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  1. Microsoft appears to be readying some significant changes to its next version of Windows. Paul Thurrott reports that Microsoft is planning to make the Start menu available as an option in the next major Windows release, currently codenamed "Threshold." The Start menu change will follow a recent reversal that Microsoft made in Windows 8.1, bringing back the Start button UI. It’s not clear if the Start menu will be made available for all versions of Windows Threshold, and Thurrott speculates it may appear as an option for those that only support desktop apps. Further Threshold changes appear to include an option to run Windows 8-style ("Metro") apps on the desktop. Currently, the new Windows 8-style apps can run alongside the desktop, but the next version of Windows is said to expand this greatly by allowing Metro apps to float as separate windows on the desktop. Third-party tools like Stardock’s ModernMix already support this, but it appears Microsoft will add it natively to provide more flexibility for its new style apps. On the topic of Threshold, ZDNet is also reporting that Microsoft is moving to a simplified version of Windows for consumers, including a version focused on Windows 8-style apps that’s updated frequently and available for ARM-based Windows tablets, PCs, and Windows Phones. A more traditional consumer version will be designed for the current PC market and fully support existing desktop apps. A separate enterprise version will include the policy management and enterprise features that you’d expect, but it’s not designed to be updated as frequently as the consumer SKUs. The Verge can confirm Microsoft is investigating separate consumer and enterprise versions of Windows. Microsoft’s Windows "Threshold" version is expected to debut in spring 2015. Source Staff Note: Already posted. Hence, closing.
  2. broascadilie

    Windows 8 Manager 1.1.9

    The complete solution to optimize, tweak, repair and clean up your Windows 8. Windows 8 Manager comes from the same guys that brought WinXP Manager, Vista Manager as well as the Windows 7 Manager to the software scene. These highly acclaimed programs have already received great user reviews. The only problem with such software is the hands it falls in. The wrong hands, even though not badly intended can cause system stability and performance issues in a matter or minutes if not seconds by operating the knobs and switches within the program like Dee Dee does in Dexter’s Laboratory. Windows 8 Manager and any other similar software is exclusively designed for users with a fair level of knowledge when it comes to operating systems. Although it is not only made for customization, the program allows users to view system information, manage processes or even optimize, clean and repair their OS. Nevertheless, we highly recommend that you always know what you are doing before you are actually doing it as long as you really want to operate like a surgeon on the software part of your computer. Optimizing your Windows 8 installation takes you through the system itself alongside the speed, service and even task scheduler components as well as the startup and shutdown operations. Windows 8 Manager also delivers dedicated tools for disk analysis, uninstall procedures, junk cleaning or registry defragmentation. The customization part of the scheme lets you tinker some system settings, the Start Screen, explorer, desktop, taskbar, jump list or context menu. You can also access the Visual Customizer for more graphics-related options. Security and network are also present in the main interface window of Windows 8 Manager, bringing their hidden features into the light and allowing you to personalize them to your very own liking. And if those are just not enough for you, the My Task tool helps you design specific automated jobs whenever specific rules are met. On the side, you can also take advantage of the file splitting and copying capabilities. The bottom line is that Windows 8 Manager is a truly comprehensive set of tools that can help you successfully open up your operating system and customize, optimize and cleanse almost everything about it. If you think you have what it takes to take control over your Windows 8 installation, then Windows 8 Manager is the right software for the job. What's new in Windows 8 Manager 1.1.9:November 11th, 2013Fix bugs and perfect the functions.Add some tweaksJunk File Cleaner updated to v2.0, fix the exit bug.Registry Cleaner updated to v1.6, fix the exit bug.Live Update updated to v1.6Privacy Protector updated to v1.7Registry Defrag updated to v2.2Smart Uninstaller updated to v1.8Startup Manager updated to v1.7 1.Close your internet connection,completly2.Install3.Block in your antivirus/firewall windows8manager.exe and LiveUpdate.exe3.After app starts,use registration info. https://mega.co.nz/#F!tsYCFICA!FKR4nFNOl2JirvCAcV9Bzg IT IS LATEST VERSION,1.1.9.MY FAULT THERE,I HAVE RENAMED THE SETUP FILE WRONG.
  3. Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (x86/x64) Integrated November 2013-Maherz | 2.92 GB / 4.01 GB This is the original Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (32-bit) ISO from Microsoft. Including Microsoft updates until 13.11.2013 and Internet Explorer 11. - This release is the best you could find on the net, because Maherz made it just simple: * NO tweaks or add-ons.* NO additional programs and software added.* NO graphics, scripts and wallpapers added or changed.* It's the original image from Microsoft except added updates and IE11! - System requirements: * 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.* 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM.* 16 GB available hard disk space.* DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver. - Hashes of ISO file (x86) * CRC32: 839273CC* MD5: 10CB79797D6BB78EF17A1BA76D845869* SHA-1: B83B4498A922396FFA0E31B3B85835E572391637 - Hashes of ISO file (x64) * CRC32: 31B81F76* MD5: 7E6F1C3458DBDCE97E23BA2C030E407B* SHA-1: 5164E737C4F0C098987990FE791B12F636794268 - Instructions: 1) Extract compressed files.2) Burn ISO file into a DVD with MINIMAL speed.3) Install as normal. When asked for a key leave it empty.4) After the system is ready use Windows Loader or November_Ra1n Legit key to activate, enjoy ;) DOWNLOAD HERE [ 32 BIT & 64 BIT ] http://pastebin.com/Wh1t2JRJ LINK PASSWORD [ IF NEEDED ] : www.software182.net
  4. Windows XP Professional SP3 (x86) Integrated November 2013-Maherz | 618 MB *First of all, i dont know if anyone need this or not, i just want to share it here :), if you need this, you can download it or if you don't need or even don't like this, please do not blame on me :( :P Just like and rate this post okay :D This is the original Windows XP Professional SP3 (32-bit) ISO from Microsoft. Including Microsoft updates until 17.11.2013, Internet Explorer 8, Adobe Flash Player 11.9 and SATA drivers. - This release is the best you could find on the net, because Maherz made it just simple: * NO tweaks or add-ons.* NO additional programs and software added.* NO graphics, scripts and wallpapers added or changed.* NO serial needed during installation, the key is already inserted.* Activated and passes Microsoft Windows Genuine validation test.* It's the original image from Microsoft except added updates, IE8, Adobe Flash Player (11.9.900.152) and SATA drivers!* Windows Messenger, MSN Explorer and Internet Explorer 6 were removed. - System requirements: * Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended).* At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended).* At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk .* Video adapter and monitor with Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution. - Homepage: M!cr0$Oft W!nd0ws XP - Hashes of ISO file: * CRC32: 563B26F0* MD5: 07A1507E5F4231C5F64C4BF86D58F860* SHA-1: 6947E45F7EB50C873043AF4713AA7CD43027EFA7 :yes: INTERCHANGEABLE LINKS !!!!! :yes: DOWNLOAD HERE [ 4 PART ] http://pastebin.com/tB7w4PhD LINK PASSWORD [ IF NEEDED ] : www.software182.net
  5. ngedown

    About Windows 8.1

    Hey nsane members :) im new here, i just wanna ask something here, what's the different between : Windows 8.1 Embedded Industry Enterprise / Pro version Windows 8.1 Enterprise Debug Checked Windows 8.1 Single Language and the Windows 8.1 with "N" version ?Can i use KMSpico or November_ra1n legit key to activate all of them ? I have searched it on google, but i didnt find any answers for this :)
  6. Command Prompt Method This is the more “hackerish” way of doing things, utilizing the highly-useful netsh command that Windows has employed for quite some time. Simply fire up a command prompt window and enter the following:netsh wlan show profiles From the list of the shown profiles, identify the name of the one that you want to remove. Next, enter the following command: netsh wlan delete profile name=”profile_name”where "profile_name" will be replaced with the actual name of the profile. The profile is removed and the network will show as a new, unidentified network the next time it’s in range. source
