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Entry level Chrome OS based commercial and consumer products built on Rockchip RK3288-C SoC

Once you have regular security problems on your Windows 10 PC like me, and you are essentially already close to 100% using web applications only like me, than it is time to move over to the Chrome OS platform. And this could be done now with a rock bottom cost. This is what I’ve found by examining the latest Chrome OS platform information as well as the entry level hardware represented by devices built on Rockchip RK3288-C SoC (a low-end quadcore 64-bit ARM SoC with lowest cost IP inside, so the SoC is the lowest cost too).

There is a “hidden” advantage as well. The “Android apps on Chrome OS” is in Beta now, but when the current Android Framework in Chrome OS will move from support of Android Marshmallow [6.0] to Android Nougat [7.0] Coming to Chrome OS 58 or 59 all Google Play store apps will be available properly on Chrome devices as well. In a companion post I’ve examined the current state-of-the-art of Android security as well, and that is looking much better than that of current Windows 10. So as far as all this information is concerned such a platform change looks like the final solution for my current security issues on Win10.

There is a further impetus from yesterday’s news on Microsoft Edge comes last in browser security battle By 18 hours ago from techradar (more…)

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PC Market Trends

A comment from IDC brought ahead: “Competition from 2-in-1 devices and phones remains an issue“. In the notes to the IDC press release it is mentioned as well that “tablets with detachable keyboards [i.e. 2-in-1 devices] running either Windows or Android are not included in the PC category” by IDC. This approach to the PC category is one of the reasons why the decline of the PC market in Q2 2015 is 11.8% according to IDC, while it is 9.5% according to Gartner.

But most importantly: the PC market has continuously been shrinking for the last 3 years as is shown by the chart below:
Infographic: PC Market Plunge Is Picking Up Pace | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista
July 14, 2015: After a brief respite throughout last year, the global PC market returned to its pre-2014 slump in the first half of 2015. According to Gartner’s latest estimates, worldwide PC shipments amounted to 68.4 million in the past three months – down 9.5 percent from last year’s June quarter.

The struggling PC industry had received a boost when Microsoft ended official Windows XP support in April 2014, prompting a replacement cycle that has now apparently faded. Despite the sobering results, analysts remain cautiously optimistic about the industry’s mid-term outlook. They argue that the recent decline is no sign of structural weakness but partly a consequence of last year’s unusually positive results and partly an effect of inventory control ahead of the Windows 10 launch scheduled for later this year.

[Gartner’s latest estimates:]
July 9, 2015: Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined 9.5 Percent in Second Quarter of 2015

PC Industry Faces Slowdown as Industry Anticipates the Launch of Windows 10

STAMFORD, Conn., July 9, 2015 — Worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.4 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 9.5 percent decline from the second quarter of 2014, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This was the steepest PC shipment decline since the third quarter of 2013. PC shipments are projected to decline 4.4 percent in 2015.

There were many contributors to the decline of PC shipments in the second quarter of 2015, and Gartner analysts highlighted three of the major reasons for the drop in shipments. Analysts emphasized that these inhibitors are temporary events, and they are not changing the PC market’s structure. Therefore, while the PC industry is going through a decline, the market is expected to go back to slow and steady growth in 2016.

The price hike of PCs became more apparent in some regions due to a sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar against local currencies,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “The price hike could hinder PC demand in these regions. Secondly, the worldwide PC market experienced unusually positive desk-based growth last year due to the end of Windows XP support. After the XP impact was phased out, there have not been any major growth drivers to stimulate a PC refresh. Lastly, the Windows 10 launch scheduled for 3Q15 has created self-regulated inventory control. PC vendors and the channels tried clearing inventory as much as possible before the Windows 10 launch.”

Lenovo maintained the top position in worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2015 (see Table 1), but the company suffered a year-on-year shipment decline for the first time since the second quarter of 2013. EMEA, Latin America and Japan were tough regions for Lenovo, as the company experienced double-digit shipment declines. HP also experienced a shipment decline after five consecutive quarters of PC shipment growth. HP showed a steep decline in EMEA, which was potentially due to the currency impact. The company was also impacted by tight inventory controls in the consumer market before the Windows 10 launch.

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q15 (Thousands of Units)

Gartner - Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q15 -9-July-2015Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premium (see “Market Definitions and Methodology: Consumer Devices”). All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels.
Numbers may not add up to totals shown because of rounding.
Source: Gartner (July 2015)

For the second consecutive quarter, Dell experienced a decline in PC shipments. Dell’s decline was relatively moderate in EMEA compared with Lenovo and HP. Analysts said this could be partly attributed to Dell’s lower presence in the consumer market, which created less impact to Dell from the Windows 10 prelaunch inventory control.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 15.1 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 5.8 percent decline from the second quarter of 2014 (see Table 2). The decline was led by a double-digit decline of desk-based shipments, which offset single-digit growth of mobile PCs. Based on preliminary results, the desk-based PC shipment decline was the steepest since 2009 when the market was hit by the economic crisis.

“The weakness of desk-based PC shipments in the second quarter of 2015 is partly due to relatively large shipments in the second quarter last year when the market was driven by the end of XP support,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Despite inventory controls for the Windows 10 launch, mobile PC shipments grew in the quarter, which resulted in five consecutive quarters of mobile PC growth in the U.S. Affordable thin/light notebooks are attracting more business buyers.”

HP maintained the top position for PC shipments in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2015 despite a 10.1 percent decline (see Table 2). Dell narrowed the gap with HP compared with a year ago. Lenovo was the only vendor showing year-over-year PC shipment growth among the top five vendors in the U.S.

Table 2
Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q15 (Thousands of Units)

Gartner - Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q15 -- 9-July-2015Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premium (see “Market Definitions and Methodology: Consumer Devices”). All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels.
Numbers may not add up to totals shown because of rounding.
Source: Gartner (July 2015)
[The Ultramobile (Premium) category includes devices such as Microsoft’s Windows 8 Intel x86 products and Apple’s MacBook Air. Source]

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 18.6 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 15.7 percent decline from the second quarter of 2014. In Europe, vendors spent most of the quarter trying to manage already high inventory levels. They tried clearing that inventory with promotions, having to absorb this with lower margins. In the third quarter of 2015, vendors should see better “sell-in” into the channel with new Windows 10-based devices.

Asia/Pacific PC shipments reached 24.2 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 2.9 percent decline from the same period last year. Both desk-based and mobile PC shipments declined from the second quarter of 2014. PC shipments in China are estimated to have declined 4 percent in the quarter as demand for consumer PCs remained weak.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.

See also
July 16, 2015, Forbes: Why Are IDC And Gartner’s PC Market Stats Different, And Does It Even Matter? by Scott McCutcheon

July 9, 2015PC Market Continues to Decline Ahead of Windows 10 Release, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Worldwide PC shipments totaled 66.1 million units in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. This represented a year-on-year decline of -11.8%, about one percent below projections for the quarter.

The slow PC shipments were largely anticipated as a result of stronger year-ago shipments relating to end of support for windows XP as well as channels reducing inventory ahead of the release of Windows 10. In addition, weaker or changing exchange rates for foreign currencies have effectively increased PC prices in many markets, thereby reducing purchasing power and also complicating investment planning.

“Although the second quarter decline in PC shipments was significant, and slightly more than expected, the overall trend fits with expectations,” said Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers & Forecasting. “We continue to expect low to mid-single digit declines in volume during the second half of the year with volume stabilizing in future years. We’re expecting the Windows 10 launch to go relatively well, though many users will opt for a free OS upgrade rather than buying a new PC. Competition from 2-in-1 devices and phones remains an issue, but the economic environment has had a larger impact lately, and that should stabilize or improve going forward.”

“The U.S. market was in line with forecasts, declining -3.3% from a year ago, after avoiding the global market declines over the past five quarters. Soft retail demand, short term weakness from inventory reductions, some cannibalization from competing devices, and low demand for large commercial refreshes are among the factors that reduced PC shipments,” said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst,Personal Computers. “Nevertheless, moving forward, we expect a healthy second half as inventory and purchase decisions pick up following the launch of Windows 10. Emerging product categories will remain a bright spot as attention shifts to convertibles and Chromebooks in the commercial as well as consumer segments.”

Regional Highlights

United States – With shipments totaling nearly 16.4 million PCs in 2Q15, the U.S. market shrank -3.3% from the same quarter a year ago. Although most vendors saw volume decline, gains from Apple and Lenovo helped limit the overall decline. A tough year-on-year comparison contributed to a decline in desktop shipments, while portable PCs shipments continued to grow.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) – In EMEA, weakening demand and high inventory levels inhibited sell-in, driving results below expectations. Vendors continued to clean stock ahead of the back-to-school season and Windows 10 launch. Moreover, unfavorable exchange rates led to increasing prices and continued to affect demand both in the business and consumer spaces. The commercial market also faced a difficult year-on-year comparison with 2Q14, when the end of support for Windows XP boosted sales.

Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) – China was impacted by excess commercial notebook inventory from earlier quarters as the anti-corruption campaign continues to suppress commercial spending. Currency fluctuation also remained a key factor in many countries in the region, contributing to lower demand. Nevertheless, volume was close to expectations, reflecting a slight decline in growth from prior quarters.

Japan – continued to see low growth as the weak Yen contributed to a difficult market. The Japanese PC market faced a particularly difficult comparison to year ago shipments that were boosted by the end of support for Windows XP and also changes to Japan’s tax code. As the market responds to these shifts and managing inventory, Yamada Denki (one of Japan’s major electronics stores) announced the closure of unprofitable stores in both urban and rural markets.

Vendor Highlights

Lenovo held onto the top position with shipments of 13.4 million units. Volume was up 1% from the prior quarter, but down -7.5% from the prior year. The vendor continued to aggressively court expansion outside of Asia/Pacific, leading to share gains in the U.S. and EMEA.

HP remained the number 2 vendor, but saw shipments decline -10.4% from a year ago. Slowing business demand and inventory control of entry notebooks contributed to the dip. While most of the slowdown was from outside of the U.S., the vendor also saw its U.S. volume contract nearly -7%.

Dell came in at number 3, shipping more than 9.5 million units and registering a year-over-year decline of -8.7%. Strong results in 2Q14 contributed to a poor year-over-year comparison. Stronger performance in Asia/Pacific and EMEA were offset by slower growth in the U.S.

Apple continued to outperform other vendors, with growth of 16.1% globally. The vendor has largely avoided the price competition affecting other players and may be benefitting from some of the uncertainty around the launch of Windows 10, along with refreshed products like the 12-inch MacBook and a relative concentration of shipments in the U.S.

Acer continued to see growth in Chromebooks with more models introduced. However, the vendor also struggled with the larger pullback in the market, particularly in EMEA where it had seen a rebound in mid-2014. The vendor ended 2Q14 with a volume of 4.33 million, a significant decline from the prior quarter and year ago volumes.

ASUS was statistically tied* with Acer for the number 5 position. ASUS has also been affected by currency factors and inventory management, but strong growth in the U.S. boosted overall results.

IDC - Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth for the Second Quarter of 2015 -- 9-July-2015Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, July 9, 2015
* Note: IDC declares a statistical tie in the worldwide PC market when there is less than one tenth of one percent difference in the revenue share of two or more vendors.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide PC market share for the top 5 vendors over the previous five quarters is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

IDC - Top 5 Vendors, United States PC Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Second Quarter of 2015 -- 9-July-2015Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, July 9, 2015

Table Notes:

  • Some IDC estimates prior to financial earnings reports.
  • Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM sales are counted under the vendor/brand under which they are sold.
  • PCs include Desktops, Portables, Ultraslim Notebooks, Chromebooks, and Workstations and do not include handhelds, x86 Servers and Tablets (i.e. iPad, or Tablets with detachable keyboards running either Windows or Android). Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker gathers PC market data in over 80 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis as well as price band and installed base data.

Windows 10 is here to help regain Microsoft’s leading position in ICT

My verdict: The 3 phase launch strategy is almost flawless, as well as the functionality of the product. So the remaining question is whether the execution will be as flawless or not?

July 29, 2015, BBC NewsMicrosoft boss Nadella on Windows 10

From this interview 2 things are very important to remember:

  1. Cortana is the near term means to generate excitement for the Windows 10.
  2. Then the Hololens is to be launched within a year to drive that excitement even further into the augmented and virtual reality scenario which is expected to generate $150 billion in combined annual revenue by 2020, according to Digi-Capital, a research and advising firm.

Finally in the end of that interview Nadella is mentioning another important point:

It is a 5 year journey. It’s a beginning. Even the smart phone journey with touch was a 7 year – 8 year journey. So this is how you should think about these fundamental changes.

With all the client markets out of their real growth period such a way of thinking is the only possible one. See the specific posts on the client categories, with additional remarks highlighted here from them:

  • Aug 5, 2015PC Market Trends is particularly drawing the attention to the fact that phones and tablets with detachable keyboards, i.e. 2-in-1 devices running either Windows or Android are remaining a competitive issue for the category.
  • Aug 4, 2015Tablet and smartphone market trends on the other hand is emphasizing that the key going forward for the Windows will be if the coming wave of 2-in-1 detachable tablets (expected to be on the market in Q4) is a hit with consumers or if they go the way of the netbook-style laptops. This will determine how much the current Q2 2015 9% market share (which was just 5% in Q2 2014) of Windows-branded tablets could increase with the new Windows 10.
    Investors.com comments on tablet and smartphone market trends -- Q2'2015

Additional readings/information on Windows 10 Mobile:

  • July 29, 2015: Windows 10 coming soon to Lumia smartphones – Microsoft – Global which has indicated that “The following Lumia smartphones will receive a free upgrade when available: Lumia 430, Lumia 435, Lumia 532, Lumia 535, Lumia 540, Lumia 640, Lumia 640 XL, Lumia 735, Lumia 830, and Lumia 930. … In order to upgrade to Windows 10, your Lumia device will need to have the Lumia Denim software update [Jan 7, 2015] installed.
  • Aug 4, 2015 8:03 tweet by Gabriel Aul, Vice President, WDG Engineering Systems team, Re: “No new builds today Sooo, maybe on Friday? And what build is currently in testing? 10240 or even newer?”: “It will be a few more days. We’re moving to a new branch for [Windows 10] Mobile and that takes a bit of prep. Newer than 10240.” Note that people on the Insider program currently using the 10166 version.
  • Aug 4, 2015 8:20 tweet by Gabriel Aul, Vice President, WDG Engineering Systems team: “10240 has a blocking bug for [Windows 10] Mobile, we need a newer build with the fix.

