Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts
Deciding what type of computers to use in your office can be tough. From high-tech modern features to usability and design, picking between a Mac and a PC is a tough decision that no technology guru really wants to make.
While the choice between a Mac and a PC may seem like a fashion statement to most people, it’s a decision that can be quite important for some businesses. Based on the industry that you operate in and your goals, there are several reasons to invest in an all-Mac, or all-PC workplace.
Apple is king…isn’t it?
First, let’s look at Apple’s range of computers. Fashionably-designed and built from the ground up for a user-friendly experience, Apple’s wide range of notebooks and desktops seem to be built with simplicity as their ultimate goal.
It’s true – even renowned entrepreneur Jason Calacanis suggests that web-based businesses invest in Macs, as it lowers their IT costs. Whether it’s proven in a real-life situation or not is debatable, but the fact appears to be that Macs can save your employees time.
Another point in Apple’s favour is the fantastic range of office suites available for Mac OS X. While Apple’s own workplace suite – made up of Numbers, Pages, and Keynote – doesn’t quite match up to Microsoft Office, it’s a step in the right direction.
But Microsoft offers much more…
There are, however, some disadvantages to using Macs in the office. The first is cost – Apple’s hardware is priced at a premium, which could annoy some users. The other is upgradability. While most Macs have great hardware, they’re not easy to upgrade.
PCs, almost all of which run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system, have a range of factors in their favour. The first is the cost: no matter how you try to spin it, PCs are almost always significantly cheaper pound-for-pound than their Apple counterparts.
Then there’s the range of applications. While Mac owners can enjoy Apple’s fantastic in-house apps, PC users can make use of a huge range of third-party applications for Windows that go above and beyond anything available on an Apple device.
Finally, there’s the flexibility. Upgrading a PC is typically a thirty-minute affair that involves buying new hardware, opening up the PC’s case, and installing it without a fuss. Given the unique design of most Macs, we can’t say the same thing for them.
So decisions, decisions…
Ultimately, each type of workstation offers a unique blend of benefits that will push users towards one or the other. Apple’s hardware excels at design and visual applications, as well as boasting a stable, highly functional operating system.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s wide range of compatible hardware makes it more affordable and significantly more upgradable. The extensive range of applications available for Windows also makes it a far better option for businesses that need lots of software.
At the end of the day, choosing between Mac and PC is like choosing between coke or lemonade. They’re both refreshing and tasty, but each offers a unique taste that’s perfect for a different audience.
What you need to establish, is what is right for your business’ needs? What are your firm’s goals, and what do your employee’s require to do their jobs to the best of their ability?
This article was written by Official Space, one of the UK’s leading serviced office space providers. Visit their website to browse over 6,000 offices across the UK. Having the right office space is key to your business’s success.
This article was written by Official Space, one of the UK’s leading serviced office space providers. Visit their website to browse over 6,000 offices across the UK. Having the right office space is key to your business’s success.
The History of Microsoft Windows
In 1981, Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen bridged the gap between computer hardware and software with the introduction of the operating system MS-DOS. While the system's efficacy for business and consumer alike proved innovative, it also required many improvements to be made in the name of comprehensibility and ease of access.
Such needs pushed Gates and Allen to announce the Microsoft Windows platform in 1983. Two years later, the company released Microsoft Windows 1.0, which, while not entirely ameliorating the shortcomings of its predecessor, still worked to patch its inherent problems by rendering programs easier to use and introduced a slew of features and programs, such as file management, Notepad, a word processor, a calendar, a clock, and drop-down menus, icons, scroll bars and dialog boxes, among others. These features laid the groundwork for the structure of future Windows operating systems to come.
Late 1987 saw the release of Windows 2.0, which allowed for desktop icons and included the programs Microsoft Excel, Word for Windows, as well as the Control Panel feature. Microsoft's willingness to cultivate a user-friendly personal computer experience and improve the speed and reliability of their operating system drastically increased their success in the market. Just a year after the release of Windows 2.0, Microsoft became the best-selling, most popular PC software company in the world.
Windows 3.0 and 3.1
Windows 3.0, released in May 1990, improved program capabilities, and, with the introduction of virtual memory into the equation, allowed users to better multi-task older software that had theretofore remained relatively unwieldy. At this point, Windows began to look like the operating system with which the vast majority of us have familiarized ourselves. However, while 3.0 was considered a great success for Microsoft, 3.1, released in 1992, came to be much more widely used, due to its improvements upon already innovated aspects given in 3.0.
