June 2012 - Posts

Windows Phone 8 will make a <big>DIFFERENCE</big>

 

At windows Phone Summit, Microsoft took a giant leap in its mobile platform. Windows Phone 7.5 Mango was awesome with its attractive UI and metro experience. But reviewers and  users always had something to complain about the OS like limited customization, no dual or multi core devices, less number of apps in the marketplace and apps like Draw Something, Pandora etc. missing, multitasking issues blah blah blah. With Windows 8, Microsoft gets it all right leaving nothing to complain about.  The announcements made at the Summit were not feature complete. There are many things to get excited in the near future. 

 



Here are the new features that will make a difference:

New Start Screen

The start screen is the best home screen in any mobile device out there providing live notifications and updates about people and things you care about most. It remains heart and soul of Windows.  People wanted more customization.  Microsoft listens and delivers new start screen that is full screen (removing the black spaces), resizable tiles to three sizes  (still providing live notifications) and mufti colors.  With new start screen, you can see even more contents than iPhone or android at a time that is especially useful for power users. Unlike android that takes seriously long time to manage 5-7 home screens with grid of icons and mix of resizable and non resizable widgets and could end up looking like a mesh, you can customize new start screen with ease to match your best needs.



New Hardware Capabilities and New Kernel

Windows Phone Mango was based  on Windows CE kernel and due to its limitation, OS supported only single core devices. Now, Windows phone 8 is getting a new kernel that is same as Windows PCs and slates that is going to provide endless possibilities of hardware, cross-platform app development via shared codes and many more. Now, windows phone 8 supports dual and multi core and theoretically up to 64.  It also supports three resolutions 640 x 480, WXGA (1280 x 768) and 720p (1280x720). All of these offer 15:9 or 16:9 widescreen aspect ratios. With shared codes and APIs, developers can port apps between windows 8 and windows phone 8 devices with little modifications in screen resolutions. New Direct X capacities make the gaming experience in windows phone just like in PCs with high end 3D games and visual effects.

Internet Explorer 10

Windows Phone 8 is getting new internet explorer 10 and shares codes with IE from desktop providing security and performance like the PC browser in the phone which make it most advanced mobile browser.


Micro SD App Support

Windows 8 supports memory cards to store data take makes it easy to transfer, and store data with ease. And you will never run out of space in the phone. Users will also be able to install apps to the memory card instead of to internal storage.

Nokia Maps

Nokia maps were always a plus point for Lumia phones. Now, it is coming to all windows phone 8 devices. It will feature global NAVTEQ map data, offline support, turn by turn navigation, and a maps control for developers. It will also work in the background and in concert with Windows Phone’s voice control technologies, so you can keep navigating while doing other things.  Background location functionality will let Maps and other location-based apps run in the background.

NFC and Wallet

Windows phone supports new NFC tap and send option to share data with supported devices. And what’s cool is, you can play a multiplayer game between a tablet and phone with just a tap for supported apps. Microsoft is also introducing a complete wallet experience to compete with apple’s passbook and Google wallet.


VoIP Integration

Windows Phone 8 provides integrated VoIP calling (not just for Skype) but other VoIP app makers too and supports to run in background.


Software Updates over the air

Windows 8 will deliver software updates over the air bypassing carriers. Users will be able to use latest and fresh contents on the phone.

100,000 plus Apps and Voice Controlled Apps

There are now more than 100,000 apps in the marketplace with additions of popular apps like draw something and audible.  Users could launch apps with voice (which Siri is learning now)  in Mango and in windows phone 8, developers can provide voice control navigations in their apps with new voice based APIs.

Native Code and in App Payments

The availability of native C and C++ code development using DirectX/Direct3D is a huge development for Windows Phone 8, one that will ease the creation of cross platform (Windows 8/iOS/Android) apps and games and is bringing many useful game engines (like Havoc) to Windows Phone.

 

And support of payment options within the apps is huge advantage for developers.

