For volume buyers, Microsoft launches sort-of, kind-of per-user licensing for Windows. It’s probably not enough, but it’s a start.
Acer launched a trio of tablets, including a Windows 8.1 tablet that retails for $150. The same processor and screen are also used on a very similar tablet running Android. It’s another sign the sub-$200 tablet market is heating up for both Windows and Android devices.
Pushing its one app for any Windows device concept, Microsoft released Reading List for Windows Phone 8.1. The app already exists on Windows 8.1 and syncs saved web content for later reading.
A Costco trip for groceries turned into a gadget purchase: I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. For $299.99, this 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet is impressive enough to suggest Microsoft doesn’t need a Surface Mini.
Could a Microsoft Surface Mini running Windows RT be a hit? Not unless it’s priced competitively against the already available small Windows 8 slates and Universal Windows Apps start showing up in quantity.
For as much good news that Microsoft shared for end-users, developers and device makers at Build 2014 on Wednesday, the reality is the game of “catch up” is still on. And for this race, that’s not likely a gold medal strategy.
Microsoft crammed numerous announcements into a three hour keynote event on Wednesday at its Build event. Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox all get new features and some of them are shared, bringing more consistency to the Windows user experience.
After starting life on the small screen of a smartphone and then moving to a Windows RT tablet, Nokia’s Here mapping software is coming to the big screen: It will be freely available for all Windows 8.1 devices.
Asus has entered the small Windows tablet market with the Asus VivoTab Note 8 appearing in the Microsoft Store. The slate costs $30 more than similar devices but offers an advanced stylus with pressure sensitivity.
A leaked, early build of Update 1 for Windows 8.1 appeared online over the weekend and it shows a merger between the Desktop and tiled interfaces of Microsoft’s platform. Mouse and trackpad users should be happy with these changes.