Remark as of Aug 5, 2015: The Windows 10 launch caused below average rate of interest. One evidence is this same July 31 post. It had just 5 views so far and at least 3 of them were based on my Hungarian Facebook post. Even my “Embedded Android — a VIA Technologies …” post of July 28 had 12 views just in the first 3 days and none of them were generated from my Facebook page as I’ve not posted there about that.

July 29, 2015Windows 10 UK Launch Party by Microsoft UK for a “launch atmosphere”

IMHO Microsoft’s irresistible message is:

The upgrade to Windows 10 is free within the first year, and once you’ve upgraded it remains free on your device for life!

So I did the upgrade for both my devices yesterday, and it went very smoothly. One 2GB “classic” Toshiba laptop with Win7 on it, and a 4GB Lenovo Flex 2 dual-mode laptop with Win8.1.  The upgrade took about 3 hours on each, and now I am absolutely satisfied with the new Windows on them in all respects. Recommending the upgrade for everyone ASAP.

July 21, 2015: CEO Satya Nadella on “some amount of delay due to Windows 10 on the OEM side” in the Windows business, from Q4 2015 Earning Call Transcript (the 2 video inserts are mine), in order to understand Microsoft’s business strategy with the Windows 10 launch:

The way the Windows ecosystem works is there are phases to it … in some sense we’ve taken a very different approach with this Windows-as-a-service even when it comes to OEM relations and how they’re able to co-create the products with us. … there are three distinct phases:

  1. The first phase is what I will describe as the upgrade phase. That’s what starts in a week’s time, and that is a more retail execution and upgrade.
    July 28, 201510 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10: WINDOWS STORE (the other 9 you can find in the 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 playlist of the Windows YouTube channel)

    July 28, 2015How to customize the Start Menu after Upgrading to Windows 10 by Scott Hanselman from Microsoft
    for more information see Scott’s Getting Started with Windows 10 post containing other very useful videos as well
  2. Then come the fall, you will see the devices from all the OEMs going into the holiday quarter.
  3. And then the enterprise upgrades; in fact, we have a release of enterprise features, which I mentioned in my script, which will ship in that timeframe. And I expect piloting to start and deployments to start in the second half of the fiscal year.

So that’s how I would think about the OEM as well as enterprise adoption. So my bullishness [in business sense] for Windows 10 is more in the second half of the fiscal year, and of course it will build. It will build starting in a week’s time in retail and in the upgrades, but I see this in three phases.

July 28, 2015Microsoft Windows 10 Official Demonstration by Ger Lynch from Microsoft Ireland for a mix of a salespitch (in good sense) and a walkthrough:

July 21, 2015: CEO Satya Nadella on “the new strategy around the phone business” and “how … that business trending over a longer period of time” from the Q4 2015 Earning Call Transcript (for the phone-specific Win10 information read the Windows 10 coming soon to Lumia smartphones page by Microsoft and note the “In order to upgrade to Windows 10, your Lumia device will need to have the Lumia Denim software update installed.” warning):

The big shift that we are making when it comes to phones is to not think about phones in isolation. That’s perhaps the biggest shift because I think about Windows 10 in its entirety, the Windows ecosystem in its entirety.

We clearly are going to have premium first-party portfolio, and you’ve seen some of the numbers, some of the progress we have made in Surface. I feel that we have a formula there that I would like to apply more broadly in terms of growing, just delivering innovation, growing our own economic return for it, stimulating demand, creating categories. All of that is what I want to do broadly. And it applies to phones, it applies to Surface hardware, it applies to Hololens, and that’s how I view it.

I believe our participation in the phone segment by itself with Windows phones and Lumia phones being there is important, and that’s why we picked the three areas where we have differentiation and we want to focus on it.

  1. We’re going to have great flagship phones for Windows 10. That’s actually a segment we don’t today have good devices, and we hope to change that with Windows 10.
  2. We have in fact good traction in the business segment. This is business customers who are actually buying phone devices, which is basically a radio with essentially a smartphone to be able to deploy their line-of-business applications. That’s where we have pretty unparalleled value, which is we have Visual Studio Online and some of the tools I talked about, so you can generate these apps at a low cost of ownership, manage them, secure them, and deploy them to our phone endpoints, and then of course, management and security. So that’s a place where we want to continue to focus.
  3. And in the value smartphones, that’s the place where I want us to be much more efficient. We clearly have some value to add there because of the uniqueness of Office and Skype and our services. But at the same time, I think we want to be smart about how many of these phones do we want to generate, how many, which price points we want to participate. That’s where you will see the most significant operational changes from how we operated last year to the coming year.

May 4, 2015Satya Nadella’s Keynote from Ignite 2015 on the Windows Community YouTube channel (see also the Microsoft announces new solutions
to empower IT professionals press release for more information) in order to understand the place of Windows 10 in the overall strategic setup of the company 

Microsoft - The 3 interlocking ambitions the Microsoft CEO talked about at Microsoft Iginite held on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago

The 3 “interlocking ambitions” the Microsoft CEO talked about at Microsoft Iginite held on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago

July 21, 2015: CEO Satya Nadella on Microsoft’s “third bold ambition to create more personal computing experiences with Windows and our devices” as the company’s equally important strategic ambition (in addition to “reinventing productivity in business processes” and “building the intelligent cloud platform with Azure“) from the Q4 2015 Earning Call Transcript

I am thrilled we are just days away from the start of Windows 10. It’s the first step towards our goal of 1 billion Windows 10 active devices in the fiscal year 2018. Our aspiration with Windows 10 is to move people from meeting to choosing to loving Windows. Based on feedback from more than 5 million people who have been using Windows 10, we believe people will love the familiarity of Windows 10 and the innovation. It’s safe, secure, and always up to date. Windows 10 is more personal and more productive with Cortana, Office, universal apps, and Continuum. And Windows 10 will deliver innovative new experiences like Inking on Microsoft Edge and gaming across Xbox and PCs, and also opens up entirely new device categories such as Hololens.

Windows 10 will deliver significant value to enterprise customers as well. Windows 10 provides advanced security capabilities with additional features for hardware-based security, mobile work and data protection. It also provides a single device management platform across all devices, from phones to laptops to Internet of Things devices. And Windows 10 helps enterprises stay up to date with Windows Update for Business and Windows Store for Business.

While the PC ecosystem has been under pressure recently, I do believe that Windows 10 will broaden our economic opportunity and return Windows to growth.

  1. First, we have an OEM ecosystem that is creating exciting new hardware designs for Windows 10. In fact, our OEM partners have over 2,000 distinct devices or configurations already in testing for Windows 10 upgrades as well as hundreds of new hardware designs. We are delighted that the first of these exciting new devices will start to be available on Windows 10 launch day, and by this holiday we will be selling the widest range of Windows hardware ever available.
  2. Second, we will generate new growth through gross margin on our own differentiated first-party premium device portfolio. We will also significantly reduce our losses on the phone by operating more effectively and efficiently with a more focused portfolio.
  3. Third, we will grow monetization opportunities across the commercial and consumer space. In the enterprise, customers will continue to value our unparalleled management security, app dev, and servicing capability. And for consumers, Windows 10 creates monetization opportunities with store, search, and gaming. We are confident that these are the right levers to revitalize Windows and restore growth. The progress we made this quarter and the forward-looking guidance that Amy will share shows the opportunity for renewed growth is real.

In hardware, both Surface and Xbox had an incredible Q4.

  1. We more than doubled Surface revenue to nearly $900 million this quarter, capping off a year in which it delivered more than $3.6 billion in revenue. Both consumers and enterprise customers love this device. Surface is clearly a product where we have gotten the formula right, earned fans, and can apply this formula to other parts of the hardware portfolio.
  2. Gaming is an important scenario for Windows 10, and our success with Xbox this quarter gives us a strong starting position heading into launch. Xbox Live users grew 22% this quarter and logged nearly 3.5 billion hours of gameplay. Our growing fan base is excited for the best games lineup in our history. All of this comes together with Windows 10, when fans can connect with each other, stream all of their Xbox One games to Windows 10, and experience the best virtual reality platform given our partnership with Oculus Rift and Valve.
  3. In search, Bing will now power both differentiated experiences on Windows 10 such as Cortana as well as search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio sites in addition to the partnership we already have with Yahoo!, Amazon, and Apple. With advertising revenue growth of 21% year over year, Bing will transition to profitability in the coming fiscal year.

July 28, 2015Windows 10 available in 190 countries as a free upgrade Microsoft news release for the summary of what has been launched worldwide overall

REDMOND, Wash. — July 28, 2015 — Microsoft Corp. announced that Windows 10 will become available Wednesday as a free upgrade1 or with new PCs and tablets. Windows 10 includes innovations such as Cortana,2 an Xbox app and Microsoft Edge for a familiar, yet more personal and productive, experience. The most secure Windows ever, Windows 10 is delivered as a service and kept automatically up-to-date with innovations and security updates. Windows 10 offers one experience that will become available on the broadest range of devices, including PCs, tablets, phones, Raspberry Pi, Xbox One, HoloLens and more — with more than 2,000 devices or configurations already in testing. The new Windows Store and Windows Software Development Kit also become available Wednesday, opening the door to new and innovative app experiences on Windows 10.

People around the world will celebrate the launch of Windows 10 Wednesday at fan celebrations in 13 countries and via a new yearlong initiative to celebrate people and organizations making a difference around the world. Microsoft encourages people to share how they plan to #UpgradeYourWorld and to vote for a global nonprofit to receive a cash donation by simply mentioning the nonprofit in a post on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using the hashtags #UpgradeYourWorld and #vote. More information on Upgrade Your World can be found at http://www.windows.com/upgradeyourworld.

“A new era of Windows starts today. From the beginning, Windows 10 has been unique — built with feedback from over 5 million fans, delivered as a service and offered as a free upgrade,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group, at Microsoft. “Windows 10 delivers on our more personal computing vision, with a natural, mobile and trusted experience. Along with our partners, we’re excited to deliver the best Windows ever, which will empower people and organizations around the world to do great things.”

Windows 10: Best Windows ever

Windows 10 is fast and familiar — with the return of the Start menu and Live Tiles for instant, streaming updates of what matters most. Windows 10 is the most secure Windows Microsoft has ever released, with enhancements to Windows Defender and SmartScreen to help safeguard against viruses, malware and phishing and innovations such as Windows Hello, which offers a fast, secured, password-free way to log in.3 Keeping up-to-date is also simple, as free updates will help people stay current with the latest features and security updates for the supported lifetime of the device.

Windows 10 is more personal and productive, with voice, pen and gesture inputs for natural interaction with PCs. It’s designed to work with Office and Skype and allows you to switch between apps and stay organized with Snap and Task View. Windows 10 offers many innovative experiences and devices, including the following:

  • Cortana, the personal digital assistant, makes it easy to find the right information at the right time.
  • New Microsoft Edge browser lets people quickly browse, read, and mark up and share the Web.
  • The integrated Xbox app delivers the Xbox experience to Windows 10, bringing together friends, games and accomplishments across Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.
  • Continuum optimizes apps and experiences beautifully across touch and desktop modes.
  • Built-in apps including Photos; Maps; Microsoft’s new music app, Groove; and Movies & TV offer entertainment and productivity options. With OneDrive, files can be easily shared and kept up-to-date across all devices.
  • A Microsoft Phone Companion app enables iPhones, Android or Windows phones to work seamlessly with Windows 10 devices.
  • The all new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 tablets are available today in the Windows Store.4 Built for work on-the-go, the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps offer a consistent, touch-first experience for small tablets. For digital note-taking needs, the full-featured OneNote app comes pre-installed with Windows 10. The upcoming release of the Office desktop apps (Office 2016) will offer the richest feature set for professional content creation. Designed for the precision of a keyboard and mouse, these apps will be optimized for large-screen PCs, laptops and 2-in-1 devices such as the Surface Pro.

Windows 10: Best platform for businesses

Feedback from millions of IT pros has shaped Windows 10, the most extensively tested version of Windows ever. Ready for corporate deployments, Windows 10 will help companies protect against modern cyberattacks, deliver experiences their employees will love and enable continuous innovation with a platform that keeps companies up-to-date with the latest technology. Businesses will be able to control the frequency of their updates and select the features and functionality that are right for each group of their employees.

Windows 10 includes built-in, enterprise-grade security, so customers can replace passwords with more secure options, protect corporate data and corporate identities, and run only the software they trust. New management and deployment tools simplify device management, help lower costs, and enable companies to power their business with the enterprise strength of the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Top apps available on Windows 10

The new Windows Store will open Wednesday and begin accepting new apps for Windows 10. The Windows Store offers one-stop shopping for popular free and paid apps, games, movies, TV shows and the latest music, which can work across all Windows 10 devices. The new Windows Store is the only store where people can use Cortana to control apps with their voice5 and get real-time notifications on their app tiles. All Windows Store content is certified by Microsoft to help keep devices safer. In addition to existing Windows 8.1 apps such as Netflix, Flipboard, Mint.com, “Asphalt 8: Airborne” and The Weather Channel, the Windows Store provides a constant stream of new and updated Universal Windows Apps and games, including Twitter, “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta,” Hulu, iHeartRadio, USA TODAY, “Candy Crush Saga” and others including WeChat and QQ, which will launch soon.6

Easy upgrade, devices now available

Upgrading to Windows 10 is easy for customers running a genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC or tablet. Starting Wednesday, people who reserved their upgrade to Windows 10 will be notified in waves when their upgrade is ready to be installed. For business customers, Windows 10 is available to start deploying within their work environments, and starting Aug. 1, organizations that have volume licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.

