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New stats: Microsoft’s fastest-growing OS is … not Windows 8

Microsoft’s Windows 7 continued its rebound in June, climbing to 50.55 percent of worldwide desktop operating system usage. And despite its retirement, Windows XP saw a small increase in market share during the month, clawing back up to 25.31 percent of worldwide usage, according to the latest desktop operating system stats from NetMarketShare. Windows 8.1 also saw… Read More

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Windows 7 tops 50% of desktop PC usage for first time

Windows 7 is making a mid-life comeback. Five years after its release, the Microsoft operating system surpassed 50 percent market share among desktop computers for the first time in May — making it the most-used Windows version by a margin of 2-to-1, according to the latest statistics from NetApplications. The uptick, from 48.8 percent in March, was… Read More

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Chart: Windows 7 is almost bigger than Windows XP

August is already a big month for Windows 8, with Microsoft announcing this morning that it has finished the new version of its operating system and shipped it off to computer makers. But it’s shaping up to be a milestone month for Windows 7, as well. The current version of Microsoft’s operating system, originally released… Read More

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Farewell, Windows Vista: I’m going to miss you, old friend

Microsoft is ending mainstream support for Windows Vista today, and I’m getting a little choked up just thinking about it. OK, not quite, but in contrast with the PC users and Microsoft executives who would rather forget about the ill-fated operating system, I actually have lots of fond memories of Windows Vista. As a reporter… Read More

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CES: Dell jumps into the Ultrabook game with XPS 13

Posting from Las Vegas: This year’s Consumer Electronics Show may well be remembered as the year of the Ultrabook, and Dell took a plunge into the increasingly competitive market this afternoon, appearing at Intel’s news conference to unveil Dell XPS 13. One of the big selling points is its frameless edge-to-edge screen, which means that… Read More

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As IE falls overall, Microsoft touts IE9 gains on Windows 7

Internet Explorer’s overall market share, which stood at more than 90 percent seven years ago, fell again in December 2011 and appears poised to dip below 50 percent across all computers sometime in 2012, according to the latest NetMarketShare numbers. However, in its own public observations, Microsoft is continuing its practice of focusing exclusively on… Read More

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IE9 share tops 20% on Windows 7 even as IE usage slips overall

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 browser is now used on more than 20 percent of PCs running Windows 7 worldwide, outpacing the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox counterparts. Microsoft’s IE team noted the milestone in a blog post last night, citing the latest market research from Net Applications. The numbers are even higher in the U.S.,… Read More

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HP shedding PC business: Why Microsoft should buy it

Bloomberg News caused a big stir in the tech world today with a report that Hewlett-Packard is looking to spin off its PC business to focus more on software and cloud services, in connection with a possible acquisition of software maker Autonomy. HP is the largest PC maker in the world, shipping more than 15 million… Read More

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Microsoft: Windows 7 hits 400 million licenses sold

At its Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles this morning, Microsoft updated its Windows 7 sales figures — saying that the current version of its operating system has sold 400 million licenses, significantly outpacing Windows XP’s growth over the same period of its life. As we’ve noted in the past, the PC market itself has… Read More

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Kinect on Windows: Results from a 1-day coding marathon

In conjunction with its release of a Kinect software development kit for Windows 7 today, Microsoft held a “Code Camp” where it invited outside software developers and computer science students from schools including the University of Washington to see what they could do with the SDK in a mere 24 hours. I got a chance… Read More

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Q&A: Details on Microsoft’s Kinect release for Windows

Microsoft this morning officially brought its Kinect motion sensor to Windows PCs — releasing a software development kit that will let developers create noncommercial Windows 7 programs that can be controlled by gestures and voice commands. The release, the prelude to a future SDK for commercial Kinect applications on Windows, makes official a trend that… Read More

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Microsoft loosening the lid on Windows 8?

[Updated below with Microsoft's statement on Ballmer's comments] Two separate developments today suggest that Microsoft may be gearing up to share more information about Windows 8, or whatever the company ends up calling the next version of its PC operating system. First, as noted by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said… Read More

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New Windows ads will battle old nemesis: Yesterday’s PCs

Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” campaign was originally launched as a counterpoint to Apple, embracing the phrase from the Mac maker’s commercials as a point of pride for Windows PC users. Subsequent installments challenged Macs on points including price. Tonight, the Redmond company is launching a new consumer Windows ad campaign, but with a different target… Read More

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Internet Explorer 10: Windows Vista users out of luck

It might sound impossible, but Microsoft is about to make its Windows Vista operating system even more undesirable. The Redmond company is confirming that Internet Explorer 10, the next version of its web browser, won’t work on the 4-year-old Windows Vista (or earlier Windows versions) in the same way that IE9 left the older Windows… Read More

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Inside Microsoft’s Kinect SDK

Get ready for a new wave of Kinect applications on Windows PCs. One of Microsoft’s goals at its MIX conference in Las Vegas this week is to get outside software developers dreaming up new ways to use the motion sensor when the company releases a software development kit for Kinect on Windows 7 later this… Read More

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A Microsoft IT tool for iOS, Android and Symbian? Yep

You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Microsoft’s “System Center Configuration Manager,” which IT departments can use to manage, update and deploy devices inside their organizations. But you’re probably going to be hearing a lot more about it from now on, because Microsoft just did something completely unexpected. The upcoming version of System… Read More