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With all the hype around Surface Pro, it’s easy to forget that other OEMs have also been building Windows 8 tablets with fast Intel Ivy Bridge processors. One of the best – and certainly the most competitively priced – of these devices is the Acer W700, though it’s had its fair share of issues since launch. It was delayed, it was (and still is) experiencing supply issues, and the included plastic dock is clumsy and not very portable. However, Acer has apparently started to ship a revamped keyboard case with the device, as posters on Acer’s support forums have noted. The new keyboard case consists of three parts: a microfiber sleeve to which a silicon case and the keyboard – which connects over Bluetooth and can be charged with an included microUSB cable – are glued. Inserting and removing the W700 from the silicon case certainly isn’t as effortless as ...

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While Acer has blamed their poor sales on Windows 8 rather than the lack of supplying hardware the public wants, Lenovo, who has been on the forefront of creating great hybrid designs and marketing them well, has been reaping the rewards of supporting the new OS. Lenovo has just had a record-breaking quarter, growing their market share and profits despite the shrinking PC market. CEO Yang Yuanqing is quoted as saying that “new technologies like Windows 8, ultrabooks, and convertibles will drive new demand. 2013 will be better than 2012.” So Acer, how about less winning and some more designing? Via Forbes.com ...

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Rank Jan Price December Price iPad W4 2013 Price 1 Drift mania  $2.99 Angry birds star wars  $4.99 Minecraft – Pocket Edition  $6.99 2 Angry birds space  $4.99 Draw stickman:epic  $2.99 Angry Birds Star Wars HD  $2.99 3 Plex  $2.99 Plex  $2.99 Pages  $9.99 4 Angry birds star wars  $4.99 Angry birds space  $4.99 Joe Danger  $2.99 5 Where is my Perry  $4.99 Pin stream  $1.49 Scribblenauts Remix  $0.99 6 im+ pro  $4.99 Touch file  $1.99 Bad Piggies HD  $0.99 7 Libraries file explorer app  $1.49 Fruit ninja  $4.99 Notability  $1.99 8 Doodle god  $2.99 Tweetro  $4.99 Toca Hair Salon 2  $1.99 9 Rat on a skateboard  $1.49 Youtube +  $2.99 Temple Run: Brave  $0.99 10 4 elements II special edition  $2.99 Shark dash  $1.99 Sofia the First: Story Theater  $3.99 Avg Price    $3.49    $3.44    $3.39 Games   7   5   8 Other   3   ...

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Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $21.46 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. Operating income was $7.77 billion , net profit $6.38 billion , and earnings per share $0.76. The profit us down from $6.6 billion a year ago, but the Windows Division reported revenue of $5.88 billion, a 24 percent increase from a year ago due to pre-orders of Windows 8. Microsoft re-affirmed that they sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date. “Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we’ll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services ...

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  In a blog post Microsoft has formally announced the retail availability of the Surface Pro tablet from the 9th February in the U.S. and Canada through all Microsoft retail stores,microsoftstore.com and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S. as well as from a number of locations in Canada. The Core i5 tablet will be retailing from $899 for the 64 GB model.  A 128 GB model will also be available for $999. The device will come with an included Surface Pen. Microsoft also announced expanded availability of the Surface RT tablet to 13 additional markets in the coming weeks, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Microsoft is also making additional accessories available, including laser-etched touch covers for $129 and the Surface-themed wedge mouse. Read more at Microsoft here. ...

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Adduplex have given us a glimpse of their market share number gathered by their Windows 8 Store ad network. The numbers reveal, somewhat counter intuitively, that the Microsoft Surface has increased its share of the Windows 8 market, from 6% a month ago to 7.6% this month. This is despite the increase in the number of PCs running Windows 8 /RT from around 5000 to 7400 this month. Adduplex notes that this may be due to the expanded distribution of the Surface to non-Microsoft stores. The increase is despite Windows RT only being 9% of the Windows 8 market.  One can imagine with the release of the Surface Pro this percentage will only increase, leading to Microsoft giving real competition to the smaller OEMs. If should be noted that the data is drawn from Windows 8 Store apps, so Windows 8 x86 desktops and laptops are likely underrepresented, making Microsoft’s ...

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We wrote only a few days ago about a complicated Windows RT jailbreak which allows unsigned ARM apps to be run on Windows RT. Now the jailbreak has been simplified and automated, allowing anyone to jailbreak their Windows RT tablet and install a number of ARM apps such as VNC or Putty. If this jailbreak persists for a few months one can imagine the library of ARM apps will greatly increase, of course also increasing the value of hack. The hack does not persist across reboots, but that is really the only complication which will stop the general Surface community from using it. Read more about the hack and download it from XDA-Developers here. Via TNW ...

