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January 29TH, 2015

Posted By Seth

Microsoft just released the latest stable build to the Windows 10 Preview. Build 9926 introduces a continually changing start menu. Allowing users who have touch based devices to expand the start menu into a Windows 8/8.1 like start page. The other UI changes include more feedback options, and the ever changing icon set that Microsoft's team keeps toying with. Usability updates and other bug fixes are the usual as with any major update to the Windows 10 Preview.

The big update to the OS is "Cortana". Cortana is Microsoft's answer to Apple's "Siri", and Google's "Google Now". Cortana is integrated into the OS, helping users to basic local computer tasks and various web based queries.

Another big one is the introduction of the Xbox Store. Microsoft is hoping to take PC game sales as another source of revenue. Some promised features are the ability to stream in-game video and create some sort of game clans. I'm not sure if Steam should be worried or not; but, with built in OS integration, it should be an interesting introduction the PC gaming world. (Anything is better than Origin and Uplay, am I right?)

Getting closer the expected 3rd or 4th quarter release of the new OS, Microsoft has release information on the availability of Win 10. According to Microsoft, Windows 10 will be a free update to any legitimate Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license holder for the first year of it's availability. Prices for other licensing has not been released.

I can't wait to see what Microsoft tries next in the following major updates. Let's all just leave this Windows 8 thing behind us.

December 22ND, 2014

Posted By Seth

Ditching support for Windows Vista and prior, AMD released it's new Catalyst OMEGA driver suite. Among the usual performance increases over the previous versions of the software, AMD has added around 20 new features. This update focuses on only the R7 and R9 branded Graphics Cards, forgoing the R9 280 and R9 280X (rebranded 7950 and 7970 respectively). My favorite new feature is the implementation of AMD's new "AMD FreeSync". Essentially this forces the Graphics Card and Monitor to sync their refresh rates. This feature will reduce or eliminate the tearing effect that forms during video playback. The AMD FreeSync requires a monitor that also supports this technology. Samsung has announced that they will be releasing compatible Monitors "soon".

To see a full list of changes:Click Here

July 3rd, 2014

Posted By Seth

AMD is scheduled to release a few new APUs to it's A-Series lineup by July 31st. For the past six months we've had the high end A10-7850K and the mid range A10-7700K available (both FM2+ sockets). Now entering the Kaveri APU lineup are low TDP Quad, and Dual core APUs. These APUs have the Radeon R9 style compute cores enabling them with 4K resolution capabilities. The Kaveri A-Series APU will be standard with the Low and Mid Range desktops that we build.

May 20TH, 2014

Posted By Seth

The Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355) has been released recently. Key features added to the Previous 8.1 update include an added shutdown and search icon to Start screen. You may now also Pin programs to the taskbar. When in the Start screen, right click on any program icons and select "Pin to taskbar". It seems as if Microsoft is listening to users' complaints, especially after the addition of the sudo start menu option. Although, Windows 8.1 is still touch-centric; but, is becoming far more acceptable to use as a home Operating System.

 

If the System update KB 2919355 is not in your Windows Update list, search and insure that the previous KB 2919442 is installed.

January 9th, 2014

Posted by Seth

AMD is to release it's third APU; code named Kaveri. The new APU, using the Steamroller microarchitecture, boasts CPU speeds upwards of 3.7GHz (4GHz Turbo), and GPU at a speed of 720MHz. The new APU integrates HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture). Allowing the on board GPU to help compute with normal programs. Other standard improvements are also to be seen.

FM2+ APUs will NOT be compatable with FM2 Motherboards.

January 9th, 2014

Posted By Michael

This is the ZL Computers news section.  Here we will post technological news.