Microsoft has announced that it has sold 200 million Windows 8 licenses and the comment came from Tami Reller during the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference.

This is a massive number by any count as selling 200 million of any type of product or licenses is surely a milestone worth celebrating but it is notable that Microsoft was rather quiet about sales figures as the last update came in May of 2012.

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WZor.net has been leaking a number of screenshots in the past few weeks showing off some of the features that Microsoft is reportedly putting into Windows 8.1 Update 1. Today, the site is not only posting up some new images from a recent build, but it has also revealed that it makes a PC start to the desktop UI by default.

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If the site's report is indeed accurate, this would be a complete 180 compared to the launch of Windows 8 in October 2012, when users had no choice but to start up a PC with the Modern UI Start screen. The release of Windows 8.1 allowed people to go into the operating system's settings after it was installed and change it so that a PC boots to the desktop UI.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook is offering more hints in a new interview this week that his company will be releasing new products beyond its current lineup. The Wall Street Journal quotes Cook as saying, "There will be new categories. We're not ready to talk about it, but we're working on some really great stuff.”

  Cook declined to comment when asked by the WSJ if he simply is refering to improvements for existing products but he did state that anybody who was "reasonable" would consider what Apple is developing behind the scenes to be new categories.

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Microsoft is preparing to launch an update to Windows 8.1 this spring and the leaks have already started to show the fruits of this labor. While not a major refinement, according to known information, like Windows 8.1, the spring update will bring quite a few enhancements that will make it easier for mouse and keyboard users to make use of the modern environment.

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One of the rumored features for Windows 9 is the ability to run modern apps in a windowed environment. If you look at some of the leaked changes for the spring update in Windows 8.1, you can start to see how Microsoft will transition modern apps into a windowed environment.

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How desperate is Microsoft in its quest to get as many people to stop using Windows XP? Based on the tone of a new blog post from the company today, it's very desperate to stop folks from using the 12-year old operating system before it stops supporting it on April 8th.

  The post on the Windows Experience blog says that if you are reading it, "it’s unlikely you are running Windows XP on your PC However, you may know someone who is and have even served as their tech support." Therefore, Microsoft seems to think that you are the perfect person to spread "the word to ensure people are safe and secure on modern up-to-date PCs."

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With Windows 8.1 Update 1 reportedly set for release on March 11, information about what we can expect to see in the revised OS is already emerging. On Wednesday, screenshots leaked showing Modern apps (or 'Store apps') pinned to the taskbar on the Desktop, and on Thursday, further screenshots gave an additional look at this feature.

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Another day, another leak - this time from WZor.net, the site that first published Wednesday's screenshots. The latest images show the familiar Windows Start screen, but with a couple of interesting changes.

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While we have reported that the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 will offer users better access to the OS with a keyboard and mouse configuration, there will apparently be some improvements for touchscreen-based PC owners as well.

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Winsupersite has found a revamped Disk Space feature in the recently leaked build of Update 1 that should make it easier for users to manage their Modern apps and storage space with a touch-oriented UI.

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Last week, HP launched an online campaign to sell PC with Windows 7 installed, using the term "back by popular demand" to describe the promotion. While all major OEMs still sell new Windows 7 PCs, they are rather hard to find on their online storefronts and are traditionally targeting business customers. HP made waves because it was openly targeting Windows 7 PCs at consumers.

HP Windows8 Ad

The move generated a lot of attention, with some speculating that HP was unhappy with sales of Windows 8 PCs and were trying to see if a more open sale of Windows 7 computers would be effective. This week, HP decided to respond to the speculation in a blog post, saying that the company simply wanted to give its customer a choice in products and operating systems. It added, "We like giving our customers the option to get the computer that’s right for them."

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A build of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 that is slated to arrive this spring, leaked and showed off a few new features. If you were not brave enough (and we don’t blame you) to download the bits from the dark corners of the web, a video overview of the update has made its way to YouTube.

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Despite rumors and speculation suggesting the contrary, Apple does not have any plans now or for any point in the future to merge OS X with iOS. Apple executives said that doing so would be a "waste of energy" and indirectly poked a bit of fun at Microsoft's strategy to have one OS for both tablets and desktops.

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"We don't waste time thinking, 'But it should be one (interface!) How do you make these (operating systems) merge together?' What a waste of energy that would be," Apple's Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller told Macworld in an interview.

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