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!
Valve recently made its Debian Linux-based SteamOS available to download free of charge in beta form and though it's only been available for a short time, there are already some benchmarks to digest. The benchmarks come courtesy of the folks at Phoronix who tested more than half a dozen Nvidia graphics cards ranging from the GeForce GTX 550 Ti on up the GeForce GTX 780 Ti.
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.
There wasn't a ton of movement in Windows market share last month, but what little there was, Microsoft has reason to be both encouraged and perplexed. Starting with the former, Microsoft can feel somewhat encouraged that Windows 8 continues to gain ground, at least if you factor in Windows 8.1. By itself, Windows 8 dropped from 7.53 percent in October to 6.66 percent in November, but once you throw Windows 8.1's 2.64 percent share into the mix, the tally comes to 9.3 percent.
Jelly Bean rises to prominence as KitKat comes into view
Few Android users like to acknowledge that dirty little "F" word that's followed Android almost since the beginning. We're talking about "fragmentation," or the fact that Android devices far and wide run a variety of versions of Android. Fragmentation still exists in the Android ecosystem, but it's not nearly as bad as it once was. In fact, over half of all Android devices are now running Jelly Bean.
Windows XP is still the second most popular OS in the world
Microsoft plans to finally cut off support for Windows XP in April 2014. There are no more reprieves in sight, nor are there likely to be any for an operating system that was made available to the general public around this time 12 years ago. That's an absolute eternity in technology years, but Windows XP remains such a well liked OS that it's still holding its own as the second most installed OS in the world.
Try Windows 8.1 for 90 days and you may find you actually like it (or not)
It takes some time to get used to the new interface introduced in Windows 8. After all, it represents the most drastic change to Windows since XP and there's an obvious bias towards touch computing. However, underneath the surface are some nice security and performance tweaks, and with the launch of Windows 8.1, it's an even better experience than before. Is it for you? If you'd like to find out without investing your hard earned money, just give it an extended test drive.
If you already own a copy of Windows 8, this is the day you may have been waiting for. Effective immediately, Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update is available to download and install for free, provided you already own a copy of Windows 8 (you should see a notification in the Windows Store). If not, you can pre-order the full version of Windows 8.1 for $120 from the Microsoft Store, which will begin shipping out tomorrow.
We missed this one when it was first announced, but in case you're wondering, Microsoft has stated that it plans to support Windows 8.1 up until January 10, 2023. Mainstream support will cease a little sooner, expiring on January 9, 2018, after which time the "Extended Support" phase kicks in. What's the difference between Mainstream Support and Extended Support? Here's what you need to know.