windows 8 http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/7744/ en How To Set Up Software RAID 0 for Windows and Linux http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Up your speed by linking two or more drives in RAID 0</h3> <p>For serious PC builders, speed is the name of the game. Too often, storage becomes a bottleneck that holds back even the beefiest CPU. Even with the advent of SSDs, leveraging a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) can drastically reduce boot and loading times. RAID 0 is the easiest way to get more speed out of two or more drives, and lets you use a pretty cool acronym to boot.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_samsung-840evo.jpg" alt="Samsung 840EVOs in RAID 0" title="Samsung 840EVOs in RAID 0" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>In our test rig, we used a pair of Samsung 840EVOs with the latest firmware.</strong></p> <p>RAID has several “levels” that use drives in different ways. Level 0 (RAID 0) spreads or “stripes” data between two or more drives. The problem with striping data across drives is that when things go wrong, they go really wrong: If a single hard drive in a RAID 0 array fails and cannot be recovered, the entire RAID array is lost.&nbsp;</p> <p>On the plus side, RAID 0 combines the drives into a single larger logical drive with a capacity that is the sum of all the drives in the array. We found in our test rig that write cache stacked as well, which resulted in faster writing for large files. The data stored on the drives are read or written simultaneously, resulting in greatly reduced access times.</p> <p>There are three ways to implement RAID: hardware, software, and FakeRAID. Hardware RAID is faster, but it’s also more expensive due to the need for specialized hardware. Software and FakeRAID use the CPU in lieu of a dedicated RAID chip.</p> <p>&nbsp;Creating a software RAID array in operating system software is the easiest way to go. Windows 8 comes with everything you need to use software RAID, while the Linux package “<a href="http://www.linuxcommand.org/man_pages/mdadm8.html" target="_blank">mdadm</a>” is listed in most standard repositories.&nbsp;</p> <p>The problem with software RAID is that it only exists in the OS it was created in. Linux can’t see a RAID array created in Windows and vice versa. If you’re dual booting both Linux and Windows and need access to the array from both operating systems, use FakeRAID. Otherwise, stick to software.</p> <h3>Prepare your hardware</h3> <p>To ensure the best RAID performance, use identical drives with the same firmware. Mixing drive makes and models may work, but will result in faster drives being slowed down to match the slowest drive in the array. Don’t mix SSDs and mechanical drives in a RAID array; the SSD is faster on its own.</p> <p>RAID 0 doesn’t protect you from drive failure, so use new drives whenever possible. When connecting your drives, make sure they’re all using the same SATA version as well.</p> <p>Before a drive can be used in a RAID array, it must be clear of filesystems and partitions. If you’re using old drives, make sure you get everything of value off of them first. &nbsp;You can remove any partitions with Disk Management on Windows or “gparted” on Linux. If you’re using FakeRAID, the motherboard’s RAID utility should warn you before it wipes partition tables and the filesystems on them.</p> <p>In your operating system, you’ll need to have elevated permissions to create a RAID array. For Windows, you’ll need to be an Administrator. In Linux, you’ll need either the root password or sudo access.</p> <p>If you want to use FakeRAID, make sure your motherboard supports it. Be warned though: Installing an OS on top of a RAID 0 array can be really risky if your system data is critical.</p> <h3>Windows: storage spaces</h3> <p>Creating a software RAID 0 array on Windows is really easy, and relatively painless. The thing is, Microsoft doesn’t call it RAID in Windows 8, opting for “storage spaces” and “storage pools” instead.</p> <p>Hit Win+S and search for “storage spaces” and open the utility. Next, click <strong>Create a new pool and storage space</strong>. You’ll be prompted for administrator access. Click <strong>Yes</strong> to continue.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_storage-spaces.png" alt="Windows 8 Storage Spaces " title="Windows 8 Storage Spaces " width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Windows 8's built-in RAID software goes by the name "Storage Spaces."</strong></p> <p>You’ll be greeted by a windows showing all the unformatted disks that can be used. Select all the disks you want in the array and click&nbsp;<strong>Create pool</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_create-pool.png" alt="Windows 8 storage pool" title="Windows 8 storage pool" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>To create a storage pool in Windows 8, the disks need to be unformatted.</strong></p> <p>Next, give the pool a name and drive letter. The name will appear as the drive label. Select NTFS as the filesystem. For Resiliency type, select <strong>Simple (no resiliency)</strong>. This is the equivalent to RAID0. When you’re ready, click <strong>Create storage space</strong>&nbsp;to create the array.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_create-storage-space.png" alt="Creating a storage space" title="Creating a storage space" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>While a simple storage space technically only requires one hard disk, you need at least two for it to be a true RAID setup.</strong></p> <p>If you want to remove a RAID array for any reason, simply click <strong>Delete</strong>&nbsp;next to the storage space you want to remove. To remove the pool, remove all of the storage spaces in it first.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_manage-storage-spaces.png" alt="Manage Windows 8 storage spaces" title="Manage Windows 8 storage spaces" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>When you're all done, you'll be able to manage your storage spaces, check capacity, and monitor usage.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">See? Told you it was easy. &nbsp;Next up, we're going to cover <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015?page=0,1">creating RAID 0 arrays in Linux and in FakeRAID</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Linux: Excuse me, mdadm</h3> <p>Creating a software RAID in Linux is faster than Windows because it only requires a couple of console commands. In our example, we booted from a live Ubuntu 14.04 LTS USB stick.