Prior To The Launch Of Windows 8, Microsoft Unveils A Major Update

Microsoft Windows 8 updateJust two weeks prior to the release of Windows 8, Microsoft on Tuesday uncovered a major update or operating system for developers and business users.

Along with several bug fixes, this updated service pack will offer improved performance, power management, battery efficiency, media playback and fixes general compatibility issues.

The update is available only for MSDN or enterprise customer, for others, it will come out on Oct. 26th with Windows 8. According to a blog post by Steve Sinofsky, Windows chief,  “If you are an MSDN or enterprise customer, these updates will be available for your Windows 8 PCs via Windows Update as of today (October 9), following our standard cadence for Windows Updates on the second Tuesday of each month at about 10:00am.”

Further talking about the availability of Windows 8 Client and Windows Server 2012 General Availability Cumulative Update, Steve said, “This cumulative update package provides a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows 8 experience. We recommend that you apply this cumulative update as part of your regular maintenance routines.”

He further added that these updates will be featured in Windows 8’s first service pack.

This latest update to Windows 8 OS comes shortly after Microsoft revamped its built-in applications. Microsoft rolled out update to include the Skydrive, mail, messaging, photos, maps, news, travel, weather and Bing apps.

Besides app updates, other notable changes include the replacement of traditional Points system for payments with direct payments. The change is currently only available on Zune Marketplace for movies and songs; but is expected to roll out for others app stores such as Xbox 360 marketplace.… Read the rest

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Microsoft Sends Fresh Invites For The Launch Of Surface Tablet On October 26

Surface tabs October should be marked as the month of launches. After three weeks, Microsoft, as speculated, will launch its Surface tablet on October 26th, taking a plunge into the tab market. Mark the calendar not just for this, but also for the firm’s latest version of its OS, Windows 8, which will also come out on 25th this month.

Microsoft has started sending out fresh invites for a special “Surface Reception” event on October 25, with main focus on Windows 8. The invitation comes with Microsoft’s new logo along with Windows logo amidst New York’s grey skyscrapers with color hues in between. The event is scheduled to begin at 10 am EST.

Details regarding the pricing of the tablet is expected to be uncovered at the event. Rumors suggest that it could cost $600-$800. However, recent reports say that Surface for Windows RT could start at $199, in competition with Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.

There are also reports that speculate that Microsoft could launch only Wi-Fi version of Surface tab, with 3G version coming out later sometime.

Microsoft also announced opening doors to its pop-up stores in the US and Canada on October 26th to display its latest Surface tablet computer.

Microsoft’s new line of Surface Tabs was uncovered at an event held at Milk Studios in Hollywood back in June. One tab will feature Windows 8 Pro and the other will run on Windows RT with ARM-based processor.

With these scheduled launches, we are sure that Steve Ballmer is going to be a busy man this season.… Read the rest

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. Nokia Lumia 920 vs. HTC One X+: Take Your Pick?

The present day consumer has a plethora of options before him, and naturally would be bound to get confused. If you’re window shopping for a brand new smartphone and are unsure of which one to get for yourself, here’s where you’ll find all the information you need to make the right decision. We take a look today at the flagship models of Samsung, Nokia and HTC on offer and break down the pros and cons of each of their features to make your life a little simpler.

The Software: All these phones are on top of their game, running the latest versions of their respective OS. While the Lumia 920 will run on the latest Windows Phone 8, the Galaxy Note 2 and One X+ run on the latest version of Android – the Jelly Bean.

The Hardware: Now this is where it gets really exciting to compare these 3 phones. The Lumia 920 is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM, but the Galaxy Note 2 is almost twice as powerful, with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. The HTC One X+ has also received a processor upgrade in comparison with its predecessor, the One X – this new phone comes with a 1.7GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It’s meant for heavy multitasking, we doubt if the Lumia 920 can match up to the other 2 phones.

In terms of memory, the HTC One X+ comes in 2 variants of 32GB and 64GB, while the Lumia 920 has 32GB of internal memory. Neither of these phones are equipped with SD card slots, so you’ll have to make do with the limited memory available internally. But if storage is a big concern for you, the Galaxy Note 2 is equipped with 64GB of internal memory and even has an SD card slot for additional storage requirements.

The Looks: The Lumia 920 sports a 4.5 inch LCD screen, while the HTC One X+ has a slightly bigger 4.7 inch S-LCD2 display. But if size really does matter, the Galaxy Note 2 is your answer, sporting a gorgeous 5.5 inch Super AMOLED display.

