Windows 10 Technical Preview updated with New Version and New Features

Just three weeks ago, the Windows 10 Technical Preview got its first new build available to members of the Windows Insider program, and today we are seeing another version bump adding some new features and changes to the preview. As part of last month’s update, Microsoft enabled preview users to choose either the Fast or Slow lane for future updates. If you have selected Fast, you will be getting this build from Windows Update immediately, or if you do not want to wait you can go to Update and Recovery and check for a new build now. People who opted for the Slow release cycle can wait for the bugs to be worked out first.
There are just a couple of important changes with this go build, which is now 9879. The first involves the Task View and Search buttons on the task bar. Many people, especially those with limited task bar space, did not appreciate having two additional buttons on the task bar with no way to remove them, so with build 9879 there is now the option to remove one, or both. This was a feedback driven change, so it is minor, but nice to see them listening to feedback.
Another minor change which was just added last month was new animations for minimize and restore. Feedback on these animations was that they were too jarring, so they have been updated to be a bit less, well, animated.
As part of the removal of the Charms menu, app commands such as the Share charm and App settings was accessed through an ellipsis in the title bar, which many people found difficult to discover. The ellipsis has now been changed to the familiar hamburger menu button that has gained popularity in the mobile space, which should help with discoverability.
As for all new features, previewed last week at TechEd Europe were new trackpad gestures, and these are now available in the latest build:
  • 3 finger up -> Task View
  • 3 finger down -> Show Desktop
  • 3 finger flick to left or right -> switches to previous app (go back 1)
  • 3 finger move left or right -> Alt-Tab (Task View) pops up and you can select the app you want (remove fingers to select)
  • 3 finger tap -> Search
As well, the new Snap Assist can now help when snapping apps across multiple monitors. As I just have Windows 10 in a VM, I can’t show a screenshot of this change other than the original snap assist shown here.
One of the bigger fundamental changes being introduced this month is a change to how OneDrive syncs on Windows 10. Users of Windows 8.1 will be aware of OneDrive using placeholders for files, and in File Explorer, it will say if the file is available offline or available online only. Any file you open would automatically download and stay synced on that PC unless you manually made it online only. This also worked with folders, allowing you to fairly easily specify if a folder should be synced to any particular PC. With OneDrive now offering unlimited storage, you can see that this is very important especially with the lowest cost devices coming with small amounts of usable storage. However Microsoft is saying that this confused people, because in File Explorer it would display files that were not on the device. Customers would then go somewhere with no connectivity assuming they had access to their files only to discover that they were set to online only. Starting with this build, OneDrive will now use selective sync, and the user can specify what they want synced. What you see in File Explorer will only be the files that are on that particular PC. Personally I really liked the placeholder approach from Windows 8.1, so I am disappointed in this change. For me, it was nice to see all of my files and easily download those I wanted to without having to go into any system menus. The files are clearly labeled as to whether they are available offline, so this is a bit of a shame. I will have to spend some time with the new method to see if I like it or not.
Another change to OneDrive is how to access it. In Windows 8.1, OneDrive was available as both a modern app, and an extension in File Explorer. This also caused some confusion apparently, since people would have multiple places to find their files. As a change for Windows 10, File Explorer will be the only way to access OneDrive files without using the web version I would assume. Although I understand Windows 10 is aimed at the desktop user, I am a bit confused as to what this means for the tablet user since using file explorer with Touch is fairly frustrating. Perhaps there will be a new touch based version of File Explorer presented when in Tablet mode.
Internet Explorer is getting some updates in this build as well, at least for some users. Ten percent of Insider participants will get the new Edge rendering engine available for them. To make it easy to offer direct feedback on this change, IE will have a emoticon in the upper right corner which a person can click to say that whatever site they are on is not rendering perfectly.
In the last build, MKV support was added, and in the new build they are completing this by having MKV files play directly in Windows Media Player and other desktop and modern apps. MKV will now display thumbnails and metadata in File Explorer, and DLNA/Play To support has been added. In addition, H.265 HEVC support has been added to the platform.
Finally, some rather minor changes have been made such as the ability to pin your favorite folders to Home, and a few new icons are inbound.
Just like the last build, this new build requires a re-provisioning of existing user accounts, so the install process is a bit longer than the normal patch/reboot that most people are accustomed to.
There are some good changes here, and some that I am not so sure about. Time with the build will be the only way to see if the changes work for me or not. If you are interested in trying out the Windows 10 Technical Preivew, check out
Source: Windows Blog

