Archive for the ‘Windows 8’ Category

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The current rumor going around is that Microsoft is going to rename their Surface tablets as Lumia’s.

I don’t know if this is indeed going to happen and if so, when and for what reasons, but this is what I could see happening going forward.

First, it is very difficult to trademark a name or brand in one country, let alone trademark one on a worldwide basis.  Look no further way than last year when Microsoft was forced to rename their cloud storage service, SkyDrive to OneDrive because Sky TV fought in court that the name SkyDrive belonged to them, and or it would confuse their customer base.

We can also go back to Microsoft naming their new tablet PC products as “Surface.”  Surface is a trademark held by Microsoft and used for their tabletop computers with 4 foot touch screens.  But that all changed when Microsoft surprised the world with their Surface and Surface Pro tablet PCs.

It was easier for Microsoft to use an existing trademark they already owned and enforced worldwide than create a new name for their first personal computers.   While the Surface computer was well known by news executives and weather-persons at top market news stations and a handful of geeks, the name or word Surface wasn’t used by the every day person on the street.

So, this brings me to 2014 and Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia.  With Nokia, came the Lumia brand/trademark.  Other than people, it is the one thing we understand that Microsoft got with the purchase of the mobile division. 

As stated above, it is much easier to take an existing brand name you already have trademarked around the globe and reuse it, rather than start again from scratch — that takes time, and Microsoft is nearly out of time.

So loosely, Lumia is already used by Nokia to represent their Windows Phones and ARM based tablet running Windows RT — both platforms use the ARM architecture to power the Lumia devices.

Microsoft’s Surface however, is used for both Windows 8.x tablet PCs running on the Intel x86-64 architecture, such as the initial Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 and the new Surface Pro 3.  However, Microsoft’s ARM based Surface and Surface 2 run the Windows on ARM variation of Windows 8.x and can run the new Windows 8 apps, but not the Windows “desktop” programs so many expect a Windows PC to run.

To cut out some of the confusion, Microsoft would be smart to leverage the Lumia brand they just acquired from Nokia and apply that brand to all ARM based Windows phones, tablets and personal computers (should the future bring such a PC).

So, could the future of Windows Phone and ARM based Windows be branded as Lumia, while the Surface brand is reserved for x86?  That certainly makes more sense then continuing a loosing battle to market both or Microsoft’s tablet as Pro and “non-Pro.”

ed: look at Samsung, they have “Galaxy” for Android and “ATIV”, a word I still don’t know how to pronounce, still haven’t heard anyone speak in a television commercial and I can’t remember; and they use it as their “brand” all of their Windows Phones, tablets and laptops — no wonder thieir PC sales are down and Lenovo’s PC sales are up (hint: ThinkPad and Yoga)

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While analysts and original equipment manufactures are cheering the death of Windows RT and the Surface RT, I think it’s a blessing that these vendors are leaving Windows RT.

This allows Microsoft to develop new and improved products unhindered and free to create.

Microsoft will not have to worry about their (fair-weather) partners complaining that Microsoft has an unfair advantage over them.

Microsoft is now free to create a new generation of products as distinct as the iPad and as advanced as the 41 megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020.

Like they did with the simple addition of an integrated kick stand and revolutionary Touchcover keyboard.

starting tomorrow, Sunday July 14, Staples is reducing the price of all Surface RT models by $150, with the 32GB model with 10.4″ widescreen for $349.99

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For me the one thing that differentiates an ordinary or extraordinary tablet from a computer isn’t its size, shape or design, but what defines a computer is its ability to connect to a broad and diverse set of peripherals.

I’m not just talking about USB storage, a smartphone, external monitor or television, but peripherals which add value to a device such as printers at home or work, scanners which allow your device to scan in photographs and documents.

This is the holy grail of computing.

