Microsoft Windows Stories August 13, 2015

GOOG: 659.56

-1.22

Google adds new Dell Chromebook 13 to Chromebook for Work lineup, available September 17

Chromebook for Work is Google’s lineup of premium Chrome OS-powered laptops which it promotes as easy to deploy, highly secure, and ready to run legacy Window applications through OS virtualization. Today the company announced that Dell will begin selling a new one of these business-ready Chromebooks starting September 17th, called the Dell Chromebook 13.

The Chromebook 13 is, like the rest of the Chromebook for Work line, packing a serious punch for a computer running such a lightweight operating system. It has a 13.3″ full HD touchscreen display (1920×1080), a 5th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, a backlit keyboard and glass touchpad, and a palmrest made out of magnesium alloy. The laptop is quoted for 12 hours of battery life, although these ratings are usually generous. The starting price will be $399 when it goes on sale, with no more detail on upgrade options or variants. “Enterprise class performance at an economical price point,” Google says in its blog post.

Chrome OS certainly does hold a lot of promise for IT departments frustrated with the current solutions out there, namely Windows and all the tumult going on at Microsoft over the company’s strategy for the operating system going forward. Google’s operating system was built at a much later time, and without the baggage of years and years of developing and supporting software meant for a place and time that has since passed. In my day-to-day there are rarely more than a few edge case applications and tools I need a full-on desktop computer for, so the ability of Chrome OS to virtualize Windows and run its applications is just icing on the cake of an OS which recognizes that many business-related programs can run in the web and be almost indistinguishable from their desktop equivalents — especially with Chrome OS’s ability to run web apps as individual windowed apps.

Microsoft Windows Stories July 17, 2015

Microsoft recently released its Cortana digital assistant as a beta app, and we’ve been able to get our hands on the preview. Apart from its Material-like design, the app looks, performs, and acts just like the Cortana on Windows Phone. You can ask it to set reminders, give you directions and weather information, or do simple arithmetic. It has its limitations and doesn’t feel quite as intuitive or in-depth as Google Now or Siri, but it has its uses.

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Microsoft Windows Stories July 14, 2015

Google Cloud Platform expands to General Availability on Windows

Google today has announced that its Compute Engine on Windows is expanding to General Availability. Google’s Cloud Platform allows users to deploy and operate a wide variety of technologies and today’s expansion to Windows will allow for more users to take advantage of the platform.

Compute Engine offers Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 2008 R2 customers benefits of rapid deployments, increased uptime due to transparent maintenance, cheap and predictable block storage, and best in class Google Cloud Storage Nearline backup. Sharepoint, SQL and Exchange Server, and other Microsoft applications are also available to Compute Engine customers via the Microsoft License Mobility program.

Google shared more details about the graduation to General Availability for Compute Engine on Windows in a blog post on its Cloud Platform blog. Details include that Windows instances are now covered by the Compute Engine SLA, the ability for users to deploy a server running Active Directory or ASP.NET using the Cloud Launcher, and users can securely extend their existing infrastructure into Google Cloud Platform using VPN.

Microsoft Windows Stories July 11, 2015

Do you speak and write in more than one language – and often use them interchangeably? If so, you may know the frustration of having to constantly change the language Google Chrome uses for spellchecking. Fortunately, it looks like Chrome soon will be able to spellcheck in multiple languages simultaneously, as well as make it easy to quickly toggle spellchecking on and off for different languages.

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Microsoft Windows Stories May 26, 2015

cortana

Reuters reported back in March that Microsoft planned to bring its Google Now competitor Cortana to Android, and Microsoft has now officially confirmed this in a blog post.

Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go […]

The Cortana companion will be available for Android phones at the end of June and for iPhones later this year.

While Microsoft is pitching the intelligent assistant as a companion to a Windows PC, it appears that most of the functionality will work in the Android app without the need for a Windows device, Microsoft saying that you can “make the same queries, ask the same questions” in the standalone app …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories March 2, 2015

Microsoft announces foldable version of its universal Bluetooth keyboard

If you use both Android and Windows devices (and maybe iOS too), the latest version of Microsoft’s universal keyboard may appeal. Designed to allow you to switch easily between Android, Windows and iOS devices, the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a more portable version, folding in half down the middle. (If you like a smaller vertical fold made for smartphones, Zagg makes an excellent product)

There’s no word yet on pricing or availability, but the original version retailed at $80 (and is available on Amazon for $65), so something in the same ballpark or a little higher seems likely.

Photos: CNET

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