Company trying to get rid of multiple sync engines
Microsoft drew the ire of many Windows 10 Technical Preview testers when Build 9879, which was released in November, was found to be missing a key OneDrive functionality: “smart files”, which are offline placeholders containing thumbnails and metadata of OneDrive files. At the time, the company said the feature had been withdrawn in response to consumer feedback and some key parts of placeholders could return once it was done making “fundamental improvements to how Sync works.” A few days back, the company outlined its OneDrive improvement plans much more clearly.
Rumored features include digital inking support and tab grouping
Microsoft has a special press event scheduled for January 21, when it will finally turn the spotlight on Windows 10’s consumer-specific features. Chances are Microsoft could end up formally announcing the new "Spartan" browser, which we first heard about late last month, at the upcoming event, though it’s hard to say anything with certainty at this stage. Well, it may or may not figure on the upcoming company’s agenda for the event, but Spartan has already gotten the tech media buzzing.
There's a bit of debate brewing over whether or not Google did the right thing by posting a Windows 8.1 security vulnerability to the public before Microsoft was able to release a patch. The disclosure came from Google's Project Zero program, which hunts down vulnerabilities in software and alerts its findings to vendors "in as close to real-time as possible." Vendors are then given a 90-day deadline to issue a patch, and in this case, Microsoft didn't react in time.
It was only a matter of time before the original Kinect for Windows sensor would be set aside once Microsoft had released the Kinect for Windows v2. The new device was released in October and now Microsoft has announced that it is discontinuing the original Kinect for Windows in 2015.
The reason Microsoft is rolling with Windows 10 instead of Windows 9 for its next major operating system is because the changes are so dramatic, it warranted a generational leap in naming the product. That's the official story Microsoft wants us to believe, anyway, and while there are alternative theories -- like lazy coding -- there are parts of Windows 10 that are truly shaping up to be vastly different than Windows 8/8.1. That includes the browser, and word on the web is that Microsoft is rolling out a new vehicle for surfing through cyberspace in Windows 10.
Looking back at another wild year in the tech sector
Two years ago, the world was supposed to end, based on the Mayan calendar. And last year, we heard about the death of the PC ad nauseam. Of course, neither of those things happened, setting up yet another event-filled 12 months of technology news that ran the gamut from a major security flaw affecting nearly every website on the Internet, to Blizzard announcing its first new PC game franchise in 17 years, plus a whole lot more.
Microsoft recently revealed some interesting stats and trends about Windows and Windows Phone, and among them is a tidbit that Windows Phone app developers may want to pay attention to. As it turns, most Windows Phone app downloads come from so-called "low memory" devices. On Windows Phone 7.x devices, low memory refers to having 256MB or less of RAM, and 512MB or less on Windows Phone 8.x handsets.
PC vendors are not sure what to expect from Windows 10
Trying to predict the PC market is like to trying to forecast the weather a month in advance -- it's a crapshoot, basically. So, we're taking it with several grains of salt that PC vendors are reportedly doubtful that the Windows 10 launch next year will stimulate demand for replacement systems. One reason they feel that way is because of the lingering rumor that Microsoft may make Windows 10 a free update.
New site helps MacBook users make the switch to Surface
Microsoft wasn't so brazen as to post a website trying to lure MacBook users to its original Surface products, including the Surface RT, a particularly forgettable product. But with the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has hit a groove and come out with a product that, for some, is a tablet that can truly replace their laptop. With its new-found confidence, Microsoft has gone gunning for MacBook users with a new website to help them make the switch to Surface Pro 3.
Microsoft's deal with the National Football League to showcase Surface Pro 2 hardware during games got off to a rocky start when TV commentators and players alike repeatedly referred to the devices as iPads. That amounted to free advertising for the competition, for which Microsoft paid good money ($400 million), but that's all in the past. Furthermore, Microsoft's Surface deal with the NFL is winning over players, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who revealed a dark secret.