Access all Flash sites through IE10

Read everything here: Microsoft changes default Flash behavior in Windows 8 and RT

Microsoft’s official announcements say the change is based on an ecosystem that has gotten better at developing Flash content. But I suspect the real reason is more pragmatic. This behavior was confusing to users and frustrating to developers. For Windows RT in particular, it had a devastating effect on some sites, which simply wouldn’t work, and the fact that you can’t install an alternative browser on RT eliminates that workaround. And at this point in its life, the last thing Windows RT needs is another reason for potential buyers to reject it.

 

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Using Windows 8′s “hidden” backup to clone and recover your whole PC | Ars Technica

Looking for missing Backup functionality in Windows 8? Everything is still there plus a much improved File History. If you want to create an image of your hard disk, look for Windows 7 File Recovery (strange? I missed that too the first time…). For the details: Using Windows 8′s “hidden” backup to clone and recover your whole PC | Ars Technica.

Tip: If you want to enter Advanced Startup Options during boot, just hold Shift while booting…

A nice Metro code editor for Windows 8

Code Writer is a free text and code editor app with active syntax highlighting that updates as you edit documents and has 20 supported file types. A tabbed document interface allows for quickly switching between open documents.
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The app has been built from the ground up with Windows 8 design principles in mind. It’s fast and fluid, and gives you the power to edit documents with features you’d normally only find in desktop apps. Code Writer is perfect for editing any text-based file, doing code reviews, or giving presentations with code samples.

The core text editor screen allows you to edit documents in full-screen mode without chrome distractions. Only the scrollbars and line/column display are visible by default. Find/replace and advanced features like tabify lines and convert case are available.

Find it on the Windows Store: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-US/app/code-writer/5149f454-94a7-40bc-90ef-eafd38355079

RunTime in Windows RT – Another approach

What is really RT in Windows RT? Hal Berenson shares his thoughts with us and they are really interesting:

The name Windows RT wasn’t chosen to convey a message about Windows moving to ARM processors.  Nor was it chosen to convey that it was a Tablet OS.  The name appears to have been chosen primarily for one reason, it is an operating system devoted to running Windows RunTime apps.  It splits the mainstream Windows product into two families.  Windows for running Win32 “desktop” and Windows RunTime applications and Windows RT that drops the legacy Win32 application support.  Windows RT is Microsoft’s go forward client operating system, while Windows is the operating system Microsoft will need to keep selling and enhancing for a transition that will last a decade or more, but it will eventually be considered a legacy.

Read the whole article here: There is no ARM in Windows RT | Hal\’s (Im)Perfect Vision.

No more Expression Studio – What does it mean?

Things are changing fast at Microsoft and its developer tools. Expression Studio is fading out and the future of Silverlight is also a big question. Hal Berenson, a former Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, explains some things. I copy two parts to get an idea:

The Web also allowed another platform competitor to emerge, Adobe.  Adobe’s Flash, AIR, and Flex represented another serious threat to Microsoft’s platforms.  Applications written using them were platform independent, and Flash itself had gained enormous market share as the only practical way to create rich media experiences on the web.  Moreover, Adobe’s business model was the exact opposite of Microsoft’s.  Whereas Microsoft provided development tools primarily in order to sell runtimes (e.g., operating systems), Adobe gave away runtimes in order to sell tools.  Adobe also specialized in entering the application lifecycle much earlier than Microsoft, establishing dominance in the design tool space.

and

One of the first things to note about the iPhone was that Apple made development tools available for free.  At the same time Microsoft was requiring mobile developers to purchase one of its premium versions of Visual Studio such as Professional.  For Windows Phone to succeed Microsoft was going to have to give away tools for mobile development.  Second, Apple eschewed any kind of plug-ins for the iPhone browser and designed the rules for the App Store to ban generic runtimes like those of Adobe.  As it turned out the iPhones huge success would end Adobe’s run at becoming a platform vendor.

