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Tag: Windows 8.1

Panasonic 7″ Windows Toughpad

Posted by Andrew at 12:07 PM on January 26, 2014

Panasonic LogoPanasonic’s Toughbooks are legendary for their ruggedness and are used by armed forces world-over. Panasonic have now turned their attention to tablets with a line of Toughpads and on show here is a new 7″ Windows 8.1 tablet. Panasonic’s Toughpad Product Manager Dan Diliberti takes Todd and Don through it.

Running the latest Intel Core i5, the FZ-M1 is currently the only 7″ Windows 8.1 tablet on the market. As you’ll see from the video, there’s a dockable keyboard and there is also a pile of expansion options including desktop dock, bar code scanners and smart card readers.

Devices like the FZ-M1 don’t come cheap, with a base price of US$2099, but if it’s the kind of device you need, it’s worth every penny.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Microsoft gameplans for 2013 holiday season

Posted by Alan at 3:22 PM on November 1, 2013

surface-pro-2

The holiday shopping season approaches quickly, with Black Friday now showing on the current calendar page. Retailers and manufacturers alike are prepping offerings for eager shoppers and Microsoft is a big part of this. With revamped Windows, Xbox and Surface tablets, the company has big plans for your wallet in 2013, and those plans have been laid out for all to see.

After last year’s public perception problem caused by Windows 8, and poor Surface sales, the company has reinvented both products, and getting touch into your daily computing life is now on the collective Microsoft brain. The software giant aims to sell 16 million tablets this season and make touch a feature of new desktop and laptop computers found under trees in 2013.

To accomplish this lofty aspiration, a rather large perception problem must be overcome. Windows 8 suffers from an image breakdown, after a vocal group of critics attacked the operating system for perceived shortcomings and YouTube videos depicted inept users attempting to find the Start button and app location. Surface was greeted by a group of fans, but not enough of them to overcome the sales number problems.

Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott explains part of the plan — “A big part of Microsoft’s plans, of course, is to turn the PC aisle hell holes you see today in physical stores into clean, uncluttered and welcoming Windows centers. To this end, Microsoft has created store-within-a-store locations in Best Buy other premium retailers, and has provided other retailers with updated retail kits”.

It will certainly take a Herculean effort from the software giant to get this ship righted, but there is an ace in the hole. The Xbox 360 has remained an incredibly popular product throughout its lifecycle, and the upcoming release of the brand new Xbox One hopes to light up the shopping season with anxious parents scouring store in search of the console. It may be Microsoft’s best bet.

Windows 8.1 Ready for Windows 8 Upgrade

Posted by J Powers at 1:41 PM on October 18, 2013
Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1

With the biggest enticement of upgrading from Windows 8 to 8.1 being the return of the ill-fated start button, Microsoft has released the upgrade version of software. Navigating to the Windows page will get you to the download link. The only way you will get the download link (at this time) is if you are on a machine with Windows 8 installed. Otherwise it will direct you to a page to upgrade.

Upgrades for Windows 8 are free. If you have Windows 7 or earlier you will have to pay $119.99 for the update. If you want to switch from Home editions to Professional ediction, that will cost $199.99

Of course, 8.1 will also have ability to connect with XBox 360 (and XBox One when released), Skype, file access from anywhere and many more features.

Windows 8.1 also drops us deeper in the rabbit’s hole to a unified OS and forcing us to use the Metro screen more. My biggest gripe on this is programs like Skype, which lost a lot of functionality when the Metro screen upgrade came out.

Windows also took out media center. While I was promised a free upgrade back in Windows 8 (and never got it), the service is now separate from Microsoft and will cost you $99.99 to get it.

Sad.

 

5 things to expect in Windows 8.1

Posted by Alan at 8:34 AM on October 5, 2013

With Microsoft’s latest operating system release drawing closer, many customers are growing excited about what to expect in this update. Windows 8.1 isn’t really a new OS, but its a lot more than just a service pack. The company has attempted to fix many of the issues that have drawn complaints from customers, while also enhancing other features.

Changes are too numerous to detail here, but this is a good time to take a quick glance at five of the more noticeable changes that users can expect to see on October 18.

The Start Button

This is the big one, but beware that I said Button and not Menu. The Button, when clicked, merely takes you to the Start screen. However, there is a bit more functionality hidden within it. Right-click on it and you get a context menu with a number of options. It may not be what people had in mind, but it is better than nothing.

start context menu

Search

The search option is still accessed from the Charms Menu, but unlike before, it no longer takes over your screen. Instead, it simply occupies the space of the Charms menu, and results appear below the search box. It’s a much nicer way of working.

windows 8.1 search

SkyDrive

SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service, was a part of Windows 8, as it is part of Office 2013. Now in version 8.1, the service receives a place in the PC Setting menu, allowing for easier control over how it works.

windows-8-1-skydrive

Start Page Images

Windows 8 still allowed users to customize their desktops with virtually any image they wished, but limited the Start screen options to thosen chosen by MicroSoft. Now you can opt to have the image on your desktop carry over to the Start page. If you have images rotating in a theme, don’t worry — Start will keep up with the changes.

windows-8-1-start

Boot to Desktop

With the exception of the Start button, this is probably the most requested feature. Customers can now opt to have their PC go right to the desktop upon bootup. A simple check-mark in a box is all that is required.

boot to desktop

As I said, there is much more to be found in this new operating system, but these are perhaps the biggest and most notable of the changes Microsoft has made.

You can now pre-order Windows 8.1

Posted by Alan at 6:57 AM on October 2, 2013

The next generation of Microsoft’s operating system is now less than a month away — Windows 8.1 will be officially released on October 18th, though some customers can get it now thanks to TechNet and MSDN. While most people will have wait for release day, you can at least prepare now.

Today Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for the perceived fix to Windows 8. The new OS, which returns the Start button (well, sort of), will retail for $119.99, while the Pro version will set customers back $199.99.

windows-8-1-start

Those with an existing Windows 8 license will receive a free upgrade upon release. The upgrade adds a Start button (though not a menu), new search and sharing features, Skype for Metro and tighter SkyDrive integration. Other changes are less noticeable – for instance in Explorer you will find that “Computer” is now “This PC”.

If you can’t wait to get your copy then head over to the Microsft Store a place your order now and you should receive the product on day of release.

Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 up for pre-order

Posted by Alan at 2:36 PM on September 24, 2013

surface 2 show

Microsoft held its big New York City event yesterday, unveiling the Surface 2, which will ship later next month, just days after Windows 8.1 makes its official debut. Today, the Redmond-based company begins taking pre-orders for the new tablets, which begin at $499 and range upwards from there.

“This morning we began taking pre-orders via www.MicrosoftStore.com, Microsoft Stores, and through select retailers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Learn more about the new devices and accessories as well as how to pre-order in your market at www.Surface.com/pre-order“.

Prices have risen back upwards from the original Surface, which has been discounted to $349, and customers must still purchase a keyboard (touch or type) separately to make proper use of the tablet, that is more laptop than anything else.

The stage is set for the release, but customers have sometime to wait for the new hardware, which features the return of the Start button, that went on hiatus in Windows 8. Will you be buying one?