A preview version of Windows 8.1 has been available since June, and if all goes to plan, word on the web is that the final release will roll into town in October. That's when the general public will be able to nab the download via Windows Update. Prior to that, OEM system builders will receive the update as early as this month, and it's possible some Windows 8.1 machines will show up in retail in September.
Build 9471 leak comes just a few days before RTM (release to manufacturing)
One of the many criticisms of Windows 8 is that it has a steep learning curve, which is ironic as Microsoft has also been accused of unnecessarily dumbing down its operating system by saddling it with a touch-friendly layer of tiles and apps. The upcoming Windows 8.1 update will thankfully address both issues. While we have already witnessed the ability to skip the Start Screen and boot straight to desktop in earlier builds, a new leaked build contains something that is meant to help first-time users acclimatize themselves to the Windows 8 interface a lot faster.
We like building our own PCs because there's a certain satisfaction that comes from hand-picking the right combination of parts, putting them together, and then fine tuning their collective performance both on a hardware and software level. A home brewed PC is never finished -- we can always add, subtract, or upgrade components, and over time, our machines become a living entity that grows alongside us. What started off as a lean, mean, pixel pushing machine may eventually end up as a whisper quiet home theater PC (HTPC).
Windows 8 ships with a new version of Windows Defender that’s supposed to offer the same level of protection as Microsoft Security Essentials. Along with other security upgrades, we’re left wondering if there’s any reason to saddle up with a third-party antivirus program. To find out, we compared Windows Defender with Avast, which as we discovered in last month’s antivirus roundup is a formidable ally to have by your side as you romp around the web.
Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
AVG Technologies was in need of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Gary Kovacs, the former chief of Mozilla, needed a job after having stepped down from his previous role several months ago. Like a cheesy corporate love story, the two have found each other and will ride off into the sunset hand-in-hand, or something like that. Hollywood shenanigans aside, Kovacs will bring his more than two decades of Mozilla experience to one of the more popular free security vendors on the market.
Office Mobile was always destined to land on Android. Last November, Microsoft rolled out a new version of Office Mobile preinstalled on all Windows 8 devices, and then in June, Office Mobile for iPhone came to Office 365 subscribers as an added bonus. Now Android users who are Office 365 subscribers can receive the same benefit at no additional charge, allowing them to tweak their Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents from just about anywhere.
Apple's iPad used to own the tablet market, and perhaps by some counts, it still does. The number crunchers at Strategy Analytics, however, have Android sitting on top, and by a pretty wide margin to boot. According to Strategy Analytics, Android secured a 67 percent global share of the tablet market in the first quarter of 2013, a quarter which overall tablet shipments reached 57.1 million units.
Despite all the flak that Microsoft has drawn in recent times over Windows 8, its strategy of pursuing design continuity across traditional PCs and smart devices has won it a few admirers as well — some of them from unlikely quarters.
File this one under "P" for "possibly real" or "possibly fake," but according to NoShitShurlock.com, development of Half Life 3 has already begun. The site claims it received confirmation from John Guthrie, a level designer at Valve and founder of Quake Command, after exchanging numerous emails with him. Half Life 3 is supposedly in the early stage of development, and the goal is to have a trailer ready for next year's E3.
Free antivirus software closes the door on open-source support
We somehow missed this one when it was first announced, but Avira, makers of the popular free antivirus software named after itself, is discontinuing AV solutions for Linux systems on June 30, 2016. Products to be discontinued include Avira AntiVir Professional Linux, Avira Server Security Linux, and Avira Free Antivirus Linux. Avira Endpoint Security and Avira Business Security Suite will both still be offered indefinitely, though without Linux support.