Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking back.... 2013 has come to a end !

I still don't know how the time goes. It moves fast and here we are at the end 2013, a great year for me and hopefully for you too. I started this blog this year, March and time has made it better and mature. 2013 was also a great year in the tech-world as Windows users saw the daylight of Windows 8.1, Apple released their fancy looking iPhone 5C, Google refined Android with KitKat and a lot more happened this year.

Intel's fourth generation processors were released, AMD and Nvidia brought powerful graphic cards ever and more... The list goes on .. 2014 remains a important year for all the tech giants. Microsoft is all set to converge Windows RT and Windows phone OS, Apple will be making sure the iOS 7 stays in competition, Intel vs AMD will continue as usual....... And one more thing. 
I wish you a prosperous and a happy new year 2014 !

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Facebook app in Windows 8.1 gets a lot of new features

Finally,Facebook app in Windows 8.1 looks complete and full featured !

Facebook app which came out on October 17 with Windows 8.1 has received a lot of new features and bug fixes. Now you can run the app in 320 snap view still able to see the news feed and navigating within the app. Chatters will be very happy to see the new Emoticon pack waiting for them in messages. You also get the ability to sync you profile picture with Windows account. It seems that facebook app is a native Windows app built by Microsoft.There are more improvements which are listed in the updated new features list.

New features:

- 320 snap view for the whole app
- Smileys sticker pack
- Profile pic sync
- New Stories indicator
- Create albums from photos page
- Add photos directly into an album
- Search thread names when choosing conversation members
- Refresh in Nearby
- Improved toast notifications to remove already seen messages, old stories, etc.
- Edit Posts
- Edit post privacy
- Edit Comments
- Copy link to post
- Add/Remove people from groups
- Add friends to lists
- Delete photos

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ubuntu, alternative to XP ?

Windows XP is going to expire on April 8. But still a large number of people are running Windows XP. According to netmarketshare, about 30% of the people are running Windows XP which is a big number for a 12-year old OS. 

Ubuntu 13.10's desktop
The major problem for Windows XP users is that they can't move to newer versions of Windows such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 because most of their systems are outdated and have old hardware which are not enough to run the latest Windows. This is where users see Ubuntu as a alternative. Mainly because it's free and has lower system requirements compared to Windows 7 or 8.x .

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Nokia Lumia black update out to Lumia 1020 !

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Windows Store reaches 140,000 as Christmas approaches

Windows 8.1 seems to be getting new apps each and every second. The number of apps has been increasing since the launch of Windows 8. According to MetroStore Scanner , a third party service which tracks the number of apps in Windows Store. There are 140,000 apps available via Store.

Though, all the apps are not great and some seem to be a useless piece of software. Still there are thousand's high quality and popular apps available as both free and paid. Windows Store recently got the official Viber app which adds to the already popular apps such as Facebook,Twitter,Skype,Despicable Me:Minion rush,Google search and more. Apps provide a clutter free experience without any chrome(standard buttons) showing by default.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A new name for my blog : A new vision !

It's been a while since I changed the design of my blog. I have been thinking of a new name for my blog's for a long time and after doing lot of homework with several names, I settled for this name "Tech-O-Blog". 

It sounds new and awesome. A blog is identified by it's name so having a creative and attractive name is important thing. This name will represent this blog in coming years. Okay cool I found out this name but implementing it inside the header files and making sure it rendered properly needed some time and work. I had to use paint to adjust the resolution of the header image and edit the existing ones with new name took nearly an hour . The resolutions made a big problem and I had to find the perfect resolution of the header file so that it just gets integrated with my blog.However,It was fun and all ended up well. The new name is completely implemented inside the blog :) ! Cheers . Happy browsing ;) .. Do you like the new name ? Your feedback would be really useful . 

Chrome and Google : Best together !

More chances that you know Google Chrome as it is one of the most popular and modern web browser available in the world. This time it's time to look deep at how Google uses Chrome.
Since the launch of Chrome, Google has invested a lot of fortune in it trying to make it one of the better browser. They have succeeded in it. The Stats show it. Keeping the browser simple and slick made the trick for Google as the users liked the new fast yet simple browser a lot. Chrome revolutionized the browsers after Firefox which was getting fat after competing with old IE. Let me not go deep inside the history of browser !

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Microsoft updates Store with subcategories shown on home

Microsoft has quietly implemented a new feature in Windows Store to access apps of different categories easier and faster. I think that this improvement makes new users feel easier to navigate to store because you can go to different categories without having to right click or tap which will bring the hidden navigation bar.

As you can see that the subcategories are now shown in home under Top categories label. Mouse users will appreciate this more because this brings their favorite apps closer without using the nav bar in Store. Microsoft is trying to capitalize this holiday season by selling many Windows copies and Surface tablets.

