Everything Microsoft - Latest Microsoft News, Guides, Reviews & Themes 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 Tue, 06 Nov 2012 16:06:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Microsoft Surface Pro pricing and availability revealed by German shopping sitehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/11/06/96241/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/11/06/96241/#comments Tue, 06 Nov 2012 16:02:54 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=96241 Microsoft’s Surface device family comes in two flavors: first the Surface RT which is powered by ARM hardware and Windows 8 RT, and second the Surface Pro, powered by Intel hardware and Windows 8 Pro. The Surface RT launched with the Windows 8 operating system on October 26, and while it has received mixed early reviews, it seems to have been in high demand as it is currently out of stock on Microsoft’s official website.

It professionals and tech-savvy users seem to favor the Surface Pro over the RT version, as it supports traditional desktop software and Windows Store apps, while the RT version only supports the latter.

Microsoft has not revealed Surface Pro pricing information nor when the devices will be available for purchase in select countries. What we know is that the Surface Pro will be released months after the release of Windows 8, but not if that means at the end of this year or at the beginning of the next.

The German online retailer Notebook.de lists both Surface Pro devices on its website revealing pricing and general availability information. It is important to note that Microsoft has not yet confirmed – or rejected – the information on the site, and that it may very well be that the information on the site are preliminary and subject to change.

Microsoft surface pro pricing

The 64 Gigabyte Surface Pro is listed for €809 on the site which includes 19% VAT.  Using today’s currency exchange course, this would result in $1,033 in the US or £646 in the UK. The US price with the VAT deducted is $836.

That’s about $140 more than you pay for a 64 Gigabyte Surface with Windows RT and touch cover. It is however not clear if the Surface Pro ships with a cover included. The product photo on the site lists the Surface Pro with cover, but does not mention whether a cover is included or not.

The 128 Gigabyte Surface Pro is listed for €909 on the site which equals $1,161 or £726. The VAT deducted price is $940.

Both Surface Pro devices share the same hardware, with the exception of the hard disk which is either 64 Gigabyte or 128 Gigabyte in size.

  • 10.6″ Full HD ClearType multi-touch display with a resolution of 1920×1080
  • Intel Core i5 3rd generation processor
  • 4 Gigabyte of RAM
  • 64 Gigabyte or 128 Gigabyte Solid State Drive hard disk
  • Intel HD 4000 graphics
  • Wireless Lan 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Back and front TrueColor HD cameras and internal microphone
  • VaporMG
  • Stylus
  • Weight: 900 mg

The site is accepting preorders and lists both devices as deliverable in 3-4 weeks indicating an end of November or beginning of December release for the Surface Pro.

Microsoft seems to have picked the right price for the Surface RT if you use the out of stock signs as an indicator of the success of the device family. Is the pricing right for the Surface Pro as well? The device, shipping with more powerful hardware and Windows 8 Pro, is more expensive than many of the traditional laptops and notebooks that other hardware manufacturers are making available. The 14.1 inch Asus Vivobook for instance retails for $736, the 15.6 inch Acer Aspire V5-571P-6642 for $799, both featuring a touch screen laptop.

The Surface Pro 64 GB costs  €110 to €200 more than the Surface RT with 64 GB and touch cover depending on whether the former ships with a cover included or not.

Assuming that the pricing information is correct, do you think that the Surface Pro is reasonably priced?

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How To Access Network Shares With Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/28/access-network-shares-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/28/access-network-shares-windows-8/#comments Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:42:45 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=96108 Another significant change in Windows 8 is that the primary login method is via a Microsoft Live account, rather than via a local account.  This causes problems if you don’t use a homegroup to share files around your home network, or if you’ve setup traditional network shares to share files between PCs as you’ll no longer be able to access Network shares in Windows 8.

How To Access Network Shares in Windows 8

If you’ve tried to access a network share in Windows 8, you’ve either not been able to open folders or been presented with a login dialog.


The problem with the login dialog is even though there is a ‘remember my credentials’ button, it doesn’t seem to work, so you’ll have to enter your credentials each and every time.  To avoid having to enter any details when accessing network shares using a Windows 8 Live account, you can store your credentials using the Windows Vault utility.

