Category: Operating Systems

Windows 10 Start Menu–not your father’s old station wagon

Windows 10 Start Menu

Start Menu in Windows 10 – the pop-up look from Windows 7 with the tiles from Windows 8

Windows 7 and its predecessors had a traditional pop-up start menu with an option to see all the programs or the frequently-used programs on your computer. This was presented in a list rather than a cluster of icons or tiles.

But Windows 8 headed down a totally different path with a dashboard-style layout hat has all of the programs or a user-defined set of programs represented as tiles. This had thrown many computer users off the operating system and caused some unnecessary worry.

The Start Menu

Windows 10 brought back the pop-up Start Menu that looks like a combination of the traditional Start menu and Windows 8’s tile-based look. This includes the famed “Live Tiles” that are always updated with new content thus working like a dashboard.

In the early days of your experience with Windows 10, you can mess around getting that tile-based Start Menu area looking how you want. If you run Windows 10 on a touchscreen laptop or a computer with a touchscreen monitor, this menu style can work just as well for you.

Getting it right!

You can organise your tiles in to groups by dragging them in to the space between two groups to create a group or dragging them in to a group to have them part of that group. This can be done in both the traditional pop-up view and the Tablet Mode view mentioned later on at the end.

Then you can name each group by right-clicking or “dwelling” your finger on the group name then typing in the name you want to give it.

Browsing for that program

Windows 10 Start Menu - All Apps highlighted

Looking for that program – click All Apps on the Start Menu

This will be a situation for those of you who have held out with Windows 7 or its predecessors, where you will be wanting to know where all of your programs have gone even though they aren’t on the Start Menu or Taskbar.

Browsing for that particular program? Click on “All Apps” to see a list of all programs on your computer. Then, click on any of the letters to bring up a list of alphabetical letters. Subsequently, you just need to click on the first letter of the program’s title to be sent straight to a list of the programs beginning with that letter.

You then have two options to have your program readily accessible. One is to “pin” your program to the Taskbar so it is always accessible and this setup may remind you of the station-preset buttons on your car radio. On the other hand, you could “pin” your program to the Start Menu where it will appear as a tile which you shift around until it is in the right place for you.

Tablet Mode

Windows 10 Tablet Mode

How Windows 10 looks when you use Tablet Mode

The Tablet Mode gives you a view that is not dissimilar to how you have operated your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 computer. It is automatically selected if you detach a keyboard from your detachable-style “2-in-1” tablet or fold over a convertible notebook so the screen becomes a tablet. But you can manually select this mode on any Windows 10 computer.

Windows 10 Notification Menu buttons wiht Tablet Mode highlighted

How to select Tablet Mode manually

As I have said just before, this doesn’t just those of you who work with tablet computers or 2-in-1 devices. You can use it with a laptop or desktop computer and it doesn’t need a touchscreen to benefit from this function. Rather you would use your mouse or trackpad to navigate around the screen and a scroll-enabled mouse earns its keep by allowing you to scroll downwards. In the Notification Menu, you have a button labelled Tablet Mode which you can use to toggle between this mod and the regular Desktop Mode.

I would recommending having your screen in the Tablet mode if you are trying to sort out the Start Menu groups after an upgrade because you can use the whole of your screen’s real estate to do this.

Search Bar

There is an always-visible Search Bar on the Taskbar which you can fill in your search requests for local or Web-hosted resources. This works with Cortana which is the personal digital assistant in the same vein as Siri or Google Now.

Here, ordering a search is as simple as clicking or tapping on the search area and typing in what you are after.

Conclusion

Anyone who has worked with any of Windows’ incarnations will find the Windows 10 Start Menu as something that doesn’t daunt you but allows you to get more out of the operating system.

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Making it easier to safely remove that USB flash drive in Windows

Safely Remove Hardware icon in Notification area

Notification area space where hidden icons exist – click on Customize to determine how they will appear

You may want to be sure you are doing the right thing when it comes to properly and safely removing that USB flash drive, external hard disk or SD card but it may be hard to find the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the Notification bar at the bottom right of your screen.

What tends to happen if you haven’t been doing anything regarding removable storage is that icon becomes sidelined and available behind the up-arrow on the Taskbar. This is more so if other applications have claimed space on the Notification Bar and seldom-used icons exist behind that up-arrow.

