With Microsoft’s next iteration of Windows on the horizon, the company has decided to go head-t0-head with its longtime industry competitor Apple by introducing its very own tablet. Though Microsoft is best known for its software, it has developed hardware over the years including innovative mice and keyboards. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made this case: “Much like Windows 1.0 needed the mouse to complete the experience, we wanted to give Windows 8 its own companion hardware innovation.” Meet Surface. And no, the company is not referring to its bulky, pricey multitouch Surface table; this is a brand new line of tablets running Windows 8.
Currently the new Surface family consists of two devices and two covers. Surface for Windows RT is powered by an NVIDIA-based ARM chip. It is 9.3mm thick and weighs 676 grams. It packs a 10.6-inch ClearType capacitive multitouch display, front and rear-facing cameras, a 31.5Wh battery,USB 2.0, microSD, and Micro HD Video ports, and 2×2 MIMO antennae for “the best WiFi performance possible” no matter how you hold it.
Surface for Windows Pro is powered by an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor. It is slightly thicker and heavier than the RT model measuring at 13.5mm thick and weighing 903 grams. It too packs a 10.6-inch optically-bonded ClearType capacitive multitouch widescreen 16:9 display, but this one outputs full 1080p HD. Front and rear-facing cameras are present, as is a larger 42Wh battery, speedier USB 3.0, microSDXC, Mini DisplayPort, and 2×2 MIMO antennae. Surface for Windows Pro supports digital inking and comes with a magnetic stylus that sticks to the side of the device when it’s not in use. Built into the display are sensors that detect when you’re using the pen versus your finger on the touch display. The display won’t trip out when you’re drawing with the stylus while your palm rests elsewhere on the screen; Microsoft calls it Palm Blocking.
What the two models share is an extremely durable design Microsoft calls VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag). Surface is the first PC with a full magnesium case. Described as “incredibly strong yet airy,” Surface boasts a permanent search and ware-resistant design and the display has a protective layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2.0. Edges are beveled away at 22 degrees “so the PC itself fades into the background.” The design makes room for a built-in kickstand that morphs the tablet into a functional laptop. And every laptop needs a keyboard and trackpad… (Click here for more…)
LittleBigPlanet 2 hasn’t released yet but this here video just amped up my excitement for its impending January 18 drop date. A group of LBP2 beta testers managed to recreate the Windows OS inside the game using the provided in-game tools. How ingenious! The desktop, icons, start menu, a cursor, and even the BBOD are included for good measure. LBP isn’t just about playing the addicting levels packaged with the game–that’s only half the fun. Creating levels and sharing them over the Internet with other gamers makes for a unique gaming experience. And after seeing this faux Windows OS and all its flashy accoutrements I cannot wait to get my hands on the game and brainstorm my own ideas for sharable environments.
Remember way back when (about one year ago)… Lenovo revealed a funky and intriguing laptop/tablet hybrid design called the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid. Much like the Dell Inspiron Duo, it promised to double as a tablet running Lenovo’s custom Linux OS called Skylight and a standard notebook running Windows 7 when the tablet’s docked as a display. Since then, Lenovo has dumped Skylight for Android and beefed up the processing power. The detachable tablet is now called LePad and it’s powered by a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor and runs a custom Lenovo skin called LeOS that’s build on top of Android 2.2. The LePad features a 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) capacitive multitouch display and it works in both landscape and portrait modes. An eight hour battery life is promised. Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is expected to play nice when the product ships. The notebook, or U1 Base, packs a 1.2GHz Intel Core and runs Windows 7. Switching from Android to Windows is a snap, literally. Once the tablet is locked into place in the notebook base, a couples seconds later Windows is fully loaded. When you detach the screen the switch to Android is instantaneous.
Unfortunately for those living in the U.S. the LePad and U1 Base will not ship until Google releases Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb). The first market Lenovo will hit is China this quarter. The IdeaPad U1 with LePad will go for $1300 and the LePad will be available as a standalone product with an asking price of $520.
With a refreshed look and Android integration the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid is leaps and bounds superior to its original incarnation unveiled one year ago. Here’s to hoping that Gingerbread arrives sooner rather than later so that Lenovo can work on an updated tablet skin and ship this puppy Stateside stat! Product images below, PR after the break.
(Click here for more…)
Programmer Michael Vincent has gone ahead and created a website that emulates Windows 3.1 in your web browser. Try it out! Feeling a sense of nostalgia? Me too.
Don’t mind the “auto-tune” nonsense. The original version cannot be embedded. ..Enjoy Will’s “Windows 7 Rising.”
Designed by Sanjay Puri.
The windows are deliberately created in an opaque glass to block out the immediate surroundings & allow the public spaces to have an ambience of their own, whilst allowing natural light. Concrete fins are arranged around the windows offer privacy from the adjacent office buildings whilst also acting as a heat barrier. Through these combined efforts the air conditioning cost is thus reduced by over 25 %.