  1. Go to the Start screen and type vault
  2. Click on the Settings filter on the right to display Manage Windows Credentials – select this option
  3. In the Credential Windows that opens up, select Add a Windows credential
  4. In the popup windows that appears, enter the name of the PC you want to connect to – just the name e.g Homeserver not \\Homeserver
  5. Also enter the Username and password and then click ok
  6. Reboot when convienient

After rebooting you’ll be able to connect to your network shares directly with your windows 8 live account in the same way as you would with an old style windows local account.

Thanks to WinSuperSite for the tip.

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How To Access Startup Folder In Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/28/access-startup-folder-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/10/28/access-startup-folder-windows-8/#comments Sun, 28 Oct 2012 11:02:21 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=96106 Windows 8’s new interface has some huge benefits once you get used to it, but it does away with a lot of tried and tested favorites like easy access to the Windows  Startup folder.  I couldn’t find an easy way to do, so I thought I’d share the best way I’ve found to access the Windows 8 startup folder.

How To Access The Windows 8 Startup Folder

  1. Press the Windows and R keys at the same time to launch the run window
  2. Enter ‘ %AppData%‘ and hit return
  3. Navigate to C:\Users\<User Profile folder name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup to add/remove items from your startup folder
  4. Optional: To access your windows 8 startup folder quickly, rightclick on the startup folder and select ‘Pin to Start’ to add the startup folder to the Windows homescreen

If you have a quicker method, then please share it in the comments below.

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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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Microsoft reveals Office 2013 pricinghttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/17/microsoft-reveals-office-2013-pricing/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/09/17/microsoft-reveals-office-2013-pricing/#comments Tue, 18 Sep 2012 07:49:26 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95541 Microsoft today has revealed the final pricing structure for all versions of Office 2013. The company decided to make available subscription-based and standalone packages of the latest version of Office. The subscription packages start at $99.99 for a year and allow installations on up to five Windows PCs or Macs. Standalone versions of Office 2013 start at $139.99 and are limited to one PC or Mac installation only.

This highlights Microsoft intention to drive users towards a subscription-based model as it is not only costing less but also offering more features than the standalone versions of Office. The biggest feature without doubt is the 5 PC or Mac license that Office 365 users get, but that is not the only benefit of the subscription model. Office 365 Home Premium, the smallest subscription-based model offers Outlook, Publisher and Access which only Office 2013 Professional is offering, and that version retails for $399.99.

Subscription-based users on top of that get 20 Gigabyte of SkyDrive storage (it is not clear if that is added on top of existing storage or a minimum that is made available to Office 365 users) and 60 Skype world minutes per month.

Office 365 Small Business Premium users get a shared calendar and a 25 Gigabyte mailbox, 10 Gigabyte plus 500 Megabyte per user access to business document storage, HD video conferencing and the option to create company websites, share documents and stay connected to a team. What they do not get is the SkyDrive storage and the Skype world minutes per month.

Take a look at the following table that highlights the new Office line-up for consumers and small businesses (click on the image to display it in full size).

office 2013 pricing

Especially the limitation to installations on 1 PC or Mac is a serious blow to home Office users, who previously got access to a version of Office that they could install on 3 PCs or Macs.

The subscription model looks cheaper on first glance, but will end up costing more in the long run, especially if there is only one user and one device the program is used on.  (via The Verge)


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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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Samsung Reveals First Windows Phone 8 Device: ATIV Shttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/samsung-reveals-windows-phone-8-device-ativ/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/samsung-reveals-windows-phone-8-device-ativ/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2012 04:37:45 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95503 Samsung has become the first Windows Phone manufacturer to reveal a Windows Phone 8 device, beating Nokia to the punch just days before their own joint press event with Microsoft.

