Internet Explorer 10 Now Available for Windows 7

Internet-Explorer-10Internet Explorer 10 is finally ready for Windows 7. Exactly four months after IE 10 officially debuted with Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft has managed to get its browser ready for Windows 7 users. Unfortunately, if you are still on Vista or XP, you are out of luck. Microsoft is no longer interested in supporting you. Of course, there are plenty of alternatives, each of which works flawlessly even on the more than a decade old Windows XP.

One of the things that kept Microsoft busy while making Internet Explorer 10 compatible with Windows 7 was touch API support. In fact, ArsTechnica is reporting that installing Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 requires the installation of a platform update that brings Windows 7’s version of these APIs in line with Windows 8. Hardware acceleration using Direct2D and DirectWrite is also in. Other features Microsoft is touting include 60% increase in supported modern web standards, 20% improvement in rendering speed, and improved security, privacy and reliability.

If you installed the preview release, Internet Explorer 10 will be marked as an important update for you, otherwise it will be an optional update. However, Microsoft will be marking Internet Explorer 10 as an important update in more and more regions over the coming months. As per the default Windows Update settings, important updates are automatically downloaded, while optional updates aren’t.

[ Download Internet Explorer 10 ]

Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich Natively Ported To Windows 7/8

Up until now, if users wanted to use Android on their Windows based PC, they had to use VirtualBox or any other VM manager.

While the average joe is not interested in running Android on his PC, it definitely comes in handy for developers as it allows them to test their app on the PC instead of switching to their phone or tablet every time.

Now, to make the life of developers easier, some gracious Chinese developers have managed to port Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich to Windows 7/Windows 8. This is a native port of Windows, and does not require any kind of VM environment.

While there is no Play Store yet, the developers are working hard on porting it along with the other Google goodies. Sideloading of APKs is possible, which will make it easier for developers to test their app. The performance is also impressively smooth with hardly any stability issues. Since the port is kernel dependent, it will not work on Windows XP or other versions of Windows.

A video of Android 4.0.3 running on a Windows based PC can be found here. An early release of the port can be downloaded from here.

Via – Reddit

Upgrade To Windows 8 Pro For Only $19.99/Rs 1,999

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled its much-awaited successor to Windows 7 – Windows 8. The company has been working hard on Windows 8 for the last few months, and aims to change how people use a computer with its new Modern UI, inspired from its own Windows Phone 7 UI.

Unlike Apple which usually charges around 20$ for its operating system upgrades, Microsoft is known to charge a couple of hundred dollars for a Windows license. Thankfully, with Windows 8, Microsoft has kicked off a new promotional campaign that will allow existing Windows XP, Vista or 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $19.99 or only Rs 1,999 for us Indians.

The promotional offer is, however, only valid from October 26th to 31st January, 2013 and is limited to five licenses per customer. Keep in mind that this promotional offer is only for users who already have a genuine license of Windows XP, 7 or Vista and are interested in upgrading to Windows 8. The full terms and conditions for the promotional offer and other information are available here.

If you got a new Windows based PC after June 2 with Windows 7 pre-loaded, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 or Rs. 700 INR. Head over to Windows Upgrade Offer to register yourself and get a Windows 8 Pro license copy for cheap.

Microsoft: 670 Million Windows 7 Licenses Sold

At Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch event in NYC earlier today, Windows President Steven Sinofsky dropped the news tidbit that 670 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold as of now, also praising the operating system’s business adoption rate — which he touted to be the “best ever” — and its status as the “most widely used and widely praised OS ever”.

Here’s a list of other notable Windows 7 sales milestones:

March 4, 2010 – Over 90 million copies sold.

April 23, 2010 — Over 100 million copies sold, six months after general availability.

June 23, 2010 — Over 150 million copies sold, making it the fastest selling operating system in history with approximately (and ironically) 7 copies being sold every second.

July 22, 2010 — Over 175 million copies sold.

October 21, 2010 — Over 240 million copies sold.

January 27, 2011 — Over 300 million copies sold.

July 12, 2011 — Over 400 million copies sold.

January 19, 2012 — Over 525 million copies sold.

June 6, 2012 — Over 600 million copies sold.

It’s definitely well-deserved boasting; the improvements and polish added to Windows 7 led to an overwhelmingly positive launch and reception, one that greatly contrasted that of Windows Vista. Now, the big question is how the public will take to Windows 8, and whether it will be an equally big hit despite its major and risky changes.

