Acer's Thunderbolt capable Win8 tablets

Subject: Mobile | June 11, 2012 - 11:22 AM |
Tagged: iconia w700, iconia w510, acer, tablet, thunderbolt, win8

AnandTech checked out Acer's two new tablets, the Iconia W700 and W510, both of which are designed for Windows 8.  The W700 is the more impressive of the two for a number of reasons but the best feature has to be the ThunderBolt port, which allows this tablet to function as much more than a Tablet and might actually provide a decent excuse to use Cloud computing.  It is a little large to be held and carried around for a long time, but with the possibility of a low voltage Ivy Bridge processor running the tablet some space must be devoted to spread the heat.  The W510 is smaller and comes with an optional keyboard dock and you can check up on its specs as well as more on the W700 in this article at AnandTech.

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"My first meeting of Computex wasn't a meeting at all, rather it was Acer's press conference a day before the show officially started. In its press conference, Acer introduced a top to bottom lineup of touch enabled Windows 8 devices."

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Source: AnandTech

Can you spot the difference between Windows 8

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2012 - 08:51 AM |
Tagged: win8, microsoft, release preview

The Developer Preview of Windows 8 has been around quite a while now, yesterday's release of the almost final version of Windows 8 is what is now creating the online buzz.   Visually they indistinguishable, Metrosexual lucky Charms are still your main interface with a vastly increased amount of touch interface options for those who are using a device with that capacity.  It also has an integral pop-up keyboard and a lock screen, making it incredibly similar to a smart phone.  TechReviewSource did not delve below the surface to examine the technical changes to the OS but you can be assured that there will be information forthcoming on PCPer's front page in the near future.  In the mean time take a look at some of the new interface options in TRS' article.

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"This is an early look at Windows 8 Release Preview, Build 8400, installed on a slick and slim Samsung Series 9 ultrabook. Our take on the latest publicly available version of the next Microsoft operating system follows, but at the outset you should realize one thing: In appearance, it's nearly identical to the Consumer Preview released late last February."

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Not everyone wants a giant phone ... some of us never understood "Going Metro"

Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2012 - 09:12 AM |
Tagged: win8, windows 8, Metro

As many have done recently, The Tech Report downloaded the consumer preview of Windows 8 to try out the new interface from the perspective of a power user.  While many glowing reviews of the OS have come from those who love the idea that their computer could just become a big phone, those of us who do far more with PCs have run into issues.  One of the nastiest changes seems to be the complete removal of the Start button and breaking the registry hack that would restore it on the earlier beta version.  The obvious preference for a touch interface makes keyboard and mouse control awkward at times, though once you manage to start the program you are looking for the response is the same as it was on previous versions of Windows.  Not all was doom and gloom however, there are some positive points to designing a consistent touch interface which will work on your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop.

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"In his latest blog post, TR's David Morgan gets acquianted with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and explores how the Metro interface affects the traditional desktop."

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Grab the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 while it's still hot

Subject: General Tech | February 29, 2012 - 08:59 AM |
Tagged: win8, Metro

[H]ard|OCP has a direct link to the shiny new Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which weighs in at 3.3GB for the 64-bit and 2.5GB for the 32-bit.  From testing that their forum members have been doing we know that VMWare is not fond of this release either, just like the developer preview.  The Start button is indeed gone and the war it will trigger has just begun.   ExtremeTech noticed that you can upgrade the Developer to the Consumer and preserve your settings and files however if you do an update from Win7 be advised that there is no going back.  See their preview here.

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Last chance to see?

"Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Remember the Phoenix BIOS screen?

Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2011 - 09:18 AM |
Tagged: bios, phoenix, win8, qualcomm, texas instruments, windows on arm, WOA

American Megatrends Inc., aka AMI, pretty much rules the world of the PC BIOS after virtually booting Phoenix and Award from the market.  A recent post on DigiTimes shows that Phoenix is planning on making a splash with the arrival of Windows 8.  It is not just the PC market that Phoenix intends to rise again in; they are working with ARM to develop a BIOS for Windows on ARM as well as talking with Qualcomm and Texas Instruments about designing BIOS for their devices.  Could it be that they will indeed fire up a new age of competition in the BIOS market?

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"BIOS player Phoenix Technologies has recently announced its latest Phoenix SCT 2.2 solution to assist its PC partners to develop systems based on Windows 8, according to the company.

Currently, American Megatrends (AMI) is dominating in the desktop BIOS market, with Insyde Software and Phoenix accounting for 55% and 45% of the notebook BIOS market, respectively.

President of Phoenix Greater China, Kelly Wu pointed out that the company's new solution has more than 60 new functions to support Windows 8 and is optimized for system performance, security, connectivity, mobility and user experience."

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Source: DigiTimes

Who put antivirus in my Windows disk?

Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2011 - 10:53 AM |
Tagged: win8, security, microsoft

It's confirmed, Windows 8 will have anti-virus rolled into it and it does a wee bit more than you might think.   They have updated and expanded Windows Defender as part of the protection scheme but have also taken advantage of the integration possible when your antivirus becomes part of your OS.  Your boot path will be scanned at every restart to ensure no malware has tainted it and it will be protected while your system is running by Defender, along with a long list of other vectors that are commonly used to attack systems. 

You can see a video of this in action over at The Register.

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"Rumours about Microsoft planning to bundle an antivirus function in its upcoming operating system have caused quite a bit of a stir in the security community over the past couple of days. Some people have declared themselves supportive of the move, while others rushed to point out its possible drawbacks."

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Source: The Register

No question which way Microsoft headed with Windows 8

Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2011 - 08:53 AM |
Tagged: win8, Metro

Windows 8 is a Microsoft product that has undergone a little bit more than a makeover.  A company that has been made famous for a slavish devotion to legacy software and hardware has completely turned around and headed straight for the new.  That is not to say that there isn't legacy support included in Win8, but considering that addons like Flash are not supported in the Metro interface you can tell than Microsoft made some different decisions as to how they want to interact with legacy apps, something Flash is quickly becoming as you can read about at The Tech Report

The thing is that you feel like you are missing out on something if you don't have a touchscreen interface.  The Metro interface feels like a cell phone interface not a PC interface, which it seems is exactly what Microsoft wanted.  There is no doubt this was designed for tablets first and PCs second, though with very little time to play with a pre-beta build it could be that there is more included for the PC user than it first seems.  However with users already using a registry entry to disable the Metro interface altogether, the new interface is going to be a hard sell to those who use Win7 let alone the WinXP hold outs. 

Will it be so much better an interface on the tablet than the current choices however?  The OS its self will support multi-touch and multitasking better than current competitors products but they will be running on the same hardware and one very good reason that most tablet or even cellphone OSes don't preform very well when multitasking.  Once dual core chips become more common in the ultramobile devices it will make more sense, but is Microsoft really changing so much that it is going to release an OS before the hardware is capable of fully utilizing it?  That would be a big turnaround for a company that didn't want to drop support for any legacy applications or hardware, no matter how ancient.

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"Microsoft let out an interesting bit of news early this morning: Internet Explorer 10 won't support plug-ins in its Metro incarnation. That means no Flash support. Apparently, the only way to get Flash to run will be to toggle over to Windows 8's classic "desktop" mode and use IE10 in there. Justifying the move, Microsoft says not supporting plug-ins in the Metro version of IE10 "improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers." That all sounds awfully familiar..."

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Windows 7 is so mainstream, 8 is so much cooler

Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2011 - 08:27 AM |
Tagged: windows 8, win8, OS, arm

Successfully selling an OS seems to have spurred Microsoft into a frenzy of action, far from the massive denial and self abuse they indulged in after the launch of that flounder known as ME Vista. We are already seeing leaded builds of Windows 8, which are festooned with more ARMs and Ribbons than that Royal Wedding last night.  Thanks to these leaks, and a list compiled by Maximum PC, you can see the 7 things we know about 8.

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"Pre-release versions of Windows 8 have leaked to the web. Here’s what they tell us about the upcoming OS

Recently leaked builds show that Windows 8 will be a very different OS from its forebears, from the kernel to the cloud. ARM processor support, mobile-device optimization, and system-wide menu tweaks abound. There are still a lot of things we don't know about the next OS from Microsoft, but the number of things we can say for sure is growing. Read on for our list of 7 things we know about Windows 8!"

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Source: Maximum PC