Since Valve Corporation co-founder, and former Microsoft employee, Gabe Newell publically called Windows 8 a “catastrophe,” it’s been fun game to look at the Steam user statistics every month. For the month of June we see PC gamers still prefer to use Windows, with a dominating 95.35% of OS share among Steam users. All versions of MacOS combined control 3.42% among Steam gamers, and Linux comes in at third with 1.13%. For a further breakdown of Windows, Windows 7 still leads with 62.06%. Combining Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 we see 24.98% OS share among Steam gamers. Up nearly 2% from last month and up 5% from January of this year.  Windows XP usage still remains around 5% even though the operating system has hit end-of-life. I suspect when DX12 is released we will see a further shift to Windows 8 off Windows 7 among gamers. Source: Steam ...

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At Build, Microsoft announced that they are bringing back Start Menu to Windows 8.1. Currently, you have a Start Button there and when you click it, you are presented with the Start Screen. The upcoming Start Menu will look like the above with the combination of Live Tiles and program shortcuts as seen above. It was expected to be coming via update to Windows 8.1 in late 2014. But today, Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft has changed their plans and this new Start Menu will not be released to the public in Windows 8.1 Update 2 in 2014. Microsoft’s operating systems group has decided to hold off on delivering a Microsoft-developed Start Menu until Threshold, the next “major” release of Windows. Threshold, which may or may not ultimately be called Windows 9, is expected to be released in April 2015. I’m not clear whether the postponement is because the ...

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According to the latest market share data from Net Applications, Windows 8.1 has finally passed Windows 8 in terms of worldwide market share. The growth of Windows 8 is on the negative side while Windows 8.1 is growing slowly. Windows 8.1/Windows 8 combined got increased by 0.40% (from 12.24 percent to 12.64 percent). While Windows 8 slipped 0.07 %(from 6.36 percent to 6.29 percent), Windows 8.1 gained 0.47% (from 5.88 percent to 6.35 percent). The surprising part of the stat was that Windows 7 is continuing to grow despite Windows 8.1′s presence. It gained 0.79% (from 49.27 percent to 50.06 percent). One good news for Microsoft is that Windows XP lost 1.02% (from 26.29 percent to 25.27 percent). Microsoft will hope people will migrate from Windows XP at a faster rate though. via: TNW Source: Net Applications ...

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Yesterday, we reported that Chinese government made a strange move by announcing the ban of Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS in government computers. As per reports, the ban was due to the notice on the use of energy-saving products. The official Xinhua news agency claimed that it was due to security concerns. “The Chinese government obviously cannot ignore the risks of running OS without guaranteed technical support,” it reported. It is not yet clear on what exactly is the cause of Windows 8 ban. Just like everyone of us, Microsoft is also surprised by the move and will push Windows 7 for now to these government agencies. “We were surprised to learn about the reference to Windows 8 in this notice. “Microsoft has been working proactively with the Central Government Procurement Centre and other government agencies through the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services meet all government procurement ...

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Microsoft Studios has released a new Xbox game titled Tentacles: Enter the Mind in Windows Store. It is a free to play game that is available for download for both Windows RT and Windows 8 users. Game Description: Dr. Phluff’s failed attempts to create ultra-cute animals have driven him mad! Only you, the adorable, tentacled Lemmy, can save him. Following the guidance of Dr. Phluff’s well-meaning subconscious, tap or click to navigate through the layers of the doctor’s outrageously bizarre mind. Gobble enemies’ eyeballs, collect secret eggs, and gain new powers and abilities. And when you reach the depths of Dr. Phluff’s mind, survive as long as you can! Xbox and Facebook integration lets you collect achievements, track high scores, and compete with friends on the leaderboards. You can save your game in the cloud to play across multiple devices. Offline play is also available. NOTE: Tentacles: Enter the Mind ...

