Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Microsoft tweaks Windows 8

27 June 2013, 11:01

San Francisco – Microsoft on Wednesday courted application makers with a "re-blended" version of the overhauled Windows 8 operating system released late last year.

Windows 8.1 incorporated feedback from users and developers, and came with the promise that the US software giant was speeding up its release cycle to adapt to the dizzying pace of innovation in consumer technology.

"We pushed boldly in Windows 8 and got lots of feedback," Microsoft chief executive Steven Ballmer said while kicking off the company's Build developers conference in San Francisco.

"Users said 'Why don't you go refine the blend?," he said. "We will show you a refined blend of our desktop experience and our modern experience."

Cheers burst from the audience when Ballmer assured them that changes in Windows 8.1 included a return of the "Start" button icon on screens that provided shortcuts to commands and applications.

Microsoft made a preview version of Windows 8.1 available for developers and said this was just the beginning of a shift to "rapid release" cycles for software.

"Rapid release cadences are absolutely essential to what we are doing," Ballmer said.

"It is about the transformation that we are going through as a company to move at an absolutely rapid release cycle; our transformation from a software company to a company building software-powered devices and services."

Windows 8.1 remains true to the vision of an operating system tuned for touch-screen controls and multi-gadget lifestyles increasingly revolving around tablets and smartphones, according to Microsoft.

"When we rolled out Windows we talked about touch, touch, touch," Ballmer said, noting that when people went to stores there was a dearth of Windows-powered touch computers.

He said there would be a "proliferation" of small Windows tablets released in the coming months.

Microsoft used the keynote presentation before Build's six thousand attendees to showcase Windows-powered devices ranging from Nokia Lumia smartphones to Lenovo and Acer devices as well as Microsoft's own Surface Pro tablet.

"You will see an outpouring of new devices that are notebook computers in every respect yet have touch fully integrated and usable," Ballmer said.

Microsoft also announced that it was opening its Bing internet search engine to developers so they can harness its capabilities to power features inside applications.

Microsoft is keen to tap into the creative talent of software developers behind hip, helpful, or fun 'apps' that can dictate the success of failure of smartphones, tablets and other internet-linked consumer gadgets.

New-generation Apple software for iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers was showcased at a worldwide developers conference here earlier this month, just weeks after a Google event starring Android and Chrome.

Ballmer said that the number of apps in the Windows Store will top 100 000 this month, while downloads have climbed into the hundreds of millions.

"The number of apps we see coming into the store is phenomenal," Ballmer said.

Microsoft is under pressure to adapt to a huge shift in how people engage with computers, according to Forrester analyst Charles Golvin.

Smartphones and tablets have vanquished the days when people devoted the bulk of computer time to Windows-powered desktop or laptop machines.

"Any talk of the personal computer being dead is overblown and ridiculous," Golvin said.

"What matters is being everywhere. PCs still matter; tablets matter, and smartphones matter most if you look at the amount of time people are spending in front of screens."

The overhauled Windows 8 operating system released in November was designed to power the array internet-linked devices, but some people balked at having to adapt to the new "metro" tile-style user interface.

Some modifications in Windows 8.1 were made to return features that were missed, such as the beloved "Start" button.

"Microsoft has to convince people there are benefits to the pain of adjusting to Windows 8," Golvin said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...