At its special “In Search of Incredible” Windows 8 event in New York, Asus on Tuesday officially launched its Windows 8 lineup. To no one’s surprise, the Taiwanese company’s Windows 8 product lineup is an assortment of mostly touch-enabled offerings — everything from the ARM-based VivoTab RT to the 23-inch ASUS ET2300 all-in-one PC.
As you navigate big box retailers like Best Buy this holiday shopping season, you're going to notice a uniform marketing drive when it comes to pushing Windows 8 PCs to the masses. In the U.S., you'll find Windows 8 systems configured to show emails, photos, and personal contacts from Allison Brown, a fictional character Microsoft created as part of an effort to humanize Windows 8 and to put the "personal" back into personal computers. In essence, Microsoft is flipping the script and telling retailers how to run their operations.
Bill Gates doesn't often talk about Microsoft products ever since riding off in the sunset as a retired billionaire. Sure, he remains a fixture of the company he co-founded, both as the Microsoft's iconic face and serving as a chairman, but these days he's much more interested in his philanthropy efforts via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Perhaps recognizing all that's at stake with Windows 8, Gates recently sat down for an interview where he talked about the touch friendly OS, Surface, and other Windows-related topics.
You may not be a fan of the new Windows 8 UI, but is it too complicated for everyday consumers? If you answered yes then I think you need to take it up with this adorable little three year old. Adam Desrosiers has posted a YouTube video of his son performing basic everyday tasks common to the average Windows 8 user, and he does so with little to no difficulty or coaching.
If you are itching to get your hands on a Microsoft Surface RT tablet, chances are that your itch will remain unscratched for quite some time, as the device is now backordered for three weeks. So your best bet now, should you want it earlier, is to walk into a Microsoft retail outlet on or after October 26 and pick one up yourself (if you can). For those who don’t want to leave anything to chance, Microsoft is giving out special "Surface reservation passes."
Lest there be any doubt whatsoever that Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 8, the Redmond outfit's financial report for its first fiscal quarter of 2013 (which ended September 30, 2012) contained more thorns than roses. For example, the company's quarterly earnings dropped 22 percent sequentially to $5.47 billion, as slumping PC sales continue to adversely affect tech firms across the board. Revenue also declined, dropping 8 percent to $16 billion, down from $17.37 billion one year prior.
With just a few days left to go until the release of Windows 8 and the Microsoft-built Surface tablets, the Redmond-based company has donned its marketing hat. While the jury is still out on the amount Microsoft has earmarked for the Windows 8 marketing campaign, it is likely to be a large sum (some reports peg it at over $1 billion), especially considering how much Microsoft has riding on these two products. But wait, what exactly does Microsoft have “riding” on them?
In case you haven't heard, Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT tablets are now available to pre-order, starting at $499 for the 32GB model sans Black Touch Cover. With the Touch Cover, the price jumps by a Benjamin to $599, and the 64GB version (with Touch Cover) is going for $699. Those are competitive price points compared to Apple's third generation iPad tablets, but as the Android camp found out, $499+ tablets are a tough sell.
Microsoft made a splash in cyberspace this morning when it temporarily revealed pre-order pricing for its Surface RT tablet line, only to inexplicably pull the listing offline. Well, once you let the cat out of the bag on the Internet, there's no putting it back in, so either Microsoft caved, or it was planning to go live with the pre-order site all along. Either way, the pre-order page is now back online, presumably for good.