Archive for the ‘ Microsoft ’ Category

Lesson learned: Windows 8 upgrade will be $40

Microsoft will offer downloads of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for a mere $40 until January 31, 2013 — cheaper even than the Windows 7 upgrade promotion, where even the Home edition went for $50. The deal will be available through Windows.com, and will work for previous installs of Windows 7, Vista, or even XP. Competition from Apple’s $30 Lion and $20 Mountain Lion upgrades are likely a factor in Microsoft’s surprisingly reasonable price, but so is the need to entice consumers to a new platform.

Windows 8 is a major shift in the Windows metaphor, and many people aren’t sold on it, especially the Start screen that’s replacing the traditional Start menu. Microsoft is likely hoping to take the sting out of such a drastic change by making the Windows 8 upgrade cheap and available for older versions.

The whole upgrade process, including purchase and download, will be handled by the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, which checks for application/device compatibility and moves data from the previous install. Exactly what users will be able to keep depends on which old version they’re coming from: Windows 7 can port over files, programs, and OS settings; Windows Vista only settings and files; XP installs only get to keep files. The upgrade will also have options to not move over any data at all, or to format the hard drive via a bootable USB device or a burned DVD. After upgrading, Windows Media Center will be available as a free added feature.

It’s good to see Microsoft getting fully behind their next operating system by keeping the price low and trying to make the upgrade experience as smooth as possible. The low cost may not be enough for users content with Windows 7, but for anyone using XP it will be tough to pass up a $40 Windows 8 upgrade for a much pricier copy of Windows 7.

via Windows 8 official blog

IE10 Preview: HTML5 First Look

Internet Explorer 10 logo

Over the last year we’ve been putting every new major mobile platform through a battery of tests to assess how they stack up as an HTML5 application platform. So far, it’s been thumbs up on Apple, RIM and HP tablets and thumbs down on Android tablets. But we’re still crossing our fingers that the Ice Cream Sandwich release of Android will make the grade.

To date, we haven’t spent time on Windows phones, mostly because the Windows Phone 7 browser was so poor that it wasn’t worth evaluating. However, at the Windows Build conference last week we got our hands on a developer preview tablet running Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10. We wanted to share our first impression of the HTML5 experience. Simply put, (and with the caveat that we were running on the notably overpowered developer preview hardware) the IE10 HTML5 experience is one of the best we’ve seen on any platform to date. After a decade of web neglect, Microsoft is back with a vengeance.

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