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Microsoft Windows 8
Continuing coverage of Microsoft's Windows 8 Microsoft Windows 8 RSS

Windows 'Threshold' to go public within weeks
Microsoft will issue a preview of "Threshold," the current code name for Windows 8's successor, as soon as next month, according to an online report today.

How risky will it be to run old IE after Microsoft's 2016 patch stoppage?
Microsoft's decision to stop patching older versions of Internet Explorer in 17 months may not be as big a show-stopper as many assume.

Deja vu all over again: Windows 7 will be the new XP
Even as enterprises try to get rid of their last Windows XP machines, Gartner analysts are urging them to start planning for the end of Windows 7.

Microsoft postpones IE's Java blocking after IT complains
Microsoft has postponed the implementation of Java blocking within Internet Explorer and will give customers a little less than a month to deal with the unexpected change.

Mac sales so far in '14 may signal share push
The Mac is poised to break Apple's annual sales record this year, according to an analysis of past sales trends as well as Wall Street projections.

Chromebooks may grab 5% of PC market, about the same as Apple's Mac
With more than 5 million units expected to be sold this year, Chromebooks will account for about 2% of all personal computers.

Microsoft slashes IE support, sets 'huge' edict for Jan. 2016
Microsoft is giving customers 17 months to stop using older versions of Internet Explorer, including the most popular of them all, IE8.

Windows 8's no-name update plan nails OS's coffin shut
In a noteworthy change of strategy, Microsoft plans to release future feature updates to Windows 8.1 in smaller chunks more frequently.

Windows 8.1 biz users face patch freeze as Microsoft sets critical updates
Microsoft plans to deliver nine security updates next week, incljuding a pair of critical patches for Internet Explorer and all versions of Windows.

China scrubs Apple's iPad and MacBooks from government buying list
China's government, which banned Windows 8 from agencies' computers, has now dropped Apple's notebooks and tablets from an approved list of purchases.

Surface damage mounts at Microsoft as red ink reaches $1.7B
Microsoft lost money on its Surface tablets throughout its just-concluded 2014 fiscal year, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink.

Windows 8's uptake falls again, now slower than dud Vista
Windows 8's uptake was stuck in reverse for the second month in a row.

Chinese officials seize Microsoft PCs, emails, financial info in antitrust probe
Regulators in China today said that they made sudden appearances at several Microsoft offices on Monday to gather evidence for an antitrust probe.

Yosemite's traffic share triples after public beta debuts
The preview of Apple's OS X Yosemite public beta last week resulted in a tripling of the upgrade's share of online traffic.

Consumer Office 365 tops a half-billion dollars in annual revenue run-rate
Microsoft's Office 365 'rent-not-buy' subscription service is at an annual revenue run-rate of more than half a billion dollars.

Apple hasn't exhausted its supply of Yosemite betas
Apple still has redemption codes available for its public beta of OS X Yosemite.

Microsoft wants you to forget Windows 8
Unless MIcrosoft radically changes its habits, it will throw Windows 8 down a deep memory hole even before a successor ships.

Microsoft again writes off Surface inventory, renews profitability doubts
Microsoft again took a hit on its Surface business, the company acknowledged Tuesday.

Lenovo spins 180, says it's still in the 8-in. Windows tablet game
Lenovo on Friday said it would continue selling sub-10-in. Windows tablets in the U.S., backing away from statements it made the day before.

Google starts work on Chrome bug that slurps Windows laptop juice
Google engineers have begun working on a fix for a months-old Chrome bug that drains Windows' laptop batteries, a move triggered by a story on Forbes' website.

Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
Microsoft plans to press ahead with its in-house Surface tablets, but the company's strategy remains vague and elusive.

Why Microsoft isn't spooked by the Apple-IBM alliance
The Apple-IBM partnership will have little effect on Microsoft's dominance in the enterprise, or drastically change its mutating mobile strategy.

Microsoft plans price war to stymie Chromebook growth
Microsoft's COO says his company and its army of OEMs will compete on price with Google's Chromebooks, a milestone in Microsoft's battle against the encroaching enemy.