If you can walk into a Kinko’s or client’s office and be able to connect to their printers or scanners with your “tablet” then it has gone beyond the definition of tablet and has crossed over to PC. Think how many times you have purchased tickets for the movies or vacation and printed your tickets? These are things you can do on RT – at your home, hotel, office or friends place – without downloading messy printer drivers which never quite uninstall. :/

In my opinion, a keyboard or traditional laptop form factor doesn’t make your device a PC. The ability to create content on your device, no matter what its shape is, be able to manipulate it and then to finally print it from that device makes a device a PC.

For example the iPhone can many things that we traditionally used a PC for – whether it was a Mac or Windows. You can surf the web, play movies, read email and with relative ease, you can also create or respond to emails.

There are even apps which facilitate bookkeeping, banking, etc on the iPhone – it can send a document or email to a printer equipped with Apple AirPrint support, but these are not your everyday printers and the all-in-one devices which include a scanner or fax cannot be directly used by your iPhone.

The iPad on the other hand can have a keyboard and mouse added to it, but without the ability to print or scan to ordinary printers – like the one you already own, it is a dead end device and leaves it in a category that has more in common with your smartphone than your desktop computer.

Android and Chrome are even less capable than similar products from Apple because there is no printer you can print directly to. Everything you want to print has to be directed via the internet or network to a service or app running on your PC which then sends your printout to the printer after first being uploaded and downloaded through the internet and then prints.

That’s not very convenient or very practical and limits the use of your Chrome or Android device and makes Google’s “Office” suite of apps little more than a gimmick.

Enter Windows RT

Windows RT is Windows and don’t be fooled by people who tell you otherwise!

Windows RT in fact has the underlying capability to run many apps designed for Windows 7 – in fact, it can run many apps written for Windows XP. The fact is simple, Microsoft has disabled the ability to run these apps on devices that run Windows RT – the future is touch, the future of apps is sharing resources and suspending when not in use to allow RT devices to operate longer between charges, and at the same time, rid developers and users from a system that was designed back in the late 80’s and released in the 90’s.

Windows RT ships with Microsoft Office 2013 preinstalled on all RT devices and includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and with the launch of Windows RT 8.1, it includes Outlook 2013. All of these apps operate just like their x86-64 counterparts that you would purchase for your home desktop PC or Office PC. Yes, some features have been removed like macros in Excel as well as some other features, but those are not used by many people and they have been removed (for now?) to conserve battery power and other performance reasons. All in all, you will never know those features are missing.

But like I said before, a tablet or device isn’t a PC if It can’t be used to take your work from idea to final product and printing is the way most of use finalize our work.

Since Windows RT is Windows, it also has decades of peripherals which have support for Windows built in. No, it can’t print to every printer you have eveer purchased, but out of the box, it can print to thousands and thousands of dot matrix, injet and laser printers without even downloading any drivers from the printer manufacture – and this can typically be well over 100 megabytes of files just so that you can print.

Windows RT and Windows 8 have a new driver model for printer which is built into Windows and has a built in library of thousands of printers, their capabilities and features and as soon as you connect to the printer or all in one with a USB cable or via your home network you can print immediately (period).

You can even scan in photos from your scanner directly to your RT device – although there is no pretty Metro interface to do this, you can do this from the Windows desktop.

Windows 8.1 adds the ability to print to 3D printers and also adds the ability to scan from your scanner or all in one without leaving Windows 8’s finger friendly interface (this was likely possible before, but it wasn’t included with every RT PC sold – now it will be).

The last difference I have found between an iPad, Android or Chromebook is the ability of Windows RT to have totally separate user accounts all accessible on one device. Log in with your personal account and your Start Screen, accent colors, wallpapers, email, documents, photos, cloud storage, etc, etc, etc, are loaded on the device and are separate from all other users on the device – and follow you between RT and your desktop or laptop running Windows 8.

So, before you go out a purchase a new “tablet” or feel like you need to upgrade your current tablet or even replace your laptop, please consider replacing it with a “PC” running Windows RT.

** All devices running Windows 8.0 and RT 8.0 are upgradeable to 8.1 free of charge later this year. (Unlike your Android tablet which will likely never be upgraded or patched with security updates).

