Will Intel and Microsoft use netbook lessons to compete with Apple’s iPad?

Will Intel and Microsoft use netbook lessons to compete with Apple’s iPad?

Apple is winning the tablet battle in business, and the only way for the competition to succeed is to have better functionality, or to have similar features to the iPad but beat it on price. Today, laptop vendor sources are reportedly saying that tablets based on Windows 8 with Intel processors are likely to be priced no lower than $599, where iPads start at $499.

Based on experience, both Intel and Microsoft know how to lower costs to compete, so will they do that with tablets to knock the iPad from it’s dominant position in the workplace? What else might make Windows 8 tablets appealing in the workplace?

A Lesson Learned?

The rumored pricing is very similar to current Windows tablets, which aren’t exactly flying off the shelves; but, Windows 7 on a tablet isn’t a particularly finger-friendly experience, either. Though we don’t yet know the specific pricing of Intel’s Clover Trail processor that will power Windows 8 tablets, or of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system for tablets, this situation is very similar to the early days of netbooks. While netbooks may not have been a wild success, and are now almost dead, Intel and Microsoft found ways to reduce their pricing so netbooks based on their products could compete with ARM and Linux based alternatives.

With Intel’s Atom processor, and Microsoft’s Windows 7 Starter Edition operating system, each company found a way to offer a differentiated product that it could justify a lower cost to capture more market share. Tablets can benefit from a similar approach: Put a processor made specifically for tablets, together with a version of Windows, and do so at a price that can compete with ARM-based alternatives, be they running Windows, Google’s Android, or even Apple’s iOS.

Intel Not Inside?

If the cost of Intel’s processor isn’t as low as it needs to be, one way Microsoft may still be able to succeed with Windows 8 tablets is by leaving Intel out, and instead run on ARM based hardware. Though Windows 8 licensing will still increase the price of tablets, using lower cost ARM processors from Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instrument will help keep the cost within reach of the competition. However, it’s unclear at this time just how compatible a Windows 8-based ARM tablet will be with existing software apps.

Compelling Features, and Interoperability

Another way Microsoft could succeed would be if the features of its tablets, and the way they interact with PCs, is compelling enough to make users want to have Windows 8 on both their tablet and their PC. Right now, the main reason businesses might want, and even need Windows 8 on a tablet would be its ability to run full desktop apps. Most Windows programs are designed to run on Intel x86 processors in what will now be referred to as desktop mode; and that backward compatibility doesn’t appear to be coming with ARM tablets. However, Intel Clover Trail-based tablets should have no problem running existing Windows apps, and this could be a huge selling point for companies that want native applications running on mobile hardware, and the same applications running on both desktop and mobile.

Lower Cost Wins

Though running native x86 apps on a tablet could be a selling point for Windows 8, as long as network access is available, businesses can always use remote desktop software on any tablet to try and accomplish the same goal; but, they may lose some functionality in doing so. Being more expensive than the competition would likely limit the adoption of Intel powered Windows 8 tablets. If, however, both Intel and Microsoft have learned a lesson from their netbook experience, and the rumors aren’t true, the possibility of lower costs could allow them to compete based on price, which for businesses, would make all the difference.

Google’s Maps iOS app gains more search tools in update

Google’s Maps iOS app gains more search tools in update

Google on Tuesday pushed out an update for its Maps iPhone app designed to make it easier for users to search for local businesses and contacts in their address book.

The new version features several new search functions. With people, for example, the app now lets users search for individuals by name to see where they are located, provided that the addresses for users’ Google Contacts on file are up-to-date.

The app also includes a way to search for local places by category such as restaurants, bars, cafés and gas stations. After a user taps the search box, a horizontal menu appears that the user can expand to display nearby places of the category they choose.

After a business is selected, a tab at the bottom of the screen displays Zagat ratings and Google user reviews, which can be expanded to provide more information including driving directions, photos and street-view images.

Visually, the new nearby search’s interface bears some resemblance to Facebook’s mobile Nearby search tool, which displays local businesses to users based on friends’ interaction with those places.

Google Maps users can also now choose between kilometers and miles for their preferred distance units.

The update adds further polish to an app that many iPhone users have already gravitated toward after Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologize for glitches seen in Apple’s native Maps app that began shipping with iOS 6 last September.