</p> <p>First, you need to <a href="http://packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/admin/mdadm" target="_blank">download and install mdadm</a>&nbsp;from your package manager. In Ubuntu, use aptitude to install the program:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">sudo apt-get install mdadm</span></p> <p>Once mdadm is installed, you can create your array by typing the following command as root or using sudo:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">mdadm --create /dev/mdX --level=0 --raid-devices=[number of drives] [drive name] [drive name] [etc]&nbsp;</span></p> <p>The above command will vary based on the size of your array, and how you’d like to name it. RAID devices are generally named <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">/dev/mdX</span> where <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">X</span> is the index of the array. Drive names must be valid Linux device paths, e.g., <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">/dev/sda</span> or <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">/dev/disk/by-uuid/[UUID]</span>. In our example, we used the following:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=0 --raid-devices=2 /dev/sda /dev/sdb</span></p> <p>To take apart the RAID array, use the following commands:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">umount -l /dev/mdX<br />mdadm --stop /dev/mdX<br />sudo mdadm --zero-superblock /dev/sdX<br />sudo mdadm --zero-superblock /dev/sdY …</span></p> <h3>Using onboard FakeRAID</h3> <p>Onboard FakeRAID is harder to set up, but is your only real choice if you want your RAID array to be accessible to both Windows and Linux. It also offers the advantage of letting you install Windows 8 on top of it. Linux can the installed on a FakeRAID array as well, but requires use of the dmraid driver.</p> <p>Once your drives are physically installed, boot into your BIOS by tapping the key prompted on startup. The message will say “Press DEL to enter Setup…” or something similar.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once you’re in your BIOS, look for an option called “SATA mode.” This option is in different places for each motherboard manufacturer, so refer to your user manual if you can’t find it. Once you’ve found the setting, change the setting to <strong>RAID</strong>. This will let your onboard RAID software know that there are possible RAID devices to be started. When you’re done, save and reboot.</p> <p>On the next boot, you have to get into the RAID software to set up your arrays. If you have Intel RAID onboard, you should be prompted to hit <strong>CTRL+I</strong> to start the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) RAID software. Software varies by vendor, so consult your motherboard manual on entering the RAID utility.</p> <p>In the RST menu, you should see some options and a list of hard drives on your system. Select <strong>Create RAID Volume</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_intel-rst.jpg" alt="Intel RST" title="Intel RST" width="620" height="465" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Any disks attached via SATA in RAID mode will show up in Intel RST. Disks that aren't included in an array will be shown as a "Non-Raid Disk."</strong></p> <p>On the next screen, give the RAID array a name and hit Enter. In the next field, use the up and down arrow keys to select the RAID level labeled <strong>RAID 0 (Stripe)</strong>&nbsp;and hit Enter again.</p> <p>In the next field, you can set the size of the striped data, but the default size should work just fine. Hit Enter to save the strip size and capacity to their default values and hit Enter again to create the volume. Confirm that you’re OK with wiping everything off the disks in your array by typing “<span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">Y</span>.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_create-fakeraid.jpg" alt="Creating a FakeRAID volume" title="Creating a FakeRAID volume" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Creating a RAID volume in Intel's RST software is pretty straightforward.</strong></p> <p>Back on the home screen, you will see a RAID volume, with the status of the disks used in the array changed from “Non-RAID disk” to “Member Disk.” Use the down arrow to select <strong>Exit</strong> to save and exit the software.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_rst-member-delete.jpg" alt="Intel RST with RAID members" title="Interl RST with RAID members" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>When you return to RST's main screen, you'll see that the drives will have been added as members to the RAID array. You can also remove disks from the array or delete the array altogether.</strong></p> <p>On the next boot, your FakeRAID array will appear as a single volume to the operating system. Additionally, RST will display the status of your RAID disks during the boot process, before the operating system loads. From there, you can partition and format the RAID array as you would any other disk.</p> <p>Setting up RAID 0 is a little more work than just slapping in some hard drives and booting up, but the speed benefits are undeniable.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015#comments array build it how to set up RAID 0 intel linux ssd windows 8 Features How-Tos Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:50:15 +0000 Alex Campbell 29637 at http://www.maximumpc.com Report: PC Makers Will Have Power to Lock Out Other OSes from Windows 10 PCs http://www.maximumpc.com/report_pc_makers_will_have_power_lock_out_other_oses_windows_pcs_100 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/windows_10_laptop.jpg" alt="Windows 10 PC" title="Windows 10 PC" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />OEMs are currently required to allows users to manually disable UEFI Secure Boot</h3> <p>Microsoft courted controversy when it emerged, in the lead-up to Windows 8’s release, that <strong>OEMs were required to enable Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)Secure Boot by default in order to have their systems certified for use with Windows 8</strong>. Widespread fears that the security feature would have the effect of locking out other operating systems were <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/windows_8_arm_tablets_no_disabling_secure_boot_you" target="_blank">allayed when another requirement surfaced</a>: “A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup.” However, the same may not be true when Windows 10 arrives later this year.</p> <p>That’s according to the folks over at <a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/03/windows-10-to-make-the-secure-boot-alt-os-lock-out-a-reality/?utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=pulsenews" target="_blank">ArsTechnica</a>, who have managed to get hold of a slide from Microsoft’s WinHEC hardware conference in Shenzhen, China. In so far as certified Windows 10 systems are concerned, the slide in question (pictured below) is clear that the decision whether or not to give users the option to disable Secure Boot will rest solely with the OEMs. If true, it would be a departure from the existing policy of expressly requiring them to give users such an option.