  7. Windows 8.1 Pro Integrated November 2013 (x86/x64) Full Version | This is the original Microsoft Windows 8.1 professional 32-64-bit ISO from Microsoft. Including Microsoft updates until 12.11.2013 and Internet Explorer 11. This version is the best from the internet and contains: NO tweaks or add-ons.NO additional programs and software added.NO graphics, scripts and wallpapers added or changed.It’s the original image from Microsoft except added updates and IE11.This version can be activated when you are disconnect from the internet with KMSpico.File hashes from iso: ♦ 32 bit: CRC32: 374590D2MD5: EB28F130264FC23C0DCB9631A2D1C61ESHA-1: 78F50F3CF38415C2167FF2E3D1FEB627AC90E241 ♦ 64 bit: CRC32: B3ECC208MD5: 6D6C0F645DB454C7286E43DAEA899FD1SHA-1: B7623A046EA5C4538AD2A1E3119FE1BFAC725EC3 InstructionExtract compressed files. Burn ISO file into a DVD with MINIMAL speed. Install as normal. After the system is ready, disconnect from the internet and then use KMSpico to activate or November_Ra1n Legit key :yesHOMEPAGE --> www.drillbell.ro DOWNLOAD HERE - 32 BIT VERSION - 7 PART - TUSFILES http://pastebin.com/zyrkLhUx DOWNLOAD HERE - 64 BIT VERSION - 9 PART - TUSFILES http://pastebin.com/gbWHg9qq OR HERE MAGNET LINK [ 32 BIT ] magnet:?xt=urn:btih:d186071daec7f255948cf5dd93c22fe7d962ff75&dn=Windows+8.1+Professional+x86+Integrate+November+2013&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.publicbt.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.istole.it%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.ccc.de%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fopen.demonii.com%3A1337MAGNET LINK [ 64 BIT ] magnet:?xt=urn:btih:6274bb6b16db2f76b836be2893be75868b6ef4ce&dn=Windows+8.1+Professional+x64+Integrate+November+2013&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.publicbt.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.istole.it%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.ccc.de%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fopen.demonii.com%3A1337:yes: ENJOY :yes:
  8. Name: KMSAuto Net.exeSize: 503 KBCRC32: 8556AF42MD5: A47429316638811A6AEE9BA1863AE423SHA-1: 40FE0C8486ECC171AAA4852EECCBD52A53B78FE5
  9. In case you missed it, yesterday we exclusively reported that OneDrive is getting a new “co-owned folders” feature. But the good news doesn’t stop here, as we have received more exclusive information regarding what’s to come with OneDrive. LiveSide has learnt that OneDrive will offer up to an extra 8 GB of storage for users when they complete certain tasks. Below is a screenshot showing the welcome screen outlining how you can get this extra storage: We understand that when OneDrive launches, there will be two bonus offers for users to get extra free storage, these include: Referral bonus – Users will be able to earn up to a maximum of 5 GB of extra storage by referring their friends to join OneDrive. For every friend you invite and actually joins OneDrive, both you and your friend will get an extra 500 MB of storage. You can only refer up to 10 friends for this offer. Camera roll bonus – Users will be able to earn 3 GB of extra storage by simply choosing to sync photos from their camera roll to OneDrive using the OneDrive app for iOS, Android, or the built-in Windows Phone function. We understand that these bonus storage will be in addition to the free 7 GB of storage that all new users get (or if you were one of the early SkyDrive adopters, 25 GB), and that they do not expire. As always, whilst we’re certain that the information is accurate at the time of posting, things may change between now and when OneDrive gets released. But this should be welcoming news to many – after all who wouldn’t like some extra free storage? Source
  10. By Daniel Rubino, Saturday, Feb 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm With yesterday’s all but obvious teaser for the Lumia Icon – otherwise known as the Lumia 929 – you would suspect that a launch date and announcement wouldn’t be too far off from now. Granted, expected dates have come and gone in the past, but now that Verizon stores are receiving inventory for accessories and Nokia US is tossing up videos, we’re much more confident this time around. The latest intel has the Lumia Icon due for availability on Thursday, February 20th. Verizon traditionally launches new devices on that day of the week, so that lines up with expectations. It also matches anticipations that this device will come out before Mobile World Congress (so don’t expect it to be announced there). Even more, we’re hearing that the Icon will go on pre-order at Microsoft Stores on Wednesday, February 12th, with a $50 deposit, making an official announcement from Verizon by early next week very likely. The information and confirmation comes via in-store inventory listings, seen above. We’ve witnessed such proof in the past, only to have Verizon push the date back. In theory, that could happen here, but as mentioned earlier, in-store inventory and promotions have already begun, making it less likely. The Lumia Icon, previously known as the Lumia 929, sports some very impressive specifications. In fact, it’s all but the Lumia 1520 in a smaller package. Coming in Black or White, the new Verizon flagship will sport the following features: Verizon Nokia Lumia Icon •Windows Phone 8 Update 3, Lumia Black •5” 1080P AMOLED Display •2.2 GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 CPU •32 GB internal Storage •2 GB RAM •20 MP PureView camera with dual LED flash •Qi-Wireless charging •2510 mAh battery •880 hours Standby; 13.83 hours Talk Time •Dimensions: 5.37 in (H): 2.81 in (W): 0.41 in All in all, it’s the spitting image of the Lumia 928, but with cutting edge hardware jammed into a device that is only slightly taller than its predecessor. The Lumia Icon also sports a metal-frame around the body, greatly improving the feel (and quality) of the device. The Lumia Icon was previously known as the Lumia 929, but we’ve been told that Verizon requested the marketing re-brand to better differentiate from AT&T and other carriers. This move is similar to their ‘Droid movement when they first adopted Android devices. There’s no evidence though that this will become the norm for future Lumias (or what those will be called under Microsoft). Yesterday’s teaser video uses the tagline ‘See and hear what you’ve been missing’, which is the same language used on Verizon’s website that accidentally went live a few times, all but confirming the relatedness. http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-icon-verizon-february-20th
  11. by Peter Bright - Feb 9 2014, 12:00am AUSEST This article apparently is a response to "Analysis: Microsoft Must Kill Windows Phone And Fork Android" http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206052-analysis-microsoft-must-kill-windows-phone-and-fork-android/ Canning Windows Phone and using Android would be a huge mistake. As happens from time to time, the suggestion has been made that Microsoft cancel Windows Phone, and instead fork Android. It's not the first time this suggestion has been made. It's probably not the last, either. It's a poor idea. Google has worked to make Android functionally unforkable, with no practical way to simultaneously fork the platform and take advantage of its related strengths: abundant developers, and abundant applications. The outline of the "Microsoft should fork Android" argument is as follows: Windows Phone doesn't have huge developer buy-in or sales success, but Android has both. By forking Android, Microsoft could provide unique value—corporate integration with things like Exchange, Active Directory, and System Center or InTune; full Office support; a polished user experience—and make the platform depend on its own cloud services (Bing, Bing Maps, Azure) rather than Google's. But simultaneously, it would still have access to all the Android applications that people depend on. The result should be a platform that's somehow more attractive to consumers, by virtue of the Android brand and all those Android apps, more attractive to developers thanks to the Android APIs, and cheaper for Microsoft to develop, since core operating system development can be left to Google. Where this falls down is that there's no good way to use the Android platform this way. It's not designed for it. In fact, with each new Android release, Google is making a forked operating system less and less viable. Not-very-open source Broadly speaking, Google produces two big chunks of code. The first is the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP) codebase. This provides the basic bones of a smartphone operating system: it includes Android's version of the Linux kernel, the Dalvik virtual machine, and portions of the basic user interface (settings app, notification panel, lock screen). This part is licensed under a mix of the GPL and Apache license. Google produces periodic code release of these open source parts, though has been criticized for performing the actual development largely behind closed doors. The second chunk is called the Google Mobile Services (GMS). (Or at least, sometimes it's called GMS. Sometimes it's called just Google Services, and sometimes it's Google Play or Google Play Apps; GMS is what it's called in the code, though, so that seems to be the most common name). This has two big portions. The Google Play Services provides a wealth of APIs and system services: APIs for Google Maps, Location, and in-app purchasing; Google+ integration; Remote Wipe; Malware scanning; and more. Then there's the Play Store collection of apps: Search, Gmail, Chrome, Maps, and many more. The GMS has a few important features. GMS isn't open source. Anyone can take AOSP and slap it on a phone. That's not true of GMS. To get GMS, the device has to meet certain technical requirements (performance, screen resolution, and so on), and it has to pass validation. Though Google says that the GMS suite is itself free, the validation process isn't, with reports that it costs around $0.75 per device. GMS also seems not to be divisible: if your phone passes the GMS validation and can include GMS, it includes everything: both Play Services, and the various Google-branded apps that use those services. The split between AOSP and GMS is not constant, either. Google has slowly been migrating more and more functionality to GMS. For example, in the latest Nexus 5, the core phone user interface—the thing that you use to launch apps and show icons—has been rolled into the GMS Search app. Similarly, APIs have made the move. AOSP contains a location API, but GMS contains a newer, better one, with additional features. Google encourages developers to use the GMS API, and the AOSP Location API mostly dates back to Android 1.0, and hasn't seen any substantial changes since Android 1.5. The result is that many third-party applications are not merely "Android" applications: they're GMS applications, and won't run without the proprietary, non-open Google software. Four ways to do Android There are four ways that hardware builders can use Android on their phones. The first