Everything Microsoft - Latest Microsoft News, Guides, Reviews & Themes » Operating Systems 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 Free Windows 8 Media Center Packhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/27/free-windows-8-media-center-pack/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/27/free-windows-8-media-center-pack/#comments Sun, 28 Oct 2012 07:08:12 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=96101 Microsoft originally stated that Windows 8 wouldn’t include Windows Media Center for free, and that Windows Media Center would only be available as a chargeable upgrade with no new features.  This disappointed many HTPC enthusiasts such as myself, but Microsoft have done a bit of a u-turn and are offering Windows Media Center for free to Windows 8 Pro customers until January 31st 2013.

To receive the free offer, customers have to visit this page and enter their email address and a Windows 8 Media Center Pack key will be emailed for free.  I think there’s a problem with the system though as it took over a day for my key to arrive.

I haven’t had time to delve into Windows 8 Media Center, but I couldn’t see any new features or changes from Windows 7 Media Center.  This is a bit disappointing, but hopefully by making Windows 8 Media Center a premium product, Microsoft will have to at least respond to known bugs, which they didn’t do with Windows 7 Media Center.

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Windows 8 Upgrade Screenshotshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/26/windows-8-upgrade-screenshots/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/26/windows-8-upgrade-screenshots/#comments Sat, 27 Oct 2012 06:01:23 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=96046 Microsoft have made several improvements to the Windows 8 Upgrade process, in an attempt to make it as simple as possible.  Below you can see the screenshots I took when I upgraded my main Windows 7 Professional based machine to Windows 8 Pro.

Overall my upgrade experience was fairly painless although I had two problems, one of which could have been quite painful:

(i) when I tried to upgrade within Windows 7, it allowed me to download the new Windows 8 Pro files, and then told me I didn’t have the necessary 20GB free rather than upfront

(ii) I think the failed upgrade above somehow screwed up my HDD and it wasn’t detected in the upgrade process.  To fix I had to put my HDD in another machine to fix, which meant wiping the disk.  This would have been a disaster if I didn’t have a backup of all my files.

Visit our galleries for more Windows 8 Screenshots

 

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Windows 8 Launched Todayhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/25/windows-8-launched-today/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/25/windows-8-launched-today/#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2012 06:46:12 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=96038 After years of development, the latest version of Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 8 launched at midnight last night.  It is most probably the most radical version of the Windows OS so far, designed to run not just on desktop PCs, but also on tablets and other touch based devices.  Microsoft needed to add this support to Windows 8, because it’s dominant position in the market is shrinking as users shift usage away from traditional PC devices to tablets and smartphones.

Windows 8 includes the new user interface that is best suited to mobile devices like tablets, but can also be used on desktop PCs.  Whether the new user interface proves popular with PC users remains to be seen.

A lot is riding on the launch of Windows 8, and as part of the festivities Microsoft held a massive Windows 8 party in New York at Microsoft’s Times Square store.  Neowin have pulled together some of twitter photos of the event:

To learn more about Windows 8:

 

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Windows 8 Box Shots appear on Amazonhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/10/windows-8-box-shots-amazon/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/10/windows-8-box-shots-amazon/#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:44:53 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95559 Windows 8 will be released this month, and there are still a lot of uncertainties about the operating system due to a lack of communication by Microsoft. It is not really clear why the company is that tight-lipped about the operating system, considering that it is about to be released.

Lack of information usually goes along with a very active rumor mill, which is also the case when it comes to Windows 8. One rumor for instance up until now was that Microsoft won’t offer boxed copies of the operating system at all.

Windows 8 Pro upgrade box shots have appeared on Amazon’s UK website. To be precise, the online shop lists the following Windows 8 versions and box shots on the site:

  • Windows 8 Pro, Upgrade Edition, N Version [link]
  • Windows 8 Pro, Upgrade Edition [link]
  • Windows 8 Pro Pack [link]
windows-8-pro windows-8-pro-n windows-8-pro-pack

The shopping pages only list the box shots but no pricing information or descriptions. What’s however interesting that you find a lot of Windows 8 promo videos listed there alongside the box shots. There are 16 videos in total that highlight new features of the operating system.

The following features are explained by the videos:

  • All about apps
  • The Windows Store
  • Find things with search
  • Learn about search
  • Command your apps
  • Share photos, links and more
  • Switch between apps
  • Personalize your experience
  • Change your settings
  • Snap your apps

It comes as no surprise that the majority of videos highlight start page features of the operating system exclusively.

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Windows 8 PCs go on sale at hsn.comhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/07/windows-8-pcs-sale-hsncom/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/07/windows-8-pcs-sale-hsncom/#comments Mon, 08 Oct 2012 07:33:38 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95551 How much will you have to pay for a PC running Windows 8? That’s one of the questions that we could not really answer until now. Microsoft is keeping tight lipped about the pricing of its Surface RT tablet that the company intents to ship on October 25, and other manufacturers too have not revealed pricing information yet.

If you hop over to hsn.com, the website of the Home Shopping Network, you find the first Windows 8 laptops listed there for sale.  A total of five laptops and PCs are displayed here, with two manufactured by Gateway and two by Acer. Lets take a closer look at those PCs to find out how we stand when it comes to pricing of PCs running Windows 8:

  • Gateway Windows 8 Core i5, 4GB Ram, 500GB HD, Intel HD Graphics 4000,  15.6″ laptop for $699.95
  • Acer Windows 8 Core i5, 8GB Ram, 750GB HD, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 15.6″ laptop for $999.95
  • Gateway 23″ Touchscreen LCD, Windows 8, Core i5, 6GB Ram, 1TB hard drive, All in one PC with Intel HD graphics for  $1199.95
  • Acer 23″ Windows 8 Core i5, 6GB Ram, 1TB hd, all in one PC with Intel HD graphics for $999.95

The big question here is if those offers are more expensive than comparable Windows 7 offers. To find out, we need to compare the pricing of Windows 8 laptops with Windows 7 laptops on the same site.

windows 8 laptops

You find two comparable Gateway laptops on the HSN website. The first is a 15.6″ Core i3 laptop with 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive for $849.95, the second a 15.6″quad core laptop with 4GB of Ram and a 640GB hard drive for $749.95.

Prices are not higher, in fact, they are cheaper. While that is no scientific evidence that Windows 8 laptops will be cheaper in general than comparable Windows 7 laptops, it is fair to assume that they won’t be more expensive than their counterparts.

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Final Windows 8 Pricing revealedhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/20/final-windows-8-pricing-revealed/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/20/final-windows-8-pricing-revealed/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:20:58 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95545 Microsoft has been extremely tight lipped about the price of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system.The company previously only announced plans to run promotions for people buying eligible PCs with a version of Windows 7 pre-installed, and for users of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 in form of a upgrade promotion.

Existing Windows users who want to upgrade their systems to Windows 8 can buy a digital upgrade of Windows 8 that is available for $39.99 until January 31, 2013. Users who do can’t upgrade or do not want to buy an upgrade copy can purchase Windows 8 Pro, the top of the line retail version of the operating system, for $69.99 until January 31, 2013.

Only customers who buy an eligible PC with a previous version of Windows get to pay less than that. They can upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.99. For that, their PC needs to have been purchased between June 2 and January 31.

buy windows 8 pro

See Buy Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 until January 2013, then $199 for additional information about the process.

Mary Jo Foley received word about the full retail pricing of Windows 8. While that has not been confirmed by Microsoft officially yet, the sources usually are dead on the money.

According to Mary Jo’s unnamed sources, Windows 8 system builder copies of Windows 8 will cost roughly the same amount that system builder copies for Windows 7 are available right now. This means that Windows 8 will be available for about $100, the Windows 8 Pro version for $20 to $40 more so that you can expect to pay between $120 to $140 for it. It is likely that these versions will get discounted.

It needs to be noted that it is not clear right now if Microsoft will make available boxed versions of Windows 8 as well, or if the company will rely solely on system builder and digital versions. The company has about a month to release the information to the public, and you can be sure that we will inform you once that happens.

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Rise of Windows 8 chips: first Intel, now AMDhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/17/rise-windows-8-chips-intel-amd/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/17/rise-windows-8-chips-intel-amd/#comments Mon, 17 Sep 2012 15:21:42 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95538 Chip giant Intel on Friday last week announced that it won’t support Linux on its upcoming Clover Trail Atom processor. The very same day, AMD announced that it is concentrating on supporting Windows 8 with its upcoming AMD Hondo processor, and that it would not support Android at this point in time. Unlike Intel, AMD stated however that engineers were working on Linux support.

One has to distinguish between the processor supporting an operating system and the manufacturer of the processor supporting the operating system. Technically, we are still talking about x86 chips which in theory allows Linux and Android operating systems to run on the x86 microprocessor family. So, theoretically a manufacturer could come along and create a Linux or Android device running AMD Hondo or Intel Clover Trail processors. But they would have to put considerably effort into the project, something that the majority may not won’t.

For Intel and AMD it could be a risky path, considering that both companies are betting big on the success of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. While that’s almost a sure thing for the desktop and laptop market, it is not really clear how well the operating system will do on the tablet market.

While designed with touch in mind and shipping with a tablet-ready interface, Windows 8 marks Microsoft’s entry into the tablet world dominated by Apple’s iPad and to a lesser degree Android devices.

What about users who want a dual-booting system with Linux or Android? AMD Hondo may be the better choice at least where Linux is concerned, considering that Intel won’t support Linux officially and AMD is working on Linux support. For now though the best bet seems to wait and see what is happening after Windows 8 launches. Will the operating system be the success story that everyone believes’ it to be? Or will demand put a blow to expectations?

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Windows Store Apps official name for Metro appshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/13/windows-store-apps-official-metro-apps/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/13/windows-store-apps-official-metro-apps/#comments Thu, 13 Sep 2012 12:05:27 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95532 I’m not sure how you feel about the whole “we don’t call it Metro anymore” announcement that we discussed some time ago here on Everything Microsoft, but ever since Microsoft has announced that it would refrain from using the term Metro, things have become confusing.

The main reason for this was that no one knew how they should refer to the “interface formerly known as Metro”, since Microsoft never really made a public statement about it. Suggestions ranged from Modern UI to Windows 8 and lots of terms in between.

Microsoft now starts to use the term Windows Store apps more frequently, and it appears to be the official term the company wants anyone to use when referring to apps that users can run in the Windows 8 operating system. That still leaves a few questions unanswered, as we still do not know how the company calls the start page interface itself. Will it be the Windows Store interface, simply startpage, or something completely different?

windows store apps

The common denominator for programs that run on Windows RT and Windows 8 is that they come (mostly) from the Windows Store. That makes the term Windows Store apps okay-ish but not really something that many Windows users will start to use. The majority will probably refer to them as apps, or Windows apps, which quite frankly would make more sense.

