Handy disk management tool for manipulating partitions
Acronis on Wednesday rolled out Acronis Disk Director 12, the newest version of its disk management and data manipulation software. Disk Director's 12 core library support was developed by Acronis Labs, the company's $10 million high-tech R&D center launched in 2013. Using the provided tools, users can partition, format, manipulate, clone, install, share, convert, boot, span, merge, split, resize, copy, and move data or disk partitions without losing files.
In the same week that Microsoft unveiled a fan-cooled tablet, Taiwanese vendor Acer quietly announced a fanless laptop promising “whisper-quiet computing.” The Acer TravelMate B115P, as the upcoming device is called, has an 11.6-inch touchscreen (1366 x 768), measures 0.83 inches thick and tips the scales at 2.62 pounds.
Windows 8.1 users now have until June 10th to install the Windows 8.1 Update
Microsoft is all about grace periods and delayed deadlines lately. For example, the discovery of a pretty serious zero-day bug in Internet Explorer came shortly after Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, though in a show of good faith, the Redmond outfit included XP in an out-of-cycle patch. Fast forward to today and Microsoft is announcing that it's giving Windows 8.1 users an additional month to apply the Windows 8.1 Update before dropping support.
Just like you're supposed to do when dealing with the undead, Microsoft aimed for the head when it cut off support for Windows XP last month, the legacy operating system that's proving impossibly difficult to kill. Despite the risk of unpatched vulnerabilities (a pretty big deal) and no more tech support (largely a non-issue for consumers, but important for some businesses), Windows XP is installed on more PCs than Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Vista combined.
Microsoft is allegedly prepping a second update to Windows 8.1
Through the release of Windows 8.1 last year and the minor update that followed it this month, Microsoft has made an effort to attune the latest version of Windows to the tastes of purists (of which there are plenty, going by Windows 8’s lackluster showing). The concessions, as we learnt at Build 2014 earlier this month, are going to continue, with the sorely missed Start Menu all set to make a comeback at an as-yet-unknown time in the future.
Straight to the point, Microsoft is bringing back the Start menu to Windows via an upcoming update to Windows 8.1. Along with everything else that will be introduced, we feel like Brennan from Step Brothers after he and Dale received pirate hats, dirty magazines, and crossbows - "You guys finally came to your sense and got us something cool!" And yes, despite all the criticism up to this point, Windows 8.1 finally has a shot at being a cool OS.
Cheaper Windows 8, smaller PCs, SSDs of the future, reader questions, and a rant
We've assembled once again in the podcasting dungeon to argue about Windows 8 and the latest hardware; also known as the No BS Podcast episode #220. We begin by discussing Microsoft's strategy to give Bing a shot in the arm by packaging the search engine with a more-affordable version of Windows 8.1, and then we chat a bit about Nvidia's 800M mobile GPU series and its ability to conserve battery life. Next Gordon gives us his thoughts on wee PCs and finally Josh talks about his recent visit to Intel's SSD testing facility. We finish by answering reader questions, giving you our Editor's Picks, and letting Gordon pontificate in his trademark manner.
Until Microsoft makes a formal announcement, we're still filing the possible release of Windows 8.1 with Bing under "R" for "Rumor," though it's looking more and more likely it's a real product. Following up on various sources claiming last week that Microsoft might offer a free version of Windows 8.1 bundled with Bing, new documentation leaked to the web offers some insight on what to expect from the upcoming OS.
Microsoft had been reportedly waiting until April to officially unveil Windows 8.1 Update 1, and now the latest rumors dictate April 8 as what could be the concrete date for consumers to download the upgrade. Coincidentally, that's also the same day that Microsoft will be pulling support for Windows XP. This date comes from Paul Thurrott, Supersite for Windows editor and co-host of Windows Weekly and What the Tech podcasts.