is the way that Google really wants companies to use Android: by relying both on AOSP and GMS. Pass the certification, include all the Google services and Google apps. That's what companies like Samsung and HTC and LG do. Going this route still provides some facility for the OEM to customize. OEMs can provide their own apps to sit alongside the Google ones, for example. It appears that Google isn't completely happy about this—there are reports that the company recently made an agreement with Samsung whereby Samsung would reduce the amount of customization of the user interface and deprioritize or remove its apps that competed directly with Google-branded equivalents. Taking this path provides the best compatibility with third-party applications by ensuring that they have both AOSP and GMS APIs available to them. It also provides the most consistent experience: in spite of the various customizations that are done, it means that Google's apps will be available, and those apps will work the same way on any AOSP+GMS device. It also cedes most control to Google, and that level of control will only grow. Each new release increases the level of integration with Google's own services, and Google is moving more and more new functionality to GMS, leaving AOSP a barebones husk. At the other end of the spectrum, you can ignore GMS entirely. Ship a phone with AOSP and perhaps some custom software on top of it to make the experience a little less rough for users, and call the job done. At the very cheapest end of the market, there are companies doing precisely this; it's abundant in China, in particular. If they choose, OEMs can provide their own stores and other services to fill the many, many gaps that omitting GMS leaves, but they're always at a disadvantage relative to GMS devices, because they won't be compatible with any third-party applications that use GMS' APIs. That's not a small category, either, since features such as in-app purchasing are in GMS. The third option is the one that spans the two: ship a device with AOSP, and an equivalent to GMS that provides new implementations of substantially the same APIs. Provide workalike replacements for services such as location and mapping, but plumb into Microsoft services rather than Google ones. No company has really gone down this route. The closest is Amazon, which provides near-drop-in replacements for some Google APIs (in particular mapping), but which hasn't even begun to keep pace with GMS development in general. Technically, however, a company with sufficient development resources could provide its own GMS replacement. The overhead would be not insignificant, especially as—to ensure optimal compatibility—the replacement would have to replicate not just correct functioning, but any bugs or quirks of the GMS implementation. There are also lots of little awkward aspects of the GMS API; it includes such capabilities as "share with Google+" which few companies have any real counterpart to. Another example: there is an API for handling turn-based multiplayer gaming. A company could implement this API and have its own server infrastructure for managing the gaming sessions, but obviously these gaming sessions would be completely separate from Google's gaming sessions, fragmenting the player base in a way that game developers are unlikely to be keen on. As an added bonus, should the ultimate resolution of Google's long-running legal battle with Oracle be that APIs are, in fact, copyrightable, this kind of wholesale reimplementation of GMS would become legally actionable. Google could, if it chose to, shut it down through the courts. To these three options, one could perhaps add a fourth: use AOSP to provide a few essential services—support for hardware, telephony, and so on—but then build an entirely new platform and APIs to run on it. Aspects of Amazon's API support would fall into this category, with some of its APIs covering the same ground as GMS APIs, but in a completely different, incompatible way. It's not clear, however, that any manufacturer has entirely embraced this path, though one might argue that Ubuntu for Android is similar, at least in spirit. You can have compatibility or control: Not both The first of these options—AOSP with GMS—is the only option that provides the full Android experience. It's the only one that ensures developers can transfer their skills perfectly, the only one that ensures that the full breadth and variety of Android software is available. However, it's clearly not a good option for Microsoft, given that it would almost entirely cede control of the platform to Google—and judging by the advertising company's track record, it would cede even more control with each new Android release. The second option—AOSP with a few extra custom extras—has the upside of providing an opportunity for Microsoft to integrate its own services. It would support some Android software, though exactly how much is unclear. It would certainly mean omitting any high-profile title using in-app purchasing, so, say, Plants vs. Zombies 2 or the latest iteration of Angry Birds would be out. If one were building a feature phone platform, this may be a somewhat reasonable path to take. When the phone is only really built for running the built-in apps (camera, browser, e-mail) the fact that many Android apps would be incompatible doesn't really matter. The rumors of a Nokia-built Android phone suggest this kind of approach: AOSP under the hood, but with Nokia services, not Google ones, on top. This approach also probably works acceptably for ultra-low-end devices where compatibility isn't such a big deal, which accounts for much of the Chinese AOSP market. But for Microsoft, this would be missing the point: the company already has a platform that's not compatible with the latest and greatest high profile apps. It doesn't need another one. However, it's important to understand just how deficient this kind of device would be. Google has pushed very significant pieces of functionality into GMS, including messaging and the Chrome browser. The AOSP counterparts are buggy, feature deprived, and by at least some accounts, barely maintained. If a company wants to use AOSP without GMS, it has a lot of work to do if it wants to produce a high quality experience. The open source parts just aren't good enough. Amazon's Kindle experience also demonstrates how even having an Android-like AOSP-derived platform is challenging. Kindle doesn't have the latest and greatest Android games, because their various developers haven't bothered making non-GMS versions of their games, even though the Kindle platform is very similar to Google's. In other words, the application challenge already faced by Windows Phone isn't solved by using AOSP. The only way to solve the application issue is to be not merely an AOSP platform but a GMS platform. The third option—AOSP with a home-grown GMS equivalent—would solve this, but it would also maximize the development effort required by the forker. Providing equivalents to every GMS capability ensures at least that users get a decent experience. It would also reinstate the software compatibility that AOSP without GMS forfeits. But this is a huge undertaking. For Microsoft, the effort required to build a GMS workalike on top of AOSP is going to be comparable to the effort required to build the Windows Phone shell and APIs on top of Windows. In fact, it's likely to be somewhat greater: Microsoft already has, for example, a browser engine that runs on Windows. It doesn't have one that runs on AOSP. Moreover, it still implicitly gives Google control over the platform. Various aspects of how Android is used are determined by the underlying APIs: sharing between applications, for example, is done in a particular Android way. Any platform using Android in this way would have only a limited ability to take the platform in a different direction from the one Google chose. The fourth option—use AOSP with an entirely new software stack on top—gives freedom and flexibility, but to what end? The kernel isn't the important bit. Microsoft already has a smartphone kernel. Windows Phone 8 already uses it. And strikingly, for Microsoft, ditching Windows Phone doesn't mean that the company can ditch development of this kernel. It's already being developed—for Windows! The kernel isn't the hard part. Fork off If Android were an open platform in the way that Firefox OS or Ubuntu for smartphones were an open platform, the forking suggestion would make more sense. The AOSP/GMS split wouldn't exist. Everything would be in AOSP, so piecemeal substitution of back-end services without having to reinvent vast tracts of code and without any major compatibility implications would be practical. But it isn't. Not only is it not this kind of an open platform, but Google is actively working to make it functionally less open with each new release. The result is that a forker has to make a choice: they can give Google control and get the all the upsides of the platform, or they can snatch control from Google and get almost none of them. Android isn't designed to be forked. With GMS, Google has deliberately designed Android to resist forking. Suggestions that Microsoft scrap its own operating system in favor of such a fork simply betray a lack of understanding of the way Google has built the Android platform. http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/neither-microsoft-nokia-nor-anyone-else-should-fork-android-its-unforkable This article apparently is a response to "Analysis: Microsoft Must Kill Windows Phone And Fork Android" http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206052-analysis-microsoft-must-kill-windows-phone-and-fork-android/
