We love this time of the year, not just because of the holidays, but also for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). From January 6-9, 2011, companies will gather in Las Vegas to show off new and upcoming products, some of which will be in the concept stage and may never become an actual shipping product.
Windows 8 isn't one of those concept products, but according to a report in The New York Times, Steve Ballmer may show off Redmond's next generation operating system at CES, at least that's what they're hearing from a "person with knowledge of Microsoft's plans."
According to NYT's various sources, Ballmer and Co. also plan to unveil a slew of tablets built by Samsung, Dell, and several other manufacturing partners. One of the more promising slates is a Samsung device that will include a slide-out keyboard and most likely run Windows 7.
The last few Patch Tuesday’s have been a bit heavier than usual, but December is poised to break the record again with 17 Bulletins being issued addressing 40 separate vulnerabilities. Before you panic however you should know that only two of the vulnerabilities are rated as “critical”, with all but one of the remaining flaws falling into the “important” category. A critical flaw is anything that allows for remote code execution so even one is bad enough, but at least we won’t have to wait too much longer for a fix.
The vulnerabilities are addressing every version of Windows from XP all the way to 7 (including server), as well as all supported versions of Office. A full list of the bulletins can be found on Microsoft TechNet, along with details of a webcast scheduled for Wednesday to address any questions.
Long story short this isn’t a patch Tuesday you would want to skip.
Google yesterday lifted the curtain from its CR-48 Chrome OS netbook (if you want to get your mitts on one, you'll have to apply for the Pilot Program and make a compelling argument of why you're a solid candidate), and may have killed the Caps Lock key in the process.
To the shock and horror of overactive forum posters and hyper Facebook users everywhere, Google got the bright idea to replace the Caps Lock key with a search key, and you know what? WE'RE PLEASED AS PUNCH THEY DID!
While said in jest, the employee's comments ring true, and we wouldn't be heartbroken if all notebook vendors followed suit. If they did, IT WOULD TAKE A TON MORE WORK TO TYPE LIKE THIS, ensuring that if someone feels the need to shout, it will be worth shouting about.
That's not to say there aren't some legitimate uses for the Caps Lock key, and if you're one of the few who rely on it, don't fret. Google says you can easily convert the search key back to a Caps Lock key in the settings menu (Wrench > Settings > System).
Instead, the company has restricted the Intel Atom-based device to Google employees and those accepted into the Chrome OS Pilot Program, implying that the Cr-48 is just a pilot device. According to the internet titan, Chrome OS is still not a finished product and that user feedback is needed to lend finishing touches to the software.
“Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn’t want to sell pre-beta computers. Instead we’re launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. We're starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications,” the Google Chrome team said in a blog post.
The Cr-48 features a 12.1-inch screen, integrated 3G from Verizon, Wi-Fi, and a full-sized keyboard and touch pad. The pilot program will also include 100MB of free data per day for two years, with the option of additional data through paid plans starting at $9.99. The pilot program is currently only restricted to applicants from the United States, but will gradually be expanded to other countries.
According to Taiwanese site Digitimes, the Cr-48 is being manufactured by Inventec, which has already shipped 60,000 units of the device to Google. The first mass market Chrome OS devices will be available in the first half of next year.
Here it is folks, the world's first mobile phone built around Google's Android 2.3 platform, otherwise known as "Gingerbread." It's called the "Nexus S," which Samsung and Google were all to happy to announce today.
"Samsung was thrilled to work with Google to create the first device featuring the much anticipated Android 2.3 OS," said Omar Khan, chief strategy offcer of Samsung Telecommunications America. "Nexus S is powerful proof of Samsung and Google's commitment to bringing technology firsts to market and launching products that utilize the open and innovative Android operating system. Nexus S integrates Samsun's best-in-class hardware and technology with the exciting new features and upgrades of Android 2.3 Gingerbread to give consumers a breakthrough smartphone experience."
In addition to Gingerbread, there's a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor baked inside the Nexus S, along with 16GB of iNAND memory, a 5MP camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED (800x480) touchscreen display.
One of the much ballyhooed features of Android 2.3 is support for Near Field Communication (NFC), with allows users to read information off of everyday objects like stickers and posters that are embedded with NFC chips. Gingerbread also brings to the table an improved keyboard with multi-touch support, Internet calling, and a streamlined interface.
