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You don’t really need a Start Menu in Windows 8

See on Scoop.itDanilo Pianco

“Greg Shultz shows you several techniques you can use to launch your Desktop applications in Windows 8 that don’t involve a Start Menu….”

See on www.techrepublic.com

Review: Windows Phone 8

See on Scoop.itDanilo Pianco
Windows Phone 8 is here, and finally consumers can get their hands on the latest and greatest from Microsoft. It’s a seriously major change, the biggest since Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” over a year ago, and it brings some critical new features that will keep the operating system relevant in

the ever changing world of smartphones.

In fact the change is so big that Microsoft required a whole new bunch of hardware to run the software, which not only brings the latest hardware tech to the table but also the platform for Microsoft to add whatever they liked without worrying about performance on legacy devices. The choice to support Windows Phone 8 only on new hardware disappointed a lot of people, especially those who recently purchased the Lumia 900, but going forward it will be the right choice.

Here at Neowin I finally managed to get my hands on the Windows Phone 8X by HTC several weeks after the official launch, so I apologize for the delay in any hands-on impressions of WP8 and its new hardware. A huge shoutout again to MobiCity who kindly sent over the HTC 8X that allowed me to review Windows Phone, so check them out whenever you’re thinking of buying a new phone (perhaps a new Windows Phone?).

Start and Lock

When you start up your Windows Phone 8 device for the first time you’ll most likely notice the new and improved Start screen, complete with three sizes of tiles. Visually this is the biggest change to Windows Phone 8, as the Metro/Modern style complete with large text headers, left-right swiping panes and tiles remains exactly the same.

Back in June when we first got a peak at the new Start screen for WP8 I thought that it looks very cluttered, but now that I have actually used the layout it’s just so much better. With Windows Phone 7 there was a limited amount of information that could be displayed at once on the Start screen without scrolling, but with the new smaller tile option there can be so much more information available at a glance – and that’s what Windows Phone is all about…

See on www.neowin.net

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 arriving tomorrow

See on Scoop.itDanilo Pianco

Microsoft has been steadily losing browser share for the best part of a decade, with Google’s Chrome the main competitor to Internet Explorer. Firefox and Opera have loyal followings, but Chrome is the one Microsoft would be looking to fend off.

Now that Windows 8 has hit, the early adopters are getting to experience Internet Explorer 10, in both in Modern UI and regular desktop flavours. But what about Windows 7 users still stuck on IE9? Microsoft famously left XP users in the cold when it released IE9 for Vista and 7, so when Microsoft promised the latest browser was coming to their most popular OS in preview form, people still took note that there was no firm plans to bring IE10 to Windows 7 in final form.

Well mark November 13th in your diary, as this is when IE10 will hit for Windows 7. Yes, that’s tomorrow! It was Roger Capriotti, Product Marketing Director for IE that stated that the build will be available from tomorrow.

With benchmarking results for the new browser mixed, mostly losing out to Chrome and Firefox, Microsoft might struggle to convince some users to switch back to the bundled browser. For the most part however, the average user, especially the new Windows 8 user(s), should help build consumer confidence in the once dominant browser.

See on www.neowin.net

Dez tecnologias que estarão em alta em 2013, segundo o Gartner

See on Scoop.itDanilo Pianco

Dez tecnologias que estarão em alta em 2013, segundo o Gartner Ascensão de dispositivos móveis está no topo da lista, que inclui ainda soluções em memória e lojas corporativas de aplicativos.

Patrick Thibodeau, Computerworld/EUA

Primeiro, veio a adoção pesada da plataforma móvel da Apple pelos consumidores, que encantados com a mobilidade forçaram as empresas a apoiar o uso de dispositivos pessoais para fins profissionais.

O Android invadiu o mundo corporativo logo depois e chega agora o Windows 8, o mais recente esforço da Microsoft para manter seu império no mundo do PC intacto e ganhar participação de mercado em dispositivos móveis.

Para o instituto de pesquisas Gartner, a chegada do Windows 8 esquenta a “batalha de dispositivos móveis”, forte aposta para 2013, que está na lista das dez maiores tendências de TI nos próximos meses.

O Gartner prevê que em dispositivos legados “90% das empresas vão ignorar implementações do Windows 8, pelo menos até 2014”, avalia Peter Sondergaard, que comanda a operação de pesquisa do Gartner.

Veja abaixo as dez tecnologias estratégicas para empresas que estarão em alta em 2013 a e vão impactar a TI nos próximos meses, segundo o Gartner.

1. Dispositivos móveis
No próximo ano, os telefones celulares vão ultrapassar os PCs como dispositivo mais comum de acesso à web em todo o mundo. Será que isso significa que aparelhos móveis vão substituir os PCs? Sim e não, diz o Gartner.