  12. Although Satya Nadella is being widely praised as a terrific choice as Microsoft’s new CEO, he won’t be completely free of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, his two predecessors who will stay on at the company as a technology advisor and a board member, respectively. The very well-connected Bob Cringely writes that that Nadella would be wise to keep Gates at his side early in his tenure because he’ll need Gates to help him to get Ballmer to back off if he decides to diverge from the outgoing CEO’s plan to remake Microsoft into a devices and services company. “Ballmer still owns 333 million Microsoft shares, has a huge ego, and that ego is likely to be invested at first in bullying Nadella toward following line-for-line the devices and services strategy Ballmer came up with last year that so far isn’t working too well,” Cringely writes. “If Nadella wants to veer very far from that path by, for example, getting rid of Nokia or making Microsoft an enterprise software company, only Gates will be able to stand between the two men and, frankly, spare Nadella’s job.” Although this may sound overly gossipy, remember that Cringely made a name for himself by being Silicon Valley’s go-to gossip columnist and that Game of Thrones-style tales of palace intrigue are well documented at Microsoft. Cringely also confirms other reports that we’ve read about Ford CEO Alan Mulally being spooked about the prospect of having Gates and Ballmer watching over his every move, something that should be less of a problem for Nadella since he’s reportedly Gates’ preferred choice as Ballmer’s successor and because the two men apparently see eye-to-eye more often than not. So what do all of these personnel moves mean as far as actual products go? Cringely sees Microsoft eventually realizing that Windows Phone will always be the world’s No. 3 mobile platform and will move more aggressively to get its software onto Android-based devices. “Microsoft is fully entrenched in the enterprise and the future success of the enterprise will depend on the company’s ability to seamlessly integrate all its data center offerings with mobile clients,” he writes. “They can do that by being successful with Windows Phone except that won’t happen or they can embrace Android and do whatever it takes to make Android work beautifully in a Microsoft environment.” Oh, and one more piece of gossip from Cringely that should soothe the nerves of gamers everywhere: He thinks that the Xbox is safe because Microsoft needs to have a winner in the consumer electronics space and the Xbox seems like it’s the only one for the time being. Source
  13. By Charles Arthur 8 February 2014 03.03 AEST Microsoft’s new chief executive should separate mobile effort, and use the strength of Google’s open-source Android code to leap into mobile contention Edit: A response to this article, titled "Neither Microsoft, Nokia, nor anyone else should fork Android. It’s unforkable." can be read here: http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206105-neither-microsoft-nokia-nor-anyone-else-should-fork-android-its-unforkable/?do=findComment&comment=737084 To add to all the advice being ladled out to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new chief, here’s another piece: stop bothering with Windows Phone. It’s a waste of money which will never pay off. Instead, focus the efforts of Microsoft and soon-to-be subsidiary Nokia on forking Android – because that way you can exploit the huge number of Chinese handset makers who want to burst out of China and sell to the rest of the world. Here’s the thing: Windows Phone was too late in coming to the smartphone race: when it was released in October 2010, the starting gun had long been fired. The race had been on for years before Microsoft showed up with a competitive product, and that meant the rival ecosystems had plenty of time to capture markets. Late to the race You can argue over whether Apple fired the gun in January 2007 by showing off the iPhone - which certainly seems to have galvanised Andy Rubin’s team at Google to rewrite Android for a touch screen rather than a keyboard, as set out in Fred Vogelstein’s book Dogfight, or whether Google fired it by announcing the Open Handset Alliance and releasing the Android open source in October 2008, or whether BlackBerry and Nokia had done it years before with their offerings. It doesn’t matter. The fact is that no mobile OS announced since 2009 has made any significant impact on the landscape for smartphone use. In the US, Android and iOS make up 93% of the installed base of smartphones, with Microsoft on 3.1%, at a time when 65% of mobile phone users wield a smartphone. The remaining 35% will be increasingly difficult to reach, and likely less interested in using a smartphone. Windows Phone has arrived too late for them. In reality, Windows Phone has a very small user base; Paul Thurrott estimated it recently at 50m worldwide, which sounds reasonable. Compare that, though, against more than 500m iPhones and, conservatively, 800m Android phones (using figures from Flurry from mid-2013) - or perhaps a billion Android phones including those in China which don’t use Google services - and you realise that Windows Phone hasn’t just got a mountain to climb; it’s a sheer overhanging cliff. At this point someone is certain to say “Aha! But Windows Phone is outselling iPhones in 24 countries!” This comes under the heading of “true (at the time the data was collected, which was just ahead of a new iPhone launch), but irrelevant”. The reality is that in every single one of those countries, Android is outselling Windows Phone. And the iPhone is outselling Android in one country - Japan (always a law unto itself, phone-wise). However, there are no countries where Windows Phone is outselling both Android handsets and the iPhone. Because it is always selling fewer than one or the other (or both, as is the case in many big European countries), it is continually falling further behind the three real mobile ecosystems (Google Android, non-Google Android in China, iOS). The chances of Nokia on its own ever catching the iPhone for installed base - which, remember, is the total of phones in peoples’ hands that has accumulated over years, not one month’s sales - in key territories such as the US and Europe are below minimal. In the US, a key market for all sorts of things, there are presently 65 million iPhones users and 80 million Android users, according to ComScore - and 4.8 million Windows Phone users. There are 83 million featurephone users left. If you truly believe Windows Phone will capture those remaining users in any significant amount, or persuade large numbers of Android and iPhone users to abandon their handset, your faith is touching, but surely misplaced. Windows Phone is nice enough. But this is about reality. US smartphone installed base, by platform, to December 2013. Windows Phone has fewer than 5m users; Android, 80m; iPhone, 65m. Source: ComScore. Photograph: Guardian/ComScore That red line struggling to take off? That’s the background to the problem. Now, what about the solution? Killing Windows Phone would be dramatic. But it’s a distraction at a time when Microsoft needs focus. As someone who has come from the cloud side of the business, Satya Nadella knows about providing services. (It’s said that Apple’s iCloud uses Microsoft’s Azure for some of its services.) As someone running a company which is going to focus on “devices and services” (via Steve Ballmer), the question is: which do you want to make your money from? Services everywhere Apple’s good at devices, so-so at services. Google’s nowhere in devices, top-notch at services. Where does Microsoft want to be? As John Gruber argues, it should be trying to offer Microsoft services on every device, everywhere: Satya Nadella needs to find Microsoft’s new “a computer on every desk and in every home running Microsoft software”. Here’s my stab at it: Microsoft services, sending data to and from every networked device in the world. The next ubiquity isn’t running on every device, it’s talking to every device. So how does dumping Windows Phone and forking Android achieve that? First, it means that Microsoft doesn’t simply waste the money and talent from the Nokia mobile acquisition. Nokia’s expertise is in hardware and the supply chain. Microsoft’s is with software. Forking Android wouldn’t be trivial, but Microsoft could take the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP) that is already widely used in China and put new services on top. It is already licensing Here maps from Nokia (the bit that’s not being sold to it). It could add its own mail client and app store. It has its own search engine, Bing, which has needed a major mobile deal. As with Windows Phone, setting up or signing in to an outlook.com email account could be your first step. Everything’s ready. Most useful of all, developers who have written Android apps would be able to port them over with minimal effort - as has happened with Amazon’s Kindle Fire effort. (That also uses Nokia’s maps.) Microsoft already knows how to run an app store. There’s also the example of BlackBerry, which in its desperate efforts to create an attractive app store for BB10 (launched in 2013, and so at least five years late) has made Android compatibility a major playing point. (BlackBerry’s problem is that it can’t sell enough handsets.) After all, what’s been the biggest complaint about Windows Phone? Not enough apps. The handsets have been fine (that’s Nokia’s expertise) but the wildly popular apps for Android and iOS haven’t been ported. Going with AOSP would suddenly bring those in reach. And developers would love having a parallel customer base to reach. Plus it would make shifting from a Google Android phone to a Microsoft phone (now on AOSP) a lot simpler - and that’s what Microsoft wants to do. At present it’s a tough job persuading rival users to migrate. Though existing members of the Open Handset Alliance (that is, those handset makers who make devices with Google services installed) wouldn’t be able to sell Microsoft-Android handsets, there are plenty in China who would be happy to – and make them in volume. They could be additive to Nokia’s business, which could focus on the high end (where its cameras excel, but volumes are limited) while Chinese vendors aim for the rest of the market. Nokia did consider going with Android - but Stephen Elop, then in charge, decided that Samsung was likely to