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Windows 8.1 Overtakes 8 Worldwide – StatCounter

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system has overtaken its older sibling Windows 8 for the first time in terms of internet usage worldwide, according to StatCounter, the independent website analytics company. The company's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats also finds that despite Microsoft's ending of support in April this year, Windows XP refuses to die and remains the world's second most popular operating system version. However, for the first time globally, the combined total of Windows 8 and 8.1 (14%) overtook XP (12.9%) in August.

Stealth Introduces New Powerful Mini PCs

Stealth.com Inc., a leader in industrial computer and embedded PC hardware has released four (4) new powerful small PC models featuring unprecedented network connectivity. Stealth's new high performance small computers feature four (4) Gigabit LAN Network Ports (3-Front & 1-Rear) with availability in a variety of configurations including Standard, Fanless, and internal Expansion Slot (PCI & PCIe).

The fanless model LPC-480G4FS is a highly reliable, energy efficient, rugged mini PC that operates without noisy cooling fans which could draw in dirt and dust potentially causing catastrophic failures. Stealth's fanless computers are encapsulated in a rugged extruded aluminum chassis performing as a heat sink to dissipate heat build-up and provide increased reliability.

Meet Tango PC, The Desktop Computer That Can Fit in Your Pocket

After raising over $300,000 during a hugely successful crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo earlier this year, the team behind the Tango PC has taken to Kickstarter to raise additional funds to support retailing their PC you can fit in your pocket. Not only is the Tango PC ultraportable, it is a formidable office as well as entertainment machine with mid-core gaming performance on traditional Windows.

The Tango Kickstarter Campaign got fully funded just a day ago, and with only a day or so more to go, the consumers still can back their campaign in return of not just the Tango PC, but also a free additional PC whenever their worldwide sales reaches a 100k units milestone. What really stands out is that the Tango PC is slim and weighs below 7 ounces, fitting what amounts to a full range of desktop components in a package about the size of an iPhone 5s. The specifications include an AMD A6-5200 2 GHz quad-core processor, DDR3 RAM (from 2-8GB), SSD hard drive (from 32GB-1TB or higher), 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x HDMI port, headphone jack and internal Wi-Fi.

MSI Introduces AE202 All-in-One Desktop

MSI announces the MSI AE202 All-in-One PC, featuring a Full-HD 19.5" display and Intel ULV processor. By using a 3rd Generation ULV processor, efficient Military Class components and an LED backlight display, the AE202 offers a power saving solution to businesses, schools, stores and exhibition areas. The Full-HD panel, the Com Port on the rear I/O panel and the RoHS and Energy Star certifications are completing the essence of the AE202's commercial usage.

The MSI AE202 All-in-One PC is especially designed for commercial segments that require performance with high efficiency. With the 3rd Generation ULV processor, the AE202 is a powerful and reliable tool for growing businesses. Furthermore, it also comes with a the Com Port, which is the common interface between various business applications. In order to provide a comfortable using experience, the AE202 is equipped with an anti-glare display to reduce background reflections in offices, well-lit shop floors, and in study rooms, thereby helping to reduce eyestrain and enabling users to better concentrate on the contents of their computer monitor without being distracted by reflections.

Microsoft Reveals Windows 8.1 Pricing, Free for Existing Windows 8 Users

Microsoft revealed pricing of its next major addition to the Windows franchise, Windows 8.1. Licenses to the operating system will sell at US $120 for the standard edition, and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro. The key purchased at those prices can be used both for clean-installations, and to upgrade from Windows Vista or Windows 7, keeping your files, programs, and settings. Existing Windows 8 users get corresponding variants of Windows 8.1 for free, through Store.

A Windows Upgrade Assistant app will be issued to Windows 8 users, which verifies activation, downloads Windows 8.1 resources, and installs the operating system over the existing installation, letting you keep your stuff. Upgrading to Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 users, would be a no-brainer, since you get this awesome Start button on the taskbar which...spawns the "Metro" Start screen. PC enthusiasts get a longer DirectX rope, with the lure for DirectX 11.2, and its shared-resources (mega-textures) feature. People will be able to switch from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro by shelling out $99 on the Pro Pack, which also adds Media Center. Windows 8.1 Pro users can get that for an extra $10. Windows 8.1 is expected to launch on October 17, 2013.

