Japan electronics makers raise hope for Windows 8 but mood subdued
equities.com -- Oct 26
Hit by steeply falling prices of flat-panel television sets, struggling Japanese electronics companies appear hopeful that Microsoft Corp.'s just-launched Windows 8 operating software will boost demand for personal computers.
But they face a tough road ahead, as public interest in the new operating system is apparently waning with consumers' attention shifting toward portable devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, which are also very competitively priced.
The Windows 8 software is compatible for both personal computers and tablet devices, a feature some analysts believe to be epoch-making.
"Window 8 is a revolution of an interface," said Sakae Takatsuka, president of NEC Personal Computers Ltd., comparing the software's launch with the radical switch Windows 95 brought about 17 years ago to a simpler graphical interface.
"Personal computers will enter the new world created by tablet computers and smartphones," Takatsuka said at an event earlier this month to introduce new products.
The latest Windows software represents a departure from older versions largely operable via a mouse, allowing users to operate a PC through a touch-panel like they would a smartphone.
Starting Friday, manufacturers including Fujitsu Ltd., Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. will release notebook computers with detachable screens that can be used like tablet computers.
US President Barack Obama has left the United States for his first trip to Japan in about 3-and-a-half years. Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting on Thursday. (NHK )
The education ministry conducted national academic achievement tests on Tuesday for all final-year students at primary and middle schools across the country. About 2.24 million students at about 30,000 schools took Japanese and mathematics exams. (The Japan News )
Japan and the United States are now seen deferring a broad trade agreement until after a summit meeting set for Thursday due to differences over key issues, informed sources said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
The virus strain that caused bird flu at a poultry farm in southwestern Japan has been confirmed to be genetically identical to the one found in South Korea, the National Institute of Animal Health said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Airport authorities in Tokyo launched a frantic scramble to change security pass codes, an official said Tuesday, the day before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives, after an airline employee dropped a memo containing the details. (Japan Today )
The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today )
A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter )
Police in Fuso, Aichi Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested an unemployed 38-year-old man for attempted murder after he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend and stabbed her and her parents. (Japan Today )
Feeding black-tailed gulls has been a popular activity on the sightseeing boats that cruise around the Matsushima islets, considered to be one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan, but local authorities banned the practice this month in a bid to protect the islets' famous pine trees from withering as a result of nitrogen in the droppings of the gulls, who have bred in large numbers in the area. (The Japan News )