Notification Area Icons customisation screen - when you click on Customize

Notification Area Icons customisation screen – when you click on Customize

There is a way to work around this problem by customising the Notification Bar icons to make sure that certain icons appear always.

To do this, click on the up-arrow at the left of the Notification Bar to pop up all of the icons. These will appear in a white square and you will also see the word “Customize”. Click “Customize” to see a list of the icons with each icon having its own drop-down box that determines how and when it will appear.

Options available for each icon in the Notification Area Icons customisation screen

Options available for each icon

The different modes are:

  • Show icon and Notifications. This will have the icon appear at all times and “pop up” any notification messages. Here, you may want to have the icon always visible and accessible especially if you instigate tasks from that icon.
  • Hide icon and Notifications: The icon won’t appear at all in the Notification Bar even if there is a relevant notification or it changes state. This may be useful where you find an icon always popping up messages
  • Only show notifications. The icon pops up when there is a relevant notification and will show that notification. In some cases, this icon may appear if it changes state. It may apply to “sentinel” icons that appear to crowd out the Notification Bar even though they seldom yield a notification or change state.
Preferred seting for Safely Remove Hardware And Eject Media icon

Preferred seting for Safely Remove Hardware And Eject Media icon

Here, having the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon set to “Show icon and Notifications” means that while there is a USB storage device connected to the computer or an SD card inserted in the computer, this icon will appear. This will make it easy for you to know what to click when you need to remove the USB hard disk USB memory key or memory card.

You may also find this of us with other Notification Bar icons where you are always instigating tasks from or needing to keep an eye on incase they change state like the Skype icon.

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Why do you need to safely remove or eject removeable media?

USB memory key

USB storage device

As you use a computer, you will have to get in to the habit of removing or ejecting external or removeable media safely and in a proper way rather than just unplugging the device or pulling out the card.

What is this about safely removing or ejecting removeable storage?

Mainframe and similar large computer setups required the operating system to logically mount a tape or disk pack after the system operator installed the medium in the appropriate drive. This procedure makes the files on the medium available to the operating system and computer programs

USB external hard disk

USB hard disks are more critical with this procedure

Then when the medium was finished with, the system operator had to logically unmount the disk or tape which forced all files to he written back to the medium and the operating system to deem the files on the medium to be unavailable. This procedure was also simplified when the tape and disk-pack drives used electromechanical readiness detection like sensing when a lid or door was closed or a tape was past the heads to let the host computer know that they had media on board and were ready to work with it. It would then require the operator to logically mount the medium and make it available to the system’s programs, typically by typing a special “mount” command.

Desktop operating systems like MS-DOS did away with this to simplify the operating procedures for most people especially as they were used just by one user compared to the previous mainframe systems that were used by multiple concurrent users. It also allowed the use of low-cost disk and tape systems on these computers.

Here, these operating systems immediately wrote back all file changes to the disk when a file was created, modified or deleted. As well, if a program was after a file, it would perform a directory search to determine if the file was there on that disk and the operating system didn’t cache the removeable medium’s directory structure in to the host’s memory. In a lot of cases, the act of closing the disk drive’s door or inserting a 3.5” floppy disk cause the operating system to start reading the disk’s directory in to memory.

But the Apple Macintosh maintained a similar operating requirement to the larger computer systems where you had to logically remove a floppy disk or CD from the system typically by dragging the disk’s icon to the Trash before the computer ejected the disk. This was facilitated with these computers having floppy drives that implemented electromechanical load-eject mechanisms and no hardware “eject” button ever since the platform was created.

This was carried through with Zip drives and other similar removeable-media drives that used any form of electromechanical load-eject mechanisms. The presence of an eject button on these drives typically worked as a way of telling the operating system about an intent to remove the medium so it is logically unmounted and was also implemented with newer iterations of the MS-DOS / Windows operating system along with driver programs for earlier iterations of that operating system.

Similarly, those of you who have used the MiniDisc format, especially with an MD deck or a music system that has an integrated MD recorder, may notice this taking place when you are recording to these discs. What will happen with these decks is that a message will flash up on the unit’s display screen that it is writing all the changes to the disk when you press the eject button or power off the unit before the disk is available or the unit switches off. This makes sure that all of the recording and editing activity is properly committed to the disk and is intact.

Why was there a need to tell the operating system that you were intending to remove the medium

If removeable media is removed by surprise, there can be problems with the quality of the data that is written to the medium because the operating system and applications think that certain files on the medium are available to be worked with.

This can lead to corrupted files because all the changes to the file being worked on haven’t been written to the medium completely. There are also issues with the files being locked by programs that are writing back the necessary changes so that other programs can’t interfere with this process, and if a program hasn’t released these locks or committed all of the changes, the files may not be available for other programs to work with. In the worst cases, your computer can go in to a headspin if it is working with a file that exists one minute and doesn’t exist the next.

How do you safely remove USB removeable media?

Windows Explorer (File Explorer) eject option

Eject option in Windows Explorer

With a computer, you make sure that you have closed the files you are working on if you were using a program to work with them. Then you perform a safe-removal procedure that is dependent on your operating system.

Macintosh users simply drag the icon representing the removeable storage to the Trash icon at the bottom right of the Desktop screen. Then there will be a message to say that it is safe to remove the medium.

Windows users can do this in two ways. They can open Windows Explorer (File Explorer) or My Computer and right-click on the removeable storage which will be represented as its own drive letter. They then select the “Eject” option to begin safely removing the storage device.

Safely Remove Hardware icon in Notification area

Safely Remove Hardware icon in Notification area

The other method requires you to click on the Notification Area on the Taskbar and right-click on the “Safely Remove Hardware And Eject Media” icon. Here, you are presented with a list of USB storage devices that are connected to your computer. Click on the one you want to remove to begin safely removing it. In some cases, a physical device may represent two or more logical volumes (drive letters) because it has been partitioned as such. Here, you select the physical device’s name to safely remove that device.

Safely Remove Hardware devices list

Devices available to remove

USB-based removeable-media adaptors like floppy-disk drives, Zip drives and memory-card readers have the ability to safely remove a particular medium or the whole device. Here, you can click on the medium to remove the card or disk or click on the physical device name to remove the device before you unplug it.

Safely remove hardware devices list

Two logical devices in one physical device – the one that is written clearly is the one to remove

This is more important with those devices that handle multiple media types like some multi-slot memory-card readers or devices that have a combination of fixed and removeable storage options like some digital cameras and camcorders that have internal storage along with an SD or microSD card slot. In the latter situation, these devices would have fixed storage greyed out while the removeable storage is written in black.

I have prepared a PDF reference sheet about the procedure needed to safely remove your removeable media from your Windows computer. Download and print this and keep it by your computer if you or others need to know how to do this properly.

Android users would go to the Storage menu and select the “Unmount SD Card” option for the SD card or “Unmount Mass Storage” for storage devices connected to their mobile devices via USB “On The Go” connectivity.

Safe to remove notification

It is safe to remove

For other devices like A/V devices that write to an SD card or USB memory key, you would have to go to the device’s menu and select the “Unmount”, “Remove” or, more likely, “Eject” option. This process would be analogous to ejecting a tape, CD or MiniDisc so you can work with another medium.

Of course, powering off the equipment properly such as selecting a logical shutdown option would prepare any media or removeable devices attached to the equipment for safe removal.

Conclusion

Once you know how to properly and safely remove media or detach USB storage devices from your computer or similar device, you can avoid situations which can place your computer’s reliability or the data on that medium at risk.

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Apple have fixed the iPhone message bug once and for all

Article

Apple releases iOS 8.4 with new Music app, fix for crashing bug | ARSTechnica

My Comments

Apple have just rolled out version 8.4 of the iOS mobile operating system and the main headline feature that this came with is the Apple Music streaming-music service which came about due to their takeover of Beats by Dr. Dre.

But this version of iOS also fixes a bug that placed iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches at risk of crashing if a specially-formed message came in via iMessage or other message services. This was due to problems associated with handling standard ASCII and Unicode character combinations. To get their iOS devices back to life after a crash, they had to do things like ask correspondents to send pictures.

Any iOS user can update their devices either over the air by visiting the Settings screen then selecting “General” before clicking on “Software Update”. Or they could use the USB charge/data cable to plug the iDevice in to a regular computer equipped with iTunes and use that software to deliver the update to the device.

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Simplified hand-switching for pointing devices

What is the problem?

Work needs to be done to make it easier for left-handed and right-handed users to use the same computer

Work needs to be done to make it easier for left-handed and right-handed users to use the same computer

A feature that I notice is sorely missing from Windows is the ability to switch between left-handed and right-hand use of the mouse without having to go to the Control Panel and select the Mouse option there.