</p> <p><img src="/files/u46168/windows-10-secure-boot-640x400.png" alt="UEFI Secure Boot and Windows 10" title="UEFI Secure Boot and Windows 10" width="620" height="388" /></p> <p>As <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/22/protecting-the-pre-os-environment-with-uefi.aspx" target="_blank">Microsoft reminded everyone</a> at the height of the whole Windows 8 secure boot saga, it is not some proprietary technology developed by the company to prevent other operating systems from being dual-booted alongside Windows. It is actually an UEFI (a BIOS replacement) security protocol that only allows signed, certified code and boot loaders to be run prior to the operating system itself, making the device less susceptible to rootkits and bootkits.</p> <p><em>Image Credit: ArsTechnica</em></p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/report_pc_makers_will_have_power_lock_out_other_oses_windows_pcs_100#comments bootkit linux rootkit secure boot uefi windows 10 windows 8 News Mon, 23 Mar 2015 06:49:22 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29622 at http://www.maximumpc.com Ask the Doctor: Imaging Rigs, Replacing TrueCrypt, and Installing an SSD http://www.maximumpc.com/ask_doctor_imaging_rigs_replacing_truecrypt_and_installing_ssd_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Photo Rig Conundrum</h3> <p>I understand most of your computer builds are predominantly for gaming enthusiasts, but I am contemplating a build that is primarily for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom 5 use, but with occasional gaming capability. I am also looking for a machine that hums on the net and for media streaming. I am looking for a build for less than around $2,000. Would one of your current blueprints serve this purpose, or maybe an existing high-end build but with a lesser graphics card? Or maybe an existing mid-range build but with more RAM etc. Would you be able to provide any advice with this regard? Any existing Internet articles for imaging type rigs always seem to be way out of date. —Gary Legg</p> <p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> For a Photoshop and Lightroom 5 box, you should be fine with a current-generation Haswell CPU quad core. A quad-core Core i5 will work but there will be times when Photoshop and Lightroom 5 will see a boast from the Hyper-Threading in a Core i7 CPU. Photoshop does need a moderate GPU to enhance performance. Since you intend to also play games, you should probably get a decent GPU in the $300 range for your gaming. A card in that range should work just fine with Photoshop CC. Lightroom 5 performance is a little harder to predict as it’s not GPU accelerated and does on occasion need lots of cores. To sum up: buy a Core i7 Haswell CPU, a $300 GPU, and maybe 16GB of RAM, or even 32GB if you work with very large files in Photoshop, and then sink most of your money into a large SSD, a large HDD, and an adequate system to back up those files, too. If you’re looking at our Blueprints, a Baseline rig should suit you just fine.</p> <h3>TrueCrypt Replacement</h3> <p>What encryption programs would you recommend to replace the now-unsupported TrueCrypt? I don’t need any fancy automated backup or anything, just something easy to lock down my storage drives when I’m not using them. —Dan</p> <p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> We’ve also been looking for a replacement for TrueCrypt, as it was our go-to free app for password protecting our important files. For those who aren’t aware, the makers of TrueCrypt ended support in May 2014 when Microsoft put a bullet in the dome of Windows XP. The TrueCrypt team recommended everyone just move to the integrated encryption tools built into Windows Vista, and Windows 7/8. However, we did find an alternative named DiskCryptor. It’s free, and each release is signed with the author’s PGP key, so it’s quite safe. The only catch is it only encrypts entire partitions instead of individual folders like with TrueCrypt. Still, it could be useful for an external drive, a USB key, or even your boot drive if you’re a bit paranoid.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u187432/diskcryptor.jpg" alt="DiskCryptor screenshot lg" title="DiskCryptor" width="620" height="648" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>With TrueCrypt now unsupported and out of the picture, we’ve moved to DiskCryptor as a replacement.</strong></p> <h3>Teaching an Old PC New Tricks</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">I have two older PCs I’m considering converting to a Windows Home Server 2011 system. One of these will be set up to work with a Sans Digital 8 bay (8TB) eSATA box, and whatever PC I use will get multiple GB Ethernet cards. The first PC is a P4 Northwood, running at 2.4GHz, with 4GB of RAM running XP SP3 32-bit Home Edition. It has 500GB of PATA HDs on board, an EVGA GeForce 6800, and is currently used to run some older printers that don’t have Win7 drivers. It doesn’t connect to the net, and everything runs like new including the printers. The second is a Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfi eld 2.85GHz, with 8GB of dual-channel RAM, running Win7 Home Premium 64-bit, a 1GB Gigabyte I-Ram drive (for Temp, Tmp, and IE files), 500GB of SATA II HDDs, and a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 1GB video card. It is currently used as a secondary gaming rig for guests. This PC does have net access and everything also runs like new. Do you think the P4 will work well as the WHS 2011 server (with all the extras, such as media streaming), or will it just not have the horsepower? (I’m thinking of how many newer NAS boxes only have Atom or ARM processors and low RAM.) I was also thinking of a dual boot setup to run the old printers. —George</p> <p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> First, you’re out of luck with the Northwood Pentium 4 machine. Windows Home Server 11 is a 64-bit only OS and requires a CPU with x86-64 support. The Northwood P4 (the original Socket 478 CPU) was 32-bit only. Only later versions of the P4 and Pentium D had 64-bit support once Intel realized AM was going to win that battle. The Core 2 Quad Q9550 is 64-bit so you’d have to use that machine. That may be overkill for a home server as there are lots of ARM-based and Atom-based NAS units out there. In the doc’s experience though, those machines have atrocious performance and even the most basic Celeron NAS units are faster.</p> <h3>SSD and HDD Decisions</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">When installing an SSD, besides the OS, what other programs should be installed on it? I had an SSD on my PC, but it died, and I had a computer tech move everything over to my regular drive. The original SSD was only 60GB, but I am planning on buying a larger one. Should I move all of my programs over or just my web browsers? —William R. Miller II</p> <p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> This is a common situation William. You have your smallish SSD sitting there, and a “regular drive” to use your words, so how do you split up your data and programs? The answer is actually quite simple, and is dictated mostly by the capacity of the drives in question. Since most of us are rocking SSDs ranging in size from 128GB to 512GB, we simply can’t put all of our data on the SSD like back in the day when we had one hard drive that held everything, including our OS, data, and all our programs. Therefore, the division is quite simple. You put your OS and installed programs (including games) on the SSD, and all your “data” on the hard drive. You can then change all the shortcuts in Windows to be on the hard drive by right-clicking those shortcuts and fiddling with their properties. Be sure to check out <a href="http://goo.gl/dW6yC9" target="_blank">http://goo.gl/dW6yC9</a> for our more in-depth explanation of how to do this.