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Windows 8 Public Beta Could be Out as Soon as February

posted Friday Dec 2, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Windows 8 Public Beta Could be Out as Soon as February

Microsoft's recent //build/windows Conference let us have a real good look at what makes Windows 8 the next best operating system. The Developer Preview has been out for a little while now and engineers have been able to come up with some cool, innovative ways to interact with the new OS.

Microsoft has an upcoming developer event on December 6th, and has informed us that we should see Windows 8 hit public beta sometime around February of next year. Following that, we may even see the RTM (release-to-manufacturing) version arriving somewhere in June. Fun fact: Dec 6 also marks the date where we should see the new Xbox dashboard, coming off the heels of their recent holiday updates.

The announcement of Windows 8 moving so quickly is good news for anyone wanting a decent Windows tablet that isn't the Slate 2. Microsoft needs to make a dent in the tablet market as soon as possible if they want to try and compete moving into 2012. However, it's also great for Windows 7 users who upgraded to the OS when it first launched and need an upgrade option.

We have no word right now on the features we'd see in the beta but we were told that the feature list has not been set yet. Also keep in mind that the Developer Preview is changing every week and that we will see additions in the beta that we may not have seen at all in the Preview.

At any rate, this is exciting news as Microsoft gets geared up for CES and the new year.

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Call of Duty: Elite Passwords not Totally Secure

posted Friday Dec 2, 2011 by Scott Ertz

<i>Call of Duty: Elite</i> Passwords not Totally Secure

I tend to think the best of people, and I am often disappointed. For example, we all remember the PlayStation Network outage earlier this year, combined with Sony Pictures being hacked. We can all assume that the industry has learned their lesson and has protected their user data better, especially for newly designed and launched services, right? Well, if you think that, you will be as disappointed as I am.

Activision's newly launched Call of Duty: Elite service has proven that they are not as secure as one would think, based on the past 12 months. When requesting password help, instead of answering your secret question and being prompted to change your password, you are sent your password. That's right, Activision is storing password in the clear, or through some sort of reversible encryption, which provides for a much easier and interesting target for hackers.

What does this mean for Call of Duty: Elite? Hit the break to find out.

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HP's Whitman Will Decide webOS's Future Within 2 Weeks

posted Friday Dec 2, 2011 by Scott Ertz

HP's Whitman Will Decide webOS's Future Within 2 Weeks

It is always a little bitter-sweet to write one of these articles. As a person who owns 3 webOS devices, including a launch Palm Pre, plus a PLuGHiTz Live! app, the future of the OS is very interesting to me. Since HP first purchased Palm for $1.2 billion, the road has been rocky for webOS, with several rumors that HP might retire the platform. When the hardware division was closed and the fire sale started, it looked like the end. Then, HP fired their CEO and things looked brighter. Now, that CEO has a decision to make, and she says she will make it soon.

In fact, HP CEO Meg Whitman has said that the decision will be made within 2 weeks as to what the future of Palm/HP's highly reviewed and poorly sold platform, and the devices that will or will not run it. The decision is a difficult one; she has to weigh the initial cost of $1.2 billion against the sales of devices and, of course, the possibly value of selling the platform. There have been plenty of rumors of interest from outside, including Facebook and Amazon, both of whom want hardware but don't want to offer Android on said devices. We know that HP will release Windows 8 tablets after that platform goes live, but HP wouldn't be the first company to offer multiple platforms. Samsung currently offers phones with Android, Windows Phone 7 and their own proprietary OS.

So, the constant stream of rumors and conjecture are almost at an end. No matter which way it goes, I think everyone will be happy to be able to stop talking about it.

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GamePro Closing Its Doors

posted Friday Dec 2, 2011 by Scott Ertz

<i>GamePro</i> Closing Its Doors

It is the end of a gaming era. GamePro magazine, which went into publication in 1989, will officially shut down its website at noon on Monday, December 5. One final physical magazine will be published and released after the closing of the website.

GamePro started publishing the physical magazine in 1989 and went digital in 1996. Like all niche physical publications, GamePro has struggled to maintain relevance and readership in an increasingly digital world. A few concept changes over the years, including writers going from handles to real names and the most recent, going from monthly publication to quarterly in July of this year.

While the site and magazine may be going away, GamePro is not entirely dead. Hit the break to find out where GamePro is headed next.

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Facebook IPO Might not be the Smartest Thing After Groupon's Failure

posted Tuesday Nov 29, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Facebook IPO Might not be the Smartest Thing After Groupon's Failure

It's like we're living the dot-com bust over again and the addage that history repeats itself really is true. Months before some analysts started to doubt the Groupon IPO, we predicted its demise right on our show. As it would turn out, we were right. Groupon's IPO for $10 billion, initially, worked like a champ, however investors have dumped almost all of their stock just as fast as they bought it up. Shares fell from just over $31 to half of that at $16 at the time of this writing. The stock has even seen a low of just under $15, bringing the company's valuation to under $10 billion and leaving no hope for them in the future, or any other Internet company for that matter. Investors are now afraid of the Internet yet again and the financial industry is in shock as if they have no clue why this didn't work. At least Groupon is one of the few companies with a business model.

With all of that being said, now would be a bad time for another company to try and start an IPO, right? Zynga would be wise to stay out of that mix for the time being, so it only makes sense that Facebook thinks now's the perfect time to shoot for a $100 billion valuation and $10 billion in an IPO, and that's not a typo.

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Microsoft Signs NDA with Yahoo to Help Financially with Buyout

posted Sunday Nov 27, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft Signs NDA with Yahoo to Help Financially with Buyout

Well, Microsoft got there first. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That is the mentality of Microsoft as, after rumors of them possibly purchasing Yahoo from under Google's nose, have come to fruition. The company has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Yahoo. Along with Microsoft are other investors like Silver Lake and TPG Capital who all believe that the success of Yahoo lies within a new, better management team.

Microsoft is looking to tap into Yahoo's 81.2 million unique news readers and by signing the NDA, they will be able to dive into Yahoo's financials a little more. However, all of these investors are not interested in a full buyout. Instead, bidders are looking to buy a minority stake in the company. Microsoft's goal is to help finance a bid and not buy them outright, according to sources closer to the matter.

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