Surface Touch Cover circa 2009

Back in 2009 Microsoft released Windows 7 and soon started to work on Windows 8. As you can see by the video below from Channel 9 Microsoft had already developed the Touch Cover technology that we is sold with the device today…

 

Source: http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/LauraFoy/Pressure-Sensitive-Keyboards

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So I have just come back from Microsoft TechEd NZ 2012 and I am importing my photos to discover that one of the images I took from the Keynote presentation seems to confirm that there will be a Barnes and Noble product launched this year. The slide that was shown has the title “Biggest Launch Year in Microsoft History” which was refereeing to this year clearly has a reference to Barnes & Noble with Microsoft.

Zoomed in portion of the slide.

New Zealand TechEd 2012 Day 1 025

What exactly Barns & Noble with Microsoft are going to launch is a mystery however Mary Joe Foley strongly suspect there is a Barns and Noble Reader in the works. Could it be this? I have no idea. However this slide does seem to confirm that something will Launch from them this year.

Full Slide.

New Zealand TechEd 2012 Day 1 025a 

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skydriveMicrosoft announced new version of SkyDrive with the option to pay for more storage. Initially you could not purchase more storage but Microsoft have now enabled this option to purchase more space.

Also interesting to note that SkyDrive Storage Plans cost is the same in the USA and Australia.

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After you purchase you plan you quota is then instantly increased.

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wsjbox-waltWall Mossberg has just posted a review of a PC’s on his blog called Dell Goes on Ultrabook Diet With Slimmed-Down Laptop. But not surprisingly he also mentions the MacBook Air no less that 8 times in comparison. Granted he did not give a a totally bad review with comments such as:

“I found it to be solid and well built, speedy and with a good, backlit keyboard, a bright screen, and good looks.”

But just as in his review of other Ultra books such as the Samsung Series 9 he is quick to point out the weak points but then only glosses over any of the strengths when compared to the MacBook Air such as USB3, better specs, or bigger screen.

Then queue that the standard “battery life is not as good as a MacBook Air using his standard test” statement (not verbatim) that he uses for all Ultrabook reviews. With his non-scientific test which “use full brightness, disable power-saving software, leave on the Wi-Fi, and play a loop of music”. Really!!! Let me just list the ways this is a completely wrong way to use it…

1. He complains about the out of the box Bing bar being installed but he customises the out of the box power setting and then does his test… If you are going to complain about out of the box software then you should not customise out of the box settings as well.

2. He turns the power features off and then plays a loop of music. Who in the world deliberately does this? Who would ever say “I want to listen to music in the most power wastefully way possible”… No one… I would also like to know if his music loop is playing using that most in-efficient software called iTunes using far more CPU than other programs and probably far less optimised for audio playback in Windows then on OSX.

3. Running a power test with power saving turned off means that the CPU would un-necessarily be running at full clock speed without any reason. This is like running a MPG test on a car after you have removed all the full saving features from the engine then refusing to use 5th gear as the other car you tested before did not also have a 5th gear… Essentially you are using the computer in a un-efficient and very un-typical configuration for anyone who uses their laptop on battery often.

4. At the top of his article he has a two word saying “Ethics Statement” when you click on this link Walt in his own words says “I am a subjective opinion columnist”.

He can’t have it both ways… If he is going to test the battery life of any computer then they should be judged on the out of the box setting of the device OR stop complaining about the out of the box software install in the OS. Why? If a person is knowledgeable enough change the power plan of a computer they are probably also smart enough to un-install pre-loaded software.

5. Price. He also points out that this computer is about $300 less than a MacBook Air but the the Dell comes with Office which is NOT included with Air so makes no compensation for the fact the Dell has more value in hardware AND software.

Until he puts an end to these “Subjective” reviews and becomes a little more scientific the PC industry just has to stop give this guy any attention…

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iPad vs OSX vs Windows 8

A lot of detail has now been released about Windows on Arm (a.k.a. WOA) by the massive post from Steven Sinofsky (see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/09/building-windows-for-the-arm-processor-architecture.aspx). Therefore I thought I would do a little comparison of the features of Windows 8, OSX and the iPad.

  iPad OSX Windows 8 on Arm Traditional WinTel
AppStore Yes Yes Yes Yes
Keyboard   Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Touch   Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Instant   Wake Yes No (2 secs) Yes No (2 secs)
Extended   Battery Yes No Yes No
WiFi Yes Yes Yes Yes
3G   Support Yes No Yes Yes
Email Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calender Yes Yes Yes Yes
Photos Yes Yes Yes Yes
File Sync Yes Yes Yes Yes
In Built PDF Support Yes Yes Possibly Possibly
Office   Productivity Purchase Purchase Yes Purchase
AV   Software NA NA NA Required
Cross   Architecture Apps No No Yes Yes
Stand   Alone Apps No Yes No Yes
Mouse   Support No Yes Yes Yes
RFID No No Yes Yes
USB Port No Yes Yes Yes
USB Mass   Storage No Yes Yes Yes
Browse   Add-In No Yes No Yes
Multiple   Users No Yes Yes Yes
HDMI   Support No Yes Supported Supported
Secure   Boot NA No Required Optional
Memory   Stick Limited No Yes Yes
Enterprise   Management Limited Limited ? Yes
Printer   Support Limited Yes Limited Yes
Multitasking Limited Yes Limited Yes
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