Back in May, Microsoft announced over 100 million sales of Windows 8, but how much progress has the software made now that we’re in 2014? Today the company reported shipment of more than 200 million Windows 8 licenses. As usual, Microsoft didn’t specify whether or not that figure includes Windows RT licenses as well.
Naturally, those numbers mean nothing without context. Compared to Windows 7 sales a few years back, the latest-gen operating system is lagging. Windows 7 passed the 240 million mark within its first 12 months on the market, while Windows 8 is just hitting 200 million after more than 15 months of availability. Several reasons factor into Windows 8′s slower pace — among them lackluster sales of Microsoft’s Surface tablets and a shortage of touch- and tablet-optimized apps. The company hasn’t said much about the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1, but rumors point to better compatibility with budget tablets and an interface that favors the classic desktop over the Start screen. Look for that update to hit the market in April.
Windows 8 has plenty of apps to choose from, but there’s one in particular that avid sports fans had long been waiting for: WatchESPN. The great news is The Worldwide Leader in Sports has finally brought the application to Microsoft’s operating system. Now users will be able to stream a ton of on-demand and live content from ESPN’s network lineup, right on their Windows 8 PC. Access to real-time video feeds does require a cable subscription, however, so be sure to check the description here to see if your provider supports WatchESPN.
Source: Windows Store
It may not be the biggest news to come out of Redmond in recent hours. Still, the Windows faithful will no doubt be interested to hear about a licensing agreement involving two pretty notable outfits. Today, Foursquare announced it has struck a deal with Microsoft to use its location data in Bing services and Windows-powered devices. This, naturally, includes search and maps for Bing; and, for Windows, phones, tablets, laptops and desktops — and yes, convertibles too. In a statement, Foursquare notes that, “in the near future,” Microsoft will be utilizing the newly acquired license to enhance its products with “contextually-aware experiences and the best recommendations of any service in the world.” That’s not it, however, as Foursquare also revealed Microsoft has invested ($15 million) into its socially-driven company, which it says will help the service continue to grow and be accessible by more people.
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Samsung revealed two new additions to its camera lineup: the NX30 and the Android-powered Galaxy Camera 2. Click the link for hands-on photos and more information about their NFC-based “Tag & Go” feature.
LG is rumored to be releasing a new WebOS Smart TV at CES, and according to @evleaks, this is what it looks like. Click through for more details about the smartphone-like UI and potential launch apps.
After being announced almost two years ago, Mozilla has yet again delayed the release of its Windows 8 Firefox app until mid-March. Follow the link for details.
ZTE is bringing an impressive seven devices to CES, and leading the pack are the Grand S II handset and BlueWatch smartwatch. Click on through for more information.
Fresh off of the announcement that it’s now allowing users to make calls to any mobile or landline number, Viber today is reaching yet another platform by way of a Windows 8 application. Aside from providing access to the VoIP calling services it has become known for, Viber’s also bringing a few features tailored specifically for Microsoft’s operating system. Namely, we’re talking things like pinning conversations to the Start screen as well as the ability to be used in Snap View mode. Additionally, Viber for Windows 8 offers full Live Tile support, allowing you to easily spot notifications and have quick access to the app. CEO Talmon Marco says coming to Windows 8 was “the natural next step” for his company, adding that this is part of Viber’s big picture strategy and “commitment to wide, cross platform availability.”
Source: Windows Store
If you happen to own a Slingbox media streamer and a Windows 8.1/RT device, it’s your lucky day. After announcing last month that a SlingPlayer app for Windows was on the way, it’s now in the Windows Store, ready for download. Like the iOS and Android versions, which have been out for quite some time, users can take advantage of mobile DVR control and watch either live or recorded TV on their device. Slingbox owners will receive a free, 24-hour trial, but will need to cough up $15 to continue using it.
It may seem as if Acer is all about Chromebooks these days, at least judging by its most recent announcements. Today, however, the company is putting the focus back on Microsoft’s operating system, with the introduction of its new (and somewhat un…
There’s little doubt that the launch of Windows 8 will bring with it a wave of new tablet devices from all sorts of manufacturers and vendors. But did any of us expect to see one bearing Microsoft’s own logo? According to DigiTimes’ sometimes accurate, sometimes shaky upstream supplier sources, Steve Ballmer’s team is looking into putting together an own-brand Windows 8 slate, which will be powered by Texas Instruments silicon and put together by Taiwan-based ODMs. The deadline for this device is said to be by the end of 2012 and TI’s involvement suggests it’d be one of those newfangled ARM-based Windows machines, but beyond that, we’ve little more to go on. Whatever the outcome, don’t expect Microsoft to go overboard, DigiTimes says the company is “proceeding on a low profile.”