Enterprise Ready

Microsoft is promoting BYOD (Bring your Own Device) strategy to enterprises with its world class and trusted bit locker encryption and secure boot technology to windows phone 8.  Companies can deploy their apps the way they want bypassing marketplace. Microsoft also shows the new Company Hub that lets companies and workers to interact with its each other.



Devices

Nokia, Huawei, Samsung and HTC will all deliver new Windows Phone 8 handsets in late 2012, and each will be based on a new Qualcomm chipset. Windows Phone 8 devices will be available in over 180 countries at launch, with support for 50 languages.

New devices from HP coming to windows phone 8 were revealed in press release.

“HTC is committed to Windows Phone more than ever and we are excited to be bringing new Windows Phone 8-enabled smartphones to customers later this year. With the introduction of Windows Phone in 2010, Microsoft initiated a new powerful mobile ecosystem with a consumer experience that was both unique and user friendly.

 The Verge managed to obtain information indicating that there will in fact be three HTC Windows Phone 8 devices during launch.


HTC “Zenith”

Display: 4.7” 720p Super LCD2 
Camera: 8 megapixels (1080p capture) 
Processor: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 
Memory: ? GB RAM 
Network: 42Mbps HSPA+ (International Variant) 
Release: 4Q 2012

HTC “Accord”

Display: 4.3” 720p Super LCD2 
Camera: 8 megapixels (1080p capture) 
Processor: Dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon (MSM8260A) 
Memory: 1 GB RAM 
Network: 42Mbps HSPA+ (International Variant) 
Release: October 2012

HTC “Rio”

Display: 4” WVGA 
Camera: 5 megapixels (720p capture) 
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon (MSM8227) 
Memory: 512 MB RAM 
Network: 14.4Mbps HSPA (International Variant) 
Release: October 2012

 

No upgrade to windows phone 8 for current devices

It is going to hurt current windows phone users that they are not getting windows phone 8 even latest lumia phones. But the new specifications like higher resolution, multitasking, NFC, voice technology etc. require high end hardware and current generation phones can not support next upgrade. But Microsoft want to keep its loyal users happy by providing 7.8 upgrade with new start screen. Nokia is also committed to current lumia users by providing new camera app with group shot, panorama mode, action mode and smart mode. Anyway, Microsoft is not trying to fool users like apples that let users to upgrade to iOS 6 ( but without new maps, siri and other critical features). And you can still see device makers releasing outdated android froyo and gingerbread like Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Young in the market. (And people jump to these year old devices. I wonder why?)


Unified PC and Mobile Experience

Microsoft is unifying its mobile and desktop experience with new metro environment which provides consistent and seamless experience whether on a pc, tablet or smartphone.  Windows phone 7.5 devices were specially targeted to smart phone market and new smartphone users. But Windows phone 8 is targeting to 1.3+ billion Windows users.

 

What’s Coming

Microsoft is also working to cut the costs for users in other ways. For example, a new feature called Data Smart, which is based on the metered broadband connection capabilities in Windows 8, will help ensure that users get the most out of their data plans. A variety of techniques help achieve this. First, Windows Phone 8 reduces the amount of data it transmits, by handing off to Wi-Fi whenever possible and by using a new cloud-based browser proxy service that limits the amount of data used by Internet Explorer 10 and apps by compressing web traffic. 



Microsoft is adding a new feature to Local Scout that will help you find nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. And in many countries, Windows Phone 8 can be configured to automatically offload from cellular data to mobile operator-owned Wi-Fi networks, without any user action required.

You’ll be able to use SkyDrive not just for documents and pictures, but also for music and videos, and access them directly from new Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps. You will also be able to navigate into your phone’s storage using the SkyDrive devices a functionality, just as you can with Windows PCs, and copy content (like camera-taken photos) back and forth seamlessly.

he Games hub is being replaced by an Xbox LIVE Games app modeled after the same app in Windows 8. It will provide the same marketplace browsing capabilities as its Windows 8-based brother, and also all of the avatar editing and stats browsing.

Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has partnered with Nokia to offer a dramatically better Camera, one that offers a “world class” experience. Windows Phone includes a basic Camera with great new features that provide most of what users are looking for. But it is also extensible via a new class of so-called Lens apps, which lets third party apps plug into the Camera experience and appear—rather than the Camera app—when the user presses the camera button. Later, when you browse through your taken pictures, you can see which were taken with particular lens apps, and you can then edit it within that app.

Windows Phone apps are already smarter than apps on other platforms, thanks to integrated capabilities like tile notifications, deep linking, integration with Bing, and so on. But in Windows Phone 8, this is getting even better. Microsoft is adding app-to-app communication using the same contracts functionality found in Windows 8. It supporting apps written in native code for the first time, another side effect of based the system on Windows 8, providing better performance (especially for DirectX-based games) and simpler porting of apps between Windows Phone and iOS, Android, and even Windows 8.

Microsoft is further integrating Bing into the Marketplace, bolstering the current search capabilities with automatic lists of known good apps that are matched to the user’s buying and downloading habits. 

 

Got any feature or idea that you would like to see in Windows Phone 8, suggest here:

 http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions

 

 Watch full windows phone summit event here:

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=royJee1SQlY

 

 Source: www.winsupersite.com & Windows Phone Summit 

 

 

Posted: 06-24-2012 3:50 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

Microsoft vs Google: What's Next

Microsoft and Google are battling for the bigger ecosystem of devices and services. They are not quiet about their rivalry and do not miss any chance to piss off each other when ever possible. They are also mocking each other via commercials. You can see Microsoft teasing Google here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4EbCkotKPU&list=PLD6E73819BC3325DF&index=2&feature=plcp

or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4EbCkotKPU&list=PLD6E73819BC3325DF&index=2&feature=plcp

Google also makes fun of Microsoft in Chrome OS commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwVX42Amcak&feature=related

Microsoft tries to keep consumers away from Google by saying "Google bypasses user privacy settings " in IE blog post which you can read here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/02/20/google-bypassing-user-privacy-settings.aspx

I was also amazed to know that hotmail and gmail marks email from other service as junk.  Now, I feel excited to see their battle to be technology leader.and find which stands out the best.


Here, I compare some of their products and see how one stands against the other. 
 
1. Windows 8 and Chrome OS

 Microsoft is enjoying monopoly in PCs and now, it want to try its fate in tablets with windows 8. Meanwhile,  Google is prepared to attack PCs with could based Chrome OS. With chromebooks, Google is trying to make operating system and computer more like a web service.  But you need an always on high internet bandwidth to use this OS. (There are few apps that run in offline mode). So, chrome os is not suitable for majority of the user groups.

But, What excites me is Windows 8. It is built on touch plus mouse and keyboard, cloud powered, will be available in all devices-tablets to PCs, and most important thing is: its metro. I think Chrome OS, is just like windows that can only run Google chrome browser (nothing else).  Microsoft has learnt a lesson from Apple that apps matter and taking a similar approach with Windows Store for metro apps that are fast, fluid and beautifully designed. Google is also building a gallery of apps in Chrome Store for doing everything- editing photos and documents, watching movies, playing games etc within the browser. But they can not match beauty of metro or power of desktop apps. Infact, most of the apps are  links to websites. Youtube app is just a bookmark to youtube.com and  Evernote app is a bookmark to evernote.com.

 

2. Windows phone 8 and Jelly beans

While microsoft is a king of the pcs, there is a different story in the smartphones. Android from google has the highest percentage of users and Microsoft is in single digit percentage below symbian and blackberry. But I believe with windows 8, things are going to be different. Microsoft is pushing windows phone by metrofying its desktop OS and providing integrated experience. Microsoft has also been quick to keep up with android and IOS in a very short time. When Microsoft first launched windows phone, it could not take off due to the lack of exciting hardware, promotions and carriers. Now, microsoft is getting it right to the journey to Windows phone 8 by partnership with excellent hardware partner, Nokia , promoting windows phones by windows phone challenge concept and increasing the number of apps to 100,000 in the marketplace in short period. Microsoft is planning to re-enter in the mobile game by re-launching its mobile platform with windows phone 8. Windows phone mango is already making good impression among users with the stylist Lumia phones and its fast, fluid and interactive UI with live tiles. Microsoft is reducing the system requirements and introducing low cost phones like Lumia 610 to compete with android in emerging markets. Microsoft has been quiet about windows phone 8 till now, but Microsoft is providing glimpse at the future of windows phone at Windows Phone Summit next week and rumors say that announcements regarding windows phone will include skype integration, multi-core processors, high screen resolutions, WinRT based apps and many more.

