July 1st will be the day that the Acer Aspire One D260 netbook becomes available to the masses. This netbook is unique in that it can dual boot with Android OS and Windows 7. While the Android aspect is not part of the standard option, it is nonetheless available to buyers interested in a netbook with a 15 second boot time. Gone will be the days of having to wait several minutes before checking one’s e-mail.
With the exception of the dual boot option, the netbook has all of the standard specifications. It comes with a 10 inch WSVGA display, a 1024 x 600 resolution, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, and runs on Intel’s 1.66Ghz Atom N455 processor. You can also choose between a 160GB or 250GB hard drive and between 1GB or 2GB of RAM. Other complementary features include WiFi, a webcam, and 8 hours of run time provided by the netbook’s 6-cell battery. With the battery, that weight comes to 2.75 pounds. Acer has not yet revealed how much this netbook will cost, and whether or not the masses will flock to this netbook will depend on this last feature.
The title pretty much says it all. Under pressure from iPad and Android tablet competition, Microsoft has recently launched a new version of the Windows 7 operating system software specifically for slate and tablet devices. We know that the new OS will be called Windows Embedded Compact 7, but other than that, there are not many other details that are known. It’ll essentially be a compartmentalized version of the Windows 7 OS that can be embedded at the hardware level.
There were several prototype devices running on Microsoft’s new tablet OS at Computex 2010, so its potential developments into a full-fledged tablet OS should be pretty interesting. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any developments we hear about.
Will it be the next “iPad killer”? I doubt it, but it still seems like a decent tablet.
The device in question is the Asus Eee Pad EP121, a tablet computer that, according to the company, is “a full-featured slate computer that serves as a multimedia player, e-reader, compact PC and Internet device.” It was unveiled at Computex 2010 in Taipei and has a 12-inch touchscreen, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Asus has said that the device is able to run many applications at once, which the iPad cannot do.
Asus also revealed another new device, the Asus Eee 101TC, which is a thinner and lighter device that runs Windows 7 Embedded. Asus’ decision to use Windows on its tablets is probably going to help Microsoft maintain a presence in the still-young tablet market. HP was also going to use Windows in its tablet until its acquisition of Palm.
Via InformationWeek, image via CNET.
We haven’t seen the release of a kid-friendly tablet/netbook device in a while, but Kids Computers has a remedy to that. Their newest device that is aimed at kids is the Intel Classmate Tablet, which can be used both as a tablet and as a clamshell netbook. This computer features a 10.1″ LCD screen with 1024×600 resolution, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive. Other options for memory and storage are 2 GB and an SSD hard drive, respectively.
The tablet’s keyboard is water resistant and the screen is touch sensitive. There is also a pen that’s included with the device so that kids can draw on the screen. Other features of the tablet/netbook include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Windows XP Home. If 2 GB of RAM is purchased with the tablet, it can also be upgraded to the Windows 7 version for an additional cost. The Intel Classmate netbook will be equipped with a 4-celled battery. Pricing starts at $649 for the base model.
HP has decided to nix its Slate tablet before even releasing it, according to reports today. HP’s reason for killing off its iPad competitor? Windows 7 does not measure up as a tablet operating system. HP will probably be searching for a new operating system, such as Google’s Android OS, or it could be planning to convert Palm’s webOS to work on tablets. Adapting webOS for tablets would make sense in light of HP’s recent acquisition of Palm.
The demise of the Slate may also have to do with its battery life. Analysts have speculated that with Windows 7 and Intel’s Atom processor, it probably was not getting even close to the battery life of an iPad, which is supposed to be ten hours.
Though Windows 7 has multi-touch support, it is unlikely that it is the best solution for a tablet, even with HP’s TouchSmart software. By abandoning Windows 7, HP has the opportunity to make a better product.
Via the San Francisco Chronicle.
Microsoft, after receiving blistering criticism for the apparent abject failure of Vista, has rebounded and achieved startling sales gains in recent months. Windows 7 currently holds 10% of the OS market after only 5 months, while Vista has managed to crawl up to 20%. Stunningly, XP still dominates at 60-70% of users, showing that until recently, most people have been wary of upgrading.
Microsoft is not content to stop here, however: Windows 8 is already in development. On the MSDN blogs, Chris Green, a former Microsoft employee, posted a chart that shows support dates for current and future products, posted above (dates are in dd/mm/yy). The date to look for is July 1st, 2011, the apparent time of public release. Of course, if you are like this blogger who participated in the Windows 7 beta, that means you can expect to see what’s coming in a future not so distant.
