The Apple craziness has died down (at least until the iPhone 5 launches later this week), but overnight it was Microsoft's turn to shine.
The Redmond-based company officially announced its Office 2013 prices and packaging, and it's really pushing the subscription-based model for its "premium" products. To allay any fears that customers are paying a subscription for a word processor, Microsoft has thrown in Skype minutes and more SkyDrive storage. Small Business Premium customers also have a few added bonuses, like HD video conferencing and hosted email.
Of course, it hasn't completely eliminated its traditional pay-once products, but, depending on your circumstances, they might not represent value for money. If you're having difficulty deciding which is right for you, ZDNet contributor Ed Bott has broken down what you'd lose and gain from each.
While there are no firm dates for the release of Office 2013, the company did finally confirm what we've all known for a while: Windows 8 and its Surface RT tablet will be made commercially available on October 26, and will launch the day before, on October 25, in New York City.
The tablet in particular has some tongues wagging; there are concerns over what the competition might mean for Android. At least on the business front, ZDNet contributor Ben Woods asked, "What does an Android tablet (or even iOS) offer that a Windows tablet can't?" Integrating Android or iOS into a business has always been an issue, but what if Microsoft makes the integration between desktop and device completely seamless? That might be something to give at least Android a run for its money.
Android is also not feeling much love from the Apple camp, which is now able to wave its figures in its face. In just 24 hours, Apple secured 2 million pre-orders, eclipsing previous records for its smartphone and leading to demand outstripping the company's ability to supply the new device, despite the controversy surrounding its changed charging adapter.
But speaking of charging adapters, we could be just a few months out from seeing laptops and more power-hungry devices charged via a new technology called USB power delivery. The idea is pretty smart: TVs of the future, which are already fixed and plugged in to an outlet, may have a special USB port that can be used to charge a laptop and send/receive data at the same time. Sounds like a great idea for those presentations.
But don't expect any Japanese manufacturers to be pumping this sort of technology out of China anytime soon. Panasonic and Canon have shut down their plants following Chinese protests against Japan over a national dispute regarding the ownership of a set of islands in the East China Sea. Sony is also avoiding any travel to the country out of fear for its staff's safety.