The love affair with Windows 8 didn’t last long. I’m back with Windows 7. I don’t think it’s the difficulty of getting around Windows 8 that was the trouble. It’s just that Windows 7 just works for most people and it certainly did for me. I don’t know why Microsoft decided to change the entire look and feel of a product when people were just getting comfortable to it. Why change a successful product? Beats me. Another misstep from Redmond.
It has been close to a decade since my last Windows machine. We are talking about during the days when Windows XP ruled the world. I just finished installing Windows 8.1 on an older PC that was running Ubuntu Linux server. It’s still runs Ubuntu on its own hard drive. I found an old 60GB IDE hard drive that was collecting dust.
So, I decided to add it on my PC. So, now I have two hard drives. I ended up installing Windows 8.1 on it. I can still boot to either OS. I just have to enter the BIOS setup each time, when I want to switch OS, and select the appropriate drive as primary. The Windows 8.1 installation took a while. The setup also took some time to finish. The first order of business was install Google Chrome. The second was to install Avast Antivirus.
I don’t know what the fuss is all about with Windows 8. I took me a few seconds to get to the original desktop. I heard from a lot of people that Windows 7 was better. I don’t have much an opinion for or against Windows 8. So far, so good. The only gripe I have is, I wished that old 60GB drive was quieter, but that is not Windows fault. With much ado, here’s my first post from Windows 8.1.
Microsoft is offering Office 365 Personal for $7 per month. Essentially, you’ll have access to Word, Excel and Powerpoint. As a bonus Microsoft is including 60 minutes of free Skype calls and 20GB of additional OneDrive. And you’ll always get the current version of Office because it’s cloud-based. In addition, there’s also the Office 365 Home Premium for $99 per year or about $8.25 per month.
EvLeaks, well you guessed it, is leaking information about Google’s Smartwatch. The smart watch will have 1.65 inch LCD screen with a screen resolution of 280 x 280 pixels. The device will have 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Based on an artist’s rendering, Google may offer two designs, round and square. I say, go for the square one because every screen I’ve seen and known is rectangular. It will be very odd to see a round LCD screen.
Amazon’s prime membership just went up to $100. Personally, I don’t have a prime membership. I don’t really shop at Amazon that much. Maybe, about 10 times in a year. It’s a lot less now. I don’t shop that much enough to warrant spending that much money to save money. I’m not a movie watcher either, so I’m not really missing anything. I’m ok with Netflix $8 per month. Lately, I have been considering of not shopping at Amazon because it has gotten more expensive. Not only they apply sales taxes now, but the number of items that come with free shipping have gone down. I’ve bought items before from other online retailers because it was free shipping and they didn’t charge me sales tax. That’s Amazon loss.
Now, you can go down the Colorado river using Google street view. Well, that takes the fun out of it. Anyways, Google is making the whole experience of going down the river available to your desktop. With just a few scrolls of your mouse, you can drift down the Colorado without ever lifting a finger. You can complete the entire river experience in a matter of minutes at zero cost, and without ever getting out of your chair. I just wonder if they will still call it Street View? Shouldn’t they be calling it River View? Next on the line is the Riverwalk in San Antonio, except that people faces will all be blurred.
Find a 100GB of storage online for just $2 per month. Chances are you won’t. Because there aren’t any. You won’t find any better deal than what Google is offering. At least for the moment. What a great deal! Google just lowered the price of their cloud storage from $5 to $2. If you want a 1TB of storage, you can get it for just $10 per month. If you want to upgrade, just go to Google’s Drive.
I got myself an excellent bargain earlier today. I picked up a Polaroid 32GB SDHC card at Frys for just $16. It’s rated with a Class 10 performance. I plan to use it on my Nikon D90 DSLR camera. With 32GB, I should be able to take 9456 photos at 12 Megapixels, and about 430 minutes 720p HD videos. The 16GB card I was using on my camera will now reside on my Raspberry PI. I can’t wait to get that going, so I can add more apps on my Raspberry.
Who is winning the cloud storage race? The list is long and distinguished. Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box are the big five. Ubuntu One, Amazon Cloud Drive, Sugarsync, Hightail, and OwnCloud trail a list of lesser-known or perhaps lesser-used services. In terms of popularity, Dropbox still heads the list, mainly since it is the early innovator. iCloud leans heavily on Apple’s products. Google Drive is gaining market share.
In terms of my experience, I use Dropbox most of the time when sharing or transferring files. However, when creating new documents, I use Google Drive exclusively because the tools are there. When security is a concern, I tend to use OwnCloud. I do have OneDrive, iCloud, Ubuntu One, but I use them sparingly. Do I need more? Probably, not. I think having more than three services is overkill, but it’s nice to have options.
What’s your favorite? Who do you think is the best? Who will survive and who will not?
Microsoft is trying hard to get people to move off from Windows XP. It just doesn’t seem to be working. It’s falling on deaf ears. Interestingly, there was a slight increase in Windows XP use. Microsoft plans to drop Windows XP support April 8, meaning there won’t be anymore bug fixes, security updates, etc. Microsoft plans to use pop-up reminders after April 8.
The lesson to learn from all of this is, it is difficult to kill off a very successful product that still makes up 30% of your OS business. It’s going to take some time. The reality is, they may not all come back. In some cases, Users have found better alternatives in the form of our devices such as tablets and smartphones.
I imagine small businesses still have some old systems are still hanging around. If they haven’t moved them, there’s probably a good enough reason why they still run on Windows XP. There are many legacy systems that still run on Windows XP. Upgrades means they will break. But, then again, I can’t imagine businesses ignoring all of these warnings all this time.
So, I won’t be surprised if only a small portion of the 30 percent upgrades to newer Windows OS.