China calls the iPhone and iOS 7 threats to national security
China's state-run TV is telling iPhone owners that the device is a threat to national security because it tracks their movements.

Russian Windows leaker denies link to ex-Microsoft worker who stole trade secrets
Notorious Russian leaker Wzor denied any link between the publication of internal Microsoft info and a former employee who stole trade secrets.

Patch alert: Update browsers' Flash ASAP to block log-on theft
While Google's Chrome and Microsoft's IE10 and IE11 browsers will automatically update to the latest version of Adobe Flash, anyone using Safari, Firefox, Opera or older versions of IE must do so manually.

Microsoft slates critical IE, Windows patches for Tuesday
Microsoft plans to ship six security updates to customers next week, patching all versions of Internet Explorer and nearly all supported editions of Windows.

Windows 8 uptake sags, flirts with flop
Windows 8's uptake stumbled last month, and the perception-plagued operating system flirted with falling behind the tempo of the Windows Vista flop of seven years ago.

Update: Skype to retire recent editions for Windows, Mac; upgrades mandatory
Skype plans to retire older versions of its desktop Internet calling application, including versions on Windows and OS X launched as recently as January and February of this year.

The enterprise PC: Not quite dead yet
Tablets haven't killed off the PC market, which is about to return from a downturn.

Microsoft strips some Windows 7 users of IE11 patch privileges
Microsoft has quietly stopped serving security updates to Internet Explorer 11 on consumer and small business Windows 7 PCs unless the customer has successfully applied a browser update from April.

Microsoft withholds monster IE update from Windows 8.1 dawdlers
Microsoft refused to give Windows 8.1 customers another reprieve, requiring most to upgrade their devices to April's Windows 8.1 Update before the firm's Windows Update would serve up today's mammoth patch slate.

XPocalypse, not now
Two months after Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, the catastrophic wave of exploits security experts expected to wash over the aged operating system have failed to materialize.

Microsoft's latest countdown: Update Windows 8.1 before Tuesday
Microsoft plans to deliver seven security updates to customers next week, including an almost-habitual one for Internet Explorer, and others for Windows, Office and Lync.

China escalates rhetoric in campaign to ban Windows 8
China's state-run television today took new shots at Microsoft's Windows 8, using a two-and-a-half-minute segment on a national show to blast the OS as a data thief.

Chrome on Windows champs at the 64-bit
Google today promoted the 64-bit Windows version of Chrome to a pair of preview channels, and promised that the browser is more stable and faster than its 32-bit sibling.

Cook jabs at Windows, Android in WWDC keynote
Apple may have had a lot to dish out Monday to developers, but that didn't stop CEO Tim Cook from taking time to talk a little smack about rivals Microsoft and Google.

Microsoft debuts personalized patch dashboard for IT pros
Microsoft launched a Web-based security dashboard for IT professionals that displays a customized view of the company's past patches.

Perspective: The Surface Pro is Microsoft's latest premature introduction problem
Microsoft has become mildly famous -- in hindsight -- for being early, far too early, to important technology products and trend swings. Is history repeating itself with the Surface Pro 3?

Microsoft prays for service revenue with free Windows 8.1 with Bing for tablets
Microsoft today confirmed that it will give a new version of its OS, "Windows 8.1 with Bing," to tablet makers for free as it tries to boost the market and sales shares of its flagship OS.

No harm, no foul: Windows 8 hasn't harmed Microsoft's software satisfaction score
Customer satisfaction with Microsoft's software -- primarily Windows, but also Office -- climbed slightly in the last year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Windows RT isn't dead -- yet
The troubled Windows RT operating system got nary a mention at Microsoft's Surface event today, but don't plan for RT's funeral just yet.