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New Google Messenger App rolls out with Android 5.0 Lollipop

After the main Google app and Google Keyboard are updated, here’s a new Messenger app from Google. This is a new app that is meant for SMS messaging so you can stay in touch with family and friends all the time. This also allows MMS messaging to any phone, as well as, group texts. If you still want to share more media, you can do so and send photos, audio messages, and videos. 

The Google Messenger app also allows easy searching through conversation threads and contacts. You are sure to find what you’re looking for simply by typing a word or key phrase.
Of course, this new app will feature Google’s latest Material Design so expect a more fluid, delightful, and more intuitive design. We don’t clearly know what that means but we’ll sure know once more Material Design-based apps are introduced. 

As with any messaging software, you can choose to block other SMS senders you don’t want. This way, you’ll have more control of the messages you see on your phone. Texting is also more fun and at the same time convenient now because of message archiving, colored text threads, emoji support, and audio messages. 

While another messaging app is more than welcome, we find it weird that Google has two now especially since Google Voice and Hangouts were recently updated to support MMS and SMS. 

Download Google Messenger app from the Google Play Store

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Microsoft Band Review


Microsoft Band review: Unlike any other wearable and uniquely yours
(Image: Microsoft)

Daily activity tracker, multi-platform smartwatch, GPS sport watch, heart rate monitor, and fitness coach. The Microsoft Band can be whatever you want and that is the real power of the Band.

I've now spent nearly two weeks with the Microsoft Band — read my first impressions — and it has secured a place on my wrist for the foreseeable future.

As a guy who covers the mobile space, I use smartphones running every mobile operating system; the Microsoft Band is currently the only wearable to work across Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Come to think of it, I will have to test it with my BlackBerry Passport and the Android Microsoft Health app since my Pebble works through this approach.


    Band material: Thermal plastic elastomer with adjustable-fit clasp
    Processor: ARM Cortex M4
    Display: 11mm x 33mm, 320 x 106 pixels, 1.4-inch TFT full-color display
    Sensors: Optical heart rate, three-axis accelerometer, gyrometer, GPS receiver, ambient light sensor, skin temperature sensor, UV sensor, capacitive sensor, galvanic skin response
    Other features: Bluetooth 4.0 LE, microphone, haptic vibration motor, dust and splash resistant
    Battery capacity: Dual 100 mAh lithium-ion polymer batteries. Normal use rating of 48 hours
    Dimensions: 19mm wide and 8.7 mm thick, weight of 60 grams

One specification that concerns me is the dust and splash resistance. I sweat a lot when I work out and I regularly run in the rain in Washington State. I hope that the Band doesn't fail during these typical conditions and that it's practically rainproof.

You won't find many wearables with this much tech crammed into it and I just hope that long-term usage doesn't end up causing failures like I have seen a number of times on advanced wristbands like the Jawbone UP.

On the hardware

I provided a detailed walkthrough of the hardware in my first impressions article so I won't repeat that here. I will say that I continue to find the Microsoft Band very comfortable on my left wrist, so much so that I don't even notice it is strapped on most of the time. However, it is not comfortable on my right wrist where my outside upper wrist bone seems to be a bit more prominent.

