Microsoft’s Windows operating system has had its ups and downs over the years. Vista was, well, interesting. XP had a stable shelf life for a while there. Each new release seems to improve on earlier versions, but also tends to alter something people had become used to. Now, it’s time to look at Windows 8.
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of Windows 8, when compared to previous upgrades, is the cost. At $40 it is the least expensive operating system Microsoft has ever offered. You might be happy with your current version of Windows 7, but with a price that low, it’s tempting to buy a copy of 8 and consider trying it out when you get the chance.
If you’re a traditional desktop or laptop user, you might not find the upgrades to Windows 8 all that exciting. It incorporates what is called “Metro,” which is primarily a touch-centric interface. This has been useful on mobile devices, but if you’re a business user, you may not find this improvement particularly useful, or even desirable.
Sync to the Cloud
Windows 8’s ability to sync storage with online sources is vastly improved. It fully incorporates Microsoft’s Sky Drive into its file system, including all Office programs. This is a great convenience, particularly if you move from computer to computer. What’s more the settings can be made on one computer and all the others will automatically copy the personal touches you’ve put in place. This in turn is strengthened when used with Internet services like clearinternetservice.com/about-clear
Changes to the Interface
Over the last 25 years, Microsoft has maintained a consistency with its older versions to ensure that users feel like they are using an upgrade with familiar continuity. This time, the change is radical and jarring. There is no Start menu, for example. Though the Start Screen serves the same function, it takes time to adjust to.
The New vs. the Old
The greatest concern with Windows 8 is the schizophrenic way things have to be run. It is much like Windows 3.1 where you had to open older programs in DOS and then switch between the two. There is a similar problem with this upgrade since the old Desktop apps don’t work in the new Windows 8 interface, and modern apps don’t work in the old desktop system.
A Single Paradigm for all Devices
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the Windows 8 is the similarity it brings to all your Microsoft devices. There is finally a consistency between your PC, your tablet, even your phone. They all now work basically in the same way. They can even share the same settings. Transitioning from one device to the next will no longer be different. That even includes the Xbox, which has a Windows 8 sort of interface as well.
Like all new operating systems, Windows 8 has things you’ll appreciate and possibly things you’ll hate until you get used to them. Will it become as popular as Windows 7? That will depend, but it is definitely an attempt to move forward in the ever advancing world of computers.
Microsoft has made extensive changes to DirectX 11.1 and Windows 8 graphics. Whatever you do in Windows 8, everything is hardware accelerated and that is why its 2D and 3D performance and text is expected to blow off Windows 7. Faster gaming experience and more efficient applications have raised a significant overhaul in DirectX 11.1.
Windows 8 Graphics Upgrade Offering a High Class Operating System
The Metro-style apps are responsible for Windows 8 graphics changes. The interface of these typographically rich apps is built of ellipses, rectangles, rounded rectangles and lines.
The new graphical changes will cater you much greater speed than Windows 7. A text in Windows 8 will appear within a few seconds. GIF, PNG and JPEG image files have also been improved to a sufficient degree. Just imagine – Windows 8 decodes and provides you 64 JPEGs in just 4.38 seconds. Hence, now using the Photoshop software or browsing the web in Windows 8 will be real fun with such high speed image rendering service.
Want to watch some video on your Windows 8 OS? Gone are the days when you have to wait idle until the video uploads. The speedy rendering of images and texts offers an upscale video watching experience.
Windows 8 DirectX 11.1 Updated to a New Level
Specific changes have been made to DirectX 11.1. It is made much better now! Credit goes to Microsoft which has enhanced the redrawing portions. By lessening redrawing of static elements and texts, Microsoft reduces the wastage of processor cycle and memory usage.
Direct2D Effects, a new addition to DirectX 11.1, provides you “high quality” image effects like adjusting vibrancy, clarity, and exposure and lens correction. You can experience these effects in latest desktop apps like Photoshop besides the Metro-style photo editing software.
