Little over four weeks ago, during an earnings conference call, departing Microsoft CFO Peter Klein revealed the software giant is working with OEMs on smaller and cheaper Windows tablets. The new fondleslabs are expected to be available in the coming months, but Acer decided to give itself a head start.
On its Finnish website, Acer unveiled the new Iconia W3 which is touted by the company as the first 8-inch Windows 8-based tablet. The device is powered by Intel's Atom Z2760 processor (codenamed "Clover Trail") and Graphics Media Accelerator 3650 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). The Iconia W3 sports an 8-inch multitouch WXGA display and runs Windows 8 Pro.
PC storage space is cheap these days, and if you’ve just bought one of the latest 4TB drives then the chances are you won’t be worried about filling it any time soon.
It’s still important not to waste hard drive space, of course: the more clutter you have, the longer your file searches, virus scans, defrags and other system-wide operations will take. Understanding what’s stored on your hard drive is a key part of PC maintenance, then, and Disk Sorter Free could be the ideal program to help.
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If you need to access an FTP server, perhaps to upload the latest version of your website, then you’ll probably reach for your favorite FTP client. But although that will transfer your files, it’s not exactly a convenient solution, particularly if you need to work with the server on a regular basis.
NetDrive is a free (for personal use) tool which can greatly simplify this process. If you find you’re frequently working with a particular FTP or WebDav server then the program can mount it as a new drive in Explorer, and you’ll be able to access it -- create, delete and rename folders, transfer and launch files -- just like any other drive on your system.
Speaking to the New York Times a couple of weeks ago, Tami Reller, Windows division CFO, admitted that the Windows 8 "learning curve is real" and said that Microsoft will be addressing the issue in Windows 8.1.
Perhaps in response to that public admission, Microsoft has released a video showing how to use the polarizing operating system. Called "Get To Know Windows 8" it’s aimed at anyone who might be thinking of upgrading, or who needs a little guidance.
Not content with free versions of its cut-down photo editing software for iOS and Android, Adobe has released Photoshop Express for Windows 8 and RT. As this is available free of charge, it should come as little surprise that the app does not afford users access to an unfettered range of professional level image editing tools, but for quick and dirty tweaks and fixes, there are plenty of options.
Taken a wonky photo? Getting things straightened up takes just a couple of taps and swipes. There are also tools for removing red eye, adjusting color levels and tweaking shadows and highlights. If you don’t feel like doing the hard work yourself, you can always turn to the auto-fix option to help take care of common issues in an instant.
While it’s unlikely that the fate of your nation depends on it, there may be times when being able to pass on sensitive files to other people is a necessity. The obvious example is to encrypt those files in some way, either by storing them in a password-protected location or by encrypting them on the fly before passing them on.
The problem with this approach is that it’s rather visible. Your encrypted files by their very nature advertise the fact they contain some form of sensitive data, attracting unwanted attention. So what can you do about it? The answer lies with steganography, and a free tool for Windows called SteganPEG 1.0.
Only a mere twelve years after the first console launched, Microsoft finally decides that its Xbox platform may just be a success and that, just perhaps, customers may wish to know what is going on with it. This has not been so much an issue, thanks to Major Nelson and third-party gaming sites, but it is still a nice, and much needed, touch.
The new site, simply named Xbox Wire, is being run by Lisa Gurry, Senior Director of Public Relations for Xbox. Gurry kicks off the new site with a welcome message to all fans of the popular gaming platform. "In preparation, we’re launching Xbox Wire -- a news blog to help you keep up with the latest Xbox news. You will be able to follow our journey as we bring you the best in games and entertainment and along the way we’ll introduce you to the people, places and technology that bring it all to life" Gurry writes.
Twenty-ninth in a series. The US Windows 8 apps store crossed the 50,000 apps mark for the first time today; a total of 50,156 apps are listed in the store, with the majority of them free to download and use.
That's an increase of 1,639 apps in the past seven days, a sharp drop over last week's increase of nearly 2400 apps.
