Everything Microsoft - Latest Microsoft News, Guides, Reviews & Themes » Non Microsoft http://www.everything-microsoft.com Latest Microsoft Windows 8, Windows 7, Office, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7 & Xbox 360 News, W8 Beta, Rumors, Downloads, Themes, Wallpapers, Help & more Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:00:31 +0000 en-EN hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 What no iGoogle?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/18/igoogle/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/18/igoogle/#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2012 03:51:08 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95040 On November 1, 2013 Google is killing iGoogle! Why? Is it too successful? What is it being replaced by?

None of the answers to these questions supplied by Google is satisfactory.

I am really p….d off by this arbitrary decision and I’m not the only one. There are hundreds of  thousands, dare I say millions of satisfied users of IGoogle who will be deprived of an excellent web browser.

The Bad News!

I’ve been using IGoogle for years and years. I love its flexibility and the way you can craft it to suit your own needs. Looking at the alternative web browsers – Firefox, Safari, Opera and Google Chrome, none of them really grab me as I’ve tried them all.

Now I’m forced to look for a customizable alternative. On checking the web I came across ten less well-known ones – Stainless, Lunascape, Maxthon, Konqueror, Sleepnir, Sea Monkey, Swiftfox, Omniweb, Camino and Flock.

Never heard of any of them before BUT now I’ve got to sort out where I’ll go when the deadline for the demise of iGoogle arrives. Of course I can continue to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer with ninemsn.com.au or au.news.yahoo.com  but these websites though working successfully with Internet Explorer do not grab me. There have little flexibility  and are full of stuff I abhor – information overload as well as the incessant advertising. This leaves me little choice!

Having got my beef out of my system I’m wondering what other disappointed iGoogle users are going to do? Where do we go from here!

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Yammer and Microsoft – A Social Media Enterprisehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/06/26/yammer-microsoft/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/06/26/yammer-microsoft/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:38:11 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=94787 Microsoft and Yammer, is that good? For Whom? Microsoft acquired Yammer, a social media company, on June 25. So what does that mean for Microsoft and for the five million Yammer customers?

Another question is why? After all, Microsoft already has partnership deals in place with Yammer. Moreover, it has its own enterprise social-networking technology built into SharePoint. Well Microsoft wants to add another program to its complement in the Cloud portfolio. But at the same time, Microsoft is working on OfficeTalk, that is its own social media program. (I guess if I worked on the OfficeTalk team, I’d start to revise my resume now … remember Kin?).

What is Yammer?

It is a provider of enterprise social networks with over 5 million corporate users. These include employees of more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 business base. There are two versions. The basic version of Yammer is free, and the upgrade version is available to customers who pay and modify their network to receive advanced administrative features. These include security controls, integrations with enterprise applications, enhanced customer service, and a designated customer success manager.

So what will Microsoft Do with Yammer?

Microsoft plans to integrate Yammer’s technology with Office, Office 365, Dynamics (CRM), and Skype. Microsoft will leave Yammer as a standalone cloud service; that will not change. And the idea is to use the Skype model with Yammer, in terms of leaving the company in its present locale (San Francisco) and with the current operations intact.

So with that, what will this mean to the Yammer customers? Right now, not much. For them, that can be a good sign that Microsoft likes the product well enough to leave it alone. For now, Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity and cross-platform experiences. What Microsoft plans for the future, we will know in the future.

Source: Microsoft


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Is This the Linux Time?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/06/25/linux-time/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/06/25/linux-time/#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2012 12:43:27 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=94774 Is this the Linux Time? Has Linux finally found an opening to the desktop? Last week I wrote about some of the problems attending Microsoft’s Windows 8 PC’s and the dual boot problem, of which Linux would be a victim.

Well, now it appears that with the new version of Windows 8, and with their own PC device, this may be leaving Microsoft Partners out in the lurch. Consider this. Metro. Not everyone’s favorite user interface. Consider this. Surface. A tablet built by Microsoft to the annoyance of their partners who are left holding the bag with their own tablet model, which won’t support Windows 8. Consider this. The Windows 8 smartphone will make the Windows 7 Phone obsolete. So consider this, do you think the partners are happy? Is this the trend for the future?

And then there is the Windows 8 PC and Linux, UEFI issue. Sure you can load Linux on a Windows 8 PC. But it will cost you … about $99.

An Opening?

So does this portend an opening in the desktop operating system world? Is this a possible opening for Linux? How, well if the partners are unhappy with Microsoft, will they be able to design their own PC’s to put a new operating system, Linux style. So which Linux software can be considered at this time if a company did want to make the break? Ubuntu and Google Chrome.


Ubuntu, not only has been courting OEMs for a long time, it’s actually been shipping Ubuntu-powered laptops and desktops from companies like Dell for years. Red Hat and SUSE, are more server oriented, than desktop. They will have a smaller desktop impact.  So you have an existing powerhouse already working with Linux.

Google Chrome

This may be a stretch right now, but Chrome, the smartphone is based on the Linux OS. How much harder is it to stretch it to the PC, or the laptop? But there is one drawback here, that is that Chrome needs to connect to the Internet in order to run. So if there will be a PC — Chrome Linux OS it will have to be available in a non-Internet mode.

That said, Windows 7 may be the last successful Microsoft OS. Because Windows 8 can be a new dimension in PC operating systems, where consumers don’t want to go.

Source: Zdnet

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Are Linux Servers More Popular than Windows Servers?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/16/linux-servers-popular-windows-servers/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/16/linux-servers-popular-windows-servers/#comments Fri, 16 Mar 2012 12:14:41 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=74947 While Microsoft is comfortable with its Windows 7 OS, even with Server 2008, still there is news that the market for Linux Servers is growing for those enterprises that want to go to the Cloud.

International Data Corporation (IDC)

IDC published a report saying that factory revenue in the worldwide server market showed some interesting results. First, the market grew for Linux Servers but that it shrank for Windows and UNIX. Apparently, IDC’s measure is based only servers where Linux is already pre-installed. It didn’t measure when an enterprise installed Linux on a bare-metal straight-up server or a recommissioned server, which is normally how Linux gets into companies.

Linux Server Increase Spending

The foundation of the growth, according to IDC, is that the demand Linux servers is a response to high performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue improved 2.2% year over year in 4Q11 to $2.6 billion. Linux servers now represent 18.4% of all server revenue, a factor up by 1.7 points when compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.
Windows Server

Overall, this may not be a big impact on Windows server. Why? Because, while Windows server demand subsided slightly in 4Q11 as overall hardware revenue decreased 1.5% year over year. Yet the quarterly revenue numbers of $6.5 billion for Windows servers represented 45.8% of the overall quarterly factory revenue; this is up 2.6 points over the prior year’s quarter.

Linux Server Going for Big Data

The Cloud Impact

What’s interesting about this is that the Cloud impact is driving enterprises to make the decision to use Linux as a server foundation. The irony is that Microsoft has spent billions of dollars in Cloud technology and infrastructure; nothing by Linux. There wouldn’t be the interest in the Cloud without the push coming from Microsoft. Linux certainly didn’t do it.
However, it does say something about what companies expect of their servers, security, availability, and growth potential. These are big issues and Microsoft is not idle. Server 2012 will be out this year. It will have its own impact.

Source: Zdnet

Linux Foundation

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Microsoft Your Account, Centralized Account Managementhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/25/microsoft-account-centralized-account-management/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/25/microsoft-account-centralized-account-management/#comments Sat, 25 Feb 2012 19:04:42 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=22872 If you are using more than one Microsoft product you may also have multiple accounts. Say, a Windows Phone account, one for Windows Live, one Xbox 360 account and maybe even a Zune account. And even if you are using the same log in information for these accounts, you until now had no option to manage those accounts in a central location.

