Samsung isn't letting a little thing like losing a billion dollar verdict to rival Apple disrupt its mojo. Rather than sit around and feel sorry for itself, Samsung today surprised everyone by announcing the Ativ S, the world's first Windows 8 smartphone, edging in front of Nokia and every other Microsoft partner that's planning to launch devices of their own. Ativ S is one of a handful of devices in Samsung's newly branded Ativ Windows 8 product line.
We don't know if Acer is still sulking in the corner over having to compete with Microsoft in the Windows 8 tablet arena, but one company that isn't is Asus. Instead, Asus today unveiled its Viva Tab and Viva Tab RT tablets (formerly known as as Asus Tablet 810 and 600, respectively). Both models are dual-purpose tablets built to run Windows 8/RT with a detachable QWERTY keyboard dock.
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?
Windows 8, for those of you who don’t know, relies on something called SmartScreen Application Reputation to identify and warn users of potentially dangerous desktop apps. According to Microsoft, the operating system uses SmartScreen, which was previously restricted to Internet Explorer, to conduct “an application reputation check the first time you launch applications that come from the Internet.” With SmartScreen providing an additional layer of security to Windows 8 users, they will have a lot less to worry about, right? Wrong, according to Canadian security researcher Nadim Kobeissi, who has a serious issue with the way the feature works.
With Microsoft getting ready to launch its next generation operating system (OS), buyers and vendors appear stuck in a holding pattern staring at soon-to-be dated inventory. As a result, analysts at International Data Corporation (IDC) lowered their outlook on the market and now predict the PC shipments will grow just 0.9 percent in 2012. That's actually up slightly compared to one year ago, though it's the second consecutive year of sub-2 percent growth, IDC says.
Samsung has uploaded a video to YouTube showing brief glimpses of a new notebook model the company describes as its "newest Windows-8 ready innovation." The title is "Something Smart is Coming," and other than that, there aren't a whole lot of clues to decipher. Considering that Samsung is hyping this machine as a Windows 8 device, it's probably a safe bet it will ship with a touchscreen to take advantage of Microsoft's next generation operating system.
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.
In a bid to lure existing Windows users to Windows 8, Microsoft has announced a special introductory upgrade offer for those who choose to upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 between October 26, 2012 and January 31, 2013. As part of this offer, they will have to pay just $39.99 for a downloadable version of Windows 8 Pro and $69.99 for its boxed counterpart. But Microsoft has reserved the best deal for those who purchase a Windows 7 PC between July 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 by making them eligible for a $14.99 Windows 8 Pro upgrade. Such deals are all fine and dandy, but surely not everyone is going to upgrade in the first three months. So what about those who choose to upgrade after the promo period? And, more importantly, what about full (non-upgrade) pricing?
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.
Windows 8’s release is still more than two months away, but millions of people have already downloaded Windows 8 preview builds and realized that Windows 8’s tile-based, touch-friendly “Modern-style” UI (or whatever they’re calling it this week) is not for everyone. But is it simply because the typography-inspired interface is far too different for most people to accept readily, or is there something fundamentally wrong with the interface? We know most of you’d love to weigh in on this matter — despite having done it umpteen times already — but before that we’d like you to read what a leading usability expert feels about the whole Windows 8 experience.