CNET Labs has released its system benchmarks comparing Windows old and new, and they've discovered that Microsoft's controversial new operating system doesn't steamroll over Windows 7 as much as it gently shoves it out of the way.
Operating system Boot time Shutdown time MS Office performance iTunes decoding Media multitasking Cinebench Windows 7 SP1 45.2 7.7 408 127 343 16985 Windows 7 SP1 47.5 7.8 412 124 344 17,116 Windows 8 RTM 31.4 8.8 372 123 340 15,300 Windows 8 RTM update 26.4 11.7 367 123 340 … Read more
Welcome to the Windows 8 Field Guide, an Audubon's Birds-style attempt to help you identify the classifications and subphyla of this odd new computing world. It's not as hard as you think, once you break down the various common types. Be forewarned: these classifications are works in progress, and there could very well be more evolutionary variants coming soon. But, hopefully, this should help classify some of the multipurpose strangeness you're already starting to see on preorder pages.
Of course, you still have laptops, desktops, and tablets. Some of these tablets will have one of two operating systems: Windows 8 or Windows RT.
After that, the classifications get a little more diffused.… Read more
Digital music fans have never had more options, but the experience is more fragmented than ever. iTunes rules digital downloads, Spotify is the subscription music leader, and a slew of other services (Rhapsody, Pandora, Rdio, Amazon Cloud Player, Google Music, etc.) fill in the variety of remaining niches.
Xbox Music is Microsoft's latest entry in this space and while it's easy to write it off as another "me too" digital music platform, it's surprisingly comprehensive. Like Spotify, Xbox Music offers free ad-supported streaming of its subscription music library, plus Pandora-like artist-based Internet radio and a … Read more
Windows RT. I'd say it's divisive, but I don't think there's enough support in its corner to elicit much in the way of disagreement. In other words, most people either don't like it or don't understand its purpose. Or both.
If you've no idea what Windows RT is, here's a quick breakdown. It's essentially the "lite" version of Windows 8. It runs on ARM processors (cheaper and more energy-efficient than its Intel counterparts) and is optimized for Microsoft's Windows 8 touch interface. It's also incompatible with traditional Windows programs.
Sure, we've gotten insight into the reasons it was developed, but I still have problems with some aspects of its execution. Namely the Desktop interface.
Also, so far, only three of the five officially announced Windows RT tablets have actually been released, and one of the five, the Samsung Ativ Tab, won't be showing its pretty face to the U.S. market at all. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 is the only officially announced yet unreleased Windows RT tablet.
Both Nokia and HTC Windows RT tablets have been rumored for a while, but there's still nothing official yet.
Will we see further Windows RT tablets or will the OS suffer a quick death? By "quick" I mean less than a year and by "death" I mean no other Windows RT tablets are announced in the next few months.
It's still too early to tell, so in the meantime if you're interested in a lower-priced Windows tablet, the following four are currently your only choices.
Windows users have a lot to be excited about. With Windows 8 launching on October 26 and a slew of new hardware coming off the assembly line, this is the biggest reinvention we've seen of Windows since the launch of XP.
We've seen a flurry of Windows 8 PC announcements over the last week or two, most recently with Microsoft opening the gates to Windows 8 preorders this morning. The calendar still has a few big Windows 8-related events on it, though, so here's what you can look forward to over the next few weeks.
October 12: Microsoft begins taking preorders for the standalone retail version of its new operating system, Windows 8 Pro. Preorders for full Windows 8 PCs also begin from Acer, Dell, HP, Sony, and other major system vendors.
Those interested in obtaining reserved packaged DVD of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 can place their orders via Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, the Microsoft Store and other retailers. Newegg is another outlet taking preorders, as my ZDNet colleage Ed Bott noted this morning.
Those looking to build their own PCs or install Windows … Read more
The time has come for each Windows PC manufacturer to announce its unusual and frequently convertible offerings for the launch of Windows 8 at the end of October. Sony's announcement of new Vaio laptops and desktops puts a square focus on touch and multipurpose use, with two brand-new desktop and laptop products, the Vaio Tap 20 and the Vaio Duo 11, as the centerpieces.
There are other, less exciting revisions as well: the E Series now offers a touch-screen aluminum E Series 14P, and the Vaio S Series now comes in burgundy red. We had a chance to test … Read more