Jim’s WebLetter for 5/2/15

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Hi-ya Folks!

It’s another week on the Web with all sorts of new things to show and tell.  But, I don’t want to waste space telling about Apple Watch’s problems … as if anyone thought it wouldn’t have any.  A problem part is defective and you learn that right after you’ve spent hundreds on a watch that doesn’t work as advertised.  No, I want to talk about Microsoft and not because I have machines running Windows and have since I could afford my first one back in the early 90’s when it cost thousands.  It’s a fact that the adage, “you can’t keep a good man down” pertains to companies, too.  

Case in point, Microsoft is preparing to release to the public Windows 10, a versatile software that can be modified to run on different systems, as well as the older Windows systems.  Take for instance, Raspberry Pi, the little motherboard that could which only costs $25.  https://dev.windows.com/en-US/iot/RaspberryPi2Support   Imagine being able to build your own computer for less than what you buy in the store, and all you have to do is get the basic attachments like screen, keyboard and mouse.  Attach the Internet to it and your running.

Granted, a lot of ground still needs to be covered on Windows 10 including pricing after the first year … http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/windows-10-pricing-after-first-year-remain-up-in-the-air/  but for now, the OS will be free for the first year.  Of course it will be a year of continued updates as Microsoft finds additional improvements to power devices.  Right now developers are continually receiving the latest “Build” models of the software to further enhance it and work out the bugs.

New features that stand out in 10 will be Cortana, the personal assistant that works like Siri for Apple and Google Now in Android and Apple.  http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/30/8525169/cortana-windows-10-new-features-ui  And the new browser, now sporting the new name Microsoft Edge.  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iH1D31YHsgY  

Meanwhile, a new feature called Continuum which is still in development will allow Windows 10 phone owners to plug their devices into a PC display, using the phone as though it were an actual desktop computer.  When it does become a reality, it will require special hardware, such as compatible phones and/or monitors.

Windows 10 will also carry the ability to share other device applications.  Clearly, Microsoft carries the vision of working along with everyone else, a kind of “can’t we all just get along” attitude that I like.  I have often said that the most perfect apparatus is one that can run anything on it.  All the best apps from Apple, Android and Windows – together.  http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-shows-how-easy-it-will-be-port-android-apps-windows-10-new-video

But probably the biggest new thing from Microsoft is the release of Microsoft Hololens, the head-worn apparatus that is a computer system in itself, also powered by Windows 10.  Recently, Microsoft held another look-see for journalists showing other capabilities the Hololens can do.  Imagining the possibilities can become endless as apps are now being built to run on the headset.  CNET was there and filed several reports including this one from author Nate Ralph who experienced first-hand creating holograms using the newly improved device.  http://www.cnet.com/products/microsoft-hololens/  

My feeling is, this like every other new piece of hardware should be considered but not necessarily purchased.  My rule of thumb is to always wait for the next generation to come out because most of the bugs will have been worked out in the first one.  

So, this summer promises the release of the new generation of Microsoft products.  Let’s hope it’s a smoother release than what we’ve seen from Apple and Google and for that matter, Microsoft in the past.

“Darn!” the man said to his friend while weighing himself at the local drug store scale. 
“I started on a new diet but the scale says I’m heavier than I was before.” 
Turning to his friend, he said, “Here, hold my jacket.” 
The scale still indicated that he had not lost any weight. 
“OK,” he said to his friend. “Hold my Twinkies.”
(Thanks, Martha)
Dinosaurs are fascinating. My four-year-old is obsessed with them. 
Recently, we were riding on a bus and he asked another passenger for her name. 
“My name is Deena,” she said. “Can you say Deena?” 
“Deena,” said my son. “Can you say pachycephalosaurus?”
(Thanks, Betty)
Have a great weekend friends.  This weekend marks the 52nd Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival here in Fernandina Beach.  If you’re nearby, it makes for a good time with food, art, antiques and on-stage music.  

As always, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
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