The Windows 8 app store in the consumer preview has been somewhat lackluster in terms of quality, but this can be easily explained. The beta version of Windows 8 still doesn’t allow developers to charge for metro applications, which means the most polished offerings likely won’t surface until release on October 26th (pun somewhat intended). We have to admit we’ve been a bit curious as to how Microsoft will handle transactions in the Windows 8 store, and in a recent blog post, the Redmond based software giant finally released a detailed breakdown of what to expect.
Intel has launched a new generation of processors, PC markers have released a slew of new machines, and yet nobody is buying them. New data from Gartner and IDC are suggesting that OEM’s continue to struggle in the second quarter to sell new machines, even though refreshed designs traditionally help kick start sales. PC makers shipped around 87.1 million PCs this quarter, which when compared to last year’s 87.2 million represents a concerning trend for investors who expect constant growth. Both analyst firms have been on the hunt for a reason why, and seem to agree that consumers are waiting for….. Windows 8?
In the past using a pre-release version of a Microsoft OS was a one way ticket to nowhere. Sure you got a chance to test out the latest and greatest version of Windows months before it launched, but the final version typically involved doing a clean install, wiping out all your data in the process. To make matters worse, if you were buying the “upgrade edition”, this sometimes also involved re-installing the older version before moving to the final release. Most of us assumed this would still be the case with Windows 8; we were wrong.
Some head-in-the-clouds philosophical types say time is like a rubber band, stretching out slowly then snapping forward in a burst; the proof to that hypothesis may just lie in the humble Linux kernel. It took Linus and co. a whopping 20 years to finally release Linux 3.0 last July, and less than a year later, Linux 3.4 is already here. The new build brings several new things to the table, with a multitude of Brtfs updates and support for the latest graphics options being the most noticeable changes.
Microsoft has made some huge changes to its desktop UI in Windows 8, however it looks like they aren’t done yet. The Aero Glass UI first introduced in Windows Vista brought us translucent window borders, rounded corners, and an interface that was designed to blend into the background. These effects remained in the consumer preview, and will appear again in the release preview, however Microsoft today confirmed they would be axed from the final shipping version.
Do you Ubuntu? If the answer's "Yes," then you probably installed the operating system yourself, using an .iso image and a little keyboard finger-grease. Congratulations! You're the One Percent of the computer world; most users, especially everyday users, would never even attempt to load a Linux variant on a PC. If they want to go truly mainstream, Ubuntu and its Linux brethren need to come preinstalled on OEM-built computers -- and that's why the numbers and news tossed around at yesterday's Ubuntu Developers Summit are so heartening.
If you're a Ubuntu Linux user, there's a new entry on your to-do list for today: downloading Ubuntu 12.04 (aka "Precise Pangolin"), the just-dropped long-term support release for the operating system. That means it gets five full years of bug fixes and updates, and it brings a host of improvements and fresh features to the OS -- including upgrades to its divisive Unity interface.
In case you haven't heard, Windows 8 is coming. To be a little bit more specific, most analysts think it's coming later this year -- sometime in the fall, actually. Now we've got something more than vague speculation to back that up. Reporters from Bloomberg talked to anonymous "people with knowledge of the schedule" who claim that Windows 8 is on pace to be wrapped up this summer and launched in October, complete with a lineup of both ARM- and x86-based devices.
It was almost a month ago that Mozilla announced it would be working on a Metro version of Firefox, however an important question remained. Would Metro Firefox be little more than a live tile that was more of a pain than it was worth? Or would Microsoft allow them to take over default access for opening links and other non-sandbox friendly operations? We finally have an answer, and even though it is still somewhat vague, it looks like Microsoft is going to great lengths to make sure users can replace Internet Explorer in metro should they feel so inclined.
The Windows logo has evolved over the years, but has always followed a carefully crafted theme. The Iconic Windows Flag is one of the most recognizable logos of our generation, being printed literally billions of times on the stickers we find plastered to our cases and laptops, as well as the ever so handy start key on just about every keyboard made in the last 10 years. Love it or leave it, everyone knew it, and isn’t that the whole point? Apparently not, as Microsoft has now publically declared their intent to ditch it in favor of something new.