Category Archives: Windows


A look back at Windows Vista

 

 

7 years ago today, one of the most eagerly anticipated Windows products became available for general purchase – Windows Vista. Unfortunately, the OS didn’t have the impact that Microsoft had hoped for – instead of a positive product that could only build on the successes of XP, Vista was met with a backlash of criticism and unflattering reviews, centred largely around performance and cost. It’s predecessor, Windows 7, was released not even 3 years later, and even though some said this was rushed through development, it was still met with a better reception than Vista.

 

So what made Vista so unpopular? It had a lot of new features and upgraded programs, including Windows Media Player 11, IE7, instant search, the Aero interface, Windows Mail and newly designed games, including some for younger children, a feature XP was lacking. Well, cost for one thing. Whilst the costs to buy Vista in a package new weren’t highly expensive in the US for the time, in the UK the equivalent versions cost almost double, as well as in Canada. Additionally, Microsoft boasted that Vista would be able to run on nearly any PC on the market – a claim that backfired as a lot of the “premium” features, such as Aero, required very high specs to run properly, and were very buggy on PCs that did not meet requirements.
Windows XP diehard fans were also unimpressed with Vista. A lot of the features that made XP work well had been removed or redesigned in Vista, leaving users confused about the reasons why, and also how to work their machines.

 

Removed/replaced features included:
•    Windows Messenger
•    MSN Explorer
•    Active Desktop
•    NetMeeting – replace with Windows Meeting Space
•    Luna theme, and other classic colour schemes
•    Windows Explorer features

 

So what was good about Vista? There are several elements that did make up for Vista’s problems, including:
•    Search in Start Menu – This makes using the OS a lot easier, and saves time
•    Voice recognition – great for timesaving, and also easy to use in meetings.
•    Different volume settings for different programs – speaks for itself
•    Number of items being dragged in a drag and drop multi-function command – only a small thing, but lets you know you have selected the right number of items

 

So, what were your thoughts on Vista when it was released? Did you buy it and regret it? Were you one of the ones who liked Vista and kept it when 7 came out? Let us know in the comments…

7 years ago today, one of the most eagerly anticipated Windows products became available for general purchase – Windows Vista. Unfortunately, the OS didn’t have the impact that Microsoft had hoped for – instead of a positive product that could only build on the successes of XP, Vista was met with a backlash of criticism and unflattering reviews, centred largely around performance and cost. It’s predecessor, Windows 7, was released not even 3 years later, and even though some said this was rushed through development, it was still met with a better reception than Vista.

So what made Vista so unpopular? It had a lot of new features and upgraded programs, including Windows Media Player 11, IE7, instant search, the Aero interface, Windows Mail and newly designed games, including some for younger children, a feature XP was lacking. Well, cost for one thing. Whilst the costs to buy Vista in a package new weren’t highly expensive in the US for the time, in the UK the equivalent versions cost almost double, as well as in Canada. Additionally, Microsoft boasted that Vista would be able to run on nearly any PC on the market – a claim that backfired as a lot of the “premium” features, such as Aero, required very high specs to run properly, and were very buggy on PCs that did not meet requirements.

Windows XP diehard fans were also unimpressed with Vista. A lot of the features that made XP work well had been removed or redesigned in Vista, leaving users confused about the reasons why, and also how to work their machines.

Removed/replaced features included:

· Windows Messenger

· MSN Explorer

· Active Desktop

· NetMeeting – replace with Windows Meeting Space

· Luna theme, and other classic colour schemes

· Windows Explorer features

So what was good about Vista? There are several elements that did make up for Vista’s problems, including:

· Search in Start Menu – This makes using the OS a lot easier, and saves time

· Voice recognition – great for timesaving, and also easy to use in meetings.

· Different volume settings for different programs – speaks for itself

· Number of items being dragged in a drag and drop multi-function command – only a small thing, but lets you know you have selected the right number of items

So, what were your thoughts on Vista when it was released? Did you buy it and regret it? Were you one of the ones who liked Vista and kept it when 7 came out? Let us know in the comments…


Events in Computing History – December

December 2nd


Year:
1991

Event: Apple QuickTime was first released

Interesting Facts:

  • The first ever release of QuickTime, which introduced a video codec, had the code name of “Road Pizza”.
  • QuickTime 2.0 was the only ever software which didn’t release a free version, it added support for music tracks, which contained the equivalent of MIDI data and which could drive a sound-synthesis engine built into QuickTime itself (using a limited set of instrument sounds licensed from Roland).
  • The latest version of QuickTime is 10.6, which includes visual chapters, conversion, sharing to YouTube, video editing, capture of video and audio streams, screen recording, GPU acceleration, and live streaming.

