Get ready to shell out the cash for the GA release
If you've been using your trusty Windows 8.1 Preview over the last couple of months, Microsoft wants to remind you that it's getting time for you to purchase the full edition. The Preview edition will be ending on January 15th, so you've got just enough time left to purchase a license before your brief look expires.
Microsoft missed the boat by not bolstering Windows cross-platform capabilities
Let’s begin with the most amusing part of the widely derided launch of the Xbox One: At least some of the game demos for the new system were run on a PC using Windows 7 and an Nvidia graphics card. See! Even Microsoft doesn’t use Windows 8 for gaming!
There are signs that suggest consumers are warming up to Microsoft's second generation Surface products. The first sign is the sold out status of every single Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 device at Microsoft's Online store. Every single SKU is out of stock, including Surface 2 in 32GB and 64GB form, and Surface Pro 2 in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB form. Can there really be that much demand?
Microsoft's list of candidates to replace Steve Ballmer just grew by one
Following the announcement that Steve Ballmer was stepping down as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft, the Redmond giant immediately began compiling a list of candidates to take over the reins, and then trimmed it down. Two names that made the cut and are viewed as frontrunners include Stephan Elop (ex-Nokia chief) and Alan Mulally (current Ford chief), though they're not the only two. In fact, the list might even be growing, as Microsoft is said to now be considering Qualcomm's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Steve Mollenkopf as well.
There are at least a couple of different ways you can view parting advice from the not-yet-retired Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. One is that if Steve Ballmer's management tips were truly worth their weight in gold, Microsoft wouldn't find itself in a position of having to restructure its organization and pressure the man in charge to let go of the reins. The other way to look at it is that Ballmer was (and still is, for the time being) in charge of the one of the biggest companies in the world, and though there have been some missteps -- especially towards the end -- he's managed several impressive accomplishments along the way, such as increasing Microsoft's revenue from $25 billion to $70 billion.
Everything is rosy in Redmond today. In one of Steve Ballmer's last stands before handing the reigns to someone else, a European court ruled against claims made by Cisco that Microsoft's $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype would amount to an anti-competitive advantage. With the decision, Microsoft is free to continue marketing Skype's video calls to consumers and businesses without making concessions to Cisco or other competitors.
Microsoft last week made it be known that system retailers would not be allowed to sell Windows 7 PCs past October 2014. The deadline is known as the "End of sales" date, which refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or OEMs, as well as the last day partners are allowed to peddle the OS. After listing October 30, 2014 as the end of sales date for Windows 7, Microsoft pulled a 180 and is now leaving it up in the air.
Eight companies collaborate on an open letter to Washington
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, Aol, and LinkedIn have teamed up to call for global government surveillance reform. Rival companies and services are working together to put pressure on Washington to start the path towards reforming government surveillance and maintaining individual privacy.
The Start menu is coming, the Start menu is coming! Feel free to run up and down the aisles of your office building shouting the news at the top of your lungs. Act crazy enough and you may not have a job tomorrow, but at least you can look forward to the return of a feature in Windows 8/8.1 that should never have been left out in the first place. Oh, and to be clear, don't confuse the Start menu with the Start button, the latter of which made its triumphant return in Windows 8.1, but without the all-important menu (thanks for the half-assed concession, Microsoft).
If you've been sitting pretty with a Windows 8.1 Preview license and have intentions of sticking with it for any length of time, you may want to add a retail copy to your holiday wish list and start dropping hints for your friends and family. Microsoft posted a reminder on its TechNet blog giving users a heads up that the Windows 8.1 Preview license will expire sometime in January 2014, though the Redmond software giant didn't specify an exact date.