Computers

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

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

Apple’s patent win against Samsung in the US courts last week prompted a wave of reactions from across the tech sphere. While some found that Apple’s victory would slow down technology development, others argued it could be the driving force behind a push to innovate more in the smartphone industry. Read more

PC-maker Acerhad said that it could post as low as zero per cent annual growth in the number of computers it ships this year.The announcement sent its shares tumbling 3 per cent, even though news that PC sales are freezing should hardly be surprising given the global economic slow down.Acer, the world’s third-largest computer vendor, had previously forecast 10 per cent annual growth in the number of computers it ships. That has now been trimmed to zero to 5 per cent growth, according to a company source.

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Chris Nuttall

Apple has announced another stunning quarter, with revenues of $39.2bn earning net profits of $11.6bn or $12.30 per share. That compares with analyst expectations of $36.5bn in sales and $9.94 a share in profits.

The company sold 35.1m iPhones -up 88 per cent on the year-earlier quarter – but is expected to sell fewer in the current quarter, with revenues declining 13 per cent sequentially.  Tim Cook, chief executive,  and Peter Oppenheimer, chief financial officer, spoke to analysts after the announcement – our live blog is after the jump. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel told its “Ivy Bridge” launch event in San Francisco on Monday it had  more than 670 PC systems lined up to use this third-generation Core processor family.

That’s an unprecedented number of design wins for the world’s biggest chipmaker. It signifies that either this is one hot processor, or lengthy delays to it have created pent-up demand, or maybe the PC industry is gearing up for a big year, with Windows 8 launching. It could be all three, or something else, but Intel stuck to the silicon’s merits in its presentation. Read more

Spring cleaning was in the air for Apple this week as the company announced its plan to pay a dividend and institute a share buyback programme. The announcement had many tech commentators putting themselves in the shoes of Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, to ask: what else could Apple have done with its cash? Read more