The Cameras: Both the HTC One X+ and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 have an 8MP auto-focus rear camera with an LED flash. The Nokia Lumia 920 has a slightly better 8.7MP camera with a dual-LED flash for taking clearer pictures even in low light conditions. In terms of the front-facing cameras, the Lumia 920 has a 1.3MP camera, while the One X+ has a 1.6MP front-facing camera. Taking it a notch higher is the Galaxy Note 2’s front facing camera with a resolution of 1.9MP.

The Batteries: When it comes to finding the right smartphone, it’s not just about the technical features, but also about its battery life. Fortunately, these ultra-powerful phones are equipped with high power batteries to keep them running for at least a full day on a single charge. The Lumia 920 has a 2000 mAh battery, the One X+ has a 2100mAh battery, and the jumbo sized Galaxy Note 2 has a corresponding 3100 mAh battery for letting it run for ample amount of time, no matter how many apps you run on it.… Read the rest

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Hail Windows 8! Microsoft Set To Freshen Up MSN

Windows 8 is proving to be a winner even before it has reached the masses. And Microsoft has managed to make yet another decision that would prove vital in its longer innings down the line. MSN had revolutionized the way we perceived the web years back and now it has been all set to have its own news coverage—right from its very own team. A lucrative prospect for millions of users—especially those tapping on their tabs, as well as for those keen on a news-world career!

After the 50 percent stake sale to NBC last June, this is one big piece of news. Plus the fact that Microsoft is serious about this new news operation launch is further proven genuine with the new offices coming up at Bellevue. We know that content was forever the king for websites but Microsoft’s foray has indeed proven the fact that no matter how big a site is, it needs to take care of its own content internally.

Now some more news that could cheer you up is—you would no longer have separate looks across the various pages on MSN.com. In coordination with Windows 8, MSN would have a homogenous look across all its pages and sub links. Be prepared to surf and sniff for stuff that are all patented by Microsoft. Hail Windows 8!… Read the rest

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Windows 8 App Development, Bengaluru Plays Host To 3000 Developers

By now, it’s pretty well established that the launch of Windows 8 is going to be huge, in many ways, for Microsoft and for the rest of the world. As the firm gears up to roll out Windows 8 to millions of PC users worldwide, Bangalore played host to over 3000 developers who gathered to develop apps for the upcoming Windows as Microsoft attempted to set a World Record for maximum participants in a single event for app development.

Obviously, the infrastructure requirements were massive, and putting together a venue that could host as many developers, provide power and internet for the developers was no mean feat for its crew of about 500 people. The 18 hour event wasn’t all about just the infrastructure; it was regulated by strict rules like not letting participants leave the venue for more than 60 minutes, using only systems with Windows 8’s RTM version (release to manufacturing) and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, and qualified computer graduates only being eligible to develop apps.

A representative from Guinness was also present at the venue to conduct random screenings of the developers busy coding in a bid to set new records. The sheer scale of the event further brought out the level of enthusiasm among the developers gathered and the air was abuzz with coding minds tapping away on their laptops.… Read the rest

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Microsoft Attempts To Enter Guinness Book Of Record Prior To The Launch of Windows 8

Friday morning, Microsoft tried its shot at entering the Guinness Book of World Records with more than 3,000 developers, who gathered at the KTPO grounds in Bangalore to write applications for the firm’s latest offering- Windows 8. With this, Microsoft has set the record for the largest ever single app development event.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “The work involved in getting the venue ready was substantial. The ground was uneven – it had to be leveled. Then the infrastructure – we have 63 generator trucks standing by. We had to put in place 4,000 power connections. I think there’s around 60,000 feet of cabling that had to be laid. Then there was Internet access to be provided – 2 GB of bandwidth. We have something like 500 people working as crew.”

The session lasted 18 hours with certain rules set for participants, who were developers, designers, and programmers.

Paul O’Neill, Vice President, the Guinness Book of World Records monitored the participants and said, “Participants cannot step out of the premises for more than 60 minutes. They need to have a background in computer science or computer engineering or the sciences. The final number will be the number of developers present at the site at 8:00 am on Saturday.”

A video message was sent out by Steven Sinofsky, the president of Windows and Windows Live at Microsoft, wishing all participants luck.

Microsoft initiated this fest to create excitement among developers and users prior the launch of Windows 8 on October 26.

The event saw participants from all over India, who clumped together all laptops running Windows 8 RTM and Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2012.

Guinness’s Paul O’Neill reviewed random participants for credentials. He said, “We have screened around a 100 participants so far. They have been extremely enthusiastic about the event. We are optimistic that a record will be made today.”