Windows 95, released in the selfsame year, sold seven million copies in its first 5 weeks on the market. With the capacity to run in 12 languages and integrated networking now a possibility, Windows 95 ushered in the age of the internet. Dial-up networking and internet support came pre-packaged. Web design was no longer a faint dream for the layman. Quaint, quotidian functions of personal computing like minimize, maximize, and close buttons, as well as the Start Menu first appeared. That summer, Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer
Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Vista
Windows 98, the first strictly consumer-oriented platform, improved the user's search capabilities. Two years later, Microsoft released Windows Me. While it markedly improved multimedia accessibility, it quickly fell under the shadow of Windows XP's release a year later. XP proved to be Microsoft's last major operating system innovation for another six years, when Windows Vista was released to the general public in 2007. Vista's sleek interface indicated the way of the future.
Windows 7 and Windows 8
Finally, Windows 7, released in late 2009, improved further upon XP and Vista's bugs, and refined graphics, speed and usability; and the announcement of Windows 8's imminent release is surely an exciting prospect. Additionally, in the 16 years between Internet Explorer's original incarnation and its current one, much has been done to alleviate its buggy nature and inaccessibility for user web design. Such concern for a user-friendly experience in just one program serves as microcosm for the larger enterprise that is Microsoft and its long line of operating systems.
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Following on from the unveiling of Microsoft’s new SmartGlass software at this years E3 event, at the beginning of this month, Microsoft has wasted no time launching a new SmartGlass SDK development kit, for Xbox 360 developers to use while creating applications.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 SmartGlass is a companion application for the console available for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices, allowing these devices to seamlessly connect with the Xbox 360 console.
Enabling the mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones to connect to the Xbox 360 console and be used as second screens and remote controllers, as well as provide more interactive entertainment.
Microsoft has officially announced the latest version of their mobile OS, Windows Phone 8 Apollo which will be available later this year, although it looks like it will only be available with new Windows Phone devices and not existing Windows Phone smartphones.
Windows Phone 8 adds support for multi-core processors, and displays with a resolution up to WXGA, which is 1280 x 768 pixels, there will also be support for external storage on SD cards.
There is also support for NFC in Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft has announced their own digital wallet which will allow for payments via NFC and will also support loyalty cards.
Another new features in Windows Phone 8 Apollo is that Nokia Maps will now be built into the OS, which means it will be available on all Windows Phone 8 devices, and it will also come with offline maps support.
Microsoft has also said that Windows Phone 8 will offer enterprise ready security and support, Microsoft have yet to give an exact launch date for Windows Phone 8, they did however say that it will be available this fall.
We can expect a new range of Windows Phone 8 devices to launch at the same time as the OS, and are looking forward to seeing what Nokia have planned, we suspect they will be launching some interesting devices, considering their close partnership with Microsoft, you can find out more details on Windows Phone 8 over at Microsoft.
According to a recent report by the Daily Microsoft also intends to launch Microsoft Office on Google’s Android platform and Office is expected to be available in November on both Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android platform.
Microsoft has apparently finished testing their office apps on both platforms and they should both be ready to launch in November.
According to Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer, he is expecting Windows 8 to become extremely popular as he has announced that he estimates there will be over 500 million people using the new version of Microsoft’s Windows OS by the end of 2013.
Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 8 around October of 2012, which would give the company just over a year to reach their goal of 500 million users for Windows 8.
Whether or not Microsoft will be able to reach this goal of 500 million users for Windows 8 remains to be seen, it is possible as Windows 8 looks pretty good from what we have seen so far.
And considering Microsoft intends to make Windows 8 available for tablets as well as PCs it would not be impossible for them to reach 500 million users by the end of 2013.
With Windows 8 Microsoft is hoping to build an operating system that boots faster than ever, and with this in mind has redesigned the boot options for their new Windows 8 operating system.
Gone are the days of F8 key tapping to bring up boot options. Within Windows 8 users will be presented with a clear and user friendly interface provide all the options you might need.
Within the new boot screen users are provided with options for booting from a USb device or network connection, booting another OS, together with troubleshooting guides and simply continue or turnoff options. Microsoft explains:
“Fast booting is something we definitely want to preserve. Certainly no one would imagine intentionally slowing down boot to allow these functions to work as they did in the past.Most of the decisions about what will happen in boot are over in the first 2-3 seconds – after that, booting is just about getting to Windows as quickly as possible. These 2-3 seconds include the time allowed for firmware initialization and POST (< 2 seconds), and the time allowed for the Windows boot manager to detect an alternate boot path (< 200 milliseconds on some systems). These times will continue to shrink, and even now they no longer allow enough time to interrupt boot as you could in the past.”
For more information on the new Windows 8 boot options, jump over to the detailed blog post over on the Microsoft website.
It looks like Microsoft is the latest company to try their hand at a social network, although Microsoft’s offering, So.cl is not designed to challenge the likes of Facebook.
So.cl is designed for students and it is aimed at giving them the ability to network with other students and to share information, and according to Microsoft it is in the experimental stage.
