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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.

Nokia suspends tablet sales due to faulty charger
Nokia has temporarily halted sales of the Lumia 2520 in seven countries, because the tablet's AC-300 charger can give users an electric shock.

Intel tablet chips grow, but Q1 profits fall
Intel shipped 5 million processors for tablets in the first quarter, but profits fell as PC sales remained weak.

How to get a job in manufacturing IT
To excel in manufacturing, tech workers need to be one part tinkerer and one part visionary, with a bit of analytical acumen thrown in as well.

First-to-market means diddly when it comes to smartwatches
The old wisdom that "first-to-market" technology products will win out gets thrown out the window when it comes to smartwatches and some other wearables.

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.

Intel brings Windows 8.1 to schools with new education hybrid
Intel this week showed off a laptop-tablet hybrid with Windows 8.1 for the education market, where Chromebooks and tablets are also fighting for position.

Wearables market to take off, hit 112M devices in 2018
Wearable computers "took a huge step forward" in 2013 and shipments of smartwatches and related devices will grow by 78% a year until 2018, IDC said Thursday.

What you need to do about Heartbleed
The Heartbleed bug has affected about two-thirds of the world's websites, meaning virtually everyone should be taking steps to protect themselves now.

Lenovo to roll out more low-priced Android tablets in May
More inexpensive Android tablets with prices from US$129 to $249 are coming from Lenovo.

Qualcomm talks up its fastest ever 64-bit Snapdragon chip
Qualcomm is getting high on 64-bit chips with its fastest ever Snapdragon processor, which will render 4K video, support LTE Advanced and could run the 64-bit Android OS.

Microsoft unveils App Studio to ease development of Windows and Windows Phone apps
Microsoft's App Studio beta test has been expanded to allow novice developers to build applications for Windows tablets and PCs, in addition to Windows Phone.

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.

Intel plans new 'Braswell' chip for PCs
Intel is preparing a new 'Braswell' chip to succeed its power-efficient Bay Trail processor found in PCs besides working on bringing over 20 Chromebook designs to the market this year.

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.

Intel to offer exclusive content to devices running its chips
After falling behind ARM in the mobile processor market, Intel plans to go on the offensive by creating exclusive content for devices built around its chips.

Intel unveils China innovation center
As devices powered by ARM chips flood the Chinese market, Intel is hoping to popularize its own mobile processors with a new center built in the heart of one of China's major technology hubs.

CIOs predict IT spending to increase
Mobile apps and tablets are the areas identified most frequently for investment, according to CIO Research's poll of IT executives. However, analytics, cloud and enterprise security spending aren't far behind.

Judge overrules Samsung objection to patent video jury for jury
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh on Sunday overruled Samsung Electronics' objections to showing jurors a recent instructional video on how patents work, ahead of a trial in a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung.

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 to Cook on Office revenue sharing: Drop dead
With the launch of Office for iPad yesterday, Microsoft again effectively cut Apple out of most of the revenue stream by making the apps free to download.

Microsoft scraps 'Windows-first' practice, puts Office on iPad before Surface
As expected, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hosted a press conference where the company unveiled Office for iPad, breaking with its past practice of protecting Windows by first launching software on its own operating system.

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.

PC sales to drop by 6% in 2014
The global decline in sales of laptops and desktops is expected to continue in 2014 -- and Gartner envisions another decline of nearly 5% in 2015

Confused over what tablet to buy? Join the crowd
Tablet sales are slowing, forcing sellers and potential buyers alike to confront confusion over which device to buy.

Microsoft to webcast event where Office for iPad may be announced
Microsoft on Thursday will publicly webcast a press event from San Francisco during which many expect CEO Satya Nadella to not only make his first appearance but also announce an upcoming Office for Apple's iPad.

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.