One more thing,Holidays has started , so a very very happy holidays to everyone ! Cheers 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Skype is the best way to get Bedtime Stories !

Microsoft bought Skype and soon it has become as a important part of the tech giant. Skype is now integrated into Windows 8.1 as the default messaging and video chatting app.

This ad shows how a small baby hears a story from his Grandfather who is shopping. Mom has a Windows tablet with Skype installed with which she calls the old man. 

Talking about Skype, it is one of the most popular video chatting app available for free. You can also pay to get credit which will let you call to any mobile phone without leaving the Windows environment. Microsoft is betting big in the future of Skype with many new features added often to make it more easier.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

avast! 2014 stable gets updated

avast! has rolled out a new stable update for all the versions of avast! antivirus. This update improves the stability of the program and also adds GrimeFighter, a PC optimization tool. The developer focused on improving the code in order to deliver a more reliable product, but it also integrated new tools and features such as SafePrice, a component of the browser plugin that should be able to find better prices on alternative shopping sites when you search for a particular item.

The Firewall component, available for Internet Security and Premier customers, went through some changes and the result should be increased compatibility with other applications (generally Java and VPN services).Avast self-defense driver is now safeguarding the installer from the get-go, an action that should foil malware attempts to terminate it on infected machines. In such as case, the developer advises a random renaming of the package before deploying it.The Browser Cleanup tool has also been improved in order to be able to deal with browser extensions and toolbars that oppose greater resistance towards removal.GrimeFighter, the PC optimization tool resulting from acquiring Jumpshot, can now be reached from the product.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Microsoft to release Spring GDR update to Windows 8.1 by April

Microsoft is now following a new development cycle for Windows as they keep releasing a big update each year. Windows 8 became Windows 8.1 and now Windows 8.1 is set to get many new updates in the form of Spring GDR update.

The Spring GDR update is set to be released with Windows phone 8.1 at BUILD 2014 which will be held on April at San Francisco. Microsoft aims to improve Windows 8.1 with user feedback but it may not bring the Start menu back to Windows but expect some new features and performance improvements, some people believe that the Spring GDR update is the right moment to release it to users, as the early uptake of the modern operating systems seem to be dramatically affected by the lack of some features.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro are out of stock !

Surface 2 and Surface 2 pro are selling like hot cakes and Microsoft can finally believe in their tablets for their revenue. According to Mashable, both the tablets have been sold in all the stores, even in Microsoft's own store. May be the Christmas is working good for Microsoft or may be the people have realised the potential of Surface 2 and Surface 2 pro.
Consumers around the country have begun to post their frustrations on Twitter, in some cases directly asking Microsoft when the tablets will be available again.  
Meanwhile, a quick search for both versions of the device on Amazon reveals that supplies are dwindling there as well. In the case of the Surface Pro 2 (128GB and 64GB), as of this writing the site showed only eight left in stock for each, while for the Surface 2 (32GB) the site only had three left in stock.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Despicable Me: Minion Rush available in Windows 8.1

Gameloft have released another popular game in Windows Store namely Despicable Me: Minion Rush. This game offer a very rich gaming experience with different levels and subtle animations make this game more enjoyable. It's available as a free download for Windows 8.1 users via Store. Overall it's one of my favorites now.

Windows 8.1 needs many more quality apps like this to make tablet users happy. Microsoft is struggling hard to get such apps available in the store.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Windows 8 re-invented : Fixing Windows 8 !

Windows 8 has been here for more than a year but it's not that popular as Windows 7 used to in it's days. The metro and Desktop does not go hand in hand to provide the best Windows experience, it's a bit of confusing as the apps in Modern UI is not accessible via desktop and vice versa . Also there is no file explorer in Metro mode and if you are using touch as the input then you will have a hard time with the not-so touch optimized Desktop.
Start menu is back and a new File Explorer looks awesome

Friday, December 13, 2013

Images can do the talking in Gmail !

Gmail is getting a small but a cool feature which will let the images load automatically in mail which will make the mail look more beautiful and interesting. Previously Gmail asked you whether to display images or not. The reason was to provide a secure mail experience but this problem has been overcome by Google by displaying the images via their own secure server so that you can see the images in mails and also have a safe mailing experience. Gmail is getting better and better ! This feature will be rolled out to all the desktop,android,iOS users in early 2014 .

"Have you ever wondered why Gmail asks you before showing images in emails? We did this to protect you from unknown senders who might try to use images to compromise the security of your computer or mobile device.

But thanks to new improvements in how Gmail handles images, you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android. Instead of serving images directly from their original external host servers, Gmail will now serve all images through Google’s own secure proxy servers. " reads the official post.

