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Unread 2015-06-25, 03:21 PM   #51
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Windows 10 Desktop Wallpaper Revealed



The software giant enlisted a team of artists (and a bunch of lasers) to create something special for Windows 10.



Microsoft is getting ready to release Windows 10 on July 29 and a brand new operating system needs a brand new desktop wallpaper image. But a basic Windows logo just isn't going to cut it.




Microsoft enlisted a team of artists to create something special for Windows 10. In a new YouTube video (below), the team shows how they used light and lasers to create the new desktop wallpaper. Led by motion graphics designer Bradley G Munkowitz, the team built two installations in a photography studio in San Francisco to essentially create the Windows logo out of light.
"The project's all about one-point perspective, and … looking at the logo itself as a portal that was allowing us to look into space," Munkowitz said. "In order to do that we had to develop some kind of weird techniques, kind of a camera mapping of the logo."
The camera mapping technique allowed the team to "create a volumetric area of light and haze and lasers and projections and little details everywhere — lens flares, aberrations," he added.


Munkowitz said a ton of design went into creating the image, and Microsoft encouraged the team to take the project in an experimental direction. The result is a different look than we've seen from Windows before.
"It's very exciting to be an artist in these times where your medium is constantly changing," Munkowitz said. "I love the idea of delivering one perfect, pristine still."
Check out the video below to see the new Windows 10 desktop wallpaper.
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Unread 2015-07-17, 10:16 AM   #52
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With Windows 10, Microsoft finally lets you buy Windows on a USB flash drive

Amazon is selling preorders for USB drives from Microsoft loaded with Windows 10.




Good news, PC home builders! If you're busy constructing a new tower for Windows 10 and on the fence about whether or not to take up a slot with a DVD drive, here’s a little tidbit you should know about: You’ll be able to purchase a retail copy of Windows 10 on a USB drive. Huzzah!
Amazon currently has a pre-order page up for Windows 10 Home that ships on a USB flash drive. The bad news is the item is currently listed as shipping on August 30—nearly a month after Windows 10 starts rolling out on July 29. That’s been Microsoft’s modus operandi for recent Windows releases, however, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
As Microsoft tipped in June, the retail version of Windows 10 Home is selling for $120. There is also a Windows 10 Pro USB drive selling for $200.
In addition to the USB sticks, Amazon is also listing disc-based versions of Windows 10 Home Builder OEM that sell for a little bit cheaper and ship earlier than the USB drives. The Windows 10 Pro Home System Builder OEM disc is priced at $140 and ships on August 5, while the basic Home OEM disc is just $100 and ships the same day as the Pro disc.
Amazon is selling pre-orders for Windows 10 on a USB stick.
The big difference between the USB drives (the “retail” versions) and the System Builder versions is that Microsoft offers support for the retail builds. If you try and install the OEM version on a PC you are on your own. There are also many other differences we won’t go into here, but for a complete breakdown check out How To Geek’s excellent explainer.
The impact on you at home: If you’re looking to pick-up retail versions of Windows 10 for installing on a fresh machine, you can pre-order your copy now. Just make sure you note the shipping date and the differences between regular retail versions and the Home Builder system discs. You may save a few bucks by getting Windows 10 on legacy media, but the hassles of no support and other restrictions—for example, System Builder versions are tied to a specific piece of hardware—may not be worth it.
Further reading: Windows 10: The 10 coolest features to try out first
Out with the old, in with the new

It’s about time Microsoft started selling and shipping Windows on USB keys. DVD drives are becoming less and less common on machines and aren't even must-haves for gamers anymore—with services like Steam, it’s not uncommon to simply download modern mega-sized games.
Windows 10 is not really the first time we’ve seen Windows on a USB stick. You can—or at least could—download a Windows 8 ISO and manually slap it on a USB drive instead of a disc for installation. Windows 8.1 Enterprise users also have access to Windows To Go, a feature that lets you carry around a portable version of Windows on a flash drive.
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Unread 2015-07-17, 11:40 AM   #53
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So is this gonna be a free upgrade from an OEM 8.1?
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Unread 2015-07-17, 01:29 PM   #54
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Yup
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Unread 2015-07-17, 03:00 PM   #55
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I wonder if it will be transferable to new mobo like OEM 8.1 is...
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Unread 2015-07-17, 03:31 PM   #56
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I would guess so. As long as only one computer is running that version.
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Unread 2015-07-20, 08:59 AM   #57
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Windows 10 auto updates are a necessary evil



Last week, Microsoft was discovered to have silently updated its Licensing Agreement, you know, that part that barely anyone reads before installing software, for Windows 10. What Microsoft sneaked in has sent ripples on the Internet over the weekend and, in typical fashion, has polarized even Windows users. What exactly is that change? In order to use Windows 10, users, at least the Home consumer ones, must agree to receive automatic system and app updates, no questions asked. It is, after all, for the common good, but thing aren't always ideal.

Windows as a Service

Next to the Universal App Platform, the other biggest spiel that Microsoft is making about Windows 10 is transforming the OS into a service, which is a common buzzword in the tech industry of late (software as a service, platform as a service, etc.). For Microsoft, this practically means an ongoing stream of updates delivered as they come, instead of the former packaged deliveries (Service Packs) or even the time-based rollouts (Patch Tuesdays). This has also been the basis of why people call Windows 10 as the last Windows release, since, in theory, it will just be updated over and over again.







In this light, the requirement to agree to automatic updates does make sense. Most services update software behind the scenes. Some programs, especially browsers like Chrome and Firefox, even do that as well. The "new feature", if you could call it that, gives Microsoft the ability to immediately push out important updates any time when needed and not have to wait for either schedules or user's permission. There is still some semblance of user choice, however, though not as liberating as before. Users can only choose between automatically rebooting after important updates and restarting at their discretion. The latter is most likely to be the most popular, presuming it's easily found.
The fact that Microsoft is now requiring such control over users' computers is, admittedly, somewhat frightening. But the opposite scenario, however, is even more so.
Getting rid of baggage

Microsoft is trying to shed off the image and reality of Windows being one of the most insecure operating systems of all time. Part of that historical baggage has been due to Microsoft's traditional patch cadence, which it is now trying to abolish. But part of the blame also lies on users, particularly the regular home users. Businesses are more conscientious, though also more picky, about keeping their systems up to date. After all, their operations depend on keeping their computers secure. End users, on the other hand, often put things off. Worse, they aren't well aware of critical security problems until it hits mainstream media. And, to some extent, it's not exactly their responsibility to keep abreast of things. Unless they happen to be system administrators of their own PCs.
This moves removes the burden off the shoulders of users. Almost like the kill switch bill in California, automatic updates means that users need not even be aware of having to enable the setting. Things just happen. The only thing they need to be aware of, which will hopefully be made easily obvious, is whether to restart immediately after an update or not.
It is an understandable tradeoff. It absolves Microsoft of blame and also absolves the user of responsibility. In an ideal world, it's a win-win scenario. But we don't live in an ideal world.

