Category Archives: Windows 7

Windows Phone 7 turned into Windows 7 controller, 3D mice put on notice

You can pack all the gyroscopes, accelerometers and other motion-detecting sensors you want in your desktop — it’s still not going to be any good at playing Eliminate: Gun Range. That’s the motivation behind developer Arik Poznanski’s latest release. He has created a driver enabling his Windows Phone 7 to transmit its accelerometer data back to his Windows 7 desktop in real time. Currently the driver’s not good for much beyond a tech demo, but given the different ways people have hacked their Wiimotes, it won’t be long before homebrewed killer apps start appearing — perhaps paired up with a little Kinect wizardry. If you’re looking to get started at home, hit the source link below for more details.


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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Windows 7, Windows Phone 7


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Gartner: 94 Percent of New PCs Will Ship with Windows 7 in 2011

The Apple Mac is steadily grabbing market share, but Windows-based systems continue to dominate the worldwide personal computer market, according to a new Gartner study.

The report is good news for Microsoft, which has taken its licks lately in the mobile computing market. Redmond’s well-received but slow-selling Windows Phone 7 OS has yet to catch on among consumers, who are snapping up Apple iOS and Google Android handsets like crazy.

Windows 7 has proven a big hit on the desktop, however: 42 percent of PCs worldwide will run Win 7 by the end of 2011, Gartner reports. And nearly 635 million new PCs are expected to ship with the OS by the end of the year.

After a slow start, corporations are finally migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7. “Many enterprises have been planning their deployment of Windows 7 for the last 12 to 18 months, and are now moving rapidly to Windows 7,” said Gartner research director Annette Jump in a statement.

However, Windows 7 will likely be the last version of Microsoft’s iconic OS that gets deployed via massive, enterprise-wide migrations. The move toward virtual and cloud computing architectures in the next five years will change how upcoming versions of Windows are deployed, the study says.

Another long-term issue for Windows is the rise of “OS-agnostic” applications for both consumer and enterprise PCs. As early as next year, half of enterprise apps won’t be tied to any particular operating system. In the consumer market, the proportion of OS-agnostic apps already exceeds Windows-specific apps, Gartner estimates.

What About Mac and Linux?

Apple’s slice of the global PC pie may be small, but Mac adoption is growing above the market average. The Mac OS shipped on 3.3 percent of new PCs worldwide in 2008. That figure climbed to 4 percent in 2010, and to 4.5 percent this year–and it’s projected to grown to 5.2 percent by 2015, Gartner says.

The Mac’s popularity varies by region, however. Its strongest support is in North America and Western Europe, but its fastest growth may occur in some emerging countries where its current base is small.   Gartner attributes the Mac’s rise not only to its easy-to-use interface, but also to its integration with Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Gartner is less optimistic about Linux, which it predicts will remain a niche OS over the next five years with a global share below 2 percent. In the consumer market, Linux will be a non-entity with less than 1 percent of the PC market. End users didn’t take to Linux-based mini-notebooks, or netbooks, and today few mini-notes ship with Linux.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci) or at

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Android, Apple, Google, Nokia, Windows 7


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Windows 8 – the screen of the future?

When Microsoft makes an announcement about a new version of Windows, the rest of the technology industry sits up and takes notice, and the unveiling of Windows 8 was no different.

It’s quite a big change from previous versions of the operating system, being designed to work with both tablet computers and desktop and laptop models.

We’ll take a look at Windows 8 and see what it means for home PC owners.

Windows is still the most widely used operating system (OS) in homes and businesses, but other manufacturers are making inroads into its market share. That’s particularly true given the changing way in which we use computers.

Only a couple of years ago, most users had either a laptop or a desktop computer, but now with more powerful smartphones and tablet computers appearing every month, that’s changing. Soon it won’t be necessary to use a full-size computer for many tasks, and that’s a big threat to Microsoft’s dominance.

