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Asus’s Chief Financial Officer David Chang has complained of poor demand for their Windows 8 laptops. “Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now,” said he said, noting that demand ramp-up for Windows 8 touch notebooks was slow. Asus has been less vocal in their criticism of Windows 8 than Acer, and has produced a number of low-cost Windows 8 touch devices, so their statement should likely be taken seriously. Their delay of the high-end Asus Taichi may be a consequence of this experience. Microsoft is however in the midst of a $1.5 billion marketing campaign for the OS, which will hopefully educate the public as to the advantages of the OS and stimulate sales, and increased penetration after Christmas should also help normalize the new UI and help ameliorate concerns the general public has about the OS. Read more at the WSJ here. Via Neowin.net ...

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During Microsoft’s shareholder meeting today CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged to shareholders that Microsoft should have moved quicker into hardware. “Sometimes getting the innovation right across the seam between hardware and software is difficult unless you do both of them,” he said, noting it was  something “maybe we should have done” earlier. “Bill did hold up a tablet many years ago,” when it was observed that Microsoft called tablets the future in 2001. “Maybe if we had started innovating then, which is what we really did with Surface,” Mr. Ballmer said, “maybe we should have done that earlier. Maybe that tablet shift would have been sooner.” “But we are building a big business working with those partners and serving a lot of needs,” he added. “What we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software.” Steve said Microsoft is now determined to propel change, even suggesting there could ...

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Microsoft has already revealed some interesting Windows 8 news this week, including that they have already sold 40 million licenses of the new OS. Now Steve Ballmer in a Microsoft Share Holder Meeting has revealed that Windows 8 buyers " … are using the features and downloading new applications. In fact, several apps have reached already 1 million downloads." The news is significant, as it indicates that Windows 8 users are doing more than simply making use of their old desktop apps, but are actively using the Metro environment and its associated store, which should draw in new developers and applications. He also confirmed that “new devices will really start to hit the shelves worldwide in the coming weeks and coming months", which is good news for those frustrated by the lack of exciting windows 8 devices on shelves. Via Neowin.net ...

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The Verge has more details about the long-rumoured Windows 8 successor code-named Blue. Citing several sources familiar with the matter, they said Microsoft is set to push out cheap or free yearly updates for the desktop OS to keep it competitive with other faster-moving operating systems. Apparently Microsoft intends to force upgrades by encouraging new apps to be Blue-enabled or not be accepted into the Windows 8 Store. The OS will likely continue being called Windows 8, and will presumably round out all the rough edges of Windows 8, such as the split in settings between the desktop and Metro side. Are our readers looking forward to this model? Let us know below. ...

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Our favourite Windows 8 hybrid, the Asus Taichi, appears to have been delayed, according to PCWorld. A spokesman from Asus said shipments may begin in December or possibly even later, and a number of online stores are now listing the device as either being out of stock or discontinued, and are no longer taking orders. The issue is emblematic of the problem OEMs have been having of getting interesting and desirable new Windows 8 form-factors into the market, something which Microsoft supposedly blames for Windows 8 underperforming in the market, and something we as some-one who is in the market for a new laptop finds personally frustrating. Have any of our readers been waiting for this device? Let us know below. Via The Verge.com ...

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A new Surface update KB 2756872 has just popped up on one of our Surfaces, and it comes with a pretty informative change log. The update promises improve performance, battery life  and better driver compatibility. It also promises audio improvements, which will hopefully fix the stuttering issue some Surface users have been complaining off. In detail the Changelog reads: KB 2756872 Improvements This cumulative update includes the following performance and reliability improvements: •Increased power efficiency to extend battery life •Performance improvements in Windows 8 applications and Start screen •Improved audio and video playback in many scenarios •Improved application and driver compatibility with Windows 8 In our experience the update does deliver the promises performance improvements, with the Xbox Music app being a bit more responsive, scrolling being fluid and faster, and Onenote and 3rd party apps also loading faster. Have any of our readers received this update, and have you ...

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Microsoft has released a trailer for their new exclusive game for Windows 8 tablets and PCs’ The auto-running shooter developed by Other Ocean has a story mode and 3 endless runnier stages and will be free to play and funded by in-app purchases. The game is expected to arrive soon. Keep an eye on its facebook fanpage for news on its progress. Via PlayXBLA.com and Joystiq.com ...

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Lenovo has quietly put the Ideapad Yoga 11 available for sale on their website, with a 32GB going for $679 and a 64GB for $759. This comes a few short days from their initial announced availability of December, making the launch of it early. Pricing on the Yoga 11 is a little steep considering the specs are very similar to other Windows RT-based tablets such as the Surface, Asus Vivo Tab and Samsung Ativ Tab. All have Nvidia Tegra 3 processors and 2GB of RAM, though the Yoga does have the biggest screen of the four (11.6 inches), as well as the only one with a full-size HDMI port and SD card slot. Time will only tell whether that will be enough to differentiate it from the other devices and justify the premium price, though you could always get its higher-specced Yoga 13 sibling (just not in orange). ...

