Windows Vista rewrote the graphics system from scratch. That was one of the reasons it was hated so much - WDDM drivers are difficult to write and NVIDIA/ATI failed to provide stable drivers on time.
Background sound is a big thing for online radio and music players. What would be nice is an option to disallow sites from playing music until they're approved, kind of like Chrome does with webcam access.
McAfee used to be a great product. It began to suck soon after the company was acquired by Intel.
McAfee started to suck long before the Intel acquisition, probably some time after the Network Associates merger. I'm using a corporate version of McAfee stuff (Antivirus, HIPS, Endpoint Encryption) for a long time and their level crappiness hasn't changed much after Intel took over. Still has a horrible UI, takes forever to scan drives.
Endpoint Encryption is still security via obscurity - to decrypt or recover data, you need a "password of the day" (can be found in online forums), a special CD with the recovery tools (can be found on pirate sites), and the encryption key is simply hidden in some HDD sector, all that protects it is a tiny 6-digit numeric password! I mean the official recovery tool is designed specifically to make it difficult determining the encryption key sector.
There could be a possibility that the anti-terrorist organizations are working so well that the terrorist threat is so low. Think about it, if NSA, DHS and others suddenly stopped tracking terrorists, just in New York alone half the city would probably be in ruins because of contless terrorist acts!
I have a cheap mouse at work that after 1.5 years lost its feet. Without them the plastic bottow started to wear off, caused by the constant grinding. The process was slow, but after another 1.5 years the optical sensor is having trouble focusing since it's become too close to the table surface
Exchange is the de-facto standard for mail in companies with 1000+ employees (probably smaller companies as well), and compared to IMAP offers
* push email
* contacts (and calendar) sync via the same account
* enforcing corporate policies such as a requiring a device password and a maximum lock timeout.
Support for Exchange on Android and iPhone has provided a huge boost to the popularity of BYOD and is one of the main reasons why Blackberry is now failing. Previously companies had to buy RIM servers and devices and give them out to employees needing email access on the go. Now only an Exchange server with Exchange Activesync support is requred and any phone can be used, even cheap chinese phones like ZTE and Huawei where previously >$700 Blackberries were required. Most people also prefer to carry just one phone for their personal and corporate use, and for company-issued phones Android phones, even with the MS tax, have a much more attractive price than iPhone. So adding Exchange Activesync is probably the cheapest and easiest solution for companies already using Exchange, and adding support for it in all Android phones is a smart move by Google - together with Apple and Microsoft they practically stole Blackberry's customers.
I'm sorry, but the only alternatives to Exchange are:
* hosted email on Gmail, Yahoo etc. - not good for security/privacy considering the recent hacking of LinkedIn, Adobe and many other companies
* using a set of open-source products which would provide a scalable solution for intergated email, calendar and contacts; a desktop and web-based interface; and support for major mobile platforms.
* Lotus Notes. If you want users to kill themselves out of frustration
MS gets FAT32 royalties from pretty much every device with SD cards. GPS devices, MP3 players, TVs, digital cameras, car audio etc.
Most "modern" Android devices don't have memory expansion slot (which sucks) and use ext4 internally. Most of the other MS patents taxing Android cover Exchange connectivity and that's unlikely to be invalidated soon.
It's also easier to make the driver a scapegoat (throw him under the bus) instead of doing an investigation on why the software failed to activate the breaks. That's what the Soviets did - even when failure was clearly caused by faulty equipment, they blamed the operators; if the operators got killed, this was even better because they would not try to demand a real investigation.
Have you actually used WinME? It's the same Win98, but with DOS hidden and locked down and a icons/sounds backported from Windows 2000. Windows 2000 is a much more modern NT-based OS and having used it alongside WinME I can tell the difference is clearly visible, with Windows 2000 winning in almost every test except memory consumption and compatibility with Win9x apps.
Windows 2000 was originally planned to replace the DOS-based 98, but application/driver compatibility was not perfect, so Microsoft instead produced the WinME abomination before finally moving everyone to XP.
Dumping Surface RT could attract enough users that developers would start to take the Windows platform seriously. Then, since MS makes a $50/year per developer account, and 30% from every app sale, they may use the discounted RTs to jumpstart the Windows Store and recover at least some money (maybe unbundle Office and sell it as an addon?).
And hardware cannot sit on shelves forever. Storage space costs money, components get obsolete over time and in 2 years 50 bucks would be the right price. However this may repeat the netbook disaster (from the manufacturers standpoint) where people got accustomed to getting a perfectly usable machine for $300 and sales of more expensive hardware dropped.
Very few sheeple noticed that Microsoft OFFICIALLY cancelled Metro (sometimes called 'new UI' or Windows RT interface).
Would you provide a prooflink? I've been monitoring MS news and the only news was Metro being renamed into "Modern UI" because of a lawsuit from the German supermarket chain.
So far Windows 8/WP8's biggest problems is the lack of good apps. Plus, Metro apps don't integrate well with the desktop and Microsoft's Metro apps have less features than the desktop alternatives (e.g. Mail, Calendar, Onenote). It would make no sense for Microsoft to abandon this platform and start from scratch AGAIN, pissing off developers who just ported their apps to WP8/Win8. What may actually be going on is merging WP8 and Win8 APIs to simplify porting; by the way porting between Win8 and WP8 is already not terribly difficult.
The metro design (just the design, not the whole paradigm) is actually quite successful, just look at how Apple is abandoning their skeumorphic concepts or how Android also shifted to a flatter style in 2.3 and 4.0.
It's not that well publicised. For a while, I lived with some Eastern European immigrants in a cheap flatshare in London. They were keeping cash under the bed, but they all were able to open a basic account.
Some people don't trust banks, especially if they lived in a Soviet Union-related contry. They had a history of decreasing your savings either by government order (to keep everyone equal) or simply because they f*cked up investing your money.
Based on my travel experience (2 trips to North America, 1 to the Middle East), nobody really cares about the contents of your laptop. Come on, it's not 1998, pirating stuff over the internet is a lot easier than bothering to carry it physically.
What customs are usually interested about is
1) Large quantities of identical stuff which may be contraband
2) Illegal items, which oddly enough includes most food. Also drugs, firearms, etc.
Security may check your laptop to detect any unaccounted cavities which can carry contraband or explosives - my laptop was coming apart and security looked really concerned and ran it through quite a few extra tests.
Customs may want to check any software you may be importing for sale, but the nature of your visit must hint you may be carrying such stuff - like being a contractor who is visiting the US to install & configure software.
If you're just a tourist they're not going to look, not even in random searches. It's difficult to determine or prove the files are not legal under US law right in the airport. You should only be concerned if you were previously convicted for piracy or have a strong reason for having your laptop searched, like being a spy, terrorist or Julian Assange.
Authors are paid next to nothing. I've published a paper by Springer which is currently selling for $40 for a download. Guess how much I got paid? $0 (and even had to sign a huge contract detailing the terms of my $0 compensation).
Scientists publish papers because they need credit, references, public claims on their discoveries etc. Big-name scientists may actually earn something if they negotiate it.
The only reason I see the publishers get such a huge compensation is that they have to review papers (probably hire scientists from similar fields) and deal with the incoming stream of bullshit articles.
They should revise Google's punchline to "Now let's shutdown everything and watch civilization collape".