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WinInfo Short Takes: March 2, 2012 March 2, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Apple, BlogoSphere, Google, Paul Thurrott, Platforms & EcoSystems.
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An often irreverent look at this week’s other news, including Microsoft’s amazingly successful launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows Azure falls for the oldest trick in the book, Google’s privacy policy change goes live and the world moves on, AT&T starts throttling more people, OnLive Desktop heads to Android, iPhone and Android lets apps steal your photos, and US users admire Apple and Google because they don’t know what these companies are really doing.

News Flash: People are Ignorant When it Comes to Love

And speaking of Apple and Google, these two wildly out of control corporations just topped Fortune’s list of the most admired companies in the United States, proving once again that the public has absolutely no idea what Apple and Google are really doing. Unbelievable.

Read More….WinInfo Short Takes: March 2, 2012

I find it’s amazing how the general person says Apple or Google is the best and most of them can’t even give you an exact reason why. I might be a Microsoft Partner, but I’m not a total fan boy. They make plenty their own mistakes over the years, but at least they take responsibility.

 

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Windows 8 vs. iPad: feature by feature | The Verge March 2, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Apple, BlogoSphere, iOS, Microsoft, Microsoft, Platforms & EcoSystems, Software, The Verge, Windows, Windows 8.
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ipad vs windows 8 comparison

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview was made available to download yesterday, giving everyone a chance to experience the company’s most revolutionary change in user interface since Windows 95. The interaction paradigm has shifted from a mouse-centric desktop to a touch-friendly, highly visual Metro style UI. The old Start orb has been retired and replaced by a Charms bar, which is brought to life with an inward swipe from the right. A swipe from the top down dismisses the app you’re in and returns you to the home screen, and the left and bottom edges also have actions associated with them. Gestures play a very significant role in Windows 8, but they’re only one aspect of a truly gargantuan list of changes……

Windows 8 vs. iPad: feature by feature | The Verge

Disappointing review they really didn’t show off features that Windows 8 had and that the iPad didn’t. The features were ones compared to the limited iPad set. For example the author failed to point out you can easily switch to a Full Internet explorer from the Metro Internet Explorer. For a full detailed overview of Windows 8 CP feature see Paul Thurott’s SuperSite for Windows, www.winsupersite.com. Many of his articles are linked here.

With Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft Silences the Critics March 2, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Suddenly, you can see it happening: A future in which Microsoft melds the traditional Windows desktop with the highly mobile and highly connected devices that are just now exploding isn’t just possible. It’s a sure thing.

Microsoft on Wednesday unleashed its nearly feature-complete Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the public. This new pre-release milestone, called the Beta internally, is one of just a handful of public releases the company plans before delivering the final version of the OS in an expected Q4 2012 timeframe. But it’s already got the Internet buzzing.

"Get psyched," commentator and professional Apple promoter David Pogue wrote from his column at the New York Times. "With Windows 8, Microsoft has sweated the details, embraced beauty and simplicity, and created something new and delightful." 

"A Silicon Valley startup called Lytro is shipping a camera this week that actually lets you focus or refocus your pictures on a computer after you take them," commentator and professional Apple promoter Walt Mossberg wrote from his equally lofty perch at the Wall Street Journal.

Wait, what?

OK, so Mr. Mossberg hasn’t opined on Windows 8 yet, but then why would he with other such exciting topics to discuss this week? The point, however, is simple: Even Microsoft’s biggest critics—and Apple’s biggest public backers—love Windows 8. Well, assuming they give it the time of day, that is.

"We really are on the threshold of a whole new era of personal computing,
USA Today‘s more moderate Ed Baig noted in his own review. "I’m impressed by what I see."

So am I, Ed. So am I…….

With Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft Silences the Critics

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: All Apps Comes Of Age March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: All Apps Comes Of Age

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If you’re familiar with Windows Phone, you know that this system presents a dual view user experience, with a primary screen called the Start screen that is filled with pinned tiles and a secondary screen called All Apps that lists every single app installed on the device. In the Windows 8 Developer Preview, however, only the Start screen was readily available. To get to All Apps, curiously, you needed to instantiate a search.

Guess what just got a lot easier?

In the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft has fixed All Apps, making it much easier to access and, as important, making it even more useful than the similar feature in Windows Phone.

To access All Apps from the Start screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the new App Bar and then tap the All Apps button. (With the keyboard, you can tap WINKEY + Z. Or, with a mouse, just right-click the Start screen.)

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The new All Apps interface, shown below, includes a few improvements, too.

all_apps

First, as you install new applications, the All Apps screen will segregate each of the app’s various executables into groups so that they’re together. As you can see above, there are groups for internal items (Windows Accessories) as well as applications that were installe separately by the user (Microsoft Office).

Also, the presentation is denser than it was in the Developer Preview, providing more apps onscreen at once.

Microsoft tells me, however, that one more change is coming. What’s missing, currently, is a way to easily get back to where you just were. So between the Consumer Preview an RTM, Microsoft will add an App Bar to the interface with a button to go back.

