Microsoft half-unveil Windows 8's new user interface

Yesterday, at the All Things Digital conference - usually something I avoid - Microsoft unveiled the new Metro style user interface for Windows. Optimised for touch, but compatible with a mouse and keyboard. Alarmingly applications that make sure of this user interface are written in HTML5 and Javascript. Hopefully Silverlight, and even WPF will make an appearance in the future.

It also looks like the Office team have finished their takeover of Windows, with Jensen Harris in charge of the video!

All in all I'm impressed with the direction they're going, I'd argue they could have done it sooner. They've had the key aspects in there for years, namely with Media Center from which Metro was derived. But now with Windows also being ported to low powered ARM devices it was clear a full-featured Metro style interface was needed.

Microsoft Safety Scanner, one to add to the toolbox

Here's one to add to your toolbox, especially for people who do a lot of consumer oreanted tech support. The recently released Microsoft Safety Scanner.

It's a self-contained anti-malware scanner, the kind which is handy to run off a USB drive to scan someone's computer. No installation or internet connection is required, as most sophisticated malware will block installations of known anti-malware and block internet access to various websites. But copies you download are only good for 10 days before you have to download a newer version.

Standard EULA.

Here it kindly reminds you that it is not a replacement for a resident anti-malware scanner. I'd recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for that.

Standard sort of options, quick scan, where malware is most likely to be located, complete and of course a custom scan.

Nice and simple. Like I said only draw back is you have to replace it every 10 days. With it using the same scanner as MSE and Forefront it'll undoubtedly do a decent job of things.

Internet Explorer 9 - fastest browser on mobiles too

Internet Explorer 9 came out a few weeks ago, if you're not using it. I'd recommend it. Especially people who are still using Firefox. It is well documented as the fastest browser out there. Not just in javascript speed, but also important areas like start time, and page rendering.

With the update to Windows Phone coming later this year, Internet Explorer 9 will be included. With it comes all the HTML5, and hardware acceleration that IE9 brought to Windows, but now in your pocket.

Here's a video to give you an idea:

To sum up, Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Phone renders at 23 fps, Chrome comes in at 11 fps on Android, and Safari on an iPhone 4 comes in at a dismal 2 fps.

WorldWide Telescope, controlled by Kinect

With Microsoft shortly to release the Kinect SDK for Windows, its time for them to demo some of the stuff people could come up with.

Here it is controlling the awesome WorldWide Telescope which I've written about at length. In short every computer should have WWT installed. :-)

108 minutes that changed everything...

...Almost (see my previous entry on Cosmonaut day).

50 years ago today, Yuri Gagarin successfully orbited the Earth, paving the way towards the stars.

But disappointingly all we've done in the last 40 years is orbit the Earth. It's time human space flight was properly funded.

Get the app, read my blog offline on your phone

As some of have may have noticed over the last few days, there's been a little addition to the sidebar on my blog. Inviting you to download the Paul Smith's Blog application for Windows Phone 7.

What's the deal? Well late last year I started looking at mobile applications for Gamercast, after messing about with the Visual Studio as I always do and copying and pasting various bits of sample code together, I decided to give up. If I did manage to get it working, there was no offline reading, no ability to view comments on entries etc.

So I started looking at other solutions, like AppMakr but didn't like what they had to offer for Windows Phone 7. Then I came across FollowMyFeed who had a much better hub style interface.

After putting together a sample application, and sticking it in the emulator and running it, I could tell this was pretty much what I was looking for.

Paul Smith's Blog mobile application screenshotPaul Smith's Blog mobile application screenshotPaul Smith's Blog mobile application screenshot

The Gamercast application has been available for a week now, check it out if you haven't already and feel free to download the application for my blog too. I just need to find time to write more now.

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