Friday, March 29, 2013

Samsung Debuts Galaxy S 4 Smartphone

With hundreds waiting in line and hundreds of thousands watching online, Samsung unveiled the flagship smartphone in its lineup, the Galaxy S4, at what seemed to be the center of the universe ,Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

If Apple has long been renowned for throwing spectacular events, Samsung proved itself equal to the task. Where Apple relied on the sheer charisma and magnetic personality of Steve Jobs in a black turtleneck, Samsung went for pizzazz, enlisting the talent of a myriad of dancers, a full orchestra and extravagant sets, at one point, a car was suspended sideways in midair , during the highly choreographed event. 

Radio City was packed with not just the media but also fans of the new kid on the block.
Samsung wasted little time before revealing its new flagship phone, accompanied with the tagline, “life companion.” More than just a smartphone, Samsung pushed the idea that the new Galaxy S4 is a constant friend, a willing companion and able assistant.

"For each of us, life is a journey. What you want is a device that can help us on the journey,” Samsung's CEO JK Shin said on stage later adding that “We will make life richer, simpler, and fuller.” (Shin proved himself a showman as well, though perhaps no Jobs; he appeared as several different characters throughout the hour-long, staged unveiling event.)

The smartphone will be available at the end of April in 155 countries, although Samsung did not reveal the price yet. Sprint immediately announced plans to carry the device, though it did not say when. 
“Sprint is excited to bring the benefit of Truly Unlimited 4G LTE data to the U.S. variant of Galaxy S 4 in the second quarter of this year,” Fared Adib, senior vice president of product development, said in a statement.
As expected, the phone is best in class against most quantifiable measures.

“It’s slimmer, yet stronger,” Shin said, who at one point appeared on stage dressed in full costume. The new phone is visually almost identical to its predecessor, the SIII, but slightly larger with a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen and a 13-megapixel camera, all of which is enclosed in a polycarbonate case that comes in white and black. It feels thin yet solid in the hand, and the screens transitioned smoothly and looked sharp.

The S4 is powered by a 1.9-Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM, and 4G LTE, running on a 2,600-mAh removable battery.
Samsung emphasized more “human” modes of interaction through eight sensors, including infrared “air” gesture and eye-tracking, enabling users to manipulate the device without actually touching it. 

An advanced touchscreen accepts input even with gloves on. The phone can also detect the temperature, humidity and your heartbeat.
More than impressive specs, Samsung showed off a plethora of new software features that includes instant translation, pictures with sound, and numerous TouchWiz updates. Samsung wants the Galaxy S4 to be central to your interconnected life, allowing seamless interaction with the cloud and also the ability to control your television or car. S-Health can then tell you how many calories you’ve burned and detect your sleeping patterns.

In the end, however, the S4 appears to be a continued evolution more than revolution. While every category appears to have been improved, there’s nothing that resoundingly screams “breakthrough,” despite the energy of the event, which was at once enthusiastic but sometimes also awkward. It also remains to be seen whether users embrace the mountain of new features.

But what is clear is that Samsung has once again raised the bar, leaving no stone unturned for the next generation of the world’s most popular Android phone, and will put further pressure on Apple with a new flagship that more or less lives up to expectations.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Updates To Angry Birds 365 Adds To Angry Birds 365


Star War fevers are grabbing the gamers all over the world and the fever is riding high now with the latest updates to Angry Birds 365, “Escape from Hoth”.
The latest update is now available for PC, Mac, iOS, as well as the Android Google play as well. 
According to sources, the game will be available to more platforms in the coming days.
What makes the update special is that it introduces final 20 levels of Hoth. 
The game play does not actually take place in the Hoth but on an asteroid field nearby.
“Our walkthroughs are live and can be found on the Hoth page”, comments one of the designer experts who is a member of the team that developed the new update.
 “Two new bonus levels are Star Level 8 that requires 480 stars and Droid 7 that is hidden somewhere within the 20 levels”, the designer went on to elaborate further about the updates.
Gaming enthusiasts however may consider having a copy of the guide for bonus levels that has been recently updated to include the new updates introduced in Angry Birds 365.
In the process, several new features have been added to the already popular game. 
An example is the six new character icons that now finds place in the gaming zones. Providers have declared already that they would be updating their posts and guides regarding the characters shortly. 
This would be necessary because players may be in a fix to know things like whether the great power boost received by Chewie would be retroactive.
Providers of  Angry Birds star wars are however not content at providing these updates alone as they plan to come up very soon with the “Teaser Planet”. Yet the updates already made are no mean achievement with 20-level boost as well as a new boss.
In their own words the updates have been described as follows. 
“After the epic Battle of Hoth, the Rebel Birds have barely escaped the ice planet with the Pigtroopers in close pursuit! 
There’s an asteroid field close by that could provide some cover… but watch out, there’s more to it than meets the eye!”
All said and done; many experts feel that the Angry Birds 365 are worth download especially for those who have not tried their hands on it as yet. Interesting part of the game is that it combines all the best features of angry bird games together giving it a comprehensive up front.  
Add to this the fact that the update costs almost nothing and is a very nice addition to boost an already enjoyable game and the new form of the game will become even more desirable.
Another feature that many gamers of  Angry Birds 365 may find interesting is the introduction of new enemies called the Mynock Pigs meant to be cut into pieces with the light saber and rest birds. 
The game has been now made compatible to Windows 8 phone as well.

