Windows

Windows Vista and XP support changes

xp-vista-extended-supp

Today Microsoft is cancelling the mainstream support for Windows Vista.

Assuming that there is no large Windows base out there, this is really not a tragic step. However, Windows Vista will still receive security relevant updates during this time. But this will only be this way until April 2017, when the extended support phase ends.

As Windows XP has a bigger market share than Windows Vista, the extended support ends in April 2014. This has not been changed – due to the “big” market share.

If you are running one of both systems on your PC, you should think about a change to a newer version of Windows. I do not say you have to do so in the next two month, but over the span of one year you will sure find the right upgrade for your PC, be it Windows 7 or the upcoming Windows 8.

If you run XP after 2014 and Vista after 2017, you are all alone to secure your PC and all your personal data. Do yourself a favor and think about it.

source: Microsoft, ZDnet

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
Nokia tablet with WoA in the make?

Nokia tablet with WoA in the make?

Nokia-tab

I was struggling with myself  about this post a bit, but this rumors are to good to not write about it.

This morning MS_nerd postet a few words about a Tablet with WoA on it:

I do not see a reason why this not could be true. So Nokia seems to be already working on a tablet as many of us hoped before.

What do you all think about this?

Posted by msicc in Windows, 2 comments

Possible timeline for Windows 8 launch revealed

 

Screenshot (6)

Yesterday the financial site dividend.com revealed the timeline for Windows 8 launch.

They are now looking forward to the next steps until launch:

  • Release Candidate (RC) in June
  • Ready to Manufacturing (RTM) in late July/August
  • official Release (or as the say General Availability) in September/October

This seems like a possible scenario for a launch, as it fits also in the suggested Windows Phone Apollo timeline.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
W8CP is much faster than Windows 7 in common tasks

W8CP is much faster than Windows 7 in common tasks

Screenshot (6)

Recently pcworld.com has done a benchmark between the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows 7. As the title says, W8CP is the clear winner.

First, let´s have a look on the machine the ran the tests on:

  • 3,3 GHz Intel Core i5-2500K CPU
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM (1333 MHz)
  • 1 TB HDD, 7200 rpm
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card

They used their very own WorldBench 7 testing method (here you can read in detail how they test). They stated what everyone who has Windows 7 and the W8CP installed: W8CP is simply faster. It did the Benchmark 14 percent faster than Windows 7!

Startup Time:

1187158-startup20time-11338859

As you can see, the startup time is very different. The opened a text file after startup to get the time. W8CP is although it has to load the Metro Design, switch to Desktop and then open the file still about 25 % faster than Windows 7. Yes, 25%!

What the hell is going on?

Well, it is a so called “hybrid boot” why it is this fast. Microsoft simply combined the speed and functionality of hibernate mode and the benefits of a fresh startup. How does this work? When Windows goes to hibernate mode, all RAM-data is written into a file on the HDD. On restart, this file is loaded again. This mode was ported to the whole system: all apps are closed by the system on shutdown. The OS state is hibernated to the HDD. On restart, the System loads the hibernated state, and you have the same state as before shutdown.

I love this. You can test it by yourself: open and work with some apps, restart and open the same apps: you are where you left.

pcworld.com tested also the

Web performance

Here they received  a much bigger difference between the two OS:  about 50%! Windows 7 and IE 9 achieved 18.9 frames per second, while Windows 8 with IE10 received 28.6 fps. the tasks were dynamic web content, including Javascript and HTML 5. Microsoft has done a real good job here.

Audio, Video, Images

1187158-content20creation-11338858
Here comes a big point about running a beta version of Windows: missing drivers. Windows 8 has a huge database like Windows 7, but a dedicated driver from the manufacturer is the best solution. So I would say here we go with a draw (the difference is under 5%, so it is not noticeable for a normal user).

Office productivity

This was the only category where Windows 7 was faster. Tasks to do were typical office things like editing text, application launches or scanning for viruses. Windows 7 wins here with about 8 percent.

We are still in beta

with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The preview shows already, where the way goes. Windows 7 was fast, and Windows 8 will be even faster. I bet over time several updates will show the real potential of Windows 8.

You can read the detailed article on pcworld.com.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

(Updated x2) How to prepare W8CP for Metro apps on devices with small screen resolutions

cantopenmetro

Microsoft stated that Windows 8 will be able to an huge amount of devices, such as PCs, tablets as well as other devices. Well, a netbook is also a kind of a PC.

There are certain netbooks out there, which can be run in 800*600 max. screen resolution by default. Currently drivers from vendors are missing for these devices, so there won´t be a possibility to change.  A colleague of me has a Nokia 3G booklet. He could not get the Metro part of the W8CP to work. He is running into an error message like the one illustrated above.

