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May 1, 2013

Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander Release Schedule

Now that we know the codename of the next major release of the Ubuntu operating system, and that the development cycle will start tomorrow, May 2, we are happy to announce that the release schedule has also been published, as a draft, on the Ubuntu Wiki.

On April 25, a few hours after the official release of the Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) distribution, Mark Shuttleworth was proud to announce that Ubuntu 13.10 is named Saucy Salamander and it will become the 19th release of the Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu 13.10's (Saucy Salamander) main target will be to enhance Ubuntu Touch's mobile UI (user interface) with new applications, a new SDK, and a gorgeous clean interface. Without further ado, here's the official release schedule for Ubuntu 13.04, extracted from Ubuntu Wiki:

June 20, 2013 - Alpha 1 release (not available to public)
July 18, 2013 - Alpha 2 release (not available to public)
August 1, 2013 - Alpha 3 release (not available to public)
September 5, 2013 - Beta 1 release (not available to public)
September 26, 2013 - Final Beta release
October 17, 2013 - Final release of Ubuntu 13.10

As usual, Canonical will no longer allow users to test Alpha releases of Ubuntu. Only the Beta version will be available for testing, which will be released on September 26, 2013. An interesting fact about the development cycle of Ubuntu 13.10 is that the Beta release will be in Final Freeze on September 19, the Future Freeze will be on August 22, and the Final Freeze will happen on October 10, 2013.

Last but not least, the Virtual Developer Summit (vUDS) for Ubuntu 13.10 will take place in two weeks, between May 16 and May 18, on the designated Ubuntu IRC channels. Don't forget to visit our website more often, as we will cover the entire development process of Ubuntu 13.10.

Image credits to wikimedia.org

Microsoft Generated $3.4 Billion (€2.5 Billion) per Year by Android Licensees

Microsoft has recently signed deals with two of the largest Android device manufacturers, namely Foxconn and ZTE, both of which agreed to pay the tech giant a fee for every unit they make.

It may sound a bit weird for Microsoft to pay so much attention to Android licenses, but the company has actually worked out a really ambitious plan. Analysts estimate that Redmondians could earn as much as $3.4 billion (€2.5 billion) every year by doing nothing. A report published by DigitalTrends and citing a number of unofficial forecasts point to record revenues for Microsoft thanks to its Android licensees who have no other choice than to pay royalties for the devices they develop. The whole idea is pretty simple. Microsoft currently holds several patents that cover multiple Android features, including synchronization, file storage and security, so every single device maker who embraces this free mobile operating system is forced to pay the tech giant a specific fee.

While there are no details on the paid royalties, a $1 (€0.76) fee would basically generate $430 million (€326 million) in revenues for Microsoft every single year. If the royalty goes up to $8 (€6.10) per device, the software maker could get up to $8.8 billion (€6.6 billion). Based on DigitalTrends’ estimates, Microsoft could earn approximately $8.8 billion (€6.6 billion) by 2017 thanks to the simple fact that it holds the patents covering some Android features. At this point, Microsoft’s licensees include several big names on the market, such as Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer and Barnes & Noble.

Microsoft claims that, at this point, it already signed license deals for approximately 80 percent of the devices sold in the United States, but no other figures have been provided for the global market. Still, the company expects to sign similar agreements in the near future, as it’s aiming to get royalties for nearly 95 percent of Android units shipped in the US and across the world.

Microsoft receives royalties for 80 percent of Android devices sold in the US
Image credits to cvw.com.ve

Intel Ivy Bridge-E CPUs to Launch in September

While Sandy Bridge CPUs are all but gone, Sandy Bridge-E units are still out and about, as the highest-end chips for super workstations.

Even their time must end, however. Indeed, the Ivy Bridge-E collection will make its debut this year, taking their place. For those who want to know the specifics, there will be three chips, called Core i7-4820K, Core i7-4930K, and Core i7-4960X. The Core i7-4820K is a quad core with 8 threads, 3.7 Ghz / 3.9 Ghz clock speeds, 10 MB L3 cache, DDR3-1866 MHz memory support, and a TDP of 130W.

The Core i7-4930K is a six core with 3.4 GHz / 3.9 GHz speed and 12 MB of cache, but otherwise identical to the one above. That leaves the Core i7-4960X, also a hexa core, but with 3.6 GHz / 4 GHz speed and 15 MB cache. According to VR-Zone Chinese Edition, the official launch will take place in September.

Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge-E chips coming in September
Image credits to Intel

Intel 8-Series Lynx Point Motherboards Specifications

Not too long ago, Intel decided it was time to quit while it was ahead and leave the motherboard market. It even cut orders by 80% in March, and we have even covered the presumably last and best mainboard too.

Given what was discovered in the company's support download portal, however, we might have to revise our expectations. VR-Zone dug everything up. Chipzilla is not out of the mainboard industry yet. In fact, it has no fewer than four 8-series Lynx Point boards on the way. The platforms will be released alongside the Haswell CPU line in June, or perhaps a bit earlier. First off we have the DB85FL (Frost Lake), powered by an Intel B85 Express chipset. It has four SATA 6Gb/s and 2 SATA 3Gb/s, plus a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot and a pair of PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots. Then, there are the four USB 3.0 connectors, 8 USB 2.0, 8-channel audio, DVI-I + HDMI display output (dual independent displays) and Smart Connect / Small Business Advantage technology. All in a micro-ATX package.

DH87MC (Meadow Creek) is the second board, an ATX model based on H87 chipset, with the same PCI Express layout as above, plus a PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot, a mini PCI Express slot, six SATA 6 Gbps ports, 10 USB 2.0 + 4 USB 3.0 ports, 10-channel audio and DVI-I + HDMI + DisplayPort (triple independent displays). Third, we have DH87MC (Round Lake), another micro-ATX. It gets the Intel H87 Express chipset, six SATA 6 Gbps ports (one mSATA), 6 USB 2.0 + 8 USB 3.0 ports, 10-channel audio, triple-display output as above. Rapid Storage Technology (RAID 0/1/5/10), Smart Response, Rapid Start and Smart Connect technologies are included too.

Finally, the micro-ATX DQ87PG (Spring Cave) uses the Q87 chipset and supports vPro with AMT 9.0, Identity Protection, Anti-theft Technology, Smart Response, and Rapid Storage Technology (RAID 0/1/5/10). DisplayPort + DVI-D + Analog D-SUB are the video ports, and connectivity is provided by 6 USB 2.0 ports, 8 USB 3.0, Parallel/Serial Port and PS/2. Six SATA 6Gb/s (one via mSATA) and a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, plus one PCIe 2.0 x1 and two PCI, complete the specs sheet. No prices are known, for any of the four products.

Intel logo
Image credits to Intel

Windows 8.1 / Blue Build 9385 x86 Leaked

Rumor has it that Windows 8.1 / Blue build 9385 could be released for download on file-sharing websites today, but a couple of new screenshots confirm that an x86 version is also out there in the wild for testing purposes.

While no download links are available for the time being, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft is now making the final adjustments to the public beta of Windows 8.1 expected to see daylight at the BUILD developer conference in June. No major visual changes can be spotted at this point in this new build of Windows 8.1, so Microsoft hasn’t yet implemented a Start button, even though sources familiar with the matter hinted that such an option is very likely to be launched in the next Windows release.

Windows 8.1 would probably go live in preview form in June, while the stable flavor of the operating system should see daylight two months after that.

The x86 version doesn't show any major visual changes
Image credits to winclub.pl

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