Alguns departamentos de TI só precisam suportar dispositivos móveis para profissionais específicos cujas funções exigem mobilidade. Os demais permanecem nos tradicionais computadores. Mas, acrescenta o Gartner, a ascensão de dispositivos móveis sinaliza o fim do Windows como plataforma corporativa única.

“Até 2015, os embarques de tablets vão atingir cerca de 50% dos embarques de laptop e o Windows provavelmente ficará em terceiro lugar na preferência das pessoas, atrás do Android e do iOs, da Apple”, relata David Cearley, analista do Gartner em relatório. “Como resultado, a participação da Microsoft na plataforma do cliente (PC, tablet, smartphone) provavelmente será reduzida para 60% e pode cair para 50%.”

2. Mudança de aplicativos nativos para aplicativos web como HTML5 
O Gartner nota que os aplicativos nativos não vão desaparecer e “sempre oferecerão a melhor experiência ao usuário e recursos mais sofisticados.”

3. Nuvem pessoal substitui a noção de computador pessoal
A nuvem vai abrigar todos os aspectos da vida de uma pessoa, diz o Gartner. Por ser um modelo tão vasto e capaz de empacotar recursos infinitos “nenhuma plataforma, tecnologia ou vendedor vai dominá-lo”, indica o instituto de pesquisas. Isso também significa que TI terá de suportar quase tudo.

4. Internet das Coisas
Tudo vai conectar-se à internet, incluindo câmeras, microfones, realidade aumentada, edifícios e sensores embutidos em todos os lugares. Em muitos casos, ela já se faz presente. A Internet das Coisas vai conduzir novos produtos, como os baseados em uso seguro ou de políticas fiscais. Também levantará novas questões.

“Estamos em um momento em que já não é exagero imaginar que muito do que e quem interagimos esteja ligado à internet”, aponta Cearley.

5. Cloud computing
Como a adoção da nuvem cresce, os departamentos de TI terão de criar “serviços em nuvem” para servir como foco central para gerenciar o acesso à serviços externos.

6. Big Data estratégico
Projetos de Big Data estão se tornando mais econômicos para as empresas, graças, em parte, aos servidores e CPUs de baixo custo. Big Data estratégico, acredita o Gartner, fará com que usuários executem projetos não mais isolados. Companhias vão incorporar a análise da grande massa de dados em mais atividades que desempenham.

7. Analytics acionável
Analytics acionável é, em alguns aspectos, um subconjunto da sexta tendência (Big Data estratégico). Processamento de baixo custo está fazendo o possível para “realizar análises e simulações para cada ação tomada em um negócio”. A maioria das análises hoje se concentra em olhar para a análise histórica, o próximo passo é prever o que pode acontecer.

8. Computação em memória (in-memory)
Computação em memória, diz o Gartner, pode ser transformacional. Ela permite que as atividades que consomem horas para serem executadas levem minutos ou apenas segundos. A computação em memória vai se tornar uma plataforma dominante no próximo ano ou dois, já que cada vez mais os usuários buscam consultas em tempo real.

9. Appliances virtuais integrados à ecossistemas
Eles não vão acabar com aparelhos físicos e suas vantagens de segurança, mas dispositivos virtuais vão ganhar um lugar de destaque nas operações de TI.

10. Lojas corporativas de aplicativos 
Lojas empresariais de aplicativos vão transformar os departamentos de TI em gerentes de mercado, proporcionando governança e até mesmo apoiando a “apptrepreneurs”. Lojas de aplicativos serão o espaço para encontrar tudo o que o usuário precisa para aprimorar seu trabalho.

See on cio.uol.com.br

Windows prelaunch paranoia: 17 years of gloom and doom

See on Scoop.itDanilo Pianco

Everything is on the line with Windows 8 and Microsoft. It’s do or die, according to pundits. So goes the headline hyperbole.

But here’s the zinger: Dire make-or-break predictions for the launch of the latest Windows, tying it to the failure of Microsoft itself, have also greeted the releases of Windows 7, Vista, XP, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

A Windows OS launch just isn’t complete without an everything-is-at-stake-for-Microsoft prediction.

And this time around, the feeling that Microsoft is at the precipice of failure on the eve of releasing its latest operating system is no different, as the fear mongers would have you believe that the October 26 release of Windows 8 may be spookier than a Halloween thriller for Microsoft.

I agree that more than the usual is on the line for Microsoft with the release of Windows 8. The company is going all out, introducing the Windows 8 and RT OSs, an overhauled user interface, the Surface RT tablet, Windows Phone 8, and a bevy of upgrades to the back end for cloud services and mobile apps. Does the future of Microsoft rest on Windows 8’s success? According to many experts it does. At this point, who knows? This time they may be right.

Will Windows 8 topple Microsoft?

