Upgrade

We have been announcing the end days of Windows XP for some time now, and if you are not planning on upgrading your poor sad operating system to a nice new shiny one, then we are a bit of a loss what more to say. Microsoft on the other hand, has one more trick up their sleeves; they are willing to shell out a $100 instant savings credit if you trade up your existing Windows XP machine.

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Windows, Windows, Windows. It sure has been a busy day for Microsoft. If you've upgraded to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8, you're good to go almost immediately. It's really easy to get the latest release. But what about those of us who had the Windows 8.1 Preview? There has been talk about not being able to upgrade as Windows 8 keys won't work, etc. but there's light at the end of the tunnel.

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Microsoft previously revealed to the world exactly how it's looking to evolve its Bing search engine and integrate the service into the "one" company vision. As well as a brand new logo (which looks more modern and fits in with what we've seen happen to the rebranding of Office, Windows, Windows Phone and other products), the web service itself has been completely revamped.

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Microsoft’s latest upgrade to their Windows 8 operating system will begin to hit user machines within the next 12 hours – and it is ready to pack a punch.

Are you ready for the upgrade? Do you have a few questions on how to get it?  No worries, check below for a crash course in Windows 8.1 then be sure to tune in as we release our full Windows 8.1 review in the coming week.

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This is a quick reminder to those who are looking at T-Mobile for their next Windows Phone or are already a customer. The US mobile operator has launched its new family plans today, alongside the new JUMP! program. The latter enables customers to upgrade their smartphone up to twice per year with protection against malfunction, damage, loss and theft for $10 per month. The former unlocks a new, cheaper plan for families.

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According to a number of sources, the Windows Phone 8 update -- codename "Portico" OS build 8858 -- is rolling out across a number of European markets for those using unbranded hardware. WPArea.de reports that they have received the notification to upgrade their unlocked Windows Phone in Germany, while a handful of our readers from both Denmark and Sweden have got in touch.

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Microsoft is wrapping up its limited special offer on Windows 8 upgrades for consumers today. As well as this, the free offer on Windows Media Center (windows.microsoft.com) for Windows 8 Pro is also coming to an end. The company has offered free product keys for those with Windows Pro to add Media Center and enjoy functionality not offered in a vanilla Windows installation.

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The Windows Phone 7.8 update for Lumia smartphones is reportedly available through Nokia Care i.e. local store/support centers, scattered throughout the world including parts of Europe and India.

According to a number of tips we've received (mostly from India), the anticipated upgrade for those who remain on legacy hardware is available should official support channels be unavailable. Users can simply bring in their phone and have them updated right there by Nokia, even before the "early 2013" date.

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A presentation slide, reportedly from Nokia training material, has been leaked containing details of some features included in the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 update. Microosft has promised to those who own Windows Phone 7.x handsets that more features are on the way to keep the experience current. While features highlighted are already known, it's good to see official confirmation through said material.

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In one of the more creative offerings we have seen to get people to buy new Windows Phone 8 handsets, we like this one from Carphone Warehouse.  By simply purchasing a Nokia Lumia 820 you qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 8 Pro on your PC. (Unfortunately, Phones4U have an exclusive on the 920).That reinforces the notion that Microsoft (and their partners) are really pushing the idea that the desktop OS and phone are companions.

Fans of Microsoft's mobile OS for years have clamored for such a marketing campaign and now it looks to finally be happening. Thanks, Louis B, for the photo!

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Windows Phone 7.8 probably coming late

Windows Phone 8 is to be formally released in a few more hours. But guess a whole lot of us care more about its little brother: Windows Phone 7.8. For existing Windows Phone users who aren't buying a new device at this time, Windows Phone 7.8 is the real savior. There's bad news coming from Chinese site WPDang though: it'll be coming late.

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Using the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Assistant

You're looking at Windows 8 videos and screenshots with the mouth drooling, but how does one actually get cracking with the upgrade / installation process? It's actually relatively straightforward, which may surprise many who believe Microsoft to be the company that complicates their software offerings.

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I think we have briefly heard about this before, and Chinese tech site WPDang just got confirmation from their informants: Microsoft will cancel retail package of Windows 8. This means you won't be able to grab a DVD copy at nearby store. Instead, to get the latest member of the Windows family, you have the following options:

  • Buy a branded PC, and get preloaded Windows 8
  • Some OEM have Windows 8 upgrade coupons for buyers of existing Windows 7 computers, providing a way to the future
  • If you have a genuine copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, Microsoft has an online upgrading program. Sets you $14.99 for an upgrade from Windows 7, and $39.99 for upgrade from its elder brothers

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Achievement unlocked: Xbox LIVE upgrade enabled

Back in January 2011, we posted a rumor noting that the Scrabble-like game AlphaJax, one of our favorite indie games for Windows Phone, may be heading to Xbox LIVE.

