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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Unverified iPad 3 Rumors: Price List Suggests Price Hike Over iPad 2, Shipments to U.S. En Route?

ipad_3_plane_loadingOver the past several days, several unverified rumors about the iPad 3 have been showing up on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, offering tidbits of information about Apple’s plans for the device.
One post seems to depict a price comparison between the iPad 2 and iPad 3 possibly revealing a price increase for the iPad 3. The headings are labled left to right: “Apple iPad Model”, “iPad 2 US Price”, “iPad 3 US Price”, “iPad 3 RMB equivalent price”. The final column is calculated on the exchange rate.

The iPad 2 prices are in U.S. dollars at the present pricing, which starts at $499 for the 16GB+WiFi model. The iPad 3, meanwhile, is listed at a starting price of $579 for the $16GB+WiFi model and goes as high as $899 for the 64GB+WiFi+3G model. According to the chart, the iPad 3 costs $80 more for the equivalent Wi-Fi models, and $70 more for the equivalent 3G models.

ipad_3_flights_chengduA second post from Sina Weibo [via Apple.pro] shares an apparently now-removed image from WeiPhone depicting what is claimed to be details on a series of high-security cargo flights from Chengdu, China, where Foxconn has iPad assembly plants, to Shanghai. The six flights, which are taking place between yesterday and March 9, are said to be part of itineraries moving iPad 3 units to the United States, with three flights ultimately headed to Chicago’s O’Hare airport, two headed to Los Angeles, and one headed to New York’s Kennedy airport. A separate flight on March 5 appears to be planned to position units through Tokyo’s Narita airport.

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9to5Mac also posts a photo of what one Sina Weibo user claims is iPad 3 units being loaded onto a cargo plane for transport.

With all of the reports coming from WeiPhone forums and Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, it’s hard to tell if they have any credibility. But it seems reasonable to believe that Apple might be preparing to stage supplies of the iPad 3 at various locations in order to be ready for a quick launch following an introduction as rumored for March 7.

On the pricing front, Apple is believed to be upgrading the iPad 3 to a 2048×1536 “Retina” display, which could account for some price increase to the iPad 3. It’s also not clear if the usage of “3G” in the chart means that the iPad 3 will be 3G-only, or if it was just used for the price comparison. The iPad 3 has also been rumored to be getting LTE (4G) data on both Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. by macrumors

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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in IT

 

iOS 5.1 Beta Reveals Evidence of Simultaneous Development on A5X and A6 Chips

a5x_a6_ios_5_1_codeWhile Apple has been rumored by several sources to be planning to deploy a quad-core processor as part of what was presumed to be a new “A6” system-on-a-chip in the iPad 3, that assumption was called into question earlier this month with the appearance of a logic board photo showing an “A5X” package instead. Some have suggested that the implication of the package being a beefed-up A5 would limit it to a dual-core processor.

The idea of the package being a smaller upgrade is supported by Apple referring to the application processor as S5L8945X, a part number jump of only five from the S5L8940X processor found in the A5. The A4 chip launched in the original iPad carried a processor designated S5L8930X.

But now an examination of the iOS 5.1 beta code by 9to5Mac has revealed yet another application processor, S5L8950X, appearing alongside the S5L8945X that is apparently inside the A5X. This new application processor is presumed to be part of Apple’s actual A6 system-on-a-chip.

Deep in the iOS 5.1 betas (as shown below) sits references to two next-generation iOS device chips: the previously discussed S5L8945X and this brand-new S5L8950X. While nobody has found this 50X (A6) chip in the code until now, we can report that both next-generation processors entered the iOS code simultaneously. This would seem to indicate that Apple has been working on two next-generation chips.
The report notes that mentions for both processors entered the iOS beta code simultaneously, but it is unclear exactly what Apple’s plans are for the two processors. It is possible that they represented a “Plan A/Plan B” scenario, or they could potentially be targeted for two different devices. by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in IT

 

Part Numbers Suggest Imminent Availability of iPad 3 and New Apple TV

ipad_2_airplay_tangled

According to the report, Apple is releasing three different variants of the new iPad, going by code names J1, J2, and J2a, with the presumption being that J1 corresponds to a Wi-Fi only model while the J2 variants correspond to models with cellular data capabilities. The part numbers also include reference to the J33 product that had previously been identified as a new Apple TV.