Microsoft warns Word users of ongoing attacks exploiting unpatched bug
Microsoft today warned users of Word 2010 that in-the-wild attacks are exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in the software.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Office for iPad: Big deal, or big yawn?
Flop or not? Users will soon decide whether Office for the iPad is the greatest thing since Flappy Birds or the next Microsoft Kin. What's a Kin, you ask? Exactly.

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.

iOS tops Android for Web browsing in U.S. and other developed nations
Android smartphones from all manufacturers make up nearly 80% of all smartphones recently sold worldwide, but iOS still dominates when it comes to Web browsing in the U.S. and other developed countries.

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.

Google Chromecast goes on sale in Europe and Canada
Google's multimedia streaming device Chromecast is now available in 11 more countries, including France, Germany and the U.K.

Apple drops iPad 2, inserts 4th-gen Retina iPad into $399 price slot
Apple today replaced the iPad 2 with 2012's fourth-generation Retina iPad as its lowest-priced tablet, a likely reaction to both pressure from cheap Android tablets and the advanced age of the iPad 2.

Microsoft to ship Surface tablet with LTE for $679
Microsoft is bringing LTE mobile broadband to its Surface 2 tablet with a new model that will start shipping on Tuesday for US$679.

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.

Dual-boot Android and Windows tablets and PCs face skepticism
Dual-boot PCs and tablets could potentially give users the best of both worlds with Android and Windows OSes. But they won't catch on as there is little use for such systems, analysts said.

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.

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.

Samsung's Milk music streaming service is free, has no ads
Samsung hopes its new Milk streaming service is the next big thing in music.

Despite sagging hardware sales, confidence in tech remains high
Confidence in the underlying strength of the tech sector as a whole appears to be solid despite some dispiriting news on the hardware front.

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.

Tablet growth slows after years of rapid growth
The rate of increase in tablet shipments is expected to slow this year after unabated growth during the device's first three years.

IDC forecasts deeper declines in PC shipments for 2014
Shipments of new PCs, most of them equipped with Microsoft Windows, will decline more in 2014 than thought a few months ago, according to IDC.

Roku's new streaming stick challenges Chromecast
Roku's new iteration of its streaming media stick chops the price from $99 to $49 and it now works with any TV. And it's not just looks that make it different from Chromecast.

Seagate plans high-capacity storage for tablets
Seagate Technology thinks the storage capacity could be larger in tablets, most of which come with a relatively small amount of native storage.

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.

Linux group could hasten 64-bit Android for ARM mobile devices
Linaro, the open-source development consortium for Linux on ARM architecture, is working on software, tools and drivers that could hasten the release of 64-bit Android.

Android takes 62% share of tablet market in 2013; Apple's share declines
Android and Samsung Electronics were the big winners in the tablet market last year, as sales grew by 68%, according to Gartner.

Microsoft misjudges customer loyalty with kill-XP plea
Microsoft grossly overestimated the loyalty of those it thought were its most steadfast customers when it asked them to help get friends and family members to dump Windows XP, a corporate communications expert said.

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.

Windows 8: Learn to love it
If you're having a rough time with your Windows 8 computer, several options are available to smooth out the bumps

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.

AMD boosts Android on Windows PCs and tablets powered by its chips
Advanced Micro Devices has optimized a version of Android for tablets and PCs containing its chips, and will sell it on new PCs through retail stores in Europe.

Lenovo builds global brand as it preps U.S. smartphone entry
China-based Lenovo is on a roll, with the goal of becoming a globally recognized brand in nearly all shapes and sizes of computing hardware, including laptops, servers and smartphones.

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

Intel catches up with Apple on 64-bit smartphone chips
Intel has finally caught up with Apple with its new 64-bit Atom chips, which should be in Android smartphones and tablets starting as early as the second quarter this year.

Sony launches two new Android smartphones and the Xperia Z2 tablet
Sony today announced a slim, light and waterproof Android-based Xperia Z2 tablet and two new Xperia smartphones at the launch of Mobile World Congress here.