My personal favorite paranoid headline from the 2012 rollout is Forbes’s “Is Windows 8 going to kill Microsoft?” In the article itself, the writer, Forbes contributor Tim Worstall, doesn’t actually assert that Microsoft will go under; the headline is more trollish than anything. Instead, Worstall hypothesizes that, because Windows 8 looks different from Windows 7, “the very change [Microsoft is] bringing in means that people will be open to changing to a non-Windows platform.” For pure entertainment value, I like the headline better.

A more nuanced risk analysis comes from ZDNet’s Larry Dignan, who writes in “Microsoft: Radical shift to devices, risk ahead of Windows 8” that the Windows 8 launch represents Microsoft’s move from being a software company that earns the lion’s share of its revenue from software licenses to being a “devices and services company,” to quote Steve Ballmer.

The risk for Microsoft if it doesn’t adapt to change is that it might lose a portion of its 1.3 billion Windows users as Android smartphones and Apple tablets continue to transform the way people use computing devices. The challenge for Microsoft is to keep traditional desktop users happy while hoping that they migrate away from the desktop OS to Windows 8-powered gear—and not to those Android or Apple devices.

Windows OS sales in 2011 brought Microsoft $11.5 billion in revenue. If people forgo upgrading to Windows 8 or make the decision to buy a new Apple iPad instead of a Surface tablet, all of a sudden Microsoft is in trouble.

However, given that Microsoft makes the majority of its money from licensing software to businesses—it took in $24 billion in revenue and posted $15.8 billion in operating income in 2011—I’m not sure even sluggish sales of Windows 8 could topple Microsoft anytime soon.

This is just the most recent roundup of paranoia: Skeptics have been around ever since Microsoft released Windows 3.0 in 1990 and went head-to-head against IBM’s OS/2. But let’s begin our walk down Naysayer Lane in 1995.

Windows 95 is too powerful for its own good

The launch of Windows 95, on August 24, 1995, was supposed to spell doom for Microsoft because it was sure to motivate trustbusters within the U.S. Department of Justice to take crippling action.

The beef that the Justice Department had with Microsoft was a link on the Windows 95 desktop to the now defunct Microsoft Network. Remember when the mighty AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy online networks worried that such a link would give Microsoft an unfair advantage in online services?

The antitrust case will kill Windows 98

Let’s score a point for the doomsayers: They would be proven right about the antitrust hammer eventually, but they underestimated Microsoft’s resolve to fight the case in court.

On May 18, 1998, three days after Microsoft launched Windows 98, the Justice Department took the company to court. Newsweek ran the headline “Windows Under Attack.” Industry pundits piled onto the “Can Microsoft survive getting sued by the United States?” bandwagon.

For years, the sides were locked in a bitter antitrust case that centered on whether Microsoft had the right to favor its own Internet Explorer browser and software over rivals such as Netscape when it came to bundling software with its operating systems.

Windows XP’s lousy timing will be its demise

Three years later, Microsoft had survived the threat of being split into “Baby Bills,” and on October 26, 2001, the folks in Redmond officially launched Windows XP. The timing was not ideal, as the launch was a little over one month after the terrorist attacks of September 11.

Microsoft held its launch event only four miles from Ground Zero, at the Marquis Theater in New York’s Times Square. In one article about that event, Bob Keefe of the Austin American-Statesman wrote:

Microsoft Officially Launches Windows XP in New York 

Microsoft’s timing turned out to be terrible. Because of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the poor economy and other factors, the long-planned release could be anything but festive for Microsoft and many of its partners.

The economy and the questionable timing weren’t the only bad news for Windows XP’s launch. Paranoia about XP’s security and a built-in feature called Passport gave critics genuine reasons to slam the OS. Passport was a single-sign-on service that let you log on to a collection of websites without reentering your personal information. Hiawatha Bray, in aBoston Globe article titled “A Passport to Disaster,” wrote:

The anti-XP gripes are many and varied, but the most serious one involves Microsoft’s plan to build in a feature called Passport that could let the company collect large amounts of data about millions of computer users worldwide. Never mind any suspicions about Microsoft’s nefarious motives for building dossiers on all of us. It’s enough to recall that this is a company that can’t even write a reasonably secure e-mail program.

See on www.pcworld.com

Windows Phone 8: Cheat Sheet

See on Scoop.itDanilo Pianco

Windows Phone 8? Don’t you mean Windows 8?

Windows Phone 8 is the next iteration of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system, due to be unveiled in late October. It’s a hugely important release, vital for the credibility of Microsoft in smartphones and for companies that are using Windows Phone 8 in their handsets – especially Nokia. It’s part of a series of linked product launches, along with Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, through which Microsoft is strengthening the connections between its smartphone, desktop and tablet offerings.

So what’s new?

