Even though the Surface Pro doesn’t go on sale until Saturday the 9th, it is already being seen on display at several retail outlets. Some places are allowing pre-orders, while others are just showing off the hardware.
Engadget has confirmed that the Surface Pro tablets have indeed started to appear in some retail stores, which will include Staples and Best Buy. WinBeta.org reports that at least some Best Buy stores are allowing people to pre-order the tablet if you purchase a $50 gift card.
Also, to quell a rumor going around: Microsoft is not offering a Windows RT to Pro trade-up program (at this time, anyway). Rumors were stating that the trade-up program would give you full retail value for your ‘old’ Windows RT tablet when upgrading to a Windows Pro powered tablet.
SkyDrive has been updated to bring improved sharing and permissions and easier to use HTML5 features on a touch screen device. Very welcomed changes. I like the visual indication of who you are sharing with, nice touch!
We’re ringing in the new year with a few improvements to SkyDrive.com. You now have a single, unified view into how each of your files is shared so you can more easily control who has access to your files. We’ve also added more HTML5 features for touch devices making the SkyDrive experience faster and more fluid across devices and we’ve introduced more drag-and-drop capabilities to make it easier to manage your files, photos and documents.
The US Department of Defense has bought $617 million worth of Microsoft licenses, including Windows 8. Apparently, even though this is a large amount of money, it’s actually a very good deal compared to past offerings.
“There’s a move afoot throughout the department to bring about efficiencies in the [information technology] world,” David L. DeVries, DOD deputy chief information officer, told American Forces Press Service. “We took a long, hard look at it … realizing that the Department of Defense relies upon the network and upon information technology to do its business.”
Under the agreement, the Army, Air Force and DISA can begin using the newest versions of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Windows 8, officials said, adding that Office 2013 provides enhanced security and content management tools.
Not to make a connection between Vista and Windows 8 other than sales results, the adoption rate of Windows 8 is slower than Vista was in the same time frames after their release. Although, to be honest, PC sales in general are a bit less, too.
Windows 8′s failure to stay abreast of Windows 7 or even Vista is not hard to explain, said analysts, who have been predicting a weak reception for the new operating system, blaming a weak economy, the OS’s confusing dual user interfaces, enterprise upgrade fatigue after migrating to Windows 7, and competition from rivals’ tablets — including Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle and Google’s Nexus — for customers’ technology dollars.
After some friends and I were talking about software piracy and why some people do it and why, I thought of making a quick 3 question survey (simple and sweet) about it. Please, if you could spare 30 seconds of your time, could you take this anonymous survey regarding software & OS piracy. I will share the results (numbers and stats only, there is no identifying information collected) in a week. Thanks for your help! This is no way a scientific study, or used for anything other than personal curiosity.
In an interview with Julie Larson-Green, the question of why Windows was redesigned came up.
One certain answer bugged me. Yes, it’s a bit out of context, but it is still somewhat a step backwards in my opinion. The emphasis is mine, but it’s very interesting to me. They didn’t want you to have to make a choice. Yet, the majority of users that I hear from (online, offline, forums, etc.) say they WANT the choice of the Modern UI touch style interface or the classic Start menu. In fact, many are resorting to freeware or payware alternatives to return to the classic Start menu. They have chosen to go elsewhere for a solution.
Can touch coexist with a keyboard and mouse interface? Some people have said it doesn’t feel right to have both the newer, touch-centric elements and the old-style desktop in Windows 8.
It was a very definite choice to have both environments. A finger’s never going to replace the precision of a mouse. It’s always going to be easier to type on a keyboard than it is on glass. We didn’t want you to have to make a choice. Some people have said that it’s jarring, but over time we don’t hear that. It’s just getting used to something that’s different. Nothing was homogenous to start with, when you were in the browser it looked different than when you were in Excel.
