Microsoft’s Windows 10 got off to a roaring start in its first few days, with early usage share handily surpassing that of the firm’s last free upgrade, Windows 8.1, data from a Web analytics vendor showed.
Worldwide, Windows 10′s usage share — a measure of how active users of the OS were on the Internet, not the number of users or PCs running the operating system — doubled from 0.3% to 0.6% on the official launch day of July 29, according to Irish metrics company StatCounter.
By the end of Saturday, Aug. 1, Windows 10′s global usage share had climbed to 2.5%.
In the United States, the surge of Windows 10 — which was offered as a free upgrade to most consumers and small businesses running either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 — was even more impressive. By Saturday, the U.S.-only usage share of Windows 10 stood at 3.7%.
Windows 10′s usage share jump, both worldwide and in the U.S., was dramatically larger than the increase posted by Windows 8.1 in mid-October 2013, when Microsoft offered the revised OS as a free upgrade to those then running Windows 8.
Windows 8.1′s usage share topped out at 0.6% — both globally and in the U.S. — on the third day after its debut, a fourth (worldwide) and a sixth (U.S.) of Windows 10.
The larger increases were expected: Windows 10′s pool of potential upgraders was massive compared to Windows 8.1′s, because Windows 7, the dominant operating system both worldwide and in the U.S., was included. And the fact that Windows 10 is, unlike 8.1, a major upgrade — the latter was a minor refresh — with a restored Start menu, integrated Cortana and loads of other new features, plays in 10′s favor.
Microsoft has only said that there are were 14 million devices running Windows 10 within the first day of issuing the final code, a number that presumably included the approximately 5 million it previously said were using the OS’s preview provided to members of its Insider program.
Microsoft defended the practice of making its Edge browser the default in Windows 10, but left open the possibility of a future change. “As with all aspects of the product, we have designed Windows 10 as a service; if we learn from user experience that there are ways to make improvements, we will do so,” a company spokeswoman said in an email reply to a request for comment.
In a letter from Mozilla CEO Chris Beard to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, Beard slammed the way Windows 10 setup changed the default browser on a Windows 7 or 8.1 PC upgraded to Windows 10.
“I am writing to you about a very disturbing aspect of Windows 10,” Beard said in the letter, which Mozilla posted publicly. “Specifically, that the update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.”
Beard was referring to the Windows 10 upgrade setup process, which in “Express Settings” assigns the new Microsoft browser, Edge, as the default, even if users had previously specified a rival like Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s Chrome. Most users will simply click “Next” in the Express Setup without diving into the details.
Users who accept that setting for Edge must later — the first time they click on a link — confirm Edge as the default.
Windows 10 users can later re-assign Firefox or another browser as the default, but doing so requires work on the part of the user, many of whom will be unlikely to bother.
In a blog post, Beard elaborated on Mozilla’s displeasure with Windows 10′s upgrade behavior, and resurrected antitrust actions Microsoft’s faced, perhaps hinting at new complaints to regulators, if not in the U.S., then in the European Union (EU). “It is bewildering to see, after almost 15 years of progress bolstered by significant government intervention, that with Windows 10 user choice has now been all but removed,” Beard alleged.
Fabless chipmaker AMD has come up with a mixed set of results for the second quarter. The company managed to make as much cash as the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street expected, but missed revenue expectations.
In fact its revenues were below the psychologically important billion figure at $942 million.
We knew it was going to be bad. Last week we were warned that the results would be flat. The actual figure was $942m, an 8.5 per cent sequential decline and a 34.6 per cent drop from the same period a year ago.
As you might expect, there are some measures of this not being AMD’s fault. The company is almost entirely dependent on PC sales. Not only have these fallen but don’t look like they are going to pick up for a while.
AMD’s Computing and Graphics division reported revenue of $379m, which was down 54.2 per cent, year-on-year. Its operating loss was $147m, compared to a $6m operating loss for last year’s quarter.
Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO, in a statement said that strong sequential revenue growth in AMD’s enterprise, embedded, and semi-custom segment and channel business was not enough to offset near-term problems in its PC processor business. This was due to lower than expected consumer demand that impacted sales to OEMs, she said.
“We continue to execute our long-term strategy while we navigate the current market environment. Our focus is on developing leadership computing and graphics products capable of driving profitable share growth across our target markets,” she added.
In the semi-custom segment, AMD makes chips for video game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft Xbox One, and Sony PlayStation 4 consoles. That segment did reasonably well, up 13 percent from the previous quarter but down 8 percent from a year ago.
But AMD’s core business of processors and graphics chips fell 29 percent from the previous quarter and 54 percent from a year ago. AMD said it had decreased sales to manufacturers of laptop computers.
Figures like this strap a large target on AMD’s back with a sign saying “take me over” but AMD is not predicting total doom yet.
For the third quarter, AMD expects revenue to increase 6 percent, plus or minus 3 percent, sequentially, which is a fairly conservative outlook given the fact that Windows 10 is expected to push a few sales its way.
AMD supplies chips to the Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft Xbox One, and Sony PlayStation 4 consoles and these seem to be going rather well.
Microsoft has decided that there is no point putting Windows 10 on a DVD and insisting that people install from a Flash drive.
Windows 10 will be shipped on USB drives rather than traditional DVDs, although you might be able to find one on DVD if you ask Microsoft very nicely.
USB versions of Windows 10 Home and 10 Pro are listed for pre-order on Amazon already, running $120 and $200 respectively.
It is all fairly obvious. Most cheap PCs ship without a drive these days which has made home-made USB installation drives the only option. We can still remember the outcry when people complained about the number of floppy disks it took to install Windows 95.
Windows 98 came out on a CD drive to cut down the numbers. Now it seems that DVDs are now going the way of the dodo too.
The Connect Wireless Stick ranges in capacity from 16GB to 128GB and in price from $30 to $100.
SanDisk’s first Wireless Stick, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive, was released two years ago and it came in 16GB and 32GB capacities and was priced at $49.99 and $59.99, respectively.
As its predecessor did, the new wireless thumb drive also uses a USB 2.0 (480Mbps) connection to upload content before being able to stream it over Wi-Fi. SanDisk claims the Connect Wireless Stick has enough bandwidth to stream high-definition movies and music to up to three devices at the same time.
The drive is capable of supporting a single video stream for up to 4.5 hours on a single charge, SanDisk said.
The new flash drive is controlled via the SanDisk Connect app, which is free and downloadable from SanDisk’s or or Amazon.com’s website.
The Connect Wireless Stick is compatible with iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android devices, Windows PCs and Apple computers. It works with iOS version 8.0 or higher, Android 4.2 or higher, Windows Vista/7/8, Mac OS 10.6 or higher, and via web browser for other Wi-Fi enabled devices, according to SanDisk.
The thumb drive is 3.03-in x 0.75-in x 0.43 in. in size and comes with a one-year warranty.
Gartner is reporting the biggest slump in PC sales for almost two years. The second quarter report saw 68.4 million units shifted in the three-month period, a year-on-year reduction of 9.4 percent, and the steepest drop in seven quarters.
What’s more, the prediction is that the next quarter will see a further reduction of 4.4 percent.
It seems that the dislike of Windows 8, coupled with the impending arrival of Windows 10, has battered the sales of new PCs.
The fact that most PC users will be entitled to a free upgrade, coupled with the fact that chip and RAM technology haven’t moved on at a spectacular pace this year, has created a perfect storm among consumers who are waiting it out for their machines to be born again on 29 July (or 30, or 31, or possibly 1 August).
If you’re reading this and thinking ‘It’s just a dying market’ you’re not wrong, but you have only to look at today’s IDC figures to see that this really is made of Microsoft.
IDC is even more pessimistic than Gartner, quoting 66.1 million units, down 11.8 percent year on year.
