Even though Windows Phone is definitely making inroads and is considered to be the fastest-growing smartphone operating system, in 2013 its market share came in at less than 4 percent, according to research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics. Consumers are (still) much in love with Android smartphones and iPhones, giving Windows Phone too little attention.
In its latest smartphone market forecast, IDC claims that Windows Phone will still lurk in the shadows four years from now, as its market share in 2018 is estimated to climb to just seven percent. Shipments of devices running the tiled mobile OS are expected to reach 121.8 million units, which would be a huge improvement over the roughly 35 million units in 2013, but still not nearly enough to catch up to Apple's iPhones or Android smartphones, which shipments IDC estimates will reach 249.6 and 1,321.1 million units, respectively.
We reported earlier this week on how financial organizations are at risk from third parties with compromised security.
It seems that the same thing applies to software. The latest review by IT security specialist Secunia shows that third-party programs are responsible for 76 percent of the vulnerabilities discovered in the 50 most popular programs in 2013.
When Microsoft was forced to change the name of its cloud storage from SkyDrive, many people thought it was unfair -- myself included. After all, SkyTV is an entirely different product. But oh well, what's done is done. Truth be told, I like the OneDrive name better; it was a blessing in disguise.
By default, the service comes with 7 GB -- more than enough for the average user to store documents. However, users can get an additional 3 GB for enabling auto-backup for pictures on their mobile device. Today though, Microsoft announces a way to get a 100GB for free, with Bing Rewards. That is a lot of space!
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will officially end support for Windows XP. After that date, users of the aging OS will no longer receive new security updates, hotfixes, support options, or online technical content updates.
Obviously the tech giant is worried about the dangers than might befall XP users who continue to cling on to the decade-and-a-bit old OS after that date, and that’s the reason for all the blog posts that have been appearing lately. I mean, sure, it looks like Microsoft is cynically using the death of XP support purely to try and persuade people to upgrade to Windows 8.1 but that’s not the case, honestly. Oh, okay, maybe it is. A bit.
Microsoft has unveiled the first Service Pack update for Microsoft Office 2013 with the release of Microsoft Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (32-bit) and Microsoft Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (64-bit). As expected, the SP1 is primarily a collection of previously released security patches and bug fixes, but does include some compatibility improvements as well as new apps for Office capabilities and APIs for third-party developers.
The update comes with the promise of improved compatibility with Windows 8.1 as well as Internet Explorer 11. It’s also optimized to work better with newer hardware, such as high-DPI screens and precision touchpads.
Microsoft has released a service pack update for the latest version of Office. Service Pack 1 (SP1) promises greater stability, expanded functionality, and security enhancements for Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Exchange Server 2013, as well as improved compatibility with Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
The service pack contains all of the public and cumulative updates released since Office 2013 first became available, as well as numerous unreleased fixes and updates that reflect recent changes. SP1 improvements include:
Today, at ZDNET, James Kendrick's commentary "Chromebooks and students: Long term trouble for Microsoft" adds to a growing meme. With a few schools deploying Chromebooks (emphasis few) and rumors Microsoft has slashed Windows licensing fees (remember unconfirmed), recurring theme "2014 is year of the Chromebook and Windows is in deep dodo because of it" isn't surprising. But just because bloggers say something's true often enough, doesn't make it that way. Twenty fourteen isn't year of the Chromebook, nor is its utility to the education market guaranteed.
That said, Kendrick makes some good points about why Chromebook appeals to students. I won't recap them. This isn't an aggregated synopsis. You can read his fine points. My post adds to them, from experience. I am a long-time Chromebook user.
2014 is still young, but the tech news has been hot, and much of it surrounds the two new gaming systems on the market. Some of that news has been hype for the upcoming Titanfall, a title that is generating a lot buzz from the gaming community. Microsoft fueled that fire last week with a beta release, now it is stoking the blaze with more news.
Today Xbox Live chief Larry Hryb, better known to gamers as Major Nelson, unveils the new limited edition Titanfall bundle for Xbox One. What can you expect from this offer?
There have been a lot of interesting announcements made at MWC this year, and HP is one of several companies making it clear that business users have not been forgotten. The new HP ProPad 600 has been unveiled alongside an upgraded HP ElitePad 1000 G2, and both have been designed with mobile computing in mind.
Both tablets run Windows 8.1 and the ElitePad 1000 G2 picks up where the HP ElitePad 900 G1 left off. The hardware is impressive enough, but there is a strong focus on battery life and portability.
According to reports, Microsoft is set to slash the price it charges OEMs for Windows 8.x. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to pick up a copy of the tiled OS for any cheaper, but it does mean significant savings for (some) PC builders.
At the moment, Microsoft charges all OEMs $50 per copy of Windows 8. The price cut will see this license figure reduced by 70 percent to $15 per copy. However, there is a caveat -- it will only apply to devices that will be sold for $250 or less at retail. In other words, Microsoft is hoping to kick start a run of lower-priced PCs, in an effort to compete with Chromebooks.
Today Mobile World Congress officially got started in Barcelona, Spain. Despite the name, and the expectation for handset announcements, Microsoft had a bit more in store when it took the stage. Joe Belfiore talked a lot about Windows Phone, as should be expected, but that wasn't all he had up his sleeve.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 isn't exactly unheard of -- it's been leaking all over the place the past few weeks. But official word from Microsoft has not been put forth until now. The company has a major perception problem with its latest operating system, and this was rumored to be a big step towards fixing that.
In a long, thoughtful post today, Mark Rogowsky writes for Forbes: "No, Apple Is Not Like Microsoft". He responds to arguments put forth by Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, which Steven Russolillo summarizes in Wall Street Journal post "Four Reasons Apple is the New Microsoft".
I disagree with the original argument and its rebuttal. I encourage you to read both posts. The answer to why one stock soars while another sunders has little to do with market caps, P/E ratios, and other math metrics analysts crunch like gerbils with a new stick. People generally make decisions for emotional reasons -- what feels right to them. As I so often say, in business perception is everything.
Bing continues to expand its search options, as Microsoft takes on Google. It's an uphill battle, but not one that is completely out of the question. The search engine has many features to earn it recommendations, including a clean interface and easy access to locations and simple glance for local events.
Now the company is rolling out timelines, a way to get more information on your people searches. "We now show you important events in the timeline of influential or famous people’s lives. In the case of Henry Ford, we highlight several events of Henry’s life including his marriage and early career of farming and running a saw-mill in 1888, incorporating the Ford Motor Company in 1903, and his retirement from the company in 1918", Bing's Richard Qian states.
While the gold-standard of office suites remains Microsoft's Office, many competitors are trying to catch up. While Libreoffice is a nice alternative, it has failed to truly take off beyond Linux users and people who don't want to spend money or cant afford to buy Microsoft's solution.
However, the biggest competitor lately has been Google. The search giant has been making a push with both web apps (like Google Docs) and Chrome OS. Education institutions have been high on Google's web philosophy as it is cheaper. Today, the search giant announces that it will be providing Google Apps for Education to students in the Brazilian city of São Paulo.
Windows XP launched in October of 2001, and so has passed its 12th birthday. Customers using an operating system this old should understand the risks associated with it. Yes, Microsoft is still updating it, and will do so up to April 7th of this year, but that is small compensation for the lack of modern features included in this decade old system.
The company has been through three iterations of Windows since the aging OS hit the market. XP has had a great run, but all things must come to an end. My colleague Brian Fagioli suggested users move to Linux, which I have nothing against, but calling it an alternative to the changes in Windows 8.x is ridiculous -- it’s still a completely foreign operating system with a stiff learning curve.