Microsoft is making Windows 8.1 available to its PC partners for anywhere from 'zero dollars' to $15 per copy, according to recently disclosed OEM licensing information.
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Spending $11 to help extend the life of an $80 PC or Mac notebook charger makes good sense.
Lenovo, HP, and Dell are increasing their collective dominance of the PC market, with Apple as the only threat. So how are the three big OEMs coping with sweeping changes in the computing landscape?
While tablet PC shipments continue to fall, the global notebook PC market seems to be doing much better, and grew 10 percent year over year during the third quarter of this year.
Dell has announced the launch of a number of new client solutions to further bolster the company's PC business.
In partnership with Dell, Microsoft is launching its Azure cloud in a box offering, codenamed 'San Diego.'
Dell cribs design cues from its XPS line to bring a 13-inch 2-in-1 to market. Will enterprises bite?
Newly released figures from two popular web analytics firms show a PC market that is essentially static. The most interesting detail: Apple's push to update its installed base to the latest OS X version has largely succeeded, while Microsoft is less successful with its efforts to get Windows 8 users to move to the free 8.1 update.
The challenges facing Microsoft Windows are many, but none so big as the casual PC user's changing habits.
Following a precipitous decline of 20 percent last year, year-over-year growth for the top five notebook PC brands collectively reached 16 percent in Q2 2014. But tablet PC shipments are still in freefall.
Sleek and cheap, Chromebooks have been one of the few bright spots in the PC market. Expect Microsoft to fight back quickly.
In its ads, Microsoft says the Surface Pro 3 is "the tablet that can replace your laptop." With the addition of a new docking station, the Surface Pro has its eye on your desktop PC, too.
The PC industry worldwide sold 136 million desktop PCs last year, along with 160 million traditional notebooks driven by keyboards and touchpads. Those big numbers explain why Microsoft is feverishly improving the desktop experience for "the next iteration of Windows."
Microsoft's plan is to tout Windows value and the ability to run native and Web apps, full Office, desktop apps and work with existing peripherals in its battle with Google's Chromebook.
School's out, which means the courtship of educational institutions is in. Tech giants — Samsung, Microsoft, Dell, HP and others — are all chasing deals to transform education.
Dell Optiplex Dual Core 3.4GHz PC for $175
The next couple of years will be crucial for Microsoft, but I believe that the company has what it takes to surprise us, and that it still has a good chance of transforming itself into a company that can rise to the challenges and changes thrown up by the post PC era.
Microsoft Office Home & Student for $75
Giving away Windows free to OEMs to load onto desktop and notebook PCs might seem like a good idea on the face of it, but in reality it's not necessary, and even if Microsoft were to do it, it's unlikely that it would do anything to overall PC sales.
Guy who founded the "mail-order" PC business took the company private because investors wouldn't let him "be bold and take risks", and the reasons Dell went public in the first place no longer mattered.
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