It doesn’t currently have an operating system for tablets – some of them use Windows 7 but it’s always been unsatisfactory because it’s designed for big screens, mice and keyboards, not small touch-sensitive displays.

Microsoft does have a smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, but it is quite recent and doesn’t have much support yet (though the first phones have been impressive).

Windows 8 is an attempt to take back some of the ground Microsoft has lost to Google and Apple, with their Android and iOS devices. It is designed to be a one-size-fits-all version that will work on all kinds of computer.

Its design takes a lead from Windows Phone, with a ‘Start screen’ that contains a series of panels or tiles (pictured above). As on a Windows Phone, tapping a panel opens up the tool with which it’s associated, such as a web browser, calendar or email program.

Some of the panels show useful information such as a recent social network update, upcoming appointment or how many unread emails you have. There’s also a store from which users can download and buy programs.

Microsoft also announced that the new version will run on processors designed by British company Arm, which are used in most of the tablet computers currently in production.

Staying familiar
The Start screen doesn’t replace the old Windows interface – on tapping the Desktop tile, users will be taken back to the familiar Windows Desktop with its icons and Windows.

Small screens will be limited to the old Windows Desktop, and people with large screens will be able to use them both side-by-side by swiping a finger across the screen to choose between the two.

Older computers won’t be left out in the rush to support tablets, according to Microsoft, which said the system requirements will be the same or lower than they are for the current Windows 7. That also means that tablet computers will be able to run the new operating system without slowing down too much or needing big improvements in hardware.

In any case, by the time Windows 8 is likely to become available in a year or so, newer tablet computers using much more powerful processors will be widely sold.

Not every PC maker is happy about the future of Windows. JT Wang, the chairman and chief executive of Acer, told the Bloomberg news agency that the restrictions Microsoft was making on hardware makers was ‘troublesome’, although he didn’t identify the exact problem.

Microsoft was keen to point out that there wouldn’t be separate versions of Windows for each type of computer – a single version will work on laptops, desktops and tablet models.

Corporate vice president Mike Anguilo told the launch press conference in Taiwan: “You don’t need to choose between new and old. All of the same functionality you see on a touch-only system works great on a keyboard and a mouse.”

Our verdict
Windows 8 is a big change for Microsoft. The question is whether it is already too late to capitalise on tablet computers.

By the time Windows 8 appears, the iPad will have consolidated its position as the biggest-selling tablet computer, and Android tablets, which are starting to look very impressive, will have got better and more powerful.

Microsoft is betting that people will decide they want to have the same experience on their tablets and other computers and Windows 8 is designed to make that happen. The next few months will see more announcements and previews, and we’ll keep you posted.

Do you think it’s a good idea to have one operating system for tablet and desktop computers? Does Windows 8 sound like a good idea or a flop? Let us know by emailing


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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows 7, Windows 8


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5 more free tools for Windows 7 you have to try

Despite all of Windows 7’s capabilities, creative developers keep finding cool utilities to offer to make it even better

Every couple of months, it’s both entertaining and useful to revisit the tools and toys available to make our desktop experience smoother, more flexible, and, yes, more fun.

A while back, I identified eight free Windows 7 tools you have to try and later revealed some truly awesome tools for Windows 7 power users. I have five more “gotta try” Windows tools for you to consider:

[ Get all the details you need on deploying and using Windows 7 in the InfoWorld editors’ 21-page Windows 7 Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]

1. Mosaic Project’s CodePlex: With all the fuss about Windows 8 and the new Metro UI that feels more like Windows Phone 7, CodePlex has a “skin” of sorts that will give you the feel of Windows 8 today. It’s not fully functional, but it does contain a set of widgets that pulls content from the Web or your PC into the live tile UI that we expect to see with the next release of Windows.

2. ProduKey from NirSoft Freeware: If you’ve ever had to do a reinstall, you know how frustrating it can be if you cannot find your product key. Perhaps you have a bank of keys and forgot which one went with which system. ProduKey displays the Product ID and the CD key for Windows and Microsoft Office, as well as Exchange and SQL Server for your servers. You can use it to view the information on your current system or on a system over the network through command-line options. Never worry about losing a product key for Windows or Office again.

