Microsoft chief Satya Nadella caused a whirlwind of headlines and speculation with a comment he made during his company's fiscal fourth quarter earnings call. The way he worded some early rhetoric made it sound like the next version of Windows -- codenamed Threshold and likely to be called Windows 9 -- will ship with but a single SKU rather than multiple versions for smartphones, desktops, gaming consoles, and so forth. However, Nadella wasn't talking about a single OS to rule them all.
The final major update for Windows 8.1 is said to arrive on Patch Tuesday in August
Mark your calenders, folks, and be sure to use pencil instead of ink (unless it's erasable ink) -- a Russian website is reporting that Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 Update 2 on August 12, which is also next month's Patch Tuesday date. This is expected to be the last major update for Windows 8.1 before Microsoft switches gears to Windows 9, or Threshold as it's also been referred to.
First discovered in 2010, battery-draining bug yet to be fixed
It seems Microsoft has quietly slipped into the habit of commissioning at least one study every year that compares the power-consumption habits of major web browsers and declares the latest version of the company’s very own Internet Explorer to be the most power-efficient browser of them all. Although one can’t take such comparisons seriously, there may be some truth to them after all, especially where the lackluster performance of Chrome is concerned.
Week four of a five week, five million Steam key giveaway
For the past several weeks, our sister site PC Gamer in collaboration with Bundle Stars has been giving away millions of Steam keys for a new game each week. Past titles have included SpaceChem, Dino D-Day, and Really Big Sky. Ready to grab another one? Now in week four of a five week promotion, PC Gamer is giving away one million Steam Keys for Gun Monkeys, a procedurally generated, physics based, online deathmatch platform game.
Cortana, Siri, Google Now, meet BlackBerry Assistant
Starting soon, pretty much any smartphone you buy will come with a virtual helper. Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has Cortana, Apple's iOS software has Siri, Google's Android OS has Google Now, and beginning with BlackBerry 10.3, BlackBerry users will have BlackBerry Assistant to boss around and ask for help. BlackBerry Assistant is the Canadian handset maker's equivalent to all the others, and it will act similarly.
Psst, Rockstar Games -- release GTA V to PC already!
Hype was high leading up to the launch of Grand Theft Auto V, and just like with previous releases in the series, it launched to console first with nary a word from the developer when it would land on PC. Heck, we still don't know when GTA V will finally be ported over to Windows, though some hints have emerged. A Danish retailer recently listed GTA V shipping to PC on November 14, 2014, though now it says something different.
More affordable Windows tablets could be on the horizon
Here's a bit of potentially good news for Microsoft's hardware partners. Word on the web is that Microsoft may expand its free Windows license program to include tablets priced below $250. Up until now, tablets less than 9 inches qualified for the subsidized pricing, though unconfirmed reports suggest the program will cast a wider net in order to get more Windows-based tablets out in the wild.
The voice assistant was spot on with 15 out of 16 knockout match predictions
The quadrennial soccer extravaganza that is the FIFA World Cup just got over in Brazil, with the Germans beating the Argentinians for the title by scoring the only goal of the match in the second half of extra time. But they weren’t the tournament’s only winners. The final also saw Microsoft’s Windows Phone voice assistant Cortana cap off an overall brilliant tournament by once again correctly predicting the winner prior to kick off.
Over a year back, Adobe abandoned its pay-once, use-forever Creative Suite in favor of a subscription-based app distribution model. Despite the ensuing furor, the company’s recurring annual revenue from Creative Cloud subscriptions has grown to over $1.20 billion. That being said, the company seems willing to address some of the gripes of its over 2.4 million Creative Cloud subscribers — well, especially where Lightroom users are concerned.
Build 6.4.9788 was recently spotted in Windows Store logs
We’ve known about the Start Menu’s impending comeback for over two months now. Ever since the return of what is perhaps the most iconic Windows UI item to have been left out of Windows 8 was announced by the Redmond-based company in April, there has a been a lot of speculation about the time of its comeback. If some recent reports are to be believed, it’s more likely to come back with the Windows 9 “Threshold” update than the less significant Windows 8.1 Update 2.