Additional Features of Google Chrome Making It More User Friendly


Google Chrome is perhaps the best internet browser, in comparison to those of Mozilla or Microsoft
Performance of JavaScript and browsing speed are certainly higher in Chrome than any of its counterpart. 
However, Google Chrome has the ability to perform even faster provided the user makes certain favorable adjustments.
Optimized web browsing experience can be achieved through utilizing various experimental options provided in the browser – Chrome
They even use the GPU and CPU to provide faster web browsing experience.
In order to prove its worth, some of the features of Chrome have been described, along with the nature of adjustments to be made, in order to experience real power of the exquisite browser. 
Experts are also of the opinion that with such changes made in Chrome browser on the desktop users would certainly have an added edge.
Several crucial options are usually buried under the menu of Chrome for security reasons. 
They prevent browsers from accidentally mismanaging the browser. 
However, the functional prospective of such controls are described here.
Hidden experimental zone of Chrome
Any user can access the hidden options of the browser and experiment with various activities. 
The browser should be launched in order to check out the vitalities of such experimentation.
A user would be able to jump into a page that contains a series of options that can directly affect browsing quality and performance. Any user can access the page by launching Chrome and typing chrome://flags/ in the designated address field.
Extension of power
Installing the latest version of Chrome would provide an array of applications for the browser. 
Such extensions are certainly designed to make Chrome more efficient, leaner and even meaner than before.
In addition to these, FastestChrome also helps in adding time saving tools to the browser. 
Display feature by a pop-up bubble with option to search for a keyword in four different search engines is definitely an added advantage over any other contemporary browser.
Installing Chrome Toolbox helps in accessing multiple bookmarks through a single click. It even helps in avoiding re-typing, provides advantage of image magnifying and even accessing videos directly from the browser.
Extension of Google Quick Scroll would help users to snoop down into search items over the internet. The extension would definitely help to get a highlighted preview of searched text. 
Clicking on the box would take the user directly to the searchable item over the internet.
Flip switches
Google’s Chrome browser even presents flags menu with a list of options where experiments can be made. 
A few of the listed options interfere with performance of the browser.
The option of ‘override software rendering list Windows, Mac, Chrome, Linux OS’ helps to override the in-built software of Chrome and permits acceleration of GPU on unsupported configurations of various systems. 
Running GPU drivers would help to minimize loading period of videos and games.
Managing the option of ‘GPU accelerated SVG Filters Windows, Chrome, Linux, Mac OS’ can even lead to speeding up the process of loading any webpage. 
Successful loading of heavy webpages using effects of visual filter and heavier drop shadows at a quicker rate can be managed through this option.
In addition to these, even several other options would definitely help in experiencing better and faster service of Chrome that would eventually help it to become the most user-friendly browser of the world.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Touchscreen Desktops for Android, Now a reality

Efforts are underway to get Touchscreen desktops based on Android

But it could take some time. 

Right now, everyone is focussed on the speed with which Windows 8 based Ultrabooks come out.

Support for Touchscreens
With Intel insisting on touch based displays for all computers that wants the brand of Ultrabooks, it is very clear about its confidence that the future will be dominated by its technology.

Until now, Windows 8 was pushed as the only operating system that was designed to support touch in desktops.

But Google would not be far away from spoiling Microsoft’s party.
Google is aiming to make it big by rolling out its flagship Android operating system for touch screen based desktops. This is like taking on Microsoft in its own turf.
At the CES 2013, PC makers felt there was considerable interest among consumers towards touch based computers.

The trend started with the arrival of all-in-one desktops.

With companies rolling out newer touch based all-in-one desktops, like Acer and Lenovo, it remains to be seen how consumers react to the Windows 8 touch centric user interface.

Though the Lenovo C540 is a lovely sleek option, the biggest factor that is against the success of the touch based desktop is the cost factor.

Acer’s touch based desktops, laptops start around $900.
There are plenty of other PC makers who have come out with touch based computers like Vizio, who are known more for their LCD TV’s.

The response to the touch screen based all-in-one machines, a 24 inch and 27 inch models have been lukewarm.
Motorola has also recently launched an Android powered desktop which boasts of an 18.5 inch touchscreen LED display.

The HMC3260 is based on Android 2.3, Gingerbread. Though the features are not eye popping, it makes a good start.
Future for Android
With touchscreen being the benchmark for PC’s of the future, the chances of seeing competition in the operating system market has never been brighter.

