Posts Tagged ‘Windows 8’

Hey Everyone! can you remember all those Windows 8 screenshots that surfaced before the platform was released? Well, some of those might have been courtesy of Alex Kibkalo, an ex-Microsoft employee who was just arrested for stealing and leaking company secrets. Unlike the HTC execs who reportedly stole trade secrets to run a new firm, though, Kibkalo allegedly leaked info to a French tech blogger for something akin to revenge — he was apparently angry over receiving a poor performance review when he was still with Microsoft. According to Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the accused sent the blogger (whom he met on a forum) parts of Windows 8’s code and Microsoft’s Activation Server Software Development Kit. While Kibkalo’s charging paper states that the blogger only posted Windows 8 screenshots, Microsoft believes its former employee also encouraged him to share the development kit online. He supposedly wanted that to happen so hackers can use the kit (one of Microsoft’s defenses against software piracy) to crack the company’s products.

If you’re wondering how exactly the accused got caught, it’s because the blogger contacted Microsoft in September 2012 to verify the Windows 8 code Kibkalo sent. When Redmond determined its authenticity, investigators looked through the blogger’s Hotmail account and instant messenger, where they found incriminating emails and chat logs. In one of those sessions, the accused even claimed that he broke into one of the company’s buildings in an attempt to copy a server. Kibkalo’s now facing criminal charges for this particular offense, but according to investigators, he also bragged about leaking Windows 7 files in the past.

Microsoft Corp is conceiving the idea to allow Android apps on Windows given that the Android has become such a success in a short span of time. The company is split in taking the step, though. One segment of Microsoft anticipates that the company should allow Android apps to run inside its platforms to fill the app deficit. The other segment thinks that it will not be a wise choice for the company and will lead to the end of Windows.

As per reports from The Verge, running Android apps on Windows means that Microsoft will allow Android apps on Windows and Windows Phone platforms. The negotiations are still on over the topic and are said to be in their early stages at Microsoft Corp. The Windows maker’s new CEO Satya Nadella is likely to take a call over the matter soon.

If Microsoft heads with this idea, the company may use a virtualisation layer like Bluestacks’ solution to run Android applications on Windows and will provide the apps through its own customised store. Apps like Temple Run in Android version run on Windows 8 using BlueStacks.

No details are available as of now, since Microsoft is yet to make a choice. Microsoft is reportedly keeping a close eye on the performance of Nokia’s new Android smartphone that may be launched at the Mobile World Congress, this month. The performance of the new smartphone is likely to be a deciding factor for Microsoft to take this call.

Ctrl + Alt + Del, a mistake by IBM

Bill Gates has described the decision to use Ctrl+Alt+Del as the command needed to log on to a PC as a mistake.

Originally designed to trigger a reboot of a PC, it survives in the Windows 8 operating system as the command to access the task manager toolbar and is still used in older versions to log on.

In an interview, the Microsoft co-founder blamed IBM for the shortcut, saying he had favoured a single button.

The keyboard shortcut was invented by IBM engineer David Bradley.

Originally he had favoured Ctrl+Alt+Esc, but he found it was too easy to bump the left side of the keyboard and reboot the computer accidentally so switched to Ctrl+Alt+Del because it was impossible to press with just one hand.

During IBM’s 20th anniversary celebrations, he said that while he may have invented it, Bill Gates made it famous.

His involvement in the invention has made him something of a programming hero though- with fans asking him to autograph keyboards at conferences.

Finger strike
The shortcut, also known as the three-finger salute – came to prominence in the early 1990s as a quick fix for the infamous “blue screen of death” on PCs.

But speaking at a fundraising campaign at Harvard University, Mr Gates said he thought that it had been a mistake.

“We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give us our single button.”

While some loathe the clunky command, others took to news site Reddit to express their fondness for it.

“I feel a single button would be a mistake,” said one.”There’s a conscious commitment and in many cases a sense of satisfying sword play in executing the two-handed finger strike of Ctrl-Alt-Del.”

Mozilla will soon be marking a major milestone with Firefox. In a ‘minutes of the meeting’ document surrounding Firefox planning, Mozilla reportedly promised to merge the Metro style interface into its Aurora (pre-beta) channel on 16 September along with a Windows Aurora Firefox build, which is being publicised as the Metro Preview Release ..