DirectX 11.1 from Microsoft comes with unified and simplified API especially for the developers. If all these days you were having problem in accessing the wide range of new features, DirectX 11.1 has come up with a solution for you. All the latest features are bundled under one single API.
Are these upgrades of any use?
Certainly, the new updated Windows 8 graphics and DirectX are beneficial for the Windows 8 users. Microsoft opines that these faster rendering features make less use of your hardware resources and lower the power consumption. Windows 8 guarantees you prolonged battery life and improved efficiency with its latest up-gradation.
With Windows 8 recent updates, it is very evident that the primary motive of Microsoft is to offer competition to Apple and Google in the field of mobile computing. It is expected that the latest mobile phones like Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 720 will operate on this recent tidied up DirectX API.
Now, it has become easier to develop games. Playing games, watching videos or images, editing photos – all will cater a cutting-edge experience to the users. Windows 8 graphics changes not only created a huge difference to the graphics but also provide support for the widest variety of graphics hardware you have ever seen. It’s time to experience hardware acceleration for Metro style applications!
Author’s Bio: For smooth functioning of your OS, you must call your computer support expert, Steve Tibbs, the author
of this article and a technical expert at MyTechSupportStore. Computer services at MyTechSupportStore are provided by Microsoft certified engineers.
Microsoft may have been a late entrant to the Smartphone segment (not considering the popular but old fashioned Windows Mobile here) but it does look like Redmond is doing a lot of things right so far. The Windows Phone UI and functionalities are extremely slick and despite the relatively few apps available on the Windows Phone marketplace compared to the iOS AppStore or Android Market, a lot of people have started to check out their smartphones. Today, Windows Phone enjoys an encouraging, but not so great 1.9% market share. But that could apparently change in the next few years thanks to the Lumia series of phones from Nokia that run on the Windows Phone platform.
According to the latest report from IHS iSuppli, Microsoft Windows Phone could beat Apple’s iOS in market share as early as 2015. In their report, IHS claim that 2012 could be the watershed year for Microsoft as their Windows Phone grows in popularity from a market share of sub 2% levels to as much as 9%. This is good not just for Microsoft but also Nokia that has seen its popularity fizzle in recent times to the iPhone and Android handsets.
Here is how the market share of the three big Smartphone players expected to move over the next three years.
2011 : 18.0%
2012 : 18.0%
2013 : 17.3%
2014 : 16.8%
2015 : 16.6%
2011 : 47.4%
2012 : 53.9%
2013 : 55.9%
2014 : 57.8%
2015 : 58.1%
2011 : 1.9%
2012 : 9.0%
2013 : 15.3%
2014 : 16.1%
2015 : 16.7%
The share of the rest of the Smartphone OSes is expected to fall from 32.7% in 2011 to just 8.6% in 2015. Is RIM going to be dead by then?
The Windows Phone marketplace is still a small ecosystem with just around 40,000 apps available for download. Around 3000 new apps are being added on a daily basis with more than 1650 of them being free. While this may sound like a small number, the fact that rivals like Apple and Google have had close to 3 years of headstart over Microsoft is an indication that Microsoft may be catching up faster than one may have thought. In the United States, Windows Phone 7 devices already make up close to 5% of all smartphones. Do remember that this does not include the older Windows Mobile 6.5 version devices.
So, what are the most popular apps among this fledgling population of users. First up, the top 10 free apps on the Windows Phone marketplace
2. Adobe Reader
4. Free Music Downloader (by Fast Code)
5. Bubble Shoot (by Words Mobile)
6. Penguin (by Mike Newman)
7. Xbox LIVE Extras
9. Physi Bricks (by Stiq Joy LLC)
10. Funny Jump (by AE Mobile)
So what are the apps that are being purchased the most? Here are the top 10
1. $2.99 Angry Birds
2. $2.99 Burn the Rope
3. $2.99 Gravity Guy
4. $2.99 Implode!