crowd others out. Certainly, that has happened, but there is a large and thriving market of handset vendors in China who would like to expand beyond their borders. The patent carrot One other carrot that Microsoft could dangle: it could promise to not demand patent royalties from Android manufacturers which come over to its version. Microsoft has been busily suing the members of Google’s OHA, demanding (and getting) licensing payments for patents that it claiims over Android use on handsets and other devices. So far, it has around 20 companies (including Samsung and HTC) signed up, and Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research calculates (based on some easily-overlooked details in Microsoft SEC filings) that it is heading towards being a billion-dollar business. By offering not to charge for patent licensing, Microsoft could make its forked Android much more attractive to handset companies, because they wouldn’t have a per-device overhead, which seems to average out to a few dollars per device. That doesn’t sound much, but it can be the Micawber-ish difference between profit and loss for a handset maker. Conclusion Windows Phone was a wonderful project, but it was too late; the benefits of integration across handset, tablet and desktop simply haven’t appeared. The vast majority of people who use a desktop PC don’t use a Windows smartphone, and there’s no chance of that changing any time soon - or ever, actually. AOSP offers Microsoft the chance to remake its mobile strategy so that it exploits all the strengths of its most bitter rival – it’s free, widely available – and grab mobile developer interest. An all-out war between Microsoft and Google using the Android platform would be absolutely fascinating; both would be pressed on their strengths and weaknesses. For Microsoft, presently a distant third in this race, it could be the answer it needs. It’s highly likely smarter minds have already considered this – and that Nokia’s “Normandy” phone, said to run Android, is the first beachhead in this war. (The codename would make sense.) My only fear is that while Nadella might have the vision and audacity to do this, that one voice in the Microsoft boardroom would resist throwing away years of effort. But let’s hope if this idea comes up that Bill Gates, in his new role as “technical adviser”, will see the potential in it - and won’t reject it as being “un-Microsoft”. Microsoft has tried that, and it hasn’t worked. Now it needs to try something that will. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/07/satya-nadella-mobile-windows-phone-android Edit: A response to this article, titled "Neither Microsoft, Nokia, nor anyone else should fork Android. It’s unforkable." can be read here: http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206105-neither-microsoft-nokia-nor-anyone-else-should-fork-android-its-unforkable/?do=findComment&comment=737084
  14. It looks like Nokia is about to build an 8-inch device, if the trust-worthy @evleaks is to be believed. @evleaks has a long history of leaking credible Nokia content, the Finnish company is building an 8-inch tablet that will run Windows RT and is codenamed the ‘Illusionist’. Little else is known, but it should not come as a major surprise that Nokia is going to be building another tablet in the smaller class size to help it compete in the low-cost tablet market. Seeing at it runs Windows RT, just like its bigger brother the 2520, makes a lot of sense even though Bay Trail tablets offer up many competitive advantages too. For Nokia, they need to master only one OS for tablets, rather than Windows RT and Windows 8.1. Nokia is likely building on Windows RT to appease Microsoft, who will be acquiring the device division from Nokia. As it stands now, only Microsoft and Nokia will be selling Windows RT products. No release date, price, or images of the device yet but if the past is to be repeated, all this information should surface soon. source: neowin
  15. Nokia’s Lumia 520 has been pushing Windows Phone’s marketshare along thanks to its low cost, and it appears its replacement, the Lumia 525, will arrive shortly. Photos of the Lumia 525 have leaked today thanks to Chinese certification agency TENAA. It looks to be almost identical to the existing Lumia 520 on the outside, with a rear camera and similar styling. Rumors suggest it will ship with a dual-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera, and with a focus on music. It could be one of the most important Lumias yet. Nokia recently hit a record of 8.8 million Lumia sales and the company admitted it was largely due to the Lumia 520. Adduplex, a firm that measures the usage statistics of Windows Phones, claims Nokia's Lumia 520 is the most popular Windows Phone worldwide with a 23 percent market share. If Nokia’s upcoming Lumia 525 is priced similarly then it will likely help Microsoft push its Windows Phone marketshare even further. It’s not clear exactly when Nokia plans to announce the Lumia 525, but with the device passing through certification it appears to be close to launching, perhaps before the end of the year. source: theverge
  16. Data from Strategy Analytics suggests sales of Windows Phone units were up over 275% year-over-year for the third quarter. Windows Phone has been in third place for mobile operating systems for quite some time. The latest developments around BlackBerry only widen the lead for Windows Phone, while cementing its spot in third. However, to catch up to the likes of Android and iOS it has a lot of work left to do. The latest numbers in market share and global shipments show Windows Phone making solid progress in the third quarter of 2013. Windows Phone in the third quarter of 2013 The big takeaway in a report from Strategy Analytics? Windows Phone has managed to double its market share and now is the world’s fastest growing smartphone operating system. How’d Microsoft and its partners do that? Pretty easy. By shipping 10.2 million smartphones in Q3 2013. It was the first time that Windows Phone has had numbers like that for one quarter. For perspective, in Q3 2012 Windows Phone only moved 3.7 million units compared to 10.2 million one year later. That’s pretty impressive for Windows Phone, 10.2 million units in one quarter is nothing for us to scoff off considering the past few years of growth. What’s also interesting is how many of those are from Nokia. We’ve seen data from AdDuplex that suggests Nokia accounts for nearly 90% of all Windows Phone in use right now. Remember that Nokia sold 8.8 million units this past quarter, which puts it close to that 90% mark of Windows Phone market share. Additionally, the report points out that Windows Phone has gone from 2% to 4% in market share over the past year. Those numbers are interesting, because we’ve seen other reports that list Windows Phone at 4% marketshare earlier this year. What’s the rest of the mobile landscape look like around the globe? Bleak for BlackBerry, that’s for sure. Global market share of BlackBerry handsets went from 4% to 1% when looking at the past year. Android is still king of the hill with 81.3% of smartphones shipped in Q3 2013 running the little green robot. Apple was at 13.4% for the same quarter and is the smartphone maker that Windows Phone will have to pass next to get to the number 2 position. Overall, the future of mobile is strong with global smartphone shipments growing 45% in one year. In Q3 2013 we saw 251.4 million units moved, compared to 172.8 million the same period one year prior. The future is bright, the future is mobile. source: wpcentral
  17. According to a press release posted on Aviation.ca, customers that are using British Airways via Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport are taking part in the month long test of the digital bag tag. The tag itself contains all of the information of a customer's luggage, and can be used again and again, with a projected battery life of five years. Customers on the trial will use their Nokia Lumia Windows Phone to check in, chose their seat and obtain their mobile boarding pass. Each will be equipped with a specially adapted version of the British Airways app, which automatically updates the digital bag tag with a unique barcode, containing new flight details and an easy-to-see view of their bag’s destination – just by holding the mobile phone over it. - the press release states The luggage can then be taken to a bag drop off desk instead of having to wait for a paper bag tag to be printed and wrapped around the luggage. In theory, this new system could save a lot of time for travelers at airports. Anand Krishnan, Microsoft's general manager for its developer and platform group, is quoted as saying, "With Windows Phone at the heart of the project we look forward to learning more about how our mobile devices and services can be part of this innovative trial to enhance the airport check in experience." Microsoft already has a partnership with British Airways' parent company IAG, with Microsoft providing that corporation access to Office 365 for its 58,000 employees. source: neowin
  18. Soon after Windows 8.1 launched in October, many users noticed that that playing some games with certain mouse products was causing a great deal of lag. At the time, Microsoft did not offer any comments on the matter, but a recent post on their support forums indicates they are aware of "several different issues" with using some mice in Windows 8.1. The support forum post states that one of the problems is that the mouse cursor seems to move quickly back and forward when moving inside a game. Microsoft says, "This occurs in some games because Windows 8.1 handles the games’ checks for the mouse status differently." Another problem is when users turn off mouse acceleration "to make the distance on the screen match the distance you move the mouse". Microsoft says this may no longer work with Windows 8.1. Finally, the Polling Rate on some mice products may have a lower than normal reporting frequency. The forum post indicates that Microsoft is looking into a fix for all of these problems but does not yet have a date when they will be implemented. In the meantime, Microsoft does have some detailed workarounds for two more mouse-related issues in Windows 8.1. One of them fixes a problem if a mouse may not be able to reach all areas of the game world, while the other deals with an issue where left-clicking with an integrated pointing device right after pressing a key no longer works. Microsoft also mentions that some users have achieved some success in older games and apps by activating compatibility mode. Again, the post has the procedure for turning this mode on in Windows 8.1. source: neowin