The beta version of the release is slated for 28 October followed by the final Metro Firefox release to ship with Firefox 26 on 10 December ..

It, indeed is a long procedure! In March last year, Mozilla had announced that it has started working on the development of a Metro-style version of Firefox. At that time, Windows 8 was still in a preview release and Metro was till that time the official name of the Windows 8 design style ..

18 months ago, Mozilla called it a ‘very large project’ to tame down the expectations. It was also made clear by the Project Manager, Asa Dotzler that the running code was still far away. He wrote, “I do not anticipate that we will get beyond a late stage Beta before the end of 2012.” ..

ZDNET’s Ed Bott reported, “After showing off a Metro style Firefox prototype in April 2012, it was another 10 months before the Metro code made it into the Nightly channel. At the time, I praised the browser’s coders for embracing the Windows 8 interface, complete with app bar and a tabbed browsing interface that are hidden until you reveal them with a swipe motion. That’s in stark contrast to Google, which has added a Windows 8 mode to current versions of Chrome but simply replicated the desktop user interface.” ..

Having already impressed techies with the amazing support touch on their desktop browser, it is time for Mozilla developers to replicate that in the Metro version. Along with the final release, the developers will also be adding a Firefox app bar, which will keep the tab bar open at the top but can move the address field, reload button, bookmark star button and other controls on the bottom ..

This new Firefox will be the last of the three big Windows browsers to support the unique split-personality mode, which is only for browsers. Let’s wait and watch ..!

 

Considering that Steve Ballmer has been chief executive of Microsoft for more than a decade, it might sound strange to say this. But the sweeping reorganization announced Wednesday made it clear that Microsoft is now his company.

But in the various memos and news releases, the company emphasized that while Windows remains crucial to its future, it’s no longer the way Microsoft wants to define itself. The company is now about “devices and services,” Ballmer said in a memo.

“Ballmer has definitely placed his stamp on Microsoft, meaning the ‘Gates era’ has come to an end,” said Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. “He is fundamentally shifting the company from an operating system company to services and devices company. In a world where operating systems are free, as in the case of Android, iOS and Linux, Windows is a lot less important.”

To accelerate that shift, Microsoft is collapsing the number of divisions from eight to four. Ballmer wants to promote more collaboration at a company often seen as internally fractious.

It’s a radical push to remake the company. But there’s no arguing that the reorganization is the capstone to one of the most remarkable years of transformation we’ve seen at a technology giant.

Under Ballmer, Microsoft has engaged in a historic upheaval of nearly every part of its massive product line.

Much of that has been documented in bits and pieces. The biggest news was the redesign that came with Windows 8. But there’s also the launch of Outlook.com, the new Windows Phones, the new Xbox One coming later this year, a new cloud-based version of Office.com. And the list goes on.

And, of course, there’s been the push to build its own tablet, the Surface. In the announcement, Ballmer promised to continue working with third parties as it has traditionally done, but also to keep looking for ways to build more of its own devices.

Many of these moves have come in for heavy criticism. Sales of the Surface have not been stellar. Windows 8 has failed to stem a steep decline in PC sales.

But from the point of view of the new Microsoft, all this matters less than you think. With the new guiding philosophy, Windows is not the sole benchmark by which to measure its success or failures. Rather, the company wants to be given credit for the enormous breadth of things it does for both consumers and enterprise, and how well all of those things work together.

Indeed, while some of the consumer offerings have failed to catch fire so far, the enterprise side of Microsoft has been growing quite nicely in recent months.

So much so, that investors seem, at least for the moment, to be optimistic that this new, post-Windows Microsoft, has a fighting chance. The stock in mid-day trading Wednesday was up $0.67 or 1.93% to $35.37. The stock has been on a decent run this year, up more than 24% and coming close to the $36 per share mark it last reached in 2007.

Of course, for all the major surgery at Microsoft, it remains to be seen whether this will translate into a company that can grow at the pace investors want over the long term. Or whether it can regain any sense of leadership in the fast-moving worlds of mobile and cloud technologies, where so far the company has been outflanked by rivals such as Apple and Google.

Ballmer’s legacy is now firmly tied to these remarkable changes. Whether he’s remembered as a transformative corporate visionary or a bumbling, misguided chief executive will depend more on what happens in his second decade running the company than his first.