Microsoft furthermore finally seems to be defeating the scourge that is Internet Explorer 6, arguably deemed the worst web browser of all time. After multiple security flaws were revealed for Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Microsoft has started to push its first not-despised browser in a long time, Internet Explorer 8, which has finally overtaken IE 6 as the number one browser in the world.
Lastly, expect Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to come out in beta in June and final release in September. One of the most notable features of SP1 will be out of box USB 3.0 support.
Apple is not the only company that is having great sales. Microsoft has seen a 60 percent increase in profit, due largely to “exceptional demand” for Windows 7, which was released in October 2009. (Windows 7 is in high demand probably because Windows Vista was just so bad.) Microsoft’s net profit for the last three months of 2009 was $6.66 billion, up from $4.18 billion at that same time of year in 2008. Its revenues were $19.2 billion, beating analysts’ predictions.
The company’s profits were probably helped by an increase in computer sales leading up to Christmas. A large portion of Microsoft’s profit comes from the Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office software. The sales in these two areas were higher than expected, but Xbox sales were below expectations.
Chief operating officer Kevin Turner said he was thrilled by the response to Windows 7, adding that, “This is a record quarter for Windows units.”
Via BBC News, image via Microsoft.
When Windows 7 was still in the works, many in the tech industry were eagerly anticipating a Netbook Edition of the OS. We were dismayed to see that Microsoft had ditched its plans in favor of the crappier Windows 7 Starter. However, it looks like many netbook users’ dreams have come true – a new, tweaked version of Windows 7 has been making its rounds on the Web under the moniker of Windows 7 Netbook Edition.
The OS is a customized version of Windows 7 Ultimate, ditching a lot of extraneous drivers, language packs, and additional features. It’s not made by Microsoft, but it’s expected to run on just about any netbook – even the oldest of the old.
Windows 7 Netbook Edition may be based on a pre-release version of Windows 7, so don’t be surprised if it implodes on you or kicks you out for not having a valid product key.
Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, was a vast improvement over Windows Vista. Some have even said that Vista should not have been released in the first place, and that Windows 7 was what Vista should have been. But despite these improvements, Windows 7 still does lack some features. Here are the top ten concerns with Microsoft’s latest operating system.
1. Security. Windows 7 is more secure than Vista, but it still has a ways to go. Microsoft needs to come up with more innovative solutions to Windows security problems.
2. Web integration. Windows 7 does not have much online integration, which is strange considering how crucial the Internet is to today’s consumers. A modern-day operating system needs to have more access to web services, and right now Windows 7 does not have that.
3. Starter edition. Windows 7 Starter Edition is, to put it bluntly, just dumb. It lacks many features that users want and makes buying a Microsoft OS unnecessarily complicated. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that Microsoft should offer one edition of their OS like Apple does.
4. System-wide search. One area that Microsoft has never been strong in is search. I remember having many problems finding files on my old Windows XP computer and unfortunately, Microsoft has not really addressed this issue fully yet. A decent search feature is essential on today’s operating systems, considering the large size of the hard drives offered on both laptops and desktops.
5. Enterprise concerns. Corporate users are still unsure about whether they should upgrade to Windows 7. Microsoft needs to make this clear to them, perhaps with a special ad campaign.
6. Make upgrading easier for XP users. Vista was so bad that many Microsoft users decided to stick with Windows XP. But Microsoft has made it difficult and expensive for these unfortunate customers to upgrade to Windows 7, which is a mistake on the company’s part.
7. Native apps. Users need to download essential apps like Windows Mail before they can use them. And these apps have not been upgraded that much from Windows Vista.
8. Useless apps and bloatware. One of my complaints with Microsoft computers is the abundance of completely useless software that comes pre-installed. To add insult to injury, this bloatware is always difficult to remove, and it can be hard to tell if it’s even been removed entirely. Windows 7 has this useless software, too. It’s about time for Microsoft to remove it and stop plaguing its customers with it.
9. Make upgrading easier for Vista users. There have been significant (30 percent according to some figures) numbers of reports of upgrade issues for Vista users. Microsoft needs to address this problem.
10. Windows 7 learning curve. Windows 7 is kind of like Vista, so Vista users should not have any problems using it. However, it is radically different from XP, and the tutorials included with Windows 7 are not all that useful (which isn’t surprising – Microsoft help files are never useful).
Via eWeek, image via Financial Times.
