Macs ‘thriving’, says Microsoft

Macs ‘thriving’, says Microsoft

The Mac platform is booming, shows a study from Microsoft’s Mac business unit and a leading US research company.

The research, into Macintosh market trends, shows that the Mac market boasts increased diversity, and is attracting more small business and consumer customers.

It also reveals that the Mac platform is becoming less reliant on the education and big business markets.

Compatibility, the study shows, is a major concern: 56 per cent of Apple users use both Macs and PCs; 81 per cent work in cross-platform environments; and 66 per cent of Mac Office 98 users share files with Windows users at least once a week.

Kinship between applications is also stressed as key. The report – co-authored by
Herbert Research – shows that 94 per cent of Mac people believe integration between applications is important.

A total of 47 per cent of users are also motivated to upgrade from Office 98, in order to enjoy both a more Mac-like interface and behaviour. Simplicity is important too, with 94 per cent of Macintosh users seeing ease-of-use as an important factor in the applications they use.

Using the report’s findings, Microsoft plans to develop innovations for its Macintosh software brands, and hopes to create more products for small business and the consumer.

The company has already made a commitment to supporting Mac OS X and also plans easier integration with Windows products.

Netscape 7.0 released

Netscape 7.0 released

Netscape has released Netscape 7.0, the latest version of its once dominant browser.

The product hosts a number of reliability and usability improvements designed to help the company recapture market share.

New features include: Quick Launch, which speeds browser start up time; Tabbed Browsing, which tracks multiple sites or pages simultaneously by holding numerous sites as tabbed pages within a single window; and Click-to-Search.

AOL Instant Messenger can be accessed from within the application. It supports Buddy icons, file transfers and Buddy Alerts. ICQ access is built-in.

Netscape’s Mail feature is more user friendly, the company claims, with new Quick Search and simplified Mail filters.

Smartphone share of overall mobile phone sales stalling at 70 percent

Smartphone share of overall mobile phone sales stalling at 70 percent

Smartphones during the third quarter again accounted for about 70 percent of total mobile phone shipments. Prices need to fall even further to attract more users in emerging markets, but that won’t happen overnight.

Though the smartphone share of overall mobile phone sales increased year over year, it has been flat, sequentially, at around 70 percent for the last couple of quarters, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. For the smartphone share to increase, prices have to come down so more users in parts of the world such as Africa and India can afford them.

Today the cheapest smartphones cost about US$35 at wholesale, but prices under $20 are needed. Getting there will take a couple of years, at least. “In the short term, the component cost, IPR costs and the software costs are too high for smartphones to compete at the very bottom end of the market, so feature phones aren’t going away,” Mawston said.

Android and the Firefox OS are shaping up to be the two big platforms in the low-price segment of the smartphone market, while Samsung Electronics will duke it out with multiple Chinese and Indian vendors on the hardware side, according to Mawston.

Global mobile phone shipments increased to 459.5 million during the third quarter, including 320.4 million smartphones. Overall sales increased by 7.6 percent year-on-year, while smartphone sales increased by 26.7 percent.

The big winner during the third quarter was Chinese company Xiaomi, which became the world’s third largest smartphone vendor.

Though Samsung was still the top seller, it was the biggest loser, as its market share tumbled from 35 percent to about 25 percent. The company was the only one among the top five to sell fewer smartphones than a year ago. The rest of the top five was made up of Apple in second place; LG Electronics in fourth; and Huawei Technologies in fifth place.

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Battlefield 3 Day One patch (v1.01) goes LIVE

Battlefield 3 Day One patch (v1.01) goes LIVE

Well guys some great news has arrived for all fans of Battlefield 3. The day one patch for the game (patch v1.01) has been released by the developer, and it will be available for download the very first time you start the game.

Battlefield 3 screenshot

Battlefield 3 patch v1.01 weighs 222MB in size, and it carries fix for all the problems that have surfaced during the beta phase. Battlefield 3 is schedule to launch on October 25 in US and on October 28 in UK.

Apple beaten in China smartphone war – Chinese OEMs smack iPhone

Apple beaten in China smartphone war – Chinese OEMs smack iPhone

Three Chinese smartphone OEMs – Coolpad, Lenovo, and Xiaomi – are all beating Apple in China’s smartphone battle.

For the second quarter (Q2) of 2013 Samsung retained its leading Chinese smartphone market share of 17 percent, Lenovo took second with 13 percent, Coolpad was third with 10 percent, and Xiaomi edged out Apple with 6.5 percent share, according to new research from market intelligence firm ABI Research.

Because China is the largest smartphone market, accounting for 28 percent of all smartphone shipments in Q2, success in China carries an increasingly global significance.

These three rising stars accounted for 11.1 percent of all worldwide shipments in the quarter.

The sheer size of the Chinese market has made it one of the most coveted for tier 1 OEMs looking to expand share and secure a future as smartphone market growth becomes increasingly dependent on emerging and low-cost markets.

“Even though these OEMs are only selling into the Chinese market, the size of the market has allowed them to achieve shipment volumes that place these OEMs in the top 12 globally,” says senior analyst Michael Morgan.

“It is not hard to imagine these OEMs as global competitors within the next 2 years.”

As Apple continues to struggle with delivering low-cost products, Chinese OEMs continue to press their advantage of competitive hardware at lower price points.

“China has proven to be an excellent environment for local OEMs to test and prove their business models. In time it will be interesting to see if their unique home-field advantages can be leveraged beyond the Chinese market,” adds senior practice director Jeff Orr.