But more importantly, when drilled down to the OEMs, you can see where the real problem lies. Apple is the only company in the top five not rooted in the Windows ecosystem.
It is also the only manufacturer to see a rise in its market share, and is now the fourth biggest vendor in the world, up 16.1 percent. Acer at number five has seen its share plummet by 25.9 percent.
Things were a bit rosier this time last year, because businesses were migrating away from Windows XP (not all of them, mind). This year, there’s no ballast and a lot of hesitation to see exactly how Windows 10 does before big orders start being deployed in enterprises.
“The price hike of PCs became more apparent in some regions due to a sharp appreciation of the US dollar against local currencies,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
“The worldwide PC market experienced unusually positive desk-based growth last year due to the end of Windows XP support. After the XP impact was phased out, there have not been any major growth drivers to stimulate a PC refresh.”
IDC’s Loren Loverde, VP of worldwide PC trackers and forecasting, said: “We’re expecting the Windows 10 launch to go relatively well, though many users will opt for a free OS upgrade rather than buying a new PC.
“Competition from 2-in-1 devices and phones remains an issue, but the economic environment has had a larger impact lately, and that should stabilize or improve going forward.”
Meanwhile, Apple, despite having a tiny market share for its OS X operating system at just 7.5 percent, according to this month’s Netmarketshare figures, has managed to avoid being the winner or loser OEM by being the referee, which is a nice trick if you can do it.
Both analyst firms see the top three remaining as Lenovo, HP and Dell. Nothing to see there.
The Redmond, Wash. company revealed the timeline in a slide deck it posted on its investors website June 26. The presentation offered up additional information about Microsoft’s planned revenue deferrals for Windows 10, which the company first talked about in May.
“Revenue allocated is deferred and recognized on a straight-line basis over the estimated period the software upgrades are expected to be provided by estimated device life,” the most pertinent slide stated. “[The estimated device life] can range from two to four years.”
Microsoft will determine the device lifetime — and thus the support stretch — by “customer type.”
Although details remain skimpy on the upgrade lifetimes Microsoft plans for Windows 10, the two-to-four-year span was the first time the firm named their lengths.
Microsoft has repeatedly said that the free updates and upgrades for Windows 10 would be tied to what it has called the “supported lifetime of the device.” It debuted that phrase in January, when it announced Windows 10′s name and afree upgrade for consumers and some businesses from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 for one year following the new OS’s official release.
The free post-launch updates and upgrades, which will include new features and changes to the user interface (UI), are key to Microsoft’s strategy to transform the operating system into a service.
“With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft will provide new features and functionality over time,” another slide in the short PowerPoint presentation said. “We will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device. We think of Windows as a Service – continuous updates over time.”
Object Theory, based in Portland, Oregon, was founded by Michael Hoffman, one of the lead engineers from the HoloLens project in development, alongside Raven Zachery, a mobile entrepreneur whose credits include the official Obama 08 app, as well as apps for Amazon, Zipcar and Starbucks.
The company plans to work on what it calls ‘mixed reality’ applications for business use, keeping away from the more obvious gaming and entertainment markets in favour of more practical applications.
Mixed reality refers to apps that can go from simple augmented reality right through to totally immersive VR worlds.
“The company was created on the shared belief of the founders that Microsoft HoloLens will have a transformative impact on the way we work, live and play,” said Hoffman.
“With this new platform, our digital life will become more integrated into our physical world than ever before.”
Object Theory believes that the market for VR apps is the first big shift in opportunity focus since the rise of the mobile app in the late noughties.
“We believe that the launch of our company signals the beginning of a shift from augmented reality being focused almost exclusively on hardware innovation to a broader view of the emerging ecosystem,” added Zachary.
Details of products are still at the early stages, but expect a company that offers software development, user experience, design, quality assurance, training, deployment, maintenance and support for the HoloLens when it launches this summer, hot on the heels of Windows 10.
Almost half of workers have ditched their PC or laptop and now do all of their work on a tablet device, according to research outfit IDC.
