Google has announced via its developer blog an update to Android 4.0.3 that will bring optimizations and bug fixes along with new APIs. This update is also considered to be the base version that will be pushed by third parties on production phones and tablets in the weeks ahead.
Microsoft has just confirmed that the public beta release of Windows 8 will come in February of 2012, a date that was danced around tentatively, and which we covered previously. At this rate, it's looking pretty good for Microsoft in terms of hitting its development milestones for their tablet-ready new operating system. Now they just have to gear up in hopes of reaching their projected sales, whatever that might be, and which probably will be announced in the near future by the technology giant.
Research firm IDC has published its top 10 systems software predictions for 2012, and it is quite skeptical about the success of Microsoft's Windows 8 in terms of the number of upgrades. It believes that very few users will choose to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 as the new Metro UI skin offers no value to traditional PC users.
Word is that the public beta of Windows 8 is apparently slated to be released in late February of 2012, according to sources close to Microsoft. The timing of the public beta launch has been much talked about in tech circles; it's expected that Windows 8 will be officially released in 2012, but the actual expected date for the completion and shipment of the upcoming Microsoft operating system remains, at the moment, unrevealed. Though, with the knowledge of the public beta release's time frame, we'll have a better idea of the overall time frame of the new Windows operating system.
In just the last twelve months, Linux Mint has surpassed Ubuntu as the most popular open source operating system on open source ranking website DistroWatch. Why, you ask? Perhaps because the latter has been looking with a new perspective on the user interface, and begun aiming at mobile platforms instead. However, note that Linux Mint is actually built on Ubuntu, so it has quite a few of Ubuntu's advantages while doing away with some of its shortcomings, and serving up a plethora of multimedia codecs.
If you've been curious about Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 Mango platform, you can now try it out directly on your iPhone or Android device without having to download or install anything. Microsoft launched an HTML5 website that simulates the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango interface, allowing you to take a test drive by simply navigating to the site via your mobile browser.
Microsoft's Windows 8 isn't due out in full until fall of next year, but security researcher Peter Kleissner has already found a way to exploit the platform. Kleissner created a Windows 8 bootkit that can bypass the User Account Control using just 14KB of exploit code. It's said to be the first proof-of-concept to find a vulnerability in Windows 8 and he's posted a demo video of the process.
Microsoft revealed some details on the progress of its Windows 8 development today, specifically related to designing an improved setup and upgrade experience. The company had commissioned a study where it found that many users chose not to upgrade because the process of doing so was difficult.
It looks like HP is still undecided about its TouchPad tablet. Despite the company's announcement back in August that it would discontinue webOS hardware, rumors now suggest that under Meg Whitman's lead as HP's new CEO, the company could revive the tablet by powering it with Windows 8. According to some HP employees, the company is currently testing the TouchPad with Windows 8 as part of a "proof-of-concept."
Microsoft has posted more details today on its Building Windows 8 blog, revealing the next-gen operating system's layout optimizations for portrait and landscape orientations. Up until now, we've only seen Windows 8 demoed on tablets in landscape view and those horizontal sweeps of Live Tiles look great. But what happens when you rotate the tablet into portrait orientation?