That’s exactly what Microsoft wants to change with the launch of Microsoft Your Account, a new version of the Billing Account Management portal. The service supports several popular Microsoft services, including Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows Live and Microsoft Office.

The service allows Microsoft account owners to view their purchases and subscriptions from Microsoft online services, edit their payment options, and update their account information online.

microsoft your account

Once you sign in to Microsoft Your Account you are presented with a list of your recent transactions. This includes for instance games purchased on Xbox Live. From there you can switch to the transactions menu to filter transactions by month, currency or payment option.

The subscriptions menu lists all active subscriptions under the account, with options to manage them or to view their history.

The profile menu displays profile information like the user’s name, email address or address. These can be edited right here.

Payment options finally can be used to add new payment options to the system. This can be helpful for users who would like to switch a payment option for a service they use, for instance to a new credit card.

Microsoft notes that not everything is yet supported by Microsoft Your Account.

You can find below all the items not covered yet:

  • Directed update: primary/secondary users.
  • Renew few MSN subscriptions with HIP validation.
  • Bundle purchases transaction history.
  • Payout billable account management.
  • Market support other than: USA, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Japan.

Probably the biggest restriction right now is the concentration on some markets only. Users who are not living in the US, UK, France, Spain, Germany or Japan cannot use the service right now.

Microsoft Your Account lacks management features that would make it a true centralized account management service. It is for instance not displaying information about free Microsoft products, or offering to manage them as well on the site. (via Within Windows)

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Active Directory on the Cloud?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/17/active-directory-cloud/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/17/active-directory-cloud/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2012 13:48:15 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=22449 Active Directory on the Cloud? Yep. That is Microsoft’s new move to make cloud services more secure.

Network Management System

Active Directory is Microsoft’s Network Management System that resides on servers, 2003 and 2008. Among the things it provides is identity and access for individuals to connect to the network.  Now the same approach will be extended to the Azure Cloud Services. Microsoft offers that “Windows Azure Active Directory is a cloud service that provides identity and access capabilities for applications on Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365. Windows Azure Active Directory is the multi-tenant cloud service on which Microsoft Office 365 relies on for its identity infrastructure.”

With the Active Directory elements on hand, individuals can bring applications to the cloud easily. There, one can enable a single sign-on operation, and work with security enhanced applications. All of this coming with the interoperability available with existing Active Directory deployments using Access Control Service (ACS), which is a feature of Windows Azure Active Directory.

Other Features and Benefits

  • Flexibility to use your tools and social identities
  • Simple interoperability with your existing on-premises Active Directory, meaning that, the Active directory features of your local server can also apply on the cloud.
  • The same programming model, Windows Identity Foundation is used thereby making local to Cloud application transitions possible.
  • Administration Portal is used to integrate Access Control System with your applications and set up authentication and authorization rules used to govern cloud applications access.


There are three plans

  • Pay-As-You-Go which is 1.99 per 100,000 transactions.
  • Cloud Promotions: Microsoft is running a promotion and will provide free use of the service through December 1st, 2012.
  • Subscription Offers Specials: Then if you purchase subscription offers or the Introductory Special Pay-As-You-Go Plan, you will not be charged for any overage beyond the allotted amount that is part of your offer.

Source: WindowsAzure


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Microsoft Act on Fake Sinofsky Twitter Accounthttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/13/microsoft-stamp-fake-sinofsky-twitter-account/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/13/microsoft-stamp-fake-sinofsky-twitter-account/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 08:16:31 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=22374 Of all the people in Microsoft we’d like to hear more from, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky is by far the quietest and most secretive.  That was until a few days ago when he suddenly appeared on Twitter, or did he?  The account wasn’t the man himself, being clear that “Oh, I’m not ‘the’ Steven Sinofsky by the way. He’s got a little project to focus on for now.”

Microsoft acted swiftly and uncharacteristically politely by tweeting the individual behind the account saying “@StevenSinofsky please see guidelines on parody and impersonation. Your account is not following them them and has been reported.” before eventually taking a slightly softer tone when replying to another user about the account.  ” … all in good humor, too much mail from confused people as account name a bit too real. follow the rules is all we ask :-).”

The incident, as reported by NeoWin, has now been resolved with the account being renamed @FakeSinofsky but his promise of free Windows on ARM tablets for all TouchPad owners was both interesting and amusing, both because of the dwindling support TouchPad owners who are still using WebOS are finding, but also because anybody in this position is likely to think that WebOS is better.

Twitter has a great many fake accounts for celebrities and notable people of which Steven Sinofky is just one of the most recent, and Twitter has strict rules for such accounts though it does allow them.  So long as people know that an account is fake there’s really no harm that can be done and it’s all in a bit of fun.  It is reassuring that Microsoft’s legal people haven’t stepped in and taken a harder line on this occasion as might have been expected.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, a great many people online have been criticising Sinofsky for remaining so quiet and not coming forward with the answers to the questions they have been asking about Windows 8.  This could be because at the time those answers didn’t exist, it could have been that Microsoft needed and wanted to steer the dialogue in a certain direction (which is the most likely) or it could be that they didn’t care or want to (unlikely this one).

The sad news though is that HP TouchPad owners won’t be receiving a new Windows on ARM tablet.  As a TouchPad owner myself I can only say Damn!

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Linux on the Microsoft Azure Cloudhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/27/linux-microsoft-azure-cloud/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/27/linux-microsoft-azure-cloud/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 14:35:17 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21914 Linux may not be dead after all. Microsoft is looking for software engineers to make Linux available on Azure, Microsoft Cloud system.

Job Requirements

“Senior Software Development Engineer/Linux Virtualization
This position requires a proven track record in the open source community.
The Windows Interoperability Team at Microsoft has an immediate opening for a senior software development engineer. The purpose of this position is to become a key member of a highly specialized development team whose mission is to identify, define, scope, implement and drive to completion software projects that promote full, transparent interoperability between Windows and Linux in Microsoft virtual and cloud environments.”

Why Linux?

Microsoft is looking to make its Azure Cloud services available to as many users as possible. While Linux consumers are a small part of the OS market, their contribution to OS design and computer stability has played a role in making other operating systems be more in tune with this system. By adding Linux to the complexity of the Cloud, it will increase the market propensity where it can become a universal system. All systems can handle the Azure cloud. That at least is the goal.

Linux Virtual Machines

Microsoft is planning to allow customers to make virtual machines (VMs) to run on Windows Azure. So Linux customers who want to run Linux without losing the data state in VMs on Microsoft’s Azure platform-as-a-service platform will be able to do so.  The problem that has been noted is that as the Linux program runs on the Cloud, if there are problems, the data disappears. This unsteady element is one that Microsoft wants to correct.

But with the new developer position, Microsoft hopes to start making inroads into some of the problems and correct them. The Linux virtual machine system, which they hope to make available, then will allow other applications to run on the cloud.

Source The Register


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Google Fixes Multiple Calendar Sync and Search Issues on Windows Phonehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/26/google-fixes-multiple-calendar-sync-search-issues-windows-phone/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/26/google-fixes-multiple-calendar-sync-search-issues-windows-phone/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 04:05:55 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21893 Google has finally decided to stop ignoring Windows Phone on two key issues: Multiple Calendar Sync & Search (Previously, Windows Phone users had to resort to workarounds to achieve syncing multiple calendars to their device). Today, Google posted, via Google+, that they have fixed these two problematic issues for Windows Phone users:

We launched a few new features on Google Sync for our Windows Phone (7.5+) users. Multiple Calendars is a feature that lets you select which of your Google Calendars are synced to your device. Just navigate to m.google.com/sync on your phone’s browser and configure the calendars you would like to see. From that page, you can also configure which addresses you send mail as if you have custom addresses in Gmail. We’ve also improved search to look beyond the conversations that are stored locally on your device so that you are able to find more of your conversations, faster.

