Posted by Alan Buckingham at 12:50 PM on March 23, 2013
Windows 8 launched way back at the end of October last year and it has steadily grown since then, though there is a vocal minority who would like you to believe otherwise — some of whom have a vested interest in making you think that way. While the growth of the operating system itself has been rather quick — four million copies sold in less than a week — the growth of the App Store has been slower, but rather steady.
Now the web site Metro Scanner reports a new milestone has been reached. As of this writing, the store is officially as 50,304 apps. This is likely a big moment for Microsoft, as it is validation of the company’s plan and proof that people, most importantly developers, are finally coming around.
Of course, there is a long way to go. The operating system is still without a number of feature apps. Lacking still are official versions of things like Twitter, Facebook and others.
However, the growth should steadily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As more apps appear the pressure on others to get in there will mount. The steadily growing number of users will also add additional pressure on developers to get them on the ball with this OS and Store.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 6:13 AM on January 22, 2013
One of the cool devices that GNC found at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the Joystick from Noitavonne. This device is kind of a one-stop-shop for many cool features.
It acts as a remote control for your devices, like an Android phone or tablet or a Windows 8 device. When paired with your TV, it turns your big screen into an Android device and if your phone rings you can answer it through Joystick’s built-in speaker. It even has a full QWERTY keyboard to add to the functionality. The keyboard is hidden beneath a small flip-up 1080p screen.
The product is expected to be released in the spring of this year with a price point of “between $249 and $349″.
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Posted by Alan Buckingham at 7:31 AM on November 27, 2012
Microsoft made major changes with the move to Windows 8. Many users love the new operating system, but it also seems to have it’s detractors and they tend to be the loudest voices. Yes, the new OS is different, but Microsoft has always made Windows pretty customizable and features that aren’t readily so can be changed by third-party apps. That hasn’t changed in Windows 8.
I personally don’t mind the new Start screen, although I rarely use it. I don’t mind having to hit the Desktop icon after boot up and I genuinely like the Charms menu. With that said, my opinions aren’t shared by all and Skip Metro Suite will help those who don’t share my views. It will let you skip the Start screen on boot up, disable the switcher, disable the Charms menu and remove edge panels.
The lack of the now familiar Start button has probably been the biggest cause of concern for Windows traditionalists. Again, I find no reason to bring this back — using the Charms menu Search feature to open an app is perfectly acceptable. However, many seem to feel they simply can’t live without this Windows 95 leftover.
For those of you who want that feature back, there are a number of apps that have sprung up to take care of it. Perhaps the best is Start8 from Stardock. It isn’t free, but the $4.99 price tag isn’t too steep if this is truly what you want.
Now here is an app that I really like! Not that the previous two aren’t good, but only that they do things that I don’t find necessary. You see, Microsoft did update Windows Explorer by adding the ribbon interface which became popular in Office. However, the company failed to add perhaps the most requested feature – tabs. Tabs like those Chrome, Firefox and even Microsoft’s Internet Explorer have had for some time.
QTTabBar is perhaps the simplest way to add tabs to Explorer. It’s also free and open source software, which makes it even better.
So, what apps do you like to use with Windows 8? I am always looking for suggestions.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 9:05 AM on November 20, 2012
Windows 8 is here to stay regardless of if you like it or not. Microsoft is now looking to get the operating system boosted to worldwide appeal and doing so through a variety of advertising means. But, regardless of all of that, the company also “released” some early screenshots from the development days to show how far the operating system has come.
The interface is not vastly different from the new Metro Start screen that we all love or hate. The basic format is already there in this image, but it lacks the now familiar Microsoft apps like Mail, People, Store and the rest.
While this image doesn’t really mean a whole lot, it is a nice insight into the early mock-ups and ideas that Microsoft started with when building Windows 8.
The jury is still out regarding if the OS will be a success or if it will it fail miserably.
If you are thinking about upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows 7, my suggestion would be to stop thinking about it and save your money for something else. Cheap as the upgrade is, the user interface is terrible.
