I’ve spent the past couple of weeks reading review after review of Microsoft Surface. I feel like 90-percent of them were not written for me. You see, I’m your average user. I’m the average Joe user with a strong interest in the field of technology. I don’t care about pixel densities, or all the other niggles on performance tech geeks fight about all the time.
What matters to me: Does a particular device allow me to not only consume content but create it as well. And Surface accomplishes those two goals tremendously well. I write this review on a Surface RT using Microsoft Word in Office 2013.
I’ve been thinking about getting a new tablet for a while. Although there’s nothing physically wrong with my iPad 2, I’ve been itching for a bit of new tech in my life and there are some truly excellent choices available this year, including the newer "new" iPad, the iPad mini, Microsoft Surface, and the Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. All of which are definitely worth considering.
A friend let me borrow his Nexus 7 for a week, during which time I realized a small tablet was not for me, so that also ruled out the iPad mini. The Nexus 10 looked appealing, and so was on my shortlist. Microsoft Surface I discounted because even though I now use Windows 8 daily, I still don’t really like it and the current lack of great apps for Surface is a bit of a deal breaker. Maybe in the future…
When Microsoft first announced that Internet Explorer 10 would be part of Windows 8 most users assumed that this would also mean a release of the browser for the version 7 operating system. The first version of Internet Explorer 10 was released publicly with Windows 8's Developer Preview back in 2011, and then updated whenever new versions of preview builds released. Microsoft at that time was tight lipped about the future of IE10 for Windows 7
October 2012 came and brought along Windows 8's launch. It was in the week prior to the release of Windows 8 that the company shed some light on the future of IE10 for Windows 7. A blog post indicated that Microsoft had plans to release a preview version for Windows 7 in November 2012.
Today, Google launches Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Expectations run high for the latest member of the green robot family, even though it's less of a major upgrade and more of a here-and-there improvement from its predecessor. Can it live up to the excitement?
At a first glance, the second version of Jelly Bean is just that...the second version of Jelly Bean. It looks and feels very similar to its predecessor. I'm an avid Android modder, and a new operating system has to live up to pretty high expectations. So rather than write a boring review presenting some of the things that you already know, I will also assess these changes in comparison to custom distributions such as AOKP Jelly Bean Milestone 1, and CyanogenMod 10 nightly.
The Windows 8 Start screen is without doubt one of the prominent new features of the operating system. It is the first screen of the operating system that new users see when logging in and also the screen that the majority see every time they do so. While there are ways to bypass the Start screen to go straight to the desktop, it is unlikely that the majority of people will make use of those.
It may feel like an oversight to some users that Microsoft decided to lock down the available Start screen customization options. Instead of giving users the option to select any background image they want, the company limits the Start screen backgrounds to 20. While Windows 8 users are still free to select custom pictures as desktop backgrounds, they do not have the same option when it comes to this important part of the operating system.
From malware to hardware failure, bugs to human error, there are many potential dangers just waiting to trash your most valuable data. Which is why it’s generally a very good idea to back up your system, from time to time.
And while there are many possible backup software options, we’ve always had a personal preference for the simplicity of disk imaging tools, the latest example of which is O&O DiskImage 7 Professional.
Migrating to a new PC is often a complex, time-consuming business. There will be applications to reinstall, CDs and registration keys to find. And then endless hours of reconfiguration as you try to get everything working just the way it did before. Fortunately this is an area where Laplink have always presented a number of effective alternatives, though. And their latest offering, Laplink PCmover Professional 8, aims to migrate all your data, applications and settings from one system to another, while you (for the most part) just sit back and watch.
The program has its limitations, of course. This new version is capable of moving your installed applications to a Windows 8 PC, for instance, but if some of them aren’t compatible with the new system then that won’t help you very much. If you’re moving to Windows 8, though, and you’ve lots of compatible applications you need to migrate, then the program could still be worth the money. But, does it work? It was time to find out.
The first Microsoft Surface reviews are beginning to surface and they’re a mixed bag to say the least. Since all my money is going towards a new 4th gen iPad, and Microsoft is happy to send me a copy of Windows 8, but not a Surface tablet (sorry, Surface PC), I can’t give you my own insightful opinion on the device, but I can tell you what the early reviewers are saying.