Surface do-or-die moment? Not so fast
Microsoft's scheduled unveiling of new Surface tablets next week is not a last-chance moment for the company's hardware dreams, analysts said, countering a theme popular on the Web.

iOS 8 split-screen hints at iPad's enterprise ambition
Apple will debut a split-screen feature for the iPad in this year's iOS 8, tilting its tablet toward PC-like functionality and mimicking a core feature of Microsoft's Windows 8 on tablets, according to a report Tuesday.

Microsoft to webcast next week's Surface event
Microsoft will webcast its Surface event next Tuesday, boosting the chance that the company will reveal significant news and/or multiple products.

Microsoft sticks to vow, leaves XP exposed to ongoing attacks
Hackers are already exploiting an Internet Explorer vulnerability left unpatched in Windows XP on Tuesday, Microsoft and security experts said.

Microsoft: We're serious this time; XP's dead to us
It's Patch Tuesday for Microsoft, but Windows XP users aren't getting any of the security updates. Get used to it, the company says.

Firefox UI revamp sparks complaints, searches for alternatives
Some Firefox users, cranky over the browser's user interface changes, have scrambled to find ways to make the latest version look more like older editions.

As Patch Tuesday looms, Microsoft gives Windows 8.1 users a reprieve
For the third time in four weeks, Microsoft has backed away from a customer cutoff by postponing enforcement of the Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline until June 10.

Windows XP die-hards can slash attack risk by dumping IE
By switching to a non-Microsoft browser, Windows XP users can halve the number of vulnerabilities that apply to the OS, according to a survey of flaws Microsoft fixed in the second half of 2013.

Hackers now crave patches, and Microsoft's giving them just what they want
At least one of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday updates looks like an excellent candidate to hackers as they poke around for bugs in the now-retired Windows XP.

Tick, tock: Windows 8.1 users face patch ban as Microsoft sets next week's updates
Microsoft will issue eight security updates to customers next week that will include fixes for Internet Explorer, Windows, Office and SharePoint.

Microsoft seeds doubt by erasing XP line in the sand
Microsoft's decision to patch Windows XP after its support deadline passed has sowed confusion and will likely encourage bad behavior by some customers, analysts said.

XP's retirement triggers another wave of deserters
Windows XP users continued to put the old OS out to pasture last month, but the now-unsupported operating system still powered more than a quarter of all PCs on the planet.

Microsoft's Bing goes ad-free for all U.S. schools
Microsoft yesterday opened its ad-free Bing search engine option to all U.S. K-12 schools, both public and private, after running a pilot program since August.

Apple kicks off public OS X beta testing
Apple today followed Microsoft in opening up pre-release, or beta, versions of its personal computer operating system to all comers.

Russian leaker resurfaces, claims Microsoft will issue second Windows update this year
A notorious Windows leaker dubbed 'Wzor' says Microsoft will issue yet another update to Windows 8.1 later this year, evidence of an even-faster acceleration in the company's development tempo.

Windows' new normal shows software-as-a-service ambitions
Microsoft's new updating "normal" for Windows -- a faster-paced tempo that demands customers apply releases within weeks -- is a first step in moving the OS to a services-style model. But companies may be leery of the change.

Microsoft extends Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline for business
Microsoft on Wednesday extended the Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline for businesses by three months, but again told consumers they had less than four weeks to make the move before the company shuts off their patch faucet.

Microsoft puts the squeeze on Windows to shoehorn it into 16GB devices
Microsoft has revealed how it will squeeze Windows 8.1 onto devices with storage space as small as 16GB to fulfill a promise earlier this year that OEMs could produce low-cost tablets and laptops.

Google quashes 31 vulnerabilities, restores Metro mode 'steppers' with Chrome 34
Google this week updated Chrome to version 34, patching 31 vulnerabilities and paying out nearly $30,000 in bug bounties to outside researchers.

Microsoft drags customers 'kicking and screaming' into its world of faster updates
Microsoft's demand that Windows 8.1 users install this week's major update was another signal that the company is serious about forcing customers to adopt its faster release strategy, experts said today.

Windows 8.1 Update deep-dive review: An OS that makes more sense
In Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft may be finally getting it right: The latest version of its operating system finally bridges the gap between touch and traditional computing.