Android is the world’s most popular mobile OS with gallery of exciting devices like Samsung Galaxy, HTC One S and Motorola Droid running ice cream sandwich. The best feature that differentiates it from iOS or windows phone is its customization option. You can do anything you like to match it with your personality. And if you are a heavy user of Google services, you have to go for android to get pure Google experience. Though android provides 3-4 times larger numbers of apps, they are less secure and reliable than windows phone as Google does not monitor app submissions efficiently and  removes the infected and broken apps after user complaints. It is expected that Jelly bean is not going to be a big update but It may keep users happy by providing what users are looking for and rumor says Google is launching its Nexus tablet with Jelly beans. Google’s acquisition of Motorola should help Google in holding the grip in mobile platform.

 So, I think windows phone may make it to second position with windows phone 8  but I am not sure whether it will be Apple or Android to go down. 

Asus's rumored Jelly bean tablet

Windows Phone 8 leaked image

 

3.  Hotmail and gmail

Now, hotmail and gmail are two most popular email clients taking over yahoomail. Google redesigned many of its services including gmail to provide better user experience to users. And to answer that, hotmail came up with new features like graymail (new newsletter filtering function, revamped flagging system, skydrive integration and many more. Hotmail has a nice and g attractive layout, and definitely isn't disorganized, but gmail does a phenomenal job at organizing your mail with filters and labels. Google is touch opponent in search and it wins out here providing better and accurate search results. Gmail is still providing its old HTML mode for users with slow internet connection. Both the services allow chatting with friends within the site. And these days, I am having trouble creating a new account without activating the account via mobile number.


4. Skydrive and google drive

i believe the next big thing about technology is the Cloud and now both Microsoft and Google are in the game with small players like Dropbox and Sugar sync. Skydrive was part of live services since long time but it could not get attention due to no desktop client, integration with mobile platforms and discoveribility. Now, it is relaunched with a desktop client for windows (excluding XP and Vista SP1) and Mac. There are also iOS and windows phone app that got  much better with relaunch with mobile platform.  Google also provides a similar desktop client for windows an Mac along with mobile apps for iOS and android. 
But skydrive's deep integration in windows 8 with metro apps with its own native metro app is extra point for Microsoft. Again, if you are heavy, android or Google user, you probably have to go for GDrive.

Here is a comparison chart from Microsoft:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/skydrive/compare 


 

5. Office and Google docs

Microsoft office is a leader in productivity apps and other enterprise solutions. With Google docs and apps,  Google is trying to get into the enterprise market. Google docs only works when you have internet connection. But Google promises office support is coming soon. Google recently purchased Quick Office (productivity suite for iOS and Android) to compete with Office on mobile devices.  Now, Google docs is integrated with drive and sharing, searching and collaborations are made easy. 
Microsoft Office is already well established and almost everybody use the office apps whether they are at home, office or school. With web apps, you can use word, onenote, powerpoint and excel where ever you go absolutely free.  Microsoft office for windows phone has always been a plus point for the platform. Office 15 (currently in technical preview) with metro like design, skydrive integration and new features will make google hard to catch on. And  rumors say Microsoft is bringing office to ipads and other mobile platforms, bad news for google.

 


6.Socl, yammer and google plus

Microsoft is planning to try its luck in social networking. Earlier, Microsoft quietly launched So.cl. quietly. It says it is not competitor to facebook but helps students in learning, sharing and searching new interests. You can also start a video party and chat on topics you like.  I think that is the answer to Google Hangouts in Google plus.  Also, Microsoft is acquiring Yammer, enterprise’s social network and has big plans to integrate with outlook, sharepoint and office 365. Google is also integrating google plus with its google apps.  So far Google plus is just an interest of geeks. But Microsoft attempt at social networking focusing on enterprise seems to be wise.

Enterprise social network, Yammer

Google Plus features
 

7. IE Internet explorer and Google chrome

Google chrome is rising fast and evolving as user's favorite browser in short time with its simple  design and amazingly fast speed. Internet explorer is still the world's top browser in pcs and Google is threatening Microsoft to take the title. But with Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft is back in the game and showing increase in market share. TV ads and commercials about IE 9 have also been helpful. With IE 9, Microsoft is trying to convince users by providing simpler more more appealing design than Google chrome. Microsoft is also following Google's silent update method for all versions of internet explorer. 

With Internet explorer 10 and Chrome for Android, there are different plans of Microsoft and Google.  Microsoft claims metro version of browser as their fastest browser yet and focuses on content in full screen and  presents tools and options when you require them. But Google sees browser as the operating system itself and with chrome store it tries to convince people to do everything within the web.  Early preview of Google's metro browser is same like its desktop version and Google is not following Microsoft's metro design principle. Pre loading of pages for fast navigation was always a plus point for Google. Now,  Microsoft is introducing similar technology in IE 10. So, browser war is going to be interesting and I am excited to see which one stands out the best.

IE 10 Metro

Chrome Metro preview


8. Bing and Google Search

The search world is divided into two groups- Googlers & Bingers.  Google is plain and simple as always and outwitted its competitors with solid search results and other interesting tools like map, reader and calender. Microsoft is also making a good impression among people with its decision engine. And now, its ready to go head to head with its wave of new features. Bing has always been attractive with its beautiful wallpapers and metro design in bing in more appealing. It is going social and taking help of you friends and experts to help you provide what you are looking for with its new Social side bar ( not available in most countries yet). New features of bing include snippets of encyclopedia in search results, video results from Wikipedia page,  additional searches and related information next to search results etc. With windows 8, Microsoft is taking bing to whole new level with metro apps like Travel, News, Maps and Finance that are beautifully designed and provide great user experience and contents.  Google's attempt at social search with Google plus integration in search has failed. It implemented +1 button in every search result. But, later it had to remove them due to user complaints. Now, its preparing to fight social bar with its knowledge graph taht shows additional information and details from wikipedia, maps and other services within the search results.  Yahoo is also back in the game with its new Axis browser that makes searching vissually appealing and beautiful. If its axis could take off, it will be good for bing as yahoo results are now powered by bing. 

new bing homepage

Posted: 06-16-2012 5:34 PM by Suraj kc with no comments

Office 15 : What's New with Screenshots

Microsoft first announced its Office suite code named 'Office 15' in January with Technical Preview (only provided to private Microsoft partners) with revised user interface including touch mode for touch enabled devices like tablets. Since then, there have been number of leaks, rumors and speculations about the Office productivity apps.  The list of changes in new Office is presented below:

  • New office apps get metro like look with flat colors
  • Touch mode with larger controls for better usability in touch based and small screen devices
  • Ribbon bar hidden by default like in explorer for clean and simple look
  • Full screen mode providing immersive experience similar to full screen metro apps
  • Apps include start experience similar to recent Mac versions of the office
  • Integration with skydrive and online services
  • Office Marketplace within the apps
  • Word 15 - read mode and PDF compatibility,  resume reading (return to previous reading-editing point when reopen a document)
  • Powerpoint 15-   broadcast presentations over the web, inline comments and excel charts
  • Outlook 15- hotmail and social integration, new calender types
  • Pre-included in WinRT tablets with no value added cost

 


New office logo (rumor)


 Word

 

 

Read mode (with pdf compatibility)

New navigation pane

Resume reading

 

Powerpoint


Widescreen view

 

Dual screen presenter view

 

 

Excel



 

OneNote


 

 


 

Outlook

 

 

Office and SharePoint Apps

 

 

Office Web Apps


Posted: 06-14-2012 7:33 PM by Suraj kc with 2 comment(s)

Microsoft Bing: What's New

With windows 8, Microsoft is on a mission of metrofying everything it owns-  xbox, office, live services and bing is no exception.New bing provides a completely new user experience that is the biggest change in the bing's three years lifecycle. It is cleaner and simpler with beautiful typography. We can see three columns - Popular Now, History, Images and Videos at the bottom of homepage in metro design.  Bing has always been  attractive with daily changing beautiful wallpapers. Now, you can see bigger image in bing homepage that makes to experience even better. Bing images also gets a new design.