The firm surveyed 2,000 IT decision makers and found that 40 percent of business users now use a tablet as their sole enterprise device, a figure that rises further when two-in-one hybrid devices are added into the mix.
IDC said that this incremental market accounted for almost six percent of tablets used as standalone devices in the UK, France, and Germany in 2012. It expects this number to increase to 20 percent in the next 24 months.
Marta Fiorentini, senior research analyst at IDC EMEA personal computing, said: “The majority of tablet users in enterprises currently have at least another device to perform their business activities.
“However, a large share of tablets is already used by employees as their only work tool, either replacing traditional client devices or for functions previously not supported by any computing device.
“As digitalisation transforms business processes and tablets are optimised for business functions from a hardware and application standpoint, we can only expect an increase in the share of standalone tablets, as confirmed by the purchase intentions of the study respondents.”
We’d rather pull out our own hair than use a tablet as our sole work device, but IDC noted that production workers equipped with slates use them as their only work device in 64 percent of cases.
In comparison, only 38 percent of executives and 44 percent of white-collar employees work purely on a tablet.
These figures stick another nail in the coffin of the PC market, which IDC revealed earlier this year saw sales slump 7.7 percent year on year in the first quarter.
HP and Lenovo saw growth during the three-month period, but Acer PC sales dropped 16.4 percent compared with 2014, while Dell and Asus PC sales fell 10.1 percent and 8.7 percent respectively.
Red Hat has announced the release of OpenShift Enterprise (OSE) 3, a new version of its Platform-as-a-Service offering.
Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)7, Openshift is built on Docker Linux containers with Kubernetes orchestration using technology developed in collaboration with Google.
The news comes in a busy week for Red Hat, which has also announced a new productivity tie-up with Samsung and taken a leading role in the formation of a new alliance known as the Open Container Project to standardise containers.
Users will have access to a wide range of apps via the Red Hat Container Certification Programme. Middleware solutions including Red Hat JBoss Enterprise, Web Server (Tomcat) and JBoss A-MQ messaging are also included.
Included are a number of tools to help developers create and collaborate, with web, command line, and integrated development environment interfaces. Options include direct code-push from GIT and source to image building. There is also flexibility for deployment, rollback and integration.
In addition, a preview of Openshift Dedicated has been released. The public cloud service based on OpenShift 3 will succeed Openshift Online, which already hosts 2.5 million applications online, allowing businesses to quickly build, launch and deploy bespoke apps.
Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager, OpenShift, Red Hat, said, “This release of OpenShift Enterprise 3 employs open source containers and orchestration practices to change the developer experience and move the platform in the direction of what customers are asking for – a flexible platform for a microservices architecture.
“Our continued upstream work in the Docker and Kubernetes communities enable us to deliver the most updated technology platform for developers and operators, enabling them to remain competitive through quicker innovation.”
To assist users, Red Hat is offering a range of enterprise administrator courses to teach users how to deploy, configure and manage the system, which can result in a Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Platform as a Service – a worthy certificate for any office wall.
OpenShift 3 is available now with bespoke pricing models based of socket and core pairings.
One of the emerging players in the industry is definitely Oculus Rift, a potential leader of the whole Virtual Reality niche.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 is definitely a good place to show off new tech, and visitors get to see the multi-billion dollar gaming industry jewels at their best. A veritable who is who of the gaming and publishing industry is competing for visitors’ attention and some 50,000 people get to see some of the latest and greatest gaming achievements.
Since Oculus got picked up by Facebook for $2 billion, everyone started to believe that VR is the place to be. Nvidia and AMD, the undisputed leaders of the gaming hardware industry, are investing huge amounts of money and effort to make Virtual Reality a reality, pardon the pun. Oculus needs a lot of GPU performance, the sort of performance you can get from the latest graphics hardware. It will spend every texel that your graphics engine can compute and it will need even more. Oculus needs at least a Radeon R9 290 or Geforce GTX 970 graphics card in order to get you a decent gaming expirience.
