Review Category : Windows 8

Microsoft is offering the Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 tablet for only $399 from their online store, a whole $100 discount from the normal price. The device sports a 10.1" Acer CrystalBrite LED-backlit TFT LCD (1366 x 768), Intel Atom (dual-core) 1.50 GHz, 2GB DDR2, 32GB SSD, MicroSD, ~ 9 hours battery life, 8MP rear camera (with 2MP FFC), WiFi + Bluetooth, and weighs less than 1 kg. There is also an optional keyboard dock available which doubles the battery life. The device can be found in the Microsoft Store here. Via WPC ...

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Paul Thurrott, who has previously posted that  Windows 8 Sales were Well Below Microsoft’s Projections, and that Microsoft blamed the OEMs, have today expanded on this. He noted “the one thing that is consistent is that the company does in fact blames PC makers internally.” He continues, saying “while PC makers had announced a wide range of launch PCs and devices, many weren’t even delivered to retail in time for the Windows 8 launch” and that  “PC makers did not manufacture PCs and devices in the quantities needed to support the Windows 8 launch.” We find the explanation pretty believable, having ourselves found the most attractive Windows 8 hybrid models not available in stores. Thurrott notes that this may be recoverable, with OEMs still expected to deliver new Windows 8 PCs in volume before year’s end. Read more at WinSuperSite here. ...

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Betanews reports that the Windows 8 store’s app protection has been well and truly cracked, allowing even novice users to make trial apps free full versions with only a click of a button. The hack called Wsservice_crk was released on October 30, 2012 on the My Digital Life forum and allows users to crack Windows Store applications, sideload unsigned apps so that they can be run on Windows 8 Metro and the means to create app packages that can be further redistributed. Like all cracking software it does of course leave the user at the mercy of the original hacker, and with system files being modified does not just leave a PC potentially less stable, but also in a state where it can not really be trusted for anything important. The hack also prevents apps from being updated, but there is a onerous work-around for this. Of course with nearly ...

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Microsoft today posted a new commercial to promote its Microsoft Surface tablet. The new ad focused on all the unique features of Microsoft Surface in 10 seconds. It showcases Microsoft Surface features such as multi-colored Touch Cover availability, Built-in Kickstand, USB support, Availability of apps like Skype, Netflix, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Fresh Paint and Microsoft Office compatibility. ...

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ESPN has released their Score Center app for Windows 8 devices. This app allows sports fans with all up-to-the-minute scores, news, and analysis for all your favorite teams, leagues, and players. Features: Access a completely personalized experience that syncs with your myESPN account Follow breaking news, and get real time scoring alerts and updates through live tiles and deep pinning. Get expanded game views that provide in-depth game coverage. Listen to your favorite ESPN podcasts including Mike and Mike, PTI with Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser and The BS Report with Bill Simmons. Stay informed with comprehensive editorial content from ESPN The Magazine. Share your favorite news and video highlights with your friends! Download it for free from Windows Store here. ...

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WAToday.com.au reports that early Windows 8 sales returns were below expectations in Australia. Australian IDC market analyst Amy Cheah, who has spoken to local retailers, vendors and channel partners as part of her work compiling sales numbers, said Windows 8 take-up was "not as strong as Microsoft would like it to be". "Actual sales to date is not matching the hype, but the momentum is picking up in November," she said. IDC has yet to release its latest quarterly numbers for Australia and New Zealand, but Cheah said it was already clear that Windows 8 was "a steep learning curve and the initial phase is going to be a bumpy one". Ben McIntosh, general manager of computers at Harvey Norman, said interest in Windows 8 in his stores was "very encouraging" but stock was "coming through a lot slower than I would like to see". He said he always expected ...

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Minecraft’s creator Notch took a pretty strong stand against Minecraft on Windows 8, but a bit like Valve’s Steam it seems where there is a will there is a way. At Minecon 2012 a version of Minecraft optimised for touch was shown off. The app still appears to be a Windows desktop app, but as long as Windows 8 users with x86 tablets will not need to pull up a mouse and keyboard it is still progress. Hopefully the Minecraft team, who Notch no longer is directly in charge of, will see sense and finally release a Windows Store app rather that stick to a bizarre ideological stance, which did not stop them from releasing Minecraft for the iOS App store for example. Via YouTube.com ...

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Valve are no great fans of Windows 8, going so far as to start a project to move their Steam gaming empire to Linux. It is therefore no surprise that they do not make any compromises for Windows 8, including allowing one to pin Steam  games to the Windows 8 Start screen. That’s where FeLiZk’s Pin Steam comes in.  The app allows one to select games from Stream’s service and pin either Double Wide (the default) or smaller tiles to the Start screen, and when the game is uninstalled will also remove the tile. This app requires you to have a Steam account and to have setup a Custom URL in your steam profile. It also requires Steam to be installed on your device to launch games. The app is $1.49 with a free trial and can be found in the Windows 8 Store here. Via Ghacks.net ...

