360° Coverage : Windows 8 updates expected at Microsoft conference

2 Updates

Windows 8 updates expected at Microsoft conference

Apr 1 2014, 10:32am CDT | by

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is following through on a promise to update its Windows 8 operating system on a regular basis to respond to consumers' complaints and other feedback...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

22 weeks ago

Windows 8 updates expected at Microsoft conference

Apr 1 2014, 10:32am CDT | by

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is following through on a promise to update its Windows 8 operating system on a regular basis to respond to consumers' complaints and other feedback.

Just months after the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft is preparing changes to make it easier for people to use Windows with traditional keyboard and mouse controls. Among other things, Microsoft will add search, power and settings buttons to the Start page, so people don't have to figure out how to pull those functions from the right side of their screens. The update also promises easier ways to close apps.

Microsoft Corp. outlined some of the new features at a February conference in Barcelona, Spain, and will likely provide more details Wednesday as the company opens its annual Build software developers conference in San Francisco.

The new, yet-unnamed update is expected soon. It follows the October debut of Windows 8.1, which came just a year after the release of Windows 8. The pattern contrasts with Microsoft's past habit of waiting years to release major updates.

Microsoft is also updating its Windows Phone system to work better in corporate environments. The company will add VPN support, for instance, to allow phones to connect with corporate networks securely. There will also be features that consumers in fast-growing emerging markets desire, including the ability for phones to have two SIM cards so people can switch carrier plans easily for the best deals.

The company hasn't announced pricing or specific availability for either update, but both are likely to be free downloads, based on past practice. They could be available as early as this month and will be among the first major software releases since Satya Nadella became Microsoft's CEO in February. It follows Nadella's unveiling last week of Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Apple's iPad.

Microsoft may also use the Build conference to update software developers on the company's plans to integrate the Windows Phone 8 system for smartphones, the Windows 8.1 system for tablets, laptops and desktops and the Xbox system for its game console. The company has said it is working to have its various systems share more of the underlying code, while retaining separate interfaces adapted to the specific devices. The integration will make it easier for developers to adapt apps for the various devices.

Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Wash., saw lackluster demand when Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 came out in October 2012.

Windows 8 was supposed to be Microsoft's answer to the growing popularity of touch-screen devices such as smartphones and tablets. Instead, research firm IDC blamed Windows 8 for accelerating a decline in global PC shipments, which fell 14 percent in the first three months of 2013, the first full quarter with Windows 8.

Designed as a single system to unify tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, Windows 8 emphasizes touch-screen controls and sports a full-page home screen that is more common on mobile gadgets than traditional computers. Many consumers, however, hate that approach on laptops and desktops.

Last October, Microsoft issued a free update to address some of the gripes. Now, people can run more than two apps side by side. The built-in browser lets people open more than 10 tabs without automatically closing older ones. Windows 8.1 also introduced new features, including a universal search function to help users find files stored on their computers along with Web content on the Internet.

At the time of the release, Microsoft promised to issue new features regularly.

The latest update will do just that. Microsoft has said the company is standing by its decision to embrace touch controls, while acknowledging that many of the remaining Windows gripes have come from people who use non-touch devices.

Meanwhile, Windows Phone 8 came out with a thud some 17 months ago. One of its biggest drawbacks has been a lack of apps available for the system, compared with Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Microsoft is starting to catch up on that front. It has also updated Windows Phone 8 three times since its release to add features. The upcoming update is poised to be the biggest of them all and might get a new name, Windows Phone 8.1.

The release comes as Microsoft prepares to buy Nokia's phone business and patent rights in a 5.4 billion euro ($7.4 billion) deal. The transaction should be completed in the next few weeks, pending regulatory approval in Asia. The deal already has approval in the U.S. and Europe.

Source: AP Business

 
Update
2

3 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of 20 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 a ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IS video shows beheading of second US journalist
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) Days after the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley, Sunni militant group Islamic State (IS) has posted a video showing the beheading of another kidnapped American journalist Steven Sotloff, CNN reported.
 
 
IS beheads second US journalist
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) The Islamic State militant organisation has posted a video titled "A second message to America", showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, CNN reported.
 
 
India offers red carpet, not red tape, Modi hard sells India (Roundup)
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday hard sold India to Japanese investors saying that his country offers only a red carpet and not red tape while dubbing his five-day trip to Japan that ends Wednesday as "very successful".
 
 
Fear grips onlookers as Ebola victim walks through market
Monrovia, Sep 2 (IANS) A video footage has emerged from Liberia showing a person tagged positive for Ebola virus disease (EVD) walking through a busy market, sending hundreds of horrified onlookers fleeing in fear, a media report said Tuesday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second beheading plunges Obama into top crisis
Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) Just two weeks after beheading American photojournalist James Foley, the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist organisation sent what it called "A second message to America", with a video showing...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
11 killed in Pakistan building collapse
Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) At least 11 people, including women and children, were killed Tuesday when a roof of an old building collapsed in Pakistan, a media report said. As many as 18 people were wounded when a two-...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Imran refuses to budge as parliament supports Pakistan PM (Roundup)
Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan refused to budge on his demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation Tuesday as a joint session of parliament came out overwhelmingly...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
IS video shows beheading of second US journalist
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) Days after the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley, Sunni militant group Islamic State (IS) has posted a video showing the beheading of another kidnapped American journalist...
Read more on Ad Balla
 
Modi cites people's efforts for India-Japan strategic ties
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said India and Japan were now working as "special strategic and global" partners and this was the result of efforts of not just the two governments but because...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
IS beheads second US journalist
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) The Islamic State militant organisation has posted a video titled "A second message to America", showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, CNN reported. The video also...
Read more on Ad Balla
 
Rahane shines as India seal series in Edgbaston
Birmingham, Sep 2 (IANS) Ajinkya Rahane's maiden century and his century-run stand with Shikhar Dhawan powered India to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over England in the fourth ODI here Tuesday and also sealed the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India vs England: Scoreboard, fourth ODI
Birmingham, Sep 2 (IANS) The following is the final scoreboard of the fourth ODI between India and England at Edgbaston here Tuesday. England Alastair Cook c Raina b Kumar 9 Alex Hales b Kumar 6 Gary Ballance c Rahane...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Britain asks citizens to review travel plans to Pakistan
Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised its citizens to review their planned trips to Pakistan in view of the volatile security situation in the country. "There is a high...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jaime King: Motherhood is all that matters
Jaime King says her son is the most important thing in her life now. The 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' star welcomed her first child James - her son with husband Kyle Newman - into the world last October and since she...
Read more on Celebrity Balla