Feb. 28: Last Day of Upgrading to Windows 8 Pro

images-1Customers who purchased a Windows 7 PC from June 2012 through January 2013 have just two more days to submit their claims for a discounted copy of Windows 8, Microsoft said yesterday.

The Windows Upgrade Offer — a $14.99 copy of Windows 8 Pro to consumers who purchased Windows 7 systems between June 2, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2013 — expires at the end of day Thursday, Feb. 28.

Microsoft emails qualified buyers a code that they then use to obtain the discounted price for a downloaded copy of Windows 8 Pro from Windows.com. Windows 8 Pro’s current list price is $199.99.

Source: ComputerWorld


Touch Chromebooks Will Be Out this Year

ChromeGoogle has developed a new touchscreen Chromebook that will be out this year, claim industry sources. It’s the latest story to surface about a touch-driven netbook powered by Google’s Chrome operating system, which is based on open-source Linux.

A video leaked earlier this month appeared to be an advert for a touchscreen Google Chromebook, a metal-bodied laptop with a high-res 4-million pixel touchscreen named the Chromebook Pixel.

And in a report last night, insiders speaking to the Wall Street Journalsaid such a touchy-feely computer will go on sale this year. But the sources couldn’t say exactly when the device will hit the shelves nor who will manufacture it. Google did not respond to our question about the veracity of the rumour.

Source: The Register

Microsoft Reopens Online Sales for 128GB Surface Pro

According to Microsoft’s e-store, a 128GB Surface Pro ordered on Saturday, Feb. 15 will ship March 1.

But Microsoft also hinted that supplies would remain tight, and to expert future shortages. “Once inventory is depleted, the system will show as ‘out of stock’ until new inventory is available to ship,” the company said.

The $999 128GB Surface Pro went on sale on Feb 9, and quickly sold out.

Customers were furious. Frustrated at their fruitless search for the tablet last weekend, they took Microsoft to task both for not having enough units, but also for refusing to accept orders on its website for future shipping.

Source: ComputerWorld

Microsoft Updates Exchange Server 2013

Last fall, Microsoft released a wave of products, including Windows 8, a complete Office client refresh and a server-side update to both SharePoint and Exchange.

Features and capabilities

What does the new version of Exchange buy you? There have been improvements made to several areas, including those for end users, administrators and security personnel. Here are a few of the major reasons why Exchange Server 2013 warrants a look.

Outlook Web App, or OWA, is completely revamped, with a new look and the ability to access it offline as a real mail client. Outlook is the rich desktop client; OWA is also a client but runs over the Web.

Read the full story here..

Source: ComputerWorld

LibreOffice 4.0 Out Now

The Document Foundation has announced LibreOffice 4.0, the latest version of the free software competitor to Microsoft Office that spun off from the OpenOffice.org effort in 2010, describing it as nothing less than “the free office suite the community has been dreaming of since 2001.”

“LibreOffice 4.0 is the first release that reflects the objectives set by the community at the time of the announcement, in September 2010: a cleaner and leaner code base, an improved set of features, better interoperability, and a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem,” the Document Foundation’s Italo Vignoli wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

LibreOffice 4.0 also supports importing Microsoft Publisher documents for the first time, and it can now read all known Visio file formats, including Visio 2013.

Source: The Register

Gartner: Apple’s Macs Will be as Accepted as Windows PCs by 2015

By the end of next year, Apple OS X-based Mac laptops will be as well accepted by IT pros as their Microsoft Windows-based counterparts, according to Gartner. Driven by Apple’s efforts to make its OS X operating system more compatible with the iPhone’s, iPad’s and iPod Touch’s iOS, more users will bring OS X devices to work where IT will have to deal with them, says David Mitchell Smith, a vice president and Gartner fellow.

Smith cites the MacBook Air in particular as a device that will arrive in corporate settings more and more as it grows in popularity.

He points to Launchpad, which displays the application folder in OS X Mountain Lion machines like the home pages of iOS devices, as an indicator that Apple is trying to make the two platforms more alike. He also notes that Apple is standardizing application names across iOS and OS X as evidenced by renaming iCal and Address Book applications to Calendar and Contacts, respectively.

Source: InfoWorld

Internet Explorer 10 Blocker Toolkit Released

Microsoft releases details and download instructions for the Internet Explorer 10 Blocker Toolkit. If your organization uses Automatic Updates and you don’t want IE10 installed on your machines automatically, now would be a very good time to get the IE10 Auto Update Blocker deployed.

If your organization controls Microsoft’s patches using WSUS or SCCM, the monkey’s already on IT’s back to approve the IE10 update when it appears: no need to run the IE10 Blocker Toolkit (unless you have WSUS Update Rollups set for automatic installation, which is definitely not recommended).

Fair warning: Microsoft advises that IE10 will be pushed through Automatic Update and WSUS shortly after it hits RTM — in other words, in the near future. “Distribution of Internet Explorer 10 by Automatic Updates will begin slowly and take several months to complete. Customers can expect to be offered the upgrade to Internet Explorer 10 at any time in the months following the release of Internet Explorer 10.”

Source: InfoWorld