Archive

Posts Tagged ‘announcements’

How to download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Trial right now

November 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Original Post: http://www.ghacks.net/2013/10/17/download-windows-8-1-enterprise-trial-right-now/?_m=3n%2e003a%2e154%2evh0ao03kwj%2e5n3

By

You have probably already noticed that Microsoft has released the Windows 8.1 update a bit early today. All Windows 8 users can install the upgrade by visiting the built-in store of the operating system. That’s very convenient, even though it is not that different from distributing the update via Windows Update.

Installation via the store is just one of the options to upgrade to Windows 8.1. It is likely that Microsoft will make available ISO images of the operating system as well, but those are not yet available.

But what if you want to test the new version of Windows first before you make the plunge and upgrade your operating system to it?

Microsoft has released a trial version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise that you can install for that purpose.

Windows 8.1 Download

windows 8.1 enterprise download

You can download Windows 8.1 Enterprise from Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center. Here are the most important requirements and information about it:

  • The evaluation version is provided as a 32-bit and 64-bit ISO image.
  • The following languages are available: English (United States), English (Great Britain), German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portugese, Russian, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional).
  • You do need a Microsoft account to download the ISO image from the site.
  • The trial version is good for 90-days.

Hardware Requirements

  • CPU: 1 GHz processor or faster.
  • RAM: 1 Gigabyte (32-bit) or 2 Gigabyte (64-bit).
  • Hard Disk space: 16 Gigabyte (32-bit) or 20 Gigabyte (64-bit).
  • Graphics Card: DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

To download, select whether you want to download the 32-bit or 64-bit ISO image of Windows 8.1 and proceed. You are asked to sign in to your Microsoft account on the next page, and are taken to a form on the page thereafter.

Most fields are filled out automatically, but you need to make a couple of choices manually before you can start the download. Probably the most important choice is the language of the download. Make sure you pick the right language here and select data for the other fields that are not auto-filled.

If you prefer direct download links, here they are for the English version:

32-bit English Windows 8.1 Enterprise

64-bit English Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Note: The downloads may change at any time. Please notify us when that is the case so that we can correct the download links. They point to official Microsoft servers.

Windows 8.1 to be released officially on October 17

August 18, 2013 1 comment

You will have to wait another two months before you can install the final Windows 8.1 update on existing Windows 8 machines or buy computer systems that ship with it pre-installed. Many users expected Microsoft to release the update in August, but that was never more than a rumor.
Windows 8.1 will hit the market about a year after the official release of the Windows 8 operating system, and it will be free for existing users.

The update will be available for all Windows 8 users through the Windows Store on October 17th, and as a retail version starting October 18th. While not explicitly mentioned, it is likely that the update will also be made available as a standalone download.

Interested users can still download and install the Windows 8.1 Preview which provides them with some but not all of the new features that Microsoft has integrated in the update.

Some of the features that are already available are Internet Explorer 11, a revamped search behavior, a redesigned Windows Store, integrated cloud connectivity with SkyDrive or more personalization options.

Features that were not included in the preview are a new bunch of tutorials that help you understand how to operate Windows 8.1 new cues that help users find and use features in the operating system, or the new “motion accents” personalization feature that animates the background when you scroll on the start screen interface of the operating system.

windows 8.1 help

New features added after the Windows 8.1 Preview

  • Windows-X menu now with sign-out option.
  • New “motion accents” feature on start screen.
  • New tutorials, including screenshots, short textual explanations, animations or links to Internet contents.
  • Apps list extended.
  • Several core apps have received updates.
  • Tooltips in the lower right corner for additional options are displayed in many core Microsoft apps which shows more commands (similar to right-clicking on pages or using Windows-Z)
  • Assigned Access is back. Select a (user) account to have access to only one Windows Store app.
  • SkyDrive fully integrated in the system. You can now change the location of the SkyDrive folder on your hard drive.

The most likely scenario right now is that Microsoft will finish up testing of the operating system in August, get the RTM release of Windows 8.1 out soon thereafter and distribute it to OEMs and partners so that they can start integrating it into their products.

It is interesting to note that Microsoft may not make the RTM version available on MSDN or Technet soon after it is hitting RTM status. That’s however just a rumor at this time and not something that got confirmed by Microsoft yet.

If you want to get your hands on the update at the earliest possible – legal – moment, you may need to download and install it by visiting Windows Store.

Here is a video that highlights many of the changes of the latest Windows 8.1 build.

It is clear that Microsoft is addressing several of the issues that users of Windows 8 had with the operating system. Windows 8.1 attempts to provide users with additional visual cues and tutorials to understand features of the system.

Facebook: how to control what friends leak to apps about you

August 5, 2013 1 comment

Original Post: http://www.ghacks.net/2013/08/04/facebook-how-to-control-what-friends-leak-to-apps-about-you/?_m=3n%2e0038%2e962%2evh0ao03kwj%2ezo5

By on August 4, 2013 – TAGS: None

If you are using Facebook, and who is not really, you are probably aware that what you post publicly on the site is accessible by anyone. That’s why you can limit the accessibility of information to certain groups of users, friends only for example or friends of friends, so that information are not just available to anyone who happens to stumble upon your profile.

