About Paul Paliath





Website:
http://www.paulpaliath.com

Email:
paul [dot] paliath [at] redmondpie [dot] com

Personal Information:
Microsoft columnist at Redmond Pie.


Posts Count:
Paul has blogged 110 post(s).

Posts by Paul Paliath:

As of right now, the existing consumer tablet market is dominated and was essentially created by Apple when it released the first iPad. Since then, Microsoft and Google have been working to catch up and get their foot in the door of this Apple-dominated market. Google’s Android tablet OS has managed to gain some ground, and we can expect Windows 8 tablets to hit the shelves later this year. However, in the past two weeks, both Microsoft and Google have announced special tablet hardware devices that they hope will help them gain even more ground in this market.

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Following quite a few rumors suggesting that Google had some sort of TV/entertainment device up its sleeve, the Nexus Q – touted as a “social streaming media player”, has now been officially announced at the big Google I/O event today. The Nexus Q is described as a device that can stream all of your content from Google Play – which includes an assortment of HD movies and TV shows – and YouTube, along with your own content to your living room screen and speakers.

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If you frequently make spelling and grammar mistakes in your Facebook comments, then you’re probably no stranger to frequently deleting and reposting them, or editing them if you happen to catch your error within the first few seconds of posting. Well now, Facebook is rolling out a feature that will eliminate that small window of time; soon (once this rolls out over the next few days, users will be able to edit their own comments without that few second time limit. However, to prevent people from abusing this privilege, you will also be able to view the complete edit history throughout a thread.

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While it certainly took a fair bit of time, Nike+ has finally sprinted to the finish line on Google Play. Just like its iOS counterpart which is pretty popular among people who regularly run and jog, the Nike+ Running App for Android packs quite a lot of features to help people monitor their runs and set goals. You can monitor statistics such as distance and speed across past runs, and, while you’re actually running, you can see in-progress GPS maps, change songs, and even get audio feedback on your run for when you pass certain distance milestones.

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Ever since Microsoft announced its plans to release the Surface tablets on Monday, reactions have been fairly mixed. Given the lack of information on availability, pricing, and battery life – important factors that consumers consider when purchasing a tablet – some pundits have been curiously critical. Others have been quick to point out that Microsoft’s still in the wrong for wanting to ship an Intel tablet that, not only has a fan and vents from a hardware standpoint, but also is host to a full-fledged version of Windows that has legacy apps along with the more touch-friendly Metro apps.

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Well, it appears that it is once again time to pen a comparison post, this time following up with the one published in October of last year – about 8 months ago – that compares a few of the important factors between the three important mobile platforms of our time. With iOS 6 freshly unveiled, along with a few developments that have transpired over the past 8 months, there are a few changes to make.

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The patent wars between Apple and Google are only heating up. On Tuesday, Apple filed a motion – in its second California litigation against Samsung – that could ban the sale of the Galaxy S III in the United States. Basically, they tossed the Galaxy S III in the same motion to ban the Galaxy Nexus in the US. But why? Because of infringements pertaining to Apple’s infamous voice command sassy butler Siri.

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About a month ago, it became known that Microsoft was going to host a Windows Phone Developer Summit in San Francisco that will span two days. Well, Microsoft has followed up and opened registration for that Windows Phone Summit while also reducing it down to a one day-long event on June 20.

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On top of debuting one rumored product – SmartGlass – the company also dropped news of yet another pretty major service: Microsoft’s rumored “Woodstock” music streaming service is real, and it’s called Xbox Music. Announced by Yusuf Mehdi at the E3 stage, Xbox Music is a service that will be available not just on the console, but on Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices as well. Without delving into too many details, Microsoft did share that the service will offer 30 million tracks to boot. The Smart DJ service that is available on the current Zune service will also live on within Xbox Music. Again, not much details were revealed during the demo – or teaser, rather – or even now after the show, but all that could be seen is a Metro-styled music service that looks rather similar to the Zune.

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Not long ago, there was a rumor that Microsoft was going to announce a feature called SmartGlass for tablets and phones at E3, allowing users to interact with content on the Xbox using their “second-screen” devices. Well, that rumor has panned out to be true; during its E3 keynote, Microsoft did officially announce the service.