As I stated in my last article, I highly recommend you put a screen protector on the Microsoft Band before you even start using it. I scratched up the plastic to the right of the display in the first two days. The screen protector actually covered up those minor scratches and the display looks fantastic with the protector in place.
I wear the Microsoft Band with the display face down under my wrist 95 percent of the time since it's much easier to view and interact with the Band in this position — even more reason to have the screen protector installed.
There have not been any issues with the hardware over the past two weeks. Heart rate monitoring has been spot on when I compared it to the Mio Link dedicated heart rate monitor while out running and in various daily activities.
The touch display is very responsive, the battery life matches Microsoft's stated expectations, and I have no complaints so far. The battery life takes a serious hit when you run with GPS and heart rate monitoring enabled.
I was able to kill nearly 50 percent of the battery on an eight mile run, so the Microsoft Band is good for recreational runners, but not for marathoners. Serious runners usually have advanced GPS watches with all kinds of metrics to track so it makes sense that Microsoft went for what the masses need.

  1. Exhaustive number of sensors           
  2. Support for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone    
  3. Capability to fill nearly any wearable role    
  4. Accurate heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking      
  5. Good price/value for functionality provided      
  1. Requires proprietary charging cable
  2. Notification acknowledgement not synced back to phones
  3. No desktop software and limited access to data

On the software

Again, I detailed the tiles and software interface in my first impressions article. One thing I wanted to clear up for you multi-platform users is that you do not need to reset the Microsoft Band to switch platforms. You may have to remove/forget the Bluetooth connection on your phone, but you should then be able to pair the Band up with another device. I switched between Android and iOS a couple of times this past week.

Microsoft Health
: The Microsoft Health smartphone application is a solid first product and I am impressed by the visual presentation of the collected data. It is a bit of a pain to have to jump out of the latest view of sleep/running/workout data, tap on the activity history, and then tap on an individual day to view the data. The step and calorie data views let you quickly toggle to a view of your week, which is helpful for tracking trends and setting goals for improvement.

An extensive amount of data is being collected by the Microsoft Band and synced to the Health database. However, the current app limits access to this data and I want to see a desktop or browser client to provide this access. For example, I have RunKeeper set up as a connected app and on the phones I can see a map of my route along with splits, heart rate data, and more. However, a very limited amount of this data is synced to RunKeeper. As a result, I still run with a phone so that I can capture all of this data and have it appear on my RunKeeper site. I know the data is there within Microsoft Health, but I just need full access to that data so I can leave the phone at home when I run.

Further thoughts on Android usage: I was very pleased to discover that the Microsoft Band can be set up as a trusted Bluetooth device on my Sony Xperia Z3. When the Microsoft Band is within Bluetooth range of my Z3, it keeps my Z3 unlocked. This handy functionality was first provided by Motorola on the Moto X, but is now found in many Android devices and is an excellent security option.

Further thoughts on workouts and coaching
: Microsoft provides a number of running, bodyweight, and strength workouts in the Microsoft Health app. Since I am not training for a specific run at this time and do not have access to any weights, I skipped the running and strength workout options. I have been traveling every week for three weeks and still have at least three more business trips before the end of the year. Thus, the bodyweight workouts are perfect for hotel room activities.

I selected a couple of these workouts and performing them with my Microsoft Band has opened up a whole new world of on-the-road training for me. After going for a morning or evening run, these workouts are perfect. After syncing and then selecting the workout, the Microsoft Band shows you which exercise to perform and then starts the countdown. The Band vibrates when each item is complete, then counts down the rest period while showing you which exercise is next. It was a joy to complete these workouts and is exactly what I have been looking for.

If you are unfamiliar with the exercise shown in the training plan, the Microsoft Health app has a quick video that shows you what it is along with the proper technique. My Microsoft Band is my new personal trainer, at much lower cost than an actual person, and can travel with me on the road.


Dedicated daily activity trackers, smartwatches, and GPS sport watches excel at their specific functions. The Microsoft Band compromises in each of these areas, as follows, but you won't find another product that can do it all as well as the Microsoft Band.

    Daily activity tracker
: These generally have battery lives from a week to six months. They can be placed on the wrist or other part of the body and should virtually disappear as they capture data.
    Smartwatches: Great smartwatches provide big colorful displays, sync up notifications for robust triage, and look like a watch.
    GPS sport watches: These athletic watches are waterproof, track hours of intense physical activity, and provide a significant number of metrics.

