While Microsoft's formal response to the Chromebook threat will result in a number of inexpensive new PCs this holiday season, you don't have to wait if you're curious about the low-end of the PC market. There are already a number of PCs available for under $300 if you're looking for the familiarity and power of Windows.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including the ongoing problem of "scam" apps in the Windows Store, HP's quarter is saved by strong PC sales, HP's layoffs dwarf Microsoft's, Sony doesn't understand why the PS 4 is doing so well, but I think I have the answer, and Apple's stock surges on speculation, as always.
On last summer's home swap, I shared my experiences using a Lumia 1520 as the family's only camera for a three-week trip to Amsterdam and Belgium. This year, we've taken well over 1000 photos with Nokia Lumia 1520 on our home swap in Barcelona, which included a side-trip to southern Spain and Tangier, Morocco. The results were just as good, if not better, than last year. And these kinds of handsets make it hard to even consider a smart phone that doesn't have an absolutely superb camera.
Two months after announcing plans to deliver a new Nook tablet based on the Galaxy Tab 4, Samsung and Barnes & Noble are now selling the device. The awkwardly named Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook looks like a solid and affordable entry in already-crowded mini-tablet market. But looking at this product through a Microsoft lens, it's hard not to wonder about an alternate reality in which this device was a Nook-branded Surface Mini.
In the latest episode of Windows Weekly, Leo Laporte, Mary Jo Foley and I discuss the Threshold technical preview, this month's Patch Tuesday disaster, a second Windows IoT preview for developers, the new HTC One M8 for Windows, the vast Apple-wing conspiracy that is keeping Windows Phone down, an update for Windows Phone 8.1.1, a new Surface Pro 3 firmware update, a $200 Windows laptop, OneNote updates, and Steve Ballmer steps down from the Microsoft board.
The sudden announcement earlier this week that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was stepping away from the Microsoft board of directors raised a number of questions. But the elephant in the room, so to speak, is another former Microsoft leader who's been hanging around the firm's Redmond campus a lot more than usual lately. Is it finally time for Microsoft co-founder and tech industry icon Bill Gates to step away from the software giant for good as well?
Near the conclusion of our home swap each year, I always survey the pile of stuff I brought along and try to determine which were well-used and which were not. There are always surprises, items I think we'll use frequently but never do, and items that don't seem important but become critical to the success of the trip. The goal here, of course, is to do a better job each time we go away and become more efficient, and lighter travelers.
Skype users, rejoice: The ubiquitous but frustrating communications service is about to get a lot less annoying. Thanks to a new feature called active endpoint that addresses what is probably the worst thing about Skype today, you will soon no longer need to deal with multiple, repetitive notifications across all of your devices.
While OneNote natively supports handwriting on Windows and Android, most of us don't have the right pen-enabled hardware to use that functionality effectively. But Livescribe has an interesting and even affordable alternative, assuming you're already using an iPad or other iOS device: the Livescribe 3 smart pen lets you take notes and write on real paper and then sync that content to OneNote.
In the latest episode of What the Tech, Andrew Zarian and I discuss the sudden rise of the "selfie stick," Andrew's new OnePlus One phone, the HTC One M8 with Windows handset, Paul's new Chromebook and HP’s new $200 Windows laptop, the HP Stream.
If you've been using the Windows Phone Developer Program to keep your phone up-to-date with the very latest in Windows Phone OS releases, you're used to the fact that Microsoft frequently updates the OS to a newer version. Likewise, you're used to the fact that many of these updates are undocumented and don't appear to change a thing. So that just happened.
Microsoft has quietly rolled out a second firmware update this month for Surface Pro 3. This isn't the first time Surface Pro 3 has received two separate firmware updates in a single month, which is strange enough given the device's short lifetime, but it is the first time this has happened without any warning.
Former Microsoft CEO has stepped down from the company's board of directors. The move, which comes just six months after he retired from Microsoft, effectively severs Mr. Ballmer's ties to the company, though he is of course still its biggest individual shareholder. The question is: Why?
Microsoft this past weekend removed the download links to several Patch Tuesday-based software updates after customers complained of frequent problems, including in some cases non-booting PCs and Blue Screens. The firm is recommending that users uninstall the offending updates and is urging them in some cases to uninstall those patches. This isn't just unprecedented, folks, it's catastrophic. And it casts a pall over Microsoft's rapid release strategy.