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Top Stories

Windows 8 Center

  • Friday, November 18, 2011
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  • Windows 8 Center


    Windows Update in Windows 8: No More Headaches?

    Posted: 17 Nov 2011 05:25 PM PST

    Yes, you did read that title right. For the very first time ever, updates in Windows may not be the legendary monsters that tear at you with claws of instantaneous reboots and bite with teeth of annoying pop-ups.

    Among other features, Windows 8 is gearing up to improve the updates function. PCs running on Windows 8 will only restart when security updates are installed and require reboots. Thankfully, the aforementioned reboot should only take place about once a month, which won't do much to hinder your regular PC use. This regular timing will give you a sense of when you should prepare for an update release. Of course, critical updates will be pushed and installed automatically outside of this monthly cycle, but hey: I'd rather spend my time rebooting for a few minutes (we all know how fast Windows 8 is at that) than to be susceptible to a virus going around.

    One of the best parts about the new Windows Update is that after it has downloaded and installed security updates, you get an entire 3 days to do whatever you need to before a restart. This 72-hour period should be more than enough to save important work, and but it also keeps your computer secure.

    Last but not least, the updated Windows Update (that was totally intentional) will also offer updates for 3rd party device drivers, with a common set of setup tools for each. All of these updates are carefully screened, and must adhere to the Windows conventions for updates regarding rollback and recovery, and overall system impact.  This means streamlining updates for your PC, mouse, external hard drive, and any other peripherals you may have.

     

    Related posts:

    1. Leaked Windows 8 Screenshot reveals first Windows Update changes
    2. Microsoft Shows off Windows 8 UI/Tablet in Commercial? UPDATE
    3. Windows 8 ISO Verifier – Ensure your downloads are legit

    Read More...

    Windows 8 Center

  • Sunday, November 6, 2011
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  • Windows 8 Center


    Windows 8: Beta Shots?

    Posted: 05 Nov 2011 06:52 AM PDT

    Now that the Developer Preview of Windows 8 has been released and the highly anticipated BUILD Conference has passed,Windows8Center is eagerly awaiting the next step in the Windows 8 process: the beta. Finally, we have some real leaks, not the standard Microsoft-authorized "Building Windows 8" blog posts. First up, some pictures from Winunleaked that provide a glimpse into a pre-beta
    version of Windows 8:

    Users can customize the background color, but not the image

    In the start screen, users can activate a sort of "zoom out" feature that gives them an overview of their apps(this feature was demonstrated before but not included in the Dev Preview)

    It is a good move on Microsoft's part to include color customization; I think we all would get sick of the bland, uninterestingly generic green color included in the Developer Preview. In any event, Microsoft is expected to release the Windows 8 beta at CES 2012 and a Release Candidate at the
    unannounced MIX 2012 Conference. The big OEMs, including Dell, HP, and ASUS, are all preparing Windows 8 tablets for Q3 2012. Who do you think will come out with the best tablet? HP and Dell have already proven that they need some serious help with theirs (Streak 7 and Slate, yone?), but ASUS has a pretty good shot here. ASUS is an adroit manufacturer of high quality products – think of their new, Macbook Air-inspired Zenbook. Whose tablet are you most anticipating? Leave us a comment here – or on Facebook or Twitter!

    Related posts:

    1. Windows 8 Beta Release imminent?
    2. Microsoft’s BUILD Conference
    3. Businessweek: Windows 8 Beta in Q4 2011, no Windows 8 tablets until June 2012

    Read More...

    Windows 8 Center

  • Saturday, October 29, 2011
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  • Windows 8 Center


    Windows 8 and HP

    Posted: 28 Oct 2011 06:34 PM PDT

    Hi there! I’m Meg Whitman. I can do just about everything, like run for public office or be a CEO! I’m just not particularly good at any of them.

    Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who recently made headlines with her failed campaign for governor of the Golden State, is now seated as the head of HP. When asked about HP's foundering PC division, of which the rumors about a shutdown have been put to rest, she gave a little information. As the team at Windows8Center predicted previously, HP is committed to Windows 8. "I think we need to be in the tablet business and we're certainly going to be there with Windows 8," Whitman commented. "We're going to make another run at this business." She certainly speaks as if she's been at HP for years!