And that early feedback is good (mostly) but far from being universally glowing. Pretty much all of the reviews point out the one thing we knew was going to be a problem: that there just aren’t anywhere near enough apps at the moment. But there are other issues that we didn't know about, such as that it soon gets very heavy, the cameras are poor, and it can be sluggish at times. Here’s just a selection of what those early reviewers are saying:
Tweaking performance is something that virtually every Windows user is interested in. There are various degrees to which performance tweaks can be applied, starting with simple things such as ensuring that there are not too many programs configured to start when Windows launches, to more advanced options such as tinkering with services and the registry.
Whether you are a newcomers to system tweaking or a more seasoned user, turning to a third party-tool -- rather than doing all of the legwork yourself -- not only helps to save a good deal of time, but also helps to reduce the risk of making mistakes that could have disastrous consequences; edit the registry incorrectly and you could find that you have an unbootable system on your hands.
Windows 8 is a highly controversial operating system and a big gamble for Microsoft that can largely be attributed to the new Start screen interface that the company introduces in it. The Start screen is not just a program launcher like the Windows Start menu was, as it is also the location where apps are run in. Apps, of which some come pre-installed with Windows 8 and others can be installed from the Windows Store, run in full screen on the interface. However, you can add your own shortcuts to the Start screen page, to open documents or desktop programs quickly from here.
If you like Windows 8's start screen but want to keep on using a previous version of the Windows operating system instead, you may be interested in a new beta program that IOBit just released. WinMetro basically adds a Start screen-like interface to versions of Windows that do not ship with it. The program is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
Office 365 happens to be a product I think has a lot of potential. To be fair, it's Microsoft's second try at dedicated cloud-based email. Redmond first went toe to toe with Google Apps back in the days of BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), but they're distant cousins at best. With a few years' separation, Office 365 is Microsoft's answer to the growing threat Google Apps poses to Exchange.
The way I see it, Microsoft's torn internally. They are clearly still developing a wide range of Server and Exchange revisions on the usual upgrade cycle, but then signal a clear concession to the cloud by killing off Windows Small Business Server. While mixed intentions obviously represent the reality that they are innately a traditional software company, they realize that business is moving to the cloud whether they hold the leash or not.
I love living on the cutting edge of technology; it's a great place for writing and coming up with important feedback. But nothing can stay new forever, and some things don't necessarily need to be replaced whole-hog. Component upgrades, therefore, can give you that feeling of the new without having to scrap something that still has value to it. An old spinning hard drive in your laptop is a perfect example. When you've still got a lot of life in your machine, replacing the HDD with a solid state drive should be a no-brainer.
For me, it was either do that or buy a whole new laptop that wouldn't serve me any better at doing my job. After some research on reliability and pricing, I concluded that the Intel 330 Series 240GB SSD would fit my specific requirements without going overboard and spending too much on technology that's rapidly depreciating anyway.
If you’re looking for a leading edge security suite, something packed with the very latest features and functionality, then Avira probably isn’t the very first name that comes to mind. The company’s recent suites have been capable, competent, but not exactly exciting.
Avira Internet Security 2013, however, looks like it wants to be a package that changes all that.
Every PC user would like their system to run a little faster, but making that happen yourself usually requires time, effort, and a detailed low-level knowledge of how Windows really works.
But if that sounds too much like hard work then you could always just install a copy of AVG PC TuneUp, which the authors say can restore “over 50% of speed and free space” on cluttered PCs, while improving “battery life by up to 30 percent”, and for the most part without you having to do anything at all.
You might have a great video camera, and be very skilled at using it, but it won’t make any difference: your raw footage will generally still be rubbish. That’s just the way it is.
Having a good video editor to hand, though, can give you the power to solve most problems. And CyberLink’s PowerDirector 11 Ultimate is the latest candidate for your attention, being packed with high-end features -- a 100-track timeline, fine keyframe control, advanced video effects, disc authoring and online video sharing -- yet also simple enough for beginners to use.