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Operating Systems News (12)

webOS Support to End Next Year

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: October 17, 2014 01:28PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Hewlett-Packard has announced plans to end support for webOS cloud services on January 15, 2015 as "the user count has dwindled to the point where it is no longer viable to keep the services running." The end of support won't cause webOS powered devices to stop working, but will disable several device features including cloud backup. Users will also be prevented from new app purchases through the HP App Catalog, and only apps purchased by November 1 will be available for download up to the shutdown date. Another key feature that will no longer be available is password recovery and HP is encouraging users to keep their passwords "in a safe location or turn off the device locking function."

Source: IGN



Microsoft Unveils Windows 10

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: September 30, 2014 07:58PM
Author: bp9801


Microsoft took the wraps off its newest Windows operating system earlier today, but it bears a name that isn't what everyone thought it would be: Windows 10. It was expected the new version would be Windows 9, considering Windows 8 is its predecessor, but Microsoft decided to change things up a little. Microsoft's Terry Myerson, the executive vice president for the Operating Systems Group, explains the new name is because of a shift in the company's approach to the operating system, with everything as "one tailored experience", and how Windows 9 wouldn't fit with that idea. Windows 10 does, however, hence the name change. The new OS is a blend of the best of both worlds, as it combines the traditional elements of Windows 7 with the touch features of Windows 8, along with some new goodies.

A familiar Start menu appears when you click the Start button, just with the addition of Live Tiles from Windows 8. As seen in the preview video, the Start menu and Live Tiles are customizable, with both the menu and Live Tiles able to be resized. The Start menu can even be expanded beyond the borders of your screen, so you can scroll left and right to see every app (just like in Windows 8). Metro apps now appear in a resizable window instead of fullscreen, so no more having the weather app dominate until you close it. The taskbar has been updated too, as it can now show all running apps in each virtual desktop. Your current desktop is the primary one, but you can switch between several others (or add new ones) for different tasks; so one may be for work, another for play, and others for video chats or anything else you wish. There's still the familiar Alt + Tab command, but it brings up every running app in every desktop now.

Microsoft wasn't willing to divulge every little detail about Windows 10, but expect more of that over time. The touch features weren't really expanded upon in today's event, although we do know of a feature called "Continuum" that switches the system's behavior based on the hardware. So say you're using something like the Surface Pro 3 as a tablet; Windows 10 will show its touch interface. If you then hook up the keyboard cover, Windows 10 switches into the traditional desktop mode that's keyboard and mouse-friendly. Microsoft is still tweaking Continuum, but it sounds exceptionally promising.

Windows 10 is expected to launch sometime during the middle part of next year, but starting tomorrow a Technical Preview will be available through Microsoft's Insider Program. If you're interested in checking out Windows 10 and giving Microsoft your feedback, head here to do just that.

Source: Ars Technica [1] & [2], and Engadget




Amazon Releases Fire OS 4

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: September 18, 2014 11:41AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Amazon has pushed another update to its Fire operating system, which currently runs on a variety of devices such as the Amazon Fire Phone and Kindle Fire tablets. The latest update that brings Fire OS to version 4 adds in the ability to have separate profiles on the same device, scan information from tablets with Firefly, and share paid applications, books, and Prime Instant Videos with family members located at the same billing address. Fire OS 4 aims to improve battery life with a new smart suspend mode that activates when a device is idle, and also contains the infamous ASAP technology that predicts and loads video content in advance. Other improvements that Fire OS 4 brings are a preloaded version of WPS Office, print support, and private browsing through the Silk browser.

Fire OS 4 is based on Android 4.4 KitKat and will be pre-loaded on Amazon's latest tablets, come to the Fire Phone early next year, and be released for Kindle Fire HDX tablets sometime in the near future.

Source: PCWorld


See How You Can Adapt Windows 9's Start Menu to Your Liking

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: September 15, 2014 04:52PM
Author: ClayMeow


Last month, multiple sources reported that Microsoft plans on unveiling Windows 9 (codename "Threshold") at a preview event on September 30, with a "technology preview" releasing around the same time. While Windows 9 will reportedly blend the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 together, along with a few new features, the best news for many people is the return of a true Start menu. If you don't want to wait until the end of the month to see what Microsoft has in store, German site WinFuture has posted a video demonstrating how the Start menu will work in Windows 9. The nearly-three-minute video shows that the Start menu is now a mix of a traditional application list with Live Tiles; the latter of which can adapt on-the-fly as you drag them about.

