The Start button and accompanying menu are iconic parts of Windows first introduced in Windows 95 over a decade and a half ago, and it looks as though the run will end with Windows 7. Leaked photos of Microsoft's Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" build show a Super Bar without a Start button, whereas in previous versions it showed up with a flat Metro-style makeover.
Get ready to wave at your PC and welcome the motion control revolution on the desktop, Microsoft just made available the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) version 1.0 for download. After shedding its beta tag, the Kinect for Windows SDK now supports up to four Kinect sensors on a single computer, skeletal tracking, a Near Mode feature that lets the camera recognize objects just 40cm away, improved stability and audio, and API updates and enhancements.
With the Windows 8 Developer Preview having been available for more than four months now, all eyes are on the beta or, as it could end up being called this time, the “consumer preview”. Even though no specific release date has been announced, the beta/consumer preview is scheduled to arrive sometime during February. But what about Windows 8 on ARM? Well, there finally seems to be some good news on that front as well. Hit the jump for more.
If Nokia's upcoming Lumia 900 device proves all that a bag of chocolate covered popcorn, perhaps it will give the Finnish phone maker some much needed momentum going into 2012. Nokia needs the Lumia 900 and subsequent smartphones to be successful. Sales were down 21 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter at Nokia, and its operating profit tipped into the negative side to the tune of 1.07 billion euros, or $1.4 billion.
It's not unusual for a high-end smartphone to command $300 on a subsidized contract, and there are certainly a great number of powerful devices priced at $200. Word on the Web is that Nokia's upcoming Lumia 900 smartphone will run just $100 at AT&T with a two-year service agreement, and if that's true, kudos are in order for both Nokia and AT&T for such an aggressive launch.
Much of the focus on Windows 8 has been centered on the Metro UI and whether or not it will translate well to non-touch devices, like your typical desktop PC or notebook computer. Dig a little underneath the hood, however, and you'll find a nifty nugget in the form of a next generation file system. It's called ReFS (Resilient File System), a newly engineered file system built on the foundations of NTFS.
Here's a bit of good news for all you original Eee Pad Transformer tablet PC owners. Android 4.0, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich, is ready to deploy, all it needs is a green light from Google. Asus North America confirmed as much in a Facebook post in response to a question posed by Transformer owner Michael Sullivan, who like many others can't wait to bite into Google's most delicious Android build to date.
While Microsoft is all about its Windows Phone platform, Google's Android OS is proving a profitable nugget for the Redmond software giant. What some people don't know is that Microsoft collects license fees from several manufacturers who use Android in their products, and in exchange Microsoft agrees not to sue them for infringing on its IP. LG is the newest company to ink an Android license agreement with Microsoft, whose patent portfolio now covers nearly three quarters of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S.
As the saying goes, 'If at first you don't succeed, get your stuff together and roll out another hotfix already, it's 2012!' Maybe the saying doesn't go exactly like that, but it should if you're talking about the combination of Microsoft Windows and AMD's Bulldozer line. After pushing out a Bulldozer-boosting hotfix in mid-December, the Redmond software giant pulled it offline a few days later at the request of AMD, which called the patch "incomplete." Now it's back and it has the full blessing of the Santa Clara chip maker.
Don't try telling Google's Eric Schmidt that his company's open source Android platform suffers from fragmentation. No seriously, don't try telling him. The Google executive made it very clear at CES 2012 that Android suffers no such affliction, chalking up the many different Android models and builds to "differentiation," not fragmentation. Is he just playing with words?