Despite their name, icons tend to be unappreciated, at least in Windows. But it's ridiculously easy to replace most icons with new (and better) ones, or add icons for specific uses (like the program your cell phone uses to talk to your PC). We're big fans of icon sets for Windows -- even more so when the icons are free. We recently came across a set of 343 high-quality Metro Style icons for Windows from VisualPharm, a developer dedicated to beautifying the Windows user interface. It's a simple download; just a compressed set of icons and an … Read more
Do you use the Start button in Windows? If not, then you're supposedly the reason Microsoft got rid of it in Windows 8.
Chaitanya Sareen, principal program manager at Microsoft, told U.K. computer publication PC Pro that data indicated a decrease in the use of the Start button. Citing "telemetry" obtained by the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program, Sareen said the company found more users relying on the Windows taskbar for pinning and accessing their favorite software instead of going through the Start menu.
As a result of the reportedly dramatic drop in Start menu usage, … Read more
Microsoft's Surface tablet has got PC makers hopping mad. So, they're going to do something about it.
"[PC makers] are pissed off and they are looking for strategies now to not only counter the iPad but counter Surface," said a source at a large company that's part of the ecosystem -- the component suppliers and device manufacturers -- that does business with PC makers.
Separately, Roger Kay, principal analyst at EndPoint Technologies, told CNET last week that there was no shortage of "teeth gnashing" among PC executives and managers in response to the … Read more
The Twitter client MetroTwit is now a full-fledged Metro app available free through Microsoft's Windows store.
MetroTwit users who install the app in the Windows 8 Release Preview will find it similar in many ways to its Windows desktop counterpart.
The app starts off by displaying a column for your traditional Twitter timeline. Clicking on a tweet opens an app bar at the bottom of the screen with a variety of options. You can view the tweet full-screen, reply to it, retweet it, and mark it as a favorite. More options let you open the tweet at Twitter's … Read more
Microsoft's new programming model WinRT -- showcased by the new Windows 8 -- is designed to keep Microsoft relevant in the increasingly mobile world, analysts from research firm Gartner said in a statement today.
"Windows 8 is the start of Microsoft's effort to respond to market demands and competitors, as it provides a common interface and programming API (application programing interface) set from phones to servers," Michael Silver, vice president and analyst at Gartner, said in a press release.
Windows 8 Pro tablets have a shot at slowing iPad adoption at large companies, said Deutsche Bank -- though an analyst tempered the assessment with reservations.
Microsoft's Surface tablet running Windows 8 Pro can "leverage" the large existing base of Windows customers, giving it a better chance at checking the "penetration" of Apple's iPad at large business accounts, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore wrote in a research note on Monday.We see the x86-based Pro as a corporate [laptop] replacement. This offering has more potential because the OS is backward compatible, has more robust … Read more
How many ways can Microsoft tick off its partners in the wake of the Surface tablet announcement? Well, here's another.
At issue is Microsoft's access to PC makers' designs, said Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy and formerly an executive at Advanced Micro Devices.
"Microsoft looked at what the [PC makers] were doing, seeing if it could meet their Windows 8 needs and then took action based on that," he said in a phone interview, citing conversations with -- and the sentiment of -- senior level executives at top-tier PC makers.
Moorhead continued. "… Read more
Despite Microsoft's best efforts on Monday to demonstrate why Surface is different, it's a crowded market out there.
All of the first-tier players like Samsung, Amazon, Sony, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and Motorola (not to mention a Google-branded device that is expected) have already saturated the Android tablet market.
And then there's the iPad, which is simply shorthand for tablet in a lot of consumers' minds and commands most of the market. And has a two-year head start, to boot.
So, it's a tall order for Microsoft and Windows 8.
That said, the rollout of the 10.… Read more
Huawei promised CNET some 4G LTE action, and with the Huawei Activa 4G, the phone maker is ready to deliver.
If you're thinking this is the smartphone version of a certain yogurt with bifidus regularis, stop, because the Activa (pronounced "ACT-iv-uh") is in fact Huawei's first U.S. phone to get 4G, and it's available starting today at MetroPCS stores.
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone has a 3.54-inch HVGZ touch screen (480x320 pixels), a 5-megapixel camera with flash, and comes with a 4GB microSD that's preloaded with "Kung Fu Panda 2.&… Read more
Dominated by Metro apps, the Windows Store has landed its first desktop program.
Office 2010 is now available through the online store, making good on Microsoft's promise that it would offer both desktop and Metro apps for Windows 8 users. But there is a key difference between the two.
Users can download both the free and paid Metro apps directly from the store. A simple Install button downloads and then installs the app in the background. An alert flashes on the screen once the app is fully installed.
The listings for desktop software serve more as pointers to external … Read more