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In a blog post Microsoft revealed that the company has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses to date. The number is the first official mention of the sales rate of the OS after Microsoft revealed that it sold 4 million licenses in the 3 days after the launch, indicating the run rate has remained about the same as after the launch- quite an achievement. Microsoft revealed the information first to industry and financial analysts, investors and media at Credit Suisse 2012 , and also confirmed that Windows 8 was outpacing Windows 7 in terms of upgrades. Tami Reller, Windows Chief Marketing and Financial Officer said: “The journey is just beginning, but I am pleased to announce today that we have sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far.” Microsoft also announced thats several apps in the Windows 8 store has passed the $25,000 revenue mark, which is in fact pretty ...

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Major Nelson has announced that an Xbox 360 update is being pushed out to consoles which brings a number of bug fixes and performance improvements. The update will correct such issues such as displaying the incorrect playlist name when launching a playlist from Xbox SmartGlass to the console, an error with Xbox Video closed-captioning and an error with Xbox Music that some were experiencing. The update is mandatory and will be required before users are able to play online. Read more at Major Nelson here. via Tweaktown.com ...

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Solitaire and Minesweeper are some of the most played games ever, having been included in Windows since version 3.1. Unfortunately Windows RT shipped without such niceties, but Microsoft has now corrected the issue. A Windows 8 version did exist, but did not support RT. An update to the app has now added the ability, which is sure to boost Surface sales. The game is Xbox Live enabled and will offer players daily challenges to complete and offers online leaderboards to compare scores with those from Xbox Live friends. Find the game in the Windows Store here. Via Neowin.net ...

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Microsoft is offering the Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 tablet for only $399 from their online store, a whole $100 discount from the normal price. The device sports a 10.1" Acer CrystalBrite LED-backlit TFT LCD (1366 x 768), Intel Atom (dual-core) 1.50 GHz, 2GB DDR2, 32GB SSD, MicroSD, ~ 9 hours battery life, 8MP rear camera (with 2MP FFC), WiFi + Bluetooth, and weighs less than 1 kg. There is also an optional keyboard dock available which doubles the battery life. The device can be found in the Microsoft Store here. Via WPC ...

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Paul Thurrott, who has previously posted that  Windows 8 Sales were Well Below Microsoft’s Projections, and that Microsoft blamed the OEMs, have today expanded on this. He noted “the one thing that is consistent is that the company does in fact blames PC makers internally.” He continues, saying “while PC makers had announced a wide range of launch PCs and devices, many weren’t even delivered to retail in time for the Windows 8 launch” and that  “PC makers did not manufacture PCs and devices in the quantities needed to support the Windows 8 launch.” We find the explanation pretty believable, having ourselves found the most attractive Windows 8 hybrid models not available in stores. Thurrott notes that this may be recoverable, with OEMs still expected to deliver new Windows 8 PCs in volume before year’s end. Read more at WinSuperSite here. ...

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Betanews reports that the Windows 8 store’s app protection has been well and truly cracked, allowing even novice users to make trial apps free full versions with only a click of a button. The hack called Wsservice_crk was released on October 30, 2012 on the My Digital Life forum and allows users to crack Windows Store applications, sideload unsigned apps so that they can be run on Windows 8 Metro and the means to create app packages that can be further redistributed. Like all cracking software it does of course leave the user at the mercy of the original hacker, and with system files being modified does not just leave a PC potentially less stable, but also in a state where it can not really be trusted for anything important. The hack also prevents apps from being updated, but there is a onerous work-around for this. Of course with nearly ...

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Ford has announced their new 2014 Ford Fiesta will come equipped with Microsoft’s latest version of their Sync software, which features more natural and accurate voice recognition, simpler Bluetooth® phone pairing and better navigation controls. The software will be ensconced in the  MyFord Touch® with a new 6.5-inch LCD touch screen. More than 5 million cars and trucks have been sold with the system which first launched SYNC on the 2008 Focus, then its smallest and most affordable car. Now, unveiling MyFord Touch for Fiesta cements Ford’s commitment to making technology affordable and accessible to everyone. "Technology features are important to all of our customers including small car buyers, and MyFord Touch continues to drive up purchase consideration of our vehicles," says Michelle Moody, Ford cross-vehicle marketing manager. "MyFord Touch is appealing to customers, as it consistently ranks among the top 10 purchase considerations with new owners. We’re excited to ...

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Apple booster Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray has performed a side by side comparison of Microsoft and Apple stores on Black Friday and posted some observations. After 8 hours of observation he found Apple stores were seeing about 715 customers per hour, while Microsoft stores saw 47% less, at around 379 per hour for the two hours they observed them. While this is still pretty respectable traffic, the problem appears to be that buyers at the Microsoft store were mainly buying Xbox games, while the Apple store sold about 11  iPads per hour, vs no Surfaces at all during the two hours they observed the store. Of course not everything was going Apple’s way. While footfall has increased, buying has decreased – last year they sold 2.7 iPads per 100 visitors, this year 1.5 per each 100 visitors, a drop of around 43%, with less iPads being sold than last ...

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