AMD Rolls Out the Catalyst 13.10 Beta Driver

AMD has now made available a new Catalyst driver, the 13.10 version for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This driver comes with a beta tag and supports the Radeon HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards. There's also a mobile version of 13.10 which supports the Mobility Radeon HD 8000M, HD 7000M, HD 6000M and HD 5000M cards. Download links are just below.

Acer Announces Veriton Z Series 20-Inch Class AIO Desktop

Acer America today announced that its new 20-inch class Veriton Z2640G all-in-one (AIO) commercial desktop is now available for users in business, education and government. The new all-in-one desktops feature a screw-less chassis design and modular components for easy maintenance and upgrades. Removable feet and VESA wall-mount support enable these systems to be hung on the wall to save space, while a flexible frame that tilts from 6 to 60 degrees can be adjusted for maximum viewing comfort. These systems also come with an integrated 2.0 MP Full HD webcam that can be adjusted up to 180 degrees, which is particularly useful when collaborating via web chats with others in the same room.

The Veriton Z2640G series includes two models offering a choice of either Windows 8 Pro or Windows 7 Professional. The Acer Veriton Z2640G-UC1007X comes with an Intel Celeron processor 1007U (2M cache, 1.50 GHz, Dual Core) and 2GB SDRAM DDR3 (expandable to 16GB) and is available for an estimated selling price (ESP) of $539. The Veriton Z2640G-UP2117X with an Intel Pentium Processor 2117U (2M cache, 1.80 GHz, Dual Core) and 4GB DDR3 SDRAM (expandable to 16GB) is available for an ESP for $599.

LaCie Updates NAS OS 3

LaCie today announced an update to its NAS OS 3 software, increasing RAID 5 write speeds by 25 percent, expanding hybrid cloud capabilities, and adding more professional features. NAS OS 3 powers the LaCie 5big NAS Pro and 2big NAS professional storage solutions. These improvements advance LaCie's commitment to providing its customers with innovative and user-friendly NAS.

With this update, the LaCie 5big NAS Pro now features RAID 5 write speeds up to 100MB/s on a single LAN, a 25 percent increase from the previous NAS OS version. This speed boost enables admins to easily back up several computers at the same time. Alternatively, content creators can edit 1080p content directly from the NAS.

Lenovo Overtakes HP as the Top PC Vendor While U.S. Shipments Stabilize: IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 75.6 million units in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13), down -11.4% compared to the same quarter in 2012 but slightly better than expected, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Total shipments were effectively right on forecasts of 75.4 million and growth of -11.7%, although Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) were a few points below expectations with the difference made up in the United States.

The numbers reflect a market that is still struggling with the transition to touch-based systems running Windows 8 as well as justifying ultrabook prices in the face of economic pressures and competition from tablets and other devices. A silver lining is that a number of vendors and regions seemed to be focused on inventory reduction during the second quarter, which could reflect planned launches of new models as well as lower inventory going into the second half of the year. However, it also reflects some caution among vendors and the channels in the face of remaining challenges for PCs and more than a year of declining shipments.

Stealth.com Introduces LPC-700F Fanless Mini-PC

Stealth.com Inc. (Stealth Computer), a leading ISO 9001 manufacturer of industrial rugged computers and peripherals has released a new powerful Fanless Mini PC model LPC-700F featuring built-in PCI or PCIe expansion slot capability. The LPC-700F outperforms other small sized PC systems due to the integration of the latest Intel 3rd Generation Core i7 mobile processors. The LPC-700F ships standard with an Intel i7 Processor 3610QE CPU exceeding the performance of computers many times its physical size. The LPC-700F fanless mini PC features a multitude of I/O connectivity built directly into its impressively small design such as; 4x USB 3.0, 6x RS232/Serial, 2x Gigabit LAN ports, VGA, DVI-D & HDMI video connectors and Audio In/Out. The LPC-700F fanless computer comes standard with a 128GB solid state drive (SSD).

