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MICROSOFT GOES TOUCH

With Friday’s release of the touch-centric Windows 8 software, Microsoft continues more than three decades of making operating systems for personal computers.

Microsoft Corp. got its start on PCs in 1981 through a partnership with IBM Corp. Microsoft made the software that ran IBM’s hardware, and later machines made by other manufacturers. That first operating system was called MS-DOS — for Microsoft Disk Operating System. It required people to type instructions to complete tasks such as running programs and deleting files.

It wasn’t until 1985 that Microsoft released its first graphical user interface, which allowed people to perform tasks by moving a mouse and clicking on icons on the screen. Microsoft called the operating system Windows.

Windows 1.0 came out in November 1985, nearly two years after Apple began selling its first Macintosh computer, which also used a graphical operating system. Apple sued Microsoft in 1988 for copyright infringement, claiming that Microsoft copied the “look and feel” of its operating system. Apple lost.

Microsoft followed it with Windows 2.0 in December 1987, 3.0 in May 1990 and 3.1 in April 1992.

In July 1993, Microsoft released Windows NT, a more robust operating system built from scratch. It was meant as a complement to Windows 3.1 and allowed higher-end machines to perform more complex tasks, particularly for engineering and scientific programs that dealt with large numbers.

Microsoft had its first big Windows launch with the release of Windows 95 in August 1995. The company placed special sections in newspapers, ran television ads with the Rolling Stones song “Start Me Up” and paid to have the Empire State Building lit up in Windows colors.

Comedian Jay Leno joined co-founder Bill Gates on stage at a launch event at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

window 95

“Windows 95 is so easy, even a talk-show host can figure it out,” Gates joked.

The hype worked: Computer users lined up to be the first to buy it. Microsoft sold millions of copies within the first few weeks. Windows 95 brought built-in Internet support and “plug and play” tools to make it easier to install software and attach hardware. Windows 95 was far better — and more successful — than its predecessor and narrowed the ease-of-use gap between Windows and Mac computers.

At around the same time, Microsoft released the first version of its Internet Explorer browser. It went on to tie IE and Windows functions so tightly that many people simply used the browser over the once-dominant Netscape Navigator. The U.S. Justice Department and several states ultimately sued Microsoft, accusing it of using its monopoly control over Windows to shut out competitors in other markets. The company fought the charges for years before settling in 2002.

The June 1998 release of Windows 98 was more low-key than the Windows 95 launch, though Microsoft denied it had anything to do with the antitrust case.

Windows 98 had the distinction of being the last with roots to the original operating system, MS-DOS. Each operating system is made up of millions of lines of instructions, or code, written in sections by programmers. Each time there’s an update, portions get dropped or rewritten, and new sections get added for new features. Eventually, there’s nothing left from the original.

Microsoft came out with Windows Me a few years later, the last to use the code from Windows 95. Starting with Windows 2000, Microsoft worked off the code built for NT, the 1993 system built from scratch.

The biggest release since Windows 95 came in October 2001, when Microsoft launched Windows XP at a hotel in New York’s Times Square. Windows XP had better Internet tools, including built-in wireless networking support. It had improvements in media software for listening to and recording music, playing videos and editing and organizing digital photographs.

Microsoft’s next major release didn’t come until Vista in November 2006. Businesses got it first, followed by a broader launch to consumers in January 2007. Coming after years of virus attacks targeting Windows machines and spread over the Internet, the long-delayed Vista operating system offered stronger security and protection. It also had built-in parental-controls settings.

But many people found Vista slow and incompatible with existing programs and devices. Microsoft launched Windows 7 in October 2009 with fixes to many of Vista’s flaws.

Windows 7 also disrupted users less often by displaying fewer pop-up boxes, notifications and warnings — allowing those that do appear to stand out. Instead, many of those messages get stashed in a single place for people to address when it’s convenient.

In a sign of what’s to come, Windows 7 was able to sense when someone is using more than one finger on a touchpad or touch screen, so people can spread their fingers to zoom into a picture, for instance, just as they can on the iPhone.

Apple released its first iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. Devices running Google’s Android system for mobile devices also caught on. As a result, sales of Windows computers slowed down. Consumers were delaying upgrades and spending their money on new smartphones and tablet computers instead.

Windows 8 and its sibling, Windows RT, represent Microsoft’s attempt to address that. The new software is designed to make desktop and laptop computers work more like tablets.

Windows 8 ditches the familiar start menu on the lower left corner and forces people to swipe the edges of the screen to access various settings. It sports a new screen filled with a colorful array of tiles, each leading to a different application, task or collection of files. Windows 8 is designed especially for touch screens, though it will work with the mouse and keyboard shortcuts, too.

 

microsoft windows 8

Microsoft and PC makers alike have been looking to Windows 8 to resurrect sales. The campaign to promote it is of the caliber given for Windows 95 and XP.