This VR need for performance, coupled with demand for 4K panels and gaming rigs, will push graphics hardware development to the next level and there is no doubt that 2016 GPUs will pass the 10 billion transistor barrier.
We got a chance to try the Oculus CV1 Consumer Version that is set to launch in Q1 2016 and we had a whole 7 minutes to play with it. We have to admit that Oculus has a virtually nonexistent public relations department and that we can be happy that we got these seven minutes with the Edge of Nowhere game. You get to chose from a few titles including EVE Valkyrie, Edge of Nowhere, Chronos, AirMech VR, Lucky’s Tale, Herobound: Spirit Champion, VR Sports: Challanage, Esper or Damadged Core. We did tried EVE Valkyrie on both AMD and Nvidia hardware at Crescent Bay demo.
The resolution didn’t change from Crescent Bay last beta Oculus that we got to try so many times. You can see individual pixels and despite the fact that you can look around and see 360 degrees, you would want to get somewhat better resolution.
The second problem was that the Edge of Nowhere game is really hard to play. The Xbox 360 controller is not the greatest tool that will keep you from falling trough the void. It is hard and no, we didn’t get to try the new controller.
My biggest concern is the fact that Virtual Reality glasses are making your slightly dizzy. There are more than a few people who feel really bad after minutes of using Oculus. If 3D glasses at movie theater make you dizzy and uncomfortable, Oculus VR will be your cryptonite. This is going to be a tough nut to crack. Getting into Virtual Reality world and coming out might be a troublesome expirience, too. Every single Oculus demo we got to try since the first one was a few minutes long. We want to see what happens after one or more hours of gameplay. This will be the key thing for the future of Oculus VR (and other VR solutions).
On a less critical note, the glasses get to mess up your hair as you can clearly see from the picture above.
Have in mind that virtual reality is the way to get you to Star Trek holodeck and we hope that this will happen sooner rather than later, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Mark Zuckerberg was very smart to buy Oculus, as the company wants you to move to a VR space and make time consuming stuff such as chat more personal. Millennials will be able to chat more on a much more personal level than older generations, who got used to MIRC, ICQ and Skype.
The fact that HTC and Valve are already making Oculus run for its money is great, as every industry needs competition. Some other players are trying to get to this market but we saw a few other smaller players that are trying their best, but they are still not at the level where these big boys are.
Every new technology just needs time to mature, and Virtual reality is no exception. Just give it some time and please don’t expect it to be the best thing since sliced bread.
Fudzilla tried every single developer’s version and we tried the last beta, codenamed Crescent Bay, at more than one action. Recently Nvidia had a bunch of demos that we got to experience last week at Computex in Taiwan.
Crescent Bay is good, but we wanted a higher resolution per eye. Unfortunately, the Oculus Consumer version comes with the same OLED based 2160×1200 at 90Hz panel, split over dual displays. This means that you are getting 1080×1200 at 90 Hz per eye. These are the numbers that Atman Binstock, Chief Architect at Oculus Rift shared with the community some months ago.
Another thing that Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey didn’t mention is the retail price of the VR glasses. From what we could find out, the company plans to sell them for $499. The goal is to offer this technology together with PC for $1500 and you can get a decent PC with GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 for that money. Have in mind that the computer components will get even cheaper by Q1 2016 when Oculus plans to ship their glasses. Oculus issued a statement that $1500 will get you a PC with glasses.
The main question remains how they feel after hours or playing. Every single demo we tried was a few minutes long, but what happens after a couple of hours of playing?
And don’t worry the second generation consumer version that we expect to see in the second half of 2016 will probably have better displays and improved tracking sensors too.
Engineers at the Mozzarella Foundation have finally come up with an idea that could make Firefox relevant again.
For ages now Firefox has been losing users almost as it holds on to their memory and while it has made pushes into mobile, the outfit has not really done much cutting edge since it sank Internet Exploder in Europe.
