What Microsoft’s Surface tablets promise

0

The Microsoft Surface tablets, announced yesterday for fall availability, promise to be more businesslike than Apple’s iPads, while seeking to replicate Apple’s tight integration of hardware and software into a user-friendly “ecosystem.” How well might they accomplish that? Microsoft’s history in making hardware, and in creating and sustaining systems to support them, offers reasons for both optimism and skepticism. The iPad, the newest version of which tops our tablet Ratings , has always been more about play than work, thanks to its rich and responsive screen and access to Apple’s unequaled selection of games, movies, apps, and music.

It looks like Microsoft will take another step into the mobile space today with an expected joint announcement with Barnes & Noble. Among the speculation: Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet will get a connection to Microsoft’s Xbox Live portal for digital entertainment

Ever wondered what was really going on when Microsoft pulled the plug on its Zune music players?

For now, tablet computers work mainly with Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS software. But judging by announcements at the Computex trade show in Taiwan, Microsoft is hoping to change that with new tablets powered by its Windows 8 operating system.

Barnes & Noble announced today that it would split off its digital-book business and give Microsoft a 17.6-percent stake in the new unit, resulting in a $300 million investment by the computing giant. This announcement could be good news for consumers, since it may help the bookseller in competing with Amazon in e-book readers and the content and services sold for them. The new funds, say analysts, should bolster B&N in its pitched battle for market share in e-books with Amazon—and that cutthroat competition has been excellent for buyers of e-books and e-book devices over the past few years

The HTC Titan II is a new Windows phone that packs a gigantic 4.7-inch super LCD display and a 16-megapixel camera, the highest resolution we’ve seen on a phone.

Microsoft Windows XP retiring in 2014

0

Microsoft yesterday announced a two-year countdown to the end of its support of the Windows XP operating system and Office 2003. On April 8 of 2014, Microsoft will no longer ship security updates or hot fixes for XP and Office 2003

Today the Obama administration unveiled its online-privacy initiative , which it calls a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.” A huge part of the potential success of this initiative is the compliance of over 400 advertisers, represented by the Digital Advertising Alliance, with Do Not Track. Do Not Track (DNT) is “a technology and policy proposal that enables users to opt out of tracking by websites they do not visit, including analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms.” DNT tools are already present in the current versions of the Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers as an option; Google plans to add them to its Chrome browser by the end of this year; and reportedly, Apple is working on incorporating DNT tools into Safari. But as we’ve reported , few consumers have been using these tools

Today’s electronics deals, courtesy of The Consumerist : Lenovo : 15.6-inch Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Core i3-2350M, 4GB RAM $494.10, free ship NewEgg : Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam $44.99, free ship Best Buy : Insignia 39-inch 1080p LCD HDTV for $350 + $22 s&h Entertainment Best Buy : Best Buy Blu-ray Movies – Good Will Hunting, MORE – $5.99 Free Shipping Amazon : Amazon coupon: Save $2 on Valentine’s Day MP3 Album Neither Consumer Reports nor The Consumerist receive anything in exchange for featuring these deals; the posts are intended to be purely informational. These deals are often fleeting, with prices changing or products becoming unavailable as the day progresses. These posts are not an endorsement of the featured products or the Web sites that sell them—though some of the sites may be included, and recommended, in our Ratings of retailers for computers and other major electronics (both available to subscribers)

Today’s electronics deals, courtesy of The Consumerist : Buy.com : Captain America DJ Style Headphones $19.99, free ship NewEgg : Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 $23.99, free ship Dell Financial Services : Dell Financial Services coupon: 35% off refurbished Precision systems Entertainment DeepDiscount : 4-Film DVD Bundles (Clint Eastwood, Final Destination, Ocean’s Eleven and More) $4.99 with Free Shipping Neither Consumer Reports nor The Consumerist receive anything in exchange for featuring these deals; the posts are intended to be purely informational. These deals are often fleeting, with prices changing or products becoming unavailable as the day progresses