Read the whole article here: Putting Expression Studio’s demise in perspective | Hal\’s (Im)Perfect Vision. And also read the comments from Scott Barnes and Sparkler below the article. They both work (or worked) for Microsoft and provide more details. Very interesting details…

Dropbox Launches New Windows 8 App

TechMad Infodates

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Dropbox has announced at the LeWeb 2012 conference in Paris this week that they are currently developing and will soon be launching a new Dropbox Windows8 application which will be designed to be used with and support Microsoft’s new Modern user interface.

It has been rumoured that Dropbox was considering developing a new Windows 8 app, but until today it had never been officially announced.

Dropbox has now now submitted their new Windows 8 app for approval by Microsoft, and as soon as this is complete the Windows 8 Dropbox app will be available for users to download.

The new Dropbox Windows app will work across the both versions of Windows 8, offering access to files, photos and media files stored in the cloud from the desktop but also on Windows RT devices like the Surface.

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Windows 8 has surpassed OS X in Steam downloads

Statistics are sometimes very hard…

Windows 7 Home Premium Key

To say that Windows 8 has been met with mixed reactions is one of the greatest understatements you will likely read all day. There are those who love it, and those who would rather it simply not exist at all. Valve CEO Gabe Newell has been highly vocal on the topic, going so far as to call Windows 8 a “catastrophe” that has spawned a massive push for Steam on Linux. Apparently these opinions haven’t slowed the adoption rate of Windows 8 among Newell’s own customers, as Steam reveals that Windows 8 users now outnumber OS X users by a significant margin.

Steam’s monthly hardware and software survey does a great job of demonstrating what hardware the average user is packing. There’s not a lot of surprise here when you look at the specs. You’ve got 64-bit Windows 7 soaking up most of the glory, which is to be expected. If you take a…

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Surface with Windows 8 Pro is coming…


Microsoft announced that Surface with Windows 8 Pro will available in January 2013 in two versions: 64GB at $899 and 128GB at $999. It’s obvious that we will need the more expensive one…

The good news now:

  • The new Surface Pro will include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology that prevents your handwriting from getting interrupted if you accidently place your palm on the screen as you write.
  • As with the RT version Touch Covers and Type Covers will be sold separately.
  • Dark Titanium VaporMg casing.
  • Dual 2×2 MIMO antennas.
  • Intel’s third generation Core i5 processor.
  • 10.6” 16:9 ClearType display at 1920×1080 full HD resolution.
  • A full-size USB 3.0 port.
  • A mini DisplayPort can drive an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution.
  • Surface Pro will run all current Windows 7 desktop applications plus the metro Modern UI apps.
  • Less than two pounds and less than 14 millimeters thick.

The only drawback till now seems to be the battery life which, according to a twitter post and some calculations based on Surface RT, will be about 4 hours. We have to wait until January to find out if this is true. If it is so, then its usability is less than expected. We want it thin, but we also want it to run for a day…

Windows Phone 8: the new features

Μετά την ανακοίνωση του Microsoft Surface, του νέου tablet που ανέπτυξε η ίδια η Microsoft και θα είναι διαθέσιμο με τα Windows 8, ήρθε και η σειρά του Windows Phone 8. Για την ακρίβεια τουWindows Phone8 ή Apollo και του Windows Phone 7.8, της αναβάθμισης των παλιότερων συσκευών που δεν μπορούν να υποστηρίξουν λόγω hardware τα νέα χαρακτηριστικά.

Το Windows Phone8 θα υποστηρίζει πλέον dual-core CPU (και προφανώς και quad-core) υψηλότερες αναλύσεις οθόνης (1280×768 και1280×720), κάρτες μνήμης microSD (για αρχεία ή εφαρμογές) και NFC(Microsoft Wallet payments κλπ). Ενσωμάτωση του Skype (είναι δικό τους πια, το θυμάστε;) με κλήση ή chat απευθείας από τα contacts και αντικατάσταση των Bing Maps μεNokia Maps (πολύ καλύτερα από πολλές απόψεις, ειδικά για εμάς εδώ στην Ευρώπη, με navigation και offline χρήση). Φυσικά ΙΕ10, πιο γρήγορο και πιο συμβατό με phishing filter και SmartScreen.  Θα έχουμε το νέο Data Smart που θα μετρά την «κατανάλωση» bandwidth (όπως έχει εμφανιστεί και στα W8) και ένα browser proxy service για τον ΙΕ10 που θα μειώνει με συμπίεση τα δεδομένα που κατεβάζουμε (μιλάνε για 30%κέρδος). Παράλληλα και ένα νέο feature του local scout για κοντινά wifi hotspots(αρκεί να έχει στοιχεία και για τις δικές μας μικρές χώρες).