5. $2.99 COLLAPSE
6. $2.99 Fruit Ninja
7. $4.99 Need for Speed Undercover
8. $4.99 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4 Episode 1
9. $2.99 Fight Game Rivals
10 $4.99 PvZ
The number of spam sent per month back in July 2010 used to be around 90 billion. In a year’s time, this number has been brought down to just 25 billion. This is one of the revelations made in Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report. Click on the right arrow on the top of the article to see how this was achieved.
The absence of Apple at the Mobile World Congress has definitely given Google’s Android the definite edge over its competitors at the show in Barcelona this year. With the MWC for this year coming to a close today, everyone who’s been at the event has only one thing to say – Android is brilliant. With Nokia disbanding its own phone OS Symbian and partnering with Microsoft for Windows based Nokia phones, they did not have anything to offer this year. Almost every phone, be it the Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy S or the Sony Xperia Play smartphones or the Samsung’s second generation tablet or LG Slate, everything has been Android. There was Blackberry Playbook that was not running on Android but spoke of including Android apps and HP’s Tablet – TouchBook that did not use Android but WebOS.
So, this MWC belonged to Android completely.
It’s been a while that we got to see some exciting stuff on our gaming consoles. After COD: Black Ops, there’s not been one game that has evoked the interest of gaming enthusiasts. Come 2011, there are definitely a few good ones to look forward to. The ones that we are going to get in the next four months are Bulletstorm, Killzone 3, Mortal Kombat and L.A. Noir.
Bulletstorm and Killzone 3 are due on the 22nd of February, Mortal Kombat is coming out on April 9th and L.A. Noir is out on the 17th of May. While Bulletstorm is an EA Games presentation for both XBox and Sony, Killzone is exclusive to PS3 gamers. Mortal Kombat comes from Warner Home Video games and L.A. Noir is a Rockstar games presentation for both PS3 and XBox.
The Mobile World Congress at Barcelona has witnessed the components of the new Nokia Windows Phone 7. New slim and sleek Nokia devices that would run on Windows phone 7 OS were unveiled for a preview at the MWC. Two slides which contained the new Nokia devices were made available to the public. While the first phone is a slim one with rounded corners and contains a standard headphone jack at the top, a speaker grill at the bottom, a camera shutter at the back and a volume rocker to the side. The second phone that was unveiled looked a higher-end device with three standard Windows 7 buttons, a camera with a flash and a power button.
Nokia has also not revealed if the upcoming devices were going to be exactly the same. Also, an exact launch date of the devices is not out yet. For now, Nokia definitely wants to release their new phones by the end of 2011.
Now that the Nokia-Microsoft partnership is official and both Nokia and Microsoft are trying to cope up with the competition being offered by Google and Apple, arises the question, who benefited the most from the partnership. Apparently, it seems like Microsoft is the bigger beneficiary when compared to Nokia. Why? It is rather simple to answer. Nokia has let go off its phone OS Symbian and has embraced Windows as its new phone OS. For doing this, it has to pay an unknown number of billions to Microsoft for allowing the use of Windows on Nokia phones along with paying some hefty royalties to Microsoft.
Following the announcement of the partnership, Nokia’s stocks slid by 14 percent. Under the pressure of the current situation, Nokia is planning to release its first Windows based handset by the end of this year. The once king of mobile technologies is indeed going through a tough time.
The Nokia-Microsoft partnership was made public yesterday. But, is this partnership a blessing for Google and Apple and may be RIM as well. Nokia as we know has embraced Microsoft’s Windows and has abandoned its own OS Symbian for developing new smartphones. Analyst Abramsky opines that this partnership is actually helping the iPhones, Androids and Blackberries more than it is going to help Nokia and Microsoft. The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft could help both the companies is the market were to be successful and take Microsoft’s market share from the existing 5 percent to 35 percent. But, if the partnership were unable to deliver the results as expected, then the share gains of their rivals are sure to go up.
On the other hand, there is a possibility that this partnership could also trigger further collaborations like Android /RIM which could influence the smartphone market immensely.