Tag : Windows 8

Microsoft Pushes Back Windows 7/8.1 End Date

Windows 7 Windows 8 End of Support It appears Microsoft is trying to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 by finally pulling the plug on Windows 7 and 8.1. Well. Sorta.

The painstaking process of adapting older operating systems to Intel’s revolutionary architecture lead to the initial decision to withdraw support for 7 and 8.1 in 2017. Users have until July 17,2017 to upgrade. If the upgrade is not made, users will only receive security fixes deemed as most critical. After this date only users working with Windows 10 will  receive the most recent updates, patches, tweaks, and fixes. As you can imagine this irked consumers wishing to stay with older operating systems. This is the first time Microsoft has somewhat become demanding of its customers when it comes to making the switch to Windows 10.

Jeremy Korst, general manager of Windows marketing, reveals the shortened life span is “designed to help consumers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage migrations to Windows 10” . This makes sense considering upgrading to Windows 10 on Skylake devices ensures users are able to access the latest and greatest in terms of modern hardware and software.

Korst also explains in a blog post the obvious advantage of running Skylake on Windows 10, “Compared to Windows 7 PC’s, Skylake when combined with Windows 10, enables up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life.”

The end of life date for Windows 7 is January 14, 2020 and January 10, 2023 for Windows 8. The delayed deadline should hopefully make the transition smoother for customers. Another year will be allowed for Skylake to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 while still receiving all major windows updates. Microsoft is also enhancing its overall policy to promise more security updates, in case the deadline alone doesn’t convince users to make the switch to Windows 10.

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Windows reportedly going to merge Windows and Windows phone 8 into Windows Blue

Contrary to recent releases, it appears that new rumors are coming out from Microsoft that the upcoming release of windows 8.1 or windows 8 Blue is much more than just an update/service pack. It appears that Microsoft is intending to merge both the pc and mobile platforms under one product called Windows Blue. What does this mean and how will it play together, well that’s all speculation at this point. With recent announcements from Microsoft that allow the support of lower resolution screens kind of play into this rumor.

It is already knowledge that windows phone 8 and windows 8 already share quite a bit of similar code in the start menu and much of the back end networking code, as well as application compatibility.

To tell you the truth, I’m rather curious as to how they will do this as I’m a big proponent of having the phone and OS separate. The metro interface should be the phone and they should go back to the original style in my personal opinion.

Windows 8 adoption at a stand still

It appears that the numbers for Windows 8 is not good after just four months on the market. With users dissatisfaction for the new windows 8 metro interface it seems to have slow sales to almost a halt. This is also true in the Windows store where there has only been an additional 4,000 apps since February. At this growth rate, they will reach over 100,000 apps by sometime in late 2014 which is much slower than any other app store. Even with that being said, most of the apps in the store are useless apps anyway and not worth downloading. Hopefully with Windows 8 Blue, Microsoft will make some significant changes if they want to get back in the PC game. Windows 8’s growth rate is actually slower than Vista’s growth rate, and we all know what happened with Vista.

My Week with the Surface Pro

I recently had the opportunity to spend a week using one of Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablets, and let me tell you it’s a pretty powerful little machine. It’s very quick, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In the following lines here, I’m going to give you the good, and the bad in my eyes.

The Good:

As I originally stated, the surface is a pretty quick little machine, and boasts some pretty impressive resolution. It has a native 1,080 x 1,920 resolution. The touch screen is responsive.

The front and back facing cameras are also decent and the video quality is quite acceptable.

It comes with a stylus and some of the features are quite neat. I tried writing rather sloppy on the tablet in cursive and it seemed to pick up each and every one of my characters. I thought this was a pretty neat little feature.

The Bad:

If you are someone who has a difficult time seeing the smaller screen of the service, you might want to adjust the resolution. Well it turns out when you adjust the resolution, you can no longer utilize the full screen of the device. You have the black bars at the sides of the screen. I really wish there were some more options in light to adjusting screen resolution to something that will utilize the whole screen.

If you by the entry level 64 GB model of the surface you will soon find that after you install your office apps and small other things, you only have roughly 20 GB of free space available to work with. That is easy to overcome, but it requires you to purchase an additional x-SD card to store items on. After spending close to a $1000 dollars on the device, that is the last thing I want to do.