If you don't like the Live Tiles, don't fret! WinFuture posted a second video that shows you can fully remove the Live Tiles and just have the traditional list:

Source: WinFuture via The Verge




Android Wear Continues to Improve

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: September 5, 2014 01:50PM
Author: Brentt Moore

As more and more devices make their way towards utilizing Android Wear, it is inevitable that the platform will improve overtime, showcasing new and exciting features as updates are released. One of the updates that brings forth a few changes has just been announced by Google. The latest Android Wear update, which will be available in the coming months for the Moto 360, Asus Zen Watch, LG G Watch R, Sony SmartWatch 3, and smartwatches unveiled earlier this summer, brings offline music playback, GPS support, and the option of downloading customized watch faces. Smartwatch owners will be able to listen to music stored on their device via Bluetooth headphones, while devices with built-in GPS sensors will be able to track location, recording information such as distance and speed. With the downloadable watch faces, smartwatch owners can change what type of information is presented on the home screen.

Source: Google Blog


Windows 9 "Technology Preview" to Launch Publicly Late September?

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: August 21, 2014 02:28PM
Author: ClayMeow


Last month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed plans to unify Windows across all its platforms: Windows for PCs and tablets, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. That time may come sooner than anticipated. According to The Verge, Microsoft plans to unveil the next major version of Windows, codename "Threshold", at a preview event on September 30, with ZDNet reporting that multiple sources confirm a "technology preview" will be made available to the public in late September or early October.

Threshold, or Windows 9 if you prefer, will supposedly improve Windows' usability on non-touch devices, along with a slew of new features: "a new 'mini' Start Menu; windowed Metro-Style applications that can run on the Desktop; virtual desktops; and the elimination of the Charms bar that debuted as part of Windows 8. Cortana integration with Windows Threshold is looking like it could make it into the OS, as well." General consensus seems to indicate that Microsoft nails it every other major consumer iteration (Win98 good, WinME bad, WinXP good, Vista bad, Win7 good, Win8 bad); so based on that, Windows 9 should be superb!

Source: The Verge and ZDNet via PC Gamer



Amazon Releases Fire OS 3.5.1 for Fire Phone

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: August 18, 2014 04:47PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although the Amazon Fire Phone was announced just two months ago and was released shortly afterwards, Amazon has just pushed out a software update for the phone’s operating system. The latest update for the Fire Phone brings the Fire OS to version 3.5.1, and with the new version comes various fixes and updates. Some of these include Quick Switch, application grid folders, carousel pinning, enhanced carousel email, improved video sharing, and 11 frame lenticular photos. Amazon has also improved the battery life of its Fire Phone, with the latest Fire OS update providing dozens of updates that address the issue.

Fire Phone owners can update their device by navigating through the settings menu, or by downloading the update on a computer and transferring the file onto their phone via the included USB cable.

Source: Amazon



Microsoft Looks to Unify Windows Across Platforms

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: July 23, 2014 04:25PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed in the fourth quarter earnings meeting this week that the company is hoping to combine Windows for PCs and tablets, Windows Phone, and Xbox One to "enable apps that span all types of devices and that are available in a single Microsoft store." More information is planned to be revealed in the coming months, though no set date was mentioned. Support for applications across all three OS versions could be a great advantage to both developers and consumers that have multiple Microsoft devices. Nadella added, "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

Source: Network World



Microsoft to End Windows 7 Mainstream Support

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: July 10, 2014 02:28PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Generally, Microsoft supports an operating system that it releases to consumers for a total of ten years. This support consists of mainstream support, in which Microsoft provides free security updates, non-security hot-fixes, performance enhancements, feature improvements, and design changes, as well as extended support, where the company only provides free security updates but charges for hotfix support. With Windows 7 nearing the five-year mark since it was initially released, mainstream support for the operating system is scheduled to end early next year. On January 13, 2015, all versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 will be moved into extended support, where the operating systems will stay until early 2020.

While performance enhancements, feature improvements, and design changes are soon to end for Windows 7, computer manufacturers are still offering the operating system to consumers and plan to continue doing so until the end of October of this year.

