Windows 8 Is Failing to Beat Windows 7… And XP… And Even Vista!

Published June 7, 2013 by windows7genuine
Windows 8 Is Failing to Beat Windows 7... And XP... And Even Vista!

With the release of yet more data showing Windows 8′s dismal performance in the marketplace, we have to ask: Is Windows 8 failing to gain traction because it sucks, or because there’s no demand for it?

That is a key question that must be on the minds of the execs at Microsoft right now, but it’s a question that may also impact anyone else who makes software on a timed version release scheduled these days.

First, the numbers from NetMarketshare. Looking at the Desktop Operating System Marketshare for May, Windows 8 is fourth on the rankings list, its 4.27% market share coming in behind Windows 7 (44.85%), Windows XP (37.74%) and Windows Vista (4.51%). While Windows 8 is outperforming each of the individual versions of Mac OS X, there are still far fewer Windows 8 machines in the world than any given OS X machine (7.06% combined).

Given that we are just past the seven-month mark for the official release of Windows 8, you’d normally think that Windows 8 would have passed at least one the previous three versions of Windows by now. But here it is, still behind Vista, the much maligned version of Windows that debuted more than six years ago, in November 2006.

It would be very easy to point fingers at the Windows development team and place the blame on the radical redesign of the Windows 8 interface as the cause of the problem. But that may be too much of a generalization.

A larger cause for the new operating system’s failure to gain traction in the marketplace may lie in an unexpected reason: people are happy with what they have. This satisfaction lies in two categories: the Windows software they have is stable enough to support the apps they are using and the hardware they are using is powerful enough to run the OS and apps they are using.

Since fewer PCs are being upgraded, Windows 8 preload have fewer opportunities to enter the market.

This situation may resonate with ReadWrite users, some of whom cited this slow down in hardware upgrading as one of the reasons PC sales are slowing down, even as tablet sales accelerate.

After years of new application upgrades forcing users to upgrade their machines if they wanted their new software to run faster than a crawl, web-based apps like Gmail and social network platforms like Facebook have disrupted the hardware/software upgrade cycle.

Feature saturation on local applications like office suites played a contributing factor, too. If my business communications and finances can be handled quite well with Office 2007, why upgrade and deal with the pain of retraining?

Given such a situation, Windows 8 may have really never stood a chance for massive blockbuster release numbers. The market is too crowded with, ironically, other Windows installs that are doing the jobs they need to do well enough. Microsoft also faces a similar problem of entrenchment in the mobile sector, though with iOS and Android standing in the way.

Eventually, Windows 8 will be the market leader. Entropy will see to that, as PCs and laptops break down and need to be replaced. But by that time, it may be Windows 9 or even 10 that will be standing in line, waiting for their turn as number one in the PC marketplace.

Inventec shows off 7 inch Windows 8 tablet

Published June 7, 2013 by windows7genuine

Acer may be the first company to unveil a Windows 8 tablet with a screen smaller than 10 inches. But the 8 inch Acer Iconia W3 won’t be alone for long.

Taiwanese manufacturer Inventec is showing off a new 7 inch tablet design, and the folks at Mobile Geeks got a chance to spend a few minutes with theInventec Lyon tablet.

Inventec LyonInventec doesn’t sell products under its own brand name, but instead manufactures devices that are sold by companies that have big names in the West. So you probably won’t be able to walk into a store and buy an Inventec Lyon anytime soon.

But the company will be shopping the design around, looking for PC vendors interested in slapping their name on the little tablet.

According to Mobile Geeks, the tablet has an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor, a 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, and Windows 8 software. By the time it ships, it’ll run Windows 8.1.

The prototype has 2GB of RAM and a 64GB solid state disk, although a 128GB model is also in the works.

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The tablet front and rear cameras, a microSD card slot, micro USB, and micro HDMI ports and a headset jack.

Text and graphics look a little small on a Windows tablet that small — especially if you run desktop-style apps. But Windows 8 apps designed to run in full-screen mode should work pretty well.

Microsoft goes public with Windows 8.1 upgrade policies

Published June 7, 2013 by windows7genuine

With the public preview builds of Windows 8.1 due out later this month, a number of users are wondering how Microsoft plans to handle the upgrade.

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At TechEd North America, officials shared some details on that topic in a session entitled “Windows RT in the Enterprise.”

Microsoft officials have said previously that the company plans to deliver the public preview of Windows 8.1, codenamed “Blue,” via the Windows Store on June 26.

Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Michael Niehaus reiterated that message in the RT in the Enterprise session on June 4. When the 8.1 preview is available, Windows 8 and Windows RT users will receive a Windows Update notification. That update will trigger the new bits to show up in the Windows Store, where potential testers will be able to read the description and choose whether or not to install.

Once the final versions of Windows 8.1 are available, after their release to manufacturing, those who have downloaded the preview will get the same Windows Update plus Windows Store notification. While their data and accounts will be preserved if and when they choose to install the free, final 8.1 release, all their apps must be reinstalled, Niehaus said.

Even if testers opt instead to roll their devices back to Windows 8 after installing the preview bits, they still will have to reinstall their apps once they move to the RTM version of Windows 8.1.

Update: For those wondering exactly which apps will need to be reinstalled, it depends whether the tester is running Windows on ARM or x86. On Windows RT devices, it’s the Windows Store/Metro-Style apps that will have to be reinstalled; for x86-based Windows 8 systems, testers will need to reinstall both their Windows Store/Metro-Style and Desktop apps, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Windows 8 users who do not install the preview build and opt instead to go straight from Windows 8/Windows RT to Windows 8.1 will not have to reinstall their apps. All settings, data and apps will carry over, a spokesperson said when I asked. Users will be able to decide when and if they want to move from Windows 8 and Windows RT to the 8.1 versions, officials stressed.

Niehaus characterized the Windows 8 to 8.1 upgrade as “a little better” than how Microsoft handled the Windows 8 test build to RTM upgrade. A Microsoft spokesperson said the Windows 8 to 8.1 upgrade would be “comparable” to the Windows 7 to Windows 8 upgrade, in terms of how the upgrade dealt with user settings, data and apps.

Niehaus also told session attendees that Microsoft expects to have a reduced footprint size for Windows 8.1 as compared to Windows 8. He said the team has been working on removing old components, temporary files and improving NTFS compression to free up more space on users’ machines. He noted that 4 GB of free space will be needed to install the Windows 8.1 preview builds. And he said that installation of Windows 8.1 will not result in the replacement of the recovery partition in Windows 8.

“If you deleted it, [8.1] won’t replace it,” Niehaus said.

Tip of the Week: Customize the Windows 8 Start Screen

Published May 17, 2013 by windows7genuine

For many people who upgrade from earlier versions of the system, Windows 8 and its colorful Start screen can be a little overwhelming. The Start screen, like the Start menu in older Windows editions, is meant to be the go-to place for all the computer’s files and programs. Like the Start menu, the Start screen can be customized according to personal needs and tastes.

The Start screen’s tiles — those colorful, clickable squares that serve as shortcuts to files, folders, programs, bookmarked Web sites, contacts, games and more — can be dragged around the screen into an order that makes more sense to the individual user. Tiles can also be sorted into new groups, resized or even removed so the most important things are more easily found. Microsoft has more tips and a demonstration video for customizing the Windows 8 Start screen on its site.

5 free remote desktop apps for Windows 8

Published May 17, 2013 by windows7genuine

You’re away from the office when you get that sinking feeling. Maybe that file you need is locked on your desk PC in London while you’re visiting Shanghai. You don’t need to sweat, thankfully. Remote desktop apps let you log on to your PC or tablet and access a faraway computer as if you were there in person. Here are 5 options for Windows 8 slates and PCs. Read on to find which app is the best fit for your business.

If you’re looking for a full Windows 8 experience from a remote location, you could do worse than turn to Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app (free, Windows Store). Promising a touch-friendly user interface, Remote Desktop lets you see all your remote connections on the home screen. It even shows your five most recent connections and published resources as Modern-style tiles.

You can switch, copy and paste between RDC sessions, connect to multiple remote desktops, and continue to multi-task with the Windows 8 Snap feature. In addition, you can use the Remote Desktop app (via a Remote Desktop Gateway) to connect to a corporate PC without having to establish a VPN connection.

One of the first remote desktop vendors to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon was TeamViewer, which rolled out an app of the same name back in October. It’s no surprise that the TeamViewer app is one of the simplest and fastest solutions available, allowing for desktop sharing and file transfer, all while behind any firewall.

You can be up and running with TeamViewer as soon as the is software running on both PCs, with an Internet connection running smoothly on each device. From there, the controls are trouble-free.

