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Apr 21, 2013

New Windows 8.1/Blue Version Gets Leaked, Build 9374 Available for Download




Redmond-based tech giant Microsoft continues work on the new Windows iteration, so a brand new version of the internally codenamed Blue project got leaked.

Windows 8.1/Blue build 9374 is now available for download from file sharing websites, as Microsoft has recently sent this particular release to partners across the world for testing purposes. While it's not yet clear if build 9374 brings any improvements over the previous versions, it's pretty obvious that we're getting closer to a public beta of the operating system that could see daylight sometime this summer. According to sources familiar with the matter, Windows 8.1 is expected to hit the shelves in August or September, while the public beta might be unveiled to developers at the BUILD conference in June.

Windows 8.1 would most likely bring quite a lot of improvements to Microsoft's current flagship operating system, including a Start button that's supposed to help the new software appeal to many more users.

Build 9374 is expected to bring several improvements to the Windows 8.1 preview version
Image credits to WinClub.pl

Intel Broadwell will be Followed by Skylake in 2015




Earlier this week we commented on how odd it was that leaks were already revealing information about Broadwell, which will follow the June-bound Haswell in 2014.

Now we get to catch a glimpse of a future even farther off, where 14nm-based Skylake CPUs will follow the Broadwell in 2015. Like Haswell-E, the chips will support DDR4 memory, although their CPU sockets will be different. While Haswell-E will use LGA 2011, the Skylake will have a new one. That said, Broadwell-E will probably take Haswell-E's place at some point after the Skylake series' arrival, near late 2015 perhaps, or early 2016.

We will have to wait for further leaks, be they documents or photos, to know what else is in store for later years. It will also be interesting to see what AMD will launch during these times.

Intel Skylake roadmap slide
Image credits to VR-Zone China

AMD Malta Radeon HD 7990 Final Specs Revealed, Launch on April 24




There might once have been uncertainty as to whether or not Advanced Micro Devices would ever actually release a dual-GPU Radeon HD 7000 graphics card, but there is no doubt left now.

The estimated arrival date, for one, is no longer estimated. It is a sure thing: April 24, 2014, which means Tuesday, four days after the time of this article's writing. We can also finally relay the exact specifications of the adapter, thanks to ChinaDIY website. The information fits previous leaks, like the eBay auction and the report about the release day earlier this week. The Radeon HD 7990 used to be called New Zealand, back in 2012, but then AMD decided not to actually release a reference adapter. Having reconsidered this year, it chose to name it “Malta” instead, and gave it two Tahiti XT GPUs, each with a clock speed of 1 GHz, 2048 Stream processors and a memory interface of 384 bits.

The chips operate in tandem thanks to an on-board implementation of CrossFireX multi-GPU technology.  And since each chip has 3 GB of GDDR5 memory backing it up, everything boils down to 4096 Stream processors, 6 GB of GDDR5 at 6 GHz clock speed, 64 Raster operating units, 2 Prim /Clock, 256 Texture mapping units, and a total memory interface of 768 bits. Thus, the bandwidth is of 576.0 GB/s and the peak compute performance is of 8.2 TERAFLOPS. As for the cooler, it is a dual-slot contraption with three fans of 92 mm in diameter, with turbine design and internal vapor chamber heatsinks. One chamber is placed on each core, and copper heatpipes link them together. The cost of the newcomer is bound to be of over $1,000 / 1,000 EUR, like that of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690.

It should be noted, however, that while AMD will formally introduce the product next week, availability won't ramp up immediately. The time in between can be spent finding monitors to make use of the Dual Link DVI and 4 mini Displayports (Eyefinity supported, naturally).

AMD Radeon HD 7990
Image credits to ChinaDIY

The Windows Start Button Will Come Back. Thanks to Your Feedback




Microsoft will soon launch Windows 8.1, the first major overhaul of an operating system that's often described as a rather disappointing product.

Also dubbed “the new Vista,” Windows 8 will receive several upgrades this summer, as part of a so-called Blue project that's expected to refresh not only the Windows platform, but also some other apps, such as Internet Explorer, SkyDrive, Windows Phone and Office. But leaving all these improvements aside, Windows 8.1 is very likely to mark a historical moment: Microsoft will finally admit it was wrong when it decided to remove the Start button from Windows 8. According to sources familiar with the matter, the Redmond-based tech giant is planning to bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1, along with a new feature that would allow users to bypass the Start Screen and boot directly to desktop.

