Windows Weekly 159

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Windows Weekly
Episode 159

Contents

Topics

  • Thanks to Ed Bott and Mary Jo Foley for filling in last week!
  • My iPhone was stolen by a Romanian gypsy
    • I've been sitting on this one since last week, and it's killing me. :)
  • The next Windows Live Essentials
    • Here's everything you need to know about the new Windows Live Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Sync, and Writer.
    • Public beta at the end of June, final release late summer
    • Related: The next Hotmail starts going live June 15 (along with Office 2010 for consumers)
    • Related: Why can't Microsoft move more quickly? Windows Live Essentials is on an 18 month release cycle. Are you kidding me?
  • Big news from AT&T: Tiered pricing for smart phones
    • Doesn't go far enough: AT&T needs something between 200MB/$15 and 2GB/$25.
    • Follows early cancellation price hike, hinting at June announcement for iPhone 4/HD
  • Understanding the iPad
    • Game changer? Still no. The PC industry will grow faster, year over year, than the entirety of iPad sales this year, which makes me wonder why people are already predicting the post-PC era. But the iPad does represent a new device category, and the presumed "competition" from Microsoft and its partners has yet to materialize. A better bet, for now, would be on Android-based devices like the Dell Streak and many others. I suspect that the iPad will ultimately become the Mac of the Slate market; not the best-seller, but the one with the "best," most cohesive experience. As always, Apple's one big advantage is the iEcosystem.
  • Related: Microsoft's confusing plan for mobile devices
    • Windows Phone 7 is for smart phones only. But it is offering embedded and traditional Windows options for slate devices and true Tablet PCs. Cue yawns.
  • Related: J Allard and Robbie Bach were finally ousted from Microsoft. This is no coincidence
  • Some thoughts about Google I/O. Android 2.2 will be dominant. The jury is out on Google TV.
  • Map Pack 2 for Modern Warfare 2/Xbox 360 today. Five new maps (well, two are COD4 retreads, which is just fine.) I've been too busy writing to play games lately, but I'll try to check it out before I head off to TechEd.

Windows 7 Feature of the Week: Tablet PC

  • Microsoft has been innovating with Tablet PC software for a decade, and while Apple's iPad is getting a lot of press, Microsoft and its hardware partners have done it all before through various evolutions of the Tablet PC, the Ultra-Mobile PC, the Portable Media Center, and even the SmartScreen. In Windows 7, Tablet PC functionality is just a Windows feature (Home Premium and up) and comes with a host of new and improved features. These include pervasive touch and multi-touch through Windows Touch, improved pen input with a more accurate Tablet Input Panel (TIP), a new Math Input Panel for working with math expressions, improved handwriting recognition with support for 26 languages, and text prediction for 11 languages. From a functional perspective, the big advantage of Windows 7 Tablet PC features over, say, an iPad, include that it works with the entire underlying OS and native Windows applications, and pervasive ink and handwriting support.

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Get Free Internet TV with Windows Media Center

  • Windows 7 Home Premium and higher include Windows Media Center, Microsoft's "ten foot interface" for digital media content and its strategy, for the past decade, at merging Windows with the living room. Few people actually use Media Center to watch and record live TV of any kind, but in Windows 7, Microsoft had added a free new source of TV content called Internet TV. It integrates with the Media Center Guide (the channel listing) and offers full episodes of certain TV shows. And if you're a Netflix subscriber, you can access your Instant Queue for free. It's no replacement for Hulu or even YouTube yet, but these products don't yet have good integration with ten foot/remote control interfaces.

Software Pick of the Week

  • Google Picasa 3.6 - Google's free photo editing and management software is excellent and good competition for Photo Gallery. But there's no reason not to use both, as they're both free. I happen to use Google's Picasaweb service as offsite backup for my photo collection, and Picasa is the perfect front-end for that.
  • RAMMap v1.0 - A new Sysinternals utility by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell (!!!) "Have you ever wondered exactly how Windows is assigning physical memory, how much file data is cached in RAM, or how much RAM is used by the kernel and device drivers? RAMMap makes answering those questions easy. RAMMap is an advanced physical memory usage analysis utility for Windows Vista and higher. Use RAMMap to gain understanding of the way Windows manages memory, to analyze application memory usage, or to answer specific questions about how RAM is being allocated." Thanks to Ed Bott for this tip.

Notable Quotes

Significant Products

  • Link URL and optional brief description

Sponsors

Audible

Picks

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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (UNABRIDGED)
Narrated by Richard Matthews

Astaro

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  • ad times: 0:47-1:00 and 1:00:06-1:02:26


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Production Information

  • Edited by: Tony
  • Notes:
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