Microsoft Windows Stories December 2, 2020

Windows on M1 Macs: ARM virtualization
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Last week we saw the first successful virtualization of ARM Windows 10 on an M1 Mac. The good news is that it even appeared to be “pretty snappy.” Now we’ve got a look at a helpful walkthrough and peek at real-world performance in a new video, including the M1 Mac mini blowing away Microsoft’s Surface Pro X.

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Microsoft Windows Stories March 18, 2016

More developers now use OS X than Linux, says ‘most comprehensive survey ever conducted’

Stack Overflow reports that more developers now use OS X than Linux as their primary OS, and that if the trend continues, fewer than half of all developers will be using Windows next year.

Microsoft Windows Stories August 25, 2015

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A week after Parallels was updated to support Windows 10, VMware has followed suit with an update to its Fusion software – but with a bug when used in Unity mode. Unity mode is where Windows apps are run alongside Mac ones.

Fusion was today updated to version 8, with performance improvements as well as Windows 10 compatibility, but the company has confirmed a bug identified by ArsTechnica in which the Windows Start screen is sometimes unavailable (above left) and at other times has the search bar covered by the Mac’s dock (above right). When unavailable, the Toggle Start Screen option is greyed-out …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories May 15, 2015

Early look at Windows 10 on the new Retina MacBook says it runs better than OS X

One of the first people to try Windows 10 on the new Retina MacBook says that it actually runs more smoothly than OS X. The comment was made by Computer Science major Alex King, who tried upgrading his Boot Camp installation of Windows 8.1 to the preview of Windows 10.

Here’s the real kicker: it’s fast. It’s smooth. It renders at 60FPS unless you have a lot going on. It’s unequivocally better than performance on OS X, further leading me to believe that Apple really needs to overhaul how animations are done. Even when I turn Transparency off in OS X, Mission Control isn’t completely smooth. Here, even after some Aero Glass transparency has been added in, everything is smooth. It’s remarkable, and it makes me believe in the 12-inch MacBook more than ever before.

If you’re fortunate enough to have taken delivery of your own Retina MacBook and want to try the experiment for yourself, be prepared for a few glitches along the way. King said that not all of the Boot Camp drivers automatically installed, there’s no Bluetooth support and some Windows apps (like Steam) look blurry because they don’t support the full resolution of the Retina display. But overall, the experience sounds like a good one.

If you’re still not sure whether you’re the target market for the new lower-powered, ultra-portable machine, you can check out our own in-depth review and one-month-in video of just what it can and can’t do.

Microsoft Windows Stories March 18, 2015

Apple seeds Safari 7.1.5 and 6.2.5 betas to developers for Mavericks and Mountain Lion

Apple today has released a pair of Safari betas for earlier version of OS X. Safari 7.1.5 beta for OS X Mavericks and version 6.2.5 beta for OS X Mountain Lion are both available on the Mac Developer Center for registered developers. Safari 8.0.5, which includes the same upgrades as the Mavericks and Mountain Lion versions, is not available as a separate download, but it comes as part of the OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 developer and public betas. Here are the focus areas for these Safari betas:

Microsoft Windows Stories February 19, 2015

A day after Microsoft updated its OneNote for Mac app, adding OCR scanning of text within images, it has today updated its iPad app. OneNote for iPad gets the same OCR functionality, along with the ability to add handwritten notes–a feature previously available only on the Windows and Android versions of the tablet app.

As many of you have pointed out, one major feature that has been missing from OneNote for iPad is handwriting. With today’s update, you can pen notes. To get started, just tap the new Draw tab on the ribbon. Select a pen, marker, or highlighter and write, sketch or doodle until your heart’s content.

Handwritten notes can be made using either an iPad-compatible stylus or your finger, with customizable ink color and pen thickness …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories January 13, 2015

2TB Mac mini quietly made its return over Christmas holidays

Following the launch of the current Mac mini in October of last fall, we noted that Apple had removed an option to purchase the entry-level Mac with 2TB of storage. It appears Apple has listened to feedback, and now users can, once again, buy a Mac mini with 2TB of storage. According to our digging into web archives, the 2TB option returned for the priciest Mac mini model in mid-December, right around the Christmas holidays. The 2TB Fusion Drive upgrade costs a $100 more than the 1TB drive, and it requires the machine to be built-to-order. Thanks, Bartosz for the initial find. 