 

New bing homepage

 

    new Bing images page

 

Old bing (left), new bing (right)


The biggest change for bing this year is new Social sidebar with integrated facebook and twitter. Google later, planned to compete with social bar with its knowledge graph. But  Microsoft believes suggestions from friends are more important than search algorithms and string of characters . Blog post from bing says:

  1. You will be able to ask specific friends for what you’re searching for
  2. Bing will use “likes” by your friends to determine if they know about a particular topic and you can ask for their inputs from the social sidebar
  3. Bing’s integration will also leverage the larger Facebook userbase and in case you don’t have or want to ask your friends, Facebook will suggest people you can ask

“Increasingly, the web is about much more than simply finding information by navigating a topically organized graph of links,” says Microsoft president Qi Lu. “We’re evolving search in a way that recognizes new user paradigms like the growth of the social graph, and will empower people with the broad knowledge of the Web alongside the help of their friends.” 

But unluckily, social sidebar is not available in Nepal. However,  you can bypass proxy server and use this feature. I prefer proxy list from www.hidemyass.com

 

Social side bar

 

You can also see related searches or additional information termed as "Snapshots" between search results and social sidebar.

Microsoft  changed how search works and displays search results to present relevant results more quickly. Bing has announced an alliance with Encyclopedia Britannica that will display snippets of encyclopedic information related to user queries directly within its search results.  For students, bloggers, businessmen and other Internet users this tool will definitely be useful.

snippets of encyclopedia information

 The latest addition to bing is  “qwikis,” or machine-generated video presentations on reference topics, attached to Wikipedia page results. So whenever a Wikipedia entry is surfaced in search results, your can click to watch a video from the search result page.

playing video in search result page


Windows 8 metro apps like maps, news, finance, news, travel and sports are powered by bing and provide best metro experience so far. So, if you are using windows 8, these are the apps you can not miss. Travel, News and Sports are only available in Release Preview.

 

You can get a Bing desktop app (Only for windows 7) that delivers the beauty of the Bing homepage to your Windows 7 desktop each day.

Download link here: 
http://www.bing.com/explore/desktop 

You also can get bing theme RSS feed that automatically changes desktop wallpaper.

 Download link here:
http://www.blogtechnika.com/download-bing-theme-rs-feed-pack-which-updates-your-wallpaper-every-week  

Posted: 06-13-2012 7:36 PM by Suraj kc with no comments

Microsoft's Windows 8 Army

Windows 8 is designed to run on a wide selection of devices- desktop, ultrabook, tablet, all in one pcs, hybrid pcs and may be e-reader from nook.  It is a great opportunity for PC manufactures show their innovations with plethora of new devices. And now windows ecosystem is expanding to arm devices and are named WinRTs. According to Microsoft, you get the same experience on arm devices like Intel tablets. Microsoft says it has been working on bringing windows to arm before the first ipad came out. WinRTs were first shown at MWC and they will launch along with other devices if everything goes according to plan.

The software giant  took a step back at Computex 2012 trade show in Taiwan to remind people about how much PCs have evolved over the past year.with windows 7.. Now we are  focusing on the future—with Windows 8 and a coming generation of hybrid PCs,, ultra-books and tablets.
 

Here are the latest designs and concepts of new windows 8 devices.

