The folks at Futuremark offer a ton of popular benchmarking applications for desktop PCs and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, though noticeably missing is any kind of server benchmark. Futuremark is attempting to tie up that loose end by announcing Servermark, a new and comprehensive benchmarking tool for x86-based servers running Linux. According to Futuremark, it will be especially suitable for testing virtual machines.
Redmond finally provides an update on Windows 8 sales
We haven't heard a whole lot from Microsoft in regards to Windows 8 sales, so it was a nice surprise when Redmond's Executive Vice President of Marketing spilled the beans on exactly how many license have been sold to date. According to comments Reller made at a Goldman Sachs technology conference, Microsoft has sold more than 200 million Windows 8 licenses since launching to the public in October 2012 (and to OEMs in August 2012).
Pay more than $15 to unlock a treasure trove of Sid Meier games
Looking for something to do this coming weekend? Have a look at the Humble Sid Meier Bundle. Many of you already have, as the collection of titles raked in $1.7 million during the first two days last week. What was already a good deal is even sweeter with the addition of two DLC packs for Civilization V and the 2004 reload of Sid Meier's Pirates. At present, it takes $15.01 to unlock the entire collection.
Notice to new Firefox users: You've been served (ads)
Mozilla has decided that the best course of action going forward is to fill all those blank squares in new tabs with sponsored content (ads, for the layman). The new initiative is called Directory Tiles and it's intended to "improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience," or at least that's the sales pitch from Darren Herman, Mozilla's Vice President of Content Services. It's his job to diversify revenue and sustain Mozilla's mission through innovation in content and personalization products, and this is one way he plans to do that.
A couple of last minute additions to Patch Tuesday address security holes in Windows XP
Today is the second Tuesday of the month, which means it's time to download a collection of security fixes from Microsoft. Otherwise known as Patch Tuesday, today's collection includes seven security bulletins, including two late additions that fill up patch remote code execution holes in Windows XP. These are some of the last updates Windows XP will ever receive, as Microsoft plans to stop supporting the legacy OS on April 8, 2014.
Support for Windows XP will end in less than two months, and if you know of family members or friends who are still running the legacy operating system, Microsoft has some tips. In a recent blog post, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc suggested ways you can help your loved ones rid themselves of Windows XP before support officially ends on April 8, 2014. One of those ways is to upgrade their PCs to Windows 8.1.
Attention Surface owners and anyone else rocking a touchscreen display with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, there's a version of Firefox you might be interested in. Mozilla today made its "Firefox for Windows 8 Touch" beta available to download, so you can tap and swipe your way through cyberspace the way you do on the Start screen. The browser has a new tile-based Firefox start screen with one-tap access to Top Sites, Bookmarks, and History.
Flappy Bird developer profits handsomely from your frustration
The current craze in mobile gaming isn't Candy Crush or anything else you've been invited to play a few dozen times on Facebook. It's Flappy Bird, a simple game that will drive you absolutely bonkers almost from the get-go. Those of you who have played it know what I'm talking about, and if you haven't downloaded it yet, well, just remember that everything's going to be all right. While you're cursing how something so simple can be so difficult yet maddeningly addicting, Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen is laughing all the way to the bank as his game averages $50,000 in ad revenue per day.
An update to Windows 8.1 may roll out in April instead of March
Microsoft is planning to issue an update to Windows 8.1 that will introduce a number of new features and enhancements, such as possibly bypassing the Start screen and booting straight to the desktop environment by default (this hasn't been confirmed), but when it will arrive is still up in the air. Initially planned for a March release, world on the web is that Microsoft is now planning to roll out the Windows 8.1 Update 1 in April.
If you're on the fence about which subscription-based streaming music service to cozy up with, Microsoft has an offer it hopes you'll find too good to refuse. That offer is a free Nokia Lumia 520 or 521 handset when you purchase a 12-month pass to Xbox Music. That's not a bad deal on a couple of levels, the first being that you're essentially receiving two months free by paying for a year in advance -- Xbox Music typically runs $9.99 per month.