</p> <h3>CPU or GPU Bottlenecking</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">I have pre-ordered one of the Pentium Anniversary Editions, and already have an Asus GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB OC. Is this a good match, or will one of these parts be a performance bottleneck? Also, what would be a good mobo for this build? Normally I would just get the most expensive one I can afford, but this system will already have some built-in limitations, so I don’t want to go overkill. —Chris Hall</p> <p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> Chris, if you mean the unlocked Pentium Anniversary Edition, the Doc thinks it’s a good match. For those who don’t know, the Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition is an unlocked budget dual-core chip. The staff at Maximum PC likes to call it the Pentium K to denote its unlocked status. With a base clock of 3.2GHz, the part does not have Hyper-Threading but should overclock into the 4GHz range easily. You asked if that would create a bottleneck situation and it shouldn’t. However, you didn’t say what you intend to do with the system. If it is primarily a gaming box, you’re in good shape as most games are still optimized for dual cores. If you intend to do a lot of video editing or multithreaded tasks, that dual-core CPU will certainly be the limiting factor. The good news is you can make up for some of the performance loss by overclocking the chip. As far as motherboard expenditures, you should probably buy primarily on the features you need. The best example is Thunderbolt 2. If you don’t intend to use it, don’t pay for it. If you never intend to overclock or run multi-GPUs, pick a board without those features to save some cash.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u187432/asus-gtx750ti-oc-2gd5.jpg" alt="Asus cooler" title="Asus cooler" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>CPUs and GPUs should be evenly matched to prevent performance bottlenecks.</strong></p> <h3>OEM SSD Upgrade</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">I have an Asus M51AD Essentio Series computer, which came with an HDD, Windows 8.1 installed, and a recovery partition. My problem is I want to replace the HDD with an SSD, but I have no Windows disk to do a fresh install to the SSD. I have created a separate recovery drive from the recovery partition, but queries on the Internet indicate a fresh install to a new drive cannot be done from either the recovery partition or drive. I can’t install the SSD along with the HDD because the motherboard Asus used for this unit only has two SATA connections available, one used for the optical and the other for the HDD. —Hal Smith</p> <p><strong>The Doctor Responds: </strong>This is an advanced maneuver, Hal, but it is possible. Manufacturers obviously don’t want that recovery partition, which is a bootable OS, copied to any old drive, so they usually lock it down. However, if the hard drive that came with your system dies, then you’d lose your only copy of Windows that you rightfully purchased, so OEMs usually give you the option of making recovery disks in case of hard drive failure. This will copy the hidden partition with the OS on it to an external drive, so you can copy your OS in “factory condition” to a new hard drive in the future. What you need to do is make those disks (we usually use an 8GB USB key for this), which creates a bootable backup of the recovery partition. Once that’s complete, pull your HDD and install the SSD. Next boot from the new recovery backup (the USB key, if you used one), and it should give you the option to recover your OS to a drive. Select the SSD and it should install. You should just buy an external USB enclosure for your old hard drive and use it for data storage, but be sure to back up that data either to the cloud or to another external drive.</p> <p><strong>Submit your questions to:</strong> <a href="mailto:doctor@maximumpc.com" target="_blank">doctor@maximumpc.com</a>.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/ask_doctor_imaging_rigs_replacing_truecrypt_and_installing_ssd_2014#comments asus bottlenecking HDD i5 OEM Photoshop CC quad core ssd truecrypt windows 7 windows 8 Windows Home Server Windows Vista windows xp From the Magazine Mon, 16 Feb 2015 23:52:45 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 29592 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 8 and 8.1 Finally Topple XP in Market Share http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_and_81_finally_topple_xp_market_share_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_xp_bsod.jpg" alt="Windows XP BSOD" title="Windows XP BSOD" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />A once mighty giant has fallen</h3> <p>With so many people clinging to Windows XP despite Microsoft's repeated attempts to bury the legacy OS and the lukewarm (at best) response to Windows 8, it didn't seem like the latter would ever overtake the former in market share. Never say never, right? <strong>For the first time ever,</strong> <strong>the combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is higher than that of Windows XP</strong>, based on the latest data provided by Net Applications.</p> <p>Windows XP's share of the market has been slowing declining for the past couple of years, but the biggest plunges have only occurred recently. Here's a <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=11&amp;qpcustomb=0&amp;qpsp=167&amp;qpnp=25&amp;qptimeframe=M" target="_blank">rundown</a>:</p> <ul> <li>August: 23.89 percent</li> <li>September: 23.87 percent</li> <li>October: 17.18 percent</li> <li>November: 13.57 percent</li> </ul> <p>Just five months ago, Windows XP was still found on a quarter of all PCs; now it's fast approaching just 1 out of every 10 systems. This recent rapid decline has allowed Windows 8 to catch up and surpass XP, at least if you factor in version 8.1 installs as well. The combined share for both platforms for the past four months looks like this:</p> <ul> <li>August: 13.37 percent</li> <li>September: 12.26 percent</li> <li>October: 16.8 percent</li> <li>November: 18.65 percent</li> </ul> <p>Data from StatCounter tells a similar story, though with <a href="http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop-os-ww-monthly-201311-201411" target="_blank">different numbers</a>. According to StatCounter, Windows XP's share of the desktop is down to 11.84 percent, trailing Windows 8.1 at 12.12 percent and Windows 8 at 5.42 percent, which combine for a 17.54 percent share of the market.