MD328LL/A – J1 GOOD B- USA
MD329LL/A – J1 BETTER B-USA
MD330LL/A – J1 BEST-B-USA

MD366LL/A – J2A GOOD A-USA
MD367LL/A – J2A BEST A-USA
MD368LL/A – J2A BEST A-USA

MD369LL/A – J2A GOOD B-USA
MD370LL/A – J2A BETTER B-USA
MD371LL/A – J2A BEST B-USA

MD199LL/A – J33 BEST -USA
The report indicates that iPad 3 shipments are indeed already making their way around the world in advance of the device’s introduction, suggesting that customers should see availability come relatively quickly after the media event.

Speculation based on the part numbers suggest that the J1 variant (presumably the Wi-Fi only models) may come in only one color at launch. Part numbers are also showing a mystery “B82” product launching alongside the new iPads and Apple TV. It is unclear what that product is, but is likely to be a new accessory of some sort.

Apple is expected to introduce the iPad 3 at a media event rumored for March 7, while we have believed for some time that the upgraded iPad 3 would pave the way for an update to the Apple TV and higher-resolution iTunes Store content. by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in IT

 

Apple’s Market Capitalization Hits $500 Billion, Stock Up 34% in 2012

aapl_500b_market_capApple’s stock has hit yet another psychological milestone today, pressing through to reach $500 billion in market capitalization. Apple passed the milestone in after-hours trading yesterday, but has just now passed it in regular trading as the trading day opens.

At the end of January, we noted that Apple had seen a remarkable 50-point gain during the first month of 2012 that saw the company’s stock price increase by nearly 13%.

Amazingly enough, Apple’s stock growth has only accelerated in February as anticipation for the iPad 3 and optimism over the company’s continued strong financial performance has attracted investors. As Apple hits the $500 billion market cap milestone and is currently sitting at over $507 billion, it is now up over 34% in the first two months of 2012. by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in IT

 

Apple unveiling iPad 3 next Wednesday in San Francisco

screen-shot-2012-02-28-at-12-08-52-pm1The Verge just reported (and The Loop concurred) that Apple sent invites for that iPad 3 introduction you have waited for, likely with tingling anticipation. The presser is March 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10 a.m. PST. The three app icons featured on the shot hold subtle clues: The Maps icon shows an infinite loop (it is the “who,” as Apple’s address is 1 Infinite Loop); the Calendar displays Wednesday, March 7 (the “when”); and, the “what” is conveyed through the self-explanatory Keynote app icon.

This news officially exposed CNBC’s report calling for a March unveiling in New York City as grossly inaccurate. True to Apple’s form, the invite teases with an iPad close-up shot featuring a finger touching upon the Calendar icon. The tagline reads:

    We have something you really have to see. And touch.

Both the wording (“something you really have to see”) and the image (can you discern the individual pixels on iPad’s display?) would appear to confirm the long-standing rumors of an ultra high-resolution Retina Display (2048-by-1536 pixels), reportedly the key selling point of the device. Also interesting is lack of the physical home button—assuming the close-up was meant to depict iPad 3 in portrait orientation. Some fans also took to Twitter to note how Apple unmistakably sent out invites just as Eric Schmidt was delivering his Google keynote talk at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Our sources expect at least three next-generation iPads possibly running a dual-core A5X chip sporting an improved graphics engine. Per Apple’s naming convention, the A5X seems to be an alleged evolution of iPad 2′s A5 processor and not a major upgrade the rumored quad-core A6 chip is expected to be. Today’s announcement also reinforces claims of near-immediate availability based on sightings of iPad shipments landing at ports of multiple countries around the world.

9to5Mac will provide live coverage of the announcements as they happen.

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in IT

 

Apple iPad has become brandnomer for tablets, letting Proview use the moniker would hurt and confuse consumers

ipad-guy-operates-3g-ipad-on-streetThe iPad maker is defending the moniker by insisting the device has become synonymous with both the company name and the tablets. PCWorld quotes Apple’s legal representatives who argued at the Guangdong Province Higher People’s Court hearing this morning that Apple made the iPad name famous in the first place:

    Among consumers across the world, the iPad trademark is already uniquely connected with Apple. When consumers see a tablet with an iPad trademark, they know it comes from Apple, and not from another company.

As no ruling was reached during the six-hour long hearing, the judges adjourned it without setting a new court date. Should Apple lose the appeal, Proview’s request to put a sales ban on iPad in 30 Chinese cities will be given a go-ahead and Apple would risk lawsuits seeking damages. Last week, the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court rejected a preliminary iPad sales injunction until the Guangdong court made its ruling on the appeal.

Apple’s argument might actually backfire as its legal stand-off with Proview has blown up. Wikipedia has it that “a trademark owner takes a risk in engaging in such a corrective campaign because the campaign may serve as an admission that the trademark is generic”. I am no lawyer but it seems obvious Apple might be calling upon itself long-term damage with this testimony.

