Microsoft Surface RT Tablet Will Reportedly Go On Sale For Just $199 Alongside Windows 8 On October 26

With everything that is currently going on in the technology industry, it sometimes gets quite difficult to keep all of the announcements in memory and remember what hardware or software is going to be introduced to the marketplace. With the iPhone and iOS 6, the Nexus 7, the chatter surrounding Windows 8 and more recently; the imminent launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, I had actually totally forgotten about the impromptu media event where Microsoft introduced us to their Surface tablet. When Apple announces an iPad, it is pretty much available immediately. When Google announced the Nexus 7, it was available for immediate pre-order and was dispatched a couple of weeks later. Microsoft announced the Surface and then, well, nothing happened.

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The lack of immediate action shouldn’t detract from the fact that on the face of things the Surface actually looked like a pretty incredible product and certainly one that reinvigorated the appetite of those tablet admirers who didn’t feel like becoming part of the iPad domination. Microsoft did a pretty impressive job of keeping the gadget a big secret before the announcement, and in all honesty, did an equally impressive job of keeping the device specifications and pricing points from us as well. Nothing much has changed in the following couple of months and we have all been left with nothing more than speculation to go on.

The company has already admitted that building and releasing their own hardware will more than likely upset the status quo with OEMs due to the fact that they are essentially competing with their partners, but all is fair in love and business and thankfully we may have a little bit more information about the mysterious NVIDIA-powered Surface RT. Reports are emerging today that suggest the Redmond company is set to launch the Surface RT on October 26th, and it will enter the market at a very appealing $199 price point. Very interesting news indeed.

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One of the major talking points since the Microsoft announcement has been the price of the tablet, with consumers fearful that it would be priced way above and beyond other devices of similar ilk on the market. If true, the $199 price tag will immediately thrust the Surface into the same financial leagues as the Google’s Nexus 7 and less capable devices like the Kindle Fire and possibly the new iPad Mini if it ever materializes. Stay tuned fellow tablet lovers, as things could be about to get interesting in this space.

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Internal Study Reveals In Court Why People Choose Android Over iPhone

Considering it has been bubbling away and growing in size for the last eighteen months, it is going to be extremely interesting to see how the Apple vs. Samsung patent case progresses and ultimately pans out. It appears that both sides have fairly credible evidence to present to Judge Lucy Koh and the selected jury, but one of the most interesting parts of the case from an outsider’s point of view is the level of information that the companies have been forced to leak into the public domain as part of their own defense.

As the litigation continues, so does the information trail, and this time it is an internal Apple report that has come to our attention, which is part of a survey carried out by Apple in order to find out why the public make the conscious decision to purchase or upgrade to an Android-powered device rather than an iPhone. The results of the survey are broken down into a fairly simple horizontal bar chart and actually highlights a few interesting responses from the public that we possibly wouldn’t have guessed off our own backs.

It seems that the main reason why users opt for an Android device is purely down to their current network provider not being able to offer the iPhone. The desire to stay with their preferred network, either as a new purchase or an upgrade, accounted for 48% of those who took part in the survey and raises an interesting question about just how dominant the iPhone would be in the marketplace today if Apple had deals in place with additional networks at the time.

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    • Wanted to stay with current wireless service provider: 48%
    • Trusted the Google brand: 36%
    • Preferred larger screen: 30%
    • Preferred the Android market for apps(Gmail, Google Docs, Google-Voice): 27%
    • Wanted better integration with google services: 26%
    • Wanted the latest and greatest smartphone: 26%
    • Wanted turn by turn GPS navigation: 25%
    • Wanted the latest technology: 25%

In places like the United Kingdom, this wouldn’t have been such a big issue considering the iPhone is available – and has been for quite some time – on all major network providers such as Orange, Vodafone, O2 and Three UK. However, in the United States, Apple has an exclusivity deal with AT&T dating back to the launch of the original iPhone in 2007, meaning they were unable to offer the device on networks like Sprint and Verizon until now. Additionally, those who took part in the survey also indicated that they leaned towards Android due to the trust which they placed in the Google brand as well as enjoying having access to a larger display.

$60,000 Worth Of Computers And Personal Stuff Stolen From Home Of Late Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and former CEO, is responsible for some of the most iconic products seen in modern technology, and his untimely death in October from pancreatic cancer left a huge hole not only in his own company, but the tech sphere in general.

