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5 Things You Need To Know About Windows 10

5 Things You Need To Know About Windows 10

Windows 10 is coming. This is what you need to know.

It really seems like Microsoft is trying to shake it’s old image of being slow to change. They’re taking drastic measures like getting rid of Internet Explorer and even skipping Windows 9! Hopefully this means that this new release is going to be a big departure from the older operating systems, but the more I look at the press releases, the more I’m beginning to realize that not much is new. There seems to be a new focus on the gaming community, which is Microsoft’s strong suit. The acquisition of Minecraft may lead to some really cool applications of Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens, but really that’s tough to say. We’re not even sure when Hololens is being released. To me, it looks like Hololens could be Microsoft’s ace in the hole, allowing you to bring Windows 10 around with you.

Really, it seems like Microsoft is making it’s products look and feel more like Apple products. The “seamless integration” of the same operating system from your phone to your tablet to your desktop (and also your gaming console)? Classic Apple. Even the new web browser looks way too much like Safari. But, hey, maybe this is a good thing? What do you think?

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In any case, here’s what you need to know.

Already a Windows user? Guess what? It’s FREE!

You heard me. Windows 10 is free upgrade if you already own Windows 7, 8.1 or 9. (Joke’s on you. There is no Windows 9)
Now, if you don’t already own Windows, it’s going to run you $120-$200 depending on the version that you buy.

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What’s going to happen to Internet Explorer?

Gone. At least, the name is. Microsoft is releasing a brand new browser called Microsoft Edge in an attempt to shy away from all the horrible publicity that Internet Explorer has garnered of the years. We don’t know much about this new browser yet, but to me it looks strikingly similar to Safari. My bet is that it won’t be much better than good old IE, but I guess we’ll just have to find out. Even the “reader” view that Microsoft demoed looks exactly like the same feature on Safari.

Cortana is your new personal assistant

Not much different from Apple’s Siri, Cortana seems to be nothing new besides the fact that Siri doesn’t run on Apple computers, only on phones. No big breakthroughs here, but Cortana will surely be useful nonetheless. You can use Cortana to send messages, launch apps, and set reminders just like Siri. No word yet on whether you need an internet connection to operate Cortana, but many features will likely be dependent on web searches (again, just like Siri).

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Game streaming

You will be able to stream games from your Xbox to your computer, capture game footage and edit it through an integrated Xbox app on your desktop. This is actually a pretty big move, with the popularity of new game streaming services like Twitch and soon to be Youtube Gaming.

The PC master race will now be able to play with their lesser console friends

At least, that’s what Microsoft says. I’ll bet that this is a feature that most games will not support. But for the few games that do take advantage of this feature, the gaming communities on the PC and Xbox will be united, which is surely a good thing. This does, however, bring to light the issue of fairness. For twitchy shooter games like Call of Duty, for example, having a mouse is going to be a HUGE advantage over a player with a controller. Maybe some games will require you to plug in an Xbox controller?

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Featured photo credit: Mike Mozart via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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