Android is bound to have upper hand in the touch based computers.

Though much has been written about its so called next gen touch based metro interface, Windows 8 has not been able to make a significant dent in the mobile operating system market share of Android.

It continues as the undisputed leader with unflinching support from all the hardware vendors like Samsung, HTC.

Compared to the millions of Android based devices being sold every month, Windows 8 has not been relatively successful despite its best efforts towards promotions and promise of a better UI.

The mobile turf war could spill on to the desktop space, traditionally considered a Microsoft stronghold.

Microsoft could take a look at the failed series of Google Chromebooks and be happy, at least for now.
Google Chromebooks were based on its own OS Chrome and most importantly, it did not support touch based interface which Android is capable of supporting.

Google is looking at extending Android’s success in the mobile space into the desktop as well.

This would find more support from PC makers like Samsung who also look forward to Android powered computers as this could potentially save them millions of dollars which they have to shell out to Microsoft as part of royalty payments.
Google had reiterated last year at the Google I/O, its annual developer’s conference that it was releasing an update to Android, Ice cream Sandwich that will one day help power big screened, touch screen based desktops.

This has been true till today as the situation has not changed.

Android is the only competitor to Windows 8 as the other biggie Apple will most probably not be releasing an update to the iOS with support to touch interfacing any time soon.

So this means no touch screen based Mac PC’s at least for the time being.
Once Google is able to learn from the mistakes it made with Chromebook and release an updated version of Android for Desktop, it would be a game changing move as it must already know that Android based computers offer flexibility to configure settings to enhance user experience, make computing a fun activity apart from also being a cheaper option.

Making Windows 8, RT more reliable


It has been some time since Windows 8 was introduced along with the much promising Windows RT
But we feel there are plenty of areas which require improvement, the primary among them is the area of Desktop Applications and a clear direction for Windows RT.
About Windows 8 and RT
As most of you are aware, Windows 8 is the standard version of the metro operating system and Windows RT, RT stands for “Run Time”, is the completely different new operating system and is only available pre-installed on new computers with a license free toned down version of Microsoft Office.
Windows RT is based on the ARM platform and not upgradable from other versions of Windows
This is not applicable for Windows 8 where an upgrade is quite possible. 
The other interesting fact is though both Windows 8 and Windows RT run on the latest metro interface, the adaptability of Windows 8 for old desktop apps is much better than Windows RT which does not support third party apps in its desktop, though it does support some of the Old apps of Microsoft. 
Windows RT runs only on the ARM based devices and not on either AMD or Intel powered devices. 
Windows 8 will not run on the ARM based devices like the latest Surface tablet released by Microsoft.
This Win RT functionality will affect day to day web surfing as only Internet Explorer would be able to perform most functions. 
These include essential stuff like providing stability and speed and of course, security which the users expect from any modern day browser. 
The use of Application programming interfaces, API’s as they are known, for web browsers is completely restricted. 
This effectively eliminates competition from other browsers like the popular Mozilla Firefox
The best part is both provide support for Xbox Live, Multi language support and Exchange Active Sync.
Looking forward to a reliable Win 8
Though Windows 8 does promise a never before metro interface, there are some things which MS can do to Win RT ensure to make both Win 8 and RT user friendly and reliable. 
These include desktop apps that are available for both Windows 8 and the RT versions in the Windows Store.
The step for making Win RT robust starts with allowing developers to contribute desktop apps for ARM powered devices. 
The availability of these apps in Windows Store does help as this might end up as a success just like how the Apple App Store encouraged downloadable apps for Apple Eco System. 
The other successful models based on the same objective include the Google Play App and Amazon App Stores. 
This could help Windows RT in the long run by creating a successful eco system for newer exciting desktop applications adaptable to both RT and Windows 8.
Things to Improve
The areas in which Microsoft can make RT version more exciting are usability, performance, security and the much talked about licensing aspect.
The first area which is essential to make Windows RT enjoyable is the user experience. 
This starts with providing easily downloadable apps from the Windows Store that are easily installable. 
These desktop applications must be easy to install and uninstall preferably as a single step process from the Start.
It is a fact that the desktop applications that Microsoft provides are safe, reliable, secure and confirming to all the guidelines that it is known for. 
The Metro apps that are to be developed would confirm to all the guidelines as those not so good apps would be rejected straight away.
With respect to Licensing, just like the setup currently available for Metro Apps at Windows Store, the same could be extended to the desktop applications offered through the Store. 
The ability to run the application in 5 computers and other devices attached to a single Microsoft account is the most required feature to make desktop applications click with the users.
Besides the comforting feeling that the apps are secure, reliable and from the Microsoft Store, the users of both Windows RT and Windows 8 could benefit from the various apps offered. 
It is important that Microsoft realizes that making Windows RT more user friendly and reliable is beneficial for it in the long run.