Microsoft suspends Windows 8.1 Update release to businesses
Microsoft suspended serving Windows 8.1 Update to businesses that rely on WSUS (Windows Server Update Services), saying that a bug would prevent devices from recognizing future updates.

Windows 8.1 Update arrives today
Microsoft will deliver the much-awaited update to Windows 8.1 Tuesday, and with it comes a packed goody bag of treats for laptop and PC users.

Microsoft requires migration to Windows 8.1 Update within 5 weeks
Windows 8.1 users have a narrow window to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update, the refresh that begins rolling out to customers today, to continue receiving future bug fixes, patches and enhancements.

FAQ: Good-bye old pal, old paint, Windows XP
Today's the day: Microsoft will serve up its final public patches for Windows XP, the aging OS that's been around since 2001.

Microsoft to restore Start menu to Windows
Microsoft this week gave customers a bare-bones peek at the future of Windows, saying that the next iteration after Windows 8.1 Update will restore a Start menu and let users run "Metro" apps on the classic desktop.

Microsoft sketches out final Windows XP security updates for next week
Microsoft today said it will ship four security updates to customers next week that will include the final public fixes for flaws in Windows XP and Office 2003, both slated for retirement from security support on Tuesday.

Microsoft teases touch-first Office for Windows
Microsoft teased a touch-first Office for Windows 8.1, but contrary to many experts' expectations, previewed only one app and declined to define a release window.

Hell freezes over: Microsoft makes Windows free for some devices
Microsoft will give away licenses to Windows Phone and Windows to device makers building smartphones or tablets with screens smaller than 9-in. measured diagonally.

Microsoft slates April 8 release of Windows 8.1 Update
Microsoft today said that it will ship a Windows 8.1 refresh, a set of new features designed to make the struggling OS easier to use for customers with a mouse and keyboard, on April 8.

Last-minute lazybones dump Windows XP
Windows XP and Windows 8 returned to their traditional pattern in March, with the soon-to-be-retired XP losing the most user share since December while Windows 8 gained ground.

Where's the touch-first Office for Windows?
When Microsoft unveiled Office for iPad on Thursday, neither CEO Satya Nadella nor the company said much of anything about a similar touch version for Windows 8.1. Analysts expect that to change this week.

Nadella wins praise for public debut as CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's first public appearance on Thursday was a hit with analysts, who gave him a thumbs up for his time on stage as the company unveiled Office for iPad.

On eve of expected Office for iPad, some remain skeptical
Although rumors have pegged today as the day when Microsoft will announce a long-awaited Office for iPad, some remain skeptical that the company will actually pull the trigger.

Microsoft returns to scare tactic well in dump-XP campaign
Microsoft yesterday pulled out a fear-of-God approach to scare users into dumping Windows XP, telling them that the most popular tasks done on a PC will put them in the crosshairs of cyber criminals.

2-in-1 devices face a long, slow slog to credibility
Microsoft's efforts to push the concept of a "2-in-1" device, a tablet that does double duty as a notebook, will continue to struggle, an IDC analyst said Tuesday.

Google Now alerts hit desktop Chrome, OS subversion continues
Google yesterday began rolling out Google Now notifications to users of its desktop browsers on Microsoft's Windows and Apple's OS X.

Firefox's UI face-lift on track for April debut
Mozilla is on track to debut the new "Australis" user interface for Firefox next month after promoting the UI to its beta build last week.

Microsoft tries to tempt XP diehards with $100 discount on new PCs
Microsoft is pitching another deal at pry-XP-from-my-cold-dead-hands customers, offering them $100 off a new Windows 8.1 device if they spring for one that costs more than $599.

Ex-Mozilla engineer blames Microsoft's rules for Metro Firefox's death
A former Mozilla engineer who worked on the "Metro" version of Firefox says that poor adoption of Windows 8's radical user interface wasn't behind the decision to shelve the browser.