The spaces are thus defined in complete contextual terms to the site, its surroundings & location and the climate of the city. The punctuated rectilinear volume of the hotel with LED lit circular glass windows renders it dynamic by night while it looks sculptural & creates a strong presence with a unique character.
Here’s a couple treats for you. Apple has already started the anti-ad war against Windows 7 with this latest (and in my opinion, one of the greatest) “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” advertisement. Look after the break for two more new Windows 7 bashing ads.
Nerd alert: Remember the picture of the Windows 7-branded burger from Burger King? Well here’s proof that it existed and that people paid the premium to eat it. Gross. Look after the break for a second burger video.
The day has finally come. Windows 7, Microsoft’s next major operating system, is out today. Will it turn out to be the “Vista fix” and live up to its positive initial reviews? Only time will tell.
Alongside the release there has been a handful of Windows-related news to peruse. First there’s a slew of new Windows commercials featuring a new tagline; “I’m a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea.” Heck, it works. Check out one commercial here, and look after the break for two others.
Next up is the grand opening of the Microsoft Store. The first MS retail store opened in Scottsdale, AZ today, exciting hundreds of Windows fanboys (and girls) who camped outside the mall overnight. The first four people on-line received free Zune HDs and other early customers received some other freebies. From some YouTube video footage and in-store images the Microsoft Store looks very much like an Apple Store, except with more vibrant colors and, obviously, Windows-related products such as Surface tables and Xbox 360s. The video below is the fascinating countdown of the store’s morning launch; the countdown starts (so appropriately and to the glee of the rabid fans) at 7. For a glimpse at the inside of the store, look after the break for a video featuring the welcoming colorful staff and see the gallery below for some stills. [Also noteworthy is that the online Microsoft Store is up and running, too. It offers MS and third party products and services to purchase online.]
Two more less significant but equally relevant newsbits. Today in Paris a “Microsoft Cafe” opened its doors to the public. Besides it being the onlyofficial Windows-themed cafe in the world, there isn’t much else to say about it. It offers free WiFi service to its customers and there are a myriad of Windows products for customers to play with as they sip their coffee and eat their pastries. See the gallery below for some stills of the Windows Cafe.
This last bit of news is quite freaky, actually. In Japan, Burger King introduced the “Windows 7 Whopper,” a 5-inch tall beast of a burger that packs (you guessed it) seven patties. Customers are forced to pay a premium for this…unique treat (777 yen/$8.53).
Oh, one more thing. Remember that over-the-top awesomely awkward “How to throw a Windows 7 party” ad Microsoft made some time ago? Well the good patrons at Funny or Die have created the ultimate parody of it. Check it out in the video below.
And that’s a wrap. Now that Windows 7 is out…what are you waiting for?! If you are a Vista user or looking to purchase a new PC, upgrading/adopting is a no-brainer. If you are still using XP, hesitance is natural (thanks, Vista) but you should definitely consider jumping into the next generation OS. If you’re that skeptical about it, it doesn’t hurt to wait for Service Pack 1. If you’re a Mac user–I’ll just shut up. Windows 7 is finally here. PARTAY…or don’t.
Come on, Microsoft marketers. You can surely do better than this. When a company attemps to rebrand a major compenent of its structure the aim is to make things clear not foggy. Windows Mobile is now Windows Phone. I got that. These new phones run only on AT&T? Is the HTC Pure THE Windows phone? Obviously the answer to both of these questions is “no,” but this commercial unfortunately makes it all too confusing for mainstream consumers.
I hate to use the phrase “all versions” in the a sentence that is about an operating system, but the geniuses at Microsoft leave me no choice.
Windows 7 will come in six different editions: Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. Of these six editions, four of them will be available to the general public in the US: Starter, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. (The others were developed for different countries.) If you would to know “which one is right for you,” take a look at what Microsoft has to say on the decision-making process.
Up until this point Microsoft made it clear that all netbooks would be restricted to the Windows 7 Starter Edition, meaning that all netbooks would be limited to running at most three applications at a time. That stinks, I know. Fortunately, though, Microsoft has given it some thought and has decided to remove this restriction from the Starter Edition, andallow netbooks to run any version of Windows 7. In other words, you can run the dumbed down Starter Edition or you can rock the Ultimate Edition with Areo Peek features and all. As the release of the new OS dawns upon us (October 22), it looks like Microsoft is trying to do anything and everything to ease the transition from the troubled Vista to what may be its savior, Windows 7.
It features some great music, cool visual effects, and most importantly, it shows off some of Windows 7′s best new features including the new Start menu, the Areo visualizations, and the themes.
It’s Microsoft Surface without the surface table. The video embedded above is a quick tour of the Touch Pack apps by a Gizmodo editor. Windows 7 is starting to look better every day. Vista’s funeral is soon upon us.
The “Wow is now,” huh Windows? I thought you brought the ‘Wow’ with Vista. Not so much. Windows 7 will be available to the general public on October 7th. Mark your calendars…or not.
Which operating system are you?
*Isn’t that a great picture? Best upgrade [from PC World] —>Mac OS X. Ha!
[Image via Nep Smith]