Joseph Landes, General Manager of developer and platform evangelism, Microsoft India says, “The biggest thing about India is the scale of things. He added, “Abroad, we get 100-200 developers at these events, here we have thousands participating.”

The event saw developers with lot of enthusiasm and zest. The first app – a Web Radio app – was finished in about less than 6 hours following the launch of the event. The AppFest was launched by Jon DeVaan, Corporate Vice President, Windows Development.… Read the rest

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Dell Jumps On The Bandwagon Of Windows 8 Devices With Latitude 10 Tablet And Ultra Book

Dell has introduced three new devices for its business users. This new line-up by the firm includes the 10-inch Intel-based Latitude tablet, the Latitude 6430u ultra book and a 23-inch all-in-one touch-enabled desktop. All three devices will run on Windows 8.
The top of the line device, Dell Latitude 10 Tablet is sleek and smart. It is powered by Intel’s Clover Trail processor and has a lithium-ion battery, which is swappable. The 10.1-inch IPS wide-angle screen offers a clear display with a 1366×768 resolution. This tab holds 2GB RAM and comes with up to 128GB of storage.

The Latitude 10 tablet has a thickness of 0.4-inches and is 1.5 pounds in weight. There’s also a 720p camera at front and an 8-megapixel camera at the back. It can be connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is also an additional metallic productivity dock that has four USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port and an HDMI port as well.
It also has a fingerprint reader and a smart card reader as additional security features. However, these features will be available in the beginning of 2013.
Dell also launched the new Latitude 6430u ultrabook, which is a lighter and thinner choice. This ultrabook is designed to be 33 percent thinner and 16 percent lighter at 3.7 pounds than the current generation 14-inch Dell laptop.

Made to meet military testing standards, Dell says it can last an entire day on a single battery charge. This ultrabook comes with a 3-cell battery. Along with Intel’s vPro management technology, it uses an Intel’s latest generation core processor (i3 onwards to i7). It offers up to 8GB RAM and comes with Intel HD4000 integrated graphics.

For a complete desktop look, Dell also introduced the new 23-inch all-in-one desktop, called the OptiPlex 9010. This compact and smart device runs on Windows 8 and comes with a touchscreen interface. Powered by Intel third-generation core processors, this desktop comes with an Intel Q77 Express chip set, Intel integrated graphics and a variety of security features.

Dell made no announcement regarding the pricing of these devices. They are expected to hit the stores next month, just when Window 8 is also scheduled to launch.… Read the rest

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A War of Features: Nokia Lumia 920 vs. HTC Windows Phone 8

Looks like the world definitely took a liking to Windows 8, whatever little we’ve been allowed to take a look at so far. Even as we wait for the Surface tablet and Windows 8 PCs to launch in the market, the competition is heating up among Windows-based smartphones. Last week, we brought you a story about the newly launched Nokia Lumia 920’s features and how it compares with some of the other popular smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple’s yet to be launched iPhone 5. Now, close on the heels of Nokia’s announcement of the latest model, HTC has unveiled its high-end Windows-based smartphone, the HTC Windows Phone 8X.

It’s not just the timing that coincides with the Lumia 920; the HTC Windows Phone 8X even has features and specifications similar to the latest Nokia smartphone:

  • The similarities: Both these phones, based on the upcoming Windows 8 for mobiles, are powered by the same 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 1 GB RAM. Both phones sport similarly designed HD displays with a resolution of 1280X720 pixels, have NFC capabilities and can run on 4G speeds in terms of connectivity. What’s more, they’re even available in identical colored cases – red, yellow, and black. While you get the option of going blue on the HTC phone, the Nokia Lumia 920 is also available in white and gray.
  • The differences: This is obviously where the actual war begins between these two Windows-based smartphones. In terms of cameras, the HTC phone has an 8MP rear camera and a 2.1MP front facing one, when compared to Nokia’s 8.7MP rear camera and 1MP front facing camera. In terms of storage space, the HTC phone has merely 16MB of internal memory, while Nokia has been pretty generous with 32GB of internal storage capacity. Even the battery of the Nokia Lumia 920 at 2000 mAh is more powerful than the 1800 mAh battery that powers the HTC Windows Phone 8X. Bluetooth connectivity in the Lumia phone is also better as it is equipped with Bluetooth 3.1, as opposed to HTC’s Bluetooth 2.1. The Nokia Lumia 920 even gets a slight edge over HTC in terms of screen size – equipped with a 4.5 inch screen, while the Windows Phone 8X features a 4.3 inch screen.

