Wednesday 11 July 2012

Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Prices Revealed: $39.99 Download, $69.99 via Disc


 Christo [PCD]    11 Jul : 14:17
 None    Software

Any version of Windows XP, Vista, or 7 will be eligible for inexpensive upgrade

Any version of Windows XP, Vista, or 7 will be eligible for inexpensive upgrade

Say what you will about its touch reforms, and extreme user interface makeover, but Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is at least moving aggressively to give its customers a favorable price point.

To counter Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) $19.99 USD Mountain Lion licensing, Microsoft is offering Windows 8 "Pro" for only $39.99 USD via download. A DVD version will be available for $69.99 USD (that's one expensive disc). Clearly Microsoft is trying to funnel customers to its online process, which it hopes will lead to a more pain-free and automated installation.

Comments Microsoft:

We believe that your upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze by offering a faster experience, a single upgrade path, and compatibility from prior versions of Windows. We’ve continued to listen to our customers and have expanded the ability to download to over 100 countries and 37 languages. We have simplified the Windows upgrade experience with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which supports you during your upgrade with everything from selecting your language to pausing your download to built-in compatibility checks - it’s seamless. And if you’re an enthusiast you will have the flexibility to download and control how you upgrade.

Somewhat strangely Microsoft is offering customers who purchase the download the option to purchase a backup DVD for $15. In other words you can order the download and get a DVD via the backup option for $54.99 USD, or pay $15 USD extra to buy it in store.

It seems a bit counterintuitive, to say the least.

Of course if you want to snag a download or disc install be sure to first check that your hardware is capable of running Windows 8. To test that you can grab Microsoft's Release Preview of Windows 8 from here, which comes with a test-phase build of the upgrade assitant.

Windows Team engineer Brandon LeBlanc writes Microsoft is continuing to "drive toward the RTM milestone."

Source: Windows Team Blog



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Friday 11 May 2012

Microsoft Store Officially Posts $99 Xbox 360 Offer


 Christo [PCD]    11 May : 10:05
 None    Hardware

There will be an early termination fee of $250 that decreases after 3 months

There will be an early termination fee of $250 that decreases after 3 months

The Microsoft Store officially posted an offer for a $99 Xbox 360/Kinect bundle on its website.

Last week, rumors circulated that Microsoft was planning on selling a 4GB Xbox 360 bundle with a Kinect sensor and two-year Xbox Live Gold service subscription. The only catch was that there'd be a $14.99 monthly service fee for the service, but gamers would receive the regular online gameplay features of an Xbox Live Gold subscription along with extra content from cable providers.

The total cost of the two-year bundle is $459, which is a bit of an increase from the current $418 4GB Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle with two years of Xbox Live Gold.

The Microsoft Store online published a redeemable coupon for the $99 bundle today, where offer code 885370366266 can be brought to a local Microsoft store in exchange for the latest deal.

Last week's report also noted that there may be an early termination fee (ETF), but the amount had not been specified at the time. Microsoft has now confirmed that there will, in fact, be an ETF that is set based on the number of months passed after the start of the two-year subscription. If the service is terminated within the first three months, the ETF will be $250. At the fourth month, the ETF is $240. From there, the ETF decreases by $12 each month until it hits $0 at 24 months.

Source: Microsoft Store


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Micron Airs New DDR4 DRAM


 Christo [PCD]    11 May : 10:03
 None    Hardware

New DDR4 is faster and more power efficient

New DDR4 is faster and more power efficient

Micron has announced the development of its first fully functional DDR4 DRAM module. The company is currently sampling the modules and getting feedback from major customers to support the implementation of applications starting in 2013. Currently the majority of computers and other devices are using DDR3 DRAM.

The adoption of DDR4 memory will bring improvements to the high performance computing and consumer electronics markets. Micron expects enterprise and micro server markets to take full advantage of the new specification early. The modules are also appropriate for ultrathin client and tablet markets. The new DDR4 modules offer power savings and performance enhancements that are important for mobile devices, such as tablets.

"With the JEDEC definition for DDR4 very near finalization, we've put significant effort into ensuring that our first DDR4 product is as JEDEC-compatible as it can be at this final stage of its development," said Brian Shirley, vice president for Micron's DRAM Solutions Group. "We've provided samples to key partners in the market place with confidence that the die we give them now is the same die we will take into mass production."

Micron's DDR4 technology was codeveloped with Nanya and is based on Micron's 30 nm technology. The modules developed are 4 Gb x 8 units and will be used in RDIMM, LRDIMM, 3DS, SODIMM, and UDIMM applications. The product will also be offered for soldered down spaces in x8, x16, and x32 with initial speeds up to 2400 megatransfers per second. Micron plans volume production the kickoff in Q4 2012 and has been sampling the key partners since the beginning of 2012.

The U.S. DRAM maker's South Korean rival Samsung has also been samping DDR4 memory.

It's been a sad year for Micron after seeing its long-time CEO Steven Appleton perish in a February plane crash. Appleton was replaced by Mark Durcan.

Source: Micron

Micron is among the pioneers in DDR4 memory. [Image Source: TweakTown]


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