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Category: IT News, Windows 8.

Later this month Microsoft will release its first set enhancements and fixes to Windows 8 since its launch in October last year. Given the “mixed” reviews it has received and the slow uptake, what can we expect and will these changes give it the boost it needs?

Ironically Microsoft’s own list of enhancements places the changes to the desktop (including the infamous disappearing Start Button) almost last with a statement that simply says “Improvements have been made to better support users who prefer a mouse and keyboard experience to access applications.” The good news is that this translates to the fact that the Start Button is returning as are some of the search facilities. Users can also now set their machines to run the previous desktop design as a default rather than the new tiled layout; another major complaint of Windows 8.

Microsoft said that the update, due on the 26th June, will be a test version. The company added that they will ship the final product later this year as a free update for Windows 8 customers.

So what else can we expect?

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Apple iOS7 Interface

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Category: IT News, Latest.

Apple has announced changes to their iOS interface system for its iPhone and iPad users in order to create a ‘flatter’ effect.

New design chief Jony Ive has said it was an attempt to make the system look “cleaner” and help “elevate” users’ content. The alteration follows a similar change to the OS X system, which is used by Mac computers.

The most distinctive change that users will notice is a move away from the use of leather, wood and other more natural materials and textures in the phone’s apps. Highlighting the new look of the firm’s Game Centre app, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi joked: “We just completely ran out of green felt and wood – this has got to be good for the environment.”

The new system also uses what is known as a parallax effect, which means the icons shift against the background as the phone is tilted.

Opinion is split as to how Apple customers will react to the changes, with some saying that the classic look has been lost forever and that existing customers will be confused by the new design. Others have accused Apple of trying to mirror the look of their main rivals Android.

Following the announcement Apple shares fell in value by around nine per cent.

Web Browser Selection

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Category: Business, Home Computing, IT News, Software.

What is Browser Choice?

Due to a recent agreement put in place with the European authorities and Microsoft all users of Microsoft Windows are being offered a free choice of which browser they wish to have installed as the default. Whilst you have this Browser choice today, it does make it a simple operation for even the novice user to change.

What does it apply to?

This applies to all versions of Windows from Windows XP SP2 onwards (which is probably 98% of the currently installed windows base).

So how does all this happen?

The Browser Choice Update, as it is affectionately being called, will automatically be installed on your computer with “Windows Update” and should automatically prompt you with the Launch Screen at the next restart. As is usual with wide-scale updates, the actual update is staggered over a number of weeks so don’t panic if it doesn’t appear immediately. After downloading the update and restarting your computer, you’ll automatically be shown the Browser Choice screen (see below), and you can then select and install the browser(s) you want to use.

The Browser Choice update doesn’t add or remove any programs from your computer. If you’re using Windows 7 and Internet Explorer is your default browser, the update will unpin the Internet Explorer icon from your taskbar although Internet Explorer will still be available from your Start menu, and you can choose to pin it back on your taskbar.

The actual installation is really a matter of following instructions.

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Category: IT News, IT Security.

It’s been an interesting week with no less than three calls about the dreaded “Internet Security 2010” virus. This seems to be a new strain of something that was around early in 2009 (maybe they write them over the Christmas break when you and I are have our turkey and pies !).

Symptoms
Internet Security 2010 will try to trick you into believing that your computer has serious security problems so that you buy the program. The Internet Security 2010 virus will start and perform a fake scan of your computer. The scan report will list a number of infections and when you try to remove them, you’ll “conveniently” find out that you need to buy Internet Security first. Do not buy Internet Security 2010.

If it got on your computer it will look something the image below.

Virus on your PC. Screenshot

 

Damage Done
The good news (if you can call it that) is that the virus does not actually seem to damage your data so once removed your computer will function as normal.

How to remove
Whilst we would never pretend that you can’t remove this virus yourself, it is worth stating that it is not a job for someone who is uncomfortable with editing the Windows Registry and generally dealing with low level utility programs. For that reason we do suggest that you get an expert to remove it for you.

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Category: IT News, IT Support.

Today (29th July 2009) Yahoo & Microsoft have combined forces to create an agreement that will take on the might of Google.

So what does this mean to you and I ?

Well at last Google may have some credible competition in the search space and this is no bad thing – Some of the best products and services are delivered when there is competition (remember the world with DOS and no Microsoft Windows before Apple produced their graphical interface!).

Web advertising revenue amounted to $6.1 Billion in Q4 2008 and this is set to grow exponentially as companies realise the power of the web and the ability to closely track any advertising carried out within this medium. When you compare this to traditional forms of advertising like newspaper or TV, there is an almost limitless supply of data and statistics that give the marketers an unprecedented level of control. This is a huge market and so far Microsoft has failed to make an impact (remember MSN & Microsoft Search). Yahoo were once great and to be honest do have a great product but they have been slowly trampeled upon by Google.

That said, Google got to where it is with a superior search engine and Bing is still way short of this… but things can change.

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