With tile selection, you can have your Microsoft Band focused on what is important to you. If you never go running or work out, then leave off those tiles. Some people may even want to have their Microsoft Band serve as a communications and social networking device with text, email, Twitter, and Facebook as their primary tiles. The great thing about the Microsoft Band is that you have the option to customize the experience and every Band will be unique to each person.

The challenge with wearing and using devices specific to these activities is having multiple devices that need charging and syncing. If you want to wear a wrist-mounted activity tracker, then you limit your ability to wear a smartwatch )unless you wear a device on each wrist). Carrying something like a Misfit Flash in your pocket along with a smartwatch makes some sense, but you still have multiple devices to manage. The Microsoft Band provides all of this functionality in a single device that will last you at least a day, usually two, unless you go out on a long run.

I personally have my Microsoft Band fairly balanced, but have to say that paying for Starbucks with my wrist is still one of the coolest things ever. Microsoft did a fantastic job with its first Microsoft Health wearable device and I look forward to updates and continued improvements in the hardware and health service.

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Google Keyboard updated with new Material Design



Update Wednesday is here with a vengeance. The latest app to get updated with a taste of Material Design is Google Keyboard. Version 4.0 of Google’s keyboard app has two new themes to choose from: “Material Light” and “Material Dark.” These are the keyboard themes we’ve seen on the Nexus 6 and 9.
Once you download the update you’ll have to go into the setting to change the theme. The behavior of the keyboards hasn’t really changed much, but it’s a nice little facelift that should look great alongside all the other Material Design apps. If you haven’t received the update in the Play Store yet you can download the APK right here. What do you think of the new themes?

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Nexus 6..!! All you need to know


Google is today introducing the Nexus 6, the latest in its line of smartphones designed to show off the capabilities of new Android releases. This is the biggest Nexus phone that Google has released yet, adopting a 6-inch display — bigger than both the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4. Like the Note 4, Google's Nexus 6 also uses a Quad HD display, which means that text and images on the phone should still be really sharp, despite its large size. The phone has a Snapdragon 805 processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, a 3220 mAh battery, and two front-facing speakers. It can include either 32 or 64GB of internal storage and comes in either blue or white.

It's the Moto X made way bigger
Nexus phones have always been lightly modified versions of existing smartphones — the Nexus 5, for instance, was based off of the LG G2 — and there's no hiding here that the Nexus 6 is a blown up version of Motorola's updated Moto X. Just like the Moto X, the Nexus 6 features metal trim around the outside, a circular flash ring, and even a dimpled Motorola logo. That's by no means a bad thing, though: the Moto X is a very nicely made phone, so the more cues the Nexus 6 takes from it, the better.

The Verge's Moto X Review

The Nexus 6 comes running Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is also being launched today. Lollipop was first demonstrated back in June, when Google showcased a brand new design style for Android that adopted a playful and colorful look based around simple shapes and sheets of paper. Lollipop is also said to include a battery saving feature that can extend a phone's life by up to 90 minutes. On top of that, the Nexus 6 also includes one of Motorola's Turbo Chargers, which can charge the phone back up to six hours worth of battery life in 15 minutes — so Google clearly wants you to be able to keep this thing going.
The Nexus 6 is going to be sold unlocked for $649, making it far more expensive than any other Nexus model to date. Google has long used the Nexus line as a way to help expose people to stock Android by giving its phones a low price, but that's also meant that Google likely hasn't made much — if any — real money on them. With this new pricing, it appears as though Google's priorities are changing. Or at the very least, it's no longer willing to stomach the costs associated with pricing a phone so low.
The Nexus 6 will be available to preorder on October 29th and available in stores beginning in November. You'll also be able to buy it on monthly contract. The unlocked model will work on all four major US carriers, and Google says it'll also be offered through AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, and Sprint. Google is continuing to sell the Nexus 5 as well.
In addition to the Nexus 6, Google is also releasing the Nexus 9 tablet today. This is the second large tablet to bear the Nexus name, with Google previously trying out large tablets with the Nexus 10 nearly two years ago. You can read our full article on the Nexus 9 for more coverage. Google is also announcing a streaming media box called the Nexus Player, which is the first device to run Android TV.

source: The Verge

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Windows 10 v/s Windows 8.1. What's new?

