The next version of Microsoft Windows is expected to bring back a sort of start menu, kill the charms bar, and generally be easier to use on desktops. If the latest reports are to be believed, Microsoft could launch a free preview of the next-gen operating system at the end of September.
Meanwhile the company is also reportedly tweaking Windows RT, the version of Windows that runs on tablets with ARM-based chips. If the rumors are true, Microsoft will remove access to the Windows desktop altogether… which could be a good thing since making Windows RT look less like Windows could make the fact that it doesn’t run most desktop apps feel less frustrating.
- Microsoft may unveil Windows 9 preview on Sept 30th
It’s not clear if it’ll actually be called Windows 9. Right now it’s code-named “Threshold.” [The Verge]
- Report: Next-gen version of Windows RT will drop the desktop, only support Metro apps
Just about the only desktop apps you can actually use in Windows RT these days are Office and Windows Explorer. With a tablet-optimized version of Office on the way, Microsoft could be getting ready to kill the desktop in its tablet OS… making it feel more like Windows Phone than Windows. [Myce]
- $179 Onda V101w is one of the cheapest 10 inch Windows tablets yet (in China)
Speaking of Windows tablets, there are plenty of models that can run desktop apps thanks to their Intel processors. Here’s one of the cheapest to date. [Cngadget]
- LG pre-announces that it’ll unveil the L Fino, L Bello entry-level smartphones at IFA in September
The phones have 4.5 inch and 5 inch screens, quad-core processors, and generally lackluster specs including 1GB of RAM and low-resolution displays. At least they run Android 4.4 KitKat. [LG]
- LibreOffice for Android development continues, Draw and Impress documents gain initial support
Developers of the open source, cross-platform office suite have been working to bring it to Android for a while. Another milestone has been reached recently… although for now you’re probably better off using one of the many other cheap or free office suites already available in the Google Play Store. [Tomaž Vajngerl]
- Dynamite Digital launches DRM-free comic store, kicks things off with 10 cent sale
Digital music largely went DRM-free half a decade ago, but digital books including comics and graphic novels are still largely tied to DRM which can make it tough to backup your data or move from one reading device to a different model (as well as making it difficult to share books legally or illegally). But there are a growing number of places to buy DRM_free comics… and to celebrate the launch of its new store, Dynamite is running a sale that’s pretty, well… dynamite. [Dynamite Digital]