After you step through the authentication steps, you can share files and presentations, and even take part in online meetings. As a further bonus, you can use popular Windows 8 commands such as the open Charms sidebar, the Ctrl+Alt+Del hotkeys, and the Windows 8 Snap feature for multitasking during remote access. TeamViewer is free for individuals and available from the company’s website.

Splashtop is a familiar name in remote desktop software that isn’t afraid of tackling a plethora of operating systems. To date, the firm has launched software on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS and even WebOS and MeeGo.

To use Splashtop on Windows 8, you’ll download the software onto at least two of the devices from the company’s website, and register for a Splashtop 2 account. Next, the device with which you wish to connect to your host PC displays connected devices that you can control. There are options for minimizing the screen and muting the host PC, for starters. Upgrading to “beta” lets you block people from seeing what you are doing when you remotely control the PC. Splashtop 2, unfortunately, is a real power hog.

If you’re looking for something that can go beyond a one-to-one remote desktop experience and actually control multiple computers, PC Monitor (free, Windows Store) is worth downloading.

As with TeamViewer, it’s free to non-commercial users and it promises to keep an update of up to three computers. PC Monitor can see if the PCs are logged into, view and kill processes, run scheduled tasks, and get granular detail on PC information about memory usage, operating temperature and the CPU.

You can also check and install Windows updates, and monitor the list of installed applications—handy if you want to keep employees on task.

LogMeIn’s JoinMe may lack the power and finesse of some of the above applications but it’s a more than just useful for remotely viewing other screens and online meetings.

The Modern-style app (free, Windows Store) supports ARM (for Windows RT devices) and x86-based Windows 8 PCs, including tablets and mobile phones. It’s simple to set up. All you need to do is download the app. After that, you’ll be able to receive invitations to screen-share from colleagues or friends.

A Pro version costs $19 a month or $149 per year. This adds the capability to customize notes when sending out meeting invites, to view your meeting history, and to schedule follow-up meetings.

A Humbled Microsoft Outlines How It’s Rebooting Windows 8

Published May 8, 2013 by windows7genuine

A Microsoft MSFT -1.30% executive is acknowledging what many tech-watchers already knew: The company’s Windows 8 software hasn’t gone off without a hitch, and Microsoft is turning itself inside out to respond.

Last fall’s launch of the new operating system was supposed to be a milestone to catapult Microsoft and its allies into the market for new kinds of computing devices–including tablets and convertible products–and help generally get consumers more interested in buying new PCs. Six months after the operating software’s debut, it isn’t yet a hit by the accounts of some PC executives and research firms.

One market-research firm, IDC, went so far as to say that Windows 8 did more than fail to revive the PC market–it actually turned off users with changes to basic elements of the widely used operating system.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week, Windows co-head Tami Reller was more candid than other Microsoft executives in saying Windows 8 hasn’t come on like gangbusters, though she said the company is seeing steady if not steep sales progress. She said Microsoft has sold more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses.

Without offering many details yet, Ms. Reller outlined how Microsoft is working on changing software features, helping people overcome obstacles to learning the revamped software, altering the shopping experience for consumers, getting more of people’s favorite apps available for Windows 8 and making sure a wider array of Windows 8 computing devices will be on sale.

Ms. Reller said Windows 8 was built to be ready to “evolve” to changing demand. “We didn’t get everything we dreamed of done,” she said in a meeting at Microsoft’s San Francisco offices.

She said Microsoft executives will make two sets of relevant disclosures in coming weeks. They will focus on Windows Blue, which Ms. Reller confirmed is both the codename for a coming update to Windows 8–with additional features and improved services–as well as a name for a broader strategy shift to provide faster changes to its key software than the typical pattern of providing new version once every three years or so.

First up soon will be details about pricing, packaging and an official name. (The “Blue” name will give way to an official brand, just as Microsoft’s Web-search engine was dubbed “Kumo” internally before it was launched as Bing.) The updated software will be available later this year in time for the holiday season, Ms. Reller said.

Ms. Reller said a second Blue update is expected before late June explaining the technical vision, addressing user gripes about Windows 8, and outlining options for new Windows 8 devices. Microsoft previously has acknowledged it is working to make Windows 8 available to power the suddenly popular smaller tablets, in the mold of the 7-inch Google GOOG -0.50% Nexus.

