Only time and sales figures will ultimately determine if Windows 8 is a success or not, and in the meantime, all we can do on the consumer side is speculate. Microsoft, however, is in a position to do more. The Redmond software giant could, for example, come up with a Plan B in case Windows 8 and its radically redesigned interface doesn't catch on with consumers. Interestingly, it doesn't appear Microsoft is too worried about that scenario playing out.
Dogfooding is a term you hear applied to software companies quite often, however Microsoft is taking it to a whole new level. We’ve heard on more than one occasion that Microsoft believes they are betting the company on Windows 8, and what better way to go all in than to make your employees use it full time. Mandating Windows 8 use in the work place might sound like cruel and unusual punishment to those who disagreed with our mostly positive review of Microsoft’s new OS, but what if we told you it has an amazing upside?
If you think dealing with bloatware on a new OEM system is a pain in the backside, imagine buying a PC only to find out that it's infected with malware...straight from the factory! Apparently that's something PC shoppers need to be worried about these days, according to an investigation conducted by Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit (DCU). The investigation and subsequent sting operation, codenamed "Operation b70," found that several new systems sold in China had malicious software pre-installed.
Chief among the many gripes that people have with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system are: that it includes the tile-based Windows 8 UI (aka “Metro”); that it’s the Windows 8 UI, and not the classic desktop, that greets you when you fire up your PC; and that there is no way to disable this behavior. Up until Microsoft released Windows 8 to manufacturing, a lot of people were still hoping that it would add to the OS a way to bypass/disable the tile-based interface. Unfortunately, the software giant was not in any mood to appease them. That said, there isn’t anything to prevent a third party from giving these people their wish.
For those of you wondering what Xbox Live titles Microsoft will have ready for Windows 8 when it ships to the general public on October 26, 2012, you can stop guessing. The Redmond software giant today unveiled the first wave of titles that will ship for the platform, a total of 40 games, 29 of which are from Microsoft Studios. If you're expecting heavy-hitting titles like Halo, you're going to be disappointed, but if you're more into Angry Birds these days, you'll like what the company has on tap.
Here's what we know so far about Windows 8 pricing. If you want to upgrade from XP, Vista, or Windows 7 to Windows Pro, it will cost $40 up through January 31, 2013, after which time the price will go up. We also know that if you buy (or already purchased) a qualifying Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, a Windows 8 Pro upgrade will run $15. Other than those two promotions, Microsoft hasn't released any official pricing info. What gives?
After 25 years sporting the same logo, Microsoft today decided "now is the perfect time for a change." That's hard to argue with Windows 8 right around the corner, representing one of several major product launches in store for the Redmond outfit. Windows Phone 8, new Xbox services, and another version of Office are also on tap for Microsoft, and for end users, you'll notice a "common look and feel across these products," Microsoft says.
So you bought a new Windows 7 PC on or after June 2, 2012 and you're anxious to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro already, is that right? Well, you might be in the minority on the latter part (see User Experience Expert Pans Windows 8), but if that's your end game, registration is now open for Microsoft's $14.99 upgrade offer to Windows 8 Pro. You can't actually download your copy of Windows 8 Pro until it launches to the general public on October 26, 2012, but you can fill out the form and validate your eligibility.
In a recent interview, Valve CEO Gabe Newell took a few pot shots at Windows 8, and it didn’t take long before Blizzard, Mojang, and several other high profile developers piled on. Most have stopped short of calling it a “catastrophe” the way Gabe Newell did, however most have made it clear they don’t see much benefit for PC Gamers who are on the fence about upgrading. "If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for indie games and competition in general," said Minecraft creator and founder of Mojang, Markus "Notch" Persson. Microsoft’s response’s was a carefully worded statement attempting to restore confidence, however when terms like "Games For Windows Live" are used, we had to admit to being slightly skeptical.
After creating a stir in the media over comments he made to Microsoft warning the company to "think twice" about its Surface strategy, Acer chairman J.T. Wang is now singing a different tune, one that's far less threatening and more accepting to the situation. That doesn't mean Wang is no longer concerned about Microsoft's march in the tablet space, but he did clarify that Acer has every intention of competing with Windows 8-based slates of its own.