A new post on the Outlook blog (which is where you’ll find Outlook.com news – Inside Hotmail, SkyDrive and Messenger seems to only cover SkyDrive now) finally explains fully switching from Hotmail to its successor Outlook.com. There has been a lot of confusion, and people wondering whether they should create an alias or rename their email, and whether they’ll still receive email sent to their old address (yes, they will) and more.
You can read the blog post by clicking here.
I won’t go into much detail as you can read the blog post yourself, but I will point you to some information Paul Thurrott has found. You can actually set an email address you’ve previously used as an alias as your main address, if you’re quick (or you wait 30 days… it depends). I recommend you see both Paul Thurrott’s article (linked above) and the official Microsoft answers post by clicking here. Why make it so hard to find, Microsoft? Why not just put it all in a blog post?
Microsoft mentioned in the blog post that they’ll be doing more posts soon about switching from other emails services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Watch out for those.
To show users how to use Windows 8, the tutorial below will show at the Out Of Box Experience. If you have a touch device, you’ll see exactly the following below (touch demo than mouse/keyboard demo). Mouse/keyboard only users will just see the later demo. From Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows:
What do you think of them?
Quite a quick post this week. Paul Thurrott recently posted previews of Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Music (which replaces Zune), both announced at E3. Here are the links:
And some videos:
Xbox music isn’t particular revolutionary in my opinion - just a re-branding of Microsoft Zune – but SmartGlass seems pretty great. What are your thoughts?
This week I’m doing a list of some of the rumours (of leaks) of what is coming in the Release Preview of Windows 8, which is being released in the first week of June this year:
- A new default lock screen picture (see http://bit.ly/Ju3osq and you’ll see the new lock screen picture)
- A green Windows Store icon (well, it’s green in the latest builds)
- A flatter looking Windows Explorer (see the shot below from Paul Thurrott)
- Some small IE10 desktop and charms bar changes
- New cursors
- A generally more metro-y desktop – as you can see in the above shot of Windows Explorer, the close and minimize buttons look a bit more metro-y, aiming to ease the transitions between the Start screen and apps and the desktop.
- Performance improvements – less bugs, much more finished than the Consumer Preview.
- A tutorial – there was a lot of confusion from non-tech people on how to use Windows 8 (see here and here for 2 examples), so Microsoft will be including tutorials in either the RP or maybe just the final product.
- Microsoft (formerly Windows Live) Family Safety built-in – see here for more information.
- Better apps – the Mail, Calendar, Weather etc. apps were all app previews in the Consumer Preview builds. They were really basic, and really early in development – the RP is going to have much closer to final versions of these apps. Below is a screenshot (from a Microsoft video) showing a new look for the mail app:
I’ve probably missed a lot of things that are changing, but these are at least some. The Release Preview is going to be just that – a preview of the final product of Windows 8, much more finished than the Consumer Preview. I’m not expecting there to be multiple product editions in the RP (there are going to be 2 though in the final product – Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro), but I expect it to be the equivalent of Windows 8 Pro.
So, the countdown is on. Less than a month to go! (P.S. do let me know if I have missed anything!)
This week’s post is basically to recommend a podcast about Microsoft and it’s called (read the title!) Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley discuss the latest Microsoft news each week, and it’s really good.
I recommend you check it out:
(the only bad thing is there are loads of ads!)
A lot of people seem to think that Windows 8 is just about touch screens, and is rubbish when just using a mouse and keyboard. This isn’t true in the Consumer Preview (the beta), but even if you want to completely avoid metro-style apps etc., the desktop offers a lot of improvements over Windows 7 that makes it worth upgrading:
- Windows Explorer has the ribbon - this makes file management a lot easier and quicker. Also, the copy experience has been improved (pause/resume, multiple copies in one window) and deleting, for example, no longer requires confirmation (the file is sent to the Recycle Bin so it can be recovered, and confirmations can be turned on).
- Faster startup: true, this isn’t really a desktop feature, but it certainly makes Windows boot faster (restart, unfortunately, is as slow as ever )
- Improved task manager: the default interface is simpler and more user friendly, and clicking a button gives power userswaymore features. This is perhaps one of Windows’ most used features, so it’s good that it has got an update.
- Built in anti-virus software: you may have heard of Microsoft Security Essentials. Well, it’s got a new name and is built into Windows 8 – yes, you don’t need to install another anti-virus program. You can if you want to, though – it will automatically disable if you do.
- Finally, pin to start. Even quicker access to your files!
So those are just a few improvements to the Windows 8 desktop. All Windows 8 computers can run both the desktop and metro apps if they have a resolution of at least 1024×768 – this means netbooks are stuck in the desktop environment.
I recommend you take a look at Paul Thurrott’s article on the Windows 8 desktop: