Articles about Windows 8.1

Intel Compute Stick Review -- How does the $150 (Rs 9,999) computer fare?

intel_compute_stick_review_media_playback

It's no secret that computers are becoming smaller. What used to gobble up voluminous space once -- think about a couple of rooms -- are now available in miniature form factor. But how powerful are these USB flash drive-shaped computers? We tested the Intel Compute Stick and here is how it fared.

Intel has an ambitious plan. It claims that its tiny computer will suffice the basic computing needs for most. The tiny computer in question is called the Compute Stick. It is powered by the company's own entry level Atom chipset dubbed Z3735F, its own HD graphics card HD audio card coupled with 2GB of RAM.

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Acer One 10 Windows 8.1 tablet with keyboard can be had for just $199.99

Acer One 10 Windows 8.1 Tablet with keyboard

Just like with Windows Phones, Windows tablets seem to be most-attractive when they offer great value for money. There are exceptions, like Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, but generally speaking that means good hardware with a low price tag. And if there is anything extra thrown into the mix, you have a winner.

Acer's One 10 Windows 8.1 slate offers plenty of value at the $199.99 price point. It features a large touchscreen, solid internals, and, last but not least, a free keyboard in the box. That last part adds plenty of value, making it easy for One 10 to double as a small laptop replacement. And that is not all.

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Microsoft releases emergency security patch for all Windows versions

windows update

Microsoft has released an off-schedule patch for all currently supported versions of Windows. A serious vulnerability has been discovered in a font driver that could be exploited by a hacker to remotely execute code on a compromised machine.

The problem affects Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012. Windows 10 is not at risk. Microsoft describes the issue as 'critical' and has pushed an emergency patch to Windows Update.

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Which version of Windows 10 is right for you?

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It's not long since Microsoft revealed the various editions of Windows 10 that will be available. We're now in the launch month and the preview builds are rolling out thick and fast to Windows Insiders. But when the big day rolls out, which version should you opt for?

If you're upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8, it's a fairly simple process that can be taken care of by Windows Update. For those who have decided to make the upgrade, Microsoft will automatically migrate you to the equivalent version of Windows 10. But if you're running the Home version of Windows, what are you missing out on? Is it worth thinking about going Pro? Microsoft has a handy guide to help you decide.

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Windows 7 gains significant usage share ahead of Windows 10 launch

Windows runners

Windows 8.x enjoyed a good month in May. The tiled operating system finally overtook Windows XP for the first time in six months -- its gains coming mostly at the expense of Windows 7. But it was all change again in June according to the latest usage stats from web analytics firm NetMarketShare.

The latest figures show Windows 8.x losing share -- or business as usual you might say -- going from 16.63 percent to 16.02 percent. That’s a drop of 0.61 percentage points. Windows 8.1 actually gained 0.24 percentage points, but Windows 8 lost 0.85 percentage points. Still overall it remains comfortably ahead of XP now, so there's that consolation prize.

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Microsoft discounts Surface Pro 3 by up to $150

Surface Pro 3 with red Type Cover keyboard

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 may be a year old at this stage, but it remains one of the best Windows 8.1 devices on the market. Touted as "the tablet that can replace your laptop", it works well in the office and on the go, thanks to a large touchscreen, powerful processors and long battery life.

And if you are interested in getting a Surface Pro 3 -- perhaps in time for Father's Day, as it would make an awesome gift -- then you should know that, for a limited time, Microsoft has discounts of up to $150 on the Intel Core i5 and Core i7 models.

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Lenovo unveils another Chromebook competitor -- $249 Windows 8.1 laptop

14-inch Lenovo ideapad 100 laptop $249

With PC shipments continuing on a downward slope, manufacturers are finding new ways to attract consumers. In the high-end segment, it is all about specs: high-resolution screens, lots of battery life, powerful processors and so on. But, at the other end of the spectrum, the focus is on value for money -- to a certain extent, it is about cramming as many nice things as possible into a package that does not break the bank.

Chromebooks are probably the offerings that best cater to this audience's needs, assuming folks can live without Windows on their new machines. If that is not the case, there are a couple of interesting options on the PC side, one of which is Lenovo's new ideapad 100 line.

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How to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 via Windows Update

How to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 via Windows Update

If you like the idea of trying out the next version of Windows before it is officially launched, Microsoft has made the Windows 10 Technical Preview available for everyone to use. There are various ways to get the preview installed on your computer, but since the release of build 9926, it is possible to upgrade your current Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation to Windows 10 using Windows Update.

This is a much simpler option than downloading the ISO image, but it is an upgrade route that almost encourages people to install the preview build on their everyday computer -- don’t forget that this is not a finished product! We've already looked at how to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine, but if you have a spare machine running Windows 7 or 8, using it as a test bed for Windows 10 just got a whole lot easier.

