It's official: Codename Windows Blue is going to be released as Windows 8.1 and a preview will be available for everyone on June 26th. This will be a free update to all current Windows 8 users, but not everything about it has been described as yet. According to Tami Reller, Microsoft's Windows division CEO/CFO, Windows 8.1 will be a free update to Windows 8 and Windows RT, easily installed through the start screen (I notice she said screen as opposed to menu). This is interesting because one thing many people wonder about is whether or not Windows 8.1 will reintroduce the very familiar start button and start menu that many people sorely miss.
On June 26th it should be a very interesting thing to at least observe if not download and install the preview of Windows 8.1. What is known about it now is likely not to be exactly what we do see on that day. We still don't know if there will be a start button or start menu and it is not certain if what we do see then will be very much like what the actual release of Windows 8.1 will include towards the end of this year. Tami Reller's announcement and Q&A session occurred at the JP Morgan technology media and telecom conference, and if you wish you can listen to her comments here.
Speaking of the future, what does Microsoft have planned? Not just Windows or just Office, or just X-Box - O no, they have bigger plans.IllumiRoom is a "proof-of-concept" system currently in development which according to Microsoft "augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience" using a Kinect camera and a projector.
Windows Update Recall
Microsoft has basically issued a recall for one of its Windows 7 updates released on Tuesday, April 9th. This update was included with many others as part of the usual "Patch Tuesday" release but it has apparently been found to cause errors, including problems rebooting computers. Security update 2823324 is no longer an option to download from Microsoft and they are recommending the removal of this update.
To remove an update is fairly easy, just by going to your control panel, choosing System and Security and then Windows Update. Once there choose Installed Updates to see the list.Find the one listed as Security Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2823324) which likely has a date of 4/10/2013. At that point, should you decide to follow Microsoft's recommendation, you can right click that item and Uninstall it. More information on this can be found directly from Microsoft HERE.
The Progressive Nature of Google's Chrome
Chrome is definitely recognized as a viable web browser and widely used worldwide today. That is not the extent of Google's reach nor is it the reach of Chrome. The Chrome OS is installed in many devices and is not limited to Chromebooks. One of the advantages of the Chrome OS and Chromebooks is in fact the cost because the Chrome OS is free which definitely cuts the cost of producing a PC, a laptop, hybrid ultra book, and/or many types of tablet/mobile devices.
Office 2013 License Longevity
With the release of Microsoft's Office 2013 package comes a new policy regarding licensing. It is really only new from the perspective of previous Microsoft office packages; however, it is important to realize that if you or I were to install this new package today and the computer we have installed it on becomes unusable that license will also be unusable.