Tag: windows 7

Windows 8 features back-up changes

Microsoft has been telling the world and its dog that its new Windows 8 operating system has a new system of file backup and restore.

Vole had been concerned about the fact that backing up the hard-drive was rare, even on Windows 7.

Writing from his bog Bohdan Raciborski, a Microsoft program manager said that was because backing up was too slow and clunky.

He said that Windows 8’s new File History application was simple to set up, use and maintain.

File History captures and archives multiple versions of each file, thus providing not only a backup copy but also a history of a file’s changes.

He said that taking advantage of File History, the user only has to make a few, simple decisions.

File History use is transparent and doesn’t affect the reliability or performance of Windows.

Once Windows 8 users turn it on they have to select where the backed-up files will be stored. This repository can be an external drive or a network location. At the moment it does not do back ups to cloud storage.

Microsoft has also worked out that most of the time users do not want to back-up anything more than their personal files. It does not store files in the Libraries, Desktop, Favorites and Contacts folders.

According to Raciborski only a small number of users are concerned about losing the operating system, applications or settings. They are by far more concerned about losing their personal files.

Microsoft expects that with File History, usage of backup and restore will be significantly higher on Windows 8 than on previous versions of the OS, he wrote. 

Windows 8 launch date confirmed

Software giant Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to be released to manufacturing by the first week of August and to be available by late October.

According to ZDnet, Tami Reller, Corporate Vice President of Windows, confirmed the date to partners attending Microsoft’s worldwide partner conference in Toronto.

An October general availability date has been rumored for months and a late July RTM date for Windows 8 has been suggested by most of the software sages.

Reller told partners that Microsoft has sold 630 million Windows 7 licences to date, up from 600 million at the beginning of June.

The Windows team’s BuildWindows8 account on Twitter also said that on 31 May, Microsoft execs said to expect Microsoft to enter the “final phases” of the RTM process “in about two months”.

Our guess is that it might even be out a bit earlier than that. 

Windows 8 upgrade to cost $40

Microsoft has announced a promotion that, later this year, will let users of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 PCs upgrade to the new Windows 8 Pro for $39.99.

It means that the Vole is dead keen to get people to upgrade to its new software, particularly as it is asking them to sign up to some fairly radical style changes.

This version will take some getting used to, particularly with the Metro user interface .

The deal will kick off on the day Windows 8 comes out and offers the most advanced retail version of the new OS, Windows 8 Pro, as the upgrade.

Most analysts expect the company to debut its newest Windows in Autumn. The company should be getting around to making its release to manufacturing, or RTM, milestone later this month.

Four weeks ago  Microsoft said it would sell a $14.99 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro to buyers of new PCs equipped with Windows 7.

For $39.99 you will have a download of Windows 8 Pro. If you want the upgrade on a DVD in a nice box it will be on sale for $69.99.

This is $10 less than Microsoft charged for a Windows 7 upgrade three years ago. It is still more expensive than the Apple OS, but that is because Microsoft sells software, whereas Apple sells a hardware and software package.

Microsoft is in the position that it has to encourage people to buy new PCs so it can make more money, but if is too cheap the company will find itself out of pocket.

Windows XP heads into the sunset

Microsoft’s Windows 7 is now on the majority of the world’s PCs three years after its release.

Figures from StatCounter show Windows 7 has finally become the world’s dominant operating system.

Windows 7 is on just half the world’s machines while Windows XP trailed behind at 29.9 percent.

Windows 7 has been a slow burner, despite the fact that it had better reviews than its predecessor, Vista. Many hung on to Windows XP because it played nice with their existing systems.

However, the writing has been on the wall for XP for a while now and Vole is not going to support it after April 2014. Microsoft has warned businesses and schools to upgrade to Windows 7 as soon as possible.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Windows 8 comes out.

Normally it would mean that there will be some slide away from Windows 7 as the early adopters rush to buy the new operating system. That could mean that Windows XP still appears to be in the lead. 

Microsoft Windows RT hits snags

Windows 8 RT might be suffering from technological problems which means that it will be slow to come out.

Already the maker of expensive printer ink, HP has confirmed that it won’t offer a Windows RT tablet this year.

According to rumours sparked by Cnet, there are problems with running Windows RT with Qualcomm and Texas Instruments devices.

HP uses the Qualcomm-chip based tablet so there might be some legs to the rumours.

RT runs on ARM chips from Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments and will not have the backward compatibility of Intel-based Windows 8 so it is not clear why Vole is having such difficult getting the beast to run.

Cnet could not work out if the problems are limited to the chips, the software or the PC company trying to make the gear, or all three.

Patrick Moorhead,an ex-AMD senior executive and now an analyst,  said that Nvidia has been doing a lot better than the other chip makers. He thinks that it is no coincidence Vole’s own RT Surface tablet is running Nvidia.

Nvidia has been making Windows drivers for a lot longer than Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. This might be the reason that Microsoft pushed its own tablet with an Nvidia chip, just to make sure that something was out there.

However it does look like there will be a staggered release of RT tablets, laptops, and hybrids. With Nvidia chips appearing before others. 

Microsoft to make its own telephone

The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth rumour that Microsoft is about to make its own mobile to kickstart sales of its Windows mobile software.

The sauce of the rumours is a Nomura analyst, Rick Sherlund, who wrote a note to his customers yesterday.

If Sherlund is right, and Vole is saying nothing, then Microsoft may be working with a contract manufacturer to develop its own handset for Windows Phone 8.

The rumour seems to be based on the idea that since Microsoft announced it was making its own hardware tablet, then that will follow on to smartphones.

