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+ - Microsoft reveals Windows 10 will be a free upgrade->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp writes: Microsoft just took another big step toward the release of Windows 10 and revealed it will be free for many current Windows users.

The company unveiled the Windows 10 consumer preview on Wednesday, showcasing some of the new features in the latest version of the operating system that powers the vast majority of the world's desktop PCs. The developer preview has been available since Microsoft first announced Windows 10 in the fall, but it was buggy, limited in scope and very light on new features.

Importantly, Windows 10 will be free for existing Windows users running versions of Windows back to Windows 7. That includes Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows Phone. Microsoft specified it would only be free for the first year, indicating Windows would be software that users subscribe to, rather than buy outright.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Operating Systems Group Joe Belfiore showed off some of the new features in Windows 10. While Microsoft had already announced it would bring back the much-missed Start Menu, Belfiore revealed it would also have a full-screen mode that includes more of the Windows 8 Start screen. He said Windows machines would go back and forth between to two menus in a way that wouldn't confuse people.

Belfiore also showed a new notification center for Windows, which puts a user's notifications in an Action Center menu that can appear along the right side, similar to how notifications work in Apple OS X.

Microsoft Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson revealed that 1.7 million people had downloaded the Windows 10 developer preview, giving Microsoft over 800,000 individual piece of feedback.

Myerson explained that Windows 10 has several main intents: the give users a mobility of experience from device to device, instill a sense of trust in users, and provide the most natural ways to interact with devices.

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+ - Who is the new Steve McConnell?

Submitted by andrewa
andrewa writes: Steve McConnell is the renowned author of several classic software engineering texts. Several of his tomes occupy a space on my bookshelf and, while wiping the dust off them today, I wondered if he had written any new material. It seems, short of some updates to Code Complete, his most recent work is Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art.
While his texts are still mostly relevant today, I wondered if anybody else had risen to take his place. Admittedly I've not kept as current on software engineering texts, so would be interested in the experiences of Slashdot users....

Comment: Re:My favorite, ever. (Score 1) 66

by andrewa (#46270051) Attached to: Ask "The Fat Man" George Sanger About Music and Computer Games
Do you mean the Commodore 64 Master of Magic, or the Microprose PC one? Not entirely sure about the Microprose one, as I don't see it listed in his Wiki page. If you mean the Commodore 64 one, then that was Rob Hubbard I think. I played a bit of the Microprose game, but don't specifically recall anything about the soundtrack, the Commodore 64 game though - that's a different matter and that's a very memorable piece of music for me...

+ - Ask Slashdot: Why are we still writing text based code? 4

Submitted by Rasberry Jello
Rasberry Jello writes: *Improving upon what I posted yesterday. I really must know the answer to this question! It's been driving me crazy for years!*

"I consider myself someone who "gets code," but I'm not a programmer. I enjoy thinking through algorithms and writing basic scripts, but I get bogged down in more complex code. Maybe I lack patience, but really, why are we still writing text based code? Shouldn't there be a simpler, more robust way to translate an algorithm into something a computer can understand? One that's language agnostic and without all the cryptic jargon? It seems we're still only one layer of abstraction from assembly code. Why have graphical code generators that could seemingly open coding to the masses gone nowhere? At a minimum wouldn't that eliminate time dealing with syntax errors? OK Slashdot, stop my incessant questions and tell me what I'm missing.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.