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In a press release Microsoft has made their purchase of id8 Group R2 Studios official, and at the same time also announced that they have absorbed some of the talent of the start-up into their management. R2 Studios have several important home automation patents, and their technology will find a home in the Xbox Division. Head of R2 Studios, Blake Krikorian, is being appointed  as corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), home of the Xbox, where he will report to Marc Whitten, chief product officer for IEB. Krikorian has some experience with Microsoft technology, having worked on the first Windows CE PDAs at Phillips, and of course invented the Sling Player, which also had mobile apps first on Windows Mobile. Hopefully we will see the result of their technology inlux in actual products sooner rather than later. See he press release below. Microsoft Names Longtime Technology Entrepreneur ...

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While Microsoft has never been very open about Windows Phone sales, they are quite happy to trumpet their Windows 8 achievements. Tammi Reller, Chief Financial and Chief Marketing Officer for Windows announced that since the launch in late October of Windows 8 they have sold 60 million licenses to the OS. The statement was made at the JP Morgan Tech Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 8. The figure includes "sell in to OEMs for new PCs" and upgrades, said Reller, also saying this was roughly in line with Windows 7 sales. It is not clear how many of these licenses are actually in the hands of users, or are for OEM inventory or even downgrades to Windows 7.  Microsoft however expected to sell 500 million Windows 8 licenses by the end of 2013, which is guaranteed to create a gigantic market for developers To ...

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As part of its regular “Patch Tuesday” security update Microsoft has pushed out a patch for Windows RT. The update includes a System Firmware (UEFI) update which improvements to audio playback when in Connected Standby  and brings additional capabilities for handling firmware updates during low battery situations. The update also delivers a few other security- and non-security fixes and updates for Windows RT, including one that is designed to improve .Net 4.5 and Windows RT compatibility, according to Microsoft’s Web site. To check for the update search for Check for Updates from the Settings category using the Search charm. Via ZDNet.com Thanks Steve for the tip. ...

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At CES 2013 Intel has announced that all laptops which carry the Ultrabook brand and use the 4th generation Intel Core Haswell processor will need to come equipped with a touch screen and WIDI wireless screen technology. WiDi allows PCs to send up to 1080p video and 5.1 sound to compatible systems. Despite these added components Intel expects Ultrabooks to drop in price to around $599, from a typical $999 at present. Intel also expects the next generation ultrabooks to have up to 13 hours battery life, saying users will be able to forget taking the charger with them. Increasing the proportion of PCs with touch screens will likely provide a major boost for Windows 8, and make it clear to buyers why Windows 8 is the preferred OS over Windows 7. Intel also announced their new Bay Trail Quad-core Atom processor with double the performance of current generation Atoms ...

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Nicaraguan security researcher clrokr has managed to unlock the kernel setting which prevents Windows RT devices from running unsigned code as found on desktop applications. He exploited a security vulnerability which exists in Windows 8 and which was therefore also present in Windows RT, and also the fact that Microsoft allows Remote Debuggers to attach to user processes. He managed to find the bit in RAM which tells the OS whether they should run Unsigned(0) apps, Authenticode(4) signed apps, Microsoft(8) signed apps or Windows(12) signed apps. By default Windows RT will only run Microsoft signed apps. The hack will presumably not persist beyond a reboot, and enabling it does require a lot of expertise. clrokr argues that the discovery shows that there is no essential difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT, and that users should have the ability to run desktop apps. On the other hand he does not ...

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Engadget reports that Vizio is releasing the first AMD-powered Windows 8 tablet.  The Vizio Tablet PC is an 11.6-inch slate running AMD’s dual-core, 1GHz AMD Z60 chip, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of solid-state storage, a 2-megapixel front camera and micro-HDMI / micro-USB ports. Besides the AMD chipset however another differentiating feature is the presence of a 1080p screen, still a big rarity for Windows tablets, both RT and x86. Vizio is still to announce pricing or availability. ...

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has acquired home-entertainment technology startup id8 Group R2 Studios Inc with the aim of incorporating the technology into its Xbox console. The team, led by founder Blake Krikorian will join Microsoft, and bring along its patents related to controlling electronic devices. Krikorian founded Sling Media Inc., maker of the Slingbox and sold it to EchoStar in 2007. He resigned from the board of Amazon.com Inc. last week. R2 Studios has been working on technology related to distributing and displaying digital media on TVs, and prior to the purchase the company was apparently also in talks with Google and Apple. The technology will find a home in Microsoft’s entertainment console, and may be part of the rumoured Xbox Loop casual gaming and TV streaming console, or the Xbox Next, set to be released at the end of the year. Via The Verge.com ...

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The VideoLan KickStarter campaign has ended a great success with the team raising £47,056 in 30 days. Felix Paul Kühne, Lead Developer on VLC media player has released the following statement: Today, the kickstarter campaign run by several core members of the VLC development team ended. £47,056 was pledged by 3080 generous backers. We would like to thank everyone who made this possible! This is a tremendous and somewhat unexpected success. We are very pleased about it. In the last week, we’ve prepared our project management tools, determined hardware and software needs for the developers who will work on VLC for Windows 8, RT and Phone, and set up our major development milestones. We will start right away as soon as the campaign is over. We will perform detailed scheduling early next month and reach out to major IT corporations who offered technical support and testing devices during our campaign. ...

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