Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Windows 10 Launched Today - Is it Worth Upgrading?

Microsoft launched the much hyped Windows 10 operating system today, July 29, 2015. Microsoft is actually giving Windows 10 away for free. Yes, it's true and no it’s not the trial version, it’s the full version of the new operating system. Consumers who currently have Windows 7 or 8.1, are able to get Windows 10 as a free upgrade.

My favourite Windows operating system was and is Windows 7. I completely skipped Windows Vista (thankfully) and have been able to skip Windows 8 so far. From what I see, Windows 10 seems to be a crossover, incorporating the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8, into this new Windows 10 operating system.

I’m liking what I see so far, but am not ready to upgrade yet. For now, I’m sticking with Windows 7 until the dust settles. I’m in the market for a new laptop at which point, I think I will go for Windows 10.

So what’s new in Windows 10? Well, the video review below does a good job of covering many of the cool new features in Windows 10. However, let me share some of the key features that I really like in Microsoft’s brand new operating system.

START Button: Well, first of all, I must admit that I do like and am quite accustomed to the START button. Well, it’s back in Windows 10 and I’m sure many MS Windows users will be happy about that.

Platform Versatility: Windows 10 can be used across various platforms, that is, on computers, tablets, and smartphones. And it can also be integrated with Microsoft’s Xbox One console. The Xbox App allows users to play games without having an Xbox One console. If you do have an Xbox One, you can connect it to your Windows 10 PC and stream your gaming on your PC.

Continuum: Talking about the versatility of this new operating system, Continuum allows users to turn their computer into a tablet. Essentially, Continuum gives you the flexibility to work in desktop mode or touch-screen tablet mode while adjusting and optimizing the user-interface.

Cortana: is Windows’ new digital Personal Assistant with a sense of humor. Cortana will help users find things around their PC, give users reminders, help manage your calendar, send emails, and much more.

Snap Assist: I think I will like the Snap Assist feature because I constantly multi-task and have several applications open at the same time. With Snap Assist, you can drag a specific window to a section of the screen and Windows will automatically adjust the other open app windows.

Windows Edge: is Microsoft’s new browser that turns the web into your own canvas. Essentially, with Edge you can write notes and draw doodles with a variety of annotations on live web pages. You can then save the annotations as well as share them with others. You can write freehand, type, and even highlight with different colors.

MS Office Apps: Windows 10 comes with free MS Office apps like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, though these are stripped down versions app of MS Office. It also comes with a Screen Capture app that allows you to capture video to create tutorials or capture your gaming action.

Windows Hello: allows you to log into your computer using facial recognition or your fingerprint.

So that’s it in a nutshell – though there is still much more to this new operating system. Having said so, I’m not yet ready to give a 10 rating to the Windows 10 operating system. I guess time will tell if and how users embrace Windows 10. I’m really hoping that it is as good or better and Windows 7.

If you are currently on Windows 8, you probably will benefit from upgrading. But for users, like me, who are still using Windows 7, I think it may be better to wait until at least the initial launch.

If you want to Buy Microsoft Windows 10 Home, you will have to wait until August 5, 2015, but you can Pre-order Windows 10.

What will you do? Are you going to wait or go right ahead and upgrade to Windows 10? Feel free to share your thoughts and experience with Microsoft's new operating system!

Microsoft, Windows, and the Windows logo are trademarks, or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

If you use the link above to purchase the product. I may earn a commission as a Amazon Associate. This recommendation and review is based on my firsthand experience using this product myself.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Google+ Breaks Up with YouTube

Well, not yet, but there are changes coming in terms of how Google is going to take the focus off Google+ and put it more on a user’s Google Account. Earlier today, according to an official blog post titled “Everything in its right place”, Google announced that they will be making a few changes in the coming months.

Google’s VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing, Bradley Horowitz said “People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.

Essentially, they are decentralizing the Google+ Profile which currently acts as a user’s identity across Google services like Gmail, YouTube, Google+, Drive, Hangouts, etc. Their plan is to make users’ Google Account as their main identity for Google services. Also, currently, Google+ Profiles are searchable via Google Search, whereas, users’ Google Account won’t be.

One of the first changes that we will see is the decoupling of Google+ and YouTube. Based on the official blog post from the YouTube Team titled “Keeping the conversation going” and immediate change will be that comments made on YouTube videos will not appear on Google+ and vice-versa. As far as I know, my comments that I posted on YouTube videos never appeared on Google+ unless I checked the box to allow comments to appear on my Google+ timeline (see screenshot below).

Also, going forward, once the changes are implemented, users won’t need a Google+ profile to create a YouTube channel, upload videos and comment on YouTube videos. Bear in mind that these changes have not yet been implemented, therefore, don’t rush to delete your Google+ profile. In doing so, you will delete your YouTube channel, and you don’t want that – so hold your horses!

When changes like these are implemented one often thinks whether the death of Google+ is soon coming. It’s difficult to say because Google has done this before where they’ve launched products and then pulled them off the shelves. To that end, Mr. Horowitz says “We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.” So Google+ is here to stay as far as we know it.

I know many people don’t like Google+ and cringed when the Google+ profile was used as the one central identity for Google services. I may be in the minority when I say this, but personally, I like Google+ much better than Facebook and liked the fact that I had a choice to allow my comments to appear on Google+. It helped greatly because I have an active YouTube channel and could managed comments from within YouTube as well as from within Google+.

As far as I know it, now Google+ and YouTube are going to be separate which means duplicate work if I want to share it on Google+. On the brighter side, I do like that our Google Accounts will be our main identity for using Google services, instead of the Google+ profile.

Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.
Broken Hearted Graphic Public Domain CC0 via

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Amazon All Set for Prime Day

Amazon, the largest online retailer in the US, is all set for Prime Day on July 15, 2015. The company has touted this one-day only sale, Prime Day, as “More deals than Black Friday.

Amazon is celebrating their 20th anniversary with Prime Day, their version of Black Friday in July, only better. Amazon Prime was first launched in 2005 and has since become popular among regular Amazon shoppers who’ve made the best of this membership.

So is Amazon Prime worth it? Well, I guess the answer to that will depend on how you intend to use it. Amazon Prime membership costs US$99 per year.

Below are some of the main benefits of being an Amazon Prime member:

  • Free two-day shipping;
  • Free online movie streaming;
  • Access to ad-free music;
  • Unlimited photo storage;
  • Exclusive deals.

Some zip codes are eligible for free same-day shipping as well. Also, with Prime membership up to four eligible household members (who live at the same address) can use the membership for shipping benefits at no extra cost.

Learn more about Amazon Prime and its members benefits and some restrictions. If you don’t have Amazon Prime membership, you can get a 30-day free trial and still access the exclusive discounts available on Prime Day on July 15, 2015.

Amazon released some examples of deals you can expect on Prime Day:

  • Kindle, $30 off
  • Fire HD 7, $60 off
  • Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, $60 off
  • 32-inch LED TV, $75
  • 40-inch 1080p LED TV, $115
  • Brand-name 32-inch Smart HDTV, under $200
  • Chromebook laptop, only $199
  • Over 50% off two Nikon COOLPIX cameras
  • 40 lightning deals on DVDs up to 75% off
  • And many more.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.