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Amazon U.K. Reveals Windows 8 Pro Packaging; Ballmer Charts More Apple-Like Business Model

Amazon U.K. has posted a product page for the Windows 8 Pro, Upgrade Edition [Upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7.

According to Amazon’s description, you can upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 8 Release Preview, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, or Windows Developer Preview, but you might not be able to keep all of your files, software programs, and settings. A table is provided showing what you can keep during an upgrade, depending on the current version of Windows you are running. If you choose to boot from removable media, you won’t be able to keep your software programs, Windows settings, or personal files when you upgrade.

System Requirements
• 1 GHz processor
• 2 GB RAM
• 20 GB available hard disk space
• 1366 x 768 screen resolution
• DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver

Additional Requirements to Use Certain Features
• Internet access (fees may apply)
• For touchscreen, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multi-touch
• Microsoft account required for some features
• Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
• Windows Media Center license sold separately
• To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
• To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768

You can check it out at:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008GRKGXK/

Amazon’s U.S. Windows 8 product page also includes details on hardware compatibility, noting:

If your PC has a 64 bit-capable processor (CPU) but is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can install a 64-bit version of Windows 8. You also won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or software programs when you upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version.

For more information, visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008H3SW4I/

Microsoft Shareholder Letter Indicates Shift To More Apple-Like Software/Hardware Vertical Integration

In a shareholder letter to shareholders, customers, partners and employees, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that the full value of Microsoft software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives, with the company making a significant shift, both in what they do and how they see themselves as a devices and services company.

While Mr. Ballmer hastens to emphasize that Microsoft will continue to work with a vast ecosystem of partners to deliver a broad spectrum of Windows PCs, tablets and phones, the shift in marketing emphasis means that there will be times when Microsoft builds specific hardware devices for specific purposes, as they have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface tablet computer. “Further,” he says, “as we develop and update our consumer services, we’ll do so in ways that take full advantage of hardware advances, that complement one another and that unify all the devices people use daily.”

Ballmer says Windows 8, to be released Oct. 26, is an emblematic example of the shift, uniting the light, thin and fun aspects of a tablet with the power of a PC, firmly establishing one platform, Windows, across the PC, tablet, phone, server and cloud to drive a thriving ecosystem of developers, unify the cross-device user experience, and increase agility when bringing new advancements to market, also noting that Office is likewise taking a major leap forward – designed from the ground up for Windows 8 and taking full advantage of new mobile form factors with touch and pen capabilities.

The fill text of Steve Ballmer’s letter is available here:
http://bit.ly/ORLB6O

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