"Our new Stealth Model: LPC-700F is the most powerful and technologically advanced fanless PC we have introduced to date. Our full featured machine features built in PCI or PCIe expansion card slots for applications requiring additional expansion capability", stated Ed Boutilier CEO of Stealth.com Inc. Stealth's LPC-700F is a powerful diminutive computer that operates without noisy cooling fans that could draw in dirt and dust potentially causing catastrophic failures. Stealth's fanless computers are encapsulated in a rugged extruded aluminum chassis performing as a heat sink to dissipate heat build-up.

Genius Announces SlimStar T8020 Keyboard

Genius today releases a next generation wireless keyboard and touchpad combination, SlimStar T8020, in North America. This multi-touch keyboard incorporates Windows 8 gestures to let users breeze through Microsoft's latest touch-based OS with intuitive swipes and pinches, even if users don't have a touch display. SlimStar T8020 allows users to switch between three different modes on the touchpad - mouse cursor, Windows 8 gestures, and numeric keypad - simply by pressing the MODE key. The multi-touchpad provides the following Windows 8 gestures: slide, swipe, swipe from four edges, zoom in/out, and page up/down, without any additional PC drivers, and these gestures also work in Windows 7/Vista/XP.

DirectX 11.2 Exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One

Our recent editorial on adoption of Windows 8.1 by PC enthusiasts concluded saying "...and Microsoft isn't stopping with its innovations that will get increasingly out of reach for Windows 7 users." It looks like the first of such innovations is DirectX 11.2. Microsoft revealed that the latest version of its multimedia API will require Windows 8.1 on the PC, and comes built into its next-generation Xbox One console. With this, Microsoft established that you will need Windows 8.1 or later, to access future versions of DirectX.

Microsoft has often used the tactic of limiting DirectX versions to certain versions of Windows, often citing driver-model changes, to force PC enthusiasts to either upgrade, or lag behind in PC technology, and in the past it worked. Windows XP capped out at DirectX 9.0c, forcing gamers to upgrade to Windows Vista, to experience cutting-edge games of the time, such as "Crysis," with new visual effects that DirectX 10 brought to the scene. DirectX 11.0 had the unique distinction of spanning across Windows Vista and Windows 7. DirectX 11.1 was exclusive to Windows 8 and above, as it required WDDM 1.2 (Windows display driver model). The Direct3D component of the API didn't bring anything substantial to the scene. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is introducing DirectX 11.2, it requires WDDM 1.3, which the operating system introduces. Since Windows 8.1 will be offered as a free upgrade to current Windows 8 users, it's effectively the Windows 7 user-base, that's being asked to take a hike.

Giada Introduces D310 DIY Barebones System

Giada Technology, a world famous manufacturer of compact desktop PCs, has announced the launch of a compact "Do-it-yourself" barebones-system: The D310. The D310 family is based on the 3rd generation of Intel Core processors. The D310 compact systems are simple Barebones Systems using the Intel Celeron Processor 1037U. The assembly only requires 2 screws; 1 screw to open the chassis and one to fix the hard drive, allowing maximum efficiency in building your dream machine. In addition, support for the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) which provides extensive security with high levels of data encryption, allows the use of D310-based systems in various applications in IT departments of large enterprises. The D310 system is also ideal for industrial control applications, smart traffic control systems, security and surveillance systems, commercial terminals and other similar applications which require small size, wide choice of interfaces, simplicity and reliability of use.

Giada Announces D2308 Performance Compact Desktop

Giada Technology, a world famous manufacturer of compact desktop PCs, has launched one of the strongest mini-PCs on the market, the D2308. Using the latest 4th generation Intel (Haswell) Core i5/i7 CPU, with the powerful NVIDIA GTX650 enthusiast GPU, Giada has created a high-end mini computing platform that is targeted at living room computer needs and CEO-level business environments. The D2308 also features 3 antennas for maximum signal reception and wireless throughput with a maximum speed of 450 Mbps.

The D2308 is designed from the ground up for high-end home theater uses. Not only supporting Ultra HD 4Kx2K content with two HDMI outputs, the unit comes with a Bluray/DVD player. Support for the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) which provides extensive security with high levels of data encryption, allows the use of D2308-based systems in various applications in IT departments of large enterprises.

