Microsoft’s Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet is on sale from Saturday, costing 50 per cent more than its equivalent Windows RT forerunner – from $900 rather than $600 in the US for the 64Gb versions.
At first glance, the two look identical in their size and dark titanium design, but Microsoft is providing quite a few more features for the money. Whether they are enough to justify this price for a tablet is debatable. A review after the jump. Read more
Even another record-breaking Call of Duty could not rescue the US video game industry from a twelfth consecutive month of declining software sales in November, according to the latest official figures from the NPD research firm.
But the “packaged goods” disc sales are only a part of the picture, now that we have digital and social and mobile games to take into account. Judging by announcements from Facebook and DeNA this week, hard-core gamers seem just as likely nowadays to be competing in these new gaming territories. Read more
The FT’s latest ebook is about Amazon and its voracious expansion from online book retailer into technological giant.
Is the company a force for good? Can it justify its current stock price? Why does Amazon compete with the companies it provides services to? Will Amazon agree to pay more tax in the UK as Starbucks just agreed to do?
Thanks to everyone who took part in the Q&A. If you have further questions, please post them to Twitter using #FTAmazon. Barney Jopson, the FT’s US retail correspondent, and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, global media editor, will answer them here as soon as possible. Read more
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
In a week of big numbers for a previously slumping video game industry, Activision has come up with the biggest one of all – $500m in sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II in its first 24 hours.
On Monday, Microsoft announced $220m in first-day sales for Halo 4 and then revealed, on the 10th anniversary of Xbox Live on Thursday, that a record 442m hours were played on it last week. Meanwhile, Sony announced sales of the PlayStation 3 had passed 70m and Nintendo expects the Wii U to sell out when it goes on sale in the US this weekend. Read more
If you’re one of those people who has been dying to use Excel or Word on a touch-optimised tablet, your wait is over. But that may not be enough to justify paying a premium for a device that is both Microsoft’s first foray into personal computing hardware as well as the flagship for the new Windows 8.
Try, for a moment, to put comparisons with the iPad out of your mind (admittedly not so easy on the day that Apple has just shown off the new iPad mini and a souped-up 10in version). The Surface, which goes on sale on Friday, deserves to be judged on its own terms: as a tablet that is designed to function equally well as a notebook PC. Read more
Microsoft has announced its Surface tablet, due to go on sale next week with the launch of Windows 8, will be priced from $499 in the US.
The initial Surface tablets will have Windows RT installed – a version of Windows 8 designed for Arm-based processors – and will come in three versions. Read more
The way in which a new product is unveiled can sometimes be just as important as the product itself. However, in Microsoft’s case this week, a few hiccups didn’t appear to distract some tech commentators from writing glowing reviews of the company’s tablet computer, Surface, announced on Monday. Read more
Microsoft has announced Xbox SmartGlass, a new way of transferring content from smartphones and tablets to a TV, using its home console.
When movies and other media are moved to the TV, the phone or tablet becomes a second screen on the couch, offering more information on what is being shown. Microsoft also announced the long-awaited introduction of its Internet Explorer browser to Xbox, tight integration with devices running the new Windows 8 operating system and a revamped music service. Details from its press conference on the eve of the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles are after the jump. Read more
Just in time for the big computer show of the year – Computex in Taiwan next week – Microsoft is announcing a new version of Windows 8 and its longtime partner Intel has launched new versions of its latest Ivy Bridge-codenamed Core processors.
Both seem certain to be featured in new Ultrabooks later this year, although models unveiled at Computex will still feature Windows 7 and be Windows 8-ready, judging by briefings by PC manufacturers ahead of the show. Read more
Microsoft just wrote the final chapter in a historic rivalry that defined the early years of the Web – and which became Exhibit A in its anti-trust showdown with the US government.
We hear that the legal remains of Netscape – along with its patents – have just been traded to Microsoft by AOL as part of a landmark $1.1bn deal. More than a decade after it was vanquished in the browser wars, Netscape really does seem to be worth more dead than alive. Read more
It’s the weekend. What better time to pour a glass of wine, put your feet up and settle back with… a 9,000-word blog post about the future of Windows?
Not this post (which comes in at a mere 300 words) – this one, from Steven Sinofsky, which lays out Microsoft’s plans for bringing Windows to ARM-based mobile devices. But don’t worry: there’s no reason to read the whole thing to see why it’s got Microsoft-watchers buzzing. Read more
Microsoft, which often lobbies intensively behind the scenes against Google, has for the first time taken its campaign into print. It began a three-day series of adverts in US newspapers on Wednesday taking aim at Google’s latest moves to integrate its services and standardise its privacy policies.
The message: You can no longer trust Google to put its users first. Read more