Heard the terms “virtualization” or “virtual machine” used in your school and office and wondered what they were talking about? In a world where collaborating and working remote have become commonplace, you’re going to hear these phrases more and more. They represent an important change in how people are using computers — but if you’ve been wondering what the big deal is with them, you’ve come to the right place.Here’s what people are talking about when they mention a virtual machine, the benefits of this software, and how it’s being used.At its heart, a virtual machine or VM is an app — typically called a hypervisor — that emulates an operating system. You launch the app, and it (generally speaking) opens a window that’s another operating system, which operates exactly like it’s own computer. Everything in the VM is self-contained, and it typically has all the capabilities of the operating system it is … [Read more...] about Virtual machines: What they are and why you might want to use one
Windows 8 virtual machine
It’s a dangerous prospect, given how many times it’s already crashed, but I’m typing this on a Windows 8 laptop. Yesterday, Microsoft released the next free public version of its new Windows 8 operating system. Though it’s called a “Consumer Preview,” I can’t help but note how much more like a beta it feels. It’s come a long way since the Developer Preview was released a few months ago. If you have a spare Intel-based laptop or tablet (we installed it on an HP Folio 13 Ultrabook), you can download and install it for free, but we must warn you: It’s still riddled with bugs and incomplete functionality. Then again, can we expect otherwise? Also, check out our picks for the best Windows phone.What is Windows 8?Before I begin my diatribe on what is good and bad in the new pre-release of Windows 8, perhaps I should explain what it is. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s attempt to bring the many fantastic and … [Read more...] about Windows 8 Consumer Preview: What works and what doesn’t
Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system is perhaps its most significant leap in the company’s history. As most readers likely know, it includes a new interface which takes queues from Windows Phone. Designed for a variety of inputs, this interface will bring Windows to devices typically out of its reach. It also changes design elements that have been a part of Windows for over two decades.Yet that headline is only one of many changes. There’s a ton new features, and some old features have been significantly revised. Let’s dive in to the new operating system by taking a look at all the new or changed features that everyone considering Windows 8 should know about.File historyThis is an update and replacement to the Backup & Restore functionality found in Windows 7. Microsoft has taken an approach similar to OS X Time Machine and some third-party backup solutions. Instead of only making large backups at pre-determined times, Windows 8 can create incremental … [Read more...] about What’s new in Windows 8?
Today’s the big day. Microsoft’s Surface tablet should already be on doorsteps, and retail shelves across the country. The virtual Windows Store is officially open for business. We’re about to be awash in laptop-tablet convertibles, and somewhere, Steve Ballmer is smiling.Windows 8 is finally here.Few operating systems have sparked as much divisiveness as Windows 8 and its shift to a mobile-first focus, however. I’ve spent a year playing with Windows 8 in its various preview iterations, and the final release. Is it perfect? Nope. Is it an absolute terror? Far from it. As is always the case, the true answer lies somewhere in the middle, and your level of pleasure directly relates to the type of machine you’re using.Sticking with that yin and yang approach, here are five things I love about Windows 8, balanced out by five Windows 8 quirks that drive me absolutely bonkers. Momma always said sweet comes before sour, so let’s start with the good news … [Read more...] about What I love and what I hate about Windows 8
If it hasn’t happened already, there will come a time when you’ll wish your computer was running a different operating system. Whether you’re a competent software developer or simply a user desiring an application exclusive to an OS other than the one you own, there are plenty of valid reasons why you’d want to use another OS. However, despite what you might think, you don’t necessarily have to adhere to your supposed monetary and spatial restraints, given the number of available virtual machines.Assuming your machine touts the capabilities, intuitive software allows you to emulate your desired OS within another, allowing you to run two operating systems alongside one another on a single machine. For instance, you could run Apple’s Mac OS X on a Windows computer using a virtual machine. Below we’ve compiled our picks for the best virtual machine applications available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.VirtualBox (Free)VirtualBox … [Read more...] about Is one operating system not enough? Here’s the five best virtual machine applications
It’s no secret that consumers have been slow to warm up to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, the latter of which was released this past October. Could the sagging adoption numbers and legions of people who are clinging to Windows XP and Windows 7 be pacified by a machine that runs Windows 8.1 but is capable of supporting Android apps? It sounds like we’ll soon find out.You might hear the term “PC Plus” quite a bit during CES 2014, which will begin on January 7. PC Plus refers to the concept of a Windows 8.1 machine that also runs Android apps. We’re talking about laptops here, not tablets. Aside from that (big) detail, this is not exactly a new idea.Bluestacks, an Android emulator for Windows and Mac OS X, is able to perform the task of running Android apps on traditional desktop operating systems. While Blackstacks simply ran as a separate program within Windows and OS X, the relationship between Windows 8.1 and Android apps could work differently with PC Plus, … [Read more...] about Windows 8.1 machines running Android apps to descend upon CES 2014?
