Are you enrolled in college? If so, you have enough expenses already -- tuition, books, parking, beer, and so forth. The last thing you want to do is spend even more money on software, hence why your PC is filled with open source software. That's one option, though if you'd prefer to roll with Office, it might not cost you a dime. Microsoft just introduced a self-serve model for students and teachers that lets them claim Office 356 at no cost.
If we're being totally, completely, 100 percent honest, we settled for Windows 8. That's not easy to admit, especially after applying some well needed Updates (previously known as Service Packs) that zapped some of our original complaints. Don't get us wrong, it never was, nor is it still a terrible operating system -- the comparisons to Windows ME or even Windows Vista's early days are off base -- but certainly Microsoft didn't have our best interests in mind. By "our interests," we're talking about power users, enthusiasts, and generally anyone tech savvy enough to know the difference between RAM and a hard drive. Hell, Windows 8 designer Jacob Miller admitted as much several months ago (Microsoft's good at coming clean after the fact).
Truth be told, Microsoft catered to the lowest common denominator -- the ones who call you up every 3-4 weeks because their PC is riddled with pop-up ads again -- and attempted to hold their hands as Redmond walked them through its vision of what would one day become a beautiful walled garden where new and experienced users frolicked happily among the colorful tiles singing songs of praise. Our apologies if you just threw up in your mouth a little bit.
Here's the thing -- we've grown accustomed to Windows 8, and having spent copious time with it, we no longer feel the rage we once did every time the Start screen would load. That's partially because we're now able to boot directly into the Desktop, but the bigger reason is the one we stated above. We settled, plain and simple.
With that said, Windows 9 is on the horizon, and this is Microsoft's chance to atone for Windows 8 and earn back some street cred with power users. It's a do-over, and no, it's not too late. If Windows 9 comes out and blows our minds with levels of awesome we've never seen before, all will be forgiven (just as we've done before). But in order for that to happen, Microsoft has to get it right.
That's no easy task, so to help our friends at Microsoft, we came up with a list of 9 things we want to see in Windows 9. Are you reading this, Redmond? Good, because these 9 wishlist items conveniently assembled into a photo gallery collectively represent your golden ticket back into our good graces. Hit the jump to see what they are.
Microsoft's arch rival Apple is receiving some free publicity for its iPad line during NFL games. That's because TV announcers can't seem to tell fathom that not all tablets are iPads. Take the Surface, for example. After paying the NFL $400 million for Surface to be the official tablet of the league, Microsoft is understandably ticked that its slate keeps being referred to as an iPad on national television.
Microsoft's restructuring effort will see a total of 18,000 job reductions
Today was a tough one in Redmond. Continuing with a restructuring plan announced earlier this year, Microsoft today handed out an additional 2,100 pink slips as part of a second wave of layoffs. When all is said and done, Microsoft will have reduced its total workforce by 14 percent, or 18,000 workers, as it looks to become a more agile company that can move faster towards its goals.
Microsoft beefed up its hardware portfolio today, and two of the more notable items consist of a universal mobile keyboard that works with Windows, iOS, and Android devices, and a wired Xbox One controller for Windows. For those of you looking for a new rodent, the company also released an Arc Touch Bluetooth mouse and a Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Limited Edition.
Microsoft is finally ready to talk about its next version of Windows
Up to this point, we've mostly had to rely on leaked photos and videos of Windows 9, codenamed Threshold, to understand what Microsoft has in store for us beyond Windows 8. Well, the wait for official information is almost over. Microsoft has begun sending out invitations to members of the press for a "Windows event" it plans to hold on September 30, 2014, in San Francisco.
Might we finally see Minecraft make its way to Windows Phone?
When it comes to billion dollar acquisitions, secrets are hard to hold onto. Hence the rumors heading into the weekend that Microsoft was close to announcing a deal for Mojang, the developer responsible for the wildly popular Minecraft title. So, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang for a cool $2.5 billion.
Talks reportedly initiated by Minecraft creator Markus Persson
Microsoft’s rumored acquisition of Sweden-based Minecraft developer Mojang could be worth as much as $2.5 billion, according to a Reuters report published Friday. This is considerably higher than the $2 billion figure reported by the Wall Street Journal, which was the first news outlet to claim that such a deal was in the works when it published a report, citing “a person with knowledge of the matter,” on Tuesday.
Not only did the NFL mishandle a major situation with Ray Rice's domestic abuse incident, but even comparatively minor tasks are turning into fumbles. Before the season began, Microsoft inked a $400 million deal with the NFL to make its Surface the official tablet of the league for the next five years. Under normal circumstances, that would be a sound (and even savvy) advertising deal on Microsoft's part, except for one little thing -- NFL announcers couldn't help but to refer to the Surface tablets as iPads.
OneDrive's file size limit increases from 2GB to 10GB
In a forum post back in August responding to a user inquiry about OneDrive's low file size limit, Microsoft insisted that the 2GB ceiling wasn't an arbitrary restriction, though conceded it's become obsolete in today's broadband landscape. Microsoft said it was working on increasing the limit, and so it has -- OneDrive now supports file sizes up to 10GB, an 8GB bump over the previous max.