Now, from what we’ve heard so far, the Nokia Lumia 920 surely looks more promising. But we’re curious to see how HTC’s foray into Windows phones would perform in the market. They still haven’t revealed the pricing of the Windows Phone 8X, so if they price it right, it just might be able to offer stiff competition to the Lumia 920.… Read the rest

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Windows 8: Why the Ladies Ought to Look Forward to It

So yes, it’s time to start the countdown until Microsoft launches the latest version of Windows 8, and we cannot wait to get our hands on it. Now we know the tech world loves to look down on Microsoft and ridicule the troublesome OS that Windows has been in the past, its popularity notwithstanding. But the truth remains that even till date, it remains the topmost preferred OS for PCs worldwide. And it gets better with the upcoming Windows 8. We’re going to look at Windows 8 from a slightly different angle and tell you why all the ladies are also going to love the new Windows.

PC-Tablet-Mobile Interconnectivity: Yes, Apple’s already been doing this for a while, so let’s not rain on their parade. But, Windows 8 is going to be launched for computers, for the Surface tablet, and of course, even on mobile phones. So it just makes syncing so much more comprehensive and smooth, which ordinary third-party applications cannot even compare with. With Windows 8, Microsoft’s strategy is to grab market share away from users of iPads and Android tablets, and the advantage of seamlessness might just make it happen.

Apps on Demand: Finally, what we’ve had on our smartphones might just be the future of our PCs too, with Microsoft offering apps from their market for users to download and personalize their systems according to their preferences. This means, ladies, you can have all your exclusive fashion, beauty, and fitness apps even on your computer.

Amazing Interface: Taking inspiration from the tiles on offer already on Windows mobiles, Windows 8 just gets more snazzy, and how! Touch ready, we think the future of computing will be the perfect blend of touch-screens and typepads, and did we mention compact? So no more backaches from lugging around hefty laptops in those ugly, hideous black bags. Ultrabooks are already here, give them a touch-screen too and load Windows 8, and we’ve got magic at our fingertips.… Read the rest

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Windows Phone Ganging Up for a Hit With Windows 8

A year and a half following the announcement of partnership of Nokia and Microsoft, Nokia recently launched its Windows 8 Lumia smartphones last Wednesday.

But what about Microsoft and Windows 8 phone? Will it be a hit unlike its previous model?

I guess the wait is going to be a little longer, until this time next year, when the firm actually launches its Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.

On Wednesday, when Nokia launched its Lumia models, Microsoft’s CEO also joined the conference.

Everyone knows how important the success of Lumia is for Microsoft as it will help Windows 8 Phone regain its footing into the market of smartphones.

Windows phone got the firm struggling with sales since its release. The firm is believe to capture just 3.7 percent of the global smartphone market, which is too less as compared to its giant rivals Apple and Samsung.

At Nokia Lumia launch, Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft announced the strategy of Microsoft’s Windows Phone. It’s now pretty clear. The entire plan, it seems, revolves around the ecosystem of the Windows 8.

As Windows Phone 8 runs Windows 8′s core, it will become a lot easier for various developers to dock apps between desktop, tablet, and smartphone as the app store will then be common for both Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8.

This, clearly implies that be it Surface or Lumia, developers will get a single platform for their apps.

This unified and simple ecosystem that Microsoft offers is simply awesome and no other firm has offered anything similar for computers and mobile devices.

If we look at Apple, the iOS and Mac OSX, though both look like, are still very different when it comes to building apps.

And Google too has not been successful in making the Android ecosystem attractive for mobile developers who really want to make money.

Windows 8 is not really Microsoft’s try to stab tablets; the operating system also lifts up and truly discriminates Windows Phone for the upcoming year.

It is believe that Windows Phone 8, if marketed as an expansion of Windows 8, could really hit off with consumers.

In late 2010, when Windows Phone 7 was launched, it was admired for its exclusive style. But the phone really didn’t hit off with users as Google Android had already set its footing in the market.

Then in late 2011, Nokia Lumia Windows Phones were launched. Nokia Lumia did hit off in the US market, but then consumers got drifted away as Apple launched in its iPhone 4S model or even the latest Android smartphones.

But now in late 2012, it seems that Microsoft actually knows what to do with Windows Phone. Nokia’s upcoming Lumia 920 smartphone looks good and its Pureview camera technology is also better than what others offer.

And Windows 8 Phone too looks awesome. I am just waiting for the phone to land on Oct. 26th.  Other waiting in line are developers, who will be flocking to build apps, which in turn will make them take a second look at Windows Phone.

Windows 8 finally envelops all Microsoft offers into one united computing experience, be it desktops, smartphones, tablets, and even the Xbox’s new interface.… Read the rest

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