Η πιο σημαντική (και εμφανής) αλλαγή είναι η νέα Start Screen που πλέον γεμίζει όλη την οθόνη, μας δίνει την δυνατότητα για περισσότερα tiles και πολύ μικρά και μεγάλα. Αυτή είναι και η βασική αλλαγή στο Windows Phone 7.8 (ευτυχώς γιατί βελτιώνεται σημαντικά η ευχρηστία). Για αυτούς που θέλουν να «μετρούν»την συσκευή τους κόντρα στους «αντιπάλους» έρχεται και speech recognition μέσω API.

Στα ενδότερα, η μεγάλη αλλαγή είναι ότι πλέον η καρδιά του Windows Phone 8 είναι ίδια με τα Windows 8 RT που σημαίνει ότι οι προγραμματιστές θα μπορούν εύκολα να μεταφέρουν εφαρμογές από το ένα σύστημα στο άλλο (και σε native C και C++κώδικα πλέον – έρχονται ports από παιχνίδια…) και να παίξουν με πραγματικό multitasking. Έτσι είναι εφικτές και εφαρμογές τύπου SmartGlass (δείτε σχετικό video όσοι δεν γνωρίζετε). Βέβαια αυτό σημαίνει ότι οι περισσότεροι θα αναπτύσσουν εφαρμογές διαθέσιμες για WP8και W8 και όχι για τα «παλιότερα»WP7. Α, είναι διαθέσιμη και η SQLite…

Σημαντικές αλλαγές έχουν γίνει για την υποστήριξη της κάμερας με νέο API (πως αλλιώς θα υποστήριζαν το απίστευτο PureView που έρχεται σύντομα) και για enterprise computing: always-on device encryption βασισμένο στο bitlocker (on by default και για την κάρτα μνήμης), secure boot όπως στα Windows8 (μυρίζομαι UEFI), Office 2013 apps και υποστήριξη, νέες λειτουργίες διαχείρισης  πέρα από το EAS και side-loadinf εταιρικών εφαρμογών (κυρίως μέσω του Windows Intune PC).

Για το Windows Phone 7.8, αυτό που ξέρουμε είναι ότι στην πράξη είναι ένα νέο skin χωρίς αλλαγές σε βάθος λόγω μη υποστήριξης από το hardware. Το update μάλλον θα γίνει παρακάμπτοντας τους operators. Να δούμε… Στην πράξη το Windows Phone 7 θα «πεθάνει» αργά με την σταδιακή αντικατάσταση όλων των συσκευών αυτών από νέες (αν βρούμε χρήματα).

Χρονικά όλα αυτά μάλλον έρχονται το τρίτο τρίμηνο του 2012αλλά δεν έχει γίνει επίσημη ανακοίνωση. Θεωρώ σίγουρο ότι θα έχουμε συσκευές για την Χριστουγεννιάτικη αγορά. Από Nokia, HTC, Samsung και Huawei τουλάχιστον.

Μην περιμένετε να τα έχετε μάθει όλα για το Apollo –είναι σίγουρο ότι πολλά (και μάλλον τα πιο τρανταχτά) θα τα μάθουμε όταν θα εμφανιστούν στην αγορά οι νέες συσκευές με Windows Phone 8. Σιγά σιγά σχηματίζεται η συνολική εικόνα της «πλατφόρμας» που περιλαμβάνει Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 και Xbox 360 (σύντομα720 από τις διαρροές…) με χρήση όλων των νέων online services τηςMicrosoft (με αιχμή το νέο καταπληκτικό Skydrive).Περιμένουμε…

Windows Phone Blog –  Image GalleryEvent Video