They assume people are going to stop complaining about it being jarring. I’m sure they will stop complaining (people don’t like shouting at brick walls all day), but it won’t make the issue go away. The people complaining about these things are very vocal, and with some of the points, I really do agree with them. Windows 8 is not a bad operating system at all. It has a lot of new features. The Start Screen isn’t bad, either. But, there is a few issues with the implementation of the Start Screen and the desktop application that really need some work.
Consider it constructive criticism, and not just bashing of the OS. I’m a Microsoft fanboy, but I’m not blind to the areas that need some work. The Windows 8 team made some piss poor decisions when it came to the new OS. There are businesses that don’t want to rely on a big learning curve with a new OS. They want the ability to retain the classic Start menu. There are businesses that were waiting for Windows 8 for a refresh from XP. Now, they are just going with Windows 7. A step backwards, just because of the lack of choice.
Mrs. Larson-Green, your users DO want to make that choice. Windows gained a lot of respect by allowing the consumer to have choice – in customizing various aspects of the OS (now third party tools are needed to customize the Start Screen).
Will I go back to Windows 7 or switch to Mac? No way. Windows 8 is a step forward in a lot of ways. Microsoft just needs to listen to the consumers that are buying the product instead of assuming what they will want and forcing them to use it that way. Give the consumer back the choice. Don’t make it for them.
Countless hours of every office worker has been spent playing Solitaire on Windows. It’s been a huge part of the operating system for years, and it always expected to be there. But, it was lacking in the initial releases of Windows RT Surface tablets. Well, that is about to change. Microsoft is releasing Mohjong and Solitaire for Windows RT. Solitaire has been such a bit part of Windows, yet so simple, that when you take it away people definitely notice. So, while this may seem like small news – to some it is really big news. I’m still waiting for Microsoft to re-release Hover.
Now it seem the prayers of RT-loving casual gamers everywhere have been heard by Microsoft. If you’ve already used them on Windows 8, you’ll get the exact same experience on Windows RT. However, the games do take a little longer to load – initially and throughout the game. I’m still expecting Microsoft to significantly address performance issues in the short-term future.
Six Microsoft interns are responsible for the creation of the new SkyDrive for Xbox application. Of course, other Microsoft employees took over the reigns to give it some finishing touches, but the majority of the design and work was done by college interns. Not sure on the names, but they came from Harvard, Cornell, University of Virginia, Charlottesville; University of New York, Stony Brook; DigiPen Institute of Technology; and Olin College. Some top names there. Great job people!
But as self-contained and flexible project bridging two of Microsoft’s most high-profile consumer products, the SkyDrive app for Xbox Live was “a perfect fit for the interns,” said Dan Somrack, a Microsoft program manager who worked to finish the app. (Somrack, a recent Cornell University graduate, was himself a two-time Microsoft intern before joining the company as an employee, so he has an appreciation for these things based on a first-hand experience.)
Microsoft has decided to extend the reach of the Surface, allowing the Surface to be purchased at other retailers instead of being a Microsoft Store and online only exclusive. This is due to increased production due to the higher demand for the Surface RT tablet. Also, several of the temporary holiday stores are going to become permanent fixtures in several locations.
As early as mid-December, consumers will be able to go to retail stores in the United States and Australia to purchase a Surface with Windows RT. Additional availability will be added in a number of countries in the coming months.
“Our plan has been to expand the retail presence for Surface after the first of the year. Based on interest from retailers, we are giving them the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier,” said Steve Schueler, corporate vice president, Microsoft Retail Sales and Marketing.
Microsoft’s popular cloud storage application, SkyDrive, is coming to the Xbox 360. What can you do with your files on the Xbox? Share photos and videos. With Windows 8 PC’s able to sync to SkyDrive (as well as Windows Phone devices), this can help make everything a bit more seamless when sharing your adventure pictures… Or disaster vacation pictures!
The entirely new SkyDrive experience for Xbox 360 spotlights your photos and videos. The app connects the cloud to your Xbox and TV: every photo, video, movie, and other file you put in SkyDrive from Windows or the web will be available on your Xbox-connected TV. Your Windows Phone is also now connected to Xbox and every photo you snap can be available on your TV automatically.