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Apparently I am not the only one who thinks that Windows 8 is going to be terrible. A Wall Street Journal writer by the name of John Dvorak shares some of the same concerns as me and even went as far as to say "Windows 8 looks to me to be an unmitigated disaster that could decidedly hurt the company and its future."
I'm not sure I would go quite that far, but some of his concerns are echoed by journalists around the web. His major problem seems to lie in the new Metro desktop interface that appears to be designed for tablets. He had some hope when it appeared that he could still use the old style desktop, but with the latest release candidate, that is no longer an option.
The real problem is that it is both unusable and annoying. It makes your teeth itch as you keep asking, "Why are they doing this!?"
First of all, the system-software product is mostly divorced from all the thought and trends developed by Windows over the years, as if to say that they were wrong the whole time, so let's try something altogether new.
No business will tolerate this software, let me assure you. As a productivity tool, it is unusable.
Furthermore, he reiterates the idea that the Metro desktop is more useful, and wanted, on a smartphone or tablet rather than a PC. He points the issues with trying to use one GUI across every platform and the issues that not everyone will want that unification.
XP has been top of the pack for a long time now, but it looks as though Windows 7 may be poised to overtake for the top spot. Net Applications took a snapshot of the operating system landscape in May and found that the gap between Windows XP and Windows 7 was the narrowest it has ever been in the history of the two OSs.
The study placed XP's market share at 44.8% and Windows 7's market share at 40.5%. Soon, XP support will be dropped by Microsoft and businesses will be forced to upgrade. Considering some of the possible issues with Windows 8, it's likely they will jump to Windows 7 which will further push it into the top spot.
This fact has been inevitable. Microsoft itself has been pushing the upgrade from XP to 7 by telling companies explicitly not to wait for Windows 8. Even still, OS migration is not an easy task which explains the slow uptake. After all, XP is a stable, proven, and robust operating system so there has been no reason to upgrade.
If you wanted to jump on the bandwagon, or just be cool, Microsoft have just made Windows 8 Release Preview available to the public. So if you're still on Windows 7, or on the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, you can jump to the latest version of their next-gen operating system.
There's a bunch of highlights in the new installation, and tonnes of things to do, explore and find. You can read the in-depth Windows 8 Release Preview product guide, if you wish, or you could dive right into it.
We will be getting a Windows 8 Tweak Guide in the coming weeks, which we will be accepting user-given guides/tweaks where you can send in your tweaks and adjustments that make your Windows 8 life better. Look for this in the weeks after Computex and get your tweaks together now!
Apple's next-generation mobile operating system, iOS 6, is expected sometime in the coming months, but BGR is reporting about their Maps app which will support 3D mapping. Apple aren't using Google's mapping data this time around.
BGR has sourced some exclusive information, and photos, of Apple's new Mapps app, with the app featuring an updated user interface as well as a brand new navigation bar. This bar is said to be silver instead of blue. The current Maps app follows the normal blue iOS color scheme, but it looks like Apple could move toward a silver theme for iOS 6, like the iPad.
The iPhone Maps app has a floating 'locate me' button in the bottom left corner. In order to access 3D mode, you'll have to peel back the lower right corner of Maps. Once 3D has been enabled, you can switch in and out of 3D mode by tapping a 3D icon in the lower left hand corner. Apple's acquisition of C3 Technologies has helped them back 3D mapping into their Maps app, which should be a great feature in the new iPhone and iOS.
Apple are currently testing, and putting the final touches on its 3D mapping functionality, with it being tested in build 10A3XX of iOS6. BGR does state that the above image is a mock up based on what Maps should look like, as their source has told them.
Windows 8 Release Preview is out a little early, and whilst it's just a Chinese version, it's been said that users have been able to install an English language pack through Windows Update. The leaked ISO has been confirmed and tested by a few websites such as PCBeta (Chinese) and WinUnleaked (English) and is available right now various torrent sites. Personally, I'll be waiting for the official version of the OS, which is expected sometime next week, right in the middle of Computex.
Build 8400 does include some goodies, such as improved multi-monitor support, a new boot screen, as well as updated wallpapers and cursors. The final version of Windows 8 is expected to not include the translucent Aero Glass, but is present in the current build of Windows 8, including build 8400.
