Despite all the flak that Microsoft has drawn in recent times over Windows 8, its strategy of pursuing design continuity across traditional PCs and smart devices has won it a few admirers as well — some of them from unlikely quarters.
Giveaway at ISTE 2013 will be followed by discount offer during the back-to-school season
After giving them away to TechED attendees for just $99 a pop, Microsoft is now getting ready to sell the Surface RT to K12 and higher education institutions at a slightly higher, yet pretty “aggressive”, price of $199. Given all the reports of a large unsold inventory and recent murmurs about a Qualcomm-powered version, it seems as if Microsoft is trying to get rid of all those unsold Surface RT tablets in a jiffy.
The demise of the PC as you know it is often talked about, or at least alluded to, but just because tablets are uber popular doesn't mean there isn't room for old and new style PCs in the market. According the latest forecast by Canalys, traditional and tablet PC sales combined in 2013 will total 493.1 million units, up from 459.6 million 2012. By 2017, that number will jump to 713.8 million.
There's no need to wear a helmet when you walk down the Windows RT tablet aisle at your local Best Buy or Microsoft retail location, it's not as though the ARM-based devices are jumping off of store shelves. Might that change sometime in the future? Adding to the value proposition of owning a Windows RT slate and in an effort to boost demand, Microsoft announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be available on such devices as part of the free Windows 8.1 update that's coming later this year.
Free-to-play games proving popular on mobile devices.
Mobile gaming is already popular, but if new data from Juniper Research proves accurate, the number of game app downloads will steadily rise to more than 64.1 billion over the next four years. That would mark a greater than three-fold increase over the 21 billion game downloads that occurred in 2012, and it's thanks to a combination of free-to-play games, more capable devices, and a growing number of smartphones around the world.
Intel refuses to surrender the lower-end of the market.
Years ago AMD was putting pressure on Intel to continue innovating on the high end, but fast forwarded to 2013 and Intel is the last man standing. The new war is in ultra-low powered chips, and the company is years behind. Intel’s response to ARM was the ATOM series of processors, but they were stuck trying to power a heavy and bloated Microsoft OS, while ARM had custom designed operating systems that extended battery life, and created an entirely new market. This year the two companies are destined to meet in the middle, and it will be a pivotal moment in the history of computing. Intel has announced its plans to compete with the current crop of dirt cheap ARM based devices, and to the winner goes the spoils.
Blames ‘uncertain’ Windows 8 adoption and ‘unexpected’ decline in Windows 7 enterprise upgrades
Beleaguered PC vendor Dell has recently been in the news mainly for CEO Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners’ $24.4 billion ($13.65 per share) buyout offer and all the attendant drama. On Friday, came the latest chapter in the Dell buyout saga as the company filed a 274-page preliminary proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
It's only a matter of time before Android overtakes iOS in the tablet space.
The open source nature of Android is perhaps a double edged sword, depending on how you look at the situation. On one hand, fragmentation is a sometimes annoying byproduct of having so many different device makers putting their own spin on the operating system, which is why Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread) is still the most popular version of Android to date. On the other hand, it's the very reason why Android's market share is so much higher than Apple's iOS platform. The one exception is tablets, but given enough time, it's inevitable Android slates will outnumber the iPad.
The best tablets on the market are also the worst to drop.
Here at Maximum PC we love to strip machines down and rebuild them just to see what makes it tick, but with modern gadgets that isn’t always easy. Screws have been replaced by glue, and the simple pleasures of popping the cover off to perform upgrades seems to be a lost art. iFixit has emerged as the Internet’s ultimate authority on gadget reparability, and its newly updated list of tablets puts both Microsoft and Apple fighting for the distinction as worlds least fixable tablet.