Mobility: I found quite often that while using it on the go, that I wanted to use a keyboard and a mou


Overall I think this is a very fast and capable machine put out by Microsoft. Like or hate Windows 8, the device itself is quite impressive although I’m not sure it’s for everyone.

Windows 8 to Go Tested

Just the other day I thought I would go ahead and test out the windows 8 to go feature that is included with Windows 8 enterprise. I used a USB 2.0 device that had a 128 GB Solid State drive in it and began my work. I initially tried setting it up using the built in gui but soon found that while formatting the drive it would lose its drive letter and then fail. I eventually had to use the command line and the image.exe application from the Windows automated installation kit (AIK). It took about 12 minutes to get the whole thing setup and I was off. When you first plug it in it looks like you are starting your computer for the first time and it sets up the devices. The first time you boot it on a specific machine it does this but the second time it works fine. Once loaded, I was able to load all the applications I need and all drivers were detected as they should. Overall the response and interaction was as if I were sitting at my normal computer.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Blue

Windows 8 blue is the code name for the upcoming milestone build of windows 8, also known as 8.1. Slated to go RTM around August 2013, 8 Blue has the potential to bring back a few familiar items. What exactly? Well the inter-webs have been bustling with rumors of Microsoft bringing back both the start button as well as allowing users to boot right to the desktop rather than the metro style apps. In my eyes this would be great for business users as many of them are going to stick with the tried and true computer at a desk and really have no need for touch screen or the fancy new tile layout.

Personally I do not mind no start menu as I typically pin all of my programs to the task bar and operate from there, but there are quite a few people of whom could easily get confused. I would compare it to having no steering wheel in your next car, and you have to figure out how to drive it.

What do you think?

Smaller Windows 8 Tablets on the way.

The rumor mill has been churning lately about what Microsoft’s second edition of the surface may look like. Well if rumors are true, you will be looking at a 7 inch version of the tablet. It appears that Microsoft has decided they needed a smaller tablet to compete with the likes of the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and iPad mini. What makes it even more interesting is that Microsoft recently changed its policy regarding the resolutions Windows 8 could run on. They are now stating it can run on as low as 1,024 x 768, when it was originally only slated for devices with 1,366 x 768 or higher. Yikes!

Surface Windows 8 Pro Review

Many of us BVA employee’s like to test out new gadgets but we are not always lucky enough to get our hands on them. One such item is Windows Surface Pro 8 by Microsoft. It’s been in some recent commercials along with getting some amazing reviews. It has gotten picked for the editor’s choice over at pamag.com for best tablet. The review covers comparisons, specs, aside from just a product review and I find it to be very knowledgeable especially if you are thinking of turning to tablets for business needs. So please feel free to read pcmag.com’s review here.

Office 365 Will Include 2013 Product Versions- Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office

The Office 365 update that includes the 2013 product versions of Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office will be available February 27th.  This is a fundamental shift in our business that began several years ago and continues today with the release of Office 365 Home Premium. This is a brand new Office never experienced before.  For the first time, consumers can subscribe to Office as a service instead of purchasing Office as a piece of software to install. The new Office subscription is an entirely new way to think about the productivity experience with entirely new benefits.

Office 365 Home Premium subscribers receive all the full-featured Office applications they know and love, together with impressive new cloud and social benefits built in. One subscription can run the service on up to five devices, all for just $99.99 a year. People will love instant access to all their documents and settings across their devices and how Office takes full advantage of the new Windows 8 touch interface. They’ll love staying connected to the people and information they care about. And they’ll love having the latest version of Office at all times because it simply updates without the hassle of purchasing and upgrading to a new version.   Smaller businesses are also choosing Office 365 at a rapid pace, with a 150 percent increase in the number of small and medium-sized businesses using the service over the past 12 months. These businesses will get to enjoy the new Office 365 service for businesses beginning Feb. 27.

Miss the Start menu in Windows 8?

Stardock has created software that adds the Start menu functionality that many users rely on, back into Windows 8.


  • – Adds a “Start” menu to the Windows 8 taskbar
  • – Enables quick access and searching of your installed applications
  • – Adds Run… option via right-click menu
  • – Adds Shutdown… option via right-click menu
  • – Choose a custom Start button image

Download it here:  http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/