Qualcomm overtakes Apple with eight-core, 64-bit mobile processor
Qualcomm has leaped ahead of Apple in 64-bit mobile chip development with its first eight-core Snapdragon 615 chip for mobile devices, which has integrated LTE and 4K video rendering capabilities.

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.

HP unveils first 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets with Intel Atom
After months of waiting, some of the first 64-bit tablets with Windows 8.1 and Intel's Bay Trail chips were announced by Hewlett-Packard.

HP brings 'couch potato' model to Pavilion line
Hewlett-Packard's latest Pavilion X360 hybrid will offer the design flexibility to be used as a tablet, laptop or "couch potato" device.

Lenovo updates Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ processor, screen
Lenovo's first Yoga tablet, introduced late last year, met with bad reviews, so the company hopes the second time's a charm with the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+.

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.

Why Apple needs a $700 MacBook Air
Apple has been able to maintain high prices and high margins for its computers even as competitors jumped into a pricing pit. But with computer sales drooping, Apple may use the opportunity to lower prices.

Nvidia adds Tegra Note 7 with LTE for $299
Nvidia will soon ship a new model of the Tegra Note 7 tablet with LTE wireless connectivity and Android 4.4.2 OS code-named KitKat, with the device priced at $299.

Apple takes top spot in brand value computation
Apple was appointed the world's highest-valued brand today by Brand Finance, which said the Cupertino, Calif. company's brand is worth nearly $105 billion.

Microsoft claims 200M Windows 8 licenses sold, but how many are in use?
Microsoft last week said that it had sold 200 million licenses of Windows 8 since the operating system launched more than 15 months ago. But how many copies are actually being used?

Perspective: Microsoft hedges on Office for iPad, cites 'thoughtful' decisions
'Thoughtful' was the watchword yesterday for Tami Reller, Microsoft's chief of marketing, when she was asked how the company plans to extend its lucrative Office franchise to mobile platforms other than Windows

IE10 under attack as hackers exploit zero-day bug
FireEye today said it had discovered that attackers are actively exploiting a new, unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer 10.

Nokia plans forked Android smartphone for Barcelona unveiling
Nokia plans to announce an Android-based smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in two weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mobile data traffic is expected to explode 11-fold by 2018
Networking experts are running out of superlatives to describe the coming tidal wave of mobile data traffic.

The fuss over Samsung's Magazine UX is all about fragmentation
Samsung announced Tuesday that its four newest Android KitKat tablets will include the somewhat controversial Magazine UX, a customizable user interface designed by Samsung, not Google.

Samsung to offer 3 new tablets starting Feb. 13
Samsung announced that three of its latest four Galaxy tablet models running Android 4.4 (KitKat) will go on sale at U.S. retailers starting Feb. 13, with online orders starting today.

Windows 8.1 refresh leaks to the Web
An early build of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update 1, a tweaked refresh of last fall's revamp to 2012's original Windows 8, has leaked to pirate websites, according to Web searches.

Users postpone ditch-XP decision as Windows 8 runs to stay in place
Windows XP's disappearance and Windows 8's march toward some kind of success were both put on hold in January, after a December when the former's user share plunged and the latter's swelled, a Web analytics company said.

Leak hints Microsoft will recant 'make-them-eat-Metro' strategy for Windows 8
Microsoft will renounce its "make-them-eat-Metro" strategy in an update for Windows 8.1 slated to ship this spring, if leaked preliminary builds reflect the final product.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Told you so! Microsoft backs off on Metro
Microsoft appears to be backing off on its biggest user interface fiasco since Microsoft Bob: In the Windows 8.1 update, the desktop rather than Metro reportedly will be the default interface.

Cognoscenti anoint Nadella as next Microsoft CEO
After sustained reports surfaced that Microsoft is close to naming its third-ever CEO, Satya Nadella, a 21-year veteran of the company, is now seen as the heir apparent.

Intel to close its AppUp online app store
Intel is closing down its AppUp online application store as it sees a shift in the market and consumer needs.