</p> <p>Of course, Windows 7 is still the go-to OS for Windows users. Net Applications and StatCounter have Windows 7 sitting handsome at 53.71 percent and 55.75 percent, respectively.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dno1967b/10994118235" target="_blank">Flickr (Daniel Oines)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_and_81_finally_topple_xp_market_share_2014#comments microsoft net applications netmarketshare operating system Software windows 7 windows 8 windows 8.1 windows xp News Mon, 01 Dec 2014 16:47:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 29015 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Is Giving 100 Free Albums To Windows 8 And Windows Phone Users Through Music Deals App http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_giving_100_free_albums_windows_8_and_windows_phone_users_through_music_deals_app <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/music_deals_albums.jpg" alt="Music Deals" title="Music Deals" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Rock out with your Windows Phone or Windows device out</h3> <p>It wouldn't be fair to call Microsoft a Scrooge, not when the company is rolling out a pair of sweet deals for the holiday season, one of which includes 100 free albums. The caveat? You have to be a Windows or Windows Phone user. If you are, you can <strong>claim your 100 free albums from Microsoft by installing the company's Music Deals companion app</strong>. These aren't crappy albums, either.</p> <p>Some are obviously better than others, depending on your music preferences, but you'll find plenty of big names like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, Eminem, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, American Idiot, and lots more. And that's just one of the deals going on.</p> <p>Microsoft is also offering up 50 boxed sets at $2 a pop. Think artists and bands like the Eagles, KISS, John Lennon, and of course the list goes on. These sets typically sell for between $15 and $100.</p> <p>"Remember, albums you download as part of our Music Deals are all MP3s. You can download these albums, keep them, and play them on whatever device you have," Microsoft stated in a <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/11/25/massive-music-deals-promotion-just-in-time-for-the-holidays/" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>You can grab the Music Deals app from the Windows Store <a href="http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/dce9fff9-2b8b-4610-815c-12d109934cbc" target="_blank">here</a> and from the Windows Phone Store <a href="http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=19c720ef-fe0a-41bc-b323-b5c1d2aa5e97" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_giving_100_free_albums_windows_8_and_windows_phone_users_through_music_deals_app#comments microsoft music music deals windows 8 windows phone xbox music News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:52:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28996 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft's Promises a Windows 10 Update for All Lumia Windows Phone 8 Devices http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_promises_windows_10_update_all_lumia_windows_phone_8_devices_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lumia_1520.jpg" alt="Lumia 1520" title="Lumia 1520" width="228" height="249" style="float: right;" />No Lumia Windows Phone 8 device left behind</h3> <p>This time around, <strong>Microsoft isn't repeating its past mistake and will instead do Lumia phone customers a solid by committing to a Windows 10 update for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets</strong>. Microsoft made the promise in response to a customer's question on Twitter. The customer said he was interested in buying a Lumia 930 phone but wanted to know if it would get the update to Windows 10.</p> <p>"We plan to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices to Windows 10," <a href="https://twitter.com/lumia/status/532914535263641600" target="_blank">Microsoft responded</a>, with a smiling emoticon for good measures.</p> <p>It's not clear when Windows 10 will be finished and ready for deployment, though it's nice to know beforehand that Microsoft won't leave its customer base out in the cold a second time. Microsoft made that mistake when it announced that Windows Phone 7 owners wouldn't be getting an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 due to a kernel change (to Windows NT).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_promises_windows_10_update_all_lumia_windows_phone_8_devices_2014#comments lumia microsoft mobile operating system OS Software windows 10 windows 8 News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28930 at http://www.maximumpc.com Fast Forward: Windows 8 Workarounds http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_workarounds_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} --><!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><img src="/files/u187432/windows_8.jpg" width="325" height="183" style="float: right;" />My forced switch to Windows 8.1 broke some vital software that worked perfectly on Windows XP. Luckily, I’ve found workarounds—and they might save your software, too.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Often, Windows 8.1 simply refuses to run an old installer. In other cases, the installer seems to work, but the installed application won’t run. To make Windows 8.1 more cooperative, you’ll need your old system and some persistence.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The first victim I rescued was an old version of Adobe Photoshop. The installer balked, so I bypassed it by copying all the installed files from my XP system to my new system. Then I opened the Properties window for the Photoshop executable file, chose the Compatibility tab, and selected “Windows XP Service Pack 2.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Photoshop still failed to launch but named a DLL file it couldn’t find. I located the DLL in the Windows folder of my XP system and copied it to my new system. To avoid possible conflicts, I put the DLL in the Photoshop folder, not the Windows folder. Usually, programs look for their DLLs locally before searching elsewhere.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">When Photoshop failed to open again, another error message named a different missing DLL. As before, this one was in the Windows folder of my XP system. After I copied it and made another try, Photoshop said it couldn’t find <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">yet another</em> DLL. So I found and copied that one. After six iterations of this process, Photoshop finally launched. Now it runs fine, except it needs administrator-level permission before it opens, probably because it’s not officially logged in the Windows registry.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I’ve used the same solution to salvage other vital programs that Windows 8.1 rejects. Sometimes it doesn’t work when I copy the software to Program Files, so I created a desktop folder called Programs for those cases. Persistence pays off!