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New Windows Phone update is also in store

Windows 8 sales have been mixed, with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) seeing strong OEM support and moving a lot of licenses, but struggling in sales -- particularly among enthusiasts.  At the root of the controversy is the rich graphical GUI formerly known as "Metro", which today is referred to as Windows 8 UI.  

There've been unconfirmed rumors that a Windows 8 update code-named Windows Blue was in store for later this year or early next year.  Now those rumors have seemingingly been confirmed, and Microsoft has dropped an indication that it make respond to criticism and tweak the UI.

In a job posting, first noted by Charon at Ma-config.com, Microsoft seeks an experienced software engineer, writing:

We’re looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.

In a second post, Twitter user @h0x0d (Walking Cat on Twitter) notes a second post, pertaining to Windows Phone Blue:

Windows Phone Blue

Excel MX is expected to OneNote MX and Lynx MX as a touch-optimized offering available from the Windows Store.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley indicates Microsoft is gunning hard to try to deliver the UI and services overhaul by the end of this upcoming summer.  The refresh is expected to be the first cross platform push for Microsoft's new unified strategy; Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Hotmail, and SkyDrive will all receive similar makeovers.

Windows 8 UI critics shouldn't get too excited -- the new UI isn't expected to bring back the "Start" button, a perpetual criticism of the Windows 8 UI.

A major focus of the Blue update is to improve APIs to make it easier to design an app that works with only a few modifications, on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Sources: Microsoft [1], [2 via Twitter]



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RE: Brace yourselves....
By nikon133 on 2/18/2013 4:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
Out of curiosity... Do you think many people around here actually don't use their PC every day, at work and at home, when you feel a need to emphasise that?

Humour me. I believe you that Linux Mint 14 looks great. I hear ya. But... will those 15 applications you run on your Windows also run on Linux, and is it going to be simple - or possible at all - to find adequate Linux apps to replace them all. If not - can you really switch? Do you work in OS itself, or in apps running under OS?

Because I don't think I could replace apps I am using dailt at my work. My work PC runs on only 2 monitors. I do run on them pretty much daily:

Outlook
Word
Excel
PowerPoint
ConnectWise
ITQuoter
CorelDraw
Corel PhotoPaint
Adobe DreamWeaver
SharePoint Workspace
IE, Firefox, Chrome
3CX MyPhone

I have most of them open during the work hours, all of them on occasion. Under Windows 8 Enterprise. Works brilliantly for me ever since I've installed it on my work PC, back in September. In fact, I have upgraded my personal laptop and home PC to Win 8 since. Not because Win 7 is bad - it was great and my favourite Windows ever, before I got hooked to 8. But I do like 8 more.

Looking forward Blue release.


RE: Brace yourselves....
By eldakka on 2/18/2013 8:21:29 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm, just taking a punt, I don't use most of these applications but seeing if i can think of Linux alternatives ;)

Outlook - an email client, so thunderbird, other clients, mailx and mail if you are desperate enough ;)
Word - Open/Libre Office, others, emacs or vi if really desperate
Excel - Open/Libre Office, others
Powerpoint - no idea, it's just presentation software so probably
ConnectWise - had to google this, no idea what it was. I don't know if there is a Linux equivalent, but according to a brief look at what it does, there are many open source equivalents of its individual functionality (ticketing systems, invoice systems etc) tho not sure if there's something that integrates all into a single product.
ITQuoter - no idea.
CorelDraw/Photopaint/dreamweaver - many opensource Linux alternatives, GIMP, Dia, Inkscape, sK1, etc. Capabilities will vary.
Sharepoint Workspace - eww sharepoint (wait, can't u just use a source control system with your favourite products editing files and syncing to remote PC'/servers/Cloud servers?)
IE/Firefox/Chrome - browsers, FF and chrome work on Linux
3CX MyPhone - some sort of advanced PBX software? There are PBX software that runs on Linux. Tho I have no idea on how they compare, 3CX may shit all over them, no idea.

And if worst comes to worst, if you needed these EXACT products (as opposed to other products that can do the same/similiar job) then most of them could probably run under WINE.

Disclaminer I use a Windows XP (yes, XP!) desktop at work, multimonitor, running heaps of apps simultaneously, Lotus Notes, MS Office products, text editors (yay Notepad++), source control software (icky clearcase), browsers (FF, IE, Opera mostly), cygwin/X with 2 rootless X sessions each with like 6 xterms running in each, plus another 6 xterms in multiwindow mode. I'm hoping to get to win7 before the end of the year tho...


RE: Brace yourselves....
By nikon133 on 2/19/2013 4:08:44 PM , Rating: 2
And punt you'll get! ;)

Email client - has to fully integrate with Exchange (email, calendar, shared calendars, contacts) and have available connectors to ConnectWise (calendar syncing) and 3CX (soft-phone calling from contacts, voicemails sent to inbox as attachments). I'm not aware many can do this, beside good old Outlook.

Word, Excel, PP - replacements would have to be fully compatible with MS Office. Formulas, VB support, formatting... we do cooperate and collaborate within company, and on occasion with customers as well.

ConnectWise - it took time and money to implement and tune it to our requirements. Moving to different platform would be... wasteful at least.

ITQuoter is CRM based piece of software, not pretty but functional. Has access to all our supplier stock lists, with pricing and available stock. It also links with ConnectWise - ie you create a quote in ITQ and it creates Opportunity ticket in CW. Then you can elevate VW opportunity to project, for example, and add other project elements. Basically sales/procurement tool.

CDR, CPT, DreamWeaver. Coincidently our printer is using CDR, so sending files is as painless as possible. Sure we could use something else but it would require additional conversions to PS or AI or any other wide-accepted format. Yes it would work, but it would add complexity to the process, and unnecessary one, IMHO. Additionally, time would have to be spent to learn new software, without any obvious gains and easy to expect problems along the way. Why?

SharePoint - yeah, not my favourite either. But... we do use it and our customers do use it, so it is unavoidable right now.

Browsers - fine.

3CX, software based VoIP PBX. Works with number of VoIP phones (like Cisco S504G) and softphones. Integrates with Outlook. I'm only using it, but according to our engineer in charge, it is very capable. One way or another, it is requirement.

So you see... a one man band could replace Windows with Linux (or OSx) OS and tools, but even then with questionable success and hard to predict issues and frustrations, and wasted time to get into new software.

But as a part of company with established IT infrastructure and processes... no, I don't think so.


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