Windows 7 is two months away from becoming the second newest consumer desktop operating system from Microsoft (it already is, if you count the Windows 8 Release to Manufacturing, or RTM), but will it surpass Windows XP in market share before Windows 8 is made generally available to the public? It's going to be a tight race, but it looks like Windows 7 will jump ahead by the end of August.
Microsoft today released its touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system to manufacturers (RTM, or Released to Manufacturing). The release signals a milestone that indicates the software juggernaut has completed product development and exterminated enough bugs to feel confident enough to hand out final code to OEM partners. Companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard can now begin prepping new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, which they'll introduce to the public next month.
The folks responsible for Raspberry Pi have already concocted a delicious, inexpensive recipe for micro-sized computing, but the project is about to get even tastier with the introduction of one more ingredient: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Raspberry Pi's developers are working on porting ICS to its $35 device and have "been making great progress" towards that end.
You may have heard that Valve is hard at work porting its Steam client to the Linux platform, but it's not because the company has developed a sudden affinity towards the open source space. The real reason is because Valve views Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 release as a "catastrophe" in the making for the PC industry at large, or at least that's the viewpoint held by Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director at Valve.
Well, it's official folks. Microsoft is shipping Windows 8 to the general public on October 26, just five days prior to Halloween and just over three years since the launch of Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. The Redmond outfit previously said Windows 8 would release to manufacturers (RTM) in August and to the general public sometime in late October, the latter of which is when customers will be able to buy new hardware with the touch-friendly OS pre-installed, or upgrade existing systems (or build new ones) using off-the-shelf (or downloadable) copies.
Microsoft is once again in hot water with European Union (EU) antitrust officials, this time for failing to fully comply with a 2009 settlement in which the Redmond software company agreed to give customers a choice of which Web browser to use when installing Windows. For the most part, Microsoft had been doing that, except in some instances where PCs shipped to European customers with Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 pre-installed.
The mystery is over! Up until now, we'd had no idea when Windows 8 was actually going to launch, aside from the incredibly vague "second half of 2012." Does that mean now? Or the holiday season? Halloween, perhaps? Now we know: Windows 8 will be hitting store shelves in October. However, that news breaks right as a report digs into the adoption rates of the various Windows 8 Previews and finds them far, far less used than their Windows 7 counterparts.
Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system is receiving the lion's share of attention lately, but lest anyone forget, the Redmond outfit also builds server software, both for the home consumer and business clients. Windows Server 2012 is geared towards the latter, and according to Microsoft, one of the benefits is a "dramatically simplified licensing experience" with just three versions to choose from, plus an edition for OEM vendors.
The folks at iFixIt have a penchant for tearing apart hardware and giving us more than just a passing glimpse at what lies underneath the hood of the latest gear. We always look forward to these teardowns, in part because it means we don't have to risk destroying our own hardware to peek inside. Another reason is because iFixIt has a way of securing tech toys that aren't available to the general public yet, like Google's recently unveiled Nexus 7 tablet.
Are you on the fence about upgrading to Windows 8? The new Metro UI and the lack of Windows Media Center have made many Maximum PC readers vow to stockpile Windows 7 OEM discs in a drawer somewhere. Microsoft's countering the worry with a competitive price point: through January 31st, upgrading from Windows 7, XP or Vista will only cost you $39.99 for a digital download. That's to the fancy-schmancy Windows 8 Pro, to boot -- and you can choose to toss in Windows Media Center for free during installation.