Arguing that the iPad has become the generic term for the tablet theoretically means anyone could use it as a descriptor. Besides, why do you think Proview brought the iPad name battle to the United States? The opposite argument would be that it’s Apple actually owning the iPad name and they’re the only company marketing a product that has become synonymous for tablets in the first place. 9to5mac

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in IT

 

Introducing Windows 8 Consumer Preview

5100.The_2D00_new_2D00_Windows_2D00_8_2D00_Consumer_2D00_Preview_2D00_Start_2D00_screen_5F00_thumb_5F00_2EEF9BE5Moments ago in Barcelona, we announced the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, available to download now for anyone interested in trying it out. We’ve been hard at work for many months now, and while we still have lots more to do, we’re excited to show you our progress with the latest preview of the new operating system. I’m a writer on the Windows team, and over the next few weeks, I’ll be publishing a series of posts here on the Windows Experience Blog about what you can expect to see in Windows 8, tips for navigating the new operating system, and all the great new ways to have fun and get things done in this preview of a brand new Windows.
A reimagined Windows

With Windows 8, the whole experience of Windows has been reimagined. It’s designed to work on a wide range of devices , from touch-enabled tablets, to laptops, to desktops and all-in-ones. We’ve designed Windows 8 to give you instant access to your apps, your files, and the information you care about most so you can spend less time navigating and more time doing what you actually want to do. You can move between Windows 8 PCs easily and access your files and settings from virtually anywhere. We’ve made touch a first-class experience and navigating with a mouse and keyboard fast and fluid. And just like Windows 7, reliability and security features are built in. It’s the best of Windows 7, made even better.

Some things you should know before installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Before you start the download, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, this is a prerelease operating system

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is just that: a preview of what’s to come. It represents a work in progress, and some things will change before the final release. This means you’ll encounter some hiccups and bugs. One of the great things about widely releasing a preview like this is that it gives us a chance to get a lot of feedback through telemetry, forums, and blog posts on where we can smooth out some of the rough edges.
Second, you should be pretty comfortable with new technology

If you’re used to running prerelease (beta) software, you’re OK with a little troubleshooting, and you don’t mind doing a few technical tasks here and there, then you’ll probably be OK giving the Windows 8 Consumer Preview a spin. If a list of hardware specs is a little overwhelming for you, or you’re not sure what you’d do if something unexpected happened, this might not be the time to dive in.

As with pre-release software in general, there won’t be official support for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, but if you have problems, please share them with us. You can post a detailed explanation of any issues you run into at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview forum. We’ll be able to look at your input, and you might find some help from other members of the community who have seen the same issues you’ve found. In addition, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview FAQ on the Windows website has information that could help you out and make the Windows 8 experience more productive and enjoyable.
And finally, you’ll need the right hardware

Windows 8 Consumer Preview should run on the same hardware that powers Windows 7 today. In general, you can expect Windows 8 Consumer Preview to run on a PC with the following:

    1 GHz or faster processor
    1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
    16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
    1024 x 768 minimum screen resolution

However, there are some additional requirements to take into consideration in order to use certain features in Windows 8. In order to use the Snap feature, you will need a PC with a 1366×768 resolution or higher. If you want to use touch, you’ll need a multitouch-capable laptop, tablet, or display. Windows 8 supports up to five simultaneous touch points, so if your hardware doesn’t, you may find typing on the onscreen keyboard and using certain controls more of a challenge. You’ll also need an Internet connection to try out the Windows Store, to download and install apps, and to take your settings and files with you from one Windows 8 PC to another.

If you’ve read all of that, and you’re ready to give it a try, then let’s go!
The beginning

It starts with the new Start screen.

The new Windows 8 Consumer Preview Start screen

This is where you’ll first see how we’ve reimagined the Windows experience. If you’ve seen what we’ve done with Windows Phone, this might look familiar. From the Start screen you can launch apps, switch between tasks, share content, and check notifications. The tiles show real-time updates—news, sports, and what your friends are up to. You can check your schedule or get the latest weather forecast without searching for information—no need to open an app to see your next appointment or find out if you have any new email. This design style is great on a phone for getting you to the content you want easily and quickly, and extended to the whole screen of a PC, it’s even better.

You can customize this screen to put all of the information you care about in one place, such as your contacts, the weather, websites, playlists, and contacts. Your favorite apps are always front and center. Because you decide how to organize and group things on the Start screen, viewing and interacting with content is faster than ever.
Start screen tiles – Weather tile with live update
Move easily between PCs, courtesy of the cloud

When you use the cloud to store your information, it doesn’t matter where you’re sitting or what device you’re using. Your music, photos, files, contacts, and settings aren’t stored on one device, they’re in one place: the cloud. I like to write, and I’m not always in the same place when I do it. With a Microsoft account, I can start a project on one Windows 8 PC and finish it on another.

