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Name of OS is also confirmed

Until now, we knew (officially) that an unnamed successor to Windows 8 would enter Release Preview testing next month at Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTBUILD Conference.  Now that unnamed release has received an official title.  

At JP Morgan & Chase Comp.'s (JPM) Media and Telecom conference today Windows chief financial officer Tami Reller confirmed rumors that the upcoming OS, codenamed Windows Blue, would be christened "Windows 8.1".

More importantly, the update -- which reportedly will allow users to boot to desktop, return some semblance of the Start button (albeit one that dumps users into Metro), and include better mouse support in Metro -- will be offered for free to Windows 8 customers.  The update will be distributed via the Windows Store.

OEMs are hopeful the update will revive floundering PC sales.  Q1 2013 marked the worse percentage drop in PC unit sales in history.

Tami Reller
Tami Reller announced today that Windows 8.1 will be free. [Image Source: Microsoft News]

Tami Reller yet again addressed Microsoft's sentiments on another key topic -- Windows RT.  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), The Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992), Dell Inc. (DELL), and Acer Inc. (TPE:2357) -- have attacked the OS [1][2][3][4] have all attacked complaining about its lack of legacy compatibility and Microsoft's poor marketing of the platform.  Many of these OEMs have refused to release Windows RT products, sinking sales to an anemic 200,000 tablets in Q1 2013.  But Microsoft, like its hardware partners Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) [1][2][3], is standing clearly behind the platform.

In a statement at the conference Ms. Reller stated, "We need the flexibility of ARM"

Windows RT
Microsoft is standing behind its ARM product, looking to new form factors.
[Image Source: TalkVietnam]

There may be relief in sight for Windows on ARM (WOA), aka Windows RT.  One of the improvements Windows 8.1 is expected to bring is UI adjustments to accommodate 7- and 8-inch displays.  The explosion of this lower-priced segment helped propel another struggling tablet platform -- Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android -- from a bit player to a serious contender, with designs like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Kindle Fire, and ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357) Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet.

There's not much Microsoft can do about the legacy compatibility issue, other than to try to foster the growth of ARM-compatible apps in the Windows Store.  But hopefully Microsoft improves its educational efforts, both in general on how to use Windows 8 (for new users) and the differences between Windows 8/8.1 and RT (for potential ARM device buyers).

Source: Microsoft



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RE: Excellent Move.
By fteoath64 on 5/20/2013 3:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
Huh ?.! If it were not free, then Win8 will be doomed. This is a service pack that is direly needed for Win8 to establish a firm foundation towards the future and assure it of that future. The key weakness of RT must be remedied in order for its future to be way more open than the PRO. A dual path will assure RT of freedom of choice in its competitive space. For RT to be constrained like PRO is to really torture it to death. Not a good thing.
An unrestrained RT can compete with the best of the Androids and IOS in following the PC model of openness and freedom to develop. Also developing a layer to allow Android apps compatibility will go a lot way to ensure apps get ported natively to RT. BlackBerry can do an Android compatibility layer and I do not see why MS cannot do it for RT. By going to 7inch or 8 inch format, a 4:3 aspect ratio especially a 1600X1200 screen would be ideal to compete with the best of Android and PPI wise match a retina display on visuals alone. This is enough to play with the best of the market prices are reasonable enough. MS has to know that people buy iPad becuase the price is worth it compared to what the competition offers. If MS can beat this price/worth ratio, it can have a new winner in the segment. Low end screen resolution should be 1366X 1024 and should NOT be 1024X768 because that is 3 year old tech!.


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