    Despite the changes that HP has undergone, we are still excited for HP's second foray (or third, if you count the Slate mess) into the tablet business. In my view, HP products are usually loaded with bugs and trialware, but the design of the products is flawless and intuitive. And I have a sneaking suspicion that HP has desperately been trying to erase its reputation for crashing computers; its products have really stepped up in quality as of late. Nothing has been said about webOS, the controversial OS that HP inherited from Palm. WebOS has not exactly been lucrative for HP, but in my opinion it's not the OS itself, which I believe is one of the best, but HP's poor management and promotion skills. Because what was the point of buying out Palm if not to gain webOS?

    In any case, we want to hear what you guys think about HP and another tablet from them loaded with Windows 8? Would you buy? Why or why not?

    Related posts:

    1. Rumor: HP to release Windows 8 Tablet?
    2. Rumor: Microsoft-branded tablets running Windows 8 to launch by the end of 2012
    3. Windows 8: Landscape and Portrait Support

    Read More...

    Windows 8 Center

  • Sunday, October 23, 2011
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  • Windows 8 Center


    Windows 8: Landscape and Portrait Support

    Posted: 22 Oct 2011 09:13 AM PDT

    Windows 8 will be Microsoft’s complete reimagination of the PC, and Microsoft is hard at work optimizing it for full blown desktop business powerhouses to SoC devices. Microsoft has been especially focused on the immersive, Metro UI tablet experience it provides. An important part of that is how Windows 8 will react to portrait and landscape modes – we’ve never seen this functionality displayed before in a demo of Windows 8.

    Steven Sinofsky has recently updated the “Building Windows 8″ blog with a new entry centered on designing Windows 8 around any way a person holds their tablet – vertically or horizontally. “One of the best things about a tablet is that you can hold it in your hands. It's personal…so when planning Windows 8 we wanted to make sure that the experience could support any orientation that the device could be held in.” He writes. Sinofsky explains the four principles that the Windows 8 Division followed when optimizing for landscape and portrait modes:

    • The experience tailors itself for all form factors: small screens, wide screens, laptops and desktops.
    • The experience takes advantage of widescreen formats for multi-tasking and for full-screen video.
    • The device can be held and interacted with in the way that is most comfortable.
    • Developers have the opportunity to create one app that runs on all views and orientations across form factors with minimal effort.

    After some research was done on the reasons people rotate their tablets at all, the team formed four goals for Windows 8:

    • You can easily rotate your tablet to best suit your task or ergonomic posture.
    • Rotation in Windows is fast and fluid.
    • Windows rotates predictably across the system and apps – keeping the user in control.
    • Developers can easily build high quality and intentional landscape and portrait layouts, depending on the experiences they want to enable.

    The one other major obstacle for Microsoft was also designing Windows 8 for any aspect ratio: 4:3 or 16:9 or 16:10.

    We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether they hit this one on the bull’s eye or missed by a long shot! Check out the video below, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and favorite this page.

    Related posts:

    1. The Future of Windows: Metro UI
    2. Intel: “retarded” evolution of PCs, not anymore with Windows 8
    3. Rumor: HP to release Windows 8 Tablet?

    Read More...

    Windows 8 Center

  • Monday, October 17, 2011
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  • Windows 8 Center


    Intel: “retarded” evolution of PCs, not anymore with Windows 8

    Posted: 16 Oct 2011 06:31 AM PDT

    At Dell World last Friday, the  president and CEO of Intel Paul Otellini discussed the prospects of Windows 8 combined with Intel chips but more interestingly claimed that the evolution of the PC has been "retarded" over the last few years. I agree – in the nine year
    period between XP and Windows 7, Vista was a huge failure and no one can remember its impact. Windows 7, while being one of Microsoft's most highly acclaimed operating systems ever, was simply miles superior to Vista, which was part of the reason why everyone bought a copy, and was simpler to use. But the lack of a complete overhaul, a radical change is what I think Otellini was
    talking about that will take place in Windows 8.

    Otellini spoke to an audience of industry executives and told them that Intel loves PCs – and that together, Microsoft and Intel have built a "wonderful industry." He also stated that he thought PCs are now being taken for granted because of their immense capability and usefulness, and something has to be done in order to make PCs more consumer friendly. Intel plans to solve the problem with Ultrabooks – a new breed of
    laptops (similar to ultraportables) that are extremely portable, light, user friendly, but also have the capability of fulfilling the work and creativity
    needs of the population.

