TAG: Microsoft

Would Windows 8 Have Succeeded As Two Versions?

Windows 8 LogoWhen I’m asked about “What if” scenarios, it often turns to thinking of the supposed failure that is Windows 8 (and 8.1, to a degree). Many users and technology enthusiasts alike have theories as to how the the failure of Windows 8 in 2012, could have succeed if only Microsoft did something different. From creating different versions, to allowing the Start Menu from boot to an alternative patch of Windows Phone 7. The more intriguing question, however, is if Windows 8 would have succeeded if Microsoft branched its “Metro” and “Classic” interfaces into two distinct products.

Microsoft buys Nokia Devices & Services business

Nokia LogoToday, the Internets blew up with news about Microsoft buying Nokia’s devices and services business:

…a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business

I’m not sure that anyone knows what “substantially all” means, is that everything or just mostly everything? I also find it interesting that less than two weeks ago Ballmer announced his retirement. The timing seems oddly orchestrated. Nokia and Microsoft might seem like a logical union to take on the likes of Apple and Google who already have hardware divisions.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview

Windows Server Logo (2013)I just noticed a recent preview of Windows Server has been released for download and testing. You can download Windows Server 2012 R2 on Microsoft’s site here. If you are interested in server operating systems, this is probably one you download and check out. I’m especially interested in the new tiered “Storage Spaces” feature that seems like an amazing Apple Fusion-esque way of using SSDs for maximum performance. While configuring that feature may be possible, seeing it in full-scale action may be a little more difficult. I’m also interested in what Microsoft will do with cloud storage options and StoreSimple, a company they acquired last year. There are a number of other updates to virtualization, VPNs, and the interesting “Software Defined Networking“. 

Dead Computer? Keep Windows, and Transfer it to a Virtual Machine

Windows 7 logoIf you’ve had to replace your failed computer and wondered what you could keep – you’ll want to read this. The genesis of this idea comes from having the need to virtualize various different operating systems, but changing computers often. I virtualize to test software, test installations, and various other sorts of scenarios. Virtualization is also great for making a computer (let’s say, filled with tax software) portable as you upgrade through the years. Given that virtualizing Windows requires another license, I have an idea how you might get that license for free. 

Microsoft Realigns Itself

Microsoft LogoThis past week, Microsoft released a sweeping email and memo about its intention to “realign” to the new realities of the industry. This difficult-to-read corporate speak addresses Microsoft employees asking them to refocus efforts towards consumerization and an interesting “One Microsoft” idea. Much of it is just Microsoft patting itself on the back and a weird attempt to appear forward thinking and efficient that is anything but.

But, there were a few interesting things that piqued my interest in these messages.

Microsoft Releases a Number of Software Previews

Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview LogoWith Microsoft’s Build Conference 2013 set to start tomorrow morning, Microsoft is about to hit us with a flurry of new and preview bits of its biggest software packages. Of the biggest previews tomorrow, we’ll likely see the big “Blue” Windows 8.1 preview released for us to test. Late yesterday and today, however, Microsoft made a few other packages available for download and preview.

Update Windows 8, Get Outlook 2013 RT

Outlook 2013If you update Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, Microsoft is also going to give you Outlook 2013 RT. In the post they also say:

Outlook 2013 RT will be available on Windows RT tablets as part of the free Windows 8.1 update coming later this year.

Incredible news for users; but even more, Microsoft has to be the only company with the balls to offer a full productivity application in an Operating System update. I see that process backfiring when the time comes for support calls. Users today are unnecessarily hooked on Outlook’s interface (which is why a Metro version of it would never work).

Using Microsoft’s Office Web Viewer

Office Viewer Link ToolJust like Google, Microsoft is maturing its web app offerings. With this, they’re becoming more useful and versatile. I’m a big fan of useful and  flexible tools on the web. This is really the kind of thing Microsoft should have been working on since the late nineties. Imagine if that was the case, and we’d have a mature,  easy, embeddable way to view Office (and PST?) files from Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft has offered a way to publicly view Office files by way of their own Office Web Viewer. I’ll show you how this process works, and how you might make use of it yourself.

First Look: Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse

Microsoft Wedge Touch MouseAs a mobile user, I’ve been using some form of mobile computing device for as long as I can remember. Invariably, a mouse of some sort needs to accompany the computer to complete the picture. While computers have advanced, so too has the mouse. Today, I’m  trying out a new type of mouse called the Microsoft Wedge Touch mouse. The so-named “wedge” because of its striking resemblance to a door stop. Was the mouse useful? Is it worth your hard-earned cash?