We know what we’re going to see, with Galaxy and Ativ stuff having already been leaked and, in some cases, announced, but that’s not going to take away our liveblogging fun. Henry and I will be providing our usual dose of snark and sarcasm along with the news from Samsung’s London event, so join us for a magical journey (if IFA 2012 is anything to go by).
I like to call HP the most unpredictable company in tech. One minute they’re acquiring Palm for $1.2 billion, then the next they’re discontinuing all webOS products and throwing TouchPads out of the door for less than £100 a pop. There is literally no way of telling what wacky thing they’ll do next, and at MWC they proved this by announcing the Slate 7, a £129 Nexus 7 competitor with near-stock Android and Beats Audio. While there was absolutely no reason to buy one over a Nexus 7, it still suggested that HP had an interest in good value Android machines with unmodified software. Now it seems that theory is correct, as the company has unveiled the SlateBook x2.
If you’ve ever seen HP’s Windows 8-powered Envy x2, then the SlateBook x2 should instantly feel familiar. It’s smaller, at 10.2″ compared to 11.6″ for the Envy x2, but it follows the same basic concept of a slate being paired with a detachable battery-equipped keyboard to make a notebook form factor. The slate itself is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, has a 1920 x 1200 IPS display and 64GB of storage which is expandable via microSD and, in the keyboard dock, a full size SD. The software is also pretty much stock Jelly Bean with HP’s only additions being printing stuff and some document editing/file management capabilities. Best of all the whole keyboard and 64GB tablet package will only set you back $479.99, so less than a 16GB 9.7″ iPad, meaning that it’ll probably end up at around £390 in the UK. If Android tablet app offerings were more compelling, I’d be seriously tempted.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9EcgzjT7e8]
Listen to certain sections of the media and you would be led to believe that Windows 8 has been a massive failure for Microsoft, on the levels of Vista. However, the figures Microsoft have just released tell quite a different story.
It took 183 days for Windows 7 to reach the 100 million licenses mark. Windows 8 has just hit the same milestone. How long did it take? 192 days. That’s just 9 days long than its predecessor, so it is selling at a very similar rate. This shows that consumers are willing to take plunge with Microsoft’s latest operating system, despite there being bigger changes to it than there have been since the last century, and despite certain outlets around the web suggesting that there are many issues still with it and that consumers are responding badly to new style.
Yes, Windows 8 needs some work to bring it up to the standards we expect from Microsoft, but it is a step in the right direction, and hopefully with the now confirmed Blue update we will see a much smoother and more coherent feel to the OS with both the familiar desktop and the brand new start screen.
Microsoft has also released some more figures relating to Windows 8:
- There are now 700 million Microsoft accounts
- There are 400 million active Outlook.com accounts
- There are 250 million active SkyDrive users
- There have been 250 million Windows Store downloads
When Windows Phone 8 was released way back in October last year, much was made of the relationship prospective Windows Phone 8 purchasers would have between their mobile and their PCs. Since then, nothing much to that side of things has materialised, but yesterday that all changed.
Galactic Reign was teased by Microsoft last October, but there was no mention of platforms, nor was there a release date, but yesterday the game quietly slipped into both the Windows 8 Store and the Windows Phone Store as an Xbox Live title. Microsoft used to always announce upcoming Windows Phone games well in advance, but they haven’t done so much of that recently, and it seems crazy that such a huge milestone for the OS was released with so little fanfare, but hey, at least it’s here now.
As you might have guessed from its name, the game is a sci-fi strategy number. You have to find the right balance between spaceships and weapons and hope your fleet is good enough to beat your opponents, and we won’t go into too much detail here, but there’s a single player mode with 60 challenges and a multiplayer side of things where you battle people online. There a bunch of Xbox achievements to aim for as well.
It’s great to finally see a game which bridges the Windows Phone 8/ Windows 8 divide. With the multiplayer game, you can play with different hardware to your opponent, i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you use a PC, Windows Phone or Surface. Galactic reign will cost $4.99 for Windows 8 or for Windows Phone 7 and 8. The best bit of all? You only need to purchase one version to have access to it on both platforms.