Getting blown away by Touchscreen Laptops – Intel at the CES 2013


The next gen of laptops was unveiled at the CES 2013
The Intel booth, one of the largest at the show was buzzing with activity when the prototypes based on touch were unveiled on Monday.
The Ultrabook Branding
Intel has started to insist on touchscreen for laptops to get its Ultrabook branding. 
These laptops are based on Windows 8 operating system and Haswell Chipset. 
The changes that it brings to the table in terms of improvement in performance have been encouraging. 
This starts with battery which is promised to last at least for 8 hours. This is definitely much better than the current set of laptops and Ultrabooks based on Ivy Bridge, Intel Core 3rd Generation processors which offer battery life up to 6 hours. 
They also support the Intel Wireless Display which enables laptop’s display to extend to a High Definition TV or monitor through a HDMI Doggle.
The Intel’s latest Haswell chips, provides the much needed impetus for Intel’s quest for next gen devices with longer battery life and bigger processing capabilities.
Small and light efficient Ultrabooks have been made possible due to the improved design. 
We are talking of thicknesses up to 17 mm with the attached keyboard and an unbelievable 10 mm without it. 
The other products on display at the Intel’s booth included tablets from the stables of Acer, Samsung, Dell, Sony and Toshiba based on the new platform. 
It remains to be seen how the Windows 8 based Ultrabooks with detachable screens and convertibles will find acceptance in the market.
The prices of Ultrabooks have continued to remain at $1000, with the entry level ones at $600 since it was introduced. But the prediction of Intel that prices will come down remains to be seen.
Looking into the future
Intel has been pushing convertible tablets and notebooks with the reference designs, unveiled based on the Intel Core i5 or i7 processor family. 
Intel is promising a more than 10 hour battery life and features like sensors, accelerometers to improve performance.
The current trend of Windows 8 convertibles are looked at as the next big thing. 
Transformer Book from Asus, Ideapad Yoga series from Lenovo, XPS 12 from Dell, Elitebook Revolve from HP, Toshiba Satellite U925t and Vaio Duo 11 from Sony are some of the convertibles with no detachable screens. 
The promise of efficient processing and higher performance has been due to the ability to keep the processor from overheating for longer periods of time, in spite of the electronic hardware residing under the keyboard.
Looking at the detachable-screen hybrids, there are a number of upcoming models. The Envy Touchsmart X2 from HP, Ideapad Lynx from Lenovo, Microsoft Surface RT, Ativ Series from Samsung is promised to be the next gen tablet cum hybrid laptops. 
With Intel’s Clover trail based processors preferred by PC makers to keep the processor cool, the electronics can be put behind the screen for the detachable models. 
This enables tablets to last for more than 10 hours, up to 3 weeks standby, improved processing capability over the previous generation of processors.
Newer Models
Also at the CES 2013, Intel unveiled a new smartphone platform called Lexington which will be offered initially by smartphone makers Safaricom, Lava and Acer. 
This is said to be as a low power platform. The other exciting offerings by Intel include developing of gesture-controlled gaming, starting with a version for the game Portal 2.
The Bay Trail processor, a new addition to the quad-core family was also unveiled with the promise of improving tablet performance, up to doubling the computing power of tablets powered by Intel processors.
Intel has also been pushing the concept of perpetual computing which is the next big cool concept according to Intel
The devices are supposed to get senses just like we humans have. 
This would set the ball for the era of mouse less computing rolling. 
The ultimate objective is to blur the line between notebook, tablet and PC. But the success of all Intel’s initiatives would depend primarily on the pricing and ease of usability of the devices.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Microsoft Gearing for Better Marketing of Surface