Microsoft Pulls a Fast One with E3 Xbox One Demos

With its focus on on-demand entertainment at the expense of gaming prowess, Xbox One didn't impress gamers at E3, who instead flocked to Amazon to pre-order their PlayStation 4, which not only features faster hardware, that could translate to better visuals in gaming, but is also a whole 20 percent cheaper ($499 vs. $399). At E3, Microsoft tried to pull a fast one. It set up several gaming stations allegedly powered by Xbox One, where gamers could play unreleased Xbox One games using the new Xbox One controller, just to get a feel of how rich and smooth the graphics really are. Some of them fell for it, others didn't. When these peeping toms didn't find the screens wired to an Xbox One main unit, they yanked open the cupboards below, only to find a full-fledged Windows 7 gaming PC.

How full-fledged you ask? Keen observers across the forumscape made out a rig powered by an Intel LGA2011 processor, which could at least be a Core i7-3820, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 700 series reference design graphics card, which could at least be a GeForce GTX 770. Such a system would obviously give you a rich and smooth gaming experience.

Toshiba Unveils Portege Z10t Detachable Ultrabook

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the company's first Windows 8 device designed for business users, the Portege Z10t Detachable Ultrabook. The versatile Portege Z10t is an Ultrabook when needed and a tablet when wanted. Switch instantly between notebook and tablet by simply detaching the screen. Equipped with an 11.6-inch diagonal, Full HD, IPS anti-glare touchscreen display1, the Portege Z10t is an ideal choice for on-the-go professionals looking for a single, versatile device that offers more screen real estate than most tablets, but all the same ultra-responsive performance of a laptop.

The built in digitizer adds even more functionality for those who want to write and take notes on-screen. Ultra-slim, lightweight, encased in sleek style and dressed in durability with all the essential ports and security features, the Portege Z10t makes it easy to create, share or consume content anytime, anywhere. Powered by the latest Intel Core processors the device is equipped with all the business essential ports needed for a "dongle-free" experience, the Portege Z10t delivers excellent speed and performance - everything expected from a business-class Portege.

Futuremark Announces PCMark 8

Futuremark announced PCMark 8, the latest entry to its line of benchmark suites that target all PC subsystems. Designed for the new generation of Windows 8 PCs (although it should run fine on Windows 7), PCMark 8 introduces a few new tests transferred from the company's PowerMark suite, which lets you test battery life on notebooks and tablets. It introduces a few new tests that simulate load from popular Adobe and Microsoft creativity and productivity applications. PCMark 8 is developed in collaboration with a number of industry giants, including Acer, AMD, Condusiv Technologies, Dell, HGST, HP, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate and Western Digital. The software can be purchased towards the end of June.

Axiomtek Announces MANO873 Mini-ITX Socket LGA1155 Motherboard

Axiomtek's MANO873 Mini ITX motherboard based on the Intel Q77 Express chipset is designed for the 3rd Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors in the LGA1155 socket. The high-performance MANO873 supports Intel 3-D transistor, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology, Intel Hyper-Threading technology, 16 GB DDR3 1333/1600 system memory, and PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot. It also supports Intel Active Management Technology 8.0, Intel Small Business Advantage solution, Intel Smart Response Technology, Intel Rapid Storage Technology, Intel vPro, Trusted Platform Module 1.2, and SATA RAID for various mission critical applications.

In addition, the Intel HD Graphics 4000/2500 engine with DirectX 11 support is built into the chipset to provide fast graphics performance. With all the innovative features, the MANO873 is ideal for high-end industrial applications, such as storage server, POS, kiosk, medical, gaming, digital signage, and surveillance security monitoring.

PC Shipments Post the Steepest Decline Ever in a Single Quarter, According to IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down -13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of -7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The extent of the year-on-year contraction marked the worst quarter since IDC began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994. The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines.

Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weak reception for Windows 8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly.

LaCie Debuts Largest Range of Thunderbolt Solutions Certified for Mac and PC, at NAB

Today, at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, LaCie announced it has the largest range of Thunderbolt solutions certified for use with Thunderbolt equipped Mac or PC. As the preeminent provider of Thunderbolt peripherals, LaCie is the only manufacturer to ensure five products in its Thunderbolt Series are compatible with Mac OS X and Windows 7 and 8 computers.

