Friday Grab Bag: Microsoft Goes Small and MLB hits it Big

People seem drawn to March Madness pools like moths to a flame, and this year ESPN’s mammoth pool, 8.15 million strong had a surprise winner, Lanny Kekua. If that name does not ring a bell it is the fake dead girlfriend of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o.

The name was used as an alias by a fan named Craig Gilmore, who won the tournament and successfully selected Louisville to defeat Michigan in the final. He is now entered into a drawing for a $10,000 Best Buy gift card.

Reebok Spartan Race hits the baseball circuit
Last year the Sparta Race held an event at a baseball park, and it proved to be very popular. So this year it is upping the ante and will be holding a series of events at ballyards, and it has announced the first four venues.

Athletes living near The New York Mets’ Citi Field, The Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizen Bank Park, The Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park or The Boston Red Sox Fenway Park can start practicing for the event near you.

Did Windows 8 Launch hurt PC sales?
Market research firm IDC has reported that sales of personal computers continued a downward fall, and is ascribing part of the blame to the latest operating system release from Microsoft, Windows 8. The most recent IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report shows that in the first quarter of 2013 there was a total average drop in PC shipments of 13.9% compared to the previous quarter.

Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays said that the company’s research showed that not only did Windows 8 not provide the hoped for boost in sales that many had been planning on, it actually served as a major detriment to sales.

At Bat Starts off with hot streak
Major League Baseball’s popular At Bat program for mobile device users has been a hot download at the start of this year’s season. The program surpassed the 4 million download mark last week, five days into the season.

Last year, when the app was also on a record setting pace, it took it 45 days to reach the 4 million milestone. For the year the app was downloaded 6.7 million times in 2012. MLB’s other two major apps At the Ballpark and Beat the Streak had roughly a million additional downloads.

The Rumor Mill

Tom’s Hardware is showing what is reportedly the next generation tablet from Acer, the Iconia tab A1-810 that had been accidentally briefly advertised by a French retailer. The 7.9-inch tablet is said to be powered by a 1.2GHz Cortex A9 processor featuring 1GB of RAM.

Newly leaked images of the forthcoming iPad from Apple appear to show a device that is thinner than previous releases and has reinforced the rumor that Apple is completely redesigning the popular tablet, currently reported to have the name iPad 5.

To the surprise of no one it has been reported that Microsoft has a 7-inch tablet in the works. With the rapidly growing popularity of this form factor a better issue might be what took them so long? The Wall Street Journal, via The Hispanic said that the tablets are expected to go into production later this year.

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