Microsoft must issue a written statement to China within 20 days
Around the same time China banned Windows 8 from government use over concerns that there could be built-in spying mechanisms, authorities also began investigating Microsoft for antitrust violations. The latest in China's antitrust probe over Microsoft's business practices has the State Administration for Industry and Commerce giving the Redmond outfit 20 days to issue a written explanation. What for, you ask?
It’s easy to be overwhelmed when searching for applications on the various platforms out there. If it is not due to various apps having similar names then it is the ones that are copycats or even fraudulent. Well, Microsoft announced that it has removed 1,500 apps from its Windows Store in an attempt to make finding things easier and provide better quality and choice.
China's own operating system could be ready by October
After banning Microsoft's Windows 8 software for use on government PCs, China is now reportedly planning to cook up its own operating system. The home brewed OS could see a launch as early as October, and it would have the full backing of the Chinese government. China's motivation in building an OS of its own is to alleviate concerns that imported software from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Apple could have spying mechanisms built into the code base.
Per one estimate, IE 8 still accounts for over one-fifth of the PC browser market
Microsoft detailed its browser support plans in a post on the Internet Explorer Team Blog on Thursday. In its post, the company included a list of operating systems and browser version combinations that will continue to be supported beyond January 12, 2016, and the five-year-old Internet Explorer 8, currently the most popular version of the browser, is not on the list.
Here's a bit of good news if you've been wanting to experiment with Google's Chrome browser in 64-bit form but weren't so keen on installing an ultra-early build that might be riddled with buggy code. Google just added the Chrome 64-bit Beta Channel for Windows 7 and 8 users, giving curious users and early adopters a more stable release to play with. It's probably not a good idea to use it for mission critical applications, but it should be in pretty good shape at this point.
Get ready for an influx of $199 to $249 Windows laptops
A big reason why Chromebooks are selling so well is because they offer up basic functionality at dirt cheap prices. However, what would happen if Windows laptops could easily be found at the same price points? It's a question that will get answered within the next few months. That's because Intel, Microsoft, and notebook makers are collaborating on entry-level laptops that will sell for $199 to $249.
Microsoft chief Satya Nadella caused a whirlwind of headlines and speculation with a comment he made during his company's fiscal fourth quarter earnings call. The way he worded some early rhetoric made it sound like the next version of Windows -- codenamed Threshold and likely to be called Windows 9 -- will ship with but a single SKU rather than multiple versions for smartphones, desktops, gaming consoles, and so forth. However, Nadella wasn't talking about a single OS to rule them all.
First discovered in 2010, battery-draining bug yet to be fixed
It seems Microsoft has quietly slipped into the habit of commissioning at least one study every year that compares the power-consumption habits of major web browsers and declares the latest version of the company’s very own Internet Explorer to be the most power-efficient browser of them all. Although one can’t take such comparisons seriously, there may be some truth to them after all, especially where the lackluster performance of Chrome is concerned.
More affordable Windows tablets could be on the horizon
Here's a bit of potentially good news for Microsoft's hardware partners. Word on the web is that Microsoft may expand its free Windows license program to include tablets priced below $250. Up until now, tablets less than 9 inches qualified for the subsidized pricing, though unconfirmed reports suggest the program will cast a wider net in order to get more Windows-based tablets out in the wild.
We evaluate a collection of media players to find the best one
If we strip away everything else, your choice of car doesn't matter so long as it gets you from Point A to Point B. However, there are all kinds of factors that separate a hot rod from jalopy on wheels, including price, performance, amenities, maintenance, and more. So it goes with media players, which are vehicles for your music and movies.
Like cars, not all media players are created equal. Some are big and bulky, others are lightweight and nimble. If you all you care about is the ability to play your favorite song over and over, just about any media player will do, but why short change yourself? Of course, going through the process of testing them all is a daunting task, so it's understandable if you want to roll the dice with a random selection.
Better yet, get your click (or tap) finger ready and digest our evaluation of some the most popular (and not so popular) media players around. As we go from one selection to the next, we'll tell you what we like and despise about each one, and then pick a winner.