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OEMs Get Windows 8.1

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OEMs Get Windows 8.1

Microsoft marks the next step towards the release of Windows 8.1 (formerly known as Blue) and passes the update (both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 versions) to its hardware partners.

The update rolls out from 18 October 2013 as well devices carrying the latest version of the OS such as tablets, lightweight notebooks, 2-in-1 devices and regular PCs.

“In many ways, this marks a new day at Microsoft, reflecting a number of rapid release firsts," a company statement says. "Thanks, in part, to customer feedback and an unparalleled level of collaboration across product teams, Windows 8.1 is a significant update. We have delivered in a very short time an update to the OS that will bring an even greater unified experience for our customers."

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Windows 8.1 "Blue": No Start Button No More

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Windows 8.1

If one is to believe Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows the Windows 8.1 (aka "Blue") update features a change set to please at least some Windows diehards-- the Start button makes a return in the bottom left corner of the desktop.

Reportedly this take on the Start button does not work as well as the one from Windows 7. As seen in leaked 8.1 update screenshots, it looks identical to the Start Charm, has similar animations and users can customise it to their preferences.

The website reports a further change to Window 8.1-- the update allows users to boot directly to desktop, skipping the Windows 8 Start Screen. One can also set a desktop wallpaper as the Start background, even if one needs to first enable such a feature.

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McAfee Takes on Cross-Device Security

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McAfee Takes on Cross-Device Security

Intel and McAfee unites PC and mobile device security in LiveSafe, a cross-platform security suite combining cloud-based storage with biometric authentication and other security technologies.

The service protects PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets against malware and spam, secures devices against loss or theft (with remote device tracking, locking, wiping and data recovery from a single online console), and handles passwords through the SafeKey manager.

It also offers data storage with Personal Continue reading...

Microsoft Details "Blue" Update

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Microsoft Details

Microsoft provides further details on "Blue," the Windows 8 (or 8.1, if one wants to be specific) update promising a number of changes to the tablet-centric OS-- including, perhaps, a return of the Start button.

Such hints come from the Wired Business Conference, where Windows chief Julie Larson-Green admits Microsoft is "thinking about" replacing the tiny Start-style UI element lurking in the lower left of the Windows 8 desktop with a traditional button.

"There has been meaningful discussion," Larson-Green says. "The button might be helpful to have on the screen for some people... We're principled in the direction we're heading, but we're not going to be stubborn."

At least some people have been clamoring for a Windows 8 Start button-- by January 2013 1.5 million customers downloaded Pokki, a free Windows 8 start menu replacement app, while Windows Classic Shell downloads spiked following the Windows 8 launch.

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A Blu-Ray Solution for Windows 8

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A Blu-Ray Solution for Windows 8

Windows' lack of native Blu-ray playback support might make life difficult for your media-consuming customers-- but now iDeer updates its Blu-ray player software (v1.2.6) with Windows 8 support.

According to the company the software is the first compatible with the latest Windows version, and comes complete with authorisation from the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).

The iDeer Blu-ray player also supports other formats (including CD, MOV, AVI, FLV, WMV, MP4, MPEG, AAC and AC3) and is available Continue reading...

2014, the End of Windows XP

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2014, the End of Windows XP

Next year comes the end of the longest-lived Microsoft OS yet, Windows XP-- Microsoft will only support Windows XP users until 8 April 2014.

Customers and partners will no longer receive XP and Office 2003 security updates or be able to leverage on Microsoft tech support after the date.

In other words, Microsoft wants everyone to migrate to Windows 7 (if not 8) sooner rather than later.

However Windows XP remains popular-- according to Net Applications XP is the 2nd biggest desktop OS around with 38.73% market share, even 10 years after initial release.

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Traxpay: Software That Disrupts Banking

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Traxpay: Software That Disrupts Banking

Finally B2B gets a payments platform that matches the internet age.

No one loves a bank except bankers and bank robbers. And sometimes not even the bankers.

The founder of Traxpay worked for Deutsche Bank for more than 10 years. There, in the Payments Department, in the middle of the profitable B2B payments section, one could make a good bank career churning out bank profits-- if one could suffer the typical complaints and frustrations of customers.

The banks, not just Deutsche Bank for sure, but all banks today give a horribly antiquated service, a service that basically ignores the needs of quickened supply chains. A service that's slow by modern internet-enabled business standards... and yet expensive by any standard.

Think about how long it still takes bank transfers. Our own bank, for example, still charges 24 euro if you would like a 24-hour guaranteed transfer. Another one of our banks takes three days to clear an incoming transfer. All this aggravation and cost still prevails in the age of internet, the era of simultaneous communication.

We are lulled into expecting this low level of service because banks are incumbent in a business designed long before internet. Yet all of our businesses are tied to banks from birth by an invisible umbilical cord.

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Microsoft: Windows 8 Outpaces 7

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Microsoft: Windows 8 Outpaces 7

Microsoft believes Windows 8 sales are already going stronger than those those of Windows 7-- the company reveals Windows 8 licenses already total 40 million since the end October 2012 launch.

These are the first Windows 8 sales figures since CEO Steve Ballmer said Microsoft sold 4m Windows 8 upgrades in 4 days. For history's sake, Microsoft sold 60m Windows 7 licenses in the first 2 months following launch back in 2009.

One has to keep in mind the reality of the above figures-- Microsoft refers to license numbers, not how many Windows 8 copies belong to customers. Meaning a (possibly large) percentage of those 40m Windows 8 copies went to OEMs and PC makers.

Microsoft also fails to provide Surface with Windows RT talbet sales figures.

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Touch-Enabled Windows 8, Without the Touching

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Touch-Enabled Windows 8, Without the Touching

Customers afraid of leaving fingerprints all over their new Windows 8 laptops? Elliptic Labs might just have a future solution with the Windows 8 Gesture Suite, a touch-free gesture-based control system for the touchable OS.

The system might sound similar to the Kinect and its ilk, but Elliptic claims its solution is even better-- it uses ultrasound, with multiple microphones taking the place of cameras.

Ultrasound has a wider field of view, requires no lights, uses less power and is more responsive Continue reading...

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