For those of you wondering what Xbox Live titles Microsoft will have ready for Windows 8 when it ships to the general public on October 26, 2012, you can stop guessing. The Redmond software giant today unveiled the first wave of titles that will ship for the platform, a total of 40 games, 29 of which are from Microsoft Studios. If you're expecting heavy-hitting titles like Halo, you're going to be disappointed, but if you're more into Angry Birds these days, you'll like what the company has on tap.
Here's what we know so far about Windows 8 pricing. If you want to upgrade from XP, Vista, or Windows 7 to Windows Pro, it will cost $40 up through January 31, 2013, after which time the price will go up. We also know that if you buy (or already purchased) a qualifying Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, a Windows 8 Pro upgrade will run $15. Other than those two promotions, Microsoft hasn't released any official pricing info. What gives?
After 25 years sporting the same logo, Microsoft today decided "now is the perfect time for a change." That's hard to argue with Windows 8 right around the corner, representing one of several major product launches in store for the Redmond outfit. Windows Phone 8, new Xbox services, and another version of Office are also on tap for Microsoft, and for end users, you'll notice a "common look and feel across these products," Microsoft says.
So you bought a new Windows 7 PC on or after June 2, 2012 and you're anxious to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro already, is that right? Well, you might be in the minority on the latter part (see User Experience Expert Pans Windows 8), but if that's your end game, registration is now open for Microsoft's $14.99 upgrade offer to Windows 8 Pro. You can't actually download your copy of Windows 8 Pro until it launches to the general public on October 26, 2012, but you can fill out the form and validate your eligibility.
In a recent interview, Valve CEO Gabe Newell took a few pot shots at Windows 8, and it didn’t take long before Blizzard, Mojang, and several other high profile developers piled on. Most have stopped short of calling it a “catastrophe” the way Gabe Newell did, however most have made it clear they don’t see much benefit for PC Gamers who are on the fence about upgrading. "If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for indie games and competition in general," said Minecraft creator and founder of Mojang, Markus "Notch" Persson. Microsoft’s response’s was a carefully worded statement attempting to restore confidence, however when terms like "Games For Windows Live" are used, we had to admit to being slightly skeptical.
After creating a stir in the media over comments he made to Microsoft warning the company to "think twice" about its Surface strategy, Acer chairman J.T. Wang is now singing a different tune, one that's far less threatening and more accepting to the situation. That doesn't mean Wang is no longer concerned about Microsoft's march in the tablet space, but he did clarify that Acer has every intention of competing with Windows 8-based slates of its own.
There are a million and one questions surrounding Windows 8. Is the world ready for a touch-friendly operating system? What will the user interface formerly known as Metro and temporarily referred to as "Windows 8 style UI" be called? Will Windows 8 kill the PC industry and drive a stake in the heart of PC gaming as we know it? Is it wrong for a vegetarian to eat animal crackers? That last one has nothing to do with Windows 8, we're just curious. Getting back on topic, there's is one thing we learned about Windows 8 today, and that's what the retail box art will look like.
Valve's Gabe Newell appears to have struck a chord with other game developers in his criticism of Windows 8 as a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." He said Windows 8 will ultimately force some top-tier PC/OEMS out of the market, and not long after he made those comments, one of Blizzard's higher ups voiced his agreement saying Windows 8 is "not awesome" for his company, either. Now that the rally call is out there, game developers are coming out of the woodwork to say that they too are concerned with Microsoft's upcoming OS.
Microsoft’s activation service has always been somewhat controversial since its debut in Windows XP, but has turned out to be a necessary evil. The process started out being very forgiving, and to be fair, we have yet to hear of a single legitimate customer being turned away. Even when Microsoft was within its rights to deny activation as a result of terms in the EULA, a simple phone call was often all it took to resolve the dispute. Pirates have been taking advantage of Microsoft’s generous nature for years now, and new reports are suggesting they are looking to close down a few of the loop holes with Windows 8.
Windows 7 is two months away from becoming the second newest consumer desktop operating system from Microsoft (it already is, if you count the Windows 8 Release to Manufacturing, or RTM), but will it surpass Windows XP in market share before Windows 8 is made generally available to the public? It's going to be a tight race, but it looks like Windows 7 will jump ahead by the end of August.