Tag: operating system

Microsoft to start charging for Windows 10 soon

Windows 10Microsoft is soon to start charging for Windows 10 and after  29 July Windows 10 Home will cost $119.

According to the Windows bog, more than 300 million devices have activated Windows 10, which is more than enough of a head start for the company to feel comfortable charging for Windows once again.

If you get new gear the cost of Windows will be built in, but if you want to upgrade an existing device or buy a copy to install on a new machine, you’ll have to fork over some cash.

We’ve known from the beginning that Windows 10 would only be free for the first year and 29 July marks the one year anniversary.  It might be a good idea if you want to make the transition you should set aside a day in the next couple months to upgrade.


Microsoft gets religion

godIn the good old days being spiritual was a thing which involved religion, often requiring you to sit under some tree while being tempted by virgins, or to pound someone to death for not believing in your invisible friend.

Microsoft wants to change all that by applying it to its coming smartphones.

In a recently leaked document, Vole refers to its work on the Surface phone as being “spiritual”.  That’s the Word from Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela on the prospect of a Surface Phone and he confirmed the company is working on a “breakthrough” phone that is the “spiritual equivalent” of its very successful line of Surface branded products.

The question is what does that mean? We asked our spiritual guru who told us that Microsoft was clearly following its rival Apple by using religious terms to describe something dull and mundane. If you do that, then marketing becomes evangelism and you don’t need product knowledge you need faith.

Like most religions in the last 2000 years, Microsoft is basing it all on monotheism. This is something which Apple has attempted, but could not move past its dualistic roots.

At the centre of Microsoft’s plans is Windows 10 which will be the One True operating system which will mean that different device categories under a single, universal ecosystem. Soon we might start seeing “there is no operating system but Windows” being waived by enthusiastic engineers.

This one true operating system will include smartphones, which is an area where Microsoft has a problem with unbelievers. The release of a premium “Surface Phone” of some sort, however, could change all that.

This is where Capossela is the new religion’s Paul of Tarsus. He used to write speeches for Bill Gates and his own Sermon on the Mount implies that Microsoft is returning to mobile in the same way that the prodigal son came back home for a hot dinner.

If he manages to convert enough people to this view then Windows 10 Surface handsets could suddenly be relevant. Get enough followers swirling around a single operating system and you should get exponential conversions.

Microsoft rolls out Windows 10

Windows 10Microsoft has made the Windows 10 operating system available in 190 countries.

Windows 10 is a free upgrade for devices that use Windows 7 and 8.1 machines and will be made available for new PCs and tablets.

Microsoft made a bad move with the Windows 8.x family and claims it has listened to over five million customers to introduce a set of features people might like.

Windows 10 is software as a service (SaaS) and will push upgrades to your machine, rather like Apple does with its OSX operating system.

It will be available on PCs, tablets, phones, Raspberry Pi and the Xbox One, but as we reported yesterday, it wants to embed the OS in all sorts of devices as it makes a play for the internet of things market.

The features Microsoft wants to highlight are Cortana, a Siri like digital assistant, and Xbox integration.

It will be making an enterprise version available towards the end of this year.

Apple loses patent spat with Samsung

Apple lost its appeal in a patent troll against Samsung over a patent for synchronising music and video data on its Galaxy smartphones and tablets with servers.

According to Bloomberg, the case was heard by Intellectual Property High Court in Tokyo and it upheld an earlier decision in favour of Samsung.

In August, a Tokyo District Court rejected Apple’s insistence that the Galaxy maker’s mobile devices infringe on a synchronisation invention which sprang fully formed from the genius of Steve Jobs.

Samsung naturally welcomed the court’s decision, while Apple said nothing.

Still it has not been going all Samsung’s way in the Land of the Rising Sun. Last week, the Tokyo District Court upheld Apple’s separate claim that Samsung infringed its patent on the way an iPad or iPhone screen seems to bounce when a user scrolls to the bottom.

It looks like all this is part of a wider war where neither side ever wins, or loses, but has the benefit of dominating headlines when one or the other gains a little victory.

Apple warns book world it must submit

Apple, which is on trial for orchestrating a price cartel on ebooks, has closed its arguments by threatening grave consequences if it does not get its way.

Apple said that an adverse ruling against it would have a “chilling effect” on how businesses investigate new markets.

According to NDTV Gadgets, the company’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, said that if Apple was found guilty, it would “send shudders through the business community”.