Things become more complicated when it comes to apps on the social networking site. If you want to run apps, you usually have to allow them to access information about you that they request. This can be your email address, photos you have posted, your friends list or your age and gender.

That’s still fairly accessible on the website, as you get a list of all permissions that an application requests on Facebook before it is enabled. In other words, you have to explicitly allow the app before it gets access to the data.

facebook apps

What many Facebook users do not know is that there is another way that part of their personal information may leak to apps, and this time without their doing.

Other user groups may have access to your information. Friends for instance usually have access to most information that you have published on Facebook. If those friends run apps that request information from friends, then your data may leak to apps even if you do not want that to happen.

Facebook has privacy settings for that however that you can modify to make sure that only information that you are comfortable with leak to apps your friends run.

Let me show you how you configure that option.

Apps other use

You need to open the App Settings on Facebook. You can do so either by clicking on the link int he last sentence, or with a click on the small dropdown arrow at the top right of your profile, the selection of settings from the context menu, and the selection of Apps on the page that opens up.

Here you find listed all apps that you are using. You may want to go through the list as well just to make sure that only apps that you are still using are in that list. If you find old apps listed here that you do not use anymore, retract the permissions you gave them and remove them from your profile.

Below that is the “Apps others use” section. Click on the edit button to the right to change the data that apps that others use have access to.

apps others use

All checked items are accessible by apps that your friends run while all unchecked items are not. If you do not want any of the data to be accessible, uncheck all items and click on the save changes button afterwards.

Note that you do not have control over all profile information here. The only option to block all information from being accessible by apps is to turn off the apps platform. This may have consequences though, as you cannot use apps or games anymore, and also cannot use Facebook to log in on third party sites or services.

If you do not do any of those, you may want to consider turning of Platform apps though.

Microsoft launches Office for Android, tablet users need not apply

August 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Original Post: http://www.ghacks.net/2013/07/31/microsoft-launches-office-for-android-tablet-users-need-not-apply/?_m=3n%2e0038%2e959%2evh0ao03kwj%2ezke

By on July 31, 2013

Microsoft has already released the long awaited Office for iPhone, but Android remained only a dream and a rumor. Now the software company makes good on that with the roll out of a version for the Google mobile operating system. The app went live today in the Google Play store, but there are a few catches.

The app itself is free, but users must be Office 365 customers — a service that charges per month or annually, depending on the plan one chooses.

Installing is easy — customers can do so from the web, which displays a drop-down list of devices, or straight from the device itself. If you choose the former then you will be greeted with a list of all of your Android products. My Google TV box was obviously greyed out, but so were both my tablets — the app is only for phones. In fact, only for phones running Ice Cream Sandwich and newer, meaning the old Droid X (yes, I still have it). This left only the Galaxy Nexus, as the Asus MeMO and brand new Nexus 7 were not compatible.

download-page

Once the app is fired up you will need to agree to the usual terms of service — nothing unusual in it, as I read through just to make sure. Then comes the catch — you need an Office 365 subscription. If you purchased one for your home computers then you are set, otherwise you have a problem here. I will assume you have it and continue on. Log in with your email and password and get started.

Now with the app open, you will find a list of the docs you have saved, but only those saved to SkyDrive — do not expect to find your locally stored docs.

The top of the screen contains three options, consisting of the aforementioned files, creating new documents and searching other locations.

The app will only allow for the access of Word and Excel files and templates, and Settings gives access to rather basic information, most of which will be familiar to Office customers.

Conclusion

Bear in mind that this is version 1.0, so there may be a speedbump or two along the way, but for the most part the app seems fully fledged. OneNote was already available for Android, so the addition of Word and Excel is welcome, and other parts of the Office suite are probably unneeded — I doubt anyone wishes to edit or create a PowerPoint display on a phone.

Dropbox 2.0 client update brings a new desktop menu

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Original Post: http://www.ghacks.net/2013/03/12/dropbox-2-0-client-update-brings-a-new-desktop-menu/?_m=3n%2e0038%2e818%2evh0ao03kwj%2eubz

By on March 12, 2013//

Dropbox has just released version 2.0 of its desktop client for all supported operating systems. For some, it may be a disappointing update especially so if the latest experimental version of Dropbox is already installed on the system.

Dropbox 2.0 brings a new desktop menu to all versions of the file synchronization client that improves your interaction with files that have been recently changed, uploaded or shared.

When you click on the desktop icon on your system right now, you are presented with a list of recent changes and shares. This is helpful if the count is three or less, and not so much if you receive dozens or more files at a time as only the last three are displayed here.

dropbox 2.0

One of the new features of the menu is the share button that is displayed when you hover your mouse over a recently changed item in your Dropbox. A click on the share button opens the Dropbox website in the default system browser. Here you are then taken to the sharing screen to share the file with email, Facebook or Twitter contacts.