No, there is no surprise here and anyone who claims that it is a surprise and/or revolution – well, they are either intentionally feeding into the hype or they are reporters (enthusiasts) who are wearing Apple Inc blinders.

128GB iPad – this is not surprising, this is typical Apple and the same tactic all premium brands with “inflated” product prices do.

When the iPad was released with a 64GB option there were a certain percentage of people who will pay top dollar to have the best.
When these “top of the line” models sales begin to decline then Apple has no choice to release a new model which will take over the top of the line spot.  This new model also must not cost Apple any more in R&D.

This model is not designed but for a few to buy, no, this model is not created because users are craving more storage.  This new 128GB model was designed to sell more 64GB models and bring that production and it’s higher margins and higher net profits back to the levels it was selling at when first launched.

16GB and 32GB parts costs are pretty much fixed because those memory sizes are mass production and foundries have no problem manufacturing them.

64GB parts are newer, there are less factories manufacturing them, but Apple purchased them a year in advance and because Apple purchased so many of these parts they have a lower price as compared to other vendors. Why? Because Apple’s huge guaranteed order helped pay for the factories and advanced technology required to make them. Everyone else buys these new 64GB parts for considerably more because the memory manufacturer still needs to make a profit for this new part.

So the iPad 64GB model is the sweet spot for pure profits and Apple is not going to let this highly profitable products sales decline, in fact they need to sell more of them.

Enter the 128GB iPad.  Now when people are shopping for their iPad they will be presented with four options, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.  If you were shopping for an iPad and didn’t need anything fancy the 16GB model would be sufficient for most users, but iPads, just like iPhones can not be upgraded once you buy it so most people will buy the 32GB model.

The iPad is luxury device for most people.  Between smartphones, laptops and desktop computers, most users do not have a “need” for an iPad, but they have a “want” for an iPad.

Before the 128GB iPad was announced most people looked at the 64GB model first with glazed over eyes and drooling down their chin.  But who can justify getting the top of the line iPad when in fact you don’t even know what you are going to use it for?

In comes the 128GB model to distract and be the new product  people crave and see in the Apple Store and can not justify so what do they do now? They are not practical and do not buy the 32GB model which would have been fine just last week, no, they purchase the 64GB model, one step down from the best.

Sure, there will be people purchasing the 128GB iPad, but those people aren’t looking at the prices and never have. This model is not made to be sold, it’s made to convince you to buy the 64GB model which makes Apple the most revenue and profits.

Before you ask, no this same model does not entirely apply to the Microsoft Surface RT and Surface Pro.  Yes, Microsoft is making good money on each Surface sold, but you see they are selling only two memory configurations for the RT and Pro each, and Microsoft also includes an industry standard MicroSD slot so people who purchase any of Microsoft’s 4 Surface computers at 32, 64, or 128GB can upgrade them with an additional 64 or 128GB of storage.

So, remember what I just taught you not only have I saved you a few hundred bucks, but I also kept some revenue away from Apple Inc. 😉

Windows 8 is a download, no disks, that means no booting from CD, no going to Best Buy, no extra trips or added expenses to upgrade your computer with more memory, no new video card required, etc. Windows 8 works on the computer you have today – only faster, longer and easier.

Windows 8 has a record number of firsts for the industry

Yes, Windows 8 has been totally redesigned and while many people are talking about how it was designed for touch screens that’s only HALF correct. Windows 8’s new Modern design was also designed to be used with your Mouse, trackpad and keyboard. Those who claim that Windows 8 only is needed for touch devices are cheating themselves of some of the wonderful new features in Windows 8 which are designed for everyone.
Yes you’ve already heard that it’s the first Windows to be redesigned to support touch screens, and it’s the first to support low per ARM chips, but here are some firsts you may not know.

1. Windows 8 updates are delivered from the web, download and install windows 8 without ever putting in a disk! Sit back and relax because for anyone upgrading from Windows 7, you don’t need to do a thing.