  19. By John Gruber Tuesday, 4 February 2014 In broad strokes, here is my view of Microsofts history. In the beginning, Bill Gates stated the companys goal: A computer on every desk and in every home. That was crazy. The PC revolution was well underway, but the grand total of PCs sold when Gates stated that mantra was, by todays standards, effectively zero. PCs were for hobbyists. Everyone involved knew they were on to something, but Gates realized, at the outset, that they were onto something huge. The industry was measuring sales in the thousands, but Gates was already thinking about billions. Heres Gates, in an interview from 2010: Paul Allen and I had used that phrase even before we wrote the BASIC for Microsoft. We actually talked about it in an article in I think 1977 was the first time it appears in print where we say, a computer on every desk and in every home and actually we said, running Microsoft software. If we were just talking about the vision, wed leave those last three words out. If we were talking an internal company discussion, wed put those words in. Its very hard to recall how crazy and wild that was, you know, on every desk and in every home. At the time, you have people who are very smart saying, Why would somebody need a computer? Even Ken Olsen, who had run this company Digital Equipment, who made the computer I grew up with, and that we admired both him and his company immensely, was saying that this seemed kind of a silly idea that people would want to have a computer. He was right. And not only did the first part of the phrase come true, the last three words running Microsoft software did too. From the mid-90s and for the next decade, there was, effectively, a computer on every desk and in every home running Microsoft software. At least 95 percent of them were running the Windows operating system, and among the rest, most were Macs running Internet Explorer and probably Microsoft Office too. Windows was almost everywhere, and Microsoft was everywhere. Peak Microsoft was unfathomably pervasive. They won so thoroughly that Steve Jobs conceded that theyd won, telling Wired in February 1996: The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. Thats over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and its going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade. Steve Fucking Jobs said that. He was exactly right. And who knows where wed be today if Jobs and Next had not been reunified with Apple the next year. A computer on every desk and in every home was incredible foresight for 1977. It carried Microsoft for 25 years of growth. But once that goal was achieved, I dont think they knew where to go. They were like the dog that caught the car. They spent a lot of time and energy on TV. Not just with Xbox, which is alive and well today (albeit not a significant source of income), but with other ideas that did not pan out, like media center PCs and the joint ownership of MSNBC, which was originally imagined as a sort of cable news network, website, dessert, and floor wax rolled into one. What they missed was the next step from every desk and home: a computer in every pocket. Its worse than that, though. They saw it coming, and they tried. Pocket PC, Windows CE, Windows Mobile swings and misses at the next big thing. They werent even close, and worse, Steve Ballmer didnt even seem to realize it. Thats whats so damning about that video of him laughing at the original iPhone. Whenever I drudge that video up, a handful of defenders will write and tell me its unfair to mock him for his reaction, that he was actually right that the original iPhone was too expensive. But what should have scared Microsoft wasnt what the iPhone was in 2007, it was what the iPhone clearly was going to be in 2008, 2009, 2010. Prices come down, chips get faster. Software evolves. Apple had unveiled to the world a personal computer that fit in your pocket. That was amazing. That the original iPhone left much room for improvement is simply the way revolutionary products always get their start. Microsofts institutional lack of taste had finally come to bite them in their ass. While Ballmer laughed at the iPhone and presumably walked around with a Windows Mobile piece of junk in his pocket, Larry Page and Sergey Brin carried iPhones. Google never laughed at the iPhone; it made money from it by providing web search and maps. Google quickly became, and remains to this day, a leading developer of iOS apps. And it was Google that was fast to follow the iPhone with Android, slurping up the commodity-market crumbs that Apple, focused as ever on the quality-minded high end of the market, eschewed. I dont think it was ever within Microsofts DNA to produce the iPhone, but what Android became the successful fast follower could have been theirs if theyd recognized the opportunity sooner. The Microsoft of 1984, a decade away from industry dominance, wrote software for the original Mac, and learned from it. When Bill Gates first saw a Mac, he didnt laugh he wanted to know how it worked, right down to specific details, like the smooth animation of its mouse cursor. No company today has reach or influence anything like what Microsoft had during the golden era of the PC. Not Apple, not Google, and not Microsoft itself. I dont think Ballmer ever came to grips with that. Ballmers view of the company solidified when it dominated the entire industry, and he never adjusted. Hence Windows 8. One OS for all PCs, traditional and tablet alike, because thats the only way for Windows to run almost all of them, and Windows running almost all PCs is the way things ought to be. Rather than accept a world where Windows persisted as merely one of several massively popular personal computing platforms, and focus on making Windows as it was better for people who want to use desktop and notebook PCs, Microsoft forged ahead with a design that displeased traditional PC users and did little to gain itself a foothold in the burgeoning tablet market. It was easy to see. Windows 8s design wasnt what was best for any particular device, but instead what seemed best for Ballmers Windows everywhere vision of the industry and Microsofts rightful place atop it. Horace Dediu captures the change in the industry wrought by iOS and Android in this succinct (and, as usual, well-illustrated) piece from a few months ago, writing: If we include all iOS and Android devices the computing market in Q3 2008 was 92 million units of which Windows was 90%, whereas in Q3 2013 it was 269 million units of which Windows was 32%. Thats a startling change, and Ballmer never seemed to accept it. Windows 8 wasnt designed to adjust to the new world; it was designed to turn back the clock to the old one. ··· I think its a very good sign that Satya Nadella comes from Microsofts server group. As my colleague Brent Simmons wrote today: Creating services for iOS apps doesnt sound at all like the Microsoft I used to know. Using Node.js and JavaScript doesnt sound like that Microsoft. The old Microsoft would create services for their OSes only and youd have to use Visual Studio. Theres still a lot of the old Microsoft there, the Windows, Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint (WOES) company. Its most of the company by far, surely. (I just made up the acronym WOES. It fits.) But in the Azure group, at least, theres recognition that Microsoft cant survive on lock-in, that those days are in the past. Even if you dont choose to use Microsofts cloud services, I hope you can agree on two things: that competition is good, and that Azures support-everything policy is the best direction for the future of the company. In short, Nadellas Server division is the one part of Microsoft that seems designed for, and part of, the post-iOS, post-Android state of the industry. A division pushing toward the future, not the past. Successful companies tend to be true to themselves. The old Microsofts Windows and Office everywhere, on every device strategy was insanely ambitious, but also true to their culture. Apple has grown to eclipse Microsoft in financial size, but never set its sights on Microsoft-ian market share size. Google is unfocused at the edges, but its never tried to act like any company other than Google. Google makes operating systems and office applications, but in a decidedly Google-y way. The last thing Microsoft should do is attempt to be like Apple or Google. Cloud computing is one potential path forward. The cloud is nascent, like the PC industry of 1980. In 30 years well look back at our networked infrastructure of today and laugh, wondering how we got a damn thing done. The world is in need of high-quality, reliable, developer-friendly, trustworthy, privacy-guarding cloud computing platforms. Apple and Google each have glaring (and glaringly different) holes among that list of adjectives. Satya Nadella needs to find Microsofts new a computer on every desk and in every home running Microsoft software. Heres my stab at it: Microsoft services, sending data to and from every networked device in the world. The next ubiquity isnt running on every device, its talking to every device. http://daringfireball.net/2014/02/microsoft_past_and_future
