If the thought of another app store on every PC you buy makes you think ‘shovelware’ as it's more politely known, don't despair quite yet. While one of the ways that Intel is aiming to achieve the six millions users AppUp general manager Peter Biddle has promised in a year's time is by making it hard to find an Ultrabook that doesn't have Intel's app store on, he's pushing for that to be something you don't immediately uninstall.
500 words into the future
Unapologetically opinionated views on technology, in the office and out
Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.
Mary Branscombe is a freelance tech journalist. Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.
It's easy to think of things evolving in a simple step-by-step approach, where A leads to B to C to D, and so on and on. It's a pity that it's a fallacy.
All good things, they say, must come to an end. And so, looking at the guts of Windows 8, and casting the runes and sticking a finger in the wind, it's possible to say that the end of Windows (as we know it) is finally in sight.
You don't need the Run dialog, the pinned taskbar icons or even live tiles in the Windows 8 Start screen; you just need to start typing.Press the Start button, start typing the name of the app you want, or the file you want, or the control panel setting, and a list of matches appears on the Start screen (app first, but you can click Documents and Settings in the filter on the right - or choose any of the apps that have a search contract in the list to see specialised results).
Does it matter that the reason IE9 and IE10 are much better browsers than IE8, with far more standards, all accelerated by the hardware that's in all modern PCs, isn't because Microsoft wanted to make a better browser, but because Microsoft wanted to make Windows 8 the best place to run Web apps?What's left to ask for in IE10?
"Resistance is futile" intoned Star Trek's Borg as they absorbed everything and everyone into their hive mind collective. That's true for the web, and one of the largest developer platforms in the world has suddenly become part of its growing collective.
Not everyone wants to abandon on-premise servers and rush to the cloud. It's not just whether your data is secure or whether there will be an outage when you need the service most; there's the problem of bandwidth and latency - which is always going to be poorer than your local network.
I've spent much of the last week moving our mail from our own Exchange server, up to Microsoft's Office 365 service. It's been an interesting process, and one that threw up a couple of interesting challenges.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole "post-PC" phenomenon, and have come to the conclusion that there’s no such thing.We’ve always had a continuum of devices, and a similar wide range of use cases, and a continuing evolution of form factors and device types driven by changes in the underlying silicon technologies.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the Windows Phone 7 version of the Metro interface should feel very flattered; we've seen the look everywhere from conference Web sites to the new Android Marketplace look (which even has the side-swipe panoramas to go with the Metro tiles) to Windows 7 skins like Newgen and Metro Home to WordPress themes.