Source: Windows Phone Central
At a press event in San Francisco today, Google has unveiled the Chromebook Pixel, the latest addition to the expanding line of Chrome OS-based laptops. As one of the company’s first ventures into hardware, the Pixel represents a change of direction with Google’s strategy, and the hardware inside shows that Google is pitching it towards a higher end of the market than existing ‘disposable’ models from the likes of Samsung, Acer, Lenovo and HP.
The Chromebook Pixel has a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 32GB of solid state storage coupled with 1TB of additional Google Drive storage free for 3 years, usually costing $49.99 per month. A 720p HD webcam sits above the market-leading 239ppi 12.85″ 2560 x 1700 touch display and, with its £1,049 ($1,299) price tag, the machine is being pitched as the world’s first premium Chromebook, and the company will be shipping it next week via Google Play and through retail partners, with a $1,499 model with twice the internal storage and support for Verizon’s LTE network set to hit US stores in April.
Source Google Blog
Recently we’ve seen new Chromebook models from Acer, Samsung and more recently Lenovo, and a spec sheet discovered on HP’s site shows that they too are throwing their hats into the cloud-based computing ring. The PDF states that the 14″ 1366 x 768 Pavilion Chromebook is capable of running for 4 hours 15 minutes on a charge, and the remainder of its hardware appears reminiscent of a mashup between Acer’s C7 and Samsung’s Series 3, with the C7’s 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor coupled with 16GB of solid state storage as found in the Samsung model. The whole package weighs in at 1.8kg and it features 3 USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port, although a disc drive remains absent. There is no word on when we will see this hitting store shelves, but another major Windows manufacturer beginning Chromebook production is bound to cause shivers in Redmond.
Google’s family of Chrome OS-powered devices has expanded again today with Lenovo’s announcement of the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook, a variant of the existing Windows-powered machine. Pitched by the company exclusively towards the education market, the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook features reinforced hinges and a ‘rugged’ design that is sure to keep it safe around any child, but the 1.77kg machine is not likely to be as child-friendly as the 1.10kg Samsung Series 3 Chromebook, which, like the Lenovo, features an 11.6″ 1366 x 768 matte display and around 6.5 hours of battery, a figure which Lenovo claims should last the entire school day. Unlike the latest Samsung model, however, the X131e sports an as-yet-unspecified Intel processor and is not currently expected to get a wide release. Interested schools will be able to pick them up from February 26th for $429 (£268) with an optional $30 (£19) charge ensuring support from Google. Compared to the $249/£229 Samsung Series 3 Chromebook, the X131e does not look like the best of deals, but a third manufacturer joining the Chrome OS family after the release of the Acer C7 earlier this year only serves as encouragement for the browser-loving among us.
Not long after releasing its new Series 3 Chromebook, Samsung has announced a new version of its Series 3 Chromebox desktop computer powered by Google’s Chrome OS. While the new Chromebox has an all-new plastic shell, the hardware is identical to the previous iteration, with the same 1.9GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 4GB RAM, 16GB solid state storage and wide array of USB ports. While online Chrome OS retailers such as Currys PC World and Amazon do not appear to be stocking the device at the time of writing, a Chrome Story reader claims he was able to buy one from PC World in Bristol at the same £279 price tag as the earlier iteration, suggesting that widespread availability for cloud-loving desktop users is not too far off.
After being announced alongside the iPhone 5 back in September, music fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of iTunes 11, which Apple said would fall at the end of this month. Now, amidst wholesale changes within the company resulting in the ousting of iOS SVP Scott Forstall and Jony Ive becoming head of Human Interface throughout the company, the company has confirmed that it is delaying the release of the latest version of the software until November.
Speaking to AllThingsD, spokesman Tom Neumayr stated:
“The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.”
Sporting a completely redesigned interface from mini player to store, the updated version was seen as one of the highlights of Apple’s event. It is set to take design cues from iOS 6, and many users are hoping that Apple can use the delay to implement performance improvements and solve issues that have plagued the software for many years.