June 8, 2013

Bill Gates Became the Richest Man Again

After years of being on the second place after a Mexican millionaire, William Gates is now back to being the richest person on the Earth again. Within the last 6 years, Bill Gates was number two to Carlos Slim, playing telecom monopoly in Mexico and gaining Park Lane and Mayfair.


But 2012 turned out to be a bad year for Slim. He hasn’t gone to jail, but still he failed to collect $2 billion in revenues, because Mexico’s Congress has passed a monopoly-busting telecom bill. The latter threatened Slim’s company America Movil’s supreme rule of the market. This is why press reports announced that after a recent stock surge, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates became the richest person on the Earth again. At the moment, his fortune equals to $72.1 billion, which is $550 million more than the Slim’s.

In other words, Bill Gates’ wealth has increased 10% this year after Microsoft’s shares have risen. By the way, this is despite Bill and his wife Melinda giving over $28 billion to charity. Actually, the couple is going to eventually give away 95% of their fortune, which is quite generous.
However, the industry experts may seem at a loss to explain how Bill Gates and Microsoft could be doing so well – the matter is that the papers only talk about very poor sales for Windows 8 and the stories emerge how the company had failed to monetize the mobile and tablet market. However, Bill Gates claimed that he expects the new operating system to build momentum over time. Taking into account that iPad owners may be frustrated by the lack of a keyboard and Microsoft Office functionality, Gates may appear right. Finally, the recent reports revealed another unexpected source of revenue for Microsoft – from its competitors. Since Android uses some of Microsoft’s patents, the company now receives $8 for every Android phone made. 

June 6, 2013

Windows 8.1 demo video hits the web

We’ve only seen leaks and preview images of what Windows 8.1 (code named Windows Blue) would look like so far, but we won’t have to do that anymore. Microsoft has finally released a video demo of Windows 8.1, showing off some of the new features the update brings.

The video shows Jensen Harris of the Windows User Experience Team demonstrating some of the improvements and changes to the Start Screen and Search; how the new Snap Views work, and the changes to the overall user interface. However, Microsoft is still mum about the Start button on Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 has a number of visual tweaks and the core apps have improved functionality. Users are handed more control of the look and behavior of their Windows device. Microsoft lets you customize and organize the Start Screen—you can group together apps and tiles, and name the groups. There are new small and live tiles that make the Start screen look very similar to Windows Phone 8’s main menu. Multiple selection of tiles is a much-needed improvement—you can re-size, move and even get rid of several in one go. There’s no indication of whether the excessive animation has been reined in or whether all tile animations can be turned off in one shot.

There are also more choices for the Start screen’s background. There are more colours and new “tattoo” patterns (including animated ones), but users will most likely appreciate the ability to use any image as the background and also unify the desktop wallpaper and Start screen background. 
New colours and tattoos, including animated ones
New colours and tattoos, including animated ones

In addition, you can choose to run a slideshow as a sort of screensaver when your device is locked. Photos on your hard drive or in your online accounts can be used. There’s also a smartphone-inspired feature for taking photos with the webcam even when a device is locked—probably not much use on a desktop, but potentially handy for tablets.

The Snap feature, which lets you view two windows side by side, is now not limited to specific screen sizes. You can snap two apps next to each other and drag the bar between them arbitrarily. You can also have two instances of the same app snapped next to each other on the screen, such as two document windows—something that really should have been allowed right from the beginning. PC users with more than one monitor will be able to snap even more apps together, run different full-screen apps on different monitors and even leave the Start screen permanently visible on any one monitor.

Microsoft will release the first public preview of Windows 8.1 on June 26, at Microsoft’s Build conference.
[via Tech2]