Turn your WordPress Blog into a Windows 8 App!

If you are one of the million bloggers who use WordPress platform (like we do) for blogging and thinking about creating an app for your blog,Microsoft and IdeaNotion might just got what you were looking for!

IdeaNotion has released a tool named IdeaPress which converts the content of a WordPress blog to a full blown Windows 8 based app which can be published over the Windows Store and if you are among the first 200 people to register for this program,you would get a 50$ visa gift card from IdeaNotion as a reimbursement for publishing app over the Windows Store using the developer account.

ideapress for windows 8 apps

All you have to do is publish an app using the IdeaPress tool or a template on Github which allows you to quickly turn your WordPress blog into a Windows 8 app.You can send an Email to mwnwcan@microsoft.com with your blog URL to secure your Visa Gift Card.

This is a smart move by Microsoft,which will encourage the blogger community to create an app for their WordPress blog,which will in turn allow the Windows Store to grow big.So we can expect a flood of Blog based apps over the Windows Store in near future.

Source[Technet Canadian Team Blog]

[Rumor] Surface Mini in the Works!

We have heard some rumors about the supposed Surface tablet with a smaller form factor.Quite recently Microsoft reduced the minimum resolution requirements for Windows 8,bringing it down to 1024×768 down from previous 1366×768 resolution,indicating that the smaller Surface is in the works.

surface RT

Recently Wall Street Journal ,also reported that the Surface mini with 7″ display will be released in near future.But according to Paul Thurrott(courtesy twitter),who is well known for his Windows platform and upcoming products Predictions,there will not be a 7″ Surface mini from Microsoft,but it rather would be the 8 incher Surface mini.

Be it an 8 incher Surface mini or a 7 incher Surface mini,it would be interesting to see the price point at which Microsoft releases these tablets.Because there is already an intense competition with 7 and 8 ” tablets starting as low as $199 from the likes of Amazon Kindle Fire HD and google with Nexus 7 and even the iPad mini.

Source[Paul Thurrott].

Windows 8.1 Build 9374 Dubbed as “Pro Preview” Spotted in the Wild!

Last week we reported that the Windows Blue would probably be called as Windows 8.1 when it gets released later this year.

Windows 8.1 pro preview

As per the recent leaks of the Windows 8.1 Build 9374,spotted earlier by winbeta.org via Winforum.eu,as per the leak screenshots,the Windows 8.1 Build 9374 is dubbed as “Pro Preview”.Tough the build haven’t yet been leaked over the web like the previous builds,according to the source the leaks are the real deal because they feature leak of the boot.wim and system32 contents.

So this preview name might indicate that a free initial preview release is expected in coming months before the official public release in the second half of this year.Then again there is no official word on such naming conventions or Windows 8.1 by the company,so at this moment we would file this under rumoured section.

The public preview is expected to be released during the build conference which will take place in the month of June.

Source[Winforum.eu],Via[Winbeta.org]

Firmware Updates for Surface Pro and Surface RT Released,Fixes WiFi and other Issues

Yesterday Microsoft released the customary Patch Tuesday updates for  their Surface Pro and Surface RT devices.

surface RT

The recent updates include patches for the Limited connectivity issues for Windows RT based Surface RT.The Surface RT updates includes following improvements,

  • Certain “Limited” connectivity issues resolved
  • Improves Wi-Fi to handle a wide range of access points.
  • Resolves system crashes caused by certain Wi-Fi issues.

Talking about the updates for the Windows 8 Pro based Surface Pro,the updates includes following improvements,

  • Resolves an issue with on screen touch navigation in the UEFI boot menu.
  • Resolves some Surface Type and Touch cover connectivity issues.
  • Support for 106/109 keyboards on North American Surface devices.
  • Resolves an issue where toggling airplane mode would disable the Wi-Fi driver.

Since these are the cumulative updates,if you haven’t updated your device before this update,all previous updates will automatically get installed when you install these updates on your Surface Pro or Surface RT.

To update your Surface device manually you need to PC Settings (from the Charm Bar),then tap  on Settings option,then tap on Change PC settings,then tap on  Windows Update and click on Check for Updates.to update your Surface devices.

Source[Microsoft update page for Surface Pro and Surface RT]

[Report]Microsoft Prepping Windows Blue for Unifying Windows OS and Windows Phone OS

This might not come as a surprise as Microsoft had already began their work of unifying their desktop and mobile operating system when they announced common kernel for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating system.

windows 8 RTM

Now as per recent reports coming from Digitimes,they are moving one step further into unifying Both the platforms with the upcoming release of Windows Blue.As per their sources Windows Blue is being developed by an independent team in an effort to merge Windows Desktop OS and Windows Phone OS to compete against Google Android and Chrome OS.
Tthe industry observers think that Microsoft is greatly concerned about PC Vendors involvement with Google Android based Notebooks due to its confidentiality to avoid pressure from Microsoft.

