Review Category : Windows 8

As Microsoft Surface runs Windows, we can expect security fixes, performance improvements, etc, over Windows update regularly. Microsoft has already released a firmware and software update to improve the experience of Surface for end users. Now, MS_Nerd is reporting that new updates are coming on patch Tuesday for Surface. This patch Tuesday is going to be important for getting Surface ready for the next step. Some services are going to be updated as well. I hope they update the Mail app along with others as well.   ...

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Gottabemobile have posted a review of the Dell XPS 12 hybrid Windows 8 laptop. The Windows 8 Core i5 laptop (also available in Core i7)  has a 12.5 inch Gorilla Glass  display and an aluminium and carbon fibre construction. The capacitive touchscreen was felt to be  responsive with good viewing angles, but it is very reflective. It features an excellent backlit keyboard and was noted to have a somewhat high price at $1.199 and only moderate battery life as negatives. The hinges were felt to be sturdy and the touch screen remains in place while in notebook mode, even when tapping on the top section of the screen. The laptop has  two USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort connection and a headphone/microphone jack. Unfortunately, there’s no SD card slot, which means users will have to bring their own adapters or USB cables to move photos over from their cameras. The screen ...

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British Airways have always been one of the first to support new Microsoft platforms, so it is no surprise to see them deliver a Windows 8 app also. The British Airways Inspiration App is meant to inspire travel to great destinations, be it skiing in March or a beach destination in November.  The app will even deliver the cheapest fares from London, based on your preferences and tell you what to do when you get there. Find the app in the Windows 8 Store here. Via Neowin.net ...

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The Verge, who had earlier leaked some details about the next update to Windows 8 called "Blue” has now added some further information. In a meandering article which suggests Microsoft drop the Windows brand Tom Warren notes: "Windows Blue" (is)  an upgrade designed to improve compatibility with 7-inch and 8-inch devices The news suggests Microsoft is not planning to leave the small tablet market, dominated by cheap Android tablets, uncontested, and may finally bring lower prices for Windows 8 tablets. Would our readers pick up a small tablet, or do you think it compromises productivity too much? Let us know below. ...

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Gizmodo yesterday posted a blog post about the 10 most important tablets of 2012. Microsoft’s Surface took the No.1 spot leaving Apple’s iPad and Google Nexus 10 behind. Here is what Gizmodo said on the new Microsoft Surface RT, A new operating system. An entirely new product category. A new keyboard cover technology. Microsoft Surface RT may not be the PC-tablet bridge we’d all been dreaming of—we’re still hoping Surface Pro manages that trick—but it was without a doubt the most important demonstration of how far tablets can take us, and how much Microsoft is willing to risk to get us there. Even I think Microsoft Surface was the most innovative tablet that got released this year. What do you think? Source: Gizmodo ...

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No-one except Microsoft really knows how well the Surface is selling, but speculation is rife. Detwiler Fenton, a Boston-based brokerage firm, said in a research note today that Microsoft is likely to sell just 500,000 to 600,000 Surface RTs in the December quarter. The analyst, a bit like Steve Ballmer, blamed it on poor distribution of the tablet. “Lack of distribution is killing the product,” Detwiler Fenton explained. “Mixed reviews and a [$499] starting price tag certainly don’t help, but lack of retail exposure at Best Buy and others is severely depressing sales.” Potential buyers are not able to get a hands-on with the device themselves, which can be a deal breaker with a new product like the Microsoft Surface. Currently, there are just 31 Microsoft stores and 34 smaller holiday kiosks in the U.S. Given that paucity of stores, the average consumer’s is pretty likely to see the device ...

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We have seen many reports since the general availability of Windows 8 that PC OEMs failed to deliver Windows 8 PCs on time. Even among the Windows 8 PCs that got released, there were only few touch enabled PCs. OEMs didn’t prepare for large touch screen panel and its associated components demand. In an interview to CNET, Lenovo executive Gerry Smith revealed that the industry did underestimate touchscreen demand. He said the following on Lenovo’s position in the PC industry right now, “Lenovo’s a little different from other companies,” Smith said. “We’re still seeing strong growth and a strong premium to the market overall…And this quarter, we’re seeing strong growth across all product segments.” Being No. 4 in the U.S. is a solid position, but it’s not acceptable long-term for us…We will be No. 1 in the U.S. That’s absolutely a focus. I’m not going to give you a time ...

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While we recently had an indication that Facebook is not in fact in the process of building a Facebook app for Windows RT, the above Surface ad certainly suggests such an app is in the offing. While the large Facebook live tile in the top left is suggestive, we must recall that on at least one occasion Microsoft used the logo of an app without any app being in development, that being when they used the Angry Birds logo without Rovio’s permission in a WP7 promotion. We do think in the end Facebook will have make an app for the Windows Metro environment, and they might as well come around sooner rather than later, but the tile in the ad is likely not evidence enough. Via Neowin.net ...