The Windows Phone Blog revealed pictures and specs for the new device just ahead of Samsung’s own announcement on Thursday. The device, which appears to be modeled after the popular Samsung Galaxy S III, will feature the following specs:

  • 8.7mm brushed aluminum chassis
  • 4.8” HD Super AMOLED display made from Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  • 1.5Ghz dual-core processor
  • 1GB of onboard RAM
  • 8MP autofocus rear camera
  • 1.9MP front-facing camera
  • 16GB or 32GB storage models
  • MicroSD slot for expanded storage
  • 2300mAh battery
  • NFC (Near Field Communications)

Here’s a gallery of pictures released by Microsoft of the new handset:

1172_IMG_5525_thumb_037F65F3 1641_IMG_5550_thumb_40EFCA7A 4338_IMG_5530_thumb_3B8159D6 4848_IMG_5522_thumb_4595FB01 6675_IMG_5526_thumb_2038DB08 6811_IMG_5542_thumb_4FD6F994 7041_IMG_5533_thumb_1D1718ED 8272_IMG_5535_thumb_3EA31BF1 samsung-ativ-s-_120830161559-741


No word on pricing or availability just yet, but the author of the post, Ben Rudolph, suggests that we will be seeing more Windows Phone 8 devices to come during IFA 2012. Here’s a look at the photos put up in the blog post:

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Windows Phone 8 to be Released on October 29th?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/windows-phone-8-released-october-29th/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/windows-phone-8-released-october-29th/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2012 04:31:40 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95498 We are apparently just under two months from the launch of Windows Phone 8, according to a source of ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. Microsoft has already teased a few new features of the new mobile OS, but has left most of the consumer features a mystery. Certain features have been leaked via an early look at the Windows Phone 8 SDK, but the event on September 5th is when most believe Microsoft will finally detail the coming update.

In a post about the crazy upcoming release schedule of Microsoft’s most ambitious products to date, Mary Jo reveals what she has found out about the next major release for Windows Phone. Here is what she has to say:

“October 29 will be the official ‘launch’ of Windows Phone 8, I am told. I’m hearing this event will likely be on the west coast, either in San Francisco or Los Angeles. (Again, I don’t know exactly where. A photo studio? Outside an Apple store?) But this is considered the “consumer launch” of the product, with handsets to be made available starting a week or two later, meaning early November, as other sources of mine had indicated.”

Samsung released the very first Windows Phone 8 device just yesterday and Nokia is ready to deliver some good news for the platform on the 5th in a joint event with Microsoft. We are also hearing that HTC will be revealing their plans shortly after that, so get ready for a wild ride over the next couple of months.

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Microsoft Lists the First Wave of Windows 8 Xbox LIVE Gameshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/microsoft-lists-wave-windows-8-xbox-live-games/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/31/microsoft-lists-wave-windows-8-xbox-live-games/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2012 04:25:49 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95492 One of the promises with the next version of Microsoft Windows is the integration of Xbox LIVE functionality into the OS itself. Microsoft has used the past year to merge their operating systems, Xbox console, mobile platform and productivity apps to form a more cohesive and consistent whole. The new Games app in Windows 8 gives the user a place to store and purchase games; edit and monitor their avatar; interact socially with other gamers and keep track of their gamer points and achievements.

Of course this is all well and good, but none of this will come to fruition without a hearty and ever-evolving catalog of games for the platform. Today, we got a glimpse of what Xbox LIVE gaming on Windows 8 will be.

Microsoft has detailed the very first wave of Xbox LIVE Windows 8 games. The games will be available on October 26th through the Windows 8 games app. This list is just an initial push of Xbox LIVE-enabled with more to come through the holiday season.

  1. 4 Elements II Special Edition
  2. A World of Keflings
  3. Adera: Episode 1
  4. Adera: Episode 2
  5. Adera: Episode 3
  6. Angry Birds
  7. Angry Birds Space
  8. Big Buck Hunter Pro
  9. BlazBlue Calamity Trigger
  10. Collateral Damage
  11. Crash Course GO
  12. Cut the Rope
  13. Disney Fairies
  14. Dragon’s Lair
  15. Field & Stream Fishing
  16. Fruit Ninja
  17. Gravity Guy
  18. Gunstringer: Dead Man Running
  19. Hydro Thunder Hurricane
  20. IloMilo
  21. iStunt 2
  22. Jetpack Joyride
  23. Kinectimals Unleashed
  24. Microsoft Mahjong
  25. Microsoft Minesweeper
  26. Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  27. Monster Island
  28. PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX
  29. Pinball FX 2
  30. Reckless Racing Ultimate
  31. Rocket Riot 3D
  32. Shark Dash
  33. Shuffle Party
  34. Skulls of the Shogun
  35. Taptiles
  36. Team Crossword
  37. The Harvest HD
  38. Toy Soldiers Cold War
  39. Wordament
  40. Zombies!!!

