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IDC have commented on the tablet market, and while they note iPad will continue to dominate in the near future, they expect business to turn to Windows tablets, especially with the new user interface Windows 8 brings. They write: While the consumer segment remained the key target market, there is increasing interest from enterprises as well. But businesses are still evaluating the products and how they could incorporate non-Windows devices into their existing IT infrastructure, while the limited number of products available for the business space also contributed to constrain stronger commercial demand. . While the market will remain heavily focused on the consumer segment, expansion will also come from a change in end-user dynamics, as the ongoing product evaluation by businesses is expected to translate into an increasing number of media tablet shipments in the commercial segment as well. Tablets are seen as a major opportunity for several horizontal ...

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With more than 90% of the worldwide search market, it should be obvious that Google has a monopoly in the area. While some continue to argue it is certainly obvious to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt who responded in the affirmative to the question in front of the US Senate. Senator Herb Kohl asked Schmidt  whether Google had obtained monopoly status. "Do you recognize that in the words that are used and antitrust kind of oversight, your market share constitutes monopoly, dominant … special power dominant for a monopoly firm?" Kohl asked. "You recognize you’re in that area?" "I would agree, sir, that we’re in that area," Schmidt replied. "I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding of monopoly findings is this is a judicial process." Claiming they would not abuse their status like Microsoft supposedly did he said: "We get the lessons of our corporate predecessors,"  "We also get that it’s ...

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Robbert Doelwijt likes Windows 8, but he thinks there could be some improvements to the user interface. He writes: A few days ago at Microsoft’s BUILD event, a developer preview of Windows 8 was released. I installed it as soon as I could, and played around with it. Their touch-first mentality was noticable at first glance. In the videos I saw on the web Windows 8 seemed to be a breeze to use on tablet-like devices, but Microsoft kept saying that it would still be usable with your mouse and keyboard setups. While you can use the operating system with your keyboard and mouse, to me the controls suck. Windows 8 has a lot of potential, but some of the features just don’t work on desktops. I’ve made a video showcasing some of the improvements I would make to Windows 8, in order for it to work both on tablet-like ...

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Facebook today announced their new TimeLine feature, and Microsoft watchers would have noticed that the Maps filter in TimeLine will show you the locations you have shared on Facebook using an embedded Bing Maps. Microsoft and Facebook have an ever deepening relationship, with Microsoft providing search in Facebook, Skype  video chat, Messaging integration with Windows Live and not the mapping service.  Microsoft is of course also a minor investor in the company, with a 4% stake. Via LiveSide.net ...

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Google is defending themselves in front of the US Senate, and of course is trying to diffuse accusations that they are a monopoly by claiming their competitors are a bit more competitive than they really are. Google’s Eric Schmidt’s opening comments should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt when he said: Among major search engines, Microsoft’s Bing has continued to gain in popularity, perhaps because it comes pre-installed as the search default on over 70 percent of new computers sold. Microsoft’s Bing is the exclusive search provider for Yahoo! and Facebook. Microsoft recently signed a deal for Bing to power English language search on the fast-rising Chinese search engine Baidu, which Baidu has acknowledged will help it become more competitive in markets outside of China. In addition to Internet Explorer, Microsoft has integrated Bing into its popular gaming console, the Xbox 360, which it is in talks with ...

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Microsoft Corp. today announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share, reflecting a 4 cent or 25 percent increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable December 8, 2011 to shareholders of record on November 17, 2011. The ex-dividend date will be November 15, 2011. The dividend can be annualized to around 2.95% at the current share price, better than the 10 year US Treasury Bill rate, which is closer to 2%. “Our strong financial results enable us to increase our dividend as part of our ongoing commitment to return capital to our shareholders,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer of Microsoft. In the last quarter Microsoft announced record revenue of $17.37 billion and profits of $5.87 billion. The company is continuing its $40 billion share repurchase program approved by the board of directors in September 2008. The repurchase program, which expires ...

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I guess being a proposed $8.5 billion acquisition of Microsoft has made Skype a bit more eager to serve their new masters. The company has released an update for their VOIP client with the changelog featuring only the addition of Windows 8 support, an OS still a year from release. If you are a Windows 8 Developer Preview user and suffering from Skype issues you can download 5.5.0.117 from Skype here. Via ZDNet.com ...

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While much has been made of a split between Microsoft and Intel, the vast majority of Intel’s chips still run Windows and vice versa. Besides showing of Chromebooks then at IDF Intel also took a minute to show ultrabooks running Windows 8.  Intel’s Vice President Mooly Eden and Brett Carpenter from Microsoft’s Windows Ecosystem Group showed off an Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook running on Windows 8 as well as a 32nm Atom based tablet. Ultrabooks will run on  Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor, due out in the first half of next year.  Ivy Bridge will be succeeded by the ultra-low-power Haswell processor. Eden rounded off by saying, "What we are trying to do together is Windows 8, Microsoft’s newest operating system, and Intel’s new platform solution together provide a no compromise based user experience." While Intel concentrated on showing Windows 8 will also run on devices without touch screens, I think ...