Note that you can still search for apps as before, and that’s true whether you’re in the Start screen or the All Apps view. To start a search, simply start typing any letter.

search

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts

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With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft has completely overhauled the system of keyboard shortcuts that utilize the ubiquitous Windows Key, and as you’ll soon discover, virtually ever letter in the alphabet is now assigned to some function. This change is in keeping with the company’s desire to make Windows 8 highly usable not just by beginners with touchscreen-based devices, but also by more experienced users on traditional PCs.

Here’s the complete list of Windows Key keyboard shortcuts in Windows 8. Unless otherwise noted, each is attained by tapping and holding down the Windows Key on your keyboard while striking another character…….

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Developer Tools March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Beta, BlogoSphere, Downloads Links, Paul Thurrott.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Developer Tools

vs11_beta

Microsoft included a pre-release version of Visual Studio 11 in the Windows 8 Developer Preview, of course, giving developers the tools they needed to get started on Metro-style app development. But with the Consumer Preview, these tools are available as a separate Beta download.

Last week, Microsoft provided a sneak peek of Visual Studio 11, though it didn’t speak much about Windows 8 developer issues specifically. I can tell you, however, that the Windows 8 platform–the Metro-based environment–was finalized about two months ago, so the versions of the APIs and platform we see now with the Consumer Preview is pretty close to complete. Too, the Visual Studio 11 Beta is close to final from a user experience standpoint.

So before we discuss anything else, you’ll want to get that download (and installation) going.

Click HERE to download the Visual Studio 11 Beta

(Note that the Beta will include separate downloads of Visual Studio 11 Ultimate, Premium, Professional, Test Professional, Team Foundation Server, Express for Windows 8, Express for Web, and Team Foundation Server Express. Visual C++, Visual C#, and Visual Basic Express editions are not available for this release.)………

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Windows 8 App Previews March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Paul Thurrott.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Windows 8 App Previews

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There’s been some confusion about the apps that are included with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Many of these apps resemble Metro-style versions of apps that Microsoft currently includes in Windows Live Essentials, and that’s not a coincidence, as they too "complete" the Windows 8 experience. But they’re included only to provide testers with this more complete experience. They’re not part of Windows. Rather, most of these apps will ship with Windows 8 on most new PCs, and will be available separately, and for free, from the Windows Store.

So what’s an App Preview? According to Microsoft, its own internal apps developers began work on these apps at about the same time that external developers received the Developer Preview code at BUILD. And with the underlying Windows 8 platform only complete for about two months, these apps are not as far along as is the OS. So they’re branded as App Previews to differentiate them from the underlying system, which is more robust and mature.

To be clear, not all of the apps included with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview are App Previews. For example, the two included games, Pinball FX2 and Solitaire, are not. I think the naming here is telling, though, and not just for the fact that each app is incomplete.

In any event, here’s a quick rundown of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview App Previews…….

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The True Story Behind the Missing Start Button March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The True Story Behind the Missing Start Button

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In the past few weeks, screen captures emerged showing that the Start button, a fixture in Windows since 95 when it debuted in Windows 95, would be removed from Windows 8. Enthusiasts acted as if it were a betrayal, a final nail in the coffin of the desktop UI they just know is being herded out to pasture.

None of it is true. Well, the Start button is being removed from the Windows 8 desktop, though as I wrote about in tongue-in-cheek fashion in Windows 8 Secrets: Windows 8 Is NOT Dropping The Start Button, any Windows logoed device or PC will have a Windows key (on the keyboard) or Windows key button (on the device itself) that will accomplish the same thing. What I couldn’t tell you at the time, sorry, was that this is only part of the story.

So here’s the true story behind the missing Start button in Windows 8.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Improvements to Mouse and Keyboard Navigation March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Improvements to Mouse and Keyboard Navigation

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While I probably had more experience with the Windows 8 Developer Preview than almost anyone–I used it as my primary PC platform for several months until the release of the Consumer Preview–it didn’t take much time with that version of the OS to realize that something was missing. And that’s because it was missing. Yes, Microsoft had nearly fully realize the touch experience for Windows 8 in the Developer Preview, because that was essentially a new interface paradigm for most users and the company wanted to get it right. But users of PCs with traditional keyboards and mice–i.e. almost everyone–noticed that the Developer Preview was quite lacking. And the complaints pored in as expected.

Folks, it’s all fixed…….

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: User Experience and Fit and Finish Improvements March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: User Experience and Fit and Finish Improvements

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With the Windows 8 Developer Preview, Microsoft made a promise about the future of Windows, a promise that is only now coming to fruition in the Consumer Preview. And that promise is this: While the major user experience changes in Windows 8 are indeed inspired by, and tailored to, multi-touch, they will work equally well with traditional PC interfaces, including keyboard, mouse, and trackpad.

Users who braved the Developer Preview hoping to garner some hint at this future, as I did for several painful months, came away disappointed. But that was by design, in the sense that Microsoft knew it had a certain amount of time to get the new, touch-based interfaces right, and it thus focused its efforts on shipping the new user experience first, while knowing that the keyboard and mouse/trackpad improvements could follow in a subsequent milestone.

But the Developer Preview wasn’t just incomplete from a user experience standpoint, it was also in some ways fundamentally incorrect. That is, because there were unfinished user interface bits, Microsoft had to implement small hacks just to get the Developer Preview out the door in a way that could be used………..