For just an initial list, this is a pretty impressive list of kick-off games for Windows 8. Not to mention all of the great indie games we are likely to see from devs in the Windows Store.

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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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Leaving Everything-Microsofthttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/leaving-everythingmicrosoft/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/leaving-everythingmicrosoft/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2012 18:41:15 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95437 Well today’s the day that Windows 8 is released to the world (with both Microsoft’s MSDN and TechNet websites promptly crashing under the weight of its own popularity) and so it seems a fitting day for me to announce that, sadly, I’m leaving the team here at Everything-Microsoft.  When I joined back in May 2009 my life was very different.  I was about to start writing my self-published Windows 7 Power Users Guide that I released at the end of August that year, around the same time the RTM versions of Windows 7 had become available.

Since then, back in the days when I needed to have a proper job, things have changed substantially.  The Power Users Guide led to my being signed by Microsoft Press the following year with Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out being released almost exactly one year after the launch of the Windows 7 OS, followed by my being the first (of hopefully many) MVP awardee on the writing team.  Now though I’ve just finished no fewer than three Windows 8 books which have all now gone into production, and I’ve started a fourth for release later this year.

For the new books, there’s one for complete beginners, another for power users and the next edition of troubleshooting.  Lastly my latest Windows 8 book is an Exam Reference for a new Microsoft IT Pro qualification.  I won’t bore you with the details but you can find out more here.

In that time it’s not only my life that’s changed but the whole IT industry.  Back in 2009 the world hadn’t even heard the name iPad and the idea that we’d all be carrying around tablets, and that the venerable  business operating system, Microsoft Windows, would be geared specifically for tablets within three years seemed laughable.  How times have changed.

They’ve changed for Microsoft too.  Both Apple and Google have stolen huge percentage shares in the OS markets and even companies like RIM and HP have given Microsoft a bloody nose in both tablets and smartphones.  All the time through this we’ve been here at Everything-Microsoft keeping you up to date, bringing you the latest news and offering new features such as hardware reviews too.  Compared to the period between Windows Vista and Windows 7, the last three years certainly haven’t been dull.

I consider myself very fortunate then to have been commentating here during what has most likely been the most exciting three year period in Microsoft’s history.  I’m also incredibly lucky to have worked with such a brilliant and in-touch editorial team.

Now though all those books will need supporting and there’ll be much more new book writing to do as well I’m sure.  I also want to focus more on tutorial videos and I sincerely hope you’ll drop in now and again to YouTube to see what’s new or keep up with me on Facebook or Twitter.  This will all take a great amount of time and I’ve had to become a full-time author just to get the work done,  not that I’ve got anything to complain about of course.

So this will be my last post here at Windows 7 News, Windows 8 News, Everything-Microsoft.  It’s been tremendous fun getting to know you all, helping bring you the latest news, tips and reviews and being part of a community that has made me feel welcome and that has helped support my writing and my career in such a special way.  I won’t forget the last three years and I wish the team here every success in what is surely going to be another three fascinating years for Microsoft.

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Microsoft Working on Fix for Recent Windows Phone Marketplace Issueshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/microsoft-working-fix-windows-phone-marketplace-issues/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/15/microsoft-working-fix-windows-phone-marketplace-issues/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2012 15:13:24 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95433

Most users may not have even realized there was a problem with the Marketplace recently, but for those users affected, the errors they are experiencing when trying to install certain apps are very frustrating. A portion of users have had issues with installing apps via the Marketplace over the last few days. Well, there’s both good news and bad news.

The good news is that Microsoft is aware of what’s causing the errors and believe that it is related only to devices which have been upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 from an earlier version of the OS and only for certain apps. They believe that devices which shipped with version 7.5 should be unaffected. They also note that the issue stems from the certificates used to sign apps for the Marketplace.

The bad news is that Microsoft has temporarily disabled app publishing until they have issued a fix for the problem, which should be very soon.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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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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Person of Interest and Microsoft’s Crime Analysis Contributionhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/13/person-interest-microsofts-crime-analysis-contribution/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/13/person-interest-microsofts-crime-analysis-contribution/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 13:02:11 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95411 Person of Interest. In case you don’t know it, this is a popular television CBS show about two men who work with a computer to prevent crimes from occurring. One of the men created to computer system and the associated software. It was designed to prevent acts of terrorism against the US and its citizens in the US. It can also identify potential criminal acts against ordinary people, either as a perpetrator or as a victim. That is what the other man does, find out if the person is a perpetrator or victim. The computer system is used in New York City, and the Federal Government. And it is successful. Anyway that is what the show is about.