    Otellini admits that the work on Ultrabooks has been geared towards Windows 8 – "Windows 8 and its early development was something we were working with them very closely on," he remarked. "We think that Windows 8 on Intel architecture, particularly in Ultrabook form factors, will give you the ultimate experience for both consumer and IT workers." Poor AMD.

     

    Related posts:

    1. Windows 8 Portable Workspace: Take Windows on a USB with you
    2. Rumor: Microsoft-branded tablets running Windows 8 to launch by the end of 2012
    3. Microsoft Shows off Windows 8 UI/Tablet in Commercial? UPDATE

    Read More...

    Windows 8 Center

  • Monday, October 10, 2011
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  • Windows 8 Center


    Microsoft Details Drastic Memory Improvements In Windows 8

    Posted: 09 Oct 2011 11:46 AM PDT

    When Windows 7 was released, Microsoft had set out to erase the bad rap Windows had gotten because of Windows Vista, which was notorious for being a memory hog. And now, with Windows 8, Microsoft is aiming to do the same thing – on devices with even lower system specs than Windows 7 required, especially because of the rise of tablet devices and SoC based devices that are distinguished by low power consumption. Using up RAM (random access memory) also saps power from the device. Therefore, if an operating system uses a lot of memory, then more physical RAM will have to be built into a device, and bam! – less battery life.

    Windows 7 Memory Consumption

                               Windows 8 Memory Consumption                                    

    The above graphs perfectly illustrate the new improvements in Windows 8, which include:

    Memory Combination: When a program is called, it may allocate memory for future use – but if the user never invokes the function that requires that memory, then it pretty much goes to waste. If multiple applications are doing this, then there will be redundant copies of memory around the system, which is not good for memory efficiency. So what Windows 8 will do is scout for redundant copies, free them up, and keep a single copy. This process can save tens to hundreds of megabytes of memory.

    Service Changes and Reductions: Windows has always had a lot of services running in the background that no one has ever really cared for – and so Microsoft has removed some of those, moved some to “manual start” and another group to “start on demand,” which a triggered by some action in the OS, say, perhaps, device arrival, and they execute these steps.

    1.) Start.

    2.) Do whatever it needs to do.

    3.) Hang around, make sure its existence is completely useless before

    4.) Going away.

    Lazy initiation of the “desktop”: We all know that Microsoft is intending to bake the familiar appearance of the Windows “desktop” into Windows 8 via system application. So the OS components that you’ll find unique to the desktop application will not be initiated at startup because some people will stay completely inside the Metro UI, which saves memory.

    Giving priorities efficiently: Let’s say you’re in Windows 7, opening Excel while you have a bunch of different apps open as well. Let’s also say that you also have antivirus software that checks the files you’re opening for your safety. Well, the specific memory that the antivirus software is allocating to check that one file will probably never be used again. If Windows 7 is low on memory, it may delete memory that helps Excel – even though the antivirus software is finished and doesn’t still need the memory. Windows 8 solves this issue by allowing any program to allocate memory as “low priority,” so you won’t lose important work even if the system is low on memory.

    Related posts:

    1. The Future of Windows: Metro UI
    2. Microsoft starting major improvements for Windows 8 soon
    3. Details: Windows 8 Build 7989

    Read More...

    Windows 8 Center

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2011
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  • admin
  • Windows 8 Center


    Microsoft on Changes to Start Menu of Windows 8

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 01:47 PM PDT

    In a blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Steven Sinofsky (who we all know well as the head of the Microsoft Windows Division), wrote that Microsoft has been getting a lot of reactions and suggestions. I hope that means some changes are on the way! Check out this fan-made video:

    That is some pretty cool stuff.
    In other news, Microsoft is also holding a virtual Windows 8 Developer Preview Install fair this weekend on October 8 and 9. Their engineers will be there to guide you through the installation process, and Microsoft is encouraging you to feel free to talk about what you like or dislike about the process, or simply just offer feedback on Windows 8. Have you installed Windows 8 DP? What do you like about it, and do you have any issues? I installed it on my new Toshiba laptop, and I like it for the most part….except that I can’t access the internet. I’m planning to redownload an updated version of the DP and reinstall. Sound off in the comments!

    Related posts:

    1. Windows 8 Beta Release imminent?
    2. Microsoft to impose one tablet only restriction for Windows 8 tablet chipmakers
    3. Microsoft Shows off Windows 8 UI/Tablet in Commercial? UPDATE

    Read More...