Articles about Windows 8.1

Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Free's good, right? Who doesn’t like something gratis? Microsoft has -- sort of -- cottoned onto this idea and dropped the annual fee associated with the Windows Dev Center. The 'sort of' caveat remains because signing up for a Dev Center account is not completely free; there's still a registration fee of $19 to pay, but this is for a lifetime account -- no more annual charges. Announcing the move on the Windows blog, Todd Brix explains that "each of our 600,000+ registered developers will no longer need to pay any additional fees to maintain their account. It’s also a very good time for developers new to the platform to get a Dev Center account and start submitting apps".

Having paid the fee, developers are then free to submit apps to both the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. But this is not the only change that's coming to the Dev Center. In what is becoming something of a trend, Microsoft clearly pinned back its ears and made it easier to promote apps and provide offers to users. Improvements to in-app advertising means that campaigns can be more easily run on a global scale and pay outs are made faster.

Continue reading

Toshiba's 7-inch Encore Mini is one of the most affordable Windows tablets yet

Toshiba's 7-inch Encore Mini is one of the most affordable Windows tablets yet

The tablet market is saturated with cheap Android devices, but there's also a growing number of Windows-powered slates pushing down the average price. The Toshiba Encore Mini is a 7-inch device unveiled at IFA 2014 today and it comes with a price tag of just $119.99.

While this is already a low price, it's possible that retailers will drop the price even further when it ships around September 17. Don’t let the price point fool you -- this is not a Windows RT device; you get fully fledged Windows 8.1. But, of course, compromises have been made.

Continue reading

IFA 2014: Lenovo unveils 8-inch TAB S8 tablet, touchscreen Y70 Touch, and ERAZER X315 gaming rig

IFA 2014: Lenovo unveils 8-inch TAB S8 tablet, touchscreen Y70 Touch, and ERAZER X315 gaming rig

It's the first day of IFA2014 in Berlin, and Lenovo is getting all touchy feely. Rather than waiting until later in the consumer trade show, Lenovo has opted to display all of its wares right from that start by taking the wraps off three new devices, two of which feature touchscreens. As one of the devices is an Android powered tablet, this one is a given, but there's also a touchscreen laptop, and high-powered gaming rig to splash your hard-earned cash on. Priced at just $199, you may well be tempted to throw your money at the 8-inch TAB S8 with its sleek good looks and pretty impressive specs.

The display is a 1920 x 1200 affair boasting an ultra-thin bezel, and the whole unit weighs in at 299g. By way of illustrating the tablet's svelte dimensions, Lenovo has chosen to liken its thinness to that of a "standard pencil". Powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3745 processor running at up to 1.86GHz, the tablet also packs 2GB RAM, and 16GB of storage -- sadly not complemented with a microSD slot. The 4290mAh offers a claimed run time of up to seven hours and there are 1.6MP and 8MP cameras to take care of photos and videos. KitKat 4.4 comes pre-installed and there's an LTE option.

Continue reading

Turn your Surface Pro 3 into a desktop with the Docking Station [Review]

Surface Pro 3 Docking Station 1

Earlier this year, Microsoft successfully blurred the lines between laptop and tablet with the Surface Pro 3. Yes, the company had attempted it twice before, but the small screens on the previous models made it a less-than-ideal laptop replacement. On the Surface Pro 3, stretching the screen to 12-inches and making it lighter finally achieved the portable productivity nirvana of which many of us dreamed.

While this was great for many, others like me had a dilemma; we do much of our computing at home. Sure, I need a portable machine for travel and working in, let's say, Starbucks; however, at home in my office, I want to use a big 27-inch screen, keyboard and mouse. This was achievable by using Bluetooth peripherals and connecting my monitor directly to the Surface. Sadly, this proved clunky and I needed a better way. Supposedly, that better way is now available with the official Docking Station, so I bought it. The question is, how is it?

Continue reading

Windows 8.x gains usage share at the expense of Windows XP

Businessman rise stairs chalk

New data which was just posted by web analytics company NetMarketShare shows us that, in August, Windows 8.x managed to gain precious usage share in the desktop operating system market. This happened mainly at the expense of the 13 year-old Windows XP, which is seeing its usage share slowly decrease as new devices, toting newer OSs, are brought into the fold.

The good news, however, comes from the rise in usage share of Windows 8.1, which is now at 7.09 percent, up from the 6.56 percent from July. Windows 8 also grew, to 6.28 percent from 5.92 percent, but this is of a lesser importance, as its successor's fate is far more important. Meanwhile, Windows XP decreased to 23.89 percent from 24.82 percent. Still, it is obvious that the oldest of the three still has a terribly long way to go before it reaches similar usage share levels (we're looking at a couple of years, at least) as Windows 8.1 touts now.

Continue reading

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is available in more markets

Surface Pro 3

One of the key ways to get people to buy a product is to actually make it possible for them to buy it. It sounds obvious, I know, but even a company as big as Microsoft has been having trouble fathoming this simple idea. Every Surface model has launched in a limited number of markets, taking its sweet time to hit new ones. Surface Pro 3 is no exception, but at least the delay is much shorter in its case.

Starting today, a little over two months after Surface Pro 3 went on sale in Canada, Japan and US, the Windows 8.1 device is available in 25 additional markets. What's more, also today, the much-anticipated Surface Pro 3 Docking Station is available to pre-order in all markets.

Continue reading

V.BTTN is a programmable Bluetooth button that can do anything your phone can

V.BTTN is a programmable Bluetooth button that can do anything your phone can

Think about wearable tech and your mind probably jumps to watches first. V.BTTN is a little different. It's a programmable button that links smartphones, tablets and computers via Bluetooth and it can then be used to trigger all manner of events. Looking for a remote shutter trigger for your smartphone? V.BTTN can do that for you. Need a remote control to start and stop recording? Got that covered too. The device comes from VSN Mobil and is available now for $59.99. It's one of those pieces of hardware billed as having virtually limitless possibilities, but this is one instance where the claim is justified.

