Just like you're supposed to do when dealing with the undead, Microsoft aimed for the head when it cut off support for Windows XP last month, the legacy operating system that's proving impossibly difficult to kill. Despite the risk of unpatched vulnerabilities (a pretty big deal) and no more tech support (largely a non-issue for consumers, but important for some businesses), Windows XP is installed on more PCs than Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Vista combined.
After more than 12 years of service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Windows XP by ceasing to support the operating system last week. However, Microsoft did promise to keep doling out updates for its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software, including the version that runs on XP, but in doing so, the Redmond outfit only made things worse. That's because the latest MSE update is causing some XP machines to freeze up and run slow.
Windows Phone 8.1 Preview is available for developers
Wondering if Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant software will live up to the hype? You can find out by downloading the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview, which is now available for third-party developers. This isn't intended for the general public, though if you just can't shake that curiosity and want to be one of the first to try out the new software, you can apply the update without writing apps. Here's what you need to know.
With yet another month's worth of data to digest, it's becoming increasingly clear that Windows 8 might never catch up to Windows 7. How you want to view that is up to you -- it could mean that Microsoft hit it out of the park with Windows 7, making it exceedingly difficult on itself to duplicate that kind of success, or that Windows 8 is a foul ball off of a broken bat. Let's look at some numbers.
Until Microsoft makes a formal announcement, we're still filing the possible release of Windows 8.1 with Bing under "R" for "Rumor," though it's looking more and more likely it's a real product. Following up on various sources claiming last week that Microsoft might offer a free version of Windows 8.1 bundled with Bing, new documentation leaked to the web offers some insight on what to expect from the upcoming OS.
This summer could see the launch of a smartphone running both Windows and Android
Can't decide between Windows Phone or Android? Perhaps soon you won't have to. Mobile phone maker Karbonn Mobiles is said to be fairly close to finishing a dual-OS handset that will run both Android and Windows Phone platforms. Assuming everything goes to plan -- Karbonn Mobiles said it already signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft -- the dual-booting smartphone will launch by June of this year.
Free access to Laplink's PCmover Express as Windows XP's support deadline looms
Every indication up to this point suggests there will be no last second call by the governor to stop the execution of Windows XP, a dead OS walking. Well, sort of. Windows XP will still exist after its support deadline comes and goes next month, but it won't receive any additional security updates or be eligible for technical support. In an attempt to help the holdouts let go of the legacy OS, Microsoft has partnered with Laplink to offer Windows XP users free access to the latter's PCmover Express, a data migration tool.
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).