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Windows 8 to have a hybrid shutdown, boot times as fast as 8 seconds

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All of us Windows users shutdown our computers, even though options like Sleep and Hibernate are available. We do it because we like to have a fresh system when we start using it again. Microsoft’s statistics reflect this behavior, which shows a majority of people prefer to shutdown their computers. But the downside of doing this is having to wait for your computer to boot all over again and then re-open all your applications. Depending on your PC hardware, this can take several minutes.

If all this sounds familiar to you, then you will probably welcome Windows 8 with open arms. Because Microsoft has now improved the standard shutdown method that we all know and love and made it much, much faster. How fast? Well, on a powerful enough hardware, Windows 8 can boot in 8 seconds flat. Read more »

Google does a “fall spring clean”, axes a bunch of its projects

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Google announced that it will be performing some optimization of its business, shutting down ten of its minor projects. The company says it’s done in order to streamline and simplify the user experience as most of these are already integrated in its other services.

Here comes the list, along with the reasoning, as provided by the Big G itself: Read more »

All you need to know about Explorer in Windows 8, straight from Microsoft

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Microsoft has published a very detailed blog post about the new Explorer in Windows 8. It brings the ribbon interface well known from the latest MS Office packages. Many of you may not like it, but wait until you hear all about it.

The Explorer in Windows 8 brings at front a lot more functions thanks to those ribbons, there are a lot more customizable settings and even some old goodies back from XP are brought once again to life. Read more »

Ovi Store now powered by Nokia Drop, pushes apps directly to your Nokia device

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One of the cool things about the Android Market on the web is that it pushes apps directly to your Android device instead of downloading it and then making you transfer it manually to the device. Nokia had a system on their Ovi Store where they would instead send an SMS to your phone with a link to download the app, but this wasn’t very convenient. So now they have Android Market style push support for sending apps directly to your phone, thanks to Nokia Drop.

This works similar to on Android phones. You go to the Ovi Store through your web browser, then click on an application and if it is a free app it is sent instantly to your phone and gets installed automatically. Read more »

Desktop browser benchmark comparison

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Choosing a browser was much simpler in the past. There were fewer choices available and usually there would be a clear winner. These days you have a lot more options available and all of them are more or less similar. So which one should you choose for the best browsing experience?

Some things such as the UI and features are subjective. You might like the look of a particular browser that someone else won’t or there might be a particular feature in a browser that you must have that others might not care for much. But there is one things that isn’t subjective and that is performance. It has to be the very best regardless of the browser you choose. So today we decided to leave everything else aside and compare this aspect of the web browsers available for Windows to see which one came out on top. Read more »

Firefox 6, yes 6, available for download ahead of scheduled launch date

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Another month, another version of Firefox. I guess we better get used to this new faster release cycle that Mozilla has adopted for Firefox. Version 6 of the second most popular desktop browser in the world has just been made available for download on Mozilla’s FTP servers ahead of its scheduled launch three days from now.

Visible changes in the newer version are minimal, with the only one being reported for now as the domain name getting highlighted in the address bar. We wonder as to whether such minor changes really warrant a change in the version number but again that’s for Mozilla to decide. Read more »

Google Plus adds games (including Angry Birds), won’t clutter your stream like Facebook games do

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Games are one of the biggest time-wasters on Facebook and now Google has announced that they’ve added a Games section to their Google+ social network. Unlike Facebook however, gamer-related messages in Google+ won’t spam your stream.

There are already several games available for Google+, including popular time-killers like Angry Birds and Bejeweled. Read more »

Chrome loads pages the fastest, but Firefox leads in perceived speed

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According to Compuware’s web benchmarking division, page load times are a neck and neck race between Chrome and Firefox. Internet Explorer 9, despite a good speedup is still behind, while Safari 5 has almost caught up with Firefox.

It’s an interesting report, especially the difference between perceived loading speeds and full page load speeds. Opera was left out of the report and Chrome was tested only up to version 12, not 13 (the latest currently available). Read more »

Skype for Mac updated, adds support for Lion and HD video calling

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After launching an iPad version of their app and updating the Android version to support more devices in the last few days, Skype has now turned its attention to their Mac application, which has just been bumped to version 5.3.

The two major changes in this new version include support for OS X Lion as well as HD video calling. Read more »

Google adds preview pane to Gmail, makes us wonder what took it so long

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The Google dev team announced a new feature for the Gmail web interface. The world’s most popular mailbox just got a preview pane, which allows you to check out an email without opening.

It’s almost hard to believe that this feature, which has been available on most desktop email clients and even the web interfaces of some competing mail services for a while now, is only now making its way to Gmail. Read more »

Apple releases Find My Mac for developers with iCloud beta access

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Find My iPhone, that convenient service from Apple that you wish you would never have to use, has found its way to the Mac. Aptly renamed to Find My Mac, this new service does what it did on the iPhone, it helps you track down your Mac in case you have lost it.

The service is currently available only to developers who have access to the iCloud service. Along with being able to locate your Mac, Find My Mac can also play a sound, send a message, remotely lock it and even wipe the hard drive clean to prevent unauthorized access. Read more »

The latest official Firefox design mockups are the stuff of the future

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Now it’s been a while since we last saw Firefox get a facelift, but you can bet the guys over at the Mozilla camp are hard at work designing the next-gen Firefox.

The design mockups that I am about to show you say a lot about the direction the team is going. The next major Firefox edition will have a minimalistic, button-less face where the various buttons are cleverly situated along the nooks and crannies of the Menu shortcut and the tabs so that less space is wasted.

I really dig the direction the Mac OS version is going in and though I’m not familiar with the current design on this platform, I really hope we see more of that mojo transferred to Windows too. Read more »

Microsoft adds native support for previewing RAW image files in Windows

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Downloading Microsoft’s camera codec pack (16.0.0652.0621) will enable your Windows 7 or Vista OS to show RAW format pictures in Windows Explorer and Photo Gallery and it has support for about 120 DSLR cameras. This means that you’ll no longer get the “unknown file” icon when looking into an album of RAW format images.

The RAW photo format is like a digital negative of a photo made with a DSLR camera. It contains (ideally!) uncompressed data from each individual pixel of the camera’s sensor and in layman’s terms it’s a bigger, unprocessed version of the JPEG photo. Read more »

Microsoft Q2 results are out – things are looking good

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Microsoft has just released their financial results for the quarter ending in June and it appears that all is rosy at Redmond. The company recorded its highest ever revenue – $17.37 billion, which is 8% higher than Q2 of 2010.

Profits rose by the amazing 30% over the same period of last year and reached $5.87 billion. Just about every division of the company had a good quarter, but the Entertainment & Devices division is certainly the most impressive with its 30% growth in revenue, driven by the hugely successful Xbox 360. Read more »

Apple launches Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, available through the Mac App Store only

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Apple has just released the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion into the Mac App Store. It’s available everywhere and you can get it right now.

The Lion requires a compatible Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. It costs $30/€24 and you can find it in the Mac App Store right away. Read more »