Operating Systems

Windows 8 Preview Confirms Tablet Ambitions

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While the Windows 8 developer preview (available following the BUILD 2011 conference) is meant for developers, it confirms one fact-- Microsoft designed the latest Windows update for tablet use.

That's before mentioning the 5000 BUILD attendees who got free Windows 8 Samsung tablets, in an obvious gesture against Apple.

Windows 8Confirmation comes as soon as one loads the OS-- a Windows Phone-style "lock screen" greets the user, who has to drag an image upwards to reveal a login prompt. A clumsy gesture for mouse users, but natural for touch-based use.

Then there's the Metro UI, the tile-based system looking like Windows Phone for tablets (users can still switch to a "desktop" option providing the more familiar Start Menu).

Windows 8 is also compatible with ARM processors (as well as x86)-- even if legacy software is not cross-compatible with ARM devices.

Microsoft will also sell Windows 8 software through an iTunes-style online store.

Will Windows 8 prove to be the mytical "iPad killer"? Obviously, it's too early to tell-- but Microsoft appears to have a good chance to (at least!) take over the market share left by the ailing RIM Playbook.

Go Windows 8 Developer Preview

Android to Get Intel Optimisation

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Intel and Google announce an alliance optimising Android for Intel chips, with Google's Andy Rubin joining Intel CEO Paul Otellini at the Intel Developer Forum 2011 keynote.

Otellini SmartphoneThe joint effort will leverage Intel technology across both smartphones and tablets, improving Android performance on x86 architecture.

During the keynote Otellini shows a Medfield-powered smartphone running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), while the show attendees can also find a Medfield-powered Honeycomb tablet prototype.

Other Google products (such as Chrome OS and Google TV) and the Android SDK and NDK will also be Intel-optimised.

One can interpret the announcement as a sign of further cracks within the Wintel alliance-- particularly with Windows 8 working on low-power Arm processors as well as Intel designs.

Go Intel and Google to Optimise Android Platform for Intel Architecture

Chinese "Cloud-Based" Mobile OS to Get English Release

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Chinese mobile OS Aliyun OS will get the English language treatment treatment this month, according to a company executive speaking to Reuters.

AlibabaAliyun OS creators Alibaba Group is currently also in talks with global hardware vendors for possible partnerships using the OS, even if it declines to give details.

The company will also launch a tablet (presumably for the Chinese market) within the next 2 months.

Announced last August, the Aliyun OS is a Linux-based OS handling both both webapps (Javascript and HTML 5) and Android apps while synching user data on the cloud.

Go Alibaba to Release English Mobile OS this Month (Reuters)

Go China's "Cloud-Based" Mobile OS

Samsung: Not Interested in Buying webOS

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Bloomberg reports Samsung will "never" buy webOS, CEO Choi Gee Sung tells the press at IFA 2011-- with Samsung spokesman Nam Ki Yung echoing the sentiment from Seoul. 

SamsungThe confirmation comes in response to analysts saying Samsung was planning to make a webOS deal with HP. 

A number of analysts speculate Samsung is not the only company showing intersest in the Palm OS-- Facebook and HTC might be planning to open their wallets. 

Choi continues saying “it’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion.”  

Samsung already has its own mobile OS after all-- Bada-- and is working “harder than people outside think” on software for it. Not to mention it is also working on Android and Windows Phone 7 devices...

Go Samsung Electronics Would "never" Pursue Purchase of webOS, Says CEO (Bloomberg)

Android: Malware's #1 Target

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McAfee's Q2 2011 threat report points out Android-based malware is "the most popular target for mobile malware developers," vastly outnumbering attacks on other mobile operating systems. 

Malware attacks on Android outnumber the second placing OS (Java Micro Edition) by over 300%. 

Mobile Malware

It's interesting to note iOS device malware attacks are so minimal McAffee fails to even report their number. 

Mobile malware numbers in general are steadily on the rise-- with threats targetting exploits, employing botnet functionality and using rootkit features for stealth and permanence. 

The most popular means to distribute malware remains malicious modified apps, including corrupt versions of legitimate apps. 

McAfee says the following malware files are the most common-- Jmsonez, Smsmecap.A, DroidKungFu and DrdDreamLite.

Go McAfee Quartely Threat Report Q2 2011