As his family try to deal with their loss, some particularly heartless and unscrupulous individuals have, according to a report over at MercuryNews, sneaked into his Silicon Valley home to take away more than $60,000 worth of computers and other treasured items.

The suspects are now said to be held in custody for the for the recent illegal act, although no information has been revealed regarding whether the goods actually belonged to Jobs himself. Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery, who is a member of the high-technology crimes unit, noted the Jobs home on the 2100 block of Waverley Street in Palo Alto was entered and goods were taken back on July 17, and some weeks later, Kariem McFarlin, 35, was arrested for the crimes.

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[image credit: Forbes]

McFarlin is now in jail on $500,000 bail, and it is widely presumed his family were not at the premises at the time when this happened. The fact the house was under renovations meant scaffolding and various other construction paraphernalia were present in and around the house, which may have made breaking and entering that little bit easier on the assailant.

Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late, great innovator, was not at the home at the time, but will no doubt have found the thought of somebody sifting through their property as very disconcerting indeed.

Jobs was in charge of Apple when it first brought forth the iPod, and since then, the Cupertino, California-based company hasn’t really looked back. Jobs continued as the company’s talisman through many generations of iPod before it introduced the revolutionary iPhone smartphone in 2007.

The MacBook range, while still a great deal behind Windows notebooks in terms of sales units, has revolutionized the way we look at computing on-the-fly, as has the iPad, which was released under the Jobs reign in 2010.

Had illness not caught up with Jobs, he would doubtlessly be leading Apple into its next direction, and Tim Cook certainly has a lot of work to do if he’s to emulate the success of his predecessor.

Android 4.1 Update For Galaxy S III Reportedly Coming By The End Of This Month

Most of the attention of the technology loving world has been lavished on Apple and Samsung over the last two weeks, partly because they are the two largest smartphone vendors in the world and are currently actively competing against each for the top spot, but also due to the fact that they are currently locked in a fairly bitter legal dispute in California to resolve whether or not Samsung did indeed “slavishly” copy the design of the iPhone. As entertaining as the court case is, and as enjoyable as the information that it is unearthing, we should really try to step away from the fact that two of the industry’s largest names have had to go down this route and instead concentrate on the wonderful products they both offer.

Apple obviously have us all on a red-alert state of excitement with the imminent announcement of the next-generation iPhone, as well as Samsung finalizing the launch details of their rather sizeable Galaxy Note II phablet. The Korean giants also has one of the most popular smartphones on the market at the moment, the Galaxy S III, and if internet speculation is to be believed then those S III owners could be set to receive a nice little sugary upgrade in the coming weeks.

Those who are new to Android or relatively new to smartphone ownership can sometimes struggle to understand the way the distribution of the operating system works, especially if they have come from being an iOS user. Whenever a new version of iOS is launched, Apple immediately pushes the download to compatible devices, allowing users to always be on the latest version if they desire. Unfortunately for users, Android doesn’t follow the same distribution philosophies, and those who own the Galaxy S III are currently stuck with Ice Cream Sandwich, which isn’t really a great issue to be honest, but it is nice to be able to use the latest version of something.

If the speculation turns out to be true then Samsung could make the Jelly Bean 4.1 update available to S III owners starting on August 29th, which will be an extremely productive day for the world’s largest smartphone vendor as it is also the day they grace the IFA trade show with the announcement pertaining to the second-generation Galaxy Note. As is usually the case with Android’s over-the-air updates, just because the manufacturer gives the go-ahead doesn’t mean users will immediately be able to to access the download. Carriers often have to approve the update themselves, meaning there will be a time delay that is entirely dependent on the network.

Nokia, Microsoft Sends Out Event Invites For September 5, Possibly To Announce New Windows Phone 8 Lumia Devices

The next moves of Microsoft and the Windows Phone 8 platform are extremely critical in mobile space. Currently dominated by iOS and Android, no other platform has the potential to compete with the two titans quite like Windows Phone 8, and although some details are still scarce, the evolved mobile ecosystem will cater to more powerful devices than ever before.

Although plenty of manufacturers are jumping on the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon, the focus is rightly centered around what Finnish company Nokia has in store. The once-domineering manufacturer lost its way somewhat in the mobile market, and has since focused most of its efforts on Microsoft’s OS, ditching support for its own Symbian OS in the process.

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Despite Windows Phone having not made a huge indent on Android and iOS’s supremacy, the Nokia Lumia devices have certainly caused something of a stir. The Lumia 900 in particular, yielded praise from many, including Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak, who lauded it as one of the best devices on the market, with WP7.x being, in his eyes, the best mobile platform.

