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Samsung: iPad's bad, Surface is a joke, and Kindle's a swindle

For too long, tech manufacturers have mocked just one competitor at a time.

It allows for a little focus, but it becomes very monotonous.

Yes, Microsoft thinks the iPad's awful, Samsung thinks the iPhone's awful, and Amazon is sure the iPad's awful.

Someone at Samsung must have leaped out of bed recently and screamed: "I know! Why don't we say everyone else is awful?"

Here are the fruits of this thought. A new ad for the Samsung Galaxy Pro series of products proves beyond a reasonable doubt that everything else is garbage, trash, and … Read more

Android games can play nice with iOS

CNET Update is waiting for Player 2:

In this episode of Update:

- Don't let different operating systems determine who can be your Player 2. Google gave Android game developers the power of cross-platform multiplayer support, along with other perks like Game Gifts.

- Change the Google Play Store password permissions if you worry about kids making purchases on your device.

- Download a free version of Microsoft OneNote for Mac and Windows.

- Have more choice in your Surface shopping, now that the Microsoft is selling an 4G LTE version of the Windows tablet.

- Leave a tip for your baristaRead more

Microsoft Surface 2 4G LTE tablet lands at AT&T

Microsoft's Windows RT tablet-darling is the latest to join AT&T's growing family. Rocking a $679 price tag, the Microsoft Surface 2 4G LTE hits Microsoft Retail Stores, MicrosoftStore.com, and Best Buy starting March 18.

Powered by a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and 2GB of RAM, the 4G LTE version of the Surface 2 packs the same internal and external specs as the Wi-Fi only version -- for the most part. Microsoft simply added a GSM micro-SIM card slot just south of the volume rocker, on the left edge.

The Windows RT 8.1 slate houses … Read more

Microsoft delivers new batch of Surface firmware updates

It's Patch Tuesday, yet again. And as it often does, Microsoft is rolling out a number of Surface firmware updates as part of it.

There are no firmware updates for the ARM-based Surface RT this month, according to Microsoft's update history page. But the other three Surface devices are all getting numerous updates that users will see listed as "System Firmware Update - 3/11/2014" in their update histories on their devices.

All three are getting keyboard/cover updates, including a driver that supports the new Surface Power Covers that Microsoft will begin making available as of March 19. … Read more

Microsoft, HP blaze business tablet trail

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft think the tablet is more lean forward than lean back. Are they right?

The PC has one (at least) distinct advantage over Apple. Windows 8.1 isn't a mobile operating system like iOS. In other words, the same 64-bit Windows 8.1 that runs on a brawny desktop PC now runs on featherweight 8-inch and 10-inch tablets.

And that may be a good thing because the tablet is in dire need of new markets, with predictions that the rate of growth will drop sharply in 2014.

"As consumer shipments slow in many markets, commercial (business) … Read more

Citi paints not-so-pretty picture for Apple's iPad, future market

Citi Research has released a report that doesn't bode well for the iPad if its conclusions prove to be accurate.

In data-dense presentation titled, "Mobility Hardware and Components, Marketing Presentation, March 2014" released Wednesday, a team of analysts reiterated a familiar Citi theme, saying the era of "device exhaustion" has arrived, adding in the same set of bullet points that "we are NOT positive on Apple" (emphasis Citi's).

Though this wouldn't be the first time Citi has been sour on Apple, Citi's forecast for the tablet market makes Apple the … Read more

Signs point to first Microsoft Surface tablet with LTE

Microsoft appears to be working toward adding 4G/LTE to its Surface tablet for the first time.

In an FCC filing (via Neowin), a device that appears to be a Surface product (see photo at bottom) has emerged, a possible indication that a new Surface model may be imminent.

The FCC documentation states that the device was tested with WindowsRT8.1, so that could mean it's the Windows RT-based Surface tablet, not the Surface Pro, which runs full-blown Windows 8.1.

And this comports with comments Microsoft made to CNET last year. "Windows RT will...be a strong … Read more

Hey Microsoft, Surface 2 is great, but clear up something please

It might be a good idea now for Microsoft to be more public about the direction of its tablet operating system so consumers know what they're buying into.

I like the Surface 2 and the Nokia Lumia 2520. A lot. As hardware, they're two of the best tablets out there. Bar none (including iPads).

But Windows RT, as it stands now, is in no-man's-land. It's not the Windows 8.1 that comes on PCs and it's not Windows Phone 8.

And it's been that way too long -- since October 2012.

So far, the … Read more

Finally, here come the 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets

At least one major PC maker is expected to show an Intel "Bay Trail" tablet running 64-bit Windows 8.1 at Mobile World Congress, according to a source familiar with upcoming plans for those tablets.

Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung are some of the most prominent PC makers to offer Windows 8.1 tablets running on Intel's Bay Trail chip. To date, Windows tablets based on Intel's newest -- and redesigned -- quad-core Atom processor have run in 32-bit mode.

One of the most oft-cited reasons for going 64-bit is to address more memory, beyond the … Read more

Microsoft's Surface 2 cleared for takeoff in cockpit

Microsoft's Surface 2 has officially won Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for all phases of air travel, the company announced on Monday.

The FAA's authorization covers classes one and two for the Electronic Flight Bag. Historically, pilots have brought with them on flights a full flight bag consisting of everything from reference documents to checklists to carts. All of that paper used fuel on planes, prompting Delta last year to opt to deploy the Surface 2 to Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 pilots. Pilots of other airplanes will be added this year.

At launch last year, the Surface … Read more