Category Archives: Windows

Microsoft Ends Its Deceptive Windows 10 Upgrades

After spending the better part of a year aggressively pushing consumers to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft is finally taking a step back with the acknowledgment it went too far.

Customers have endured unwanted downloading of the software onto their PC without being told, then unwanted upgrades. And finally, the Get Windows 10 (GWX) application was changed so if you clicked the red “X” at the corner of the window thinking it would opt out, Microsoft treated this click as a confirmation of a scheduled update.

Read more.

The Clearest Explanation We’ve Seen Yet for Why There’s No ‘Windows 9′

Why did Microsoft skip directly from Windows 8 (or more precisely, Windows 8.1) directly to Windows 10 instead of going to Windows 9? Mostly we think it’s that the company wanted to take a big symbolic step away from Windows 8, which has acquired a Vista-like taint since its release two years ago. And now a new report from Business Insider seemingly confirms our suspicions as it quotes Microsoft’s Windows marketing boss Tony Prophet discussing exactly why Microsoft decided to leap ahead numerically.

Read more.

Windows 8.1 Review: Well, It’s A Start

With the just-released preview of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has gone a long way towards fixing many of the interface goofs and anomalies of Windows 8; it’s also cleaned up the OS’s rough edges and introduced some nice new features and apps.

Windows 8 remains a dual-interface operating system — the touch-oriented “Modern” interface (previously called Metro) and the desktop — but one that is less frustrating to use and a bit better integrated than previously. The changes don’t solve all of Window 8’s problems, but they make it more palatable to use.

Read More.

Windows 8 – Beginning of the End?

Adapted from Michael Liedtke from The Associated Press

San Francisco • Microsoft is scrambling to preserve what’s left of its kingdom.

Since the company released its Windows operating system in 1985, most of the sequels have been variations on the same theme. Not that it mattered much. Regardless of the software’s quality, Microsoft managed to remain at the center of the personal computing universe.

The stakes are much different as Microsoft Corp. puts the finishing touches on Windows 8 — perhaps the most important piece of software the company has designed since co-founder Bill Gates won the contract to build the first operating system for IBM Corp.’s personal computer in the early 1980s.

A test, or beta, version of the revamped operating system will be unveiled Wednesday in Barcelona, nudging Windows 8 a step closer to its anticipated mass market release in September or October. The company will offer the most extensive look at Windows 8’s progress since it released an early version of the system to developers five months ago.

Microsoft designed Windows 8 to help it perform a difficult balancing act. The company hopes to keep milking revenue from a PC market that appears to be past its prime, while trying to gain a stronger foothold in the more fertile field of mobile devices. It’s a booming market that, so far, has been defined and dominated by Apple Inc.’s trend-setting iPhone and iPad and Google Inc.’s ubiquitous Android software.

“Microsoft’s future path is riding on Windows 8 and its success,” said Gartner Inc. analyst David Cearley. “This is a chance for Microsoft to re-establish itself in a market where it’s becoming increasingly irrelevant.”

If Windows 8 is a hit, it could also help lift the fortunes of struggling PC makers, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. Besides giving businesses and consumers a reason to consider new PC purchases, Windows 8 is expected to spawn a new breed of hybrid machines that will be part tablet computer, part laptop.

If Windows 8 is a flop, however, it will increase the pressure on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. His 12-year reign has been marred by the company’s troubles adapting to an Internet-driven upheaval. As Microsoft has stumbled, faster-innovating companies such as Apple and Google have elbowed their way into a position to steer the direction of computing for the next decade or two.

Arriving Soon: Windows 8 With No Start Button!

Adapted and Edited from Evan Koblentz, Law Technology News.
Lawyers, get ready to enter the world of Microsoft Windows 8. The upcoming successor to the Windows 7 desktop and laptop operating system is slated to ship later this year or in 2013. You may realistically see it in your law practice by 2014, some experts speculate. One of its major expected changes is the lack of a traditional “Start” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

The former Windows Vista eliminated the actual word “Start” and just has an icon there, but Windows 8 eliminates the entire “Start” menu concept. So that button you mastered in Windows 95 and spent the past 17 years getting used to? Its days are numbered. Instead, there are two new elements.

The first new element is a transparent taskbar where all of your applications and menus reside.

Rebecca Wright, a veteran at training large firm lawyers on new technology, said the change will be significant — but that such changes are incrementally less troublesome as firms are increasingly staffed with younger, technology-savvy attorneys. “We have some new tools we can use. We try to do some just-in-time training. We can put things on your computer that say, ‘Here’s where you used to do things with the ‘Start’ button, now you do them here,'” she explained, in Richmond, Va.

Computer makers’ penchant for copying each other’s interface ideas isn’t new, which could help Wright and her trainer peers because the changes may not be completely new to users. The concept of an interface with a transparent menu bar goes back to Apple’s introduction of it as part of Mac OS X in 2002. It’s known as the “dock.”

Going back further, MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System), based on another company’s system that Microsoft licensed, became popular in 1982. It was a pretty good clone of Digital Research’s CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers) from 1975. Then, in 1992, Windows 3.1 launched. It was a decent clone of the Apple Lisa interface from 1983, which Apple itself copied from Xerox’s 1970s technology. Next came Windows 95, which was essentially Apple Macintosh 85. Now we have Windows 8 copying something that’s been mainstream for a decade. Actually, Mac OS X in 2002 copied ideas from other systems developed in 1988. Maybe that’s what the “8” in Windows 8 really indicates.

Back to the case of the missing “Start” button in Windows 8. “I’m finding more and more, attorneys that are technology-savvy have some experience with Macs. So you could use that in your training,” Wright acknowledged. However, she said speculation about 2014 installations in law firms may be too hopeful. Based on a late 2012 or 2013 Windows 8 launch, “It would probably take a couple of years to actually make that jump. I would say two or three years, maybe,” she said.

Microsoft has a habit of delaying major product launches. It’s a good possibility that Windows 8 won’t ship until the middle of 2013, which means it may not see law office desktops until 2016.

The second big change in Windows 8 is an alternative smartphone-style interface that Microsoft calls Metro. Where the “Start” button used to be, in the bottom left corner of your screen, you’ll instead find a toggle button — click or swipe it to swap between conventional and Metro’s phone-like designs. But that’s based on a definition of “phone-like” circa today, meaning what Apple launched five years ago in 2007. BigLaw counselors will be lucky to get this onto desktops nearly 10 years later.

“That’s an interesting way to go,” Wright noted. “Attorneys really have embraced smartphones. I see more and more attorneys with iPads these days. Giving them the ability to work more in that mode that they’re used to already could definitely be a benefit.”

At the least, “I think they’re more conditioned now to change … Something is always changing,” Wright added. But, she said, “I don’t think it will be as big an impact as going from DOS to Windows. That was huge.”