Tablet shipments could start to slip as consumer markets get saturated
Global tablet shipments are still on the rise, but are showing signs of dramatic slowing as consumer markets such as the U.S. become saturated, IDC said.

Lenovo to buy Motorola division at Google for $2.91B
Lenovo Group is buying the Motorola handset division at Google for nearly $3 billion, Google confirmed late today.

Everyone bets on bigger iPhone for '14
Virtually every analyst who follows Apple has jumped on the bigger iPhone bandwagon, asserting that the company will step into the quickly-growing large-screen market this year.

Apple's iPod business collapses as revenue becomes a rounding error
Apple's iPod business collapsed last quarter, with revenue plummeting 55% and the number of music players dropping by more than half compared to the same period the year before.

Perspective: If Windows 8 = Vista, what's Microsoft's next move?
As Windows 8 struggles to gain traction, you can hear the criticism mounting that Microsoft's latest OS is the new Vista. If that turns out to be true, the company has some big decisions to make.

Microsoft's quandary: Big profits from software or shrinking margins with devices
For all his talk of 'devices and services,' when Steve Ballmer hands over the reins to a new CEO, he will leave an economic powerhouse that prints money by making software, but makes little on anything else.

24 milestones in the Mac's 30-year history
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the arrival of the now-iconic Apple Macintosh computer. Columnist Ryan Faas looks back over the past three decades at some of the highlights and lowlights of the Mac's -- and Apple's -- evolution.

Microsoft lost money on each Surface sold last quarter
Microsoft lost $39 million last quarter selling its Surface tablets, the company acknowledged in filings today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lenovo's IBM server deal mimics multi-market growth strategy used by Samsung and others
Lenovo's deal to buy IBM's x86 server business for $2.3 billion gives the Beijing company another tech segment where it can expand beyond PCs, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

Nokia sales disappoint as Microsoft readies phone group takeover
Nokia's improving Lumia shipments came to a halt during the fourth quarter, bad news for Microsoft, which will soon take over the phone unit.

QuickPoll: What size tablet are you most likely to buy next?
There is no shortage of tablet options on the market, and consumers have their choice of size. Which size tablet most appeals to you?

Calif. court rules Samsung infringed Apple patent ahead of trial
A court in California has ruled that Samsung Electronics infringed in its devices an Apple patent on word recommendations during text input, ahead of a March trial.

Tablet trends for 2014: More Windows tablets, 3G/4G and phablets
Android and iOS tablets will both begin to lose global market share in 2014, while Windows ramps up slightly, according to research firm IDC.

iPad sales skew even more toward Mini
iPad sales shifted over the last year, with fewer buyers purchasing the aged iPad 2 and more choosing the lower-priced iPad Mini, a research firm said today.

IT shops face ever greater mobile demands from users
Nearly two-thirds of mobile device users own three or more network-connected devices, according to an online survey of 5,000 people conducted in November in the U.S. and eight other countries.

HP sticks thumb in Microsoft's eye, discounts consumer Windows 7 PCs
Hewlett-Packard today launched a new online promotion that discounts several consumer PCs by $150 when equipped with Windows 7, saying the four-year-old OS is "back by popular demand."

Surface 2 Pro owners: Where's our @#$%&! firmware update?
After a month-long wait, some owners of Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet this weekend said that they received a fix for a faulty firmware update that exhausted their batteries and caused sleep mode problems.

How Intel is buying a piece of the tablet market
Intel has an ambitious goal for 2014: get its Atom chips into 40 million tablets, or four times the number of tablets that had Intel inside in 2013. But rather than do it by tailoring its products to what tablets now demand, the cash-rich company has another plan: pay tablet makers to use its chips.

Windows 8's complexity tax shackles Microsoft
Complexity may be Windows' downfall, and Microsoft has not only failed to address the problem, but exacerbated it by shipping the dual-threat, two-UI Windows 8.



