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Wishing you could retain more of a Windows 7 oriented look with your install of Microsoft's Windows 8 developer release? You'd certainly be one of many who just can't get used to the vastly different interface at this stage, in which case you'll be impressed to know there is now a way to get more of a Windows 7 look from Windows 8 thanks to the "Metro UI Tweaker" from The Windows Club.
Using this tweaking tool (after first installing .NET Framework 3.5.1), disabling the Metro start menu and Explorer Ribbon is just the start of what it can do. Other tweaks on tap include :-
1 Disable Metro Start menu: Disables only Metro Start menu screen. This function requires editing a system file. It does not remove the file
2 Disable Metro Ribbon: Disables only the Metro Ribbon UI. It requires taking ownership of a system file. It does not remove this file
3 Disable Metro Start menu and Ribbon: Disables the Metro Start menu UI, Ribbon UI, Metro Task Manager UI and the lock screen
4 Enable Metro Start menu and Ribbon: Re-enables all available Metro UI options
5 Add power options to the Metro Start menu screen: Logoff, Switch User, Lock, Sleep, Restart and Shutdown
6 Add any application/file to the Metro UI Start menu screen: Some applications/files may not be available to you to add to the Metro Start menu screen. This program allows you to add those applications/files which would otherwise be unavailable
I'm sure you dear readers don't like the old-school, 80s style boot-up sequence that has plagued Windows since, well, forever. This is all set to change with the old BIOS system being replaced by a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) which gives users a high-resolution logo and graphical menu to look at whilst booting up their PCs. Not only does it look pretty, but the menu will allow booting to a different disc, OS or USB drive with pictures and words as prompts.
The command prompt will still be there if you would like to get your black and white, text thrashing on. For everyone else, they get the super-pretty, super-fast boot up sequences we've all been dreaming of for a very, very long time. Microsoft will continue to support the legacy BIOS interface, but systems using the UEFI interface will have "significantly richer capabilities". Other nifty things built-in is ease of use for performing troubleshooting in Windows RE.
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.