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Gregg Keizer
Computerworld technology news reporter
Computerworld technology news reporter


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Billionaire investment activist/agitator Carl Icahn turn up heat on Apple over $150B buyback scheme. Hints at proxy fight if demands not met.

Interesting; When asked if he would have made the same demand if Steve Jobs was CEO, Icahn answered, "I absolutely would be doing the same thing."

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24 hours after launch, OS X Mavericks on 5.5% of Macs in U.S. and Canada, says ad network Chitika. That's 3X the uptake of last year's Mountain Lion.

Free deal -- rather than the $20 of 2012 -- drove the uptake. No shock there.

The question if is Mavericks can accumulate two-thirds or more of the base -- which Snow Leopard did -- and at a sustained faster pace than Lion or Mountain Lion. 

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Apple cuts Retina MacBook Pro notebook prices by up to 13%.

Third price cut of the year for the entry-level 13-in. laptop, which now costs $400 less than in January. That's a 24% reduction in less than 10 months.

Like all computer makers, Apple's staring at a stagnant market and tough competition from tablets, says retail expert.

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9 out of 10 active Macs eligible for free Mavericks upgrade, according to OS user share stats.

But some running Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) unlikely to upgrade, since they stuck with the 2009 operating system because it was the last from Apple to support PowerPC-compatible applications.

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Microsoft exec scoffs at talk that Apple's free iWork suite threatens Office, or that the rival's iPad can compete with the 2-in-1 Surface 2 in productivity chores.

'iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought,' says Microsoft head of corporate communications Frank Shaw.

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Newest Gartner forecast for 'smart device' shipments -- tablets, PCs, phones and 2-in-1s -- kicks Windows' rebound further down the road.

Second revision since April ... Gartner now says Windows-powered device shipments will slide 4% this year (double June's forecast) but that 2014 will see a 9.7% increase year-over-year. Sounds good for Microsoft, but the now-current +9.7% estimate was lower than the +11.4% four months before.

Each time researchers have predicted that the PC business -- and thus Windows' fortunes -- will turn around at some later date, whether the next quarter or the next half of a year, they've had to push that timetable further into the future.

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Apple sets OS X Mavericks -- also known as v. 10.9 -- free, waives upgrade fee.

Last year, the Cupertino, Calif. company charged $20 for the Mountain Lion upgrade; in 2011, it priced Lion at $30.

Analyst sees a pattern...

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Apple refreshes IPad, renames it 'Air.' Adds Retina display to iPad Mini, pushes price up 21%.

Also sets OS X Mavericks loose, and free ... anyone with a Mac running an OS X as far back as Snow Leopard gets the upgrade for free.

And sticks Haswell in MacBook Pro notebooks while dropping their prices as much as 13%. Apple's hurting in the personal computer sales climate, too.

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Apple will webcast today's iPad event to OSX, iOS devices, Apple TV, starting at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET. Expect refreshed iPad and iPad Mini -- the latter likely with Retina screen -- along with other announcements, including availability date for OSX Mavericks.

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Wall Street analyst pumps Tuesday's iPad reveal as 'most important upgrade' for Apple's tablet line since 2010 introduction.

Retina iPad Mini? Opinion still mixed.

But if Apple does go Retina on the smaller screen, expect shortages ... like 2012 or even worse. Important factor, naturally, will be the price. Many analysts have placed their bets on $399.
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