All that is set to change as the Foundation starts putting Virtual Reality under the bonnet of the browser.
Mozilla researchers Vlad Vukicevic and Josh Carpenter have been telling Road to VR about Mozilla’s cunning plans to build building native-feeling immersive VR sites.
“Ultimately, we want users to have a seamless, friction-free experience on the Web, whether browsing existing Web content or new VR content. We also want developers to have a clear path to creating new fully-immersive VR web sites as well as adding VR elements to their current sites. Finally, we want all of this to work on the widest possible range of hardware, as one of the strengths of the Web is its ability to scale from the lowest end mobile phones to the highest end desktops,” they said.
Initially the Web VR has focused on creating content using WebGL, which is a full 3D graphics API. WebGL is powerful, but it’s an API borrowed from the 3D world purely to enable high performance 3D graphics on the Web.
WebGL is a good place to get started with VR experiments on the Web, but HTML+CSS are still the languages we use to structure and lay out websites. So for VR Web to take off, it needs to enable Web developers to create VR experiences using these languages they already know.
So there has to been a way to view and interact with HTML and CSS websites in virtual reality and this will mean VR equivalents of scrolling, clicking links, zooming in, etc.
“We will need to determine how to display desktop and mobile sites that were never designed for virtual reality,” they said.
WebVR is currently best supported on desktop browsers like Firefox Nightly, where it is experienced as a temporary mode within a traditional 2D browsing user interface. These interfaces were not designed with virtual reality in mind, and as a consequence we cannot “browse” inside VR.
“We do not believe Web VR will take off until we can truly surf the Web from inside virtual reality, with the functionality we expect from modern browsers. We have begun this work with our early ‘Hiro’ prototypes, and we have many more ideas!”
It is all looking jolly interesting and we have a soft spot for the Open Saucy Mozilla so we hope it comes off.
The world’s largest software company had earlier said Windows 10 would be released this “summer”.
Touch-friendly Windows 10, which features the return of the Start menu and will run across PCs, tablets and smartphones, is Microsoft’s latest attempt to win over mobile users and features a new browser called ‘Edge’.
It will be offered as a free upgrade to users of Windows 7 and 8.1, a strategy announced in January, designed to capture as many users as possible.
Microsoft also said new PCs and tablets running Windows 10 will go on sale July 29, while Windows 10 for other devices such as smartphones would be available later this year.
Red Hat’s community arm, has announced the arrival of Fedora 22, the latest version of its open source Linux OS.
Coming in three editions, Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server and Fedora Workstation, the release, which first appeared in beta a month ago, marks the first biannual release since the major upgrade work that proceeded Fedora 21.
As well as the cross-edition basics of the kernel, RPM, systems and Anaconda, there is an updated package manager, with speedier results for DNF and continued command line compatibility with Yum.
The Cloud edition adds Atomic Command, a centralized hub for containers and hosts, with rp-ostree, Cockpit, Docker and Kubernetes all getting the upgrade treatment.
There are also Vagrant boxes for the Cloud edition and Atomic host, making it easier to spin up Fedora Vagrant boxes for development and testing.
The server edition, with its Rolekit Linux daemon, adds support for Database Server Role based on PostgreSQL. The system now defaults to the more efficient XFS file system which means fewer crashes and better recovery without downtime.
The Workstation version has an enhanced UI, with better bug notification, and desktop theming for Gnome. There’s an improved software finder, and enhancements to the remote machine and visualization apps. Plus there’s Vagrant compatibility with no extra runtimes of software needed.
Matthew Miller, Fedora Project leader, commented: “Fedora 22 continues the great groundwork laid by Fedora 21 and the Fedora.next initiative, delivering three unique editions of Fedora 22 while retaining the commitment to open source innovation for which Fedora is known.
“From the usability and developer enhancements in Fedora 22 Workstation to the expansion of Linux container and Docker support within Fedora 22 Cloud, Fedora remains a leader within the Linux vanguard, answering user needs above and beyond the desktop.”