Few things in this world can divide opinions like the way Microsoft’s ribbon interface does. First seen in Office 2007, ribbon menus are now ready to take over more screen real estate. As you might already know, Windows 8 will feature a system-wide implementation of the ribbon interface. The Windows engineering team on Monday posted a few screenshots of the all new Windows Explorer in all its “ribbonized” glory on the Building Windows 8 blog. Hit the jump to see the old workhorse caparisoned in, well, ribbons.
Windows 7 does a lot of things well. File management isn't one of them. That's too bad, because according to Microsoft, copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files represent half of the total command usage for the average Windows user. Microsoft refers to these commands as "copy jobs," and of those copy jobs, 50 percent take less than 10 seconds to complete, and a full 20 percent take longer than 2 minutes. In Windows 8, the Redmond software giant is putting a heavy focus on improving file management.
We've given up badgering AMD and Intel to implement native USB 3.0 into their chipsets, in part because both have plans to support the SuperSpeed spec, and also because third party chips from the likes of NEC and VIA work so well without driving up the cost of motherboards. That's the hardware side. On the software side, Microsoft is creating a brand new USB software stack to better support the USB 3.0 ecosystem.
The rumor mill's been all abuzz about the possibility of an App Store in the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, and for once, the hub-bub was based off of some fairly logical deductions. One: Microsoft said a long time ago that Windows 8 was being developed for use on mobile platforms as well as PCs. Two: when Apple tried to trademark "App Store," Microsoft argued the term was too generic. It looks like that deductive reasoning was well-founded; if you use a bit more deductive reasoning, you'll infer that the Windows Prez recently confirmed a Windows 8 app store.
Itching to get your hands on a copy of Windows 8? You won't have to wait much longer, or at least that's the case if you're willing to roll the dice on beta software being stable. Microsoft announced in a blog post yesterday that a pre-release version of Windows 8 is slated to ship real soon, which likely means a beta build is just around the corner.
Native media playback support has been steadily improving in Windows over the years, but what most people don’t realize is that this functionality comes at a price. Dozens of third party licensing agreements are needed to playback all the different forms of audio and video you’re likely to stumble across, and over the years Dolby has benefited quite handsomely from the inclusion of its Dolby Digital Plus pack into Microsoft’s operating systems.
Remember that old Johnny Carson bit where he pretended to be the swami and guessed the contents of an envelope he held over his forehead? Maybe some of those psychic powers transferred over to us here at Maximum PC. No, we're not saying we can pick tomorrow's lotto numbers, but damn we have a knack for timely scheduling. Hot on the heels of our ARM vs. x86 feature – you've checked it out, right? – comes the news that ARM processors are projected to be the driving force behind nearly a quarter of all notebook PCs by 2015.
Steven Sinofsky and his team are guarding the release date of Redmond’s next OS pretty carefully these days, but despite the all the clues that point to a 2012 launch we haven’t had much to go on until now. According to ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft should be ready to launch Windows 8 by no later than summer 2012, with an official beta being seeded to developers at the September build conference.
Steve Ballmer is no stranger to the CES keynote stage, having delivered the opening keynote at each of the last three editions of the popular trade show. It has now been announced that the Microsoft boss will also deliver a preshow keynote address at the next edition of the Consumer Electronics Association-owned event (much to a certain David Einhorn’s displeasure, we assume). But what will his keynote be all about?
Microsoft's marketing machine tried to convince Windows users that Windows 7 was a collective effort based on your ideas. "Windows 7. Should have called it Windows Kevin. I'm a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea," an actor says in one of Microsoft's commercials promoting its latest and greatest operating system. If Windows 7 was the people's OS, as Microsoft's clever ad campaign would have everyone believe, then what's Windows 8?