“Below is the breakdown of when the devices will be available in each market:
China and Hong Kong availability beginning January 15. Australia and New Zealand availability beginning January 28. Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom availability beginning February 18.”
It took me a while to get the release Windows 10 installed on hardware which does it justice. I’d been trying the ‘insider’ builds on an old machine which only gave me a chance truly test one aspect of Microsoft’s latest operating system: how well it runs on minimal spec hardware.
I thought it was impressive Windows 10 installed on a 4 year old Netbook—Atom processor, 2GB ram, 1024x600 screen—at all, let alone run acceptably! It was useful to evaluate the desktop focused user interface improvements in 10, if not their performance.
Fixing Windows 8(.1) for the desktop?
Although it seems few ‘desktop’ users liked Windows 8 UI, on a touch machine the radical changes from 7 mostly made sense. Perhaps the biggest fault was a reliance on ‘discovery’ of the fly-out controls/menus and, even in 8.1, dismal explanation of the changes for new/migrating users.
I’m one of the minority who preferred 8, even more so 8.1, on a desktop too. With frequently used apps pinned to the taskbar I rarely used the Start menu in 7. In 8 I found the ability to configure and name tile groups for lesser used apps on the Start Screen far more convenient than 7 Starts limited pinned icons, apps list or (even worse) a desktop full of application icons.
Yes, 8 jarred when the full screen menu appeared but the ‘Use desktop background” Start option introduced in 8.1 helped with that. The option to launch direct to the desktop meant you could almost avoid the Start screen altogether if the desktop was your focus.
Irrespective of that, and given the market reaction, Microsoft had to ‘fix’ 8 and their focus on the desktop in 10 is entirely understandable.
The thing I most worried about through the 10 preview was touch as it didn’t seem to get much attention until late in the process. Now I have the release 10 on my ATIV hybrid tablet I’m happy to find ‘fixing’ the desktop, ‘restoring’ the Start menu, hasn’t broken the touch interface.
When a model mixes with reality the results are stunning!
There’s more info on the Hololens hardware — the first fully untethered, see-through ‘holographic’ computer that will arrive with Windows 10 — in the video below:
“Windows 10 is the first platform to support holographic computing with APIs that enable gaze, gesture, voice, and environmental understanding on an untethered device. Microsoft HoloLens, together with Windows 10, will bring high‑definition holograms to life in your world”
I’ve really enjoyed testing Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system: MS-DOS Mobile. It runs incredibly quickly on my Lumia 1520, once the boot sequence is finished. Typing commands is quick, v1.0 even supports a swipe keyboard which is something Apple didn’t get until iOS 8.
The camera app — C:\Camera of course — offers ASCII, B&W or VGA CGA Colour! I tested the ASCII mode with a shot of The Warehouse Sylvia Park store front. Amazing resolution for a mobile device!
Sadly Autodesk’s app support for MS-DOS Mobile (none) almost matches their Windows Phone app portfolio!
Today (31-3-2015) Microsoft launch MS-DOS Mobile, a new OS designed especially for Lumia smartphones. Microsoft are going back to where productivity started for millions of people, launching a beautifully simple OS. The MS-DOS Mobile preview is an essential download for those who remember life before Windows, those who want to go back to BASIC, or even those looking to boot into DOS for the first time. MS-DOS Mobile is available for download today http://lumia.ms/msdosmobile Footage courtesy of the Microsoft Archives.
UPDATE 04/3/2015: Got the camera resolution wrong, it is CGA!
I really like the HERE Drive+ GPS application on my Nokia phones. Although I usually know where I’m going I run it all the time for traffic and speed limit reminders.
Recently swapping from Drive+ to any other app, even dismissing an incoming call, would cause it to close as it reappeared full screen. This was annoying as the destination and acquired traffic info were missing when it relaunched.
I tried removing and reinstalling the Drive+ app alone but that didn’t help. Removing all the HERE apps (Maps, Drive+, Transit and City Lens), rebooting the phone, then reinstalling fixed it. As data is saved in my Here account it was restored in the reinstalled apps. HERE to stay again!
