Windows 8

Windows 8 Reaches 100 Million Sales, Still Behind Pace

As Microsoft continues to push Windows 8 on all PC users, it’s interesting to look at the sales numbers for the new operating system. Microsoft just recently announced that they have sold 100 million licenses for Windows 8.

Though 100 million sounds like quite a bit of sales, Windows 8 only accounted for 2.3% of the operating system market share when they announced 60 million sales in January. It’s unlikely that they have broken the 5% mark yet.

Although PCs are still about as prevalent as they always have been, they are getting a bit of a competition from tablets and other mobile devices. Microsoft has made it obvious with Windows 8 that they’d like to blend the two markets. The Surface is an example of this, blending a laptop with a tablet.

Many experts have begun to speculate if the PC market will start to shrink as the tablet market grows. Despite marketing Windows 8 for both markets, it’s notable that the adoption rate for Windows 8 is even below Windows Vista in its release year, another operating system that Microsoft struggled to get to the market.

Microsoft has come under fire for forcing their new operating systems on consumers in the past. This became an even bigger issue when Microsoft announced their new pricing model for Microsoft Office updates. I have seen quite a few people who have returned their computer because they weren’t a fan of Windows 8. Consumers are resistant to the wide sweeping changes that Microsoft has put into the new operating system, and many of those changes just make the user interface more complicated instead of simplifying things.

With so much competition from other electronics, the PC market is dependent on new operating systems to be a hit. If Windows can’t put out a product that consumers will want to pay for, then consumers will find a cheaper alternative for their technology needs. Especially as people begin to pay hundreds more dollars for Microsoft Office, it’s likely that we’ll start to see more robust software from competitors who will chip away at Microsoft’s market share.

Source: All Things D

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acer iconia w3 leaked pictures

Acer Iconia W3 – A 8.1 Inch Windows 8 Tablet Leaked on Amazon

At the Build Conference that is scheduled for the end of June, Microsoft is expected to launch a number of devices. According to a French website MiniMachines, Acer will be launching an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet. If this is true then Acer will be the first company to offer a Windows 8 tablet at a handy size. The above image was found on Amazon for a brief period before being pulled confirming the existence of the 8.1 inch windows 8 tablet.

acer iconia w3 810 1600 windows tablet

This tablet called the Acer Iconia W3 will sport a 8.1 inch display and have a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z2760 processor along with 2GB of RAM. There is no information regarding the display resolution of this tablet yet. While the following leaked spec image seems to convey that the Acer Iconia W3 will be powered by an Apple A4 processor, we would recommend taking it with a sack of salt! We expect it to be powered by an Atom CPU when it launches.

acer iconia w3 specs

As expected the tablet will have both front and rear cameras and a keyboard accessory is also expected. This 8 inch tablet is expected to be available in markets by September 2013. Acer has two different families of tablets at the moment, for the Android it starts with “A” and “W” series is for the Windows RT and Windows 8.

This is a huge for Microsoft which is looking to loosen its specifications to enable manufacturers to develop small screen windows tablets. Nexus 7 is the most popular device in this segment and an update is expected at the Google I/O this year as well.

 

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how to install iis8 on windows8

How to Install IIS 8 on Windows 8

The IIS is one among the first few things a Web Developer using ASP.NET would want to install on the Windows 8. The Internet Information Services (IIS) which was formerly known as the Internet Information Server is a web server software application and has a set of modules created by Microsoft for use with Windows.

The IIS 8, is a new version of the IIS is available only in Windows Server 2012 and the Windows 8. IIS 8.0 includes Application Initialization, centralized SSL certificate support, and multicore scaling on NUMA hardware, among other new features

How to install IIS 8 on Windows 8

Step 1

To start installing IIS8 in Windows 8, press the Windows + R. A pop up Run box will appear. Type “appwiz.cpl” and press enter.

how to install iis8 - 1

Step 2

The Program and Features window will open up. On the left hand side, click “Turn Windows features on or off”.

how to install iis8 - 2

Step 3

Now click on the Internet Information Services check box.

how to install iis8 - 3

Step 4

If you are a developer, expand the Internet Information Services option and explore the sub- components also. It installs everything that is required to host a website by default but if you are a developer, there are some developer centric components as well which has to be checked.

how to install iis8 - 4

Step 5

On clicking OK, a dialog box like the image below will appear on the screen for a while.

how to install iis8 - 5
Step 6

After the changes have been done, open the browser and navigate to local host.

localhost iis8 installed in windows 8

You have successfully installed the IIS 8 in your Windows 8 device. Hope this tutorial was helpful. Do share your thoughts below if you run into any trouble!