Intel's Thunderbolt certification program is a thorough process put in place to ensure an optimal end user experience with both Mac and PC. As a result, LaCie ensures its Thunderbolt product family offers universal compatibility and delivers reliable performances up to 800 MB/s for the most challenging media applications.

Axiomtek Announces PICO831 Atom-based Pico-ITX Motherboard

Axiomtek announced PICO831, its extreme-compact Pico-ITX SBC designed to support the newest ultra low-power Intel Atom dual core processor N2800 1.86 GHz and N2600 1.6 GHz with the Intel NM10 Express chipset. The PICO831's compact size, ultra low power consumption, and high performance make it a perfect fit for space-limited and power saving environments. The system memory on PICO831 can support either 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3, depending on the processor. Its onboard SATA-3Gb/s connector and optional SATA SSD meet storage requirements with ease.

Considering to the various demands and networking requests, the tiny embedded board comes with full-size and half-size PCI Express Mini Card slots. It also provides internal connectors for VGA, 18/24-bit single channel LVDS and a Gigabit Ethernet, and a flexible I/O pin-header that integrates audio, four of USB 2.0, two of COM, LED, and power on/off interfaces. This Pico-ITX form factor board offers an excellent solution for in-vehicle PCs, medical imaging, gaming, in-flight entertainment systems, industrial automation systems, and the portable devices.

LucidLogix Virtu MVP 2.0 Software Suite Available

LucidLogix (Lucid) today announced the next generation of its GPU Virtualization software, Virtu MVP 2.0, is now available for direct sale to all gamers, videophiles and PC enthusiasts who own Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge motherboards, with an NVIDIA or AMD discrete graphic card, by download on the Lucid online shop.

"Virtu MVP allows our customers to get the maximum multimedia experience from their dual core system, while preserving energy consumption," said Offir Remez, president of Lucid. "With MVP 2.0, games simply look better and respond quickly, video encoding is faster and multi-screen computing is more manageable."

Axiomtek Announces the eBOX623-831-FL Fanless Embedded PC

Axiomtek ultra low-power fanless embedded system with Intel Cedar Trail platform and dual display interfaces, the eBOX623-831-FL, is available now! It provides advanced graphics processing capability via the new dual core Intel Atom Cedarview processor N2600 at 1.6 GHz or D2550 1.86 GHz in 45nm technology with Intel NM10 Express chipset. This slim yet compact embedded system supports system memory of one 204-pin DDR3 800 MHz maximum up to 2 GB with N2500 and DDR3 1066/1333 MHz maximum up to 4 GB with D2550. By adopting the new Intel Cedar Trail platform, fanless eBOX623-831-FL boosts graphics performance and power efficiency. With the optimized graphics capability and dual view support (VGA and DisplayPort), the rugged unit is an ideal fit for automatic optical inspection, digital signage appliance (DSA), POS/Kiosk, embedded controller, factory automation and more applications.

AMD Aims to Meet Higher Expectations for Tablet and Hybrid PC

AMD, creator of the performance tablet category, today announced a new innovation for hybrid PCs that delivers uncompromised mobile PC experiences when in tablet mode or when connected to its base keyboard. Hybrid PCs are a new market segment between full notebooks and pure tablets that AMD plans to demonstrate, along with stand-alone performance tablets, at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain next week.

AMD Turbo Dock technology automatically adjusts performance of the AMD accelerated processing unit (APU) higher while a hybrid PC is docked and being used for more complex tasks like content creation. Likewise, AMD Turbo Dock is designed to lower power consumption when in tablet mode, helping to save battery life and extend movie or video watching, as well as web browsing time.

Logitech Announces Business Webcam C930e

Logitech today announced the Logitech Webcam C930e, taking desktop video for business to the next level with industry-first features that include an extra-wide 90-degree field of view, support for the H.264 SVC and UVC 1.5 video encoding standards and high-definition digital pan-tilt-zoom.

The full 1080p high-definition Logitech C930e delivers enterprise-grade video collaboration with the widest field of view available in a desktop webcam for business, making it possible – for example – to show a full whiteboard on an office wall during a brainstorming session. The Carl Zeiss-certified glass lens is engineered to avoid the "fish eye" distortion that often detracts from wide-angle images.
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