Microsoft Windows Stories November 24, 2014

From 9to5Toys.com: parallels-bundle

Starting this evening and running through Black Friday weekend, Parallels is running a special bundle of Mac apps for free when you upgrade to Parallels 10 for $49.99 or buy it new for $79.99. The bundled apps 1Password password manager, Camtasia screen recorder, CleanMyMac 2 file organizer/remover, Gemini file de-duplicator, Acronis True Image backup and restore software and a 2 year subscription to Parallels Access which allows you to run parallels VMs remotely on iOS and Android devices. Not a bad deal at all of you need any of these other apps.

Parallels 10 was announced in August and we reviewed it shortly thereafter noting it was the best way to run Windows and Linux VMs on a Mac.

Not sure you are into Parallels? Grab a 14 day free trial here. Just want Parallels in a shiny box? Amazon has it for $62. More info on the bundled apps below:

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Microsoft Windows Stories October 28, 2014

Microsoft has had a great idea for making the next version of Windows better for power users: copy more trackpad gestures from OS X …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories October 2, 2014

I keep my Parallels Windows VM around to do stuff like Quickbooks, upgrade Mifi Firmware and occasionally check websites in IE (see our PArallels 10 review here) not to experiment with the latest versions of Redmond’s OS.

But if you want to check out what’s coming down the pike in Windows-land without leaving your trusty Mac, Parallels has an Installation guide for you. First step: if you haven’t already, download Parallels 10 (free Trial)

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Microsoft Windows Stories September 25, 2014

NPD data: Back-to-school Mac sales up 16 percent, year-on-year

Data from the NPD group indicates that MacBook sales grew 16 percent year-on-year during the 10-week back-to-school period, measured from 4th July to Labor Day week. The most significant sales were seen during the last three weeks of the period, where sales were up 27 percent.

Overall Mac back-to-school market share climbed from 24.2% last year to 26.8% this year, while Windows fell from 72.3% to 64.8%. The most dramatic growth, though, was seen in low-cost Chrome OS devices, up from 0.2% in 2012 to 3.3% last year and 4.5% now.

It’s interesting to see Mac sales continue to climb despite competition from low-cost notebooks. IDC data last month showed that iOS market share declined slightly due to competition from low-cost Android devices.

Microsoft Windows Stories August 26, 2014

2014-08-26 08-59-52 2014-08-26 09-00-07Last week, Parallels launched the upgrade to v10 of their software and today, you can now get the full version online.

Parallels Desktop has long been one of the go-to applications for using your Mac to virtualize a wide variety of operating systems, and many considered its previous version 9 as more than sufficient for getting this job done. While the software shining point has always been its ability to run Windows truly parallel to the standard Mac OS X desktop, this version of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac takes multiple strides forward, making it even easier than before to incorporate Windows-only applications—or applications from other x86 operating systems including Android, Chrome, Linux, etc.—into your Mac-based workflow.

Perhaps most importantly, Parallels again ups the ante in speed both in launching and runtime, turning virtualization into a native-feeling experience.

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Microsoft Windows Stories August 19, 2014

Parallels-Desktop-10

Parallels Desktop has been with the Mac almost as long as it has run on Intel hardware.

Today, the company announced the 10th major release of its industry-leading virtualization software for Macintosh and mobile. It has more of what makes Parallels so special: Performance, integration and features.

Parallels has an important place in Apple history because it allowed many people who needed a few Windows applications over the last decade to buy and enjoy the Mac OS. In effect, it helped deal with Microsoft’s monopoly on software in the desktop era.

For many people that continues today. Microsoft still makes its Office suite a little bit handicapped on the Mac. Gamers know that to get a wider variety of games you need to run Windows. Developers need different environments, browsers and OSes to test their software on. And, probably most painful, many companies still require Windows to run proprietary apps or connect to antiquated network servers.

Speaking of Windows, Microsoft has made it harder for Parallels to integrate the Windows installation so you’ll have to do it yourself from with a Optical media or a USB port.  In v9 of Parallels, you could buy the image from Microsoft and then install from an image in a matter of minutes.

PDupgrade_dock

The new Parallels 10 offers the following performance improvements:

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Microsoft Windows Stories July 18, 2014

Lenovo says it can’t make a profit on Windows tablets under 10-inches

Lenovo’s $2.91 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google is still pending regulatory approval, however it looks like the company is already mapping out a new strategy. Despite being one of the world’s largest PC makers, Lenovo is halting the development of Windows tablets under 10 inches in size and migrating its remaining inventory to markets like Brazil, China and Japan where there’s more of a need for low-cost slates.

