WinphoneheaderThe decision to not bring Windows Phone 8 over to existing handsets was based on hardware, Microsoft says. Windows Phone 8 now supports tech such as multiple core processors, higher screen resolutions, and NFC –- things that existing phones simply don’t have the hardware for.

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Windows-8-start-screen-600Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley first reported that the company intends to provide cheap upgrades for new Windows customers over the summer. According to “contacts,” after the Release Preview arrives, customers who buy Windows 7 or a Windows 7 PC will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 when it’s released in the fall for just $14.99 — a price revealed to Windows Supersite by “sources.”

Windows-8-cp-review-600The U.S. arm of the British-based Harvey Nash Group and the data center provider TelecityGroup found that 9% percent of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) are female. Last year, that figure was 11%. In 2010, it was 12%.

Thunderbolt-on-pcs-600You can connect devices such as monitors and hard drives, daisychaining up to seven of them together. The best part: blazing speed, rocketing data around your system twice as quickly as USB 3.0, which is already whole lot faster than the garden-variety USB 2.0 we’ve been using for the past few years.

Lenovo-yoga-600Windows 8 won’t be ready for consumers until fall, but that’s not stopping hardware makers from fighting to be first in line to build hardware for Microsoft’s new operating system.

Lenovo is planning to be the “first to market” with a Windows 8 tablet, The Verge reports.

Citing a “source,” the report says Lenovo is planning to be ready to ship the device in October and that it will have an Intel chip, so it clearly won’t be a Windows-on-ARM device. Other than that, there aren’t any details on exactly what the machine will be, although given those basic criteria (tablet, Intel, Windows 8), there’s at least one suspect: the IdeaPad Yoga.

Google-chrome-600Google says it’s working on a version of Chrome that will run in the Metro environment. The news follows the revelation that Mozilla is building Firefox for Metro as well.

A Google spokesperson told Mashable that the new version of Chrome would be based on the desktop browser (as opposed to the Android version).

“Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” the rep said. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.”

That means when Windows 8 tablets start to appear later this year, customers will be able to use the same browsers they use in Windows 7, but re-imagined for the Metro interface.

Arm-chip-600Microsoft described in detail Thursday exactly how Windows will work on ARM devices. The new strain of Windows, retooled from the ground up for low-power devices like tablets, will be identical to the regular desktop version in many ways, and Microsoft says it’ll ship some test units to developers by the end of February. Actual products are planned for the general release of Windows 8.

In a departure from traditional Windows machines, ARM-based devices running Windows will be complete “end-to-end” products, meaning you won’t be able to buy Windows as a piece of software separate from those devices — it comes fully integrated. Microsoft says it will service and improve the software over the “useful life” of the device.

Skype_globeSkype for Windows version 5.8 is out, bringing several interesting features, including full HD video-calling, group screen sharing and Facebook integration.

Full HD video calls will be most useful to those who own a HD webcam, for example Logitech C920 which does the video encoding itself thus improving HD video quality on older computers.

Video calling for Facebook works even with users who don’t use Skype. To start a video call with a Facebook buddy, select the person in your list and click “video call.”

Finally, group screen sharing, available with Skype Premium, allows you to share your screen or an application window with other participants of a conference call. To activate it, choose the + menu during a call and select “share my screen.”

Other new features include a push to talk hotkey, the ability to hide offline Facebook contacts and Bing Toolbar integration.

Htc_titanIn the world of smartphones, Windows Phone 7 is barely a blip. It has, by some estimates less than 6% market share. Android now owns half the market and iOS about 26%. This isn’t right. You see, the Windows Phone 7 is a good — possibly great — mobile platform. It’s better, in my opinion, than Android and nibbling at the heels of my favorite, iOS and the iPhone.

To understand why things are so out of whack and why I believe they could change, we need to take a closer look at a Windows Phone.