Windows 8 Stories February 21, 2014

Mac users four times more likely to run latest OS than Windows users

Some sums done by ComputerWorld show that Mac users are four times more likely to upgrade to the latest available version of the operating system than Windows users.

Microsoft has convinced just 11.6 percent of Windows users who acquired their system since 2001 and still actively use it to go online to migrate to the current edition of its operating system […]

Apple’s convinced 41.6 percent of Mac users who acquired their system since 2001 and still actively use them online to adopt the current edition of the OS.

A large part of it is cost, of course: Mavericks was a free upgrade, and previous upgrades have been priced far more competitively than Windows.

But Apple has also offered a simpler upgrade path, adding features rather than making major changes to the core user-interface. OS X also operates more efficiently, allowing Mavericks to run well on far older hardware than is the case for Windows 8.

Windows 8 Stories February 12, 2014

converge

CNET reports that JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz forecasts that Apple will release a converged iOS/OS X device he has dubbed the iAnywhere.

While not a new idea, our global tech research team believes Apple could be on the cusp of introducing a new category with iAnywhere, a converged MacOS-iOS operating system that allows an iPhone or iPad to dock into a specially configured display to run as a computer

This is a variation on earlier claims that a larger iPad – widely dubbed the iPad Pro – could also run both operating systems. I’ve written at length about this idea, so won’t rehearse the arguments again here, I shall simply counter with a few quotes from Apple …  expand full story

Windows 8 Stories November 27, 2013

Microsoft hits iPad Air in new holiday-themed ads geared towards family usage

Microsoft has previously aired commercials that targeted the iPad comparing multitasking and mocked Siri. Microsoft airs new commercials in time for the holidays that pits the Surface 2 against Apple’s iPad Air. These three new ads demonstrate that Windows 8 can handle hands free mode, multiple accounts and has a USB port.

Microsoft’s first ad (above) shows the Surface 2 being propped up with the kickstand, using Bing’s Food and Drink app to demonstrate hands free mode. While cooking you can turn the pages by swiping them in the air, as opposed to touching the display and getting it messy. We admit it, that’s a nice (if niche) feature – though most recipes fit on one page, of course.

The second shows the Surface 2 being used in family scenarios, with multiple user accounts on the same device. These user accounts can have different apps, games, background – with parents able to monitor what their children are using. I’m not sure too many families bother to set up different accounts on PCs, let alone tablets.

The third shows how the Surface 2 has a standard USB 3.0 port, allowing users to easily connect to an external display. Because having to use a lead is so much better than Air Play …

Windows 8 Stories November 25, 2013

It’ll come as no surprise that Nokia and its friends at Microsoft love to take cheap shots at the iPad and Apple products in general. This time around, a gentleman who just picked up a new tablet for working on the go visits friends at the coffee shop and shows off his new purchase…

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Windows 8 Stories August 17, 2013

Parallels Desktop 7 and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a MacBook Air

Apple is pushing its business-focused Apple Retail salespeople to sell Macs to businesses currently running in Windows environments, according to Apple retail employees briefed on the new initiative. Apple Retail Stores, in their business/professional sections, will now have a 27-inch iMac prepared with the Parallels Virtualization Software and Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

Select Apple Retail employees will also be trained on the Parallels and Windows software, and special Parallels demos have been created for Apple Stores. The goal of this new initiative is to push employees to be able to show businesses that currently work on Windows that all purposes of Windows could either be replaced or used (with Parallels) on a Mac computer.

For a number of years, Apple has pushed reasons how a Mac could replace a PC. This was heralded mainly via Apple’s Mac vs. PC ads. This new retail campaign, instead, focuses on the Mac operating system and Windows working together. Apple wants to leave no room for business customers to not know that they could switch to a Mac computer…

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Windows 8 Stories August 8, 2013

Following its string of ads pinning up Windows 8 tablets against the full-sized iPad, Microsoft has just posted a new ad that pits the 8.1-inch Acer Iconia W3 against Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad mini. The point of this ad is to demonstrate that Windows 8 can even handle Microsoft Word documents and powerful gaming even at the small screen…

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Windows 8 Stories July 10, 2013

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Gartner is today out with a report detailing its estimates for Q2 2013 global and U.S. PC shipments. Globally, the industry average for shipments is down 10.9%. This is the fifth consecutive decline for this specific metric.

