Windows 8 – $39.99 (digital download), $69.99 (physical disc)
The next iteration of the Windows operating system (OS) is the biggest item dropping on Friday. It”s a big deal because the visual tiles that dominate the interface create a consistent look and strategy across windows devices (PC, tablet, phone, and Xbox). That”s why so many other new items and updates are being released by Microsoft.
Not a fan of this? Worried that learning a new interface will hurt your productivity? Don”t fret, because the OS can also switch to a traditional desktop interface.
Microsoft Surface – $599 (32GB), $699 (64GB Touch Cover)
In sync with the release of Microsoft”s new OS is the release of their contribution to the tablet market – the Surface. The interesting thing about this release is that it”s their own hardware, which is big news for a company that has always focused on being “hardware agnostic” (unlike Apple, who only puts their OS on their own devices). One of the coolest things about the tablet is that its cover acts as a keyboard, giving you extra functionality.
That being said, the more basic version of the tablet OS, Windows RT, will also be available on third-party devices from Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, and Asus. We”re still waiting for the Surface running Windows 8 Pro, which will be more powerful and run by Intel i5 processors instead of ARM. Check out CNET’s review for a more in-depth look at the tablet.
SmartGlass – Free
SmartGlass is a Microsoft app that is designed to tie together all of the with tablets, PCs, and phones. This app will only be available on Windows 8 devices today but will be released on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7.5/7.8 platforms in the future. Not only will this allow your device to act as a remote control, but also as a second screen device similar to that of the Wii U. This would allow you to start watching a movie on your Xbox, and pick it up right where you left off on your device when you leave.
Only time will tell how developers choose to use this handy feature. At launch, SmartGlass will integrate with the Dashboard navigation and text input as well as Dance Central 3, with other integrations in the pipeline.
iPad Mini Pre-Order – $329 (16GB), $429 (32GB), $529 (64GB)
Alright, so there”s been a lot of Microsoft talk, but Apple wouldn’t let one of their key rivals steal the spotlight. Although it”s not a product launch, you can place your pre-order for the iPad mini today. The 7.9 inch tablet device actually gets released next Friday on November 2nd, but for some people, the bulk of the excitement comes from hitting that Checkout button.
The iPad mini is only launching with the WiFi models, but models with Cellular functionality are expected in late November. The price point starts at $329, which may entice more people to jump into the tablet market. It”ll be interesting to see how (or if) the market shifts at all with the release of both this and the Surface prior to the holiday season.
Silent Hill Revelations ~$13
Nothing here tickles your fancy? Don”t have thousands of dollars to blow on a single day? Well the good news is that you can go get scared silly by the video game-inspired film Silent Hill Revelations, which hits theatres today. Be sure to bring a date that you can cling on to because the horror will be flying at you in 3D. Watch the trailer here on Youtube.