Microsoft is heading for a fresh re-start and re-define its strategies for marketing Surface tablets and come up with new models and series of products under the head. 
With this move, they are hoping to be able to woo consumers and push the market towards the new Windows 8 powered touch-screen devices
Surface will be lined-up in various fronts including wider range of availability, increased number of model variation, revamped and broader range of production.
However, with a view towards acceptability of the product by the consumers all over the world, as noticed with official launch of the device last year, experts are giving a second thought to the plan made so far by Microsoft
Lower sales of Surface just after launch fueled the rumors that Microsoft had slashed production of the device.
A transcript revealed by Seeking Alpha provides information that Peter Klein, chief financial officer of the company, has quoted on Microsoft’s Q2 earnings. Accordingly, he had said that the company is going to expand its boundaries, launching new Surface line-up. 
They are planning a better product line-up and even taking extensive steps for expanding capacity and retail distribution of Surface. With these up gradations in the line-up of the product and strategic marketing policy, Microsoft is eying to hit the tablet market with a bang.
The chief financial officer also mentioned many times that sales of Surface devices contributed a major share in getting Microsoft’s revenue growth to eleven percent. 
This shows the nature of the demand of such gadgets in the market.
Highlighting Microsoft’s failure
In response to slashing of production of the new range by Microsoft, Klein retorted that they were unable to deliver the product at many such instances. 
This clearly shows Microsoft’s intent to distance itself from any information regarding slashing the production rate of Surface tablets.
Another important factor that might have led to constraints faced by Microsoft points towards the rules of accounting related to promotion of the up graded version of Windows 8 operating software. 
They have even acknowledged the fact regarding their inability to meet the demands of consumers and have missed out an important opportunity to prove themselves as a better manufacturer of tablets and notebooks with touch-screen facility.
According to the viewpoint of Microsoft, OEMs has so far been able to utilize the high-priced spectrum. 
This might be the real cause resulting to failure of building touch-based quality devices in a large quantity. 
Past failure to utilize better price of spectrum and low-priced touch-based advanced systems are posing threat to OEM, in their highly cherished mission of re-furbishing a favorable market of the said devices with an affordable price.
Analysts’ depiction and Microsoft’s strategies
Analysts have made estimation that sales record of Surface RT by Microsoft had been around one million, in the first quarter of its launch period. 
They are also expecting sales to get nudged up in the coming quarter in case they take initiatives to expand distribution of the Surface series to thirteen more countries in Europe. 
Microsoft’s effort to come up with its tablet range showcases only one aspect that the company is using to slice out Windows 8 OEMs. 
It is even argued that they are planning to something bigger than that and are way ahead to come up with varieties of touch-screen gadgets of various price range.
Peter Klein has also claimed that they have noticed great demand of Surface and other touch-screened gadgets in the market of recent times. 
This has compelled them to bounce back into this sphere, with total control this time. 
However, he even added that due to high demand they are not always able to fulfill customers’ wishes.
Klein further added that Microsoft is working in close ties with OEMs for ensuring that they would be able to produce great touch-screen oriented gadgets in affordable prices, without compromising with their quality. 
They are even trying to come up with devices with special features that would suite a variety of requirements of individuals in an unique manner.
However, Klein stressed on the price factor and features of the gadgets that drives customer-interest in any consumable product of the market. 
On the other hand, taking cue from the previous disaster made by Microsoft Corp., experts are not assured whether the company would be able to re-launch its next venture with Surface tablets and regain the market.

Can Google And Facebook Survive Through Ages?


With emergence of newer players in the industry, question has risen regarding duration of survival of Google
However, the question was initially raised by a librarian when Google’s co-founders first signed their project to digitize all printed books of a university. 
Even, the idea that Google can vanish with course of time, had never appeared on the minds of the founders of Google.
However, the words of the librarian are stressed upon presently. 
The massive genre of Google and their vastness of wealth and size along with dominance over the entire world of World Wide Web cannot be diminished at all. 
This has become a major concern for experts who are unable to find a cue to what would happen in case Google extinct.
The present leaders of internet world are Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. 
However, around two decades ago, Apple was on the verge of extinction; Amazon just had their way into the internet; Google was trying to get business foothold while Facebook was not into the scenario.
Rise and fall of Microsoft and Intel
It is a well-known fact that market trend can change its course at any time. 
The rise and present condition of Microsoft and Intel can rightly be taken as a burning example to establish this factor. 
Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, had never imagined that his Company would ever see a situation of extinction, as the phase it is undergoing currently.
Although Microsoft and Intel are still playing a crucial role in IT sector, yet there is no doubt that, their dominance over the market has radically diminished.  
Even the modern-age processors are currently being developed by a company of Cambridge, ARM; overtaking Intel entirely.
Google’s count on its future
Taking cue from all events, Google is finally considering its present dominance over the market. Even it is for sure that Apple would not be able to reap in the profit share for the rest of the time. 
Every company will have their last laugh in this ever-increasing competitive nature of business over internet world.
Facebook’s technique to tackle the problem
Facebook has found a unique business model to tackle the situation, at least for a longer period to come. 
They have turned users into products and earn profitable margin through selling information regarding them to various advertisers. 
However, since the account holders are not directly responsible to pay for the service, their long-term association with such a business can certainly come under question. 
Yet, experts are mesmerized about the business structure of Facebook.
The networking dominance of the company is certainly paving its way for survival of the business in near future. Dominance of network effect is playing a vital role for emergence of Facebook as a leading business entrepreneur in this arena.
Evidence from research study
Certain studies and researches by experts have revealed that problems may arise in case any networking site or internet company tries to merchandise information of its users to advertisers or other third party organization for generating revenue.
Google might come to an end in case any other company introduces a better search engine service; while Facebook is enduring over its networking strength. 
However, experts feel that Facebook needs to put a brake over its monetizing effort, in order to ensure survival in the long run.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Google Sees Strong Growth In Chromebook Sales


