The typical Maximum PC reader is unlikely to break a sweat while installing Windows, but that’s not to say that it’s a walk in the park for everyone out there. As acknowledged by the Windows engineering team in its most recent Building Windows 8 blog post, there are still those who find the whole process fairly “complex.” But they will be happy to know that Microsoft has promised a simpler and much more streamlined setup experience with Windows 8. Details after the jump.
Microsoft released a Kinect for Windows SDK several months ago, and now the Kinect team has posted an update on new sensor hardware specifically for a PC. The original Kinect for Xbox had some flaws that made us question its viability on the PC side of things, but the blog post by Craig Eisler cites a number of ways that Redmond is working to tweak Kinect for a Windows environment.
Next year is going to be a busy one for Qualcomm. The mobile chip maker announced a whole bunch of new Snapdragon chipsets, including several upgraded parts designed for entry-level smartphones transitioning from 2G to 3G. Along with higher end chips for feature-rich smartphones and tablets, Qualcomm is also making a push into Windows 8 PCs.
One of the minor annoyances of computer usage is needing to restart your computer. Yeah, it doesn’t take too long – especially if you have a speedy SSD drive – but it’s still downtime that interrupts your previously scheduled Skyrim time. Microsoft has been working to reduce the number of restarts required to run a computer, buy hey, they still need to happen every now and again. Windows 8 will make some changes to the Windows Update and automatic restart process to make restarts as infrequent and unobtrusive as possible.
Futuremark has begun hammering out code for the next version of its popular 3DMark benchmark utility. The working title is 3DMark for Windows 8, and according to Futuremark, it will be the company's most wide-ranging 3DMark ever, with the ability to measure and compare gaming performance from all Windows 8 devices, regardless of the underlying processor. This means you'll be able to compare a Windows 8 tablet to a desktop PC, and everything in between.
Are you concerned that Windows 8 with its radically redesigned UI and Metro style Start menu will be too much to swallow on the desktop? It's a valid concern, though it doesn't appear to be scaring off businesses and IT departments, both of which are already showing strong interest in Microsoft's upcoming OS well ahead of its 2012 launch.
Even though Kinect does not celebrate the first anniversary of its launch until November 4, Microsoft is already in a celebratory mood. The Redmond-based software giant on Monday seemed cock-a-hoop as it fondly recalled what’s been “an amazing 12 months” for Kinect, the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history. Besides going gaga over the “Kinect Effect,” Microsoft talked about the release of the commercial version of the Kinect for Windows SDK.
As we reported earlier today, Asus is said to have dramatically cut down its ultrabook sales target for 2011 due to lackluster initial sales. If true, this doesn’t augur too well for Intel and its costly ultrabook initiative, which has been conceived as an answer to both the MacBook Air and iPad (and other tablets). As for Asus, it’s pretty simple: if you can't beat them, join them. To this end, Asus is said to be readying a strong lineup of tablets.
When even the purpose of our own existence continues to be a mystery, Taiwan-based ITG has every right to sell a desktop OS-running phone that apparently has no clearly defined purpose. By the same token, it also has the right to come up with a successor to that pointless phone. And that’s exactly what ITG plans to do.
HP seems to be rethinking its plans to get out of the consumer business with new CEO Meg Whitman at the helm. According to HP itself, it has been testing the Windows 8 developer release on the defunct HP TouchPad. This is just being done as a proof-of-concept right now, but there have even been talks of reviving the device as a Windows 8 slate.