Images from HowToGeek

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microsoft surface 7 inch coming soon

Microsoft Planning 7-inch “Surface Mini”

There are reports of Microsoft’s plans to shrink the Surface tablet to a 7 inch version to make what will probably called the Surface Mini. We sure hope that it is not called “Microsoft Surface 7 with Windows 8 Pro/RT”! It is obvious that this new tablet will compete in the growing market of smaller tablets which are led by the iPad mini, the Nexus 7 and Kindle devices. The Surface mini is expected to launch later this year.

The 7 inch tablet was not a part of the company’s strategy last year. Success of any manufacturer is being able to provide to the markets needs and hence the Microsoft executives realize that they needed a product for the rapidly growing smaller tablet market, according to sources who are familiar with the Microsoft’s product plans.

surface tablet mini coming soon

Microsoft Surface is an amazing device, but confusion between RT and Pro as well as consumer not wiling to pay top dollars for a “tablet” have been major hindrances to its success. Microsoft hopes that the launch of the Surface Mini will reverse the disappointing sales of the larger version of the tablet which was launched earlier this year. It is believed that the surface mini is primarily designed as a games and media device and will probably be branded as an ‘Xbox tablet’ to accompany Microsoft’s hugely successful games console. It adds to the new Xbox rumors we have been hearing lately as well.

With the increasing sales in tablets, the PC sales are the most hit. The PC sales have had a major dip with 14 percent drop last year which is the biggest fall in the history. The world’s largest PC maker, HP saw a sharp decline in sales with 24 pecent less machines sold last year when compare to that in 2011. Dell saw a fall of 11 percent and Apple a 7 percent decline. This is the biggest fall in numbers since 1994.

According to the analysts “the day seems to be numbered for the humble PC” and the future will only have the portable devices. The PC makers have tried several innovations in designs and form factors to bring back the market including Ultra books which were also not received quite well. And the massive shift in the Windows platform is not helping sales either. But as more and more Windows XP and Windows 7 licenses migrate, Windows 8 future that Microsoft envisions should happen sooner or later.

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Windows 8 Prices

Best Windows 8 Photo Editing Apps

As Windows 8 stores mature, there are plenty of apps available for pretty much anything you would want to do. Photo editing is something many of us enjoy doing, but not everyone needs powerful photo editing tools from Adobe. In this article, lets look at some of the most popular photo editing apps available in the Windows 8 store.

Photo Editor by Aviary is one of the best apps that is available. It features useful and powerful set of tools. It starts right from the auto correction to the drawing. Color, contrast, sharpness and brightness management tools are also present, there is also a list of predefined photo effects.

photo editor windows 8

Fotor has a lot of pre defined effects but in terms of tool set it is pretty much like Photo Editor. The Tilt Shift Mode is a special feature which lets the user play with the focus area of a photograph. There is a set of beautiful borders to apply to the frames.

fotor for windows 8

Photo Funia is more of a fun based photo editing app which allows the user to make changes to the environment of the photo. Since it is a cloud based service, there are many options. It detects the selected image and applies the desired effect.

photo funia for windows 8 photo editor

Fhotoroom offers a large variety of styles, brushes, filters, exposure and more. It is an advanced tool and will be great for people who love photography and understands the details of the photo. It is an amazing tool.

Fhoto Room Image editor for widows 8

Perfect365 is a tool that can be used to enhance the face and expressions on a closely zoomed photo. This tool helps the user to make a total makeover to the photo. It can bring changes to the smile, eyes, cheeks, nose, color, intensity and many other factors of a photograph.

perfect 365 windows 8 phone

Sketch Me More – The name says it all! This app helps the user convert the photos to sketches. You can also take pictures with the camera and convert them into sketches.

windows 8 sketch app

ALSee is more about fun, it helps the user edit the photos using the editing tools like cropping and rotating, effects, frames, stickers, drawing tools and more.

ALSee windows 8 phone

Photo Wand helps to make the photos more fancy in a few easy steps by selecting styles from boxes.

PhotoWand Windows 8 app

Foto Editor has about 40 amazing effects and filters. Foto Editor allows easy editing of the photos with great effects. Another feature is that the photo can be shared with family and friends.

FotoEditor for windows 8

Do you use Windows 8 photo editing apps? Let us know your favorite in the comments!

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metro ui

4 reasons why Windows 8 is growing on me

When something new comes out I meet it with healthy curiosity and pure hatred. This is only amplified when the release comes from Micro$oft. My knee jerk reaction to Microsoft releasing a new OS is to ignore it and tell everyone it is terrible after playing with the beta for 30 minutes. Windows 8 is no different in this regard.

I eventually come around however. I liked Vista for a brief period because it dazzled me with AeroFx but after a few days of use I soon found myself reinstalling XP. With 7 it was different, I was skeptical for all of two minutes then went running to it like it was a long-lost parent. It is still my favourite OS to this day. I am starting to realize Windows 8 might just be a dark horse. For the purpose of educating myself on the new OS I have been using it for the past week as my primary OS, only going back to 7 for certain programs that I only have installed on it.