It would condemn the ordinary negotiations that companies undertake to enter new markets, he warned.

“A ruling against Apple sets a dangerous precedent,” Snyder warned.

Outsiders agree. It means that companies will not be allowed to collude with others to fix prices and arrogantly brag about it in public.

The trial heard evidence that Apple’s antics with the book publishers did raise the price of books for consumers generally.

This is more or less what Steve Jobs bragged about in his biography.

The trial heard evidence that Apple conspired with US publishers beginning in late 2009 to increase the price of ebooks in an effort to undercut the pricing established by then-dominant Amazon.com. The publishers have settled with the government.

US district judge Denise Cote was not giving Apple an easy time. She had already warned that before the case had opened the DoJ had produced enough paper evidence to prove a price cartel.

Now she has asked if it was correct that Apple “understood publishers were willing to work together to put pressure on Amazon”.

Snyder insisted that there was no evidence Apple understood the publishers were allegedly conspiring together before it proposed creating an online bookstore for its coming iPad.

He said that Apple had no idea the publishing executives were calling each other and having dinners together.

Snyder claimed that there was no such thing as a conspiracy by telepathy.

The Justice Department is not seeking damages against Apple. It wants Apple to be prohibited from the agency model for two years and a five year prohibition against the use of price-parity contract clauses at the centre of the case, among other remedies.

If the government wins, there will be a separate trial which would be held on damage claims asserted by 33 state attorney generals whose case on liability was also being heard during the last few weeks. 

Microsoft Orifice arrives on the iPhone

Software giant Microsoft seems to have melted and allowed its mobile version of Office 365 to be installed on the iPhone.

In the Volish bog, Pat Fox, senior Vole in charge of product marketing in the Microsoft Office Division said he was excited to be adding even more value to its Office 365 subscriptions.

Office Mobile now lets iPhone users access, view, and edit their Office documents and it is surprisingly similar to what is already preinstalled today on Windows Phone 8.

“Because Office Mobile is from Microsoft, your formatting and layout remain intact when viewing, editing or adding comments, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you return to your PC or Mac your document looks like it should,” Fox enthused.

The way Vole is spinning it is that it always intended to bring Office 365 to Apple, although when it was launched earlier this year Redmond refused to say.

Practically, there were a lot of good reasons not to let the software onto the iPhone because it could be used to prevent its own Windows 8 software making much headway in the business market, or pick up a few orders from the burgeoning bring your own device market.

Since it was released, Microsoft has added Skype calling, and new OneNote features to Office 365. 

Apple's Cook defends his loss of cool

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended his outfit’s sudden loss of cool and falling share price.

Jobs’ Mob has been accused of losing the plot lately with most of the Tame Apple Press blaming a lack of “game changing innovation” which, apparently, the company displayed while Steve Jobs was alive.

According to Reuters, Cook defended the company’s record of innovation under his stewardship, saying he expected it would release “several more game changers”.

This led observers to wonder if there would be more rounded rectangles or would a platonic solid be among the mix. Apparently though, Cook thinks that wearable computers will be the new thing.

He enthused that it was an area ripe for exploration. Talking to the All Things Digital conference in  California, Cook claimed that the time was ripe for everyone to get excited about wearable computers and there will be “tons of companies playing in this”.

So, no game changing innovation then and Apple will just be following a pack into wearable computers. Knickers?

But with a nod to Apple’s tradition of absurd secrecy, Cook stopped short of clarifying if Apple was working on wearable products amid speculation that it is developing a smartwatch, saying only that wearable computers had to be compelling.

Cook dismissed Google Glass as likely to have only limited appeal. After all, everyone wears watches these days, and few people wear glasses.

He said that there was nothing that’s going to convince a kid who has never worn glasses or a band or a watch to wear one. So he thinks that there are lots of things still to solve in the wearable computer area.

What Cook was a little more enthusiastic about was Apple telly. He said he had a “grand vision” for television that goes beyond an existing $99 Apple TV streaming device.

This is hardly game changing news. Apple has wanted to do a working version of a telly for years without much success at all. Now it is having to concede ground in that area to competition from Google and Intel.

Cook warned that the future of iOS would be evident when it holds its annual developer conference next month, and said the company was investing heavily in online services such as its god-awful mapping application.

