Microsoft wasn't quite ready to tip its hand with a Windows 8 Release Preview until sometime next week, but ready or not, someone leaked the Chinese version to the Web. With the cat out of the bag, the Windows 8 Release Preview has been making the rounds, giving us more than just a glimpse at what the next build has in store, including an updated boot screen.
With the rapid rise of tablets, analysts have been arguing over which PC hardware company is the biggest in all the land: HP or Apple? Apple, of course, only enters the discussion if you count tablets as PCs. But regardless of how you look at technicalities, Microsoft wants to let you know that when it comes to the operating systems running on all that hardware, there's really only on sheriff in town: Windows.
Microsoft has made some huge changes to its desktop UI in Windows 8, however it looks like they aren’t done yet. The Aero Glass UI first introduced in Windows Vista brought us translucent window borders, rounded corners, and an interface that was designed to blend into the background. These effects remained in the consumer preview, and will appear again in the release preview, however Microsoft today confirmed they would be axed from the final shipping version.
Whenever a new Windows OS rears its head, Microsoft alleviates the concerns of wary would-be PC buyers who may be tempted to put off purchasing a new computer for couple of months by offering them a free upgrade to the soon-to-be-released Windows flavor. That may grind to a halt with Windows 8; several sources say Microsoft will still give recent Windows 7 PC buyers a chance to upgrade, but only if buyers shell out another $14.99.
Tired of the current crop of tablets mostly sporting Android and iOS? If that's the case, mark your calendars for November, because according to reports, that's when Intel-based slates running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system are set to land in retail. Anticipation is running high for next-generation tablets equipped with Microsoft's touch-friendly OS, which could prove game changing in the mobile space.
Mozilla isn't mincing words when it comes to Microsoft's decision to limit or restrict the behavior of non-Internet Explorer browsers in Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 intended for systems with ARM hardware inside. In a semi-angry blog post, Mozilla raged against reports that Internet Explorer will be the only browser allowed to run in the privileged 'Windows Classic' environment, calling the move "an unwelcome return to the digital dark ages where users and developers didn't have browser choices." Ouch.
Microsoft didn't make many friends by casually mentioning how Windows Media Center wouldn't be included with Windows 8, Redmond's next generation operating system set to debut in a few months. In fact, many were downright outraged at the news, and seeing the sharpened pitchforks and brightly lit torches being waved around cyberspace, Steven Sinofsky set out to clarify things on the Building Windows 8 blog.
Do you remember way back when Hotmail was just called, you know, Hotmail? Those were the days. Then Microsoft went on its whole "Windows Live" branding kick and swapped it over to "Windows Live Hotmail" to match the similarly renamed Windows Live Mail, Windows Live ID and Windows Live Photo Gallery, amongst others. Now, apparently, the folks in Redmond have realized how silly and superfluous the Windows Live sticker was; the company recently announced that the brand is being killed off in favor of more basic app names. Yes, Hotmail will be just Hotmail once again.
The Flashback botnet scare may have thrust Macs' supposed invulnerability to antiviruses claim under a microscope, but Sophos decided it wanted some numbers to go along with the heaping of hype. So the company studied feedback from 100,000 Apple computers with Sophos antivirus installed and surprisingly discovered that the Macs were fairly teeming with malware. Before you start laughing, consider this: the vast majority of the malware found didn't affect OS X at all. It targeted Windows PCs.
Microsoft's next generation desktop operating system, Windows 8, inches closer to release with each passing day. In fact, barring any last minute snags and/or delays, Microsoft will make available the Release Preview of Windows 8 in early June. How early? Within the first week, which is less than seven weeks away. What this tells us is that Windows 8 is nearly ready for prime time.