With So.cl you can share your search and help others discover what they might be looking for. Fun commentary & discussions usually follow.What are you interested in? At So.cl you can find new interests and connect with like-minded people. The topics you care about are waiting for you.
You can find pout more details about Microsoft’s new social network over at So.cl.
It has been revealed this week that Microsoft has sold a majority of its AOL patent portfolio to Facebook for $550 Million. The deal included 650 patents in total, but in its initial AOL Auction Microsoft secured around 925 U.S. patents and patent applications plus a license to AOL’s remaining patent portfolio.
The remaining patents in AOL’s portfolio, contains around 300 additional patents that were not for sale. As a result of today’s agreement, Facebook will obtain ownership of approximately 650 AOL patents and patent applications, plus a license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase and own. Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel, Microsoft explains:
“Today’s agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction,”-“As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio.”
Microsoft has released a new version of Skype for Windows Phone and this is the first non beta version that has been released for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, Skype 1.0.
Skype 1.0 for Windows Phone will work on Windows Phone devices running Windows Phone 7.5 or higher, although according to the guys over at The Verge it will only run on devices with more than 512MB of RAM and not on the latest Tango devices with 256MB of RAM.
Imagine talking to friends, family, and colleagues anywhere in the world, and seeing them as if they’re in the same room. That’s Skype.Call, video call and instant message anyone else on Skype for free with Skype for your Windows Phone.
You can find out more details about Skype 1.0 for Windows Phone over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Microsoft has just splashed out over a $1 billion to purchase patents from AOL. The deal worth $1.056 billion will be sealed by the end of 2012 and AOL will exchange 300 patents to Microsoft who will be able to use them under a non-exclusive license.
The patents and patent applications relate to advertising, content generation, content management, multimedia and security. Tim Armstrong, AOL’s Chairman and CEO explains:
“We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value.”
AOL is expected to sell stock from one of the subsidiaries as part of the transaction; resulting in taxes connected with the sale being rendered immaterial.
AOL is also planning to utilise approximately $40 million of existing deferred tax asset to offset charges related to its remaining patent portfolio, as well as forward a ’significant’ amount of the proceeds to AOL shareholders.
This week Microsoft has taken the wraps off a new line of Xbox 360 controllers its created called the Chrome Series. As you can imagine from the name, this range of controllers adds a little extra bling to your Xbox 360 setup, when compared to other standard controllers.
The Microsoft Chrome Series Xbox 360 Controllers are wireless and will be available in a range of chrome colour finishes, including: red, white, or silver. They all also come equipped with the “transforming” D-pad and are compatible with all models of Xbox 360, say Microsoft.
The Chrome Series Xbox 360 Controllers will be arriving in early July 2012 in the U.S. and will be priced at around $55, once officially launched by Microsoft. Unfortunately there are currently no details on worldwide release dates for the Microsoft Chrome Series Xbox 360 Controllers.
Source: The Gamers Hub
Microsoft and Nokia have announced the launch of a new app development center, which will be based in Finland, and will be called the AppCampus, and the two companies are investing $24 million in it.
The AppCampus will launch in May, and it will be managed by Finland’s Aalto University, in an attempt to attract students, developers and entrepreneurs to the Windows Phone platform and also the Symbian platform.
Obviously Microsoft and Nokia are hoping that the new platform will boost Windows Phone, and Nokia Phone devices with new apps which will be developed for the Windows Phone platform.
Last week we heard that the Windows Phone platform had reached 70,000 apps which is quite a bit behind the two most popular platforms, Android and iOS.
Competition in web browser industry is pretty intense. There are too many proprietary and open-source browsers out there for a pie. After all it’s the base of 2095 million users.
First it was Netscape who threw competition to IE. Mozilla and Google joined the war of late. Both these two open-source browsers have garnered admiration for usability and no-nonsense attitude towards development.
Between them, Chrome is making most of the killing. This prods Mozilla to come out with regular updates and OS-compatible versions. That’s why they are now planning for an altogether new browser for upcoming Windows 8.
What Windows 8 offers?
You get 3 basic app types on the recently developed OS,
1. Standalone desktop application
2. Metro apps
3. Metro styled apps
While there is absolutely no problem with desktop apps; situation gets trickier for metro styled apps. Metro UI is key pulling point of Windows 8. For successful compatibility and rich user experience on Windows 8, developers need to befriend Metro style.
What’s the catch?
The catch is an access restriction to common Metro system codes for non-default apps. It seems Microsoft never falls short of tricks. For Firefox, challenge is to offer Metro-experience to users even when they don’t have default browser status.
Problems they are going to face
Mozilla gets the default status from users only when people see them performing. Good performance means,
1. Fast browsing experience
2. Easy accessibility to basic content management tools
3. Rich and pleasing visual experience at par with Metro standard.
Without the default status, Firefox is not getting direct help from MS. It’s like a catch-22. They can’t afford to lose agility; they can’t even cut back on features.
