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In The News 10-26-2012

In The News 10-26-2012
Your Weekly Update In The World Of Technology 

 Windows 8

A Big Day In The World Of Microsoft

October 26 – the release of Microsoft’s next operating system, Windows 8, is finally upon us.  The 26th also marks the release of Microsoft’s new tablet, the Surface.  In case you’re wondering – this is a big day for Microsoft.

The biggest news is probably the release of Windows 8 itself, an operating system that many are claiming will be a complete game changer in the world of PC to mobile computing.  In fact, this is Microsoft’s first attempt at creating an operating system that will run on PCs, tablets, and phones.  Windows 8 features an interface (formally known as “Metro”… and that’s the name I’m sticking with for now) that is vastly different from the desktops many of us are familiar with.  8 starts out in the Metro interface, which includes a series of tiles and applications.  Some of these tiles even have live updating information, depending on what that particular app is.  Metro is built with touchscreens in mind and includes the large tiles to make it easier access each individual app.  You can also have separate “pages” of tiles that can be accessed by a simple swipe, or in the PC version’s case, a click of the mouse.  The apps dedicated to each tile can either be built-in Windows or software applications, such as web browsers and photo viewers, or apps downloaded from Windows Store.

The next big release to go along with Windows 8 is the Surface tablet.  The first Surface tablet to be released will feature a 10.6″ display, start off at 32GB with an expandable microSDXC card slot, and will run on Windows RT.  Windows RT is a scaled-down version of Windows 8 built to run on the tablet’s ARM CPU.  Later versions of the Surface tablet will feature larger storage and use an Intel CPU.  These “Pro” versions will also be running a full edition of Windows 8 Pro, have more RAM, and include a higher resolution screen.

Be sure to keep reading Tech Tips in the coming days and weeks as we continue to take a more in-depth look at Windows 8, the Surface tablet, and whether or not Windows 8 is right for you!

iPad Mini 

…What Did Apple Just Do?

The release of Windows 8 isn’t the only thing causing waves in the tech world.  Apple also had some big news of its own that it released earlier this week.

The biggest news?  The new iPad Mini.  So what is it?  To put it in simple terms, it’s an iPad – only smaller.  A more in-depth look reveals a new tablet that comes in with a 7.9″ screen, 7.2mm width, and a weight of only 0.7 lbs.  The Mini starts off at $329 for its 16GB Wi-Fi only model and finished off at $659 for the 64GB model and cellular capability.  It will also include a resolution comparable to the iPad 2 and not the newer iPad’s ‘retina display’. Speaking of the new iPad…

The “new iPad” got an update as well.  The tablet, which was only released six months ago, received an upgrade to its camera, a faster processor, and 4G LTE capability.  The iPhone 5, released last month, was the first Apple device to finally make use of 4G LTE.

The iPad Mini kicks off pre-orders today (October 26) and the Wi-Fi only version will hit store shelves on November 2.  Models using cellular networks will be released in the few weeks after.