</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_workarounds_2014#comments microsoft pc windows 8 From the Magazine Tue, 11 Nov 2014 05:35:34 +0000 Tom Halfhill 28881 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 8.1 Market Share Finally Hits Double Digits http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_81_market_share_finally_hits_double_digits871 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/windows_81_4.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1" title="Windows 8.1" width="228" height="200" style="float: right;" />Windows 8 and 8.1 combined share also at all-time high</h3> <p>The combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 looked to be <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_market_share_headed_back_towards_single_digits_2014" target="_blank">heading back towards single digits</a> early last month when Net Applications released its desktop OS usage data for the month of September, revealing that the already teetering combo had shed over a percentage points’ worth of market share to reach 12.26 percent. That appears to have been a false alarm as the <strong>latest data from Net Applications data shows an unexpected surge in Windows 8.1 uptake</strong>.</p> <p>Windows 8.1 finished October with 10.92 percent of the desktop market — the first time it has hit double digits. This sharp increase of over 4 percentage points was enough to help propel the combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to beyond the 15 percent mark — also a first. With a combined market share of 16.8 percent, these two versions of Microsoft’s latest desktop operating system are now within touching distance of Windows XP, which saw its share fall sharply from 23.87 percent to 17.18 percent in October. </p> <p>Still firmly entrenched at the top, Windows 7 also witnessed a slight increase in its market share. Per <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/" target="_blank">Net Applications</a>, the popular OS ended the month with a 53.05 percent share, up slightly from 52.71 percent a month ago. The fact that October was the last month of Windows 7 consumer PC sales may have contributed to this small increase. </p> <p>With Windows 10 due out next year, it will be interesting to see whether or not Windows 8/8.1 will be able sustain this momentum. What do you think?</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_81_market_share_finally_hits_double_digits871#comments data Market Share microsoft net applications operating system Software windows 8 windows 8.1 News Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:06:33 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28825 at http://www.maximumpc.com China Plans to Replace All Windows Machines with Linux Rigs by 2020 http://www.maximumpc.com/china_plans_replace_all_windows_machines_linux_rigs_2020 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/linux_penguin_0.jpg" alt="Linux Penguin" title="Linux Penguin" width="228" height="240" style="float: right;" />It's a "de-Windowsifying movement"</h3> <p>Most of the mainstream angst directed towards Windows 8 and 8.1 in the U.S. has to do with the Modern UI and little things like the lack of a Start menu. But while hopes are high that Windows 10 will be the OS everyone wanted Windows 8 to be, China's concerns run much deeper than the UI. As such, <strong>China reportedly plans to undergo a "de-Windowsifying" process in which its systems will be move to a state-endorsed version of Linux by 2020</strong>.</p> <p>"We call this a de-Windowsifying movement," Computer Science Professor Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering <a href="http://www.ecns.cn/business/2014/10-23/139690.shtml" target="_blank">told <em>Ecns.cn</em></a>.</p> <p>The 75-year-old professor went on to discuss his plans to bring together China's homegrown OS developers in an alliance to replace Windows within the next few years.</p> <p>"Now is the most vulnerable time for Microsoft in China, and the best time for homegrown software companies to beat it," Ni added.</p> <p>So far the effort has the support of 15 OS developers. None of them can take on Windows by going at it alone, but China's hope is that by pooling their talent and resources, they can rid the country's reliance on Microsoft's OS. It's also worth noting that China recently banned the use of Windows 8 on all government PCs due to spying concerns.</p> <p>"At the end of the day, I expect the 15 operating systems to merge into one or two operating systems, while the rest of the developers can shift into providing other relevant services," Ni said.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/china_plans_replace_all_windows_machines_linux_rigs_2020#comments china linux operating system OS Software Windows windows 8 News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:43:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 28823 at http://www.maximumpc.com Patent Troll’s Bid to Benefit from Windows Live Tiles Falls Flat http://www.maximumpc.com/patent_troll%E2%80%99s_bid_benefit_windows_live_tiles_falls_flat787 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u57670/mango3.jpg" alt="Live Tiles on a Windows Phone" title="Live Tiles " width="228" height="115" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>All patent claims ruled ‘unpatentable’</h3> <p>Microsoft is not the only company to have pinned high hopes on Windows Live Tiles and been let down. The user interface element that has come to be associated with Windows 8’s well-documented alienation of desktop users has been at the center of a patent lawsuit since 2012.&nbsp; A little-known Portland, Maine-based company named <a href="http://www.surfcast.com/" target="_blank">Surfcast</a>, which inhabits the obscure realm of “operating system technology” design, suddenly shot to attention a couple of years back, when it filed a <strong>lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the latter of infringing on one of its patents with Live Tiles.</strong> The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on Monday gave its <a href="http://seattletimes.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/microsoftpri0/files/2014/10/USPTO-MS-vs-SurfCast.pdf">final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR) of patent 6,724,403 (the “'403 patent”)</a> and sadly for Surfcast, Live Tiles are just as difficult to make money from as ever.</p> <p>In its final written decision, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO’s) Patent Trial and Appeal Board declared as many as <a href="http://blogs.seattletimes.com/microsoftpri0/2014/10/17/microsoft-notches-a-victory-in-ongoing-lawsuit-over-live-tiles/">52 of Surfcast’s patent claims “unpatentable.”</a> Now this wouldn’t have been such a huge problem had the total number of claims in Surfcast’s patent not been exactly 52. Ouch!</p> <p>“Microsoft has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 1–52 of the ’403 patent are unpatentable,” the board said in its decision.