After years of rumors and whispers, Google finally released its long-awaited Google Drive cloud storage service in April, combining Dropbox-like synching abilities and a PC client with the company’s Google Docs service. Microsoft could have waved the white flag; instead, it released an excellent update for its own SkyDrive service, adding many of the features found in Google Drive. The chips are on the table and there’s only one question left: Which cloud storage service is better?
Windows 8 hardware and software doesn’t officially go on sale until October 26th, but apparently The Home Shopping Network didn’t get the memo. Either that or they did get the memo, but just chose to ignore it. The online portal for the popular shopping television show is offering up 5 different machines from Gateway and Acer, all of which feature Windows 8 pre-installed. The models shown are hardly remarkable, however as ZDNet’s Ed Bott points out, the marketing materials confirm what we all feared. Crapware is alive and well on Windows 8, and Microsoft seems powerless to prevent it.
In an atypically terse post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft announced on Friday that many of the apps that come with Windows 8 will be receiving updates in the lead-up to the October 26 release of Windows 8 and Windows RT. According to the company, it has been beavering away on bringing new features and improvements to these built-in apps since August.
Time and again, European Union regulators have proven they're not the least bit bashful about slapping mega corporations like Microsoft and Intel with gargantuan fines for violating antitrust laws. In fact, Microsoft has already been assessed around $1.28 billion in the last decade for various dealings in the EU, and if EU officials are feeling particularly ornery, they could penalize Microsoft up to $7.4 billion, or up to 10 percent of its revenues, for what amounts to an unfortunate "technical error."
Bug collecting can be quite the lucrative hobby, provided they're of the software variety. Google routinely pays out three-, four-, and sometimes five-figure bounties to bug hunters who find and report vulnerabilities in the company's Chrome browser, but yesterday, it took the unusual step of paying a pair of software gurus $5,000 for reporting an issue in Windows.
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.