There is a solution.

Paul Thurrott posted a solution to this on his supersite for Windows. OK, it seems more than a hack, but it will lead to target.

Here is how to get the Metro part working through changing your screen resolution settings:

  • run Regedit (Win + C, search, type in regedit (note: you have to type in complete, otherwise the app shows not up)
  • search for “display1_downscalingsupported” (CTRL+F)
  • change its value from 0 to 1
  • search all entries in registry by using the F3-key of your netbook, and change again the value from 0 to 1

Paul noted that the look of the desktop part maybe a little bit skewed or squished. But now you have additional screen resolution options.

Note: if you do not know what you’re doing, you should not follow these steps! I am not responsible for any errors or damage caused by changing your registry.

I will try to do this on my colleague´s netbook, and will update this post.

Update 2: Nokia Booklet loves W8CP!

So my colleague was playing around with his netbook and installed the device graphics driver. He had do install it with the Windows device manager. He simply downloaded the driver (here), and pointed the device manager to use this file. So he is now enjoying the Metro apps on his netbook.

Until then, feel free to use the steps above and leave some comments. Most important thing:

Have fun using the Metro apps also on your netbook!

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
Microsoft shows up what surfing the web means with IE10 on W8CP

Microsoft shows up what surfing the web means with IE10 on W8CP

Screenshot (62)

Yesterday Microsoft posted some information about the recent changes of IE10 for the Windows 8 consumer preview.

The changes are made to give us an even better user experience while browsing the web.

Content first

What we get is a chrome-less browser, which concentrates on the content, not the app you are using. This is very Metro following. It may remind you  the experience on Windows Phone when browsing the web. As you can see, there is only the content, no bars, menus or anything else:

Screenshot (54)

Microsoft highlights several features in his blog post:

  • Navigation tiles. Tiles are helping you to find your pinned as well as frequent used sites. This feature shows up as soon as you begin typing in the adress bar.

IE10 NAvtiles

  • Tabs. Tabs are showing up when  swipe from the bottom of the screen (on touch), right click with the mouse or press Win + Z.

Screenshot (57)

  • The Metro  I0 10 is well integrated in all key Windows 8 features like the Charm bar, where you can use the search and the applications settings as well as the snapping feature:

Screenshot (61)

Microsoft summarizes all changes like this:

  • Full, independent composition enables responsive, fast and fluid behavior on real websites (including pages with fixed elements, nested scrolling regions, animations, and video)
  • Back and forward swipe navigation with preview
  • Double-tap to zoom in on content
  • Fast back and forward navigation controls for mouse
  • Mouse (CTRL+scroll wheel) and keyboard methods for quickly zooming in and out to mirror touch interactions
  • Automatic domain suggestions for faster navigation and less typing
  • Share charm support for URLs, snippets, images and selection with Mail and other apps
  • Search charm with visual search suggestions
  • Devices charm for printing, projecting, and playing video to external devices like TVs
  • Plug-in free support: notifications for sites requiring activeX
  • Background notifications for pinned sites and other tile improvements
  • Jumplists for pinned sites
  • InPrivate tabs that are easier to open
  • Clean up tabs command, which quickly closes all but current tab

No-compromise with Metro styled browsing

Microsoft these days often uses the phrase no-compromise to describe their features. IE 10 for Metro sure will give us a highly content driven experience, and is well integrated into Windows 8. I am looking forward to my first tablet or touch device to use the Metro IE 10 more for surfing.

You can read the whole post at the Building Windows 8  Blog.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
How to access W8CP store of foreign regions

How to access W8CP store of foreign regions

As I noticed in one of my previous posts, there is a list of all available apps for Windows 8.

If you have followed the link, you might have noticed that there are some apps which are regionally restricted. But you can download them as well, and this post will tell you about how to.

First step you have to do is change the language of your system like I described here.

Once you have done this, you have to change the region settings of your windows. Go to control panel in desktop mode (or use search), and click on “Region”

Screenshot (44)

Now choose the tab “Location”.

Screenshot (42)

Now choose the location you want to switch on. In my example I use the United States.

Screenshot (43)

Confirm the change with “Apply” and exit this window with “OK”.

Screenshot (50)

Screenshot (53)

Now we have access to the American Windows 8 store. Apps you install in this way will also work if you turn back to your normal region/language settings.

Please note that without the language change you will not be able to access foreign regions store. I tried it several times, but only this way was working for me.

Have fun with testing all Windows 8 apps!

Posted by msicc in Windows, 6 comments
How to change language on W8CP

How to change language on W8CP

Today I want to talk about a nice little feature in Windows 8. You can switch nearly seamlessly between different languages.