It would be OK for a person who has a normal hand to “switch” the computer to work to their hand using this method, but would be difficult in some circumstances.

One of these circumstances would be where a computer is shared amongst multiple users with one of the users being left-handed and others being right-handed. Examples of these include workplace, school or public-access computers or computers shared amongst members of a household including houseguests such as the common “his ‘n’ hers” setup.

Windows mouse control panel

Mouse Control Panel dialog – Windows 7

Another circumstance is where a user has to switch between left-handed and right-handed operation as part of a physiotherapy requirement for their hands or simply to keep their hands supple. It is something that is becoming common with older people who want to stay active with their hands.

But having to head to the Control Panel or similar preference settings in your operating system each time you have to do this can bewilder people who don’t have much confidence with technology.

There are ways that Apple, Microsoft and the open-source community could facilitate this.

What are the possible solutions?

Hot-key selection

One would be to use something like a hot-key combination or a simultaneous-mouse-button combination to switch between the operating modes. This could be an option that one could enable in the preferences settings for the pointing devices.

Having this feature would earn its keep with shared computers, workplace computers and public-access computers because users only need to press a certain key combination or operate the mouse buttons in a certain way to “switch hands”. It would also earn its keep with users who find navigating dialog boxes very bewildering and intimidating.

Maurice Tejado wrote an “add-on” utility for Windows (available through CNET Download.com) that allows you to “switch hands” using a hot-key routine.

Set preferences on a pointing-device basis

Another way that could work even better would be to set the operating mode for different pointing devices. Here, you could have two mice connected with one sitting on the left hand side of the keyboard and one on the right hand side. Or you could resolve to use your laptop’s integrated trackpad as a “left-hand” device and a Bluetooth mouse as a “right-hand” device or vice versa. Here, you could set one device to be left-handed while another device is right-handed.

This function is supported by some desktop Linux distributions but isn’t supported on Windows or Mac OS X. But there is a third-party free utility that can support this in the form of EitherMouse which supports multiple pointing devices in use at the same time with different settings.  This can cater also for users who are slow with trackballs and trackpads but quick with mice.

How can this be done better?

Having to use add-on programs to achieve this goal can become awkward, especially when it comes to computer performance and stability and operating systems could go better by baking this kind of functionality in to their pointing-device code.

As well, some computer users and IT departments don’t have confidence in the use of add-on programs because of the fact that these programs can be poorly written or can contain questionable code that can jeopardise computer stability and security. This is more so with those of us who had passed through the “bulletin-board” / “download-site” / “CD-ROM” era of computing where there was a lot of poor-quality software for download.

Rather, operating system developers could write this functionality in to a subsequent version of their products to answer these needs more effectively and especially cater towards older users who are still using today’s technology.

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Hey everyone! Windows 10 will be released at the end of July

Articles

Windows 10 launches on July 29th, here’s how to get in line | Engadget

Windows 10 Is Coming July 29th | Gizmodo

It’s Official: Windows 10 Is Out On July 29, Microsoft Confirms | Lifehacker

Préparez-vous : Windows 10 sera disponible le 29 juillet | 01Net.fr (French language | Langue française)

Windows 10: Release-Termin steht fest | Netzwelt.de (German language / Deutsche sprache)

From the horse’s mouth

Microsoft WIndows

Blog Post

Product Page

Video

SoundCloud Cortana reply

My Comments

Good news everyone! Windows 10 will be released on the 29 July 2015 for those who are using a regular (desktop, laptop or large tablet) computer.

The Windows icon you will see at the bottom right of the screen

The Windows icon you will see at the bottom right of the screen

There will be a free upgrade path for existing users who are running Windows 7 or 8.1 on their regular computers or tablets and this will be available for a year after the initial launch of this operating system. Windows has made it easy for us to reserve a downloadable upgrade copy of this operating system.

Windows 10 Free Upgrade screen

This is where you will reserve your copy of Windows 10

It will mainly apply to those of you who have stuck with the version of Windows that came with your computer but also will apply to users who have climbed up the version ladder by installing subsequent versions of Windows on the same computer. Similarly, you won’t miss out if you just bought that shiny new laptop or WIndows tablet for yourself or your small business, something you would have done in Australia due to the new tax breaks.