But Apple is releasing two new iPads, Amazon.com Inc. is shipping full-sized Kindle Fire tablets and Barnes & Noble Inc. is refreshing its Nook tablet line next month. Microsoft and its allies will face competition that is far more intense than in the heyday of Windows 95 and XP.

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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Jelly Bean on the Samsung Galaxy S III

When Google unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at Google I/O a couple of months back as the latest version of its Android operating system, Samsung was one of the first OEMs to take center stage and make public its Jelly Bean plans for the devices in its portfolio. During its announcement, the Korean electronics giant confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S III would be the first Samsung handset to get a taste of Jelly Bean. The manufacturer however did not release any specific timeframe as to when exactly this will happen.

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A couple of weeks back, we already saw the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update land on the Samsung Galaxy S III in Poland followed by a couple the Korean version of the handset. In addition to that, the update also made its way to handsets in some of the countries in the European continent. Today, Jelly Bean has landed on the unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy S III in the UK after it hit several carrier-branded versions of the handset last week.

If you happen to be a loyal subject of the Queen living across the pond and rock a BTU (British unlocked) variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III, you will definitely be interested to know that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is now being rolled out via OTA or Samsung Kies for your handset.

 

 

The Jelly Bean update weighs in at approximately 284 MB and aside from cranking up the Samsung flagship device to the latest version of the Android mobile operating system, the software update will also bring a couple of enhancements and new features to TouchWIZ, the custom user interface overlaid atop the Android OS of the handset. These features include a blocking mode for better control over your notifications along with a new “Easy Mode” for the handset’s home screen launcher. Of course, you also get Jelly Bean-specific features such as the new Google Search app with Google Now along with improvements to the performance of the handset courtesy of Google’s Project Butter.

Eligible for an upgrade? Check your eligibility here!

If the notification still hasn’t showed up, you also have the option of manually checking for the update by going to Settings > About device > Software update and hope that it comes back with something tangible.

As for the handset, the Samsung Galaxy S III is the Korean electronics giant’s gold mine after selling 20 million units of the device in just one hundred days after the handset made its debut in the shelves back in August. The handset packs a QualComm MSM8960 SnapDragon chipset under the hood which comes with a dual-core Krait processor clocked at 1.5 GHz along with a staggering 2 GB of RAM. Storage space on the handset ranges from16GB to as much as 64GB while its display on the other hand is a massive 4.8-inch SuperAMOLED HD panel made from Gorilla Glass 2 with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The camera department of the handset is also remarkable with its rear 8MP shooter and front 1.9MP snapper.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Apple launches new iPad mini

APPLE have launched their eagerly awaited iPad Mini, which will be available next month.

The tablet, which can be held in one hand, is 7.2mm thick and weighs 0.68lbs. Its arrival was announced at an event in California.

In the US, it will cost $329 (£206) for the wifi-only 16GB model and will be available on November 2.

The iPad Mini will compete directly with similar sized tablets from Google and Amazon.

In 2010, late founder Steve Jobs described such tablets as being “too small”.

But pressure from competitors appears to have forced a change of heart. Amazon’s new 7in Kindle Fire HD costs $199 (£159 in the UK). And Google’s Nexus 7 has a price tag of $250 (£159).

ipad mini

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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msnNOW New Social News Aggregator by Microsoft

Microsoft  has launched a new online service called msnNOW, which is a social media powered trends and news aggregator. It analyzes data from Twitter, Facebook, Bing and some other services to identify, curate and display the latest news stories and trends. It is like a mash-up of Google News and Google Trends, but instead of search, it is powered by social data .

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Genius Pakistani Makes Record

After the late Arfa Karim raised the nation’s pride by becoming the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, another Pakistani wonder child has made history after creating seven Microsoft and Google certified computer operating systems in a suburb of Abbottabad.

The 14-year-old student, Sikandar Mehmood Baloch, lives in Bilal Town in Abbottabad. Sikandar not only became a certified expert of 107 computer engineering languages at a young age but has also received certificates of his achievements from Microsoft and performed work for Google. He has also received 25 certificates as acknowledgement of his unique work performed for Google, the biggest search engine in the world. Sikandar is studying in the 9th grade in a local school and has made many Linux Systems (From VVS1 to VVS7) and developed an indigenous anti-virus system as well. He created a world record at the age of nine after making his first operating system. He works with many websites and earns over $70 dollars daily.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Google+ ‘fastest-growing’ ever

Google is a latecomer to social networking but its new site, Google+, is growing much more rapidly than Facebook, Myspace and Twitter did in their early days, technology experts said Tuesday.
While Google+ may be the fastest-growing social network ever, it remains to be seen, however, whether it can pose a serious threat to the social networking titan Facebook, which has more than 750 million members.
Andrew Lipsman, vice-president for industry analysis at tracking firm comScore, said Google+, which was launched by the Internet search and advertising giant on June 28, had 25 million unique visitors as of July 24.
During a panel discussion on Google+ hosted by Wedbush Securities, Lipsman said it took other social networks much longer to reach 25 million users: 22 months for Myspace, 33 months for Twitter and 37 months for Facebook.
“Obviously, this is a very strong growth trajectory,” Lipsman said.
He cautioned, however, that Google “has a really large user base it can build off of” with its one billion users worldwide.
And it still has a “really long way to go to be competitive with Facebook,” Lipsman said.