Microsoft launched its new operation system, Windows 7, in October. On that same day, Apple made an announcement promising to update Boot Camp, its utility that allows users to run Windows on their Mac by partitioning their hard drive, before the end of 2009. The promised update would give Boot Camp support to Microsoft Windows.
The support document, published on October 22, says that Apple will release a software update for Boot Camp that will enable it to run Windows 7. But it looks like Apple has broken its word – as of 9:00 AM Eastern time today, the update still has not been released.
The support document also says that MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models from 2006 will not be able to run Windows 7, even with the forthcoming Boot Camp update. Apple has not specified why these models will not receive Windows 7 support.
Via Computerworld, image via Apple.
Ad-hoc network sharing wasn’t originally a function of the Windows 7 Starter Edition OS, but lo and behold, you can find such a feature by typing the right phrase into the Start Menu search — it doesn’t get much easier than that.
As the dialog that normally starts the ad-hoc networking process is disabled in the Windows 7 Starter Edition software, a simple search for adhoc is all it takes for you to start it up on your netbook. Viola! You’re now able to connect to other Wi-Fi enabled devices when your netbook has a network connection.
Of course this may not be as convenient as Virtual Wireless Networking, but hey, at least it works.
While it may not be as bad as it sounds for most Windows users, it’s still not a step in the right direction for Microsoft. Many people (not just Windows 7 users) have been reporting a black screen which appears following a successful log-in. Once the black screen appears, systems reportedly lock up to the point where theres nothing you can do.
Although some users have claimed that they will have access to My Computer after getting the black screen, the operating systems still slow down to a crawl. Microsoft claims that their recent security update is the most likely suspect and is investigating further to narrow down the issue and eventually solve the problem.
So what should you do in the meanwhile? If affected, its suggested that you look up Prevx, a UK developer of anti-malware software. They’ve claimed to put together a fix that’ll fix the issue. We can’t promise that the fix won’t screw everything up further, so it may be worth your time to research them further. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more from Microsoft.
Look out iPhone, there’s a new world of multi-touch devices available to consumers this holiday season. One such is the newly unveiled Eee PC T91MT which stands to be the worlds first convertible tablet notebook which features a multi-touch screen and fully supports Windows 7 Multi-Touch gestures that we’re sure you’re already familiar with. Those who have finished wiping the drool from their faces will be pleased to hear that the the slim Eee PC, which measures one inch thick and a paltry 0.96kg is designed for mobility – it sports a shockproof 32GB Solid State Drive (SSD) and comes with an additional 500GB of online ASUS WebStorage. Gadzooks!
The Eee PC T91MT puts users in touch with their creative sides:
- Multi-touch functionality makes interaction with the computer fun, it encourages users to be creative.
- Virtually all tasks can be performed with a tap, drag, punch, or twist – get your fingers ready!
- Photos are viewed, positioned, and edited seamlessly.
- Reading a Document is like flipping through pages in a real book.
- Taking Notes and Memos with the included package TouchSuite is intuitive and easy.
- The touch pad boasts a 256-level pressure sensor, the Eee PC™ T91MT’s crisp and responsive 8.9″ multi-touch screen reproduces handwriting beautifully and accurately, regardless of whether a finger or the bundled ergonomically-designed stylus is used.
Eee PC™ T91MT
|Display||8.9″ glossy LED-backlit WSVGA screen (1024×600)|
|Operating System||Genuine Microsoft Windows® 7 Home Premium
Genuine Microsoft Windows® 7 Home Basic (China only)
|CPU||Intel® Atom™ Z520|
|Default Memory||DDR2 SO-DIMM 1GB
DDR2 SO-DIMM 2GB (optional)
(32GB SSD + 500GB ASUS WebStorage**)
|Wireless Data Network||WLAN 802.11b/g/n @2.4GHz, Bluetooth2.1 + EDR|
|Battery Life||Li-polymer Battery, 5 hrs*|
|Audio Codec||Hi-Definition Audio CODEC|
|Built-in Mic||Digital Array Mic|
|Interface||1 (D-sub 15-pin for external monitor) VGA Connector, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x LAN RJ-45, 2 x Audio Jack (Headphone / Mic-in), Card Reader: MMC/SD (SDHC); Disk Expander: MMC/SD (SDHC)|
|Physical||Dimensions||225mm (W) x 164mm (D) x 25.2~28.4mm (H)|
|Weight||0.96kg (with battery)|
|Colors||Infusion (IMF): White, Black|
According to Retrevo.com, an online consumer comparison shopping site, most netbooks sold on Amazon.com (23 out of 28) come with Windows 7 Starter pre-installed. Unfortunately, most people in the market for a netbook aren’t really digging the Windows 7 Starter OS.
