Microsoft improved the latest Windows 10 pre-release build of 2014 in two important ways today. It made the build available via downloadable ISOs, letting testers clean install this build directly to a PC or VM, without having to first install the previous preview builds over each over. And it issued a fix for build 9879 that it says addresses a major BSOD error.
When Microsoft first announced Windows 10 back in early October, it did so at an event that was billed as being focused on businesses. But that wasn't really the case, and most of the short launch event just highlighted some of the user interface tweaks that will make Windows great on traditional PCs again. Since then, however, Microsoft has opened up about its plans a bit more. And one of the big changes coming in Windows 10 is that the firm will allow businesses to customize Windows Store and manage the delivery of apps to their users.
While Microsoft Band will automatically track certain health- and fitness-related data—heart rate, steps/distance traveled, and calories burned—it doesn't really do anything with that data other provide an ongoing summary on the device itself and sync it up to the Microsoft Health cloud. So it's up to you to set your own goals, monitor how you well you're achieving them, and then adjust them—hopefully upward—as you progress.
Microsoft Band can optionally monitor the quality and duration of your sleep overnight, providing a surprisingly detailed range of sleep data, including how long it took you to fall asleep, the total amount of time you were asleep, how much time you spent in restful sleep and light sleep, your resting heart rate while you slept, and graphs of your sleep pattern and heart rate over the duration of that sleep.
While Microsoft Band will track your heartbeat, steps, and calories burned automatically throughout the day, you can also manually log the time you spend exercising. This can be virtually anything—going for a walk, riding an elliptical trainer, playing a sport like basketball, whatever—that you do over a period of time and may wish to compare with previous exercises.
Legislators in the European Parliament on Friday are drafting a resolution calling on Google to be split into two companies so that the Internet giant can no longer unfairly leverage its search dominance to artificially prop up its other, money-losing, businesses and illegally harm its competitors. The parliament does not have the authority to break up Google, nor does it have a formal say in EU antitrust laws or agencies. But this resolution should at least trigger harsher antitrust oversight and penalties against the firm in a variety of cases that are currently underway.
This minor update to the in-progress Microsoft Band Field Guide corrects an error in the Bluetooth settings section: It is indeed possible—and even fairly easy—to unpair your Band from one smart phone and pair it with a new phone without resetting the Band. I'm also messing around with the structure a bit and trying to find a place for setting/adjusting your fitness and health goals.
It may seem like an esoteric subject, but the recent rumors about Microsoft changing the version number of Windows 10 are true: In this release, the software giant will align the name of the product with the version number, the first time it's done so since the mid-1990s. And that could impact application and even web site compatibility in the new OS.
One year ago tomorrow, Microsoft launched Xbox One, its most impressive yet controversial video game and entertainment console. It's been a tough first year in many ways, but the software giant is celebrating this anniversary with some nice giveaways for those who took a chance on the Xbox One.
If you're following along with the development of Windows 10, you know that the current Windows Technical Preview builds are geared towards businesses and tech enthusiasts. But in early 2015, Microsoft will release a Consumer Preview for Windows 10, and those builds will provide a better look at many new end user features. This week, the first Consumer Preview builds allegedly leaked online, so here's a quick peek.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including Azure going down for the count, Intel's celebration of flat PC sales in 2015, an NSA prediction of a "dramatic" cyber-attack against the US in the next decade, Xiaomi's plot to unseat Samsung and Apple, Google settles mobile patent suit with industry group, Android is the new Windows, and GameStop misunderstands why they're doing poorly.
If there's a place where Amazon's experience understanding what typical consumers really need will resonate, it's the living room. And the new Amazon Fire TV Stick ticks all the boxes: It's inexpensive, it's easy to configure, set up and use, and unlike most of the competition, it comes with everything you need to get started. Time will tell if the Fire TV Stick holds up, but my first impressions are mostly positive.
It's been a while since the last What I Use, but there haven't been many major changes since late last year: Surface Pro 3 has become my go-to travel companion, I've added a third cellphone line for testing Windows Phone, Android and iPhone side-by-side, and have rotated through some new tablets and other devices. We've also switched from FIOS to Comcast and added to our set-top box collection....More
This has been a great year for Windows Phone users in so many ways. Not only did we just get a major, major OS update in Windows Phone 8.1, but Microsoft and a variety of third parties have been busy launching an unprecedented number of new and improved apps on the platform as well. With all that in mind—and with the understanding that this is just a slice in time—here's a peek at what I'm using on my own Windows Phone handset....More