Software en Microsoft Reportedly Plans to Dish Out Windows 8.1 Update 2 on August 12 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_start_4.jpg" alt="Windows" title="Windows" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />The final major update for Windows 8.1 is said to arrive on Patch Tuesday in August</h3> <p>Mark your calenders, folks, and be sure to use pencil instead of ink (unless it's erasable ink) -- a Russian website is reporting that <strong>Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 Update 2 on August 12</strong>, which is also next month's Patch Tuesday date. This is expected to be the last major update for Windows 8.1 before Microsoft switches gears to Windows 9, or Threshold as it's also been referred to.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Neowin</em></a> first noticed the leaked information on <a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a>, which posted what's supposed to be official Microsoft documentation. Though <em>Neowin</em> believes the information is authentic based on previous leaks, it has not been confirmed by Microsoft.</p> <p>Microsoft has continually been adding features to Windows 8/8.1 in order to address customer complaints and widen its appeal to users who have stuck with XP and Windows 7. Early indications suggest that Windows 8.1 Update 2 will contain mostly minor updates, and if that's the case, it's unlikely to change the perception of users who've refused to upgrade up to this point.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software update 2 windows 8.1 News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:24:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28207 at Google Chrome: Draining Laptop Batteries Since At Least 2010 <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><strong><img src="" alt="Low Battery Warning" title="Low Battery Warning" width="228" height="107" style="float: right;" /></strong>First discovered in 2010, battery-draining bug yet to be fixed</strong></p> <p>It seems Microsoft has quietly slipped into the habit of commissioning at least one study every year that <a href="" target="_blank">compares the power-consumption habits of major web browsers</a> and declares the latest version of the company’s very own Internet Explorer to be the most power-efficient browser of them all. Although one can’t take such comparisons seriously, there may be some truth to them after all, especially where the lackluster performance of Chrome is concerned.</p> <p>There is a serious bug in Chrome that causes the browser to wake up the CPU as many as 1,000 times per second even when idle, thanks to the system clock tick rate being set to 1.00ms by Chrome. This is many times more than the 64 times per second usually observed with the Windows default clock tick rate of 15.625ms. Believe it or not, this bug has been known to Google for many years now but has yet to be addressed. According to a <a href="" target="_blank">Chromium bug report, dated September 29, 2012</a> (the <a href="" target="_blank">bug first surfaced in 2010</a>), the issue boils down to there being “no system clock tick interval management.”</p> <p>The bug report also quotes Microsoft on this whole issue of the clock tick being decreased to 1ms: "If the system timer interval is decreased to less than the default, including when an application calls timeBeginPeriod with a resolution of 1 ms, the low-power idle states are ineffective at reducing system power consumption and system battery life suffers.System battery life can be reduced as much as 25 percent, depending on the hardware platform. This is because transitions to and from low-power states incur an energy cost. Therefore, entering and exiting low-power states without spending a minimum amount of time in the low-power states can be more costly than if the system simply remained in the high-power state."</p> <p>Thankfully, Google is now trying to fix this issue and the bug has been assigned internally.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> battery bug clock tick google chrome Software Windows News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 07:38:25 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28200 at PC Gamer Serving Up One Million Gun Monkeys Steam Keys <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/pc_gamer_logo.jpg" alt="PC Gamer" title="PC Gamer" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />Week four of a five week, five million Steam key giveaway</h3> <p>For the past several weeks, our sister site <em>PC Gamer</em> in collaboration with Bundle Stars has been giving away millions of Steam keys for a new game each week. Past titles have included SpaceChem, Dino D-Day, and Really Big Sky. Ready to grab another one? Now in week four of a five week promotion, <strong><em>PC Gamer</em> is giving away one million Steam Keys for Gun Monkeys</strong>, a procedurally generated, physics based, online deathmatch platform game.</p> <p>"In Gun Monkeys, you'll take charge of a modern-day power company. In the distant future, a catastrophic experiment into Perpetual Energy obliterates all human life, leaving the world choc-full of free-for-the-taking energy, but unpleasantly lacking in people to take advantage of it. Your job as CEO is to send a legion of pleasingly-expendable monkeys forwards in time to collect Power Cubes and return them to present-day, all from the comfort of your PC," the game's description reads.</p> <p>Since the maps levels are procedurally generated, you'll never play the same level twice. There's high-octane action in this always-online title, and if things are slow, there's an offline local play mode.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/gun_monkeys.jpg" alt="Gun Monkeys" title="Gun Monkeys" width="620" height="377" /></p> <p>Interested? If so, <a href="" target="_blank">head over to <em>PC Gamer</em></a> and claim your key!</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> games gun monkeys PC Gamer Software Steam News Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:09:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28182 at BlackBerry Jumps on the Virtual Assistant Bandwagon <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blackberry_assistant.jpg" alt="BlackBerry Assistant" title="BlackBerry Assistant" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />Cortana, Siri, Google Now, meet BlackBerry Assistant</h3> <p>Starting soon, pretty much any smartphone you buy will come with a virtual helper. Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has Cortana, Apple's iOS software has Siri, Google's Android OS has Google Now, and <strong>beginning with BlackBerry 10.3, BlackBerry users will have BlackBerry Assistant to boss around and ask for help</strong>. BlackBerry Assistant is the Canadian handset maker's equivalent to all the others, and it will act similarly.</p> <p>BlackBerry's Social Media Marking Lead, Donny Halliwell, says BlackBerry Assistant will be voice activated when you need it to be. He also said that it will learn and adapt to your queries the more you interact with it.</p> <p>"If you’ve had experience with other smartphone-based personal assistants, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how accurate BlackBerry Assistant is at recognizing your requests," <a href="" target="_blank">Halliwell stated in a blog post</a> announcing the feature update.</p> <p>BlackBerry Assistant will perform most things you'd expect it to, like set reminders, look up information online, read back emails, and so forth. It probably won't be enough to get BlackBerry where it wants to go in the mobile space, but it does address what's become a glaring omission among the various available platforms.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> BlackBerry blackberry assistant mobile smartphone Software News Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:13:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 28177 at Danish Retailer Tips Holiday Release for Grand Theft Auto V on PC <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gtav_2.jpg" alt="Grand Theft Auto V" title="Grand Theft Auto V" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />Psst, Rockstar Games -- release GTA V to PC already!</h3> <p>Hype was high leading up to the launch of Grand Theft Auto V, and just like with previous releases in the series, it launched to console first with nary a word from the developer when it would land on PC. Heck, we still don't know when GTA V will finally be ported over to Windows, though some hints have emerged.<strong> A Danish retailer recently listed GTA V shipping to PC on November 14, 2014</strong>, though now it says something different.</p> <p>We caught wind of the potential November release through our sister site, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>PC Gamer</em></a>, which took a screenshot of the initial listing. It was surmised that it could simply be a place holder, though maybe not since games typically release on Fridays in Europe, and November 14 falls on a Friday this year.</p> <p>We headed over to the online shop (called <a href="" target="_blank">Cool Shop</a>) to see for ourselves, but it's not listing GTA V as having an "expected release" on December 31, 2014. That makes us less confident that the shop knows what it's talking about, but hey, at least it seems the game is close to launching.</p> <p>Rockstar Games previously confirmed GTA V would eventually to ship to PC and next-generation console, it just didn't say when. When it does, it will have an enhanced video editor and a number of visual quality enhancements.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> games Grand Theft Auto V gtav Rockstar Software News Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:14:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 28163 at Microsoft Reportedly Expands Free Windows License Program to Boost Hardware Sales <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_logo.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1 Logo" title="Windows 8.1 Logo" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />More affordable Windows tablets could be on the horizon</h3> <p>Here's a bit of potentially good news for Microsoft's hardware partners. Word on the web is that <strong>Microsoft may expand its free Windows license program to include tablets priced below $250</strong>. 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.</p> <p>Microsoft's partners already pay a reduced rate for Windows 8.1, and ever since June, they've paid nothing for installing Windows 8.1 on smaller size tablets. Giving Windows away like that reduces their cost by $10 to $15, and with sometimes razor thin profit margins ruling the day, it's been enough of an incentive to attract additional vendors into the Windows space.</p> <p>In addition, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> reports</a> that Intel has been aggressively promoting its CPUs for mobile devices in China. The hope is that by offering its processors at cheap prices, it will attract white-box players to join the fold.</p> <p>As it stands, some 70 percent of whitebox vendors cooperating with Intel planned to release Android-based tablets in the second half of the year. However, between the expansion of the free Windows license program and cheaper Intel CPUs, that number is set to drop to 50 percent in the third quarter.