Xbox Surface

 

 

Lenovo Yoga


Acer Iconia



Asus Aspire S7


Asus dual-screen Taichi

 


 

Asus Windows RT convertible tablet



HP Windows 8 Slate


Posted: 06-12-2012 5:24 PM by Suraj kc with no comments

Windows 8: 10 Metro Apps I would love to see

 

1. Official facebook account


Windows 8 is deeply integrated with social networking sites just like windows phone. The attractive UI and number of interesting features in People app and Fliptoast may keep you away from logging in facebook account. But that is suitable for users who just want to be in touch with their friends. For users who spend all their time in facebook, official facebook app is a must. Facebook has to come with fully fledged metro app. (not just a companion to the site) and keep people busy in the beautiful world of metro.

2. Twitdeck


Social integration and twitter clients like tweetpro available in release preview may help you to connect with your followers and make tweets easily. But twitdeck (by twitter) is the best twitter client out there. There is also a desktop version that is great. For people who want to be immersive in metro and crazy about twitter, twitdeck has to get the feel of metro.

3. Twitpic


I wish twitpic to provide the best photo viewing experience for twitter in metro style.

4. Skype integrated into messenger and games


Windows 8 is providing the best unified experience with mail app for all your email accounts, messenger with connected facebook chat and skype integration would take things to whole new level. Microsoft already acquires skype. So, rather than a separate app, I am looking forward to integrated and always connected (not requiring to sign in every time) experience.

Also, integrating skype to social games where users can communicate or make strategies via voice/video chatting in skype would be great idea and make gaming experience more fun.

5. Youtube


Youtube is the best video sharing community out there and available in all major platforms, then why not in windows 8? Daily Motion is already in the store. But youtube is blazing fast in Nepal (I hear it's due to launch of Cache station in Jawalakhel). I am eager to see youtube listed in the store. I also expect youtube to make best use of devices charm to play videos to second screen like DLNA enabled TV.

6. Deviantart


If you are an art enthusiast, you have probably heard about deviantart. It is like facebook for graphic designers and art lovers. There is a Designs app from Corel Draw and couple of other apps. But if deviantart brings the galaxy of its awesome arts and designs in windows 8, it is going to be best app for graphic designers and artists. Now, with the release of creative cloud from adobe, there is good reason for bringing deviantart to metro before opportunity is taken away by Adobe.

7. Grooveshark


In my view, grooveshark is the best music streaming service. (You may like spotify but it is not available in Nepal). For people crazy about music, grooveshark with its database of millions of songs can change windows 8 pc to entertainment hub.

Music streaming/purchase is also available via music app but that is not going to be free or may not be available in Nepal. And rumor about new streaming service from Microsoft named Woodstock is yet to be confirmed.

8. High end games like GTA or World of Warcraft


I am curious whether new metro environment is suitable for playing casual games like angry birds or it can handle high end games from big companies like Rockstar and Blizzard. I expect I could play multiplayer online games like Warcraft from my desktop, my friend would be assisting from his notebook and other friend would be battling via tablet. That would be a super fantastic experience.

9. Adobe photo element/ lightroom


Porting photoshop to metro would be a crazy idea. But, at least, Adobe could create junior version of Photoshop ie Photo elements and lightroom for photo editing and manipulation in metro.

I know there are good metro apps in the store in release preview with photo editing capabilities. But I bet if people see Adobe's tag on the apps, they are not going to look for other apps.

8. Epaper and magazine app (For Nepal)


Kantipr, Saptahik, Himalayan TImes, Naari etc are already available as epapers on their sites. But, very few people are using this service because of the poor design and discoverability. If these services are converted to beautiful metro apps, they are going to impress wider Nepal audience.

And I want magazines like Teenz and Wave to be ported to metro apps. I think it is an opportunity for news and media companies to reach out more consumers.

10. Snipping tool for metro


While using XP, print screen was my favorite tool. snipping tool in windows 7 was welcome addition. But with windows 8  good days are over. snipping tool is present in windows 8 but limited to only desktop. Photos from apps like Travel and USA today are beautiful and attractive but do not provide option to save the photos. So, print screen is only option. (at least for now)  And for tablets, it’s a nightmare. So, I can’t wait to see snipping tool for metro in the store.