If you’re on the Internet in the next two weeks, chances are you’ll run into a story about Windows 8. Microsoft is launching its newest computer (and now tablet) operating system on October 26 and it wants to come out of the gates swinging. Windows 8 is the biggest change in Windows since Windows 95 and it represents a huge shift away from the OS’ history toward the newer mobile operating systems we’ve seen infiltrating the landscape since the iPhone’s debut.With Windows 8, Microsoft wants to have it all. It wants to satisfy and excite everyone using a laptop these days; it wants to drum up buzz and redefine itself as an exciting tech company; it wants to woo those who have been defecting to Apple products in the last decade; it wants to stop Google’s ascension into the tablet and PC market with Android; it wants to please all of the businesses around the world using Windows; and it wants to dominate the new world of touch-based devices that are … [Read more...] about 5 annoying things about Windows 8
Windows 8 isn’t just Microsoft’s newest operating system. It’s the most ambitious move the company has made in years. If you remember the 2008 ads that touted “Hi, I’m a Mac. And I’m a PC,” you’ll understand how Microsoft executives have been working hard to overcome stereotypes of Windows as a stodgy, safe, old-fashioned system. But will the app-centric Windows 8 really become the new market standard?Earlier in the week, we covered both the best of Windows 8 and the most annoying Windows 8 features. There are certainly both pros and cons to installing Windows 8 straight out of the gate, but the only way to know for sure if it’s right for you is to give it a whirl. After all, let’s be honest: are you really going to be satisfied without forming your own opinion? Additionally, if you’re lucky enough to own a touchscreen laptop or a hybrid machine, you’ll want to jump on all the shiny new touch capabilities that … [Read more...] about How to Install Windows 8
Windows 8 has gotten lots of buzz, and plenty of criticism, for its attempt to shake up your PC’s operating system. With so many big changes, you may want to keep your old Windows 7 OS on your machine, just so you have something familiar to ease the transition. Fortunately, you can work a little hard drive wizardry to make space for both the old and the new. Here’s how you can dual boot Windows 8 on a computer that already runs Windows 7.Step 1: Back up your current systemThis is always a good practice when you are tweaking an operating system. The risk of losing data is usually pretty low, but you don’t want files to disappear the one and only time you didn’t back up. Make sure you save a copy of your entire hard drive in addition to your regular backups. (You are backing up your files, right?)Step 2: Create a new partition on your hard driveYou’ll need to set aside a separate chunk of your hard drive to house the new OS and everything you’ll run on … [Read more...] about How to Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8
Following the lead of competitor VMware last week, Parallels raised the curtain Thursday on a new release of its software for running Windows software on a Mac computer.Parallels Desktop for Mac 8 (US$79.99, or $49.99 for existing users who want to upgrade) will run on the latest version of Apple's OS X operating system, 10.8 Mountain Lion, and supports the upcoming release of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 8.Parallel's software runs OS X and Windows in separate virtual environments, but it presents the user with a seamless interface. The line between the operating systems is blurred so all applications appear to be running under a single operating system: OS X."It's one of the best solutions out there," ITIC principal analyst Laura DiDio told MacNewsWorld.This latest version of Parallels Desktop contains a number new features that further integrate the two operating systems running on a Mac.For example, Windows applications can be started directly from the OS X launchpad. "It … [Read more...] about New Parallels Aligns With Mountain Lion, Windows 8