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software Windows News Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:41:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 28160 at Microsoft's Cortana Voice Assistant Correctly Predicts World Cup Winner <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Cortana in action during the World CUp" title="Microsoft Cortana" width="228" height="155" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>The voice assistant was spot on with 15 out of 16 knockout match predictions</h3> <p>The quadrennial soccer extravaganza that is the FIFA World Cup just got over in Brazil, with the Germans beating the Argentinians for the title by scoring the only goal of the match in the second half of extra time. But they weren’t the tournament’s only winners. The <strong>final also saw Microsoft’s Windows Phone voice assistant Cortana cap off an overall brilliant tournament</strong> by once again correctly predicting the winner prior to kick off.</p> <p>During the knockout matches she was spot on with all her predictions, save for the Brazil-Netherlands third place playoff, where her mojo deserted her and she ended up favoring hosts Brazil instead of the actual winners, the Dutch. </p> <p>Here’s an excerpt from a post on the <a href="" target="_blank">Bing Blog explaining how the predictions work</a>: “The process of predicting outcomes of sporting events is unlike voting show predictions [another thing Cortana does], as popularity and some sentiment signals do not play similar roles in determining who wins a contest.&nbsp; Rather, the actions and performances of a handful of individuals solely determine who wins, loses, or ties.&nbsp; For the tournament, our models evaluate the strength of each team through a variety of factors such as previous win/loss/tie record in qualification matches and other international competitions and margin of victory in these contests, adjusted for location since home field advantage is a known bias.&nbsp; Further adjustments are made related to other factors which give one team advantages over another, such as home field (for Brazil) or proximity (South American teams), playing surface (hybrid grass), game-time weather conditions, and other such factors.&nbsp; In addition, data obtained from prediction markets allows us to tune the win/lose/tie probabilities due to the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ phenomenon captured by the people wagering on the outcomes. You can read more about the model on the Next Blog <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.”</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Bing Germany</em></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> cortana fifa world cup microsoft predictions soccer Software voice assistant windows phone 8.1 News Mon, 14 Jul 2014 05:45:47 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28156 at Adobe Now Guarantees Access to Lightroom Photos Even Beyond Subscription Expiry <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Lightroom" title="Lightroom" width="228" height="138" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Lightroom 5.5 update addresses “lingering concern”</h3> <p>Over a year back, Adobe abandoned its pay-once, use-forever Creative Suite in favor of a subscription-based app distribution model. Despite the ensuing furor, the company’s recurring annual revenue from Creative Cloud subscriptions has grown to over $1.20 billion. That being said, the company seems <strong>willing to address some of the gripes of its over 2.4 million Creative Cloud subscribers</strong>&nbsp; — well, especially where Lightroom users are concerned.</p> <p>Last month, it made the once promotional $9.99 per month (annually) Creative Cloud Photography bundle, which includes access to Photoshop and Lightroom, a <a href="" target="_blank">permanent part of its product portfolio</a>, giving users of its popular photography apps a more affordable alternative to the $50-per-month Creative Cloud annual subscription. (Note: A perpetual license option is also available but the standalone Lightroom bought thus does not come with any mobile capabilities.) Now the company says it has <a href="" target="_blank">addressed a major issue that has been bothering those who happen to access Lightroom under one of the subscription plans.</a></p> <p>“With the latest update to Lightroom 5.5 I believe we’ve also addressed a lingering concern in the community: What happens to my photographs after my membership ends?&nbsp; With Lightroom 5.5, at the end of a membership, the desktop application will continue to launch and provide access to the photographs managed within Lightroom as well as the Slideshow, Web, Book or Print creations that we know many photographers painstakingly create,” Tom Hogarty, principal product manager of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, said in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a> Thursday.</p> <p>“The Develop and Map modules have been disabled in order to signal the end of the membership and the need to renew in order to receive Adobe’s continuous innovation in those areas. Access to Lightroom mobile workflows will also cease to function. We hope this meets the expectations of our customers and we look forward to an ongoing dialog.”</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> Adobe cloud creative cloud lightroom Software News Mon, 14 Jul 2014 05:04:03 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28154 at Purportedly Leaked Windows 9 Screenshot Shows New Start Menu <!--paging_filter--><h3>Build 6.4.9788 was recently spotted in Windows Store logs</h3> <p>We’ve known about the Start Menu’s impending comeback for over two months now. Ever since the <strong>return of what is perhaps the most iconic Windows UI item to have been left out of Windows 8</strong> was announced by the Redmond-based company in April, there has a been a lot of speculation about the time of its comeback. If some recent reports are to be believed, it’s <a href="" target="_blank">more likely to come back with the Windows 9 “Threshold” update</a> than the less significant Windows 8.1 Update 2.