Samsung says you can purchase an unlocked Nexus S online and in-store from Best Buy starting December 16 and at Carphone Warehouse retailers in the U.K. after December 20. No word on price.
Samsung played its cards right by making its Galaxy S smartphone available to all major carriers, something we wish more manufacturers would do. Maybe now they will. According to market research firm Gartner, Samsung is now the top Android smartphone provider in the U.S.
Thanks to the Galaxy S, Samsung was able to capture 32.1 percent of the U.S. Android market in the third quarter of 2010 based on retail sales. That's up 9.2 percent from one quarter ago. The Galaxy S, which is available with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Cellular South, recently surpassed the three million shipment mark.
Perhaps what's most impressive about this is that Samsung's strategy propelled the company past HTC, makers of the first Android smartphone (T-Mobile's G1) as well as a bevy of Android devices since then.
If you answered "iOS and Android," you win the no-prize. We would have also accepted "Apple and Google," or a combination thereof. The point being, Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms are the most sought after systems by mobile phone users, according to a new survey by Nielsen.
The survey results should come as worrisome news to Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry OS is currently in a virtual tie with iOS as the most popular smartphone platform. Of those surveyed, 27.4 percent own a BlackBerry device, compared to 27.9 percent who own an iPhone. Android, meanwhile, claims a 22.7 percent share.
Here's another interesting tidbit. Feature phone owners showed a slightly stronger preference towards upgrading to an Android device over an iPhone (28 percent versus 25 percent, respectively,), while current smartphone owners lean towards an iPhone over Android (35 percent versus 28 percent).
Gender also played a role. Females lean toward wanting an iPhone (30.9 percent) over an Android device (22.8 percent), while males are all about Android (32.6 percent) first, and iPhone second (28.6 percent).
Did you recently purchase a smartphone? If so, which platform did you go with? And if you're planning to upgrade, same question.
What are you thankful for? It’s such a cliché statement, especially given that we’re barely past the brief period of time where we’re all allowed to indulge ourselves in vast quantities of food—leftover or otherwise.
Of course, the Thanksgiving break—if you had one—provides for a perfect time to get some home cleaning done. But I’m not just talking about dusting off your action figure collection. No, of course, all fingers point to your PC. That poor, neglected piece of equipment does nothing but provide for you, day in and day out. It’s become bloated to excess and you, realizing that there’s no time like the present, have decided to wipe it clean and start anew.
So what, pray tell, do you install first? It’s a simple question and, indeed, one with nearly a thousand answers. Look, as far as I’m concerned, you’re still on vacation. Allow me to do the work for you. For I present to you a five-course meal of applications that we should all be thankful for on some level—game-changers that, really, deserve to be installed on any system you touch, period.
If you’ve already heard of them, excellent. You’re just that ahead of the game. If not, consider this your chance to get caught up to all that is awesome in the world of freeware and open-source software.
In 2011, Android will claim more market share than any other mobile OS, including Symbian. You hear that? Symbian will finally fall from its top spot, shoved aside by Google's little green robot. Or at least that's the future DigiTimes research is predicting.
If nothing else, we have to give DigiTimes Research credit for predicting what few, if any, other market research firms have been willing to say. It's not that analysts have been overlooking Android by any stretch of the imagination, but for the all praise, we can't remember another firm predicting the fall of Symbian, at least not so soon.
By the end of 2010, DigiTimes Research sees Android jumping from fifth to second place, while Symbian will fall to 35.5 percent, still enough to claim the No. 1 spot. But in 2011, Android will slip ahead, edging out Symbian with a 29.7 percent share compared to 28 percent. Coming in third will be iOS at 16.7 percent, followed by Blackberry at 14 percent and Windows Phone at 5.1 percent.
Millions of Android users have now had a chance to see what all the fuss is about surrounding Angry Birds, the popular mobile app previously only available via Apple's App Store and Ovi. Since launching in the Android Market, Angry Birds has racked up 7 million downloads on the open source platform, Rovio confirmed in a Twitter post.
If you're an Android user, you have reason to gloat. Angry Birds is a 99 cent app for the iPhone and iPod touch, and $2.99 on the iPad. But on Android, it's free. The reason?
That leaves the Windows Phone 7 platform, but don't get your hopes up for a 2010 release. When asked if it's going to happen, the Twitter-happy company responded, "never say never, but it's highly unlikely."