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

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Windows 8 Stories July 9, 2013

Microsoft is continuing its Windows 8 vs iPad TV commercial series by airing a new ad squarely focused on the multitasking capabilities in Windows 8 (via Tom Warren). On Windows 8 tablet devices, users can work in two apps side-by-side. Microsoft demonstrates this comparison in terms of work: agents communicating about baseball player prospects to their offices. Interestingly, MLB.com digital head said this earlier this year: “There’s no other [mobile platform]. It’s Apple and it’s Android.”

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Windows 8 Stories June 10, 2013

Confirming our earlier suspicions, Apple today showed off some new features for its iWork suite of apps, which includes both Mac and iOS versions of the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps. While Apple confirmed that new versions of the apps for Mac and iOS would be coming later in the year, it spent its presentation today showing off brand new web versions of the apps designed to run right in the browser through iCloud.com. The new web apps, available initially only to developers starting today, will be dubbed ‘iWork for iCloud’ and bring web apps to iCloud that will compete directly with Google Docs and Google’s other suite of web apps.

Apple execs spent much of the time on stage showing off the new Pages for iCloud app, demoing how users can drag and drop Microsoft Word files and other documents directly into the iCloud.com UI in their browser to begin editing a document. Apple also briefly demoed presentations and spreadsheets running in web versions of the Numbers and Keynote apps.

During the demo of the new iWork for iCloud apps, Apple also made a point of noting that the new apps run in any browser by showing off the apps running on Windows 8.

The new apps are available as developer beta starting today. A public beta of the new iWork for iCloud apps will be arriving later this year. Apple didn’t mention any details regarding pricing, or whether or not the web apps will be a separate purchase from the apps currently available on Mac and iOS.

Windows 8 Stories May 30, 2013

Question is 36:38 in

With Tim Cook teasing the Jony Ive redesign of iOS 7 that we exclusively told you would be introducing a new flat design for iOS, we thought it would be interesting to get former Windows lead Steven Sinofsky’s opinion on the changes. While Sinofsky left Microsoft after 20+ years back in November of last year, he was involved in the latest releases of Windows 8 that many argue helped pioneer the flat UI design Apple is now moving towards. Our own Mark Gurman asked Sinofsky his thoughts on a new flat iOS 7 during his interview at the D11 conference earlier today.  expand full story

Windows 8 Stories May 23, 2013

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iPad-vs-Windows-tablet-Microsoft-ad-comparisonOptical illusions? The iPad screen on the left is actually bigger

Earlier today Microsoft unleashed its second ad in what appears to be a new campaign focusing on directly comparing iPad to Windows 8 tablets side-by-side– not unlike Apple’s own very successful ‘Get a Mac’ campaign. However, it appears that some of Microsoft’s claims are turning out to be quite inaccurate.

To go along with the two videos posted to its YouTube channel and currently running on TV, curi.us (Via DaringFireball) points us to a comparison Microsoft has posted on its website pitting iPad against the ASUS VivoTab Smart Windows tablet. In the ad, Microsoft claims that the Windows tablet “has a bigger touchscreen,” but Elliot Temple from curi.us breaks down why it just isn’t true:

The iPad screen is 7.76 by 5.82 inches. The ASUS screen is 8.8 by 4.95 inches. ASUS is larger in one direction but smaller in the other direction, and has 3.55% less area than the iPad, not 36% more as Microsoft depicts. 

How can the screen with a larger diagonal measurement be smaller? Because it’s a different shape. Long and thin gets you a bigger diagonal but a smaller screen, for the same diagonal inches.

While Microsoft might not have all its facts straight on display size, it using the fact it still hasn’t delivered an Office app for iOS as major part of its new campaign… expand full story

Microsoft hits iPad again, this time about hardware specs, multitasking, printing

Following up on its ad from yesterday claiming that the iPad is not a productivity device, Microsoft has posted a new ad pitting Windows 8 tablets against the iPad. Today’s ad focuses on expressing that Windows 8 tablets are better productivity devices with the full Microsoft Office suite rather than just OneNote and multitasking capibilities. Additionally, the Redmond-based company pits a single ASUS tablet’s weight and thinness against the iPad. Additionally, Microsoft shows how that single ASUS tablet includes an SD card reader, and the company claims that Windows 8 printing is more versatile than Apple’s AirPrint. Thanks, Matthew!

