Tag: Microsoft

Microsoft Windows is 30 Years Old Today

Today is a significant day in the history of personal computing.  30 years ago Microsoft Windows 1.0 was launched, bringing with it the first widely available GUI (Graphical User Interface) instead of command line functions.  While we can all debate the Microsoft of today and their business practices of the past, there is no denying the significance of Windows 1.0.  It, in every way, revolutionized how we interacted with computers and opened the door for billions to learn and easily use PCs in their homes.

Essentially Windows 1.0 was a 16-bit multi-tasking shell that ran on top of MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) that was a mouse driven GUI.  To put it into perspective of how far we have come in 30 years, your Android phone sitting next to you is very likely running a 64-bit architecture – never mind your PC!  By today’s comparisons, it was not exactly a beautiful user interface but it was revolutionary for the time.

Now what would early days Microsoft be without Steve Ballmer?  And everyone enjoys a good launch video for an app right?  Feast your eyes on this gem!

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy doesn’t it?

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Google Ending Chrome Support For Windows XP

File this under “Not Shocked” but it is official:  Google is ending support of Chrome for Windows XP, Windows Vista and a handful of older Mac OS X versions.  The news came on the Chrome blog earlier today that starting in April 2016, they will no longer be updating and officially supporting these legacy OS’.

The news comes largely due to Apple and Microsoft not supporting these older versions themselves so Google is more-or-less following suit.

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Google Drive for Android

Microsoft’s OneDrive Changes is A Win for Google Drive

While much digital ink has been spilled this week on the changes coming to Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service, there is one element of this announcement that I haven’t seen much discussion on in the course of these writings.  That’s not to say it isn’t out there, just not much of it.  That element is the view that the announcement was nothing short of a victory of Google and the Google Drive service.  It is a victory without them having to “dive to the bottom” on pricing to win.  They simply stayed the course and let Microsoft figure out that giving away unlimited storage is unsustainable.

For those who somehow missed what I’m talking about, earlier this week Microsoft announced big changes coming to OneDrive:

  • The Free account goes down from 15GB of storage to 5GB and the 15GB “Camera Roll” bonus (you got it when you sync’d your photos with OneDrive) is eliminated
  • Office 365 subscribers now get 1TB of storage, not unlimited
  • the 100GB and 200GB storage accounts are going away to for new subscribers (if you have one of these you can keep it) and is replaced with a $1.99/month 50GB account.

These changes fly in the face of the much hyped “unlimited” storage offer that Microsoft made just last year and has angered plenty of people because, until this change, OneDrive was really the best value out there when it came to cloud storage.

That has now changed and Google Drive is certainly looking to be one of the more attractive mainstream cloud storage offers out in the market.

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Nokia Lumia 1320

Google Could Be Bringing Services to Windows 10 Mobile

Some interesting news and rumors to start your week.  Tomorrow, Microsoft is holding an event where it is widely expected that they will launch at least two new Windows 10 Mobile devices along with the new Surface 4 Pro and other key announcements.  This event likely is a signal that the mobile version of Windows 10 is at or very close to completion.

Now there are rumors floating about that Google will be in attendance and that they will be announcing a wide range of Google apps to access their services on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.  This would be a huge step forward in the relationship between the two tech giants with Google pretty much ignoring Microsoft and Windows these past few years.  If you remember, I wrote a piece on the one sided relationship between the companies earlier this year and as of today, not much has changed.  That could be very different tomorrow.

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My Kbtel Stands

Android Has Nearly As Many Users as Microsoft Has Windows Users

Yesterday’s Google event threw out a lot of facts and figures that could have easily been missed if you were distracted at any moment during the 1 hour plus presentation.  If you haven’t had a chance to view it by-the-way, you can do so here.  One interesting number that was thrown out yesterday is actually very telling about where the personal computing industry is today.  Google announced yesterday that there are 1.4 billion active Android users in the world today with a new 400 million active users added since May of last year.  That figure is important because it is only 100 million shy of the once all dominant Windows platform.

Paul Thurrott has some great insights on this over at his site if you want to research this a bit more.

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The Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows 10 Now On 100 Million Devices

By any measure, Windows 10 has been successful for Microsoft and now it is reported that they have reached the 100 million install base plateau in only a few months since its release.  Petri is reporting that their insiders in Redmond are reported that the next generation of Windows has hit 100 million installs which would mean that in the last 30-odd days they have added some 25 million installs to the count.  This clearly makes Windows 10 the fasted adopted release of Windows to date and while one can argue free upgrades has helped that cause, it is still an important number for the company given their massive and often notoriously slow enterprise adoption rate.

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Cortana for Android

Microsoft Releases Public Beta of Cortana for Android

The personal assistant wars may be getting, well, personal.  Microsoft has released a public beta of Cortana, the personal assistant found in Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, to the Google Play Store for Android users.  Cortana is aimed to compete against Google Now for your quick search, information and reminders on your phone just like Now does.  For the longest time, Cortana was exclusive to Windows Phone 8.1 and recently made its desktop debut in Windows 10 and both allow you to simply ask your device a question starting with “Hey Cortana” and you can search anything on your PC or the Internet.  Sound familiar?  It should.  If you have used Google Now, you will see the direct competitive nature of this to “OK, Google” that you ask your phone today.

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Microsoft Translator for Android

Microsoft One-Ups Google with Microsoft Translator

Microsoft’s continued mobile app development on iOS and Android continues seemingly non-stop and today’s release of Microsoft Translator shows they are both serious about it and really good at it.  Microsoft Translator allows you via typing or speaking, translate between 50 different languages and it comes with out-of-the-box support for Android Wear, something that is not supported in Google Translate.  It also has far smoother audio playing of the translated text than Google Translate, sounding far less “robotic” than Google’s offering.  If you are looking for a translation app, this is one to seriously consider.  It’s free and in my testing of it today has performed flawlessly.

Microsoft Translator for Android – Free – Download Now

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