Microsoft added a nice feature to Windows 8. Just hit Win + Prt Sc and you can get a full screenshot saved directly to your Pictures/Screenshots folder in 24 bit PNG format. No more fiddling with Paint or Snipping tool. Oh, and this key combination will also take screenshots of Metro apps not just Desktop.
Windows 8 is now out in retail and if you are a legit Windows XP/Vista or 7 user you are entitled to a 39.99 USD upgrade. You can visit this link to download the Upgrade tool. Assuming you are still running the original Windows version your PC came pre-installed upgrade to Windows 8 will be straight forward. Apparently its even possible to upgrade if you have the Release Preview installed and a valid Windows XP/Vista/7 key (which is usually printed on a sticker on your laptop or desktop).
Unfortunately In my case I installed Windows 8 Enterprise Trial when RTM came out which is valid for 90 days (and has almost expired by now). That version cannot be directly upgraded and there’s no way on earth I will reinstall the bloated version of Windows 7 that came pre-installed on the laptop by Asus (I did create re-install media and probably have it somewhere but as i recall Asus tool filled 5 DVD’s). The only upgrade path I could take will involve re-installing the Release Preview and use my Windows 7 key; but I’d rather not lose the configuration and apps I have installed on the current installation which is after all final but just time-limited.
It seems you can still download the Release Preview ISO directly from Microsoft here for 64bit and here for 32bit. Now all its left is to find a way to trick it into downgrading Windows 8 Enterprise Trial RTM into Release Preview (which could possibly be done by changing cversion.ini)and then using the upgrade tool to purchase a Windows 8 license and upgrade to Windows 8 Pro retail.
I’ll run my experiments tonight after work and hopefully post a step by step guide if I get it done.
Prices starting at 499 USD for the 32GB version (probably around the same price in Euro for Europe and a lot more for Cyprus as always). Keep in mind these are the ARM based version of Surface which means normal PC software will not run on it unless the developer recompiles it and assuming it doesn’t need any specific hardware support that is not present on the tablet. From the point of view of specifications it uses the same CPU as the latest Asus Transformer Pads, Nexus 7 and HTC One X phone with just another GB of RAM. The big plus over iPad and the rest of the competition is that it comes with the magnetic cover-keyboard and a full license for Microsoft Office 2013 (the latest version with a touch optimized UI) which on its own almost costs as much as the tablet.
This is a decent device for anyone who wants to have a fully blown Office experience on the go. Personally as a developer I’d rather get an x86 based tablet even though we can safely bet it will cost a lot more.
Specs according to Microsoft:
- Software – Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)
- Exterior – 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons
- Storage – 32 GB (3); 64 GB
- CPU – NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
- Wireless – Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
- Cameras – Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
- Audio – Two microphones, stereo speakers
- Ports – Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
- Sensors – Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
- Power Supply – 24W power supply
- Warranty – One-year limited hardware warranty
- Apps (included) – Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games