Maybe you shut down your work PC at the end of each day but leave your home machine running 24/7, only shutting down during lightning storms and other rare occasions. Regardless of how you approach shutting down and starting up, Microsoft is making efforts to ensure that when you do perform a cold boot in Windows 8, you'll be up and running faster than ever before.
Waiting anxiously for Windows 8? We could tell you to mark your calendars for Fall 2012, except for two things. First and foremost, there hasn't been any official word from Redmond regarding Windows 8's release date. And secondly, you're likely to run out of ink filling in all the blanks on your calendar that comprise Fall. Nevertheless, it appears Windows 8 is destined for desktops around this time next year.
What’s your favorite ISO mounting program? Daemon Tools Lite? Alcohol 120%? There are plenty of options out there, but regardless of which application you’re using at the moment, you may consider kicking it to the curb with the arrival of Windows 8. We’ve already tipped you off about the ribbon-based interface of Microsoft’s upcoming OS; now comes word that Windows 8 will be able to mount ISO files (and VHDs, too!) natively.
Few things in this world can divide opinions like the way Microsoft’s ribbon interface does. First seen in Office 2007, ribbon menus are now ready to take over more screen real estate. As you might already know, Windows 8 will feature a system-wide implementation of the ribbon interface. The Windows engineering team on Monday posted a few screenshots of the all new Windows Explorer in all its “ribbonized” glory on the Building Windows 8 blog. Hit the jump to see the old workhorse caparisoned in, well, ribbons.
Windows 7 does a lot of things well. File management isn't one of them. That's too bad, because according to Microsoft, copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files represent half of the total command usage for the average Windows user. Microsoft refers to these commands as "copy jobs," and of those copy jobs, 50 percent take less than 10 seconds to complete, and a full 20 percent take longer than 2 minutes. In Windows 8, the Redmond software giant is putting a heavy focus on improving file management.
We've given up badgering AMD and Intel to implement native USB 3.0 into their chipsets, in part because both have plans to support the SuperSpeed spec, and also because third party chips from the likes of NEC and VIA work so well without driving up the cost of motherboards. That's the hardware side. On the software side, Microsoft is creating a brand new USB software stack to better support the USB 3.0 ecosystem.
The rumor mill's been all abuzz about the possibility of an App Store in the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, and for once, the hub-bub was based off of some fairly logical deductions. One: Microsoft said a long time ago that Windows 8 was being developed for use on mobile platforms as well as PCs. Two: when Apple tried to trademark "App Store," Microsoft argued the term was too generic. It looks like that deductive reasoning was well-founded; if you use a bit more deductive reasoning, you'll infer that the Windows Prez recently confirmed a Windows 8 app store.
Itching to get your hands on a copy of Windows 8? You won't have to wait much longer, or at least that's the case if you're willing to roll the dice on beta software being stable. Microsoft announced in a blog post yesterday that a pre-release version of Windows 8 is slated to ship real soon, which likely means a beta build is just around the corner.
Native media playback support has been steadily improving in Windows over the years, but what most people don’t realize is that this functionality comes at a price. Dozens of third party licensing agreements are needed to playback all the different forms of audio and video you’re likely to stumble across, and over the years Dolby has benefited quite handsomely from the inclusion of its Dolby Digital Plus pack into Microsoft’s operating systems.
Remember that old Johnny Carson bit where he pretended to be the swami and guessed the contents of an envelope he held over his forehead? Maybe some of those psychic powers transferred over to us here at Maximum PC. No, we're not saying we can pick tomorrow's lotto numbers, but damn we have a knack for timely scheduling. Hot on the heels of our ARM vs. x86 feature – you've checked it out, right? – comes the news that ARM processors are projected to be the driving force behind nearly a quarter of all notebook PCs by 2015.