Retail partners are ready to help people upgrade to Windows 10 with our largest tech bench program ever, including more than 100,000 trained retailers and tens of thousands of stores around the world. Free upgrade programs will be available Wednesday, with Windows 10 software becoming broadly available in retail stores around the world between mid-August and September. Devices running Windows 10 will be available in some retail stores on Wednesday, with many, many more devices to become available in the weeks and months ahead.

Microsoft has also worked closely with retailers to introduce programs to help people easily upgrade, including Best Buy, Bic Camera, Croma, Currys/PC World, Darty, Elkjøp, Fnac, Jarrir, Incredible Connection, Media Markt, Staples, Yamada Denki, Yodobashi and many more leading retailers from around the world.

Information on upgrading, new and compatible devices, and apps for Windows can be found at http://www.windows.com. Additional information and media assets are available at http://blogs.windows.com/launch.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

1 Limited time free upgrade offer for qualified and genuine Windows 7 and 8/8.1 devices. Hardware and software requirements apply; see http://www.windows.com/windows10upgrade for details.

2 Cortana available in select markets at launch; experience may vary by region and device.

3 Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors.

4 An Office 365 subscription is required to edit Office apps on Windows 10 PCs or larger tablets.

5 Hardware dependent.

6 Some apps and content sold separately. App and content availability and experience may vary by region and device.

HP split into two–HP Enterprise and HP Inc. (devices and printers)–for the growth phase of its turnaround

HP share price -- Sept 2011 - Oct 2014

HP share price — Sept 2011 – Oct 2014. Meg Whitman was named CEO on September 22, 2011. As well as renewing focus on HP’s Research & Development division, Whitman’s major decision during her first year as CEO has been to retain and recommit the firm to the PC business that her predecessor announced he was considering discarding (see the August 2011 post on this blog). After such “stabilization and foundation year” on October 03, 2012 she announced an ambitious 5-year turnaround strategy that promised new products by FY14 and finally growth by 2015.  This plan promised changes in HP’s four primary businesses. Enterprise Services got an entirely different operating model. Likewise the Enterprise Group planned to further utilize the cloud. The operating model of the Printing and Personal Systems Group was simplified by reducing its product line. A new cloud-based consumption model was implemented for the Software Group. With the split now  Meg Whitman writes  that “Hewlett-Packard Enterprise … will define the next generation of infrastructure, software, and services for the New Style of IT” while “HP Inc. will be extremely well-positioned to leverage its impressive portfolio and strong innovation pipeline across areas such as multi-function printing, Ink in the office, notebooks, mobile workstations, tablets and phablets, as well as 3-D printing and new computing experiences”. By separation into two they will “be able to accellerate the progress” they’ve made to date, “unlock additional value”, and “more aggressively go after the opportunities in front” of them.

Also seeing total 55,000 job cuts this year, with 45,000-50,000 cuts already done in Q2. CEO Meg Whitman (age 58) is enjoying huge bonus payments via those job cuts, and then she will lead HP Enterprise as CEO, as well as will become the non-executive Chairman of HP Inc.’s Board of Directors.

Detailed information on this blog about the new direction set up for Personal Systems Group part of HP Inc. (very few):

Latest news from HP Personal Systems Group:
– Revamped Z desktop and ZBook mobile workstations [Sept 10, 2014]
HP Stream series of skinny Windows 8.1 laptops and tablets targeted for the holidays [Sept 29, 2014]
– HP 10 Plus 10.1-Inch 16 GB Android Full HD IPS Tablet with Allwinner A31 quadcore 1.0 GHz on Amazon and elsewhere for $280  [July 13, 2014]
– HP Slate 21 – 21.5″-k100 All-in-One Full HD IPS Android PC with NVIDIA Tegra 4 for $400 [Sept 28, 2014] a 17″ version of which, HP Slate 17 will be hitting stores by New Year

Note that such large screen All-in-One Full HD IPS strategy for both desktop replacements as well as great home devices + complete flat tabletop mode for using an application that’s maybe multi-orientational was started with Windows 8-based HP ENVY Rove [June 23, 2013], using Intel® Core™ i3-4010U and now selling for $980.

Detailed information on this blog about the new direction set up for HP Enterprise (quite extensive and deep):


* Note here that as of now Microsoft Windows Server is not available (even the upcoming Windows Server 10 for “the Future of the datacenter from Microsoft“) on the emerging 64-bit ARM. See: Intel: ARM Server Competition ‘Imminent,’ But Not Yet There, Says MKM [Barrons.com, Oct 2, 2014], in which the current state characterized as:

ARM highlighted progress in servers by citing two data center end-customers (sharing the stage with Sandia Labs but not Paypal) that use HP blades for their Moonshot server chassis based on 64-bit Applied Micro (AMCC, NR, $6.90) and 32-bit Texas Instruments silicon.

HP Moonshot program and the 1st 64-bit ARM server (ARM TechCon 2014, Oct 1-3)

HP’s ARM-powered ProLiant m400 (Moonshot) is ready for DDR4 [ARM Connected Community, Oct 8, 2014]

AppliedMicro and Hewlett-Packard recently introduced the first commercially-available 64-bit ARMv8  server. Dubbed the ProLiant m400, the cartridge is specifically designed to fit HP’s Moonshot server framework. The new server – targeted at web caching workloads  – is based on AppliedMicro’s X-Gene System-on-a-Chip  (SoC) and runs Canonical’s versatile Ubuntu operating system.

… One of the key advantages of the X-Gene based m400? The doubling of addressable memory to 64GB per cartridge. … “You put 10 of these enclosures in a rack and you have 3,600 cores and 28 TB of memory to hook together to run a distributed application,” … “The m400 node burns about 55 watts with all of its components on the board, so a rack is in the neighborhood of 25 kilowatts across 450 nodes.” …

Loren Shalinsky, a Strategic Development Director at Rambus, points out that each ProLiant m400 cartridge is actually a fully contained server with its own dedicated memory, which, in the default launch version, carries a payload of DDR3L DIMMs.

“However, future generations of the cartridges can be upgraded from DDR3 to DDR4, without affecting the other cartridges in the rack. This should allow for even higher memory bandwidth and lower power consumption,” he added. “Our expectation is that DDR4 will ramp on the server side – both in terms of x86  and ARM – before finding its way into desktop PCs, laptops and consumer applications like digital TVs and set-top boxes.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press , DDR4 memory delivers a 40-50 percent increase in bandwidth, along with a 35 percent reduction in power consumption compared to DDR3 memory, currently in servers. In addition, internal data transfers are faster with DDR4 , while in-memory applications such as databases – where a significant amount of processing takes place in DRAM – are expected to benefit as well.

Compare the above to what was written in Choosing chips for next-generation datacentres [ComputerWeekly.com, Sept 22, 2014]:

HP CEO Meg Whitman has high hopes for the company’s Moonshot low-energy server family as a differentiator in the commodity server market. Moonshot is based on Intel Atom and AMD Opteron system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors, optimised for desktop virtualisation and web content delivery applications. These servers can run Windows Server 2012 R2 or Red Hat, Canonical or Suse Linux distributions.

Semiconductor companies Cavium and Applied Micro are taking two different approaches to the ARM microserver market. Cavium is specialising in low-powered cores, while Applied Micro is taking a high-performance computing (HPC) approach.

AMD is building its chips based on the ARM Cortex-A57 core. … Servers with AMD’s Seattle [Opteron A-Series] ARM-based chip are not expected to ship until mid-2015.

Note here as well that AMD’s Seattle, i.e. Opteron A-Series strategy is also serving the company’s own dense server infrastructure strategy (going against HP’s Moonshot fabric solution) as described here earlier in AMD’s dense server strategy of mixing next-gen x86 Opterons with 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 based Opterons on the SeaMicro Freedom™ fabric to disrupt the 2014 datacenter market using open source software (so far) [Dec 31, 2014 – Jan 28, 2014] post.

“HP has supported ARM’s standardization effort since its inception, recognizing the benefits of an extensible platform with value-added features,” said Dong Wei, HP fellow. “With the new SBSA specification [Server Base System Architecture from ARM], we are able to establish a simplified baseline for deploying ARM-based solutions and look forward to future HP [server] products based on the ARM architecture.”

 

The ultimate ultrabooks/notebooks and 2-in-1 hybrids/detachables with the upcoming Intel Core M processors

What is presented below it is an incredible advance versus that of one a half year ago. For comparison see my earlier Saving Intel: next-gen Intel ultrabooks for enterprise and professional markets from $500; next-gen Intel notebooks, other value devices and tablets for entry level computing and consumer markets from $300 [this same blog, April 17, 2013] post. Note as well that with Core M Intel is able to differentiate its enterprise offerings from the consumer ones, as the latter could be mainly represented by products like in ASUS EeePC revival with the $199/€199 EeeBook X205 at IFA 2014: the Chromebooks alternative based on Windows 8.1 with Bing [this same blog, Sept 6, 2014].

image

See also the report about IDF 2014 PC Mega Session: 2-in-1s to Rule Mobile, Wireless Everything Coming Soon [Tom’s Hardware US, Sept 10, 2014]

image

They are of the fanless design! So it is time—says Intel—to upgrade your aging PCs to these business-ready touch devices built on the latest Intel Core processors and Windows 8.1:

Touch business-grade performance [Intel YouTube channel, Sept 4, 2014]

Refresh your aging PCs with new business-ready touch devices with Intel Inside®. Give users the features and performance they want while unleashing the productivity of touch. Users expect the mobility and instant touch access they enjoy at home in their workplace. From 2in1s to tablets to all-in-one PCs, an expanding range of business-ready Intel® architecture-based devices provide the right touch device for different worker needs along with the security, manageability, and compatibility IT requires.

For small businesses a special business app bundle from Intel (already available with selected business tablets) is also providing an immediate opportunity to boost productivity:

Intel Business Apps [Intel YouTube channel, Sept 8, 2014]

Chip Shot: Intel Business App Portfolio Now on Windows OS and Intel® Core™ M Processor-based Devices [News story on Intel Newsroom, Sept 5, 2014]

The Intel® Business App Portfolio, a collection of useful business apps to boost productivity and enhance security of small businesses, is now available on the latest Intel-based tablets and 2 in 1 devices running the Windows OS. And, with the app bundle on some of the newest devices powered by Intel® Core™ M processors, users will realize additional benefits with up to 8 hours of battery life with full HD display and up to 50 percent faster CPU performance. Previously offered only on Intel-based tablets running the Android OS, the mobile app bundle includes special offers—valued at more than $250—and is now available with the following Windows apps:

AirWatch, Calc Pro HD, CamCard, Dictionary, DocuSign, Drawboard PDF, McAfee Anti-Virus Plus, Microsoft Office 365 Business, OneDrive, OneNote, Skype, SpeechTrans and Splashtop Business.

It is available for free by purchasing a qualifying device from Intel® Technology Provider members in North America, Latin America and Europe or through Amazon.com (in the U.S. and Canada). Visit www.intel.com/businessapps to learn more.

image

Chip Shot: Intel Releases Mobile App Bundle for Business Tablets [News story on Intel Newsroom, Aug 4, 2014]

Intel® Business App Portfolio is now available for select tablets based on Intel® processors and Android. Intel has bundled a collection of top business apps that include Evernote, ooVoo, Dropbox, McAfee, DocuSign and others, to turn tablets into enhanced productivity tools for workers. With the app bundle, an employee can easily create and share documents and presentations; video conference; access company files in the cloud or a remote PC; guard sensitive data from viruses; and capture images and signatures for business contracts. At an estimated value over $250, the portfolio is a cost-effective solution that meets the needs and budgets of small businesses worldwide to accelerate achieving goals of improving customer interactions and sales growth. The app bundle is available for free by purchasing a qualifying tablet from Intel® Technology Partner members in North America, Latin America and Europe or through Amazon.com (in the U.S. and Canada).

image

The categories in Intel® Business App Portfolio (for small businesses) as of Sept 9, 2014:

  Windows Android
Access OneDrive1
Splashtop Business2 
Dropbox12 
Splashtop Business2  
Assist Calc Pro HD3
Dictionary4
SpeechTrans Ultimate5 

Dictionary
4
SpeechTrans Ultimate5
Capture CamCard6 
DocuSign7 
Drawboard PDF8  
ABBYY Business Card Reader13 
DocuSign7 

CamScanner14  

Connect Skype9  ooV0015 
PrintHand16 
Create Office 365 Business1 
OneNote1 
WPS Office17 
Evernote18 
Swype19   
Protect AirWatch10
McAfee Antivirus Plus11 
McAfee Antivirus Plus11  
For Windows:
1  Special Offer: Coming October 1, 2014 to the Intel® Business App Portfolio! Receive 15% off a 1-year paid subscription to Office 365 Business, which includes the familiar and powerful Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook applications, as well as cloud storage with OneDrive! ($23 USD value) 
2  Special Offer: 2-month subscription of Splashtop Business ($10 Value) 
3  Special Offer: Receive 60% off the Full Version of the Calc Pro HD (just $2.99) when you redeem this special offer. 
4  Special Offer: Receive the Dictionary app from Farlex, Inc. for free ($1.99 USD value) 
5  Special Offer: One year of SpeechTrans Ultimate ($24 USD value)  
6  Special Offer: Extend CamCard free trial from 6 months to 12 months with promo code! ($5 USD value) 
7  Special Offer: Special 20% discount on a DocuSign annual subscription (up to a $72 USD value) 
8  Special Offer: A one-year extended trial of Drawboard PDF 
9  Special Offer: Three months of unlimited calling for free!. That means, in addition to making free Skype to Skype calls, you can also call offline contacts on their mobiles and landlines. 
10  Special Offer: 30-day trial with a consultation from a member of dedicated Airwatch SMB account team.
11  Special Offer: 1-year McAfee Antivirus Plus subscription ($35 USD value)
Android specific apps only:
12  Special Offer: 14-day free trial of Dropbox for Business
13  Special Offer: Receive Serial Number and download instructions for the full, premium version of ABBYY Business Card Reader.
14  Special Offer: Receive 3-months Premium service and lifetime paid [CamScanner] app features (totals $20) upon sign-up
15  Special Offer: One-year of ooVoo Video Conferencing Service
16  Special Offer: Activation code to upgrade PrintHand to Premium Mode.
17  Special Offer: While we highly recommend you utilize [MS Office compatible] WPS Office for your office document needs on your Android device, the application is free to use so there is no promotional offer available at this time.
18  Special Offer: While we highly recommend you utilize Evernote for your note taking needs on your Android device, the application is free to use so there is no promotional offer at this time.
19  Special Offer: 30-day trial of the Swype keyboard & dictation.