The iOS versions of eBay’s app have been updated with a redesigned interface and a raft of other changes. The latest release improves on the stripped back UI that was available in previous versions and larger photos can now be accessed. As before, there are versions of the app available for iPad (which is version 2.3.0) and iPhone (which has reached version 3.0.0).
But there’s more than a new look to the latest version of the app. If you’re one of those people who has yet to create an eBay account, the signup process just got a whole lot easier -- if you’re in the US, that is. Forget time-consuming form filling, you can now sign up for an account with a quick scan of your driver’s license.
This is how you sell a tablet. Tuesday evening of May 14, Microsoft debuted a new commercial for the Surface RT that finally explained the benefits of the tablet. No dancers. No super cool music. Just Microsoft talking about why the Surface RT is the next device you should own. The company emphasized the included USB port, kickstand, keyboard, and the single biggest sell of Surface RT, the included Office 2013 install. It sold the Surface as the power of a computer in the package of a tablet.
Is this not precisely what I called on Microsoft to do in my previous article about those odd (but awesome) Windows 8 ads? In that article I told the story about a guy who was working in a coffee shop on his Surface when someone walked up to him and said, “Is that the tablet that clicks?” He recognized the product from the commercials, but seemed to be unaware of anything other than its clicking. I wrote,
Microsoft is working on an update to Windows 8 and RT and will be releasing a preview version of it in June (in time for the Build developer conference), with the full release expected before the year’s end. The software giant has confirmed three things for definite about the update: its name (Windows 8.1), its price (free), and where you’ll be able to get it from (the Windows Store).
But thanks to early build leaks and statements from Microsoft, we also know quite a bit about the many changes the new release will bring to the polarizing operating system. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
Microsoft has launched Skype for Mac 6.4, a major update of its Skype chat platform for OS X users. Version 6.4 is focused on improving Skype’s instant messaging features for better usability, while also introducing support for Simplified Chinese.
Version 6.4 adds infinite chat scrolling, a feature already present in the Windows build. This allows users to load historical conversations simply by scrolling upwards. This action simply loads messages from the chat history stored on the user’s computer.
I am not a die-hard Instagrammer, but every once in a while I feel a sudden need to upload a filtered view of the world on the popular photo-sharing social network. That's easy to do with Android handsets and iPhones, but in the Windows Phone realm things are not that simple as there is no official app waiting in the Store. That's not to say there is low demand for one, far from it.
Admittedly, Windows Phone is a smaller market for Instagram than Android and iOS but even so there are likely tens of millions of potential users waiting to grab that official app which never seems to come. Developer Daniel Gary, who is behind a third-party Pinterest app (no official offering available for this one either) called Pinsation, decided to cater to the Windows Phone users' needs for a fully-featured Instagram app and, yesterday, released Itsdagram. The names are quite similar indeed.
Computer giant Dell has seen its net profits fall by 79 percent to $130 million in the first quarter of this fiscal year. This highlights the shift in consumer demand away from traditional PCs towards tablets. The company reports a decline of 9 percent in PC sales although revenue from software, services and new technologies was up by 12 percent.
Commenting on the results chief financial officer Brian Gladden says, "We made progress in building our enterprise solutions capabilities in the first quarter and are confident in our strategy to be the leading provider of end-to-end scalable solutions. In addition, we have taken actions to improve our competitive position in key areas of the business, especially in end-user computing, and it has affected profitability".
Yesterday, French consumer electronics company Archos unveiled a new 8-inch Android tablet called Xenon 80. The fondleslab runs the first Jelly Bean iteration and will cost $199.99 -- which is in line with Google's Nexus 7 pricing -- once it arrives in stores next month.
The Xenon 80 features support for 3G cellular connectivity and is SIM-unlocked, meaning that it can be used with any mobile operator in the world (as long as the network runs on the 2100 MHz band). The hardware specifications reflect the budget-oriented approach of the tablet.