Categories
Microsoft Recommended Services Services

Hotmail.com to become Outlook.com – switch now!

I’ll just say it: I love the new design for Microsoft’s online email service! It’s clean, simple and effective.

Outlook.com is the successor to Hotmail.com which it eventually will replace. Summer 2012 Microsoft made Outlook.com available as a preview.

If you go to outlook.com and log in with your @hotmail.com, @live.com, msn@com (and so on), you automatically get the new design (you can switch back to Hotmail if you so choose).

You can also rename your account (move it over) to @outlook.com or make an alias.

Warning: Renaming can cause problems with other Microsoft products and services. Especially if you use Windows Phone: You’ll have to do a factory reset, causing you to loose all your data.

Resembling the well known Outlook client (part of Microsoft Office for years), you get your inbox and other folders to he left, your message list in the middle and the contents itself to the right. The so called message preview can  be placed at the bottom or turned off completely.

Drag and drop is supported, so you can easily add attachments when you compose a new mail or drag emails to folders. Right-click a folder or message for more options and even use keyboard shortcuts (i.e. Control + Enter to send). You can connect to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which will show info from these networks for your contacts also on these networks. You can also connect to other online email services like Gmail and Yahoo and either import your contacts and messages or simply make Outlook.com your universal inbox for all these services.

Most of these features were also present in Hotmail.com, but are more prominent in Outlook.com and thus easier to find or figure out.

Read more at the official Outlook Preview site, which also include a video.

Also be sure to follow the Outlook Blog for updates.

Microsoft’s other services will also be updated with this new look. Actually, SkyDrive already has (together with the Office Web Apps).

All in all I highly recommend you do the switch today if you use Hotmail already.

Categories
Microsoft Recommended Software Windows

Windows 8 coming October 26 – download now!

Windows 8 is finished and if you have access to MSDN or Technet you can already download it. It has of course already spread to the torrent networks and I have run Windows 8 Pro for a couple of weeks. You’ll need a key to get through setup, but they are easy to find. Or you can skip this step during setup by making your own ei.cfg file. You will of course not be able to activate Windows 8 which you’ll be constantly reminded of (every three hours to be exact). You will loose the ability to personalize Windows 8, but everything is still functional. If you follow the link to buy yourself a product key, you get a message that this is not possible at the moment. Come late October I guess this will be made available.. The question is if it will be the same upgrade price of 40USD that Microsoft announced earlier this year.

Categories
Microsoft Tips and Tricks Windows

Windows 8: How to install without a product key and choose version

With Windows 7, you could skip entering a product key during setup. You would  then get a 30 days grace period before you had to activate, which could be pushed back a couple of times. You could also delete the ei.cfg file from the sources folder and during setup choose which version to install.

Windows 8 comes in just two flavors, Core and Pro. (And Enterprise and RT.) The version you get depends on the product key you enter during setup, which you can no longer skip. But clever heads have found out that if you ADD the ei.cfg to the sources folder you can not only choose which version to install, but skip entering the product key.

Just copy the few lines below into notepad and save it as ei.cfg.

[EditionID]
Pro
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0

This will of course give you the Pro version.

If you’ve been smart and used the Windows 7 USB DVD Tool to turn the ISO into a bootable USB, just copy the file to the sources folder and you’re all set.

Categories
Noteworthy

Microsoft to release it’s own Windows 8 tablets this fall

On June 19 2012 Microsoft revealed that together with Windows 8 this fall, they will also release (at least) two tablets, called Surface. One based on nVIDIA’s Tegra 3 platform running Windows RT (the ARM based version of Windows 8) and another running Windows 8 Pro on the Intel platform.

The tablets will get an (optional) accompanying keyboard. With the touch keyboard Microsoft claims you’ll be 50% more efficient than with the onscreen keyboard. The touch keyboard can be “upgraded” to a tactile keyboard with an overlay, making you even more efficient. The keyboard also include a trackpad and also works as a cover. These are called Touch Cover and Type Cover.

Fun fact: The Metro background will automatically change color to correspond with the color of the keyboard cover.

See the official video from Microsoft below.

Categories
Noteworthy

Windows Phone beta period over – WP8 launches this fall

Picture courtesy of Engadget

On June 20 2012 Microsoft revealed the next version of their mobile operating system. Windows Phone 8.

WP8 shares code with Windows 8 (for desktop), which gives WP8 support for multi core CPUs, 720p screen resolution, microSD cards (finally!), NFC and more.

Picture courtesy of Engadget

The sad news is that today’s Windows Phone handsets running WP7 won’t be upgradable due to this. That’s why my headline says beta period over. That said, owners of Windows Phone 7.5 handsets will get an update to Windows Phone 7.8 which brings the updated start screen from WP8.

WP8 will get OTA (over the air) updates, dropping Zune all together. Other features: IE10, Wallet, in-app purchases, Nokia Maps with offline maps and turn-by-turn navigation for all WP8 handsets.

For more news, see EngadgetArs Technica, WP Central.

You can see the full video from the Windows Phone Summit 2012 over at Channel 9.