Apple, in turn, has had a huge success with the 7.9-inch iPad Mini which quickly became one of its best sellers after its introduction almost 2 years ago.

Microsoft Windows Stories June 16, 2014

PAX2_iPhone_5s_Horz_SpaceGray_AppSwitcher

The name Parallels is synonymous with software for running the Windows OS on a Mac, but over the past couple of years, the company has turned into so much more. Last year, we reviewed Parallels Access, an application for the Apple iPad that allows the iPad to serve as a conduit for remotely accessing either a Mac or Windows machine. In our review, we noted how blown away we were with the speed and performance of Parallels Access. The software makes accessing and using a computer via the iPad’s touchscreen a breeze, and it provides a huge convenience factor for those times when you need to access something on your home computer but do not have the machine with you.

The application is far and above other remote desktop client applications because of its integration with iOS, OS X, Windows, its speed, and its overall reliability. Parallels Access utilizes gestures, iOS’s native keyboard with autocorrect and editing, “SmartMagnification” and “SmartTap” to make the computer feel responsive and alive on the iPad’s display. The application allows you to use your Mac swiftly and connects over the internet. Now, Parallels is bringing the Parallels Access experience to the smaller screen of the iPhone. In some ways, since it is not a computer replacement like an iPad is for some people, the iPhone feels like a more logical device for using Parallels Access…

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Microsoft Windows Stories June 10, 2014

Apple issues MacBook Air EFI update to repair power, Thunderbolt/USB-related bugs

A day after it released an SMC update to address MacBook Air battery issues, Apple has issued an EFI update for the same mid-2013 and early-2014 models to address various other issues:

This update is recommended for MacBook Air (mid 2013 and early 2014) models.

This update improves reliability when waking from sleep and when booting while certain USB and Thunderbolt devices are connected.

This update also addresses a rare memory issue that may cause the system to randomly reboot, and an issue where the system may not properly sleep the built-in display when an external display is connected while running Windows using Boot Camp.

The update can be downloaded directly from Apple’s support website or it can be found via the Software Update tab in the Mac App Store.

Microsoft Windows Stories May 13, 2014

Review all types of 3D files with this free new Autodesk app for iOS and Mac

[ooyala code=”tyZ3RkZDptTdk4MiQaHJVCnxUdZyD8pf” player_id=”null”]

Today Autodesk launched FBX Review for Apple Mac OS X and iOS 7. The free standalone app gives professional artists and animators a powerful, lightweight tool to conduct detailed reviews of a wide range of 3D assets, including detailed 3D models, environments and character animations.

Now artists on the Windows or Apple platforms can use FBX Review to view 3D assets with a full feature set, without using commercial 3D animation software. An artist working in Autodesk 3ds Max can send an animation file to anyone who has installed FBX Review, and the recipient will have a full menu of features with which to view the assets.

New features coming to the Apple platforms are:

  • Support for ZIP files: makes asset review easier by supporting ZIP files containing both geometry and texture files. When opening the ZIP fileFBX Review automatically assigns the textures, helping to streamline the review process by eliminating the need to bake textures.
  • Geometry cache support: supports geometry cache playback, including Maya cache, 3ds Max cache, and the Alembic cache format. Geometry cache support is available only on desktop versions of FBX Review.
  • Re-focus perspective camera: FX Review now supports changing the focus of the perspective camera by double tapping (mobile) or double-clicking (desktop) on the desired area of focus.

To download FBX Review for iOS, visit: http://autode.sk/1qzHAFX  and for Mac OS X: http://autode.sk/1spZtmp 

For a complete list of FBX Review features, visit: http://area.autodesk.com/products/features/fbx

Microsoft Windows Stories March 24, 2014

Google Now notifications now available in Chrome for Mac

After spending about a month and a half in the beta channel, Chrome is rolling out Google Now notifications to all users. To activate the feature, Google says to sign in with the same Google account used on iOS.

Microsoft Windows Stories February 21, 2014

Mac users four times more likely to run latest OS than Windows users

Some sums done by ComputerWorld show that Mac users are four times more likely to upgrade to the latest available version of the operating system than Windows users.

Microsoft has convinced just 11.6 percent of Windows users who acquired their system since 2001 and still actively use it to go online to migrate to the current edition of its operating system […]

Apple’s convinced 41.6 percent of Mac users who acquired their system since 2001 and still actively use them online to adopt the current edition of the OS.

A large part of it is cost, of course: Mavericks was a free upgrade, and previous upgrades have been priced far more competitively than Windows.

