As I know only too well from personal experience, factors such as damaging or space-hogging downloads, personalized desktops, tweaked settings or all manner of accumulated digital detritus can have serious effects on the performance of shared computers. Super Talent offered some welcome relief to PC users in 2010 with its Express RAM Cache
thumb drives, allowing users to carry their own virtual desktop, personal files and favorite programs from computer to computer. Now Computing out of Barcelona, Spain, has taken the next logical step by throwing a full operating system on a wrist-worn flash drive. StormFly bypasses the resident PC or Mac operating system completely, so it doesn't leave a trace of user activity, and includes enough space for personal files and user settings.
With Android and iOS dominating the smartphone wars, several platforms are campaigning to be the mythical third option
. Windows Phone
and Blackberry 10
may have higher profiles, but several open-source platforms are also vying for your attention. One of the more intriguing options is a new mobile facelift for the most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu.
Earlier today, Microsoft held an event in New York to officially launch its new Windows 8 operating system. Just ahead of the 12.01 AM launch time for the new OS, the presentation focused on the improvements made in Windows 8 for a wide range of systems, as well as the paradigm-shifting nature of the release and the importance of the Windows Store for apps.
While it has taken longer than some anticipated, cloud computing is finally coming of age and whether you have a business
focus, there’s a cloud-based option for just about any application you can think of. Researchers in China are now aiming to go one step further and take the operating system (OS) to the cloud with TransOS, a cross-platform, cloud-based OS.
Today Apple unleashed OS X Mountain Lion, the latest iteration of the Mac computer operating system. Those who own a Mac which meets the required minimum specifications
can head over to the Mac App Store
and upgrade for just US$19.99. With improved iCloud integration, enhanced security and the inclusion of some iOS apps like Notes and Reminders, Mountain Lion sees OS X move further toward the so-called “iOS-ification” which Apple first introduced in Lion. The result is a much less disjointed user experience and a stronger operating system overall.
Appearing in Toronto at Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), senior Windows chief Tami Reller let slip some details regarding the availability of Windows 8: PC manufacturers are set to receive the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8 in late-August, while consumers will be able to upgrade in late-October. The Redmond-based company also recently revealed that the cost of upgrading to Windows 8 Pro will be just US$39.99.
represents a big change for Microsoft’s industry leading OS. It breaks from tradition by doing away with the long serving Start button and replacing it with a tile-based and touch-friendly Metro UI
. While this move has widely polarized opinion, especially in the enterprise sector, it does represent a major trend across the industry, with mobile-tablet operating systems becoming more and more closely related to their laptop and desktop counterparts. This trend is personified by Microsoft’s in-house tablet, the Surface Pro
Mozilla has announced that its Firefox OS mobile operating system will be appearing on handsets in Brazil from early 2013, available through Telefónica’s commercial brand, Vivo. Firefox OS is based on Mozilla's existing Boot to Gecko
technology and each app for the platform is to be constructed in HTML5, the markup language increasingly used for structuring online content such as media and web apps.
The recently-released XP Mod is an Android Launcher, or home screen replacement, that recreates the look and feel of Windows XP. Perhaps its most impressive feature is the functional Windows Explorer clone, which makes finding files stored on your phone a similar experience to browsing files on a PC, making the app more than mere novelty. Currently in beta, XP Mod is missing a few key features that will likely keep it from being an everyday application, but this could change with future updates.
Apple introduced many significant changes with the release of OS X Lion and Mountain Lion is set to shake things up yet further, making this an exciting time to be a Mac user. However, it’s also an exciting time to be a PC user, and the buzz which surrounds Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 release even has some die-hard OS X fans wondering if it’s time to make the jump. If you’re a Mac user who would like to dip a toe into the Windows 8 experience with the minimum of commitment or fuss, here’s how to go about it.