Whether or not Microsoft’s upcoming Surface tablets go on to disrupt the tablet market, one thing’s for sure: their release will change the company’s relationship with PC manufacturers forever. PC vendors have already started voicing their discomfort with Microsoft’s decision to enter the tablet market with its own devices, which it says are “built to be the ultimate stage for Windows.” This is despite the fact that at this point nobody really knows whether Surface is simply meant to jumpstart the whole Windows 8 tablet category or if it’s an ambitious pilot project that could lead to more devices in the future. Going by a dozen or so job postings that were recently posted on the Microsoft Careers site, it looks unlikely that the Redmond-based company will stop making tablets anytime soon.
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.
Microsoft earlier this week released its upcoming Windows 8 operating system to manufacturers, signaling the end of development and paving the way for a worldwide public release in late October. This does not mean everyone will have to wait that long to get their hands on Windows 8, with Premium MSDN and Technet subscribers scheduled to get their copies on August 15, 2012. Well, at least that’s what Microsoft had planned.
There is no dearth of those who would like to see nothing more than a mea culpa from Microsoft apologizing for wrongly trying to shove the Metro design language down their throats with Windows 8. But we’re sure these critics wouldn’t mind an unceremonious dumping of Metro one bit either. And guess what? Microsoft has just granted their wish by quietly doing away with Metro. But unfortunately, the company is merely getting rid of the name and not the typography-based design language itself.
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.
Microsoft today released its touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system to manufacturers (RTM, or Released to Manufacturing). The release signals a milestone that indicates the software juggernaut has completed product development and exterminated enough bugs to feel confident enough to hand out final code to OEM partners. Companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard can now begin prepping new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, which they'll introduce to the public next month.
Windows users have already marked their calendars for October 26, 2012, which is the day Microsoft joins the touch-computing revolution with the launch of Windows 8. Not the least bit surprising, it's also the day Microsoft will begin selling its Surface tablet, a revelation that appears in a recent 10-K filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in lieu of an official announcement.
Microsoft is already starting to milk what it hopes is a Windows 8 cash cow before the operating system comes home to pasture. In case anyone has forgotten, Microsoft is also in the business of selling hardware accessories, something it's been doing for the past three decades, and it continues today with the introduction of new mice and keyboards, all of which "work beautifully with Windows 8," the company claims.
In a recent interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, the outspoken unofficial head of PC Gaming leveled some pretty damning criticism on Windows 8. Using words such as “catastrophe”, the internet instantly lit up with story’s and comments that for the most part, were largely supportive of his radical stance. It could easily be argued that his comments are largely self-serving since Microsoft is setting itself up in direct competition with Valve’s Steam store, but people will have to decide for themselves. Why bring up old wounds you ask? Valve has a new supporter.
Will Microsoft’s Surface tablet really start at over $1,000? That is the question that has been on everyone’s mind ever since a listing for the upcoming Microsoft-branded tablet surfaced on Swedish site Webhallen. But we need not speculate any further as the Swedish e-tailer’s Surface pricing itself is pretty speculative.