Sunday 19 May 2013

Windows 8.1 Will Be Free


 Christo [PCD]    19 May : 19:12
 None    Software

Name of OS is also confirmed

Name of OS is also confirmed

Until now, we knew (officially) that an unnamed successor to Windows 8 would enter Release Preview testing next month at Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) BUILD Conference. Now that unnamed release has received an official title.

At JP Morgan & Chase Comp.'s (JPM) Media and Telecom conference today Windows chief financial officer Tami Reller confirmed rumors that the upcoming OS, codenamed Windows Blue, would be christened "Windows 8.1".

More importantly, the update -- which reportedly will allow users to boot to desktop, return some semblance of the Start button (albeit one that dumps users into Metro), and include better mouse support in Metro -- will be offered for free to Windows 8 customers. The update will be distributed via the Windows Store.

OEMs are hopeful the update will revive floundering PC sales. Q1 2013 marked the worse percentage drop in PC unit sales in history.

Tami Reller yet again addressed Microsoft's sentiments on another key topic -- Windows RT. Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), The Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992), Dell Inc. (DELL), and Acer Inc. (TPE:2357) -- have attacked the OS [1][2][3][4] have all attacked complaining about its lack of legacy compatibility and Microsoft's poor marketing of the platform. Many of these OEMs have refused to release Windows RT products, sinking sales to an anemic 200,000 tablets in Q1 2013. But Microsoft, like its hardware partners Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) [1][2][3], is standing clearly behind the platform.

In a statement at the conference Ms. Reller stated, "We need the flexibility of ARM"

There may be relief in sight for Windows on ARM (WOA), aka Windows RT. One of the improvements Windows 8.1 is expected to bring is UI adjustments to accommodate 7- and 8-inch displays. The explosion of this lower-priced segment helped propel another struggling tablet platform -- Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android -- from a bit player to a serious contender, with designs like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Kindle Fire, and ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357) Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet.

There's not much Microsoft can do about the legacy compatibility issue, other than to try to foster the growth of ARM-compatible apps in the Windows Store. But hopefully Microsoft improves its educational efforts, both in general on how to use Windows 8 (for new users) and the differences between Windows 8/8.1 and RT (for potential ARM device buyers).

Source: Microsoft

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Microsoft is standing behind its ARM product, looking to new form factors.
[Image Source: TalkVietnam]


[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]


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Friday 12 April 2013

Microsoft to Release 7-Inch Surface Tablet


 Christo [PCD]    12 Apr : 10:22
 None    Hardware

It is expected to go into mass production later this year

It is expected to go into mass production later this year

Joining the likes of Apple and Google, Microsoft is now also rumored to be making a 7-inch version of its first homemade tablet -- the Surface.

According to a recent report from Reuters, Microsoft is in the midst of creating a whole new batch of Surface tablets, which includes a 7-inch version.

The 7-inch tablet is expected to go into mass production later this year.

Microsoft, which released its first Surface tablet on October 26, 2012, hasn't seen the sales success it expected. Last month, a Bloomberg source anonymously revealed that Microsoft had sold 1.5 million Surface tablets at that point. More specifically, the company had sold a little over a million Surface with Windows RT tablets (features the Windows RT version of Windows 8 specifically for ARM processors) and about 400,000 Surface with Windows Pro tablets (features the full version of Windows 8 and an Intel Core i5 processor).

These figures missed analyst expectations of about 2 million Surface RT tablets in just the December quarter alone.

Microsoft launched Surface with Windows RT in October and Surface with Windows 8 Pro in February.

Microsoft likely wants to run with the big boys like Apple and Google in the tablet sector, and both have already released 7-inch tablets (which tend to be more affordable for consumers). Google's 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet was a hit at only $200 with a load of impressive features, and Apple released its 7-inch iPad mini for a little over $300 last November.

However, Microsoft may want to steer clear of releasing any more Surface tablets with Windows RT, since the operating system has largely been a bust. RT-powered tablets have dropped significantly in price in some cases due to lack of consumer demand, and many hardware makers are looking to just clear the dead weight out of their inventory.

Even analysts believe Windows RT will, at some point, just fade away.

"I think you're seeing discounting based on user demand. I never thought RT was going to be that successful," said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates. "RT will fade away over time. It's not a full Windows 8 experience. That said, why wouldn't I spend more and get a full Pro version of the device?"

Source: Reuters


[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

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Monday 18 March 2013

NVIDIA We let AMD power the PS4


 Christo [PCD]    18 Mar : 19:22
 None    Hardware

NVIDIA says trying to design a GPU for the console wasn't worth the cost

NVIDIA says trying to design a GPU for the console wasn't worth the cost

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) has quietly dominated the market for commodity graphics chips and CPUs for console gaming systems, and the latest generation of consoles look to be no exception. Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) PS4, to launch this holiday season, will feature an AMD GPU and CPU. And there's an AMD 550 MHz Radeon "Latte" GPU aboard Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) popular Wii U.

So how does NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA), AMD's chief rival in the PC graphics market feel about AMD's dominance of the increasingly PC-like consoles? Not too bad, apparently.

NVIDIA's Senior Vice President of content and tecnology told Gamespot in a recent interview that his company is essentially letting AMD win. While he's convinced his firm could be AMD if it tried, he says it just isn't worth it, remarking:

I'm sure there was a negotiation that went on and we came to the conclusion that we didn't want to do the business at the price those guys were willing to pay. Having been through the original Xbox and PS3, we understand the economics of the development and the trade-offs.

If we say, did a console, what other piece of our business would we put on hold to chase after that? In the end, you only have so many engineers and so much capability, and if you're going to go off and do chips for Sony or Microsoft, then that's probably a chip that you're not doing for some other portion of your business.

That statement seems a bit odd -- after all, hegemony of consoles could be a ticket for a financially struggling AMD to effectively sell tens, if not hundreds of millions of chips.


But NVIDIA's focus is more directed on the mobile market, where it's looking to leverage pared down versions of its GeForce GPUs beside ARM CPU cores. NVIDIA has its work cut out for it in that market; it largely lost the last round to Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) due to its chips being too power-hungry.

NVIDIA is looking to change later this year with the refresh of Tegra 4 that will include an on-die LTE modem. Between Tegra and the development of traditional PC GPUs, NVIDIA sounds content to let AMD freely dominate the console market -- or so it says.

Source: GameSpot



[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1363627296 NVIDIA

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