Source: KitGuru



Preview of Latest Android OS Available Tomorrow

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: June 25, 2014 04:23PM
Author: Nick Harezga

As part of the annual I/O conference this year, Google announced the next version of the Android Operating System, Android L Preview. It will be available starting tomorrow for users with a Google Nexus 5 smartphone or Nexus 7 tablet. The preview release marks a new direction for the Android OS as previous iterations weren't made available until finished. An updated notification screen brings more useful information to the lock screen, enabling faster checking of updates. The camera API has also been expanded giving users the ability to "capture uncompressed video data at 30 frames per second, hardware permitting, and control shutter speed, frame duration, and ISO sensitivity frame by frame." Project Volta gives better information about battery usage by applications including usage over time and a new power-saving mode. Numerous other changes including improved Bluetooth, smarter network handling, and faster apps will also find their way into the new version.

Source: CNET



Bing Smart Search Receives Improvements

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: April 30, 2014 06:29PM
Author: Brentt Moore

The Bing Relevance Team has unveiled new and improved ways to use Smart Search powered by Bing in Windows 8.1, which has already provided the ability for users to find photos, documents, websites, and other information locally or within the cloud. Smart Search, which is built specifically for touch and was introduced by Bing in October of last year, is now able to identify common questions typed into the search bar by users. Some examples include installing a printer, retrieving new applications for windows, changing screen brightness, and even deleting an application. Users can simply type a question into Smart Search powered by Bing and receive a relevant Windows 8.1 style answer.

Bing Smart Search has also received improvements in recognizing common spelling mistakes, as well as making sure that more specific and applicable solutions are provided for user generated questions.

Source: Bing Blog


Easy Unlock Coming to Chrome OS?

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: April 18, 2014 12:44PM
Author: Nick Harezga

An "Easy Unlock" feature has been discovered for the Chrome OS that would allow users to login to their Chromebooks simply by having a registered phone nearby. The feature is currently found on the Chrome OS dev channel and has no functionality other than a graphical interface. Users will be able to find their phone and register with the OS to ease the login process. As an owner of a Chromebook I am very intrigued by this feature and would definitely like to see it included at some point in the future.

Source: Android Police



Ubuntu 14.04 Now Available

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: April 17, 2014 03:39PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The latest version of the popular Linux distro Ubuntu, 14.04 LTS, is available as of today. The long term support version known as Trusty Tahr will be supported by Canonical for five years and features a number of improvements. Among the included features are the use of Linux Kernel 3.13, LibreOffice 4.2.3, and an improved interface for the Unity UI. Canonical CEO Jane Silber added "the 14.04 LTS release offers a solid, intuitive experience which is easy to manage. It is a viable and affordable alternative for those organisations considering a switch from Microsoft, and specifically those replacing XP or Windows 7 as they come to the end of life".

Source: Beta News



Windows 8.1 Update Required to Receive Future Updates

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: April 8, 2014 10:54AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Microsoft has just pushed out its latest update to Windows 8.1, known as Windows 8.1 Update. The new update allows the latest version of Windows to be friendlier for those that use a mouse and keyboard, which are generally found on devices that do not feature a touchscreen. Devices that are not purely touch based will find that Windows 8.1 Update will boot directly to the desktop and also makes the transition from the desktop to the Metro style interface a bit more intuitive.

An important part of the update rolling out however is that Microsoft will not make any updates for Windows 8.1 available to those who are not running Windows 8.1 Update. This means that potential security flaws will go unpatched for users who do not have automatic updates selected, or manually choose to install Windows 8.1 Update. Users who have never installed Windows 8.1 and are still running Windows 8 will still be able to receive updates through Windows Update.

Users who want to install Windows 8.1 Update immediately can do so through the control panel, while those who are not so eager to install the update will receive it as part of a roll out that will occur in a throttled manner.

Source: ZDNet



Microsoft Store Offers $100 to Upgrade from Windows XP

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: March 22, 2014 04:15AM
Author: Brentt Moore

In yet another push to get Windows XP users away from the aging operating system that will cease to be supported as of April 8, 2014, Microsoft has announced that qualified consumers can earn up to $100 towards the purchase of a new PC. There are some restrictions to the offer of course, but the deal may spark enough interest to get some users onto the newest version of Windows. The deal applies to select computers available on the Microsoft Store that are priced at $599 or more and run Windows 8.1. Consumers can qualify for the $100 off promotion if they purchase one of these select computers at the online Microsoft Store from a qualifying Windows XP machine, or present a qualifying Windows XP computer during in-store purchases.

