Archives For Windows

Win An Intel-Powered Laptop!

Dave Zatz —  December 9, 2016

TL;DR Watch the following sponsored video for the opportunity to win a brand-spanking-new Intel-powered laptop for you and a friend.

‘Tis the season… to cash in on some amazing technological values. And I’ve been on the lookout for an economical “gaming” laptop, like this $699 HP Pavillion at Walmart, to upgrade my wife’s aging rig. She’s pretty much the furthest thing from a gamer. Yet, I’ve learned these designations represent tricked out hardware with additional memory, higher-end video cards and processors (6th gen Core i7, in this case). I briefly contemplated a flippy hybrid laptop/tablet, like this Dell Inspiron 2-in-1, which seems to be all the rage, but we’re old and set in our ways.

Of course, “free” is even better than “economical” and Intel will once again gift laptops upon one worthy individual, as last year’s winner describes in the video. While I’m not entering the contest and don’t have the most inspiring story to share, my wife has run our household and her business exclusively from several generations of Windows laptops. And she’s due for an upgrade — modern specs and a touchscreen will absolutely increase her productivity and, just as importantly, her day-to-day comfort.

I suspect most of you know someone in your lives with even more compelling stories. By nominating them to win a PC powered by Intel at the conclusion of the video, you, too, will also pick up a computer should your 300 word narrative be selected.

Intel Influencer Program sponsored post in partnership with Mirum. You best believe all opinions are my own.

skypehost
As I continue to dig further into preview builds of Windows 10, ahead of the Summer Anniversary Update, there’s a lot to like from this stable and sensible operating system. Indeed, the integrated “Edge” browser has received plugin support and most notable extension is Adblock Plus. Yet the bandwidth savings and privacy ABD offers is somewhat incongruous to Microsoft’s native and ever-present telemetry. It looks like WiFi Sense is done. But, upon first boot of the latest Insider Build, messaging (skypehost.exe), calendar (hxcalendarappimm.exe), and cloud storage (onedrive.exe) apps all reached out to Microsoft without having been summoned, by me, the operator.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  May 26, 2016

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

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Given Microsoft’s strategy to deploy Windows 10 across all computing devices, including computers and smartphones, I guess it’s not entirely surprising they intend to similarly unify the Xbox One onto the platform later this year. Whether or not this translates into a less crazy user interface remains to be seen, but it does seem highly likely that background music streaming will be one compelling benefit of migrating to the new operating system. It’s a feature I’m surprised we haven’t seen more – and something I periodically have appreciated from the WDTV Play and Amazon Fire TV. Continue Reading…

It was many years ago at CES that Dave and I both found ourselves enthralled by HP’s coffee-table-sized touchscreen on display at one of the many press events. There’s something visceral about the feeling of moving and shifting digital objects on a table, and it’s very different from the feeling you get when manipulating a tablet. With a tablet, the movements are mostly in your thumbs and index fingers. With a digital table, your gestures are broad and sweeping.

Of course, where HP (and Microsoft, and others) failed with its touchable table, Apple has soared to unimaginable success with the iPad and its successors. ln fact, we’ve been so caught up in the tablet market that little effort’s been expended on bringing touch-control to larger screens. (Motion-controlled TV interfaces are a different matter entirely.) The one big exception I know of is the Lenovo Horizon Multimode Table PC. Lenovo showed off its Horizon product at CES 2013, but given how little I’ve heard about it since then, I was shocked to discover the Table PC is actually available for sale. You can make it your own for only $979.

Now into the void steps Westinghouse. With a slight twist on the tabletop idea, Westinghouse is introducing a new interactive whiteboard for CES 2014. It’s a large tablet turned on its side, and it comes in 55″, 65″, 70″ and 84″ screen-size varieties. (The 84″ version supports 4K video.) According to the YouTube demo, the new product operates like a standard tablet running Window 8, but it includes a whiteboard mode with text recognition, annotative capabilities that work even on video, and a six-point IR touch system. Continue Reading…

Via a Lifehacker link that crossed my Twitter feed, I discovered Adobe’s blowing out a variety of creative software at 80% off their already drastically reduced educational pricing. Of course, that’s one heck of a caveat – only students and faculty need apply. While I no longer fall into either category, I happen to live with someone who does. And as compelling as Pixelmator ($30) and Acorn ($50) have been, they still don’t compare to Photoshop… which runs a mere $40 via this Adobe deal. However, we opted for the $60 “Design” suite that bundles Illustrator and Acrobat Pro with the ubiquitous Photoshop.

To get in on the offer, visit Adobe’s educational store, add some software to your cart, and, from there, apply the code SAVE80EDU. The Lifehacker comment suggests an educational email address is all that’s needed to qualify for the discount, yet we discovered Adobe requires additional documentation to complete your order – which may take a day or two for a human to manually review and approve.

It was free PlayBooks for all at the BlackBerry World Conference keynote presentation today, but that was hardly the biggest surprise of the morning. Taking the stage right after RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis was Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. That’s right, the CEO of Microsoft held court at a BlackBerry conference. Why? To announce a new alliance of course. RIM is now working closely with Microsoft to integrate Bing search at the OS level on BlackBerry devices. Eric Zemen, aka @phonescooper, captured the rather odd video (above) showing how the Bing-on-BlackBerry experience will work.

If there’s one clear conclusion to be divined from Ballmer’s appearance today, it’s that the mobile battle lines have been drawn. Microsoft signed an agreement with Nokia just last month to shore up its OS position with Windows 7. Now it’s supporting RIM in the mobile OS world in order to further its mobile search interests. Bizarre? Yes. But also very calculated. Microsoft was late to the mobile game, and now it’s aligning left, right, and center in order to combat Google and Apple in the space.

You can place your bets now on whether Microsoft’s mobile strategies will work. Certainly the company is taking a scatter-shot approach to the market, but that doesn’t mean one of those shots won’t hit.

In the meantime, here’s a sampling of some of the greatest tweets covering the RIM conference this morning – from the hilarious to the insightful: Continue Reading…

Microsoft pulled surprises out if its giant hat last week with a couple of significant announcements. The first one was a positive – embedded Windows 7 for CE devices which holds some promise – especially for Media Center fans. The second a total disappointment albeit not an entirely shocking one where they admitted their awesome, Courier Tablet PC concept was just that: a concept that will never see the light of day. Since I’m a bit ticked about the Courier non-announcement, we’ll focus on the positive, embedded PC concept.

Many sites have sort of glossed over the announcement, but don’t for a second discount this one. Microsoft has unleashed an embedded version of their hot-selling Windows 7 operating system to be used by OEMs in consumer electric devices such as TVs, set top boxes, DVD/Blu-ray players etc. If this sounds a little Linux-like to you, you’re not crazy. Embedded W7 is targeting Linux front-on since you can find Linux in many CE devices today – especially those things like set-top-boxes, TV firmware, DVD and Blu-ray players and HTPC extenders. And because Microsoft included Media Center in the embedded W7 mix this is definitely a big deal.

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