New Mac Pro – Small, Radical and Innovative

New Mac Pro (2013)

For a long time I thought Apple is not making new Mac Pro anymore but in WWDC 2013 Apple revealed an entirely new Mac Pro with radical cylinder design. It is a big departure from \”cheese grater\” Mac Pro and much smaller too.

Apple considered all the elements that makes a \”pro\” computer such as graphics, storage, expansion slots, processing power, memory and so much more.

Small

Only 9.9 inches tall and 6.6 inches wide (diameter). You\’ll be surprised that it has a lot of expansions available. It has 802.11ac and bluetooth 4.0  wireless connectivity as well as numerous I/O connections including 6 thunderbolt ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, 4 USB 3 ports and 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Radical

If you remember the \”sunflower\” iMac with a hemisphere base, this doesn\’t look very odd at all. There are varying opinions with the design but you either love it or you hate it. Some people makes fun of its shape — that it looks like a vacuum cleaner.

However, when I first saw it the first thing that came to my mind is R2-D2 and other Star Wars astromech droids.

I\’m sure there are several people out there planning to mod this new Mac Pro into R2-D2 already.

Innovative

The new Mac Pro has dual GPUs, PCI Express-based flash storage, Thunderbolt 2, new-gen Intel Xeon processors and 4k video support.

The processor can support up to 12 cores and compared to the old Mac Pro, the new Mac Pro is 2x faster in floating-point performance, delivering up to 40GB/s of PCI-express 3 bandwidth. The memory supports 4-channel DDR3 memory at 1866MHz bus speed and could delivery up to 60 GB/s of memory bandwidth.

Graphics is not neglected in the new Mac Pro as it can deliver up to 7 teraflops of computer power thanks to Dual AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs with 6GB of dedicated VRAM. With its arsenal of dual GPUs it can power 3 ultra HD (4k) resolution display.

The black aluminum enclosure gives the new Mac Pro an odd shape but for a practical reason. It houses a unified thermal core which enable the unit to use a single piece of extruded aluminum in triangular shape that maximizes the airflow as well as thermal capacity using only a single fan. It looks very neat and is one of a kind.

When looking at the thermal core design, I could not help but notice the resemblance it has with Darth Vader\’s mask. I don\’t know if Apple is inspired so much to push the boundaries of computing that it is getting design cues from sci-fi movies like Star Wars. I am excited with this new development and I think Apple did a great job here.

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May the force be with you!

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TV Goes Mobile: Apple TV & iOS Power Up!

As a leader in technology innovation, Apple makes the news when it changes its products. So devoted to the company are its users that even rumors and speculation tend to send the digital media into overdrive. And when Tim Cook, Apple\’s CEO, starts hinting of upcoming changes to operating systems and products, the media hype machine kicks into full effect and ears perk straight up.

iOS 7

Apple fans are fully aware that the next generation of iPhones, iPads and other Apple products are likely to feature a new iOS system. Tim Cook remarked in an All Things D interview that the latest iOS system will improve the relationship between hardware, software and customer service, something Apple customers expect. Although the previous generations of the iOS system were innovative, the expectations for the latest software and hardware are much higher than before since the late Steve Jobs stepped down and Cook hinted the next system will have major improvements.

Apple TV Sales

The most interesting aspect of the interview concerned Apple’s plans for television. Apple has sold roughly 13 million Apple TVs since it was originally developed, noted Engadget.com. Since Apple TV is not the primary innovation from the company, the large number of sales and the rapid growth over the last year was surprising.The company did not realize that the hockey-puck sized television attachment would generate a high level of interest.

Due to the growing number of Apple TV sales, it is not surprising that the CEO hinted about big plans for the future. Engadget.com suggested that Apple plans to take part in the changing dynamics of television that companies like Netflix and Amazon are working on now.

The Future of the Products

Cook stated that the TV is long overdue for an upgrade and the company has a vision for the future of TV, noted Business Insider. While he did not give specifics about the innovations the company is planning to unveil in the future, he did give enough hints to tantalize Apple customers. The vision for television and the improvements to the iOS system are only a part of the grand scheme that will result in a greater television experience.

DirectTVDeal.com suggests that video streaming has changed the television viewing experience, but Apple’s CEO noted during the interview that it is still possible to make improvements. The current Apple TV provides the opportunity to enjoy iTunes movies and works with video streaming companies like Netflix. According to Apple.com, it also syncs with the iOS systems via AirPlay, so it is possible to enjoy games and apps from an iPhone, iPad or other Apple products on the larger screen of a television.