According to Mary Jo over at ZDnet, Windows Store won’t be the name for the Metro-design interface of the operating system

So is Microsoft is going to start referring to the Metro design language/philosophy/tiled user interface as “Windows Store”? No. “Windows Store” is, apparently, the new, official replacement for “Metro-Style” only. And what happened to Microsoft’s guidance that folks start referring to Metro apps as “Windows 8″ apps? I guess that’s out the window (pun intended) now….

What about apps that are not sold in the store? Are they also Windows Store apps even though they are not offered in Windows Store? To add to the confusion, what about Windows Phone apps? Are those also Windows Store apps now? Microsoft just announced that it renamed the Windows Phone Marketplace to Windows Phone Store. The most likely name for the apps is therefor Windows Phone Store apps.

I’m not a fan of all the remaining that is going on, and Microsoft’s new choices. What about you?

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Windows 8: Unpatched Flash vulnerability leaves users at riskhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/06/windows-8-unpatched-flash-vulnerability-leaves-users-risk/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/06/windows-8-unpatched-flash-vulnerability-leaves-users-risk/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 22:03:13 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95526 Microsoft introduces several changes to Internet Explorer 10 in its Windows 8 operating system. You may for instance know that Windows 8 ships with two different Internet Explorer versions: first the regular Internet Explorer 10 that you can run on the desktop interface, and then the Metro Internet Explorer 10 that only runs on the startpage interface. That’s however not the only change, as Microsoft has integrated the Adobe Flash technology natively in the browser. This is similar to what Google has done i its Chrome browser. The benefit of this is that Flash is not integrated as a plugin so that it can run on the modern ui interface as well. It also means that Microsoft can distribute the Flash update at once to all of its users so that users are protected right away from threats.

One of the problems however is that Microsoft is now responsible for keeping the versions of Flash Player up to date in Internet Explorer to protect users from attacks targeting vulnerabilities in older version of the technology.

Adobe recently released an update to its Flash Player that resolved several security issues found in the player. Google distributed the update with Chrome, and other users may have received automatic updates or updated Flash Player manually. The only browser that has not received an update yet is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8. Microsoft, for whatever reason, has not released an update yet that closes the security vulnerabilities in its integrated Flash Player. This in turn means that Windows 8 users who use IE10 to access flash contents in the browser are vulnerable to attacks targeting those resolved security vulnerabilities.

Ed Bott contacted Microsoft for a statement and received the following response:

Security is of course important to us, and we are working directly with Adobe to ensure that Windows 8 customers stay secure. We will update Flash in Windows 8 via Windows Update as needed. The current version of Flash in the Windows 8 RTM build does not have the latest fix, but we will have a security update coming through Windows Update in the GA timeframe.

This means that Microsoft will release an update around the October 26 release date of Windows 8 leaving users of the system vulnerable to attacks for more than two months.

It is recommended to avoid using Internet Explorer 10 to view Flash contents until the issue is fixed. The easiest way to make sure that this does not happen is to make a different browser the default browser on the system.

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Samsung Ativ S and Ativ Tab 10.1 price revealhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/samsung-ativ-ativ-tab-101-price-reveal/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/samsung-ativ-ativ-tab-101-price-reveal/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2012 07:21:02 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95516 Take this with a grain of salt as the prices have not yet been confirmed by Samsung officially. Samsung has revealed several of its upcoming devices, mobile phones, tablets and laptops, on the IFA in Berlin. Among the devices were the Samsung Ativ S, a phone running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system. It is actually the first revealed phone that is running the operating system.

Up until now we did not know anything about pricing or availability. A Dutch online store has now added the Samsung Ativ S in black to its catalog. It is listed for €549 on the store, which could be the real price or a placeholder price.  A price of €549 is about $690; remember that this includes taxes already and that it is not subsidized by a provider.

samsung ativ s black

The Windows Phone 8 smartphone can’t be ordered yet. You can however enter your name, email or mobile phone number to receive an email or free SMS when the phone becomes available. Rumor has it that Windows Phone 8 will officially be released on October 29, only three days after Windows 8 becomes available.

Probably even more interesting than the Samsung Ativ S is the Samsung Ativ Tab 10.1 which the store lists as well. This is one of the new Windows RT tablets that will be available around launch of the Windows 8 operating system.

samsung ativ tab 10.1

The 10.1 inch tablet is listed for €699 which puts it roughly in the same ballpark as Apple’s top of the line iPad with 64 Gigabyte of storage (WiFi only). The storage of the Ativ device is not listed in the store which means that it can either be the 32 or 64 Gigabyte variant.

We do not know if the prices are final or placeholders, and it will likely take another month or two before we find that out.

The tablet price is definitely near the top end of the scale, and it will be interesting to see how low prices can get in regards to Windows RT tablets. While I do not think that we will see a Windows RT tablet for $199, we may see some low end devices starting at $299 after all. (via Beatmaster)

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How to install unsigned drivers in Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/29/install-unsigned-drivers-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/29/install-unsigned-drivers-windows-8/#comments Wed, 29 Aug 2012 16:44:47 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95484 If you are trying to get old trusted hardware working under Windows 8, or other hardware were no signed drivers have been created by the manufacturer yet, you may have troubles getting the hardware to be recognized by the Windows 8 operating system correctly.

Sometimes you may be lucky and third parties have stepped in to create signed drivers, or the manufacturer eventually will come through to create and distribute a signed driver for the operating system.

Up until then though you can try and install an unsigned driver to get the hardware working under Windows 8. The only problem is that it is not really that simple anymore to load unsigned drivers.

You need to load the driver during the start of the system. Here are the instructions to load unsigned drivers in Windows 8.

  • Make sure you are signed in
  • Press Windows-I to load the Charms Bar
  • Click on Power, hold down the Shift-key, and click on Restart to restart the PC
  • You should see a troubleshooting page come up. Click on Troubleshoot here, and on the next page on Advanced options.
  • Here you find several options, including automatic repair, system image recovery and startup settings. Click on the latter to change the startup behavior of the Windows 8 operating system and click on Restart again on the next page
  • Here you should see an advanced menu with nine different startup options. Press 7 or F7 to disable the driver signature enforcement. Windows 8 should restart the system automatically and the drivers that you have installed or are about to install should be working from that moment on.

disable driver signature enforcement

It is however recommended to check first whether there are updated drivers available. You can find out by visiting the website of the hardware manufacturer. (via Deskmodder)

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Four ways to bypass the Windows 8 startpagehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/26/ways-bypass-windows-8-startpage/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/26/ways-bypass-windows-8-startpage/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 15:50:03 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95478 The startpage of the Windows 8 operating system and the new user interface that goes along with it is a fundamental change that many Windows users may have issues adopting to. If you take the time to analyze why that is the case, you will find out that there are  a number of reasons for this. The new startpage for instance that is forced on users of the system is heavily criticized for being not suitable for desktop work and too touch centric.

The option to customize the Windows operating system has always been a strength of the system, and that has not changed with the release of Windows 8. While Microsoft did its best to prevent users from bypassing the startpage to boot straight to the desktop, third party developers have created numerous ways to allow users to do just that.

The following five options to bypass the Metro / Modern UI startpage have all been tested in the final version of Windows 8.

1. Classic Shell

Classic Shell adds features to the Windows operating system that Microsoft has changed, altered or removed from newer versions of Windows.  The open source program not only adds a start menu back to the Windows 8 desktop but also offers to skip the Metro startpage when you boot the operating system.

2. Start8

Start8 offers a similar functionality on first glance. You can use it to skip the Windows 8 start page and load the desktop interface right away. It too adds a start menu to the desktop, but unlike Classic Shell, it adds a copy of the startpage there to give you direct access to apps and tools.

3. Skip Metro Suite

skip metro suite

Skip Metro Suite ships with two features. The first lets you skip the Metro startpage so that you can boot straight into the Windows desktop environment. The second feature disables the hot corners that Microsoft has added to Windows 8. It disables both Charms Bar corners located on the top right and bottom right of the screen, and the apps switcher that you find on the top left corner of the screen.

4.  4Desktop

4Desktop is a small program that you need to add to the startup or the Windows Task Scheduler so that it is always run on user log in on the system. It requires manual configuration with the instructions posted on the linked web page.

Do you have another program or feature to bypass the startpage of the operating system? Post it in the comments.

 

 

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Buy Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 until January 2013, then $199http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/21/buy-windows-8-pro-6999-january-2013-199/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/21/buy-windows-8-pro-6999-january-2013-199/#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2012 15:36:55 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95474 Take the following with a grain of salt as it has not been confirmed officially by Microsoft. Tom Warren over at The Verge reports that sources close to Microsoft have revealed to him that Microsoft will make available the Pro version of Windows 8 for $69.99 until January 31, 2013.

That’s $30 more than the confirmed upgrade price that gets you a copy of Windows 8 Pro provided that you are the owner of a valid Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 license. The retail price after the promotional period goes up to $199 from February 2013 on, which is the same suggested retail price of Windows 7 Home Premium, and $100 less than Windows 7 Professional.

This effectively is a price decrease of $100, and while retail pricing usually gets slashed pretty quickly, it indicates that Microsoft is using an aggressive strategy to push out Windows 8 to the Windows community.

Tom also mentioned that an upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro will be priced for $69.99 during the same promotional period as well. From February 2013 on, the upgrade will be available for a retail price of $69.99

The only pricing that has been officially confirmed by Microsoft is the $14.99 upgrade pricing for Windows 7 PCs that have been purchased from June 2 on until January 31 as long as they are eligible for the upgrade. This is only available for PCs that are eligible, so you best ask the store clerk or support if that is the case before you make the purchase.

You can register for that special upgrade on the official website. All other promotional pricing offers are available from October 26, 2012 onwards.

Pricing in other currencies should be roughly the same, even though it may be a bit higher in some locations like the UK or the Euro zone.

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How to use a custom image for Windows 8′s start page backgroundhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/21/custom-image-windows-8s-start-page-background/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/21/custom-image-windows-8s-start-page-background/#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2012 09:31:35 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95469 If you had the chance to play around with the final version of Windows 8, you may have noticed that Microsoft has limited backgrounds of the start page of the system to images that it is making available. The feature lacks customization options, especially an option to use your own custom background image for the space instead of the – rather colorful – backgrounds that Microsoft is making available. Unfortunately though, there is no built-in option to do that in Windows 8.

Enter ModernBack Changer, a third party program that is fully compatible with the latest version of the Windows 8 operating system. Just download the program from the developer website to your local system, extract the contents of the zip file and run it afterwards with administrative privileges. It is likely that you see a SmartScreen Filter protection prompt. Here you need to click on more info to run the program on the system.

change start screen background windows 8

The program displays all available backgrounds in its interface. To switch to one of Microsoft’s backgrounds, simply click on one to do so. Changes take effect immediately without restart or the need to log off first.

The selection of standard wallpapers for the start page is not that spectacular, as it is merely a copy of built-in functionality. You can however click on the customize button to select a custom image for the background. A file browser opens that lets you select an image from your drive. Keep in mind that images are automatically converted into 8-bit images, which means that high resolution imagery may not be the best option to select for the background.