But Apple has also offered a simpler upgrade path, adding features rather than making major changes to the core user-interface. OS X also operates more efficiently, allowing Mavericks to run well on far older hardware than is the case for Windows 8.

Microsoft Windows Stories February 15, 2014

$80 Full Parallels 9 bundle: 1Password, Fantastical, Kaspersky, CleanMyMac and more

From 9to5Toys.com:

Parallels again offers its $79.99 bundle of impressive apps at the retail price of Parallels alone.  Each one of the below apps is a keeper and they are all free with the purchase of the Parallels 9. You even get 6 free months of use of the Parallels iPad App.

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac

The #1 choice of Mac users for more than 7 years to run Windows on Mac. Ready for Mavericks OS X(10.9) and 40% faster disc speed. MSRP $79.99

Fantastical

Plan your day in style with the most attractive calendar you’ve ever seen. The Mac calendar you’ll actually enjoy using. MSRP $19.99

CleanMyMac 2

Simple yet surprisingly powerful application for keeping your Mac clean, organized, and free of files that slow it down. MSRP $39.95

Parallels Access for iPad

6-month subscription – use PC and Mac applications like they were made for your iPad. MSRP $29.95

1Password

1Password gives you the security you need in today’s online world without slowing you down. Super secure passwords and more – 21st century digital wallet on any device. MSRP $49.95

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Keep your Mac, your data and your children safe! Real-time protection against Mac, PC and Linux malware. MSRP $39.95

MacHider

The easy way to hide files and folders, put your confidential information out of sight from third parties or other unwanted eyes. MSRP $9.99

We reviewed Parallels 9 in September and said:

PD9 is definitely the most noticeable Parallels Desktop upgrade ever. The performance boosts are the best part of the upgrade, but the sticky multi-monitor setup has been extremely helpful for me and saved quite a bit of time. As a Mavericks user, the software hasn’t been giving me any issues even though the operating system is still in beta.

Already have an older version of Parallels? Save $30 and get the ‘v9 Update bundle’ for $49.99.

Microsoft Windows Stories February 12, 2014

$50 Parallels update bundle: 1Password, Fantastical, Kaspersky, CleanMyMac and more

From 9to5Toys.com:

Parallels again offers its $50 bundle of impressive apps at a $20 discount off the retail price of Parallels alone.  Each one of the below apps is a keeper and they are all free with the discounted purchase of the Parallels update. You even get 6 free months of use of the iPad App.

Note this is a Parallels update so you’ll need an older copy laying around, The full Parallels 9 bundle is $79.99

Save $319.99 – Buy Parallels Desktop for Mac and Parallels Access bundle

Microsoft Windows Stories February 6, 2014

ultrabook

PC manufacturers seem to be dropping like flies at present. Shortly after Sony confirmed it was selling its PC business and Vaio brand, LG is rumored to be planning its own exit from traditional PCs, to focus on smartphones, tablets and ‘convertible’ PCs (touchscreen Windows tablets that flip round into a laptop).

Other manufacturers are witnessing falling sales, prices and profits – with The Guardian calculating that the average profit per PC in the third quarter of 2013 fell to just £14.87 ($24.09). One manufacturer of conventional-format PCs, however, has remained almost immune to the trend: Apple …  expand full story

Need occasional access to Windows on your Mac? Install it from a USB key …

If you need occasional access to Windows and don’t want to install it from a DVD, a how-to guide by Sam Power may have the perfect solution. It talks you through exactly how to create a Bootcamp-compatible USB key installer for either Windows 7 or 8 compatible.

A 4GB USB key is sufficient, and the complete process can be done in 20-40 minutes.

(Update: sorry for the confusion. You can’t install Bootcamp onto a USB Key yet. You’ll need Paralllels or VWMware for that.)

Microsoft Windows Stories January 29, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 17.45.26

A glitch on iCloud.com suggests that Apple will soon add a way to view iCloud Bookmarks on the iCloud.com portal. The screen, shown above, appears briefly at this URL when users try to install the Chrome extension from the iCloud Control Panel for Windows.

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Microsoft Windows Stories January 27, 2014

aapl

When Apple reports its quarterly earnings later today, the news will be good, according to the consensus view of 47 Apple analysts compiled by Fortune.

Analysts are expecting the company to report earnings of $58.1B for the final quarter of last year (Apple’s fiscal quarter 1), representing 4 percent earnings growth over the same quarter last year. This would be right at the top end of Apple’s guidance of $55-58B, and the first time in a year that Apple would have reported year-on-year growth …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories January 14, 2014

total

The total number of Apple devices sold will equal the number of Windows PCs by some point this year, predicts Asymco’s Horace Dediu in an interesting piece of analysis.