Flash forward a mind-numbing 19 months later and we’re happy to report that indeed, AlphaJax will be coming to Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone in the near future.

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If you've purchased a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you are eligible for a discounted upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. When it releases you'll be able to upgrade your relatively new PC for only $14.99.

In order to take advantage of the Windows 8 upgrade offer you'll need to register online over at the Windows Upgrade Offer website. Up until today the site was simply a "Coming Soon" placard but today the site opened up to accept registration from eligible users.

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Microsoft has announced on the Windows 8 blog that the next major version of its operating system, Windows 8, has reached the RTM milestone. What does this mean for consumers? Not an awful lot if you're not particularly interested, but it does mean manufacturers are now set to start preparing products in time for when Windows 8 is released to the world (including Microsoft with its Surface tablets).

We previously covered Windows 8 when the release preview was made available to those who wished test Microsoft's latest desktop platform. The Windows team has completed product development and testing, and have now started to hand the code onto OEM partners. The release date for Windows 8 to the general public is still October 26th, so we all still have a slight wait to get through, but we're certain it'll be worth every second.

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October 26th, 2012. That’s the date folks and it’s a Friday, in case you were wondering.

Microsoft today (via Steven Sinofsky) just revealed at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that Windows 8 for customers will be available for download and on new PCs too starting at the end of October. With a $40 upgrade fee in place, purchasing a license for the much hyped OS should be easy and painless. 

So where does that leave Windows Phone 8? We’re betting we’ll see a similar release pattern and time-frame for their next mobile OS. We have a feeling Microsoft is going for a big launch, dominating tech headlines for weeks to come. While it will be hard to coordinate with carriers, we’re hoping their strategy is aiming for a universal release.

For the last two years, Microsoft has released new Windows Phones in October/November so we’re hoping for a repeat this time around too.

At least that’s our expectation.

Source: Microsoft

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Australian carrier Telstra has approved the Windows Phone Tango update for its arsenal of smartphones. We previously covered Telstra's efforts in testing the upgrade last month, so the carrier is indeed making good progress with getting the update to consumers in a speedy fashion.

The upgrade will be available for Telstra customers with a Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Mozart and HD7 or Samsung Omnia W. The LG c900k (Quantum) is reportedly still undergoing some tests before the update is rolled out. The expected dates are still frozen at mid-July, so we should be able to see some notifications pushed out shortly.

Be sure to keep up-to-date with the status of the rollout over on the Telstra website.

via: Peter's Kitchen; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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Windows 8 will allow you to poke people in the eye this October

Today at Microsoft's worldwide partner conference, Tami Reller, Corporate Vice President of Windows, announced when consumers can expect to see Windows 8 be released. October 2012 was the month provided, with manufacturers getting their mucky paws on the release (as well as Windows Server 2012) in the first week of August.

Reller also notes that business customers with volume licenses will also gain early access, matching Microsoft partners. ZDNet adds that Microsoft hasn't (and wont) let on when TechNet and MSDN members will gain access to the final version. Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide at launch.

Should you be hoping to build a new computer or order a PC before release, be sure to note that to upgrade to Windows 8 is just $39.99. If you haven't already, check out the release preview for an insight as to what's on the horizon. So, who's excited?

via: Windows Team Blog

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With the anticipation and impatient wait for Windows 8, many have been wondering what the fee will be for upgrading from a previous version of Microsoft's operating system. The team have announced on the Windows blog that the cost to consumers who wish to take advantage of Metro, among other Windows 8 Pro features, is just $39.99. 

Competitive pricing that follows Apple's approach with the latest Lion instalment, Microsoft is set to open up Windows 8 Pro to a larger audience. Those who are running Windows XP, Vista, or 7 installations will be eligible for the upgrade discount. What's more is that you get Windows Media Center for absolutely nothing at all. Good job, big M.

By buying the upgrade through Microsoft's website, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will walk the consumer through the process step-by-step, making it as user friendly as possible. From detailed compatibility reporting (hardware and applications) to actually downloading and installing Windows 8, the assistant will make the consumer's life easier.

Items that can be carried through the process include settings, personal files and apps (depending on what system you're upgrading from). Of course, as well as the upgrade option, one can always choose a fresh installation. Once the Windows 8 Pro upgrade has been purchased, it can be transferred to external media, and Microsoft also offers an option for a DVD to be posted (for a fee).

Who can upgrade? Microsoft is planning to support 100 countries and 37 languages. The full price of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade at local stores will be $69.99 during this promotion, which lasts through January 31st, 2013. But if you're like us and are building your own PC, or are trying Windows 8 out in a virtual machine / on a separate partition, you can purchase and install the Windows 8 / Pro System Builder product.

Source: Windows Blog

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