2. Windows 8 is actually faster than previous versions of Window. That means your 4 year old computer will not only start up faster than the day you first plugged it in, but your programs will load faster too – this is nothing short of a miracle for those people who do not feel the need to upgrade their PC every couple of years.

3. Windows 8 was redesigned to extended battery life – yes, install it on your laptop and you can spend less time charging your battery and more time untethered and less time worrying about where the closest power outlet is. Newer laptops will see better battery life than older ones, but something is better than nothing.

Do you own a license Microsoft Office? Well, if you upgrade to Office 2013 or Office 365 you will see even better battery life because the new Office allows your computer to rest more between keystrokes so if you use Microsoft Word all day, you can see as much as a 30% reduction in battery usage!

4. Manage your Windows account(s) from the cloud. Log-in to any Windows 8 computer or tablet running Windows RT with your Microsoft Account and your color preferences, your files on SkyDrive and all the files on your PC will be instantly available to you! – yes, even those files not stored on SkyDrive. You can now access the files on your computer’s hard drive from any PC in the world. Of course, all of this is password protected.

5. Family Safety: This too is managed from the cloud and you can create and edit what not only what your children have access to on your home computer, but these safety settings also follow your children to their grandparents computer(s), the computers at the library as well as the family Xbox 360 and their Windows Phone 8.

The main advantages with this type of system is that you do not have to set 15 or 20 restrictions on your child’s iPhone and again on their iPad. No, you set them in a friendly web browser with your mouse and full sized keyboard. Since you are using your computer to set these limits, you get full descriptions about each setting or restriction on screen and you do not have to look each setting up as you do with Apple’s solution.

You can begin by selecting Child, Teen or Adult and keep the default settings, or you can customize them to suite your family’s beliefs.
Using Apple’s parental controls, you can turn broad features off or on and restrict all access to certain features.

On Microsoft’s platform, you can do that too, but it is recommended that you set other types of limits. For example, your child can play 4 hours of games a week, or 4 hours M-F and 8 hours on the weekends. Instead of not allowing your child to use the web/internet, you can set limits based on age. Like I said, many of these settings follow them to other computers not at your home as well as to their own phone(s) when they are old enough to have one.

6. Windows 8 and RT are the first operating system parent’s weekly reports of their activity. Microsoft’s parental settings don’t just block your children from broad features of their phones and computer experience, no, it’s about letting them have more freedom to learn and explore and if their grades go up or go down, you can see if it’s because they played too many games or surfed the internet for hours on end following Justin Bieber.

No, Apple doesn’t give you or your children this type of freedom, it just allows a tech-savvy parent to prevent them from accessing features and programs and making purchased from the App/iTunes Store. Archaic especially since Apple prides itself for being family friendly.

7. Windows 8 is also the first Windows that brings the store to you. All new Winnows 8 apps are now purchased from the Windows Store, No more ordering software from Newegg or going to your local computer store to buy your programs. Now you can do it from your own computer at any time in the day or night. Need to research an app before you purchase it, or need to compare several? No problem, get sneak peeks at sample screens from the apps you are considering, read customer comments and many apps even have trial periods where you can try the app for free.

This is not like the way you currently purchase software over the internet, no, this is from a Store which is organized and searchable using Windows new universal search. All these apps have been tested for malware and go through certification from Microsoft before they are released into the Store. Safe, secure and easy.

Yes, you can still buy apps for Windows 8 on disks which you buy online or pick up at your store. Those apps will be around for some time to come, but are now called “legacy” or “desktop” apps. Windows 8/RT Modern apps can only be purchased from the new online Store.

8. Windows 8 and RT are also the first operating systems that defaults to saving and retrieving your files to/from the Cloud – more specifically, SkyDrive. This is where signing into your computer with your Microsoft Account really starts to make sense.

Once you log into a computer in a coffee shop or cruise ship, from your smartphone (Windows, iPhone or Android) or from your laptop, you will have access to all your files and photos. If you use SkyDrive as it’s meant to be used, you will never again be looking at two documents side by side – one on your PC and one on your laptop and wonder which file is newer? Which one has the latest updates? Which one can be deleted? Or worse yet, not know how to merge the two documents together to make one complete and up to date document.