It’s the small things

What makes any piece of software good is an intuitive interface, although what makes it great is the minute details that you might not even notice at first. Take for example the Networks Pane. If you right-click on a given network it gives you estimated usage and an option to set it as a metered network. Handy is it not?

A reason why Windows 8 is growing on me

I have forgotten the old start menu already

After about an hour of using Windows 8 I decided I didn’t like the Metro UI any more than I liked it as a stand-alone program for Windows 7. I quickly found Classic Shell and was grateful to the developer for giving me such an escape. About 3 days in I found myself wanting to use the Metro UI more as it just seemed more fluid and gave me some useful information on my most used programs (Skype notifications, Reddit to Go! etc)

Classic-Shell

Apps, Apps Everywhere

When I first heard Windows 8 would have built-in apps and an accompanying store I had a feeling that they were just trying to cash in on what has been a mostly mobile domain up until now (aside from Chrome etc). I quickly went about adding thirty-something apps, deciding to go hard or go home. I uninstalled just 7 of them. And that was only because they didn’t do exactly what I wanted them to do. Recent numbers suggest that the store has apps numbering in around 50,000 which, lets face it, ain’t too shabby.
Windows 8 Store

Windows 8 in the future

It’s really nice to look at. You can argue that customization is limited but in reality it is a far cry from Windows 7 and is easily the biggest step forward since Windows 95 in graphical changes. In the new start menu you can choose from an array of themes. Further adding to this is the simple ability to resize individual tiles. I am still not completely sold on Windows 8 yet but I will certainly stand up for it in what it has done right. Microsoft recently announced several tweaks and changes to the OS in response to consumer complaints (ie poor sales) in the form of Windows Blue which is slated for release in Q3 (therefore Q4) this year.

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track your baby on your windows phone

Track Your Baby’s Activity With This Awesome Windows Phone App

Windows Phone has this new app built by Coquisoft for new parents and for those expecting one soon. The app is called ParentAssist, and it aims to help parents track their baby’s activities and everything else that needs attention in an easy to use interface.

The app allows the parents to keep a track of all the baby’s important activities like feeding schedules, diaper changes, or sleep patterns. It also keeps track of the appointments with the doctor, and the times when the baby falls sick. You can also track dates for the important vaccinations. The app also makes records of the allergies and medications the baby has had.

windows phone app for parents

It helps nursing mothers in monitoring the pumping sessions so that it is easier to record the time and the duration of pumping and also the amount of milk expressed. The app automatically creates detailed reports, charts and journals of all the details that is provided to it.

parent assist 3

Another feature is the different units of measurement that are available. Whether the data is recorded in imperial or metric units it is easily shifted from one system to another as and when required. This makes it easy to use for moms across the world.

parent assist 2

The app works in the background so that you could still check on your mail or post a photo of your cute baby on Facebook while the app is still recording the duration of the baby’s nap time or your breast pumping session. The live tile on the Windows Phone Start screen shows a reminder that the timer is running.

To use the app, an account has to be created but it is easy as you can login with either Microsoft, Gmail, Yahoo or Facebook.

You can create multiple profiles if there is more than one child. The app makes signing up a real easy process by guiding you through with helpful pop ups and there are no required fields! You can enter in the information that you have at the moment.

A very remarkable feature of this app is that it creates a back up and also synchronizes the data across other Windows Phones. This allows you to share data with your spouse or other people who would want to stay updated on the baby’s daily activities.

The app is available for free to try for a whole week so that you parents can decide if this is for you. Once you decide, it is just $3.99 to buy. Click here to check it out.

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Nokia-Music-Review

Nokia Music App for Windows 8 – All You Need to Know

The Nokia Music app is now available for the Windows 8 and RT devices. It is the first app released and is a full size tablet and desktop version of the already existing Windows Phone app. Users can now listen to their favorite songs while working on the computer or tablet. Nokia Music has a collection of more than 20 million songs.

Mike Bebel, head of Nokia’s Music told the Nokia Conversations blog: “When we launched Nokia Music Plus, the improvements were all designed around consumer feedback. What people wanted most were unlimited skips, more offline storage, access to lyrics and the ability to use the service on all of their different devices. This is one step further for service and equally reinforces Nokia Lumia as the smart phone of choice for the Windows 8 ecosystem. Whether you’re at home using a tablet, connected via a PC in the office, or using your smart phone on the move, Nokia Music Plus is there with a sound track to match”

The user can create “mixes” by selecting up to three artists of their choice. The mixes are free music streams that are created into a playlist and which is available in a plenty of genres. The app comes with the metro UI with mixes available as tiles. The user can see four tiles available when the app is initiated. The first tile is the available mixes, second one is where the user can create mixes and the third and fourth are where there is offline mixes and then the option to play songs from the PC respectively

The user has to be subscribed to the Music+ subscription at $3.99 per month. The app allows the user to sign up for a 7 day free trial of Music+ after which the user will be allowed only a 30 second clips if they don’t pay for the app.