Mobile Devices (Intel based 2 in 1s and tablets) for the Intel® Business App Portfolio as of Sept 9, 2014:

Windows Android
Acer Iconia A1-830 (7.9”, Z2560)

ASUS MeMO Pad (10.1”, Z2560)

Dell Venue 7 (7”, Z2560)

ASUS Transformer Book* T100 (10.1”, Z3740)
Dell Venue 8 Pro (8”, Z3740D)
HP ElitePad 1000 G2 (10.1”, Z3795)
Microsoft Surface Pro *3 (10”, Core i5/i7)
Samsung Galaxy Tab* 3 (10.1”, Z2560)

Acer Iconia A1-830
(7.9”, Z2560)
ASUS MeMO Pad
(10.1”, Z2560)
Dell Venue 7
(7”, Z2560)

Samsung Galaxy Tab* 3 (10.1”, Z2560)

Atom Z2560 (Q2’13): Clover Trail+ platform
Atom Z3740, Z3740D, Z3795 (Q3’13 and Q1’14): Bay Trail-T Type 4 platform 

Computex 2014: What’s next for Intel: Cheaper 4K, new Core M chip and 3D cameras [Network World YouTube channel, June 5, 2014]

From Kirk Skaugen’s keynote presentation in June 2014. The full presentation you could see in the end of this blog post.

Intel® 14 nm Technology [an Intel Silicon Innovations page as of Sept 9, 2014]

Ultra-fast, energy-sipping devices powered by Intel
Supporting a wide range of products from mobile devices to servers, 14 nm transistors improve performance and reduce leakage power. Intel’s 14 nm technology will be used to manufacture a wide range of high-performance to low-power products including servers, personal computing devices, and products for the Internet of Things. The first systems based on the Intel® Core™ M processor will be on shelves for the holiday selling season followed by broader OEM availability in the first half of 2015. Additional products based on 14 nm process technology will be introduced in the coming months.
imageUsing 2nd generation 3-D tri-gate transistors, the 14 nm technology delivers industry-leading performance, power, density, and cost per transistor, and will be used to manufacture a wide range of products, from high performance to low power.
Smaller is better
imageIntel’s 14 nm technology provides good dimensional scaling from 22 nm. The transistor fins are taller, thinner, and more closely spaced for improved density and lower capacitance. Improved transistors require fewer fins further improving density, and the SRAM cell size is almost half the area of that in 22 nm.
14 nm manufacturing
Intel’s 14 nm process and lead system-on-a-chip (SoC) product are now qualified and in volume production, with fabs in Oregon (2014), Arizona (2014), and Ireland (2015).

Microscopic Mark Bohr: Intel 14nm Processors Explained [Intel YouTube channel, Aug 11, 2014]

Mark is still following the seemingly never-ending path of Moore’s Law. We catch up with him this time for an explanation of Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process. See the first video in this series, 22nm explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIkMaQJSyP8 Learn more about Moore’s Law and Intel’s History: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/history/museum-gordon-moore-law.html

Intel® Core™ M Processor [an Intel Core Processors page as of Sept 9, 2014]

Versatile, Mobile, Blazing Fast

Intel® Core™ M and Intel® Core™ M vPro™ processors

With the world’s first processors built on 14 nm manufacturing process technology, PC performance is now possible within a range of ultra-mobile 2 in 1 devices. Blazing fast speed combined with the highest level of energy efficiency in Intel’s history enables razor-thin, fanless designs that meet your needs for both performance and mobility. The Intel® Core™ M vPro™ processor provides additional built-in security features1 to deliver the perfect combination of business-class performance and battery life to keep you productive longer no matter where you are. For small businesses, the Intel® Core™ M processor provides an optimal combination of business-class performance and battery life, so your employees have the power to stay productive longer, no matter where they work. Free yourself from carrying multiple devices and get the best of both worlds in a 2 in 1 device with the conflict-free Intel Core M and Intel Core M vPro processors.

Product Brief:  PreviewDownload
Datasheet, volume 1:  PreviewDownload
Datasheet, volume 2:  PreviewDownload
Specification update:  PreviewDownload

IFA 2014: Intel presents new Core M Processors [allroundpc Youtube channel, Sept 5, 2014]

Intel presents it all new mobile processors at IFA 2014 in Berlin. The new Intel Core M processors are specifically made for mobile devices and are supposed to bring a lot of power while consuming less energy than previous models. More information under: http://www.allround-pc.com/news/2014/intel-core-m-koennen-die-cpus?preview=true&preview_id=80031&preview_nonce=bfdc570414

See also:
Intel® Core™ M Processor for Small Business
Products (Formerly Broadwell),
Fact Sheet: Intel® Core™ M Processor – Razor-thin Laptop Meets Ultra-fast Tablet

image

New Intel® Core™ M Processor Enables Razor-thin, Fanless Designs with the Optimal Blend of Beauty, Performance and Battery Life; Available Holiday 2014 [IFA 2014 press release, Sept 5, 2014]

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Acer*, ASUS*, Dell*, HP*, Lenovo* and Toshiba* to introduce new Intel® Core™ M processor-based 2 in 1s. Some systems available starting in October.
  • Intel Core M processor delivers amazing performance and battery life for the thinnest, fanless 2 in 1 devices.
  • At a power-sipping 4.5 watts, it is the most energy-efficient Intel® Core™ processor in the company’s history.1

IFA, Berlin, Sept. 5, 2014 – At IFA, a global trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, Intel launched the new Intel® Core™ M processor, which will power new 2 in 1 devices from a variety of manufacturers including: Acer*, ASUS*, Dell*, HP*, Lenovo* and Toshiba*. Delivering the optimal blend of mobility and performance, Intel’s new processor was purpose-built for amazing performance in the thinnest, fanless ultra-mobile devices. The Intel Core M processor can power razor-thin devices with Intel Core processor-level performance and deliver up to double the battery life when compared to a 4-year-old system.2

“We’ve been on a multi-year mission to address end-user requirements and transform mobile computing,” said Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of personal computing at Intel Corporation. “The introduction of Core M marks a significant milestone in that journey. Core M is the first of a new product family designed to deliver the promise of one of the world’s thinnest laptops and highest performance tablets in a single 2 in 1 device.”

Faster Performance, Even More Battery Life
The Intel Core M processor enables up to 50 percent faster compute performance and 40 percent faster graphics performance versus the comparable, previous 4th generation Intel Core processor.3 Consumers with older PCs will notice a more significant performance improvement. The Intel Core M processor delivers up to two times the compute performance and up to seven times better graphics compared to a 4- year-old PC, for example.2

In 2013, Intel delivered the biggest generation-over-generation battery life improvement in the company’s history. The Intel Core M processor and platform power reductions raise the bar on battery life even higher. The Intel Core M processor can handle more than 8 hours of video play, which is up to 20 percent (1.7 hours) longer battery life versus the previous-generation Intel Core processor4 and double the battery life of the average 4-year-old PC.1

Thin, Fanless 2 in 1s Available for Holiday 2014…and Beyond
The Intel Core M processor package is 50 percent smaller and, at 4.5 watts, has 60 percent lower thermal power than the previous generation.5 This lets OEMs design sleek, fanless systems less than 9 mm thin – thinner than an AAA battery and today’s sleekest laptops. There are already more than 20 Intel Core M processor-based OEM products in the development pipeline. The first systems based on the Intel Core M processor will be on shelves for the holiday selling season.

At IFA, manufacturers including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo unveiled new, coming-soon Intel Core M processor-based devices across a range of sizes, styles and price points.

  • In Q4, Acer will expand its popular 2-in-1 series of notebooks with the Aspire Switch 12*, featuring a 12.5-inch FHD display with unique kickstand and magnet keyboard to move smoothly between five modes.
  • ASUS introduced the ASUS Zenbook UX305*, an incredibly light and thin Ultrabook™ with a 13-inch QHD display
    Asus unveiled the UX305, its newest flagship laptop at IFA 2014 this week. The device, it claims, is the world’s thinnest 13-in QHD+ ultrabook, giving it one of the highest pixel densities of any computers on the market. It faces competition from the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and the Samsung ATIV Book 9 as well as the Apple MacBook Pro Retina Display, although we expect vendors to refresh their current thin-and-light laptop range very soon. At only 12.3mm thick and weighing 1.2Kg, it is light enough to be carried comfortably with one hand. Its specification sheet lists an Intel Core M processor (the 5Y10), Windows 8.1, 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR3 memory, either 128GB or 256GB SSD, an Intel HD Graphics 5300 subsystem, a webcam and a 6-cell, 45Whr battery. As for connectivity, it has three USB ports, one mini-HDMI output and a SD card reader.

    and the ASUS Transformer Book T300FA* 2 in 1, which was unveiled during the Intel keynote. The Transformer Book T300FA is a high-performance 2 in 1 and is expected to be available in Europe this fall for an estimated €599. Looking ahead, ASUS plans to go even thinner with the ASUS Transformer T300 Chi*.

  • Dell has announced its first commercial 2 in 1, the Latitude 13 7000 Series*, which combines a lightweight business Ultrabook and a detachable tablet in one powerful, no-compromise device.
  • HP further extends its award-winning ENVY portfolio with the addition of two new HP ENVY x2* detachable PCs, available in 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch form factors.
  • The new [11.6”] Lenovo ThinkPad Helix*, available in October, is 12 percent lighter and measures 15 percent thinner than its predecessor while packing even more power thanks to the Intel Core M processor.
    [From Lenovo on Sept 4 with the VP PCG Marketing & Design, Dilip Bhatia: “the most complete 2-in-1 in the marketplace”] The ThinkPad Helix is the industry’s leading 2-in-1 device. Powered by the latest Intel Core processor family, sporting a new revolutionary fan less design and up to 12 hours of battery life. Built for business, the ThinkPad Helix. Learn more about Lenovo: http://lnv.gy/lenovo
     
    [From Lenovo on Sept 4 with the product manager for ThinkPad Helix, Sachin Pathak: “specific focus on productivity in business … in line with Lenovo’s multimode strategy to 4 earlier modes now a new desktop mode has been added … etc. –> for ‘full PC connectivity’ ultimately satisfying the ‘business traveller’ ”] Join Kevin Beck for the First Look at the new Think Helix. Lots of awesome new features, including an innovative new fanless design, up to 12 hours of battery life and plenty more surprises. Learn more about Lenovo: http://lnv.gy/lenovo

Intel also previewed a forthcoming Intel Core M processor-based design from Toshiba, and said broader availability of Intel Core M processor-based devices is expected in the first half of next year.

To further system choice and availability, Intel said it is working with ODMs including Wistron* and others. Wistron plans an Intel Core M processor-based design inspired by the Intel “Llama Mountain” reference device. Intel first unveiled the stunning, fanless Llama Mountain reference device, which measures 7.2 mm thin and weighs a mere 670 grams, at Computex in Taiwan earlier this year.

Intel Core M “Broadwell-Y” 2-in-1 Tablet / Ultrabook Reference Design hands on at Computex 2014 http://www.mobilegeeks.com http://www.mobilegeeks.de We got to quickly check out Intel’s new reference design für “Broadwell-Y” based Intel Core M ultrabooks and 2-in-1 tablet style devices. It’s called “Llama Mountain 2” and has a 12,5 inch QHD IPS display with 2560×1440 pixels. The device is only 7,5 millimeters thin and weighs in under 800 grams. It shows what to expect from this years 2-in-1 devices coming in from Intels many hardware partners in the run up to the holiday shopping season!

A “Conflict-Free” Processor; Additional Features
Intel Core M is a “conflict-free” product, which means this product does not contain conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and/or gold) that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries.

The Intel Core M processor is available in several versions: the up to 2.0 GHz Intel Core M-5Y10/5Y10a processors and the up to 2.6 GHz Intel Core M-5Y70 processor. The Core M-5Y70 is the highest performing Intel Core M processor and is also available with Intel® vPro™ technology for business 2 in 1s with built-in security features to help protect data, user identities and network access.6

Additional Intel Core M platform features include support for high-quality audio, Intel® Wireless Display 5.0, Intel’s second-generation 802.11ac products and will evolve to support wireless docking with WiGig from Intel. For more information visit:www.intel.com.

