Tag Archive | "Microsoft"

Add Pressure Sensitivity to Windows 8 Tablets and Touch Screen Laptops

If you bought a Microsoft Surface or other new Windows 8 laptop/tablet with a touchscreen and stylus support, you might have noticed the screen lacks pressure sensitivity. Ideally, you should be able to draw or write on the screen lightly for faint lines, then press harder for stronger, bolder marks. The latest Wacom drivers should fix this–as long as you’re using a device with a Wacom digitizer.

This list of stylus-enabled tablet PCs shows which devices use Wacom or another manufacturer for the screen. If  yours is Wacom, head to http://us.wacom.com/en/support/drivers. Select Tablet PC from the first drop-down, then Windows 8, and download the latest driver. (As of this writing, that’s the one released on July 30th.)

After installing the driver and rebooting, you’ll have true pressure sensitivity on your tablet or laptop.

Stay on top of the latest in mobile computing, telecommuting, and working on the road: Free weekly newsletter | Blog posts subscription | Follow me on Twitter: @melaniepinola or Google+

Source: About.com


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Touch Gestures Reference Guide

Learn Basic Touch Gestures with This Reference Guide

Touch Gestures Reference GuideWondering how to use multitouch gestures on a smartphone, tablet, touchscreen laptop, touch-capable mouse (like the Apple Magic Mouse), or even the trackpad on your laptop? Besides tapping and double-tapping, you’ve got a wealth of ways to move your hands on the touch surface to make your device do your bidding.

This Touch Gesture Reference Guide (PDF) from LukeW illustrates the core gestures and some advanced and upcoming gestures you can use on most modern devices. It shows how you can rotate items by moving two fingers in a circle or pressing down with one finger while circling with the other, how to pinch or squeeze an object to make it smaller (e.g., to zoom out of page) or spread or splay your fingers to scale the object out, and more.

LukeW’s touch gestures resource download page also has a useful table showing how to use touch and multitouch gestures on the iPhone or iPad (iOS), Windows Phone 7, Palm webOS, Android, OS X, Windows 7, Microsoft Surface, and other platforms.

As we start to interact more with our computers and mobile devices through touch (and multitouch), these resources will come in very handy.

Source: About.com


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Ballmer and Windows Phone 8 Hardware

Steve Ballmer to Step Down as CEO of Microsoft

Ballmer and Windows Phone 8 HardwareMicrosoft has built an empire around software but is seeking to transition to other areas. This is one reason Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer cited in his recent decision to step down within the next year.

A Look at Microsoft’s Business Goals for the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year

According to Ballmer, who will most likely retire, “There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”

This came as part of the official announcement posted by Microsoft last week.

Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet interviewed Ballmer this past week, which included questions about his biggest accomplishment and regret. I also found an article exploring Ballmer’s mixed results at the helm of Microsoft by Don Clark and Shira Ovide of the Wall Street Journal insightful. Both of these articles offer links to candidates for Ballmer’s successor.

Changes on this scale may be delayed in coming but will certainly affect Office and the many other areas of Microsoft’s business.

Microsoft Office Resources, Tutorials, and More

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(c) Image of Steve Ballmer with Windows 8 Hardware Courtesy of Microsoft

Source: About.com


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Ballmer to Retire as Microsoft CEO

The chief exec and major shareholder of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, has announced he will retire from the organization within the next 12 months, once a successor is found. “There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said in a release earlier this week. The stock closed up more than 7% on Friday following the news. I wonder what billionaire Ballmer’s retirement will look like? What would you do if you were him?

Source: About.com


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Back to School Tech Deals

I have been taking a look around the web at various sites featuring back to school deals. My favorite list this year comes from Mashable.com. Denise Lu shares 12 Back to School Deals You Can’t Pass Up. Her list features hardware, software, mobile plans, and more.

Included is Microsoft’s deal for the student version of its new online software suite, Office 365 University.

Have a lovely weekend, and be sure to check out these additional resources:

  • Office 365 Back to School ‘Throwback Sweepstakes’
  • Back to School with Google Apps, Google Docs, and Google Apps for Education
  • Free Back to School Templates for Students, Instructors, or Administrators
  • Microsoft Slashes Surface RT Tablets by $150 USD
  • Roundup of More Software Deals

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Source: About.com


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Google Glass Hackathon Offers Games and Glimpses into Future of Collaboration

From Friday to Sunday in the SOMA district of San Francisco, techie workspace rental firm Citizen Space hosted a Google Glass Hackathon. The event held there turned out to be the largest gathering of Glass Explorers (the name Google gives those who have purchased Glass) to date,. some 30 or so Glass-wearing futurists donated their hardware to the competition. They were joined by developers for the three-day competition, and together the group turned out an impressive 17 unique apps for businesses and consumers alike.

The victors of the three-day hackathon were an ingenious team that made Frogger for Glass. Their winning app incorporated Glass’ accelerometer, which turned your physical movement into the game controls. Hopping moves your frog forward across the road in Frogger Glass. A programming choice that wowed the audience during final presentations and had them downloading the app afterwards. Second place went to Plant Something, an augmented reality app which allows you and other Glass wearers to grow virtual plants at real locations. Third place went to Connected Glass, which was a platform that allowed developers to create peer to peer connectivity with Glass and your other mobile devices so you could control Glass through your smartwatch or smartphone.

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Even though they didn’t take away a prize, there were other teams that were equally impressive. Standouts included Vitals on Glass, whose team brought to the drawing board one of the more ambitious and marketable apps with a medical hack. The Vitals on Glass app displays vital signs data from surgical patients wearing a ViSi mobile wireless monitor to a surgeon wearing Glass.This fully operational software taps into the fast-growing remote and wireless patient monitoring market, which is expected to double by 2016.

