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24Jun

Start Button to Return to Windows 8

Posted by: hamish

Comments: 0

Microsoft is bringing back the Windows Start button among a slew of improvements aimed at winning over tablet users and placating PC customers alienated by Windows 8.

Windows 8.1, a free update to be released later this year, represents Microsoft’s concessions to long-time customers taken aback by the dramatic changes to an operating system that had become a staple in households and offices around the world during the past 20 years. Research group IDC has blamed Windows 8 for accelerating a decline in PC sales.

With the release of Windows 8 seven months ago, Microsoft introduced a start screen displaying applications in a mosaic of interactive tiles instead of static icons. The shift agitated many users who wanted the option to launch the operating system in a mode that resembled the old set-up. That choice will be provided in Windows 8.1.

But Microsoft isn’t bringing back the start menu on the lower left corner of…

24Apr

Days numbered for XP operating system

Posted by: hamish

Comments: 0

Microsoft is prodding Windows XP users to consider upgrading to one its newer operating systems now its support for XP is due to end in one year.

IDC Research estimated XP was still running on 500,000 – or one in seven – New Zealand personal computers in February, making it the second-most popular operating system behind Windows 7.

Microsoft warned again today that it would stop supporting the operating system on April 8, 2014, which it said would leave those computers “open to potential vulnerabilities and security risks”.

Many consumers and businesses have been reluctant to upgrade from XP because it is relatively reliable and “does the job”.

But Microsoft New Zealand managing director Paul Muckleston claimed it was “not designed to handle today’s computing environment or cope with advanced cyber-attacks and the challenges of maintaining data privacy”.

There were big risks in continuing to use XP once Microsoft ended support, he said.

Users would…