For a step-by-step guide on enabling multiple Google calendar support, click here.

Google also addressed the ability to choose which address you send as if you have custom Gmail email addresses using m.google.com/sync and the ability to search server-side email. Maybe they are warming up to Microsoft’s underdog OS, probably not.

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UK Retailer Sold 94,000 Counterfeit Copies Of Windowshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/04/uk-retailer-sold-94000-counterfeit-copies-windows/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/04/uk-retailer-sold-94000-counterfeit-copies-windows/#comments Wed, 04 Jan 2012 12:47:30 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21683 Today Microsoft has filed legal proceedings against UK retailer Comet for allegedly selling 94,000 copies of Windows XP and Windows Vista. The alleged counterfeits were sold to customers who had purchased Windows-loaded PCs and laptops.

According to the suit, Microsoft are claiming that Comet produced these counterfeit Windows XP and Vista recovery CD’s in a factory in Hampshire and distributed them across the UK.


David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft had this to say.

As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom, Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too.

At the moment Comet is currently owned by French retail company Kesa Electricals PLC, although it is reportedly going to be purchased by private equity firm OpCapita LLP later this year, but I can’t imagine that they’d be too happy taking on a company that’s in the middle of a legal battle with Microsoft.

Comet still haven’t responded to these legal proceedings.

Microsoft are urging their customers who are concerned that they may running illegal copies of Windows XP and Windows Vista to visit their website Howtotell.com

It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds, because if with Microsoft are claiming is true, Comet could be in a lot of trouble.


Engadget via Microsoft

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Windows7News Editor Publishes Office 365 Security eBookhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/30/windows7news-editor-publishes-office-365-security-ebook/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/30/windows7news-editor-publishes-office-365-security-ebook/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2011 22:35:54 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21329 I’m sure that most of our regular followers here at Windows7News know all about Mike Halsey. Mike has been constantly surprising us with books for this, podcasts for that and insider information from Microsoft, all the while earning himself the title of a MVP (Microsoft Valued Professional) on the sly.

Well it looks like Mike has been working on yet another “top secret” project. This time he’s teamed up with several different people including established author and ZD Net blogger Ed Bott. From today, Mike’s new eBook, “Need to Know:Office 365 Security Essentials” has gone on sale. It’s a bargain, available for just $11.45 (£7.42) on Amazon US and UK or just $9.95 direct from the publisher.

It’s been published by Fair Trade Digital Exchange. They are a new US-based publisher where Ed Bott has taken up the position of Authoring Director.

Fair Trade Digital Exchange is a revolutionary “digital first” publishing company devoted exclusively to technology topics. The Fair Trade DX development model lets us turn content from world-class authors into high-quality books and learning products, at a pace that leaves traditionalprint publishers in the dust. Unlike other publishers, we treat authors as full partners, and our shared goal is to inform, enlighten, and delight readers.

We’re proud to announce our first four titles, available today in all popular digital formats.

  • Need2Know: Ed Bott’s Windows 8 Head Start, by Ed Bott
  • Need2Know: Microsoft Office 365 Security Essentials, by Mike Halsey
  • Need2Know: Broadcasting your PowerPoint Presentation, by Katherine Murray
  • Need2Know: Building ASP.NET Web Pages with WebMatrix, by Jim Wang

This is Mikes first book and offers a really holistic view at Office 365 security for small businesses.  He examines every single aspect of business computing from your ISP and Internet Connection to your PCs, smartphones,tablets, home working and even employment policies. If it’s to do with Office 365, you can be sure Mikes got it covered

It’s brilliant that Mike has got involved with such an distinguished company working with authors who are just as good as him.

You can get his book here at Amazon US and UK or from the publisher.

You can find out more about this new book series at the fair Trade Digital Exchange website.

I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing Mike every success with his latest eBook, and knowing Mike he’s probably got a few more surprises in store for us as well!

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Microsoft Updates Windows Phone Connector for Machttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/28/microsoft-updates-windows-phone-connector-mac/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/28/microsoft-updates-windows-phone-connector-mac/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2011 18:45:00 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21305 Microsoft has shipped out an update to the Windows Phone Connector for the Mac. The Windows Phone Connector is essentially the software which allows a Windows Phone handset to communicate with the Mac to allow for file transfer on and off the device. The update most notably includes custom ringtone support for Windows Phone and the ability to drag files off of the device onto your Mac computer, however, there are also a number of other fixes in the mix as well:

New features include:

• Full sync and import support for Apple Aperture software
• Drag and drop import of files from Browse Device
• Ringtone transfer support (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Improved video conversion process with user configuration options
• Support for Windows Phone Marketplace (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Localization support for 13 additional languages
• Improvements to backup and restore operations
• Improved configuration for podcast sync and photo import
• Improved iTunes import support in certain languages
• Improved metadata support for videos

• Added additional error codes and help references for device update
• Resolved connectivity issues with certain devices
• Resolved album art display issues for certain devices

You can find the Connector software for Windows Phone in the Mac Store here.

(Disclosure: I use Windows 7 and the Window’s 8 Dev Preview as my main OS installs, but sometimes use Mac OSX for review purposes.)

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Student Builds $125 Windows 7 Tablet – For His Girlfriendhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/27/student-builds-125-windows-7-tablet-girlfriend/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/27/student-builds-125-windows-7-tablet-girlfriend/#comments Sun, 27 Nov 2011 17:39:31 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21292 While Windows 7 tablet’s are still few and far between, Wei Xinlong decided he’d forget about waiting for the likes of Toshiba,Dell or Sony to come out with a Windows 7 tablet and build his own. And he managed to do it a lot cheaper than any of them would. At just $125, this has to be the cheapest tablet to date!

Ok, there’s actually more to this story than that. Wei Xinlong wanted to get his girlfriend a tablet as a present, but being a cash strapped student he couldn’t afford to buy her one of the shelf. So instead he decided to go make one himself. All he needed was $125 and a bit of creativity to get it done.

After looking at several how-to videos and reading up about how to build your own tablet, he got to work. First off he bought a cheap used laptop for a mere $78. Out of this he took the processor, motherboard, memory, GPU and display from it. Then he went about making a new case for the device by hand,carving out the holes that were needed to fit it together.

He bought the touchscreen and battery separately for under $50 which brought the total cost of this build to a mere $125.

After putting all this together, he ended up with a Windows 7 touchscreen tablet which is apparently similar in size to an iPad, but is a fair bit thicker. Wei even included an Apple logo on the device.

Luckily for Wei, his girlfriend – Sun Shasha was delighted with it and said that it was “the best gift I’ve ever had, and I will keep it forever”. She was the one who added the ring of rhinestones on its cover

So if any of you are looking for a way to a ladies heart, then maybe this could be the way?

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Steve Jobs … The Thomas Edison of the Late 20th Century …RIPhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/06/steve-jobs-thomas-edison-late-20th-century-rip/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/06/steve-jobs-thomas-edison-late-20th-century-rip/#comments Thu, 06 Oct 2011 13:27:29 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20766 There have been many computer geeks that have made it to the top of their profession, but none, not even Bill Gates, had the influence on the computer industry and the world like Steve Jobs.

With his narcissistic vision he took replaced the idea that a computer had to be the size of a building’s floor, weigh several tons, and have specialist PhD’s run the system. All so they could produce timely reports.

