The Latest Tech Trends

Personal computers are about to begin performing better thanks to a new generation of microchips from Intel called Broadwell.

Fifty per cent better, if you can believe the claims of the US based manufacturer of the heart of the personal computer, the central processing unit.

The Core M chips, as Intel is calling them, will deliver better graphics performance in computers by up to 40 per cent. They will also result in a lower battery drain than previous models extending battery life by as much as 1.7 hours longer than normal. They will also run cooler than previous central processing unit chips which will mean the computers they are installed in will not need noisy cooling fans.

What it all means is that you, the user, will get far more productivity out of your personal computer and app developers will spend more time devising new, and unthought of, uses for your machines.

The new chips were recently launched at a special event in Germany where Intel said a 2-in-1 style personal computer, that's a laptop-cum-tablet machine, fitted with a Core M microchip could be made thinner and lighter than a traditional tablet computer like an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Note series.

The Broadwell chips will begin appearing in personal computers from Christmas, but in only a few models running Windows 8.1. As little as 20. Most Broadwell machines won't arrive until well after Christmas once production has ramped up but users will have to wait and see whether those machines arrive with a new version of Windows.

The internet is alive with rumours around the new Windows. But there's little concrete fact out there. Microsoft is understood to be releasing an early, or beta version, of its new Windows operating system at the end of September. If that is correct the full version will probably not land until about April next year. It is unclear what tweaks the software giant will make to Windows which will effectively be Windows 9 but may not even be called that.

Some have speculated that the next version of Windows will, in fact, be a Windows 8 update called Windows 8.2 and Windows 9, codenamed Threshold, will follow. Whatever the case you can be sure that the next versions of Windows will build on new style Start screen designed for touchscreen enabled computers, while leaving room for older legacy style software which users want to run from the Desktop of their personal computers.

While there's a whole load of touch style apps available from the Windows Store, built into Windows 8 and 8.1, few beat the power of traditional software like the Microsoft Office productivity suite, Adobe's Creative Suite including Photoshop and Premiere as well as the prosumer Elements versions.

This week will also see the end to a whole lot of speculation around Apple's latest achievements in the smart phone quarter, with several new iPhone models tipped for release. More on that next week.