Microsoft touts benefits of linking up on Windows 8.1

COOPERATION?:Demand for Windows 8-based PC products has been lukewarm since its launch last year, leaving some OEMs cautious on further commitments

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Thu, Jun 06, 2013 - Page 13

Seeking to attract more original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to develop Windows 8-powered PC products, Microsoft Corp yesterday took the stage at Computex in Taipei and introduced the new features of Windows 8.1.

“We want to be the best partner to all hardware manufacturers, from the way we engage and invest in new product designs to the experience we jointly deliver to customers,” Nick Parker, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s OEM division, said at a product demonstration featuring new Windows 8-powered desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft is scheduled to make a complete introduction of its Windows 8.1 operating system at its Build Conference, which runs from June 26 through June 28 in San Francisco, California.

Demand for Windows 8-based PC products has been lukewarm since the operating system was launched in October last year.

Acer Inc (宏碁) president Jim Wong (翁建仁) said on the sidelines of the trade show forum that “Windows 8.1 is an improved operating system but whether it could meet consumers’ expectations remains unclear.”

“It will take time for consumers to learn the updated Windows 8 operating system and get familiar with it. We will watch market reactions closely,” Wong said.

Separately, Intel Corp yesterday said its latest chip for tablets and ultra-thin notebook computers is in final testing and is likely to be made available ahead of the Christmas shopping spree.

The new Atom system-on-a-chip — Bay Trail — is based on a 22-nanometer Silvermont microarchitecture and includes quad-core processing and Gen 7 graphics.

Supporting Windows and Google Inc’s Android operating systems, the next-generation chip would offer significantly improved processing and graphics performance, the company said.

In addition to the new chip for tablets, Intel will provide a product codenamed “Merrifield” for smartphones, which it says will improve performance by 50 percent and allow longer battery life than current versions.

Products powered by Merrifield will be available early next year, Intel said.