Puget Systems says PC buyers are "reluctant" to step up to Windows 8.
Depending on where you look, Windows 8 is either off to a scorching fast start or it flopped out of the gate with little interest from consumers. There doesn't appear to be much middle ground. Obviously, Microsoft is promoting the former, claiming it sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the first month. Yet companies like Asus are saying that the demand for Windows is "not that good," while PC OEMs in general are refusing to take the blame for soft sales. What's the real story? To help answer that question, Puget Systems posted some interesting data and thoughts about its own Windows 8 versus Windows 7 sales figures.
Give Dell credit for wading into open source waters with "Project Sputnik," a pilot program to build a developer solution based on Ubuntu 12.04LTS. After six months of exploration and feedback from testers, Project Sputnik has now landed and is renamed Dell XPS 13 Laptop, Developer Edition. It's a thin and light 13.3-inch Ultrabook powered by Intel's Core i7 3517U processor and driven by Ubuntu, though you could potentially end up paying more versus a similarly spec'd Windows 7 model (with slower processor) or Windows 8 model (with half the storage space). Let's look at the hardware.
It's been a month since Windows 8 launched to the public, and in that time, Asus hasn't been particularly impressed with the demand for the touch-friendly OS and devices that are built around it. That evaluation comes as Microsoft announces it sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses during the first month, though there's some conflicting data on exactly how well the OS has been able to penetrate the desktop market.
Noted Windows blogger Paul Thurrott recently claimed that initial Windows 8 sales were well below Microsoft’s internal projections, prompting many to write obituaries for the operating system. Despite there being every chance of the report being accurate, there is nothing to suggest that Microsoft won’t be able to sell hundreds of millions of Windows 8 copies, like it has done on so many occasions in the past with previous iterations of the OS. So in that spirit, let’s forget the poor critical response or the tepid popular reaction to Windows 8 for a moment and focus on the numbers.
Imagine if a car thief walked into a dealership and was handed the keys to a new automobile, no questions asked. That would be too easy, right? Well, that's essentially what Microsoft did with Windows 8 Pro when users went to claim their free copy of the Windows Media Center upgrade. One of the unintentional side effects of applying the upgrade is that it permanently activates Windows 8, Venture Beat reports.
Back in September, Microsoft program manager Daniel Moth indicated during a Q&A session on MSDN that DirectX 11.1 was going to be exclusive to Windows 8, shunning Windows 7 users the same way DirectX 11 initially shunned pre-Windows 7 OSes (it was later made available to Vista and Windows Server 2008). If you were hoping Microsoft would have a similar change of heart and bring DX11.1 to Windows 7, you're in luck.
Linux fans are free to do the open-source shimmy today in celebration of Valve announcing the launch of a limited access Steam for Linux beta. Valve invited experienced Linux users to sign up for the closed beta in October and claims to have received over 60,000 responses in the first week alone. The first round of beta participants has already been selected, though more gamers will be added throughout the course of the beta, Valve says.
Windows 8 is here, and of course Microsoft wants you and everyone you know to upgrade to its newest operating system. Heck, Microsoft's even taken some of the sting out of upgrading by putting in place several promotions, such as offering Media Center as a free download to Windows 8 Pro users until January 31, 2013. But hey, if you're of the opinion that Microsoft will have to pry the Start menu from your cold, dead installation of Windows 7, then more power to you. Just be aware that you aren't likely to see a second Service Pack, so for all intents and purposes, what you currently see with Windows 7 is what you get.
Croteam CTO Alen Ladavac is the latest game developer to lash out against Windows 8, and he did so by posting a rather lengthy message on Steam's forum. Ladavac was commenting in a thread dedicated to a new Serious Sam 3 patch, and he sort of went off on a tangent, complaining about the tiled interface in Windows 8, the certification process, and age restrictions that have prevented titles like Dishonored and Skyrim from appearing in the Windows Store.
It's no secret that Google's open source Android platform is the popular kid on the block, but even Google may not have envisioned a time when its mobile OS would account for 75 percent of all smartphones. Yet here we are, with Android installed on three out every four smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012, according to data by International Data Corporation (IDC).