The dark shaded area compares all Apple hardware – Mac plus iPad plus iPhone – with Windows PCs, and shows that by last year there were only 1.18 more Windows PCs than Apple devices. It’s of course a somewhat artificial comparison, as Dediu is including iPhones while excluding Windows Phones and tablets, but given the very limited success of Windows mobile devices to date, correcting that wouldn’t change the patterns too much.

What’s particularly interesting here, as John Gruber notes, is that the dramatic reversal kicked in well before the launch of the iPhone. Dediu and Gruber between them put forward a number of theories for this, and of these I think three are likely key …

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Microsoft Windows Stories January 8, 2014

How badly Microsoft missed the mobile ship: 70 percent of Windows users own an Apple product

If ever there was a simple visual to illustrate just how slow Microsoft was to wake up to the shift into mobile, it’s this one: a full 70 percent of Windows users also own at least one Apple product.

While there will be some joint Windows/OS X users in there, the majority of them will be people with Windows PCs and either an iPhone, iPad or iPod.

Via Business Insider

Microsoft Windows Stories January 7, 2014

Eye-Fi announces software for direct camera-to-Mac transfers

Wifi-equipped cameras have long been one of those things that promise more than they deliver. In theory, you can take a photo on your camera and have it instantly and wirelessly transferred to your Mac. In practice, not so much. You either need to go via an iOS device, or go via a router with ridiculously-convoluted networking configuration required to make it work. 

Eye-Fi seems to be getting one step closer to the theory, announcing beta software at the Showstoppers CES event that allows photos to be sent direct from camera to Mac. The beta version is free, though you have to register for the company’s labs project to get access, but it seems the release version will be chargeable.

The app is only compatible with Mobi cards – earlier versions won’t work. Hopefully the reliability of the cards has improved since I last tried them.

Microsoft Windows Stories December 18, 2013

Comparing the newest Apple, Nokia marketing spots makes us weep for humanity

There’s been no shortage of debate regarding Apple’s latest holiday commercial as some have found it inspiring and emotional as others find it ridiculous and lacking a clear message. There will be debate in the coming weeks over Apple’s intentions with the message and whether or not they succeeded in tugging at our heartstrings. That being said, Apple looks like a gem, an angel, a bright light on a dark road compared to Nokia’s newest ad for the Lumia 2520. It’s true that Apple may have paused its traditional product-first advertising angle and replaced it with an arguably emotional holiday spot for the iPhone 5s, but it works leaps and bounds better than Nokia’s latest embarrassing excuse for advertising.

Microsoft Windows Stories December 4, 2013

From 9to5toys:

(note: 3 other bundles are currently running: Parallels 9 Adobe Photoshop CC $10 extended unti l Dec. 8th and Stack Social)

MacUpdate just launched their Winter Mac app bundle this morning. This bundle contains 10 apps + 2 bonus apps for early buyers. Together, the 12 apps are worth nearly $400 (or about $360 without the 2 bonus titles), but the bundle is priced at just $39.99.

The bundle includes: expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories October 17, 2013

virtualbox

VirtualBox, a free software package that allows you to run a whole range of virtual machines on your Mac, has been updated to provide support for multi-touch platforms, support for the latest CPUs and other notable additions. The upgrade comes on the same day that Microsoft launched Windows 8.1, and ahead of the expected launch of Mavericks around the end of October …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories September 5, 2013

Camtasia Bundle

Specials.9to5Toys.com this month has a “Name Yor own Price Bundle” which is a bit of a misnomer since you’ll need to pay above the average which is currently below $10.  You’ll get Camtasia which allows you to “Easily Create Stunning Screen Captures & Video Recordings” and well as CrossOver which allows you to run Windows programs on your Mac for the sub $10 price. Then there are 8 more great Mac Apps.  At below $10, you can’t miss.

Then there is the 11 app AfterShot Pro bundle from MacLegion, below: expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories August 29, 2013

Macs in surprising places: Slumdog Millionaire was filmed with a camera containing a Mac Mini

It looks rather like a steampunk version of a traditional 16mm cinema camera, and that was indeed the inspiration behind the SI-2K Black Betty, a camera aimed at independent film-makers and used as a secondary camera in the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

It combines a Silicon Imaging 2K camera head, with its film-like 2/3″ CMOS Imager, with an SSD-equipped Mac Mini inside running Silicon Imaging SiliconDVR software. A 7-inch touchscreen monitor completes the package. The result is a self-contained camera that allows the film-maker to shoot, edit and upload.

