It’s unusual, to say the least, for us to spend a year with a product before publishing our review. In the case of Windows 8, we’ve written thousands of words already, starting with our first hands-on in September of 2011, followed by deep dives on the Developer Preview, Consumer Preview, Release Preview and RTM build. Even our readers have had ample time to get acquainted with the OS — it’s been available as a public download since February. And yet, we’ve never tested a final version of the software running on brand new, made-for-Windows-8 hardware. With the OS now on sale (alongside dozens of new PCs), it’s finally time for us to double back and revisit everything we’ve previously written in the form of a final, comprehensive review.
And what a challenging assignment this was: it’s hard enough to give an OS the full review treatment without burying the reader in minute details. It’s even tougher when the software was built for so many different kinds of hardware. Combining a traditional desktop with Windows Phone-inspired Live Tiles, Windows 8 was designed to be equally at home on traditional PCs and more finger-friendly devices, like tablets and hybrids. In addition to walking you through the operating system’s various gestures and built-in apps, then, we’ll spend some time talking about which form factors are best suited to this redesigned version of Windows. Read on to see what we found out.
Pubblicato in Hi-Tech
Etichette: ie 10, microsoft, Microsoft Windows, microsoft windows 8, operating system, operating systems, OperatingSystem, OperatingSystems, os, people hub, PeopleHub, review, skydrive, SmartGlass, Software, win 8, Win8, Windows, Windows 8, windows store, Windows8, xbox, Xbox Games, xbox music, xbox video, XboxVideo
Starting tomorrow, iOS users will be prompted to update their devices to the newest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system. As difficult as it is to believe, we’re already onto the sixth version of the OS, which continues to be updated with new features on a yearly basis. After pushing out so many upgrades critical to plugging a few major feature holes, the vast majority of its 200 advertised enhancements are strictly granular, as Apple continues to polish its popular OS.
That doesn’t mean, though, that this build is coming to the masses without any jarring UI changes: Apple has declared independence from Google by adopting its own Maps, added a few nice features to Mail and iCloud, thrown Facebook integration into the mix and introduced the Passbook for paperless tickets. The question is, how does it stack up against previous refreshes? Read on to find out.
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Etichette: apple, apple ipad, apple iPhone, AppleIpad, AppleIphone, iOS, iOS 6, Ios6, ipad, Ipad 2, Ipad2, iphone, iphone 3gs, iphone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, Iphone3gs, Iphone4, Iphone4s, Iphone5, ipod, ipod touch, IpodTouch, mobile operating system, mobile operating systems, mobile os, MobileOs, mobilepostcross, new iPad, NewIpad, operating system, os, os update, OS updates, OS upgrade, OsUpdate, OsUpdates, OsUpgrade, review
A lot has changed since early 2001. We’ve got a new president approaching the end of his first term, the US has embarked on two major wars and the words “Lady Gaga” have become much more than just gibberish. Some things, however, don’t change. In nearly each of these intervening years, Apple has issued a major update to its desktop operating system, OS X. This time last year, the company issued OS 10.7 Lion, a king-of-the-jungle moniker many thought would mark the end of Apple’s big cat naming scheme and, by extension, the OS X lineage. In February, however, the old operating system showed she still had some life left in her, when the next edition was revealed, arriving over the summer and called Mountain Lion.
Based on the name alone, you’d think 10.8 would be a modest improvement over its predecessor — not unlike the baby step between Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6). But Apple insists that this latest build is more than just a seasonal refresh — in all, it boasts more than 200 new features. Some are major, including things like a new Notification Center, AirPlay Mirroring and a desktop version of Messages. Others, such as full-screen mode for Notes… not so much. What seems to unite the vast majority of the 200 features, however, is a nod to iOS. So, how easily can Mac users justify that $20 download? Follow along after the break, as we put those 200 features to the test.
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Etichette: apple, apple os x, AppleOsX, mac, Mountain Lion, MountainLion, operating system, operating systems, OperatingSystems, os, os update, OS updates, os x, OS X 10.8, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, OS X Mountain Lion, OsUpdate, OsUpdates, OsX, OsX10.8, OsX10.8MountainLion, OsXMountainLion, review, Software, Software Update, software updates, SoftwareUpdates, video
Microsoft has already detailed the Windows 8 upgrade route for those buying a new computer, and it’s now finally confirmed what everyone else will be paying when they upgrade their existing PC. Those running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 will able to download a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for just $39.99. That’s a far cry from the company’s earlier upgrade prices, which as recently as Windows 7 ran $50 and $99 for Home Premium and Pro upgrades, respectively. You will have to pay a bit more if you want packaged DVD version of the upgrade, though, with it running $69.99 at retail — it also sounds like both of those prices will be going up when the promotion ends on January 31st of next year. Not surprisingly, the upgrade process will vary depending on the OS you’re currently using. Those making the jump all the way from Windows XP will only able to bring their personal files with them, while those on Vista will be able to bring their personal files and Windows settings, but no applications. And, if you’re wondering about Media Center, it will be available as a free option once the upgrade is finished.
