Microsoft released new details of its Windows 8 plans on Tuesday, differentiating its upcoming Windows Store from Apple's own App Store and Mac App Store by offering a 20/80 revenue split to developers after their first $25,000 in sales and allowing third-party in-app purchase and subscription options.
Microsoft's Windows 8 is still a year away, but IDC is already predicting that the new release will be "largely irrelevant" to conventional PC users and that its ability to sell tablets will be "disappointing."
HP's new chief executive Meg Whitman told journalists Apple was doing "a great job" and that her company's once much smaller rival could likely pass HP to become the world's leading PC maker next year.
Two weeks after calling an internal all hands meeting to discuss the status of its Personal Systems Group making PCs and mobile devices, HP has finally announced it will keep the division rather than spinning it off or selling it.
Observers puzzled by the relatively scarce 512MB of RAM built into Apple's A5 processor used in this year's iPad 2 and iPhone 4S have received an explanation of sorts from an unlikely source: Microsoft.
In its first significant update, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform is introducing a new layer of app version complexity for developers and users that offers a glimpse of how both it and Windows 8 will differ from Apple's existing iOS and Mac App Stores.
New Metro-style apps designed to run on Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 for tablets will copy Apple's App Store business model of charging a 30 percent fee from developers, allowing the potential for Microsoft to regain control over software in segments it has lost to Apple's iTunes and Google search.
The tablet-optimized Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 in Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 will be a "plug-in free experience," as the company follows Apple's lead in abandoning Adobe Flash in favor of HTML5 on tablets.
Microsoft offered an extended preview of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system at a conference on Tuesday, providing developers with a prototype Samsung tablet running a "pre-beta" version of the OS.
Investment bank J.P. Morgan raised its estimates for tablet shipments in 2011 to 51.9 million units, citing the strength of Apple's iPad, while slightly lowering 2012 estimates because a "formidable number two tablet maker" has yet to arrive.
A video demonstrating a new feature in Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 also appears to out a bold new design decision by the company to closely copy Apple's controversial shift toward monochromatic, high contrast icons.
Claiming that tablets should be considered personal computers rather than new age mobile devices, Microsoft on Tuesday again dashed hopes of tablets running the company's new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7 OS.
Gartner lowered its forecast Wednesday for global PC growth in 2011 as demand for netbooks continues to slump and Apple's iPad causes disruption, while Microsoft is reportedly considering launching its own brand of Windows 8 tablet PCs next year.