In total, the new offer from Microsoft includes $100 off of select PCs that are priced at $599 or higher, 90 days of free premium support, and free data transfer. While support for Windows XP machines will end on April 8, 2014, the promotional deal will end on June 15, 2014.

Source: Neowin


Apple Releases iOS 7.1

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: March 10, 2014 12:42PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Starting today, users who own an Apple iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini or later, or 5th generation iPod touch can download and install the latest iOS version to their device, known as version 7.1. The update, which has been in beta for quite some time before the official release, brings a wealth new content and fixes to the aforementioned devices. One notable feature addition is CarPlay, which allows iPhone users to connect their device to a CarPlay supported vehicle and control Siri, along with other applications, with the vehicle's controls. Apple has fixed bugs and added additional functionality in various iOS features and applications such as Calendar, iTunes Radio, and Siri. iOS 7.1 promises improved performance on the iPhone 4 as well, while all devices will see updated user interface refinements.

iOS 7.1 can be downloaded from iTunes or from an over-the-air update.

Source: Apple



Microsoft Launches Website to Inform Users of Running Windows XP

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: March 4, 2014 01:04PM
Author: Brentt Moore

A new website has been launched by Microsoft, which informs users if they are or are not running Windows XP. The website is designed to help users, who are interested in the upgrade options available to them as support for Windows XP ends, identify what operating system their computer is utilizing. The company is also incorporating notifications to inform users of end of life support for the aging operating system, along with free migration software. Microsoft has designed the site in the Modern user interface, which is the style that Windows 8 and 8.1 makes use of. Additionally, the website informs users about Windows 8 upgrade avenues if they are not running Windows XP, and makes no mention of Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Interested users can visit the new website at AmIRunningXP.com in order to figure out if they are running Windows XP.

Source: DailyTech



Microsoft Continues Push for Windows XP Upgrades

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: March 3, 2014 10:25AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although Microsoft has already announced that support for Windows XP will cease to exist come April 8, 2014, as well as the unavailability of Microsoft Security Essentials at the same time, the company is continuing its efforts of getting users off of the aging operating system. Microsoft has announced that users of Windows XP are going to be offered a free data migration tool from Laplink, due to a partnership between both companies, known as PCmover Express for Windows XP. The application will transfer emails, files, music, videos, user profiles, and settings from a Windows XP computer to a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 machine.

Microsoft has also announced that users of the Home and Professional editions of Windows XP, starting on March 8, 2014, will receive a notice about official support ending via Windows Update.



Microsoft Working on a Free Version of Windows 8.1?

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: February 28, 2014 10:07PM
Author: bp9801

Windows 8 may not quite have the market share compared to past operating systems, but Microsoft is currently working on a way to try and solve that. According to a new report, the folks in Redmond are experimenting with a "Windows 8.1 with Bing," which takes the newest version of the OS and bundles it with various apps and services. Windows 8.1 already comes with plenty of apps built-in, including Bing SmartSearch, so it's unclear how Windows 8.1 will set itself apart in that regard. However, it could be a way for Microsoft to market Windows 8.1 as a free or low-cost option for Windows 7 users to upgrade to, especially if there are some incentives involved. Windows 8.1 with Bing could also be offered to OEM builders at a discounted rate and then pass on those savings to consumers. Or there could be something else planned with Windows 8.1 with Bing, like merely a test to see how receptive consumers are to a potentially stripped-down version of the OS.

Whatever the case may be, hopefully we get some clarification at Microsoft's Build conference this April.

Source: The Verge



Apple Releases OS X Update for Networking Security Hole

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: February 25, 2014 02:20PM
Author: Brentt Moore

After a recent web networking security hole was found within OS X platforms, Apple has released an update to OS X Mavericks to fix the issue. The update to 10.9.2 not only fixes the security flaw, but also tailors in a few new features, such as the ability to make and receive FaceTime audio calls, the ability to block incoming iMessages from specific senders, and call waiting support for audio and video based FaceTime calls. Multiple improvements have also been made available, such as improved accuracy of unread counts in Apple's mail application, improved AutoFill compatibility in Safari, and improved reliability when connecting to a file server using SMB2. While the update is only available to OS X Mavericks, it will be released to other OS X versions shortly.