&nbsp; Further, the board also denied Surfcast’s motion to amend claims.</p> <p>Anyway, here’s an excerpt from <a href="https://www.google.com/patents/US6724403?dq=surfcast+tile&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=IVhEVP2zIMGxuAS-zYGgDQ&amp;ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA" target="_blank">the ’403 patent</a> describing Surfcast’s proposed tiles-based interface:&nbsp; “The present invention comprises a grid of tiles that resides on the user's computer desktop. The grid of tiles provides a uniform, graphical environment in which a user can access, operate, and/or control multiple data sources on electronic devices. The graphical environment is uniform with respect to the source of accessed information and can manage multiple streams of content, entirely of the user's choice. For example, the invention presents video clips, e-mail messages, television shows, Internet sites, application programs, data files and folders, live video streams, music, radio shows, and any other form of analog signal, digital data or electronically stored information, to the user uniformly and simultaneously, regardless of whether the information is stored locally or available via modem, T1 line, infrared, or any other form of communication.”</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/patent_troll%E2%80%99s_bid_benefit_windows_live_tiles_falls_flat787#comments inter partes review lawsuit live tiles microsoft patent Patent Troll surfcast UI windows 8 windows 8.1 windows phone News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:34:08 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28744 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 8 Market Share Headed Back Towards Single Digits http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_market_share_headed_back_towards_single_digits_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_1.jpg" alt="Windows 8" title="Windows 8" width="228" height="222" style="float: right;" />Windows 10 will go up against Windows 7, not Windows 8/8.1</h3> <p>Now that Microsoft has <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_tosses_windows_9_recycle_bin_announces_windows_10_instead_2014">unveiled Windows 10</a> and is even <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/try_out_microsofts_windows_10_technical_preview_today_2014" target="_blank">serving up a Technical Preview</a> for curious folks to check out, Windows 8 is already feeling like old news. Some felt that way even before Microsoft's announcement, which might explain why <strong>Windows 8 lost market share in the desktop OS market in the month of September</strong>. At this rate, it won't be long before Windows 8's share drops back into single digits.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/" target="_blank"><em>Net Applications</em></a>, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 fell to a combined 12.26 percent of the desktop OS market by the end of September, down more than a percentage point from 13.37 percent at the end of August, which is the highest it's ever been.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see how things shake out from there. On one hand, it's possible that Windows 8/8.1 peaked in August and will never see a higher share of the market now that Windows 10 is on the horizon. However, it's also possible that Windows 8/8.1 will see a small surge as companies continue to migrate away from Windows XP, though the numbers don't yet support that notion.</p> <p>Since having support pulled back in April (except for firms who pay for extended support), Windows XP has dropped less than 3 percentage points, going from 26.29 percent at the end of April to 23.87 percent at the end of September, a decline of 2.42 percent. During that same time, Windows 8/8.1 has gone from 12.24 percent to 12.26 percent, or virtually nowhere.</p> <p>Windows 7 is the one that's benefiting from XP's demise -- it's share of the market has gone from 49.27 percent at the end of April to 52.71 percent at the end of September, a bump of 3.44 percent. Barring an extreme turn of events, Windows 10 will find itself competing with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8/81.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_market_share_headed_back_towards_single_digits_2014#comments net applications operating system OS Software Windows windows 8 windows 8.1 News Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:13:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 28654 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 8 Shows Signs of Life (Just in Time for Windows 9) http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_shows_signs_life_just_time_windows__2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ekg.jpg" alt="EKG" title="EKG" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Too little, too late?</h3> <p>With each new passing day, more Windows XP users are pulling the plug on the legacy operating system and upgrading to either Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. We can see evidence of this in the market share trend dating back to April, which is when Microsoft stopped supporting XP. Since then, <strong>XP's share of the desktop market has dropped from 26.29 percent to 23.89 percent, while both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 continue to make gains</strong>.</p> <p>Windows 7 held a 49.27 percent share of the desktop market at the end of April. With August having just recently come to a close, Windows 7's share now sits at 51.21 percent, which is virtually unchanged from July (51.22 percent). It's by far the most popular desktop OS, according to data provided by <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=11&amp;qpcustomb=0&amp;qpsp=164&amp;qpnp=24&amp;qptimeframe=M" target="_blank">Net Applications</a>.</p> <p>However, it's Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 that have shown a pulse in the past month. Windows 8 crept up from 5.92 percent in July to 6.28 percent at the end of August, while Windows 8.1 went from 6.56 percent to 7.09 percent in the same time frame. The combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is now at 13.65 percent, up from 12.48 percent in June and 12.24 percent in April.</p> <p>At the rate Windows XP is falling and Windows 8/8.1 is climbing, the latter would likely overtake the former in less than a year, except for one little thing -- Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold). Microsoft is <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/get_sneak_peek_window_9_september_2014">reportedly planning</a> to unveil Windows 9 this month, followed by releasing a Technology Preview for eager users to play with.</p> <p>Rumor has it Microsoft will <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_may_ditch_charms_bar_windows_9_2014">get rid of the Charms Bar</a> in Windows 9 for desktop PCs. The forthcoming OS is also expected to bring back the shutdown feature on Start, along with other welcome features for mouse and keyboard users. If Windows 9 returns to its roots like users have been asking for, and does it without giving up the speed and security of Windows 8/8.1, then it could quickly find its way onto a significant number of desktops.