Talk is not cheap: Microsoft adds $23B to market cap on rumors of Office for iPad
Microsoft's share price cracked $40, setting an 11-year high in trading on Thursday.

Windows leak site Wzor goes dark a day after feds arrest Microsoft mole
The noted Windows leak site was offline Thursday and its Twitter account had disappeared, a day after an ex-Microsoft employee was charged with stealing trade secrets from the company.

Microsoft's OneNote strategy: Battle Evernote, or something bigger?
Microsoft today began offering Mac users its OneNote application free of charge, making rumors last week about a release a reality.

Microsoft dangles $50 carrot in front of XP users
Microsoft has anted up in its attempt to convince last-minute laggards to abandon Windows XP by handing a $50 carrot to people who buy a new Windows 8.1 device.

Mozilla shelves Metro Firefox, cites user apathy toward Windows 8
Mozilla on Friday abruptly canceled the release of its touch-enabled Firefox browser for Windows 8, just four days before it was to ship and after two years of work.

Microsoft's new lower-priced Office 365 is 'obvious preface' for iPad suite
Microsoft's announcement today of a less expensive Office 365 subscription for consumers was the strongest hint yet that the company will soon offer an edition for Apple's iPad, an analyst said.

Researchers pocket record $400K at Pwn2Own hacking contest's first day
Researchers cracked Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla's Firefox and Adobe's Flash and Reader at the Pwn2Own hacking contest, earning $400,000 in prizes, a one-day record for the challenge.

Perspective: Microsoft risks security reputation ruin by retiring XP
Microsoft's plans to ship the final public patches for Windows XP on April 8 could undo its hard-won reputation for security and hurt itself as much as the customers who end up with an infected XP system.

Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
Microsoft will deliver five security updates to customers next week, two tagged as "critical," including one that will quash the open vulnerability in Internet Explorer that hackers have been exploiting since January.

Microsoft reaches RTM milestone for Windows 8.1 update
Microsoft has reached a critical milestone for its next update to Windows 8, which is slated to ship early next month, according to reports.

OS upgrades: Cheap is better than pricey, free is better than cheap
Lowering the price of an operating system upgrade boosts its uptake five-fold, but pushing it out for free speeds uptake as much as 12 times, data from an analytics company shows.

No special treatment for China on XP, patches end April 8 in the PRC, too
Microsoft today said it has not changed the end-of-support policy for Windows XP users in China, and will still cut off those customers -- as it will others around the world -- from security patches after April 8.

Microsoft ships Office 2013 SP1 the old-fashioned way
Microsoft delivered the first service pack for Office 2013 on Tuesday, making good on a promise last year to ship the update in early 2014 and synchronizing its release with prior editions' initial service packs.

Microsoft's 'go-low' play puts Windows revenue on the line
Analysts were uncertain today whether the recent stretch of "go-low" moves by Microsoft means that the company has tweaked its strategy to emphasize services at the expense of devices.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 lives!
More and more for Windows users, there's no OS like an old OS.

Users mock Microsoft for asking their help on XP-to-Windows 8.1 upgrades
Astute Windows users have pointed out the Achilles Heel of Microsoft's plea for help in getting customers to dump Windows XP: The lack of a smooth upgrade path to Microsoft's newest OS, Windows 8.1.

Microsoft concedes Windows 8.1 needs more for mouse, keyboard customers
Microsoft on Sunday publicly acknowledged what leaks had shown, that the company will issue an update to Windows 8.1 this spring that provides more tools for owners of traditional PCs controlled by mouse and keyboard.

Microsoft tries to jumpstart cheap Windows devices with license price cut
Microsoft has cut the price of Windows 8.1 by nearly three-fourths to device makers who produce lower-cost laptops and tablets.

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Surface Pro 3 ads target the Macbook Air. Bad move, Microsoft -- the Macbook wins.

Microsoft is ramping up its assault on the Macbook Air with a series of ads touting the Surface Pro 3's superiority to Apple's laptop There's just one problem. The Macbook Air is better. Here's why.