Here are some thoughts that Retrevo collected on what consumers think about this new software. Out of the 1,100 consumers that responded to the survey:
- 56% would be dissatisfied if a new netbook were to be pre-installed with Windows 7 Starter.
- 61% did not realize that Windows 7 Starter lacks some features that come standard with Windows XP (dual-screen capability, personalization of desktop, DVD playback capabilities, etc.)
- 54% knew the difference between the various editions of the Windows 7 operating systems.
Microsoft is trying to transition consumers from Windows XP to Windows 7, but among netbooks Windows XP has continued to remain popular. The company has not yet disclosed how much profit they make from each copy of Windows 7 Starter sold, but executives have said that the profit margin is greater than that for Windows XP.
Microsoft’s Windows 7 may rock a sleeker interface and more features than its predecessors ever did, and it may have been slimmed down since vista in both memory use and install size. However, when it comes to battery life, Windows 7 falls short in netbooks compared to the eight-year-old Windows XP.
Laptop showed Windows 7 to average 47 minutes less battery life than XP, with the deficit running up to an hour in such models as the ASUS Eee PC 1008HA. Other blogs have confirmed the lower runtimes since, much to the dismay of netbook users everywhere.
To be fair, hardly any netbooks could run Windows Vista, while the majority can run Windows 7. But isn’t that giving 7 too much credit for the crappiness of its predecessor? It will be nice to see some improvements in a future Service Pack, but unless the changes are substantial it seems like the new OS has fallen short despite significant efforts at improvement by Microsoft.
HTC currently offers a netbook that runs on the Windows Vista OS. The company’s newest netbook will either run on the Windows 7 OS or the Android OS. Some other new and unique features may also be included in the netbook, although these features are not yet detailed.
Before releasing a new netbook, HTC wants to first examine and assess users’ potential response. We’ll keep you posted on any progress.
Keeping competition hot with Apple, Dell has released the details of its Adamo XPS laptop as an attractive alternative to the Macbook Air. The Adamo XPS boasts a number of unique badges, such as being the thinnest laptop ever (accomplished by a special hinge allowing the keyboard to be folded into the screen), weighing a mere three pounds, and possessing a special touchstrip required to open the laptop.
The specs for the Adamo XPS include a 13.4-inch 1266 x 768 display, a dual-core 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ULV processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive with Windows 7. Unfortunately, the laptop only nets two hours of battery life. It will start at $1,799, the same price as the Macbook Air.
Here’s a video preview of the Dell Adamo:
Walmart has a super cheap Windows 7 laptop that you will be able to buy on Black Friday. Customized for Walmart by HP, this notebook will not have you playing World of Warcraft at mind-numbing resolutions everywhere you go, but it should suffice for your daily email, internet, and word processing needs.
Specs include a 15.6” Brightview display at 1366×768 resolution, integrated graphics, 250 GB of hard drive space, 3 GB of RAM, and a 2.2 GHz Intel Celeron processor. The real shining point of the system is the $298 price tag. With these kinds of prices for laptops, competition continues to intensify between the netbook and laptop industry.
Via I4U News.
AMD has been keeping Congo in the works for the release of Windows 7 as a competitor to Intel’s Atom, but it will soon be rearing its ultraportable head in the soon-to-be-released MSI Wind 12 U230. With a 12.1” monitor, it’s no netbook, but it packs a solid punch while staying under three pounds, though you may be able to clear three pounds if you order the six-cell-battery instead of the three.
It’s that exciting.
Specifically, the punch will contain up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 320 GB of hard drive space, and a 1366×768 screen resolution, along with the Congo platform, designed for multimedia usage and longer batter life, all in a package only 0.9-1.2” thick.
In time for the holidays, Acer has created a monster laptop, four times the weight of a run-of-the-mill netbook. The weight is worth it when you consider the potential to play World of Warcraft at mind-numbing resolutions anywhere you go. And the weight is literally worth it when you consider the price – starting at $1350 on Newegg, the AS8940G-6865 falls neatly into line with Acer’s usual highly competitive pricing.
For your $1350 and willingness to haul a 10-pound laptop with you, you will receive in turn the new Intel® Core™ i7 Quad-Core 720QM processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M, all manifesting themselves across a glorious 18.4 inch HD screen. Also features Windows 7 and Blu-ray capabilities. Spinal support not included.