Here's what we know so far about Windows 8 pricing. If you want to upgrade from XP, Vista, or Windows 7 to Windows Pro, it will cost $40 up through January 31, 2013, after which time the price will go up. We also know that if you buy (or already purchased) a qualifying Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, a Windows 8 Pro upgrade will run $15. Other than those two promotions, Microsoft hasn't released any official pricing info. What gives?
Samsung has uploaded a video to YouTube showing brief glimpses of a new notebook model the company describes as its "newest Windows-8 ready innovation." The title is "Something Smart is Coming," and other than that, there aren't a whole lot of clues to decipher. Considering that Samsung is hyping this machine as a Windows 8 device, it's probably a safe bet it will ship with a touchscreen to take advantage of Microsoft's next generation operating system.
After 25 years sporting the same logo, Microsoft today decided "now is the perfect time for a change." That's hard to argue with Windows 8 right around the corner, representing one of several major product launches in store for the Redmond outfit. Windows Phone 8, new Xbox services, and another version of Office are also on tap for Microsoft, and for end users, you'll notice a "common look and feel across these products," Microsoft says.
So you bought a new Windows 7 PC on or after June 2, 2012 and you're anxious to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro already, is that right? Well, you might be in the minority on the latter part (see User Experience Expert Pans Windows 8), but if that's your end game, registration is now open for Microsoft's $14.99 upgrade offer to Windows 8 Pro. You can't actually download your copy of Windows 8 Pro until it launches to the general public on October 26, 2012, but you can fill out the form and validate your eligibility.
With all due respect to Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and any other mobile platform not named Android or iOS, you're all just a bunch of also-rans in what's becoming "unquestionably a two-horse race," according to data and analysis by International Data Corporation (IDC). Android and iOS set a new combined smartphone OS record in the second quarter of 2012, with the two platforms feasting on an 85 percent share of the market, leaving just 15 percent in scraps for all others to fight over.
There are a million and one questions surrounding Windows 8. Is the world ready for a touch-friendly operating system? What will the user interface formerly known as Metro and temporarily referred to as "Windows 8 style UI" be called? Will Windows 8 kill the PC industry and drive a stake in the heart of PC gaming as we know it? Is it wrong for a vegetarian to eat animal crackers? That last one has nothing to do with Windows 8, we're just curious. Getting back on topic, there's is one thing we learned about Windows 8 today, and that's what the retail box art will look like.
Valve's Gabe Newell appears to have struck a chord with other game developers in his criticism of Windows 8 as a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." He said Windows 8 will ultimately force some top-tier PC/OEMS out of the market, and not long after he made those comments, one of Blizzard's higher ups voiced his agreement saying Windows 8 is "not awesome" for his company, either. Now that the rally call is out there, game developers are coming out of the woodwork to say that they too are concerned with Microsoft's upcoming OS.
Research In Motion (RIM) has a lot riding on the release of BlackBerry 10, the upcoming mobile operating system that will power a new generation of devices. If all goes to plan, BB10 will thrust RIM back into relevance and save a company that's seen its share of struggles in recent times. More likely, however, BB10 will stand in the shadows of next-gen OSes from Google and Apple, and if that happens, Samsung's best bet is to acquire RIM, according to analysts with investment firm Jeffries.
Valve is forging ahead with plans to port its Steam distribution platform over to Linux and has even managed to tweak Left 4 Dead 2 to run faster on a 32-bit Ubuntu system than on a Windows 7 machine, but as far as John Carmack is concerned, the real challenge will be getting Linux users to open their wallets. Carmack, as you know, is the founder and technical director of id Software, and also an open source advocate. He's also a realist.
It would be silly to sit here and pretend that fragmentation doesn't exist in the Android ecosystem, or that Android 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich) and 4.1.x (Jelly Bean) are going to reverse unify Android devices. Be that as it may, the latest Android builds are making headway, particularly Ice Cream Sandwich, which is now installed on 15.9 percent of all active Android devices.