Windows Blue appears to be taking on some serious issues.
Windows display scaling is, and has always been a complete mess. Sure you can bump up the multiplier to make it look half decent if you’re using just one display, but Windows 8 tablet owners are seeing a completely different problem. The next generation of devices are shipping with ultra-high resolution panels that are 10 inches or less in size, but when you try to hook these up to a larger external monitor to get real work done, finding a setting that works with both is a bit of a nightmare. One is always too big, or too small, and you can’t set the scaling separately. Newer laptops are going to run into a similar problem, but the new Windows Blue update may finally be tackling this issue head on.
If Windows 8 is here to stay -- and Microsoft hasn't given us any reason to believe it plans on backpeddaling at this point -- then you might be best served by investing in a touchscreen laptop the next time you're in the market for a notebook. Touchscreens aren't always cheap, but it looks like Acer is planning to aggressively pursue the entry-level market with an 11.6-inch touchscreen laptop that costs just $399.
The long wait for the terribly long-in-the-tooth Xbox 360’s successor is set to end on May 21, when Microsoft says it will finally lift the curtain on its eighth-generation console at a special event. Despite Microsoft’s formal announcement of the Xbox 720 curtain-raiser event, the rumor mill hasn’t stopped buzzing. With Xbox 720 rumors thus far running the gamut from the unlikely to the unreasonable, no one can blame you for thinking that you have heard it all. But have you?
Intel refuses to surrender the lower-end of the market.
Years ago AMD was putting pressure on Intel to continue innovating on the high end, but fast forwarded to 2013 and Intel is the last man standing. The new war is in ultra-low powered chips, and the company is years behind. Intel’s response to ARM was the ATOM series of processors, but they were stuck trying to power a heavy and bloated Microsoft OS, while ARM had custom designed operating systems that extended battery life, and created an entirely new market. This year the two companies are destined to meet in the middle, and it will be a pivotal moment in the history of computing. Intel has announced its plans to compete with the current crop of dirt cheap ARM based devices, and to the winner goes the spoils.
Microsoft just can’t seem to keep a secret these days.
Microsoft has a security problem, and as a website devoted to PC technology we have absolutely no problem with that. Two new leaked builds of Windows 8.1 (Blue) have emerged online, and we've had a chance to check out what’s changed. Experts with inside sources at Microsoft have confirmed that these leaks are still not feature complete, but with a public preview expected sometime in June, we won’t have to wait much longer. So what’s new? Hit the jump to find out.
Microsoft’s re-imagined OS is only half the equation
As has been reported exhaustively by now, Windows 8 can be a very unsettling experience for longtime Windows users. It’s like going to visit your parents and finding dad decked out in drag. The person you’ve known for so long is still there, but a new, unexpected element to his persona has you flummoxed and fumbling for how to behave.
Note: This feature originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
After an initial delay pushed the release of the Asus Taichi 31 Ultrabook back several months in the U.S., we were beginning to wonder if the 13.3-inch SKU would ever see the light of the day. We can all stop twiddling our thumbs as Asus said it has finally begun shipping the dual-display Ultrabook stateside. That's great news if you've been jonesing for a Windows 8 Ultrabook with two 13.3-inch panels.
Fourth successive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines
Global PC shipments hit a new low in the first quarter of 2013, falling 13.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago. This is according to market research firm IDC, which is calling it the steepest year-on-year quarterly decline in PC shipments since it got into this whole business of tracking PC sales.
The Razer Edge sounds fantastic: a Windows 8 tablet, notebook, and portable gaming system in one. But in actual use, the Edge is a letdown.
The Edge starts at $1,000, with the Pro (reviewed here) climbing up to $1,450. That may be pricey for a "tablet," but it comes with a Core i7-3517U, Nvidia GT 640M LE, 8GB of DDR3/1600, and a 256GB SSD. While it’s supposed to be the happy love-child of a portable tablet and a powerful PC, the end result is a compromised monstrosity.
Windows 7 users don't seem to be in a rush to upgrade to Windows 8.
Another month is in the books, and that means we have another opportunity to examine Windows 8's impact on the market. According to Net Market Share, Windows 8's share of the desktop market has slowly crawled to 3.17 percent, up half a percentage point from February and up from a 2.26 percent share in January. What's interesting here is that Windows 7's penetration doesn't seem any worse for wear since Windows 8 debuted five months ago.