It's been an exciting week for Microsoft, which just the other day unveiled its Surface tablet, a surprisingly promising device that just may have the legs to go the distance, if not with the iPad, then certainly against Android and ARM. But let's not sell the Surface short, with the right strategy and continued interest from Microsoft, this could be big. Or, as Acer founder Stan Shih suspects, the whole Surface strategy is nothing more than a bunch of smoke and mirrors intended to sell consumers on Windows 8.
As with each new version of Windows, Microsoft is not the only one counting on the success of Windows 8. The entire PC industry is hoping that the next iteration of the world’s most popular PC operating system will help lift sluggish sales. But not everyone foresees the launch of Windows 8 later this year stimulating PC sales.
Microsoft has announced that at 3:30PM pacific time on Monday the company will unveil something “you will not want to miss”. The message is intentionally vague, and is written in the tricky and annoying language of “marketing”. Thankfully we live in the digital age, and anonymous sources have confirmed Microsoft will allegedly unveil a line-up self-branded tablets to a captive audience in LA. Naturally Microsoft has denied to comment on these rumors, however both All Things D and The Warp claim to have independently verified the reports.
Windows 8 Release Preview up and running? Check. Nvidia GeForce graphics card? Check. Appropriate GPU drivers for Windows 8? You can check that one off as well, assuming you're running Windows 8 with a GeForce graphics card. If so, Nvidia's new GeForce R302 preview driver is just for you. Bear in mind that it's to be used only with the Win 8 Release Preview build, so if you're rocking an earlier version, these aren't the drivers for you.
Microsoft is gearing up to enter the ARM-based media tablet market. All its hopes rest on how well Windows RT (Windows on ARM) is received by users. At this moment, though, it’s far too early to even speculate about the kind of response that awaits Windows RT-based tablets. But if a new report is to be believed, we’re likely to have a good enough idea come Monday.
Have you ever seen a peacock spread its feathers for all to see as it struts casually and confidently with its head held high? That's ASRock, the spunky company spun-off by Asus a decade ago and owned by Asus subsidiary Pegatron Corporation, which gleefully claims it's the first motherboard manufacturer in the world to pass Windows 8 hardware certification.
If you are one of the millions of brave souls who downloaded the Windows 8 Release Preview, but are looking for an IE replacement in Metro this PSA is for you. Google apparently began work on a Windows 8 Metro version of Chrome back in March, and the fruits of these labors are getting ready to enter beta. This first release won’t be compatible with Windows RT for ARM tablets, but just about any other x86 hardware should be good to go.
Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone, which is scheduled to launch in the U.S. later this month, is the newest device to rock Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, but it surely won't be the last. Qualcomm is eying bigger (literally) and better (arguably) things, likes high definition TVs, tablet PCs, and stationary computing devices running Windows 8. They're all on Qualcomm's radar.
Opinions on Windows 8 as a desktop operating system are definitely a mixed bag. While most people would describe the fusion of Metro and the Desktop as awkward at best, even the biggest of critics have to admit the potential for Metro on tablets is huge. We’ve had three release previews at this point to give us an idea of what the operating system will look like, but hardware could make or break Microsoft’s tablet aspirations. PC OEM’s have tripped over themselves trying to duplicate the industrial designs consumers crave, and if Windows 8 ships on 4 inch thick square tablets, they might as well not even bother. Our first glimpse of new Windows 8 tablet hardware will be on display next week at Computex Taipei, with Acer, Toshiba, & Asus showing off new designs.
Microsoft's been promising to launch the Windows 8 Release Preview during the first week of June for a while now, but an accidentally published (and quickly retracted) Microsoft blog post says that the latest build of the company's new operating should actually hit the Internet today. Hey, tomorrow's June 1st -- that makes this the first week of the month, right?