When you sign in to a Windows 8 PC with your Microsoft account, you’re immediately connected to all of your people, files, and settings, including themes, language preferences, and browser favorites. You can connect your favorite cloud services to your Microsoft account, too—services like Hotmail, SkyDrive, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And you can immediately get to your photos, docs, and other files, whether they’re on SkyDrive, Facebook, or Flickr. When you sign in, even a brand new Windows 8 PC will have access to your files and settings. And if you share your Windows 8 PC, anyone else can have their own personalized, cloud-connected experience by signing in with their Microsoft account.
Type and click, or swipe and tap

With new touch-based PCs, the things you do with a mouse and keyboard are now easy to do with touch, too. If you’ve gotten used to touch with a smartphone or tablet, you’ll feel right at home in Windows 8. You can switch between apps, organize your Start screen, and pan and zoom to really fly through the things you want to do.

Windows 8 is a full-featured PC operating system designed from the start with touch in mind. But if you type long blog posts like this one, do precise work like graphic design, or even play first-person shooter games, you probably want to use a mouse and keyboard as well. When I’m not using touch, I use my keyboard for everything, so I’m happy that Windows 8 has kept mouse and keyboard as first-class citizens. People work in different ways, and Windows 8 adapts accordingly.
Charms let you work faster

In Windows 8, we’ve built new, fast ways to get around the operating system and do common tasks. They’re called charms. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or move your mouse to the upper-right corner, and the charms bar appears (you can also use the Windows key + C). The charms are the quickest way to navigate to key tasks in Windows 8. You can go to the Start screen, or use the charms for quick shortcuts to common tasks.

Charms appear on the right side of the screen
Search

Just like in Windows 7, with Windows 8, you can easily search for apps, settings, or files on your PC. And with the Search charm, searching now goes even deeper. You can also search within apps and on the web, so you can find a specific email quickly in the Mail app, or see what a friend has put on Facebook using the People app. You can also get search results from within apps right from the Start screen. If the info you need is on the web, just choose Internet Explorer in your search results, and Search brings the results right to you. Apps designed specifically for Windows 8 can use the Search charm easily, so as you install more apps, you can find movie reviews or show times, opinions on restaurants, or even stock prices (just to name a few), without having to hunt around. If you’re using a keyboard, you can also search right from the Start screen – just start typing, and the results will appear. You can filter results to view apps or settings, or to search within individual apps.
The Search charm lets you search within apps like Internet Explorer
Share

When I read something great on the web or see a picture that makes me laugh, I like to pass it on. The Share charm makes it incredibly easy. And just like with Search, apps can hook into Share easily, so you don’t have to jump in and out of an app the share great content. You can quickly send wise words with the Mail app or share a great photo on SkyDrive. The apps you use most often are listed first for quick access, and you can choose whether to share with just one person, or with all of your contacts at once.

Sharing the Windows Phone website via Mail with the Share charm
Devices

The Devices charm lets you get to the devices you want to use so you can do things like getting photos from a digital camera, streaming video to your TV, or sending files to a device, all from one place. For example, if you’re watching a movie in the Video app and want to share it with everyone in room, the Devices charm lets you stream a video right to your Xbox to show it on your TV.
Settings

The Settings charm is the place to go for basic tasks like setting the volume or shutting down your PC. When you’re in an app, the Settings charm takes you to settings for that app, so you can set up email accounts, select options for sound and video, or choose a control setup for games. The Settings charm can also take you right to your PC settings so you can change themes, set up sharing with HomeGroup, or use Windows Update.
Switching apps and snapping

If you’re using touch, just swipe in from the left edge to go back to your last app, or keep swiping to go back through several apps. If you’re using a mouse, just move it to the upper-left corner to see your last app. You can also move your mouse down from the corner to see more recently used apps. Or you can try one of my favorite features: swipe in from the left, and then slide your last app out to the left or right side of the screen to snap it in place. Perfect for keeping your music controls up while you work, or keeping an eye on Twitter while you play a game.

Weather snapped to the left, browser on the right
Get apps from the Windows Store

So where do you go to get all these great apps? With the new Windows Store, you’ll be able to discover a variety of apps, all grouped in easy-to-find categories. We highlight apps we love, provide quick access to frequently downloaded, high-quality apps, and show you how other people have rated apps.