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_shows_signs_life_just_time_windows__2014#comments microsoft operating system OS softwware windows 8 windows 8.1 windows 9 windows xp News Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:33:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28469 at http://www.maximumpc.com Moving On: Microsoft Confirms No More Major Updates for Windows 8 http://www.maximumpc.com/moving_microsoft_confirms_no_more_major_updates_windows_8_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_0.jpg" alt="Windows 8" title="Windows 8" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Bring on Windows 9!</h3> <p>As Kenny Rogers famously advised a legion of country music fans, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, known when to run." Microsoft isn't quite to the point of running away from Windows 8, though it is ready to walk away from putting time and resources into major updates. <strong>There will be no Windows 8.1 Update 2</strong>, which seemingly suggest Microsoft is now looking ahead to Windows 9.</p> <p>Microsoft tried to address consumer complaints in Windows 8 with Windows 8.1, and then again with its first major update for Windows 8.1. However, Windows 8/8.1 isn't grabbing market share the way Microsoft hoped it would, even with Windows XP taken behind the shed.</p> <p>That reality must have finally hit Microsoft like a ton of bricks, and now the firm is changing gears -- rather than release another major update to Windows 8.1, it's going to add any upcoming changes to its monthly update schedule, better known as Patch Tuesday.</p> <p>"Rather than waiting for months and bundling together a bunch of improvements into a larger update as we did for the Windows 8.1 Update, customers can expect that we’ll use our already existing monthly update process to deliver more frequent improvements along with the security updates normally provided as part of 'Update Tuesday.' So despite rumors and speculation, we are not planning to deliver a Windows 8.1 'Update 2,'" Microsoft stated in a <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/08/05/august-updates-for-windows-8-1-and-windows-server-2012-r2/" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>That means the next truly major update to Windows will be a brand new version. It's currently codenamed Threshold and is expected to be called Windows 9.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/moving_microsoft_confirms_no_more_major_updates_windows_8_2014#comments microsoft Software threshold windows 8 windows 8.1 windows 9 News Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:30:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28317 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 8 Market Share Stands Pat as Windows 7 Gains Ground http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_market_share_stands_pat_windows_7_gains_ground_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_ultrabook.jpg" alt="Windows 8 Ultrabook" title="Windows 8 Ultrabook" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Windows 8 may have hit a brick wall</h3> <p>Not much has happened in the Windows space this summer, though what little movement there's been indicates that <strong>users are still trending more towards Windows 7 than Windows 8/8.1</strong>. The combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in July was 12.48 percent, down a sliver from 12.54 percent in June and 12.64 percent in May. All of those figures are up slightly from the 12.24 percent share Window 8/8.1 held in April when support for XP ended, but nothing to brag about.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Windows 7 continues to inch forward month after month. Here's how the market share numbers have been playing out for Windows 7 since April of this year, according to data from <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=11&amp;qpcustomb=0&amp;qpsp=163&amp;qpnp=25&amp;qptimeframe=M" target="_blank">Net Applications</a>:</p> <ul> <li>April: 49.27 percent</li> <li>May: 50.06 percent</li> <li>June: 50.55 percent</li> <li>July: 51.22 percent</li> </ul> <p>That's a 2 percent bump since Microsoft yanked support for Windows XP. And speaking of which, the legacy operating system is still installed on about a quarter of PCs around the world at 24.82 percent, which is down from 26.29 percent in April.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_8_market_share_stands_pat_windows_7_gains_ground_2014#comments microsoft operating system OS Software windows 7 windows 8 windows xp News Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:21:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28287 at http://www.maximumpc.com Still Committed to Small-screen Windows Tablets, Lenovo Insists http://www.maximumpc.com/still_committed_small-screen_windows_tablets_lenovo_insists765 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u69/lenovo_miix2_cover.jpg" alt="Lenovo Miix 8" title="Lenovo Miix 8" width="228" height="214" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Company recently diverted ThinkPad 8 inventory meant for the States to other markets</h3> <p>On Thursday, a report quoting a Lenovo spokesman claimed that the <a href="http://www.itworld.com/hardware/427596/lenovo-stops-selling-small-screen-windows-tablets-us?page=0,1" target="_blank">Chinese PC vendor had decided to stop selling sub-10-inch tablets in the States</a> “due to lack of interest” and was going to divert any remaining inventory of the ThinkPad 8, which debuted in January with a starting price of $449, to countries like Brazil, China, and Japan where demand for such 8-inch tablets continues to remain strong. The company has now issued a statement clarifying that the <strong>withdrawal of the ThinkPad 8 should not be construed as an exit from the market for sub-10-inch Windows tablets in the States.</strong></p> <p>“We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday,” the company said in a <a href="http://news.lenovo.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1803" target="_blank">press release</a> Friday. “Our model mix changes as per customer demand, and although we are no longer selling ThinkPad 8 in the U.S., and we have sold out of Miix 8-inch, we are not getting out of the small-screen Windows tablet business as was reported by the media. In short, we will continue to sell both 8 and 10 inch Windows tablets in both the U.S. and non-U.S markets.”</p> <p>This means those contemplating buying a small-screen Windows tablet will have one less vendor to choose from for the foreseeable future — not an ideal situation considering there’s not a lot to choose from anyway.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/still_committed_small-screen_windows_tablets_lenovo_insists765#comments Hardware lenovo miix 8 tablet thinkpad 8 windows 8 News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:44:15 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28199 at http://www.maximumpc.com