Windows 8 Stories May 22, 2013

Latest Windows 8 tablet commercial uses Siri to mock iPad ads, pricing, capabilities

Microsoft’s latest television commercial for Windows 8 tablets uses a Siri voice-over to mock the iPad’s pricing and capabilities. The ad appears to frame Windows 8 tablets as more capable for productivity and more valuable for the price (via The Verge). What’s somewhat comical here is that one of the few advantages Microsoft touts for its tablets is the ability to run PowerPoint, something Microsoft has clearly been holding back from the iPad for some time now. Would it surprise anyone to see another couple of ads in this series focusing on Word and Excel?

Oh, and how much of that 64GB of space on the Windows tablet at the end is free for media? You’re lucky to get half of the space.

Microsoft’s ad is in similar style to Apple’s late 2012 advertisement to introduce the iPad mini. Apple’s ad below:

Windows 8 Stories May 10, 2013

“It’s like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell”

That’s what Steve Jobs said of iTunes for Windows when asked why Apple made its software for competing Microsoft users in 2007.

But times have changed. Apple continues to make/support iTunes for Windows desktop computing environments, but it doesn’t need Microsoft’s outlier tablet users who now represent the third largest share of tablet OS behind iOS and Android (by the way, don’t expect iTunes for Android any time soon either).

In fact, the iTunes ecosystem is a competitive advantage as Apple sells its iOS tablets, smartphones and TVs against Android and now Windows 8 devices. Where Windows dominated the userbase in the early 2000s, Apple now is the leader in the current ecosystem race.

That’s why it comes as no surprise that Microsoft’s Windows division CFO Tami Reller is telling folks not to expect a Windows 8 ‘Metro’ iTunes app:

“You shouldn’t expect an iTunes app on Windows 8 any time soon,” said Tami Reller, chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Windows division. “ITunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”

It should be noted that Microsoft has been dragging its feet in delivering the once ubiquitous Office Suite of applications for iOS which is now letting competitors (Like Pages/Numbers/Keynote and Google Apps) thrive on the now dominant iOS and Android touch platforms. expand full story

Windows 8 Stories March 14, 2013

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Following the release of OS X Mountain 10.8.3 build 12D78 to developers earlier this week, Apple today released 10.8.3 to the public with a number of new features and enhancements. One of the more notable new features is the ability to redeem iTunes gift cards using the Mac’s built-in camera within the Mac App Store. It’s a feature that Apple originally introduced with iTunes 11 in November.

Other improvements in today’s release include support for install Windows 8 in Boot Camp and Boot Camp support for Mac’s using 3TB hard drives. Users had previously been using workarounds to utilize Boot Camp on Macs with hard drives larger than the utility’s old 2.2TB limit.

The release also includes Safari 6.0.3 and audio related fixes for Logic Pro and 2011 iMacs:

-The ability to redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using Mac’s built-in camera -Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8 -Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3TB hard drive -A Fix for an issue that could cause a file URL to quit apps unexpectedly -A fix for an issue that may cause Logic Pro to become unresponsive when using certain plug-ins -A fix for an issue that causes audio to stutter on 2011 iMacs -Includes Safari 6.0.3

Windows 8 Stories January 29, 2013

The 64GB version of Surface Pro has 23GB of free storage out of the box?!

Imagine if the 32GB iPad only had that much free space?

