Microsoft: SkyDrive now uploads 2x faster

SkyDrive uploads now 2x faster

Today, in their official blog, Microsoft has announced that a new version of SkyDrive will be rolled out providing users with faster upload tomes as well as a “timeline view” for SkyDrive albums and folders.

The “timeline view” makes it easier to see all your photos based on the date. “In the timeline view you can scroll down to navigate through all the images. They’re organized into groups by event and time. Take 20 pictures at a birthday party with your phone, and then a photo of your parking spot at the airport a few hours later? Now they’ll appear as two different groups in the timeline,” Microsoft explains. SkyDrive will also feature a filmstrip view, so you can see your photos in a slideshow.

Also included in the update is a tweaked version of the server code making uploads from the desktop app 2-3x faster than before.According to Microsoft, SkyDrive users were complaining about this.

This is yet another update to SkyDrive as last week Microsoft has enabled full resolution uploads of photos and videos from Windows Phone 8. The software giant has also added thumbnail previews for your Power Point and Word files on SkyDrive, to help you find what you need faster. “Thumbnails make it easier to find the file you’re looking for, and so we’re also introducing some changes to our thumbnails view. We worked hard to improve the readability of the files and folders you have in SkyDrive and are introducing new thumbnails for your PowerPoint and Word files,” Microsoft explains.

Sundar Pinchai: Android and Chrome OS will not merge

Sundar Pichai

At a recent Wired event, Sundar Pinchai who heads up Android and Chrome at the tech company said:

What can we expect from I/O this year?

It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.

Some other tidbits from the interview: On Firefox OS: “It isn’t surprising. If we don’t do Chrome OS, someone else will”. On Google-branded hardware: “Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward”.

From the rumour mill: Samsung to launch Android notebook as Google readies Apple TV competitor and smart watch

Chromebook Pixel

Mingchi Kuo a KGI Securities analysis has claimed that in 3-4 months, Samsung will launch a cheap Android powered notebook, an Apple TV competitor and a Google smart watch.

Considering that just last month Intel executives confirmed that the majority of its new sub-$200 notebooks running on its mobile Atom CPU will be Android based, this isn’t surprising

However, these devices will not make an appearance at I/O this year because Android 5.0, commonly called Key Lime Pie will not be ready. However, Samsung will be ready to ship the Android 4.x powered devices in the next few months.

As for the Apple TV competitor, Mingchi says that it is on its way but has been delayed because of a change of processors from a TI OMAP to an NVIDIA Tegra. As such, it will not be ready this week.

As well as Google Glass, it is expected that the “Google Watch” will be launched as Google’s move into the wearable device market. However, given the myriad design challenges for wearable devices, however, we don’t expect mass production to begin this year. 

Surface Pro continuing to rollout; Hong Kong next on 17th May

Surface RT going on sale in Japan earlier in the year.

Surface RT going on sale in Japan earlier in the year.

Recently, Microsoft announced that Surface Pro would be available in more countries by the end of May. Today, Hong Kong is next debuting on the 17th May according to Microsoft Hong Kong.

According to, Surface Pro will be available on the Microsoft online store where the first 150 customers will receive the Touch Cover, Wedge Touch mouse and Office 365 Home Premium Subscription.

Recently, Microsoft announced that the Surface Pro would be available in countries such as Hong Kong before the end of May. Now, it appears that the Surface Pro will actually make its debut on May 17th.

The pricing is roughly in line with the US Dollar with the price starting at HK $7,088 (US $913) for the 64GB model, and HK $7,888 (US $1016) for the 128GB model. The Surface Pro is already available on the mainland of China, while countries like Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand are set to receive the Surface Pro by the end of June.

If you are wondering why your country has yet to receive the Surface Pro, Microsoft is making sure that there are plenty of devices in place for consumers to purchase.


Thanks to increasing cost of importing components, Fujitsu to raise Windows PC prices

Thanks to the Yen’s drop to a four year low and an increase in the cost of importing components, Fujitsu is planning on raising prices for its Windows-based PCs. Fujitsu is also contemplating removing any discounts on existing PC products.

“It’s impossible to change our suppliers as we’ve been taking measures to combat a strong yen,” Fujitsu’s CFO Kazuhiko Kato stated. Fujitsu plans on increasing the use of materials common to multiple PC models to lower costs and the company also plans on reducing the number of products it sells.

Fujitsu has been relying on imported components from Intel and imported software such as Windows from Microsoft. The Yen weakening to 101 per dollar last week, the lowest level since 2009, only makes things worse for Fujitsu.

Fujitsu is already cutting 5,000 jobs and transferring 4,500 employees to other companies. Fujutsu reported a 72.9 billion yen loss for the 12 months ending March of 2013, with a net income of 45 billion yen this fiscal year.



Tip: Improve performance on your Surface RT

Microsoft’s Surface RT, powered by a NVIDIA Tegra 3 and 2GB of RAM, sometimes feels a bit slow for some of us. Even if it’s not, surely you want a bit of a speed boost?

This tip involves tweaking the performance settings on Windows RT. Quite simply, you can get better performance by compromising on appearance (but only a bit). Want to give it a go?

Follow these steps:

  1. Right click the Start screen hot tip or hit Win Key + X and select “System”
  2. Select “Advanced System Settings” on the left side of the window
  3. You will be taken to the “Advanced” tab for system settings. Click or tap “Settings” under the Performance area
  4. Select the option “Adjust for Best Performance”
  5. Before you save and exit, also enable “Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts”

Congrats, Windows RT will run faster and be more responsive than before. There will of course be minor visual differences as you have effectively disabled visual effects such as open and closing windows and menus as well as shadows.

One example would be the search or settings charm that would glide out from the Charms bar when “Adjust for Best Appearance” is enabled. However, when “Adjust for Best Performance” is enabled, they pop out- not glide out.

Personally, I recommend you play around seeing what you like and don’t. Adjusting these settings will not only improve response time on Windows RT, but also increase your battery life.

Note: Although focussing on Windows RT, this tip also applies to Windows 8.