The future of the television experience is likely to improve on the current AirPlay system and the streaming options. According to USA Today, voice and gestures might be an upcoming feature of the newer system. It is possible that the newer iOS system and Apple TV will work on adjusting the Siri system for better voice control. The publication suggests that gestures might be an option, but it would need reworking the entire system to include sensors, which might make it a little bulky.

Watching television on the Apple TV might be a better experience than using voice commands and gestures to communicate with the system. USA Today suggests Apple TV might incorporate apps into the television viewing experience. Instead of watching cable or flipping through a large number of channels, the system will offer only the channels that viewers are most interested in watching.

Innovation is a key part of Apple\’s approach to reaching customers. Although the details are not yet available, hints on the technology are giving a clear image of the possibilities.

image by deerkoski

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Best 15 Travel Apps for Android and iOS

Below are 15 travel apps for Android and iPhone that my wife and I use when travelling. I use Android as my primary phone while she uses iPhone. From time to time we swap phones because I don\’t get all the apps I want in Android and sometimes it is the other way around.

These apps are all available in both Android and Apple iOS devices. I hope that these can make your travel easier and more fun.

Travel Apps for Android & iPhone

\"Kayak

1. Kayak

When booking deals for hotels, flights and cars, Kayak gives a lot of options even for most remote place that I tried booking. I mainly use this for researching accommodations but it has other features that will delight seasoned travelers.

It can also consolidate your travel plans in \”My Trips\” which can be done easily  by forwarding booking confirmation emails to [email protected]

Kayak also conveniently gives you a ready-made packing list that you can use to track every items you need to pack to make sure you don\’t forget anything.

Other features include flight tracker, price alerts, airline directory, airline fees, airport information (powered by  GateGuru), currency converter and inflight GPS tracking.

Two features that is existing in iOS but lacking in Android are Tours and Attractions, which gives you a list of places of interest to go with tour guides, and Buzz which lists flight search trends.

\"Tripit

2. Tripit

Even before Kayak added \”My Trips\”, TripIt has been parsing airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals receipts and other confirmation emails to create your master itinerary. It is better in organizing your itineraries because it makes them available in one place and you can share it with family and friends who uses Tripit too.

When you add people in your Inner Circle, you can automatically share your complete itinerary with other people using Android or iOS — it is a great way to inform anyone in your Inner Circle your whereabouts.

\"Flight

3. Flight Track

If you do a lot of business travel, you need this application. It has real-time status for gates, delays and cancellation. You can also find alternate flights and view seat maps.

\"Hostelworld

4. HostelWorld

If hotels is not your thing and you prefer back-packing then HostelWorld is the perfect app to get a cheap place to stay.

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5. XE Currency Converter

It was tough choosing the best free currency converter.

Before sticking with XE Currency Converter, I was using Oanda Currency Converter. It was great but it can only show 1 currency at a time and there was no log when was the latest exchange rate update.

So I switched to XE Currency Converter because it has live exchange rate and I can refresh it anytime I want.

\"Expensify

6. Expensify

This app lets you log expenses, scan receipts, log time with an hourly rate and use mileage, odometer or gps as reference to any bill. Scanning receipts is as simple as taking picture of the receipts and letting Expensify process it using Smartscan that  automatically logs properly whatever value found in the receipt using OCR. The free version is limited to 10 free smartscans a month but when you upgrade to pro, each scans is priced at 20 cents each.

\"Lemon

7. Lemon

If you don\’t need to log mileage then Lemon is a simpler alternative to Expensify. It also lets you process receipt using their OCR technology. You get 25 free receipt processing a month. With a pro account, you can even process line item details – i.e. every item on your grocery receipt will be recorded not just the high level expense value.

On top of this, Lemon can also keep a digital copy of your cards — not just credit cards mind you. It works on IDs, loyalty and membership cards. I don\’t know if Apple copied the idea of Lemon but before Apple\’s Passbook for tickets and coupon, there was Lemon for cards.

\"Foodspotting

8. Foodspotting

When you go places, you need to find recommended great local dishes, not just restaurants. What\’s great about this app is that it\’s all about dishes. You can find the best food nearby and get recommendations from people you follow.

\"Foursquare

9. Foursquare

Since Foursquare upgraded their app to more than a check-in app, I started using it to find recommended places using the Explore feature. You can search for specials, trending, food, coffee, nightlife, shops, sights, outdoors, arts and entertainment. Some of the tips are very helpful to get the most out of the scenic spot or trendy places.

