Windows

Will Windows 10 Rectify the Ailments of Windows 8?

I recently bought a laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed and I cried a little. I loved Windows 7, and suddenly I was stuck with an interface that was completely different from what I was used to.

It was obvious to me, and everyone else who was frustrated with the OS, that Microsoft had attempted to smush a touch screen interface into a non-touch screen environment, and had failed miserably. Critics observed that they should’ve just split the worlds so there was one interface for a tablet and one interface for a PC. Well, as most of us who have ridden this Microsoft train for a while now know, it takes them a few tries for them to “get it right.” It seems they may be back on the right track with Windows 10.

My first frustration with Windows 8 – and as I’ve learned, practically everyone else’s as well – was the missing Start Menu. Oh, sure, it looks like it’s there, but when you click on the familiar icon in the lower left corner of your screen, whatever you’re working on disappears entirely, replaced by this crazy tile mosaic that I had no idea how to navigate. How do I find that excel file I just created yesterday? Never fear. Windows 10 brings back a real Start Menu, complete with the navigation tools I am familiar with, while adding the tiles you navigated in Windows 8 to the sidebar to create a nice blend of the two worlds. The tile bar is customizable, too, so you can re-size it, move it to the bottom of your screen, re-color it to match your desktop background, and pin to it the applications you use most often, including the recycle bin. How cool is that?

Those who use a tablet-and-keyboard will not be disappointed by the roll-back, either. The tiled-app interface still exists for these users, and they’ve designed the Start Menu to re-appear and disappear with the addition/removal of the keyboard. They’ve also improved some of the cross-device applications with enlarged buttons which are more easily accessed through touch screens. This happens automatically when a touch screen is detected.

Hailed as a nod toward OS X Expose and Linux/Unix interfaces, Windows 10 adds a new feature called Task View. A button on the taskbar allows you to easily manage multiple applications across different virtual desktops, swapping between them seamlessly. When clicked, all running applications are displayed across the center of the screen, and in a row of thumbnails along the bottom.
Running apps are highlighted in the taskbar, regardless of which virtual desktop they’re running on. While these virtual desktops aren’t new to Windows, they were more difficult to manage with previous generations of the OS. Microsoft is hoping Windows 10 fixes that problem, allowing this functionality to be easier to use for more people.

Another surprise I discovered moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8 was the Charms bar that pops up on the right-hand side of my screen if I move my mouse in that direction, but only sometimes – and usually when I don’t want it. It’s a common complaint. Meant to be handy, it turned out to be quite frustrating for a number of users. Windows 10, with the ability to swap interfaces from touch-screen mode to keyboard-and-mouse mode, has modified the Charms bar to make it more user-friendly. Expect to see a smaller drop-down menu when navigating your PC, instead of something that takes up an inch of space on the right-hand side of your screen, and expect the bar to remain when you’re navigating your touch screen.

When using my computer at work, I often multi-task, utilizing multiple applications simultaneously. One of my favorite things to do is to line up windows vertically to each other to compare one to the other. Since Windows 7, you’ve been able to drag a window off the viewing area and have it snap to full or half-screen. Windows 10 adds a quarter-screen option, allowing four windows open and evenly-spaced at a time, by simply dragging the window into the corner of your viewing area. The improvement doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve auto-docked your second application, the new Snap Assist feature provides you with thumbnails of the other running applications to help you fill the other corners.

The full-fledged operating system will not be released to the general public until mid- to late-2015, but the company is allowing adventurous users an opportunity to check it out for free. They’re even encouraging feedback with an easy-to-use application that comes with the release. Before you get too excited by the allure of a free Windows OS, Microsoft explains that this release is meant for “PC experts who are comfortable downloading unfinished software.” If that sounds like something you’re up for, or if you want the chance to have a voice in tweaks made to the final product, Lifehacker has a nice walkthrough for installation here: http://lifehacker.com/windows-10-technical-preview-now-available-for-download-1641212531. Just make sure to back up your data before you install – preferably on a secondary machine you don’t depend on – and remember that unpolished software can be buggy and prone to crash, so experiment with caution.

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Will Windows 10 Rectify the Ailments of Windows 8?


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Andrea Eldridge is CEO of Nerds On Call, which offers onsite computer and laptop repair service for homeowners and small businesses. Based in Redding, Calif., it has locations in five states. Contact Eldridge at www.callnerds.com/andrea.

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By cranbak on October 28, 2014 | Webmaster
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TAD 2014: Open Windows Review – DorkShelf.com

TAD 2014: Open Windows Review
DorkShelf.com
Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood) is a nerdy webmaster who travels to a film festival to claim a date with his favourite actress, Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey), the spoils of getting the highest bid in a charity auction that he quickly finds out was cancelled or

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By cranbak on October 16, 2014 | Webmaster
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Skype Gets a Makeover for Mac and Windows

Skype is getting a new look for Mac and Windows.

The Microsoft-owned video chat service on Thursday debuted version 7.0 for Mac and also offered a preview version for Windows.

Skype’s Tom Huang said the new versions had been redesigned to “make it easier to chat and share.”mac2

Users will now see thumbnail pictures of their contacts, a new bubble-style chat design, and consistent icons for chat, video calls and audio calls, making Skype consistent across mobile and desktop devices.

A new side-by-side design allows users to be sharing messages, photos, or files with one person while on another call.

“People love multi-tasking,” Huang wrote. “Many of you already exchange IMs while on a live call today. With the new side-by-side design, you can effortlessly multi-task on a voice or video call.”

On Mac, this feature only takes one click.

The update also includes improvements to file sharing. For instance, when sharing file types like Office documents and PDFs, the user will see file icons displayed “to make it easier to visually scan for and find different files in your chat history.”

To download Skype for Mac 7.0 click here. Those wishing to check out the new preview for Windows desktop should click here.

 

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Skype Gets a Makeover for Mac and Windows


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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By cranbak on October 9, 2014 | Webmaster
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Open Windows Review – IGN

Open Windows Review
IGN
The caller (Kill List's Neil Maskell) identifies himself as Chord and claims to be the webmaster for Jill's latest blockbuster. He regretfully informs Nick that he won't be going on his date with Jill after all. Unfortunately for Nick, that

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By cranbak on October 2, 2014 | Webmaster
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Forget About Nine — Microsoft Leaps to Windows 10

Microsoft is, apparently, now counting by twos.

The company offered its first peak at its next operating system, Windows 10, on Tuesday. The previous system was Windows 8. Nine was skipped, company officials said, because the new system is that big of a step forward.

Windows 10 Terry Myerson

Executive vice-president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft Terry Myerson announced Microsoft’s next Windows will be Windows 10.

“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect,” Terry Myerson, executive vice-president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft, said in a press release.

“This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers, and we look forward to working together with our broader Windows community to bring Windows 10 to life in the months ahead.”

The unveiling took place at a press event in San Francisco with the company highlighting new features such as an easier flow from one task to another and a new and improved start menu with simpler search options.

One of the more exciting aspects of the system is its compatibility with Microsoft products. Users will be able to engage Windows 10 on a gamut of devices including the Xbox gaming console to PCs to smartphones. The company is also delivering a converged application platform for developers on all devices with a unified app store. This will enable developers to write an application once and deploy it easily across multiple devices, making discovery, purchase and updating easier than ever for customers.

An official launch date has not been established, though Microsoft said it expects Windows 10 to be available after next spring.

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Forget About Nine — Microsoft Leaps to Windows 10


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W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.

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By cranbak on September 30, 2014 | Webmaster
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Windows Phone 8.1 con Internet Explorer 11 – Mr.Webmaster

Windows Phone 8.1 con Internet Explorer 11
Mr.Webmaster
La Casa di Redmond ha recentemente presentato le più importanti novità integrate nel browser Web Internet Explorer 11 sul sistema operativo mobile Windows Phone 8.1; queste ultime riguarderebbero in particolare il supporto per la riproduzione …

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Microsoft Takes The Wraps off “Threshold” It Will Be Windows 10

Not Windows 9, it’ll be Windows 10

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Cortana Coming To Windows 9, Will It Replace Bing?

Next week in San Francisco, Microsoft will unveil Windows 9 for the press. Among the features of the new OS is reportedly going to be the virtual assistant Cortana. A range of sites are repeating some early evidence found by a German site and also a discussion on Neowin that assert Cortana will be…



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By cranbak on September 19, 2014 | Webmaster
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Microsoft Issues Invites to Sept. 30 Product Launch – Software Giant is Expected to Preview Windows 9

Windows 9 may soon be upon us.

Microsoft has sent out invitations for a special press event Sept. 30 at which the software firm is widely expected to announce its latest version of Windows.

Not much is known as yet about the new operating system — code-named Windows Threshold — although it is thought Microsoft will continue on with its numerical names. It is believed the new version will indeed be known as Windows 9.

ZDNet reported Microsoft is planning to launch a “technology preview” of Threshold which will enable users to test the operating system — but, to do so, they would need to have software updates automatically downloaded to the platform on a monthly basis.

Threshold — or Windows 9 — is expected to include a “mini Smart Menu,” separate windows for Metro-style apps running on the desktop and support for virtual desktops.

It is expected the operating system will launch as a beta preview soon after its debut.

 

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Microsoft Issues Invites to Sept. 30 Product Launch


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By cranbak on September 16, 2014 | Webmaster
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Bing Launches Xiaolce Chinese Chatbot With Cortana Smarts For Windows Phone

After taking its Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana to China last month, Bing announced today the launch of XiaoIce (“little ice”), a Chinese-speaking social assistant chatbot for Windows Phone users. According to the announcement on Bing’s search blog, XiaoIce’s technology is…



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By cranbak on September 5, 2014 | Webmaster
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