No, you always have the most current version of your document because you are always accessing the one file on SkyDrive which is always kept in sync by SkyDrive and Windows 8’s apps.
Just a little more about SkyDrive

8a. The SkyDrive desktop app available for Windows and Mac OSX both keep all of your files that you designate on your computer up to date and provide all your devices with these always current files.
Here are devices that have SkyDrive client apps available for them and allow you to access your files when away from home/work. Windows 8 (laptop), Windows RT (tablet), Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android and not to be forgotten, the Xbox 360 also has a SkyDrive app.

With all of the above devices with client apps, you can create and edit Word and Excel files with a basic free web edition of Office which is integrated in SkyDrive.com. That means that even if the computer you are using doesn’t have a copy of Microsoft Office, you can still open, edit and create those office files stored on SkyDrive – even on a Mac or iPhone.

So while most people on the web are talking about how they wish Windows 8 was more like Windows 7 or Windows 95, I am focusing on how the changes Microsoft made to Windows 8 and all the new Windows versions were done to make your life easier and bring these many features to all their users, not just the ones who work in Silicon Valley or the ones who don’t mind tinkering and tinkering, and tinkering.

Upgrade to the first Operating System which was designed from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, easier to share around your home, easier to work as teams and easier to work with your existing keyboard and mouse as well as the computer or tablet you may be buying in the next few years.

120923_Kicking_the_Can_t618</aWINDOWS 8 & PHONE 8 MODERN INTERFACE
You may not realize this, but the new Windows Modern interface with Tiles and Live Tiles is the future and for once Microsoft is not playing follow the leader, they are the leader

Microsoft has created a new user interface not solely because touch isn’t ideally suited for Windows Classic/Desktop mode, but also because 25 years after the first Windows computers were shipped, we are now using computers differently and no longer benefit from the Windows of the past.

Microsoft has developed the Modern user interface to start over again, start over with new simpler way of using computers and simpler doesn’t mean limited

In the past 3 years, Microsoft has migrated this new and still developing user interface across all the screens you use every day.

Modern can now be found on your phone, your television via the Xbox 360, Windows RT for their low power tablets and hybrids as well as Windows 8 for all the existing computers powered by Intel and AMD based computers and laptops.

So consider the bandage “torn off” and now it’s time to adopt this new user interface on your computers with mice, your laptops with touch pads, your tablets and smartphones with touch, or via several hybrid methods – Microsoft has given its users plenty of flexibility and freedom for us to choose and hardware manufacturers introduce product types we have never seen before.

For me and a few million others who adopted Windows Phone 7 – which first introduced the Metro/Modern interface to the public, well, we “get it” as some people would say and we not only “get it” we are crazy in love with it!

APPLE OSX & IOS
For people using the Apple ecosystem they are using two interfaces, one for the desktop which uses a mouse or track pad and a second interface for mp3 players, phones and tablets.

Mac computers as well as MacBooks are both based on the user interface released over 25 years ago. It works great with a mouse or track pad, but they don’t work well with touch – and we know this not just because Steve Jobs has said so, but also because reviews of computers upgraded with 3rd party touch surfaces have been terrible.

Apple’s iOS platforms work great with touch, but don’t work vey well with a mouse pointer.

So you see, Apple is facing what Microsoft faced, two operating systems, two separate platforms and neither can be the basis for a future user interface for both of their quickly colliding platforms.

Google Android & Chrome
I propose we don’t have to worry about Google and their plans at this time. Why do I say this? Google hasn’t really developed anything new and will likely follow what ever Apple does, or they will adopt a similar approach to Microsoft.

Either way Google will be Google and I would be surprised if they make any changes to their platforms before Apple does.