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The biggest concern desktop and laptop users have about Windows 8 is losing the simple and efficient usability of the old start menu, which has frankly just improved over time. Vhanla has created a simple tool which allows a user to easily switch between Windows 8 old Start Menu and Windows Metro Style start screen. The tool hides in the notification area, simply modifies a key in the registry and then restarts Explorer. The app features: Runs at start-up, so you can change anytime you want Hides on system tray (notification area) Special button to only enable/disable old windows start menu (keeps ribbon explorer), requires admin privileges Read more about the app and find the download at DeviantArt here. ...

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Some wonder if there is any demand for Microsoft’s new tablet OS.  If the going price on eBay for the Samsung Windows 8 tablet Microsoft gave away to developers at BUILD is any indicated, the demand could be pretty good, with bidding for the Core i5-powered tablet now at $2700, with 7 more hours to go. The 11.6 inch tablet with 64 GB of storage also interestingly comes with 12 months of free AT&T data usage, suggesting developers got a pretty good deal when they were given the devices for free. See the auction at eBay here. Via Winrumors.com ...

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According to industry sage Eldar Murtazin HTC is working on a Qualcomm-powered Windows 8 tablet.  The predominantly Android company is already producing Android tablets, and is also rumoured to be set to unveil an Intel-powered Android device early next year. HTC has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and have already produced a Windows-powered netbook, the HTC Shift. Windows 8 ARM-powered tablets will not be able to run x86 desktop applications, but may have a version of Microsoft’s Office suite ported to it. Via Intomobile and BGR.com ...

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Microsoft has said their Developer Preview of Windows 8 was the first they would be providing updates to.  Now a rumour, started by Win8China, is going round that Microsoft is planning to release a public beta of the OS as early as September 30th. While this seems incredibly early, we of course do not really know how far advanced Microsoft’s internal builds are, and with more than a million downloads of the Windows 8 DP already one could say Microsoft may as well make this an official beta also. Via WinBeta.com Thanks Hotmail Alias for the tip. ...

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Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have commented on one of the biggest developments on Windows 8, the OS running on ARM processors. Eager to show Windows 8 on ARM will provide a full desktop browsing experience, Qualcomm ironically concentrated on showing Flash while browsing, something which Microsoft is in fact deprecating in favour of HTML5. Texas Instruments on the other hand underplayed the need for super-powerful chips, saying most software do not take advantage of quad-cores at present, but that they will have chips ready for when Windows 8 does hit the market at the end of next year. They did however see ARM as extending from more than tablets to also thin and light laptops, which if successful could spell start of the decline of Intel. Nvidia of course have already said they see Windows 8 as a major new revenue stream and opportunity for them, and see their only ...

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Yahoo’s Carol Bartz and Steve Ballmer in happier times There is talks of AOL and Yahoo looking for a merger, but now Microsoft is also rumoured to be sniffing around the ailing Yahoo. "Definitely, people are talking about it," a MSN source told Business Insider. While we usually think in terms of Bing and Yahoo, which makes the deal less attractive as Microsoft has a 10 year search deal with the company, it is Microsoft’s MSN destination which could benefit the most from an outright purchase. The source told Business Insider Microsoft was not interested in AOL, noting "Yahoo is a lot more interesting. If it comes into play, then at least their U.S. media business is a pretty interesting asset. It’s complicated because of those Asian assets." "The portal space is challenged. Facebook is just absorbing more and more minutes – usage. That’s having an effect on portals. The ...

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With Windows 8 Metro interface featuring much less on-screen controls, there is an increased need, at least with non-touch screen devices, for keyboard shortcuts. Below is a useful list of shortcut keys that may make using Windows 8 on a normal laptop much less painful, and in the end may even make your a lot more efficient. Win + Spacebar : Switch the input language and keyboard layout Win + C : Open the Charms Win + D : Show the desktop Win + E : open Windows Explorer Win + F : Open the Search panel Win + H : Open the Share charm Win + I : Open the Settings charm Win + K : Open the Connect charm Win + L : Lock the computer Win + O : Lock the screen rotation Win + Q : Open the search pane Win + R : Open run ...

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Windows 8 will not support Flash in its Immersive browser, and Windows 8 users are likely going to spend increasing amounts of time there. Adobe, who makes a significant portion of their income from Flash creation tools, has responded to the challenge to their business in a blog post, saying: We expect Windows desktop to be extremely popular for years to come (including Windows 8 desktop) and that it will support Flash just fine, including rich web based games and premium videos that require Flash. In addition, we expect Flash based apps will come to Metro via Adobe AIR, much the way they are on Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS today, including the recent number one paid app for the iPad on the Apple App Store, Machinarium, which is built using Flash tools and deployed on the Web using Flash Player and through app stores as a standalone app. ...

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