Even when IBM introduced its PC in 1983, the innovation was lackluster. They sold a lot of computers based on just the name IBM.

But when the Apple 2 came out, there were previews about what lay ahead. There were laser printers and networking operations available. Later, Steve Jobs rocked the world with the Macintosh. At that point he had taken off the aircraft carrier of technology. The sky was his.

While he lead Apple in its early years, he was replaced by the person he hired to run Apple. And Apple couldn’t find its way back to the top without Steve.

Microsoft, in the meantime was doing what it did very well, it copied technology from others in order to stay on top of the computer market. (like spreadsheets, document editors, sql databases, even internet operations) And why they never took over a hardware company to make their own computers is still a mystery. But the felt, undoubtedly, that they should just focus on software. They weren’t wrong about that. But it would take time, well into the 90’s, before Microsoft became a real innovator.

Steve Jobs on his return to Apple did what he was always good at, creating a vision. He was like the low-level employee who had great ideas, but couldn’t convince top management to take them on. (Steve Wosniak Apples co-founder was a low-level employee at HP. He showed them the PC he had designed. They laughed at him and said they weren’t interested.) Steve Jobs had that low-level employee enthusiasm, but he was CEO. He did what he wanted and followed his own vision.

The rest is easy to follow, he took a garage based company and built it into the most valued company in the world in about 40 years.

His vision will be remembered, and whether Apple can continue to work it is hard to predict. In all, he was the Thomas Edison of the late 20th Century. RIP.

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SharePoint on a Globetrotting Missionhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/03/sharepoint-globetrotting-mission/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/03/sharepoint-globetrotting-mission/#comments Tue, 04 Oct 2011 02:15:43 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20729 How important is SharePoint to Microsoft? SharePoint is Microsoft’s document management system and secondly a project management component. Though it has only been around since 2003, SharePoint is now used by more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. Microsoft has already sold more than 62 million licenses for SharePoint 2010 since the product launched last year.

SharePoint uses a browser based component so it is easy to use on any system. Secondly it changes the way people work. It has social networking capabilities, it allows developers to create a company website and it allows users to connect with colleagues through advanced search capabilities, SharePoint makes sharing information and ideas easier and it is also available as a cloud service through Microsoft Office 365.

Airline Operations

Here is an example of how two airline companies used SharePoint. United Airlines had a merger with Continental Airlines, so sharing information was critical to the success of their merger. As you can imagine, there are thousands of employees working from 371 offices around the world, United/Continental relied on its centrally managed collaboration platform, using SharePoint 2010, to provide employees access to important flight information on-demand, regardless of time zone.

Real Estate Operations with Collier International

In another business format, the international real estate company Collier International uses SharePoint to help manage the information produced by worldwide operations and its 15,000 employees.

One of their big concerns is that to deliver multiple services to customers, Colliers requires access to specialized real estate experts across its 480 worldwide offices — including the counsel of legal firms, financial institutions and property management providers.

So along came SharePoint. It is used to improve customer service, by providing a people-finding tool to help its professionals quickly pull together the most effective teams. Colliers uses SharePoint for project team sites with a platform Our People. When Colliers brokers need to put together a team for a client, they use the Our People search tool to find colleagues based on location, specialty, market, experience, previous clients, deal details and other criteria. This matches the client needs with Collier’s information system. The result brings focused expertise to the client.

Source: Microsoft

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Windows Phone Connector v2.0 for Mac Releasedhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/31/windows-phone-connector-v20-mac-released/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/31/windows-phone-connector-v20-mac-released/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2011 19:07:20 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20371 Mac users have an updated software companion for their Windows Phone 7.5 devices now that the Windows Phone Connector for Mac has been updated to v2.0.

Unfortunately, for Mac users the Zune PC client is not available for their OS, so Microsoft created the Windows Phone Connector to handle the tasks of moving media to and from the device. The new version is now out and includes some fixes and features.

What’s New in Version 2.0

Windows Phone 7 Connector 2.0 provides the following updates and changes:

• Full sync and import support for Apple Aperture software
• Drag and drop import of files from Browse Device
• Ringtone transfer support (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Improved video conversion process with user configuration options
• Support for Windows Phone Marketplace (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Localization support for 13 additional languages
• Improvements to backup and restore operations
• Improved configuration for podcast sync and photo import
• Improved iTunes import support in certain languages
• Improved metadata support for videos

• Added additional error codes and help references for device update
• Resolved connectivity issues with certain devices
• Resolved album art display issues for certain devices

If you are both a Windows Phone and Mac user, which there are probably few at this point, you will want to grab yourself the new Windows Phone Connector software, which you will need for the upcoming Windows Phone 7.5 devices. You can find the software in the Mac App Store or by clicking here.

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SkyDrive Coming to Windows, Windows Phone, iPhone, Mac & Android?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/27/skydrive-coming-windows-windows-phone-iphone-mac-android/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/27/skydrive-coming-windows-windows-phone-iphone-mac-android/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 21:06:08 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20319 According to a job post found by Liveside.com, Microsoft is looking for individuals who can help with the development of their Windows Live SkyDrive service. What’s interesting is that the job post mentions clients for Mac, iPhone and Android. Currently, users can access their SkyDrive accounts via the web app or through hubs in Windows Phone, but this job posting suggests that Microsoft is currently working on apps for SkyDrive and they appear to be coming for more than just Microsoft platforms. Here’s the job posting:

The Windows Live DRX team produces the SkyDrive client applications that fuel our customers thirst for stable, secure and available online storage. DRX is building experiences to deliver all of your content from the cloud and your devices to any of your devices anywhere anytime. Our team develops clients for Windows, Windows Phone, iPhone, Mac and Android. We are looking for developers that are looking for their next challenge to build the highly distributed platform and multi-platform clients for the SkyDrive suite of products delivered through Windows Live and Windows.

We know that with Windows 8, Microsoft seems to be going toward a more fullscreen, tablet-friendly kind of app environment, so it’s interesting to see how this is all going to come together, especially with iCloud on the horizon for Apple users. If you guys have never checked out SkyDrive, you should definitely give it a try. It’s essentially a free 25GB’s of online storage accessed through Live.com with a Windows LiveID. If you have an @live.com or @hotmail.com email address then you’ve already got an account setup, so you might as well begin using your free space in the cloud.

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Apple’s Steve Jobs Steps Down as CEOhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/25/apples-steve-jobs-steps-ceo/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/25/apples-steve-jobs-steps-ceo/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2011 04:02:02 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20242 Just as Bill Gates did with Microsoft in January 2000, although under different circumstances, Apple CEO does today August 24, 2011. In a letter to to the board of directors and the Apple community, Apple head Steve Jobs relinquished his title of chief executive officer and will take a position as chairman of the board and Apple employee. The writing has, unfortunately, been on the wall for some time.

Steve Jobs has taken two leaves of absence since a cancer scare in 2004 and has looked awfully bad in recent appearances for the tech company, however, any exact reasons for leaving are to remain a secret other than a mention that he is no longer able to perform his duties as CEO. Here is the open letter:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


Although I may have never seen eye to eye with how Mr. Jobs handles customers and his business, one thing is sure: Apple would not be where they are today
without Steve’s reemergence as head of Apple back in 1997. I’d not like to sound morbid as Job’s is certainly still alive and plans seem to be to continue to work closely with Apple, I would be amiss to neglect mentioning the impact he’s had on both Apple’s products and competitor’s products as well.