1Energy efficiency based on SPEC CPU2006 Intel estimates for both performance and core power. Comparison made vs. Intel prior generation Intel Core family CPU Processors.
2Intel® Core™ M-5Y70 Processor (up to 2.60GHz, 4T/2C, 4M Cache) vs. Normalized to a 4-year-old PC with Intel® Core™ i5-520UM. Performance based on SYSmark* 2014. Intel® Core™ M 5Y70 compared to Intel® Core™ i5-520UM. Weight based on Intel® Core™ M processor-based 2 in 1 based on Intel® FFRD Llama Mountain. Old PC is OEM laptop with Intel® Core™ i5-520UM and 62WHr battery, 3 lbs weight, 1.1-inch thick.
3Up to 50 percent faster vs. 4th generation Intel Core processors based on: Specfp_rate_base 2006 comparing Intel® Core™ M-5Y70 Processor compared to previous-generation Intel® Core™ i5-4302Y at 4.5W. Up to 40 percent faster graphics vs. 4th generation Intel Core processors based on: 3D Mark Ice Storm comparing Intel® Core™ M-5Y70 Processor with Intel HD graphics 5300 vs. Previous Generation Intel® Core™ i5-4302Y at 4.5W with HD Graphics 4200.
4Intel Core M battery life tested vs. 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor based platforms – 11.6-inch panel; 19×10; 200 nits; 35WHr battery; SSD; 4GB memory. Full HD Local Video Playback Battery Rundown-measured using a Tears of Steel 1080p 10 Mbps video. Configuration: In the device settings, disable all radios. Disable Intel® Display Power Saving Technology (Intel® DPST), set up the system to specified screen brightness using a full screen white background, and re-enable Intel DPST. Turn OFF the adaptive brightness setting under Power Options in Control Panel. Set “Dim the display” to never on both battery and AC. Set “Put the computer to sleep” to never on both battery and AC. Wait 15 minutes after boot. Launch the default video player (Windows* 8.1 Style UI video player for win), start the workload video in a loop, and disconnect the AC plug to start the test. Measure the time until battery is exhausted.
54th generation Intel® CoreTM Processor (40 X 24 X 1.5 mm; 960 mm; 11.5W) vs. Intel® Core™ M processor (30 X 16.5 X 1.05 mm; 495 mm; 4.5W)
6No computer system can provide absolute security. Requires an enabled Intel processor, enabled chipset, firmware and/or software optimized to use the technologies. Consult your system manufacturer and/or software vendor for more information.

Intel Mobility at Computex 2014 with Core-M, WiGig, RealSense [Steve Paine YouTube channel, June 10, 2014]
under Kirk Skaugen –> [46:23]:
>>> Reinvention of the Desktop
>>> 2 in 1 Momentum and the Intel Core M Processor
>>> User Experience at Intel
– then under Herman Eul –> [1:20:38]
>>> The Year of Intel Inside Your Tablet
>>> Powerful Smartphones

From Computex 2014 this Intel mobility keynote is a must-watch for anyone that’s interested in mobile PCs in 2014 and 2015. Intel presents the 10-inch Llama Mountain reference design at 6.8mm thick. Intel also promises to make a completely wireless 2-in-1 and Ultrabook reference design in the post-Broadwell phase that uses WiGig to remove ports. Also includes some great RealSense demos, WiDi products, 20W wireless charging and a live video beautifying demo.

ASUS EeePC revival with the $199/€199 EeeBook X205 at IFA 2014: the Chromebooks alternative based on Windows 8.1 with Bing

To be available in the U.S. and Europe starting in November. Plus information about:
– InstantGo (previously known at Connected Standby) from Microsoft aimed to bring smartphone-type power management capabilities to the PC platform, as well as increasing physical security,
– InstantGo combined with ICS (Internet Connection Sharing commonly referred to as tethering) for Connected Standby Hotspot funcionality, and
– touch gestures in Windows 8.1 supported by Smart Gesture technology of the X205 touchpad that is 36% larger compared to the ones found on the 14-inch ASUS laptop models.

Also compare with The growing Chromebook challenge for Windows laptops: promises from Google I/O are getting realized with new Chromebooks introduced at IFA 2014 post of mine as of September 5, 2014.

Information still to come (by November):
– monetization by Microsoft on the back end with Bing integration as well as MS services attach (as just mentioned by Satya Nadella on MSFT July 25 Earnings Conference Call)

See also my already existing posts about Intel Bay Trail-T, especially the Intel CTE initiative: Bay Trail-Entry V0 (Z3735E and Z3735D) SoCs are shipping next week in $129 Onda (昂达) V819i Android tablets—Bay Trail-Entry V2.1 (Z3735G and Z3735F) SoCs might ship in $60+ Windows 8.1 tablets from Emdoor Digital (亿道) in the 3d quarter of April 11, 2014. See also PadNews articles on Type 3 Z3735 (Bay Trail-Entry V2.1) based tablets (i.e. the same SoCs to be used in EeeBook X205):
– Z3735G (http://www.padnews.cn/?tag=Z3735G) and
– Z3735F (http://www.padnews.cn/?tag=Z3735F)


DETAILS

ASUS EeeBook X205 199 Euro Laptop Hands on [Steve Paine YouTube channel] with Intel’s Bay Trail-T (i.e. tablet) platform

http://umpcportal.com for more. This is the ASUS EeeBook X205 a 199 Euro laptop based on Z3000-series running Windows 8 with Bing. The model shown here has 1GB and Z3735G but other models are said to have 2GB RAM.

From ASUS Sep 3, 2014 press release:

EeeBook X205, chic and compact

EeeBook X205 is an affordable, chic and compact 11.6-inch laptop that weighs less than 1kg and is designed for on-the-go students and young professionals. Powered by Windows 8.1 with Bing — for maximum application compatibility — EeeBook X205 offers users a convenient smartphone-like experience, thanks to its use of Connected Standby technology. Connected Standby enables almost-instant resume from sleep mode and gives users an enhanced internet experience, as they are always connected to all their social apps and email — even when X205 is in standby mode. Available in four distinctive colors — black, white, gold and red — EeeBook X205 is designed with smooth curves and tactile surfaces to make it the ideal take-anywhere laptop.

ASUS EeeBook X205 Hands On – $199 Netbook unveiled at IFA 2014 [Mobilegeeks.de YouTube channel, Sept 3, 2014]

ASUS EeeBook X205 http://www.mobilegeeks.com The ASUS EeeBook X205 is 11.6 inches with an Intel Atom Z3735 is based on the Bay Trail-T architecture and is backed by 2GB of RAM and either 32G or 64GB of storage. Connectivity includes 2 USB 2.0, a Micro HDMI port, audio jack, microSD card slot plus WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Don’t gorget to check out our coverage of the ASUS EeeBook X205 here: http://www.mobilegeeks.com/asus-zenbook-ux305-hands-video-ifa-2014/

ASUS announces the EeeBook X205 at IFA 2014 by Brandon LeBlanc [Blogging Windows, Sept 3, 2014]

Today at IFA 2014, ASUS has announced the EeeBook X205 – an affordable 11.6-inch laptop with Windows 8.1 with Bing priced at just $199 (U.S.). The EeeBook X205 comes powered by an Intel Atom quad-core processor and features InstantGo (previously known at Connected Standby) giving it an almost-instant resume from sleep mode with up 8 hours [up to 12-hours of web browsing see below] of battery life. It’ll run Microsoft Office smoothly as well as other desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store.

The EeeBook X205 has a compact and ergonomic design for people constantly on-the-go – like students for example. It weighs less than 1kg and has a full-size, one-piece seamless chiclet keyboard with 1.6mm of key travel for comfortable typing. It also has a 36% larger touchpad compared to the ones found on the 14-inch ASUS laptop models. And the touchpad uses Smart Gesture technology that supports touch gestures in Windows 8.1.

The EeeBook X205 will come in four colors – black, white, gold, and red – and available in the U.S. and Europe starting in November.

ASUS EeeBook X205TA [product page]

Easy to Learn, Work and Play.

  • ASUS EeeBook X205-blackWindows 8.1 with Bing
  • Weighs 980g with compact, space-saving design that fits in a small suitcase and carry bag.
  • 12 hours of battery life* for an Always On Always Connected experience
  • Windows 8.1 with Bing provides 100% capability with software and peripherals compares to other OS.

*Disclamer: 12-hours of web browsing

EeeBookX205 is an affordable, chic and compact 11.6-inch laptop that weighs less than 1kg and is designed for on-the-go students and young professionals. Windows 8.1 with Bing gives EeeBook X205 maximum application compatibility; while Connected Standby technology gives users a smartphone-like computing experience.This enables almost-instant resume from sleep mode and gives users an enhanced internet experience, as Connected Standby means they are always connected to all their social apps and email, even when X205 is in standby mode. Available in four distinctive colors — black, white, gold and red — EeeBook X205 is designed with smooth curves and tactile surfaces to make it the ideal take-anywhere laptop.

ASUS EeeBook X205-colors

Specification

Processor

Quad core Intel® Atom™ Bay Trail-T Z3735 processor running at up to 1.83GHz

Display

11.6-inch LED backlit HD (1,366 x 768)
High-contrast gloss finish

Operating System

Windows 8.1 with Bing

Storage

eMMC 32/64GB
115GB Microsoft OneDrive free for 2 years (15GB for life)
500GB ASUS WebStorage free for 2 years

RAM

2GB

Connectivity

802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0

Input

2x USB 2.0
Micro HDMI out
1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack
Micro SD card slot (SDXC, up to 64GB)

Camera

Front-facing VGA

Audio

2x 2W high-quality stereo speakers
High quality microphone

Battery

38Wh, 12 hours for web browsing

Dimensions

286 x 193.3 x 17.5mm

Weight

980g

Colors

Black, White, Red and Gold

We should note here that the Bay Trail SoCs for the EeeBook X205 are the specifically developed ones according to the following Intel slide:


1 MRD7 and MRD8/10 are Android* only. Windows is for selected ODMs with committed volume.

A significant SoC and PCB cost reduction effort (with design for “China Technical Ecosystem”) is lying behind those, so called Bay Trail Entry Z3735F/G products:

The original Windows capable Bay Trail-T already used in tablets since Oct’131: The Bay Trail-Entry version of Bay Trail-T specifically designed for heavy PCB cost reduction (used in X205):
– Z3745D (1.83 GHz, 25×16 LCD)
with DDR3L, and 8L2 HDI3 (Type4 packaged SoC based) PCBs

1 Dell Venue 8 Pro ($299+, now $249+)
2 8L PCB = 8-layer Printed Circuit Board;
3 HDIHigh Density Interconnects (aka Type 4 packaging) PCBs are utilizing blind, buried or microvia technologies.

– Z3735F (1.83GHz, <=2GB, <=19×12 LCD)
– Z3735G (1.83GHz, 1GB, <=12×8 LCD)
both with DDR3L, and 6L4 Type 3 packaged SoC based PCBs

4 6L PCB = 6-layer Printed Circuit Board
+ New PMIC for higher integration

In broad respects see the latest Z3735E, Z3735D, Z3735F, Z3735G comparison table of Sept 6, 2014, and in the most specific form the below table (taken from Z3600 and Z3700 Series Datasheet as of April 2014 when Type 3 SoC related information was added):

image

From MSFT Earnings Conference Call [July 22, 2014]

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer:

We feel good about the progress we are making with Windows. Developed markets continue to show stability, and we’re encouraged by the initial response from OEMs to our new consumer offerings like Windows with Bing.

In April, we released an update to Windows 8.1. To start, we improved the core desktop experience with mouse and keyboard advancements. For enterprises, we released Internet Explorer Enterprise Mode and extended our mobile device management capability. With the Windows 8.1 update, we also lowered the hardware spec required so OEMs can build tablets and clamshells at lower price points.

In addition, we made the decision to evolve the Windows business model. Now, Windows licenses are zero dollars for any OEM building a device less than nine inches. We also added a low-cost Windows offering with Bing integration for OEMs. This new offering combined with lower hardware specs means OEMs will bring a fantastic line-up of value-based notebooks and tablets to market this holiday.

We will have our OEM monetization, and some of these new business models are about monetizing on the back end with Bing integration as well as our services attach, and that’s the reason fundamentally why we have these zero priced Windows SKUs today.

Windows 8.1 with Bing for OEMs [April 2, 2014]

The Windows 8.1 with Bing edition sets Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. Users will be able to manually change default search settings and install additional browsers of their choice.

Windows 8.1 with Bing is based on the feature set available in Windows 8.1 Core and incudes all of the latest updates, including Windows 8.1 Update. Windows 8.1 with Bing is available for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

What’s new for OEMs?

Windows 8.1 with Bing is similar to other editions of Windows and should be imaged, updated, and deployed the same as any other Windows edition. However, OEMs will not be able to change the default search engine with the SearchScopes unattend setting, Registry key, or 3rd party installation tools. When a user starts Internet Explorer, Bing is automatically set to the default Search Engine and will override any OEM-configured search provider. No other Internet Explorer defaults are changed.

Helping our hardware partners build lower cost Windows devices by Brandon LeBlanc [Blogging Windows, May 23, 2014]

Over the next couple weeks leading into Computex in Taipei, you’re going to see many of our hardware partners announce new Windows devices.

Microsoft was built on the foundation of partner opportunity and our goal remains mutual success for us and our partners. This means a continued commitment to helping ensure our hardware partners are able to build innovative, differentiated and competitive devices on the Windows platform. Over the past year, we have done a lot of work to scale Windows to an even greater number of customers with more partners and new devices at a broader range of price points. In 2013, we began to ease our approach to device certification and reduced some hardware component requirements, helping to empower our partners to drive further device differentiation and price competitiveness. And most recently with the Windows 8.1 Update, we are enabling our hardware partners to build lower cost devices with only 1GB of memory and 16GB of storage that provide customers with the fast and fluid experience they expect from a Windows device. We also announced that Windows will be available for 0 dollars to our hardware partners for Windows Phones and tablets smaller than 9-inches in screen size.

