Tag Archive | "Microsoft"

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5 Things to be Aware of upon Upgrading to Windows 10

Posted on 30 July 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

The hype over Windows 10 has reached an all-time high as the new Microsoft operating system has officially launched in about 190 countries on July 29th. The launch of Windows 10 has been smooth if you take it from the media with hardly any negative reports. However, computer users should be aware of a few things before making the jump and seeking out the latest desired operating system.

5 things you should know before upgrading to Windows 10

  1. Windows 10 may not be specifically available for you just yet.
  2. Windows 10 is steadily shipping off to its new customers, some of which have opted to download a copy and install it the day of release. However, some people may not have the option to get their free upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 just yet because Microsoft is releasing them in waves. The company has stated that there is no way of knowing exactly when Windows 10 would become available for those customers but they should keep an eye out in their system tray for the Windows icon which gives access to upgrade your Windows 7 or 8.1 to the new 10.

  3. Anything older than Windows 7 and you’re out of luck for a free copy of 10
  4. Microsoft made it very clear that only those with legitimately purchased and registered copies of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 will get to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Any other versions, including Windows RT, will be required to purchase a copy of Windows 10 for an upgrade.

  5. Windows 10 has several configurations that are available.
  6. Just like other versions of recent Windows operating systems, Windows 10 comes in different variations including, Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise and Education. The Home version includes all core experiences including the Cortana feature, facial and iris recognition (if your device supports it), virtual desktops, fingerprint recognition (if your device supports it) and the new Edge browser. Moving up to Pro will add business and advanced features like Bitlocker encryption, Group Policy Management and Remote Desktop functions. Enterprise is the top-dog for Windows 10 adding on AppLocker (allows creation of rules that deny apps from running), Windows To Go Creator (create a USB drive with Windows on it), and Enterprise Data Protection. The Education version of Windows 10 is basically the same as Enterprise only it eliminates the Long-Term Branching Service, which is a way for Windows to control how Windows is delivered to other users.

  7. The Start menu is back and includes everything you want.
  8. The biggest issue for Windows 8 was the elimination of the Start menu. Since then, Microsoft has listened to consumers and brought it back in a form for Windows 8.1. Now, with Windows 10, the Start menu is the best it has ever been thanks to Cortana, a virtual search assistant that finds or brings up just about ANYTHING on your computer. Think of it as Siri for Windows that is even better for the use of a PC.

  9. Touch-enabled devices finally find their home with Windows 10.
  10. As expected, touch features are better than ever on Windows 10 allowing tablets, touchscreen desktops and convertible laptops to all function in an environment ready to be TOUCHED. To expand on touch and many other features of Windows 10, the video below gives you a full hands-on review.

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Top Microsoft E3 Reveals Paves Way to Additional Xbox One Sales Through Backwards Compatibility

Posted on 16 June 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

Gaming systems have always had backlash with their lack of backwards compatibility, something that PCs have long avoided provided you had the proper operating system running and enough horsepower under the case to run modern games. Microsoft has been the brunt of attacks when it comes to their Xbox One and its initial lack of backwards compatibility.

During the E3 conference, Microsoft shined brightly with new announcements and one taking the crowd and public by storm with the introduction of backwards compatibility coming to the Xbox One. That’s right, the Xbox One will now have backwards compatibility enabling it to play Xbox 360 titles, most of which will be announced with a definitive list in the weeks to come.

Surely, with this announcement Xbox One sales will climb to new heights, potentially battling with gaming PCs in some forms.

Below is a video of the top Microsoft E3 reveals featuring the announcement of Xbox One backwards compatibility – and the crowd goes wild. The games that will feature backwards compatibility will start showing up in the game library along with local discs working eventually. Oh, don’t forget to check out the Xbox One controller having the ability to work with PCs running Windows 10. YAY!

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Windows 10 Pirates Looking For A Free Upgrade May be Dead On Arrival

Posted on 19 May 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

Microsoft has had their run in with pirates over many years rooting back to the days of Windows 3.1. Software pirates, as you may already know, are individuals who obtain copies of software for free that is normally purchased for a working license. With the release of Windows 10 being as hyped up as it is, Microsoft is conjuring up clever ways to thwart actions of software pirates by retreating from their statements saying that owners of counterfeit copies of Windows 7 and 8.1 will receive a free upgrades to Windows 10 when it drops this summer.

A remarkable and generous offer that would be if Microsoft decided to give away Windows 10 to those running illegal versions of Windows 7 and 8.1. Microsoft has said that they will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for genuine copies of Windows 7 and 8.1. What does that mean? Simply put, it means you would have to have obtained a valid license to your copy of Windows 7 or 8.1 meaning you would have had to pay for your version of Windows to qualify for the free Windows 10 upgrade.

