Earlier in the week, Gartner predicted a "revival" of the global PC market in 2014, and hot on the heels of that prediction, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that worldwide PC shipments totaled 74.4 million units in the second quarter of 2014. That represents a soft year-on-year decline of 1.7 percent, though that's "markedly better" than IDC's projected decline of 7.1 percent, the company said.
In some ways, you could argue that Microsoft's spinning in circles chasing its tail. So are a lot of companies during this transitional period into mobile, which is one that seemed to catch a number of tech firms off guard. Recognizing that Microsoft could benefit from some new blood, former CEO Steve Ballmer voluntarily stepped down and eventually handed the reins to Satya Nadella. So, what does the future hold? Nadella issued an open email to employees calling for a return to Microsoft's core.
A virtual high-five is in order for Double Fine Productions, which confirmed via Twitter and on its website that Manuel "Manny" Calavera and the rest of the gang from Grim Fandango will appear on the PC in remastered form. The remade classic will also launch to Mac and Linux, along with console exclusives PlayStation 4 and Vita. It was announced back in June that Grim Fandango would launch to Sony's game console and handheld, but until now, it was only rumored that PC platforms would also be in the mix.
IBM has announced its plans to invest $3 billion on Semiconductor research and development over the next five years. The purpose of this investment is to develop smaller chips by designing smaller transistors.
Samsung has been working on its own VR headset that is being developed in collaboration with Oculus VR. According to SamMobile, Samsung’s VR device is called the Gear VR and it will be announced at IFA 2014.
No, it's not likely that you're going to pick up HGST's new 1.8TB hard drive for your build, not unless you're erecting a data center. While we've moved on to solid state drives at home, enterprise customers still have a high level of interest in certain mechanical hard drives due, in part, to the price-to-performance ratio. It's those customers that HGST is targeting with its Ultrastar C10K1800 HDD.
The latest free game as part of a five week, five million Steam key giveaway
Hey, we're all sitting on a mountain of unplayed Steam games purchased through various sales, yet we can't help but add to our libraries when the deals are too good to pass up. That usually means a significant discount as part of some super summer holiday sale bonanza, but even better is what our sister sister PC Gamer is doing. In collaboration with Bundle Stars, PC Gamer is giving away five million Steam keys through a five week period. We're now in week 3, which means there are a million Steam keys for Really Big Sky up for grabs.
If you're not already familiar with Mnpctech, take a moment out of your day to familiarize yourself with the company. Founded 12 years ago by Bill Owen, a name you probably recognize if you've been reading Maximum PC for some time (check out our interview with him from earlier this year) or are into the modding scene, Mnpctech kicks out some of the most badass case mods you'll ever see. Interestingly enough, in a recent conversation with Owen, he told us he's been receiving requests for the past several years to make a video series covering the basics of water cooling with a DIY loop, so he finally went and put one together. Here's part 1.
Microsoft updates end of support deadlines for various software
Now that we're well into July, Microsoft felt it was a good time to update its list of products reaching end of support in the next 6 months. One entry that's gaining a lot of media attention is Windows 7. According to the list, Mainstream Support for several versions of Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015, though that doesn't mean you need to rush out and grab a copy of Windows 8. Here's why.
Dell's Alienware Aurora gaming desktop is getting an introduction to Nvidia's mighty Titan Z graphics card, and vice versa. That's to say that you can now configure an Alienware Aurora desktop with a Titan Z graphics card, and to kick off the coming together of two powerhouses, the starting price has been temporarily reduced from $3,799 to $3,609.05, a savings just shy of $190.