The program walks you through the process. Once you have selected the image you are asked to pick the part of it that you want to use as your background image. You move the red rectangle around by holding down the right mouse button. Just follow the process from here to apply the new background image.

Please note that the program is modifying core Windows files in the process which can cause all kinds of errors and issues. I suggest you create a system restore point and backup first before you use the program to modify the start page screen.

You can download the program from the author’s Italian homepage.

The latest version of the program seems to have a bug in which the custom image is not displayed in the program interface after creation. You can follow the instructions on this blog post to resolve the issue.

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How to add desktop programs to the Windows 8 start pagehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/20/add-desktop-programs-windows-8-start-page/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/20/add-desktop-programs-windows-8-start-page/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2012 10:30:49 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95460 When you look at the list of programs on your Windows 8 start page, you may notice that desktop programs and Modern UI apps are displayed both on the page. You don’t find all of your desktop programs here, which becomes especially apparent if you have upgraded Windows 8 from Windows 7, as installed applications are carried over to the new operating system.

When you right-click on the start page and select the All Apps link on the bottom right, you will see even more desktop applications listed here. But neither page seems to have an option to add desktop programs to add.

So, how do you add a software program to the Windows 8 start page if there is no visible option to do just that?

Microsoft has added two options to pin executable files to the start page. The first becomes available when you use the search. When you are on the start page type the first few characters of the program name that you want added to the start page. When it appears, right-click it and select Pin to start from the toolbar at the bottom. This adds a tile to the start page that launches the program when you click on it.

pin to start

The second option is available on the desktop. Just browse to the location of the program that you want to add to the Windows 8 start page, right-click the executable file and select the pin to start option from the context menu to do so. This adds the program as a tile to the start page as well.

pin to start windows 8

Once the program has been added to the start page, you can move it around just like any other tile here. Keep in mind that desktop programs are always displayed with the standard background color which makes them less appealing than Modern UI apps which use a design of their own.

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Multiple Rumors Suggest a Microsoft Surface RT to Launch at $199http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/multiple-rumors-suggest-microsoft-surface-rt-launch-199/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/multiple-rumors-suggest-microsoft-surface-rt-launch-199/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2012 15:03:58 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95429 I’m going to file this one under “I’ll believe it when I see it” and hopefully this comes true, but Engadget is reporting using an anonymous source that the Microsoft-branded and much-anticipated Windows RT tablet will be launching at a ridiculously low price of $199. CNet also posted a few days earlier an article which makes one believe that Acer may know the final price of the Surface RT as well, pleading with Microsoft to price the Surface higher than $199 to minimize the impact of their own tablet offerings.

Keep in mind that Microsoft desperately needs to enter the tablet market and grab some market share and quick before it becomes like the uphill trek the company is currently climbing with Windows Phone.

The $200 price would put the Surface RT in line with the likes of the Kindle Fire and Galaxy Nexus 7 tablet from Google. This could be huge for Microsoft and consumers, but coming from an anonymous source we’ll need to put our hopes in perspective. The tablet, if priced at $199, would need to be heavily subsidized. And this wouldn’t be the first time a product was sold at a loss to gain quicker adoption by the market.

The Lumia 900, Kindle Fire and Galaxy Nexus 7 are all thought to be under-sold in order to gain market share for their companies. Microsoft, who desperately need to join the fray before it’s ruled by Apple and Google may need to take a drastic step to ensure their place in the next wave of computing. I’d say that a $199 premium tablet might be the ticket.

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How to close Modern UI (Metro) apps more comfortablehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/close-modern-ui-metro-apps-comfortable/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/close-modern-ui-metro-apps-comfortable/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2012 13:37:48 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95425 If you want to close Moder UI apps (Metro apps) in Windows 8 you have two ways to do so. First, you can open the Windows Task Manager with Ctr-Shift-Esc, find the apps that you want to close and kill the processes in the task manager.  Second, you can move the mouse cursor to the very top of the screen until it changes into a hand, hold down the left-mouse button then, and move it all the way down to the bottom of the screen.

Both options are not that straightforward, and there are certainly users out there who may prefer a faster way of closing Modern UI Style apps in Windows 8.

The free portable application Close Threshold for Metro Apps makes closing apps on the start page more comfortable. What it basically does is reduce the way you have to move the mouse down before the app gets closed.

You still have to move the mouse to the top and hold down the left mouse button, but instead of having to move the mouse then to the very bottom of the screen, you only have to move it down a little bit for the same effect.

close metro apps comfortable

The program starts with the default system settings active. What you need to do is reduce the threshold from its maximum value of 1000 to a lower value. This value determines the way that you have to move the mouse down to close it. Settings are available for both mouse and touch gestures

Keep in mind that a too low threshold value may make it more difficulty to move apps to the left or right side of the screen, a too high value would mean that you have to move the mouse further down before it gets closed.

You need to click on the save settings button before the changes become active. This will kill and restart the explorer process so that a restart is not required. And if you do not like the changes, you can at any time click on the reset button to reset to Windows 8′s default settings.

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Microsoft Security Bulletin Updatehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/microsoft-security-bulletin-update/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/microsoft-security-bulletin-update/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2012 12:12:24 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95419 As you should know by now the hacking engagement is in full force with multiple companies taking extra effort to protect their computer systems from invasion. So recently Microsoft released a security bulletin on August 14, 2012 identifying nine security issues to common software platforms. Five are classified as critical and four others are classified as important. Here is the breakdown of the bulletins and the affected software.

Bulletin IDMaximum Severity Rating and Vulnerability ImpactAffected Software
Bulletin 1Critical
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Windows,
Internet Explorer
Bulletin 2Critical
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 3Critical
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 4Critical
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Office,
Microsoft SQL Server,
Microsoft Server Software,
Microsoft Developer Tools
Bulletin 5Critical
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Exchange
Bulletin 6Important
Elevation of Privilege
Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 7Important
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 8Important
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Office
Bulletin 9Important
Remote Code Execution
Microsoft Office

What this means for the user


The ratings are important because they establish the seriousness of the deficiency or weakness in the software.
The critical vulnerability rating identifies the possibility of exploitation that could allow code execution without any user interaction in the mix. For the most part these include malware or instances where code execution occurs without warnings or prompts or is self-duplicating. This could mean that problems could occur anywhere from browsing a web page to opening email.
The important rating on the other hand identifies a vulnerability that could compromise of the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of user data, or the integrity or availability of processing resources.

Impact on Windows
The critical vulnerability for Windows goes as far back as Windows XP service pack 2 and service pack 3. But Server 2003, Vista, and Server 2008 are also in the class of endangered OS. In each case, the problem is that the software is open and exposed to malware that could impact how the OS performs or how programs under its direction perform. The problem is that the inserted virus may be present without the OS being aware of the presence.

Impact on Internet Explorer or Remote desktop connection
The browser can be vulnerable and give the same privilege rights to a hacker that an administrator has or someone else has with fewer rights. Also the vulnerability of remote desktop connection can be exposed when packets are sent across the system and allow the remote code connection to occur. This allows a hacker to access the remote computer. In both of these cases, the malware can appear to be plain and simple, that is until it permits operations never intended by the host administrator.

Impact on Sql Server
Specific software is also mentioned in the security bulletin. In the case of SQL Server, the bulletin mentions the 2000 release version as well as 2005, and 2008 SQL server versions. This is something for administrators to consider seriously, especially since many enterprises are tied to database operations and need to have a solid data scheme that operates without problems. Any underlying malware that could affect the performance of the database technology or the data in the database system must be addressed quickly.

The Office Suites

The Microsoft Office Suites of 2003, 2007, and 2010 are also in the critical warning area. Any malware affecting any of these office products can cause a lot of damage because of the number of applications potentially affected, starting with Word and PowerPoint and going to OneNote and SharePoint; it can be staggering. While the damage may not be as severe as a SQL Server infection, the number of users hit by malware when using the Office application could be large. That alone could make a big impact on a business.

Detection and Protection

Microsoft offers the Security Essentials program to help identify and remove malware. Since the program is free, it is a convenient way to keep ahead of the malware fight. But in the case of the security bulletin that Microsoft is offering with the updates, it is worth looking at just what specific updates that your system may need. It is not necessary to take all the updates, just the ones that impact your computer hardware and software.

What the content of the bulletin exemplifies is that well known Microsoft software can be marked and changed even to the point that it may not even appear to be compromised. The upgrades are an important cure to remove the temptation of outsiders getting into your system and wreaking havoc.

Security Bulletin August 2012

Technet Webcast 08/15/12

Security Bulletin Archive

Microsoft Security Essentials

 

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Have A Look At Windows 8′s Retail Packaginghttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/12/windows-8s-retail-packaging/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/12/windows-8s-retail-packaging/#comments Sun, 12 Aug 2012 14:14:40 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95402 Earlier on in the week, the Verge managed to get their hands on some graphics of the new Windows 8 Packaging. Microsoft have officially signed off on the RTM version of Windows 8, and of course there’s been many a leaked copy on the web since then, but if you’re waiting till October 26th to get your hands on a hard physical copy of Microsoft’s latest OS, then this is the packaging to keep your eye out for on shelves.

The boxes themselves are quite stylish, and very reflective of the Metro (Microsoft say’s we can’t call it that anymore) Windows 8 UI. The front cover features a colourful flavour of the Windows 8 Logo and the only difference between the two boxes is the darker colour scheme for the Pro edition.

Unlike before, Microsoft will only be offering two flavours of Windows 8 to consumers. Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Windows RT will only be distributed to OEM’s and of course their enterprise solutions will be dealt with separately.

Credit: The Verge

Microsoft will be looking to push online digital downloads as their main form of retail sales with Windows 8. It will cost only a mere $39.99 for users looking to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from previous versions of Windows if they purchase a digital copy. However if you want a hard physical copy, it will set you back $69.99. Either way, Windows 8 will be significantly cheaper than previous versions of Windows.

What do you think of the new packaging?

Let us know in the comments below

Source:

The Verge

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Apps, Desktop Apps and Windows 8 Appshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/10/metro-apps-desktop-apps-windows-8-apps/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/10/metro-apps-desktop-apps-windows-8-apps/#comments Fri, 10 Aug 2012 12:50:55 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95389 A few days ago Microsoft announced that it was dropping the name Metro for it’s interface … then they came up with the ingenious name, Windows 8, as the replacement. (Wow … that is so bold.) Now it turns out that Windows 8 apps aren’t Windows 8 apps after all. At least some of them aren’t.

The Apps Structure

Recall that Metro apps were supposedly written for Metro and legacy apps were known as desktop apps. So now Microsoft is going full throttle, which means it’s confusing, because the Microsoft App store will list the desktop apps, but won’t sell them there because they are not Windows 8 apps. They are desktop (legacy) apps.