But if there was a time when reality and fiction ever met together, the time is now. Because that is what Mayor Bloomberg of New York City just announced last week, a new criminal and terrorist analysis computer system developed with the help of Microsoft. They are building a Domain Awareness System (DAS). It is a law enforcement technology solution that pulls together and analyzes public safety data in real time, providing NYPD investigators and analysts with a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity. (Perpetrator and Victim?)


This is not fiction

This new system works by putting together new, policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing cameras, 911 calls, previous crime reports, and other existing tools and technology.  It is what most people think about as common sense law enforcement.

Common sense because it takes the experience that police officers have plus their knowledge from crime reports to act on potential problems. It is a 2+2=4 approach. This program will help the NYPD do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively. (The Person of Interest approach.)  


Person of Interest


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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


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.



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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.


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?


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.


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:

BUILD: 9200.16384.WIN8_RTM.120725-1247
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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The Windows Azure Accelerator Programhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/02/windows-azure-accelerator-program/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/02/windows-azure-accelerator-program/#comments Thu, 02 Aug 2012 13:15:55 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95312 Microsoft will be hosting a three month Windows Azure accelerator program in Seattle, Washington . The program will run from September through December. The program will support 10 companies in an intense operation to prepare companies to move their programs  to the Azure cloud.

What types of businesses is the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure focusing on? They are open to all business ideas and innovations that utilize Windows Azure. They are also looking for companies that can have national or global reach.

The program is mentored by TechStars, a firm devoted to helping startups. Microsoft and TechStars have worked together before and are keen on the prospects of having companies learn how to create apps to reside on the Azure Cloud.

Company Participation

For the 10 applicants selected to participate in the program, this is what they will get.

  • An investment of $20,000, managed by TechStars a company that provides seeding to startup companies.
  • All the resources of Microsoft BizSpark will be available including $60,000 in Azure credit through the Microsoft BizSpark Plus Program
  • Mentorship from top entrepreneurs, investors, and Microsoft executives together with Office Space and Technical Training and Support
  • A Demonstration Day will be given to investors, VCs, media, and industry influentials to show the results of the accelerator program on the startups and their designs.

So far, the accelerator program has found implementation in China, India, and Israel. In each case the software and web and game development made an impact on startups.

Trying it now in the US will add more impetus to the Cloud and it can show how to take startups to the next level. This approach can help a company get to the big time quickly instead of waiting for several years to accomplish the same attention. The three month program starts October 1st and it ends January 17th.

Apply to the Accelerator program

Try Windows Azure 90 day free trial


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Windows 8 is Released to Manufacturinghttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/01/windows-8-released-manufacturing/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/01/windows-8-released-manufacturing/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 21:46:43 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95302 OK, It’s out! What is out? RTM Windows 8. RTM? Release to Manufacturing. Windows 8, build 9200, is at the manufacturers spot in the production process. And to increase the link to other products, Internet Explorer 10, Windows server 2012, and Visual Studio 2012 are also in RTM mode. It seems that Microsoft is pushing every program under development to come out guns blazing in September and October as anticipated. 


Here are the next items in the schedule for release.

These include MSDN Operating Systems, Visual Studio Professional with MSDN and five other Visual Studio Professional subsets.

  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through their TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Customers with the existing Microsoft Software Assurance program for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). This will allow users to test, pilot, and start adopting Windows 8 Enterprise.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) will receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume License customers can purchase Windows 8 through the Microsoft Volume License Resellers. This applies to customers without Software Assurance.


What about the tablet called Surface? What about that? Well the Microsoft Surface team is one of these OEMs and it will be delivering the first of two Surface designs. One is based on the Surface RT based on an ARM processor. The other based is on Windows8. These two will come out at the same time as Windows 8 comes out on October 26.

This is an exciting time for Microsoft. A lot is riding on Windows 8, especially because a lot of software, and hardware now is integrated on how the operating system operates.