Perhaps no single company has been more important to its industry than has Apple for the last few years, so it is a shame to see Jobs feel it necessary to step down as head of Apple, but he leaves the reigns to capable hands in former COO and now officially CEO Tim Cook. We wish Steve Jobs the best of luck with his health and hope to see him handling his chairman duties via a Windows 8 PC very soon.

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Google Acquires Motorola Mobility to Fight Microsoft and Applehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/15/google-acquires-motorola-mobility-fight-microsoft-apple/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/15/google-acquires-motorola-mobility-fight-microsoft-apple/#comments Tue, 16 Aug 2011 03:38:55 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20107 Google made huge waves this morning with its news to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 million, which is over sixty percent above its current stock price. The move, while surprising, makes a ton of sense for Google, especially in its battle to keep Android on top and from being taken over by other smartphone platforms like iOS and Windows Phone.

“Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners, and developers…which will enable us to better protect Android from anticompetitive threats from Microsoft, Apple, and other companies.” – Larry Page, Google CEO

The purchase give Google more hardware expertise, gives them control over one of Androids partners and most importantly provides them a large patent portfolio with which to fight both Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft and Apple Inc. have been creating huge problems for Android partners lately by forcing companies like HTC to pay a royalty to Microsoft for every Android handset sold for patent violations. This discourages current and future manufacturers from making Android devices and might encourage some to jump on the Microsoft bandwagon where it is relatively safe.

Android has been on fire lately and commands close to half of the smartphone market, so this move was necessary to secure some of the patents it needs to continue doing battle with their competitors. The mobile market is a fierce battlefield and patents are just one of the major fronts, so we shall see how Microsoft and Apple respond now that Google has Motorola’s patents in its fold.

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Now You Can Run Windows Apps on Chromebookshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/15/run-windows-apps-chromebooks/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/15/run-windows-apps-chromebooks/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2011 12:13:58 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20097 When Google first announced their Chromebooks, there was great excitement among many as they were potentially a serious competitor to Windows and OS X. However a lot of this excitement was quickly killed when it was discovered that the notebooks would be shipped with a lock-down BIOS, which disables access to most of the machines hardware. This means that it’s pretty much impossible to install an additional OS to the machine like Windows 7 or even Linux.

As a result this put many businesses off the Chromebooks. However now there is a new work around with thanks to Citrix.

Citrix have released a new technical preview for its Citrix Receiver virtualization tool. Users can now make use of the technical preview of Citrix to access desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office and all your other favorite Windows apps.

Before Citrix Receiver was already available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Blackberry. It lets users access virtual desktops and applications from just about any computer, tablet or smartphone. Now that it’s finally available on the Chromebooks, it addresses a serious limitation in the devices and should make them more attractive to users.

To use the Citrix Receiver client on Chromebooks, businesses must have a XenApp or XenDesktop deployment in their data centers, and then install some new files which will allow the connection from the clients to their virtual desktops and applications. Citrix note that the Chromebook setup will allow users to

“Access your applications and Windows desktop at your office, home, or on the road; keep your information stored on your provider’s secure servers, not on your device; [and] move from desktop to tablet to smartphone.”

While this is a major boost for the Chrome OS, Google still have a long way to go before they can start competing with the big boys like Windows and Mac OS.


Chrome Blog

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The Microsoft Singularity System …Latest OS versionhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/10/microsoft-singularity-system-latest-os-version/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/10/microsoft-singularity-system-latest-os-version/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2011 12:00:13 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20042 While there have been posts today about how successful Windows 7 has been and even some predicting that it will be the dominant OS by the end of 2011, and users are quietly anticipating the release of Windows 8 next year, there is another OS project that Microsoft has been working on.

The Microsoft Singularity Project

Since the inception of the PC OS in the mid ‘70’s, several decisions have remained constant over the last four decades about how the OS was to behave. The question is, how valid are those decisions now?

Microsoft is making a concerted effort to re-think the hardware stack so that future OS’s reflect three conditions about how the OS should be designed.

  1. Software-isolated processes should exist for protection of programs and system services,
  2. There should be contract-based channels for communication, and
  3. There should be manifest-based programs for verification of system properties.

The Singularity research project is focusing on the construction of dependable systems through innovation in the areas of systems, languages, and tools. Microsoft is building a research operating system called Singularity, that extends programming languages, and develops new techniques and tools that specifying and verifying program behavior.

Software Isolated Processes

Unlike the traditional OS design Singularity uses type-safe languages and an abstract instruction set to provide processing isolation guarantees of OS processes such as an isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes. All of which do not have the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains.

The Sandbox Concept

The outcome of this design model is that Singularity uses these advances to build more reliable systems and applications. One consequence of this is that SIPs are cheap to create and enforce so Singularity runs each program, device driver, or system extension in its own SIP, like a sandbox. SIPs can’t share memory or modify their own code. As a result, there are strong reliability guarantees about the code running in a SIP environment.

The implication are that with SIP the properties of programs at compile or install time will be better known and understood than what is done for code running in traditional OS processes. This broader verification is critical to predicting system behavior and providing users with strong guarantees about reliability.

Will part of the Singularity make its way into Windows 8? Not sure. Windows 9? Not sure of that either. But the current OS model is close to 40 years old. It’s time to rethink that model.

You can download the current Singularity program and view the OS yourself. Currently there are over 308,000 downloads of the system.


Source: Microsoft

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Windows Phone 7 Certificationhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/04/windows-phone-7-certification/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/04/windows-phone-7-certification/#comments Thu, 04 Aug 2011 18:22:29 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19983 Microsoft has updated the Windows Phone 7 Certification.  If you are pursuing the MCITP, or MCTS for the standard products, you can add an new cert, the MCPD, to your list.

You can begin earning the MCPD: Windows Phone Developer certification at any time by passing the exams below. However, the MCPD: Windows Phone Developer certification will not be visible on your transcript until September 2011.

Certification Exams

There are three exams in the sequence to pursue the MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer)

  • Exam 70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • Exam 70-506: TS: Silverlight 4, Development
  • Exam 70-599: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Phone Applications


The specified exam is the 70-599 PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Phone Applications. The Windows Phone Application Platform enables developers to create consumer apps. The developers will use Microsoft tools and technologies, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft Expression Blend, and Microsoft Silverlight.

Course Training

You can train for the 70-516 exam by taking the 10265A course: Developing Data Access Solutions with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. A Microsoft Press Self-Paced Training Kit is available.

The training courses for the 70-506 are Course 10553A: Fundamentals of XAML and Microsoft Expression Blend and Course 10554A: Developing Rich Internet Applications Using Microsoft Silverlight 4.

At this time, however, there are no training courses available for the 70-599 exam. There is a learning plan for this exam.

Other Training Courses

Microsoft also has other training opportunities on line like the Windows Phone 7 Training Course. This is a beginners training course for those who want to get started with developing applications for the latest Windows Phone operating system. Even without having knowledge of Silverlight or the XNA Framework, you’ll find this Training Course useful.


At this time with the rise of mobile phone apps, it pays to have credentials for them as a way to let companies, and potential contractors know that your experience is documented by Microsoft.

Source: Windows Phone Certification

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Windows Vista SP1 Loses Supporthttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/15/windows-vista-sp1-loses-support/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/15/windows-vista-sp1-loses-support/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2011 10:32:36 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19422 As part of Microsoft’s continued efforts to get people to leave Windows Vista and adopt Windows 7, they’ve ended support for Windows Vista SP1 this week. As of July 12th, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is no longer supported and will not receive any more security updates.

In a post on the Windows Team Blog Brandon LeBlanc made the announcement and encouraged users to upgrade to Microsoft’s fastest selling operating system – Windows 7 of course. However users can also update to the second service pack of Windows Vista and they will still continue to receive support. 

