An IDC analyst has tough words for Microsoft on tablets. Fixing Surface Pro is job one.
"Surface Pro today is an interesting product, but it's just not there yet," Tom Mainelli, IDC's research director for tablets, said in a phone interview with CNET.
"The battery life's not there. It's too heavy," he added.
And even Surface Pro's touted high performance is a double-edged sword. "While it performs like a notebook, Surface Pro is always going to be compared to other tablets, and tablets really need to run 8 to 10 … Read more
Microsoft's ownership of Skype has placed it in the crosshairs of a patent lawsuit.
CopyTele, a company that calls itself "specialists in patent monetization and patent assertion," launched its suit today, alleging that some of the technology used in Skype violates patents owned by its subsidiary, Secure Web Conference Corp.
In its complaint, CopyTele is asserting the infringement of two U.S patents -- "Method and apparatus for securing e-mail attachments" and "Portable telecommunication security device," both granted in 2005.
Both patents concern secure Web-based peer-to-peer communications, such as those used by Skype. … Read more
Windows 8 is slowly scratching its way up the OS food chain.
Microsoft's latest version of Windows took home 3.8 percent of all traffic captured by Web tracker Net Applications in April. That proved a small gain from its 3.2 percent share in March.
Starting with a 1.09 percent share in November, Windows 8 sliced out a 1.72 percent share in December. A 2.26 percent share in January helped it sneak past Mac OS X 10.8 to grab fourth place among all desktop operating systems. And February saw another small gain to 2.7 percent.… Read more
Microsoft is seeking beta testers for a refreshed version of the official Facebook app for Windows Phone, which was developed by Microsoft in conjunction with Facebook.
Microsoft officials blogged on April 30 that the company is seeking testers for the refreshed Facebook app for Windows Phone 8. The beta isn't available via the Windows Store (to avoid confusion, according to the Softies). Instead, the beta is available via this link.
The refreshed Facebook app is "undergoing a major redesign," according to the blog post, and will include several "much-requested" features, including support for high-res photos, … Read more
Windows 8 users hoping for a return of the traditional Start button and Start menu in Windows 8.1 may be disappointed.
Rumors have floated recently that Microsoft may revive the familiar Start button in the Windows 8.1 update scheduled for release later this year. A new report today from The Verge claims that "sources familiar with Microsoft's plans" have confirmed the return of the Start button.
But -- and there always seems to be a "but" -- the new Start button apparently will not trigger a traditional Start menu but instead simply bounce … Read more
Microsoft has all but confirmed long-standing rumors that it is working on a 7- or 8-inch Windows-powered tablet.
Outgoing Microsoft CFO Peter Klein said during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call Thursday afternoon that Microsoft was working with partners to produce "a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows" that would be available "in the coming months." Klein did not indicate that Microsoft itself would be making its own smaller Windows 8 devices, but considering the company's recent foray into the tablet market with its Surface lineup, it's not out of … Read more
Microsoft could already be testing its own brand of smartwatch.
In development for the past year, the device is in the prototype stage, "a reliable source familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans" revealed to The Verge. The watch reportedly comes with removable bands that attach to its 1.5-inch touch display.
One of the prototypes borrows the magnetic power connector used by Microsoft's Surface tablets. The five-pin connector can send both power and data to the watch. However, The Verge's sources say the final design of the smartphone may jettison such a connector.… Read more
Windows 8.1 could be more user-friendly than its predecessor, at least based on the features revealed in the latest build.
Popping up on file-sharing sites this week, Windows 8.1 Build 9369 includes a new Files app branded with the SkyDrive logo, according to The Verge. The app itself lets you navigate both your local files and those stored on SkyDrive.
Multi-tasking has also been enhanced. When opening a Windows 8 app, users can decide whether to open it full-screen or alongside an existing app.
The addition of an apps button lets users more easily access the apps screen. … Read more
Microsoft has updated its various Bing apps for Windows 8 in a move designed to make them quicker to use and easier to customize.
The News app now lets you manage the different news categories that appear in the app. You can add or remove categories for world news, technology, politics, business, and entertainment, and sort the order in which they appear. You can also add a particular news source or RSS feed to your featured sources and to the Windows Start screen so that you can more quickly access their stories.
The News app's app bar has also … Read more