From an engineering point of view, the biggest change is that Windows Phone 8 is based on the same core technologies that underlie Windows 8. By switching to the Windows NT core, the phone and the desktop and tablet operating systems will share a common networking, security, media and web-browser technology, and a common file system.

That approach should make it easier for developers to reuse Windows code on Windows Phone – in turn making it more attractive to develop for the smartphone.

What about new features?

Windows Phone 8 also supports multi-core processors, plus two new screen resolutions -1,280×768 and 1,280×720. It supports removable MicroSD cards and NFC wireless sharing, which can be used for sharing photos, Office docs, and contacts by tapping a Windows Phone 8 handset against another NFC-equipped device.

The new operating system will also come with Internet Explorer 10, the same browser used by Windows 8 PCs and tablets, plus a digital-wallet feature to store debit and credit cards, coupons and boarding passes – somewhat like the iOS6 Passbook.

When paired with a secure SIM the wallet app can also be used for mobile payments. Windows Phone 8 also builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform, which could give it another boost following the iOS6 maps debacle. Windows Phone 7 apps will run on Windows 8 but not the other way around.

Updates will be delivered wirelessly over the air, and Microsoft said it will support devices with updates for at least 18 months from device launch.

So what will make Windows Phone devices stand out?

The Start screen for Windows Phone 8 is probably one of the standout features. The Live Tiles concept that came out of Windows Phone 7 returns, but with additional colours and sizes, so users can customise their Start screen – for example, by making the email tile larger or the text tile smaller.

In fact, the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 user interfaces are very similar, which just emphasises how Microsoft is thinking about its device and operating system portfolio in a much more interconnected way.

Windows 7 phones will get the new Start screen as part of a 7.8 update sometime after Windows Phone 8 is released – but Windows Phone 7 devices themselves cannot be upgraded to Windows Phone 8, which has been the source of some dismay.

What about the apps?

No smartphone can prosper without a significant array of apps. Microsoft said in June that there were already 100,000 apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace, with another 200 new titles being added each day.

Windows Phone 8 also includes a number of updates of interest to developers. Microsoft said Windows Phone 8 has C and C++ support, making it easier to write apps for multiple platforms more quickly. It also means Windows Phone 8 supports popular gaming middleware such as Havok Vision Engine and Autodesk Scaleform, as well as native DirectX-based game development.

It will also allow in-app purchases, and integrated VoIP calls. Improvements to multitasking will allow location-based apps such as exercise trackers or navigation aids to run in the background.

What about business users?

Microsoft has been keen to tout the business-friendly aspects of Windows Phone 8, to lure in those IT departments that are fed up with supporting Androids and iPhones and yearn for something that plays nicely with their existing infrastructure.

As such, Windows Phone 8 boasts technology to encrypt the entire device, including the operating system and data files. It supports the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface secure-boot protocol and features improved app sandboxing, so the phone is better protected from malware with multiple layers of security. It also includes remote-management tools and allows companies to set up their own hub for custom employee apps.

So what about the handsets?

While the new OS hasn’t been formally unveiled, handsets running on it are already being showcased – for example, Nokia’s Lumia 820 and its flagship 920. The phone boasts a 4.5-inch TrueBlack display and dual-core Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon processor, plus Nokia’s PureView software, and wireless charging.

Other handset makers have shown off their devices. Samsung unveiled its ATIV S handset featuring 1GB of onboard RAM, and 8MP autofocus rear camera and 1.9MP front-facing camera, and a choice of 16GB or 32GB versions, both with MicroSD. Also last month HTC showed its Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S.

Are people really ready to buy Windows Phone devices?

Right now Windows Phone is a smartphone minnow. According to figures from analyst firm IDC, in August it had about a 3.5 per cent market share, compared with Android’s gigantic 68 per cent of the market, and the 17 per cent held by iOS devices. But it is making headway, closing the gap on BlackBerry.

Microsoft and its partners will be hoping the renewed emphasis on design – through features such as Live Tiles – will attract the consumer audience which have so far snubbed Microsoft.

IT directors will want to see how deep the integration is between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. For Microsoft getting this right is vital. It’s part of a broader strategy that encompasses tablets through Surface and PCs through Windows 8, and is key in presenting consumers and businesses with an entire hardware ecosystem that they can buy into – as well as fighting off the threat from Apple and to a lesser extent Google.

But success in the consumer market is absolutely essential here, but it’s also vital for partners such as Nokia, which have bet heavily on Windows Phone 8’s success.

See on www.techrepublic.com

Microsoft Surface RT Priced: 32GB For $499 Without Touch Cover, $599 With; 64GB For $699

See on Scoop.itDanilo Pianco

Microsoft today detailed pricing for its Surface tablets, at least those running the scaled down RT version of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system designed for use on low-power processors.

See on techcrunch.com