Microsoft wasn't quite ready to tip its hand with a Windows 8 Release Preview until sometime next week, but ready or not, someone leaked the Chinese version to the Web. With the cat out of the bag, the Windows 8 Release Preview has been making the rounds, giving us more than just a glimpse at what the next build has in store, including an updated boot screen.
As any SSD owner can tell you, fast boot times are a wonderful thing! Except for, well, when they're not. Microsoft's been working hard at reducing the boot times in Windows 8 and to hear them tell it, your home screen pops up so fast that there simply isn't enough time to mash on the trusty ol' F2 or F8 if you need to muck around in the BIOS or enter Safe Mode. Rather than shrugging their shoulders and leaving users to press a key in a 200ms window, Microsoft instead created a new "Boot Options" menu.
Good news if you own an Amaze 4G smartphone from HTC. For those of you who do, HTC just released an update to Android 4.0, the latest and greatest open source mobile operating system from Google more deliciously known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Owners of HTC's Thunderbolt and Desire HD smartphones aren't as lucky, having to wait perhaps until August, or longer, receive an ICS upgrade, according to HTC's newly published Android 4.0 roadmap.
Some head-in-the-clouds philosophical types say time is like a rubber band, stretching out slowly then snapping forward in a burst; the proof to that hypothesis may just lie in the humble Linux kernel. It took Linus and co. a whopping 20 years to finally release Linux 3.0 last July, and less than a year later, Linux 3.4 is already here. The new build brings several new things to the table, with a multitude of Brtfs updates and support for the latest graphics options being the most noticeable changes.
Whenever a new Windows OS rears its head, Microsoft alleviates the concerns of wary would-be PC buyers who may be tempted to put off purchasing a new computer for couple of months by offering them a free upgrade to the soon-to-be-released Windows flavor. That may grind to a halt with Windows 8; several sources say Microsoft will still give recent Windows 7 PC buyers a chance to upgrade, but only if buyers shell out another $14.99.
Tired of the current crop of tablets mostly sporting Android and iOS? If that's the case, mark your calendars for November, because according to reports, that's when Intel-based slates running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system are set to land in retail. Anticipation is running high for next-generation tablets equipped with Microsoft's touch-friendly OS, which could prove game changing in the mobile space.
Mozilla isn't mincing words when it comes to Microsoft's decision to limit or restrict the behavior of non-Internet Explorer browsers in Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 intended for systems with ARM hardware inside. In a semi-angry blog post, Mozilla raged against reports that Internet Explorer will be the only browser allowed to run in the privileged 'Windows Classic' environment, calling the move "an unwelcome return to the digital dark ages where users and developers didn't have browser choices." Ouch.
Do you Ubuntu? If the answer's "Yes," then you probably installed the operating system yourself, using an .iso image and a little keyboard finger-grease. Congratulations! You're the One Percent of the computer world; most users, especially everyday users, would never even attempt to load a Linux variant on a PC. If they want to go truly mainstream, Ubuntu and its Linux brethren need to come preinstalled on OEM-built computers -- and that's why the numbers and news tossed around at yesterday's Ubuntu Developers Summit are so heartening.
Microsoft didn't make many friends by casually mentioning how Windows Media Center wouldn't be included with Windows 8, Redmond's next generation operating system set to debut in a few months. In fact, many were downright outraged at the news, and seeing the sharpened pitchforks and brightly lit torches being waved around cyberspace, Steven Sinofsky set out to clarify things on the Building Windows 8 blog.
Microsoft has high hopes for Windows 8, the Metro-sexual operating system slated to ship around six months from now. The elephant in the room is Windows 8's Metro user interface and whether or not consumers are ready for such a drastic change to what's been a mostly familiar layout up to this point, and it could be taken as encouraging signs (for Microsoft) that its Developer Preview, Consumer Preview, and Release Preview builds have all seen a high number of downloads. If that's the case, why are some PC makers freaking out?