If you upgrade to the Windows Vista SP2 you will still continue to receive support until the 10th April 2012  however there still is more limited limited “extended support” until April 11, 2017.

“We recommend folks look at upgrading to Windows 7, which is the fastest selling operating system in history, selling over 400 million licenses to-date. Windows Vista users can also use Windows Update to update their PC to the latest service pack available which is Service Pack 2 (SP2).”

Microsoft publish the end of support dates for all their operating systems months and generally years in advance to give people ample time to upgrade themselves. Now Windows Vista wasn’t hugely popular and there isn’t that many people running it these days, however the bigger issue is with Windows XP which still has a large number of users, support for it’s second service pack ended around this time last year. However as long as users have upgraded to service pack 3 they will continue to receive support until 8th April 2014

So if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 7 at this stage, you really should or at least upgrade to the latest service pack for your operating system if you want to keep receiving security updates.



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Microsoft Plans To Build 75 Retail Stores In The Next 2-3 Yearshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/14/microsoft-plans-build-75-retail-stores-23-years/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/14/microsoft-plans-build-75-retail-stores-23-years/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2011 12:11:16 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19413 It seems that Microsoft are looking to expand their retail presence in the United States in the next 2-3 years and have set themselves the goal of opening a further 75 retail stores. This move is obviously in competition to Apple who are also rapidly increasing the number of stores that they have.

It was only back in 2009 that Microsoft announced plans to move into the high street and open up retail stores in order to compete with Apple. They marketed their new stores hard and even robbed a couple of Apple’s employees offering them pay raises and to compensate them for the expenses involved in moving stores.

Last Wednesday Microsoft gave a presentation at its Worldwide Partner Conference where they announced that they have a total of 11 stores across America. The majority of them in California with a new one that just opened in Los Angeles.

This expansion will also include outside of the US as Microsoft work to spread the “Microsoft Story” however they didn’t unveil any plans for stores outside of the US. Below you can see a map of where they plan to open new stores in the US.

Another thing that was also shown off during this presentation was that an Apple retailer in Latin America was found to be running Windows 7 on Mac Hardware. Of course this gave Microsoft the perfect opportunity to make a bit out of fun out of Apple, saying that while they make fantastic hardware, their OS is still behind Windows 7.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft’s stores can do as well as Apple’s. In a report last week it was discovered that Apple stores accounted for one fifth of sales growth for retailers in the first 3 months of 2011. That just goes to show how successful their stores are so Microsoft have a lot of work to do to catch up.



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Microsoft Looking to Purchase Hulu?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/01/microsoft-purchase-hulu/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/01/microsoft-purchase-hulu/#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2011 19:01:05 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19187 It’s been reported by the L. A. Times that Hulu is meeting with a number of potential buyers for it’s online video service and Microsoft is one of them. Apparently, Yahoo! originally approached Hulu with thoughts about an acquisition which prompted other tech giants, Microsoft and Google, to immediately throw their hats in the proverbial ring as well.

Hulu was founded in 2007 and has flourished with its movie and TV show selection on mobile devices and game consoles. Just recently, Microsoft struck a deal with Hulu to bring its Hulu Plus services to the Xbox 360 and has plans to add to its TV services on the console in an update coming this fall.

The ad-supported online video service would be an interesting acquisition for Microsoft especially when you consider that Microsoft has been in a recent push to make it’s Xbox brand more of an entertainment device. This will be an interesting report to follow and Microsoft definitely has the cash laying around to make the deal happen, but is this the right move for the Redmond company?

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Is Microsoft the Only OS Company taking Malware and Viruses Seriously?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/06/17/microsoft-writes-worlds-secure-operating-systems/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/06/17/microsoft-writes-worlds-secure-operating-systems/#comments Fri, 17 Jun 2011 13:11:32 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=11823 Microsoft have good reason to take viruses and malware seriously, more than ten years of complaints about Windows being insecure and prone to attack.  In truth though the company has made great strides in recent years protecting the latest versions of Windows against rootkits and all manner of other attack.

Windows still needs to be protected with anti-virus software however and, while Microsoft’s own free anti-virus package does a good job, the company’s past failures still maintain a multi-million dollar worldwide industry in third-party solutions.

Microsoft are good at responding to malware and viruses too, their operating systems include Windows Defender and once a month a Malicious Software Removal Tool will come down to those with automatic updates enabled.  The company always publicise details of threats on their websites and works closely with third-party security companies to minimise the risk to its customers.

With Windows Phone, their new smartphone OS, things are even better.  Because every app for the platform must be vetted before going into the official app store (the only way to get apps on the phones) then viruses and malware simply don’t get through.  This is an essential ingredient with smartphones which are linked far more closely than our home PCs will ever be to direct payment methods.

Apple too maintain tight control over their smartphone app store, which helps keep malware off the platform but it’s on their own desktop operating system that things begin to fall down.  Google are even worse and I feel that both companies are heading for a disaster.  So why is it that Apple and Google aren’t taking malware seriously?

To justify my point we’ll start with Google.  This company has a free and open smartphone OS with an app store devoid of the diligent scrutiny that Apple and Microsoft show.  Consequently in just one week last month, no fewer than 26 malware apps were found in, and removed from the Android app store with no word on how long they’d already been there.

These malware apps don’t just affect Android smartphones, where they can run up bills on people’s tarriff’s, access their email, contacts and more, but they’re also present on Android tablets.  These are devices on which we do banking and online purchasing.

Google’s response to malware is almost completely absent.  They’ll scour their app store for the stuff every month and remove it when they find it, but none of this helps the people who get infected by it.

I also have concerns about their new Chromebooks as there’s similarly no virus and malware protection for these.  Just a browser that people will use for banking and shopping.

Now you’ll probably point out here that every criminal is attacking Windows.  Well this is no longer the case any more as the ever-increasing proliferation of Android malware demonstrates.

Apple also has its own problems with OS X.  A recent malware attack by “Mac Defender” has left many people out of pocket when they were defrauded out of their credit card details.  Worse a new DIY Crimeware kit is now available through forums for Mac malware and virus writers.

It’s clear then that Google and Apple platforms are coming under increasing attack from criminals and this is a situation that’s only ever going to get worse.

To compound matters even further, a recent leaked memo from Apple to it’s support staff instructed that “AppleCare does not provide support for removal of the malware.  You should not confirm or deny whether the customer’s Mac is infected or not.” and an Apple helpline worker recently told PC Pro magazine “We don’t recommend installing security software,”

Clearly Apple and Google are going to have to raise their game if they’re not going to lose the trust and support of their very loyal customers.  It’s astonishing to me that they’ve never learned lessons from Microsoft’s past mistakes and that they still believe that anything Unix is immune and doesn’t need protecting.  These two companies need to wake up quickly before the really bad news begins.

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Apple Updates Boot Camp for Windows 7http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2010/01/20/apple-updates-boot-camp-for-windows-7/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2010/01/20/apple-updates-boot-camp-for-windows-7/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2010 13:28:56 +0000 http://everything-microsoft.com/?p=6853 Apple has finally updated its Boot Camp Windows software to support Windows 7 as of late yesterday. The update, version 3.1, was originally scheduled for 2009, but late in the year was pushed back to early 2010, leading some to question Apple’s dedication to supporting Windows on their platform.

The update, which comes in both 32-bit (380.73 MB) and 64-bit (274.58 MB) flavors, supports Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. From Apple’s release notes:

This update adds support for Microsoft Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate), addresses issues with the Apple trackpad, turns off the red digital audio port LED on laptop computers when it is not being used, and supports the Apple wireless keyboard and Apple Magic mouse.

