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.

Google Speeds WebP Image Format

Google has built a new version of its WebP software into Chrome to let browsers display its image format 25 percent faster, the company said Friday. The better-performance, new libwebp 0.4.0 is part of Google's general effort to speed up the Web, and the new software also uses less memory and fixes an issue that had blocked Google from supporting animated WebP images. The updated WebP support is built into the version of Chrome that's currently in beta.

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."

PayPal Is Rolling Out Its New “Mobile First” Website Globally

PayPal, the eBay-owned online payments platform that made up some 40% of its $16 billion in revenues in 2013, has turned on a redesigned website — it’s biggest attempt yet at putting a contemporary, simplified face on one of the older services on the web (founded: 1998); and to introduce users to some of the newer features it’s hoping will take off, such as mobile and physical store payments.

Mozilla Stops Developing Its Persona Sign-In System

If you don’t know about Mozilla’s Persona sign-in and identity, you’re apparently not the only one. Citing low adoption rates, Mozilla has decided to give up on this project and is allocating its developer resources to different projects. Mozilla will continue to host the service and patch security issues as needed, however. The organization hopes the community will continue to develop the product, but given that there had been very little interest in supporting it in the first place, it seems doubtful that many developers will volunteer to pick up the slack.

Google to Launch SDK for Android Wearables

Google plans to release a software development kit in the next two weeks that will allow third-party developers to create Android software for use on wearable computing devices. The announcement was made Sunday by Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Apps, and Chrome, during a panel discussion with John Battelle at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

Say Goodbye to Facebook E-mail

Facebook announced Monday that it's getting rid of its @facebook.com e-mail service. E-mail service, you say? Yes, the social network actually had a service for e-mail addresses that users could get when they signed up -- not to be confused with Facebook Messages, Chat, or Messenger. Very few people actually used the service, according to the social network, hence, its retirement.

Apple Fixed A Bug In iOS 7

On Friday Apple announced a fix to a security bug in its iOS 7 system. Saturday  Web security experts have parsed the patch to figure out what exactly the problem was… And apparently it’s a doozy. The culprit of what may be one of Apple’s biggest security snafus is an extra “goto” in one part of the authentication code, Wired reported. That spurious line of code bypasses the rest of the authentication protocols.

Ok Google

There can be little doubt that, just like Microsoft thinks touch is the future of computing, Google seems to believe voice will be the user interface of the future. Indeed, when Frederic Lardinois was in Mountain View earlier this month, a Google spokesperson challenged him to just use voice whenever possible on my phone.  For Google, all things voice now start with “Ok Google” or “Ok Glass.” With Android KitKat on flagship phones like the Moto X and Nexus 5, voice recognition isn’t just something you have to start with a click. It’s always listening to you and is waiting for you to talk to it.

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