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New numbers from Net Applications shows Windows XP marketshare dropped by 1.4% compared to last month. The small drop in not entirely unexpected. Many enterprises and governments have signed special deals with Microsoft to extend Windows XP support for another year, at the cost of millions of dollars. The Chinese is market continues to run mostly on Windows XP and there is no urgency to change this within the country. A significant drop in Windows XP marketshare will probably be seen one year from now. Windows 7 maintains the #1 spot with 49.27 marketshare, up from 48.77% in March. Combined Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 now command 12.24% marketshare, up about 1% from March. Specifically Windows 8 has 6.36% (down from 6.41%) while Windows 8.1 has 5.88% (up from 4.89%). Source: Net Applications ...

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The Chinese government has made the decision to stick with Windows even though the operating system has reached end-of-life. Senior official Yan Xiaohong commented that upgrading to Windows 8 would be “fairly expensive.” Windows 8 costs 888 yuan (£84 or $142) in China. However in some cases the government would have to buy new hardware to upgrade to Windows 8. China is not paying Microsoft for extended Windows XP support. Instead, Chinese security providers have released special protection products to patch up the system, which the government is now “appraising” for use. It is estimated that nearly 70% of computers in China are still using Windows XP. IE6 usage in China remains well over 20%, while the rest of the world remains under 1%. It is believed that 90% of Windows XP usage in China comes from pirated copies of the operating system. However, since  a crackdown in 2010 most government agencies ...

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Yesterday we reported on new rumors regarding Windows 8.2 (or Windows 8.1 Update 2 or Autumn Update) and Windows 9. Russian leaker WZOR has asserted that Windows 8.2 is likely to be released this fall. Mary Jo Foley says she has independently heard it may be released as early as August (2014). Previous to Windows 8.1, Microsoft typically took three years to release the next version of Windows. The exception to this was Windows Vista. It took nearly 5 years after the initial release of Windows XP until Windows Vista came out. Of course the issue is slightly more nuanced, Windows XP SP2 could have considered a new version of Windows and Project Longhorn was scrapped and Windows Vista was written in about 2.5 years. Between Windows Vista to Windows 7 to Windows 8 about three years passed between each OS. Windows 8.1 was released about one year after Windows ...

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Today Lenovo introduced two new additions to its FLEX family of dual mode laptops with the new FLEX 2 laptops available in 14 and 15.6-in models. The laptops have the ability traditional laptop in “laptop mode” or to be used in “stand mode” by flipping the keyboard underneath the screen 300 degrees. Both models come with 1080p full HD widescreen displays with 10-finger multi-touch. They both come with an optional backlit keyboard. On the inside, these models will be available in a couple of different options: Up to 4th generation Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce graphics OR up to AMD A8 APU processor and Radeon R5 M230 graphics. They also come with three different storage options: Up to 1TB of hard drive or hybrid SSHD storage or up to 256 GB SSD storage. For audio, stereo speaks with Dolby Advanced Audio v2 technology and an optional dual array digital microphone “The new FLEX ...

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Well known Russian leaker WZOR has made a number of claims regarding Windows 9 and Windows 8.1 Update 2 (or Windows 8.2). According to WZor, Windows 8.2 might be released later this year possibly in the Autumn.  Windows 8.2 is likely to be very similar to the Spring Update (Windows 8.1 Update) and may be called Windows 8.1 Update 2 (Autumn Update). This is still being debated internally at Microsoft. Part of the Autumn Update will include the Start Menu shown at Build and possibly “windowed” Metro apps. Windows 9 is likely to contain a revamped Metro interface. The new start menu and windowed Metro apps will also be included in this update.  In the classic form the start menu will be available on devices without a touchscreen and on server systems. On systems with a touchscreen, the start button should be a different concept. Microsoft is considering making a free ...

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  Microsoft today revealed a new installation process in which Windows can be installed to save storage on the disk. This new instillation process was added with Windows 8.1 Update and it allows devices with 16GB or 32GB SSDs or eMMC storage to have plenty of storage left for apps and data after Windows is installed. This new deployment option is called Windows Image Boot (or WIMBoot). Instead of extracting all the individual Windows files from an image (WIM) file, they remain compressed in the WIM. But from the user’s perspective, nothing looks any different: You still see a C: volume containing Windows, your apps, and all of your data. How much does this process save on storage? So let’s assume the WIM file (INSTALL.WIM) is around 3GB and you are using a 16GB SSD. In that configuration, you’ll still be left with over 12GB of free disk space (after ...