To add another pothole to the road, a desktop app is written under the Win32 API domain. But those apps will run under Windows 8, even if they are not classified as a Windows 8 App. Furthermore, the desktop app will run on Windows 8 pro OS version but not on the RT version designed for the ARM tablets. It also means that the Surface tablet will only run Windows 8 apps, not desktop apps. However, the Surface Pro Tablet will run Windows 8 apps and also desktop apps.

Windows 8 AppsDesktop Apps
Run on Windows 8 Win32 API
Run on Arm TabletsWindows 8 Pro OS
Run on Surface Pro TabletSurface Pro Tablet
Run on Surface Tablet 
Run Desktop Apps (not called Windows 8 app) 

Yes – No – Here we Go

It seems that there are a lot of visionaries over at Microsoft right now. All trying to make their vision come true. After all, they’ve been working on their area for about five years, maybe longer. The problem is marketing. Are they talking to the marketing department? Does marketing have any say in this conundrum? It looks like different departments are rushing to make a name for themselves even if they are in conflict or appear in contradiction with others. Who cares? Right? It’s the name of the game. And the game is to be successful in the Windows 8 environment. Let’s hope so.

 Source:  TheVerge, ZDnet

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Microsoft Rename “Metro” To…. Windows 8?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/09/microsoft-rename-metro-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/09/microsoft-rename-metro-windows-8/#comments Thu, 09 Aug 2012 21:47:58 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95382 Earlier on in the week I covered a story that Microsoft was ditching the “Metro” name that was commonly used when referring to the new user interface in Windows 8. The reason behind this name change was because Microsoft was allegedly infringing on a copyright held by a German superstore.

Microsoft promised us a new name within the week, and according to sources at ZDnet, Microsoft have landed on “Windows 8″ as the new name to replace Metro. Creative… I know right.

I suppose in a way it does make some sense. It’s quite a simple and subtle name change which won’t go causing any major branding issues. “Windows Metro Apps” will now simply be referred to as “Windows 8 Apps”. The “Metro User Interface” will simply be known as the “Windows 8 User Interface”. Nice and simple.

Here’s what ZDNet sources had to say

 Anything currently/formerly known as a “Metro-Style application” (with or without a hyphen) will now be known officially as a “Windows 8 application.” References to the “Metro user interface” will now be replaced by “Windows 8 user interface.” And instead of saying “Metro design,” the Softies and those adhering to their official guidelines will be using the words “Windows 8 design.”

Microsoft haven’t officially released a statement confirming this, but it seems pretty set in stone at this stage. In a recent product announcement page from Lenovo, they advertised “Windows 8 Apps” as a feature of their new Thinkpad Tablet.

It’s quite a straightforward and simple brand change. It’s not going to confuse anyone at least. After all, the “Metro” name was simply a code name that’s been used by Microsoft and Developers alike.

Source:

Zdnet

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How to disable Fast Start in Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/09/disable-fast-start-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/09/disable-fast-start-windows-8/#comments Thu, 09 Aug 2012 14:52:06 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95378 Windows 8 Release Preview users find an option to turn fast startup on or off in the power options control panel applet. Fast startup, also known as hybrid boot, basically prepares the system for a faster startup the next time by moving important system files into the hiberfil.sys file so that they can be loaded faster during the next system boot.

This only works when you shut down the system, and is activated by default. It appears that Microsoft seems to have removed the option in the Windows 8 RTM, giving users no option in the control panel to control the fast startup feature.

It can happen that fast startup may cause the operating system to run check disk verifications during startup on dual boot systems, which is why it is usually suggested to turn fast boot off on multi-boot Windows installations.

fast boot windows 8

You need to modify two entries in the Registry to turn off Fast Boot in the final version of Windows 8. Open the Windows Registry editor with Windows-r, enter regedit and hit enter, or enter regedit on the new start page of the operating system and select the Registry editor this way.

  • Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Session Manager\Power
  • Locate the key HiberbootEnabled and double-click on it
  • Set the value of the key to 0 to deactivate fast boot
  • To restore the setting at a later time, change it back to 1.
  • Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power
  • Locate HiberbootEnabled there and double-click the entry
  • Change the value of the key to 0 to deactivate Fast Boot.
  • To restore the key to its original value at a later time, set it back to 1

Windows 8 from the next restart on will no longer use Fast Boot when the system is shut down. Again, I’d only recommend to turn fast boot off if you are noticing issues with check disk during startup. If you are dual booting Windows 7 and 8 for instance, and not noticing any issues, then it is not recommended to turn the feature off. (via Deskmodder)

 

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Windows 8 start screen backgrounds are colorfulhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/08/windows-8-start-screen-backgrounds-colorful/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/08/windows-8-start-screen-backgrounds-colorful/#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2012 15:50:31 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95372 I like my operating system to be as minimalistic as possible. This may make me a minority in times where everything needs to be glamorous and colorful, but that’s how I grew up and the release of Windows 8 won’t change that. I was for instance never a fan of desktop backgrounds, preferring plain solid color backgrounds over photos of your cat, a romantic sunset or the latest car of your favorite car manufacturer.

Since everyone seems to got hold of the new Windows 8 RTM early, that is everyone but me, I rely on information that those people post to see what has changed in the final version of Windows 8.

Sarvesh has posted all startpage backgrounds of Windows 8 on this blog, and I can’t help myself but say wow, those are colorful. You find some of the existing backgrounds there, and many that look as if they have specifically designed for children working with the operating system. I for one can’t really see myself working with any of the more colorful backgrounds there, especially not in a business environment.

Screenshot-9-1024x575 Screenshot-14 Screenshot-15

Then again, if you love bright color backgrounds you probably love the new backgrounds for the startpage. The purple background color may have something to do with it as well as it is probably not the color of choice for business environments. Do the backgrounds look better if you select black, gray or white instead? To be honest I have no idea as I can’t test that right now.

The start screen in the Windows 8 Release Preview can be customized to show a solid color only and no designs, and according to one of the screenshots posted, that’s also possible in the final version of Windows 8.

What’s your take on the backgrounds that Microsoft ships with the Windows 8 operating system?

 

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Windows 8 Themes – Default Wallpapers, and the Start Screenhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/06/windows-8-themes-default-wallpapers-start-screen/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/06/windows-8-themes-default-wallpapers-start-screen/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 16:16:58 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95361 Recently, the Windows 8 background patterns became available to view. Rumor has it that Microsoft might be set to include no less than 20 StartScreen patterns in Windows 8 in the release to manufacturing build.

As one blog posted in Win8China, shows what the leaked screen change looks like:

 

One thing that can be said about Microsoft’s Windows 8, is that it is looking for a new look, come hell or high water. While there has been the recent discussion about whether the Metro name will still be used, nevertheless, Microsoft is still pushing to make its new OS a different experience for consumers. Start Screen patterns provide a wallpaper-like effect for the new Windows 8 [Metro?] Start Screen.

For example, Microsoft has been adding more and more customization options a little bit at a time to Windows 8 throughout its major previews. Some were put in to see how the public would respond, but others to see how they would interact with other existing programs. But the final Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build supposedly will include the 20 Start Screen patterns.

Screen Resolutions

Another new item that will be present in windows 8 is the resolution. Windows 8 will have another resolution: 3840 * 1200. This change will work with the expansion, or dual screens prepared by the user. The default screen resolution in Win7 was 1920*1200.

Evening Stars theme package

Microsoft had released the first Win8 official theme package ” evening with the Stars “built-in wallpaper full 3840 * 1200 resolution.

 

This results in a panoramic image as wallpaper. So when you are using two monitors it will automatically extend the image to the two monitors, but both monitors have to have the same resolution. If the displays are different sizes or have different resolution settings, a different image will appear in each monitor.

The download is available at the Microsoft Download Center.

Daisy

The Israeli blog site, TechIT, published a photo that will be used as the default wallpaper in the Windows 8 operating system, final build. The official background of the new operating system is Daisy.

As the final Microsoft Windows 8 experience is about ready to become available, it is interesting to see how the back screen  desktop experience is starting to look. It will be different.

 

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Windows 8 Pro to retail for €59.99?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/06/windows-8-pro-retail-5999/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/06/windows-8-pro-retail-5999/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 13:14:16 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95356 Microsoft has not revealed the retail price of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system yet. What the Redmond company has revealed up to this point is a promotional offer for existing Windows users who plan to upgrade their systems to Windows 8. This offer is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, it allows Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro regardless of the operating system they are currently using. If you look back at how Windows 7 upgrades were handled, you may remember that you could only upgrade to specific Windows 7 versions depending on the XP or Vista version you were already using.

So, upgrading has been simplified significantly here. The second surprise came in form of the upgrade price of $39.99 which is extremely low, even for a promotional offer. If you look at how much a Microsoft Windows 7 Professional upgrade costs retail, you will notice that this is only a fraction of that.

buy windows 8 pro

A screenshot leaked today that may show the retail price of a Windows 8 Pro digital download. While it has not been confirmed by Microsoft, and we are pretty sure it won’t, it looks genuine enough and would fit right into the ballpark figure that we expected the Windows 8 Pro download to retail for.

A price of €59.99 Euros could mean that that customers from the United States would have to pay anywhere between $59.99 to $74.99 for the digital download of the operating system. This gets them the a Windows 8 Pro product key and a digital download of the operating system. A physical copy on DVD would set you back another €14.99, which is about $18.99 in US Dollars.

It may take another month or so before Microsoft reveals the retail prices of Windows 8, and it will be interesting to see how the price compares to the one leaked today. It can also be that we will see promotional offers as well, like a return of the popular Family Pack option that gets you three licenses for a great price.

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How to activate Aero under Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/06/activate-aero-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/06/activate-aero-windows-8/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 09:09:19 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95352 Aero has been an integral part of Windows 7 and there are certainly users who appreciate the look and feel that it added to the operating system. If you are a regular user here you know that Microsoft has done away with some of Aero under Windows 8. What you for instance won’t get anymore are many of the transparency and eye candy effects that made Aero what it is under Windows 7.

If you like your transparency effects, then it may interest you that it is currently possible to activate them under Windows 8 again. This has been tried and tested under the Windows 8 Release Preview, and we will update the article as soon as we get our hands on the RTM to see if it is still working under that version as well.

First, here is a screenshot of Windows 8 with Aero activated

windows 8 aero enabled

Activate Aero under Windows 8

You need to follow the instructions to the letter to activate Aero in your version of Windows 8.

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize from the context menu that opens up.
  2. Locate the High Contrast #1 theme in the Personalization window and activate it with a click on it.
  3. Click on Window Color once the theme has been switched, but do not make any changes to there. Just keep the window open for now.
  4. Right-click on the desktop again and select Personalize again.
  5. Select the default Windows theme under Aero Themes.
  6. You should see the transparency effects right away.
  7. Now click on Save changes on the Window Color and Appearance window and close all open windows.

