Written by: Steven Setser
Welcome to another issue of Spec Tech! I hope you are all finished skipping classes to play Grand Theft Auto 5. This week Microsoft pleased many people and also killed an App. Also, BlackBerry has to delay a product, per the norm.
Microsoft held a conference and announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. The Surface 2 will run on Windows 8.1 RT and have a full 1080p HD screen. It will also have a Tegra 4 chip, USB 3.0 and a 25 percent larger battery. It is lighter, thinner and has a better front facing camera for low-light Skype calls. It also comes with 200GB of SkyDrive storage for two years. It will come in a 32GB and a 64GB version and come in black or white starting at $449.
The Surface Pro 2 will ship with Windows 8.1. It has a Core i5 Haswell processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM and has a much better battery. It also has a full HD screen. As far as ports it comes with USB 3.0, MicroSD card slot and a Mini Display Port. The kickstand now has two positions rather than one. It will launch with an $899 price tag. It can be upgraded to a 128GB version.
The Surface Pro 2 now has a desktop dock, which adds more USB ports, monitors support and supports a 3840×2160 resolution. Both Surfaces have new covers. The touch cover has many more sensors so that typing is easier. The type cover has better keys for fewer mistakes. Also, both covers now have backlighting.
You can pre-order either of these devices now on Microsoft’s website or at Best Buy. Both will ship on Oct. 22.
The bad news about Microsoft is that they killed Skype for Windows Phone 7. So if you own a Windows Phone 7 device, you can no longer use Skype; Windows 7.5 is still supported.
Nvidea has teased that they have a tablet coming. The Tegra Tab will obviously have a Tegra 4 chip and is a 7-inch device. It has a 1280×800 display, 16GB of storage, a micro SD card slot and a micro HDMI port. It will launch with a $199 price tag.
The FCC has approved of AT&T buying Alltel Wireless. Alltel will still have their 3G network until at least June 15, 2015.
Valve has entered into the Linux world. Valve announced its own operating system, simply titled SteamOS. It can be used on any living room computer and can stream games from your other PCs to your television. The OS is coming soon and will be free.
Lastly, BlackBerry was supposed to launch BBM for iOS and Android this past weekend, but pulled it from the App stores when their servers crashed. They were overloaded, and the App will return sometime in the future.
That’s it for this week, folks. Come back next week to find out if representatives from Steam talk more about their new operating system.