As the name suggests, it’s capable of shooting 2K video at 30fps. If you know your videography, it shoots CineForm compressed RAW files with up to 11-stops of dynamic range at up to 500ISO. If you don’t, well, let’s just say it’s a very capable camera.

The Mac Mini was likely chosen because it offers the capability of a desktop machine in something with very low energy requirements: the complete system uses only 40 watts.

The Black Betty has only two physical buttons: on/off and start/stop: everything else is controlled via the touchscreen.

Sadly for Mac fans, the Mini isn’t running OSX: the SiliconDVR software is Windows-based, so that’s what the machine runs – but that’s one of the beauties of a Mac, you can run OSX, Windows or both.

The camera isn’t available to purchase, but you can rent one via Rule Boston Camera.

Via Engadget

Microsoft Windows Stories July 27, 2013

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Ending this weekend from 9to5Toys.com, comes one of our favorite Mac app bundles. For $30 less than the price of the Parallels 8 (Give Windows 8.1 a free spin?) headliner app alone , you get another 9 other solid applications valued at $482 for $49.99. These are available for immediate download without shipping or tax charges worldwide.

Details and video below or on Specials.9to5Toys.com

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Microsoft Windows Stories July 19, 2013

Despite Microsoft’s disastrous quarterly earnings report, in which it took a $900M writedown on discounted Surfaces, the company has just pushed out a new ad for its Surface v. iPad campaign.

As with its previous advertisements, Microsoft bashes the iPad’s inability to perform certain tasks that the Surface is specifically designed to handle. This particular ad highlights the iPad’s lack of built-in back stand, USB port, and keyboard accessory, all of which are not built-in to or included with the iPad.

Interestingly, in this ad, the Siri-inspired voiceover says, “This isn’t going to end well for me, is it? Nope definitely not ending well,” which is particularly intriguing given yesterday’s financial results. As evidenced by these results, it would appear that Microsoft’s Surface is  in a precarious position, and not Apple’s iPad. expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories July 10, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.17.31 AM

From 9to5Toys.com, comes one of our favorite Mac app bundles. For $30 less than the price of the Parallels 8 headliner app (Give Windows 8.1 a free spin?), you get another 9 solid applications valued at $482 for $49.99. These are available for immediate download without shipping or tax charges worldwide.

Details and video below or on Specials.9to5Toys.com

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Microsoft Windows Stories February 18, 2013

Microsoft-office-mac-price.

According to Computerworld, Microsoft raised its pricing on Office for Mac 2011 during its Office 365 event last month by as much as 17 percent and stopped selling multi-license packages of the application suite. The move is likely to drive customers to its Office 365 program for PC/Mac that is $99 a year for a family.

The move puts Office for Mac 2011 on the same pricing schedule as the new Office 2013 for Windows. The price increases and the disappearance of the multi-license bundles also makes Microsoft’s Office 365, a software-by-subscription deal the company has aggressively pushed, more competitive with traditional “perpetual” licenses.

It’s not clear when Microsoft raised prices. The oldest search engine cache Computerworld found with the new prices was Feb. 2, so the company boosted them before then, likely on Jan. 29, the day it launched Office 2013 and Office 365 Home Premium. Microsoft did not mention the changes to Office for Mac in its press releases that day, or otherwise publicize the move on its Mac-specific website.

Indeed, Apple now offers Office for Student/Professional for $140/230Amazon still says it is $119 but notes that Office 2011 is an older version and the newer version that includes a key card is $139 marked down to $131 with a new SKU. You can still buy the multi-user packs at significant discount, but those likely are only while supplies last. expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories February 7, 2013

HT5655-Sheet-001-en.

As noted by ArsTechnica, Adobe just released an unscheduled patch to address two vulnerabilities that could be the source of malware attacks on both OS X and Windows. Apple has also issued a KB urging users to update. According to the advisory posted by Adobe, the attacks targeted Firefox or Safari users on Mac:

Adobe is also aware of reports that CVE-2013-0634 is being exploited in the wild in attacks delivered via malicious Flash (SWF) content hosted on websites that target Flash Player in Firefox or Safari on the Macintosh platform, as well as attacks designed to trick Windows users into opening a Microsoft Word document delivered as an email attachment which contains malicious Flash (SWF) content.

