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Today's Tech: iPad mini specs and pricing revealed, Microsoft launches Xbox Music streaming service, Sony Vaio Duo 11 reviewed

We are now under a fortnight away from the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 software, meaning more and more devices set to run the OS are working their way onto our radar. With nothing yet on the market, few have been able to get fully acquainted with specialist Windows 8 hardware, but our readers are now lucky enough to enjoy a review of the Sony Vaio Duo 11 on the site (opens in new tab). This ultrabook/tablet hybrid will have a fair amount of competition, so will it cut the mustard? Follow the link to find out.

(opens in new tab)Amazon may be preparing to take over Texas Instruments' mobile chip division (opens in new tab), we heard today. The acquisition, which is said to be in its late stages and due to be worth billions of dollars, would grant the online retailer an extra advantage as it steps up its competition in the tablet arena and as it reportedly prepares to enter the smartphone market. Its main rivals, Apple and Samsung, both have their own mobile processor divisions, suggesting just how strategic the move is.

Microsoft has now entered a new battleground in its rivalry with Apple. Earlier today, the company officially announced Xbox Music, its answer to the all-conquering iTunes (opens in new tab). The service will launch on 26 October and users will be able to either stream a library of free music content on their Windows 8- or Windows RT-enabled devices or subscribe (for £8.99 a month) to gain access to premium features in an ad-free environment. Microsoft seems to be leveraging the 66 million global installed base of the Xbox 360 to get a foothold in the market place, however its success is most likely dependent on how it utilises its cloud storage features to enable a 'true' universal music library for all its users.

There are nearly seven billion people on Earth, but there are some six billion mobile phone subscriptions, according to a report published by a UN telecoms agency. (opens in new tab) The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) assessed mobile subscriptions in 155 countries, finding that there are nearly as many SIM cards and mobile subscriptions as there are people. The report also found that there were almost two billion Internet users by the end of last year. Click on for more details about the report.

As the expected 23 October announcement of the iPad mini looms on the horizon, new details about the hotly anticipated device have emerged (opens in new tab). A screenshot of an inventory list reportedly taken from Media Market, Europe's largest electronics retailer, was published by a German mobile blog and revealed that the miniature device will ship in eight different models – 8, 16, 32 and 64GB variations in either Wi-Fi only or cellular versions that will run from £200 to £525 price-wise. Stay tuned to this space, as ITProPortal will bring you the latest iPad mini news as it breaks.