Microsoft is looking for Windows 10 to be on about 1 billion devices in 3 years, which is no easy feat if everyone has to pay for a new copy of Windows 10. There has been some confusion as to the “talk” surrounding Microsoft providing free copies of Windows 10 as an upgrade for genuine and non-genuine versions of Windows 7 and 8.1.

“With Windows 10, although non-genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a reply to questions on March 19. “If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade,” the spokesperson added (emphasis added).

With this statement putting an end to that original “pirates get free” deal, it brings up the question if those running an illegal copy of Windows 7 or 8.1 could upgrade to Windows 10 at all. As an answer, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “As we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a non-genuine state.”

There has since been some controversy over the comments and blog post made by Terry Myerson, the head of Windows. The blog post has since been edited and has many comments that were recently “closed” chiming in on this situation.

The take away from this is that pirates were ready to pounce on the idea of them getting a free ticket to Windows 10 even though they have negated to change their ways in running illegal copies of Windows 7 and 8.1. Microsoft has treaded lightly on this case and is doing a bit of damage control as you can witness in the blog post linked here.

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Microsoft Aims To Target Windows 7 Pirates By Asking Verizon For List Of Perpetrators

Posted on 05 May 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

Software pirates have long been proponents of stealing applications and sometimes redistributing them for free or sometimes for a price. Business was good for software pirates for many years but lately many are facing the music due to companies like Microsoft, who is fed up and asking for others to assist their efforts to combat the efforts of pirates.

If you were to figure the top piece of software that is pirated you would find Microsoft Windows ranking above most. Over the many years that Microsoft Windows has been available, pirates have found ways to distribute it illegally.

Just a week ago, Microsoft asked a federal court to allow it to server a subpoena on Verizon to force them to hand over the identity of those behind a two-year scheme that supposedly activated hundreds of copies of Windows 7 illegally.

Reportedly, the documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, the IP address was the main source for the Windows 7 product activations done illegally. The identities of those behind these activations are not known. Moreover, to find out who is responsible it will require Verizon to hand over the subscriber names.

Microsoft has gone through lengths over many years to prosecute those who pirate their software, including the Windows operating system. In many cases it is rare that someone like Microsoft must rely on another large entity to find out who the perpetrators are in pirating their software. This time, Verizon is on the line for Microsoft to be successful in their quest to bring recent software pirates to justice.

Officially, in a complaint files on April 28th, Microsoft laid out the full case for several “John Does” because they do not have the real names of the culprits in the case of pirating Windows 7. The suspect IP address has a history of illegally activating Windows 7. Those behind this scheme have circulated several illegitimate activation keys.

The complaint reads, “Based on the volume and pattern of their activation activity, on information and belief, defendants appear to consist of one or more commercial entities that subsequently distributed those systems to customers who, on information and belief, were unaware they were receiving pirated software.”

Supposedly, the pirates in this case have been operating for two years now. With Microsoft’s hands tied until Verizon cooperates puts them in a sticky situation. Microsoft is prepared to sue once they are able to identify those responsible for the IP address behind pirating Windows 7. Until then, the only stumbling block appears to be Verizon in providing the details needed for identification.

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Microsoft Predicts Windows 10 Will Be On 1 Billion Devices In 3 Years

Posted on 30 April 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

The time is inching closer for the release of Microsoft’s newest and supposedly greatest operating system ever, Windows 10. With an expected release date of July this year, the summer is going to be steamy as Microsoft predicts that their new operating system will be on nearly 1 billion devices within 3 years from drop date.

Windows chief Terry Myerson has made the forecast just this past week on how Windows 10 will account for being in 1 billion devices within 2 to 3 years. Windows 10 goes on sale this summer and was also claimed by Microsoft to jump-start the personal-computer market and entice more tablet and smartphone buyers to choose devices that use Windows.

It is undeniable how the PC market has had its challenges with the surge of mobile and tablet device sales over the past couple of years. However, analysts will explain that the PC market is still strong, and a lot is riding on the success of Windows 10.

Microsoft, in their bold assessment of Windows 10 and their predictions, has reinforced that the operating system will make it easier to turn websites into Windows applications while making it easier for the development of mobile apps and to repurpose work done for other operating systems. In all, life should be a cake walk with Windows 10 for developers in creating Windows 10 apps no matter what platform they are accustomed to.

To add to the conversations about Microsoft’s bold claim of 1 billion Windows 10 devices in 3 years, a single app store will be available for all devices that sport Windows 10. That includes smartphones and tablets if you are wondering.

Sales of Windows have been on a steady decline along with the slow downward motion of the PC market as a whole. After ending the support for Windows XP last year, many customers upgraded their machines during that time, which has now slowed progress in seeking new systems. With the introduction of Windows 10 things could move in the right direction again.