KICKING THE CAN
So, are you going to kick the can until you run out of sidewalk and avoid Windows 8 Modern interface for as long as you can, or are you going to recycle that can start using Windows 8 and it’s new and improved Start Screen and as many new Modern apps as appropriate, or are you going to be the last to adopt and be left behind?

What about people who use Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Macs? Well, all of those users will be learning a new interface in the future – every single one of them, because whether Apple’s touch and mouse friendly interface is 1 year away or 4 years away, it is coming and no will have any say about it and believe me, Apple will not be as supportive and flexible as Microsoft is being with Windows 8, no, the past dictates that Apple will quickly abandon their users and push you all to new computers, phones and tablets running their new operating system.

You don’t believe me? It’s in Apple’s DNA to cut the rope of their customers: Apple III, Apple Lisa, Mac System 7 hardware, Mac OS 9 and again in 2006 with OS X and abandoning all their PowerPC Macs all became obsolete overnight and lost all support from Apple and software developers within 18 months. Only the new Macs would have updated apps and peripherals.

So, would you rather buy into and invest in Windows 8 and Modern and know you are already using the operating system and platform for the next 20-30 years, or buy an iPhone, iPad and Mac only to wake up in 2014 with huge paper weights?!

Not only that, but when Apple makes this change, and it’s going to be a big change, you are going to have to use this new platform, and it will not have benefitted by being used and changed over 3 years like Microsoft was able to do.

Buying a Mac or iPad in 2013 is like buying bellbottoms in 1979 when the “cool people” were burning their disco records.

Have you considered upgrading your home or office computer or laptop to Windows 8, but been advised to delay your upgrade or avoid upgrading to Windows 8?

Well, then it’s time to reevaluate who you are hiring for advice. Lets see if they told you about these benefits?

This is what will happen when you install Windows 8. Your computer will immediately become faster. It will boot up quicker, it will start your existing programs faster as well as close them more quickly and Windows 8 will shut down or reboot faster.

If you upgrade your laptop to Windows 8 you will immediately get longer battery life – even an older laptop, newer laptops will gain even more benefits and longer battery life too.

The new modern interface and the new Start Screen most people are talking about in negative ways is actually a huge benefit and for people who actually install Windows 8 will find out for themselves, it will boost your productivity.

Boost productivity? Everyone is saying productivity goes down when switching to Windows 8!

All your existing Windows 7 apps, including Microsoft Office operate just as they always have! No changes, none. They operate exactly as they always have. Printing, scanning, searching, etc all work as they always have so you will not need to learn anything new.

The new Windows 8 Modern apps do operate differently from legacy Windows 7 apps. But once you learn how to expose the Charms Bar and remember to use the right-click on your mouse or pad you will know the basics of Windows 8’s new interface. From the Charms Bar you can print, scan, in app search, universal search, change app settings, share via email, share to social network, even send web pages, music and videos straight from your Windows 8 app to an Xbox, PS3, smart TV or internet enabled blue-ray player.

Do you use a computer at home, work and maybe even. Laptop? Well, if all of them are running Windows 8 or Windows RT, well then each will share data back and forth. Search for a term on your work PC and it will appear in Internet Explorer’s browser history on your home or laptop computer or tablet.

Do you always run the latest version of Microsoft Office? Well, Office 2013 is about to be released and Office 2013 supports SkyDrive as it’s default drive for saving and retrieving your documents. Save your document or spreadsheet on one computer and it’s instantly available to you from any Windows 8 pc you log into. Not just the Windows 8 computers you personally own, but from any web browser or friends computer – anywhere you are.

If you have more than one computer you of course have run into the problem of multiple computers having multiple versions of your files and once you have different versions on your computers how do you merge them? If you upgrade to Windows 8 and SkyDrive you will never have this problem again – ever!

These are just a few of the ways that Windows 8 with the new modern user interface will increase and not decrease productivity, not hinder it.

If you are being advised to stay away from Windows 8 then maybe you should look elsewhere for your computer help, because if you upgrade after January 30, 2013 you will be paying around $180 dollars for your upgrade – a full $140 more than the $40 it will cost you today.