As someone blessed with the opportunity to try the Surface Pro 3 early, I can say it is truly a game changer. It is very light, has great battery life and a big beautiful display. The tablet/laptop hybrid is far beyond offerings by competitors, including Apple. If you even consider buying a Macbook Air over this, you are arguably making a huge mistake.
With that said, the Surface Pro 3 will begin hitting stores this Friday, June 20th. While the computer is great out of the box, it is not complete until you install useful apps and programs. But wait, aren't apps and programs the same thing? Yes and no. They are both pieces of software, but apps run in the Modern UI, and programs run in the classic UI. While Windows RT variants of Surface cannot install extra programs, the Pro 3 can, since it has an x86_64 Haswell processor. Below is a list of my suggested programs, apps, games and hardware accessories.
Eighty-fifth in a series. Welcome to this week's best apps and games for Windows 8. We take a look at FIFA World Cup 2014 apps this week to provide you with a selection that you can use to follow the football World Cup on your Windows 8 devices.
While there may not be an official World Cup app for Windows 8, you do have plenty of choice when it comes to following matches and news on systems running Windows 8.
Eighty-fourth in a series. Big news this week was China's ban of Windows 8 on government computer systems which Wayne covered yesterday. Country officials seem to believe that the NSA is using the operating system to gather data.
Microsoft has released Xbox One controller drivers for Windows that users of the operating system can use to connect the controller to a Windows PC for games that support controller input.
Since his appointment as CEO in February of this year, Satya Nadella has made it clear that Microsoft needs to be more than a one-platform developer. Still, it may come as some surprise that the Android version of the latest touch-optimized Office suite will be released months before the Windows 8 variant.
Office's user base across PCs remains high, but in order to target mobile users, the majority of whom are on Android or iOS, the company is making a clear statement that it won't neglect these consumers.
Eighty-second in a series. Welcome to this week's selection of the best new applications that have been released to Windows Store.
Microsoft revealed the Surface Pro 3 this week, a 12-inch version with improved screen and trackpad, pen, larger keyboard and other improved features. You can read Brian's hands-on impression or Mihaita's Macbook Air comparison if you have not done so already for all the information about the new device.
Eighty-first in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best new applications and games for Windows 8. Microsoft released a Windows Store update earlier this week that introduces several new or improved features.
Among the new features are an always visible toolbar at the top, collections, and additional information displayed next to apps on listing pages.
Eightieth in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best Windows 8 apps and games that were published to Windows Store. Microsoft has released updates for several core apps for Windows 8 without mentioning what actually changed on the apps' profile page or the Windows Store page listing the application.
Apps that have received updates are Bing Health & Fitness, Weather, Bing Sports, Music, Video, Bing Travel, Bing News, and Bing Finance.
Seventy-nine in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best Windows apps and games that were published in the last seven days to Windows Store.
As always, we begin with an overview of important application updates.
Seventy-eight in a series. Welcome to this week's new Windows 8 apps overview. Several popular first-party and third-party apps were updated this week.
Microsoft's One Note application received an update that added support for additional languages, inking and rule line improvements, performance improvements, as well as an option to go to the location of the page from the recent notes view.
Seventy-seventh in a series. The first universal app listed in Windows Store and Windows Phone Store is Microsoft's Halo: Spartan Assault.
Universal apps are available for Windows Phone and Windows 8, and need to only be purchased once to use them on all supported platforms.
At the Build conference earlier this month, Microsoft announced developers will finally be able to release "universal" Windows and Windows Phone apps. Alongside this welcome addition, the software giant also introduced a unified pricing scheme.
It removes any differences in price points between Windows Store and Windows Phone Store apps, the former of which can now cost as little as $0.99 or $1.29. Microsoft says "apps priced in this range represent 55 percent of Windows Phone paid transactions today", so it makes sense to make Windows Store offerings more attractive by lowering the cost barrier. The change went into effect this weekend, and, as the software giant says, "your app prices may have changed as a result".
Seventy-six in a series. Microsoft released the feature pack update for Windows 8.1 this week which added several usability improvements for mouse and keyboard users.
Wayne covered the update and if you have not had the time yet to read about it, you may want to head over there to do so. One interesting aspect of it is that the update is mandatory for systems running Windows 8.1 as it is a requirement for all future updates of the operating system.
For many, small tablets are synonymous with low cost. This is thanks to Android tablets like the Nexus 7, which is great. While there is nothing wrong with being inexpensive, many of those Android tablets are also of poor quality -- the market is flooded with no-name variants. This has given small tablets a bad name. Small Windows tablets have been hit or miss. There have been duds such as the Acer Iconia W3 and good ones such as the Lenovo Miix 2 8. What has eluded the market thus far, is a great one.
The ThinkPad name is synonymous with business-class quality and durability. The laptops under this branding are known to be rugged, but elegant too. Leonovo only designates this moniker to computers that meet a certain high standard. So when given the opportunity to review an 8.3 inch ThinkPad tablet, I was excited for a quality product. Is it the great tablet we have been waiting for?
Seventy-five in a series. Microsoft announced the Windows 8.1 Update officially at the BUILD 2014 developer conference two days ago. It will roll out on April 8, 2014 as part of patch Tuesday to all users of the Windows 8 operating system.
The update introduces improvements for keyboard and mouse users, including options to right-click on the Start Screen to manage tiles, a title bar for apps, and app icons on the Windows Taskbar.