Continue reading


Windows 1.0

Happy Anniversary Microsoft Windows 1.0

November 20th 1985 marks the 28th Anniversary of the release of Windows 1.0, Microsoft’s first version of an operating system which supported multi-tasking together with a graphic interface for PC’s.  Microsoft’s working name for this new operating system was Interface Manager, but they replaced the name to reflect the new multiple computing windows which the system featured.

 

Continue reading


Events in Computing History – November

November 1st

 

Year: 1979

Event: Seagate Technology (then known as Shugart Technology) incorporated

Interesting Facts:

  • Seagate may have its principle executive office in California, but it is actually incorporated in Ireland.
  • Seagate invented the 5mb ST-506 hard drive in 1980, which was the first 5.25” hard drive to hit the market and this launched them into being a major hardware supplier for the microcomputer market during the 80s.
  • Seagate changed their name from Shugart Technology in 1979 to avoid a lawsuit with Shugart Associates, a subsidiary of Xerox and also founded by Al Shugart, one of Seagate’s original founders (confusing? Yeah, we thought so too!)

 

Continue reading


Events in Computing History – September

September 2nd


Year:
2008

Event: The first initial release of Google chrome web browser.

Interesting Facts:

  • Although it was released after Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, Chrome is the most used web browser in the world, taking 39% of the market for usage.
  • Google Chrome is the only web browser with a built in language translator and able to convert up to 53 different languages.

Before chrome was released the chairman of Google (Eric Schmidt) was against the idea of a web browser as he considered the company too small to compete with the likes of Internet Explorer and Firefox and the idea was suspended for 6 years.

Continue reading


Windows XP

Retro Memories: Windows XP

 

Believe it or not, August 25th marks 12 years since Microsoft released Windows XP to worldwide sale, not knowing at that time that the then latest version of their global OS would be overall a great hit, and the backlash that would occur when XP succeeded by Windows Vista 5 years later.

 

Continue reading


Events in Computing History – August

August 1st

Year: 1969
Event: “Pioneer of the World Wide Web” Henrik Frystyk Nielson is born in Denmark
Interesting Facts:
• Henrik was Tim Berners-Lee’s first graduate student at CERN, and also shared desk space with Håkon Wium Lie, who later went on the invent CSS with Bert Bos.
• Nielson currently works at Microsoft and is the Principal Architect of the Windows Communication Foundation team.

Continue reading


10 Years today since the release of Windows NT

 

 

On 27th July 1993 Microsoft unveiled their brand new operating system, WindowsNT. This was the most advanced and powerful operating system which had ever been released. WindowsNT shared some similarities to UNIX. UNIX was another operating system which was first developed in the late 60s, it showed a lot of potential and was very advanced for its time.

 

It is believed that the idea for the name “NT” was taken from an early Intel processor, the Intel i860 which was code-named “N-Ten”. For marketing purposes Microsoft expanded the NT name to “New Technology”, but never carried it further to have any particular meaning, but still regard new systems to have been “Built on NT Technology”.

 

WindowsNT was a significant improvement to the previous version that was MS-DOS based, as this was the first fully 32-bit version of Windows, meaning that this was a much more powerful system as for the earlier versions only being able to process 16-bit.

 

WindowsNT was a huge stepping stone for Microsoft because this was the first of the operating systems for what all of the systems after were based on.

 

Almost exactly 3 years after the initial release of WindowsNT, NT 4.0 was released on July 29th 1996, introducing Windows Explorer which included the Taskbar and Start Menu that featured on Windows 95, 98 and 2000.

 

Windows 2000 experienced a lot of problems and also the “millennium bug” that caused many faults with the operating system, Microsoft worked on the problem quickly and just a year later they resolved all the issues and in October 2001 Microsoft released Windows XP, which is considered the best operating system Microsoft have done, even as today with Windows 7 and 8 out. XP is still used by a minority today mostly by choice.

 

Windows has come a long way since the first initial NT release, with the greatly powerful Windows 7 and 8 used by millions around the world with its option to upgrade to its powerful 64-bit versions which opens up a nearly infinite amount of opportunities, through hardware upgrades to extending software to endless capabilities to which we have yet to experience. With the release of 64-bit is only a matter of time before some brilliant mind is able to fully optimise this system to extraordinary levels of achievements. Windows 7 and 8 are only a very small percentage of what to expect out of 64-bit operating systems.

 

Here is a table showing how Windows has developed over the years in RAM capabilities and how 32-bit has reached the limit of what can be achieved, 64-bit showing how it’s improved and still has so much more to come:

 

Operating System RAM limit 32-bit RAM limit 64-Bit
 

First Windows NT to 4.1 release

 

64 MB

 

Windows XP 4 GB 128 GB
Windows Vista 4 GB 128 GB
Windows 7 4 GB 192 GB
Windows 8 4 GB 512 GB

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Windows_logo_and_wordmark_-_2012.svg