Microsoft's BUILD conference in Seattle is well underway and every tech site in the world has been throwing news up like there's no tomorrow, so instead of rewording the news, I'll provide some links and some thoughts on Windows 8. Windows 8 has not only myself excited, but most of the tech-related community. It seems like an utter overhaul of the Windows UI as we know it, with a smash-up of the Windows Phone tile-based UI and something new.
"Something new" is what seems like a million new ideas and features built-in to Windows 8. The major changes are [of course] the UI, but Windows 8 brings performance increases, a new lock screen, an entirely new home screen, a new task manager, cloud-syncing and so many others things it's hard to tell you a handful. Instead of this, check out a bunch of screenshots, videos and links to preview thoughts below.
If you want to try it out, download the developer preview here.
Microsoft is preparing to show off their upcoming flagship operating system, Windows 8, at their Build developer conference in Anaheim, California next week. Microsoft have said they want an operating system that feels at home whether home means an 8-inch tablet or a powerful desktop computer connected to large-screen monitors.
Window President, Steven Sinofsky says "It's 'no compromise' and that's really important to us". Commitment like this is great to see, especially in a changed battlefield against companies like Google and Apple.
Microsoft have signalled at much faster boot times as well as introducing Office's "ribbon" interface into the Windows desktop. Microsoft are also aiming at not just having an Intel show this time, but letting a wide range of companies come in for attention from the press and developers. With Microsoft saying at CES in January that Windows 8 will run on ARM-based processors from Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and NVIDIA as well as traditional x86-based chips from Intel and AMD.
A new episode of Microsoft's "Building Windows 8" details significant efforts made to give considerable improvements in boot time with its next-gen consumer level OS. A new 'fast startup' mode being worked on combines elements of typical cold booting with resume from hibernate.
Where Windows 7 and earlier OS' shut down both the user sessions and kernel session, Windows 8 will hibernate the kernel session which will allow it to kick back into action much faster than usual. Microsoft promises that between 30 to 70% faster boot times will be seen using this method, depending on the system's hardware characteristics.
A newly added multi-phase resume capability will also be made use of by the fast startup mode, allowing it to use all cores in multi-core PCs in parallel sequence for the reading of the hiberfile and decompression of contents. There will be the option to bypass the fast startup mode and shut down in traditional, full fashion, but assuming this fast startup method works as well as Microsoft says and that we all seek faster everything in this day and age, there should be little to no reason not to use it.
While many have anticipated its presence in Windows 8 through several reports for a while now, Microsoft has just confirmed that the virtualization technology popular on Windows Server, "Hyper-V" will in fact be a part of its next-gen consumer level OS. This is not a feature the majority of folks using Windows 8 will be singing sweet melodies about, but for some it will no doubt be a true god send. If you're not even sure what it means or does, but are quick to sit forward in your seat and learn more, you can head over to this link for a detailed rundown.
Another interesting addition to Windows 8 talked about via the source is that of MinWin, which is essentially just the core kernel and operating system components of Windows, making it the most stripped down version of Windows possible. While it has showed up in Windows 7 and started when Vista came out, apparently for Windows 8 its role will be much more significant and purposeful, especially when combined with the powerful virtualization features of Hyper-V.
Microsoft are finally adding native ISO mounting support to their upcoming OS, Windows 8. Microsoft have said that in Windows 8, double-clicking an ISO file will automatically mount it as a virtual optical drive. This works in the same way Daemon Tools and Power ISO work, which I have used for the better part of my life. Microsoft will also built in support for Virtual Hard Disk files that are used with virtual machines.
It is in the same fashion with a double-click, it will mount the image automatically. Instead of coming up as an optical drive, it will detect as a separate hard drive, with an eject button. I'm not only surprised, but I'm also so very happy that Microsoft are finally supporting ISOs in Windows. I have a NAS at home and for years now (5+) I have not used an optical disc. When I do, I'll get it to my HDD and make it an ISO. It's much easier to manage, much, much easier and Microsoft have impressed me by adding this support.
How will game companies react? Only time will tell... piracy still does, rule. Even though game revenue is higher than ever, I'm sure people like Cevat Yerli from Crytek will... cry about this news.
Microsoft are pumping away at Windows 8 and it is not only bringing big UI changes to Windows 8 but another area they've put their magic on is the file management and this should make copying, moving, renaming and deleting files easier than ever before. One improvement in Windows 8 is the ability to view all copy tasks in a single window. This is a much more efficient design and will be welcome on all desktops.
From the single window a user will be able to pause or resume copy operations and will also get a detailed rundown of speeds achieved in each individual task and what the task is up to at a particular time (compete, paused, etc). Another feature exposed today is the redesigned Conflict Resolution dialog window, this window pops up on the event of file name collisions. The revamped window shows [in a much clearer fashion] where everything is located, the time/date and size of the file and gives check boxes and options of what to keep and what action to take.