For food and beverages, Foursquare is starting to function like Yelp but unlike Yelp, Foursquare is available in many places, mostly generated by users. You also don\’t get a menu; you simply get tips on what to eat from random users who check-in on those places.

\"Triposo

10. Triposo

I only discovered Triposo lately and it is has travel guides for most countries. The best part is that it is free and it works offline. No need to worry about data access on remote places without signal. You don\’t need to worry about roaming charges with this app.

Each travel guide you install presents you a travelpedia where you can learn the basic history, culture, architecture  and music of the country. It also has some phrasebook that can be handy. It has popular destinations with guides on what you can see and don on those places.  It even has \”eat, drink and sleep\” section to find where to hang out at night, drink coffee and get hotels accommodation with all the contact details and address that you can use to get there.

\"Tourist

11.  TouristEye

This is another app that can work without internet connection. When you add a place in your trip, it will download an offline copy of all the information of the city that you have chosen. That includes maps, all the attractions, restaurants, entertainments, tours and transport information.

It doubles as itinerary planner and travel journal too.

\"Google

12. Google Translate

The latest version of Google Translate is now essential to any traveler going to a foreign country with a foreign language. You can take picture of any sign and with Google\’s character recognition it can translate any language to english.

\"Google

13. Google Local

When you install Google+ in Android, you also get Google Local. It replaced Google Places. This app is actually merged with Google Maps, Navigation and Latitude in Android because it is contained in one unified application. However,you need to install Google Local separately in iOS.

Zagat ratings are incorporated in Google Local because Google purchased Zagat, remember? I still find the 30-point scale unusual but at least it gives you an overview on how good a place is. Google Local also aggregates other reviews from sites like TripAdvisor so you can\’t find TripAdvisor in this list as it is redundant already.

Google Local is also linked to Google+ Local Pages so you can use your Google+ circles to get recommendations.

\"Google

14. Google Maps

Too bad iOS replaced Google Maps in iOS6. It is still the most detailed map available for free and it has live traffic information where it is supported.

Indoor maps for selected places are particularly helpful in navigating unfamiliar buildings. In Android you can also cache map area so you can use Google Maps even if there is no network signal. This is very important if you are going to an island or rural places.

I can\’t think of any maps with chock-full of features that is so easy to use. Good news for iPhone users, you can still use the mobile web version of Google Maps.

\"Siri\"

15. Google Now / Siri

We call them personal assistant and knowledge navigator apps. However, these apps can be your travel buddy too.

Google Now is only officially available in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It incorporates several features from different apps and made them accessible using voice commands as well location triggers. Some of it features includes traffic guide, public transit information, next appointment notification, flight delay forecast, place recommendations, weather, translation, currency conversion and time conversion.

Siri has almost the same set of features but Google Now is location-aware while Siri is not. For travelling, Google Now gets an edge because it doesn\’t require voice input all the time but when you\’re bored while on the road, Siri could be fun.

Google Now and Siri are applications that can seriously change the way we use information around us.

If data roaming is not an issue then Google Now and Siri is the perfect companion in any place you wish to go. Of course, given the choice I would still travel with my love ones.

So now, it\’s your turn. Let me know what\’s your favorite travel apps for Android or iPhone.

 

 

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OS X Mountain Lion Resources for Apple Newcomers

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion

It is a great week for Apple. The ninth major release of OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8) was finally made available in Apple App Store on July 25, 2012. It has many features inspired from iOS including notifications, game center, iMessage, Twitter and Facebook integration,  familiar applications such as Reminders and Notes, and  more than 200 other new features.

Those who recently ditched Windows for an Apple MacBook or iMac should be really excited to experience the best OS X experience Apple can give to date.

I gathered the resources that I think should be of great use to any beginners out there as well as seasoned OS X users who wants to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.

\"OS

Upgrading

If you bought a new machine recently pre-installed with OS X 10.7 Lion, you can get Mountain Lion for under $20. I wish every OS upgrade would be as cheap as this. Seriously there\’s no way you can complain for that price.

Make sure you read the pre-requisites from Apple website.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Wonder why older machines are not supported? It appears to be the graphics drivers so if you think of getting a second-hand Mac, take note of the hardware limitation.

Make sure you have Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard before you download OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store.

Free Upgrade

You can save yourself $20 if you purchased your Mac from Apple, an Apple Authorized Reseller or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer after June 11, 2012. Check the details here.