</p> <p>A purportedly leaked screenshot from what is alleged to be an early <a href="" target="_blank">Windows 9</a> build (6.4.9788) shows what appears to be a heavily Metro-fied Start Menu — something that is consistent with recent reports on the subject. </p> <p>Although this is widely being reported as an early build of the Windows 9, the desktop watermark seen in the screenshot contains the words “Windows 8.1 Pro”. However, according to our friends over at <a href="" target="_blank">Neowin</a>, they have it from a credible source “that these builds inside of Microsoft still use this branding, so this is not a big deal.”</p> <p>Build 6.4.9788 was first sighted in Windows Store logs a few days back and is now rumored to be on the verge of getting leaked.</p> <p><img src="/files/u46168/startmenularge.jpg" alt="Windows 9 Start Menu" title="Windows 9 Start Menu" width="620" height="390" /></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> build 9788 leak operating system rumor Software Start Menu threshold windows 9 News Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:14:12 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28153 at AMD Catalyst 14.7 Release Candidate Drivers Now Available <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_graphics_card.jpg" alt="AMD Graphics Card" title="AMD Graphics Card" width="228" height="184" style="float: right;" />Starting with AMD Catalyst 14.6 Beta, AMD is no longer support Windows 8</h3> <p><strong>AMD has made available to download its new Catalyst 14.7 drivers in Release Candidate form</strong>. Be advised that if you're rocking Windows 8.0 instead of Windows 8.1, you can't use these drivers -- AMD stopped supporting Windows 8 as of its Catalyst 14.6 Beta release. For everyone else, you're good to go with this latest release, provided you're interested in RC drivers.</p> <p>The Catalyst 14.7 RC includes everything in the 14.6 RC plus a few extra goodies. There's an update to AMD CrossFire and Radeon Dual Graphics profile for Plants vs. Zombies. You can also expect up to a massive 93 percent boost in CrossFire scaling in Assassin's Creed IV at 3840x2160 with High settings.</p> <p>In addition to performance boosts, AMD said it worked with AOC to address an issue affecting its U2868PQU panel on certain Radeon graphics card that would cause 60Hz SST flickering. The new drivers contain a software workaround.</p> <p>You can read more <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> and download the drivers <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd catalyst 14.7 Drivers RC Release Candidate Software News Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:12:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 28150 at Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Discusses Company's Future in Open Email to Employees <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satya_nadella_1.jpg" alt="Satya Nadella" title="Satya Nadella" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Email provides a glimpse into Microsoft's future</h3> <p>In some ways, you could argue that Microsoft's spinning in circles chasing its tail. So are a lot of companies during this transitional period into mobile, which is one that seemed to catch a number of tech firms off guard. Recognizing that Microsoft could benefit from some new blood, former CEO Steve Ballmer voluntarily stepped down and eventually handed the reins to Satya Nadella. So, what does the future hold? <strong>Nadella issued an open email to employees calling for a return to Microsoft's core</strong>.</p> <p>"More recently, we have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy," Nadella said. "At our core, Microsoft is a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more."</p> <p>Nadella goes on to explain that productivity goes far beyond just documents, spreadsheets, and slides. He wants to "shift the meaning of productivity" by building brand new tools, ones that will be more predictive, personal, and helpful. Nadella also wants to ensure harmony between its cloud OS infrastructure and device OS and first-party hardware.</p> <p>In the past, there's been some doubt as to whether Microsoft will continue to promote its Xbox platform. Rest assured, "Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox," Nadella stated.</p> <p>You can read the entire email <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft productivity satya nadella Software News Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:31:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28142 at Double Fine Confirms Grim Fandango Remake is Headed to PC <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/grim_fandango.jpg" alt="Grim Fandango" title="Grim Fandango" width="228" height="157" style="float: right;" />Classic rises from the dead</h3> <p>A virtual high-five is in order for Double Fine Productions, which confirmed via Twitter and on its website that <strong>Manuel "Manny" Calavera and the rest of the gang from Grim Fandango will appear on the PC in remastered form</strong>. The remade classic will also launch to Mac and Linux, along with console exclusives PlayStation 4 and Vita. It was announced back in June that Grim Fandango would launch to Sony's game console and handheld, but until now, it was only rumored that PC platforms would also be in the mix.</p> <p>"And that’s not all, folks! All versions will be launching simultaneously, so everyone can play on day one and not have to worry about those spoilers you’ve been successfully avoiding for the past fifteen years. (Pro-tip: stay off Twitter.)," Double Fine <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> on its website.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Joystiq</em></a>, Grim Fandango's resurgence came about when Tim Schafer, the game's original product leader and founder of Double Fine Productions, found out that Adam Boyes, PlayStation VP of Publisher Relations, was poking around his old intellectual property. Schafer made a phone call to Boyes, and it was from that conversation that the idea of bringing back Grim Fandango was born.