For as small as Jolicloud is, the company sure knows how to hang around. After renaming its cloud-based desktop operating system to Joli OS (and subsequently open-sourcingthe thing), the outfit is taking a somewhat different approach with its latest offering. Jolicloud Me is a new type of cloud organizer — think of it as a mashup between Pinterest and Dropbox, among other things. It’s a high-level aggregation tool that pulls together cloud-based information and shares; things like music, images and video — regardless of where they came from — are grouped together. We’ve certainly seen social sharing aggregators before, but there’s a certain level of elegance to this one. Beta invites are going out today (see the source link), with platform support for Android, iOS and the world wide web via HTML5. Something tells us we’re just a few months out from yet another service that aggregates the aggregators.
The early days of Windows were inauspicious ones. Sitting on top of DOS, it was hardly a revolution in personal computing — instead it felt like a disjointed platform perched uncomfortably atop a command prompt, ready to come crashing down at any moment. That’s what it was, and often that’s what it did. The early days of Windows required constant jumps from GUI to shell as users ran a wide assortment of apps, only some of which played nice inside a window.
It was over a decade later, after Windows 95, that the operating system would truly ditch its DOS underpinnings and feel like a totally integrated system. Why are we reminiscing? Because we’re reaching that same point again. With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft is showing off the most complete version of the company’s most modern operating system, yet in many ways it feels like 1985 all over again — like there are two separate systems here struggling to co-exist. How well do they get along? Join us after the break to find out.
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Etichette: consumer preview, ConsumerPreview, detailed impressions, DetailedImpressions, impressions, metro, metro ui, MetroUi, microsoft, operating system, OperatingSystem, os, preview, samsung, skydrive, video, Windows, Windows 8, windows 8 consumer preview, Windows8, Windows8ConsumerPreview, x86, xbox live, XboxLive
You can bid farewell to the days of Apple’s theatrical OS reveals — at least until OS 11 rears its head, anyway. In the meantime, the outfit has seemingly been content to strip away more and more pomp and circumstance with every subsequent big cat release. Lately, the company has settled into an evolutionary release schedule, eschewing full-fledged makeovers in favor of packing in lots of smaller changes, many of them quite granular indeed. It’s a trend that can be traced as far back as 2009′s OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), a name designed to drive home the point that the upgrade wasn’t so much a reinvention of the wheel as a fine tuning of its predecessor, Leopard.
The arrival of Lion (10.7), though, marked a full upgrade. With features like Launchpad and Mission Control, it seemed like it might be the last version Cupertino dropped before finally pulling the trigger on operating system number 11, and perhaps transitioning to something with an even stronger iOS influence. Right now, at least, the company’s not ready to close the book on chapter X, but it is giving the world a first peek at 10.8. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mountain Lion.
Pubblicato in Hi-Tech
Etichette: airplay, airplay mirroring, AirplayMirroring, apple, apple os x, Apple OS X Mountain Lion, AppleOsX, chinese, flickr, gatekeeper, hands-on, icloud, impressions, iOS, Lion, messages, Mountain Lion, MountainLion, notes, operating system, operating systems, os x, OS X 10.8, OS X Mountain Lion, OsX, OsX10.8, OsXMountainLion, preview, reminders, safari, share sheets, Twitter, video, vimeo
It was just yesterday that Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky detailed the new “Refresh” and “Reset” option found in Windows 8 on the company’s Building Windows 8blog, but he’s now already back with an exhaustive overview of yet another new feature. This time it’s “Storage Spaces,” which will let you pool both virtual and physical drives (regardless of how they’re connected) in a variety of ways to keep your data as safe as possible. That includes the ability to expand individual storage pools on an as-needed basis, and various ways to mirror your data for some added redundancy — as you’d expect, the “spaces” themselves simply behave as a regular disk. Hit the source link below for the full rundown.