What the button does depends entirely on the app you decide to link it to. It's slightly more advanced than just "hit the button" -- there are short and long press options, as well as gesture support thanks to a built-in accelerometer. As standard, V.BTTN is just a button. You can stick it in your pocket or bag and carry it around with you if you like, but there are also a number of accessories.

Continue reading

Microsoft pulls download links to Windows 8.1 August Update, recommends users uninstall some updates

PC problem

The August Update for Windows 8.1 (once rumored to be Update 2) has been pulled from the web and is currently no longer available for download after Microsoft received complaints that it was causing errors and system instability for some users.

If you attempt to visit the original download links you’ll be met with a message stating "The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable".

Continue reading

Windows 8.1 August Update arrives -- minor improvements and bug fixes the order of the day

Windows-8-logo-200x185

Microsoft’s long-awaited "Update 2" for Windows 8.1 users has materialized in the guise of August 2014 update rollup for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Also available separately for 64-bit Windows, the update is currently listed under optional updates in Windows Update.

The update is not as major as the previous Update 1 release, but does nonetheless contain a number of improvements and tweaked features.

Continue reading

I'm tired of my Microsoft PC breaking down on the Information Superhighway

breakdown car

Ninth in a series. User experience is an ongoing series of surprises -- discovery of something unexpected and useful when positive and discovery of annoying glitches when negative. Both evoke emotional responses. The latter is devastating as little frustrations build to crescendo. That's the state I near with my "Microsoft All-In" experiment. Dissatisfaction grows.

I started this journey on July 1, after buying Surface Pro 3. The tablet-hybrid promised so much, and my overall experience with the hardware is excellent. I can't say the same about the operating system, web browser, or supporting services. Clunky is good word. Think old car that runs well on the highway but sometimes stutters and stalls at stoplights. The overall UX is nowhere as smooth as Chrome OS or OS X.

Continue reading

Microsoft pitches Surface Pro 3 to the wrong crowd

indifferent not listening ignoring wife woman husband man

Microsoft will have a hard time convincing consumers who wish to buy Apple's MacBook Air to get Surface Pro 3 instead. That is not because the former is the better purchase, but because these devices aim to please two different crowds. You're either a Mac or a PC, as the old Apple commercials would say today.

I believe that Microsoft does not realize that it is pitching Surface Pro 3 to the wrong crowd. Swaying would-be MacBook Air owners in the hybrid's direction is not a simple matter of touting feature benefits, as in Surface Pro 3 can be more and do more than MacBook Air. People have to be convinced that those features are things they want; just because they are offered does not automatically mean that they will immediately gravitate towards the device that has them. Yes, some do not want more just because they can get more. And, would-be MacBook Air users do not want more. It's more likely that would-be Surface Pro 3 users do.

Continue reading

Microsoft has no plans -- at all -- for a Windows 8.1 Update 2

disappointed

Microsoft has confirmed that it will be delivering an update for Windows 8.1 on August 12, as part of Patch Tuesday, and as I reported yesterday, it will be a pretty unexciting release.

Anyone hoping that Microsoft was going to surprise us all with a feature packed update will be doubly disappointed as not only is the August update not the rumored Update 2, but Microsoft has no plans -- zero, zip, zilch, nada -- to release an Update 2 at any point in the future. Clear signs that the tech giant is focusing all its attention on Windows 9 (aka Threshold) now.

Continue reading

Microsoft's '3 Reasons Windows 8.1 is better' won’t convince anyone to switch

taskbar

Microsoft continues to try and change opinions regarding its tiled OS, and today the company introduces a new video showcasing three reasons Windows 8.1 is better. It doesn’t say what it’s better than -- Windows 8, possibly, or Windows 7 -- but it does show how you can use Windows the way you want.

The minute long video is fast paced, colorful, and set to a pumping music track ('Sassy Gang' by Mike Sampey and Mark O'Grady). Frankly if you’ve never used the tiled OS before you probably won’t have a great idea of what is going on, but the flashy captions might help you make some sense of things. As for the three reasons? They are, in order, The Desktop ("it comes up automagically!"), The Apps (which you can pin to the desktop or the Start screen), and The Navigation (the ease with which you can switch between desktop and full screen apps).

Continue reading

Windows 8.1 Update 2 arriving this month -- don’t get too excited

windows update

In the (nearly) two years since launch, Microsoft has made sweeping changes to its tiled OS. The road from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 Update, has been an interesting, not to mention bumpy one. I was never a great fan of Windows 8, but I love the operating system it’s become.

However, poor market share, and negative word of mouth has meant that Microsoft has to move on and away from 8.x as quickly as possible and, as a result, any future changes and additions -- including the reintroduction of the Start button -- will be rolled into Windows 9 instead of appearing in the next 8.x Update, as had originally been rumored.

Continue reading

Windows 8.x loses market share for second consecutive month

Wrong way sign

Windows 9 can’t come soon enough for Microsoft, as Windows 8.x continues to lose market share, according to the latest usage data from Net Applications.

Last month I reported that in June Windows 8.x had gone into reverse gear, losing market share for the first time, and posed this question -- "Statistical anomaly or downward trend?" It’s too early to call it a "trend" but anyone who expected the tiled OS to make a recovery in July will be disappointed by the latest set of figures. There’s a striking difference this time around too -- both Windows 8 and 8.1 show drops in July. Ouch.

Continue reading

© 1998-2014 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.