If the user can use an existing Nokia account or can register for a new one using the app. Once the free trial is set up, the user can stream mixes.

nokia music windows 8 Mixes

Mixes are available in a wide range of categories and it starts playing from the home screen once the user selects the mix.

nokia music windows 8 screenshot

The playback button also gives the user an option to skip tracks. The Nokia Music+ also lets the user see the lyrics of the song that is being played, it can be enabled by clicking on the small icon near the playback. The user can download the mix so that it is available offline too,  just swipe the mix down to download.

The user has an option to create mixes of their choice. The user has to add their favorite artists and the app will create a mix. The app also recommends based on the users collection. The app also features artist information pages like biographies, tweets, tour dates and galleries. This version does not support download of individual songs, only mixes can be downloaded for offline payback at this time. Nokia Music is currently available only for US, UK, Australia and Ireland.

With the launch of Nokia Music app, Windows 8 has a strong case for a unified operating system.

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Windows 8 Prices

Microsoft updates Mail, Calendar and People in Windows 8, Windows RT

Earlier today Microsoft announced updates for some core Windows 8 applications which will see bug fixes and some new features. The changes will be available for the Mail, Calendar and People apps with a major focus on speed improvements. These updates are scheduled to happen starting at midnight tonight.

Let’s check out some of the new features in each app!

Mail app

windows 8 mail app updates

Quite a lot of subtle improvements have been made throughout the app to make it more fluid and zippy. On the features front, the user can now edit and delete hyperlinks as well as edit bulleted or numbered lists easily.

Mail filtering has improved tremendously and now the user can search for mail on the servers which will save time. Listed below are a few other improvements made.

  • User can create, rename and delete folders
  • Flag messages and view flagged messages
  • Sync faster and more reliably
  • Smart contact suggestions when composing a message
  • Delete all messages in a folder or mark them as read in one action.
  • Get easier access to search and printing

Calendar app

A full work week view (Monday - Friday) is now available. The calendar has been updated to sport an intuitive UI and has multiple visual changes. With the new app, users can create appointments based on people’s availability and then forward meeting invites by sending an email to all attendees. The user can also set end dates for recurring events. The calendar app allows the user to see the week’s work at a glance and plan accordingly.

People app

people app windows 8

A new navigation bar at the top allows the user to quickly switch between profiles so that one can post a status update or tweet or can see what his/her friends are up to.  Some new features of the People app are

  • Users can  now see information from the Exchange global address list
  • Ability to post to your friend’s wall
  • Faster navigation to various sections

This looks like an interim update to these apps before the much awaited Windows Blue update, which is expected to be released in the coming months. Most of the core apps are just amazing and the live tiles help me keep tabs on things without having to open the application each time.  Do you use any of the core applications in Windows 8? Which is your favorite so far?

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microsoft investigation in response to bribery allegations

Microsoft Investigation by the DOJ and SEC Seeks Bribes

The Microsoft investigation recently launched by the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission is following paper trails and HUMINT (human intelligence) leads in search of bribes.  Microsoft is under intense scrutiny after multiple allegations arose that the software giant slipped money covertly to government officials in China, Romania, and Italy in return for illegal (or at least unethical) favors.

The Microsoft Investigation was exposed to the general public by the Wall Street Journal which noted that th all-too-familiar “people familiar with the matter” have leaked allegedly credible information to the government agencies.

The company itself is said to have launched its own inquiry prior to the official Microsoft investigation but the result were never made public.

If the government agencies fined Microsoft has violated any national or international laws, the company could be facing huge fines that make the $731 million Microsoft fine the EU slapped the software manufacturer with in earlier this month look like Monopoly Money.  In addition, criminal charges could be filed against the company itself as well as any involved employees.

Microsoft Investigation Muddies already Murky International Waters

microsoftThis news of leaked insider information and illicit bribes comes on the heels of a European Microsoft investigation in which the company was discovered to have violated its own agreements in regards to Internet browser monopolies.

The Company is facing a huge international backlash as it’s portrayed as a multi-headed hydra that’s trying to push its products forcefully on consumers who aren’t even aware they have options.

There’s no word on whether this newest Microsoft investigation has ties to previous ones, but it’s likely the earlier witch hunts may have urged the unnamed former employee to come forward with these charges of wrong doing.  The alleged former employee was said to have worked for the company for years in China and had been engaged in labor disputes in that country.

The Romanian charges stem from another source which says the company could have been paying off government officials in order to secure contracts.  similarly, the Italian investigation is focusing on “customer loyalty” programs which could have included elaborate gifts in exchange for the retention of Microsoft products and services.

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