If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That's the motto Microsoft followed with its Surface strategy, which initially failed to win over customers and led to a $900 million charge on unsold inventory. Oh, but what a difference a couple of quarters can make. Microsoft's Surface revenue more than doubled sequentially to $893 million en route to the Redmond giant posting record revenue of $24.52 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2013.
Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's second largest PC maker by volume, is giving potential customers the ability to configure systems with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The OEM is advertising that Windows 7 is "back by popular demand," and as a bonus, customers can save up to $150 instantly. Based on the available systems, that's a savings of anywhere from 13 percent to 20 percent off the normal price.
New firmware update released after previous patch pulled
After keeping users in the dark for quite some time, Microsoft has finally issued the long-awaited Surface Pro 2 update that will address the problems created during a December firmware release. You may remember our coverage as users continued to clamor for a date by which they could receive the update, and now it's finally here.
It's been a long time coming, but effective April 8, 2014, Microsoft will finally drop support for Windows XP. What that means is no more security patches , nor will you be able to receive tech support from Microsoft for any issues that arise on Windows XP systems. Initially, Microsoft also planned to pull the plug on its free Security Essentials software for XP by ceasing to offer it as a download and cutting off definition updates, but that's no longer the case.
Microsoft hopes new branding will help distance itself from Windows 8 criticisms
There will be an update to Windows 8.1 sometime later this year, which isn't surprising because Microsoft never stops working on Windows. Beyond that, however, Microsoft is reportedly gearing up to announce Windows 9 during its Build 2014 developer conference in April. Should things go plan, Windows 9, or "Threshold" if you prefer to use the codename, will launch to consumers a year later.
Windows 8/8.1 finally tops 10 percent market share
For the first time in what feels like a hundred thousand years (slight exaggeration), Windows XP's share of the desktop operating system dipped below 30 percent according to data provided by NetMarketShare, and below 20 percent if you prefer the numbers tallied by StatCounter. Regardless of which one is more accurate, what's clear is that Windows XP users are abandoning ship at an increasingly brisk pace.
Earlier this month, Microsoft took a flawed Surface Pro 2 firmware update down after issues were found that drained tablet battery life and affects users' ability to utilize sleep mode. After making the update unavailable, Microsoft informed users that it would be re-relasing the firmware update "after the holidays."
New features include New Stories and 320 snap view
Windows 8.1 users who spend a lot of time on Facebook will be delighted to find the social networking app has been updated with a slew of additional features. Given the fact that Windows apps often go ahead and complete updates in the background, these new features may come as a surprise to some users, but for the unenlightened, we'll outline what you can expect the next time you get the urge to look at photos of babies and cats. That's what Facebook is now, right?
Rockstar Consortium under fire after targeting Android
Google has decided that enough is enough. The company has filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Consortium—a patent group backed by many of Google’s biggest competitors—claiming that the group’s patent campaign is unfairly targeting Google and its Android partners.
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 is widely considered the worst video game of all time, and legend has it that it was so bad, millions of unsold copies ended up being buried in a small town in New Mexico. Whether or not that's true, Microsoft Studios aims to find out in the first episode of a new documentary series that will debut exclusively on Xbox in 2014, the company announced in a blog post.