Category: Windows 8


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With just over a month left until the Xbox One launch, the rumors about as-yet-unannounced details continue to fly.

Two weeks ago, the word was that the Xbox One’s bundled Kinect camera could be used to harvest lucrative data about console owners and their homes – a claim that Microsoft vehemently denied – while leaving the door ever so slightly ajar in case its policies change.

There appears to be a larger morsel of truth to the latest rumor, sparked by the Dell website and noticed by Engadget yesterday. “With all your favorite Windows 8 apps able to be run on and synced to your Xbox One, now your phone, desktop, tablet and TV can all give you a unified web and entertainment experience,” the page still reads.

A Microsoft spokesperson said that’s not quite true: “The suggestion that all Windows 8 apps run on Xbox One is not accurate,” they wrote in an email.

That’s not a confirmation that any specific apps will work across both devices without additional fiddling on the developer’s part, of course. And the company has said in the past that the similarity between the Windows and Xbox operating systems should make it possible to write Xbox apps that strongly resemble their Windows counterparts. But it leaves open the possibility of universal apps that could help prop up the Windows 8 ecosystem with Redmond’s robust gaming brand.

SkyDrive

SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 has a secret weapon no one’s talked very much about. It’s actually pretty amazing, in that small sort of way that doesn’t change much, but still manages to completely alter how you use something. In fact, it might just make SkyDrive the best cloud service around. If you install Dropbox, SkyDrive, or even Google Drive on your desktop today, you’re going to sync the whole of your folder to your drive, at once, and keep all the files there whenever they’re synced. If you don’t have enough space, tough. Delete something you don’t have synced to the cloud, or just stop syncing. SkyDrive has a different solution. Microsoft calls this its “secret sauce”. Basically, SkyDrive makes files and folders you store in the cloud behave as though they’re stored there anyway, without taking up space on your computer. You can browse, inspect, and even preview them, even though the whole file isn’t taking up space on your drive.

Read the full story at Gizmodo.

pokki

Lenovo has agreed to preload onto all of its new PCs the full range of SweetLabs’ Pokki software, which tweaks the Windows operating system, the companies announced today.

The deal is the second major OEM partnership this summer for Pokki, which runs a platform for installing and using Windows apps, making the desktop experience feel more like a mobile one. Back in June, Acer began preloading a Pokki-powered game “arcade” onto all of its new PCs.

Today’s announcement is broader than that, though. Under the Pokki brand, SweetLabs makes the games launcher, a custom Start menu that launches apps via a mobile-esque interface, and an app store for discovering new apps. All of those products will be bundled together in the Lenovo deal.

That’s potentially a big deal for Windows developers who are having a hard time gaining traction. Baked into the Pokki suite is a recommendation engine, which surfaces new apps for users to download in visible places like the bottom of the start menu. Some of those recommendations are populated Netflix-style, targeted to users based on what they already use, which the software “learns” over time.

But other recommendations are sponsored, said Chester Ng, co-founder and chief marketing officer of SweetLabs. He pitches sponsored and targeted apps as a better alternative to the “outdated and irrelevant” crapware preloads that have historically padded the profits of OEMs like Lenovo. For example, a computer sold during tax season might have TurboTax automatically preloaded through the Pokki store, while one sold in the summer or fall would have no need for it.

In the past, the Pokki store has hosted desktop-optimized versions of Web apps like Facebook, Gmail and Hulu. SweetLabs is also announcing today that it will soon be possible to distribute native Windows and Windows 8 Store apps alongside Pokki-specific apps in the same store.

“According to TechRepublic Pro and ZDNet research, Microsoft hasn’t convinced many IT decision makers that Windows 8 is an essential OS upgrade,” Bill Detwiler reports for TechRepublic.

“In October 2012, we asked TechRepublic members to share with us their organization’s plans for Windows 8. Over 1,200 people responded, and we compiled the data into our Windows 8 Business Intentions report,” Detwiler reports. “The following are five key takeaways from the report.”

73.7 percent of respondents say their organizations have no plans to deploy Windows 8, with 23.8 percent reporting that they will skip the OS altogether
Only 15.8 percent of respondents who run Windows XP or an earlier version as their organization’s primary OS say they plan to deploy Windows 8
Security and tablet/mobile integration top the list of factors rated important by respondents who plan to deploy Windows 8.
The Windows 8 style UI and associated end-user training requirements are off-putting to many respondents
The number of respondents in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US with plans to deploy Windows 8 was lower than in China, India, and Southeast Asia

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Windows 8ista.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Dangerfrog" for the heads up.]

TechIT has posted a series of Windows 8 ads from Microsoft that have not yet aired on television:

”Meet Windows 8″

”Work Hard, Play Hard”

”Make it Yours”

“All about Apps”





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