If everything worked out fine, you should now have transparency effects for all Windows on the desktop. Please note that this seems to only affect windows and the taskbar, but not the startpage interface or other eye candy effects. (via Mike)

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Is Metro Gone?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/04/metro/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/04/metro/#comments Sat, 04 Aug 2012 22:35:33 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95340 Microsoft did an odd thing, saying that Metro is not the real name of the new interface. Hmm. So what’s the odd thing? Is Metro just a code word not the real term for the Interface, or that after more than several years of work, where everyone, developers, programmers, and third parties working on the new Windows 8 interface called the interface, Metro, and now it is not called that?

Why?

There are no clear explanations for that, but one is that unofficially that Metro may be a term that could cause litigation; a form of copyright dispute. Where and how is not known and Microsoft is not giving any more information about that view.

Confusion with the Apps?

Does Microsoft really want to go in that direction? Consider that Microsoft has two forms of Windows 8 under production, one with the WinRT version and others that are not WinRT. Will this cause a problem for developers and for the public in general? Frankly, I don’t know if developers are confused, but some of the products being released lately have overlapping parts that does bring confusion.

Look at office 2013 and then there is the Cloud version of Office 365. What should users get? Cloud or no cloud.

Metro is Everywhere

But Metro is everywhere. There may be some confusion regarding the apps, but on the other hand, a lot of users are clear on what to expect.

  • Consider  that there are different defined sequence of terms such as:
  • Windows 8 This OS has both an x86 and x64 version of the next release of Windows that can run both desktop apps and the new Metro style apps that      are written for the WinRT runtime.
  • Windows RT  Then there is the ARM version of the  Windows 8 OS, which can run the new      Metro style apps written for the WinRT runtime and only those desktop apps supplied by Microsoft — such as      Office, Explorer, Internet Explorer. It also offers cloud-management      client operations that provide remote-management features to compensate for the inability of Windows RT machines to join a domain.

  • WinRT  This is the new Windows runtime for apps that can run on x86 and x64 or ARM  devices, and which can be written in  varias formats like C#, C++, or HTML5/CSS/JavaScript.
  • Metro style apps This is the Microsoft term for WinRT apps.
  • Metro Style This is the authentically digital, typography-first design language. Unlike Metro style apps, if a program uses the Metro style it could be an      x86 or x64 program running on the Windows desktop, or even a web page. For example, the new Azure interface and the Windows Server 2012 Server      Manager tool have the Metro style.
  • Modern The  somewhat presumptuous theme for the Windows 8 reimagining. The Metro Star screen is the modern shell, WinRT is modern programming, ARM      chips are modern processors, Office 2013 is modern Office.

But everywhere in the OS format, there is the underlying aspect of Metro. It is what the OS are working on. So while there may be duplicate and confusing operations with Windows 8, that is not the case with Metro. And to top it off, this announcement comes at the same time that Windows 8 is released to Manufacturing. Could the timing be worse?

But what the hey, these Metro programs have an  environment, even if somewhat convoluted, but the interface is understood by the public. And Microsoft, can better this? And they want to better this now? To what point?

But anyway. Microsoft did an odd thing, saying that Metro is not the real name of the new interface. So what is it?

Cleaning up Microsoft’s Metro mess

Is ‘Metro’ now a banned word at Microsoft?

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Microsoft Kills Off Metro, But The UI Is Still Herehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/04/microsoft-kills-metro-ui/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/04/microsoft-kills-metro-ui/#comments Sat, 04 Aug 2012 21:40:56 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95333 Microsoft has had to officially axe the “Metro” name from it’s new UI in Windows 8. Several people had been wondering if Microsoft were going to keep up the “Metro” name when Windows 8 hits the market. Up until now Microsoft have claimed that it’s just been a code name while they developed Windows 8.

The Verge got a little sneaky look at some internal Microsoft documents which outlined the reasons for the change in them name. A potential trademark dispute arose after talks with an “important European Partner” who is thought to be German retail giant Metro AG.

Metro AG owns a trademark on the word and Microsoft had been threatened with legal action because of the name. In documents that Microsoft sent out to developers months ago, they outlined that “Metro” was the “code name for our design language” and they had picked it because the name was “modern and clean. It’s fast and in motion”.

From now on, Microsoft has asked developers to refer to it as “Windows 8 Style UI” for the time being.

In fairness to Microsoft, they have said right from the beginning, back in 2010 in it’s Windows Phone 7 Metro book that Metro was merely a “code name”. They never officially launched any products under that name.

So now Microsoft’s branding department has to go and put their thinking caps on and come up with a new name for their Metro UI. Microsoft have said that the Windows team is “working on a replacement term” and plans to “land on that by the end of this week”.

The Metro name is now most certainly debunked, but the UI that’s been developed around it is definitely here to stay.

Source:

The Verge 

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Windows 8 RTM Leakhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/02/windows-8-rtm-leak/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/02/windows-8-rtm-leak/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2012 06:55:57 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95330 It was inevitable that someone would leak the RTM of the next version of Windows. Less than 24 hours after Microsoft announced that it had build the Windows 8 RTM, the Enterprise version made its debut on various file sharing sites on the Internet. RTM is another word for the final version of a software that is ready for distribution to be sold through retail channels and made available on OEM devices.

What’s interesting in this regard is that it is Enterprise N that leaked, a version of Windows designed specifically for the European market shipping without the company’s media player.

The following information were posted on various sites:

MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.8.ENTERPRISE-N.RTM.X64.VOLUME.ENGLISH.NON_BOOT_DVD-SAMOVARWZT
BUILD: 9200.16384.WIN8_RTM.120725-1247
9200.16384.120725-1247_x64fre_enterprisen_en-us_VL_EnterpriseN-NONBOOT_DVD.rar
SIZE: 3,009,678,501 byte
SHA-1: 06E84C99BB14949443018DC4E6447A7501BD25E4
MD5: B70FE9CDE8B3C5E7E360660F64F8FF58
NOTE: this is original files NON-boot DVD M$ distributive.
“ENTERPRISE-N” version Windows 8 not include Windows Media Player

According to users who commented on the release it appears to the real deal so to speak.  I’d like to point out at this moment that pirated software may include malicious code that its distributors have added to the software. That’s another reason not to go after the release, with the other one being that it is not legal to do so.

It also appears that the release does not include an activation crack so that users can only use it for 30 days before it needs to be registered. While it is possible that the rearm commands work, it is still another limitation.

Microsoft is staying tight lipped about the leak and it is likely that it will stay that way. If you are interested in Windows 8 you can grab a copy of the operating system when it comes out on October 26, 2012, or, if you are a MSDN or TechNet subscriber, or Microsoft Partner, as early as August 15 from official sources.

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Windows 8 to include instructions on how to use ithttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/02/windows-8-include-instructions/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/02/windows-8-include-instructions/#comments Thu, 02 Aug 2012 14:59:04 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95322 The Windows 8 RTM release is just a day old and we are already seeing new information about the operating system on the Internet. Darren Baker has posted screenshots of the Windows 8 installation process all the way from booting  over customizations to signing in for the first time. Now, this may not sound too spectacular but Darren managed to unveil how Microsoft plans to educate new users of the operating system about the new controls that are needed to use it efficiently.

The process begins after account creation, which means that users who install the operating system on the PC, and users who buy a PC with a preinstalled copy of Windows 8, will both get the instructions on how to use the system.

So, here are the instructional screens that you will see on first log in:

windows-8-instructions-1 windows-8-instructions-2 windows-8-instructions-3 windows-8-instructions-4 windows-8-instructions-5

The instructions begin with information on how to use the new touch controls of the operating system. It is not clear if those instructions will be included on systems without touch screen as David used one to demonstrate the installation process. After two pages of touch screen instructions come instructions on how to use the mouse in the operating system.

The instructions explain that you can move the mouse into any corner to bring up the menu. This may indicate a change from the release preview where only the right corners displayed the menu on mouse over. It seems unlikely that Microsoft would instruct users to move into any corner if only the right corners would activate the Charms menu.

Will users have the option to display the instructions again at a later point in time? We do not know that either yet, but it is again likely that there will be an option.

What’s your take on the instructions? Do they explain the new interface concepts or do not they cover enough?

 

 

 

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WIndows 8 to Include 20 Different Metro Themeshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/31/windows-8-include-20-metro-themes/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/31/windows-8-include-20-metro-themes/#comments Tue, 31 Jul 2012 14:39:33 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95290 As Windows 8 has progressed from the Developer Preview until now the start screen has become more and more customizable. From a variety of color combinations to metro-themed Start screen backgrounds the Start screen can be made your own. There are, however, limitations to what users can do with the Start screen and whether what Microsoft provides will be enough will, vary from user to user.

In a screenshot from Win8China, we can see the Windows 8 Start screen customization screen with the new theme options. The new build apparently includes 20 different backgrounds with varying designs and a whole palette of color combinations.

Of course, the question for many that remains is why Microsoft doesn’t allow users to use their own wallpapers as the start screen background. The answer is unclear, but I’ve heard that it is a limitation of the semantic zoom feature not being compatible with normal background picture files.

I’m sure as the Metro experience in Windows 8 matures we will see more options for customization, but as it stands it appears that users will have to keep their own custom pictures on the desktop wallpaper and on the unlock screen. Is this enough customization for most users. I guess we’ll wait and see.

 

 

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Windows 8 App Price $1.49http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/27/windows-8-app-price/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/27/windows-8-app-price/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2012 20:18:56 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95219 $1.49. Not $.99. That will be the cost of apps on the Windows 8 store.  Microsoft, in order to encourage app developers to make Windows 8 Apps, will be charging consumers more, but giving Windows 8 developers more for their product.

A Developers Dream?

Apple showed how successful the Apple store was for delivering state of the art Apps to consumers. Developers were very happy. But with Windows 8 developers will have the opportunity to do some different things not currently available with Apps. For instance, developers can choose to release free apps, and support them with in-app purchases. Also, Windows 8 will allow seven-day trial periods for users to test paid apps before purchasing them. According to a Microsoft blog, Apps that pursue a trial period marketing process have earned as much as five times as much as apps that don’t.

PCWorld

Then there is the percent of sale issue. Microsoft will get 30% of the sales generated by an app, but if it turns out to be a successful commercial app, they will lower their take to 20%, so developers can earn more. Plus the app can contain free advertising if the developer want to offer the free app.

Break Even

Being an app developer takes talent. It also takes time to develop and time to make any money on the app. Earning money with Windows Phone app is small,  just about $1,234 per month. Compare that almost $3,700 per month for what an iOS developer can expect,  and it is still  less than the $2,735 an average that an Android app makes. Further, it takes a Windows Phone developer more than a year, about 14 months, to break even, and that is double the time earning period for iOS developers.  This is why Microsoft is even paying developers to write apps.

Microsoft is App Develop Friendly

Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that Microsoft offered to underwrite Windows Phone app development in order to get developers to inject their talents on the Windows Phone market. Has this been successful? Well  Business Week reported that Microsoft has 100,000 apps in its Windows Phone library. So they must be doing something right.