Microsoft unveiled the next version of Windows at a developer event in San Francisco, catching everyone by surprise by leap-frogging Windows 9 and labelling it Windows 10.
With many enterprise and power users sticking with Windows 7, due to its familiarity and stability, will Windows 10 offer enough features to justify an upgrade? We take a look at what Microsoft is offering.
1 - Start Button strikes back
Probably the biggest complaint about Windows 8 was the decision to ditch the familiar Start Button. Microsoft was so focused on introducing the world to its Live Tiles interface, it assumed users wouldn’t mind a Desktop with reduced functionality. It was a critical error, which has been addressed.
We’ve known for a while the Start button would make a triumphant return but we’re still excited as it will be supercharged. The Start Menu will allow you to access apps, search for content as well as pin apps, contacts and websites into it.

2 -  Windows 10 interface will adapt via Continuum
Microsoft was so keen to push the “touch-first” mantra with Window 8, the experience on traditional machines where keyboards and mice were the primary form of input suffered. This was addressed to some extent with the 8.1 update and the problem could now be solved with Windows 10.
Continuum will allow the Windows 10 interface to adapt based on the hardware it is running in. 
If you're working with a 2-in-1 hybrid like the Surface, you'll be met with the standard desktop while the Type Cover keyboard is connected. However, when you detach the keyboard the OS will detect this and prompt you to switch over to tablet mode.
3 - Multiple desktops debut 
Borrowing from Apple’s OS X, Microsoft has finally introduced multiple desktops.
This is something power users have been craving as it will make it easier to work on different projects simultaneously. This will also be handy for employees as they can keep their personal and work environments separate.
4 - A unified app store
Developers will now be able to create one app that runs across all Windows devices from phones through to 85in touch displays. 
Microsoft said it’s also going to allow volume app purchases based on existing organisational identity and allow businesses to reclaim or re-use licenses.
Larger enterprises will be able to create their own customised app store for employees, with the ability to include selected public apps alongside in-house apps.
5 - Universal apps
One of the main problems with Live Tile apps was the fact they could not be controlled like regular programs. This all changes with Universal apps. They will be framed in the same windows as programs so they can be resized, moved, maximized, minimized and closed.
6 - Flexible security updates
Security and critical updates will continue to be pushed out on a monthly basis.
Consumers will get updates as soon as they are ready via Windows Update and now businesses will be able to ‘opt-in’ to a fast-paced cycle as well.
Microsoft will also allows businesses to lock-down mission critical apps and segment user groups to deliver updates in a more flexible way too.
7 - Improved multitasking
Windows 10 will introduce a quadrant layout allowing up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. The OS will even make smart suggestions to fill available screen space.
You’ll be able to cycle through open apps using the familiar Alt + Tab shortcut, but there is also a Task View button on the taskbar. Pressing this will show all open apps, allow you to re-arrange them and switch between virtual desktops.
8 - No more typos in Command Prompt
Power users rejoice as copy and paste will be enabled in Windows 10’s Command Prompt.
9 - MDM built in
Admins will be able to manage devices through traditional methods like Active Directory and System Center.
Windows 10 will include extended built-in mobile device management (MDM) capabilities - making it easier to manage device from the cloud.

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Windows 10 is here..!!