PS4 Retail Unit: Out of 500GB HDD Space Only 408GB Is Available To Player confirms Early Owner

PS4 Retail Unit: Out of 500GB HDD Space Only 408GB Is Available To Player confirms Early Owner

Playstation 4 will launch with a 500GB HDD space, but as per the details shared by PS4 early owner “Twitter user Cjcool804” only 408 GB of space will be available for the player.

Playstation 4Cjcool804 shared the following image which showcase Playstation 4 Storage Management. A simple mathematic calculation will clarify things here: ” 323 GB Free Space + 84 GB Games/Application + 100 MB Other = 408GB.”

Applications that occupied 84 GB of HDD space are just three games “Killzone: Shadow Fall, Call of DUty: Ghosts and Madden NFL 25”.

This is really a shocking revelation. Almost all PS4 games size needs atleast 40-50 GB HDD space for installation and so 500GB HDD is bound to get fill up pretty fast, but this revelation “only 408GB out of 500 GB is available to player” increases fan dilema.

 Our PS4 Launch Guide will help you out in someway to overcome this less HDD space issue, check it out: PS4 Launch Guide: How to Replace/Upgrade HDD With New One And PS4 HDD Compatible Models List

Square Enix responds to panic over cancelled Hitman pre-orders | Hitman

Square Enix responds to panic over cancelled Hitman pre-orders | Hitman

After preorders were cancelled, Square Enix has taken to Twitter to calm the nervous fans

Many fans who had digitally ordered their copy the upcoming Hitman game received a message from Sony yesterday, informing them that their pre-order had been cancelled by Square Enix.

The message (as posted by David Scammell, news editor for VideoGamer) reads as follows:

Thank you for pre-ordering Hitman. The publisher has notified us that the configuration of the product you pre-ordered has changed significantly. As a result, we have withdrawn the current pre-order from PlayStation Store and will cancel all pre-orders. You will receive an email confirmation when your pre-order has been cancelled. A revised pre-order for Hitman will be available on the store soon.

Naturally, people were a bit spooked by this message, and rumors of the game being pushed back again started making the rounds. In an effort to quell the panic, Square Enix released the following message via the official Hitman Twitter account:

If your HITMAN preorder is cancelled, don’t panic. The release date is still March 11. We’re adjusting a few things & will update in a few days.

Hitman’s release date has been pushed back once so far, and despite Square Enix and IO Interactive’s intentions to release the first bit of content at the end of last year, complications arose that forced them to hold the game back. They have since stated that with the release date being pushed to March, they will offer a larger amount of content at launch than they would have if they had gotten the game out last year.

Resident Evil 2 Remake gets the green light from Capcom

Resident Evil 2 Remake gets the green light from Capcom

Capcom has been relishing its past glory with the Resident Evil franchise. The latest instance of this came earlier this year when Capcom released Resident Evil HD, a remake of the original tale that started it all. So what’s next for Capcom? Remake the sequel to the original tale that started it all.

Producer Yoshiaki “H” Hirabyashi confirmed today that Capcom has given the green light to create what is tentatively titled Resident Evil 2 Remake. Hirabyashi credits the fanbase’s passion for allowing this project to see the light of day and pledges to use player feedback to help shape the eventual game. However, he also notes the extensive resources that this endeavor will require, noting that it will be “some time before we can bring you can update on this project.”

Of course, in the meantime, Hirabyashi notes that fans can tide themselves over with the upcoming Resident Evil 0 HD remake. The full announcement for the Resident Evil 2 Remake can be found below.

Apple ‘may takeover PowerPC production’

Apple ‘may takeover PowerPC production’

Apple could take control of Motorola’s PowerPC platform, according to reports.

Apple may be spurred into taking over future development of its high-end chips due to Motorola’s commitments to the lucrative embedded market – which includes mobile phones – and its poor financial health over the last six months.

A clause in Apple’s contract with the PowerPC chipmaker permits it to buy Motorola’s Power PC investments for $500 million next year, reports MacOS Rumors.

Motorola investment
In the past, the site has commented on Motorola’s lack of interest in high-end PowerPC processors. This prompted an anonymous email to set the record straight.

According to the source, Motorola remains committed to developing Apollo – an improved version of the current 7450 chip – which the email confirms will be the PowerPC 7460. Apollo will accelerate PowerPC chips up to 1GHz, bringing enhanced G4 technology to the iMac and iBook.

The source also claims that the 7460’s launch will coincide with that of the G5, the G4’s successor. Production of the 7460 “will start in Q4 2001”, in time for January’s Macworld show.

MechWarrior Online Open Beta Starts October 16th 

MechWarrior Online Open Beta Starts October 16th 

Last week we gave you our first impressions of the MechWarrior Online closed beta and we also held a closed beta key giveaway. For those of you poor souls who weren’t able to get a beta key you are in luck. In less than a week Piranha games will be opening up MechWarrior Online to the public with the start of the open beta.

The game just recently received its last large patch before open beta which added graphical improvements, new particle effects, and other UI tweaks among other things. With the launch of the open beta, the mech warfare simulator will get its first set of cosmetic customization options that include exterior camo skins, interior cockpit items (fuzzy dice and bobble hula girl confirmed!), and decals.

The decals might actually be one of the cooler cosmetic items since its hinted that players will be able to create their own art to display on their mech. Finally my MS-Paint skills will come in use! Fear my poorly drawn stick figures!