reasons to upgrade.
The Key Findings Summary is of particularly interest. It's here that Redmond's research team points out several benefits, including the fact that in Windows XP, Microsoft vulnerabilities accounted for 55.3 percent of all attacks in the studied same (comparing targets of browser-based exploits). In Windows Vista and Windows 7, however, the proportion of Microsoft vulnerabilities is a lot smaller and accounted for just 24.6 percent of attacks in the studied sample.
Microsoft's report also points out that the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP2 had lower infection rates than any other OS in the second half of 2009, while the 32-bit versions both had infection rates that were less than half of Windows XP with SP3, the most up-to-date service pack currently available.