In the past using a pre-release version of a Microsoft OS was a one way ticket to nowhere. Sure you got a chance to test out the latest and greatest version of Windows months before it launched, but the final version typically involved doing a clean install, wiping out all your data in the process. To make matters worse, if you were buying the “upgrade edition”, this sometimes also involved re-installing the older version before moving to the final release. Most of us assumed this would still be the case with Windows 8; we were wrong.
Last October, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Windows desktop gadgets when Microsoft brought the curtain down on Windows Live Gallery in order to “focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows.” But even though Microsoft no longer supports the development and uploading of these HTML-based desktop widgets, they are supported in both Windows 8 Consumer and Release Preview builds. Does this mean Microsoft has decided to keep them alive?
Are you on the fence about upgrading to Windows 8? The new Metro UI and the lack of Windows Media Center have made many Maximum PC readers vow to stockpile Windows 7 OEM discs in a drawer somewhere. Microsoft's countering the worry with a competitive price point: through January 31st, upgrading from Windows 7, XP or Vista will only cost you $39.99 for a digital download. That's to the fancy-schmancy Windows 8 Pro, to boot -- and you can choose to toss in Windows Media Center for free during installation.
At the time of the Windows 8 Release Preview’s release last month, Microsoft spilled the beans on a special upgrade offer for those who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. It did not reveal anything regarding the upgrade path for existing Windows users, though. But you may no longer have to wait until an official announcement from Redmond to know where you stand on the road to Windows 8, as a veteran Microsoft watcher claims to have the scoop on Microsoft’s Windows 8 upgrade plans.
Windows 8's Metro UI has gotten its fair share of negative press since even before the Developer Preview came out, with a lot of the hate directed towards the lack of that oh-so-familiar Windows Start button. Why'd you have to go and remove the Start button, Microsoft? Yesterday, an MS executive delivered one possible answer: People used it a lot less in Windows 7 than in previous versions of the operating system.
Reactions to the recently unveiled Microsoft Surface tablet family just keep coming in, with everyone from PC vendors to industry watchers eager to weigh in on the Redmond-based company’s decision to sell self-branded tablets. Even though people are probably more interested in Apple’s reaction, Google beat the Cupertino company to the punch Wednesday when it fired a cautious verbal volley at the Surface.
It's been an exciting week for Microsoft, which just the other day unveiled its Surface tablet, a surprisingly promising device that just may have the legs to go the distance, if not with the iPad, then certainly against Android and ARM. But let's not sell the Surface short, with the right strategy and continued interest from Microsoft, this could be big. Or, as Acer founder Stan Shih suspects, the whole Surface strategy is nothing more than a bunch of smoke and mirrors intended to sell consumers on Windows 8.
As with each new version of Windows, Microsoft is not the only one counting on the success of Windows 8. The entire PC industry is hoping that the next iteration of the world’s most popular PC operating system will help lift sluggish sales. But not everyone foresees the launch of Windows 8 later this year stimulating PC sales.
Microsoft has announced that at 3:30PM pacific time on Monday the company will unveil something “you will not want to miss”. The message is intentionally vague, and is written in the tricky and annoying language of “marketing”. Thankfully we live in the digital age, and anonymous sources have confirmed Microsoft will allegedly unveil a line-up self-branded tablets to a captive audience in LA. Naturally Microsoft has denied to comment on these rumors, however both All Things D and The Warp claim to have independently verified the reports.
Windows 8 Release Preview up and running? Check. Nvidia GeForce graphics card? Check. Appropriate GPU drivers for Windows 8? You can check that one off as well, assuming you're running Windows 8 with a GeForce graphics card. If so, Nvidia's new GeForce R302 preview driver is just for you. Bear in mind that it's to be used only with the Win 8 Release Preview build, so if you're rocking an earlier version, these aren't the drivers for you.