Microsoft today released its touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system to manufacturers (RTM, or Released to Manufacturing). The release signals a milestone that indicates the software juggernaut has completed product development and exterminated enough bugs to feel confident enough to hand out final code to OEM partners. Companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard can now begin prepping new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, which they'll introduce to the public next month.
In a recent interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, the outspoken unofficial head of PC Gaming leveled some pretty damning criticism on Windows 8. Using words such as “catastrophe”, the internet instantly lit up with story’s and comments that for the most part, were largely supportive of his radical stance. It could easily be argued that his comments are largely self-serving since Microsoft is setting itself up in direct competition with Valve’s Steam store, but people will have to decide for themselves. Why bring up old wounds you ask? Valve has a new supporter.
You may have heard that Valve is hard at work porting its Steam client to the Linux platform, but it's not because the company has developed a sudden affinity towards the open source space. The real reason is because Valve views Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 release as a "catastrophe" in the making for the PC industry at large, or at least that's the viewpoint held by Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director at Valve.
The Windows 8 app store in the consumer preview has been somewhat lackluster in terms of quality, but this can be easily explained. The beta version of Windows 8 still doesn’t allow developers to charge for metro applications, which means the most polished offerings likely won’t surface until release on October 26th (pun somewhat intended). We have to admit we’ve been a bit curious as to how Microsoft will handle transactions in the Windows 8 store, and in a recent blog post, the Redmond based software giant finally released a detailed breakdown of what to expect.
Well, it's official folks. Microsoft is shipping Windows 8 to the general public on October 26, just five days prior to Halloween and just over three years since the launch of Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. The Redmond outfit previously said Windows 8 would release to manufacturers (RTM) in August and to the general public sometime in late October, the latter of which is when customers will be able to buy new hardware with the touch-friendly OS pre-installed, or upgrade existing systems (or build new ones) using off-the-shelf (or downloadable) copies.
Microsoft is once again in hot water with European Union (EU) antitrust officials, this time for failing to fully comply with a 2009 settlement in which the Redmond software company agreed to give customers a choice of which Web browser to use when installing Windows. For the most part, Microsoft had been doing that, except in some instances where PCs shipped to European customers with Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 pre-installed.
Intel has launched a new generation of processors, PC markers have released a slew of new machines, and yet nobody is buying them. New data from Gartner and IDC are suggesting that OEM’s continue to struggle in the second quarter to sell new machines, even though refreshed designs traditionally help kick start sales. PC makers shipped around 87.1 million PCs this quarter, which when compared to last year’s 87.2 million represents a concerning trend for investors who expect constant growth. Both analyst firms have been on the hunt for a reason why, and seem to agree that consumers are waiting for….. Windows 8?
Microsoft is turning the entire Windows UI on its head with Windows 8, but it sounds like they aren’t done rocking the boat just yet. According to respected Windows journalists Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is making plans to axe the full retail editions of Windows 8. This could mean the next time you go cruising the boxed software isle at your local Best Buy, the only thing you’ll be able to buy are upgrade editions.
San Diego Comic-Con is just getting started, but it's already packed with cool things to delight our inner fanboys and -girls. We're here repping our parent company at the Future US booth (#4445, if you're in the neighborhood), which features a one-of-a-kind zombie-proof 2013 Hyundai Elantra schemed up by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman himself. Nothing in that previous sentence was a joke, by the way. We actually have a zombie-proof Elantra at our booth. It has spikes. And a hydraulic cannon.
Pretty sure this thing ain't street legal.
Anyway, we took a break to wander the show floor before the wall-to-wall crush of fans and cosplayers and cosplaying fans that is Thursday and Friday at Comic-Con, and we saw some cool things. What kind of cool things? This kind:
Are you disappointed that Windows 8 might not support Desktop Gadgets? Then you really won't like this news: Microsoft wants you to stop using them on Windows 7 and Vista, too. Immediately. That's not because of some deep-rooted hate for the visual helpers, but because of concerns that hackers could use new Gadget and Sidebar exploits to deep-root your PC.