Will Microsoft try to take on Apple by manufacturing its own tablet?

Microsoft is allegedly prepping to directly compete with Apple in the tablet market

The Redmond, Wash.-based Company scheduled an event in Los Angeles on Monday to make a “major announcement.” AllThingsD reported earlier this week that the event would unveil Microsoft’s tablet plans:

  • After signaling for months that it would attack the market only through its traditional hardware partners, Microsoft has decided to enter the tablet business more directly. [...]
  • Sources say that Microsoft concluded that it needs its own tablet, with the company designing both the hardware and software in an effort to better compete against Apple’s strengths. Microsoft’s tablets may include machines running ARM-based processors as well as models running on traditional PC processors, sources said.

Perhaps more interesting: The Wrap claimed Microsoft will self-manufacture the device, which is an assertion that AllThingsD supports. The move is certainly plausible, because Microsoft snatched a 17.6-percent stake in Barnes and Noble’s Nook eReader business last month for $300 million. One could speculate that Apple and Amazon’s dominating presence in the market causes companies like Microsoft and Barnes and Noble to join forces.

Read more

Amazon releases Cloud Drive desktop app for Mac and Windows

Amazon just launched its Cloud Drive app for Mac and Windows.

The Amazon Cloud service unveiled last year, but now users can play with the desktop app counterpart, rather than their browser, to manage files in the cloud. Folders and files can transfer in the background, but the service does not support syncing or a native desktop browsing client like Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, and SugarSync.

Cloud Drive offers all customers 5GB of free online storage with unlimited access from any computer. Additional storage plans start at 20GB and extend to 1,000 GB. Unlimited music space is currently available with any paid Cloud Drive storage plan for the duration of an existing plan term. Click here to start installing the free Mac app now.

The install is easy, as seen in the gallery below. There are a few ways to get a file or folder into Amazon’s Cloud once the app is installed: Just drag and drop to the new Cloud icon (looks similar to iCloud) in the Menu bar, or right-click/control-click on files and folders to see a new menu item that allows uploading.

Read more

Windows 8 Consumer Preview out of the gate: Demoed on 82-inch touchscreen supporting 10 simultaneous users

Microsoft issued the Windows 8 Consumer Preview today for everyone to download and try. Demonstrating the operating system’s ability to scale from the smartphone screen all the way to high-end PCs and beyond, the Redmond, Wash.-headquartered software giant showcased Windows 8 on a monstrous 82-inch display that is capable of detecting up to 100 simultaneous touch events or 10 simultaneous users.

Unfortunately, AnandTech, which reported the story, does not have a video online yet. However, I think it is safe to take Microsoft’s word. Now, if the operating system only ran Apple’s Keynote, the ninja PC-plus-Windows 8 combo coupled with a huge projector-based display would make for an impressive keynote rig.

By the way, we would love to hear impressions from our tech-savvy readers that have managed to dual-boot Windows 8 Consumer Preview alongside OS X using Boot Camp (go here for the FAQ detailing system requirements).

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview product demonstration video is right below the fold.

Read more

VLC 2.0 arriving with all-new UI, native full screen in Lion, Blu-ray support, more

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

VideoLAN, the organization behind the open-source cross-platform VLC media player, is geared to launch VLC 2.0—a total rewrite of the program with new capabilities and an all-new user interface on the Mac platform. Available on Mac OS X, Windows and a variety of Linux/Unix platforms, VLC 2.0 [changelog] includes enhancements such as a native full screen mode in Lion, a redesigned subtitle manager, support for multiple video files inside RAR archives and enhanced video output modes. The Mac version will also support unprotected Blu-ray media, and Windows users will get to enjoy a 64-bit version.

The developers also added support for VLC’s lua-based extensions, letting users get information about movies from Allociné, post to Twitter, fetch subtitles automatically, and so forth. No disc burning features are included because “there are more suited apps for that.” One of the developers on the project Felix Kühne published a series of screenshots (more available on Flickr) highlighting the new Mac interface, credited to designer Damien Erambert. According to Kühne:

Read more

Mac OS 10.7.3 released, includes Safari 5.1.3

.

Apple just released Mac OS 10.7.3 via Software update and manual download.  Apple released some peripheral downloads today as well:

Release notes are as follows: Read more

Mac Superbundle deal. Parallels 7 + nine Mac Apps: $49

From 9to5Toys.com:

Nova offers its MacSuperbundle Winter Deal for $49. We are picky about our bundles, but Parallels alone makes this one worth noting.  There are some solid extras here as well.

Valued at over $470 if purchased separately, the nine software titles and exciting bonus app in the new 2012 Mac SuperBundle are available for just $49, an 89% savings, and offer innovative solutions no Mac user should be without. Nova’s biggest bundle to date and best consumer deal yet features the award-winning and #1 selling virtualization software Parallels Desktop® 7 for Mac, (a $79.99 value alone), and includes essential Mac maintenance tools and organizational apps, plus audio, video and digital creativity software and much more. The Mac SuperBundle launches on January 25th, 2012 and will be available for 14 days only.

Other applications include:
Read more