It’s a humbling and amazing thing to work on Windows, which is used by over 1.5 billion people in every country of the world. From kids playing with computers for the first time, to writers and journalists, to engineers, to gamers, to CEOs, at some point Windows has empowered all of us.
In the Windows team, we’re proud of this – but we also know that the world today is very different from the one in which Windows grew up. Today, devices outnumber people. Connectivity is like oxygen. The tension between the desire for agility versus stability poses a huge challenge for IT Pros. Experiences – no matter what device you’re on – just need to work. The only thing that hasn’t really changed is the situation for developers – still too much to do, and not enough time.
One way to look at it is that Windows is at a threshold :-). It’s time for a new Windows. This new Windows must be built from the ground-up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. This new Windows must help our customers be productive in both their digital work and their digital life. This new Windows must empower people and organizations to do great things.
That new Windows is Windows 10.
Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows. Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers to work, play and connect. Windows 10 embodies what our customers (both consumers and enterprises) demand and what we will deliver.
Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens – some have 80 inch screens – and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture – and some devices can switch between input types.
We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device.
And across this breadth of devices, we are delivering one application platform for our developers. Whether you’re building a game or a line of business application, there will be one way to write a universal app that targets the entire family. There will be one store, one way for applications to be discovered, purchased and updated across all of these devices.
Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time. It will be our most comprehensive platform ever.
Now, during the design of a new Windows, we spend time with many diverse customers. One of the most important of these customers is the enterprise. In the past year I’ve talked to dozens of enterprise customers and listened to how they are using and deploying Windows, and what they need from us.
These customers are betting their businesses on Windows – in the first half of this year, shipments of enterprise PCs grew 14%. In that same time period, shipments of Windows enterprise tablets grew 33%.
Tomorrow, we are excited to announce the Windows Insider Program, where PC experts and IT Pros can get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops. Soon after, we’ll also be releasing technical previews of Windows Server and our management tools.
With the Insider program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic Windows customers to shape Windows 10 with us. We know they’re a vocal bunch – and we’re looking forward to hearing from them.
The Windows Insider Program is intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality. Insiders will receive a steady stream of early builds from us with the latest features we’re experimenting with.
This week’s announcements are just the first chapter of our conversation with customers about Windows 10 – with a focus on enterprise features (because enterprises have a need to evaluate software early on) and the desktop/laptop experiences. Early in 2015 we’ll introduce the consumer chapter and talk much more about other device types and more consumer features. We’ll then continue the conversation with the developer chapter at our Build conference, and later in the year we’ll release Windows 10 and look forward to some amazing new devices.
Today was an important beginning for our customers and partners as we embark on the Windows 10 journey together. I encourage everyone reading this to sign up for the Windows Insider Program, download the technical preview, and let us know what you think. Check here tomorrow for specific details – but in the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the new features you can test drive once you become an Insider:
Tech Preview_Start menu
Start menu: The familiar Start menu is back, but it brings with it a new customizable space for your favorite apps and Live Tiles.
Everything runs in a window: Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop apps do and can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing for maximize, minimize, and close with a click.
Tech Preview_Three program snap and suggestions
Snap enhancements: You can now have four apps snapped on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping and even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
Tech Preview_Task view
New task view button: There’s a new task-view button on the taskbar for quick switching between open files and quick access to any desktops you create.
Tech Preview_Virtual desktop
Multiple desktops: Create desktops for different purposes and projects and switch between these desktops easily and pick up where you left off on each desktop.
Find files faster: File Explorer now displays your recent files and frequently visited folders making for finding files you’ve worked on is easier.
Watch the below video from Joe Belfiore to see many of these features in action. Immediately you’ll see how Windows 10 carries forward a sense of familiarity, while providing new capabilities to help you way the work you want to and be more productive.
Today was an important beginning for our customers and partners as we embark on the Windows 10 journey together. While it’s early and things are bound to change as we collaborate together in the months ahead, this should give a strong sense of where we’re going not only with the desktop experience, but in general overall. We’re looking forward to getting your feedback on Windows 10, as well as continuing this conversation in the weeks and months to come.

Source: Windows Blog

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Latest news on Windows 9..!!!