Windows 10 reservation email screen

Fill in your email here to be notified when Windows 10 is available

It is infact similar to what Apple has been doing with their Macintosh platform by offering the major upgrades for free since they released MacOS X Mavericks and will become a way for platform vendors to keep the user base working with the latest and most secure code for their operating systems.

Here, you will see a Windows icon on the right-hand side of your Taskbar which you click on and fill in your email details to reserve your copy of the operating system. Once you have reserved that copy, you can use the slideshow that is part of that app to “bone up” on what Windows 10 has to offer for your computing experience.

Windows 10 Reservation Complete screen

It’s done!

On the day that Windows 10 is finally released, you will then have to go to that icon to download your copy of the operating system as a package suitable for your computer.

The new installs will end up costing US$110 for Home editions and US$150 for Pro editions which will mainly apply to upgrading boxes that are running Vista or older operating systems, or are setting up a new system from scratch.

Drawcards

The feature drawcard for Windows 10 users will be the new Start Menu which has tiles for the applications but operates like the Windows 7 Start Menu. It will be more about bringing the Windows 7 and WIndows 8 experiences together including benefiting from the Live Tiles “dashboard” experience.

Windows 10 will come with the Edge browser as the Microsoft-supplied option. This will run as a Universal app with all the secure sandboxing that these apps will have to have. It will also have a “reading view” which makes it easier to read Web pages like a book. Edge will also have the ability to allow you to add comments to a Web page and share these comments, useful if you are sharing that page with friends or colleagues.

Windows 10 will also have the Cortana personal assistant which is now able to work with your iOS or Android smartphone and work across your computing environment whether you use your smartphone or laptop. You can enter your requests to her by typing them in or speaking like you could with Siri or Google Now on the mobile platforms.

Another key feature is Continuum which provides an adaptable user experience for your Windows 10 tablet or convertible / detachable computer. This allows for a full-screen Windows-8-style experience if you are working the device just by touch or the desktop experience with the Start menu if you are mousing around. The user experiences can be automatically determined by what mode you are operating your computer in as in whether you flip the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro’s keyboard over, unclip the HP x2’s keyboard or pair a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your Dell Venue Pro tablet; or you can determine what you really want to work in, especially if you operate a touchscreen laptop or touchscreen monitor.

Conclusion

What this upcoming operating system has offered is the best of Windows 7 and 8.1 plus a lot more and if you have walked along the versions of Windows, you may be able to get the hang of it easily. Those of you who have stayed with Windows 7 or a previous Windows version may find that there is a minimal learning curve if you are primarily operating Windows 10 in the “Desktop” mode with the Start menu.

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Microsoft answers the reality with your computing environment using Windows 10

Article

How Microsoft Is Bringing Windows 10 Features, Including Cortana, To Android And iOS | Lifehacker

Microsoft furthers Android, iOS integration push in Win10 | ITNews

From the horse’s mouth

Microsoft Windows

Blog Post

Video

My Comments

Windows 10 and your smartphone platform work together-1

They now can work together

Manufacturers and platform vendors live in a dream world where customers will have their phone, computer and tablet all on the same or related platforms.

But the reality is that most people will have a personal computing environment based on two or three different operating systems. Typically this is an iPhone or Android smartphone working alongside a regular computer running Windows or MacOS X and, most likely, an iPad or an Android or Windows tablet.

It leads to problems associated with data interchange between the various devices and may require you to use cloud services or folders on a NAS, along with software import / export abilities to exchange the data. Even keeping your phone book or contact list in sync amongst devices of the various platforms can be very difficult.

But Microsoft has taken off from where they have built developer tools to allow you to quickly have apps ready-to-deploy for iOS, Android and Windows. They have taken this further by providing iOS, Android and Windows 10 apps that interlink and share data between your computer, tablet and smartphone. It may go against the dream held by Apple and their fanbois that once you have an iPhone, you progressively move towards an all-Apple computing environment with your regular computer being a Macintosh.

The first of these is the Phone Companion. This determines the corresponding apps you need to download from the iTunes App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) to interlink your phone with our Windows 10 computer on an application level.

These apps make use of Microsoft’s Windows OneDrive as a transfer point between your smartphone and your Windows 10 computer. For example, one of the apps provides a “hook” for your phone platform’s camera app to transfer photos to OneDrive so they show up on your computer.