When we posted a comparison of the iPad 4 and Microsoft’s new $999 128GB Surface Pro, Apple was yet to introduce its new 128GB iPad with Retina display. Apple announced this morning that the new iPad model would début Feb. 5 starting at $799, and that’s an attractive offer for those considering a Surface Pro when it goes on sale Feb. 9. Making the new 128GB iPad an even more attractive option for pros looking at more storage, Microsoft confirmed today that 45GB of space would be dedicated to Windows 8 and preloaded apps. This leaves customers of the 128GB Surface Pro with 83GB of free storage (via Engadget):

“The 128 GB version of Surface Pro has 83 GB of free storage out of the box. The 64GB version of Surface Pro has 23GB of free storage out of the box. Of course, Surface Pro has a USB 3.0 port for connectivity with almost limitless storage options, including external hard drives and USB flash drives. Surface also comes pre-loaded with SkyDrive, allowing you to store up to 7GB of content in the cloud for free. The device also includes a microSDXC card slot that lets you store up to 64GB of additional content to your device. Customers can also free up additional storage space by creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition.”

Windows 8 Stories January 13, 2013

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Immediately following the release of the Microsoft Surface in November, Microsoft sent its Windows head Steven Sinofsky packing. Just a couple of months later, he is already trying out a new platform: iOS.

We were tipped to a tweet from Sinofsky (@stevesi) from January 11th that was sent from Twitter for iPhone. We soon discovered a second tweet from the same platform on January 4th. Sinofsky is still tweeting from his Microsoft Surface and the Web, but we don’t see as many Windows Phone-based tweets as we do earlier in his Twitter timeline.

Sinofsky spent the last week at CES where he documented the 15 hours he spent on the show floor.

After all of those years using the required Windows Phones, it sure didn’t take him long to hop over to iOS.

Update: Sinofsky has commented on Twitter about his use of the iPhone:

Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 6.22.29 AM

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Windows 8 Stories November 15, 2012

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been making the rounds following the launch of Windows 8 and Surface, and yesterday he sat down for an interview in Santa Clara with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. TechCrunch pointed us to audio from the interview (embedded above), where Ballmer is asked about the role of Windows Phone 8 within the iOS- and Android-dominated smartphone market. Ballmer famously laughed about the iPhone’s high price point back in 2007, but apparently, the Microsoft CEO still thinks iPhones are priced too high. While claiming Android’s ecosystem is “not always in the consumer’s best interest,” Ballmer made a point of mentioning the high cost of iPhones abroad:

The ecosystem of Android is a little bit wild, from an app compatibility perspective, a malware perspective… maybe in a way that’s not always in the consumer’s best interest… conversely, the Apple ecosystem looks highly controlled, and by the way, quite high priced. The fact that we live in a country where almost every phone is subsidized, you may forget it. But I was in Russia last week where you pay $1000 for an iPhone.. you’re not going to sell that many iPhones… The question is how do you get the quality, but maybe not the premium price. A controlled, but maybe not quite as controlled ecosystem.

Reuters also has a quote of Ballmer from an event last night, when the CEO seemed to hint at the possibility of a Microsoft-branded smartphone: expand full story

Windows 8 Stories November 8, 2012

Parallels introduced a big update today for Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. It includes new features for Windows 8 users, full USB 3.0 support, and improved Retina display settings. On top of support for Windows 8 tablet gestures, Parallels is including a Windows 8 tile that allows users to access shared Mac apps. According to Parallels, the update also includes faster USB 3.0 performance, an increased limit for virtual machines running large apps, and “Smooth transitions when entering and exiting Coherence mode”:

Now Mac users can enjoy new features including Windows 8 tablet gestures and use a Windows 8 interface tile to access shared Mac apps.  These updates, plus the already deep Parallels Desktop 8 integration of Mac OS X and Windows 8, enable people to also use Mountain Lion’s Dictation feature in Windows applications, add Windows apps to Launchpad and the Mac Dock, enjoy brilliant Retina display resolution for Windows apps and more – making Parallels Desktop 8 an ideal way to run Windows 8 on a Mac without rebooting. expand full story

Windows 8 Stories November 6, 2012

Microsoft ‘already’ has an answer to the iPad Mini: The XBOX Surface 7-inch gaming tablet

The Verge reports that Microsoft’s fashionably-late entry into the smaller tablet market will be the smaller “XBOX Surface”.

Microsoft is building its own 7-inch gaming tablet. Multiple sources familiar with plans within Redmond have confirmed to The Verge that initial hardware planning for an Xbox Surface is underway. Specifications for an Xbox Surface 7-inch tablet computing deviceleaked back in June ahead of Microsoft’s Surface RT and Surface Pro announcement. We’re told that the initial specs were accurate and that the final implementation is being worked on.

