We are not too far away from finding out the fate of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update, which is being seen as a great opportunity for the company to redeem itself — especially by those who don’t have greater expectations from Ballmer's departure. The word on the street is that Redmond has already released Windows 8.1 to manufacturing and the update is on track for a general release in October.
Windows ME and Windows Vista are arguably the two most forgettable versions of Windows ever to be released. That's not just public opinion, at least as it pertains to the latter, which happens to be Steve Ballmer's biggest regret during his time served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft. Now that he's announced his impending retirement, he can talk a bit more candidly about his track record.
Microsoft has certainly had better Patch Tuesdays than the one that occurred last week. Throughout the week, the Redmond software giant has been pulling faulty security updates and re-issuing patches, and assuming it's all sorted out now, the total number of bad updates comes to six. They include KB 2876063, KB 2859537, KB 2843872, KB 2843638, KB 2843639, and KB 286846.
Larry Ellison, head of Oracle, doesn't see eye to eye with Larry Page, head of Google
There remains some bad blood between two very wealthy Larrys, one of which is the CEO and co-founder of Oracle (Larry Ellison) and the other Google's chief and co-founder (Larry Page). The two companies are gearing up for trial in a U.S. appeals court over a lawsuit surrounding Google's Android operating system and Oracle's Java platform, and from Ellison's vantage point, what Google did with Android was downright "evil."
A preview version of Windows 8.1 has been available since June, and if all goes to plan, word on the web is that the final release will roll into town in October. That's when the general public will be able to nab the download via Windows Update. Prior to that, OEM system builders will receive the update as early as this month, and it's possible some Windows 8.1 machines will show up in retail in September.
Build 9471 leak comes just a few days before RTM (release to manufacturing)
One of the many criticisms of Windows 8 is that it has a steep learning curve, which is ironic as Microsoft has also been accused of unnecessarily dumbing down its operating system by saddling it with a touch-friendly layer of tiles and apps. The upcoming Windows 8.1 update will thankfully address both issues. While we have already witnessed the ability to skip the Start Screen and boot straight to desktop in earlier builds, a new leaked build contains something that is meant to help first-time users acclimatize themselves to the Windows 8 interface a lot faster.
Apple's iPad used to own the tablet market, and perhaps by some counts, it still does. The number crunchers at Strategy Analytics, however, have Android sitting on top, and by a pretty wide margin to boot. According to Strategy Analytics, Android secured a 67 percent global share of the tablet market in the first quarter of 2013, a quarter which overall tablet shipments reached 57.1 million units.
Despite all the flak that Microsoft has drawn in recent times over Windows 8, its strategy of pursuing design continuity across traditional PCs and smart devices has won it a few admirers as well — some of them from unlikely quarters.
Free antivirus software closes the door on open-source support
We somehow missed this one when it was first announced, but Avira, makers of the popular free antivirus software named after itself, is discontinuing AV solutions for Linux systems on June 30, 2016. Products to be discontinued include Avira AntiVir Professional Linux, Avira Server Security Linux, and Avira Free Antivirus Linux. Avira Endpoint Security and Avira Business Security Suite will both still be offered indefinitely, though without Linux support.
There's no use twiddling your thumbs, biting your fingernails, or engaging in other habits you might have while anxiously waiting for a product release. Yes, Windows 8.1 is coming, but you probably won't see the final version before the end of summer, so go ahead and venture outside to catch some sunshine. According to Windows Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Tami Reller, Microsoft will finalize Windows 8.1 in August, at which time it will be made available to PC makers.