posts on CNET

Remember the desktop PC? Intel is trying to reinvent it

Intel this week tried to breathe some life into a device category that's not exactly fertile ground: the desktop PC.

At the Game Developers Conference, the chipmaker said it was reinventing the desktop PC.

How is it being reinvented? "The desktop has gone from just a beige tower to all these new [designs]: touch, 170+ desktop [all-in-one] focused apps," an Intel spokesman told CNET.

In the GDC release, Intel goes on to cite "tiny PCs," small Steam Machines, and portable AIO (all-in-one) PCs in the kitchen as reinvention.

Probably better, however, to call it a … Read more

Microsoft: Here's $100 if you drop Windows XP

April 8 is the day support for XP ends. So, Microsoft is reaching into its bag of discount tricks to get users to drop the decade-plus old operating system.

If you own a PC with XP and upgrade at the Microsoft Store, you get $100 off, 90 days of free support, and a "free data transfer," as spotted by Neowin.

The offer includes a new PC or Surface device priced at $599 or more and excludes Surface 2 "and some PCs," Microsoft said.

And you have to make an online purchase with a Windows XP machine … Read more

If at first you don't succeed, try the new wireless USB

The computing industry wants to make it easier to back up your data and sync your smartphone without having to rely on an actual cable.

Specifically, the standards body behind the USB standard is trying a second time to introduce a wireless variation of the connection technology to devices like PCs, phones, and cameras.

USB has been wildly successful, spreading from every computer, printer, and digital camera to mobile phones, TVs, cars, and programmable Lego controllers. In contrast, a standard called Wireless USB that hit the market in 2007 was wildly unsuccessful.

Now the USB Implementers Forum is trying again … Read more

Transcend gives Mac Pro a 128GB memory upgrade option

For folks like video editors who really, really need a lot of memory, Transcend announced new memory modules that can bring Apple's new Mac Pro machines up to 128GB.

The option doubles the 64GB of RAM available in Mac Pros from Apple, but there's a catch: the DDR3 memory modules have a slower 1333MHz interface compared to the 1866MHz DDR3 memory Apple ships. It'll still be a whole lot faster than an SSD or, heaven forfend, a hard drive.

Transcend also offers 1866MHz modules that max out at 64GB. The memory is "fully tested," Transcend R&D Director Angus Wu saidRead more

Xbox One almost catches PlayStation 4 in February

After reporting no sales figures in January, Microsoft is trumpeting its February numbers after a market researcher showed it gaining on Sony's PlayStation 4 in the U.S.

Though the PlayStation 4 (PS4) led hardware sales in February, it was only "by a narrow margin," according to the NPD Group, as reported by Bloomberg.

The Xbox One sold "over 90 percent of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales," according to NPD analyst Liam Callahan. But because of Xbox One's higher price, "it led hardware sales on a dollar basis," … Read more

Google cited as bothered by Android-Windows hybrid

Google is the force behind a potential delay in the first tablet to instantly switch between Windows 8.1 and Android 4.X using Intel technology, a fresh report from Asia says. A CNET source backs up this claim.

A report on Friday from Digitimes fingers Google as holding up the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300, a novel laptop-tablet hybrid that can instantly switch between Android and Windows 8.1.

This follows earlier reports from CNET and Digitimes.

Here's what Digitimes said on Friday, in part:

Currently, only Intel's...chip can support dual operating systems, giving consumers an … Read more

PC shipments to keep falling through 2018 -- report

The PC market will face an increasingly rougher patch over the next few years, says research firm IDC.

In its latest Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report released Tuesday, IDC said it lowered its PC shipment forecast for 2014 by 2 percent and its longer-term estimate by just under 1 percent. Global PC shipments are now expected to decline from 315.1 million last year to 295.9 million this year and 291.7 million in 2018.

PC shipments across the world fell by 9.8 percent last year, a bit better than IDC's projection of a 10.1 percent … Read more

No Nirvana? Is Asus rethinking Android-Windows 8.1 device?

Is a dual Android-Windows device just a pipe dream? And are these devices doomed in general?

We don't have an answer to that yet, but there are signs that not everything is copacetic.

A report last week from Asia claimed that Asus may be "forced" to give up the Transformer Book Duet TD300, a novel laptop-tablet hybrid that can instantly switch between Android and Windows 8.1.

And an industry source familiar with the Duet told CNET that there has been sparring with operating system partners, echoing the reports from Asia. However, the CNET source did not … Read more

First of 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets arrives, this one from HP

Hewlett-Packard is one of the first to offer 64-bit compatibility on Windows 8.1 with a tablet using Intel's latest mobile processor. But others will follow.

On Sunday, Hewlett-Packard announced the HP ElitePad 1000 (PDF), which it describes as the "redesigned and upgraded 64-bit HP ElitePad." That tablet, starting at $739, will be available in March.

The ElitePad sports a quad-core Bay Trail processor, Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 10.1-inch 1,900x1,200-megapixel display.

And Dell will roll out updated Venue tablets with 64-bit mode turned on, Dell told CNETRead more

Microsoft said to slash Windows 8.1 price on low-cost devices

Microsoft will implement a 70 percent discount on the price of Windows 8.1 for inexpensive devices, according to a report from Bloomberg. This follows a similar report last year.

Device makers will be charged $15 "to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50," according to Bloomberg.

A similar report emerged from Asia last year. But that report cited size and device-type restrictions. That will no longer apply, however, said Bloomberg. (Other reports last year also cited discounts.)

Some observers see this as … Read more