Poor Windows 8 Download Numbers Show People Don’t Want Microsoft’s Toaster-Fridge

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Windows 8 running on a notebook (image by Intel)
Windows 8 running on a notebook (image by Intel)

When asked about Microsoft’s attempt to converge its mobile and desktop platforms into a single Windows 8 release, Tim Cook responded with an analogy of trying to converge a toaster and a refrigerator. If interest in Microsoft’s Consumer Preview release of Windows 8 is any guide, it seems that the public might agree with him.

According to Net Applications, a web analytics company, only a very small fraction of devices connecting to the Internet were running the preview – just 0.11% (or 11 out of every 10,000).

Windows RT Versus The iPad In Business [Feature]

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Windows RT versus the iPad
Windows RT versus the iPad

While it will be six months or longer before Microsoft releases Windows 8 and its companion products, the company has been putting out a lot of information about its plans lately. One big Windows 8 mystery to date is Windows for ARM based tablets. Formerly known as Windows on ARM (or WOA), the company recently settled on Windows RT as the official name for Windows 8 on low-cost ARM-based tablets.

Microsoft is very clearly positioning Windows RT tablets as iPad competitors for both the home and business markets. Until recently, there wasn’t much solid information about them beyond that they would include a touch optimized full version of Office. With the information released recently, however, there’s enough detail to speculate how Windows RT tablets will stack up to the iPad in business.

To Push Windows Tablets, Microsoft Makes Supporting iPads More Expensive

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Microsoft changes Windows licensing rules to spur Windows RT tablet sales
Microsoft changes Windows licensing rules to spur Windows RT tablet sales

Microsoft is using its home field advantage in the business market to alter the playing field between its upcoming low cost Windows RT tablets (formerly called Windows on ARM or WOA tablets) and the iPad. To date, the iPad has been the business and enterprise tablet of choice and that gives Apple a significant leg up over competing Windows RT tablets.

Aiming to neutralize that advantage, Microsoft has written Windows 8 licensing for enterprise organizations in a way that makes supporting the iPad and other non-Microsoft devices more expensive – essentially penalizing companies that opt for the iPad and want to use a virtual desktop (VDI) solution such as those from Citrix and VMWare for remote access to a Windows desktop.

In Windows 8 Strategy Microsoft Borrows Heavily From Apple’s PlayBook

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With Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone, Microsoft seems to be copying Apple strategies
With Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone, Microsoft seems to be copying Apple strategies

Yesterday, Microsoft announced its Windows 8 product lineup. The lineup includes just three editions as opposed to Windows 7 and Vista, which offered twice as many options though some were targeted at developing and niche markets. In addition to streamlining the overall offerings, Microsoft also drew a sharper line between Windows 8 for desktop, notebook, and tablet PCs with x86/64 processors and Windows for ARM-based tablets.

If the dividing line between a full-fledged version of Windows and a version designed for low cost tablets seems vaguely familiar to you, it’s because the strategy is pretty similar to the distinction between Apple’s OS X for Macs and iOS for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

In fact, the entire desktop and mobile lineup that Microsoft is developing seems to borrow pretty heavily from Apple’s playbook.

U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs Cancels Long Term Contract With Microsoft

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The VA cancels Microsoft contract, which could mean widespread use of iPhone to follow
The VA cancels Microsoft contract, which could mean widespread use of iOS to follow

While many federal agencies have been defecting from RIM’s BlackBerry to iOS devices, the Department of Veterans Affairs seems poised to make a much more dramatic transition. The agency recently canceled its participation in Microsoft’s Software Assurance program. While the move isn’t likely to mean the VA is replacing all of its PCs with Macs, it may signal a significant transition to non-Microsoft mobile devices like the iPad.