Computers

The Google Glass isn’t even on sale yet but it may already have a Chinese competitor, writes Henry Mance.

Baidu, the company that now dominates Chinese internet search after Google’s partial retreat in 2010, has said it is developing its own “ocular wearable interface”, provisionally called the Baidu Eye, which will allow wearers to take pictures, and search using voice and images. Read more

Richard Waters

Google’s Chromebook laptops have always felt more like demonstrations of the art of the possible than products you necessarily want to use every day. What they do, they do spectacularly well: it’s just that they aren’t quite the finished article.

The new Chromebook Pixel lives up to that track record. Its high-definition screen is a gorgeous bright rectangle you can’t resist reaching out to stroke. But for most users, the love affair will still feel incomplete. Read more

If Microsoft isn’t prepared to take a bet on the PC, then who is?

This explains why the world’s biggest software company is now considering dipping into its $67bn of cash reserves to back a buyout of Dell, a casualty of the fierce wars raging in the hardware industry.

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Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.

A mere two weeks after the release of Windows 8, Microsoft surprised many when it announced the departure of Steven Sinofsky, head of Windows. While many tech observers noted a parallel between Sinofsky’s exit and Apple’s recent management shakeup, others pointed out that chief executive Steve Ballmer could be the next target. Read more

Chris Nuttall

While Google has managed to resolve a lot of the bugs and frustrations of its Chromebook, the main issue of having to pay a relatively high price for a fairly limited laptop has remained.

Until now. The launch this week of a $249 (£229) Chromebook makes Google’s vision of computing in the cloud affordable and appealing, with a thin and light machine from Samsung that is $200 cheaper than its previous model released in May. Read more

Will Windows 8 turn out to be Microsoft’s “New Coke”?

Messing around with one of the world’s most familiar everyday products is hardly something to be undertaken lightly – and with the new version of Windows, which goes on sale on Friday, there has been a lot of messing around. That almost guarantees some degree of user backlash. But it would be wrong to judge the outcome of what amounts to a bet-the-farm gamble by Microsoft on its initial reception.

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Chris Nuttall

Lenovo is bending over backwards to come up with enticing products to coincide with the launch of Windows 8 later this month.

On Tuesday, it released details of two versions of the backwards-folding Yoga laptop-cum-tablet running Windows 8, as well as the ThinkPad Twist – another convertible with a rotating central hinge – and the IdeaTab Lynx – a tablet that will snap into a special keyboard dock. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Ultrabooks are not coming to the rescue of the PC industry in this “post-PC” world, according to the latest forecasts from IHS iSuppli.

The research firm on Monday slashed its prediction for global shipments this year by more than half, from 22m to 10.3m. It estimated they would rise to 44m in 2013, but that is down from its earlier outlook of 61m. Read more

Bill Moggridge Obit pFEATURES©Rex Features

Bill Moggridge’s awakening to the downside of the electronic age came at 4am one day in 1983. After buying a digital watch at a Japanese airport on the way home from a business trip – it boasted a radio and an earpiece on the end of a strand of wire – he had lost the instruction booklet. Programming its alarm then became pure guesswork. Hence the rudely beeping reveille.

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Chris Nuttall

Intel will give developers something to shout about, wave their hands in the air and roll their eyes at its annual conference for them next week. More mundanely, but just as important, it is expected to unveil details of its fourth-generation Core processors, including a new line of ultra-low voltage processors drawing just 10 watts of power.

A keynote speech by Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president, will suggest ways these new processors will be put to work with Ultrabooks, new tablet/laptop hybrids and with “perceptual computing” – Intel’s term for the use of voice commands, gestures and eye-tracking to control PCs – the next advances after the touch features being introduced with Windows 8 next month. Read more