 

 

Posted: 06-12-2012 4:31 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

Future of Microsoft: Windows 8

 

With windows 8, microsft is taking a big risk by creating a single OS that runs across all devices. Windows 8 is generating a lot of buzz among tech enthusiasts. Tech pundits are debating whether windows 8 will be a flop or a big hit. It is the biggest change in the history of windows after windows 95 and microst terms it as ‘remagining of windows’. CEO of Intel is excited about windows 8 and its new possiblities in the future of technology. Whereas Apple’s CEO Tim Cook says, ‘ Windows 8 is mixture of toaster and refrigirator. It works but is not going to be pleasing to the user. And Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer takes windows 8 as the most important thing microsoft has ever done.

Microsoft is staking a step ahead in the post pc era. Some people believe that releasing extended version of windows 7 and making a bigger windows phone as tablet would be a good idea. But by doing so microsoft could not stop ipads eating the sales of pcs and microsoft has a history of failing at standalone products like zune and windows phone.


 

Touch was present in windows since XP. It was improved a bit in windows 7 but just as an option. So WIndows 7 tablet like HP Slate 7 could never take off. But Windows 8 is built from ground with touch in mind and with release preview mouse and keyboard users are not treated as second class citizens.

The biggest change in windows 8 is the removal of decade old start menu and forcing users into new metro environement (similar to windows phone). Desktop is just treated as an app and people call transition between desktop and metro jarring. But with changing technology, microsoft has to evolve and change itself to stay relevant. Start menu was suitable for launching limited and rarely used programs. Now, people are used to having 100s of programs and new start screen solves the problem. Besides, you can always pin your favorite programs in the task bar. In a recent article form windows 8 blog, microsoft dissaponted users by removing aero form final version. Transparency and aero effects esp. Win + Tab task switching were awesome. But these effects would eat a lot of power and CPU resources. Infact, you had to have a descent graphcis driver to enable aero in windows 7. Most people prefered disabiling aero effects to make desktop faster and responsive. So, disabling aero makes sense as it can enhance battery life in tablets and laptops and transition between desktop and meto is less jarring.

 

 

The biggest difference that you will find between windows 7 and windows 8 is start screen and new metro apps. Microsoft had to design new metro apps because with desktop apps, it was not possible to create an efficient and simple UI. Desktop apps could use as much CPU resources and memory they wanted in forground and background state and had complex tools and options that were difficult to learn and interact. But metro apps are 100 % secure (as they can only be obtained from Windows store) ,do not consume CPU resources when suspended and interact with each other via share charm. The new metro UI provides simple interface featuring charms bar for search, setting, printing etc. The downside to metro is that they are full screen and multitasking is limited to two metro apps in snap mode. (with ipad you can view only one app at a time). It’s suitable for small devices like tablets but awkward to use in big screen monitors. But, I hope they will improve overtime.

And my best feature in windows 8 is picture password that let you sign in making three gestures-circle, dot and straight line on your favorite picture. They serve their best purpose on a touch device but I’m loving it in my desktop.

Windows 8 also provides great opprotunities to pc makers to show their innovations. New series of ultrabooks, tablets and hybrid devices provide glimse at the future of windows 8 devices. Windows 8 powers tablets as fully fledged computer, not just as an companion to pc. And with hybrid devices, you can get best of both worlds. For exampe, with lenovo yoga, you can use it as a tablet to browse web, check email and play casual games and it transforms to ultrabook when you need to do serious work. WinRTs (windows on arms) will be the true competitors to ipad because of high battery life and thin designs. They are incompatible with desktop apps but Office, IE and desktop work. If microsoft can manage to bring large collection of awesome metro apps to store quickly, then, there is reason for apple to worry.


 

Other interesting changes are removal of default dvd playback support(thats fine, vlc is always free and cyberlink is creating metro version of power dvd), skydrive integration (for those who live in the cloud, windows to go (for privacy freaks) and skype integration (yet to be announced).

 

Posted: 06-11-2012 4:23 PM by Suraj kc with no comments