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Plex media streaming app is now available for Windows 8 devices from Windows Store. It allows you to play video, music, photos from your network and other multimedia content from online channels. App Description: This application brings the power of Plex to your Windows 8 desktop or tablet. With Plex, you can stream your music, videos and photos from your home computers running Plex Media Server and access content from a wide range of channels. Channels are available for iTunes, and for online services like YouTube, Vimeo and Revision3. Additionally, you can sign up for the myPlex service, which lets you connect to servers shared with you by your friends, queue videos from your web browser to watch later, and connect to your Plex Media Server at home wherever you are in the world via Wi-Fi or a cellular connection, with no configuration necessary! Plex Media Server streams your media directly ...

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LIVESTRONG.COM has released their Calorie Tracker app for Windows 8 devices in Windows Store. This is a companion tool for members of MyPlate at LIVESTRONG.COM which is also a free service online. The LIVESTRONG.COM Calorie Tracker can help you reach your diet, weight loss and fitness goals by tracking your daily calories and exercise. Lose weight easily by setting your weight goals and track your calories and progress with our comprehensive online food journal containing over 1 Million food and fitness items. Tracking works. You will lose weight like millions of other members. The Calorie Tracker tracks your daily caloric, fat, carbohydrate and protein intake with the click of a button. You will have access to MyPlate at LIVESTRONG.COM, which offers a comprehensive nutrition database of more than 1.3 million food and restaurant items. Most major competitors only have 7,000 items in their database. Features:   Easy to use interface for tracking The largest ...

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  Microsoft has blamed slow initial Windows 8 sales on poor delivery by OEMs of new hybrid Windows 8 PCs with touch screens with Tami Reller, chief marketing and financial officer for Windows, saying last week that there are "not enough" touch devices were on store shelves. Now two analysts have confirmed to CNET that touch screen Windows 8 PCs are in fact in high demand, with stores have difficulty keeping them on the shelves, while cheaper, older-style Windows 8 PCs are not. "Touch machines are actually selling above expectations," said Bob O’Donnell, a program vice president at IDC. "Some vendors are actually facing shortages because touch panels are in limited supply. Vendors are saying they can’t get as many touch-based machines as they would like to meet the demand that they’re seeing." The view was confirmed by Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli. “We’ve talked to a number ...

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Facebook has been slow in their support of the Windows 8 Metro environment, with the company not currently planning an app for the user interface. "We are constantly evaluating our strategy for supporting new platforms … as the market and consumer adoption evolves," a company official has told AdAge. While this wait and see approach could hamper early growth of the Windows RT platform, which are unable to use legacy Windows applications, it should be borne in mind that Facebook was also very slow in releasing an iPad app, and likely sees apps as a hindrance to their revenue growth due to reduce advertising opportunities on mobile interfaces. Of course there are plenty of third-party Facebook apps in the Windows 8 Store, such as Facebook Touch above, and Facebook’s reticence may simply be those developer’s windfall. Via Softpedia.com ...

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HP may be slow off the mark, but it seems they will eventually deliver some touch-centric Windows 8-based devices to the market. They latest device they demonstrated is the HP Elitebook Revolve, which is a familiar design for many years now, somewhat updated for Windows 8, and also somewhat more business-focussed. The device is constructed of Magnesium Alloy covered in soft-touch paint, weights 3 pounds,  has an 11.6 inch 1366×768 screen, 256 GB Flash storage, 4GB RAM which is user upgradable and either a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor. Lastly it sports NFC, TPM and a SIM slot supporting LTE in the US and HSPA+ everywhere else. An optional stylus can be purchased separately. The laptop is rugged up to MIL-STD 810G standard. The price has not been announced, but the laptop is not expected before March 2013. Via Engadget.com ...

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LivetechAustralia managed to have a hands-on with a non-working sample of the HP ElitePad 900, HP’s Slate successor. The HP ElitePad is powered by an Atom processor and has a number of accessories available targeted at the enterprise market. It offers the full serviceability, enhanced security and manageability found in HP Elite PCs, and military-grade durability for drops, vibration, dust, temperature extremes and high altitude. The device is expected to hit the market only in January 2013. ...

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  Ultrabook notebooks never really set the market on fire, but according to ABI Research all the slim laptops really needed was a good dose of Windows 8. “One of the biggest factors hindering ultrabook sales has been the awaited launch of Windows 8,” said ABI senior analyst Josh Flood. “However, with the launch of Windows 8, we may see a double whammy effect. A number of consumers have held off from computer purchases so they could purchase an ultrabook with Windows 8 during the year. Furthermore, with the abundance of new ultrabook model releases, older systems’ prices will reduce and this will entice purchases from the low to mid-range price segment.” ABI Research expects 21 million ultrabooks to be sold this year, with half to the North American continent,followed by the Western European and Asia-Pacific markets. The number is close to double Apple’s projected total Macbook shipments in 2012, ...

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BlueStacks, who make an Android environment for desktops which allows Windows 8 tablets to run Android apps, has suggested that they are considering bringing that environment to Windows RT. The news was in response a question asked on the Bluestacks support forum. While the Windows 8 store has tens of thousands of apps, this is little compared to the 700,000 Android apps, especially the more useful ones such as BBC iPlayer and other apps which companies have not been motivated enough to bring to the new Windows OS. Hopefully this development will happen sooner rather and later, and allow Windows tablets to access the full range of resources available to other tablets and smartphones. Via Surface-Evangelist ...

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