With a majority of mobile devices being sold in the market powered by its Android Operating system, Google could have never been this happy. 
But its quest for dominating the PC market with its Chrome OS is even stronger.
Acer’s announcement that Chromebooks account for 8 per cent of their U.S shipments, slightly more than its Windows based laptops is good news for Google. 
Its long and hard push towards making Chrome from just a browser based to a stand alone OS is reaping rewards.
The war of words had started between Acer and Microsoft regarding the Surface RT device with Acer’s CEO JT Wang insisting that “it would create a negative impact for the ecosystem, causing considerable damage to other brands”. 
This has gone a step further with Acer’s President Jim Wong declaring that its only Chromebook model Acer C7, priced at $199  is more successful than its Windows 8 based Aspire One
This was in just two months after the launch of Acer’s Chromebooks. This reach is seen as encouraging for Google as the promotions for Chromebook have not been as broad as the ones featuring Windows 8 devices.
Support from Vendors
Others vendors like Samsung, Lenovo are also coming up with their own versions of ChromebooksThese include Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook, HP Pavilion Chromebook etc. In just two weeks since launch, Samsung Chromebook is the best selling laptop on Amazon’s online store followed only by Apple Macbook and Windows 8 based Toshiba Satellite Laptops.Adding to this is the news from Asus. The Taiwanese vendor reported strong Q3 profits based on brisk sales of Google Nexus 7 tablet. The profit rose by 43 percent to $230 million due to this.
Move towards Google Chrome
While Google has constantly and steadily improved on its Chrome and Android offerings, the move by PC makers to turn towards Chrome is not only due to this.
Microsoft has got no one to blame except itself for driving PC makers towards Google Chrome. 
This started after it caused anger among vendors by deciding to build its own Windows 8 tablets, and also pinning the blame on them for disappointing sales of Windows 8.
Another reason causing discontent among vendors is the fact that Microsoft and its partner Intel have made Windows 8, a costly affair. 
The hardware requirements are turning out to be unreasonably expensive for consumers.
The Cost Factor
Though Chrome based laptops have long been considered niche
“only for specific audience” since launch in 2011, the favourable factor has been the price point. Google has positioned Chromebook laptops as an alternative to expensive laptops powered by Windows.
Since Chromebooks are Linux based and more web friendly, it has been widely accepted both in schools and business enterprises as an alternative. 
The cost of owning a Chrome based device is much lower than Windows powered devices. 
Microsoft cannot be competing with Chromebooks on the price factor as the licensing cost for Windows Operating System, both Windows 8 and Windows RT has been one of the main reasons for driving up the costs.
Wider Acceptability
Google has started to air Ads on Chromebook to raise awareness among consumers. T
his is a positive step towards making Chromebook acceptable for a wider audience than earlier. With more time being spent on the Internet, Chromebook would definitely find more takers.
It remains to be seen how Google reaches out to people who prefer Mac and Windows powered devices for all their needs. 
This has been mainly due to the fact that Chrome is still not preferred by those who need computing power, and those who need software installed for their daily business needs.
Once the awareness about Chrome and its computing capabilities increase, Google can look forward to giving a tough competition to Microsoft Windows and gain a strong foothold in the PC market. 
The support from the hardware vendors for this cause will only increase in the days to come.
As Acer’s Wong puts it, “Windows 8 itself is still not successful. 
The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch. That’s a simple way to judge if it is successful or not”.

Microsoft released Office 2013


Microsoft has opened the New Year with a bang. 
It has launched a new Office suite and this is great news for all those who have been teased enough by the Time To365 campaign on Twitter, the past few days.


Gotham City – Launch Pad
As Microsoft launched, Office 2013 in New York City’s Bryant Park on January 29, it was initially available as a RTM version in October 2012, with a downloadable preview version also present.
The re-designed and improved Office suite is said to contain features suited for supporting cloud computing and services, touchscreens and the buzzing, social networking space. 
The best part is, it can run on Windows RT based devices even though it was designed primarily for the Windows 8 platform.
Subscribing to Office
Microsoft has also used Office 2013 to introduce a new subscription-based Office 365 Home Premium version. 
This version is easily downloadable and can be installed locally. 
Users will be paying about $100 a year for the Home Premium version of Office 365 and $150 for the Small Business Premium version. 
This also signals the chance of policy from the earlier pay once for installing in one machine concept.
The $100 subscription is being offered as a bundle. 
This involves running Office 2013 in five computers, including Macs and 60 minutes of free calls on Microsoft Skype and up to 20 GB of extra cloud space on SkyDrive.
The Home Premium tag will ensure access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher and their installation on up to five computers. 
The Small Business Premium edition would include access to InfoPath and Lync, in addition to the Home Premium privileges.
The boxed version for retail sale is to cost $140 for the Home and Student edition, $220 for Office Home & Business and $400 for the Office Professional edition.
Improved Office Suite
The new Office 2013 is loaded with more cloud based features than the older versions. 
This includes an option to save files directly to its SkyDrive cloud service.
Microsoft has been working real hard to equip Office with various features to keep its 1 billion users happy. 
These include a plan to constantly update Office periodically with newer features. 
This means that Office 2013 will be constantly updated with features instead of waiting for the next updated version of Office, as was the case earlier.
Support for Third Party Apps
Microsoft is also trying to improve the apps available for Office, by creating an app store for enabling developers to share their innovations. 
The ability of apps to incorporate real time data could come in handy and can eventually be shared with all Office users and improve overall usability.