The Windows 8 function

Behind the change in app marketing is the concern that Windows 8 will not be cutting edge enough, so users are going to skip the program and stick to Windows 7 or worse go to the iPad or some other tablet. Because the publicity tied around Windows 8 is astronomical, meaning that almost everyone has an opinion about it, “it’s great or it s#cks.” Microsoft is taking multiple approaches to making the Windows 8 OS a success before the release occurs. Windows 8 App development is one.

Source ReadWriteWeb

 

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Microsoft’s New Printer Framework V4http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/26/microsofts-printer-framework-v4/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/26/microsofts-printer-framework-v4/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2012 15:09:18 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95206 Printing…that one PC experience that is taken for granted but is used by everyone. But Microsoft has taken steps to make the printing operation easier to use on the Windows 8 System.

The New Printer Driver Architecture: V4

For Windows8, Microsoft introduced a new printer driver architecture called version 4, or v4. In essence V4 produces smaller, faster printer drivers, and it institutes the notion of a print class driver framework. This system allows people to install their printers without having to locate a driver for that device.

Drivers using the V3 architecture from Windows 2000 to Windows 7, are still supported in Windows 8 for device compatibility reasons. The good thing is that if you only have an existing driver available for your current printer, then it should still work in Windows 8.

The Print System in Windows 8

The purpose of the V4 print system is to provide apps with the means to print content to any installed printer without concern about the installation of that particular device.

For apps, it is straightforward to add printing support. The app specifies the format that the content needs to print. So for Metro style apps, this will often be HTML5 or XAML. On the other hand Win32 apps like Word or Photoshop, use a specific format that the content uses for each particular app.

In Windows 8, all Metro style apps use Direct2D as their basic drawing format, and Direct2D and XPS share the same XML-based graphics “language.” This allows the applications to operate with an integration of content between the software and hardware. One implication is that the amount of disk drive space required for printing operations will be less on Windows 8 than on Windows 7, or Windows Vista.

 

V4  also uses Direct2D to render the same content to the print system. Reader’s content can easily be submitted to the print system as XPS, without any costly conversion from GDI.

What this means for users

Great But how does this affect users in Windows 8? Here’s how. When you plug a new printer into Windows, it just works, without your needing to go off and find drivers. By contrast Windows Vista had about 4500 drivers while Windows 7 had about 2100 drivers. With Windows 8, the new v4 printer driver architecture removes the need for having so many printer drivers. In Windows 8 Microsoft stopped shipping many printer drivers with Windows. Instead, they built a print class driver framework.

 

How Windows Printing Works

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Microsoft’s BUILD Conference Set For October 30thhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/25/microsofts-build-conference-set-october-30th/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/25/microsofts-build-conference-set-october-30th/#comments Wed, 25 Jul 2012 19:59:41 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95201 Today Microsoft announced the dates for their next BUILD conference which is held for developers. It’s scheduled a week after Windows 8 is launching, for the 30th of October and Microsoft are brining the event home to their headquarters, Redmond Washington. The event will run until November 2nd.

Microsoft’s BUILD conference doesn’t run on an annual schedule, however Microsoft have obviously decided that there’s plenty worth sharing with developers at this time. It’s no coincidence that this conference is only a week after Windows 8 is set to hit the market and around the time that we are expecting to see Windows Phone 8. It was at Microsoft’s last Build conference that we got our first look at Windows 8.

We are also expecting this conference to feature more heavily on web development as Microsoft cancelled their usual MIX conference for web developers earlier on this year.

Registration for the event will begin on Aug. 8, 8 a.m. PT. At this time, Microsoft will also share more details on the various different keynote speakers, sessions and all the other activities at the event. The last BUILD conference had 275 sessions, 351 speakers and approximately 5,000 attendees. Last year passes for the conference cost a cool $1,600.

 

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Screenshots of Windows 8 RTM Leakedhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/22/screenshots-windows-8-rtm-leaked/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/22/screenshots-windows-8-rtm-leaked/#comments Sun, 22 Jul 2012 17:20:15 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95184 Microsoft are expected to sign off on the final RTM version of Windows 8 any week now, we know that Windows 8 will be released on October 26th and we’ve had a pretty good look at it thanks to the consumer and release previews. However it looks like Microsoft have added in a few last minute tweaks to the final RTM version.

Screenshots leaked by WinUnleaked show that Microsoft have now changed the coloring menu. Microsoft have removed the option to independently choose a different color for the taskbar and windows, this means that you are now stuck with the same color for both. Internet Explorer now interacts with the color that you’ve chosen and changes color automatically as well as receiving a few new tabs and buttons.

Microsoft are said to be frantically working on the last minute preparations before the sign off on the RTM version of Windows 8 which is scheduled to be happening in the first week of August.

These screenshots show that Microsoft is still removing traces of the traditional Aero style that we’ve become used to, and are now styling everything in the more modern Metro style instead.

There’s one other screenshot that was also leaked, and that’s of the new start up screen. It’s pretty similar to previous Windows start up screens and is simply just the new Windows 8 logo on a black background.

With a bit of luck we won’t actually have to spend too much time looking at this start up screen as Windows 8 boots in very little time at all, a lot less than Windows 7.

So these are some of the final screenshots that we will get to see of Windows 8 before it’s finally released and finalised. It seems to be shaping up well, but only time will tell if Windows 8 will be a success or not.

Source:

WinUnleaked

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Microsoft Records Its First Ever Losshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/21/microsoft-records-loss/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/21/microsoft-records-loss/#comments Sat, 21 Jul 2012 15:39:40 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95172 Earlier on this week the shock news came in that Microsoft had recorded it’s first ever loss in history since it became a public company 26 years ago!

Microsoft recorded a net loss of $492m in the April to June quarter, or 6 cents a share.  Compare this with earnings of $5.9bn, or 69 cents, only a year ago. However this extreme sway in earnings didn’t just happen because of poor sales.

The main reason for this dip in earnings is because Microsoft wrote off the value of an online ad service aQuantive which it purchased in 2007 for $6.3 billion. Microsoft took a $6.2 billion charge to reflect the lack of return that Microsoft has gotten from the advertising service.

This is something that companies frequently do to reflect a decline in the value of their assets.

However it’s not all bad news for Microsoft, in fact there’s not much bad news at all. Despite this decline in earnings, Microsoft’s actual revenue increased by 4%, beating analysts expectations, to $18.06 billion. Once we take out the write down that Microsoft charged itself for aQuantive, earnings came to 73 cents per share, which easily beat the analysts expectations of 62 cents per share.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Most of the company’s sales in the last quarter can from its Office suite of productivity software, Windows 7 and especially from computer servers. The upbeat server and business software sales helped to offset the slow down in consumer products which have slowed down coming up to the release of Windows 8.

There’s nothing too much for investors to worry about at the moment, this loss is rather insignificant in Microsoft’s balance sheet and will be easily recovered in the next quarter unless something totally unexpected happens. Investors are quite interested in Windows 8, and as a result shares for Microsoft’s stock actually climbed after the announcement.

It will be interested to see how Microsoft performs once Windows 8 is released. Could it be a raging success? Or will it prove to be a disastrous move?

 

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Windows 8 Release Date October 26http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/20/windows-8-release-date-october-26/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/20/windows-8-release-date-october-26/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 23:44:32 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95165 October 22, 2009 the debut of Windows 7 occurred. Now three years later, almost to the day, October 26, 2012 Windows 8 will be released. There has probably not been so much anticipation about a Microsoft Operating System product since Windows 95. Windows 95, after all, marked the beginning of Microsoft’s move away from the Windows NT OS version.

The Schedule

The Windows 8 version will be released to manufacturing in August. This means that for the next several weeks, the final changes will be implemented and tested. If those changes pass the test, they will be implemented, if not they will be held back and reserved for release in service packs in the future.

One thing though is that their hardware / OS software implementations should not be on the last go round. I mean if they don’t have the hardware and the OS configured to run correctly by this time, then you can expect several explosions to occur either at the manufacturing level, or when they release the product to the public.

On the other hand, final software changes will take place so that the Metro user interface operates as it should, taking into account suggestions either made by developers or by the public.

 

What to expect

So once the OS appears what will happen? Microsoft will announce the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 for $39.99.  In addition if you want more, you can add Windows Media Center at no cost through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade.


The Windows Media Center lets you watch TV and movies, and listen to your favorite music, right from your PC.

When you use Windows.com to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant makes sure your PC is ready for Windows 8. It will give you a detailed compatibility report. It will let you know of any potential issues you may have to address before or after the upgrade and it will outline actions to take. Then if everything is ok it will walk you through the upgrade process step-by-step from purchase to download and then start the installation.

 

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A Winning Combination – Win Key + X and Classic Shellhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/20/win-key-tool/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/20/win-key-tool/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 23:19:14 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95108 While there are many useful keystroke combinations for Windows 8, perhaps the Win key + X combination is one of the most useful. It opens up access to Windows managerial tasks providing access to many useful tools – Control Panel and functions – Command Prompt, Run and Search and so on. If you are working on Metro, if you want to access the Desktop, press the Win key + X and choose Desktop. The Win key + X combination works no matter if you are in Desktop or the Metro mode.

Win key + X Menu

For those who don’t know about Win key + X, give it a try and I’m sure you’ll find it one of the best keystroke shortcuts available in Windows 8.

Does Win key + X compensate for the loss of the Start Menu?

Yes, as it makes access to Windows managerial tasks easy and No, because the Start menu is still missing.

If you install Classic Shell, see my previous blog “Get the Start Menu back with Classic Shell“, you can have both worlds. Classic Shell adds the icing on the cake!

Tip! Normally pressing the Win key toggles between Metro and Desktop but on installing Classic Shell, Windows 8  automatically defaults to Desktop view. So, if you hanker for the Metro screen, press Shift + left click on the Start button.

Start Menu from Classic Shell

This combination, Win + X and Classic Shell, will improve your productivity and maybe make Windows 8 more user friendly. Let us hope that, when the final version of Windows 8 is released, Microsoft hasn’t shut the door on the add-on, Classic Shell.

 

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Office 2013 but Oh, So Bland!http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/19/office-2013-bland/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/19/office-2013-bland/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 03:35:39 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95114 George Garza  has written a good insight into the new Office 2013 (See: “A Quick View of Office 2013“). It  is easy to download and it installs effortlessly, provided of course you have a Microsoft Hotmail account or a Live Mail account.

I am using Word 2013 from the Microsoft’s Office 2013 package to write this blog. It is a very acceptable application much like its predecessor Word 2010.

One aspect of it that does not grab me is its “blandness“. The toolbars and icons are pretty well colourless and with a white background (can this be changed?), it looks so undistinguished. I’ve checked out the other apps in Office 2013 and find they have the same bland look.

Downloading and installing Office 2013 requires you to use a registered Hotmail or Live Mail account. If you have neither you need to create and register and account before completing the installation process.

Accessing Office 2013?

After installation Windows 8 users you will find all the program icons as individual apps in Metro. These can be added to the Taskbar for easy access when working on the Desktop.

 

For those users who are still persisting with Windows 7, once installed Office 2013 appears under Programs in the Start menu.

 

Providing Feed-back to Microsoft

In the top right-hand corner is a smiley icon. Clicking it gives you the choice to “Send a Smile” or “Send a Frown“. Selecting either opens a report dialog box where you are able to give your opinion on the application. Some may find this a bit gimmicky but when Windows 8 was first released Microsoft listened to many suggestions, not all of course, as the Start men is still a “no-no”. So take the opportunity to give the Office 2013′s developers some feedback.

 

 

The two illustrations displayed below indicate how you can use this feedback method. This device is designed to help Microsoft developers gauge the public reactions. One aspect of this which some might find interesting is that you are obliged to include your e-mail address.

It should be remembered that Office 2013 is still only in beta mode but I’m sure your comments may bear fruit in the final wash-up.

Saving Your Work

Saving your work in Word 2013 has a new twist to it. You can save it directly to your SkyDrive account, to the computer (this defaults to the Documents folder) or to Add a place. With the latter you have the option of choosing another location say a portable hard drive or a folder elsewhere. Pretty flexible, eh!

As we all know there is a push by Microsoft and others contenders, DropBox and Google, to save data on the Cloud. Saving and storing files on SkyDrive is in line with Microsoft’s push to make this the common storage location for the future.

Huge numbers of users downloaded Windows 8 in all its versions taking advantage of Microsoft’s offer. Now its time to do the same with Office 2013. You will be pleasantly surprised by it. So do this but don’t forget to register your views about its usability.

 

 

 

 

 

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Get the Start Menu back with Classic Shellhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/start-menu-classic-shell/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/start-menu-classic-shell/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 22:17:56 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95065 In a recent blog I wrote about Start8, an application that provides access to “Run” and “Shutdown” and so on.

While this is a useful addition to Windows 8 Release Preview, there is an even better option available called Classic Shell. This replicates the old Start menu totally. In addition, right clicking the Start button provides access to its Settings allowing further tweaking.

Classic Shell not only provides a user-friendly version of the Start menu but it also contains three other toolsClassic Explorer Settings, Classic IE9 Settings and Classic Shell Update. The former two allow you to re-configure Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer IE9.

However, my main interest in this tool getting back a usable version of the former Start menu. I leave others to tinker with the other three options.

You can access Classic Shell from this link -  http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/

After you download this application and install it you will find four APPS on the Metro screen. Classic Shell works fine with Windows 8 Release Review.

 

Shell Apps

 

 

On installation you will find the four Apps in the Metro menu. As most users of Windows 8 Release Preview know by now you can add these Apps to your Taskbar.

Once installed just click on the Start button and ‘voila’ you got your Start menu  back! Cheers many will say. Personally, I’ve learnt to live without it having tried all four versions of Windows 8 but each to his or her own.

 

Start Menu

One user, Annet Kalipso, wrote the following review of Classic Shell . . . ” But the best thing is that Classic Shell 3.5 puts its beautiful Start Menu on Windows 8 Consumer Preview, turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse! . . .”

I feel Annet’s comments sums it all up but I’ll leave it to you to decide!

 

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EU Chases Microsoft Again Over Bundling IE In Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/eu-chases-microsoft-bundling-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/eu-chases-microsoft-bundling-windows-8/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 20:53:49 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95061 I’m sure plenty of you remember the whole antitrust case that Microsoft was involved with in the months leading up to the release of Windows 7. The European Commission ruled that Microsoft were stifling competition by bundling Internet Explorer as the default browser in not only Windows 7, but also all it’s operating systems.

As a result Microsoft left it up to OEM’s to choose which browser would be installed and also displayed a browser ballot screen to Windows XP, Vista and 7 users who still had IE as their default browser.

Now, three years later as Microsoft is getting ready to launch Windows 8, the EU has raised the same case again with Microsoft. This time the EU is examining if Microsoft is unfairly favouring their own IE by discouraging other PC makers from making rival browsers the default in Windows 8.

In addition to this, they are also examining whether or not Microsoft is being unfair by only allowing IE to be installed on  ARM devices running Windows RT. With Windows RT, the user is not able to install any third party applications, due to hardware limitations.

First off I think that this is quite unfair when you consider that Apple have been bundling Safari as the default browser with OS X for years, and Apple does not allow any other third party browsers to be installed on iOS. The browsers available on it are simply skins of Safari and not full third party browsers.

Considering that Apple hold a large majority of the tablet and smartphone market, I feel the EU is being slightly unfair here by filing this against Microsoft.

The EU is also focusing on how Microsoft have “fallen short” when it comes to the browser ballot screen. They claim that Microsoft failed to give 28 million users the choice to choose a different default browser. Microsoft apologised and claimed that this was in part due to a “technical error”.

If Microsoft are proven guilty on these charges, they could face hefty fines. The EU has the ability to impose fines of up to 10% of their turnover, which would be no small figure given the size of Microsoft.

But I feel if the EU is going after Microsoft for something like this, then surely they should be taking it up with Apple as well? Apple essentially do the exact same thing, just their market share isn’t as large.

 

 

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Microsoft Reveals Office 2013 and Offers Public Previewhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/microsoft-reveals-office-2013-offers-public-preview/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/microsoft-reveals-office-2013-offers-public-preview/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 16:50:24 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95056

Yesterday, Microsoft introduced the latest version of their popular Office suite of productivity applications. Office 2013 ushers in a new era of productivity computing for both Microsoft and the world. The new version of Office brings a subscription model, cloud integration, touch improvements and a new Metro-styled look.

 

New Look and Feel

Trying to figure out which change is the most drastic is a challenge. On one hand Microsoft completely revamped the UI. Improving touch input and flattening out the user interface, Microsoft created apps which now closely resemble the full screen Metro apps found in Windows 8, which is the point. The new Office apps take their cue from the Zune PC software, which Windows Phone users currently use to update, manage, download and upload their media to Windows Phone devices. The infamous ribbon UI is still present in the new version of Office, but can be hidden and is hidden by default.

Microsoft has also updated the icons for Office 2013. The new icons are flatter and more consistent with the metro style and theme in their new products.

 

Cloud Integration is Seamless

One could also argue that the new SkyDrive integration is the biggest change to Office. Office 2013 uses your SkyDrive or SharePoint accounts to store your documents. This way you’re always using the most up-to-date document and can access it from anywhere as long as you possess an internet connection. SkyDrive storage works just as a local drive does. When you first install and setup Office 2013, you will login with your Microsoft Account credentials and SkyDrive will be enabled by default. Of course, the user can change these defaults if they wish.

 

New Cloud-Based Delivery Method

Keeping with the cloud theme, I would submit that the greatest change in Office 2013 is the new delivery system for Office apps. The new system effectively streams a copy of Office to your computer, keeping all of your documents and settings intact. This ability would, for example, allow a user to log into their Office apps on a friend’s computer and continue working on a document that they started at home on their personal computer. The new system installs in minutes and is pretty impressive if I say so myself.

There are a ton of new and interesting features coming in the next version of Microsoft Office and this post is just the tip of the iceberg, so tune into the official Office Next blog for tons of news and information on the coming software.

Don’t take my word for it though. Microsoft is offering a public preview of their new suite of productivity apps for users to try for themselves. You can try Office 2013 for free here.

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Start8 for those still hankering for the Start Menuhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/16/hankering-start-menu/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/16/hankering-start-menu/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2012 17:41:01 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95030 Well the sound of fury about the demise of the Start menu in all versions of Windows 8 so far released certainly has not abated. Microsoft are resolute in their decision to dump the Start menu.

For those who hanker after a solution here is a website that will resolve your problem. It is Stardock. Go to this web address – www.stardock.com/products/start8 and download the fix. It is a freebie and it works with Windows Release Preview.

Using this product you can:

  • Add a “Start” menu to the Windows 8 taskbar
  •  Enable quick access to install applications
  •  Add “Run” option via a right-click menu
  •  Add “Shutdown” option via a right click menu
  •  Customize the Start button image

. . . and more

When you go to download Start8  you are  required to add your email address to access a download link. Check you email account and you will see Stardock’s invitation to download Start8. It’s well worth considering!

 

 

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Microsoft May Only Offer OEM and Upgrade Versions of Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/15/microsoft-offer-oem-upgrade-versions-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/15/microsoft-offer-oem-upgrade-versions-windows-8/#comments Sun, 15 Jul 2012 12:15:46 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95027 More rumours have started floating around the web now as we start to approach the release date for Windows 8. This latest rumour suggests that Microsoft will not offer a full version of Windows 8 to consumers. Rather they will only be offering OEM and Upgrade versions of Windows 8.

If Microsoft were to proceed ahead with this, it wouldn’t really affect people too much in fairness. The vast majority of consumers will be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s upgrade offer and get Windows 8 for just $39.99 if they have either a copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.

If you aren’t upgrading from one of these editions of Windows, you’ll have to go and purchase an OEM version of Windows 8 which is typically reserved for Hardware makers. It’s commonly referred to as the “System Builder” version of Windows and is pretty much identical to other versions of Windows. The only drawback with an OEM version of Windows 8 is that you are only allowed to install it to one motherboard and you don’t get the 90 days support provided by Microsoft.

However the OEM version is generally cheaper than a regular license so it works in the consumers favour if anything. For example the OEM version of Windows 7 Professional costs $139.99 while the retail version will set you back $299.99.

Bear in mind though that the upgrade version of Windows 8 Pro will be just $39.99 so I doubt Microsoft will bring the price of the OEM version much lower than that.

This information was brought to light after Microsoft insiders Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott, claimed to hear that full retail copies of  Windows 8 won’t be available.

All in all, this isn’t really going to affect anyone too much, but it’s interesting that Microsoft look set to drop the full version of their software.

Source:

PcWorld

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Acer Offering Free Windows 8 Pro Upgradeshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/14/acer-offering-free-windows-8-pro-upgrades/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/14/acer-offering-free-windows-8-pro-upgrades/#comments Sat, 14 Jul 2012 15:18:39 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95021 Acer have announced that they will be offering their users free upgrades to Windows 8 Pro if they purchase an Acer Ultrabook with Windows 7 now. The deal applies on the Acer Aspire M3, M5, S3 and S5 and is valid for any devices purchased between June 2nd and January 31st 2013, the same period as Microsoft’s Windows 8 upgrade deal.

Microsoft’s own upgrade scheme entitles users to a copy of Windows 8 Pro when it’s released for just $14.99 if they purchase a Windows 7 machine now. Microsoft will also be offering upgrades to all users with a copy of either Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP for just $39.99 when Windows 8 is released, sometime in October.

Acer won’t be supplying you with a copy of Windows 8 directly however. The way the process will work is as follows:

You claim your upgrade to Windows 8 Pro at the special price of $14.99 via Microsoft’s website. Once you’ve paid and received your copy of Windows 8, you can then go to Acers Windows Refund site and submit an application to have that $14.99 refunded.