With Windows 8 and now Windows 8.1, Microsoft tried - not entirely successfully - to make tablets part of a continuum that goes from number-crunching workstations and high-end gaming rigs through all-in-one touchscreen media systems and thin-and light notebooks down to slender touch tablets.
The general consensus is that it still has a long way to go to produce a unified OS.
Despite rumors of an aggressive development and shipping schedule, there's no official word about what's in the next version of Windows, but there are plenty of rumors (many of them from Chinese enthusiast sites that claim to have leaked builds), plus more reliable information from job postings for the Windows and Windows Phone teams.
There are also patents, which may or may not be relevant, and some rare comments from developers on the Windows team. Here's what we've heard about Windows 9 and what we think is happening.
Cut to the chase
What is it? A complete update of Windows 
When is it out? We expect it to be out in 2015
What will it cost? We really have no idea. But if Windows 8 is anything to go by, it won't cost much to upgrade.
Windows Blue turned out to be Windows 8.1 rather than a completely new version of the Windows OS - Windows 9 will be that new version.
As for interim releases, we'll probably also get Windows 8.2 before we get Windows 9. And we have already seen the initial update to Windows 8.1, called Windows 8.1 Update 1.
Windows 8.1 Update 1
The new update features improvements to the Start Screen including the ability to boot straight into the Desktop, the return of shutdown on Start and a more familiar task bar to unify the old and new user interfaces. The update was announced at Build 2014, along with features teased for Windows updates to come.
It certainly seems there's a new development cadence for Windows in action. It seems that Microsoft is set to put out new releases of Windows, Windows RT and Windows Server every year, the way it already does for Windows Phone.
The next complete version of Windows is being referred to as Windows 9, though this may change. And a new codename has appeared - Threshold, possibly in refrence to moving across from our reliance on the desktop to a new world where the Start screen is at the heart of how we use Windows.
While still just a codename, Windows 9 was referenced by Microsoft in a job posting, spotted by MSFT Kitchen on March 13, 2013.
The ad, for a Bing Software Development Engineer, says that the team will be delivering products "in areas including Windows 9, IE11 services integration, touch friendly devices including iPad and more."

Windows 9 release date

Microsoft communications chief Frank Shaw said the company wasn't ready to talk about how often Windows might come out when we spoke to him in January, but he agreed "you have certainly seen across a variety of our products a cadence that looks like that; Windows Phone is a good for example of that, our services are a good example of that".
We don't know if Windows 9 will be available as an upgrade from Windows 7 that you can buy as a standalone product or if you'll have to have Windows 8 to get the upgrade. But it may not be with us for a while yet - Windows business chief Tami Reller has talked about "multiple selling seasons" for Windows 8, meaning that we'll likely have several versions of it.
Some rumors have suggested late 2014 or early 2015 for a Windows 9 release, though the former seems wide of the mark. While claims and reports are all over the place, it seems like Windows 9 should drop before September 2015 at the latest.
In January 2014, well-known Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott said he believes the company plans to release Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold) in April 2015, less than three years after Windows 8.
The thinking appears to be that the Windows 8 name is now too tarnished and that - in contrast to Reller's comments above - Microsoft wishes to clear things out by releasing Windows 9 instead.
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley recently echoed these reports, citing sources pointing toward a spring 2015 release for Windows 9.
In May, prolific Microsoft leaker FaiKee released two separate documents that he or she claims to be Redmond's full roadmap for Windows 9 and other products. The first of which, released to the My Digital Life forums, pointed to text reading "Windows 9 Windows Preview Release @ 2015 02-03."
That appears to point toward a preview release of either February or March 2015. The second leak was caught by, and is a bit more vague in timing but less so in the actual text. That alleged official document detailed a preview release between Q2 and Q3 2015, so by September of next year at the latest.
In June, we learned from a ZDNet source that Microsoft would launch a preview build of the latest Windows in the fall. But most recently, WZOR struck again with a rumor that Windows 9 in full will launch in that same time frame. Naturally, a Microsoft representative snapped back at the rumor on Twitter.

How much will Windows 9 cost?

