Windows 8

Windows 8: what Microsoft did right and what went wrong

Windows 8: what Microsoft did right and what went wrong

Windows 10 is coming really soon. If AMD is to be believed, that is happening around July. Given this upcoming version of Windows is set to fix a number of complaints about Windows 8, it's release will surely call to mind some its predecessor's shortcomings. But for all the warts that Windows 8 had, it wasn't completely a failure in all aspects and even laid the foundations of many features and mindsets still present in Windows 10 and elsewhere. Here we take a look at 5 of the things Windows 8 could have gotten right and also how they failed to reach the mark.

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Halo: Spartan Strike launches on multiple platforms

Halo: Spartan Strike launches on multiple platforms

Microsoft Studios is once again expanding its Halo franchise beyond genres and beyond platforms. It has just announced the launch of Halo: Spartan Strike, actually its second top-down shooter game that eschews the FPS conventions of the main titles. And also unlike the main titles, which are mostly confined to Xbox consoles, Spartan Strike is available for a whole lot more platforms and devices, including the iPad, the iPhone, Windows 8, Steam, and even Windows Phone. Curiously, there is still no sign of an Android port.

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StaffPad lets you draw music on that expensive Surface Pro

StaffPad lets you draw music on that expensive Surface Pro

Microsoft has always been marketing its Surface Pro tablets to creatives, but with the stylus that comes with it, it has mostly been of more interest to those with a visual flair more than any other type or creator. A new app that just debuted for Windows 8, however, gives that stylus a new purpose beyond scribbling and drawing. StaffPad utilizes the precision and flexibility that the Surface styluses have to offer in order to let musicians write, but really "draw" music just as they would on a physical music sheet.

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Acer Revo One RL85 Entertainment Center gets slick

Acer Revo One RL85 Entertainment Center gets slick

The Acer Revo One RL85 Entertainment Center is a relatively small computer meant to sit out in the open - up near your television where you can see it. Inside you'll put your movies, your internet-connected video and music, and the ability to sync with devices like your smartphone or tablet. This machine works with HDMI and Mini DisplayPort for dual-display support, and the ability to power 4K2K ultra high-definition monitors as well as 4K televisions - just so long as you've got enough processing power inside.

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Windows Defender destroys Superfish

Windows Defender destroys Superfish

Supposing you were worried that Superfish was going to ruin your Lenovo computer-loving life, there's good news this afternoon. Windows Defender version 1.193.444.0 has been pushed. This version of Windows Defender does two things. First, it detects and removes Superfish entirely. Second, it detects and removes all system certifications affected by Superfish. This means Superfish is gone, erased, and will have left the building in a way that should make it seem like this was all a bad dream. It's time to kick Superfish directly out the door.

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Ideum’s Duet brings Windows 8, Android to one table

Ideum’s Duet brings Windows 8, Android to one table

Some people complain that smartphones are too large or that even some tablets are too big. You might wonder if they're going to complain about something that's actually the size of a table as well. Ideum has quite a number of such touch-enabled smart tables, but the new Duet has a very particular feat. It is touted to be the world's first such "smart furniture" that brings both Windows 8 and Android to the table, literally. How long that will be the case is something yet to be seen.

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Dropbox app finally drops on Windows phones and tablets

Dropbox app finally drops on Windows phones and tablets

One of the most cited flaws of Windows' mobile platforms is the distinct lack of top and topnotch apps in the Windows Store. That apparently hasn't daunted Dropbox from catching up now. Better late than never, right? In the spirit of Microsoft announcing good things with Windows 10, including the availability, or at least the promise, of the same apps on both desktop and mobile, Dropbox is announcing that its app is now available for both Windows "modern" tablets and smartphones.

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Cortana for Windows 10 demoed on desktop taskbar

Cortana for Windows 10 demoed on desktop taskbar

Microsoft is bringing Cortana to a new place for Windows 10, making certain the public understands that with more than just this one system, your computing service is going to be cross-platform. To do this, Cortana has been shown on the desktop's task bar. This is more like a search bar than anything, replicating what we've seen in the past on Windows Phone 8, here now on the bottom of our screen for desktop machines with Windows 10 - all in cool blue, of course.

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Windows 10 update free (for the first year)

Windows 10 update free (for the first year)

After one year of the Windows 10 platform being released to the general market, you'll have to start paying for it - if you've not already upgraded, that is to say. Just so long as you've got Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 now, or at the time at which you'd like to upgrade your machine to Windows 10, you'll be able to do so for free. It'll be a one-time update and you'll never have to pay for it beyond that.

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HP tricks out tablet brood with WiGig and keyboard docks, more

HP tricks out tablet brood with WiGig and keyboard docks, more

HP's tablet ambitions don't end with the Pro Slate 8 and 12 and their ultrasonic stylus, with a clutch of new Android and Windows 8 slates unveiled with features like ruggedized casings, 2-in-1 docks, and more. Most curious of the bunch is likely the HP Elite x2 1011 G1, an 11.6-inch Windows 8.1 tablet with baked-in LTE, an optional Wacom stylus, and a WiGig docking station; it runs one of Intel's new Core M processors, and has an 11.6-inch touchscreen running at up to 1920 x 1080 resolution.

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Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 offers Windows 8, high precision

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 offers Windows 8, high precision

Wacom has taken the wraps off its new Cintiq Companion 2 touchscreen tablet, a slate that will be familiar to Wacom faithfuls while bringing with it modern updates professionals need. There is both full Windows 8 when needed, as well as the maker's Cintiq Connect for using the device with a PC or Mac. The Companion 2's pen offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, making it ideal for creatives and others with a need for a high level of precision.

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Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen hands-on: any object a stylus

Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen hands-on: any object a stylus

This week we're having a look at a whole bunch of Lenovo devices at CES 2015, one of the strangest being this Yoga Tablet 2. This device has an 8-inch display, Windows 8.1, and the ability to work with any metal object as a stylus pen. This device works with the same basic hardware as the Yoga Tablet 2 series we reviewed in late 2014, but here it's rolling with features that no other tablet in the world has come to market with.

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