It’s like Microsoft have taken the new user interface (previously known as Metro) and smashed into the traditional desktop interface, with the interface layers competing for the user’s attention. Some components have gone completely – the Start button – and other components are hidden in unintuitive places: how do I shutdown the PC? Charms slide in from the right – even the name gives no clear idea as to what charms do. The new front page pops up in the bottom left. The desktop appears sometimes. Apps are windowed or full-screen but you can’t get from one to the other. It’s truly awful.
Before anyone accuses me of being an old dog resistant to new tricks, I have bought every single previous version of Ms DOS and (consumer) Windows as it came out, (with the exception of Windows ME). Not this time, though. I’m sticking with Windows 7.
I like the Windows Phone 7 / 8 user interface and it’s great on a phone or tablet but on a desktop or a laptop with a mouse, it’s a disaster. Here’s my prediction….Windows 8 will be to Windows 7 what Vista was to XP. That’s how bad it is.
Sorry, Microsoft, but you’ve got this really badly wrong.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 12:36 PM on October 17, 2012
For the past couple of months the Surface tablet from Microsoft has not only been vaporware, but also the subject of a lot of hatred from hardware makers who seem a bit put-out by suddenly having a powerful new rival. Yesterday the long-awaited pricing information was finally released, with tablets starting at $499. We also saw the first TV ad revealed and the hardware specs for the much-anticipated tablet.
Despite the controversy that many media outlets seem to want to create about Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, all indications are pointing towards a major victory from Microsoft with both the software and hardware. The operating system shot to number one on the most popular software list on Amazon and the entry-level 32 GB Surface tablet quickly sold out of pre-order, moving from “delivery by October 26th” to “delivery within 3 weeks”.
Today, the Redmond company released a new minute and a half video showing off the Surface tablet and all of it’s features, in both hardware and software. This isn’t a TV ad, but simply a way of marketing the hardware by displaying what it can do. The video so far has received very little attention, with only 324 views, but it will likely take off as it becomes better known.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 8:50 AM on June 19, 2012
Yesterday Microsoft held their mysterious event and unveiled the Windows Surface Tablets – both Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT versions. It was a rare time for Microsoft – the pre and post-announcement created Apple-like buzz. Fitting since the new tablets are expected to compete with Apple and Android in the marketplace.
Of course, rivals Apple and Google were watching this event closely and already planning their responses to this new device. A new iPad is likely still a ways off, but Google is set to release their much-anticipated Nexus tablet, made by Asus, within the next month. There also may be legal responses given today’s patent-happy tech industry. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook and his legal team watched the Microsoft announcement especially closely.
Fortunately the folks at WinSource were able to get video and audio of Cook and his lawyers during the LA event. They have posted the clip online and you can watch and listen below. If you can’t catch all of the audio then head over to their site where they have also posted a transcript of the conversation.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 10:10 AM on May 29, 2012
Poor Microsoft just can’t keep anything secret. Today the Release Preview version of Windows 8, which will be released in the coming days, has leaked out to P2P. The build, which is labeled 8400, hit bit torrent and is spreading quickly. Numerous sites have already posted screenshots of the next version of the operating system.
The build, which is offically 8400.0.WINMAIN_WIN8RC.120518-1423_X64FRE_CLIENT_ZH-CN-HRC_CCSA_X64FRE_ZH-CN_DV5, contains 3 new Metro-style apps from Microsoft – News, Sports, and Travel – as well as built-in support for Adobe Flash. The web site Winunleaked confirmed the legitimacy of the leaked copy and also provides links if you are so inclined to try it out. I recommend extreme caution with any such download.
Windows 8 Release Preview is expected to be released in early June and will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. If you can’t wait another week then check your P2P client, but make sure you install it on a PC that you don’t mind experimenting with and is insulated from the rest of your network. Better yet, just wait a few days and get it directly from Microsoft.
Feeling a 100% better and it is time to have a serious discussion about privacy and actions in the internet and public space. Looking for your feedback in a big way on these issues. Lots of great tech stories to share with you tonight as well.
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