Windows 8.1 Picks up Steam

A little more than a year after Windows 8.1 was made available, the update to Microsoft's PC operating system is finally seeing some progress. The market share of PCs that run Windows 8.1 jumped to 10.9 percent in October, up from 6.7 percent in September and 7.1 percent in August, according to Net Applications, which tracks activity through analyzing the browser hits of specific websites.

Microsoft Announces Windows 10

At an event in San Francisco, Microsoft announced the next version of its Windows operating system: Windows 10. The name is definitely not in line with expectations, but also comes on the heels of rumor talk that it could pick up another title. Happily, the last 943 people to cover the operating system got the name wrong. Starting today, Microsoft will launch a Windows Insider Program that will give users who are comfortable with running very early beta software access to Windows 10.

Microsoft Confirms Its Windows Event

Microsoft today confirmed its correctly rumored Windows event that will take place on September 30 in San Francisco. The event is widely expected to include a release of the technical preview of Windows 9, the successor to the controversial Windows 8.x operating system that was released in 2012, along with the Surface line of tablets.

Looking Ahead To Windows 9

A preview of Windows 9 will be made available in either September or October, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. That timeline keeps ‘Threshold’ — Windows 9’s codename — out into the public market as a finished product likely in early 2015. The Windows 8 era isn’t merely closing, it’s racing to an end.

Microsoft to kill Skype for Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone users stuck on version 7 will have to bid farewell to Skype within the next few weeks. On a support page, Skype parent Microsoft posed the question: "Is Skype for Windows Phone 7 being discontinued?" The response? "Yes." Sometime within the next few weeks, Skype will no longer be available in any form on Windows Phone 7, according to Microsoft. Further, those of you who already have Skype on your Windows Phone 7 handset will no longer be able to log in to the service.

Windows 8.1 Update Deadline Slips Back a Month

Microsoft is giving consumers another 30 days beyond its originally stated deadline to install Windows 8.1 Update. Instead of requiring Windows 8.1 users to install the update by May 13, which is this month's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft is now allowing them a longer grace period -- until June 10 -- to move to the Update in order to continue to receive patches and fixes from the company. Microsoft announced the Windows 8.1 Update deadline extension on May 12.

Windows 8.1 Update Might Change Your Mind About Windows 8

With the second major revision to Windows 8, somewhat confusingly named Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft seems to have finally remembered that there are PC users out there who still work with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Not everyone is happily tapping and swiping away at tablet and hybrid screens yet, and the loudest complaints about the OS have been regarding its lack of support for those who use their PCs in a more traditional fashion.

Discontinued Windows XP Still No. 2 Desktop OS

On the eve of Microsoft’s BUILD developer conference, Statcounter has published a snapshot of the challenge that Microsoft faces to get its users to adopt its current and future products over its legacy systems. According to the research firm, in the month of March Microsoft’s Windows 7 OS held on to its place as the world’s most popular desktop operating system, with the OS installed on nearly 55% of all machines surveyed. Windows XP, which Microsoft has said it will stop supporting by April 8, is at a firm number two with 18.6% of all installations.

Office for iPad Rumors Give Microsoft's Stock a Boost

Microsoft's share price hit levels Tuesday not seen since the dot-com boom days, with analysts attributing the rise to a report on Monday of Office finally landing on the iPad. Microsoft's shares rose as much as 5 percent to $39.90 on Tuesday, adding $15 billion to the company's value, Reuters reported. The last time the software giant's shares flirted with $40 was in July 2000.

Microsoft Takes on the 'free' OS

Microsoft is taking baby steps toward offering its operating system for free or on the cheap - a necessary tactic in a world dominated by Google's Android and other up-and-coming free operating systems, an analyst tells CNET. As reported by the Times of India this week, Microsoft had been in negotiations with Indian phone companies to "produce affordable Windows Phone devices" since last year. The agreement was "clinched" when Microsoft agreed to offer the Windows Phone OS sans the usual licensing fee, according to the Times. Microsoft said to CNET in a statement that it "cannot discuss confidential licensing terms."

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