Windows 8 reviewed plus a right old kerfuffle over 4G
24th Aug 2012 | 10:00
Will today's tech stand the test of time?
It's here: the biggest, in-depthiest review of Windows 8 you could possibly imagine. We've given it four and a half stars out of five, because on the right hardware it's brilliant, though it still requires anybody coming to it afresh to keep an open mind; it is different.
Speaking to investors, Dell's senior VP Brian Gladden promised that "You'll see new Windows 8 Ultrabooks, all-in-one tablets and converged devices in the fourth quarter and headed into next year."
Microsoft will be hoping that Windows 8 taps into the trend known as BYOD, short for Bring Your Own Device: rather than put up with the hardware and software choices of IT departments, many users are opting to bring in their own kit instead.
That flexibility seems to have a downside, though: it's "creating a generation of workaholics". According to the latest Mobile Workforce report, BYOD often leads to people working up to 20 extra hours per week, with some people finding themselves unable to disconnect even when they're on holiday, racking up enormous data bills in the process.
4G given the green light
Did someone say "enormous data bills"? Say hello to 4G mobile broadband, which we just know isn't going to be cheap. There's some good news, though: telecoms watchdog Ofcom has given UK 4G broadband a boost, and it's coming to the UK much sooner than we expected.
Everything Everywhere, owner of Orange and T-Mobile, has been given the green light to reassign some of its existing infrastructure for 4G use - which means it'll have 4G available long before the other UK networks, which have to wait for next year's 4G auction.
Our very own Gary Marshall had some fun with the possibilities. "Everything Everywhere gets the green light on 11 September... and guess what's probably being announced on 12 September? Here's a clue: it rhymes with 'skyphone' - and it'll probably be 4G."
As Marshall admits, that's entirely speculation - while we expect the iPhone 5 to have 4G, that isn't definite, and if it does have 4G it might not work on the frequency Everything Everywhere will be using - but if the next iPhone can use Everything Everywhere's 4G network, that's bad news for rival firms. "Who's going to spend [huge sums] on an iPhone 5 that doesn't work properly?" Marshall asks.
With just weeks to go before its launch, the iPhone 5 leaks are flying faster than Leaky Pete's Fantastical Flying Leeks. We've got LG making the screens. We've got red-hot shots of, er, its USB charging cable! We have rumours of supply shortages that may well be red herrings! We'll have even more next week!
As with most big tech rumours, it's important to take most iPhone rumours with a pinch of salt: as Chris Smith points out, we've heard some of them before. Take the supply-shortage one, for example: while "any shortcoming in the amount of handsets available would make the usual mad dash during launch week that little bit madder," something that would boost Apple's sales even further, such rumours "usually fly around prior to the launch of a new Apple product" and often don't amount to anything.
The one thing we do know about the iPhone 5 is that it'll have a new design - but will it be as iconic as, say, Sony's Walkman? This week, we investigated the most influential gadgets of all time, devices that were "truly transformative, leaders rather than followers, blazing trails that the rest of the tech industry would soon follow".
The original iPhone's in there, of course, but we gave Apple a single spot in our list; if we hadn't, we'd have been banging on about Macs and i-devices for ages. We'd love to know your nominations (tweet us at @techradar), especially if they've got names as good as the Electro Gyro-Cator - and while you're at it, our friends at Tap! would like your votes on the greatest apps ever made.