It has yet to be seen, but with Windows 10 on the horizon we and a major insurgence of new advanced hardware ready to support the latest operating system from Microsoft, PC sales may see a big jump and the 1 billion mark in three years may not seem as farfetched as originally thought by many.

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Five biggest Tech ‘flops’ in 2010

Posted on 07 December 2010 by GranTorinoGuy

Some other gadgets which proved popular in 2010.

Some other gadgets which proved popular in 2010.

These are not the top five biggest technology flops this year. But they certainly did not live up the expectations they promised when they were unveiled earlier this year. We’ll work our way from the bottom up.

5. Apple iPad

Well this is the pick that we’re probably going to take the most flak over, but it deserves to be on the list and here’s why: The iPad has been a mega-hit, there’s no denying that. With over 7 million of them were sold in its first six months on the market, it has changed the computing industry more than any single product has in the past decade.

But, the iPad has been hyped to the point that too many people are thinking of it as full laptop replacement. Well, unfortunately it is not. While the iPad has definitely devoured the lower end of the laptop market, especially netbooks, you have to keep in mind that most of those buyers are looking for a second, more portable machine. In business, the iPad is a great fit for consultants and field workers who are not sitting behind desks but are out interacting with customers, and also for executives who spend all day in meetings. However, it’s still not that great for people who need to sit down and efficiently plow through a lot of work. And that’s a lot of people!

4. Microsoft Kinect

Bill Gates was talking about this product for years, even long before it even had a name. When Nintendo Wii came out, Gates said the real innovation would be when you could play a tennis video game while holding your own racket instead of a game controller. To Microsoft’s credit, the company has almost entirely brought that vision to life with Microsoft Kinect, a new add-on for Xbox 360 which is already flying off the shelves this festive season.

The Kinect is a pretty cool experience (when it works) as it allows you to jump into a video game to play football, kick soccer balls and run obstacle courses right in the middle of your living room, without breaking anything. It’s great exercise and it’s quite accurate at the best of times. It doesn’t work too well in rooms with direct sunlight though and the facial recognition feature is absolutely awful. Plus the navigating menus with the gesture interface is annoyingly slow.

The Kinect is a very cool innovation, but it’s very gimmicky and raw, and it doesn’t work as well as the commercials say.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab

The most innovative thing about the Galaxy Tab is that Samsung was the first vendor to finally bring an Android tablet to the mass market. We’ve been hearing all year that an army of Android tablets would be invading in waves. It never happened, mainly because Google never released a tablet version of Android and threw cold water on the early vendors that attempted to do their own Android tablet adaptations.

Samsung took its successful Galaxy S line of Android smartphones and kicked it up a notch into a 7-inch Android tablet, and voilà, out popped the Galaxy Tab. While Samsung did an excellent job with the hardware, the software leaves a lot to be desired and the product is badly overpriced. The Galaxy Tab has been portrayed as the iPad’s first real competitor, but I’d recommend waiting until the price drops, or until Google releases the official tablet version of Android, and the other big vendors release their Android tablets in the first half of 2011.

2. Google TV

Google TV is disappointing, to say the least. If Google focused on bringing Android apps to the flatscreen instead of trying to webify the television experience, this product may have worked. It has been said that apps in Google TV will transform entertainment by essentially lowering the bar on creating a TV “channel,” and not just an old school cable channel but a fully multimedia-enabled interactive channel.

That’s still possible, but it would require a strategy change. What the Google has attempted to do with this product is marry Web video with traditional cable/satellite all controlled by one box that you can use to search for the content you want. Unfortunately, the user experience is confusing and tedious. If you really want Web pages and Web video clips on your TV, just hook up a PC or a Mac for goodness sake. If you want fast content from the Internet (podcasts, Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, etc.) delivered in a TV-like experience, get a Roku box, it’s a third of the price of Google TV.

1. 3DTV

This is an even bigger gimmick than Microsoft Kinect. The craze started at the CES 2010 earlier this year and carried all the way through to this holiday season. The TV vendors told the world that the next big step in television is 3DTV and that you can have it today by buying their new premium TVs and polarized glasses. The problem is that neither the tech press nor the public is buying it.

In January, it was obvious that TV vendors saw 3DTV as “the next big thing” to keep people buying new TVs and to get early adapters to replace their newly-purchased flat panels with 3D models. The tech press sniffed this out right away at CES 2010 and panned the idea, knowing that buyers don’t want to replace the new TVs they’ve just purchased in recent years and even fewer will want to wear 3D glasses in their own living rooms. But, vendors are still trying to ram 3DTVs down consumers throats with big displays at Best Buy, Costco, and other retailers this holiday season.

Which other gadgets do you think should make the list. Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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