There is also the XBox Music app which allows you to store your music on OneDrive and stream it to your iOS or Android smartphone while notes you create with OneNote on either your computer or smartphone show up on the other device. Microsoft is even making sure that if you modify a document on its Office mobile applications, the changes are reflected on your Office desktop applications.

Both the main smartphone platforms have their own integrated voice-driven personal assistant software in the form of Siri for iOS and Google Now for Android. But Microsoft has written a gateway app for each of these platforms so you can use Cortana as your voice-driven personal assistant. They are pushing the idea that, with Windows 10, Cortana will work across your smartphone and your regular computer in a platform-agnostic manner instead of just working with your smartphone or tablet..

A situation that can arise with any interoperability solution is that the solution can be engineered to be the hub of your computing life and not work tightly with the other platforms. For example, you may not be able to link your iOS or Android contacts function tightly with Windows nor would you be able to exchange photos between your device’s native photo storage and your computer’s photo collection smoothly. This can be of concern for, say, iOS users who make the Camera Roll serve as their handheld “brag-book” even though they have a PC or Mac having its own photo store or a cloud service like Dropbox being a photo exchange.

It is a step in the right direction to ensure data interoperability across the different mobile and desktop platforms when sharing data between devices along with satisfying the multiple-platform computing reality that affects most people.

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An operating system rewrite may make it run smoothly on older hardware

Article

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook

After a few versions, operating systems on computing equipment will need to be reworked

Apple iOS 9 upgrade could make old iPhones feel new again | The Age

My Comments

A common practice that takes place when an operating system is being written for a computing platform is that extra code is bolted on to the existing code to give it more functionality or cater to newer hardware. This happens due to newer peripheral types or connection methods being available to the computing platform or these devices being improved; along with security and stability questions that are raised through the software’s lifespan being answered.

But after a succession of releases, the operating system’s software-footprint becomes increasingly larger and ends up being slower to run. In the case of battery-operated equipment like smartphones, tablets and laptops, this same situation places a strain on the amount of time you can run this device on its own batteries.

This is more true when the operating system is partnered with older hardware that can be slower or not have enough storage capacity. It then comes to a tipping point in the operating system’s life that the software has to be rewritten from the ground up for improved performance and to have the newer abilities factored in to the software’s codebase.

This had happened with Windows when the security enhancements that were added on to Windows Vista made that version of the operating system become too slow and unwieldy. Microsoft subsequently rewrote the Windows codebase to provide for a highly-stable highly-secure operating system in the form of Windows 7.

It also happened with Android where version 4.3 Jelly Bean and 4.4 Kitkat became unwieldy with certain functions like handling Bluetooth or security-related functions. Android 5 Lollipop had a lot of this functionality written in to its codebase rather than being tacked on thus making for an operating system that was more stable.

Now it is happening with Apple’s operating systems – the iOS mobile operating system and MacOS X operating system. Both these operating systems will be undergoing a rewrite with minimum emphasis on new functionality but more to iron out the bugs. The Age article highlighted the fact that iOS 9 will work more “tightly” on older iPhones like the iPhone 4 Series, giving some sort of freshness to these devices.

A reality that can happen after one of these major overhauls is that as the computer scene changes and the operating system undergoes further revisions to accommodate the new changes, it could end up being bloated again. Again, this is the time that one of these major rewrites would have to take place in order to keep devices of that platform running smoothly.

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What Windows 10 editions will be there and for whom?

Article Windows 10 Start Menu courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 10 to launch in seven editions | ITNews

From the horse’s mouth

Microsoft Windows

Introducing WIndows 10 Editions (Blog Post)

My Comments

Microsoft is intending to offer Windows 10 in seven different editions but most of these are pitched at different device classes and different user classes.

The main “regular-computer” editions will be the Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Education, Windows 10 Professional and Windows 10 Home. The Enterprise, Education and Professional editions will have extensive security and manageability features pitched for a workplace or school, with the Professional edition also appealing to the “tinkerers” amongst us. The Home edition will have what is necessary for home users  thus omitting all of the enterprise-tier manageability.

As well, the Home and Pro editions will be the main “regular-computer” editions that are available “off-the-shelf” in a piecemeal manner while the Enterprise and Education editions are available for “fleet-style” purchasing only.