All of the apps you’ll see in the Store for Windows 8 Consumer Preview are free. Later, there will also be lots of apps that you can buy. You’ll be able to try many apps before you buy, and if you like one you’re trying, you can get the full version without losing your place or reinstalling anything. The Store will also offer available updates for the apps you already have.

When you install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, you’ll have several great apps already. These app previews also represent work in progress, but they’ll give you a great feel for what you can do with Windows 8 and how well apps can work together.
Internet Explorer is new, too

With Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview, we’ve reimagined what a great web experience can look like. Internet Explorer is the only browser today to dedicate your entire screen, edge to edge, to your websites. Websites extend over your whole screen, and tabs and navigation controls appear only when you need them and then quietly get out of the way when you don’t. Browsing is as easy as using the rest of Windows. With Internet Explorer 10, the web is crazy fast. Everything you want to do on the web is a swipe or tap away, and it uses hardware acceleration, modern browser standards like HTML5, and the quick core of Windows to make browsing fast and fluid.

With Internet Explorer 10, websites are front and center
A safer web experience

Internet Explorer is a leader in protection against malware and phishing, and it will help keep you more secure when browsing the web. SmartScreen Filter identifies scams and sites that are known to be malicious and warns you when your security might be threatened. And the privacy controls in Tracking give you choice and better control over where your personal info goes on the web.
Get a fresh start

No one likes to have computer problems, but sometimes things go wrong. With new options to refresh your PC, Windows 8 makes it simple to go back to a fresh installation of Windows without losing your personal files or settings, or any apps you’ve installed from the Windows Store. You don’t have to get out an installation disc or burn DVDs to back up your photos, videos, or music. Just start the process, and Windows will do all the work and get you back in action.
Keep your PC more secure

Windows Defender in Windows 8 provides anti-malware protection to monitor and help protect your PC against viruses and other malware in real time. If your PC becomes infected, Defender will automatically detect and attempt to remove the malware so your PC stays up and running. And if you have other antimalware or antivirus software you want to use, Windows Defender will back off quietly, so you can use the option you like best.
The Desktop is still around, and it still runs all of your apps

We’ve had a lot of fun reimagining how Windows looks and behaves, but we’ve been careful to stay true to the core features that have made Windows great for decades now. The familiar Windows desktop is still around, and we’ve made improvements to make it better than ever. We’ve added easy access to networking features, file management, and search with the ribbon. We’ve updated Task Manager and improved Control Panel. All the stuff you know is still here.

The Desktop still runs familiar apps

You can work with your mouse and keyboard, pin apps to the Windows Taskbar, and right-click to get to everything you’re used to. (To get back to the Start screen, just move your mouse to the lower-left corner of the screen, or press the Windows key on your keyboard.) Most importantly, if you install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your laptop or home office PC (or any other x86-based PC), you won’t have to retire all of the desktop apps you like to use, so if you have games you like to play, or you use Microsoft Office to get things done, you can still do it all in Windows 8.

Here’s a look at Windows 8 Consumer Preview in action from Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management for User Experience on the Windows Team.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview for developers and IT pros

If you’re a developer and your app isn’t in the Store today, now is the time to start building apps. The Windows Dev Center provides you with free developer and design tools, code samples, technical docs, and expert help from the community so you can get started on getting your apps out worldwide with the Windows Store. Once you’re running the Consumer Preview, download Visual Studio 11 Express Beta – your free tool to get started building Metro style apps. It includes the Windows 8 SDK, Metro style templates and easy access to Windows 8 APIs. Also take a look at the Windows 8 Developer guide for an in-depth look at powerful new options for developers.

If you’re an IT pro, visit the Springboard Series for Windows 8 on TechNet learn about Enterprise key features. Start with Explore Windows 8, your one-page guide to technical overviews and frequently asked questions about AppLocker, BitLocker, Client Hyper-V, DirectAccess, hardware device management, the Windows Store, Windows To Go, and more. If you need support to help you test and evaluate Windows 8, make sure to visit the Windows 8 Consumer Preview IT Pro Forums on TechNet.
Much, much more to come

If I went into detail about every new feature and improvement we’ve put into the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in this post, you’d never actually get around to trying it out yourself. So stay tuned over the next few weeks as I go into more depth about some of the cool things we’ve done. In the meantime, go ahead and give Windows 8 a try, and play with the apps that are included. Remember, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview forum and the Windows 8 Consumer Preview FAQ can give you help, as well as a place to leave feedback. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you see, too, so you can leave comments here as well. We hope you enjoy the new Windows!

windowsteamblog Kent Walter Windows Team

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in IT

 
 
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