Source: Windows Blog

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Microsoft launches Outlook.com Mailhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/01/microsoft-launches-outlookcom-mail/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/08/01/microsoft-launches-outlookcom-mail/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 17:01:31 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95297 Microsoft yesterday launched the new email portal Outlook.com and the tubes on the Internet have been buzzing about it every since.  One of the interesting aspects is it is not a standalone service that is entirely new, but can be used right away by users of Hotmail or Windows Live. New users who never bothered with Hotmail before can however head over to the new Outlook portal to register a new @outlook.com account there.

Before we look at what Outlook.com is offering, I’d like to spend a moment talking about migrating from Hotmail to the new email portal. When you are signed into Hotmail, you can switch to Outlook by clicking on Options > Upgrade to Outlook.com. When you do, you are automatically taken to the new Outlook portal. Rest assured, that you can go back to Hotmail from there should you dislike what you see.

The new Outlook.com


When you load the interface for the first time you will notice that is is different from Hotmail in almost every aspect. It begins with a top nav bar that is always there, linking to various email related options like replying, deleting or using the services’ sweep feature. Here you also find the settings, integration of social networking features and links to the user profile.

The left sidebar displays mail folders and aliases, and an interesting quick views listing which is a filter of sorts that makes available email types, for instance those that include document attachments, photos, or shipping information.

The main area is by default divided into two panes, with the upper pane listing the messages of the selected folder, and the lower pane the currently selected message. On the right finally are information about people that you are communicating with. This works best when you have integrated at least one social networking service into Outlook. When you do, you may see the latest activity of the user on those social networking sites which may be very helpful at times.

If you have played around with Windows 8’s mail app you may have noticed that it looks a lot like the mail interface of Outlook.com (especially if you switch from the horizontal to the vertical pane view mode. The big difference here is the new social pane that we have already mentioned in the review.

Hotmail users who came to love some of the service’s tools will be glad that they have all been migrated to the new Outlook service. Outlook.com uses the same spam filter that is powering Hotmail, and you get access to the previously mentioned Sweep feature, automatic newsletter unsubscribe options and more.

One question that we have not addresses yet is about the why. Why is Microsoft launching Outlook.com as an email service when they have Hotmail for the very same purpose? The short answer is because it will replace Hotmail at some time in the future. For now, it runs side by side to give Hotmail and new users ample time to try and test the new service. Eventually, Microsoft will migrate all existing Hotmail users over to Outlook.com to provide everyone with a unified experience.

Hotmail is not a horrible service, but it had a reputation for being somewhat old fashioned and not as hip as Gmail. With Outlook.com, the cards are dealt anew and it is very likely that many users who did not even want to try Hotmail out will try the new Outlook service.

It is rare when you only see praise and only little criticism when it comes to new products or services that Microsoft launches. If this is anything to go by, the new Outlook seems to have become an instant hit on the Internet with users rushing to the service to grab their name@outlook.com email address.

Judging from the little time that I used the service, I have to admit that it is an excellent service already. While I’m not a fan of social media sites per-se, I like the fact that you can get information about mail recipients and senders right from within the site without having to leave it.

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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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New Microsoft Mobile Mouse and Keyboard for Windows 8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/30/microsoft-mobile-mouse-keyboard-windows-8/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/30/microsoft-mobile-mouse-keyboard-windows-8/#comments Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:58:21 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95271 With Microsoft’s new tablets coming out, their new operating system in late October, you can think of the next few months as an avalanche. Microsoft is downloading a host of products, in hardware and software. By December, there should be a lot of talk about how Microsoft is changing or trying to change the PC world.

In the hardware area, Microsoft is announcing new mouse and keyboards, designed to work with Windows 8.

Wedge Mobile Keyboard

Tablets will be able to use the Wedge Mobile Keyboard. It seamlessly connected to tablets using Bluetooth. It has a full size keyboard yet but with a lightweight design that makes it easy to carry around. It has a durable cover protect your keyboard from scratches. It also quickly converts into a tablet stand. When you’re done using it, you can simply snap the cover back on the keyboard to power it down before you stash it away.

Estimated retail price US$79.95.

Sculpt Touch Mouse

Designed to provide comfort and portability, the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse offers a solution for navigation with a Windows 8-based PC.

