Microsoft is downloading Windows 10 to PCs, even if you don’t “reserve” a copy

Cassandra Khaw:

You might be in the process of acquiring Windows 10—whether you want the free upgrade or not. Microsoft has confirmed that it is “helping upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they need” in the event that owners decide to migrate to the new OS, even if they have heretofore passed up on “reserving” their free upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.

The issue seems to revolve around the Microsoft update KB3035583, and as such it appears to only afflict individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates. As far as we can tell, if you have automatic updates turned off, Windows 10 won’t be pre-loaded onto your PC.

According to The Inquirer, the situation was first reported by an anonymous reader who claimed to have discovered a hidden directory called $Windows.~BT on his computer, despite not opting in for a free upgrade to Windows 10. The directory weighed in at “3.5GB to 6GB,” according to the reader.

Sure puts that automatic downloading of the U2 album in perspective.

Microsoft Apps – A Better Experience on iOS

Paul Thurrott:

Long story short, iPhone is a great platform for apps, as we all know. But it’s also a great platform for Microsoft apps—it’s arguably the best mobile platform for Microsoft apps—as well. And that makes it a lot more interesting. And a lot more useful.

It is surprising that you get a better experience of Microsoft’s own apps on iOS but that could lend the possibility to not just the popularity, but the ease of development due to software constraints and fragmentation on other developing platforms. With Google not exactly supporting Windows Phone anymore, it would appear Microsoft supporting Android is due to necessity. Even with Microsoft being the 3rd in the top players, they still maintain their class of putting users first – would Google do the same in their position? I doubt it.

Microsoft reportedly scoops up beloved calendar app Sunrise

 Sunrise

Microsoft reportedly scoops up beloved calendar app Sunrise | Cult of Mac

What’s better than buying one of the most beloved calendar apps for mobile? Buying two of them.
After snatching up Acompli in December, Microsoft has reportedly acquired Sunrise, another popular calendar app on iOS and Android.

Microsoft paid close to $100 million for Sunrise, according to TechCrunch. That seems like quite a high number for such a small startup with a free app, but Acompli cost Microsoft $200 million.

Sunrise offers a unique take on the calendar experience by tying in all kinds of helpful services, like Facebook Events, Google Maps, weather forecasts, LinkedIn profiles, and more. Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange accounts are supported.

Sunrise is a great calendar app for iOS that Federico Viticci over at MacStories likes as well. I personally prefer Fantastical for it’s simplicity and design but Sunrise is right behind Fantastical in design and functionality. Considering how Microsoft merged their mail app Outlook with Acompli recently, it will be interesting to see Microsoft and Sunrise merge. I like this new Microsoft – beginning to have taste.

Enable 2-Step verification on popular web services

Enable 2-Step verification on popular web services

Stephen Hackett:

Between losing an iPhone, never-ending security issues, and the NSA, having an account accessed by an outsider is more likely than ever. While having a good password is critical, enabling 2-Step Verification is a great way to ensure data you’ve stashed in an online service like Gmail or Dropbox is limited to your eyes only.

In a nutshell, 2-Step systems work like normal log in systems, but after entering your user name and password, the system in question will send your phone an SMS with a unique PIN. Only after entering the PIN are you allowed in:

A great reminder to take the time to enable this for your online services that support it. It seems every week there is a popular service that gets compromised and asks users to reset their passwords – Comixology is the latest one to suffer. So take the time to do it, protect yourself and sign up for any services that support this in the future.

Here are the links for more information for the most popular services;

Apple

Google

Dropbox

Evernote

Microsoft

Craig Federighi talking to Jason Snell at Macworld

Apple executives on the Mac at 30:

Craig Federighi talking to Jason Snell at Macworld:

“The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn’t because one came after the other or because this one’s old and this one’s new,” Federighi said. Instead, it’s because using a mouse and keyboard just isn’t the same as tapping with your finger. “This device,” Federighi said, pointing at a MacBook Air screen, “has been honed over 30 years to be optimal” for keyboards and mice. Schiller and Federighi both made clear that Apple believes that competitors who try to attach a touchscreen to a PC or a clamshell keyboard onto a tablet are barking up the wrong tree.

“It’s obvious and easy enough to slap a touchscreen on a piece of hardware, but is that a good experience?” Federighi said. “We believe, no.”

Microsoft have learnt a painful lesson recently in relation to this. Apple may make mistakes like most companies but when it comes to predicting and betting on industry standards like doing away with the floppy disk drive, CD/DVD drive, switching to digital music – their track record and ultimately success, proves that even in a post Steve Jobs world, their vision for the industry is proving to be correct.