Sherlund said he did not know if this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to market Microsoft-branded handset.

Sherlund does know his stuff, he covered Microsoft for Goldmine Sex when the bank brought Microsoft public in 1986.

But his comment seems to ignore some fairly important “other things,” namely the company’s $1 billion investment in Nokia.

Nokia should provide Vole with all the mobile marketing push it can eat. If it doesn’t, and the company goes under, then it is unlikely the fact that Microsoft’s own hardware will do much better. Besides there are better rumours out there which suggest Microsoft might even buy Nokia if the outfit goes tits up. All it has to do is wait until the company starts to run out of cash so its value has dropped a bit more.

Sid Parakh, an analyst at fund firm McAdams Wright Ragen told Reuters that Microsoft has little to lose by trying its own handset on the market.

But he thinks that of Vole wanted to be in the handset business, it would be better off buying Nokia, suggested Parakh, although he said that was unlikely.

This is because such a move would bring Microsoft into competition with suppliers like Samsung, HTC Corp, ZTE and Huawei, which are slated to bring out new Windows phones later this year.

It is unlikely that Microsoft has forgotten the fact that its Kin phone did very badly, even if it was, by all accounts, pretty Kin good. 

Microsoft has the nerve to offer upgrade to Windows 7 buyers

Microsoft is going to allow those who buy Windows 7 machines between now and October a chance to buy Windows 8 for a reduced price.

The fear is that customers will put off buying a PC until next year when Windows 8 hits the shops.

Microsoft said it will defer the $450 million to $550 million of revenue it expects to generate this quarter from an offer to upgrade to its new Windows 8 operating system.

According to Reuters, Vole is offering customers who buy qualifying Windows 7 PCs the option to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for about $14.99, or $15 as we call it.

The company said it would recognise the revenue from the offer when consumers actually upgrade or on February 28, when the programme expires.

Windows 8 is expected to kick start the PC market and will provide Microsoft with almost half of its profit, Microsoft hopes.

Microsoft’s shareholders did not like the idea. The company’s shares were down by 37 cents on the back of the announcement. 

AMD releases R-Series

AMD has released its latest embedded APU range.

Imaginatively titled the “R-Series” the platform is designed for mid- to high-end graphics-intensive applications such as digital signage, casino gaming, point-of-sale systems and kiosk stuff.

AMD also thinks it could find its way into parallel-processing-intensive systems for medical imaging and security.

As you might expect the R-Series APU combines the new “Piledriver” CPU architecture. But it also uses DirectX 11-capable AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics.

Buddy Broeker, director, AMD Embedded Solutions said that with the AMD Embedded R-Series, AMD does lots of leveraging to things without seams in a very heterogeneous way. But if you have read an AMD press release before, they always say that. This press release seems to want to win the award for the most gratous over use of the word leverage.

The AMD Embedded R-Series APU means developers with the flexibility to leverage the same board design and software stack for a variety of applications. We guess this means that they can lift it up to stick a spare tire on it.

Developers working with the AMD Embedded R-Series APU can use remote management, client virtualization and security capabilities, AMD said.

This will help reduce deployment costs ,increase security and reliability thanks to the AMD DAS 1.0 featuring DASH 1.1, AMD Virtualisation and Trusted Platform Module 1.2 support. 

AMD supports Windows Compact 7

AMD has announced that its AMD Embedded G-Series will support Windows Embedded Compact 7 real time OS.

The plan is that it will allow AMD to get its G-Series APUs pushing feature rich applications on small, specialised devices.

The target is medical, retail and industrial automation industries.

The move means that board, module and system OEMs can come up with embedded ideas that need high performance and integrated graphics processing on a low profile, which do not need to keep their cool or use too much electricity.

By offering seamless support for Windows Embedded Compact 7 it allows AMD Embedded G-Series customers who do not like seams to support themselves take full advantage of the many benefits of the two combined technologies, AMD said.

It means that they would have a mix of AMD Radeon graphics and the “Bobcat” x86 core, AMD Embedded G-Series APUs and Windows.

Steven Bridgeland, product manager for Windows Embedded at Microsoft said that Bobcat will help push the Windows Embedded Compact platform into intelligent systems.

It means, for example, that Silverlight for Windows Embedded and multi-touch support optimised for intuitive, natural input capabilities and gesture based interactions.

Boards and modules supporting AMD Embedded G-Series APUs and Windows Embedded Compact 7 include the MSM-eO/-N PC/104-Plus SBC from Kontron, the CAPA111 3.5″ SBC from Axiomtek and others. 

Microsoft extends life of Vista and Windows 7

Software giant Microsoft is extending the life of its highly popular Vista product and its replacement, Windows 7.

Without making much of an announcement, Microsoft has extended support for the consumer versions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista by five years. This will mean that they will have the same lifespan of enterprise editions.

Microsoft told Computer World that it wanted to change its consumer operating system support policies, which until now had only been for five years. Business software had been supported for at least ten years with the first half in mainstream support, the second in “extended” support.

If a company is on extended support, they will get fixes if they have signed support contracts with Microsoft.

Vista’s consumer editions were to be retired from support in less than two months, on 10 April, 2012, now they will be kept alive until 11 April, 2017.

Windows 7’s consumer editions were to lose support on 13 January, 2015, but now it will be with us until 14 January, 2020.

Other than making things nice and even, it is not clear what Microsoft will get out of supporting Vista that long. We would have thought it would have wanted to forget the troubled operating system as a terrible dream.

What is possible is that the longer service contract will look good to those buying Windows 8. Although it is hard to see how anyone will want to be using an operating system in 2023 that they used in 2012.