Opinion: Google Hammers the Final Nail in XP’s Coffin

Windows XP has had a good run. It was released on October 25, 2001. Oddly enough, Microsoft plans to unveil Windows 8 on that same date here in a few short weeks. There is no question that Windows XP was a raging success. Compared to earlier versions of Windows, XP was simply a much more stable workhorse. It kind of reminds me of the old Volkswagen Beetles. Those old 60’s and 70’s models are still running the roads today. Though Windows 7 very recently took the top spot away, XP was certainly a testament to a well designed and flexible system. Did it have flaws? Of course it did, but it worked and quite frankly, I believe it worked pretty darn well. Unfortunately, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun and XP, I am sad to say, has run its course. If you’re like me, you’re probably not completely happy about this because from a business productivity standpoint, Windows 7 just doesn’t offer that much more than XP did. Windows 8 is probably going to be a lot of fun for tablet users, but I don’t see it doing for business what XP did. However, 11 years is a long time for a car to run and 11 years is an awful long time for an OS to run. That has been a major problem for Microsoft whose Windows 7 OS, until recently, was essentially competing against its older brother XP. Why is this a problem? First of all, Microsoft exists to make money. Second, you can’t exist as a business with no cash flow. Now I do realize that Microsoft has other products, but they have lost significant revenue over the years due to the fact that they just couldn’t get users to switch from XP.


Google Driving the Nail

All this being said you would think that Microsoft would be the one pounding the final nail in Windows XP’s coffin. The first major sign that XP started dying on the vine was when Internet Explorer 9 was released but wasn’t supported on Windows XP. As it stands however, Microsoft does intend to support Windows XP until April of 2014. Just don’t expect anything significant to be developed for it. The odd news however, is that a recent announcement by Google may be the final nail in the coffin for XP. Here’s a tidbit from their recent blog post:

Internet Explorer 10 launches on 10/26/2012, and as a result, we will discontinue support for Internet Explorer 8 shortly afterwards, on 11/15/2012. After this date users accessing Google Apps services using Internet Explorer 8 will see a message recommending that they upgrade their browser.

This is truly an interesting move on Google’s part and the timing may really play in Microsoft’s favor. Don’t get me wrong, Google is no doubt being opportunistic here. They began the aforementioned blog post with the bragging point that Google Chrome browser automatically updates itself to the most recent version so you never have to worry about things like this. Their timing is impeccable. As any successful business person knows, timing is everything. Now this policy is not something new. Google posted the following in June of last year:

As of August 1st, we will discontinue support for the following browsers and their predecessors: Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, and Safari 3. In these older browsers you may have trouble using certain features in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites, and eventually these apps may stop working entirely.

With this information in mind, I am not going to sit here and accuse Google of some evil scheme, nor am I saying that they are in cahoots with Microsoft by trying to force XP users to make the switch. However, the unintended consequence of this may just be that users will finally clue in that it is time to say goodbye to XP.

Windows 7 Has Sold 630 Million Licenses, Wants Nobody to Be Left off from Windows 8

At the opening keynote at their Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto on July 9, Microsoft officials said that they have now sold 630 million Windows 7 licenses so far. This comes on the heels of the announcement they made a month ago at Computex 2012, about reaching 600 million licenses sold.

The sheer number of licenses sold is huge, but putting some context makes it even bigger. For instance, the other announcement Microsoft made was that Windows 7 is now on over 50% of enterprise PCs. That means there are about 50% of enterprise PCs (barring a very small slice of Macs) which still have to upgrade. In addition, the appeal of simpler, highly-connected and mobile devices like the iPad and smartphones has slowed the sales of PCs, especially the low-end PCs. Finally, at least among consumers, you would think there is a feeling that it would be better to wait for new hardware that may come this Fall with Windows 8.

However, none of these factors seem to be affecting Windows 7 in any meaningful way. Add the following tidbits we know from the past few days:

  • Any PC bought from June 2 to the end of January 2013 will qualify for an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, for only $14.99.
  • Virtually any licensed Windows OS can be “upgraded” to Windows 8 Pro for only $40.
  • Any PC that runs Windows 7 well, will run Windows 8 equally well or most likely, better.
  • In a surprise move, Microsoft announced they are going to make their own tablets, both for Windows RT as well as for Windows 8 Pro.

In other words, Microsoft does not want to lose the Windows 7 momentum, but at the same time, it is also making it clear that while most consumers will get Windows 8 via a new PC purchased, they want existing users to upgrade too. They are making the “higher end” Windows 8 product, Windows 8 Pro, available for an inexpensive price and that is virtually regardless of what you are running today. Finally, they want to make sure customers get the best hardware for Windows 8, and implicitly telling OEMs that they need to step up their game and match the build quality and design or be left out by market economics.

Microsoft officials, especially CEO Steve Ballmer, have repeatedly said that Windows 8 is a big (and risky) deal for Microsoft. They are in the process of moving about 1.3 billion customers into a modern era of highly mobile, highly connected world of simpler devices.

Can’t say they are not trying in helping everyone with this move.

Microsoft: We’ve Sold Over 600 Million Windows 7 Licenses

Speaking at the Computex hardware event in Taiwan, Microsoft’s Steven Guggenheimer revealed that the company has sold over 600 million Windows 7 licenses to date. Now of course, Windows 7 is no stranger to well-deserved — and breathtaking — sales milestones. Here’s a list of their total milestones, bearing in mind that Windows 7 hit the shelves in October of 2009:

March 4, 2010 – Over 90 million copies sold.