It has a four-way touch scroll strip so you can breeze up and down, left and right. It works through applications and documents with a simple finger swipe. It is ideal for navigating the Windows 8 Start screen.

The Sculpt Touch Mouse uses Bluetooth technology meaning that you can connect wirelessly to your tablet without a cable or transceiver.

Estimated retail price: US$49.95.

Sculpt Mobile Keyboard

The Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Keyboard provides a working system of mobility and productivity. This is a full-size keyboard with Microsoft’s Comfort Curve design and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

It weighs around one pound, and the keyboard is perfect for travel computing with high-quality construction. Its Comfort Curve makes it easy to position the hands and wrists in aa easy to work position.

It also has a battery-saving technology to put the keyboard down into sleep mode after a period of inactivity. All it takes is a simple tap of a key to reconnect.

Estimated retail price US$49.95.

No timeframe has been release about when these products will be available. But this hardware technology adds to Microsoft’s intent on making Windows 8 easier to use.


Source: Microsoft Hardware


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Microsoft Surface RT tablets to launch October 26http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/30/microsoft-surface-rt-tablets-launch-october-26/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/30/microsoft-surface-rt-tablets-launch-october-26/#comments Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:50:41 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95268 Now that we know that Windows 8 will be released on October 26, 2012, it was only a matter of time until someone would figure out when Microsoft’s recently announced Surface tablet family would be launched by the company.

We have covered the tablet before and for a Microsoft hardware product, it has received lots of praise and only light criticism. That’s definitely a good sign for a company that is betting big on the success of Windows 8 and its Metro interface.

The Microsoft Surface tablet family comes in two different flavors. First as Surface RT tablets that run on ARM hardware, and then Surface Pro devices that run on Intel hardware. We have covered the differences between both models before and I’d like to only cover this briefly here.

Windows RT embraces Metro and apps fully. While it ships with a few programs that you may know from your day to day Windows activities, Office comes to mind, it generally does not support the installation of desktop applications. What this means is that you can’t install Firefox, Chrome, VLC, Open Office, Mozilla Thunderbird or uTorrent on the device, unless the developers of said products create a specialized version for it that runs on ARM hardware. Maybe virtualization or streaming may be a solution, we will see about that.

Surface Pro on the other hand is a full Windows system that lets you install all Windows software and utilize the Metro apps store at the same time.

Paul Thurrott today discovered that Microsoft will ship the Surface RT tablets on the same day that Windows 8 will become available: October 26, 2012.

The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.”

The Surface Pro tablets on the other hand will be made available at least 90 days after the launch of Surface RT, which indicates a release note earlier than late January 2013.

It is not clear why Microsoft is forfeiting the lucrative Christmas period, unless it is intent to push the ARM version of the tablet series. Another reason could be to give OEM partners ample time to sell their Windows 8 Pro tablets in that Christmas season.

Whatever the reason may be, it is certainly a blow for Windows users – like myself – who were planning on getting their hands on a Surface Pro device.

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Windows 8 Ultrabooks and Tablets To Feature More Sensorshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/29/windows-8-ultrabooks-tablets-feature-sensors/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/29/windows-8-ultrabooks-tablets-feature-sensors/#comments Sun, 29 Jul 2012 22:20:30 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95262 In nearly 3 months we will finally be able to get our hands on the RTM of Windows 8 when it hits stores on October 26th, and we’ve been promised that a whole load of new and wonderful machines will be flooding the market alongside it’s release. We are expecting to see a rake of new tablet devices and what I’m most excited for, Hybrid Ultrabooks.

Intel have been working hard to push their Ultrabook machines, but I think now, Microsoft and Intel have a real opportunity to team up and really push Hybrid Ultrabooks to the masses. Intel are very picky about the minimum specifications that it takes for a device to be classified as an Ultrabook.

In a blog post this Friday, Intel have spoken about the new sensors that will be found in Intel Tablets and Ultrabooks.

There are five sensors, including a compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and ambient light sensor. These sensors are normally akin to those that you’d find in a smartphone these days. For a device to be classified as a Hybrid Ultrabook, all five of these sensors are required. If the device is just a regular Ultrabook then it’s recommended that it has three of these five.