Firefox for Windows 8 touch : Screenshot

Yoyo ! Windows RT users will be the most happiest of the lot who are reading this post. Yeah, finally Mozilla has confirmed that Firefox in Windows 8 modern UI will be called as Firefox for Windows 8 touch and it set to reach the users by early 2014. IE 11 is the only browser which runs perfectly in Modern UI and Chrome in Modern UI is very similar to the desktop counter parts which will be updated soon. Mozilla will join this club and will become the third major browser which will run in Modern UI after IE and Chrome. It's a more functional and touch responsive full screen version of Firefox just like IE 11 in modern UI. Users can enjoy the browser with it's smooth edges and a Gecko web experience for the first time in Windows 8 UI !

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Start menu in Windows is getting a new name !

Start menu has been with us for more than a decade and seeing it go in Windows 8/8.1 was one of the hardest thing to digest for traditional Windows users. Though the Start Screen was intended to be work great on both keyboard and mouse combo and also with touch. Unfortunately this did not work out for Microsoft. They tried to convince users with a solid update with Windows 8.1 but even it did not do the trick.
Classic shell is one of the most popular start menu apps available for Windows 8/8.1
So, Microsoft has no other option but to bring the Start menu back in desktop builds of Windows. This is what exactly the tech giant has planned to do. They say that they have listened to their users and hence are making some plans to bring the Start menu back but with a new modern strategy and look which will keep Windows new and refreshing.A new report from ZDnet states that the new start menu will be called as "mini-Start" . As you can guess, it's going to have a modern look like the Start screen and also provide shortcuts to all the apps installed in the PC like the old start menu in Windows 7. That's how it is going to be. Microsoft calls start screen as "Start" and the start menu as "mini-Start". Microsoft is planning to release it in late 2014 or early 2015 !

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Microsoft launches December patches to Windows,IE and Office

It's patch Tuesday once again so make sure you have the latest patches installed in your PC. There are a total of 24 updates with 11 Security bulletins. These updates are for Windows,Office and IE. Microsoft released a image which shows the severity of the vulnerabilities present in different software.

Make sure that you install these patches as soon as possible. And if you are using Windows XP, you can be better off by upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.The star of the month is MS13-096, the bulletin that's supposed to address a vulnerability found in Windows and which would allow an attacker to gain control of an unpatched computer due to the way TIFF files are managed by the operating system.
“This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Lync. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views content that contains specially crafted TIFF files. “As we highlighted through ANS, this update fully resolves the issue first described in Security Advisory 2896666. For those who installed the Fix it released through the advisory, you do not need to uninstall the Fix it prior to installing the update, but we do recommend disabling the Fix it after installation to ensure TIFF images are displayed correctly.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wait a sec ! Microsoft is planning to bring the start menu in the "Threshold" update

If Start menu is the only thing that keep users away from Windows 8/8.1 then Microsoft might very well bring the start menu back.
Here is the big question, Will Microsoft bring the start menu back in Windows ? May be yes with the Threshold update which will be coming out by early 2015. Excited ? Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott is reporting via unofficial sources that Redmond is working to bring back the Start Menu in Windows Threshold, clearly in an attempt to show users that it really cares about their opinions.

Start menu in Windows 7
The Start menu will only be available to the desktop builds of the OS while the touch users will have Start Screen . Also Microsoft seems to be working in a new feature which will let you to run your Modern UI apps right at your Desktop !. Whoa.. If these things become true then Microsoft will not only able to boost the sale of Windows 8 but also capture the trust of millions of people around the globe. Releasing this update in 2015 makes sense because Microsoft wants to see how far Windows 8.1 with Start Screen can reach ! Do you like the Start menu or Start Screen ?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Microsoft will retire Windows 8.1 preview Next Month !

Windows 8.1 has been around for sometime and it is pretty popular nowadays. Microsoft now warns about the retirement of Windows 8.1 preview which was released on June 26 at BUILD conference,San Francisco. Microsoft wants all the users to move to stable version of Windows 8.1 as soon as possible because it packs a lot of improvements over the preview version.

Microsoft is planning to retire Windows 8.1 preview on January,2014 but as of now there is no specific date for the retirement. The preview version of the OS may be buggy and may not have all the features of the final version which was released on October. If you are running Windows 8.1 preview then consider moving to the final version of Windows 8.1 before next month. Windows 8 users can upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free while Windows 7 users will have to buy a full version of the OS.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Opera 18 stable gets a fix !