Windows 9 will kill Charms, be an operating system you can love

Windows 9 is going to strip out even more of Windows 8 than we thought: It will kill the Charms Bar. Considering that it will also add back the Start menu, and allow Metro apps to run as windows apps on the desktop, when it's done it may be an operating system you can love.

Pointless Windows 8.1 Update 2 shows Microsoft has given up on Windows 8

The fat lady has finally sung for Windows 8. With a list of non-features slated to be rolled out next week in what was once called Windows 8.1 Update 2, Microsoft has made clear it's given up on improving the struggling operating system, and instead focusing on Windows 9.

It's official: Windows 8's uptake is even worse than Vista's. Should Microsoft jump ship?

If there were any questions whether Windows 8 has been Microsoft's worst operating system ever, they should now be laid to rest: Windows 8's uptake is now lagging behind even Windows Vista's dreadful performance. Is all hope gone for the struggling operating system?

More evidence iPad sales are falling: Best Buy notes PC resurgence

Tim in a panic?

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) says tablet sales are "crashing." Makes for a great headline, but what's really going on? The company's CEO tells us that the tablet market is saturated, but people are again buying new PCs -- especially convertibles. The problem seems to be a lack of tablet innovation, preventing replacement sales.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers crash and burn.

Patch Tuesday for July 2014: Pass the hash for cash

For this July Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released six updates with two rated as critical, three as important and the final patch rated as moderate. Normally, this would represent an average update from Microsoft for this time of year. We also have seen the release of three advisories from Microsoft, which may relate to more important security vulnerabilities and patching processes than our standard monthly updates.

Windows 8 loses market share. Is there no hope for it left?

Think things are bad for Windows 8? They're worse than you think -- the struggling operating system lost market share last month, something almost unheard of for the latest version of a Microsoft operating system.

Did Microsoft just admit Windows 8 is its worst operating system ever?

Reports say that Microsoft will abandon the Windows 8 Start screen interface for traditional computers in the next version of Windows, code-named Threshold. That's a pretty drastic step. Does it mean that Microsoft recognizes that Windows 8 was the biggest operating system bust in its history?

5 top tips and secrets for Windows 8

Want to get more out of Windows 8 and 8.1? I've got help. Check out five of my favorite tips.

Trade in a Macbook Air for a Surface Pro? In your dreams, Microsoft.

Microsoft is so serious about pushing the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop replacment that it has launched a campaign to get people to trade in their Macbook Airs and use the credit towards buying a Surface. Nice try, Microsoft, but this campaign is a non-starter.

Will new bargain basement $100 tablets save Windows 8?

Microsoft built Windows 8 mainly for tablets, but so far, tablet buyers have stayed away in droves. Microsoft's new strategy has prices dropping to $100 and $200. Can that solve Microsoft's Windows 8 mobile woes?

Which is better as a laptop, the Macbook Air or the Surface Pro 3?

Microsoft is pitching its Surface Pro 3 not just as a tablet, but as a laptop replacement, and has the Macbook Air in its cross-hairs. Which of the two is better as a laptop?

Apple CEO's astonishingly misleading claims about Windows 8 at WWDC

Apple CEO Tim zinged Windows 8 multiple times at his WWDC speech, much to the delight of the Apple faithful. But if you take a closer look at his claims, you'll find that they're astonishingly misleading. In fact, Windows 8 is cleaning Mavericks' clock.

Microsoft's top Surface exec: We're all in with Windows RT

Last week's introduction of the Surface Pro 3 was noticeably lacking an RT version of the device -- the first time a Surface Windows tablet was announced without a Windows RT companion. But Panos Panay, in charge of the Surface, today insisted that Microsoft is committed to Windows RT for the long haul.

Does the world really need a Surface Mini Pro?

Tomorrow Microsoft will likely introduce a 7- or 8-inch Surface Mini running Windows RT. Some rumors also point to a Surface Mini Pro as well, running full-blown Windows 8. Does the world really need a full-bore small Windows 8 tablet?