Not all roses

One would think that a feature that perpetually keeps users' computers secure would be warmly welcome with open arms. In theory, it should be. But much of the wariness, if not complete opposition, to the change all boils down to two things: control and trust.
There is something to be said about handing over to Microsoft almost complete control of one's computer, particular in this critical process. Whether that is an illusion or not is a debate for another day, but it's enough for users to balk at the idea that they can't choose when or if they want certain important updates. Let it be noted that Microsoft isn't completely taking away control, at least not for all kinds of users. Businesses using Windows 10 will still have the freedom to choose when they want to apply updates, usually after they have verified that the patch works as advertised.
One subset of users will be aversely affected by this new policy are pirates. Of course, it's too early to say how Windows 10 can be pirated, if at all. Traditionally, however, those using "non-genuine" copies of Windows do not apply updates because many of those close the security exploits that make the piracy possible. This will definitely make life harder for them.
Another, and probably more reasonable, sticking point is how much trust the user is willing to ascribe to Microsoft. Agreeing to let Microsoft automatically update Windows 10 Home installations carries an implicit vote of confidence that Microsoft will not screw up the update, intentionally or otherwise. Even the most well tested patch could hit corner cases that could render a computer completely unusable. Without a proper backup (a more important thing Microsoft probably needs to automate), it could leave users locked out. And some might point out how Microsoft could use the opportunity to sneak in some less than innocent "feature" with the user none the wiser. Then again, since Windows itself is closed source, that would be true whether or not updates are automatic.
Strategic Move

Given most users' seemingly innate talent to forego updates, Microsoft's decision to force Windows 10 updates might be a strategic one. We'll, of course, presume that it is doing so in good faith and not for any conspiracy. It could, however, probably implemented it better.
If the main problem is users not updating regularly or at all, then Microsoft could have just made automatic updates the default behavior without removing the option to disable it. And it could make the process of disabling it a bit more involved to impress on the user the severity of the consequences of their action. Think two-step authorization. It solves the same problems but doesn't wrest control away from the user.
That said, the whole issue might blow over anyway, with many shrugging their shoulders and either accepting things as they are or walking away from Windows 10 completely. It might be too late for Microsoft to change things right now, considering how close we are to launch date, but they can very well change things after the fact. Ironically, that update would come via that same forced auto-update.
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Unread 2015-07-21, 10:48 PM   #58
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Microsoft
Celebrate the Windows 10 'ninjacat' meme with new Microsoft desktop wallpapers

Because who doesn't want a Windows 10 background with a cat riding a narwhal, with bacon?




Inexplicably, a ninja cat riding a unicorn became the symbol of Windows 10. So now you can download your own custom wallpaper to get ready for the release of Microsoft’s new operating system. Naturally.
As Windows Insider Gabe Aul explained, the ninjacat is now riding three custom steeds: the original unicorn, a narwhal with bacon impaled upon his horn, and a fierce Tyrannosaurus Rex.
“While the ninja cat started out as just a fun little internal joke, it’s been pretty neat to see our Windows Insiders and Windows and Microsoft fans really enjoying our version of it,” Aul wrote. “ We were fortunately able to connect with Jason [Heuser, the author of the original ’Welcome to the Internet” meme) and wanted to give him props for his amazing work in creating this design and inspiring us.”
Microsoft formatted each of the images in different resolutions for different device form factors, from a massive 3840 x 2160 down to the 310 x 102 format used as a background for the Microsoft Band.
And there’s one more thing: Microsoft hid something within Skype, but it’s not saying what it is. (If you message someone with (Windows10), you'll see an animated GIF, according to WindowsCentral.)
Why this matters: For years, Microsoft’s been a staid, no-nonsense company without any (public) sense of humor. But Windows 10 was crafted in conjunction with the community, and the culture surrounding it has adopted some of the give and take. So it’s not surprising to see some of humor leak into the Windows 10 release, too. And, of course, a nice 20 percent discount on computer hardware doesn’t hurt, either. We’re nearly a week away from the launch of Windows 10, and Microsoft’s ramping up.
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Unread 2015-07-22, 06:18 AM   #59
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I still can't tell if it's worth it to go from 8.1 to 10 on my tablet.
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Unread 2015-07-24, 08:33 AM   #60
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Windows 10, Day One



1
Last night, as promised, I installed Windows 10 on my own personal laptop. I left everything to chance. I didn’t back up my data. Hell, I set my Lenovo ThinkPad X240 on the floor of a pizza parlor in San Francisco—dongle and all—and let it install totally unattended.