  20. Windows 8.1 Update 1 has hit RTM Escrow, which means development has stopped and finalizing has began. Everything is now in place for Update 1 and no new features are set to be added. Today, we've had our first screenshots of Update 1 at RTM Escrow. So to clarify. Update 1 includes a smaller footprint, improvements to the taskbar and Modern UI, along with mouse and keyboard enhancements. So overall a pretty welcomed update. Right now, Microsoft are working on fixing any last little bugs before submitting the RTM to partners. We're hearing that a leak of Windows 8.1 Update 1 build 9600.16610 is set to leak within the next day. This build is RTM escrow, and will be leaked in MSU form meaning it can only be applied to a system which has Windows 8.1 RTM installed. We recommend not installing the leak as RTM escrow is 'NOT FINAL'. So as RTM Escrow is now a thing, can we expect to see the final RTM soon? We know the update isn't set for release until April, but that doesn't mean Microsoft can't finalize the update and give it to partners beforehand. Keep an eye out here at WinBeta.org for more. We'll have a video of the new build up when we are able to get our hands on it! Source
  21. The recent Windows 8.1 Update 1 leak (you can take a look at our hands-on video here) has revealed a number of new things which we can expect to see make it's way to all Windows 8.1 PC's in April, including the ability to pin and run Modern UI apps from the taskbar. It also appears Microsoft may be working on a return of the highly popular Aero Glass theme. From what can be enabled in the recent Windows 8.1 Update 1 leak, looks like a variation of the Glass theme can be enabled. In this build, it's extremely buggy and doesn't work as intended to. Dragging windows with Glass enabled lags and leaves many UI errors. So this is definitely a work in progress. It's currently unclear if Microsoft have plans on bringing back the Glass theme to Windows. We've heard rumors countless times claiming that Aero would make a return one day, so this could be those first steps towards said features return. Until we have official concrete information, we'll just have to let this one sit and hope for the best. So, I guess you're wondering how to do it? Well, it's pretty simple. Head over to Regedit.exe (WIN+R and type regedit) and go to the following directory: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows. From here, right click on 'Windows' and select New > Key and name it DWM. From there, create a Dword 32bit values and name it HideBlur, change the value to 1. Restart and voila! Remember it's pretty buggy! Would you like to see Aero Glass return in the final build of Windows 8.1 Update 1? Source
  22. By Lance Whitney 3 hours ago What surprises await the next version of Microsoft's mobile OS? One person with access to the Software Development Kit reveals a few tidbits. Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows RT will be able to share the same code, helping developers more easily create the same apps for phone and tablet. At least, that's the take from a round of leaked details. On Tuesday, a developer with access to the new Windows Phone 8.1 Software Development Kit (SDK) hopped onto Reddit to share several features headed for the new version. New Universal Apps templates will help developers build WinStore/WinRT and WinPhone apps using the same HTML and JavaScript code, according to the SDK. The developer pointed to the new feature as a sign that WinRT and WinPhone are starting to merge. Recent reports from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley and Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott suggest that Microsoft is aiming to release a series of updates, collectively codenamed Threshold, in 2015. Threshold will reportedly update Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One so that all three platforms can more readily share certain code and other elements. What else is in store for Windows Phone 8.1? A new YouTube player promises to play videos embedded in the Web page without need for a separate app. Squabbles between Microsoft and Google have effectively neutered the current Windows Phone version of YouTube. The SDK documentation also refers to a file picker and saver, hinting at a possible file manager. Users will be able to install apps directly to an SD card and shoot photos and footage in one of three modes: camera, burst, and video, according to the developer. They'll also be able to close an app by swiping down on it. http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57618709-75/windows-phone-8.1-features-leaked-by-developer WP8.1 is going to have javascript support! (self.windowsphone) submitted 13 hours ago* by wpthroaway //no more leaks. would love to give a round of applause to MS for finally improving WP8! until April 2 and big shout out to quinn for helping making this happen ;) EDIT: So, impressed with current new WP8.1 features? EDIT: Some might be relief by this Silverlight 8.1 apps will only run on Windows Phone (code-named "Blue") devices. Devices running Windows Phone 8 will not be able to install or run these apps. However, Windows Phone (code-named "Blue") is a free update that will be supported for all existing Windows Phone 8 devices. EDIT: Oh and according to docs almost every API in WinRT can run on WinPRT. These include also: video and audio transcoding, so expect some cool multimedia apps for WP8.1. There's also roaming data like in desktop. EDIT: To clear something WP8 apps are now consider Windows Store App like with Win8. EDIT: ALL apps now have fast resume activated and is not an opt in feature like it use to. EDIT: WP8.1 apps can't use XNA anymore, unlike in WP8.0. Goodbye XNA Also see: Windows Phone 8.1 includes universal apps and lots of feature updates By Tom Warren February 11, 2014 07:52 am http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/11/5400660/windows-phone-8-1-features-leaked
  23. By Mark Wilson on February 10, 2014 - 06:46AM This article is a response to "What the Heck is Happening to Windows?" by Paul Thurrott : http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206321-what-the-heck-is-happening-to-windows-you-cant-please-everybody-microsoft-so-stop-trying Sometimes it seems as though you can do right for doing wrong; that's certainly the way it seems for Microsoft a lot of the time. I will admit to sticking the boot into Microsoft from time to time -- I am as guilty of this as anyone -- but sometimes it is important to look at the bigger picture, gain a little perspective and cut the company a little slack. In a tirade on his website, Paul Thurrott lays into Microsoft asking "what the heck is happening to Windows?" There is a great deal happening to Windows, and it has been happening for the last couple of years. There have been ups and downs. Paul points out that Windows 8 was widely regarded as being a failure, and it is true that it was a disappointment for many people -- and Microsoft will hardly have been celebrating the sales figures. He goes on to say that detractors complained that the release of Windows 8.1 was seen as a step backwards. While it is true that Windows 8.1 is still not a perfect operating system, it was a step in the right direction. Now it seems that Thurrott has had a change of heart and the release of Update 1 is causing him to question his initial defense of Windows. The accusation? That Microsoft is trying to please everyone. Is it not right that Microsoft should listen to its customers? Looking at the combination of the traditional desktop and modern UI some complaints are easy to understand. On the face of it, Windows 8 lacked direction. It was unwilling to nail its colors to the mast and presented users with a hybrid experience that was just too much for some to bear. Things improved with the release of 8.1 as Microsoft listened to the complaints users had made. Yet this appears to be a problem for Thurrott. Is it not right that Microsoft -- or any company for that matter -- should listen to its customers? This is what Update 1 is about, addressing further issues that have been raised. But this is not good enough for Thurrott. He would prefer that Microsoft stuck to a "singular vision that is typically associated with the Mac and Apple's other products". As a customer I would much rather a company took notice of what I had to say rather than just telling me how things are going to be. The ability, and willingness, to respond to demands is the sign of a forward-thinking, progressive company. Microsoft took a bold step with Windows 8 and it turned out that people weren't quite ready for such a radical departure from what they had become used to. Did Microsoft stick doggedly to its "singular vision"? No, this would have alienated users. Instead Microsoft did the sensible thing and did what too many companies fail to do. It listened. Thurrott complains that Windows 8 is evolving in a spaghetti-like fashion and there are now -- as there have always been -- multiple ways to achieve the same thing. This is not a bad thing. It is choice. For me, the modern interface doesn't work. I don’t like it, so I don’t use it. But there's another side of Windows that works very well for me, so I use that instead. Even within desktop mode there are multiple ways to do the same task. Want to create a new folder? This can be done using keyboard shortcuts, context menus or toolbar buttons. They are options that you can use as the mood takes you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with presenting users with choice, and there is even less wrong with listening to them and adopting Windows to meet requirements. The claim that Microsoft is "trying to please everyone" is one that sticks. Of course Microsoft wants as many people as possible to like and use Windows -- this just makes sense -- and it follows that their product would be adapted as deemed necessary. Would you prefer that Microsoft had tunnel vision with Windows, or are you happy to see changes being made according to customer feedback? http://www.winbeta.org/news/paul-thurrott-thinks-microsoft-should-stop-trying-please-everyone-hes-wrong This article is a response to "What the Heck is Happening to Windows?" by Paul Thurrott: http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206321-what-the-heck-is-happening-to-windows-you-cant-please-everybody-microsoft-so-stop-trying