The same security hole was also present in iOS devices, however, a separate update was released by Apple a few days ago to remedy the issue.

Source: Engadget


VMWare Bringing Windows to Chromebooks

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: February 12, 2014 02:55PM
Author: Nick Harezga

A partnership between Google and VMWare was announced today at the VMWare Partner Exchange in San Francisco that marks the first step in bringing other operating systems to Google Chromebooks. VMWare is optimizing the Horizon View desktop-as-a-service software for Chromebooks and will "provide access to legacy Windows-based applications, data and desktops via a Web-based application catalog on Chromebooks thanks to VMware's Blast HTML5 Desktop Access software." Director of product management for Google Chrome Rajen Sheth said, "As the countdown to Windows XP end of life continues, deploying Chromebooks and taking advantage of a DaaS environment ensures that security vulnerabilities, application compatibility and migration budgets will be a thing of the past."

Source: ZDNet



Apple to Fix Sudden Reboots of iOS 7 Devices

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: January 23, 2014 03:16PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Users across multiple devices that run iOS 7 have been reporting random reboots with the inability to manually power their devices back on, a problem that has been occurring since iOS 7 was initially released. Once thought to be an issue with the battery level of the devices, the problem occurs when the home screen crashes. The issue has been reported by users on many different community forums to include the Apple forums. Apple has confirmed this issue recently and will soon release an update to iOS 7 that will fix the sudden and random reboots. An Apple spokeswoman stated that the company has a fix in a software update that is soon to be released, and will fix the issue of a bug that occasionally causes the home screen to crash.

While Apple is planning on fixing the bug soon with the confirmed update, no release timeframe has been announced.

Source: PC Magazine



Microsoft Releases Windows 8.1 Guide

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: January 21, 2014 12:07PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Aimed at businesses rather than consumers, Microsoft has released a PDF document that contains 17 pages on various aspects of the Windows 8.1 Operating System. While the Windows 8.1 Power User Guide for Business does not go in depth with any one feature found within Windows 8.1, it does provide adequate information that covers the majority of what users will routinely access. Some topics within the guide include the desktop itself, file explorer, Internet Explorer 11, mobility center, SkyDrive, and the taskbar. Information is also provided on how to navigate through Windows 8.1 by either using a keyboard, mouse, or touch based controls.

It is worth noting that the guide focuses primarily on the desktop and core Windows applications, leaving out the Windows Modern user interface environment almost entirely.

Source: CNET


HP Brings Back Windows 7 Computers

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: January 20, 2014 05:03PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In a marketing attempt made by Hewlett-Packard, the computer manufacturer is once again offering consumers desktop and laptop machines that run Windows 7. HP is hoping to boost sales by offering a $150 discount to select computers that run Windows 7 and feature either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor. While Windows 8 and 8.1 machines are still available for purchase from HP, the home section of the computer manufacturer’s website is heavily geared towards its current offer of Windows 7.

Windows 8 and 8.1 have been making significant gains in market share since their initial release, but Windows 7 machines still hold the majority of the market with 47.5 percent of all desktop PCs running the four year old Operating System.

Source: CNET



Changes Announced for Ubuntu Touch

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: January 14, 2014 05:53PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The team at Canonical has announced changes for Ubuntu Touch regarding the devices that it will be compatible with. The mobile version of the popular Linux based OS will only support the Nexus 4 smartphone and the second iteration of the Nexus 7 tablet. It is believed that the OS will be able to be ported to the much newer Nexus 5, though there won't be any official support. Other devices that had support dropped include the Nexus 10, the first Nexus 7, and the Galaxy Nexus. The first version of Ubuntu Touch is expected to be available at the end of this month, and the Canonical team is spending a lot of its focus on the upcoming Long Term Support version of Ubuntu that will be released in April 2014.

Source: The Droid Guy



Microsoft Will Use M# for Midori

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: December 31, 2013 04:18PM
Author: Alireza Amini

A new programming language is going to be born by Microsoft, which will be used to create a new non-Windows operating system. According to Microsoft researcher Jim Duffy, this new language is a research project and instead of scientific journals, he will use his blog to publish the results. Duffy calls this new language C# for Systems Programming, but other sources refer to it as M#. There were rumors about a non-Windows operating system called Midori project and ZDNet reports that Microsoft permitted a couple of project members to publish more details about the matter. Apparently Duffy is one of those members.

