For consumers with Windows 8 devices today, Windows 8.1 will be a free update via an easy download from the Windows Store starting on October 18th.
Consumers who are not using a Windows 8 device will be able to buy Windows 8.1, either as a download from Windows.com or at your local store as a retail packaged DVD product. While pricing varies by market, in the U.S., Windows 8.1 will be available for USD 119.99 and Windows 8.1 Pro will be available for USD 199.99. The pricing and editions for Windows 8.1 are similar to what we have today for Windows 8.
For non-Windows 8 devices, here is how upgrading to Windows 8.1 using the retail DVD and download software will work:
Windows 7: Consumers can upgrade a Windows 7 PC which will bring along all their files, but will require them to reinstall desktop apps including Microsoft Office.
Windows XP and Windows Vista: Windows 8.1 is not designed for installation on devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista. Although not designed or recommended for devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista, consumers still wanting to upgrade from Windows XP or Windows Vista should buy the retail DVD instead of using the download and boot from the DVD to do a clean install of Windows 8.1. Note: files, settings and programs will not transfer – consumers will need to back up their files and settings, perform clean installation, and then reinstall their files, settings and programs.
If you buy a device later this year that comes with the Windows 8.1 edition, you will be able to purchase the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack for USD 99.99, which unlocks all of the great features unique to Pro, as well as Windows Media Center. If you are on Windows 8.1 Pro, you can buy Windows Media Center for USD 9.99.
Microsoft has confirmed that both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 went RTM (released to manufacturing). It means that Windows 8.1 has passed Microsoft’s internal quality checks and has been given the green light by participating hardware partners.
Windows engineering team will continue to work closely with hardware manufacturers to put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1.
Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers with Windows 8 or Windows RT devices through the Windows Store on October 18th.
Microsoft has announced that starting at 12:00 a.m. on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00 a.m. October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market.
Microsoft has announced the immediate availability of the Windows 8.1 Preview (codename “Blue”), the next update of the Windows 8 operating system.
You can now download a free public preview of Windows 8.1 and get a sneak peek at the latest features and enhancements coming later this year, including the return of the Start button, the ability to boot directly to the desktop, a preview version of Internet Explorer 11, two new Live Tile sizes, a new Mail app, a reimagined search experience powered by Bing, and built-in 3D printing support. You can read lots more about Windows 8.1 here. To download the free preview and see it for yourself, head to the official download page.
The Bing Translator app for Windows 8 is available for download. Designed from the ground up for Windows devices, the app places powerful translation technology at your fingertips by instantly translating content in more than 40 languages, at home, work, or on-the-go. Whether utilizing your PC’s camera to deliver “augmented reality” translation, typing in a quick sentence or two, working offline when you are not connected, or harnessing unique features of Windows to translate content from many other Windows apps, Bing Translator is a must have application for all your Windows devices. You can now download the free app from the Windows store.
Translating content whether browsed, typed, or scanned is nearly instantaneous. Just point your device’s camera at printed text and watch as the translation is automatically overlaid over the video stream - creating subtitles for everyday life. You can also type to translate with your keyboard and hear translations spoken with a native speaker’s accent. The Translator app also includes offline support, so you can download language packs for use even when there’s no internet connection. More language packs coming soon.
Today, Futuremark announced the PCMark 8. For the first time in the series, PCMark 8 will combine performance testing with battery life measurement. You can estimate battery use from each benchmark test or use Battery Life mode to loop a test until the battery is almost empty for more accurate results.
PCMark benchmark tests are based on common use scenarios such as browsing the web, photo editing, video chat, writing, and gaming. PCMark 8 takes this one step further by including additional benchmark tests based on popular productivity and creativity applications from Adobe and Microsoft.
PCMark 8 has been developed in partnership with the members of our Benchmark Development Program. PCMark BDP members include Acer, AMD, Condusiv Technologies, Dell, HGST, HP, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate, and Western Digital.
PCMark 8 will be available in several editions ranging from a free to download Basic Edition to a fully-featured Professional Edition designed for device manufacturers, businesses, and the press.
PCMark 8 is in the final stages of development with a public release expected towards the end of Q2.
3DMark is now available for Android devices. The Android edition of 3DMark includes everything you need to accurately benchmark the performance of Android smartphones and tablets. Developed in cooperation with Broadcom, Imagination Technologies, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and other world-class companies, 3DMark is the ideal modern benchmark for over 1,000 Android devices.
What’s more, 3DMark scores can be compared across platforms. You can use 3DMark to test and compare the performance of devices running Android, iOS, Windows and Windows RT, and help your readers better understand how new devices compare with the alternatives.
Millions of PC gamers use 3DMark to tests the limits of their hardware. Now 3DMark is ready for a new generation of mobile gamers. Available today on Android and Windows, and coming soon to Windows RT and Apple’s iOS, 3DMark is the cross-platform performance benchmark for all your devices.
