Would you upgraded to Windows 8.1 if Microsoft gave the OS away for free?
There are some interesting things happening in Microsoft's world right now. The company has a new CEO in Satya Nadella, co-founder Bill Gates figures to devote more time as Nadella settles into his new role, and there's an update to Windows 8.1 on the horizon. Depending on what impact that update has on Windows 8.1, some big changes could be in store, including a free version of Windows 8.1 with Bing. Here's the scoop.
It worked for netbooks, can it also work for entry-level laptops?
Regardless of how power users feel about Chromebooks, they're selling, and they're selling well. In fact, a Samsung Chromebook model is the best selling laptop on Amazon, and out of the top 10 most popular notebooks (in terms of sales), Chromebooks account for half. That's certainly not the landscape Microsoft envisioned when it released Windows 8, and to counter the Chromebook movement, the company is reportedly planning to slash Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70 percent.
Redmond finally provides an update on Windows 8 sales
We haven't heard a whole lot from Microsoft in regards to Windows 8 sales, so it was a nice surprise when Redmond's Executive Vice President of Marketing spilled the beans on exactly how many license have been sold to date. According to comments Reller made at a Goldman Sachs technology conference, Microsoft has sold more than 200 million Windows 8 licenses since launching to the public in October 2012 (and to OEMs in August 2012).
A couple of last minute additions to Patch Tuesday address security holes in Windows XP
Today is the second Tuesday of the month, which means it's time to download a collection of security fixes from Microsoft. Otherwise known as Patch Tuesday, today's collection includes seven security bulletins, including two late additions that fill up patch remote code execution holes in Windows XP. These are some of the last updates Windows XP will ever receive, as Microsoft plans to stop supporting the legacy OS on April 8, 2014.
Support for Windows XP will end in less than two months, and if you know of family members or friends who are still running the legacy operating system, Microsoft has some tips. In a recent blog post, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc suggested ways you can help your loved ones rid themselves of Windows XP before support officially ends on April 8, 2014. One of those ways is to upgrade their PCs to Windows 8.1.
An update to Windows 8.1 may roll out in April instead of March
Microsoft is planning to issue an update to Windows 8.1 that will introduce a number of new features and enhancements, such as possibly bypassing the Start screen and booting straight to the desktop environment by default (this hasn't been confirmed), but when it will arrive is still up in the air. Initially planned for a March release, world on the web is that Microsoft is now planning to roll out the Windows 8.1 Update 1 in April.
The newest version of Android is tied with Froyo (Android 2.2) for market share
A quick visit to Google's Developers Dashboard for Android reveals that mobile device makers and wireless carriers alike are dragging their collective feet when it comes to embracing Android 4.4 KitKat. After three months, KitKat has inched its way onto 1.4 percent of all Android devices, barely edging out Android 2.2 Froyo, which claims a 1.3 percent share of the market. Meanwhile, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.x to 4.3) is picking up most of the slack with a 59.1 percent share.
One step closer to the Windows 8/8.1 you always wanted
There's a scene at the end of Stepbrothers where Brennan exclaims, "You guys finally came to your senses and got us something cool!" He was referring to pirate hats, crossbows, illicit magazines, and other swag uncovered in his and Dale's treehouse, but if Microsoft keeps tweaking Windows 8 the way it has been, desktop users far and wide will be shouting the same thing at Redmond. While nothing is set in stone, it's being reported that internal builds of Windows 8.1 Update 1 enable the boot-to-desktop option by default.
There's nothing wrong with owning a Nook, though if you've outgrown the custom OS and want to transform it into a standard Android tablet, you have options, one of them being a Nook-to-Android (N2A) card. Even better, the N2A team just updated its software to Android 4.4 KitKat, which is the latest version of Google's open source mobile operating system currently available.
We have some good news if you've been wanting to experiment with Valve's SteamOS but have been reluctant to install it on a dedicated machine. Valve engineer John Vert has made available to download a new SteamOS beta build that supports dual-booting. The updated SteamOS ISO can be used to install Valve's Linux-based OS on non-UEFI systems, though keep in mind there could be issues with the build.