Source: Tom's Hardware



Android Integration Coming to Audi Automobiles

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: December 30, 2013 07:27PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Technology giant Google and automaker Audi are partnering to deliver in-car Android based infotainment systems. Android powered dashboard entertainment systems could provide many of the same features that the mobile Operating System has, such as Android specific applications, navigation, and other services. These features would all be be able to be accessed without needing an Android powered smartphone. An unnamed source from the Wall Street Journal has provided this information, but with Audi holding a press conference on January 7, 2014, it seems likely that the partnership is a reality. Additionally, NVIDIA is said to be involved within the partnership and more companies having involvement could possibly be announced at CES next week. Kia is already one automaker that uses Android to power an infotainment system within one of their vehicles. With Audi coming into play, more manufacturers are likely to join following the announcement by the luxury automaker.

Source: TechHive



LG to Unveil webOS-Powered Smart TV

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: December 20, 2013 05:30PM
Author: Brentt Moore

After purchasing webOS nearly a year ago, LG Electronics is now using the investment to produce a smart television capable of multi-tasking. The new television will boast webOS, which is the first television ever to do so, and incorporate a dual-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz along with 1.5GB of RAM. As of now, no other details about the television are known. LG is on track with its plans to reveal the webOS-powered television at CES early next year. Current LG smart televisions are not used much in terms of their multimedia capability, but LG is hoping that consumers will make full use of the new features available to them within the upcoming webOS television.

Source: The Verge


Ubuntu Postpones Replacement for X Windows System

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: November 19, 2013 04:20PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Canonical had initially planned to replace the X window system with its own Mir window system in the upcoming 14.04 Long Term Support version of its Ubuntu OS, but it now appears that the change will be pushed to a later release. The announcement came at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, and it was stressed that the problem isn't with Mir itself but rather with the XMir compatibility layer that allows applications written for X to work with Mir. The fact that version 14.04 is an LTS release certainly didn't help the chances of a buggy piece of software making it in to the OS release as LTS releases are supported for five years and are generally considered to be more stable and reliable. While Mir won't be enabled by default, it will still be available in the Ubuntu repositories for users that wish to try it out at their own risk. CEO Mark Shuttleworth commented on the decision saying, "On the desktop, this will be sort of the crowning release of the Unity 7 code base. We've been working on that code pretty consistently since round about 10.04, and so we've had four very good years of continuous improvement. We can reasonably expect 14.04 to be a really fast, slick, stable, and reliable release on the desktop. That's the commitment we want to make to anyone who is deploying large volumes of Ubuntu in any large-scale environment."

Source: Ars Technica



Windows 8.1 Now Available; Small Improvements yet Huge Difference in User Friendliness

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: October 18, 2013 05:05PM
Author: bp9801

It's been right around a year since Windows 8 arrived, and to celebrate the occasion, Windows 8.1 officially launched worldwide yesterday. With it comes a lot of small improvements that make a big difference, as the operating system has gone from kind of unfriendly towards the traditional desktop users to actually working. The Start button makes its return, however it's not quite what it once was. When you click it, a transparent Start screen appears to allow you to select an app or rearrange as you see fit; so no series of nested menus, but it's a blend of the old and the new.

Snap view also gets a nice improvement in Windows 8.1, as now eight apps can be displayed side by side if you have a large enough screen. Smaller screens, like those on the Surface, still can only have two apps side by side. Users can also determine how much space each app takes up, so now you can determine if it takes up half, a quarter, or any other amount instead of just a small widget. Snap view also can automatically launch in certain situations, so clicking on a link in the email app starts snap view instead of bringing up a whole new window for the browser.

Microsoft's own services are now even more tightly integrated into Windows 8.1, so the Mail app is actually usable on both desktops and tablets. Skype calls received while your PC is locked can be answered right away without having to unlock the PC, SkyDrive now syncs all your OS and app settings automatically so there's no extra configuration when moving between devices, and plenty more. There's a whole bunch of more tweaks and improvements with Windows 8.1 to make it perhaps what the OS could have been originally. It still isn't perfect, but it's a lot closer now than before. If you're interested in trying out Windows 8.1, it's a free upgrade for all Windows 8 users.

Source: CNN and Ars Technica



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