Windows 10 and MS Insiders

From what I’ve been hearing, Microsoft might have been planning to allow insiders to get the final version of Windows 10 for free, but as time passes it appears that they’re starting to think that doing that might be a bad idea.  After their first announcement that Windows 10 would be free to Microsoft Insiders (Beta Testers) They seem to be reversing course and saying that you’ll need a valid Windows 7/8.1 license.  Of course this isn’t a surprise to me.  I got into the Windows 7 and 8 Betas and at the end of each I needed to get a full version of the OS before I could keep on using the computer.  (Also it required a full install, erasing everything on the machine)  Now I’m prepairing for the full release of Windows 10, I currently have two machines running the Tech Preview, they will probably get reset to their original versions of Windows before too long.

It is interesting seeing that Microsoft is planning to allow Windows 7 and 8.1 users to upgrade for free at any time during the first year though.

Also on a side note, I really hope that Microsoft returns window border customization.  The pure white windows are really starting to hurt my eyes.  If I could customize the system more, I’d be so happy.

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Minecraft on Hololens

Earlier today, there Microsoft had a presentation about Minecraft on their Hololens headset…

I have to wonder how close to reality that presentation is, I heard that Microsoft said that some truly epic things could be done with the Kinect, but none of that really happened, at least from what I’ve heard.  They want to make Windows 10 THE OS for VR and AR, seeing that they have a partnership with Oculus/Facebook, and evidently Valve/HTC on their Vive headset, they will probably be quite successful at doing that.

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Candy Crush Saga & Windows 10

It sounds like Microsoft is planning on pre-installing Candy Crush Saga on Windows 10 machines, at least for a while.  This has quite a few people riled up, largley in part that that game is a very big time waster.  Also In App Purchases are a bit of a sticking point, as it is very unlikely that King will want those removed from their game, meaning that there will probably be a number of people that’ll spend money on accident (This has happened before on Smartphones)

In the end I probably will uninstall that game, as I don’t play it, and it seems that it’d be wasting some disc space, especially if installed on a device with very little storage space.

I have been using Windows 10 on my Desktop, alongside Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows 7.  It is a nice OS, though the latest build seems to drop a lot of previous customization options.  Window borders will only switch to gray now, and the taskbar and start menu are both black by default, though they can be changed.

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 3

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 3

I recently got a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a very nice tablet computer.  The interesting thing about this tablet is the fact that unlike my Android tablets, or iPad, this is a full computer, able to run desktop applications. (Even Ubuntu Linux can be loaded on the blasted thing!)

Part of the reason I wanted to get a Surface is the fact that I’d like to resume working on my webcomic, Age of the Elements, and as far as I can tell, this device is similar to some Wacom tablets.  The pen works very well, I had heard that the surface used Wacom tech for the pen, but that was only in the original and Surface 2 tablets.  The Surface Pro 3 uses a NTrig pen instead.  At first I was skeptical, the pen requires a AAA battery to work, unlike Wacom pens, and it has a lot fewer configuration options than my older graphics tablets (Wacom Intuos and Bamboo Fun)  which can be troublesome.

So far I’ve used Photoshop Elements 7, GIMP, and the Krita image editors on the device, all of them work well, though GIMP has a bug that makes the image update extremely slowly, though that was fixed by downgrading some of GIMPs .dll files.  They should really fix that soon…  So far I’ve taken a liking to Krita, though it has a mildly annoying issue where it will scroll up or down randomly when drawing (Probably a configuration issue I believe…)  All of these applications detect the Stylus properly and have full pressure sensitivity, which can be tweaked via the ‘Surface’ App, or in the art applications themselves.  It is very nice not needing to carry any extra equipment around when I feel like drawing, I just need to take this out and start.

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Surface Pro 3 with a Black Type keyboard

The type keyboard is surprisingly nice.  Not as nice as a good mechanical keyboard, but given how thin the keyboard is, it is a pleasure to type with.  It disconnects from the device fairly easily, but won’t just fall off, as the magnet that holds it in place is very powerful.  The on-screen keyboard is also nice, but nothing to write home about.  It works about the same as the on-screen keyboards that my Android devices and iPad have.

I can see why Microsoft designed Windows 8 the way they did, Windows 8 Apps work very well, I haven’t installed any start-menu replacements, as those would actually make life more difficult than the standard w8 menu.  They really should have done more work to the desktop interface though, as some parts are too small to use easily without the stylus, or a mouse.

The kickstand is also a interesting part of the device, it can go to a very low angle which is useful for drawing, and the keyboard makes it difficult to push around when flipped under the device which is very nice while drawing.

Well those are my experiences With the Surface Pro 3 so far, I’m going to keep on using it, it has some faults, but it’s good enough for me to use it in place of my standard laptops in most situations.

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Microsoft: One in 14 Downloads Is Malicious – Yahoo! News

Well, I’m glad that I use Linux…

The next time a website says to download new software to view a movie or fix a problem, think twice. There’s a pretty good chance that the program is malicious.

via Microsoft: One in 14 Downloads Is Malicious – Yahoo! News.

I don’t download many programs from random websites, as Ubuntu has a large repository of applications that are legit.  I do reccomend being careful on where you download applications from, only download from places that you trust.