Software Compatibility

You can check App Compatibility Table by RoaringApps for the list of applications that works with OS X Mountain Lion. It is important to check this so that you you won\’t be surprised when some of your old programs do not work properly after the upgrade.

New Installation

If you want a clean fresh install of OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to burn the installer to a DVD or a bootable USB drive.

You can install your copy to as many Macs as you want as long as your machines share the same Apple ID. Now, if you have another Mac that doesn\’t share the same Apple ID you can use a work-around to add a new Admin account on that machine and use it to login using the same Apple ID you use to buy Mountain Lion.

Install Best Mac Apps

\"Mac

There are some good apps that comes pre-installed in OS X but you definitely need more apps. You can find here the best 100+ Mac applications for all your needs. Some of them are linked to Mac App Store.

Setup iMessage, tweak some settings to get the most of the new Mountain Lion featuresget rid of some annoyances, add OS X Server if you wish.

Book Reference

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion, The Missing Manual covers OS X 10.8 and iCloud. It is perfect for newcomers because you can get crystal-clear, jargon-free introduction to OS X and then you can go in-depth with new key features such as Messages, Reminders, Notification Center, Gatekeeper, AirPlay Mirroring, Share Sheets, and more.

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide is a handy guide with all the details you need to know on OS X system preferences, built-in applications, utilities, and other features. It can be a great resource for problem-solving and troubleshooting on the fly.

Further readings

If you wish to read a detailed review, I recommend you read this very long Ars Technica article about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review. If you want to read something shorter perhaps this review from The Verge will do. Both articles will give you a taste of what OS X Mountain Lion can do.

For any PC owners out there, you may want to try creating your own Hackintosh. Tech Erra has  a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a PC. Of course, nothing beats having your own authentic Mac.

What else are you waiting for? Dive in, read these resources, and let me know if I missed any important resource here.

 

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iPad Resolution: 7 Good Reasons You are Not Buying or Upgrading to the New iPad

This post is not just about iPad resolution but your own resolution. If you are still weighing your options and you don\’t have a firm decision not to buy the 3rd generation iPad yet, here is a list of reasons why you should really not buy the new iPad.

Of course there are many wonderful features on the 3rd generation iPad but that is not the point. Notice how Apple is marketing the new iPad, it\’s more of the aesthetics that is highlighted not much on the functionality. I will focus on what the new iPad is and what it is not so you\’ll know whether it\’s for you and if you really need to buy it.

1. Retina display is too much

Sure, it is gorgeous but do you need it?

To give you a perspective let\’s use Apple\’s comparison.

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With 3145728 pixels packed on a 9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy IPS display, it has 4x pixel density than the older iPad 2. The new iPad resolution is called QXGA  – it still has 4:3 aspect ratio, and it is NOT wide screen. Apple puts \”widescreen\” on the specification but it\’s not wide screen at all.

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QXGA is currently the highest non-experimental and non-widescreen resolution — not very common but it will be, soon, due to iPad. The only other company that I know to release a mobile device with QXGA resolution  is NEC which sold laptops with QXGA monitors in the Japanese market.

If you watch non-HD Youtube videos, expect it to appear blocky. Think watching SD television on your HDTV.

If you play mobile HD games, watch HD videos on the go, browse ultra high resolution photographs from DSLR outdoors then perhaps it is worth the upgrade from iPad 2 alone. Otherwise the retina display is probably too much for you.

Also if you do not have the tools to edit or produce great materials from the new iPad, you might as well do those activities on a desktop computer.

2. You\’re not savvy on tablets or not a power user

If you intend to use the new iPad mostly for note-taking, using Facebook, browsing the internet, playing Angry Birds, reading novels or recipe, showing interactive stories to your kid or anything that does not require HD at all, then iPad 2 or any other tablet will serve you for quite a long while.

This boils down to what you really need. If you just need a simple tablet then you are probably better off using Kindle Fire. It\’s cheap and it does what a typical 7\” tablet can do.

3. Looks the same but heavier and thicker!

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Disappointing? Yes, to a certain extent.

It might be necessary for the new 11,666 mAh battery inside to support the IPS display power requirement but are you kidding me? This makes iPad 2 more attractive.

Although  every major features were upgraded, the 3rd generation iPad is virtually the same as the older iPad 2 but the new iPad seems to be downgraded because it\’s ticker by 0.6 mm and heavier by 51  g  (Wi-Fi only model).