</p> <p>Grim Fandango is set in the Land of the Dead where souls of the deceased head to the Ninth Underworld. The better a person lived, the more enjoyable his or her soul's travel will be, culminating in Number Nine, a train that takes just four minutes to reach the gate of the Ninth Underworld. You play the part of Manny, a travel agent at the Department of Death.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Double Fine games graphic adventure grim fandango Software News Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:02:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28141 at PC Gamer's Giving Away One Million 'Really Big Sky' Steam Keys <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/pc_gamer_logo.jpg" alt="PC Gamer Logo" title="PC Gamer Logo" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />The latest free game as part of a five week, five million Steam key giveaway</h3> <p>Hey, we're all sitting on a mountain of unplayed Steam games purchased through various sales, yet we can't help but add to our libraries when the deals are too good to pass up. That usually means a significant discount as part of some super summer holiday sale bonanza, but even better is what our sister sister <em>PC Gamer</em> is doing.<strong> In collaboration with Bundle Stars, <em>PC Gamer</em> is giving away five million Steam keys through a five week period</strong>. We're now in week 3, which means there are a million Steam keys for Really Big Sky up for grabs.</p> <p>Last week <em>PC Gamer</em> gave away a <a href="" target="_blank">million keys for Dino D-Day</a>, and prior to that, the five week promotion <a href="" target="_blank">kicked off with SpaceChem</a>. Now it's Really Big Sky, "a super fast, twin analogue shooter for the modern age" that's yours for the taking, at no cost!</p> <p>You'll face off against of waves of enemies, bosses, giant laser planets, blackholes, wormholes and a lot more though a dozen different game modes. And if you have an Xbox 360 controller, plug it and get blasting.</p> <p>Interested? Head over to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>PC Gamer</em> for details</a> on how to claim your key!</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> bundle stars games PC Gamer really big sky Software Steam News Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:23:11 +0000 Paul Lilly 28136 at Don't Fret Over Microsoft Ending Mainstream Support for Windows 7 in January 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/Windows_7_Boxes.png" alt="Windows 7" title="Windows 7" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Microsoft updates end of support deadlines for various software</h3> <p>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, <strong>Mainstream Support for several versions of Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015</strong>, though that doesn't mean you need to rush out and grab a copy of Windows 8. Here's why.</p> <p>After "Mainstream Support" comes another cycle known as "Extended Support," which <a href="" target="_blank">lasts 5 years</a> (January 14, 2020) and includes "security updates at no cost, and paid hotfix support." In other words, as the January 13, 2015 deadline comes and goes, it will be of little consequence to most home users.</p> <p>As for hotfixes, you'll receive those as well, as long as they're security related. It's only the non-security hotfixes that require an extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending. It's something for IT admins and businesses to consider, but again, nothing of relevance to home users.</p> <p>You can check out Microsoft's <a href="" target="_blank">Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ</a> for more on the differences between Mainstream Support and Extended Support.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft operating system OS Software support windows 7 News Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:41:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 28134 at Report: Pre-Release Testing of Office for Android Tablets to Commence Soon <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Office for Android Tablets" title="Office for Android Tablets" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Microsoft is on the lookout for private beta testers</h3> <p>The lack of tablet-optimized apps has for long been a major source of frustration among Android tablet owners. What’s worse, even Android’s emergence as the overwhelming leader in the tablet market has done little to alleviate this shortcoming, with even some big-name developers refusing to offer tablet-optimized versions of their apps for the platform. Well, Microsoft is willing to help.</p> <p>The Redmond-based software company, which earlier this year released a dedicated version of its highly lucrative Office productivity suite for the Apple iPad, is <strong>currently busy building a dedicated version of Office for Android tablets</strong>. According to <a href="" target="_blank">The Verge</a>, the company is now on the lookout for private beta testers to put Office for Android tablets through its paces. Interested companies and individuals can apprise Microsoft of their interest in joining the program through the company’s <a href="" target="_blank">SharePoint site.</a></p> <p>If recent reports are to be believed, Office for Android tablets could end up releasing ahead of a similar touch-friendly version for Windows, which is expected to release sometime during early 2014.</p> <p><em>Image Credit: oketekno</em></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> Android Tablet apps microsoft office for android productivity suite Software News Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:56:03 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28120 at