The second new feature is the list of recent team or sharing activity right in the menu. Here you see the most recent invites that you may have received as well as the latest files that someone shared with you.

dropbox sharing

If someone invites you to share a folder, you can use the menu to accept or decline that invitation right from the desktop.

The Dropbox 2.0 update will roll our slowly as usual, and if you want to get it right now, you should grab the installer from the official Dropbox website and install the new version manually on your system. Note that I ran into issues doing so and had to uninstall the existing desktop client of Dropbox before I was able to install the new version on my Windows 7 system.

The new desktop menu seems to be the only change that Dropbox implemented into version 2.0 of their client.

FMGem: music video player with YouTube integration

March 9, 2013 2 comments

Original Post: http://www.ghacks.net/2013/03/07/fmgem-music-video-player-with-youtube-integration/?_m=3n%2e0038%2e815%2evh0ao03kwj%2eu5n

By on March 7, 2013 – Tags:

//

YouTube is without doubt one of the largest online repositories in regards to music and music videos that is available on today’s Internet. While it is likely that you find nearly every artist and song imaginable on the video hosting site if only you look long enough for it, it needs to be mentioned that the search capabilities are not really the best on the site itself. While you can type in the name of a song or artist, you often end up with unrelated videos thrown into the mix and combing through all results often takes longer than it should.

FMGem is a relative new service available on the Internet that makes available YouTube’s vast music archive on its own website. That in itself would not be really spectacular, but the integration of a music database that provides you with detailed information about bands, their albums and songs, is.

fmgem music

Here is how it works. You type the name of a song, artist or album you are interested in to the search form on top and wait for the results to be populated. Depending on that, you are either presented with a list of videos right away displayed on the left side of the screen, or a selection menu where you are asked to pick the name of the band or album from a list of results.

You can switch to albums search mode instead which is where most of the magic happens. If you enter Abba for instance here or any other band name, you are presented with a list of albums that were released by that band. A click on an album displays the list of songs included in that album, and a click on any of the songs here displays matching videos on the left again.

You can also use the add all button to add all of the songs to a playlist that is then automatically played while you are on the site. The site is also displaying related music on the right which you can also add to your playlist if you like.

music youtube

What’s excellent about FMGem is that it is really working well in combining music information, e.g. band names, songs or albums, with content that you find on YouTube. While you sometimes find a dud in the results listing, those seem to be less frequently there than if you would be searching for music directly on YouTube.

A couple of options are displayed right above the playlist section on the site. Here you can for instance navigate between items easily, remove the sidebars and playlist area to make more room for the actual video, or share what you have discovered on sites like Reddit or Facebook.

You can use the site to create your own playlist of music that brings you through the day. Just search for artists and albums you want to listen to and add those that you find to the playlist. Everything else happens automatic from that moment on and you can theoretically minimize the browser window or switch tabs while continuing to listen to music in the background.

The interface itself looks a bit messy, but it should not take long to get used to it. All in all an excellent site for Internet users who like to listen to music while they are on the Internet.

Windows 9 to be released November 2014?

March 2, 2013 2 comments

Original Post: http://www.ghacks.net/2013/02/28/windows-9-to-be-released-november-2014/?_m=3n%2e003a%2e116%2evh0ao03kwj%2e487

By on February 28, 2013 – TAGS: None

//

We do not know a lot about the operating system that is coming after Windows 8. It has been rumored for a while that Microsoft wants to reduce the time span between operating system releases considerable, and one of the technologies that got mentioned in this regard over and over again is Windows Blue.

As it stands now, Windows Blue does not seem to be Windows 9, and while none of this has been confirmed officially, it appears as if we are going to see a release of Windows Blue this year. It is interesting to note that Microsoft is keeping the tight-lipped approach about future products after the departure of Steve Sinofsky.

If rumors turn out to be true, Windows Blue will be a free update for Windows 8 users coming this August. Information about Windows Blue were posted on a Chinese forum. The main points posted there are:

  • No major UI changes, which means no start menu, no changes to start screen / desktop interface.
  • Lower power consumption.
  • Better performance, downsized Kernel.
  • Scaling improved for Metro apps
  • Multi-screen applications.

If you take this into account, it looks more like a service pack then a new version of Windows. Instead of releasing service packs, Microsoft seems to move towards a system that is similar to Apple’s release schedule.

Today news about Windows 9 were posted on Soft-forum that suggest the following timeline for the operating system:

  • 7 January 2014 Windows 9 Beta
  • July 2014 Windows 9 Release Candidate
  • October 2014 Windows 9 RTM
  • November 2014: Windows 9 Release

windows 9 release date

It needs to be noted that this has not been confirmed and should be taken with a grain of salt until it is. If true, it would confirm the faster deployment of operating systems as Windows 9 would be released only 2 years and 1 month after Windows 8.

What strikes me as odd is that there is only one month between the Windows 9 RTM and the public availability of the operating system.

With Windows Blue being released in 2013, it could very well mean that we will see a new version of Windows being released each year from now one.

Based on all the rumors currently in circulation, it seems as if Windows Blue will be more like a service pack type of update for Windows 8, while Windows 9 may introduce major changes to the system instead.

%d bloggers like this: