In a typically detailed post on the Building Windows 8 blog Monday, the Windows 8 team underlined the advantage of using a Windows Live ID to sign into different Windows devices. According to Katie Frigon, the group program manager of the You-Centered Experience team at MS, doing so will let users have “a truly personal experience that seamlessly bridges their online and offline tasks, is simpler to set up and use, and persists across their set of Windows 8 PCs.” Hit the jump for more.
Despite predictions of doom and gloom, consumers seem to be optimistic about the prospects for Google’s ChromeOS in its current form. The ChromeBooks from Acer and Samsung are selling briskly on Amazon, Cnet reports. The cheapest model, the $349 Wi-Fi only Acer is currently number 4 in the laptop category.
Little brothers are like your own portable punching bag: name calling, insulting and rubbing your smaller sibling's face in the dirt are all typical big brother pastimes. As any bigger brother can tell you, though, it sucks when your little brother gets big enough to fight back and punch you in the eye. The days of us big brother PC-types mocking younger technologies like smartphones and tablets may be coming to an end if a recent report is any indication: more people access Wi-Fi Internet using mobile devices than traditional computers.
Now, stick with us here. We know that as readers of technology blogs, the sun is your natural enemy. But the new Samsung NC215S Solar Netbook can use those sun rays to powers your computer. The downside? You’ll have to go to Russia to buy one.
We’re not living so close to the cutting edge here at Maximum PC that we can’t see the utility of a no-frills, budget portable that’s capable of performing all the common day-to-day computing tasks. Whether it serves as a secondary machine for work on-the-go or as a primary PC for a school-age kid, we get it. It’s the same need that netbooks were meant to fulfill, if only they hadn’t fallen short of the mark. What netbooks taught us is that today’s common computing tasks—which include things like gaming and high-def video playback—require more power than an Atom processor and integrated graphics can muster.
The Samsung Chromebook is up for sale a bit early, but you’re never going to guess where. Google is sending out email invites to select CR-48 users directing them to high-end deal site Gilt for a special pre-sale of the Samsung Series 5 ChromeOS device. The uninvited can use this link to get in on the fun, though. You need a Gilt account, but the price seems pegged at $499.
Both IDC and Gartner have released their third-quarter PC shipment numbers. While their figures may be contrasting, they paint identical pictures of a quarter that saw underwhelming growth in PC shipments. According to IDC, global PC shipments grew 10.5 percent during the quarter, which is 3 percent less than its forecast. But according to Gartner, PC shipments only grew 7.6 percent during the quarter, ending up well below its estimate of 12.7 percent. Analysts blamed poor back-to-school demand for lower-than-expected results. They also feel that the tablet upsurge is bound to eat into the market for secondary PCs.
Sources from Acer told Digitimes that the PC maker is confident of such an approach stimulating demand. It still has a lot of faith in netbooks. Speaking at the press launch of the Aspire One AOD255, Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin cited Gartner's positive sale predictions for netbooks to underpin his confidence in netbooks. Gartner expects global netbook shipments to touch 50 million units by 2014.
Dell has chosen the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco to give us the first glimpse of their upcoming DUO 10-inch convertible tablet computer. The device itself is expected to be packing a dual core Intel Atom N550. It will at least have Windows 7 Home Premium. The real is the way the screen "converts" into a tablet.
Unlike the last round of convertible tablets, there is no swivel hinge on this device. Instead, the screen itself rotates inside the bezel to flip around. The lid can then be closed, and you have a Windows 7 tablet. Dell plans to push a docking station for the computer to plug into when in tablet mode.
The DUO is expected to launch later this year. In the demo, the touchscreen did not look particularly responsive, but this is still a prototype. The DUO's screen does appear to support multitouch input, though. Still, you have to admire the self-control it must have taken to pretend it was just a slate for 5 minutes of the demo in preparation for the big reveal. No pricing information was available. What do you think would be a reasonable price? The internals appear to essentially be that of a netbook, but it does have a few extra tricks.
Tablets might be the talk of the tech industry, but according to market research firm ABI Research, netbooks still rule the roost. Some 60 million netbooks are expected to ship around the globe in 2011, says ABI Research, and by 2013 ABI predicts that number will double.
That's good news for Acer, the biggest netbook player in terms of market share, and one of just six vendors who dominate the netbook market with a 78 percent stake. Asus, meanwhile, has lost some ground, giving up half of its market share in 2009 after running neck-and-neck with Acer in 2008.
"Instead of having a preeminent two, it looks as if only Acer will continue to maintain its commanding lead, but at the same time there are more vendors competing head-to-head," notes principal analyst Jeff Orr. "Most of the other major names -- HP, Dell, Lenovo -- increased their market shares in 2009, while Samsung lost a couple of percentage points."
According to Orr, while netbooks continue to flood the landscape, we can expect to see "consolidation through attrition" as companies which aren't heavily invested in netbooks start to exit the market.