Why so many people are sticking to Windows 7 

Who upgraded to Windows 8 from Windows 7 and wished they hadn't bothered? If you put your hand up, you share the same point of view with 90 percent of the population of Microsoft customers. Unfortunately change isn't always a good thing and while I would never suggest the new operating system is as bad as Vista, which had a lot of odd functions and stability issues, there are still complications with the implementation of the entire thing. In short: the system isn't simple like Windows 7. 

UI designers often fail to take the millions of novice computer users into account when creating new software or designing new websites. Dragonfish Total Gaming Services, the independent B2B arm of 888 Holdings and developer of games on bubblebonusbingo.com, takes great care to create a product that transmits well no matter what platform customers are playing on, creating websites that can easily be navigated by a few clicks of a mouse or swipes of a finger. Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to forget that novice computer users still exist. What are the problems which have caused many to revert back to Windows 7? 

The desktop

People still using desktop computers can't boot their system's straight to the desktop. Instead the operating system forces you to start from the metro screen in the same way as a tablet. While that's fine for a touch screen device, it's far simpler for a desktop user to work from the desktop menu. Microsoft have made sure they can't do this though, which makes their experience on the computer time consuming and irritating. 


If you want to search for a program or file in Windows 7, you can scan the whole system with a quick query in the search bar which will bring up similar results to the word you searched. Microsoft has added an additional step in Windows 8 though. It searches your installed applications by default. Only afterwards can you click Settings or Files if you want to look for something else. 

Start menu

The Start menu is not as it was. Since its start in the 1990s the Start menu has been a handy tool for every user, and its uses grew and grew. The most sophisticated Start menu of the lot is on Windows 7, with more functions, short-cuts and accessibility than ever before. Microsoft have since removed the Start menu from Windows 8, and users can now only use a cut-down version called “Simplified Start”. 


The two interfaces of {Windows 8} don't gel well. It's like you're on two separate computers on the same piece of technology. For example, there are two versions of Internet Explorer, and when you create a Favourite in the Desktop version, it won't appear in the Metro version. It's sloppy planning. 

In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that Microsoft should have only released Windows 8 for tablets and any other mobile devices. It just doesn't work well on a desktop. At least with a tablet you can swipe your finger across and tap at the screen to get where you want. On a desktop you're still using a mouse and keyboard, so the whole endeavour just gets irritating and clunky. 


Microsoft Debuts Full-Body Controller-less Gaming At E3

At today’s Electronic Entertainment Expo press briefing, Microsoft unveiled Project Natal, a technology that eliminates the controller from gaming on the Xbox 360. In one demo, a player used her arms and legs to hit balls in an attempt to destroy a brick wall, and in another game, an employee threw virtual “paint” on a canvas to create a painting, even drawing an elephant using a silhouette feature. An accompanying video also demonstrated automatic login using facial recognition, videoconferencing with other Xbox Live members, and participating in a gameshow against another family through the Internet using speech recognition.

Windows Mobile gets enhanced voice-command capability

Microsoft Corp. has high hopes that a new speech-recognition application for the forthcoming Windows Mobile operating system will be attractive enough to draw people to the phone platform.

Microsoft today planned to announce a new service that will work on Windows Mobile 6.5 devices and will let people speak into the phone to search the Internet, make phone calls and dictate text messages. Thetechnology comes from Tellme Networks Inc., a company that offers hosted voice recognition services and was acquired by Microsoft in 2007.

TellMe cuts the cord to Nuance

TellMe just had their best quarter so far. It's taken them over two years to upgrade their platform to lose reliance on Nuance technology.

When TellMe was founded in 1999, they used speech recognition technology produced by the original Nuance. Over time, they upgraded their platform and continued to use Nuance technology even after ScanSoft bought out Nuance and changed it's name to Nuance. 

Now, TellMe has announced vast improvements to their platform, "the most substantial ... since Microsoft bought it in May 2007." and "the improvements ... take advantage of cloud computing..."

The article states that "The improvements  include speech recognition technology developed by other units of Microsoft." 

SpeechMagic chosen as the preferred speech recognition technology for Microsoft Amalga HIS and Amalga RIS/PACS

Royal Philips Electronics announced today that it has signed a global licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. to bring industrial grade speech recognition to Microsoft’s Amalga family of enterprise healthcare solutions. Microsoft will offer Philips SpeechMagic to customers using Microsoft Amalga Hospital Information System (Amalga HIS) and Amalga RIS/PACS, with the goal of helping healthcare providers generate accurate, actionable information that is sharable, searchable and contributes to making clinical improvements. [click heading for more]

Tellme and Aspect Software to Deliver Innovative Solution to Contact Center Customers

Tellme(R), a Microsoft(R) subsidiary, and Aspect Software today announced anagreement to bring together the Aspect unified contact center solution and services with Tellme's proven voice services platform to deliver a flexible, cost effective joint contact center solution. The agreement between Tellme and Aspect expands on the strategic, multi-year alliance that Aspectand Microsoft made earlier this year to deliver contact center solutions withdeeper unified communications capabilities. [click heading for more]

JetBlue dials in to Microsoft's speech-recognition technology

A recent move by JetBlue is allowing the airline's passengers to retrieve flight information with a voice-activated interface when they call in. It's a simple scenario that most of us are familiar with: You call a toll-free number, speak the flight numbers, arrival and departure cities, and flight times, and you are provided with the information you need. The headlines from a recent Webinar regarding JetBlue's phone changes show the affordability side: "How JetBlue is Replacing their $1,000 Speech Recognition Licenses for $15".

So where does Microsoft come into play on all of this? Well, there are usually steep costs involved with speech recognition. Aumtech, however, collaborated with Microsoft to leverage the speech recognition services built into Office and Vista, resulting in a lower-cost solution. By lower cost, I mean 75 percent lower than competitively placed solutions, according to some accounts.

Here are some of the numbers: When JetBlue wanted to increase its existing Philips/Nuance ASR application license (which had an 88 percent accuracy rate and 60 percent call completion rate), the airline was looking at a price tag of $175,000. Aumtech said it could do it better and for less, $47,500. JetBlue says the system now has an accuracy rate of 90 percent and call completions are at 82 percent with the capability to handle three times the call volume than the previous system. .

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Mobile Search: Look, Ma, No Hands

No matter how the soap opera of Microsoft's (MSFT) efforts to acquire Yahoo! (YHOO) turns out, there's one area where a merger would clearly benefit consumers. Both companies have launched voice-based mobile search services, and Yahoo oneSearch and Microsoft Tellme have strengths and weaknesses that neatly complement each other.
At best, it will be a long time before these services are consolidated. In the meantime, consumers can take advantage of two interesting experiments in speech recognition. [click heading for more]

The Future of Video is Audio … (Text Actually)

Let’s face it - we developed a text based internet. All of our systems and tools do a great job of parsing text and building models for targeting and/or dynamic content creation. However, video has not enjoyed the same flexibility and matchability at as granular a level as text-based content due to technical restrictions that prevent us from easily understanding the context of the content. Audio-to-text technology, in theory, should solve all of that. In reality - have you seen any systems that work perfectly yet? [click heading for more]