This update is highly recommended for all Boot Camp 3.0 users.

For more information, please visit this website:http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/

An additional Windows 7 driver pack was released for the new 21.5″ and 27″ iMacs, along with an applicable graphics firmware update for iMacs and Macs Pro. It’s hard to say why Apple couldn’t have released one driver package for all their Macs, but it looks like we’ll have to take what we can get.

Oddly, these packages only officially support installation under Windows XP or Windows Vista, which can then be upgraded to Windows 7. I’m sure, however, that the package can be installed on a clean Windows 7 install, and I’ll be getting back to you with an update as soon as I have an opportunity to test this theory.

Update: On the current 13″ MacBook Pro, installing Boot Camp 3.0 on a clean Windows 7 install and then upgrading to Boot Camp 3.1 produced no problems, and fixed everything mentioned in the release notes.  A number of drivers, including video, wireless, and audio, were updated to very recent versions, and these updates have solved all of the Windows 7 problems I was having with the computer.

AppleInsider reported previously that some 2006 Intel Macs would still not receive Windows 7 support. I can neither confirm nor deny whether this is true, but I assume that there’s nothing stopping people from trying to install Windows 7 anyway.

Sound off in the comments if you have anything to add!

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Google Chrome OS: The Next Digital Revolutionhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/12/29/google-chrome-os-the-next-digital-revolution/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/12/29/google-chrome-os-the-next-digital-revolution/#comments Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:27:05 +0000 http://everything-microsoft.com/?p=4943 With the advent of Windows 7, many users have been scrambling to compare the OS to Apple’s leading product, OS X Snow Leopard. However, in the midst of the competition concerning the two products, Google’s new Chrome OS has been relatively ignored. Even so, this new player in the market may very well follow the same path as the netbook itself, the platform that Google is aiming for with the Chrome OS, set to be finished and released in the second half of 2010.

So, in the wake of the battle between Apple and Microsoft, what exactly is Google’s Chrome OS? It’s a new, lightweight, open source OS produced by Google which is almost entirely dependent on the cloud, to the point where the entire OS is composed of almost nothing but the Chrome browser. Instead of attempting to produce a fully fledged OS (operating system), Google and the free software community are working to produce an OS that focuses on being as lightweight as possible, yet can handle all of the basic needs of the average user, relying on the growing success of web applications such as Google Apps, YouTube, Facebook, Gmail, and much more.

It’s already been shown that convenience, simplicity, and instant access can easily trump alternatives in the computer industry, demonstrated by the striking popularity of the smartphone, netbook, Craigslist, and similar products. This is where Chrome OS shines and where Windows 7 and Snow Leopard do not: providing a cheap, small, fast alternative to Windows 7 and Snow Leopard, potentially even overcoming the two with an always-on, lasting, secure, and cheap computer that is more than capable of handling quick computer tasks.

Why wait for your MacBook or laptop to boot up and finish loading when you can press a button on your netbook and be almost instantly greeted with a login screen, or, depending on your security settings, a browser? Although you may not be able to play Crysis or run Visual Studio, the average user tends to access social networking or business applications far more often and for shorter periods of time than the previous two. And the user did meet a need to access such applications, then they can turn to their occasionally more powerful alternative to satisfy that need.

With this in mind, that’s also another one of the powerful benefits of the OS: it’s not meant to become your primary PC, similar to a smartphone. For those of you that own a device such as the iPhone, Droid, or the Palm Pre, how many times have you decided to simply reach for your phone to update your Twitter status or your MySpace/Facebook instead of getting up and walking over to your computer? What if you also had a device with the same ease of access that could also edit photos, produce videos, manage passwords, access the Bittorrent network, provide a complete office suite, transfer large files, convert files, or do just about anything else?

Google Chrome OS may finally provide something similar to a smartphone 2.0, a more powerful and feature complete sister product that is just a little larger in size. Just as the iPhone completely redefined the market, Google’s Chrome OS may turn out to achieve a similar milestone in the personal computer industry. Not only that, but if the OS is popular among the general population, then it will only help to strengthen Google’s status as a major player in the market, all the way from a basic search engine to a powerful threat to Microsoft and its Windows products, while also helping to spread the success and familiarity of the Linux kernel that the Google Chrome OS is based on.

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Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard Speed Tests: Who Cares?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/10/31/windows-7-vs-snow-leopard-speed-tests-who-cares/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/10/31/windows-7-vs-snow-leopard-speed-tests-who-cares/#comments Sat, 31 Oct 2009 04:30:56 +0000 http://everything-microsoft.com/?p=5332 A couple of weeks ago, many Mac enthusiast sites ran pieces with headlines declaring that Snow Leopard was faster than Windows 7. The source for this news was CNET’s Dong Ngo, who ran a battery of tests designed to test gaming performance, media encoding time, battery life, and other attributes.

Ngo was fairly even-handed in his reporting. While noting that Snow Leopard beat out Windows 7 in many of the benchmarks, he also said that many of the poorer results (battery life in particular) were probably caused in part by unoptimized drivers on his test machine (a Mac). This makes sense, since Apple has said that official Windows 7 support for Boot Camp isn’t coming until later this year.

Of course, just because Ngo’s piece was fair doesn’t mean that everyone else was – most sites seemed perfectly willing to boil his report down to “Snow Leopard faster than Windows 7, buy a Mac.”

Now we’ve got people like PC Pro’s Chris Brennan claiming the opposite, that Windows 7 is in fact snappier than Snow Leopard, albeit without the benefit of benchmarks, charts and graphs. The Internet has only had a couple of days with this one, but rest assured that there will be headlines like “Windows 7 faster than Snow Leopard” floating around soon enough.

The problem with the people who write these follow-up pieces is that (1) they’re oversimplifying both Ngo’s and Brennan’s reporting and (2) they’re perpetuating an endless and pointless cycle, where Mac enthusiasts and Windows enthusiasts take endless stupid potshots at one another that don’t mean anything or add anything meaningful to the discussion.

I have trouble understanding why people invest themselves so personally in the Mac and Windows platforms. I suppose that choosing a computer is sometimes a way that people express themselves, like wearing a particular T-shirt or driving a particular car. Even so, trading insults on the Internet about whether to choose PC or Mac seems to me like a waste of time to me.

OS X and Windows are both good at different things, and so I’ll often switch back and forth between platforms depending on what I’m trying to accomplish. For example, no matter how fast Macs get, I don’t think they’ll ever make one that can open Word 2008 faster than any given 3-year-old PC can open Word 2007. Office is just faster on Windows.

Likewise, my experiences with editing video on Windows have all been horrible, soul-crushing, time-consuming, nightmarish ordeals that have left me a shell of the man I once was. If I’m going to stitch together some nice looking movies, I’ll go to the Mac every time.

If I’m interested in playing games that aren’t browser-based Flash games or 3D Chess, I’ll go to the PC. The back-and-forth could go on forever if I wanted it to.

My point is, so what if one OS is faster than the other OS at some tasks, or better than the other OS at some tasks? People need to remember that computers are tools, and not all tools are suited for all tasks. If my wrench won’t hammer in a nail, it’s not the wrench’s fault – I just need to go get a hammer and get on with my life.

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Windows 7: Faster Than A Snow Leopard?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/09/24/windows-7-faster-than-a-snow-leopard/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/09/24/windows-7-faster-than-a-snow-leopard/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2009 08:22:57 +0000 http://everything-microsoft.com/?p=4232 Maybe I was one of the few, but I didn’t get why everybody hated Vista so much…until Windows 7 appeared. I was one of the few that liked Vista despite its many faults. The glass windows and renewed UI was welcome after staring at the bright blues and greens of XP for so many years. Other than the many changes in appearance, perhaps the biggest area for improvement in Windows Vista was in system performance.  We’ll take a quick look at a few areas where Windows 7 makes Vista look like a 300 pound man trying to run a marathon.