Lion gets updated today to 10.7.1 and includes various bug fixes that I've included below. Throw up Software Update and let it go for its life to update your Mac and enjoy the new updated OS and included bug fixes. The next update from Apple will be 10.7.2 and will include iCloud compatibility, until then patience is required for some new features.
The bug fixes are:
Address an issue that may cause the system to become unresponsive when playing a video in Safari.
Resolve an issue that may cause system audio to stop working when using HDMI or optical audio out.
Improve the reliability of Wi-Fi connections.
Resolve an issue that prevents transfer of your data, settings, and compatible applications to a new Mac running OS X Lion.
Resolve an issue in which an admin user account could be missing after upgrading to OS X Lion.
Resolve an issue where MacBook Air may boot up when MagSafe Adapter is attached
Resolve an issue causing intermittent display flickering on MacBook Air
Resolve an issue that causes the SD card slot in Mac mini to run at reduced speed with SD and SDHC media
Yes, you read that right. Apple have been sued over the startup process for Mac OS X. Florida-based company, Operating Systems Solutions recently sued Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, claiming Apple's desktop operating system violates a patent they own for quickly booting an OS. The patent reads:
"a method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program."
Operating Systems Solutions does not cite a specific version of Apple's Mac OS X in the suit. But they do claim that "Apple sells or offers to sell within this district, computer systems, including but not limited to the MacBook Pro, that utilize the Mac OS X operating system that infringes" its patent.
In the smartphone world, there are multiple operating systems that users can get that are based on Linux. Nokia has its Maemo OS and Intel has a Linux-based OS originally for netbooks called Moblin that is also aimed at smartphones.
Nokia and Intel announced a partnership last year that would have them working on projects together including Moblin. Today the two firms have announced that the partnership has resulted in a new OS for netbooks and smartphones called MeeGo.
The OS will be aimed at tablets, connected TVs, and in-vehicle systems as well. It offers the Qt application dev environment to allow apps to be written once and used on multiple platforms. The Linux Foundation will host MeeGo and the project is fully open source.
In our most recent poll, we asked our readers what operating system they use to play games and we had a good number of votes at around 4,900 so far. The reason we asked this question was because Shane and I were discussing a change to our video card reviews and what operating systems and games we should use.
Out in front and even though it is a new product, Windows 7 took the lead for most popular gaming OS with 46% of the votes.
Next up and without too much surprise, Windows XP came in second with 29% of the votes and Vista saw 15% of the votes.
Combined, XP and Vista see around 44% usage, while Windows 7 sees 46% usage by TweakTown readers. It seems like our decision to switch solely to Windows 7 for our video card benchmarking was a solid one. If this poll went on longer as more Windows 7 systems ship, we expect to see this Windows 7 gaming usage figure only increase, too.
For the actual numbers, go here.
In our latest poll, we want to know what you think is the most exciting new or upcoming technology? Let us know! Please go here to vote!
With Jailbreaking and Unlocking there is a strange game of cat and mouse played between the jeailbreakers and Apple. It would appear that this game has also extended to the new Palm Pre.
Palm has released its new Web OS 1.1 and it fixes the issue that Apple just patched with the latest version of iTunes. So that means that you can still sync your Palm Pre with iTunes if you have the newest version of the Web OS.
Other improvements are emoticons and full exchange support, but between you and me the best part is Palm's back hand to Apple and their iron grip on iTunes.
Google is simply a monster; with its search engines, massive amount of adware, a new browser and of course android. We are seeing more and more phones pop up with Android on them as this new mobile OS becomes more refined. While this is going to be worrisome to Apple to say the least it is where Android is going next that will be a larger concern.
Google may very well find itself deep inside our houses. If the comments made by Touch Revolution are accurate we could see Android based Thermostats, Home Cordless phones, refrigerators, and a host of other consumer products.
The reasons for the increased usage are many but it is mostly due to the portability, touch based controls, and of course price.
I shudder at the thought of getting milk from the G-Fridge.
The great Google hypermind is planning a few more updates to its Android OS. Android will continue to be the OS of choice from Google for its line of smart phones. This is despite the upcoming range of Netbooks that will feature the OS.
According to Andy Rubin, there will be three more updates to Android this year alone. The updates which have been named after deserts will follow an alphabetical pattern and will be named Donut, Éclair and Flan.
These updates should bring better integration to social networking sites like facebook as well as additional support for developers to bill for their services and applications.
Over at SimHQ they have updated their Operating System Gaming Comparison for those of you interested.
Writer Doug Atkinson has taken 98SE, 98 Lite, Win2000 and WinXP on a gaming comparison! Which OS is right for your games? The results can be surprising!More information at SimHQ