Here is a little guide:

Screenshot (44)

Go to the control panel in desktop mode of Windows 8 and click on language. If you do not see the icon click on “view by:” and select the big or small icon setting.

Screenshot (45)

Now click on “Add a language” in the language settings screen.

Screenshot (46)

Search the language you want to install. Currently, there is support for English , French, German and Japanese. For all other languages you can set a keyboard layout. Double click the language you want and it will be added to your language list. Now click on “Options” on the right hand side of your selected language.

Screenshot (47)

With a click on “Download and install language pack” your selected language will be downloaded and installed. To activate your selected language, click again on “Options”.

Screenshot (48)

Click on “Make this the primary language” now. You will see following notification:

Screenshot (49)

After a short sign-off and sign-in procedure you will be using Windows in your desired language. This is working regardless which system language you initially used to install, as long as it is one of the supported languages.

Have fun!

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

Microsoft is telling us how Windows 8 is ready for business

Yesterday at CeBIT in Germany, Kevin Turner (COO of Microsoft), told us how Windows 8 is ready for business use right from the start. He explicitly invited IT pros to test the recently announced Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

CeBIT12_Microsoft Keynote, Kevin Turner

No compromise experience

“Windows 8 will deliver no compromise experiences on a range of devices from tablets and PCs to desktops. It will give people functionality they love and the enterprise-grade capabilities that IT departments demand,” Turner said. “We encourage IT professionals to begin using it to get a firsthand experience of how Windows 8 will give people a beautiful, fast and fluid experience with the mobility and familiarity they need to effortlessly move between what they want to do and what they need to do.”

Microsoft recently often says, that there is no compromise about the user experience. As IT pros like system admins are focusing more on the productivity of the networks and systems they are maintaining, this will get interesting only to be interesting in second place.

Easy integration in existing system structures

This is one of the goals of Microsoft in business use. To reach this goal, Microsoft has focused on a few things.

  • First thing is of course a great user experience. The Metro interface is introduced to be productive on touch based devices as well as with mouse and keyboard.
  • Tablets are the second focus. There are so many things where tablets can be used in daily business, like on presentations, showing a customer a preview of recent products and so on. The big advantage here is that Microsoft was able to integrate the possibility of existing Windows 7 software.
  • Mobility is important: Microsoft solution to this is Windows To Go. A whole Windows installation on a little USB-Device, so users can be equipped with a full, customized Windows copy for working on the go – existing hardware can be reused without being forced to install a new OS.
  • Security is always important, especially in business area. With Trusted Boot and improved BitLocker drive encryption, AppLocker and claim-based access control help protect corporate data across the client device, the network and back-end infrastructure, says Microsoft.
  • Virtualization and management is made easy with Windows 8. Be it the well prepared Windows 8 OS itself, or the additional included Hyper-V technology: Windows 8 will help IT pros to integrate the new Windows devices easily into existing infrastructures.

So this is a short overview of the features coming to businesses. A good amount will also focus on apps/software and their integration as well as their backwards compatibility. The time will tell, how the new concept of Microsoft will be adopted also by IT pros for their daily business.

If you want to read more about this and watch a video about the possibilities, you can read a blog post of Erwin Visser, who has demonstrated some of the above points at the CeBIT.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
Discovering Xbox LIVE and Xbox Companion apps on W8CP

Discovering Xbox LIVE and Xbox Companion apps on W8CP

As the Xbox Live apps do not work in every country, I want to give you a short view to both apps. Both are preinstalled on W8CP.

Screenshot (21)

Xbox LIVE Games

The Xbox LIVE Games app comes with a few functions which you might know from your Smartphone app. Once you start the app, you will get to the overview screen:

Screenshot (9)

As you can see, your Avatar (if you have one), is loaded into the app. You can view your own profile as well as have a look on your friends profiles:

Screenshot (10)

On your profile you can see your achievements or modify your avatar. If you choose a friend, you will be able to compare your achievements:

Screenshot (11)

Here is a look on a friends profile:

Screenshot (12)

 

Currently, you cannot send or view messages within the app like on the smartphone app. Hopefully this app will be updated during the preview time to fit with the smartphone functionality.

Xbox Companion

The Xbox companion is very similar to the one on Windows Phone. Once you have logged in and connected to your Xbox, you will see a start screen with your last activity as well as your last played games:

image

You can scroll through videos. games and music as well:

image

Finally, you have the search, like on the smartphone app:

image

Again, please remember that the W8CP is still a “Beta”-release, so it is usual that not all functions are working. I am sure the apps will be updated – at least with the official launch of Windows 8. I hope you liked this small overview over both Xbox apps. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments