Steve Ballmer and company have some big decisions to make.
It was bit odd that Microsoft chose not to disclose in its most recent financial report exactly how many Windows 8 licenses it sold, though we now know the number is north of 100 million. Tami Reller, Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, revealed the figure in a Q&A session that was posted on Microsoft's Windows blog, adding that the figure takes into account Windows 8 licenses that ship on new tablet and traditional PCs, as well as upgrades to the touch-friendly OS.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently said that touchscreen PCs could start selling for as little as $200 sometime in the next few months, though it's tough to imagine a Windows 8-based machine carrying such a low price tag. That's because they probably won't. Instead of Windows 8, most of these affordable PCs will be laptop machines built around Google's open source Android platform.
The newest version of Ubuntu promises dramatic graphical performance enhancements.
Canonical's pretty good about keeping its Ubuntu Linux distro up to date with frequent releases, the latest of which is Ubuntu 13.04, otherwise known as Raring Ringtail. Now available to download to desktops and servers, version 13.04 is being billed as the "fastest and most visually polished" build to date. Canonical said it particularly focused its attention on fine tuning performance on lightweight systems as it gets ready to launch Ubuntu to a range of mobile devices.
Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread) is still the most popular version of Android in terms of market share.
Still waiting on your device maker and wireless carrier to dish up Jelly Bean to replace Ice Cream Sandwich on your mobile phone? Hey, it could be worse. You could be stuck on Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread) where 44.1 percent of all Android users reside, or on an even older build (Froyo, Elcair, or Donut), which collectively account another 9.6 percent of the Android camp. Add them together you have nearly 54 percent of the Android userbase rocking a dated version of their OS.
Windows 7 users don't seem to be in a rush to upgrade to Windows 8.
Another month is in the books, and that means we have another opportunity to examine Windows 8's impact on the market. According to Net Market Share, Windows 8's share of the desktop market has slowly crawled to 3.17 percent, up half a percentage point from February and up from a 2.26 percent share in January. What's interesting here is that Windows 7's penetration doesn't seem any worse for wear since Windows 8 debuted five months ago.
Google's Eric Schmidt talked about keeping the search giant's two popular OSes separate from each other.
When Google announced that Android boss Andy Rubin was stepping aside and handing the reins over to Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Chrome and Apps, it was only natural to wonder if, going forward, Android and Chrome would end up merging. Maybe someday they will, but for the time being, Google is adamant that both with remain independent operating systems serving two different markets.
SP1 for Windows 7 delivers critical security updates and improves performance.
For those of you rocking Windows 7 -- likely the majority reading this -- Microsoft wants you running Service Pack 1 (SP1), so beginning today it will roll out automatically on Windows Update, the software giant announced in a blog post. You can avoid SP1 by disabling automatic updates, but unless you have a very specific reason to do so, you might as well upgrade, if you haven't already. SP1 contains several security patches, bug fixes, and performance tweaks to keep Windows 7 operating at peak form.
What will become of Android following a surprise management change?
Andy Rubin, one of the founding fathers of Android, approached Google about the open source mobile operating system back in 2004. Now he's stepping aside as head of the OS he helped to create, handing the reins over to Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Chrome and Apps, Google CEO Larry Page announced in a blog post today. Rubin is off to start a new chapter at Google, while Pichai will likely focus on making Android easier to use.
Price cuts for touchscreen laptops running Windows 8 will reportedly be as high as 20 percent.
If you were planning to rush out and purchase a Windows 8 PC this weekend, you may want to hold off for a bit, or least hang onto your receipt in case the model you're interested in receives a discount after the fact. Price cuts for Windows 8 PCs are en route, though depending on which report you read, Microsoft has already started doling out the savings. Let's have a look.
The number of Linux users on Steam more than doubled last month.
Fearing Microsoft will build a walled garden around Windows 8, Valve co-founder Gabe Newellbeganfocusing Steam development on Linux, and that effort is starting to show up in the real world. To wit, the latest Steam Hardare Survey reveals that Linux usage on Steam has more than doubled in February, jumping from 0.8 percent a month prior to 2.02 percent currently.