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Microsoft releases May 2015 firmware upgrades for Surface Pro 3, Pro 2

Surface Pro 3 with red Type Cover keyboard

After a brief hiatus, Microsoft has released new firmware upgrades for its Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 Windows 8.1 tablets. The May 2015 releases feature updated drivers and UEFI, which, as expected, are meant to refine the user experience.

There are no new firmware upgrades available for the original Surface Pro, however, nor for Surface RT, Surface 2 and Surface 3, the last of which Microsoft unveiled in late-March. Now, let us take a close look at what the latest Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 firmware updates bring to the table.

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iPhones and iPads rule the enterprise market, Windows is slowly gaining ground

Apple pushes iOS 8.1.1 update to speed up older iPhones and iPads

While Android is the clear leader in the mobile market, in the enterprise space arch-rival iOS is the platform that actually comes out on top. Apple's iPhones and iPads make up 72 percent of all mobile device activations, while handsets running the green droid operating system have to make do with just 26 percent.

Unsurprisingly, it is iPhone 6 which sustains Apple's enterprise dominance, coming out as the most-popular handset in the enterprise thanks to it making up 26 percent of all activations between January and March. Apple's flagship is followed by Samsung's Galaxy S5. Together, the two leading vendors offer 28 out of the 30 most-popular devices in the enterprise.

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Microsoft opens up Surface 3 mass deployments

Surface 3

You don't have to be a fan of the Surface lineup to like what Microsoft has done with Surface 3. It runs the full-fledged version of Windows, packs a free Office 365 subscription, gets decent battery life, is light, has a large display for a tablet, offers lots of internal storage, has a full-size USB port, and can take a Type Cover keyboard. As far as its laptop-replacement credentials go, Surface 3 most definitely bests any iPad that is on the market today. And, to top it all off, Microsoft's latest slate can be had for as little as $499.

Given the core feature set it packs, Surface 3 is well positioned to take on the iPad in the enterprise market. But, to become a truly attractive option, it needs to be easily deployable. And now Microsoft has addressed this too.

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It really is game over for Windows 8.x

game over

Every month NetMarketShare releases usage share figures for all of the major operating systems. In the past these figures tended to paint an interesting picture of how well -- or rather how badly -- Microsoft’s newest operating system was doing. Occasionally the OS grew share, occasionally it lost share -- sometimes quite dramatically.

Now though, the only picture that’s being painted by these monthly figures is an operating system that has no future and will vanish quietly, and with zero fanfare, once Windows 10 arrives.

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At $149, Vensmile W10 mini PC is a handset-shaped Windows 8.1 device that ships in US

Windows 8.1 streamer (1)

Remember the Compute Stick? The $149 pen drive-shaped HDMI dongle from Intel running on Windows 8.1? Well, we’ve just found another similar device -- only a better. Called Vensmile W10 mini PC, the handset-shaped block offers twice as much storage, with more ports but the same processor as Intel’s Compute Stick.

As for the specifications, the miniature computer measures 5.9″ x 3.1″ x 0.39″. Underneath it sits an Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor coupled with 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. For connectivity options, the Vensmile W10 mini PC supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Interestingly, it packs in a 3,000 mAh battery as well, which not only can keep the device running in case of a power outage, but also serve as a power backup device to charge your phone or tablet.

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ASUS introduces the 15-inch ZenBook Pro UX501 high-end ultrabook

ASUS UX501

If you want a high-end 15-inch Windows laptop that is light and visually attractive you will most certainly not be spoilt for choice. PC makers are focusing on the smaller segments, which usually means a display size of around 13-inches. Sure, you can always grab a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and slap Windows on it, but that is not the same thing.

Fortunately, ASUS continues to include a 15-inch high-end option in its ZenBook lineup, as it just introduced ZenBook Pro UX501. It packs all the right features a buyer in this segment is looking for: ultra-high resolution screen, fast processor, lots of RAM, insanely fast SSD, dedicated graphics and a big battery, all in a package that is not much bigger and heavier than Apple's offering. What is not to like?

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Microsoft Surface 3 vs Surface Pro 3: Which is best for you?

Surface 3 + Surface Pro 3

Before Microsoft announced Surface 3, choosing a Surface tablet was ultimately a matter of deciding which Surface Pro 3 model fits you best, depending on your budget and needs. But now that there's a new kid on the block, which is offered in four, very distinct trims, finding the right Surface just got trickier.

Just like its older brother, the new Surface 3 features a high-resolution display, promises great battery life, offers a decent amount of storage, packs an x86 processor and runs Windows 8.1. The optional Type Cover keyboard makes an appearance as well, and so does Surface Pen. But there are some differences, of course. So which one should you buy?

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