As we move forward, many of these lower cost devices will come with a new edition of Windows called Windows 8.1 with Bing. Windows 8.1 with Bing provides all the same great experiences that Windows 8.1 offers with the Windows 8.1 Update, and comes with Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. And of course customers will be able to change that setting through the Internet Explorer menu, providing them with control over search engine settings. This new edition will be only be available preloaded on devices from our hardware partners. Some of these devices, in particular tablets, will also come with Office or a one-year subscription to Office 365.

The end result is that more people—across consumer and commercial—will have access to an even broader selection of new devices with all the awesomeness that Windows 8.1 provides, and get Office too, all at a really affordable price. Additionally, as reach expands, the opportunity for developers and their apps also increases.

We’re excited for our partners and the new devices that will be in market soon, and we’ll continue to work closely with our partners deliver innovative and high quality devices based on the Windows experience.

Stay tuned for more as these new devices get announced by our hardware partners over the coming weeks!

InstantGo: a better way to sleep by Kevin A Chin [Blogging Windows, June 19, 2014] (see also the InstantGo article on Wikipedia)

You may have heard about InstantGo in Windows 8.1 (known as Connected Standby in Windows 8 and Windows RT), and how it has replaced the traditional sleep or standby function in many Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 systems. What you might not know is how fundamentally different—and better—it is, and why.

First, let me give you a little background. These days, a lot of modern computing is performed on System on Chip (SoC) designs. These single chips tightly integrate the components for what used to be a complete motherboard, and allow for hardware that is thinner, lighter, and more power efficient. There are SoC designs with processors from both Intel and ARM running Windows.

These innovations in hardware go beyond just extending battery life—they actually make new user experiences possible. InstantGo is a great example of what SoC makes possible: network connectivity with very low power consumption and instant resume capabilities. With the right hardware, whether it’s a Windows powered tablet, or a convertible 2-in-1, it’s always ready for interaction.

What is InstantGo?

InstantGo maintains network connectivity when your screen is off in standby mode, allowing the system to update things in the background, and keeping it ready to instantly resume. For example, it can sync your email while your screen is off so new mail is ready and waiting as soon as you come back. Or if you want to be reachable via Skype even when you step away from your PC, you can go ahead and turn the screen off, and your calls will still come through. Power consumption in this connected standby mode is very low, and yet the system is always ready to spring back to life with your next interaction.

Common misconceptions

We’ve seen some misconceptions about InstantGo out there on the Internet, so I’d like to clear up a few of these. First of all, if your PC doesn’t already have Connected Standby (in Windows 8 or Windows RT) or InstantGo (in Windows 8.x or Windows RT 8.x), you can’t just add it as a feature – as mentioned, it’s built into the hardware and the operating system, and so it’s either there from the beginning or it isn’t. Furthermore, it isn’t limited to a particular processor architecture – it might be present on ARM, x86, and x64 systems. Finally, InstantGo is not just for tablets. You can have it on a 2-in-1 system that looks very much like a traditional laptop. You might even see two systems running the same CPU or SoC architecture, and one of them has InstantGo while the other one doesn’t. It’s really up to the hardware manufacturer to decide which systems they want to design with this capability.

Here’s a summary of the common misconceptions:

Misconception

Fact

InstantGo is a Windows software feature.

InstantGo depends on tight integration between hardware, software (drivers), and operating system to deliver new user experiences.

InstantGo only runs on ARM architecture systems.

InstantGo systems exist for ARM, x86, and x64 architectures.

InstantGo is only useful if I’m connected to a network.

All InstantGo systems allow you to turn the screen on and off almost instantly.

InstantGo is only available on Surface Pro and Surface 2.

Numerous systems support InstantGo. Examples include: Dell Venue Pro 8 , Dell Venue Pro 11, Asus T100TA, ThinkPad Tablet 2, Surface, Surface 2, and more.

InstantGo runs exclusively on Windows RT.

All Windows RT systems support InstantGo. But Windows 8 and Windows 8.x systems with the proper hardware may also support InstantGo.

InstantGo only runs on tablets.

InstantGo systems include tablets, convertibles with docks, and even some laptops.

Do you already have InstantGo?

As InstantGo is not limited to a particular form factor (tablet or laptop), or a particular architecture (ARM, x64, or x86), you might not know if you have it or not. InstantGo requires Windows RT, Windows 8, or any of the updates released after Windows 8, as well as tightly integrated hardware and software. You can see if you have it or not by running the powercfg option from a command prompt. When you type powercfg /a and press Enter, you’ll see the Standby (Connected) option only if you have InstantGo:

image

After using Windows on an InstantGo system, I’ve come to expect all my computers to have long battery life and still instantly resume from sleep.

For more on InstantGo (known as Connected Standby in Windows 8), see these articles:

In my next blog post, I’ll talk about Sleep Studyan easy way to measure your battery life while in the connected standby state.

Windows 8.1 ICS and InstantGo (Connected Standby Hotspot) [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Oct 17, 2013]

http://umpcportal.com with a 3G-capable, Connected Standby capable Windows 8.1 PC. Demonstration of a hotspot under Connected Standby conditions.

See also:

In Windows 8.1, Internet Sharing, commonly referred to as tethering, has been added to enable users to share their mobile broadband network connection with one or more other devices that are not mobile broadband-capable. Traditional tethering mechanisms include Bluetooth and USB. However, Wi-Fi can provide the fast and easy mobile broadband connection sharing mechanism, such as personal hotspots, mobile hotspots, and so on, since it requires little configuration, enables high-speed data transmission, and relies on the familiar Wi-Fi connection process.
Windows 8.1 extends the Internet sharing capability further by enabling customers to turn on and connect to PCs that have Internet Sharing configured, known as a tethering access point, just as if it was a standard Wi-Fi network.

Sleep Study: Diagnose what’s draining your battery while the system sleeps by Kevin A Chin [Blogging Windows, June 26, 2014]

In my last post, I introduced you to InstantGo (previous to Windows 8.1, we called this Connected Standby), a new power model used on some Windows 8.x systems. InstantGo is a tight integration of software (firmware, drivers, OS) with System on Chip (“SoC”) hardware to provide a sleep mode with long battery life and a connected, instant-on user experience.

In this post, I’d like to introduce you to Sleep Study, a new tool available on Windows 8.x systems with InstantGo that can help you identify sources of battery drain that occurred while the PC was in sleep mode (that is, when the screen was off).

Sleep Study tells you how well the system slept and how much activity it experienced during that time. While in the sleep state, the system is still doing some work, albeit at a lower frequency. Because the resulting battery drain is not easily perceptible (you can’t see it draining), we built the Sleep Study tool in Windows 8.1 to allow you to track what is happening. We thought of simply using traditional logging to do this, but ironically, the logging itself would drain the battery. With this in mind, we designed the Sleep Study tool to minimize its own impact on battery life, while tracking the battery draining activities.

The Sleep Study report

You can use Sleep Study to see which apps and devices are most active during a sleep session. Sleep Study reviews all the sleep sessions longer than 10 minutes and provides you with a report that color codes each session according to its power consumption.  A session is defined as the period from Screen Off to Screen On. In cases when the system is plugged into AC power, the policies are less stringent than when on battery power. While the tool still tracks connected standby activity on AC power, it is more useful to identify unexpected drains on battery, or DC power.

To help you easily identify apps, devices and services with higher power consumption, these are highlighted in red or orange in the report, and represent opportunities to extend your battery life.

In this video, we walk you through a typical Sleep Study report.

[SleepStudy powercfg command for connected standby]

The ASUS EeeBook touchpad uses Smart Gesture technology that supports touch gestures in Windows 8.1: Touch: Swipe, tap, and beyond [Windows Help, Nov 12, 2013]

If you want to know what we mean when we mention swiping, tapping, or other ways of interacting withWindows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 when you’re using a touchscreen, take a look at this table.

What we say

How to do it

What it does

Tap

image

Tap once on an item.

Opens, selects, or activates whatever you tap. Similar to clicking with a mouse.

Press and hold

image

Press your finger down and hold for about a second.

Shows info to help you learn more about an item or opens a menu specific to what you’re doing. For example, press and hold a tile on the Start screen to rearrange, resize, or pin it. Only works for some items.

Similar to right-clicking with a mouse.

Pinch or stretch to zoom

image

Touch the screen or an item with two or more fingers, and then move the fingers toward each other (pinch) or away from each other (stretch).

Visually zooms in or out, like with pictures or maps. A good place to explore this is the Start screen.

Slide to scroll

image

Drag your finger on the screen.

Moves through what’s on the screen. Similar to scrolling with a mouse.

Slide to rearrange

image

Press and briefly drag an item in the direction opposite the way the page scrolls, then move it wherever you want. (For example, if you would scroll left or right, drag the item up or down.) When you’ve moved the item to the new location, let it go.

Moves an item. Similar to dragging with a mouse.

Swipe to select

image

Swipe an item with a short, quick movement in the direction opposite the way the page scrolls. For example:

• If the page scrolls left or right, swipe the item up or down to select it.

• If the page scrolls up or down, swipe the item left or right to select it.

Selects an item, and often brings up app commands. A good place to explore this is in the Mail app.

Swipe or slide from the edge

image

Starting on the edge, either swipe your finger quickly or slide across the screen without lifting your finger.

• Open the charms (Search, Share, Start, Devices, Settings). Swipe in from the right edge.

• Open a recently used app. Swipe in from the left edge. Keep swiping to switch between all of your recently used apps.

• Open another app at the same time. Slide in from the left edge without lifting your finger and drag the app until a divider appears. Then move the app where you want it, and slide the divider to adjust the app size.

• See a list of recently used apps. Slide in from the left edge without lifting your finger, and then push the app back toward the left edge.

• Show commands for the current apps, like New and Refresh. Swipe in from the top or bottom edge.

• Close an app. Slide down from the top edge without lifting your finger, and then drag the app to the bottom of the screen.

Rotate

image

Put two or more fingers on an item and then turn your hand.

Rotates items in the direction you turn your hand. Only some items can be rotated

The growing Chromebook challenge for Windows laptops: promises from Google I/O are getting realized with new Chromebooks introduced at IFA 2014

1. New Chromebooks (13.3”, 14”)
2. Recently introduced Chromebooks (11.6”)
3. Gartner Says Chromebook Sales Will Reach 5.2 Million Units in 2014

Note that a highly competitive ASUS EeePC revival with the $199/€199 EeeBook X205 at IFA 2014: the Chromebooks alternative based on Windows 8.1 with Bing [this same blog, Sept 6, 2014] is coming in November for the U.S. and European markets. That offering is also just the first of a number of similar kinds expected from global laptop brands using the latest Intel Bay Trail-T Type 3 SoCs (i.e. Z3735G and Z3735F, details are in the above post) specifically designed for significantly lower SoC and PCB costs with specific design for “China Technical Ecosystem”. As of today there are no Chromebooks with Bay Trail-T Type 3 SoCs but those could come as well in November timeframe for even greater Windows laptop competition. The current low-end Chromebooks are mostly using the Intel Bay Trail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) platform, namely the N2830 SoC (for comparison see the N2830, Z3735F, Z3735G table from Intel).

At the same time it is still unclear what the competition between Chromebooks and the cost reduced Windows laptops will be on the emerging markets. For reasons see the ‘Naked PCs’ lay bare Microsoft’s emerging markets problem article from Reuters (Aug 12, 2014) which has been widely republished (like in Business Insider). In addition Xinhua reported on Aug 24 that a Chinese OS expected to debut in October with the aim to relieve China’s way high dependence on both Windows and Android. With that Chrome OS chances in China could be minimal. We should therefore think of the competition between Chromebooks and the upcoming cost reduced Windows laptops just as a mature market phenomenon. More importantly the latest Gartner analysis considers the Chromebook market a niche market for the next 5 years (see at the end).

Microsoft facing increased competition from MacBooks and Chromebooks, say Taiwan makers [DIGITIMES, July 23, 2014]

Microsoft is facing increased competition from MacBooks and Chromebooks, with the global notebook OS market share for Windows 8 already dropping to below 90%, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

Thanks to iPhones and iPads, demand for Apple’s Mac series products has also been rising in the past few years.

Meanwhile, Google is seeing increased Chromebook demand from the US and the UK’s education procurement and enterprise markets. By the end of 2014, vendors including Acer, Asustek Computer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo, LG Electronics and Toshiba are together expected to launch about 20 Intel-based Chromebooks priced at around US$349, the sources said.

To counter, Microsoft has recently extended its free Windows 8 licensing coverage and is cooperating with HP and Acer to release US$199 notebooks at the end of 2014, the sources noted.

In addition to extending free licensing for Windows 8, Microsoft may also need to revise the shortcomings of Windows 8 and accelerate its pace on the development of Windows 9 in order to stay competitive, the sources added.

Google ​previews new Chromebook features [CNET YouTube channel, June 25, 2014]

http://cnet.co/1ltenUK At Google I/O in San Francisco, the company demos new features for Chromebook laptops running Chrome OS, such as how a phone running the latest version of Android can unlock your Chromebook and log you into Web apps via proximity-sensing abilities.

image
The 3 years of Google’s Chromebook journey as it was represented by Sundar Pichai
(As far as Chromebook’s 1st year is concerned see also my Chromebook / box with Citrix Receiver going against Microsoft [May 12 – July 29, 2011] post of mine.]

I’ve already recognized that “the whole Android-centric story is getting even more interesting when Chrome, Google Drive, Chrome OS and the apps related to that are added” in my Nexus 7: Google wanted it in 4 months for $199/$245, ASUS delivered + Nexus Q (of Google’s own design and manufacturing) added for social streaming from Google Play to speakers and screen in home under Android device control [June 28, 2012] post.