Then, I woke my precious laptop to discover the most painless software upgrade I’ve ever performed. At least, that’s what it feels like so far.
23
I’m going to be honest: I wasn’t expecting my ThinkPad to be a particularly easy target for a Windows 10 upgrade. I originally picked this computer because it’s absolutely jam-packed with features, some of which require additional software. It’s got a fingerprint reader, a touchscreen, two batteries—one of them removable—a touchpad with five integrated buttons and multitouch gestures, plus the famous red “Thinkpad nub” in the center of the keyboard.
When I upgraded this laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 8 a while back, it was painful to go out and find all the drivers again to get those things working, and one of them never quite did: the fingerprint reader would probably work one out of every three times I tried to use it, and stop working until the next reboot every time it failed.

But when I booted up Windows 10 for the first time, it just worked. I lifted the lid of my laptop, dragged my fingertip across the reader, and I was recognized then and there.
You have to understand I’d done absolutely nothing to this computer except start the Win 10 installation, say “yes, I’d like to migrate all my settings and apps,” and let it sit for an hour while I ate pizza. There weren’t a whole bunch of “Yes, I’d like to verify such and such” screens to click through, and I didn’t need to let it sit and download drivers before I booted up. It really did migrate my existing settings—right down to the fingerprints I’d registered with this computer a year ago—and it worked better than ever before.
Of course, that’s when Windows told me it wasn’t actually done installing and spent another 10 to 15 minutes “getting my desktop ready for me.” But still.
When I picked up my ThinkPad for the second time, I was impressed yet again: there was my desktop, almost exactly the way I left it. All my files in the exact same places, and with my same background image.
Before:

After:

One thing that did immediately bug me: for some reason, my screen brightness was set to maximum. I hammered on the “lower brightness” key on my keyboard, but it did nothing. (More on that in a bit.)

The second thing that bugged me: my overcrowded new taskbar. I tend to pin a lot of apps and shortcuts to my taskbar, and that meant that all of a sudden I had two pages of taskbar rather than one. And since Skype launches itself whenever I start Windows—and freshly launched apps appear on page two of that taskbar—all of a sudden I couldn’t see my most used programs.
I decided that might be a minor gripe, though, when I saw what was crowding the taskbar: four new options. The Start Menu, Cortana, a dedicated multitasking key, and a little speech bubble of a button that brings up the Action Center, a hub for settings and notifications.

Yes, the Start Menu is back, and I’m so relieved. As you might have heard, it’s got two halves now. The left half (supposedly) gives you six of your “Most Used” apps, a few of the most recently added apps, and quick shortcuts for settings, your file browser, and finally restores the goddamn buttons that actually let you turn off your freaking computer.
It also brings back a simple scrollable/swipeable alphabetical-sorted list of all your apps, which is absolutely amazing for me, personally, to have. I’m always forgetting the name of the app that lets me see which gigantic files are eating up my computer’s hard drive space—for example—and of course you couldn’t easily search for an app in Windows 8 without knowing its name! Now, I can just flick through the list, find WinDirStat, and go about my business.

The right side of the Start Menu, meanwhile—which you can actually stretch out to be far wider—is the place where you can pin don’t-call-them-metro Windows Store apps, complete with their flashy animated Live Tiles that pop up information at a glance.
But I didn’t have time to check that out last night—because that was the moment Windows 10 decided to try installing some new drivers without asking me. All of a sudden, the brightness adjusting keys on my keyboard started working. Great! And all of a sudden, my desktop was ripped to shreds when the Intel graphics driver crashed. Not so good.
I swiped in from the right edge of the touchscreen—like Windows 8 taught me—to turn off the computer. The power buttons weren’t there. And for some reason, my Windows key wouldn’t summon the Start Menu.