3DMark is available worldwide as a free download for Android devices.
To celebrate the launch of 3DMark, MSI will offer this testing software for free with its MSI Z77 MPOWER motherboard, and MSI N660 TF 2GD5/OC & MSI R7950 TF 3GD5/OC BE video cards. Purchase one of the abovementioned products with exclusive 3DMark packing or sticker on the box and get the 3DMark advanced for free.
The Windows version of the new Futuremark’s 3DMark is finally complete and ready for release. The launch will be on Monday, February 4, 2013. The company did not announce release dates for its Android, iOS, and Windows RT versions.
3DMark uses a combination of in-app features and online web services to help users better understand their hardware. For components that support it, 3DMark records FPS, GPU and CPU temperatures as well as CPU power and clock speed during the benchmark run.
The graphs are interactive too. You can zoom in, change the scale and pan the chart to focus on a specific part of the benchmark run. You can click on the lines to get the numbers for that point in time, a useful way for overclockers to check peak temperatures during the benchmark run, for example.
The Windows PC version of the suite includes the Fire Strike DirectX 11 and Cloud Gate DirectX 10 game tests.
Fire Strike is a new DirectX 11 benchmark for high-performance gaming PCs. It features real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today.
Using a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine, Fire Strike includes two graphics tests, a physics test and a combined test designed to stress the CPU and GPU at the same time. 3DMark Advanced and Professional Editions include an additional Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Initially, Fire Strike will be available only in the Windows editions of 3DMark.
Today, Microsoft announced worldwide availability of Office 365 Home Premium, a reinvention of the company’s flagship Office product line for consumers. Office 365 Home Premium is a cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities.
The new offering includes the latest and most complete set of Office applications; works across up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs; and comes with extra SkyDrive storage and Skype calling – all for USD 99.99 for an annual subscription, the equivalent of USD 8.34 per month.
Simultaneously, Microsoft released Office 365 University for college or university students, faculty and staff at a price of just USD 79.99 for a four-year subscription – the equivalent of USD 1.67 per month. Globally, the company also released updated versions of the traditional Office suite: Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013. Office 365 for businesses will be released globally with new capabilities on Feb. 27.
It’s already available for download Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview (“Release Preview” means that this version is still being tested, and users may experience a higher frequency of errors than using an earlier version of Internet Explorer) for Windows 7, the only other operating system to support it, apart from Windows 8.
If you think Internet Explorer 10 is right for you, and you want to download it, click here.
Today, Microsoft announced the global availability of its popular Windows operating system, Windows 8. Beginning Friday, Oct. 26, consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 has to offer, including a new user interface and a wide range of applications with the grand opening of the Windows Store. As a result of close work with hardware partners, more than 1,000 certified PCs and tablets, including Microsoft Surface, will be available for the launch of Windows 8.
Windows 8 will be available for download to upgrade existing PCs in more than 140 markets and 37 languages at http://www.windows.com/buy beginning at 12:01 a.m. local time and at retail locations around the world. At retail, Windows 8 will be available in two primary versions, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, as well as Windows 8 Enterprise for large organizations. Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family, Windows RT, designed for ARM-based tablets and available pre-installed on new devices. In addition to Microsoft Office 2013, Windows RT is designed exclusively for apps in the new Windows Store.
Windows 8 features the new fast and fluid Start screen that gives people one-click access to the apps and the content about which they care the most. It also features an entirely new Internet Explorer 10 that is perfect for touch, and built-in cloud capabilities with SkyDrive.
In addition to the range of available new Windows-based devices, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 are qualified to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of USD 39.99. Eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013, in more than 140 markets, can download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of USD 14.99 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com.
Futuremark has announced that Acer, Intel, Qualcomm Incorporated and SingTel-Optus have joined its Benchmark Development Program to create a new 3DMark gaming benchmark for Android-based tablets and smartphones. Launching later this year, 3DMark for Android will measure gaming performance using graphics rendering, CPU, and physics tests with stunning real-time graphics that will push OpenGL ES2.0 to the limit. The results from 3DMark for Android will be comparable to the results from the new 3DMark for Windows, also to be released later this year.
Apple has just announced that its OS X Mountain Lion operating system is available as a download from the Mac App Store. With more than 200 innovative new features, Mountain Lion includes iCloud integration, the all new Messages app, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, Facebook integration, Dictation, AirPlay Mirroring, and Game Center. Additional features in Mountain Lion include the new Gatekeeper, which makes downloading software from the Internet safer; Power Nap, which automatically updates your apps and system while your Mac is asleep; and a faster Safari browser.
Mountain Lion is available as an upgrade from Lion or Snow Leopard for USD 19.99.