And just like that, your next Windows-based PC becomes more like a phone. We’d heard during our early playtime with Windows 8 that the furniture would be arranged a little differently when it came to resetting and refreshing one’s machine, and now we’re being given a closer look at what exactly that means. Finalized builds of Win8 will offer a pair of related features; ‘Reset your PC’ will allow you to remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows, while ‘Refresh your PC’ enables your to keepall personal data, Metro style apps, and important settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows. The goal here? To give end-users a single button to press when you just want “everything to be fixed.” An interesting approach, no doubt, but one we’re probably better off having than not. We’re still many months out from securing a final copy of this OS on our desk, but those interested in every little tidbit — including a new method for creating a bootable USB flash drive — can visit the links below.
The open source version of Google’s Chrome OS just got a zesty refresh. Capable of being housed in a mere USB stick, the latest image improves on Hexxeh’s Vanilla release with hardware support for more WiFi models and NVIDIA 6 series GPUs and above. It will still benefit from regular updates to the latest Chromium build, while this Lime flavor arrives with full Java support and the promise of more plugins soon. The maker is also willing to accept suggestions for future device support. Chromium obsessives with hardware compatibility woes can try getting in touch at the source below.
Trudging through Windows 7′s upgrade process drags users through as many as four wizards, 60 windows, and more mouse clicks than anybody at Microsoft cared to count. In a recent study covering PC upgrades, Redmond found this was simply too much of a hassle for many customers. The fix? Consolidate and streamline — according to the outfit’s Building Windows 8 blog, upgrading customers will be able to power through installing Windows 8 using a single wizard in as few as 11 clicks. The new process scans the machine for compatibility, checks for the best version of Windows to install, and prompts the user through the process. Moreover, using Windows 8′s upcoming web delivery method pre-keys the setup image, freeing users from remembering a 25-digit product key. Advanced users will be able to use a new Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit to create customized unattended setup configurations for multi-boot and specialized network installations. Want to read into all the juicy details? Hit the source link below.
Oh, what a difference punctuation makes. Speaking at the company’s shareholders’ meeting earlier today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a remark that set more than a few geek hearts aflutter. According to various reports, he said “We’ve got broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8.”
Turns out, that’s not how he said it. A Microsoft rep confirmed to us that if transcribed correctly, Ballmer’s remarks (documented in the recording below) should read, “We’ve got broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone. With Windows 8, you’ll…” By “Windows,” then, he meant the overarching family of software bearing the Windows name, and not Windows 8 specifically. Says Redmond’s PR team:
“He was making a statement along the lines of what we’ve already publicly stated around providing a consistent experience across various devices but all carrying the Windows name.”
Makes sense to us, seeing as how Windows 8 already makes good use of WP7′s Metro UI. Still, we’ll be curious to see how Windows 8 influences Windows Phone once Win 8 gets the final seal of approval, likely sometime next year.
In case you haven’t been keeping an eye on the countdown, we thought we’d remind you that Ubuntu 11.10 — otherwise known as Oneiric Ocelot — is now available to download (completely free of charge, of course). That brings with it an updated version of the Unity interface that includes features like a new alt + tab switcher and “Lenses” with some expanded functionality instead of the previous “Places” feature — not to mention full support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other script languages. Did we mention it also now has its own soundtrack? Head on past the break for a taste, and hit the source link below for a nifty web-based preview of the OS before you download.
Samsung invited the world to adventure with its own smartphone OS, Bada, almost two years ago and so far most of us have turned down the offer. Of course, that trip could look more appealing if a Wall Street Journal rumor is true and the company is planning to open source it for use by developers and other manufacturers alike next year. Citing the usual “person familiar with the situation”, Samsung apparently isn’t interested in snagging any outside companies like, say, webOS, but wants to strengthen its independence from Android after Google announced it will purchase Motorola. Right now, it feels like we’ve already seen this story play out for the still-kicking Symbian. On the other hand, maybe Samsung, with its massive manufacturing capabilities and current hit-making prowess, can strike the right balance of hardware, software and apps to make it worthwhile. If it tries and fails, well, maybe the folks in Redmond will be looking for another close friend.