When asked if Apple has lost its cool, Cook said “absolutely not” and excitedly went onto list some cool statistics of device sales and usage. He, however, acknowledged that he was frustrated with the sudden downturn in the firm’s stock price.

When one Apple fanboy compared him to Gil Amelio, a former Apple CEO who presided over a low point in Apple’s history during the mid-1990s, he said that Apple believes very much in the element of surprise.

Funny really, we knew you would say that, Tim. 

Apple feature makes sure it misses the last word

Software geniuses at Apple have come up with a super new innovative feature which will make sure that its iMessaging service will be a game changer.

For years now Apple fans have worried about the last word on their iMessages. The last word is always problematic because it often gives complete context to the message, something that is apparently a problem.

Now the clever people at Apple have taken that worry out of users hands by deleting the last word on some messages. Not every last word of course, just in a random way which makes it difficult to discover under what circumstances the fault will operate.

Some have rushed to praise the new feature, confirming that dropping the last word is exactly the sort of thing that Microsoft will be copying in few years.

Legions of Apple fanboys have been writing to education authorities demanding that the last word be dropped from each English sentence.

“Steve Jobs got rid of flash from our computers, and now Tim Cook is getting rid of the last word from,” one fan said, speaking with TechEye. “After all, we never needed the last word in any. Steve Jobs is always. Tim Cook a complete.”

The bug appears to render the final word of certain messages sent from an iPhone or Mac invisible to both sender and recipient. Two phrases are the most affected.

If you attempt to send “I could be the next Obama” followed by a trailing space, Obama’s name will be hidden from the received message.

When you hit the “send” button the final word vanishes and is replaced with blank space. Other phrases also have the bug and apparently Apple fans are having fun trying to find them. “The best prize is a surprise” seems to be another phrase that triggers fault.

The problem first appeared in December on Mac OS X Mountain Lion, with later posts concluding that the visual bug only affects the iPhone. 

Man who bet on Apple to go to jail

A trader who thought that Apple was a safe bet faces 25 years in prison.

According to Reuters, David Miller, 40, who worked for Rochdale Securities, thought that Apple’s shareprice would go up after October 25, 2012.

Apple planned to report third-quarter results and Miller thought the company was going to release some stonking profits.  After all, it had done in the past, and the buzz was that it would this time too.

Miller bought 1.625 million Apple shares and told Rochdale that the trade was for a customer that had in fact ordered just 1,625 shares.

The bet backfired when Apple shocked fans by saying it had not done as well as it expected.  This left Rochdale on the hook for $5.3 million of losses on the extra 1,623,375 shares.  The company was suddenly undercapitalised.

Miller made matters worse by defrauding another brokerage by inducing it to sell 500,000 Apple shares, hoping to partially hedge against the purchase he had made at Rochdale.

He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy and could go down for 25 years.

Under a plea agreement he could receive a term of five to eight years and is currently free on bond.

Miller’s lawyer, Kenneth Murphy, said that the event was out of character for a kind and generous family man who has lived an otherwise law-abiding and good life.

Miller deeply regrets what he has done and the harm it has caused to other people, including the former principals and employees at Rochdale.

His old company Rochdale ceased operations and its staff left or were fired in November 2012. 

Apple's slide continues

While Apple is doing its best to rally the troops, it appears that privately it is admitting that it has a long way to fall yet.

Apple cut its shipments of the iPad mini to between 10-12 million units for the second quarter of 2013.

The source of that rumour is Digitimes. It scores over the older, more pedestrian tech press, in that it is actually on the scene and sometimes gets it right .

In this case the figure is based on shipment information given from multiple sources who provide various components for Apple’s iPad mini.

While many had known that the larger and more expensive iPad was dead in the water, this is the first time that the iPad mini has fallen short of its sales targets.

The decrease may be as high as 20 percent a month during April, the sources noted, and may continue to slightly decrease throughout the quarter to bring total shipments of the iPad mini to as low as 10 million units during the quarter.

While Apple fanboys might scream that 10 million units is better than a poke in the eye with a short stick, it is not enough to justify the still inflated shareprice, or maintain Apple’s much touted reality distortion field.

Apple’s cut comes as it is adjusting its reserves for the next-generation iPad mini, which is likely to be released in the third quarter.

But Apple is also finding it tough to compete with various 7-inch Android tablets, Digitimes’ sources said.

Apple recently slashed shipment estimates for its iPad and iPad mini products in 2013 to 33 million and 55 million, respectively, said the sources.