The latest Acer Ultrabook deserves the latest operating system, so upgrade your Acer Ultrabook to Windows 8 through the Microsoft Upgrade Program and then Acer will refund the cost of your upgrade,

It’s a nice gesture from Acer in fairness, they have worked hard in the Ultrabook category, trying to push these new breed of laptops into the market.

Windows 8 is a steal anyway as it is, Microsoft has never sold an OS for as cheap as the $39.99 that Windows 8 will cost, so it’s certainly worthwhile to upgrade to it.

Source:

Acer

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Installing Linux on a Windows Machinehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/13/installing-linux-windows-machine/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/13/installing-linux-windows-machine/#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2012 11:17:13 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=94992 This is a guest post by Kate. If you want to guest post on this site, then please read our guidelines here.

 

For years, Windows and Mac have seemed to be the only operating systems that were worth paying attention to. All of that seems to be changing, however, as Linux becomes ever the more prevalent in the tech world. Whether users are drawn to Linux because of its open source software that can be obtained free of charge, or they are looking to develop programs across a myriad of different platforms, there are plenty of reasons to install Linux as an operating system. Fortunately, for those currently using a system with Windows, the process is quite simple.

Live Disk Linux

If you only have a fleeting need for Linux, installing it on a live disk could potentially be the best option for you. Linux on a disk is great for those users who only need to run the operating system sporadically, and allows the operating system to be launched as necessary. Live disks can either be obtained directly from Linux, whenever a new distribution takes place, or by purchasing the CD inside of a technology magazine. Simply popping the disk into a computer should be enough to get the operating system functioning.

Linux on the Virtual PC

A slightly more involved installation of Linux is running the operating system in a virtual environment. Windows computers can easily run virtual machines. Some of these virtual environments can be created with a paid software application, whereas others can be created with free products available on the market. In fact, Virtual PC 2007 is a free product that has been developed specifically for this purpose by Microsoft. Running Virtual PC 2007, users can install Linux and use it specifically within the environment as needed.

Just like the live disk option, running Linux separately from the Windows operating system experience presents a couple of unique challenges. The primary such obstacle is that running Linux in this manner taxes the system resources pretty significantly, as RAM and virtual memory are being split between the two operating systems. One good way to avoid this issue is to upgrade PCs that are currently using lackluster hardware. If you have a significant amount of memory and system resources available to be utilized, you shouldn’t experience any issues with this.

Linux Through Wubi

Finally, there is one other way that you can easily experience the wonder that is Linux on your Windows machine. Wubi allows Linux to be installed like a simple file on the machine, which can be opened and closed at will. While hibernation mode will not work with a Wubi installation, it will nevertheless be able to provide computer users with the vast majority of features of a more traditional installation. To install the latest Linux release, Ubuntu, on your computer using Wubi, you will need to first download the Wubi installer to your computer system. Using this download, you will be able to launch Linux and begin using the operating system immediately on the machine.

No matter why a computer user chooses to give Linux a go, installing on the operating system should not feel like mission impossible. By considering all of the options available, most users should be able to determine what method is the best option for their machine. Of course, should Linux prove to be a more enjoyable computing experience that that offered by a Windows machine, the entire system can be overhauled with a Linux installation. Doing so is a bit more involved, but could be worth it in the long run, assuming the computer user no longer has any need for a Windows-based operating system.

 ABOUT AUTHOR: An article is written by Kate Willer.  I like social networks, Google android, antimalware doctor and psychology. I’m interested in IT services, computer upgrades, computer repair, different computer apps. Love travelling and skiing.

 

 

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Windows 7 Claims The Market As Windows 8 Loomshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/12/windows-7-claims-market-windows-8-looms/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/12/windows-7-claims-market-windows-8-looms/#comments Thu, 12 Jul 2012 21:12:52 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=94985 It may have taken nearly 3 years and a lot of marketing, but Windows 7 now finally seems to have claimed the spot outright as the number one OS in the world. According to StatCounter – Windows 7 broke through the 50% operating system market share barrier at the end of last month.

However other market share companies such as NetMarketShare claim that Windows 7 has only 42% of the market at this point in time, whilst claiming that Windows XP is still the market leader with 44%.

Personally I think I’d be inclined to sway more towards StatCounters market share results. Windows XP has been around for more than 10 years and I think it’s time has well and truly passed. Windows 7 has been argued by many as the best Windows operating system to date, and the market share results prove this. By comparison, Windows Vista was never a users first preference, nor their second! It only managed a meagre 23.5% of the total market in the 3-4 years it was on the market. Growth rates compared to Windows 7 were unimpressive to say the least.

The chart below graphs the life of the various operating systems since 2008 until last month.

Windows XP is still holding on, but continuing to lose market share which is understandable but it still holds an admirable 29.91% of the market which isn’t bad at all when you consider Windows Vista never even gained this much of the market in its whole life cycle.

An interesting trend to note here is the subtle decline of Mac OSX over the last couple of months. In April it held 7.66% of the market, but that has dropped each month and now lies at a shade over 7% (7.05%). What’s odd about this is that Apple are recording record sales for Mac’s nearly every quarter, yet these figures don’t seem to be making an impact on market share.

Of course the figures I’m supplying come from StatCounter, as I mentioned earlier, NetMarketShares data paints a slightly different picture and still places Windows XP as the number one OS.

Nobody can say for certain if Windows 7 is the definitive OS, but one things for sure, we are going to see it’s growth suddenly stop in the next 3 months or so once Windows 8 finally hits the market.

It will be interesting to see how Windows 8 performs in relation to Windows 7. Windows 7 broke nearly all the sales records for Microsoft in the time that it’s been on the market, so Windows 8 certainly has some big boots to fill.

What do you think? Will Windows 8 take off like Windows 7 did?

Let us know in the comments below

Source:

StatCounter

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Server 2012 to be Released in Septemberhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/11/server-2012-released-september/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/11/server-2012-released-september/#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2012 22:56:04 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=94974 Server 2012 will probably make its debut in September, according to Microsoft where it made the announcement at the Worldwide Partner Conference. The release to manufacturers will occur in August.

What will Server 2012 bring to the System?

Much of the talk this year has focused on the replacement for Windows 7 with Windows 8. Moreover, Microsoft has drawn a lot of attention with its own smart mobile system and just recently with the Surface tablet, but for business operations, the talk about Server 2012 has been relatively quiet.

 

The era of standalone servers is gone. Servers now are expected to be devices that not only connect to the Internet and manage networks at the local level, they have to perform newer operations. So in that vein, Windows Server 2012 will manage on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments for enterprises. Then along side of Windows Server 2012, its cloud counterpart, Windows Azure and Microsoft System Center, will work together for managing the entire system. That make up will be the Microsoft “Cloud OS.”

The VMware Challenge

Microsoft’s big push will be to challenge VMware in the virtualization field. Virtualization is the computer inside a computer, where the virtual computer runs on its own memory and processor, separate and independent from its host. This allows separate programs to run independently. And the mark of a good virtual machine is how well and fast it operates in the environment.

So how well will the virtual machine run in the Server 2012 environment? According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2012 will support up to 320 logical processors per server. It will also support up to 4 terabytes of memory per server plus up to 64 virtual processors per virtual machine. That is a lot of horsepower.

Then there is the feature called offloaded data transfer, or ODX. This allows faster data backups to storage, even for cloud computing backup operations.

 

For now, Server 2012 is quietly making its place as the server for advanced business cloud operations and virtualization. The new dimensions that will come from this are just beginning to become apparent. But what is clear is that the expectations of the IT vision for LAN systems will change. Server 2012 is a prelude to what the computer industry will be looking at in the future.

Source Microsoft

Download the Release Candidate

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Microsoft Says Ditch Desktop Gadgets Or Risk Viruseshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/11/microsoft-ditch-desktop-gadgets-risk-viruses/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/11/microsoft-ditch-desktop-gadgets-risk-viruses/#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2012 20:01:32 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=94970 Windows 7 and Windows Vista users will be pretty familiar with the desktop gadgets that come bundled in the OS. I personally find them quite helpful, they just sit there on my desktop, adding a bit of life to it and providing me with snippets of helpful information. However, it looks like that Microsoft overlooked a big security vulnerability with the desktop gadgets.

Microsoft have issued a Fix It solution which informs us that there’s a security vulnerability with the desktop gadgets which could allow remote code execution.

Mickey Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg have found that the desktop widgets’ web-based code have flaws that would allow malicious Gadgets, or even hijacked legitimate Gadgets, to compromise a PC without having to go through the usual avenues of attack. Computerworld reports that the researchers are going to disclose information about these vulnerabilities at the annual “Black Hat” Conference on July 26th.

Microsoft’s quick fix for this security solution is to just remove the desktop gadgets all together. We can only assume that Microsoft are going to work on a actual security patch in the very near future, as advising us to remove the feature all together isn’t really a very adequate solution.

This problem is only prevalent in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Interestingly, Microsoft haven’t mentioned anything about this being a risk the consumer and developer previews of Windows 8. Desktop gadgets will be a feature that won’t make it to the final RTM edition of Windows 8 so we’ve heard so it won’t be a problem there.

So just a heads up to everyone that they may want to apply this “Fix It” if you’re concerned about your security. However I imagine that Microsoft will release a general patch for this soon as they can’t expect much of the general public to know about this vulnerability and actually go through the process of removing the desktop gadgets.

Source:

Computer World

Microsoft – Fix It

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Windows 8 will be available October 2012http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/09/windows-8-october-2012/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/09/windows-8-october-2012/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 17:10:19 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=94958 Microsoft has just revealed that its next operating system Windows 8 will be available at the end of October 2012. News broke earlier today at the Worldwide Partner Conference when Tami Reller announced that first devices with the operating system would ship at that time. The Windows 8 RTM, the last step that still needs undertaking before the release of the final version is expected to be available in the first week of August.

Availability at the end of October means that Microsoft and its hardware partners will benefit from the Holiday season, which is the most important season of the year for obvious reasons.

One of the first devices that we can expect to see in October will be a Samsung Windows RT tablet, a version of the operating system optimized for ARM processors. This particular version of the operating system will ship with Microsoft Office, but is not capable of running regular desktop applications otherwise.

It will be interesting to see how the tablet fares against Microsoft’s own Surface tablet which may be released at around the same time.

windows 7 to 8 upgrade

It is likely that Microsoft’s Windows 8 Upgrade promotion will also start in October of 2012. We have reported earlier that Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users are all eligible to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. This is a very convenient way for consumers, as Microsoft has done away with upgrade limitations based on the Windows versions.

All Windows users pay $39.99 for the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, regardless of the version they have access to.

There is however a difference in upgrade procedure, as only Windows 7 users can migrate their installed applications, preferences and personal files during the upgrade. Vista users are limited to preferences and personal files, while XP users can only migrate their personal files and nothing else.

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