personal computers

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Windows Brings Back 'Start' Button, Sort of

8.1 upgrade will have button, but not the old 'start' menu

(Newser) - Microsoft today unveiled a slew of impending upgrades to Windows 8, among them the return of a Start button, reports Reuters . It comes with one important catch, writes Brad Chacos at PC World —the button will be back in the lower-left corner, but the old Start menu will not.... More »

HP Adding 3D Motion Technology to Computers

Company teams with Leap Motion

(Newser) - Leap Motion says its 3D motion controllers will be included in some computers from Hewlett-Packard this year. The Leap Controller tracks people's fingers and hand motions as they gesture, swipe, and point at their computer screens. Applications developed for it let people control games, work on office tasks, paint... More »

Computer Sales See Worst Drop Ever

Laptop, desktop shipments drop 14% in Q1 versus year earlier

(Newser) - Looks like Windows 8 is doing little to reboot the market when it comes to laptops and desktops. Global shipments of the machines plummeted 14% in Q1 compared to the year prior, analysts at IDC say, marking the largest drop since its tracking began in 1994. The figures have been... More »

Dell Going Private in $24B Move

Founder looks to overhaul 30-year-old firm

(Newser) - Dell has reached a deal to go private, the company has announced. Shareholders will receive some $13.65 per share in a $24 billion deal, the New York Times reports, which marks a 25% premium over Dell's January share price. The privatization deal with Microsoft and private equity company... More »

Ballmer on Windows 8: Whole Screen Is a 'Start Button'

Microsoft launches new operating system

(Newser) - Microsoft formally launched Windows 8 today, which, if you haven't heard, heralds the biggest change to the industry's dominant operating system in at least 17 years. It's designed to run on both PCs and tablet computers, and one of the biggest changes is the disappearance of the... More »

PC Sales Plunge, Now at a 'Crossroads'

Shipments drop 8%; can Windows 8 change things?

(Newser) - Bleak new data today shows that the personal-computer business is struggling even more than expected, reports the Wall Street Journal . Shipments fell more than 8% in the third quarter, and projected shipments for the full year are expected to dip for the first time in more than a decade. Part... More »

20 Years of Tech: We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Walt Mossberg looks back on two decades of reviews

(Newser) - Remember when revolutionary dial-up modems arrived on the computer scene or when America Online debuted? Walt Mossberg does, and the Wall Street Journal tech reviewer looks back on 20 years' of columns. Some of the milestones he picks out:
  • His first line in 1991: "Personal computers are just too
... More »

HP Will Stick With Computers After All

But what about TouchPad and Web-OS? Stay tuned

(Newser) - The world's biggest PC maker has decided to keep making PCs. New Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman announced today that the company is backtracking from her ousted predecessor's strategy to spin off the $41 billion computer division and, in the words of Gizmodo , "turn HP into the next... More »

IBM Designer: PCs Headed 'Way of the Typewriter'

Devices giving way to 'new ideas about computing': Mark Dean

(Newser) - PCs are losing their place at the forefront of personal computing, says a designer of the first IBM PC. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of that computer, the 5150, Mark Dean writes in a blog post that PCs are “going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records,... More »

How Much Is Your Computer Really Worth?

Economists try to put a value on PCs in America

(Newser) - You can scope out the price tag of a Mac or PC at any given electronics hawker, but how much are computers really worth to us? Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta actually tried tackling that question, and they came up with $500 billion—or, on average about... More »

Smartphone Market Squashes PC Market

It's official: In Q4, 101M smartphones, 92M computers shipped

(Newser) - They’ve only been around for a few years, but smartphones have officially demoted personal computers to No. 2. More smartphones than PCs were shipped in Q4 of 2010—a total of 101 million smartphones, to be exact, up 87% from a year earlier, according to the market researcher. Meanwhile,... More »

Booming iPad Stunts PC Shipments

Personal computer shipments not growing as anticipated

(Newser) - Is the era of personal computers really ending ? New figures seem to support the idea: Shipments of PCs slowed last quarter, thanks mostly to, yes, the iPad. Total worldwide shipments increased 2.7%, says one report released yesterday; another puts the growth at 3.1%. Both numbers are slower... More »

Inventor of Personal Computer Dead at 68

H. Edward Roberts had a young employee named Bill Gates

(Newser) - H. Edward Roberts, the man who invented the MITS Altair in 1975, generally considered by computer historians to be the first personal computer, died Thursday in Macon, Georgia. While he was not well known outside the computer industry, one of his employees, Bill Gates, came to define, and some say,... More »

Here's Hoping Apple Tablet Is Like a Car

Computers should be as easy to use as vehicles, appliances

(Newser) - Computers can do amazing things, but as anyone with a technophobic parent knows, they’re still way too complicated. That’s why Farhad Manjoo is hoping Apple’s new tablet will be “the first fully powered PC that is as simple to use as a kitchen appliance.” Sure,... More »

Windows' Screen of Death Has New Shade

Microsoft security update causes Black Screen, but it's not fatal

(Newser) - The Windows Blue Screen of Death is so passé these days, so some malevolent circuit board or update appears to have cooked up a new fail: the Black Screen of Death. The Black Screen is affecting not just new Window 7 machines, but those running XP and Vista as well.... More »

Windows-to-Mac Software Should Scare Microsoft

Parallels' product makes choice of operating system less important

(Newser) - Conflicted about choosing sides in the apocalyptic showdown between Microsoft and Apple? No need to worry—in this brave new world, you can have your cake and eat it. Parallels is Mac software that allows users to seamlessly integrate Windows programs, even the entire desktop. So, for just $79.99—... More »

Gap Narrows, But Macs Still Beat PCs

Performance and price gaps close but Mac is still value

(Newser) - With Windows 7 and Mac’s Snow Leopard operating systems both available, it’s time for Walter S. Mossberg to drop some science on the arduous task of picking a computer. Things aren’t too different this time around: Macs are still more expensive, though “prices on Windows... More »

Amazon App Allows Kindle Books on PCs

Free download will let anyone buy and download e-books

(Newser) - Amazon will introduce a free software app next month that will allow Kindle users to read their e-books on their PCs. What's more, the app works for non-Kindle owners: Anyone with an Amazon account will be able to buy the books and download them to their Window-based computers, notes CNET.... More »

PC Marketing Drops the Technobabble

'Fact tags' only confused customers: Intel exec

(Newser) - PC makers seem to have gotten the hint and are beginning to hawk their wares not with dazzling technobabble but with information useful to the average consumer, the New York Times reports. For years, tech concerns have touted their achievements in impenetrable language on “fact tags” (DDR2 RAM, anyone?),... More »

Microsoft Posts First Yearly Sales Decline

(Newser) - Microsoft Corp. said today its profit in the last quarter plunged 29% because of weak computer sales, ending a fiscal year in which the software maker's revenue fell for the first time since the company went public in 1986. The results reflect how Microsoft's fortunes are tied to the PC... More »

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