Jerry Seregni's Tech Tips - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Windows 8 reaches RTM milestone

Updated:
With Windows 8, computers boot to a new user interface, formerly known as 'Metro.' With Windows 8, computers boot to a new user interface, formerly known as 'Metro.'
Samsung's WB850F SMART camera allows you to zoom-in close, using a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor. Samsung's WB850F SMART camera allows you to zoom-in close, using a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor.
Samsung W300 mini-camcorder shoots video at depths up to 10 ft., repels dust and sand, and withstands shock, making it perfect for family adventures. Samsung W300 mini-camcorder shoots video at depths up to 10 ft., repels dust and sand, and withstands shock, making it perfect for family adventures.
Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing (RTM), which means development and testing of the product has been completed. And so, the countdown to Oct. 26th begins.

The general public will be able get the latest version of the Windows operating system starting on October 26th, either by upgrading for $39.99 or by buying a new PC or Windows-powered device.

Furthermore, if you buy an eligible Windows 7 PC today, you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 through the Windows Upgrade Offer.

There is little mystery surrounding what Windows 8 will be like. A preview release has been available as a public download for months, and bootleg copies of the RTM version have already surfaced on several file sharing sites.

IT professionals and Microsoft partners will be able to download Windows 8 RTM legally, starting August 15th, and the software will become available for Microsoft Volume License customers starting September 1st.

Meanwhile, BBC News reported this week that Microsoft has dropped "Metro-style" as the name for the new Windows 8 user interface. The decision was reportedly related to a trademark dispute with the German retailer Metro AG. Microsoft, however, says "Metro-style" was just a code name, like "Chicago" or "Longhorn."

Controversy, however, will surround the new Windows 8 user interface regardless of what the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant calls it. The elimination of the familiar Start Menu is only one of many unsettling changes Windows 8 will introduce.

Beta versions of Windows 8 allowed users to boot directly to the desktop, like Windows 7 and previous Windows versions. Sadly, that option is gone in the RTM release. Keyboard shortcuts will now be the only way to circumvent the tiled interface, which is bound to frustrate users.

Windows + D jumps to the regular desktop, while Windows + B jumps from the Start screen to the currently active desktop application. Finally, Windows + M loads the traditional Windows desktop from the start screen, and minimizes all applications.

Microsoft's heavy-handed approach with the new interface is all too familiar. The company took a similar stance with the "ribbon" menu that was introduced with Office 2007. When you control the operating system most PCs in the world use and provide the No. 1 office suite to boot, you can pretty much do as you please.

Windows 95 or Windows XP were hugely successful because they were obvious improvements over previous versions. Windows 8 is disruptive, unless your computer has a touch-screen. The changes are likely to provoke a backlash among the operating system's installed customer base.

It's too soon to say it's Windows Vista all over again, but I suspect the adoption rate for Windows 8 will be slow. Change is good, but not when productivity suffers.

I hope I'm wrong, but you know what they say about even-numbered Windows releases. No worries. They'll fix it in Windows 9.

Feature-loaded smart camera includes remote control app

The Samsung WB850F is a compact digital camera capable of using Wi-Fi. The unit also features a 3-inch diagonal AMOLED display, GPS with digital compass, and a f2.8 Scheneider-KREUZNACH 21x optical zoom that is equivalent to a 23-483mm zoom on a 35mm SLR.

The image sensor is BSI CMOS with a size of 1/2.3 inch. You can capture 16.2 effective megapixels. Pictures are stored in JPEG format, while videos are MP4 (1920 by 1080 and 30 fps).

With Motion Photo, you can make one element of a normal photograph come to life and keep moving while the rest of the frame stays still, and instant in-camera editing along with Wi-Fi allows you to share images immediately without ever needing a computer.

You can upload photos to social networking sites — directly from the camera — and seamlessly sync your camera to other SMART devices (TV, phone, tablet).

You can also access your uploaded content on supported connected devices with Samsung's TV Link and MobileLink, plus you can transfer images and video directly from the camera to Microsoft Skydrive.

Remote Viewfinder lets you operate your camera directly from your smart phone., and Smartphone Link allows you to store and access your camera photos on your phone or tablet.

The Samsung WB850F SMART Camera with Built-in WiFi retails for $379.99. For more information, visit Samsung.com.

Ruggedized pocket camcorder perfect for the water park

The Samsung HMX-W300 Pocket Camcorder shoots video underwater at depths of up to10 feet, plus it repels dust and sand and withstands shock, making it ideal to record fun at the beach, pool, water park, or campground.

The camera records 1920x1080 full HD at 30fps, and the Smart Background Music feature lets you add preloaded soundtracks to your video. If the system senses someone is speaking, it automatically lowers the volume of the music.

The unit connects directly into any USB port for direct video or photo transfer to any compatible TV, PC or other electronic devices. To charge the battery while on the go, simply plug into any USB port.

The camcorder's external memory slot accepts SD, SDHC or SDXC cards, so you can quickly and easily transfer and view images on your PC.

The Samsung HMX-W300 Rugged Full HD 1080p Pocket Camcorder is available in black, red, or orange and retails for $159.99. For more information, visit Samsung.com.

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