3. Bins by 1-up Industries: From the same folks who brought us Fences, Bins is a great organizer that combines related programs on your taskbar into bins to help reduce clutter and allow you to access your programs quickly. You can do more than just pin programs to Bins; you can pin files and folders as well.

4. Joli OS by Jolicloud: This tool is simply awesome. In fact, Joli OS is, as the name suggests, more of an entire operating system than a tool, providing a Web-based OS that could give Google Chrome a run for its money in terms of power and ease. What’s really cool is that you can install it as a dual-boot OS with an existing Windows 7 system, then pop into Joli OS quickly to shoot off an email or do some Web browsing. In fact, you can jump into Joli OS and get your work done in the time it takes for Windows 7 to get to the login screen. Obviously the value of the dual boot is to allow you to keep using Windows 7 for more complex tasks, such as gaming, video and photo editing, and so on.

5. GbR by Dexpot: This tool allows you to have different virtual desktops that you can use to organize your working structure by placing applications you need on multiple desktops. You might have email on one, Internet on another, video games on a third, and so on. With GbR, you can use different screen resolutions, have 3D transitions between each desktop, and work with plug-ins.

There you have it: five more tools that can help make your Windows 7 experience both more productive and more fun. If you have additional tools you like, please mention them in the comments section to share with your fellow readers.

This article, “5 more free tools for Windows 7 you have to try,” was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese’s Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.


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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Phone 7


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Should Windows Phone 7 incorporate themes?

All of the mobile operating systems can’t have the same features, or the same draw that attracts customers. After all, if they were all the same then there wouldn’t be any reason to have one over the other. But, there’s also a fine line between what features some phones need, and what they are lacking. For example, Android’s customization may be too much for some people to really enjoy; while Apple’s lack of customization to their standard OS may not be enough at all. And then there’s Windows Phone 7, which allows for some customization, in the sense that you can move Live Tiles and Hubs around, as well as change their color, but that may not be enough for some folks.

For anyone who customizes their computer, changing things up is as simple as adding or removing a theme. It’s a simple process, and for anyone who uses a Windows-based machine, a theme is a pretty common thing to find and utilize. It’s simple enough for the computer market; I think it’s something that the mobile market could take advantage of. To be more specific, I think Windows Phone could take themes to a whole new level.

It’s possible to change the colors of the Live Tiles and Hubs on Windows Phone, but that’s it. You’re able to move them around as you see fit, and while some tiles are larger than others, the customization options aren’t all that vast. But, having accessible themes could make that lack of customization not such a big deal. Having options to change your phone and to make it not so much like anyone else’s you may find is something that some customers look forward to. After all, making your phone personal is what it’s all about.

To start, while there are obviously plenty of theme options out there, I think this is something that Microsoft could roll out as an in-house project. There are plenty of properties from Microsoft that they could turn into themes for Windows Phone, much in the same way they have for the Windows PC platform. Specifically, game titles like Gears of War or Halo, or even Alan Wake. There could be Xbox LIVE themes, or Arcade titles, or even region-based themes.

While having more detailed customization options may make Windows Phone more appealing to some customers, I think something like adding themes could be a good middle-ground until Microsoft outlines some more customizing options down the road. . . If they outline any customization options at all down the road. Themes are a great way to show your love for a sports team, a game, or just about anything at all, as long as the theme options exist. And the way that Windows Phone is laid out, themes seem like a perfect fit.

What do you think of themes being issued for Windows Phone? Do you think the platform could benefit from them? Or do you like the options that are currently in place? Let me know in the comments below what you think.


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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Windows 7



Windows Phone 7 Connector Allows WP7 Syncing on Macs

Windows 7 connector is not a software that many people would be typically interested in. However, if you’re someone who uses a Windows phone or who likes everything portable and accessible, you might find this interesting. Windows 7 connector is a package for your phone and Mac desktop. The application is a free 2.6 MB file and can be downloaded here. It helps you to backup your data, manage users as well as view alerts and also helps you to sync your Windows phone and Zune media player to your Mac.