For me it also helps that most viruses are made for Windows, and thus won’t work on Mac or Linux (though I have heard of a few Mac viruses recently too…)

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Microsoft bans open source from it’s Marketplace

Apparently you cannot get any Open Source software through Microsoft’s marketplace.

The licence, which anyone wishing to distribute Windows, Windows Phone, or Xbox applications through the company’s copy of Apple’s App Store is required to agree to, is the usual torrent of legalese – but hides a nasty surprise for those who support open source ideals.

via Microsoft bans open source from the Marketplace | thinq_.

I’ve heard that Windows 8 will include the marketplace as well…  Though I hope that Microsoft is smart enough to let people install software that wasn’t purchased through the marketplace to be installed on Windows 8, as we’ve been able to do on all previous versions of Windows.

The Windows Phone and XBox are both heavily controlled, which seems to be the way that most corporations are going with devices like these. (Apple has a similar setup with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, Nintendo with the Wii and DS, Sony with the PS3, and PSP)

These changes are sad to see, computers are becoming a little less versatile, because their manufacturers are putting limits on what the device can do, and if you try to break those limits, the manufacturer can permanently disable that device.

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Microsoft says that Windows is cheaper than Linux

Well, I’ve seen this many times, Microsoft saying that their $200-$500 Operating system is cheaper than the $0.00 Linux.  Their reasoning is because “Everyone uses Windows, You have to spend time to learn Linux, and if you’re in a Business environment, that time is lost money. Also Linux Administrators are more expensive in business.”

I have to go, What if you already have workers that have learned Linux, or if your people know Windows XP, but not Vista or 7, because Vista and 7 are quite different than Windows XP. Or they currently use Microsoft Office 2003, but not 2007, or 2010, you would have to spend time training workers to use the new office suite.

In the end, you can upgrade to Linux with OpenOffice, or Microsoft Windows with Microsoft Office, and often a paid Antivirus Suite.  Both ways you will have to spend about the same amount of time training your workers, so why not go for the free ones instead?

I’ve been hearing of a few businesses that are doing that, My Mom’s home company, Filbert Publishing, almost exclusively uses Linux, just a copy of Windows 7 in a Virtual Machine to run some website design software.

Oh and here are a few articles you may find interesting.
Microsoft HPC claim: Windows is cheaper than Linux
Switching to Linux picks up steam
Ten Reasons to Dump Windows and Use Linux
Large, Medium, and Small Companies Switching to Linux

Have a good day 🙂

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Well, time to say goodbye, Windows…

The end of Windows 7 on my Desktop
Well, you're not starting up again, are you?

So, Windows on my Desktop has been unable to boot for a few days, causing some of my work projects to fall a little behind.  At least I have not lost anything, due to backing up, and the fact that my Desktop is ‘Dual Boot’ Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10.  Windows 7 CANNOT read anything in the Ubuntu part of the computer, but Ubuntu will easily read anything in the Windows 7 part.

Huh.  Windows cannot access anything but NTFS and FAT Partitions…  that is very annoying. Well, in the end Windows is the one that has died, which gives me a nice place to try the upcoming Ubuntu 10.10 without screwing with Ubuntu 9.10 … oh and also…

The next version of Ubuntu is coming soon
24 days until Ubuntu 10.10 is offically released!

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Appeals Court Rules Some Software Can’t Be Bought

So when you buy software in the store, you are just paying for the license to use it. You don’t own anything, the program that gave you the license can revoke it at any time.  As one person that pointed out, It’s not like any standard system of renting, in the end you don’t own the software that you went into the store and paid for. Comment found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/12/appeals-court-rules- some-_n_713652.html (Read the whole article while you’re at it 🙂 )

It is of course even more strange in the Software Download world, where you don’t have any physical media that you can give to someone else.  Let’s just say don’t give your friend a copy of a downloaded program that you paid for, you can get in some trouble with the company behind the program.

In the end, you don’t own any programs installed on your computer, you’re just being allowed to use them by the company that you paid.  They can revoke your license to use the program at any time, at which point, you either have to pay for it again, or use it illegally, or move to a different program. (Hopefully Open Source, which doesn’t go by the same rules)

Man am I glad that I use Linux, and other free software. 🙂

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Microsoft has a new marketing campaign

Microsoft has started a marketing campaign against Apple, http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/compare/pc-vs-mac.aspx , and the Mac users don’t seem too happy.  I, myself am a Linux Person, and I remember Microsoft’s ‘Get The Facts’ campaign, which did the exact same thing to Linux, annoying lots of Linux users.  (Well they did have the top link on the Google search page for Linux…)

Looking at their new site, it appears that this time, it’s just trying to keep people that are on the fence from switching away from windows.  Those who have already switched are not likely to change back, I know that, because I switched to Linux a few years ago, and only keep Windows around for those few games that don’t run on Linux, through Wine or other means…

As time passes, I see Microsoft becoming irrelevant because everything seems to be moving to the ‘cloud’.  I like the fact that I can easily move from computer to computer without needing a flash drive, but I still like having a local copy of my data.  On the ‘facts’ that microsoft has on their site, most of them seem to do with shortcomings in their software, which requires users of other systems and programs to do workarounds, because Microsoft Products refuse to work with Mac or Linux formats, but Mac and Linux can work with Microsoft formats.

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