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Google's flat Android plan is not just about Apple

User interfaces won't be defined by what you see on the display forever, of course. Voice and gesture recognition will become part of the user interface equation -- this absolutely makes sense when the challenge of developing logical user experiences for wearable devices really takes off.

Can free Windows forever save Microsoft?

Yesterday's announcement that Windows Phone and Windows for small tablets will be free for device makers was an admission from Microsoft that its mobile strategy has failed. Will it help save the company in mobile, or is it too little, too late?

Can universal Windows apps close Microsoft's app gap?

One big reason Windows tablets and smartphones don't sell well is the app gap: There are far fewer apps available for Windows tablets and Windows Phone devices than for iOS and Android. With Microsoft's announcement of universal apps that run on all Windows devices, though, that may well change.

The Windows Apocalypse: Here's why Microsoft is releasing Office for the iPad

If you're confused why Microsoft is releasing Office for the iPad, look no further than Gartner's latest survey, which finds that PC sales will continue to plummet, while tablets continue to skyrocket. And there's no end in sight

Will Office for the iPad really bring Microsoft billions?

There have been esimates that when Microsoft releases Office for the iPad, likely later this month, it could end up bringing in billions of additional dollars to Microsoft's coffers. Is that hype and overkill, it will it really bring that much to Microsoft's bottom line?

Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows-Android PCs. Why is it allowing Windroid phones?

Microsoft can be accused of many things, but consistency is not one of them. It is forcing Asustek to abandon its dual-boot Windows-Android PCs while letting Huawei to build a dual-boot Windows-Android phone. Is any logic at play, or just plain weirdness?

Why is Microsoft dissing Apple when it comes to Office?

Microsoft's so far refusing to release a version of Office for the iPad is not the only way that the company is dissing Apple. It's been more than three years since the company has released a version of Office for the Mac, and there's still no release date. Why is Microsoft treating Apple so badly when it comes to Office?

Samsung's big 12.2-in. Galaxy Note Pro tablet -- a first look

How productive can you be with this 12.2-in. Samsng tablet?

Office to be released for the iPad before Windows tablets? What gives, Microsoft?

The on-again, off-again love affair between Office and the iPad continues: The latest rumors say that Office will arrive on the iPad even before it comes to Windows tablets. No matter the truth of things, Microsoft needs to make clear its Office strategy, or else it will give up ground to competitors.

Microsoft backs off on Office for iPad. Is this the revenge of the company's old guard?

Even though former CEO Steve Ballmer promised last fall that Microsoft would be bringing Office to the iPad, there's a new sheriff in town, and that promise no longer holds. The company is now strongly hinting that Office for the iPad may be a non-starter. Is this a return to the bad old days of Microsoft?

Will the 'kill switch' turn off California phone thieves?

Kill Switch: Phone thief twilight time?

California State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and San Francisco DA George Gascon introduced a bill on Friday that's rattling the cages of carriers and mobile manufacturers in the earthquake-prone state. The bill requires a mandatory "kill switch" feature for all smartphones and tablets sold in California. Kill switches -- when enabled -- render stolen devices "bricked", thus making purloined phones useless for resale by would-be thieves.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are either golden, or bearish about kill switches.

Six ways the Windows 8.1 update bridges the Desktop-Start Menu divide

With the Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft has finally realized it has to make its duelling Desktop and Start Menu interfaces play nice together. Based on the latest leaks, here are six ways it does it.

Was 2013 one of Microsoft's worst years ever?

2013 was a year of big ups and downs for Microsoft -- ups like the purchase of Nokia and the Xbox launch, and downs like the continuing problems with Windows 8. Did the downs outstrip the ups, and was it one of Microsoft's worst years ever?

Apple's Android problem is slowly solving itself

Apple's Android problem is solving itself, and while Google's mobile OS isn't going away, it's increasingly seen as a second class option among the only people who matter: customers.

Samsung Knox needs a security overhaul

University researchers say Knox is so flawed that Samsung needs to 'rethink' security.