Not what you want to see.
Oh boy. Would my Windows 10 experiment end in failure?
Nah. I stabbed at the little Windows key right there on my touchscreen, managed to hit the power button, and restarted the system. When it woke up again—which seemed to take forever, probably because it was installing mandatory updates, though weirdly the screen stayed blank—everything was back to normal and everything seemed to be working again.
In fact, nearly every one of what I’d presumed were proprietary Lenovo function keys were being properly mapped to a Windows 10 feature. The Search key pulled up the new Cortana voice assistant, and the settings key launched the new Windows settings menu. Only the hardware wifi switch doesn’t seem to do anything (though now you can just say “Hey Cortana, turn off wifi” to do that instead).

And yes, that multitouch trackpad, Thinkpad nub, and all five buttons worked as expected. They felt just the same. Hell, so many things felt so familiar that it wasn’t clear what to test next. Even the little hacks I felt sure wouldn’t migrate to Windows 10 appear to be there. My screenshots are still automatically uploading to Dropbox. My ImageMagick shell integration is still there.
I clicked on the little battery icon in the system tray, and sure enough, both batteries were being detected and drained in the right order—the removable one first. Which is probably controlled by the ThinkPad’s low-level hardware, but it’s nice to see Windows natively recognize it and even tell me how long it’ll take to get to a full charge.
I was about to call it a night when I noticed a new pop-up notification in the corner of my screen: Microsoft wanted to know how my upgrade process had been, on a scale of 1 to 5.

Nice try, Microsoft. So far, so good—but we’ve just scratched the surface. Now, I’m going to actually work from this laptop, and see how Windows 10 holds up.
This post is part of a week-long experiment with Windows 10 ahead of the official launch on July 29. What do you want to know about Windows 10? Drop us a line.
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Unread 2015-07-24, 08:57 AM   #61
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Well now I may actually be interested in upgrading to Windows 10
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Unread 2015-07-24, 10:47 AM   #62
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I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty freakin pumped about the 10 upgrade.

They took care of my biggest complaint with 8.1 which was the forced switching to full screen start screen to access apps. It was just a big annoyance to say...be working off a spreadsheet in desktop and then pull up your calculator to run some quick numbers. pull up calculator and by default it's full screen. Then you gotta snap it to the right and pull back up desktop, just to get the damn app to overlay so you can work in the same space. So stupid. Sooo sooo stupid.
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Unread 2015-07-24, 11:09 AM   #63
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I reserved mine today, hopefully since I'm on a "newer" machine and on 8.1 I won't have to wait in line for a month to get mine.
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Unread 2015-07-24, 11:17 AM   #64
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We have a pilot test group at work of people that have been on Windows 10 for a while...it's still pretty buggy but so far so good
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Unread 2015-07-24, 11:28 AM   #65
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The forced windows updates are going to piss me off
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Unread 2015-07-27, 09:09 AM   #66
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Windows 10 review: Should you upgrade?


Promotional staff stand at the Microsoft Windows 10 booth two days before its global official launch at the Ani-Com & Games Hong Kong in Hong Kong, China, July 27, 2015. (REUTERS/Bobby Yip)


Windows 10 is an exercise in rectifying the wrongs of Windows 8. That may be the only reason you need to upgrade.
Microsoft is set to release Windows 10 on July 29. That will end an experiment in an operating system that tried to force-feed a touch interface to consumers who — for the most part — had no appetite for it. More specifically, with Windows 8, Microsoft tried to impose its vision of a touch-first ethos that wasn’t very well conceived.
Let me touch on some highlights of what to expect from Windows 10.


