Microsoft will begin officially rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 on June 24th. This should coincide with the launch of the Lumia 930, Nokia's upcoming flagship. The WP 8.1 update will get the usual guaranteed 36 months of software support. Here's the statement from Microsoft website:
Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System, including security updates, for a minimum of 36 months after the lifecycle start date. These updates will be incremental, with each update built on the update that preceded it. Customers need to install each update in order to remain supported. The distribution of these incremental updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone, and installation will require that your phone have any prior updates. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities. - Microsoft
Strangely, More than 26% of all PC users worldwide is still using Microsoft Windows XP, while Microsoft is trying to put XP out for good and ending its support. However, Windows 7 still holds the lion share at 48.77%, but it is still impressive that XP refuses to go out quietly without a fight, even after Microsoft has stopped supporting the OS with regular updates and bug fixes.
Despite being more vulnerable to security threats now more than ever before, XP users still using it as their primary OS. Microsoft mentioned about 7 years go that they would begin pulling support for the Operating System, but XP users don't seem to care.
Today, Microsoft is rolling-out the Windows 8.1 update 1 to all Windows 8.1 PCs around the world, The update is about 2-3 GB in size. Once again, many of the changes here attempt to pacify the issues raised by desktop and laptop owners who are uninterested in using the operating system's touch-centric features.
The Start screen, Windows 8's replacement for the classic Start menu, has received plenty of hate from desktop and laptop owners alike. While visually interesting, the blocky interface didn't make sense to mouse users when the operating system was released. Individual tiles were too large, and there was no right-click context menu for quick changes. Windows 8.1 addressed the former issue with a smaller tile size, and now Windows 8.1 Update 1 has addressed the latter.
Don't get too excited, though. The new right-click context menu is usually restricted to pinning / un-pinning tiles, re-sizing them, and turning the "live tile" feature on or off. With a few programs, there are one or two additional options Internet Explorer can be opened in a new window for example but it's all rather basic. The context menu doesn't provide any properties or settings for the program a tile is attached to, and customization is still restricted to tile size and placement.
Microsoft has attempted to rectify that with Windows 8.1 Update 1 by putting the Windows Store on the Taskbar. It's the third icon from the Start button, preceded only by Internet Explorer and File Explorer. Though some users might find this to be an annoyance, it can be easily un-pinned, and it gives developers critical eye-share. The Windows Store has to be a valid way for developers to make money if it's to become a viable way for consumers to find great apps.
Head to Windows Update and start updating if you like what you see above!
Microsoft has officially announced the latest version of its latest graphics technology DirectX 12 at the GDC last week. The excited part that it will launched with special optimizations to Windows Phone devices along with the desktop versions of Windows.
DirectX 12 includes special APIs and libraries to provide greater performance with reduced power usage. It will be quite a while before we see anything on the next generation mobile gaming front. Hopefully, the first DirectX 12 games are expected all the way in late 2015.
Former Microsoft employee Nawzil Najeeb is claiming that his device running Windows Phone 8.1 recognizes USB connections to the handset, which means that it supports USB on-the-go.
"USB Storage detected. Tap to view files." Tapping on it opens the File Manager and shows the files. USB OTG on #WindowsPhone8.1— Nawzil (@Nawzil8) March 14, 2014
"USB storage detected. Tap to view files," is the message that appears when he plugged in a USB thumb drive to his Windows Phone using a USB OTG (on-the-go) cable. This looks like good news for those that are hoping to be able to access the file system in Windows Phone too.
Having USB OTG support does open up a lot of functionality to Windows Phone. In addition to external storage devices, we could see all sorts of accessory support.