With all of the news around Windows 8 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet many might have missed out on a small report that went around. In this report it was revealed that manufacturers like Qualcomm Texas Instrument, Samsung and more were having issues getting drivers working for Windows RT. We covered it and found that in more than a few cases the information was pretty spot on. We know that Acer decided to focus on x86 based products instead of opting for ARM due to technical difficulties. The issue which has slowed some OEM’s Windows RT progress was also used in the many reports that Microsoft was showing OEMs how it’s done.
After the smartphones presented at CES, Sony has a tablet from the Z Xperia product line in preparation. Official information on the specifications is still missing, but unofficial ones indicate a very competitive hardware worthy of the Xperia Z mark.
ZTE has unveiled a tablet bearing the mark V81. It is a device based on Android with an eight inch diagonal screen and a 4:3 aspect ratio. It looks like they won’t let Samsung be the only major company with an 8 inch tablet on the market.
Gamers there is great news for you! According to Microsoft your text will now render up to 336% faster than in Windows 7! This means that if you are playing a text based game you are going to get blazing fast performance. Although not related to gamers the announcement that Windows 8 now renders text faster than Windows 7 due to DirectWrite has been used to create headlines that read Windows 8 Smokes Windows 7. Unfortunately Microsoft is only talking about 2D graphic and the user interface. Microsoft has also done something that is very disingenuous; they used percentages instead of raw numbers.
Apple has been having a blast dropping patents for vague concepts and even an entire device type (with their pending Pico Projector patent) regardless of prior art and at times regardless of if the patent is actual technology or not (the look and feel of something). Then they take these patents and wave them in the face of judges that have no real idea of what the patent is (or is not) covering asking for injunctions and outright bans on products from companies that are relatively underfunded in the legal department. If you ask Apple about this they will stand and say that they are protecting their Intellectual Property (which in many cases was “borrowed” from another company that cannot afford a legal fight with Apple like S3). This abuse of the patent and copyright system is detestable, but is an article for another day.
The question I am wondering is, why has Apple not gone after Microsoft? Windows 7 on a tablet has Pinch to Zoom, finger gestures and even the same “look and feel” when you scroll with your finger. Now, I could be wrong, but if Apple is trying to protect their IP you would think they would be going after Microsoft in a big way. I am also pretty sure they would be adding Asus (who has one of the best-selling Windows Based Tablets on the market right now) to their legal wish list as well. So, why do they leave these two obvious copy cats out of the litigation arena?
Well, here are a few reasons that we were able to come up with based on research. Microsoft is safe simply because they have bailed out Apple multiple times in the past and also have several patents and items that Apple needs to survive (Office for Mac is still a huge seller). Whether the Apple faithful and Steve Jobs want to admit it or not Apple owes it very existence to their rival; without Bill Gates and Microsoft we would be talking about Apple in the past tense. Right now Adobe is wishing they had dropped money into that bailout instead of just spending time and money making their products work on Apple’s RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) based systems (the PowerPC days). If they had, they perhaps they would have some leverage in the whole HTML5 Vs. Flash competition. This also applies to Microsoft’s net generation operating system Windows 8. In fact is applies even more as Microsoft is writing it to work on ARM based CPUs. The previews that we have seen also make it very tablet friendly and an obvious threat to Apple’s weakening hold on the tablet market. Yet, we have heard no call to arms from the Apple legal team over this.
So, what about Asus and their tablets? Asus is also untouchable right now because they also have something that Apple wants; A manufacturing facility. Apple has been looking for alternatives to Foxconn due to the bad press surrounding the company’s many suicides. The world now knows that the iPhone, iPod and many other Apple products are assembled there and with the many deaths over working conditions at these plants the eyes are turning to look at Apple. The question has already been raised by many humanitarian groups “why has Apple done nothing about this?” You would think that a company that claims to be so “Green” and Earth Friendly would be appalled by what is happening over there. However, other than a few press releases (which usually tame the faithful) Apple has done nothing. At least on the surface, we have heard rumors that Apple is courting Pegatron as an alternative manufacturing site for the next generation of iToys. If this is true (and as of now we have no evidence to the contrary) then Apple would not want to get Asus upset. After all Asus owns Pegatron. It is their manufacturing company.
So then next time you hear an Apple press representative standing on the soapbox and loudly declaiming how they are protecting their Intellectual Property from the masses of thieves and copy-cats out there, just remember that they are only throwing this around at the companies they feel they can bully into submission. In the end no one likes a bully, and bullies usually reap what they sow in the long run.
One thing that the mobile market brought with it is a need for power. While it is true that the battery life of our mobile devices has increased it is still not where many would like it. There are a number of reasons for this, but most revolve around the fact that as you use your device the components need more power (obviously). While Intel, AMD and the various ARM manufacturers argue about who is more power efficient most of us still long for the day when our mobile devices can last much longer than they do now. One of the more common solutions to this is the portable battery. We have taken a look at t a few of these before and now have another one in the lab. This time we have the RAVPOWER RP-PB04 10000mAh battery pack so let’s see if it can keep our devices powered.
Linus Torvalds publicly expressed his disappointment via Google's social network about screens on laptops, which have a resolution that has long been stagnant. Currently the most common resolution is 1366x768. According to Torvalds, even cell phones will soon surpass the resolution available on most on laptops, in fact there are a couple of phones that do and many tablets as well
Mobile devices with flexible screens won’t go on sale in near future. This was confirmed by J.K. Sing in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Samsung's director of mobile division, adding that the company does have an internal roadmap of development of such products.
We are not a fan of the push to the cloud as you might have figured out from our articles. The reasons are many including, but not limited to, security, privacy, and a general dishonesty about what the cloud is and what it really means to the many companies that are offering cloud services (predictable revenue stream). All of that aside, there is a side effect to the present cloud push that we actually overlooked that explains more than a few things that are going on in the market as a whole. This is an unexpected impact on the sale of PCs (all PCs) across the consumer and potentially commercial market.
According to yesterday announcement from IDC's analysis, this will be the first year in which the number of tablets with Android operating system will surpass the number of Apple iPads. IDC believes that the smaller tablet size and low cost with Google's OS will win almost 49% of tablet market, while the iPad last year's 51% will drop to 46%.