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Well, it’s officially here: The last pre-release build drop before Windows 8 is released to manufacturing has arrived. Dubbed the Release Preview, the build sports quite a few noteworthy changes and improvements over the Consumer Preview.

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Taking a seat at the All Things Digital conference, Tim Cook touched on a number of topics without revealing anything too delicious – including questions about an Apple TV, his role at the company now during the post-Jobs era, and Facebook, among some other things – but he also revealed a little tidbit about the beloved iPhone 4S. It’s true; as some may have guessed, the ‘S’ in 4S definitely stands for Siri. On top of confirming this, he also did take the time to acknowledge that, in its current state at least, Siri does still have its bugs. When it works, it’s an excellent product, but it often doesn’t.

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In what comes off as a rather unusual and quirky move, Facebook has just released Facebook Camera for iOS. Aptly named, the app is essentially a standalone app that lets you manage and post photos on the social networking service. There’s more to it than that, though; the service also offers 14 filters for you to “decorate” your photos with. In many ways, the app offers functionality that’s very similar to that one prominent photo-sharing company they acquired last month for $1 billion. Now, I proceed, I just want to give Facebook credit for creating such a pleasantly-designed app; coming from a company that’s notorious for terrible mobile apps, this is quite something.

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Google CEO Larry Page has just announced that the company has at last completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which has been in the works for around 9 months now. Originally announced in August of last year, Google had plenty of regulatory approval hurdles in its way before it could finalize the move; but with the approval of the acquisition coming from China a few days ago, the company was finally able to seal the deal. Motorola Mobility has now been acquired by Google for $12.5 billion, meaning that the company paid $40 per share.

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Facebook games are usually thought of as games that allow casual users to farm or run salons and shops, but that’s about to change. On Monday, Ubisoft launched Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Commander as a game on the social networking site, intended to “accompany” the Ghost Recon Future Soldier console title that is set to touch down the day after (May 22nd).

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While the user interfaces of technology found in futuristic TV shows and movies aren’t necessarily practical, but they can often be cool. One example of this is the interactive UI of the computer in Minority Report, a movie in which mutated humans are able to predict – and thus, prevent – crimes from happening. The film is set in the year 2054, so obviously the computer that they’re using must consist of what appears to be either a fairly translucent screen or hologram, and a UI that’s manipulated by hand and finger gestures.

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While we don’t officially know what Microsoft will be introducing to the major Windows Phone 8 Apollo update that the company plans to drop later this year, people are as usual making mockups of what the future OS could look like. Now normally, I dismiss concepts as they are usually either impractical, ridiculous, or both, but this one is actually a pretty simple idea that can help boost the consistency between Microsoft’s desktop and mobile OSes.

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With Windows 8 set for launch later this year, the debate is still raging on about the relatively radical design changes implemented by Microsoft in the OS. Now, before I go on, I want to note that I’m not the type that’s resistant to change. Improvement and progress is welcome, and I really don’t mind adjusting to changes of any sort. But, the issue isn’t with people like me; it’s with users that struggled to understand Windows as it was before these radical changes.

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In the Google Play store, there are numerous utilities/apps that you can download to help optimize and improve your experience when using an Android phone. But there’s one tool in particular that combined the functionality that’s usually spread across multiple of these utilities into one. It’s called Cosmos, and it offers the ability to monitor the sneaky privacy settings of the apps you have installed, moderate your battery usage, and delete useless junk files off of your device. It also features a pretty straightforward and easy to use – but not as easy on the eyes, unfortunately – user interface.

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In order to reassure buyers that they aren’t purchasing a PC in vain – with Windows 8 on the horizon and all – Microsoft will be conducting a special promotion (as Mary-Jo Foley revealed last week) during which they will provide Windows 8 Pro to buyers of Windows 7-based PCs (on or after June 2) for a low cost. But how low? Today, Paul Thurrott reported that he’s hearing word from his sources that this promotional offer will be priced at $14.99.

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