Leave it to VMWare to put the spotlight back on Lion when this is, without a doubt, Windows 8′s week. The company just announced Fusion 4, the latest version of its virtualization software, and, as you’d expect, it pledges to play nice with Apple’s newly minted OS. In addition to fully supporting Lion features like Spotlight, though, it makes Windows look more like, well, a Mac. The software includes improved support for Expose and Spaces on the Windows side, and adds the ability to use Mission Control and launch Windows apps from Launchpad. Additionally, you can run Lion as a virtual machine within Snow Leopard and VMWare makes vague claims about improved performance, 3D graphics and resource-hogging. It’ll cost $50 through the end of the year, with the price jumping up to $80 in January. Fittingly enough, VMWare picked up on the fact that Apple’s moving away from optical drives, and instead chose to ship the software with a USB drive (you can also download it and do the whole drag-and-drop installation thing). Oh, and if you bought the last-gen version of the software on July 20th or later, you’ll get the new version gratis. Lots of screen shots below.
Pubblicato in Hi-Tech
Etichette: apple, dual-boot, DualBoot, Mac Os X, Mac Os X Lion, MacOsX, MacOsXLion, operating system, operating systems, OperatingSystems, os, os x, os x lion, OsX, OsXLion, refresh, refreshes, Software Update, software updates, update, virtualization, bootcamp, virtual desktop, virtual desktops, VirtualDesktop, VirtualDesktops, vmware, vmware fusion, VMWare Fusion 4
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Etichette: acquisition, android, andy rubin, AndyRubin, auction, bid, ceo, exec, financial, google, Handset, Industry, manufacturing, merger, mobilepostcross, money, moto, motorola, motorola mobility, MotorolaMobility, negotiation, operating system, OperatingSystem, os, price, sanjay jha, SanjayJha, sec, sec filing, SecFiling, securities and exchange commission, SecuritiesAndExchangeCommission, smartphone, Software
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Etichette: build 2011, Build2011, developer, developer program, DeveloperProgram, developers, GeForce, kal-el, microsoft, NVIDIA, nvidia quadro, nvidia tesla, NvidiaQuadro, NvidiaTesla, operating system, OperatingSystem, os, Qik, quadro, Software, tablet, tablets, tesla, Windows, Windows 8 developer program, Windows8DeveloperProgram
The majority of first-gen Ultrabooks aren’t on sale yet — not even with Windows 7 — but Microsoft’s already showing off tomorrow’s best and brightest with Windows 8. We already knew that Windows 8 would theoretically run on a now-ancient Lenovo S10, but if you’re concerned about “futureproofing,” it looks as if the thinnest and lightest in the Wintel world will be good enough to run a developer build of Win8. You know — when the files hit the wild tonight at 8PM PT.
Just last week, we got our paws on Samsung’s Series 7 Slate, and it’s already making its second debut. This time around, however, it’s sporting a much more mouthwatering setup. No, it’s not dawning Lady Gaga’s edible leftovers; this new look comes courtesy of Microsoft’s much teased and hotly anticipated touch-friendly OS, Windows 8. As you’ve likely already heard, the latest incarnation of the operating system is something entirely new for Redmond, and, as it turns out, the world. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, but that won’t stop us from making comparisons.
Like Apple’s latest attempt at a desktop OS, Windows 8 borrows largely from its mobile kin, Window Phone 7, bringing its signature live tiles to tablets and PCs, and from what we’ve seen it does so effortlessly. Before we go ruining a good thing, however, we have to point out that this isn’t everything Windows has to offer — it’s still a developers preview (and in turn, an OS under construction), and the device it’s running on hasn’t been approved as an official Windows 8 slate. Got all that? Good. Read on for our first impressions!
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Etichette: build, Build2011, hands-on, HandsOn, impressions, metro, metro ui, MetroUi, microsoft, microsoft build 2011, MicrosoftBuild2011, operating system, OperatingSystem, os, preview, samsung series 7, samsung series 7 slate pc, SamsungSeries7, SamsungSeries7SlatePc, Software, Windows, Windows 8, windows 8 hands on, windows 8 preview, Windows8, Windows8HandsOn, Windows8Preview
Curious what the minimum specifications for Windows 8 will be? As are we. Microsoft’s remaining mum on specifics, but the outfit’s Steven Sinofsky — President of Windows and Windows Live — just confessed during the opening Build 2011 keynote that an antediluvian Lenovo S10 was potent enough to run Windows 8. And in fact, it’ll do so with more poise than with Windows 7. A brief demonstration explained that Win8 demanded fewer system resources (barely, but still) than Win7 on the same hardware, proving that an early-gen Atom CPU and 1GB of RAM is “enough” to run the outfit’s upcoming operating system. We highly doubt it’s enjoyable, but at least you (probably) won’t be forced into an upgrade if you don’t want to be. Have a gander at the actual numbers just after the break!