The update is available through Adobe’s website here.

Microsoft Windows Stories January 30, 2013

Parallels 8 beats out VMware Fusion 5 in extensive benchmark analysis

MacTech Magazine, which recently announced its upcoming MacTech BootCamp II, today looked at two of the most popular virtualization products for Mac with an in-depth benchmarking analysis of the most recent versions of Parallels Desktop 8 and VMware Fusion 5. We have seen Parallels 8 come out on top in benchmarks from previous reports, but this is by far the most comprehensive comparison.

MacTech put the two apps to the test in a number of areas including launching various OSes, application performance, 3D graphics tests, Retina Support, and much more. The conclusion: Parallels Desktop 8 won on the majority of general tests and 62 percent of 3D graphics tests.

In the vast majority of our overall tests, Parallels Desktop 8 won. Again, if you count up the general tests (including the top 3D graphics scores), Parallels won 56% of the tests by 10% or more. If you include all the tests where Parallels was at least 5% faster, as well as the balance of the 3DMark06 graphics tests, Parallels increased the lead further.

We recommend checking out MacTech’s lengthy analysis.

Parallels 8 for Mac currently sells for $55 on Amazon, while VMware Fusion 5 is available for as low as $46.99.

Microsoft Windows Stories January 28, 2013

EA & DICE looking to bring Frostbite engine to Mac OS X

According to a job listing from game developer DICE, EA might be looking to bring its popular Battlefield 3 franchise to OS X. The Battlefield3Blog pointed us to the job listing seeking a Mac OS X engineer to be”part of a team focusing on bringing Frostbite to Mac.”

Frostbite is looking for developers who want to join us in taking our engine to the next level. You will be part of a team focusing on bringing Frostbite to Mac and work closely with game team customers and the Frostbite team to deliver an engine as great on OS X as it is on Windows and traditional console platforms.

With plans to bring the Frostbite game engine to Mac, it could also mean EA plans to bring Frostbite-powered titles previously only available on Windows, Xbox, and PS3 to the Mac. There is no mention of specific games, but on top of the Battlefield series, Frostbite has been used for Need for Speed and Medal of Honor titles. We’re assuming this is for Frostbite 2, but there’s also a possibility it could be a next generation of the engine.

Microsoft Windows Stories January 13, 2013

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Immediately following the release of the Microsoft Surface in November, Microsoft sent its Windows head Steven Sinofsky packing. Just a couple of months later, he is already trying out a new platform: iOS.

We were tipped to a tweet from Sinofsky (@stevesi) from January 11th that was sent from Twitter for iPhone. We soon discovered a second tweet from the same platform on January 4th. Sinofsky is still tweeting from his Microsoft Surface and the Web, but we don’t see as many Windows Phone-based tweets as we do earlier in his Twitter timeline.

Sinofsky spent the last week at CES where he documented the 15 hours he spent on the show floor.

After all of those years using the required Windows Phones, it sure didn’t take him long to hop over to iOS.

Update: Sinofsky has commented on Twitter about his use of the iPhone:

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Microsoft Windows Stories January 2, 2013

‘Fix’ allows you to install Windows Bootcamp on new iMacs with 3TB drives

If you haven’t heard, those who purchased a new Mac with Apple’s built-to-order 3TB hard drive option found themselves unable to utilize Boot Camp assistant to install Windows. Boot Camp Assistant is currently limited to drives up to 2.2TB. Apple hinted that support might come at a later date, but TwoCanoes shares a step-by-step guide for getting the job done in Boot Camp until then:

Since it is not possible to get around the 2.2 TB limitation with booting Windows, it is possible to organize the partitions so that Windows is the last of the first four partitons and is within the first 2.2 TBs of space on the drive. Since the Mac can see the remaining space above the 2.2 TB limit, this space can be used for addtional storage space for OS X.

In order for Windows to boot successfully and still be able to utilize all of the available space on a 3 TB (or larger) hard drive, Windows must be installed on the fourth partition. You can use Disk Utility to create the partition, but since Disk Utility does not show hidden partitions, it can be difficult to see what is going on if some partitions are hidden. To have Disk Utility show hidden partitions, open Terminal and run the following command:

You can get the full instructions on TwoCanoes here.

Microsoft Windows Stories November 28, 2012

Ending today: First Parallels 8 bundle with Snagit, Virus Barrier, MacOptimizer, Rubbernet: Just $59

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Mac bundle season continues with a big one from StackSocial. Dubbed the Mac Utility Bundle, they’ve managed to knock $20 off the price of Parallels ($79 regular price) alone and added 4 more helpful utilities to boot. Great way to start off any Mac purchase you may be doing this holiday season.