The  “regular-computer” (desktop) editions will have the XBox Gaming Experience, Edge (Project Spartan) Web browser, Cortana personal assistant (speech or text), Windows Hello face / iris / fingerprint recognition and the Continuum touch-optimised mode for tablets, touchscreens and “2-in-1” devices. They will also come with the Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music, Video apps “out-of-the-box”.

The Windows Enterprise, Education and Pro variants will also have the kind of business-grade security and manageability that is desired to keep business computers working to what is expected in the workplace and who place a high value on the “standard operating environment”. As well, they will have Windows Update For Business functionality to allow for “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” upgrading. This is where systems only receive updates for security and stability issues rather than acquiring extra functionality.

There will be the Windows 10 Enterprise Mobile and Windows 10 Mobile which will be available for smartphones and small tablets with the Enterprise variant also being pitched at “embedded / dedicated” applications. The Enterprise variant will also have the high-level of manageability thatW is desired for corporate mobile-telephone fleets.They will have some features similar to the desktop editions but be focused for the handheld devices along with receiving a version of Office focused to these handheld devices.

There will also be a Windows 10 IoT Core Edition focused primarily on devices like the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi. Here, this will be about allowing people to design software for embedded and dedicated devices where the software footprint is very limited. There are also variants of the Windows 10 Mobile and Mobile Enterprise Editions that will be pitched at other dedicated devices like ATMs and POS terminals.

As for upgrading existing operating systems. the Home, Pro and Mobile editions of Windows 10 will be deployed by Microsoft to upgrade devices based on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 through the first year after launch. These will be rolled out free to Genuine Windows installations through that time period.

At a glance:

User
Class
Functionality Security Manageability Availability
IoT Core Internet Of Everything Minimal User Interface Project Specific Project Specific Not sure where – most likely OEM at least
Mobile Handheld Devices Handheld devices Baseline OEM
Mobiie Enterprise Handheld Device for Businesses Handheld devices Business-grade Business-grade OEM
Enterprise Business computing Regular Computers Business-grade Business-grade Volume (bulk)licensing to businesses
Education Schools and universities Regular Computers Business-grade Business-grade Volume (bulk) licensing to education institutions
Pro Small Business, SOHO, Advanced Users Regular Computers Business-grade Business-grade Retail (off-the-shelf), OEM
Home Households Regular Computers Baseline Retail (off-the-shelf), OEM
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What is happening with the way Android products are updated?

Article

Sports scoreboard app

Microsoft slams Android updates, claims Google ships a ‘big pile of… code’  | The Verge

Microsoft takes a pop at Android updates | TrustedReviews

Microsoft disses Android: ‘Google ships a big pile of … Code’ | Android Authority

My Comments

A common complaint by people who use Android phones and tablets is that it takes too long for an operating-system update to materialise on their device after Google releases the software code. Microsoft, a key competitor to Google, described Android as a “heap of … code” during the keynote speech for the Ignition 2015 business-computing conference’s keynote speech.

Typically what happens is that the update is delivered to the hardware manufacturers who will package it with their software like shell replacements before issuing it. In the case of smartphones or tablets that have wireless-broadband functionality, these updates have to be modified and approved by the telecommunications carriers before they are allowed on devices that their customers use.

Google has worked around this by using the Google Play Store to deploy updates to their software and, in some cases, offer plugins. Some manufacturers are even using this path or their own app store to roll out updates to their software.

Other platforms like iOS and Windows Phone allow the operating system’s software developer to push updates independent of manufacturer or carrier approval. This is similarly true for desktop operating systems like WIndows and OS X.

But what can Google do about this if the goal is to roll out security patches and bugfixes in between platform updates? This is important when, for example, my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 handset was failing frequently when it came to discovering Bluetooth devices and this was due to bugs in relationship to Android Jelly Bean’s Bluetooth stack which was based on Bluetooth LE / Smart functionality tacked on to an existing Android Gingerbread or ICS Bluetooth stack.

A way to assure the ability to work with manufacturers and carriers yet roll out the important patches could be to allow the deployment of the patches without need to have the prior approval. But Google would need to work with the manufacturers when rolling out major platform updates like when transitioning from KitKat to Lollipop.

A platform update for Google Android and any other operating system should also be about rewriting various parts of that operating system that gain functionality boosts that will change the device’s behaviour rather than “tacking on” the new functionality. This is what led to Windows Vista being criticised by the industry for its performance because the new security abilities were “tacked on” to an existing Windows XP codebase.

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