  24. By Paul Thurrott Feb. 9, 2014 Is it better to burn out than fade away? You can't please everybody, Microsoft. So stop trying. There is a response to this article titled "Paul Thurrott thinks Microsoft should stop trying to please everyone. He's wrong." by Mark Wilson : http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206323-microsoft-should-stop-trying-to-please-everyone-wrong/ When critics described Windows 8.1 as a step backwards, I disagreed: Responding to customer complaints is never wrong, I argued, and the new version of the OS made it more acceptable on the many different types of PCs and devices on which Windows now runs. With Update 1, however, I'm beginning to question the validity of this new direction, and am now wondering whether Microsoft has simply fallen into an all-too-familiar trap of trying to please everyone, and creating a product that is ultimately not ideal for anyone. If you look back over the decades at the many high-level complaints that have been leveled at Windows, one in particular sticks out: Unlike Mac OS, in particular, Windows has always attempted to satisfy every possible customer need, and as such it often provides multiple ways to accomplish the same thing. The result is a messy product, if you will, one that lacks the singular vision that is typically associated with the Mac and Apple's other products. There's no reason to mince words: This criticism has always been valid. And if you were to simplify the issue down to a sound bite, you might make the following claims: Windows was designed by a committee. The Mac, by contrast, often feels like it was designed by a single person. I sort of excused this reality in the past by noting that Microsoft with Windows targeted a much bigger and more diverse audience than did Apple with the Mac. (This is what made those "I'm a PC" advertisements seem so appropriate and correct.) But with Apple's iOS now hitting Windows-style usage and audience diversity levels, this excuse is getting harder to sell. Apple, despite its ever-growing iOS audience, has never veered from its singular vision, and that's even more notable when you consider that the creator of that vision, Steve Jobs, passed away over two years ago. God knows, Microsoft tries. It's a wonderful observer and follower. After watching Windows Vista get mismanaged and then slapped around by Apple, it tapped Steven Sinofsky to reimagine Windows. It's fair to say that this man shares many of the same character traits—and flaws—that defined Steve Jobs. He was belligerent and one-sided, didn't work well with others, had no qualms about tossing out features and technologies that didn't originate with his group, and had absolutely zero respect for customer feedback. Here, finally, was a guy who could push through a Steve Jobs-style, singular product vision. And he did. Sadly, the result was Windows 8. The reason this happened is that while Sinofsky had the maniacal power and force of will of a Steve Jobs, he lacked Jobs' best gift: An innate understanding of good design. Windows 8 is not well-designed. It's a mess. But Windows 8 is a bigger problem than that. Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word. This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period. While some Windows backers took a wait-and-see approach and openly criticized me for being honest about this, I had found out from internal sources immediately that the product was doomed from the get-go, feared and ignored by customers, partners and other groups in Microsoft alike. Windows 8 was such a disaster that Steven Sinofsky was ejected from the company and his team of lieutenants was removed from Windows in a cyclone of change that triggered a reorganization of the entire company. Even Sinofsky's benefactor, Microsoft's then-CEO Steve Ballmer, was removed from office. Why did all this happen? Because together, these people set the company and Windows back by years and have perhaps destroyed what was once the most successful software franchise of all time. The specifics of what's wrong in Windows 8 don't really matter, and of course we've discussed this issue many times. Certainly, some of it isn't even Microsoft's fault: The personal computing market is moving on. But at a high level, the Sinofsky era was of course a reaction to what came before. Likewise, what's happening post-Sinofsky is another reaction, this time to what happened during his tenure. And while Windows 8.1 could be seen as an overdue nod to responding to customer feedback again, what's happened since then, and can be seen more clearly in Windows 8.1 Update 1, is ... troubling. To be clear, Windows 8.1 Update 1 is not exactly an earth-shattering update, and while it brings many small changes to Windows, it likewise doesn't add any major new features. Windows 7 and 8 represented what the Windows team could deliver in three years, and Windows 8.1 is what they can do in a year. Update 1? That's about three months' worth of work, tops. The problem with Update 1 isn't in any single small functional addition. It's in the strategic direction that this update implies. You may recall that I previously described Windows 8.1 as an apology, a way to fix Windows as much as possible in one year, and make the Metro environment more hospitable to tablet users (fewer trips to the desktop and Control Panel) and make the desktop more hospitable to traditional PC users (fewer reasons to visit the Metro side of the fence). In that sense, Windows 8.1 is "successful," but only within the confines of the madness of its predecessor. It doesn't do a thing to address the fact that Windows isn't a single OS. It's two of them, mobile and desktop, fused together unnaturally like a Frankenstein's monster. So what does Update 1 add to the mix? This time around, Microsoft has committed what I consider to be the cardinal sin of Windows: It's a return to that age-old issue where Windows simply grew, spaghetti-like, to accommodate every silly possible need of the system's too diverse user group. Now, there are multiple ways to do different things in Metro, too. These previously consistent environment—like it or loathe it—has finally been put under the committee's knife. Now, some people will see this as "choice," because these changes—desktop-like context menus in the Start screen, a desktop-like title bar in Metro apps, and so on—will somehow make the system more consistent for them, because they still use traditional PCs. But here's the thing. This mobile environment worked just fine with mouse and keyboard in Windows 8.0 and 8.1, and it was consistent with the touch-based interactions for which the environment was designed. Now? It's a mess. Windows 8.1 Update 1 again proves that design by committee never works, and that by not strictly adhering to a singular product vision, the solution that is extruded out to customers on the other side is messy, convoluted, and compromised. Say what you will about Sinofsky, but Windows 8 was his baby. I can assure you that no one in Microsoft is particularly eager to claim this mess as their own. And Sinofsky must be beside himself with rage at what they've done to destroy what he created. More isn't always better. Sometimes, it's just ... more. Ugh. I do have some advice for the Windows team. And it's as obvious as it is necessary. I always accepted the messy bits of Windows in the past because the system addressed such a large audience. But given the way things are going, Windows should evolve into a system that is laser targeted to the customers who will in fact continue using it regularly. That's mostly business users, but even when you look at the consumers who will use Windows, that usage is almost entirely productivity related. Windows should focus on that. On getting work done. On an audience of doers. Job one should be productivity. Everyone likes to compare Apple or the Mac to BMW and, you know what? Fair enough, and if that's true then Windows is obviously GM, the overly-big messy GM of a decade ago. But Microsoft can't afford for Windows to be like GM anymore—just like GM couldn't, for whatever that's worth. Maybe Windows needs to be more like GMC, the part of GM that only makes trucks (and truck-based SUVs). After all, while many people choose to use a truck for basic transportation, they're really designed and optimized for work. You know, as should be Windows. You can't please everybody, Microsoft. So stop trying. It's time to double down on the people who actually use your products, not some mythical group of consumers who will never stop using their simpler Android and iOS devices just because you wish they would. http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/what-heck-happening-windows There is a response to this article titled "Paul Thurrott thinks Microsoft should stop trying to please everyone. He's wrong." by Mark Wilson : http://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/206323-microsoft-should-stop-trying-to-please-everyone-wrong/
  25. By Bogdan Popa February 10th, 2014, 21:40 GMT Windows 8.1 is alive and kicking and Microsoft hopes that its new OS update has what it takes to rescue Windows 8 and become the main catalyst of a major market share booth for its modern platform. Statistics provided for the first three months on the market in the United States reveal that Windows 8.1 is quickly gaining ground, as it managed to overtake Linux and post a hefty growth that’s very likely to continue in the coming months. Windows 8.1 posted a market share of 2.13 percent for the October 2013 – January 2014 period, while Linux is trailing behind with 1.2 percent. Of course, Windows 8.1 is still far from competing with market rivals Windows 7 and Windows XP, but it’s still attracting users at a very fast pace. What’s more, with Windows 8.1 Update 1 on its way, figures would most likely grow even more, so expect more consumers to embrace this OS version in the coming months. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-Overtakes-Linux-After-Only-Three-Months-on-the-Market-425590.shtml
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