Are Ultrabooks tablet killers? We pose that very question on the cover of this month’s print issue. The debate rages on, but Lenovo is looking to skirt the issue with a newly unveiled offering. Rather than going the Eee Pad Transformer/Slider route and sticking a keyboard on a tablet, Lenovo instead got all bendy and twisty with the IdeaPad YOGA, a touchscreen Ultrabook with a 360 degree hinge on its lid. That little design tweak lets you use the YOGA as a tablet or a notebook. Heck, you can even give it a V-shape, stand it on its end and treat it like an all-in-one.
When Microsoft announced that drive extender was being stripped out of the final version of its new Windows Home Server line, the full wrath of the Internet literally fell upon them. The comments on the on the announcement were less than kind, and even though they had a workaround of sorts to keep your data duplicated, nothing really matched the allure of a single protected pool of storage.
For those unfamiliar with it the concept, drive extender is fairly simple to understand. Take any number of disks, add them to a storage pool, and files copied to it can optionally be duplicated across multiple disks to safe guard against individual failure and are presented as one large volume to the user. Fast forward to 2012 and they are ready to make amends by bringing the feature back, however this time they are going to reach a much wider audience by packing it in with Windows 8.
Microsoft may be pushing touchscreen control as the wave of the future with Windows 8’s tiled Metro interface, but Tobii Technology thinks just swiping and pointing your way around an operating system is so, like, 2011. Tobii says its novel new "Tobii Gaze" control scheme, which mixes eye-tracking technology with a touchpad and is being shown off at CES next week, delivers superior control compared to both mice and touchscreens. Big words indeed!
We won’t delve too far into it again – why beat a dead horse? – but research has proven that most people’s passwords suck, plain and simple. Sophisticated geeks may shrug their shoulders and simply laugh at the newbs, but it’s in Microsoft’s interest to build a secure operating system – hence the whole Secure Boot thing. The company’s taking an interesting approach to passwords in the upcoming Windows 8, one that mixes personal pictures and touch/mouse gestures to create a log in experience that Microsoft claims is both faster and more secure than traditional alphanumeric passwords.
Ruh-roh: could the sky already be falling on Windows 8? Nope, not yet, but that’s what a report by ad network Chitika seems to insinuate. Since ads are obviously based on metrics, Chitika has been keeping tally on the number of impressions it receives from users running the Windows 8 Developer Preview, and the company claims that number has dropped dramatically since the Dev Build launched in late September. OH NOES! But does the drop in Dev Build users really matter?
Even though ultrabooks have managed very little in the two months that they have been around, chipmaker Intel and its PC vendor chums remain hopeful. And to be fair they are right in doing so as there is still a long way to go before we can start judging the category. While most people feel that the category could do with better specs and pricing, there are those who believe ultrabooks with touchscreens are all that is needed for a turnaround.
Get your tinfoil hats on, folks. In the documentation released earlier this week by Microsoft on its upcoming Windows 8 Store, the software giant said that apps purchased from the App Store will come with a “kill switch.” Redmond can use this to disable or remove the app from Windows 8 machines. Even if its intentions are good, users are likely to be suspicious of Microsoft on this one.
Besides releasing the Windows 8 Developer Preview at the BUILD developer conference in September, Microsoft also announced an app store for Metro-style apps called the Windows Store. However, the Windows Store can’t be accessed from within that pre-beta build of Microsoft’s upcoming tablet-friendly OS. This will change in February when the Redmond-based company releases the beta of Windows 8.
It’s December, and you know what that means: egg nog, Christmas trees, and Internet top ten lists from both the year past and the year to come. One early attempt at divination amounts to a lump of coal in Microsoft’s stocking: IDC doesn’t exactly expect the desktop version of Windows 8 to leap off the shelves. In fact, the analysis firm bluntly says that Windows 7 users probably won't even care about the new OS when it launches.
According to Microsoft-watcher Paul Thurrott, Microsoft may be working toward a future where Windows 8 tablets ship without the Windows desktop. Users of these ARM-based devices would be limited to the Metro interface. This would be a significant departure from Redmond’s previous “no compromises” strategy that would have provided users both operating environments on ARM systems.