Opera 18 got a small build update which fixes a issue with Gmail. This update has been announced in a small but worthy post in Opera blog.
This of course doesn’t mean we neglect the Opera stable version. Recently you guys reported crashes when enabling notifications in Gmail. Thanks for the feedback and in return here is an update to fix this issue!
Opera since the transition to WebKit/Blink have been working hard to get back the old traditional features but also some cool new features. So every update brings in a lot of improvements and new features. Make sure that you get the update as soon as possible.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Inside IE 11 ! Get to know what makes this browser fast and stable

Internet explorer 11 has been around for sometime in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 as an optional download. Microsoft has explained each and every improvement made to IE 11 in a very lengthy post. IE 11 is fast and has been improved to support the web with WebGL and more features which makes the browser faster than previous versions of the browser.
Page Prediction, Preload, and Prefetch are spotlighted in the post which explains how this technologies help IE 11 to be faster and responsive.
Page Prediction, preload (also called prerender), and prefetch in IE11 give the browser a head start in downloading and rendering the next page or downloading resources for the next page. For common browsing patterns, pages are pre-emptively fetched and even constructed in the background in a hidden tab so they appear instantly when you click on that link. These techniques speed up things you commonly do on the Web, such as searching, reading articles, browsing photos, and so on, making them feel like browsing local content.

Chrome stable updated automatically to Chrome Aura beta !

I was using Google Chrome stable build but suddenly it updated to the beta version,Chrome 32 aura. Chrome 31 was updated with some fixes few hours ago and this build was the one that I should have reached after updating. This sounds odd enough because Google has managed the updates pretty well till now . It's not only me but people are asking Google product forums for the reason why this update reached them. 

Here is a link to the forum thread about this issue. As far as the update's concern, Chrome brings the  new Modern UI to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.It brings the new Aura UI with some new features and security fixes. Google is yet to comment on this issue, I will update this post when Google comments on this issue.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Windows "Threshold" : Microsoft wants to call all it's Operating System as " Windows " !

Microsoft has announced that it would be merging all it's operating system into one to provide same experience with multiple devices. They are calling this update as "Threshold" and it will see daylight in late 2014 or early 2015.

The naming convention in Windows is going to see a major change as all the OS developed will be called Windows but the features will be different based on the type of devices you use. It is meant to provide similar experience in all the devices without any confusion. Microsoft might merge Windows RT and Windows Phone into one because both are mobile operating system which is completely built for touch. This change will provide more apps and a lot of new features to all the mobile and tablet users in one single UI. 

Redmond’s purpose, on the other hand, is to offer a unified experience across all devices, so expect a common app store and other similarities that will be based on powerful synchronization services and cloud tech.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

avast! 2014 R2 Beta brings GrimeFighter !

avast! bought Jumpshot, a system optimization software company and avast! 2014 did not implement any of the features from Jumpshot. So here is avast! 2014 R2 beta 1 which inlcudes GrimeFighter, a tool which looks for all the junk in your PC and helps you to remove them with a single click.

It's more of a system optimization tool baked into the world's most popular antivirus which may be available for free. Get avast! beta here .

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday deal : Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft has announced a big discount on it's Surface tablets in this Cyber Monday. You get the  64 GB model can be purchased for no less than $649 (€476), while the 128 GB version costs $749 (€550), so you can save $150 (€110) in both cases. 

And this offer does not include the touch cover or type cover. Microsoft wants users to but it as soon as possible as quantities are limited, so it could run out of tablets anytime soon. Would you like to get a Surface tablet ?

Internet explorer is becoming more popular again,Chrome and Firefox trail together !

It may sound odd but it is true. But According to the latest stats from net market share, Internet explorer has been increasing it's market share steadily since the launch of IE 10. IE 11 improves it by grabbing a share of 3.27% in the month of November.

You can see that IE has a share of nearly 58% while all the other popular browsers stay behind with a respectable share between 10 to 20%. Microsoft has been trying hard to improve their browser and they launched IE 10 and IE 11 with a gap of just one year, this is very rare to see till now as Microsoft launches a new version of browser whenever a OS comes after 2 to 3 years. IE 11 is a fast and modern browser which is highly competitive with other browsers

Looking at other browsers, Firefox has a share of 18% followed by Chrome which has 15% of the share. The real competition remains between Chrome and Firefox in terms of Market share but IE is now improving so that no one could become a real competitor to it.Safari and Opera are sitting in the back bench with 8% and 2% respectively. But it all comes to you, users. Which is your primary browser ?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Windows 8.1 is popular now : A big story lies behind it !

Windows 8.1 which was released on October 18th finished it's first full month, November with a staggering increase in market share which is mainly due to the Windows 8 users upgrading to Windows 8.1. You can see that there is huge improvement in the share of Windows 8.1. Thanks to Microsoft for delivering such a solid update within a year after launch of Windows 8.