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Windows 8 launched: Mixed reaction, first quarter will reveal all
Microsoft launched Windows 8 -- at long last -- in October. So far, the figures suggest that consumers and businesses are responding well to the new Surface tablets, but overall sales figures will take time to determine and decipher.
Analysts remain tepid on the software's impact and exactly how businesses and enterprises will embrace the brand new user interface, without the Start menu and (most of the time) the traditional desktop -- or not. That said, Microsoft's latest operating system has been reportedly off to a good start -- selling more than 40 million licenses in the first few weeks of the software's launch, according to Microsoft.
However, some companies are yet to bite down on Windows 8 for fear that they would be wasting their time. In some cases, like Google, there just aren't many people using the software to justify building apps for the platform.
PC sales have this year fallen dramatically as a result of not only a wider industry slowdown, but also as a result of the release of Windows 8. Many consumers and businesses avoid upgrading until the new software was out on the market. Microsoft's hope is that it can revive the PC market; otherwise the company could end up falling down from a domino-like effect. Watch this space for 2013.
Rise in OS X-targeted malware as Flashback infects 600,000 Macs
Windows malware has, at least in recent years, been on the rise. But, due to the popularity of the rival Apple Mac platform and a steady albeit modest increase in desktop market share, malware writers and hackers are increasingly turning away from Windows to attack the Mac platform.
The Flashback Trojan was the latest malware to hit Apple Mac machines running OS X. It ultimately led to Apple removing the "virus-free" slogan from its Web site and marketing strategy after the highly publicized malware attack. More than 600,000 Macs were infected by unknowingly installing the Adobe Flash-lookalike software. Apple acted slowly to the mass infection, but eventually dished out an update that would patch Mac machines.
NASA lands Curiosity on Mars; alien life yet to appear
For years, we have wanted to see what was going on, on planet Mars. We finally -- after years of failed attempts to land a craft on the red planet -- landed the Curiosity land rover on the dusty world. The craft 'tweeted' from the planet's surface with an unfortunate innuendo, but soon got to work.
In just a matter of days, the remote-controlled robot was analyzing soil samples to determine whether or not there was in fact life on Mars (cue: Bowie). Mystery still surrounds what the Curiosity may (or may not) have found -- rumors began to swirl after NASA said it had a surprise in store, but then hedged and dumbed down any discovery "for the history books. "