This is undoubtedly great news for those of you who have already embraced Windows 8 and can't get used to the Start Screen, but here's something we don't see very often.

Microsoft must admit it was wrong.

Peter Klein, the company's financial chief officer that will soon resign, said in this month's earnings conference call that Microsoft's future Windows release would be based on consumer feedback. This means that in case Microsoft indeed brings back the Start button, it's all because of you. Users, that is. The avalanche of criticism Microsoft had to cope with after the Windows 8 launch was overwhelming, with millions of users criticizing the company for removing this traditional Windows feature. High-profile Microsoft executives, including CEO Steve Ballmer, said that customers had no other option than to get used to the Start Screen.

Steven Sinofsky, the former Windows boss, explained that people were reluctant to adopt the Start Screen because it was “something new.” The same happened when the Start button was launched in Windows 95, he said. Microsoft's dilemma is that users actually do have a choice: they can dump Windows completely and move to another operating system, stick to Windows 7 or go the third-party way and install a separate Start button.

Microsoft needs Windows 8.1 to be successful.

There's no doubt about it. Microsoft, on the other hand, has no other option than to bring back the Start button because of two reasons. First, it has to show everyone that it cares about its users. Windows 8 ignored consumer feedback and brought a major change in both user interface and features. The Metro interface even made some people think that Microsoft might actually kill the desktop completely in the future. Which is wrong. Microsoft won't do that unless it wants to lose 99 percent of its customers.

Second, Microsoft needs Windows 8.1 to be successful. If it sticks to the same idea embraced by Windows 8, it has no chance to do this. The Start button and an option to bypass the Start Screen would basically be the easiest ways to attract more users. Microsoft will soon kill Windows XP completely, so the Start button could also help the company bring more users to its Modern operating system. After the Windows 8 “disaster,” Windows 8.1 must be a hit. Otherwise, the comments made by Gartner analyst and suggesting that Microsoft's domination could be over might not sound so strange anymore.

So the Start button is a must have in Windows 8.1 Believe it or not, it all comes down to this feature. It's the end user whose opinion is the most important and in this case, you've said it loud and clear: bring back the Start button! You're welcome, Microsoft! These guys are doing you a huge favor. They're saving your business by showing you the right path. Here are some of the comments you've send to us ever since the Start button got removed from Windows:

“We need options. I don't understand what's so hard, just let us determine how we use OUR computers.”  “I've been using computers since Radio Shack came out with the first home computer. This is the first time I've had to search the Internet to find out how to shut down my computer. Windows 8 is the worst operating system I have ever used! “ “Windows 8 takes the 'friendly' out of user-friendly. This is the final straw. I'm switching to Linux!”

“MS. Are you listening to your customers who pay the bills? For many like my shop, it's still a mouse, trackball, and trackpad world. All the 3rd party start button clones ought to give you at least some clue (that is unless you're clueless).” “I don't use Windows 8 just because of the missing start menu. I think that was the worst idea Microsoft had.” “I loaded Win 8 on my laptop and regret it every time I turn it on. So much so that I rarely use it.” “I believe that Microsoft should take a poll on this to see how many of their consumers like the new metro version or if they prefer the old start button. Why not create an update add on that could allow you to run which ever one you like best. Remember the consumer is always right.”

And we thank you for these. In the end, it seems that you've won a battle, but not the war. Microsoft, on the other hand, has no other choice than to admit it was wrong. And this is great news for all users across the world. Good job everyone! You've made it.

Microsoft has finally decided to listen to customer feedback
Image credits to Microsoft

Recently Leaked Samsung Prototype Was Galaxy S4 Developer Prototype




A few days ago, a leaked image of a Samsung prototype emerged online, supposedly showing a new design guideline from the South Korean mobile phone maker, but it seems that this might not be the case.

Apparently, the device was in fact a Galaxy S4 prototype, which has already been unveiled to the world with a completely different appearance. According to a recent article on SamMobile, not only does said leaked photo actually show a Galaxy S4 developer prototype, but a source familiar with Samsung’s plans also confirmed that the company isn’t working on a new design language for its upcoming mobile phones.

However, recent reports did suggest that Samsung was considering a change in Galaxy Note III’s build quality, which could also involve the adoption of a new, metallic case for it.

Samsung Galaxy S4 prototype
Image credits to SamMobile

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