How they are doing?
As a public benefit company they are trying to strike a middle way. Developers started working on this. They have now smaller rags to chew for a while.
1. Devise a way-out to develop .PRI file with own resources.
2. Working out a C++ and XAML based app
3. Application launching through DLL instead of EXE format.
4. Finding out interoperability between XMAL and Direct.
5. Using graphics layer to paint DirectX surface.
6. Designing a theme for Windows 8 compatible Firefox.
7. Implementation of other contractual bindings.
How they’re dealing?
According to the chief programmer at Mozilla, things are taking shapes. They are trying to get Firefox or Fennec running on Metro UI. MSDN white paper is their guidebook for a while now.
We believe in coming days they will need lot process monitoring. It won’t be a cakewalk for sure. Web search won’t save labor. There are too little workable content on Metro UI; hardly any third-party support. What they will need most is user interaction and chain of feedbacks. So, let’s wish them luck for a while.
About the author: Margaret is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on environment and technology. Beside this she is fond of books. She recently did an article on reverse trike. These days she is busy in writing an article on mimeo.
Dell and HP, the two largest business computer companies have announced that they are working on the design of tablet computers for business applications built around the newly announced Windows 8 operating system. Previously, Samsung and Nokia had announced that Windows 8 based tablets will be launched during 2012, either in Q2 or Q3.
A study report by Forrester Research says that the sale of tablets in 2011 has drawn level with notebook computers at around 26 million units each. In the next 3 to 4 years, tablet computers are expected to double in numbers while the sale of notebook computers is expected to flatten out. Clearly the tablet will do to the notebook computer what notebooks did to desktop computers.
The major sale of notebook computers is to corporate buyers for use by their employees. The corporate employee carries the notebook computer with him when he travels or goes to meetings. He also takes it home for working in the evenings and weekends. When he is back at his desk, the notebook is plugged into a docking station where data and files from the notebook are synchronized with corporate data and file servers.
The launch of an efficient tablet computer for this use would make eminent sense.
The iPad will continue to dominate the tablet market
The Apple iPad will continue to dominate the tablet computer market in total numbers. Apple has a market share close to 74 percent that has not been dented by the introduction of dozens of competing products including the lower priced Amazon Kindle Fire. The iPad3, announced this month, packs in a higher resolution display and new features that raises the bar even further for the competition.
Apple's appeal is to the end user, who sees the combination of superb design and outstanding features built into an easy-to-use device that is unmatched by any competing product.
Apple has not been very successful in penetrating the corporate business computer buying market due to its non-compatibility with the Windows operating system that dominates business computing.
The Windows 8 operating system
The Windows 8 operating system is designed for the touch screen interface that tablet computers need, whereas previous Windows versions were designed for the mouse and keypad interface. Windows 8 will be compatible with previous versions and that will be of great appeal to the corporate buyers, where many applications are written for various versions of Windows.
In particular, Windows 8 is compatible with the MS Office suite of applications which are essential for the business computer market. Microsoft will also deliver cloud based versions of MS Office and the new Sky Drive feature that stores all personal configurations, settings and desktop data on the cloud so that the tablet user will be able to easily reconfigure his tablet to personal or business use.
At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung had displayed a tablet computer that had a pull-out key pad. This could be a pointer to the evolution of business tablets as a regular keypad is certainly better suited for prolonged periods of use than the screen based key pad that the iPad provides.
The Windows 8 also scores over the iPad in its ability to work with split screens where the user sees data in one window while he works on using it in another window.
One of the talking points for Dell and HP has been security for access to corporate computer networks, but it is not clear in what way the Apple iPad is less secure.
The Operating system needs matching hardware to perform
While the Windows 8 has some great features, it would need a matching hardware platform to deliver the overall user experience that the Apple iPad provides. HP, Dell and the other hardware manufacturers will each design differently and the user will compare each product with the very high standards that the iPad has set.
If the business tablet fails to match that expectation, the sales numbers would fail to take off.
The Windows 8 operating system is power intensive, needing a min 4 GB RAM. With the thin size of the iPad having set customer expectations from a tablet computer, the hardware manufacturers will struggle to achieve the 10 hours on a single charge battery capacity, which is one of the major plus points of the iPad.
The Windows 8 demo version still does not permit displays to change from landscape to portrait orientation that is so effective in the iPad. Microsoft has however claimed that this feature will be in-built in future releases.
The launch of Windows 8 based tablets later in 2012 from multiple manufacturers will determine if business computing become a significant new market for tablet computers. If that does happen, we could also begin to see some competition to Apple in the market that it has so far defined as its own.
About the author: Margaret is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on environment and technology. Beside this she is fond of books. She recently did an article on windows 8. These days she is busy in writing an article on mobileoperatingsystems.