Next-Gen Connectivity

The most promising aspect of the Office 2013 has to be the connectivity part. 
The new office suite enables constant connection to the cloud through the SkyDrive service of Microsoft. 
This eases sharing and collaborating with others to a great extent. It even will indicate if the shared document is being edited and the person can be reached via Microsoft Skype or IM, all this without leaving the application!
Office 2013 will also enable Excel tables with real time live data, constantly updated PowerPoint slide templates, and of course, Word Docs containing videos from You Tube.
Lack of Support
Given the fact that consumers are constantly looking at diverse products, the chances of Microsoft losing market share to rivals is bright. The Google Apps suite is one such example.
With competitors closely following up with innovative and low cost business software offerings, it is high time Microsoft chose to think about extending Office applications across platforms. 
This should start with work towards making Office suite of applications available for Apple iOS and Google Android powered devices. Integrating support in Office for its recent acquisitions, Yammer and Skype, could also augur well for the Windows maker by providing a constant source of revenue.
The ever increasing popularity of Android and Apple iOS powered devices, should make Microsoft rethink its strategy towards enabling Office for other platforms. Its Numero Uno position, courtesy Windows OS, is always under threat.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Microsoft Takes Steps to Upgrade Tools For IE

Microsoft has finally taken steps to upgrade its internet browser after facing stiff competition from counterparts like Mozilla and Google.

However, it will still be wrong to say that Microsoft was unperturbed with introduction of advanced browsers over the past few years.

The company went on to test several versions of Internet Explorer, but was unable to overcome the dominance of its competitors in the market. 

With its ambitious project of Windows 8 coming to the surface, Microsoft is leaving no stone unturned in order to revive its fading glory.

The company has even undertaken a campaign under ‘Browser You Love to Hate’, in order to provide important information regarding special features of their latest version of Internet Explorer.

It is becoming quite a challenge for Internet Explorer to stand up to its competitors and prove itself as a leading browse in the market.

Many websites are simply not supported by it. Lack of upgrading by Microsoft has a major role to play for this purpose.

In recent times, users are switching to counterparts like Chrome by Google and Mozilla for better experience in internet surfing.

Even Opera has launched an advanced browser and has even announced to come up with other upgraded features in coming days.

This has led Microsoft to look for alternative avenues to either provide compatible and advanced browser of IE or launch several tools for helping web-developers in their quest.

There are even older versions of IE browser by Microsoft that is even not compatible with Windows 7 OS also.

Apathy towards quick up gradation of IE has cost the company a lot, losing a loyal customer base who has switched to other browsers that are doing the needful.

On their mission to regain market, Microsoft has finally taken up the task to introduce newer tools that would prove to be beneficial for various companies in testing out compatibility of their website with the latest browser.

These tools of latest Internet Explorer, is said to entice modern web developers, and even help in making compatible websites.

According to General Manager of IE, Ryan Gavin, Microsoft is on its mission to help the web surge forward and allow web developers to spend crucial time in undertaking innovations regarding the process, rather than only testing.

The tools are an essential armory for developers that would help in this process.

He even added that Microsoft has found out that their customers are finding it difficult to continue their association with the older versions of their browser, since many advanced and faster browsers have entered into the arena.

Utility of the tools

In order to promote the latest internet browser, Microsoft launched a website ‘modern.IE’.

As a promotional strategy, Microsoft even collaborated with a service of browser testing with BrowserStack.

It is an arrangement made for assisting website developers and helps them in testing websites on any browser, supported by Windows.

Microsoft has released an official declaration citing that the advanced tools featured in their new site will prove to be beneficial for web-developers in ensuring that their sites would work effectively over Internet Explorer and any other browser of modern age.

The tools provided also include one for scanning purpose.

It is said that developers would find it useful in determining compatibility factor of any webpage on Internet Explorer, by simply entering the page’s URL.

They will also be able to access virtual testing tools supported by Firefox, Chrome and even Max operating systems and test the website from them, directly and consider compatibility with IE.

Future plans

According to recent information, Microsoft has still not been able to deliver an RTW version of IE10 compatible to Windows 7.

They have declared that crucial tests of IE10 for Windows 7 are going on for over a year.

Microsoft has even provided certain blocker toolkits compatible with other updated versions of their internet browsers.

In case these tools are not installed, the browser would be able to upgrade itself automatically whenever an advanced version is launched.

Microsoft is trying their best to bring out an updated IE10 compatible to Windows 7.

A late yet an effective movement taken by Microsoft was highly essential for the company, which is turning out to lose its crucial market in various respect.

Perhaps it is time that Microsoft adopts timely and faster measures in future to look into such crucial details for maintaining a sovereign position in global market.

