San Diego Comic-Con is just getting started, but it's already packed with cool things to delight our inner fanboys and -girls. We're here repping our parent company at the Future US booth (#4445, if you're in the neighborhood), which features a one-of-a-kind zombie-proof 2013 Hyundai Elantra schemed up by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman himself. Nothing in that previous sentence was a joke, by the way. We actually have a zombie-proof Elantra at our booth. It has spikes. And a hydraulic cannon.
Pretty sure this thing ain't street legal.
Anyway, we took a break to wander the show floor before the wall-to-wall crush of fans and cosplayers and cosplaying fans that is Thursday and Friday at Comic-Con, and we saw some cool things. What kind of cool things? This kind:
Are you disappointed that Windows 8 might not support Desktop Gadgets? Then you really won't like this news: Microsoft wants you to stop using them on Windows 7 and Vista, too. Immediately. That's not because of some deep-rooted hate for the visual helpers, but because of concerns that hackers could use new Gadget and Sidebar exploits to deep-root your PC.
In the past using a pre-release version of a Microsoft OS was a one way ticket to nowhere. Sure you got a chance to test out the latest and greatest version of Windows months before it launched, but the final version typically involved doing a clean install, wiping out all your data in the process. To make matters worse, if you were buying the “upgrade edition”, this sometimes also involved re-installing the older version before moving to the final release. Most of us assumed this would still be the case with Windows 8; we were wrong.
Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system is receiving the lion's share of attention lately, but lest anyone forget, the Redmond outfit also builds server software, both for the home consumer and business clients. Windows Server 2012 is geared towards the latter, and according to Microsoft, one of the benefits is a "dramatically simplified licensing experience" with just three versions to choose from, plus an edition for OEM vendors.
Microsoft today issued an advance notification of this month’s “Patch Tuesday” security updates for Windows and other software developed by it. According to its security bulletin advance notification for July 2012, Microsoft will deliver three “critical” and twice as many “important” security updates next Tuesday. Hit the jump for more.
Are you on the fence about upgrading to Windows 8? The new Metro UI and the lack of Windows Media Center have made many Maximum PC readers vow to stockpile Windows 7 OEM discs in a drawer somewhere. Microsoft's countering the worry with a competitive price point: through January 31st, upgrading from Windows 7, XP or Vista will only cost you $39.99 for a digital download. That's to the fancy-schmancy Windows 8 Pro, to boot -- and you can choose to toss in Windows Media Center for free during installation.
Windows 8 is almost here but Windows 7 is nevertheless just starting to hits its stride, nearly three years after its launch. According to StatCounter, Microsoft's flagship operating system snatched the "Most Used O.S" crown from Windows XP sometime in September 2011, but last month, Windows 7 cracked an even more monumental plateau: it now owns over 50 percent of the total O.S. market.
For far too many years now Windows laptops have been catering to the sub $500 crowd, practically ceding the high end market to Apple. Of course the Alienware’s of the world have continued to pump out impressive gaming notebooks, but mainstream users were all too often deciding between a cheap PC, or a more expensive Macbook. Ultrabooks have done a great job of capturing back consumer mindshare, and according to NPD, have helped keep the $700-$900 PC price bracket from eroding away completely. They also noted that the $900+ price point managed to grow a whopping 39 percent from last year.
It's been an exciting week for Microsoft, which just the other day unveiled its Surface tablet, a surprisingly promising device that just may have the legs to go the distance, if not with the iPad, then certainly against Android and ARM. But let's not sell the Surface short, with the right strategy and continued interest from Microsoft, this could be big. Or, as Acer founder Stan Shih suspects, the whole Surface strategy is nothing more than a bunch of smoke and mirrors intended to sell consumers on Windows 8.
Opinions on Windows 8 as a desktop operating system are definitely a mixed bag. While most people would describe the fusion of Metro and the Desktop as awkward at best, even the biggest of critics have to admit the potential for Metro on tablets is huge. We’ve had three release previews at this point to give us an idea of what the operating system will look like, but hardware could make or break Microsoft’s tablet aspirations. PC OEM’s have tripped over themselves trying to duplicate the industrial designs consumers crave, and if Windows 8 ships on 4 inch thick square tablets, they might as well not even bother. Our first glimpse of new Windows 8 tablet hardware will be on display next week at Computex Taipei, with Acer, Toshiba, & Asus showing off new designs.