Get an iPad 2 if you are after the thinnest and lightest iPad available.

4. 4G LTE what?

Maybe having 4G is compelling enough reason to buy the new iPad but are you willing to pay the premium? Take note that you are most likely going to download bigger files from the Apple app store due to increased resolution, and it\’s probably the reason why Apple included 4G LTE on the new iPad anyway.

The new iPad uses either 700 Mhz and 2100 Mhz frequencies for 4G and for some countries that means 4G LTE is not supported at all. Your best hope is that it is compatible with HSPA+ network on your carrier. Apple needs to make separate models to support different 4G frequencies in US alone and it is misleading that 4G is supported worldwide. Again, it\’s not!

The good thing is, Apple still sells Wi-Fi only iPad and you can totally avoid the frequency mess.

If you can get unlimited and unthrottled data plan it might be a great deal but your battery probably won\’t last longer on 4G anyway so you might wish you have bought the Wi-Fi only version or probably something else.

5. You already bought an iPad 2 or other tablet

If you are happy with what you already bought and you don\’t wish to dive  immediately on a new purchase, that\’s totally fine. It is safer to wait and see what other consumers think of the new device after it is used and tested by typical consumers like you and me.

Also, you might wish to get more mileage out your device if it is less than 6 months. Don\’t pity yourself if you are not getting the new iPad soon. You\’re just fine without it.

6. No Siri

\"Siri\"

I don\’t blame you if you love Siri so much. The new iPad has a dictation feature but it is not as flashy or entertaining as Siri could be. Maybe it is coming to iPad in the feature but if you are dying to see Siri in the new iPad, better luck next time.

7. Need to save money

Let\’s make this quick. If you don\’t have enough money then don\’t buy the new iPad. You can consider iPad 2 because it is cheaper now and the awesomeness to price ratio is still relatively high compared to other tablets.

If you really want to save, why are you even looking at the new iPad?

 

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iTunes Pirated Music: Will It Benefit Labels and Publishers?

iTunes 10.5.1

Apple released a new version of  iTunes that enables you to  store songs ripped from music CDs into iCloud–Apple calls it iTunes Match.

\"iTunes

iTunes Match

With iTunes Match you can play your songs anytime, anywhere: on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and even PC! You only need iOS 5.0.1 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and up), iPad, iPad 2, Mac or PC with iTunes 10.5.1. Right now you are limited to sync 25,000 songs that are not bought from iTunes but there is no limit with songs purchased from iTunes. You\’re also limited to access songs up to 10 devices only but that should be more than generous. All these are included for only $24.99 a year.

What\’s good about iTunes Match is it\’s relatively cheap to get your music stored in the cloud. With iTunes Match, iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store and iTunes will simply match your songs in the library that are in the iTunes Store. There are 20 million songs in iTunes Store already so there is  a very big change it is already there. If the music is not available there, that\’s the only time iTunes has to upload any song.

So, if all your songs are available in iTunes Store, iTunes Match will not upload anything at all and will simply give you access to high quality songs.

iTunes Pirated Music

The problem with this system is that it doesn\’t matter where you got your music from. You can download songs from P2P file sharing  programs, ThePirateBay or RapidShare; your music will sync in iCloud just fine.

\"iTunes

You can argue that iTunes Match might give way to more iTunes pirated music but according to Fast Company, iTunes Match will help get people back in the habit of paying for music even if the label is not charging consumers for the music itself.

Apple will reportedly pay labels royalty-style installments every time one of their tracks gets moved through the iTunes Match system. And since it appears that Apple is not going to distinguish between authorized and unauthorized tunes, the music industry might finally earn some money on illegally downloaded tunes that were previously pure loss.

Indeed, if Apple is really paying royalties to any music synced in iCloud with iTunes Match, iTunes pirated music will benefit the labels and publishers because this is the first time they can get something out of pirated music.

If this sounds too good to be true, it is. Apple have done something that is almost equivalent to piracy amnesty.

While iTunes Match is only available in the US at this time it will play a big role in the music industry because it will make people pay for the music again. Apple should make it available worldwide because piracy is more prevalent outside USA. We will find out if the service becomes successful if Apple is able to convince more labels to strike a deal with them.

You can download iTunes 10.5.1 from Apple website and subscribe to iTunes Match service.

 

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Windows 8 Preview Unvieled, Also Available for Download

Microsoft finally presented the first public preview of Windows 8 in the BUILD Conference in Anaheim, CA and from here, we learned many details of the up-coming version of Windows.