Tomorrow evening’s Microsoft Cloud & Infrastructure Meetup is a look at Windows 10. Meetup at Microsoft Auckland from 17:00 for pizza, beer and networking followed by a demo and open forum discussion. I’ll be there, if you want to come just RSVP via meetup.
Welcome back! We start this year off with a great Meet Up. Join us to hear Nathan Mercer present the new Windows 10 and how it's the most personal version to date, sharing apps, services and content across all your Windows 10 devices. See a demo of Windows 10 and be ready for plenty of discussion
Another year has flown by and it is 2014. Time to look back at 2013 from a bloggy (not just CAD) perspective:
Best Blog Event:
For me the event of the year, blog’wise, was the Revit Technology Conference. It was an inspiring mix of education, inspiration, meeting new folks (many Kiwis from out of town) and reunions. I didn’t get to Autodesk University this year but RTC meant some of the notable AU speakers came to me.
Also notable that it was ‘at home’, Auckland, but also a new experience. The evening dinner was in an Auckland venue I’ve known about all my life but never visited. What was once the 1970s licenced restaurant ‘Fishermans Wharf’ has transformed, after several dubious previous attempts to revive it, into a quality reception venue “The Wharf’. It sits under the harbour bridge I cross on my daily work commute but I’d never been there, or seen Auckland from that point of view, before RTC!
I also attended two other conferences —Skeptics NZ and TEDx Auckland—which were also excellent but haven’t blogged much about them yet!
I found the comments on a post about my Samsung ATIV PC most interesting this year. The initial units had a dock fault and my experience and several readers—as seen in the comments—getting this sorted was interesting. I felt the retail channels handled it well but was totally underwhelmed by the lack of information from Samsung NZ.
It was apparent the retailers were not getting much supporting info, repair status or time, and a direct approach to Samsung NZ (who are literally next door to my work) was a complete waste of time. I wonder if mentioning I was blogging about it would have made any difference but didn’t as wanted to see the consumer experience.
While the issue was eventually resolved (and the hardware has since been fine) I won’t be favouring Samsung when the time comes to replace my PC and phone.
I’ve added a bunch of podcasts to my regular listening this year but one of the best offers a local spin on the world of IT, Tech and gadgets:
A weekly look at all things Microsoft, including Windows, Windows Phone, Office, Xbox, and more, from two of the foremost Windows watchers in the world, Paul Thurrott of the Super Site for Windows and Mary Jo Foley of All About Microsoft.
Check out their December “best of 2013” shows for a flavour of these podcasts.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the demise of RSS, or at least my use of it.
While the technology is still a vital part of web services Google killing its Reader portal and, despite some reasonable attempts, the lack of a decent Web, Windows Modern/Metro/Phone reader which could handle the volume of feeds I use has greatly reduced my use.
I still have a desktop reader on my tablet/PC but must admit use it perhaps weekly rather than the previous daily use. My prime replacement for keeping current is Twitter with RSS reading now just a useful backup.
Twitter is instant; both its strength and weakness. If something is happening you’ll see it there but it flashes into history in minutes, even seconds. With a RSS reader you can look at your feeds and review a weeks, months posts at any time. As for Facebook, only really use it to keep up with those people and communities who are only on Facebook.
March was the busiest in a year which was pretty consistent. Posts from March 2013:
Overall traffic was down about 10% but probably because I’ve posted less this year than due to any other factor.
I’ve become even more of a lazy blogger, not posting much, which is something I also mentioned last year.
Some of that has been lack of opportunity to try some great new technologies (some cloud access limitations) but also not making the time to finish an increasing backlog of draft posts.
That quote about ‘my work never being finished, only abandoned’ seemed to happen in the draft stage for many posts this year.
Best Blog Tool:
I’ve had no problems filling this category before now but can’t think of anything radical which grabbed my attention over the previous year.
One aspect I’ve refined is use of a Windows Tablet and SkyDrive (replacing Live Mesh) for much of my blogging resources. I also switched to Windows Phone after my old iPhone 3GS finally literally cracked up (from use not abuse).
I haven’t regretted the move to a Microsoft only platform as the iOS apps I used, as opposed to those I had, were available. I think it really is easier to live in one ecosystem no matter which one you choose.
Happy New Year!
Thanks for visiting, reading and coming back. Lets see what 2014 brings!