The second standout of the weekend was Powercast, a hack for displaying and controlling PowerPoint presentations using Glass and Google’s new $35 Chromecast device. Darshan Shankar presented his final version of Powercast, and the results were stunning: Shankar showed how he could view a Powerpoint on his Glass or on an external monitor or screen with a Chromecast inserted into it, as well as move around the slides by swiping his Glass or wirelessly-connected smartphone. The problem with this? Chromecast’s SDK is still in Beta and developers aren’t supposed to be hacking it just yet. Shankar’s chances of winning may have been hindered because he created a hack that he can’t go out and market yet. Still, he explained it was only a matter of time before the ban was lifted and he could spread Powercast to the Glass masses.

And that seemed to be a key deciding factor at the hackathon. The winning hacks were not only fully operational and utilized more parts of Glass than just the display, but were also immediately accessible. Glass Frogger already has a website up and running for people to download the game on Glass and other mobile devices. So while the future was on display, the future that was immediately accessible was rewarded.

While Frogger stole the show, Vitals and Powercast do show immense promise in bringing Glass to industries as a tool when it becomes available next year. While Google wants Glass to revolutionize consumer tech, it’s hard to imagine non-early adopters to latch onto such futurism. Reports of it being goofy looking and an intrusion of privacy make it a hard sell. However industries are jumping onto the Glass developer bandwagon.

Glass wouldn’t be the first consumer marketing tech to find more love in business. Microsoft’s Kinect had a lukewarm reception among gamers, but has become popular outside of that world: whether it’s to turn it into a 3d scanner, to train a robot to be a jedi, or improve a nuclear power plant’s safety. In fact the healthcare field was one of the first to jump onto the Kinect bandwagon, something that we’re seeing with Glass. Vitals on Glass isn’t the only team who thinks Glass could have a future saving lives, and certainly won’t be the last. And Powercast is tapping into a predicted trend of hands-free tech in the workplace. Even if the general public balks at Glass, hackathons and industries will bring it to the forefront of the future as a cutting edge tool. Which means someday soon you may have the pleasure of downloading the One-X app for Glass.



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Back to School with Google Apps, Google Docs, and Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education GAFE LogoThe Google Drive blog features a post from a Google Certified Teacher and Trainer, showing you great ideas for back to school with Google Apps and more.

Wendy Gorten shows you how to create classroom rules, get to know your students, and get involved with Google Apps for Education. She writes:

“Google Drive is the all-in-one tool I wish I had my first year of teaching. It not only keeps all of your lesson plans, activities, and research organized, but it’s an outstanding way to engage your students, give them feedback, and give their writing a real audience–like their peers or classrooms around the world.”

More back to school resources:

  • Microsoft’s Best Templates for Students
  • Microsoft’s Best Templates for Instructors & Administrators
  • Best Sites for Academic Software Deals
  • List of Student or Academic Office Software & Apps
  • Office 365 Back to School ‘Throwback Sweepstakes’

(c) Logo Courtesy of Google

Source: About.com


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Google Drive Cheat Sheet

Get Started with Google Drive with This Cheat Sheet

Google Drive Cheat Sheet

Google Drive is one of the best tools for mobile professionals, web workers, students, and everyone else who needs the flexibility of working on files from any computer, using just your browser. If you’re new to Google Drive’s online storage and office suite (formerly known as Google Docs–for word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet creation), this quick reference guide is for you.

Provided by Ed Galaxy, the reference guides highlight the major features and functions of Google Drive.  You’ll find instructions for uploading files and folders to Google Drive, how to share and collaborate with others on documents, and what the toolbar commands do.

Interestingly enough, the reference guide is provided in Microsoft Word format, but you can actually save Word docs to Google Drive and open them within your browser–even if you don’t have Word installed. Just one of the few neat features of using Google Drive.

Google Drive – Quick reference guide for teachers and students (useful if you’re not in education too!)

Related: Get 5GB of free online storage on Google Drive

Stay on top of the latest in mobile computing, telecommuting, and working on the road: Free weekly newsletter | Blog posts subscription | Follow me on Twitter: @melaniepinola or Google+

Source: About.com


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Skype Logo

Windows 8.1 to Include 20 New Apps Including Skype

Skype LogoMicrosoft’s next rendition of Windows 8 is approaching with 20 new apps including Skype, a popular communications tool.

Skype integration has been a developmental strategy for Microsoft over the past year or so. In the coming year, Skype itself will likely gain improvements as well, particularly for use in organizations.

  • Skype for Windows 8 – What is Skype?
  • What’s All the Skype Hype?
  • Microsoft Lync’s Increased Integration with Skype
  • The New Skype in the Workspace Tool – Free!
  • Check Out Skype Video Messaging for iOS, Android, Mac
  • Social Media and Collaboration Apps for Windows Phone 8

(c) Image Courtesy of Microsoft

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Source: About.com


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King.com discontinuing five titles

Social Gaming On the Rise

Gaming continues to grow more social online, even as the industry has its fits and starts.

King.com discontinuing five titles
King ends titles

Last week, a popular game developer on Facebook, King, announced it was discontinuing five titles on the sprawling social network starting in September. They were mostly older games that never took off, such as Bubble Saga, according to Inside Social Games.

Microsoft also announced it’s closing its gaming marketplace called Games for Windows Live Online Store, a place where gamers could shop online but which also never caught on. Microsoft tied the store into such titles as Dawn of War and Dark Souls. The company said it will continue to support game titles tied into Games for Windows Live Online, but it’s closing the store part of the service.

Online gaming, though, continues to grow like crazy. See our list of the top online game sites, along with our review of casual game super-aggregator, Y8.com.

Source: About.com


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