Important
“Google+ is the fastest by a long shot but it’s important to realize that fastest may not always be best,” he said. “Sometimes, that slow build can lead to a strong network effect that pays long-term dividends.”
Most Google+ users — 6.4 million — are in the United States, followed by India with 3.6 million, Canada with 1.1 million, Britain with 1.1 million and Germany with over 920,000, according to comScore.
Lipsman said many Google+ users appear to also be users of Google’s email program Gmail and display a “very strong early adopter profile.”
He said the ratio of men to women is about two to one and that 60 percent of Google+ users are between the ages of 18 and 34.
In the United States, the highest numbers of Google+ users are in the tech-savvy cities of San Francisco and Austin, Texas, he said.
Steve Rubel, executive vice president for global strategy and insights at public relations firm Edelman, said Facebook is not “vulnerable immediately” to Google.
“I don’t see (Google+) taking significant share from Facebook in the next 18 months,” Rubel said.
At the same time, “what we have seen is that over the years there’s never been a social network or community that has had significant staying power,” he said. “There’s always a shuffling every two or three years, a changing of the guard.

“We saw it with Myspace,” he said of the one-time social networking leader that has been eclipsed by Facebook and hemorrhaging users ever since.
Rubel said Google was compelled to try its hand at social networking because Facebook is restricting the access of its search engine to Facebook content.
“What’s happening is more content is being created behind Facebook’s walls than ever before and a lot of that content is invisible to Google,” he said.
“Conceptually, at least, they’re building kind of an alternate Web… There’s also an entire Web that is app-based on mobile phones. That is also invisible to them.”
Rubel said it was conceivable that more content would be invisible to them in five or 10 years than what the search engine can see today when created on Facebook or inside apps.
“So they had to make a play to get more people to create content on their site,” he continued. “It’s to get more people to spend time on Google.”
In unveiling Google+, Google stressed the ability it gives users to separate online friends and family into different “Circles,” or networks, and to share information only with members of a particular circle.
One of the criticisms of Facebook is that updates are shared with all of one’s friends unless a user has gone through a relatively complicated process to create separate Facebook Groups.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Google+ Claims 20 Million Members in First Month

Does the world really need a new social networking site?

Maybe it does, and maybe that helps explain the success of Google+. It only turns a month old on Thursday, but it already claims up to 20 million members. And since the service went live, Google Inc. stock has gone up nearly 30 percent, raising the value of the company (the “market cap” in Wall Street jargon) by $45 billion.

“They’re probably the only company well positioned to launch a Facebook alternative,” said Danny Sullivan, founder of Search Engine Land and a prominent Google-watcher. “People like alternatives. Twitter doesn’t offer a full-fledged alternative to the Facebook experience. Google does.”

Google+ is still far smaller than Facebook, but it is already stealing attention and advertising dollars. It offers one-stop shopping for people who want to link up with friends and family, but don’t like using multiple sites.

“Google+ has aspects of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in it, and folks are a bit overwhelmed with all of the different social networking services,” said Rob Enderle, a technology analyst based in San Jose, Calif. “Folks have also crammed these other services with tons of ‘friends’ they don’t really know, and the sheer volume of activity has weakened the quality of the experience.”

Google+ will look familiar if you’ve used Facebook — but different. There are photos and comments from friends, but there are also “circles” into which you can categorize people with whom you’ve linked — friends, family, acquaintances and so on. There may be something silly from that Saturday-night party that you’d share with close friends, but not with a business connection.

Enderle says the mix is well-thought-out. “Google+ thus simplifies their online social networking life,” he said in an email to ABC News, “and has allowed them to start over choosing their ‘friends’ more judiciously, preserving the quality of the experience.”

That said, tech-industry wags like the irony that the most-followed public figure on Google+ is Mark Zuckerberg — Facebook’s founder. (Well behind, according to Google+ Statistics, are Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s founders.)

And writers have noted there’s a tech-geek Silicon-Valley quality to Google+; Zuckerberg’s 388,000 followers can’t compare to the 11 million on Twitter that Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber each command.

But Google is not complaining. It has a success on its hands. “For people who love Google,” said Sullivan, “it’s like they’ve found a home where they can be loud and proud about the company.”

One other thing: There is an aura of exclusivity to Google+. When it started you had to be invited to join, even if only by a friend you hadn’t seen in years. “That last created a bit of a feeding frenzy that I think surprised a lot of us,” said Enderle. “In a way they used social engineering to create initial demand and that was new to them.”

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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