Details below or on StackSocial.

Microsoft Windows Stories November 8, 2012

Parallels introduced a big update today for Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. It includes new features for Windows 8 users, full USB 3.0 support, and improved Retina display settings. On top of support for Windows 8 tablet gestures, Parallels is including a Windows 8 tile that allows users to access shared Mac apps. According to Parallels, the update also includes faster USB 3.0 performance, an increased limit for virtual machines running large apps, and “Smooth transitions when entering and exiting Coherence mode”:

Now Mac users can enjoy new features including Windows 8 tablet gestures and use a Windows 8 interface tile to access shared Mac apps.  These updates, plus the already deep Parallels Desktop 8 integration of Mac OS X and Windows 8, enable people to also use Mountain Lion’s Dictation feature in Windows applications, add Windows apps to Launchpad and the Mac Dock, enjoy brilliant Retina display resolution for Windows apps and more – making Parallels Desktop 8 an ideal way to run Windows 8 on a Mac without rebooting. expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories November 5, 2012

Use Sophos antivirus? Watch out

Tim Bray notes a post on Neohapsis:

A working exploit for Sophos 8.0.6 on Mac is available, however the techniques used in the exploit easily transfer to Windows and Linux, due to multiple critical implementation flaws described in the paper. Testcases for the other flaws described in the paper are available on request.

Sophos responded with a post on the multiple vulnerabilities, and it responded over and over that “Sophos has seen no evidence of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild.” But, is that really good enough? How about issuing a fix in the two plus months that they’ve known about these issues?  It only takes one wild exploit.

Sophos gave 9to5Mac the following comment:

Some were fixed last month, and for others we started rolling out patches to our users today.  :-)

Users of Sophos products should be automatically updated, but if anyone wants to be sure they can initiate a manual update.

Windows RT 32GB tablets actually only have 16GB of usable space nullifying storage cost advantage over iPad

Here’s the Fun FAQ for Microsoft Surface users who are wondering why the 32GB version they bought actually only has 16GB of usable space:

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While Microsoft will certainly get off on the wrong foot here in terms of customer expectations, they are still technically accurate—at least in the old desktop world. When you buy a Windows/Mac machine with a 100GB HDD, you expect some of that (but certainly not half of it!) to be used by system software.  However, with the paired-down iOS/Android OSes currently so optimized, you pretty much get what it says on the box.

We reported on a Microsoft Engineer last month, saying users would have more than 20 GB of space.

This is part of Microsoft’s no compromises approach. You get a bunch of legacy stuff that requires a lot of legacy space.

[Via Engadget]

Microsoft Windows Stories October 25, 2012

Parallels for Mac virtualization software has been getting major updates this year with the recent release of version 8, making it even easier to run Mac and Windows apps side by side. In version 7, it made it a lot easier to upgrade and buy copies of Windows directly from within the app, and we even had a Windows 8 developer preview up and running. Unfortunately, with today’s launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8, Parallel’s is warning Mac users that the app is not ready to update to the new OS.

In a support document on the company’s website, it issued a “critical and urgent Windows 8 service advisory” telling customers it should wait before upgrading from an existing installation of Windows to Windows 8: expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories October 17, 2012

Microsoft’s Surface OS is large, just like the pixels on display

The 32 GB Surface tablet costs the same as the 16GB iPad, but it also comes with twice the storage capacity—or at least that’s what everyone thought until Microsoft’s AMA on Reddit yesterday.

Daring Fireball just linked to one of the Surface Team’s responses that regarded how much free space the tablet actually has available:

So, the entry-level Surface delivers 20 GB of free space with Office and a few apps, eh?

In case you did not know, the iPad’s OS consumes around 1 GB of space. But that’s not all: Microsoft’s Steven Bathiche handled more questions as to whether the Surface’s display stands up to the new iPad’s Retina display.

After giving a long-winded description of Microsoft’s ClearType display technology, Bathiche concluded, “[sic] Doing a side by side with the new iPad in a consistently lit room, we have had many people see more detail on Surface RT than on the Ipad with more resolution.”

Again, in case you did not know, the current iPad offers a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution. Surface for Windows RT has a 1,366-by-768-pixel resolution.

The full AMA thread: IAm Panos Panay, GM of Microsoft Surface, AMAA – Ask Me or My Team Almost Anything

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