Posts with tag windows 8
But what will it cost new?
Although pricing for new users was not announced, the Blue update will be free for existing Windows 8 users and will be made available on the Windows Store when the holiday season rolls around this year. Also confirmed was the final name for the Blue update, which will be Windows 8.1 and which we have known for some time thanks to leaked builds.
Apple doesn't appear interested
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – The iTunes ecosystem is the most massive and influential media ecosystem in the world. Whether a person has an iPod, an iPhone, a Mac, an AppleTV, and these days even just your run of the mill Windows PC – they’re very likely connected in some way to Apple and iTunes. For this reason, it shouldn’t be at all a surprise that, according to Windows CFO Tami Reller, Microsoft has been actively trying to convince Apple to release a version of iTunes native to Windows 8′s new “Metro” (or Modern or whatever you want to call it) environment. In an interview with CNN Money, Reller says that “iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”
However, it appears that Apple is reluctant to embrace Microsoft’s new Metro filled future, apparently denying Microsoft’s requests for a Windows 8 native version. Apple may not be yet convinced that allocating resources to a product makes sense – Windows RT tablets have been under performing badly, and the traditional iTunes for Windows app works fine on Windows 8 on the classic “Desktop” interface.
Straight from the horse's mouth
As expected, Microsoft has been rather quiet about Windows Blue and leaks only go so far. But as Microsoft draws closer to //BUILD/ 2013, they have dropped a few hints at what to expect in Blue. Here’s what Tami Reller, Chief Financial Officer of the Windows client division at Microsoft has to say:
- The Windows team will be sharing pricing and sale details in the next couple of weeks, ahead of //BUILD/, Computex and TechEd. There were no comments about Windows Server Blue, Windows Phone Blue or Visual Studio Blue.
- “Blue” is only an internal codename. The Windows 8.1 name we’ve seen in recently leaked builds was not confirmed.
- The Blue update will be out in time for the 2013 holiday season. A public preview build of Blue was not confirmed.
- Although the return of the Start Button and Boot to Desktop was not confirmed, Reller said “We feel good that we’ve listened and looked at all of the customer feedback. We are being principled, not stubborn” in regards to changing the Windows 8 experience.
- Windows Blue will run on smaller, 7″ tablets as we’ve guessed for some time. It will also support Intel Haswell, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800/600 and NVidia’s Tegra 4.
- Reller would not confirm if the Blue update would be the first of a yearly upgrade cycle. “You shouldn’t assume we won’t be doing this yearly… or that we will,” she said.
Although not a leak or a //BUILD/ keynote by any stretch of the imagination, hopefully these tidbits will hold you over until the next leak.
Windows RT hasn’t exactly been flying off the shelves as of yet, as evidenced by the Surface RT struggling to stand on two feet whilst the Surface Pro makes some seemingly decent sales. When asked about Acer’s plan for any potential Windows RT tablets, Acer president Jim Wong was cautious in his answer, saying “To be honest, there’s no value doing the current version of RT.”
However, Jong did say that plans for an RT tablet are “ongoing”, lending credit to the thought that Acer could be waiting for the eagerly anticipated Windows Blue update to Windows 8. Windows Blue (also known as Windows 8.1) will bring several enhancements and much requested new features to Windows 8, including support for smaller, ~7″ devices, improved WinRT APIs, a more fleshed out Start Screen environment, and – potentially – the return of the Start Button.
Going in-depth once again
Hopefully, you’re getting used these follow-up posts where we try to tell what’s new in the latest Windows beta build. In 9385, there’s not a whole lot new but there are still a few noteworthy things to mention.
- New scaling options up to 200%, others are present but disabled
There is now a Search bar present in the All Apps view Newly installed apps show “NEW” under their program title Newly installed apps do not show up on the Start Screen and are sent to the All Apps view instead
We thought the items that are in strikethrough were new – they were actually in earlier builds.
- Internet Explorer F12 Developer Tools are now accessible via the IE11
- The Alarms app can now show notifications on the lock screen with a registry key tweak
- SPDY 3.0 support is now enabled by default, however still lacking in functionality
- The new Movie Moments application, which seems to be a replacement for Windows Movie Maker, has seen some functionality improvements
- The Camera app has received a slight update
- PowerShell 4.0
- .NET 4.5.1
So there you have it. Not a whole lot new, just a few minor improvements.
(Last updated on 05/02 @ 3:33 PM EST to include more information.)