* Start menu: This is probably the most welcome change. While the Start menu still has the familiar Live Tiles of Windows 8.1, it allows you to reduce the screen-consuming Modern (what Microsoft used to call Metro) touch interface of 8.1 to essentially a pop-up (albeit, wide) menu. And Modern apps can now run as a window on the desktop like any other desktop application. One of the most frustrating design gaffes in 8/8.1 for me is running a Modern Windows app. The app takes over your whole screen by default. While you can arrange Windows apps with Snap, it’s not the same as traditional windowing.
But, wait — Windows 10 gets better. Welcome, the return of the Windows 7 Start, or, at least a key concept of the Windows 7 Start menu. That includes putting drop-dead common sense features like PC on-off on the menu, which is also present on the Windows 8.1 desktop menu, but was added later as an afterthought and not quite as accessible as the new Start.
This brings me back to why Windows 8 seemed so ineffective to so many. Just turning off your PC could be a multi-step, trial-and-error process for the average user not steeped in the intricacies introduced (unnecessarily) into the Windows 8 redesign.
* Tablets: Ah, Tablet Mode. While there are shadows of the much-maligned screen that greeted you in Windows 8, Microsoft has done the smart thing by not making this the force-fed mode that burdened all PCs. The redesigned Tablet Mode is set aside for users with a tablet or, for example, a Surface product like Surface 3 or Surface Pro 3. Just detach the keyboard and you’re automatically in Tablet Mode.
* Edge Browser: this is the brand-new browser for Windows 10 that replaces Explorer. Its principle virtue is the speed it renders pages.
Microsoft Edge also lets you take notes, write, doodle, and highlight directly on webpages.
* Action Center: this is the new way that Windows 10 handles notifications. The Charms bar apparently will be jettisoned from Windows 10. Instead, you will now have the Action Center, which is a bar that appears on the right side of the screen and includes notifications similar to those found on Windows Phone. It also includes Quick Actions such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth settings that are analogous to Apple’s iOS Control Center.
Windows 10 appears to be good enough to keep the Windows faithful on board and may be even good enough to entice Mac OS X users (like myself) back to Windows. We’ll know for sure Wednesday when the real thing arrives.
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Unread 2015-07-27, 03:24 PM   #67
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Windows backing off forced updates

http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft-u...72372b7d2a99d4

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They may get their wish. A recently released and "well-hidden" troubleshooter package (KB3073930) that was first spotted by ZDNet gives Windows 10 Home users the option of hiding or blocking Windows Updates and driver updates. The latter is especially good news to the Windows 10 testers who recently complained that a forced Nvidia driver doled out by Windows was causing trouble.
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Unread 2015-07-28, 03:36 AM   #68
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I'm scurred to upgrADE
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Unread 2015-07-28, 08:32 AM   #69
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why would you be scared to upgrade? Compared to windows 8, which had people from technical previews blasting the thing a year before it came out - for the most part - the feedback has been positive here. Minor quips here and there, but the positive vibe around Windows 10 is quite telling.
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Unread 2015-07-28, 09:30 AM   #70
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I'm excited about the free upgrade. Even my windows 7 HTPC is getting it - unless it doesn't have media center.
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Unread 2015-07-28, 09:38 AM   #71
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I'm excited about the free upgrade. Even my windows 7 HTPC is getting it - unless it doesn't have media center.
I think that is one of the big things, it doesn't have media center.
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Unread 2015-07-28, 10:44 AM   #72
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I think that is one of the big things, it doesn't have media center.
That's a non-issue with how many open source media centers are available.

This one looks REALLY strong.

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-2-download
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Unread 2015-07-28, 11:25 AM   #73
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just picked up another key on g2a for 8.1 pro

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Unread 2015-07-28, 12:04 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Scooby24 View Post
That's a non-issue with how many open source media centers are available.

This one looks REALLY strong.

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-2-download
Going to give this a look tonight.
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Unread 2015-07-28, 12:36 PM   #75
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I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty freakin pumped about the 10 upgrade.

They took care of my biggest complaint with 8.1 which was the forced switching to full screen start screen to access apps. It was just a big annoyance to say...be working off a spreadsheet in desktop and then pull up your calculator to run some quick numbers. pull up calculator and by default it's full screen. Then you gotta snap it to the right and pull back up desktop, just to get the damn app to overlay so you can work in the same space. So stupid. Sooo sooo stupid.
YES.

I'm also pumped.
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