Google’s mapping application was dropped with that version of iOS, but it was made available again in Apple’s App Store in December following Apple’s stumbles with its own application.

The free update is available now in Apple’s iTunes store in 29 languages including English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Hebrew.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach’s e-mail address is [email protected]

See also:

Google Maps vs Apple Maps turn-by-turn Sat-Nav test

Apple Maps blamed for potentially dangerous Australian bushfire app inaccuracies

Google Maps for iPhone review

Google Maps’ return to iOS may not be permanent, says analyst

Apple hiring 10 new iOS software engineers to help improve Maps

Bioware: No Lifetime Subscription for Star Wars: The Old Republic

Bioware: No Lifetime Subscription for Star Wars: The Old Republic

Bioware in sweet and simple terms announced that most likely there won’t be a lifetime subscription option for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Stephen Reid, the Senior Community Manager for Star Wars: The Old Republic, on his persona Twitter account confirmed the new. Check out below what he exactly said, “We’re not planning on offering a lifetime subscription option.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic logo

Star Wars: The Old Republic is schedule to launch on December 20 in NA, and on December 22 in Europe. You can check out the complete subcription details for the game HERE.

Watch Microsoft E3 2015 Press Conference Live Streaming On Twitch and YouTube

Watch Microsoft E3 2015 Press Conference Live Streaming On Twitch and YouTube

Microsoft E3 2015 Press Conference will be live stream on Twitch and YouTube. Just a few hours is left for it to begin, on June 15 at 9:30am (PDT). You won’t have to search here and there for Xbox E3 2015 press conference live stream link you will be able to watch it right here (we have embedded Twitch Link below). The live streaming will go live once Microsoft begins their E3 2015 press conference. So, get your popcorn jumbo packet ready.

Microsoft E3 2015 Press Conference Live Streaming

Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza 6 and many expected to make an appearance at the event. The line-up will include games releasing in 2015 and heading into 2016. So make sure you tuned exactly at 9:30AM PDT to catch all the action.

What do you guys think, can Microsoft match up with their good E3 showing in 2015? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.

Megaman: Had Access To Xur: Agent of the Nine Exotic Items Up To May 19, It Was Awful, Bungie Changed Xur

Megaman: Had Access To Xur: Agent of the Nine Exotic Items Up To May 19, It Was Awful, Bungie Changed Xur

It seems like Destiny Xur: Agent of the Nine vs Megaman saga has finally come to an end. For past few weeks, Megaman openly admitted that he is finding it difficult to access Xur Agent of the Nine exotic items (with the help of data mining tech), and the reason provided for the same was that Bungie made some drastic changes to curb hacking of Xur Agent of the Nine exotic items and upgrades via data mining tech (in short, Bungie started manually controlling Xur and changing Xur’s stock in real time via patch).

Destiny: Xur Agent of the Nine

Megaman is a relief man now and feels like his task is accomplished, and he openly let this feeling known to Destiny community via Reddit. In the comment section of one of his thread, Megaman stated that because of recent Xur’s Stocks leak, Bungie was forced to changed him with new stocks because all old stocks were WEAK and Destiny players were not happy with it.

In addition to this, Megaman stated that he had possession of Xur: Agent of the Nine stocks and exotic items up to May 19, and those were “Awful”, Mida Multi-Tool was scheduled to come three times.

Here is what Megaman said (in conversation with other Xur Items/Stock leaker) (translated)

“I’m grateful to you. If you hadn’t published the data of xur, Bungie would not have changed xur. I had possession of data up to May 19th and it was awful. Mida Multi Tool was scheduled to come three times.”

Are you guys happy with the recent changes made (by Bungie) to Xur: Agent of the Nine exotic items, stocks and upgrades? Do let us know in the comment section below.

Update: Xur Agent of the Nine Is Selling “Armamentarium” & Other Exotic Items For Week 31, Xur’s Location & Other Details

  • Source: Reddit

World Clock chimes in

World Clock chimes in

MaBaSoft has released an update to its utility for frequent travellers – World Clock CSM 2.7.1.

World Clock is designed for those who need to know what time it is in different countries. It’s a clock for the control strip that displays up to 24 different times simultaneously.

It can rotate displayed clocks so that minimum control strip space is needed and can calculate date and time conversions.

World Clock is available in English, Japanese, German, Dutch, French and Italian. It is availabe as shareware for $5 and is Mac OS 9 compatible.