Windows phone 7 connector has also been made available in the iTunes app store, however, only for computers running on Mac OS X 10.6.6, or higher. With this application you can retrieve pictures and videos from your mobile phone and import it to your iPhoto or iTunes.  Although, you cannot copy files from your PC to your phone, you can import them onto your computer wirelessly. This software can be downloaded on your Windows phone at the market place app on your handset.


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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Windows 7


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Microsoft Releases Kinect SDK for Windows 7

Microsoft took a drastic departure from their standard method of operation in announcing that an SDK (Software Development Kit) had been released for Windows 7 that allows academics and amateurs at home to tap the power of the Microsoft Kinect.  This is just the most recent of a series of departures for Microsoft that range from abnormally early announcements, such as announcing the development of Windows Phone 8 before Windows Phone 7 released, and indicating that the upcoming Windows 8 will not only completely transform the UI (User Interface) for a touch-based approach, but also work seamlessly on both ARM and x86 architectures.

While the Kinect is the newest of these drastic policy changes, it certainly has its own backstory that is both full of controversy and richly documented.  When the Kinect first debuted, Microsoft realized that both academics and individual hobbyists were both hard at work making the device do new and miraculous things.  Microsoft threatened them with a stern warning that involved mention of the possible inclusion of law enforcement.  That didn’t stop developers from moving forward by developing, or offering bounties for (illegal) open-source drivers in the hopes of developing.  Over time, Microsoft has slowly began to embrace the independent developers by acknowledging the possible uses outside of the Xbox gaming platform, and finally today by releasing the Kinect SDK for everything but commercial uses which are still banned.

The Kinect was originally designed only for use with the Xbox 360 video game console to attract casual gamers away from the Nintendo Wii’s motion controlled interface.  Unlike the Nintendo Wii’s contrioller, the Wiimote, Kinect requires no physical remote and utilizes cameras and microphones to treat one or two human beings as simultaneous entities that can be observed and translated into digital space.  This digital translation is made possible by audio and visual sensors.  The Kinect has cameras that, when used with the appropriate software, can detect shape, color, and depth as well as microphones that can cancel noise, diminish echo, and recognize human speech.

While Microsoft may be reversing direction on many fronts, they apparently have a clear objective for their operating systems over the coming years.  Microsoft recognizes the ongoing mobile revolution which they, in part, helped to jump start with Windows CE powered “palmtop” computers in the late 1990s, among other devices both greater and lesser known.  Microsoft is also recognizing that computer architectures of all types are becoming increasingly powerful and can harness the types of quality user experiences that Microsoft expects from a computing environment.

While benefits of utilizing the Kinect with traditional computers are numerous, it is the applications within health care, science, and education that Microsoft claims to be most interested in.


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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows 7


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Nokia’s First Windows Phone 7 Devices: W7, W8

Rumors point to Qualcomm chips and 12- and 8-megapixel cameras.

Earlier this year, Nokia announced its decision to make Windows Phone 7 its primary smartphone OS but made no mention of any plans for upcoming WP7 handsets. Now, we have rumors that the first Windows Phone 7 handsets out of Espoo will be the W7 and the W8. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Windows 7, Windows 8, WP7


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Microsoft Leak: Early Windows 8 Details Emerge

Windows 7 was a major stride for Microsoft as the company tried to escape the tarnished reputation of their previous operating system. Fortunately, at least one product stood out from the rest during the Windows Vista years: Office 2007. The productivity suite dropped the traditional grey file menu bar with a brand new friendly ribbon interface. Read the rest of this entry »


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HTC Hub Running on HTC HD2 With Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 running on the HTC HD2 is probably well known to you by now as there’s a NAND solution bringing the mobile platform to one of the most popular HTC smartphones. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in HTC, Windows 7


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