Ms. Reller declined to discuss Microsoft’s plans for more homegrown computing devices in addition to two models of its Surface tablet-style computer introduced since October. The Wall Street Journal has reported Microsoft’s is working on a new lineup of devices including a 7-inch version of the Surface.

Ms. Reller said people shouldn’t expected the company to discuss its Surface roadmap in coming weeks, dousing expectations of some analysts who had expected the company might do so at a June conference for software developers.

Ms. Reller also said what Windows 8 users and retailers have said for many months–Windows 8 is a better experience on touchscreen computers–and vowed that Microsoft will put all its weight behind touchscreen devices. She said Microsoft is spreading the message to retailers that if they want help from Microsoft’s marketing and promotional muscle, they will need to offer more and more variety of touchscreen Windows 8 machines.

Ms. Reller said by the fall, and certainly by the holiday shopping season, Microsoft expects there will be a wider array of touchscreen Windows 8 PCs at many different screen sizes, types and prices. She said Microsoft’s marketing push behind the updated Windows 8 will rival the hundreds of millions of dollars the company spent on TV commercials and other promotions around the fall Windows 8 launch.

Still, Ms. Reller acknowledged Windows 8 device sales would have been better if Microsoft and its allies had gotten a better mix of touchscreen devices last year. “If we could have done a better job accomplishing that in the holiday launch or [the] selling season following, that certainly would have made a positive difference,” Ms. Reller said.

Since the November departure of Steven Sinofsky, who had led Windows 8 development at Microsoft, Ms. Reller has overseen the Windows division with Julie Larson-Green. In their power-sharing role, Ms. Reller is responsible for the business functions of Windows, while Larson oversees engineering and other technical aspects of Windows software and hardware.

It remains to be seen whether Ms. Reller will stick around long enough to see Windows 8 through its changes. Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein recently said he plans to step down from his post and leave the company at the end of June, and Microsoft-watchers have speculated Ms. Reller’s professional experience seems to make her a good fit as his replacement.

Ms. Reller said, “I do love my current job,” but demurred when asked whether she might take the CFO post.

And a willingness to discuss Windows 8’s faults didn’t mean Ms. Reller was willing to concede to all the critics of Windows 8. She said she disagreed with IDC’s conclusions that Windows 8 was responsible for the first-quarter dropoff in PC shipments.

She said it is difficult for IDC and others to measure PC shipments at times of transition in the computing market. Ms. Reller showed a PowerPoint slide of weekly Windows 8 sales since its Oct launched that showed a slow trend of increasing sales.

Is Microsoft’s Windows 8 U-turn a spinout?

Published May 8, 2013 by windows7genuine

After growing rumors that Microsoft (MSFT) was considering major changes to Windows 8 in response to negative user reaction to the operating system’s new look and feel, now it is official.

Microsoft will change “key aspects” of the user interface in a an undated release of Windows 8 later this year, according to a Financial Times interview with Tami Reller, the chief marketing officer and chief financial officer for Microsoft’s Windows business unit. This is as big a tacit admission of defeat as the Coca-Cola Co. made when it changed the formula for its flagship drink and then had to reintroduce the original as Coke Classic within three months.

Only Microsoft has kept pushing on its own reformulation since last fall, more than twice as long as it took Coca-Cola management to realize its mistake. However, unlike the beverage company, the software firm may be too late — as it has been for years — with a distinct possibility that its former market strength is gone forever.

One of Microsoft’s greatest strengths and weaknesses has been its cordial treatment of the past. Backward compatibility complicated Windows but also kept people and companies migrating to new versions for years and trusting in a learning curve that would not be overly long.

Windows 8 was going to change that last part. The tiled interface, developed for Windows Phone, was designed for a touchscreen device. Unfortunately for Microsoft and its customers, the vast majority of desktops and laptops sold do not have touch screens, which made the software clumsy and awkward for many users.

Hence the about-face. But unlike Coke in the 1980s, Microsoft is facing more than its list of rivals. Instead, people have been moving en masse to smartphones and tablets as mobile devices increasingly become the primary ways people satisfy their computing and electronic communications needs. Because it was so late with Windows Phone that it missed the chance to take a large share of the mobile market, allowing Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) to set the agenda in that sphere and capture most of the market.

The problems with Windows 8 build upon Microsoft’s earlier mistakes and slow reactions to market changes. Many consumers and businesses no longer consider Windows a necessity. Even with a more traditional look and feel to Windows 8, chances are that won’t change, nor will the trending decline in PC sales.

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