Tag Archives: windows

A Basket to Catch the Apple

For as long as there were personal computers, Microsoft had been the leader in software development and engineering for operating systems, and they stood firm on that belief. Today they are going to build a basket to catch the apple.

This week, Microsoft is expected to introduce a tablet computer to run their new Windows 8 operating system. It is the first time in the company’s 37-year history that it will offer a computer of its own. Google also has made waves in channeling the same plan as it announced plans to pay $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility, a maker of Android’s smartphones and tablets.

With the tremendous success of Apple, now the most highly valued company in the world, has shown rivals that in order to create superior technology was to “make the whole widget”. In the most recent  quarter, Apple’s revenue from iPad was $6.59 billion, more than Microsoft’s sales of Windows.

For Microsoft, making a tablet is a risky venture. Windows has a steadfast relationship with its hardware partners. The plan could erode the commitment those partners have to Windows since Microsoft will effectively be competing with them for sales.

Also, Microsoft has a mix track record. It makes the Xbox 360, but took years of losses due to manufacturing problems. They also failed with the Zune, which is a music player that was designed to compete with the iPod.

The Microsoft tablet is expected to use Windows 8 RT, based on a class of microprocessors called ARM chips. That is the same class of chips inside the iPad.

Let’s hope Microsoft will be successful in catching the golden Apple. Competition is always a good thing.  All comments are welcome for discussion!

Chrissy Le, Technology Marketing Specialist

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A Fresh Apple and Some New Windows

Apple is in the news… again!

On Tuesday morning, February 28, Apple sent invitations to the tech news media inviting them to come to San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Wednesday, March 7 for one of their famous “events.” All eyes are on Apple to announce the iPad 3. That is evidenced by the nature of the image submitted with the invitation; a definite iPad-looking photograph of a finger on the calendar app.

There is much conjecture about what new features might be released with the third generation iPad. The most prevalent is that it will include a tablet-sized version of their Retina display, offering the high resolution that can currently be seen on the latest generation iPhone and iPod Touch.

Another circulating rumor is that there will be a 4G version available for both the Verizon and AT&T cellular systems. While this is a nice convenience, it is one that comes with a cost as you would need to enter a contract to use the service. While some may need that kind of connectivity, my own personal style is happy with the Wi-Fi version. With the expansion through the years of free public Wi-Fi hotspots, I find that I am never disappointed that I didn’t splurge for the cellular model.

One thing is for sure; with Apple, we will never have things fully figured out prior to their event. They always seem to pull some unanticipated surprise from their hat. Does anyone remember when the iPod Touch was first announced? Everyone thought Steve was winding down to close the event when he said, “We’re not done yet…” and unveiled for us that slick, new media machine that fits in your pocket. Jobs was famous for his “one more thing” announcements that preceded some great new Apple products. So, whether the iPad 3 comes next week or not, you can still expect the unexpected from the post-Jobs Apple.

And more from Microsoft…

As we turn now to Microsoft, I am feeling more and more sure of my early predictions that this will be a good year for that company. This week, a public preview of Windows 8 was released for anyone to download. While it is readily available for anyone to test-drive; it may be wise to not jump in without exploring the ramifications. Microsoft was careful to emphasize that this is still a beta (test) version and there may still be issues with drivers and software compatibility. So, proceed with caution. Also, if you overwrite your Windows 7 OS, there is no option to turn back. You will have to continue to use the beta until the official launch at which point you will have to buy the new OS.

When the official release date is announced (expect it to be in the fall of this year), I anticipate a media publicity blitz as the folks at Redmond, WA promote the cross-platform convergence between desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

We’ve only just passed the two-month mark in 2012 and it has already shaped up to be a very exciting year for technology-minded people. Stay tuned for more as the year continues to unfold.

Randy Kightlinger

Computer Service Technician

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From Rearview Mirror to the Horizon Ahead

As I write, we are on the verge of a brand-new year. Christmas has passed and our new socks have found their home in the drawer with our holey (as opposed to holy) old friends (my socks definitely aren’t holy!!!). This is the time to reflect on the year that was and look ahead to the year to come.

As I look back, my thoughts go to the tech news-makers of the year. This is, after all, a tech blog. So, who made news in 2011? Well, once again, there was much attention focused on Apple at the release of the iPad 2 in March. Throughout the summer, rumors and imaginations grew at the anticipated fall release of the iPhone 5. Instead, we were introduced to the 4S. Initial disappointment turned once again to excitement as the world had its first conversation with Siri; the voice recognition app that came standard with the iPhone 4S. I say “conversation” because Siri is much more than the voice recognition of the past. “She” is intelligent. So much so that MacLife magazine featured an interview with Siri in their latest issue (http://www.maclife.com/article/features/chat_siri). Siri is quite amazing.

In the midst of all of the Apple excitement, the world lost one of its truly innovative minds when Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. We will never forget Jobs’ keynotes, wearing his signature jeans and black turtleneck as he casually walked the stage, revealing to the world the next big thing.

While there were many innovations in 2011, we saw one thing remain a constant; Facebook users continued to be moved to uproar over the occasional random changes that are forced upon them. Many of our “friends” threaten to kiss Facebook goodbye every time the change comes, but yet they remain. Why? Well, although there have been competitors rise up, none can compare to the connectivity of the giant. It seems that everyone is on Facebook!

As we consider the pivotal time of year at which we now stand, I have two questions for your comment. Here’s question number one: What was your favorite tech news of 2011?

Now, let us turn our attention toward 2012. Put on your special future-seeing glasses and let’s gaze into the months to come. What do you see? One of my Twitter followers, Cinnamon, says, “I think the iPad 3 is going to take the world by storm… I know I am waiting for its launch in spring 2012.” I’m with her on that one! While the iPad 2 was thinner and lighter than the first generation, I believe that the third offering of this tablet will be another forward leap. Some of the buzz is in anticipation for a smaller, perhaps 7” model. Fellow-blog-writer Chrissy is hoping that the next generation iPad will finally get the Retina display that iPhone and iPod Touch users enjoy. One thing is for sure; we techies will be on the edge of our seats the day of the spring Apple event.

I am feeling that 2012 will also be the year of Microsoft as the much-scrutinized Windows 8 is released. Some are excited to get their hands on this new tiled version of Windows and others are dreading its release. As I mentioned in a previous article, I also think we will see a major wave in the tablet market as the mobile version of Windows 8 leads the way for greater convergence between desktop and mobile computing.

This all leads me to my second question for your consideration: What tech advances do you see coming in 2012? What’s the next big gadget that we won’t be able to live without? Let’s dream a little.

It will be interesting to look back on this article at the end of 2012 to see if our predictions came true and perhaps laugh about those big things that we never saw coming. Just remember to take off those funny-looking future-seeing glasses after you finish dreaming. You really shouldn’t wear them out in public.

Randy Kightlinger

Computer Service Technician

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