Build 8400 improves upon Metro, where we see News, Travel and Sports apps have been added. Also, DigiTimes is reporting that sources have told them Microsoft may increase the price of OEM versions of Windows 8, which could make it harder on system builders to keep their prices sharp, especially on the Ultrabooks.
Pricing should be unveiled in the coming months, or even at Microsoft's keynote at Computex on June 6. We will be there in force, and will update you with the news as it happens.
Verizon Wireless have finally done it, they've released a new software update for the GALAXY Nexus from Samsung, 'IMM76K'. Verizon and Samsung both encourage the update, which fixes a heap of e-mail and text problems, calendar issues and more.
The IMM76K Android 4.0.4 update comes in at approximately 39MB in size, and can be manually updated if you choose to do so, an instructional post for it can be found here. Strangely, this is the same update that popped up in early-May, but was yanked by Google.
If you're rocking a GALAXY Nexus on Verizon, you'll probably want to grab this update. Be sure to let us know how you go with it!
With Windows 8 Zune is out and Xbox is in. Zune will be no more, that Microsoft has made abundantly clear. We finally have an answer as to what is replacing it: Xbox. Increasing from its humble roots as a gaming platform, the large brand will become an entire entertainment center for Windows 8 on phones, PCs, tablets, and TVs.
This year, Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft. Whether on your PC, tablet, TV or phone, Xbox will be a gateway to the best in music and video, your favorite games and instant access to your friends.
With the launch of Windows 8, we'll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone. With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
This makes sense as Microsoft is working on a new music service for Xbox. Xbox is continually getting new and more varied services so it was only a matter of time before an announcement like this came. I can see where it soon could be an unlimited music, movie, and gaming platform for a single price. Seems simple and the likely way to go.
A Microsoft-sponsored IDC report claims that the annual support costs for a Windows XP systems are five times higher than a Windows 7-based system, as part of Microsoft's latest efforts in pushing more people toward Windows 7.
Microsoft have also issued a statement that has told organizations if they have not started "the migration to a modern PC, you are late". Windows XP gets orphaned by the software company with no further support or patches in April 2014, close to 13 years since it launched.
The report states that 42-percent of Windows' non-home installed base remains on the ageing Windows XP OS. If this continues, 11-percent of all Windows users will continue to be powered by Windows XP when the security patches end in 2014. As for support costs: IT workers' time and worker productivity costs jump by 25- and 23-percent respectively in year four.
A report from Neowin, that a well-known Windows insider "Canouna" has tweeted the intended launch date of the Release Candidate of Windows 8. According to "Canouna", Windows 8 RC will be available on June 1. This does agree with previous talks of the "first-week of June", that we heard about last month. The tweet reads:
"#Microsoft #Windows8 Release Preview public download = 1st June".
So, one could guess from there, we're looking at a June 1 release. But, this isn't from Microsoft, or a credible website, so it gets slapped with the RumorTT stamp. Canouna also tweeted that Windows that Windows 8 will be the first Windows OS to include Adobe Flash pre-installed. Yes, pre-installed! But, Microsoft seem to be experiencing some serious lag, as Flash has been around since the days of Windows 98.
Windows 8 is nearing release, and with it, we're prompted with more and more news about it, but that's good, right? The latest out of the gate is that the upcoming OS from Redmond is booting... too fast? Yes, too fast. Everyone wants quicker boot times, and Windows 8 definitely delivers in that way.
But, there are problems with an OS that boots too quickly, that if you need to enter the setup menu by pressing F2/F8 during the boot, there's next to no time to tap those keys. What did Microsoft do? Well, they can't just hold the OS boot time back, that would be crazy, so they've had to add some new features to the OS to make it easier to get to these menus.
If you have a machine with a solid-state drive installed, you can boot into a machine in around 7 seconds, and this will only decrease as hardware gets faster over time. In a test machine at Microsoft sporting an SSD and UEFI system, the time window to tap F8 is 200 milliseconds, yes, 200 milliseconds. In the case where you can't boot into Windows, Windows 8 will automatically enter automatic failover behavior which is determined by an algorithm that establishes a baseline over several boots.
Microsoft are putting up more than one way to get to the boot menu options for when it's needed and for the most part, the average user won't even need to use any of these options. But for enthusiasts, and users who love to tinker, this is something that should put you at ease: Microsoft is thinking of you, too.