It’s now looking like both Nokia and Microsoft will be announcing the first Windows Phone 8 device on 5th September. Invites have been sent out to by the two companies regarding a Windows Phone-centric event on September 5th, which, incidentally, is also the same day as Nokia World’s opener.

Rumors have been rife that Nokia would be announcing something on the first week of September, and although the invitations have not confirmed this to be the case, it’s unlikely to be anything else.

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The invites are said to make reference to Nokia’s Maps service, so there will be plenty of discussion with regards to that, but even though companies often try to make software the focal topic of discussion, there’s little doubt the tech world will be more keen to see what the devices will look like.

Going by the first few Lumias, we’re expecting similarly slick designs throughout, but the hardware packed within will certainly be of the most interest. Will we finally see our first dual-core Windows Phone?

Windows 8 RTM Enterprise 90-Day Evaluation Trial Now Available

Microsoft is now offering a 90-day trial of Windows 8 Enterprise edition for development and evaluation purposes.

Set to arrive on October 26th for general public, Windows 8 will drop for desktop, tablet and smartphone simultaneously, it appears to be the most significant update to the OS to date. Much like the Release Preview we’ve all already had the chance to play around with, the RTM (final shipping version) build comes with a few additional changes and tweaks.

Earlier today, Microsoft released the final bits of Windows 8 RTM to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Students with DreamSpark Premium accounts will get access to it on August 25th.

For those of you who don’t have access to either of the above mentioned subscriptions, Microsoft has made available the 90-day trial of Windows 8 Enterprise edition that can now be had for evaluation purposes. We recommend that you give it a shot in case you’re very eager to jump off the Windows 7 bandwagon and are seriously planning to upgrade to Windows 8. The option is there.

This evaluation provides a 90-day trial of Windows 8 Enterprise edition. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available as ISO images in the following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, English (UK), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish. In order to use this evaluation, you must register and the product must be activated online with Microsoft-hosted activation and validation services. Microsoft does not provide technical support for this software.

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Perhaps the only downside to it is that once the 90-days evaluation period is over, you cannot upgrade it to the final version, your desktop will go black, and your PC will shut down on an hourly basis.

Things to Know Before You Start

  • The evaluation edition will expire and cannot be upgraded.
  • To upgrade, the evaluation must be uninstalled and a non-evaluation version of Windows must be re-installed from your original installation media.

For those of you interested, the download links for both x86 and x64 versions of Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation for developers can be found at the source link from Microsoft below.

WSJ: Apple In Talks With Cable Providers To Bring Live Channels On A New Set-Top Box Device

According to a report over at the Wall Street Journal, Cupertino, Calif. based outfit Apple is currently in talks with cable television networks in an attempt to utilize its Apple TV device as a proper set-top-box. Although once described by CEO Tim Cook as a “hobby” of Apple’s, the gizmo has slowly but surely evolved into a decent product – one which now uses an A5 processor to pump out 1080p media to HDTVs.

Apple has a wealth of TV-based content already via the iTunes Store, although that will not interfere with what is apparently being prepared here. The fruit company, it is alleged, will not build its own database of TV shows and content in order to compete with the services already in existence, but essentially route those services through Apple TV. The idea is not perhaps as prosperous to Apple as having its own TV service, but it’s most certainly a start, and it doesn’t necessarily mean Cook’s company won’t consider such a move in the future.

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The current third-gen Apple TV device only emerged in March alongside the iPad 3, but the WSJ report also stipulates Apple’s cable TV ventures wouldn’t necessarily be catering to the current Apple TV box. The plans could either be for a next-gen Apple TV device, or – sorry, we couldn’t help it – the incessantly-mentioned connected TV set Apple is said to be plotting.

Although Apple’s TV set is, to many analysts, a foregone conclusion, it seems to keep cropping up as a rumor before dying down, and the discussions Apple is said to be holding will undoubtedly pour gasoline on that fire once more.

Apple Inc. is in talks with some of the biggest U.S. cable operators about letting consumers use an Apple device as a set-top box for live television and other content, according to people familiar with the matter.

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As the Journal’s report continues, “two people briefed on the matter” would not discount the possibility of the technology being embedded into a television set, whilst also adding Apple has prototyped such a project in the past. The report also adds that talks between Apple and the networks have yet to reach any agreements, although one suspects if the company wants things to work out in this particular field, it has the means to make it happen.