From Native Android apps are coming to Chrome OS [The Verge, June 25, 2014]

Google is working to bring Chrome OS and Android closer together, and that’ll eventually mean having Android apps running right on a Chromebook. “We’re in early days,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s Chrome and Android chief, said on stage today at Google’s I/O developer conference. Pichai didn’t say when the feature would arrive, but he demonstrated it already working using Android apps for Evernote, Flipboard, and Vine. The apps can appear in a tall, phone-sized window, or they can be expanded to run as they would on tablets.

Earlier this month, a project for Google’s Chromium called Athena pointed toward big changes to the touch aspects of Chrome OS. That included a virtual software keyboard, a card-based interface a la Google Now, and a new app launcher interface.

Altogether, it sounds as though touch input is bound to become a far more integral part of Chrome OS. Google didn’t comment on what future Chromebooks will look like from its partners, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see more and more shipping with touchscreens.

Google also said today that Chrome OS will eventually be able to display notifications from a paired Android phone, and that a paired phone will be able to unlock a Chromebook just by coming near it.

1. New Chromebooks (13.3”, 14”)

HP Chromebook 14 inch Tegra K1 Hands On [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Sep 4, 2014]

http://ultraboochromebookworld.com for more. This is the new 14-inch Chromebook from HP with a FullHD screen option. It runs on the Tegra K1 platform. Great keyboard, 1.7KG (1.79 for the HD touchscreen) with 2 or 4GB RAM, 16 or 32GB storage. Starting at $299

From: HP Unveils Five New Innovative and Stylish Consumer Products for Holiday [press release, Sept 4, 2014]


The 14-inch HP Chromebook combines beautiful design, super-fast performance and a wide 14-inch FHD [1920 x 1080] diagonal screen(5) for a superior Chrome experience. Powered by the latest-generation NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor with world-class graphics performance, the HP Chromebook provides smooth multitasking while browsing the web, running productivity apps or streaming music. Tegra K1’s breakthrough power efficiency gives the 14-inch HP Chromebook improved battery life. It also features a silent, slim, fanless design and is optimized for Google Hangouts, supporting Hangouts in HD.(5,7)Available in Twinkle Black or Snow White with a choice of complementary accent color options, including Smoke Silver, Sorbet Orange, Ocean Turquoise or Neon Green, the 14-inch HP Chromebook stands out in a crowd.(6)  

  • The 14-inch HP Chromebook is expected to be available in the United States beginning on Oct. 22 for a starting price of $299.99.

(5) High definition (HD) content is required to view high-definition images.
(6) Color availability may vary by region.
(7) Internet service required and not included.

Toshiba Chromebook 2 [CB30-B 13.3”] with Full HD [1920 x 1080] Screen Hands-On [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Sep 3, 2014] with Intel’s BayTrail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) platform

http://chromebookworld.com for more on Chromebooks. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB30-B comes with an optional FullHD IPS screen. It’s iimpressive. There’s no touch but the price should be under 400 Euro. The Intel Baytrail-M platform drives the system.

Note: In France the Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB30-B is available for €329 as of Sept 7.

Acer Chromebook 13 Hands-On (CB5, Tegra [K1], 2014) [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Sep 5, 2014] Note: available for pre-order in U.S. since Aug 12 (see below), but as of Sept 7 it still has not been released

http://chromebookworld.com for more with the Acer Chromebook 13 running on Tegra (ARM.) Full HD and Touchscreen available.

A new type of Chromebook with extra-long battery life [Google Chrome Blog, Aug 11, 2014]

Chromebooks were designed for your mobile lifestyle. They’re thin and light, resume instantly, and are easy to use.

Starting today, we’re welcoming a new type of Chromebook into the family, beginning with the Acer Chromebook 13. This new device uses the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, so you get the speed you’re used to from Chromebooks with a battery life up to 13 hours. What could you do in thirteen hours?

  • Fly from New York to Beijing
  • Watch the entire set of Harry Potter movies
  • Complete an Iron Man triathlon (average finish time is 12hr 13min)
  • Finish a 1-credit college course
  • Watch 390 adorable cat videos (2 min per video)
  • Use your Chromebook 13 to watch, play and get a lot done

The Acer Chromebook 13 is available now (with optional touchscreen and 1080p resolution) at Amazon and other online retailers from $279.

Hands-on: The Tegra K1-powered Acer Chromebook 13 [NVIDIA YouTube channel, Aug 12, 2014]

Read more on the NVIDIA Blog: http://nvda.ly/AcMHL. Take a look at the first ever Chromebook powered by the impossibly advanced Tegra K1 quad-core processor and its 192 GPU cores — the Acer Chromebook 13. With up to 13 hours battery life, full 1080p display and multi-tasking capabilities that leave other Chromebooks in the dust, the Acer Chromebook 13 packs a high-end punch into a slick, modern design.

See more at: Tegra K1 Transforming Chromebooks From The Inside Out [NVIDIA Blog, Aug 11, 2014] 

Acer Chromebook 13 laptop – The Chromebook with 13 hours of battery life (features & highlights) [Acer YouTube channel, Aug 11, 2014]

The Acer Chromebook 13 gives you more. Up to 13 hours of battery life keeps you powered from day to night. A faster wireless connection keeps you one step ahead. Full HD display (optional) and anti-glare technology (optional) deliver smooth graphics and enhance all of your favorite videos and photos. Acer Chromebook 13 – more to enjoy. (Battery life may vary depending on model and configuration.)

Acer Launches Industry’s First Chromebook Powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1 and its First 13.3-inch Model [press release, Aug 12, 2014]

Acer America today announced the Acer Chromebook 13, the industry’s first Chromebook powered by an NVIDIA Tegra K1 mobile processor mobile processor and the company’s first with a 13.3-inch display. The Chromebook 13 enhances Acer’s already dominant position in this category with an impressive 46.7 percent market share in Chromebooks.(1)

Acer’s early lead in the Chromebook space you could understand from my earlier Leading PC vendors of the past: Go enterprise or die! [Nov 7, 2013] post.

The combination of additional real estate on the vibrant 13.3-inch display, industry-leading battery life of up to 13 hours,(2) and a thin and light fanless design makes the Acer Chromebook 13 the ideal choice for customers who want additional screen real estate along with a portable and productivity-boosting design. The Acer Chromebook 13 is available in two options – one with a full HD display with 1920×1080 resolution and another model with a 1366×768 display.(2)

The Acer Chromebook 13 delivers the ultimate in mobility with the Tegra K1 with a 192-core GPU, enabling customers to get more done throughout their work day and after hours, no matter where they take their Chromebook. Customers will experience a first-rate multi-tasking experience when keeping multiple tabs open, playing a video and doing more all at once.

“The Acer Chromebook 13 is an ideal device for families who need a new or additional computer to share for school projects, research, entertainment and fun online,” said Sumit Agnihotry, Acer’s vice president of product marketing. “The display is large and vibrant, so everything from homework to video is incredibly crisp and detailed. Plus, up to 13 hours of battery life means families can use the device all day for work or school and not have to recharge it for nighttime activities like homework and watching movies.”

The Acer Chromebook 13 uses the NVIDIA Tegra K1 4-Plus-1™ quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU plus a third-generation battery-saver core to provide up to 13 hours of battery life(2). Tegra K1 uses an NVIDIA Kepler architecture-based GPUwith 192 programmable GPGPU cores to process rich and detailed graphics.

“The Acer Chromebook 13’s long battery life, speedy multitasking and advanced graphics highlight the tremendous experiences that Tegra K1 delivers,” said Kaustubh Sanghani, general manager of the mobile PC business unit at NVIDIA. “Acer’s innovations and Tegra K1 will make the Chromebook 13 a popular device with consumers.”

Two Options Provide Choice of Full HD Display, Extra-Long Battery Life
The Acer Chromebook 13’s large 13.3-inch display comes in two models to give customer the options that fit their needs. The version with a full HD 1920×1080 display shows video in lifelike 1080p resolution and provides up to 11 hours of battery life.(2) In addition, models will be available with a bright and crisp 1366×768 resolution display that provides even longer battery life of up to 13 hours.(2) Both displays will have Acer ComfyView™ anti-glare panels that minimize light reflection that can cause eye fatigue. In addition, the Acer Chromebook 13’s display provides rich colors and excellent contrast, while the large size helps accommodate the spacious keyboard that is both comfortable and maximizes productivity.

Designed with mobility in mind, the Acer Chromebook 13 has an incredibly thin and light design that measures only 0.71 inches thin and weighs only 3.31 pounds. In addition, the Acer Chromebook 13 is fanless, so the system is nearly silent while operating. The Acer Chromebook 13 keeps customers in touch and connected with 802.11ac WiFi, which provides speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n. Plus, the 2×2 MIMO antenna helps ensure reliable throughput.

Starts Quickly; Connects to Popular Devices
The new Acer Chromebook 13 boots up in less than 9 seconds and resumes nearly instantly from sleep mode. This enables customers to more quickly enjoy the more than 30,000 free and paid apps, themes and extensions in the Chrome web store.

Customers will enjoy faster data transfers of photos and video with the Acer Chromebook 13’s two USB 3.0 ports. Plus, streamed video and movies can be shared on a larger display or home TV using the Acer Chromebook 13’s HDMI port. Video chats and Google Talk are all enhanced by the Chromebook’s HD webcam that provides 720p HD audio/video recording as well as the two built-in stereo speakers and microphone.

Fun to Share, Easy to Protect

Chromebooks are simple to use and ideal for sharing by multiple users, such as families, schools or at different shifts at a business. Users can log into their own account to access Gmail, Docs, website bookmarks and other information. Storage on Google Drive(3) protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. Plus, Acer Chromebook 13 users can view, edit, create and collaborate on-line and off-line with a growing number of programs, such as Microsoft Office documents and Gmail.

Security is a key benefit of the Chrome operating system, as it’s automatically updated to guard against ever-changing online threats. This is especially useful for families and schools who want to protect children.

Pricing and Availability

Several models are available now for pre-sale:

  • The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 has the 1920×1080 full HD [1920 x 1080] display, 2GB of memory and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive(4). It is priced at only $299.99 and is available now for pre-sale at BestBuy.com.
  • The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T1UU has a 1920×1080 full HD [1920 x 1080] display, 4GB of memory and a fast 32GB Solid State Drive(4). It is priced at only $379.99 and is available now for pre-sale at Amazon.com and the Acer Store.
  • The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T7NN has a 1366×768 display, 2GB of memory and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive(4). It is priced at only $279.99 and is available now for pre-sale at Amazon.com and the Acer Store.

Acer is also offering a configuration via resellers that will be sold to commercial and education customers. That model comes with a 1366×768 display, 4GB of memory, a fast 16GB Solid State Drive(4) and will be priced at $329.99.

Acer systems are backed by professional, high-quality technical support. The company’s online community at community.acer.com provides customers discussion forums, answers to frequently asked questions and the opportunity to share ideas for new and enhanced services and products.

    Prices listed are manufacturer suggested retail prices and may vary by location. Applicable sales tax extra.
    1. Q1 2014 NPD data, U.S. market.
    2. The Acer Chromebook 13 model with the full HD 1920×1080 display provides up to 11.5 hours of battery life. The Acer Chromebook 13 model with the 1366×768 display provides up to 13 hours of battery life. Battery life as measured with Google power_LoadTest (http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/testing/power-testing). Actual battery life varies by model, configuration (including storage capacity, RAM capacity, processor in use, display type and resolution, etc.), applications, power management settings, operating conditions, and utilized features.
    3. More information on Google Drive on Chrome devices:https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/2703646?p=driveoffer&rd=1
    4. Accessible capacity varies: (MB = 1 million bytes; GB = 1 billion bytes)

    2. Recently introduced Chromebooks (11.6”)

    Acer Chromebook 11 laptop – The right choice for a smart buyer (features & highlights) [Acer YouTube channel, Aug 21, 2014] with Intel’s BayTrail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) N2830 platform (availability?)

    As the best value Chromebook – the Acer Chromebook 11 has everything you need. The faster wireless connection on the market keeps you closer than ever, no matter where life takes you. Long-lasting battery life powers past competitors on just a single charge. Acer Chromebook 11 makes life on-the-go easy.

    From Acer’s Chrome Devices Now Expand to Include New Chromebox CXI and Chromebook 11 [press release, Aug 21, 2014]

    Acer Chromebook 11

    The Acer Chromebook 11 enhances life on-the-go with an even faster wireless connectivity and long-lasting battery life that extends productivity from day to night on a single charge. There are two models: the CB3-111 consumer model in an immaculate Moonstone White color, and the C730 commercial/education model in Granite Gray.

    The Acer Chromebook 11 meets the needs of students, families, anyone on a budget, as an affordable secondary device, and for the growing number of customers who enjoy the Google ecosystem for school, work and entertainment.

    Faster Connection and Long-lasting Battery

    Up to 3x faster(1) connection is achieved via the latest 802.11ac wireless communication, which vastly improves coverage in distance and range. The Chromebook 11 features Bluetooth 4.0 technology and one USB 3.0 port that lets users share and send data faster. Up to 8.5 hours(2) of battery life means users can fit in plenty of work and entertainment throughout the day.

    Fast Boot and Connectivity

    The Intel® Celeron® N2830 processor(4), based on the Intel Bay Trail M architecture, and eMMC 16/32 GB solid-state drive helps this system boot fast(5), perform well without slowing over time. The Chromebook 11 comes with an 11.6-inch HD 1366 x 768 display, 16:9 wide aspect ratio, and Acer ComfyView™ LED backlit TFT LCD. Input/output ports include USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports for quick and easy data sharing and external storage, SD™ Card reader, combo headphone/speaker jack, and HDMI® port.

    The Chromebook 11 (CB3-111) for consumers is slimmer than its predecessor measuring 299 x 202 x 18.65 mm with a reduced height, and weighs 1.1kg (2.43 lbs.) so it can be taken anywhere for exploring online, staying in touch, running Chrome apps and more.