Not a cent. At least that's what Russian leaker collective WZOR claims to have heard. The group reports that Microsoft is considering pushing out Windows 9 for free, but cannot confirm at this time.
What the collective has heard exactly is that a prototype version is in the works in which a barebones version of Windows 9 will be available for free. For additional functionality, users would have to pay up through a subscription.
That said, ZDNet's Foley has heard the opposite: different SKUs of Windows will be offered for free or at different prices to OEMs and consumers, but that the desktop version will indeed have a sticker price. A recent, subsequent leak provided by WZOR seems to not only corroborate Foley's sources, but render its previous report moot

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Download BBM for Windows Phone

BBM Beta
Fllowing a brief stint in private beta, BlackBerry has announced that its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app is now available for all Windows Phone 8 users.
The company said it has tried to pick up on Windows Phone’s own specific UI design, so the app looks a little different compared to its incarnation on other platforms, although it does obviously provide many of the same core features found on the iOS and Android apps.
You can check out a full walk through of the Windows Phone 8 beta build for more details on the differences.

Go to the following link to download the free BBM for your Windows Phone.

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HTC's next Windows Phone to be a One M8 clone?


Why change a winning formula? That seems to be the question HTC asked itself when planning its next Windows Phone offering, which is said to be almost identical to the One M8 but without Android, according to new reports. It even has almost exactly the same name, but instead of being labeled just the “One M8,” it’s the “One M8 with Windows.”

Internally, the handset is codenamed the W8, but it appears HTC wants to cash in on its trademark One brand when the device goes on sale later this year. According to the ever-reliable @Evleaks, the handset will make its debut on Verizon with Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system pre-installed.

Not only could the One M8 with Windows looks just like the original One M8 (confused yet?), but it’s also expected to offer many of the same specifications — including front-facing BoomSound speakers, and that unique Duo Camera setup. It will also support VoLTE, but it’s unclear whether this will be available at launch.

Citing its own sources, Engadget says that the One M8 with Windows will be available during the third quarter, “or no later than the end of September.”

The One M8 with Windows does sound like a pretty silly title, but HTC has been known to call its Windows Phone devices strange things in the past. It’s last offering, for instance, was officially named the “Windows Phone 8X by HTC.”

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A Motorola Nexus 6 reportedly leaked


A new report has come about that is suggesting Motorola will be the manufacturer of the Nexus 6. Speculation from the community pointed to LG giving another go at the the Nexus phone, but according to Android Police, Motorola and Google have a phone in the works with the codename Shamu. Why Shamu? This phone is going to be HUGE is my guess.

The Moto Nexus 6 from this report says that it will rock a 5.9-inch display, and will be due out this November. That is usually the time when Google announces their new Nexus devices, and the report also mentioned it will be available on all major carriers. The evidence is there, and we know that Google hasn’t given up on their Nexus line, so let us know what you think about a 5.9-inch Moto Nexus 6.

Source: 9to5google

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Bolt: The new Messaging app from Instagram

Instagram teases their new messaging app ‘Bolt’
As if they haven’t had enough scorn from their Slingshot app, Facebook is toying with messaging again. This time, it comes via Instagram, where some users are seeing an invitation to try something called Bolt. It’s messaging, and it’s photo-centric.

Though it’s not yet clear just what Bolt really is, a collective groan went out when screenshots of the invitation leaked. Like Slingshot, the invitation is vaporous, disappearing as quickly as it arrived. One user told The Verge that Bolt’s banner-ad invite went away in about 15 minutes. It’s oddly reminiscent of Slingshot, which “accidentally” leaked, letting a select few in.
What does Bolt do? All we ca glean from the invitation is that it’s a “one tap photo messaging” platform, and falls under the Instagram banner. The invitation lead the users reporting on it — both on Android — to a dead-end Play Store link. It’s not clear if Facebook/Instagram are simply teasing the product, or if it’s meant for a select few and the banner ad manifested widely.
Like iPhone 6 leaks, a new messaging app seems to roll out weekly. This would also mimic Facebook in the “social app that runs a messaging platform” arena. As popular as Instagram is, it’s not clear that the world can withstand another messaging app.
Via: The Verge

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