E Fun Nextbook will come with a 1 year Office 365 Personal subscription
Another ultra-cheap Windows 8.1 tablet is getting ready to join Microsoft’s ongoing assault on Chromebooks and low-end Android tablets. The 8-inch Nextbook from E Fun will be available at Walmart stores on Black Friday 2014 for as low as $99.99, Microsoft announced in a blog post Thursday.
Is it a compact all-in-one PC or a massive tablet?
Over the past two days, Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang has been scouring the fairly busy Blizzcon 2014 show floor in Anaheim California for stuff worth writing home about. One of the many (video) postcards he has sent us features a new all-in-one (AIO) PC from Lenovo. And lest you make the mistake of thinking of it as a run-of-the-mill AIO device, let us make it clear that we’re talking about an AIO PC of the portable tabletop variety.
Dell has quietly begun selling a new 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet. Part of the Venue 8 Pro family the company introduced last year, this latest 8-incher from Dell is not unlike other 8- and 7-inch Windows tablets currently on the market. For instance, it packs the same Intel Bay Trail Atom processor as the dirt-cheap, 7-inch likes of the HP Stream 7 ($100) and the Toshiba Encore Mini ($120).
Windows 8 and 8.1 combined share also at all-time high
The combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 looked to be heading back towards single digits early last month when Net Applications released its desktop OS usage data for the month of September, revealing that the already teetering combo had shed over a percentage points’ worth of market share to reach 12.26 percent. That appears to have been a false alarm as the latest data from Net Applications data shows an unexpected surge in Windows 8.1 uptake.
Cheap all-in-one PCs will run Windows 8.1 with Bing
For a long while, owning an all-in-one was cost prohibitive for many people, as most models carried premium price tags. Prices have certainly come down in recent years, though there's not a ton of options in the way of entry-level AIOs for those who might be interested in such a system. However, that may change. There's talk that Microsoft is cooperating with Intel to offer system builders subsidies to promote Windows 8.1 with Bing on entry-level desktops and AIOs.
A thumb drive-sized PC powered by a quad-core Bay Trail Atom SoC
ARM clearly has the PC-on-a-stick niche cornered. What’s more, it has enjoyed a near unmolested run at the top in this category. But this might be set to change. Some Chinese suppliers have begun selling a diminutive Bay Trail-powered PC the size of a USB stick.
Microsoft is not the only company to have pinned high hopes on Windows Live Tiles and been let down. The user interface element that has come to be associated with Windows 8’s well-documented alienation of desktop users has been at the center of a patent lawsuit since 2012. A little-known Portland, Maine-based company named Surfcast, which inhabits the obscure realm of “operating system technology” design, suddenly shot to attention a couple of years back, when it filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the latter of infringing on one of its patents with Live Tiles. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on Monday gave its final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR) of patent 6,724,403 (the “'403 patent”) and sadly for Surfcast, Live Tiles are just as difficult to make money from as ever.
At long last, Microsoft gives Surface Pro 3 owners the ability to adjust stylus sensitivity
When Microsoft pushed out an out-of-band Surface Pro 3 firmware update earlier this week, it said the update was meant to enable “additional upcoming configuration options” for the tablet’s stylus, leaving us to wonder as to what those additional options might be. The suspense is now over.
Windows 10 will go up against Windows 7, not Windows 8/8.1
Now that Microsoft has unveiled Windows 10 and is even serving up a Technical Preview for curious folks to check out, Windows 8 is already feeling like old news. Some felt that way even before Microsoft's announcement, which might explain why Windows 8 lost market share in the desktop OS market in the month of September. At this rate, it won't be long before Windows 8's share drops back into single digits.
Built to meet U.S. military-standard 810G requirements
Asus is all set to welcome a new Windows 8.1 ultrabook to its AsusPro B Advanced line of business notebooks, a range made up mostly of 14- and 15.6-inch models. The incoming AsusPro Advanced BU201 will be a tad different, though. With a screen size of 12.5-inch, it will be the joint smallest model in the lineup when it goes up for sale.