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.
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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
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
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.
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.
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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!
Google’s South Korea offices have been raided by federal authorities once again — this time, over alleged antitrust violations. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) stormed Google’s Seoul offices on Tuesday, amid claims that the company unfairly stifles competition by making its search engine the default option on Android handsets. South Korea’s largest mobile search operators, NHN and Daum Communications, filed a complaint with the KFTC in April, claiming that Android is “systematically designed” to discourage users from switching to different portals, and that Google excludes competitors by delaying OS certification for phone manufacturers that attempt to pre-load devices with other search engines. Similar charges, as you may recall, fueled an FTC investigation in the US, where anti-competitive allegationshave been flying around for a few months, now. Google neither confirmed nor denied that yesterday’s raid took place, but a spokesperson said the company would “work with the KFTC to address any questions they may have about our business,” adding that its OS does “not require carriers or manufacturers to include Google Search or Google applications on Android-powered devices.”
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Etichette: allegation, android, anti-competitive, anticompetitive, antitrust, asia, competition, complaint, daum, Daum Communications, DaumCommunications, default, google, KFTC, korea, korean free trade commission, KoreanFreeTradeCommission, law, NHN, operating system, OperatingSystem, os, regulation, regulator, search, search engine, SearchEngine, seoul, south korea, SouthKorea
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Never one to shy away from dramatic hyperbole, Steve Jobs declared ours a “post-PC world” about this time last year, acknowledging a move away from personal computers as smartphones and tablets become even more ubiquitous. And while Jobs might happily look on as iPhones and iPads become our primarily tie to the outside world, the question remains: what happens to the PC during this grand transition? To a large extent, the answer lies in the OS, which brings us to OS X Lion. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to post-PC computing.
In typically grandiose fashion, the company has declared OS X 10.7 “the world’s most advanced desktop operating system,” touting the addition of over 250 new features. The list is pretty uneven on the game-changing scale, with updates running the gamut from Airdrop (file-sharing over WiFi) to a full-screen version of the bundled chess game. If there’s one thing tying it all together, though, it’s something that Jobs touched on when he first unveiled the OS back in October: the unmistakable influence of iOS. Now it’s true, we already got a taste of that with gesture-based trackpads and the Mac App Store, but those were merely glimpses of things to come. Apple borrows so heavily from iOS that at times, cycling through features makes the whole thing feel like you’re merely operating an iPad with a keyboard attached.
There are plenty of welcome additions here, including aesthetic tweaks and attention to mounting privacy concerns. Like Snow Leopardbefore it, however, Lion is hardly an explosive upgrade. And like Snow Leopard, it comes in at a reasonable $29 (or a decidedly more pricey $69 as an upcoming flash drive install), making it a worthy upgrade for current Mac owners. But does a boatload of evolutionary features add up to a revolutionary upgrade? Let’s find out.
For ‘developers’ willing to shell out $99 for an annual membership in Apple’s group of Mac OS app creators, Lion is old news already. But the rest of you can finally download Apple’s latest operating system — Mac OS 10.7 — by hitting up the App Store on your Snow Leopard (10.6.8)-equipped Mac, assuming it’s powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, i5 or i7 processor. From our experience with the pre-release version, the 4GB download could take over an hour, even on a high-speed connection, but once you have the installer in hand the upgrade process itself should be complete in about 20 minutes. As Apple previously announced, those with slower connections can also download Lion at an Apple retail store, and the company’s also now revealed that it will be offering it on a USB thumb drive as well, which will be available through its online store later this August for $69 (yes, that’s a $40 premium). We’ll be posting a full review of Lion later this week, but you can check out our hands-on preview for a sneak peek at Apple’s latest consumer OS in the meantime.
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Etichette: 10.7, airdrop, app store, apple, AppStore, available, available now, AvailableNow, breaking news, BreakingNews, download, gestures, launchpad, Lion, Mac App Store, mac os, Mac Os X, mac os x 10.7, Mac Os X Lion, MacAppStore, MacOs, MacOsX, MacOsX10.7, MacOsXLion, mission control, MissionControl, operating system, OperatingSystem, os, os x, OsX
Developers and IT managers have reason to smile today, because it looks like Apple is changing its approach to virtualization. According to Mac Rumors, users who download the client version of OS X Lion will be able to run one or two virtualized copies on a single Mac, using tools like VMware or Parallels. This functionality first surfaced with Leopard, but was only available to users who obtained a pricey OS X Server license. The EULA for 10.7, however, suggests that Lion owners won’t need any extra licenses to tinker away in an alternate OS universe. It’s news that the enterprise community will certainly welcome, but we’ll have to wait a little longer before riding the Lion into a virtual realm, later this month.
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Etichette: apple, developer, end-user licensing agreement, End-userLicensingAgreement, enterprise, EULA, IT, license, licensing, Lion, mac, Mac Os X, mac os x 10.7, MacOsX, MacOsX10.7, operating system, OperatingSystem, OS Server, os x lion, OS X Lion Server, OsServer, OsX, osx lion, OsXLion, OsXLionServer, Server, virtual, virtualization, virtualized