Seems way too soon
Here’s an interesting one – we’ve long expected a 7″ Microsoft Surface running Windows 8.1 to be making its way sometime this summer, but now DigiTimes, who has had a decent track record in the past, is claiming that Microsoft will be announcing both a 7″ Surface and second-generation Surface (both RT and Pro) tablets as soon as this June. The report indicates that Microsoft is planning on making this one of the major announcements at the company’s annual BUILD developer conference, which would make sense.
The Surface Pro will reportedly be getting a spec bump with Intel’s latest and greatest chips, Haswell, which has already been shown to perform very admirably when compared with the current generation Intel chips shoved inside today’s Surface Pro. The second generation Surface RT and upcoming 7″ Surface could easily use an updated mobile ARM SoC, as the Tegra 3 that the current Surface RT uses is quite old at this point; the most straightforward and expected update would probably be NVidia’s new Tegra 4.
Our fourth Windows Blue leak
We’re hearing reports that yet another build of Windows Blue has leaked to the web; you’ll be able to start grabbing this at the usual places soon. This leak, which identifies itself as Windows 8.1 (Blue) Pro build 9385, features further improvements to the Start Screen’s “Settings” app, a better UI for customization, a newer build of Internet Explorer 11, and more.
To those interested in these sorts of things, the full build tag of this leak is “9385.0.FBL_PARTNER_OUT17.130415-2049_X86FRE_CLIENT_EN-US-PL-PL-RU-RU.ISO” and it’s got an MD5 of “F63A3228114C3B4F10686290FF89EA58″.
This is the fourth build of Windows Blue that has leaked to the web since the release of Windows 8 last year. Windows Blue, which will be called Windows 8.1 upon release, will reportedly be formally revealed by Microsoft at the company’s annual BUILD developer conference. We’re downloading the build as I type and will be sure to relay any changes and improvements we find as soon as we can.
Plenty of Surfaces to go around
Microsoft has today announced via their Microsoft Surface blog that both the Microsoft Surface Pro and the Surface RT will soon be shipping to four new countries – namely, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, and Thailand. Malaysia will be the first to have their Surface orders shipped on April 25th, while the other three will have to wait just a bit longer until the end of May to early June.
The Surface Pro will also be shipping to an additional nineteen (yes, nineteen) countries by the end of May. These are all countries that have been up to their knees in Surface RT goodness but have yet until now been able to receive the Surface Pro. Microsoft has also confirmed that they’re working to keep the Surface Pro, clearly the more popular of the two brothers, “constantly in stock” as demand continues to ebb and flow.
Probably not a whole lot
Yesterday, Windows Blue build 9374 leaked. So of course we downloaded it, installed it and played around with it to see what’s new in this build and what we might see when the official Windows 8.1 Preview gets here.
Some of the earliest Blue rumours hinted that Blue would contain various UI updates, and as the first builds started leaking we got tastes of the changes. Most notably, the leaks have shown Windows Phone-esque tile sizes and a brand new Modern Control Panel. There’s a few new things in 9374, so here’s the list:
- Branding changes from “Windows 8 Pro” to “Windows 8.1 Pro Preview”
- A new icon for the “All Apps” button
- The built-in display driver works again
- The new search pane has been improved and is now active by default
- A new single-app Kiosk Mode
- Snapped apps can now be almost any size
- The new Modern Control Panel is now capable of activating Windows
In case you need even more proof that Blue will be called Windows 8.1, check out the resources of basebrd.dll.mui as it contains references to the final Blue names. As we’ve known, the client versions of Windows will have 8.1 somewhere in their name, while Windows Server gets the traditional “R2″ added to its name.
- Windows 8.1
- Windows RT 8.1
- Windows Server 2012 R2
9374 is five days newer than 9369 and is late enough where it bears the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview branding. It has also leaked from fbl_partners_outXX, like all the previous leaks have.
This leak is of the 32-bit version. There has been no indication a 64-bit version of 9374 will leak any time soon.
As always, we are currently downloading build 9374 and will report back our findings when we install and test this build.
6.3.9369 in the wild
Build 9369 is only five builds newer than the earlier leak, 9364 and was only compiled 9 days after 9364, dating the new leak at March 24th, 2013. As such, it’s likely nothing new will be in this build especially since this build and the earlier one both leaked from fbl_partner_outXX labs. However, the major difference between the two leaks is that this new one is 64-bit.
We at Haverzine are currently downloading this build and will check it out as soon as we can. In the meantime, check after the break for a couple of screenshots provided by WinClub.pl.
Update 04/17 @ 7:25 PM EST: if you’re interested in checking out what’s new in this newly leaked build, check out our latest blog post outlining some changes and improvements.
Thanks to: RA1N