Here’s the list of 5 Sensors:

A Compass (optional for Ultrabooks): I’m sure we all know what this does, it comes in very handing for mapping applications and also augmented reality.

GPS (recommended for Ultrabooks): Pretty much essential now a days especially when it comes to navigation. It’s also handy for informing you as to what’s around your current location.

Accelerometer (recommended for Ultrabooks): This sensor detects motion and gravity. It’s used a lot now in gaming but also used in free fall protection for Hard Drives.

Ambient Light Sensor (ALS(recommended for Ultrabooks): These sensors automatically detect lighting conditions around your machine so it can adjust  brightness based on the surrounding atmosphere.

Gyroscope (optional for Ultrabooks): Similar to the accelerometer, but it works in 3D. It can detect more subtle movements like rotation and rate of rotation. A lot of games use this.

So it looks like all of Intel’s Ultrabooks and Hybrids will have plenty of features in them anyway. It’ll be interesting to see what the various form factors will look like when they hit the market.



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Fractal Art Wallpapers from LadyCompassionhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/29/fractal-art-wallpapers/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/29/fractal-art-wallpapers/#comments Sun, 29 Jul 2012 14:37:08 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95246 LadyCompassion a fractal art artist has a collection of interesting pictures

What is fractal art? It is a geometric art. It is a genre of computer art and digital art which are part of new type of media art. The Julia set and Mandlebrot sets are considered the principal icons of fractal art.  A fractal is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole. Fractals are generally self-similar and independent of scale.

Fractal art uses mathematical algorithms which in turn create fractal objects through calculations. Representing the calculation results as images, animations, or media. The art is only about 30 years old developed from the mid 1980s.

Fractal art is not drawn or painted by hand. It is a computer generated image. It is created with the assistance of fractal-generating software. There are three phases. One is by setting parameters of appropriate fractal software; then executing the  calculation; and finally evaluating the product. In some cases, other graphics programs are used to further modify the images produced in a post-processing operation. One important factor is that non-fractal imagery can be integrated into the artwork making it even more appealing.

2-Dimensional Art

As art goes, fractal Art is a subclass of two-dimensional visual art, and is in many respects similar to photography. Two-dimensional art consists of paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs. The execution of each form differs from each other primarily, so that separates one from the other . In that regard fractal images usually appear as prints. But the native environment of fractals is in a electronic image format. Digital Fractal art is created with computers and computer software. It is an extension of the traditional 2-D format. This is a format that traditional visual artists are embracing, which adds them into Fractal Art’s digital realm.


To download the images check the download post below:

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Microsoft’s Recommendation Enginehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/28/microsofts-recommended-engine/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/28/microsofts-recommended-engine/#comments Sat, 28 Jul 2012 14:03:06 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95230 Like most of you, keeping up with technology changes can be hard to do. No sooner than you master one technology, you have to learn another one, and your first technology might even become obsolete. (Remember Lotus 123 and Wordstar?)

Well Microsoft has created the Recommendation Engine for Teched Members to help them focus on the technology they are interested in, and the make recommendations about what to study.

What the Recommendation Engine provides

The Recommendation Engine uses logic methods and algorithms that are being rendered and delivered in the cloud by SQL-BI on Windows Azure. Right now it is a beta service that will be available on Azure later this year. The Recommendation Engine will provide relevant content in the form of websites, videos, webcasts, and podcasts. Additional technical content will be available as they continue to refine the engine.

How it was built

Microsoft used the Windows Azure Virtual Machine running Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012. Next, they used Integration Services to pull supplemented content from other Microsoft databases and ran BI Analysis Services to prepare a list of recommendations. These technology recommendations come from content that users tagged on the myContent list. It also takes into consideration content consumed by like-minded peers on myTechEd. Thus your peers, that is like minded tech people, can help you set up your own study tags.

Accessing the Engine

To access the Engine, you must create an account with Microsoft Teched.

You can do this with Live Id account.

Next access the content catalog to select the types of technologies that you find interesting.


Then you can select the technologies from the content catalog.


Hands on labs are available for users to work with and you can set them up.

Here is an example of a lab on how to use Windows Azure Virtual Machines.

This is just one more approach that Microsoft is using to help   users stay up to date in the race for technology updates. And note, the content and labs are still available after the TechEd gathering finished.

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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.


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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