What Windows 8 Means for Tablets

What Windows 8 Means for Tablets
Amid the introduction of so many tablets recently, one thing has been clear: There's room for a viable competitor to Apple. Android tablets are still not crashing Apple's iPad party, as evidenced by Apple's runaway sales.

Samsung is one of the top sellers of Android tablets so far, yet even so, an executive at Mobile World Congress admitted the company hadn't been very successful. But where Android tablets have struggled to gain traction, Windows 8 tablets are generating a lot of interest among manufacturers, consumers, and business users alike.

The Wednesday release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview may serve to strengthen the case for Windows 8 tablets. But as with everything about the upcoming OS, the success of Windows 8 tablets is predicated on the idea that users buy-in to the dramatic Windows redesign.

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OnLive Desktop Brings Office and Windows 7 to Android

OnLive Desktop Brings Office and Windows 7 to Android
After launching OnLive Desktop for iPad users last week, cloud gaming service OnLive released on Thursday its free Windows desktop virtualization app for Android tablets. Now Android users can run Microsoft Office apps and even stream videos and games to the tablet.

OnLive runs Windows on its own servers, where you can also save your files.

While the app is free, various subscription plans range up to enterprise level. The free, Standard service provides 2GB of cloud storage so you can transfer files between OnLive Desktop on the tablet and other devices. It provides access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Reader on the tablet. Several other standard Windows desktop applications that come preinstalled in the free version include: Notepad, Wordpad, Windows Journal, and Windows Media Player, according to Android Police.

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Five Windows 8 Features Businesses Should Watch

Five Windows 8 Features Businesses Should Watch
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview isn't the only new Microsoft download of interest to businesses. Also recently released was its Product Guide for Business, a 15-page PDF file that explores the most relevant Windows 8 features and technologies for businesses. Though littered with typos, the guide provides a well-organized overview of many previously introduced features, as well as details that weren’t previously disclosed.

Here are five of the areas mentioned in Microsoft's guide likely to affect companies the most.

1. Windows To Go

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Facebook Timeline Arrives for Business: Prepare Your Page

Facebook today introduced a major revamp for business pages that gives you more control over the look and feel of your company's page. The new page layout helps you interact more easily with your Facebook fans, enabling enhanced graphics, the capability to feature posts, and private messages with fans.

Most Facebook users are familiar with the new Timeline layout. Not only does it organize status updates onto a timeline, making it easy to call up a Facebook user’s posts by month and year, but the Facebook experience becomes much more visual, with larger and more clearly displayed photos.

Here are the key features, and how to get your company ready for the Facebook-wide rollout on March 30.

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Microsoft Launches Windows 8 Consumer Preview With Free Apps

Microsoft Launches Windows 8 Consumer Preview at Mobile World Congress
Microsoft used the backdrop of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Wednesday to launch its long-awaited Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In doing so, Microsoft makes a big statement about where it sees Windows' future role on mobile devices--tablets and laptops, but no mention of phones, yet.

The Consumer Preview went live during the event, and Microsoft said that in the first hour, it had already had downloads from over 70 different countries. The company revealed little news; it's still too early to have details about availability, pricing, and distribution for Microsoft's radically new OS. But we did get a look at the Microsoft Windows Store--now live--and more insight on how Windows on ARM will work.

The Microsoft Windows Store, first previewed in December of last year, is now live. And all apps during the Consumer Preview period will be free but only when using the new preview version of the OS.

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Windows Phone Owners: No Windows 8 for You...Yet

Microsoft showed off the Windows 8 Consumer Preview today in Barcelona on the third day of Mobile World Congress. As the PCWorld phone editor, the whole event felt incredibly familiar. XBox live support? Apps that work together? A dynamic start screen? It sounds a lot like Windows Phone.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that MWC is a phone-centric show, there wasn’t a single smartphone in sight. Despite the fact that many of the Windows 8 gestures seem incredibly phone-like (“pinch to zoom,” swiping to close apps, etc.) and features like the Hubs and tiles are already on Windows Phone, Microsoft did not mention anything about Windows 8 availability on phones during the press event.

While Windows 8 has a lot in common with Windows Phone, there are some features I’d love to see on Microsoft’s mobile phone platform. For example, I love the People and Photo hubs‘ integration with Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Flickr. I also like the way Windows 8 handles multitasking via the compared to the current Windows Phone method. Additionally, being able to use the same app store for both your tablet and your phone--and be able to share and sync between the two--would be an awesome feature.

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Skype Launches GroupMe for Windows Phones

Skype Launches GroupMe for Windows Phones
Skype this week launched the GroupMe app for Windows Phone, following its August acquisition of the tool that enables free, real-time group texting. GroupMe lets you communicate instantly with up to 25 colleagues using chat, photos, and location sharing.

Emails get lost and voice mails can take forever for someone to reply to. But with GroupMe, you can send a mobile message to an entire project team or department. It can help you keep your email inboxes clear if you just need to fire off a short message, like a meeting reminder. And the Questions feature lets you send a question to all members of your group simultaneously.

GroupMe is unique as one of its main rivals, Beluga, shut down last December. Google+ Hangouts allow you to video chat with up to nine contacts at once, but you have to actively be online to catch them. GroupMe, on the other hand, lets you send messages that group members can pick up whenever they log on. GroupMe is also great for organizing your personal life.

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