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At the Build conference, last week, once piece of technology that we heard very little about was Windows RT (not to be confused with WinRT). Many were left wondering if Microsoft was still committed to Windows RT especially given the new leadership. All OEMs with the exceptions of Microsoft (and Nokia) had abandoned the ARM hardware. The most prominent Windows ARM tablets are the Surface RT, Surface 2, and Nokia 2520.  The Surface mini is also rumored to be based on ARM hardware.  I still maintain that ARM is the future of Windows and the desktop will die, but that is a minority opinion and a lengthier philosophical discussion for another time. Mary-Jo Foley got a chance to interview Terry Myerson who commented, among other things, about Windows RT: ZDNET: What about Windows RT — not WinRT, the API (application programming interface) — but Windows RT, the Windows flavor on ARM? ...

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As announced earlier by Microsoft, as of 8th April 2014, support and security updates for Windows XP are no longer available. If you continue to use Windows XP without XP support, your computer may still work but will become vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Why Windows XP Support ended? Windows XP is 12 years old. It’s typical to end service for software as it gets older and technology evolves. Most of us have replaced cell phones and even our cars over the last 12 years – now it’s time to replace your Windows XP computer with a new PC. Or you can check to see if your Windows XP computer can run the new Windows. We’ve outlined your options and are here to support you as you make your next step. Help protect your personal files We want to help your personal files, photos, etc. stay secure. To help ...

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Microsoft Japan has announced that Resona Holdings Inc. has migrated approximately 30,000 client terminals to Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013. Resona Holdings, which had been running on group client terminals, completed the migration in February 2014, well before Microsoft ends support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 on April 9. This 30,000-unit deployment of Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013 is one of the largest ever made. Resona Holdings, which oversees the operations of Resona Bank, Saitama Resona Bank, Kinki Osaka Bank and other group companies, intends to become a “true retail bank that is highly trusted by our customers and the local community.” Its business revitalization plan prioritizes leveraging “All Resona” comprehensive capabilities, promoting cross-selling and reducing operational costs. The key features of Resona Holdings’ migration to Windows 8 and Office 2013 include the following: Significant cost savings by replacing approximately half the group’s client PCs, and ...

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With only a week of support left Windows XP usage is starting to decline but still maintains 27% of OS marketshare.  Data from Net Applications for March shows Windows XP usage declined 1.84% (from 29.53% percent to 27.69%).  Likely many businesses are transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 7.  Windows Vista also fell 0.11% (from 3.10% to 2.99%).  Windows 8.1 & Windows 8 continue to grow have a combined marketshare over 11% for the first time.   Specifically, the combined operating systems gained 0.62 percentage points (from 10.68% to 11.30%).  Windows 8 gained 0.03 percentage points (from 6.38% to 6.41%), while Windows 8.1 grabbed an additional 0.59% (from 4.30% to 4.89 %). Windows 7 made the biggest gain of 1.46% (from 47.31% to 48.77%).  The large gain is most likely businesses moving from Windows XP to Windows 7. Source: Net Applications via tnw ...

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Every now and then we come across interesting design concepts by independent designers around the world. Andrewz is also one such designer and he today sent us his latest Windows 9 concept. Supplemental showcase video briefly demonstrates highlights of Windows 9 design concept. Don’t forget to read the article http://goo.gl/B59YWC – the main part of the project – and view still pictures gallery http://goo.gl/LxXCnN . I didn’t intend to amaze audience with reworked and refined graphics. I tried to use current assets and reorganize them in my way. My primary focus was usability. I respected some things Windows 8 came with and haven’t changed them at all. 1/5 Installation 0:04 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf6FxN… 2/5 Modern Taskbar with Mouse 00:40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMaOIu… 3/5 Modern Taskbar with Touch 2:25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCNOaV… 4/5 Modern UI Improvements 3:20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUZcnL… 5/5 Start Screen Improvements 3:50 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLe80k… He is interested to hear about your feedback. Let him know via the comments ...

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