More affordable Windows tablets could be on the horizon
Here's a bit of potentially good news for Microsoft's hardware partners. Word on the web is that Microsoft may expand its free Windows license program to include tablets priced below $250. Up until now, tablets less than 9 inches qualified for the subsidized pricing, though unconfirmed reports suggest the program will cast a wider net in order to get more Windows-based tablets out in the wild.
Microsoft updates end of support deadlines for various software
Now that we're well into July, Microsoft felt it was a good time to update its list of products reaching end of support in the next 6 months. One entry that's gaining a lot of media attention is Windows 7. According to the list, Mainstream Support for several versions of Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015, though that doesn't mean you need to rush out and grab a copy of Windows 8. Here's why.
Microsoft first offered up its free update to Windows 8.1 (from Windows 8) for the general public back in October of last year, though there are still many users who have been unable to make the leap. If you're one of the unlucky ones pulling your hair out wondering why you can't get the update to install, hang tight, a fix might finally be forthcoming. At long last, Microsoft has released an automatic update that's supposed to solve the Windows 8.1 upgrade issue.
Microsoft is reportedly aiming to win back its core desktop audience with the release of Windows Threshold next year. These are the same users clinging to Windows XP and Windows 7, or perhaps even made the jump to Linux in order to avoid Windows 8/8.1. Microsoft has a chance to atone for the usability mistakes it made in Windows 8/8.1 with Windows 9, and you can expect a whole bunch of new features aimed at desktop users.
Chromebooks continue to acquire new offline functionality
Adding to the still small, albeit growing, list of things that can be done on a Chromebook while it’s offline, Google earlier this week updated the Google Play Movies & TV Chrome app with support for offline media playback. Coming at a time when Chromebook availability is being expanded to nine new countries, the ability to watch your favorite movies and TV shows when stuck with a Chromebook without internet access is definitely a positive development from both the standpoint of usability and marketability.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the return of the Start menu
Microsoft did Windows users a solid by bringing back the Start button in Windows 8.1, but has stubbornly refused to give back the Start menu for those who want it. Last we heard, the Start Menu would indeed make a comeback, the question is when, and the answer might not be with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2 -- instead, the Start menu may not make a comeback until Windows 9.
To all the Windows 8 haters out there, we feel your pain! The update might be too little, too late for some, but if you're ready to accept a Win 8.1 fate, our guide will get you started
Sometimes we wonder if Microsoft didn’t actually build a new OS so much as a Frankenstein that its customers could direct years of pent up anger, frustration, and fear onto. For example, just hint that Windows 8.0 ain’t that bad on the Internet, and some Windows users will react as if you keyed their mint ’64 Chevelle Malibu and kicked their dog with your steel-toed boot. To say you’ll get a beat down of YouTube-able proportions is an understatement of people’s rage at Windows 8.0 today.
Note: This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
Registry hack for Windows XP catches Microsoft's attention
Microsoft finally and officially ended support for Windows XP back in April, though not without throwing XP users a bone in the form of one last out-of-cycle security patch for a pretty serious vulnerability affecting most versions of Internet Explorer. However, that was a one-time thing, and now XP users are left out in the cold. Or are they? A registry hack that allows Windows XP to continue to receive security updates is making the rounds, and it's caught the attention of Microsoft.
Previously, Chrome OS devices were guaranteed four years’ worth of software support
Google has updated its Chrome OS End of Life (EOL) policy, extending the minimum EOL term to five years. Many Chrome OS device owners have already received an email apprising them of the change from the search engine giant.
Every Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) deciphered (Updated!)
If you're returning here by way of bookmark, first off, please accept our condolences. There's only reason you spend time reading a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) article, and that's to try and solve a problem you're having with your own system. If we could give out a teddy bear stuffed with cash to each person that visited this article, we'd do it. Sadly, we don't have teddy bears, and what little cash we have is usually spent at the pub.