Though this move by Microsoft and Google would pose a great difficulty for the makers to integrate technologies to make them work together seamlessly.

Source[Digitimes]

Microsoft Offering 15% Discount on Windows 8 Pro for Businesses Running on Windows XP

As we all know Windows XP support will end on April 8th 2014,so Microsoft has started reminding the users who are still on Windows XP operating system,especially those Business users who still haven’t Migrated fro Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

So to encourage the Existing Business users who are on Windows XP,Microsoft has announced 15% Discount on Windows 8 Pro as well as Office 2013 standard edition in a recent Press Release.
windows 8 RTM

The 15% discount offer is valid till 30th June and is valid for upto 100 licenses of Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 standard edition.

So if your company’s systems are still running on the 11 year old Windows XP then it’s high time to upgrade to Windows 8,because the Windows XP support ends officially on 8th April 2014.

Source[Windows Blog]

[Rumor]Intel Haswell Chip Based Windows 8 PCs Coming This June!

The current family of Windows 8 Desktops,Laptops and Tablets are running the Ivy Bridge based Core i Series processors from Intel.
Intel haswell based windows 8 tablet
According to latest reports coming from CNet,Intel has started shipping their next generation processors codenamed Haswell to the OEMs.Though there is no official confirmation about the same from Intel,but an official announcement is expected this week at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.

As per the reports the first breed of PC’s based on Haswell chips would be available by the month of June.These chips are based on the same 22nm based Ivy Bridge processors but these are more energy efficient than the Ivy Bridge processors so it would provide better battery life for portable devices.

So consumers can expect a better battery life with Windows 8 Laptops,Tablets and Hybrids based on the Haswell family chips which will be released by the second half of the year.

Source[CNet]

Nokia Music App Launched For Windows 8 and Windows RT

Nokia has launched their Nokia Music app for Windows 8 and Windows RT platform over Windows Store.

nokia music app

The app provides a free trial for th Windows 8 and RT users for Nokia Music + services.But if you want to use it fulltime then you would need to buy a Lumia Phone and sign up for the Nokia Music+ services.The users can play their songs from the collection and can still enjoy the discovery and artist information feature using this app on Windows 8/RT.You can even wirelessly stream your app content on a DLNA supported devices.

The app is currently available in US,UK,Australia and Ireland but soon will be rolled out to other countries as well.You can download the Nokia Music app for Windows 8 and Windows RT platform from Windows Store.

Manufacturers Drop Windows RT Tablets Prices

Microsoft launched the Windows RT platform along with the public release of Windows 8 operating system last year,with many manufacturers including Microsoft pitching in with their Windows RT tablets like Asus,Lenovo,Dell and Samsung.The Windows RT platform received criticism for its limitations about running Legacy Windows apps and the pricing of the Windows RT tablets.

Vivotab RT
Now as reported earlier by Computerworld,many manufacturers including,Dell,Lenovo and Asus have started dropping their Windows RT tablet pricing signaling an attempt to clear out the stock due to lower adoption rates of the Windows RT platform due to its limitations.

After the new price cuts the Dell XPS 10 now costs $449 for the 32 GB model while the 64 GB variant costs $499,down from $499 and $599 respectively.Asus VivoTab RT now costs $382 at Amazon( previously priced at $599)with others like BestBuy and Staples selling it for $549.Talking about the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11 is down to $599 from previous price of $799,while Amazon is selling it at a price tag of $499.99.Though there was no price drop for the Surface RT tablet from Microsoft.

According to the analysts the price drop is due to the poor adoption rate of the platform in worldwide market,this might increase the sells of the tablet,but it’s definitely not a good sign for the Windows RT platform.

Via[ComputerWorld]

Microsoft Launches Surface Chinese in China!

It’s been almost two months since the Surface Pro launched,the initial launch saw only two countries United States and Canada,but Microsoft promised that the device is rolling out to many countries worldwide in coming weeks.

Surface chinese

Image Credits [WPDang]

So earlier this week,Microsoft launched the Surface Pro tablet in China.But along with the 128 GB of Surface Pro,the company also launched the special “Surface Chinese” edition of Surface Tablet.This tablet features Windows 8 Operating system(not the Wndows 8 Pro),additionally this tablet features full version of Office 2013 for Home Student edition unlike the 128GB version of Surface Pro which comes with a one month subscription of Office 365.the Surface Chinese version only supports Chinese language which cannot be changed to support any other language.

Interestingly there is no Surface Pro 64 GB version in china.So only choice Chinese users would have is the 128 GB Surface Pro or the 64 GB Surface Chinese.

Source[WPDang]