Windows 8.1: Another year in the oven makes for a tasty piece of meat
Reviewing an update to an operating system feels a little odd, doesn’t it? After all, if you already use Windows 8, it’s not like you’re not going to install Windows 8.1. Sure, there’s always the threat of compatibility issues, but Microsoft seems to have this one covered pretty well with the website (and scanning tool) that it’s dedicated to the Windows 8.1 update.
If you already own a copy of Windows 8, this is the day you may have been waiting for. Effective immediately, Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update is available to download and install for free, provided you already own a copy of Windows 8 (you should see a notification in the Windows Store). If not, you can pre-order the full version of Windows 8.1 for $120 from the Microsoft Store, which will begin shipping out tomorrow.
Looking for a Windows 8 tablet with Intel inside? Boy, have you come to the right place. Today's crop of deals are chock full these Wintel devices. Kicking them off is today's top deal for a Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx Tablet for $274 with free shipping (normally $299 - use coupon code Pandora13). It has an Intel Atom Z2760 processor driving an 11.6-inch touchscreen display, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of built-in storage, and of course Windows 8.
For other deals on Windows 8 tablets with Intel, click the "Read More" button!
Microsoft has been pushing their Surface tablets, but tablet PCs running Windows 8 seem to be the bait the Scottish Government is taking. PCWorld reports that they plan to hand out a series of the Windows 8 tablets to civil servants in order to improve overall efficiency. Insert snarky DMV joke here, although Scotland probably doesn't have that kind of problem.
Now that another month is in the books, we have yet another opportunity to gauge Windows 8's ability to penetrate the market and make some predictions. One of those predictions is that despite Microsoft's best efforts to the contrary, Windows 7 could become the next Windows XP, meaning the last generation operating system could become one that users cling to for years to come.
Windows 8.1 is just around the corner, and Microsoft is already readying advertisements on their YouTube channel. In this first ad, the return of the revered Start button functionality is spotlighted. It may not be the same button we're used to from prior Windows releases, but this iteration looks to at least acknowledge the massive changes from 7 to 8.
Expected to hit the release channel in late January
Over the weekend, Mozilla pushed a new build of Firefox to the Aurora channel. Built from the ground up for Microsoft’s Windows 8 Modern UI, this pre-beta build brings with it, among other things, a tile-based Firefox Start experience.
Redmond is offering a minimum of $200 for “gently used” iPads
Microsoft is currently running a limited-time iPad trade-in offer, allowing people to bring in their “gently used” iPad 2,3,or 4 into select Microsoft retail outlets across the U.S. and Canada and walk out with a Microsoft store gift card worth a minimum of $200. While the offer has been live for well over a week now, the good news is that there’s still plenty of time left.
Go ahead and forget all about the original Surface RT and Surface Pro. They came, they flopped, and Microsoft ate its fair share of crow prepared long ago by Acer. It was also a learning experience for Microsoft -- albeit an expensive one -- and hopefully the lessons learned will result in a smoother Surface 2 launch and warmer reception than its predecessor. Yes, there will be a Surface 2, and this is what we know about it so far.