Dual Boot Ubuntu and Windows 8.1

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.

Windows 8 Pricing

A new ZDNet article just revealed Windows 8 pricing. Although Microsoft still hasn’t officially released the price, it’s partner Newegg.com has. Based on what I’ve seen, the Windows 8 pricing is more palatable than previous editions. Users are more inclined to purchase since prices seem more reasonable. In addition, Microsoft has reduced and simplified the number of OS choices to just four. It’s amazing what simplicity does to lessen the user confusion. Here are the four choices:

The Newegg page lists four separate products:

  • Windows 8 Professional Upgrade – $69.99 (save $130)
  • Windows 8 Pro Pack – Product Key Card (no media) – $69.99 (save $30)
  • Windows 8 (Full Version) – OEM $99.99
  • Windows 8 Pro (Full Version) – OEM $139.99

The two OEM products are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

I suggest you  get over to Newegg.com and pre-order Windows 8. They offer a $10.00 discount.

Finally, Windows 8 scheduled release date is October 26.

Free Boingo Wifi In San Francisco

If you’re traveling, working, or just walking around and near San Francisco, Christmas is coming early, courtesy of Microsoft and Boingo Wireless. Microsoft recently inked a deal with Boingo, to sponsor free Wi-Fi access at certain hot spot locations in San Francisco, as part of the Windows 8 celebration, to be announced later this month.

Here’s the announcement from Boingo’s website.

Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI), the Wi-Fi industry’s leading provider of software and services worldwide, announced today that Microsoft is sponsoring free Wi-Fi access at high-traffic New York and San Francisco locations from now through the end of the year. The Wi-Fi sponsorship is part of the launch celebration for Windows 8, and will introduce the new Windows Store for Windows 8 to the app builder community. Consumers can also enjoy browsing great new apps in the Windows Store, view staff recommendations and get personalized picks based on apps they may already use.

As part of the holiday promotion, Microsoft’s sponsored Wi-Fi is immediately available for users of all Wi-Fi enabled devices in six Manhattan subway stations, supported by Transit Wireless’ state-of-the-art network, and across Wi-Fi hotzones covering iconic San Francisco locations including Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, UN Plaza, the Financial District, Nob Hill and more. Microsoft will also sponsor Wi-Fi via more than 200 Manhattan hotzones, starting November 1. The Wi-Fi hotspots are part of the Boingo’s Cloud Nine media platform, a global advertising network that enables brand advertisers to reach target audiences through high engagement Wi-Fi sponsorship.

Windows 8 Dizzying Array of Versions

As you are aware, development of Windows 8 is in full force. Microsoft has already started to market its next operating systems by making it available for anyone to download. A recent look at what options are available reveals a dizzying array of options. Tom’s Hardware compiled a list of Windows 8 options, and they are:

  • Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Premium Edition
  • Windows 8 ARM Edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus Edition
  • Windows 8 Starter Edition
  • Windows 8 Ultimate Edition

This doesn’t even take into account more options if you take into account 32-bit and 64-bit CPU architectures. This list is quite lengthy. The list can potentially change come release time. As a comparison, Linux Mint has 7 different versions. But, if you take away the 32-bit and 64-bit stuff, it essentially comes down to just 4 different versions.

Do you think there are too many Windows 8 options?

Why Microsoft Wants Windows 8 Soon

Why is Microsoft in such a hurry to release Windows 8? After all, Windows 7 is barely a year old. It has been 17 months, to be precise, since Windows 7 was released. Most of us still haven’t upgraded to Windows 7 yet. So, why is Microsoft in such a hurry to introduce yet another version of Windows?

The answer could be as simple as Microsoft wanting their hands on ARM-based devices. ARM processors run majority control of today’s smartphones and tablets. Microsoft is obviously playing catch up in the smartphone and tablet arena.

The main issue for Microsoft is that majority of Windows users are still running Windows XP. A whopping 54% still run Windows XP. The good news is that Windows 7 users has overtaken Windows Vista users since July 2010.

But, majority of Windows XP users are still deferring upgrades. Expect Windows 8 to be released first quarter of 2012.