Ferris Comes As a Boon to Developers of Google App Engine

Development of custom application in Google App Engine is reported to be simplified with release of Python framework, an open source.

The company, Cloud Sherpas, which plays a major role in business implementing services related to cloud computing, released the open source framework on Thursday.

The Director of development of application at Cloud Sherpas, Tim Lockyear, confirmed the report over a telephone interview.

He informed that the team was working to develop software that would make creation of custom app engine projects easier, in addition to help interacting with Google Apps. 

Advanced software, Ferris, described to be a Python framework, would be useful to accelerate development process of Google App Engine.

The new software is named after an honorable character of work-avoiding protagonist from the film ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Since 2007, Cloud Sherpas has boosted over three thousand customers.

They have even projected to incur revenue worth $100 million in this current year.

They deal in businesses that help various companies in deploying services related to cloud computing like those of Saleforce.com and Google Apps.

During 2012, Cloud Sherpas was loosing many opportunities to develop custom applications that were being presented through enterprise clients, since there were fewer tools for accelerating the projects related to Google App Engine.

The service was hit due to non-availability of advanced tools that are highly necessary to develop custom applications for App Engine.

Such a situation resulted in longer duration and increase in cost of production of such applications that various clients were able to offer. 

Characteristics of Ferris, the software to simplify app development According to the Director, Tim Lockyear, Ferris helps to provide a platform preventing developers to engage in redundant job related to wiring of application components.

He even stated that Google Apps help to provide content and collaborative creation tools but does not incorporate flow of work or process of business applications.

Furthermore, the director even stressed on the fact that Ferris, of Cloud Sherpa would come in handy for Quality Distribution Inc., (QDI).

The software would help the logistics company regarding delivery and ticketing system, and even updating its pick up through an application of Android tablet.

According to the vice president of IT at QDI, Cliff Dixon, the resultant application has proved to be useful for providing real-time package tracking to the customers, that too through a paper-less process.

He even mentioned the importance of such application software in providing timely delivery.

Accordingly, Ferris has played a vital role to help the company achieve an acclaimed position in the business regarding app development, over the last year.

Even Lockyear has rubbished the idea of letting away such an impressive application away, in the coming days.

The application framework would turn out to be of great value for the general market.

Experts are keeping their fingers crossed regarding total usage of its utilities by most of the big players in the market of application development.

Ferris would trigger momentum in the process of programming App Engine more swiftly and would even contribute in its development in the new future.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Obama Administration Moving to Amend Provisions for ‘Unlocking’ Mobile Phones

The administration under President Obama is planning for reversal of a new prohibition related to unlocking mobile phones.

The move was taken after a protest movement over the internet that drew over 1-lakh signatures.

Legal banning to unlock new phones is a federal crime.

Consumers cannot unlock their mobile phones for using a different wireless network without taking the permission to do so from their present carrier.

Various groups, protecting public interest, have come forward to oppose the ban on unlocking.

Such a legal provision would leave a consumer to buy new phones whenever he or she would need to switch wireless carriers.

On the other hand, unlocking phones also increases resalable quality of second hand devices, after completion of the contract with original service provider.

The ban imposes legal fine and imprisonment in case any one is found to tamper with the phone devices for making them compatible to access various service networks.

Former staff or House Republican Study Committee, Derek Khanna, has put forward several factors in support of ban reversal.

He argued that the ban violets rights of property by an owner.

After completion of the contract with the service provider, customers can do whatever they want with the gadgets, since they are the sole owners of the devices.

Imposing banning on unlocking by the state means infringement upon constitutional freedom and right of consumers.

The ban on unlocking mobile gadgets has its roots in Section 1201 of Digital Millennium Copyright Act, stating that no one should be allowed to circumvent technological measures that prove effective to control access to any protective work.

Response from Obama administration

The administration under President Obama has announced that they believe unlocking of phones should be made legal. According to a senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation and Privacy, R. David Edelman, no law can challenge a consumer for switching phone networks after the contract expires. Edelman further added that the administration under Obama would certainly support various approaches to address the issue. This would even include several narrow legislative fixes over the space of telecommunication. Response to the move Various groups have welcomed such a move that hints towards protecting consumers’ rights. Vice President of Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge, Sherwin Siy, stated that the administration has finally recognized important problems that tend to tread upon rights of a consumer, while using their own products. Congress Librarian, James H. Billington has even decided to place e three-month-window to allow consumers unlock new gadgets. However, expiration of the window two months back had made the process of unlocking illegal. However, a senior Vice President General Counsel of wireless industry group CTIA, Michael Altschul mentioned that reversal of the legal ban is unnecessary since customers can choose over innumerable options provided to them. They can choose their favorite carrier network supported phones or even purchase an unlocked version of mobile gadgets at lower prices. They can even enter into a contract with their favorite service provider before accessing the service. In spite of various sections hailing this ban reversal, the move by the government will have a tremendous impact on the market since the state s divided in the matter.