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Regular readers will know we are quite concerned by the lack of support for 3G Dongles in the Microsoft Surface and by extension other Windows RT tablets. While 3G/WI-Fi dongles provide somewhat of a solution, it seems unnecessary to waste battery life on running two WIFI radios when communication could as easily happen via USB. The big issue with using existing 3G dongles is that they need drivers and management software installed, which makes all of the current crop incompatible. Now it seems, from a twitter conversation with O2 support, that O2 may be working on a Connection Manager for Windows RT, which would solve the problem and fulfil one of the major expandability promises of the Surface- the ability to overcome any issues by simply plugging in an accessory into the USB port. See the twitter conversation here. ...

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WindowsTabletTV have unboxed the Acer Iconia W700 which seems to be a pretty rewarding experience, seeing the huge amount of accessories that come bundled with the Windows 8 tablet. The Core i5 powered device with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage will currently set you back around around $788 on Amazon.com which includes a case, a stand and a Bluetooth keyboard, which is not a bad bundle. The tablet promises 9 hours battery life, but given it is a Core i5 device this seems rather unlikely.  We will look forward to the follow-up review for its real performance. Thanks Sam for the tip. ...

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The Microsoft Life Cycle Support page has revealed Microsoft intends to look after Surface RT buyers for a very long time into the future. The listing for Surface with Windows RT shows that mainstream support will continue until at least April 11, 2017. A separate post on Microsoft’s support website shows the various SKU builds of Windows 8 will have their mainstream support end on January 9, 2018, with extended support ending on January 10, 2023. Support in this case likely means the provision of service packs and patches, not necessarily new features, but it still sounds like a much better deal that Windows Phone users can expect, where even for Windows Phone 8 Microsoft is only promising updates for 18 months after release. Windows RT itself, when not ensconced in a Microsoft Surface, is still to have its sunset date revealed, but in a in an FAQ post, Microsoft ...

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One of the things which makes the Microsoft Surface a real productivity machine is the presence and support of the full-sized USB port. ChannelMetro decided to put this to a test, and plugged a total of 8 USB devices into their Microsoft Surface. The list included a 7-Port USB Hub, to which was linked: 1 XBOX 360 USB controller 1 Nokia X3-02 Smartphone 1 Apple IPod 1 USB Flash Drive 2 GB 1 Mouse Logitech receiver 1 HP Multifunction printer 1 Hard Disk of 2 TB Capacity While the video is really little more than a tech demo, if does show the range and breadth of devices supported. Have any of our Surface-owning readers ever used this feature in anger? Let us know below. Via Softpedia.com ...

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WindowsWave.com have posted on an interest menu in Windows 8 which would not normally be noticed by most users. By right clicking in the lower left corner on the screen a menu of shortcuts to mainly power user features such as disk and computer management can be revealed. This menu was of course also in Windows 7, but has significantly expanded in the next version. If what you miss from the Windows 7 start menu is quick access to the control panel and Run, the good news is that it is right there for the clicking.  The menu can also be pulled up by pressing Windows X,  providing one with the option to press Windows+X, P to bring up the Control panel for example or Windows+X,E to bring up the file explorer. Would our readers find this nifty power-user feature helpful? Let us know below. ...

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Steve Ballmer spoke to a group of developers at Microsoft’s new collaboration space in Shoreditch, East London, to share his views on the opportunity for developers with the Windows platform across Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The event showcased some of the best examples of the Windows 8 design and user interface, including demonstrations of the Music Info app, the British Airways Inspiration app and others. The app store has now grown to more than 20,000 apps a month after the general release, with multiple developers having downloads of more than 100,000. While the adoption of Windows 8 appears to be slower than Windows 7, it still seems pretty clear by January there will be tens of millions Windows 8 PCs and tablets in the market for developers to exploit. Via Ubelly.com ...

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Speaking at the London Games Conference 2012 Microsoft’s marketing lead  Andrew Webber  has revealed that there are currently only 1,421 games in the Windows 8 Store. Noting that there were only 13 games in the Racing category, he called it a great opportunity for developers to take advantage of the digital store while numbers were low. These numbers are set to rise soon, but the apps released in the early stage will not have any problem trying to compete for attention. At present it is estimated that there is more than 20,000 apps in the Windows 8 Store, according to store watcher Win App Update. Today’s totals: 20,610 apps worldwide in the Windows Store (broke 20,000 on Tuesday, I believe). 17,958 of those are free (87%). — Win App Update (@WinAppUpdate) November 22, 2012 Via Develop-online.net ...

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We have seen lots of surveys, analyst’s claims, market research reports on Windows 8 adoption. Today, another survey about Windows 8 got released. According to the survey result, two in five (39%) are likely to upgrade to Windows 8. Even though the survey firm showcases it as a negative number, I think 40% of total PC count is a strong number. Read the full survey results below. Press Release: LONDON — November 22, 2012 While the vast majority of consumers (96%) own a Windows PC, only two in five (39%) of these are likely to upgrade to Windows 8. The findings were part of a study undertaken by Toluna QuickSurveys to assess consumer reactions to the announcement by Microsoft last month to upgrade to Windows 8. The survey also revealed that when it comes to Windows operating systems, Windows 7 is a clear favourite, with over a quarter of consumers (28%) ...

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