Not sure how heavy a ‘gaming tablet’ needs to be, but the thing I like the most about the iPad mini is how little it weighs.

Windows 8 Stories October 26, 2012

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, who was on stage for the majority of Apple’s Mac announcements earlier this week, sat down with TIME following the event to talk Macs. The first topic of conversation was the sometimes-controversial design of recent Mac refreshes, including: the removal of optical drives, lack of repairability, and new I/O standards:

“This is what Apple has always been about, and the Mac has been about, from the first Mac and first iMac,” Schiller said. “It’s always been about making the best Mac we know how. Among the many benefits are making it easy to use and affordable, with great features. This high level of integration is part of delivering on that.”

While calling Blu-ray a “complex and not-great technology,” Phil talked the removal of old standards, such as optical drives, and the move to SSDs: expand full story

Windows 8 Stories October 25, 2012

Parallels for Mac virtualization software has been getting major updates this year with the recent release of version 8, making it even easier to run Mac and Windows apps side by side. In version 7, it made it a lot easier to upgrade and buy copies of Windows directly from within the app, and we even had a Windows 8 developer preview up and running. Unfortunately, with today’s launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8, Parallel’s is warning Mac users that the app is not ready to update to the new OS.

In a support document on the company’s website, it issued a “critical and urgent Windows 8 service advisory” telling customers it should wait before upgrading from an existing installation of Windows to Windows 8: expand full story

Windows 8 Stories October 14, 2012

Microsoft launching ‘unlimited’ Xbox Music tomorrow with an iOS app coming later

Microsoft announced this evening its new music service, called “Xbox Music”, that aims to compete with iTunes, Spotify and RDIO. The service is set to launch tomorrow for the Xbox 360 and Oct. 26 for Windows 8 (coming pre-installed) and Windows Phone 8 devices. The service will also launch as an iOS app shortly after, GigaOm noted:

But the biggest story to me is that Xbox Music will embrace Android and iOS. Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Music, wasn’t able to tell me exactly when the apps for those two platforms are going to come out, but the sense that I took away from the briefing was that his team is working on making it happen sooner rather than later. Xbox Music on Android and iOS will look very much like Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8, which itself in many ways follows the style formerly known as Metro.

Microsoft’s service will be for limited hours of free streaming after six months, so Spotify might not need to worry just yet.

There is no word on what pricing iOS users will see, but Microsoft said it will offer a free ad-support version for Windows 8 device owners and a $10 ad-free plan for those wanting an ad-free experience.

More details are at TechCrunch.

Windows 8 Stories October 1, 2012

Intel’s answer to iPad’s ARM processors sees delays due to power management software

A new report by Bloomberg, citing unnamed inside sources, revealed Intel’s software for a new processor, codenamed “Clover Trail,” which would give the iPad’s ARM processors a run for their money while preserving battery life in Windows 8-based tablets, is reportedly running into delays.

According to Bloomberg:

Intel Corp. (INTC)’s delayed delivery of software that conserves computer battery life is holding up development of some tablets running the latest version of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows operating system, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Microsoft hasn’t yet approved any tablets featuring an Intel processor code-named Clover Trail because the chipmaker hasn’t produced necessary power-management software, said the person, who asked not to be named since the process is private.

The delay, following remarks by Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini, who told employees in Taiwan that Windows 8 needs improvement, underscores how the Wintel alliance that has dominated the personal computer industry for three decades is struggling to respond to the threat of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad. At stake is the chance to make up for lackluster PC buying by capturing users who are flocking to mobile devices, snappy applications and elegant design.

Software development delays obviously limit manufacturers, as they have less time to prep their tablets for the Holiday season; and thus, they have less of a chance to curb Apple’s 70 percent tablet market share.

“It’s bad news for Microsoft and Intel because it’s not going to present the best light on either one and it will hurt the perception of Windows 8,” said Directions analyst Wes Miller to Bloomberg.

Miller further noted Window’s Clover Trail-based tablets will directly compete with Apple’s ARM-based iPads.

Get the full report at Bloomberg. 

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