April 23, 2010 — Over 100 million copies sold, six months after general availability.

June 23, 2010 — Over 150 million copies sold, making it the fastest selling operating system in history with approximately (and ironically) 7 copies being sold every second.

July 22, 2010 — Over 175 million copies sold.

October 21, 2010 — Over 240 million copies sold.

January 27, 2011 — Over 300 million copies sold.

July 12, 2011 — Over 400 million copies sold.

January 19 2012 — Over 525 million copies sold.

Microsoft is rightfully proud of this accomplishment. However, they do have their sights set on the future, with Guggenheimer pointing out that this is a crucial time for Microsoft with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in the pipeline, among other things.

“This is the biggest launch time in Microsoft’s history,” said Guggenheimer. “In addition to updating Windows client, Windows Server, phone and embedded platforms, there’s a massive wave of software and services coming to market that we think will delight customers, from Windows Azure, to Office 15, Xbox games, Skype and Bing.”

Here’s hoping that Microsoft can pull off similarly astounding sales figures with Windows 8; judging by their infamous OS release patterns — of unleashing a major, yet fairly unrefined OS (Vista) and then a successor that fixes issues and adds finesse (7) — people may be a bit wary of just jumping on the 8 bandwagon, especially considering the rather radical changes. We shall see, of course, but I do wish Windows 8 luck in gaining a piece of the tablet market.

Image Source: Zeusandhera (Flickr)

Windows 8: Embrace Or Reject?

Windows Logo

Microsoft made the “Consumer Preview” (beta) of the next version of their Windows operating system, Windows 8, available on February 29, 2012 in Barcelona. Since then, they also tweeted that they had over one million downloads within the first 24 hours. Needless to say, the interest in the new operating system is very high. It is so high that the casual users are screaming “I love it” and some of the power users are screaming “This is a piece of confusing mess”. Here is my take, trying to take a step back and wondering aloud, if there is a method to the madness.

One of the biggest changes in Windows 8 is the removal of the Start Menu and the replacement of the same with the Start Screen. Not only is the medium different – the Start Menu is exactly that, a menu, whereas the Start Screen is a screenful of brightly colored tiles with animations showing photos, notifications, etc. – but also, Microsoft has made it difficult/impossible to revert to “classic” style. Microsoft has made it clear, there is no going back, and this is the way to the future. This is the cutoff from the past and Microsoft’s entry into the PC-Plus era. “Touch first”, “fast and fluid” and of course, “no compromise”. The latter has been the topic of a lot of controversy, as you will see later in this article.

ViewSonic to Launch New Android and Windows Tablets at MWC 2012

ViewSonic is on a roll. After its three new dual SIM Android smartphones – the ViewPhone 4s, 4e, and 5e – we have confirmation that it will be launching three new tablets too, at the Mobile World Congress this year.

Here are some details.

ViewSonic ViewPad G70

The ViewPad G70 seems similar to the ViewPad E70 which was a budget Android ICS tablet launched at CES 2012. It will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage and microSD card support. It will also sport a 2 MP camera and a 0.3 MP secondary camera. It also comes with mini-HDMI, micro-USB, and mini-USB slots. It will have a 7 inch display, presumably with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.

ViewSonic ViewPad E100

The ViewPad E100 comes with a 1 GHz processor and an IPS display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It will be powered by a 1 GHz processor and offer HDMI and USB connectivity and microSD card support. It weighs around 620 gms and is quite slim at just 9.1 mm.

ViewSonic ViewPad P100

The ViewPad P100 is a Windows 7 tablet which sports a 10 inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It’ll be powered by a dual core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N2600 processor.

We should see the complete spec sheets of all three tablets at their official unveiling at MWC 2012. Stay tuned.

ViewSonic ViewPad G70 P100

Microsoft Extends Support Period For Vista, 7

Ed Bott of ZDNet managed to spot a revision that Microsoft snuck into its support policy sometime this month that ups the support duration ante for Microsoft’s two latest consumer operating systems — Vista and 7 — to 10 years. He initially noticed it on the Microsoft Japan webpage, but shortly after received confirmation from Microsoft U.S. PR that this revision is in fact valid:

Microsoft is updating the Support Lifecycle policy for Windows desktop operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The update will provide a more consistent and predictable experience for customers using  Microsoft Windows operating systems across OEM, consumer and business editions.

Microsoft still requires that customers have the most current Service Pack installed in order to continue to receive updates.

Through this update, customers who remain on the most current supported service pack will be eligible to receive both Mainstream and Extended Support, for a total of 10 years. 

Bott notes that one must not mistake the support lifecycle of Windows for its sales lifecycle; you can’t purchase a retail copy of XP or Vista today. Once Windows 8 launches later this year, Microsoft will be supporting a total of 4 operating systems at once, until Windows XP reaches the end of its support lifecycle on April 4th, 2014. That’s right; in about two years, the OS that has clung onto the PCs of various users worldwide will finally not be supported. If any of you are reading this on Windows XP, I highly recommend that you upgrade to a modern operating system.