Installation – Windows installation has been given a boost in speed when compared to both XP and Vista. On most systems, you can expect a 20-30 minute installation. Installation had been consolidated in Vista and even more so in Windows 7. Only a few setup options to click through and now you can make lunch while Windows loads.

Startup & Shutdown – The first thing a user notices when booting into an OS is the amount of time it takes to be on a working desktop. No one wants to sit there and stare at a Windows loading bar for 2-3 minutes while their hard drive clicks and spins its way to a half-loaded desktop only to watch an hourglass do somersaults for another minute. This has been greatly improved in the new OS. Startup times have been cut in half in most cases. On newer hardware, it’s not unusual to experience a 30-40 second startup time and once you hit the desktop, you should be ready to hit the ground running.

Hibernation and Sleep – If you were a lucky user, in previous installations of Windows, your computer might wake up from its sleep or hibernation state. I cannot recall how many times I left my computer only to return to a black screen and blinking power light. I would eventually have to turn off the computer entirely or turn off the sleep feature in order to avoid this. It is time to say goodbye to the forever sleep of Windows past. Windows 7 not only returns from sleep and hibernation, but it does so with the quickness of a Leopard or “Snow Leopard”.

Overall system performance – There are so many areas where Windows 7 has improved its performance over its predecessors that it could be an article in itself. Program installation, file manipulation, video encoding, USB devices, networking and Aero have all seen their fair share of speed increases. How Windows was able to increase the speed of everything across the board and decrease resource usage and the Windows footprint is a technological miracle in itself, but to create an improved version of Windows that performs even better on older hardware seems like an act of God.

Windows 7 faster than a Snow Leopard? Maybe. Only time will tell, but it’s not a bad start.

One more thing:

I Installed Windows 7 on my brothers 8 year old Compaq PC whose only upgrade was a Nvidia 6800GT graphics card. Needless to say, months later he is reporting that the system runs much better than it did with XP and plans to purchase the full edition once his trial runs its course.

How about you? Any remarkable stories of Windows 7 reviving a dead PC.

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Windows 7 and OS X Comparisonhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/06/22/windows-7-and-os-x-comparison/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/06/22/windows-7-and-os-x-comparison/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2009 22:09:09 +0000 http://everything-microsoft.com/?p=2715 With Windows 7 and Snow leopard each nearing their respective release dates, the hype for the two operating systems is reaching its peak. Let’s go over what each OS is bringing to the table in terms of features, market, and performance.

I’ll start with a short description of what both operating systems mean for each company.

Windows 7: A product that’s turned a lot of heads, especially those who believed that Microsoft was dead and done after the lackluster reception that Vista received. The product has received quite a positive welcoming by the internet community with the leaked betas, and MS can only hope that attitude towards W7 remains steady through October 22nd.

OS 10.6: The refinement of an operating system that many believe is already the most advanced OS on the market. Apple is looking towards the 64-bit processing world with this release with x64 optimization being its leading feature. This OS is meant not only to add more speed and utility to the everyday user’s experience, but it also takes a big step towards using Macs in the business world with its Microsoft Exchange support. With the Mac community growing every day, Apple hopes to refine and revise its technology to allow simplicity of use more and more each day.

Now for the comparison of features.

Windows 7: A brand new taskbar that is reminiscent of the Dock present in OS X. It allows you to drag and drop programs to the taskbar so that you can launch from anywhere at anytime, without having to dig through explorer. That being said, even Explorer, the name for the Windows file catalog, has been updated for search speeds. The indexed-searches are much faster than those indexed in Windows Vista, allowing for a more convenient and easy to use Explorer. Along with these two features, W7 also receives enhanced performance with multi-core processors, advanced touch/handwriting recognition, a new version of Windows Media Center, support for virtual HDDs and more.

OS 10.6: Almost all programs have been rewritten to include full 64-bit optimization, providing a more streamlined experience throughout the entire operating system. Grand Central Dispatch is a new technology in 10.6 that follows suit with the “theme” of 64-bit improvement. This is what allocates the tasks across the multiple cores as well as what allows programmers to finally optimize their Mac programs for the 64-bit computer. Another new technology, OpenCL, allows developers to open up the use of the graphics card to much more than just Photoshop and Aperture. It strengthens the current use of the card and also makes way for more many more usages down the road. Along with these features also come Quicktime X (an enhnanced, streamlined Quicktime client), a more speedy Finder, new looks for Exposé and Stacks, faster backup/bootup time and more.

Both operating systems show a movement towards each others target market. Windows 7 features more user-centric capabilities that allow the operating system to be more customizable (the ability to disable multiple features is a great example of this) than any other Windows release to date. I see W7 as what Vista could and should have been – I believe it’s finally a legitimate successor to Windows XP. OS 10.6 seems to be just what Apple needs to reach out to businesses, which is a great move. Snow Leopard should keep the Mac market growing, as its new technology will allow more gaming capabilities through OpenCL and hopefully garner more third-party developers for the growing Macintosh userbase.

Apple’s looking towards the future and Microsoft’s fixing its past. Both operating systems appear to be on an even playing field, and I for one am anxious to see how both of these milestone releases are received.

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What will Apple’s response be to Windows 7?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/05/14/what-will-apples-response-be-to-windows-7/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/05/14/what-will-apples-response-be-to-windows-7/#comments Thu, 14 May 2009 21:37:30 +0000 http://everything-microsoft.com/?p=1913 I know this one’s bound to start an argument, but I’m no stranger to courting controversy.  I think it can be argued at this point that Windows 7 is much better than Mac OS X.

There are only a few reasons, for the sake of this article, that I’ll list.  A complete blow-by-blow comparison would take forever!

The biggest single thing that Apple have sold Macs on is security.  But let’s face it, in its entire life, Vista has had one (am I right with this?) really serious virus threat and that turned out to be nothing.  I also remember OS X having one too.  Nobody can dispute that Vista is not only the most secure version of Windows yet, it’s many miles ahead of XP on security.  This, I think, puts it on a level playing field with OS X.

Then there’s the general interface.  It’s been [how many] years since Apple updated their interface and OS X has only ever had the one.  In that time the Windows interface has changed beyond comparison with previous versions that are as old as the first editions of OS X.

Take finder and explorer for example.  There can be no doubt that explorer is far superior while finder is stuck back in X-Tree territory (for those who remember it).  The same applies to iTunes and Windows Media Player.  Microsoft are much better, in my opinion, at the dumbing down type of usability that most people benefit from.

Also on the interface, Apple are still using this top bar thingy, if you’ll let me call it that, that makes using fantastic usability and productivity tools like the Office ribbon very difficult.  OS X is stuck in a drop-down menu world when Microsoft moved away from that, with both the ribbon and breadcrumb bar, years ago now.

The performance and speed of Windows 7 also negate any argument Apple have been able to make in the past about Windows being sluggish compared to OS X… let’s face it, Vista was sluggish compared to my washing machine!

There are other things I could cite right now but I won’t go into a full blow-by-blow feature comparison as there’s squillions of them.  I’ll leave you to argue this one out.  ;)

So what will Apple’s response to Windows 7 be?  A good friend of mine last year suggested they’d introduce a furry display.  This would be extremely cool and I’d buy a Mac immediately if they did that.  :)  Suffice to say they’re remaining extremely, and characteristically, tight lipped at the moment.  Can we read anything into this?

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