    The Chromebook 11 (C730) for the commercial/education with improved structural design can withstand a 60% higher drop test than the consumer model, and features a water spill proof keyboard/touchpad with drainage channel designed to tackle the higher possibilities of spills and drops in businesses and schools. This model measures 302.6 x 206.6 x 21.75 mm and weighs 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs.)

    Speed, Security and Synchronicity of Acer Chrome-based Devices

    The New Acer Chromebox CXI and Chromebook 11 pack all the speed, security and auto-synchronization convenience of Chrome OS.

    Powerwash – Easy Factory Reset

    Powerwash enables IT to quickly and easily clear all local user data stored in the Chrome device by resetting it to its original factory state. Using this feature, all data stored on the device such as files, photos, owner permissions, and saved networks, will be deleted for all accounts. After clearing this data, the IT professional is guided through the initial setup again. Resetting the device doesn’t affect the accounts themselves, or any data synced to these accounts.

    Always Up to Date, Easy to Use

    IT professionals will find that it’s simple to control a fleet of Chrome devices via the web-based Google Management Console, which makes it possible to deploy an app from 1 to thousands of Chrome-based devices with a single click of a button. The OS and all downloaded applications are automatically updated every six weeks, saving IT staff’s time and assuring users the freshest software and security features.

    Acer’s Chrome devices come with pre-installed web apps and over 30,000 additional apps, themes and extensions on the Chrome Web Store. Since all applications run within the browser, there is little to no computer management required.

    Acer’s Chrome devices are easy to use. After the user signs into Chrome with a Google account, they’re immediately immersed in the Google ecosystem and signed into Google services. Their bookmarks, history and settings are synced across all of their devices and computers running Chrome. Once logged in, they can surf the Internet with the Chrome browser, read and send emails from Gmail, search the web with Google Search, create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more with Google Drive, as well as watch videos from YouTube, etc.

    Fun to Share, Easy to Protect

    Chrome devices are simple to use and ideal for sharing by multiple users, such as families, schools or at different shifts at a business. Users can log into their own account to access Gmail, Docs, website bookmarks and other information. Storage on Google Drive 4 protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chrome device is lost or stolen. Plus, users of Acer Chrome devices can view, edit, create and collaborate on-line and off-line with a growing number of programs, such as Office documents and Gmail.

    Layers of Tight Security

    Multiple layers of security features including data encryption and verified boot defend the device against online threats, malware and viruses. Every time the Chrome OS boots, it checks the integrity and validity of system files. If it detects any anomaly or unauthorized change, the system will restore from a prior backup. User and system files are stored on separate partitions that keep data secure and make restoration from a backup simple. Individual user’s data is encrypted automatically and protected by the TPM 1.2 chip, which generates and stores secure cryptographic keys, enabling IT professionals to read data from a stolen Chrome device.

    Via individual accounts, data is kept safe when the device is used by multiple users. Storage on Google Drive safeguards files, documents, and photos in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version is always available. IT staff will also appreciate that the Acer Chromebox CXI has a Kensington lock to secure them to a desk or mobile cart.

    (1) Based on a IEEE 802.11ac draft specification. Actual speed will vary based on range, connection rate, site conditions, size of network, and other factors.
    (2) Battery life may vary depending on model and configuration. Based on Google power_LoadTest.
    (3) 330 ml of liquid water spillage resistant keyboard and touchpad design on Acer Chromebook 11 – C730 only.
    (4) Accessible capacity varies: (MB = 1 million bytes; GB = 1 billion bytes).
    (5) Reg: Boots up under 10 seconds. Source: Chromium OS Fast Boot.

    Lenovo N20/N20P [11.6”] Chromebook hands-on [SlashGear YouTube channel, May 5, 2014]  !! The N20p comes with a 300-degree hinge that allows the screen to be turned around for using the notebook in all-touch mode!! with Intel’s “BayTrail-M” [Mobile] Celeron N2930 or N2830 platform, available beginning in July and August, respectively

    The Lenovo N20 Chromebook is expected to go on sale in July, priced at $279. It’ll be followed by the N20p Chromebook in August, priced at $329. They are offering a choice of touch or non-touch 1366 x 768 displays respectively, and up to eight hours of battery life. The N20 is of a more traditional design, but the N20p borrows from the YOGA and others in Lenovo’s line-up, with a 300-degree hinge that allows the screen to be turned around for using the notebook in all-touch mode. Under the hood, there’s Intel’s “Bay Trail” Celeron [N2930 or N2830] processor, paired with up to 4GB of memory and 16GB of storage.So far, Lenovo’s focus with Chrome OS has been on the education market. That’s finally changed to accommodate consumers, however, with the N20 and N20p offering the same three-second boot time and the usual suite of cloud-centric Google apps. More information: http://www.slashgear.com/lenovo-n20n20p-chromebook-hands-on-05327776/

    Lenovo Breaks The Mold By Going Multimode On Its First Consumer Chromebook [press release, May 6, 2014]

    Portfolio offers thin and light designs and breakthrough dual mode, touch experience

    • N20 Chromebook in clamshell design offers familiar laptop feel with choice features
    • N20p Chromebook features an HD 10-point multitouch display and easily converts from Laptop to Stand mode for added flexibility and new ways to use it
    Lenovo(HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced Lenovo’s first consumer Chromebooks, the N20 Chromebook and N20p Chromebook. These devices offer consumers choices of two ways to enjoy the Chrome experience in a thin and light form factor with a set of comprehensive technologies – all at an unbelievably affordable price starting at $279. While the N20 provides the familiar comfort of a traditional laptop, the N20p Chromebook breaks the mold for Chromebooks with its innovative multimode design featuring Laptop and Stand modes.
    These new additions complement Lenovo’s Chromebook family, which includes the ThinkPad 11e Chromebook and the ThinkPad YOGA 11e Chromebook, built with the needs of education customers in mind.
    Fusing Innovative Hardware
    Designed for maximum portability, both Chromebooks are thin and light at less than 17.9mm and weighing less than 1.4 kg. With an 11.6-in 1366×768 HD screen, users can comfortably see their work and type by using the full-sized keyboard with its oversized trackpad and attractive cool-touch palmrest.
    While the N20 Chromebook features a traditional laptop design, the multimode N20p Chromebook’s keyboard flexes 300° backward to convert from Laptop mode to Stand mode. Stand mode gives users a new way for watching videos up close and interacting with the 10-finger touchscreen for playing games and browsing.
    With up to eight hours of battery life1 and powered by an Intel® Celeron processor with integrated graphics, users can quickly and seamlessly boot the Chromebook and immediately begin their task, whether it’s watching videos, video chatting using the high definition web cam, listening to music, surfing the web and more without bringing their power cord along. They can also stay constantly connected with its WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Chromebooks also come with up to 16 GB internal and up to 100 GB of free cloud storage from Google Drive for storing digital content.
    The Chrome Experience 
    Combining the Chrome experience with Lenovo’s innovative multimode Chromebook design offers an unmatched value for consumers. With the Chrome operating system, the Chromebooks boot within seconds. Chrome offers fast, automatic updates and tens of thousands of apps available via the Chrome Web Store.
    Users can work on their N20 Chromebook and N20p Chromebook offline writing email on Gmail and creating documents with Google Docs. To facilitate working with other people and devices, the Chromebooks allow for opening, editing and sharing Microsoft Word and Excel files. Users can even share their Chromebook with someone else through a guest’s personal Google account or by enabling Guest Mode, and they can enable monitoring of children’s web browsing with supervised user profiles. With the Chromebooks, users can print anywhere via Google Cloud Print, and they can employ remote desktop access to access software on their machine.
    Quote
    “Our first consumer Chromebooks perfectly complement people’s changing mobile digital lifestyles,” said Dilip Bhatia, vice president, worldwide marketing and design, PC Group, Lenovo. “Equipped with thousands of apps, the N20 and N20p Chromebooks are also fast, secure and incredibly simple for anyone to use and manage. With touch and two unique modes on the N20p Chromebook, users are getting a great technology experience at a handsome price.” 

    Pricing and Availability2
    Pricing for models of the N20 Chromebook and N20p Chromebook start at $279 and $329, respectively. They will be available beginning in July and August, respectively, via Lenovo retailers and www.lenovo.com.

    ASUS C200 [11.6”] Chromebook Review. Detailed. HQ. [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Aug  4, 2014] with Intel’s BayTrail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) [N2830] platform, was first available in U.S. since May 6, 2014 (Amazon) and as of Sept 7. its MRP is $249 while you can buy it on Amazon for $230 

    2-weeks of testing. Here’s the review video for the ASUS C200 Chromebook. The details can be found in my review at Notebookcheck.net. Please ask questions in the comments, and subscribe! Full review here: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Asus-C200MA-KX003-Chromebook-Review.121927.0.html

    See also: Introducing the New ASUS Chromebooks C200 and C300 [press release, May 6, 2014] where it was stated that:

    … The ASUS Chromebook C200 and C300 will begin shipping in the US at the end of June 2014 with a starting price at $249.99. …

    New Chromebooks: in more shapes, sizes and colors [Google Chrome Blog, May 6, 2014]

    Spring has finally arrived in the U.S. And with the new growth the season brings, we’re happy to expand our Chromebook family. Together with Intel, today we’re announcing a new lineup of Chromebooks with Intel inside from leading manufacturers Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG and Toshiba—spanning an entire range of shapes, sizes, colors and configurations.

    Lenovo’s N20p Chromebook and Thinkpad YOGA 11e Chromebook offer options for touchscreen and hinge designs that enable tablet or tented-angle usage, so they’re just as easy to use at your desk or coffee table, on your lap or at school.

    ASUS is following the success of their Chromebox (now the most popular desktop on Amazon.com) by introducing two new laptops: The ASUS C200 Chromebook (11-inch) and ASUS C300 Chromebook (13-inch).

    New versions of the Dell Chromebook 11 and the Acer C720 Chromebook will be powered by Intel’s Core i3 processor, which packs the additional performance to help you get things done faster. These new Chromebooks, along with a new 13-inch Toshiba model, a Chromebox from HP, and the LG Chromebase (the first all-in-one computer running Chrome OS), will be available in retail over the next few months.

    3. Gartner Says Chromebook Sales Will Reach 5.2 Million Units in 2014 [press release, Aug 11, 2014]

    Chromebook Sales Expected to Nearly Triple by 2017

    In 2014, Sales to Consumers Will Account for Over Half of All Chromebook Sales

    Sales of Chromebooks* will reach 5.2 million units in 2014, a 79 percent increase from 2013, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2017, sales of Chromebooks are set to nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units.
    “Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with eight models in the market in 2014,” said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner. “Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities. They launched Chromebooks to revive interest in sub-$300 portable PCs once the netbook bubble had burst.”
    Demand for Chromebooks is mainly driven by the education sector in the U.S. Gartner estimates that the education sector accounted for nearly 85 percent of Chromebook sales in 2013. In addition, of the 2.9 million Chromebooks sold during 2013, 82 percent were sold in North America, making it the major market for Chromebooks globally.
    While Chromebooks are primarily used by the education sector, they will also have a place in businesses for specific workers, such as staff in banking, financial services, estate agents and hotel receptionists. “So far, businesses have looked at Chromebooks, but not bought many,” said Ms. Durand. “By adopting Chromebooks and cloud computing, businesses can benefit; they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important — their data.”
    These devices also encourage more collaboration and sharing of content. As more users work collaboratively in the cloud, collaborative working practices are likely to become more common which may further increase the appeal of Chromebooks and similar devices.
    In 2011, Samsung and Acer, very consumer-focused vendors, were the first vendors to invest in Chromebooks, and were the two dominant leaders in the market in 2013 (see Figure 1) “While there is less presence in the business market, and a limited product portfolio for midsize businesses, Chromebooks could open doors to the business market,” said Ms. Durand.
    Acer’s early lead in the Chromebook space you could understand from my earlier Leading PC vendors of the past: Go enterprise or die! [Nov 7, 2013] post. Meanwhile Samsung earliest lead was documented in the very end of my Nexus 7: Google wanted it in 4 months for $199/$245, ASUS delivered + Nexus Q (of Google’s own design and manufacturing) added for social streaming from Google Play to speakers and screen in home under Android device control [June 28, 2012] post.

    Figure 1. Chromebook Vendors’ Shares of Unit Sales to End Users, Worldwide, 2013

    image
    Source: Gartner (July 2014)
    By selling 1.7 million units in 2013, Samsung led the Chromebook market globally. It was especially dominant in the education market, having the most popular devices in primary and secondary schools. Acer, which had a 21.4 percent market share in 2013, designs Chromebooks with a consistent focus on delivering the best value for money. It uses Intel, rather than ARM-based, CPUs because its target consumers are price-sensitive.
    HP was the No. 3 vendor, with a 6.8 percent share of Chromebook shipments, and Lenovo (which did not enter the market until last year) accounted for 6.7 percent of shipments in 2013. HP was the only vendor to launch a Chromebook with a 14-inch screen. HP positions itself as a provider of solutions and services for businesses, and its large installed customer base in the business and education markets should provide it with a strong competitive advantage in the Chromebook market going forward. Lenovo’s Chromebooks are very rugged, compared with the competition, and therefore ideal for primary and secondary school pupils. However, Lenovo needs to manage its devices portfolio in such a way as to avoid selling so many Chromebooks that it undermines sales of its other ThinkPads — which provide better margins.
    Chromebooks will remain a niche market during the next five years. To reach a wider audience, vendors need to offer better features that address cloud-based usage patterns: faster connectivity, faster memory access, faster and larger solid-state drives, and strong user support in the education, business and consumer segments. “Making a competitive Chromebook is not just a matter of hardware and price; what is most important is to show how the device’s cloud-based architecture provides genuine advantages to users,” said Ms. Durand.
    More detailed analysis is available in the report “Competitive Landscape: Chromebooks, Worldwide.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2811820.