Windows 8 New User Interface

Let\’s begin with the user interface. It seems that \”Metro-style UI\” is the buzz word around Windows 8 after the conference. Live tiles, vivid colors, multi-touch gestures – these are just a few characteristics you can associate with the new interface called Metro UI.

Metro UI sits on top of the familiar Windows 7 look and feel. You can still install desktop apps as usual but Metro UI gives new user experience for touchscreen devices including tablets.

If you use Windows Phone 7, the experience would be somewhat similar.

\"Windows

Outside Metro UI,  ribbon will be featured in Windows Explorer which means it will be practically available in the entire operating system.

Even the dreaded BSoD got a face-lift. It is now more user-friendly but probably not as helpful as the former BSoD screen because it has little details on what cause the problem. Since it is still very early to judge Windows 8, it is a good step forward.

\"Windows

No Windows 8 \”Tablet\”, Just Windows 8 PC?

To be clear, Windows 8 will run on a wide range of devices including tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktops — but Microsoft is hesitant to call tablets tablets as they insist that any device that runs Windows 8 is a PC, while any device that function as a phone is a Windows Phone. As TechCrunch puts it, if Microsoft can\’t win the table race, they won\’t acknowledge the existence of tablets.Maybe it is just a marketing thing.

I don\’t agree that Microsoft is not acknowledging tablets. They are using the term tablet PC since Windows XP Tablet PC edition. However, this time it seems that they are not going to differentiate tablets from laptops and desktops when Windows 8 is shipped.Who knows maybe Microsoft will have a change of  heart at the last-minute and create tablet-specific edition again.

In one of the demo, Microsoft showed a tablet that docks on a keyboard paired with a mouse. Somehow the thin line that separates tablets from PC is blurred if you consider that tablets are just laptops without physical keyboard and laptops are portable PCs. In essence, they are all personal computers.

PC, laptop or tablet. Call it whatever you want. At the end of the day, they are all computing devices and speaking of tablets, Mashable has a great review of Samsung Windows 8 tablet.

Improved Performance and More Hardware Choices

According to Microsoft, the memory footprint of Windows 8 will be reduced and the boot time will be decreased. For example,  Windows 8 preview build 8102 boots up in under 13 seconds from Samsung\’s Series 7 Slate PC with Intel 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M CPU with integrated graphics and 4 GB of RAM which was given away to 5000 developers who attended the conference. How I wish that Microsoft will also give away this \”developer PC\” to curious developers and testers like me outside US.

I think this is the first time that Microsoft have considered efficiency on smaller form factors without sacrificing core features of the operating system.

Microsoft finally figured out that they need to make Windows more efficient in more portable devices to them more ubiquitous. Windows 8 will be open to mobile devices processors like ARM which is designed to consume less energy.

Windows App Store

Of course there will be an app store too. If you look at the first screen shot here, that is the orange square at the bottom left.

The store is not yet open for business but Microsoft has already published the steps for  app submissions:

  • Step 1: Pre-processing (1 hour)
  • Step 2: Security test (3 hours)
  • Step 3: Technical Compliance (6 hours)
  • Step 4: Content Compliance (6 hours)
  • Step 5: Signing and Publishing (2 hours)
  • Step 6: Release

This could mean that apps can get approved in less than 24 hours unlike Apple approval process that takes much longer. I\’ll give it the benefit of the doubt because it\’s not yet open for business.

\"Windows

Windows Developer Preview Downloads

Luckily for those who wish to test the pre-released Windows 8 Preview, Microsoft put it for download. It may contain a lot of bugs and it should be used in production environment — strictly for testing only. Would you believe that it has been download over 500,000 already in less than 12 hours! I\’m sure Windows fanatics cannot wait anymore for the newest Windows operating system. Unfortunately, Windows 8 is still far from being finished. I will probably wait 1 to 2 years.

If you have a spare laptop I recommend to install Windows 8 Preview and play with it.

Paul Thurrott had put up a gallery for installing Windows 8 preview which is very useful for beginners. His Windows 8 terminology lists is also a good read.

You can get the installer from Windows Dev Center, then head to Windows Developer Preview downloads where you can download several versions of Windows 8 preview.

 

According to Microsoft, the future of computing is here. Windows 8 is a bold move to battle the growing influence of Apple in the post-PC era.

To learn more about Windows 8 Preview you can read the official News Press Release from Microsoft about Windows 8.

 

 

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